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Ontogeny of colonial hydrocarbon label in callow workers of the ant Cataglyphis iberica

AuthorsDahbi, A.; Cerdá, Xim ; Lenoir, Alain
Issue Date1998
CitationComptes Rendus de l'Academie des Sciences - Serie III 321: 395- 402 (1998)
AbstractIn ants, postpharyngeal glands are the reservoir for the colonial odour which mediates the interindividual recognition. Quantitative and qualitative changes in colonial hydrocarbon profile of these glands were studied in the ant Cataglyphis iberica from emergence of workers. Isolation of callow seems to affect the maturation process. The glandular secretion of the callow workers increases in amount and becomes similar to that of mature workers around 10 d old. However, the rate of hydrocarbon accumulation in the glands of callow workers that were reared in isolation remains lower compared to mature nestmates. Early social isolation also affects the acquisition of the specific colony profile which remains very different from that of their mother colony. These results suggest a transfer of hydrocarbons from matures to callows. This transfer allows the new members of the colony to integrate the colonial odour during the few days following emergence.
Identifiersdoi: 10.1016/S0764-4469(98)80303-X
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