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Insectes Sociaux

, Volume 48, Issue 2, pp 101–109 | Cite as

Effects of social isolation on hydrocarbon pattern and nestmate recognition in the ant Aphaenogaster senilis (Hymenoptera, Formicidae)

  • A. Lenoir
  • D. Cuisset
  • A. Hefetz

Summary.

In the non-trophallacting ant Aphaenogaster senilis, a change over time was observed in cuticular and postpharyngeal gland hydrocarbon profiles. A change was also observed after individual social isolation. Short periods of isolation induced amicable reaction, such as allogrooming, which may have facilitated re-integration of the isolated ants into their mother colonies. Longer periods of isolation, on the other hand, caused overt aggression towards the isolated ants when reintroduced into their mother colonies, and also resulted in higher changes in cuticular hydrocarbon profile. This correlation suggests a link between these two phenomena. We suggest that in A. senilis, in the absence of cue transfer by trophallaxis: a) colony odour constitutes a gestalt, and b) the major means of cue transfer is allogrooming. The possible evolution of allogrooming and trophallaxis as cue transfer modalities is discussed.

Key words:Aphaenogaster senilis, social isolation, hydrocarbons, postpharyngeal gland, nestmate recognition, allogrooming. 

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Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag, 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Lenoir
    • 1
  • D. Cuisset
    • 1
  • A. Hefetz
    • 2
  1. 1.Institut de Recherches sur la Biologie de l'Insecte, IRBI-CNRS UPRES A 6035, Faculté des Sciences et Techniques, Parc de Grandmont, F-37200 Tours, France, e-mail: lenoir@univ-tours.fr.FR
  2. 2.Department of Zoology, Tel Aviv University, Ramat Aviv 69978, Israel, e-mail: hefetz@post.tau.ac.ilIL

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