Changes in the cuticular hydrocarbon profile of the slave-maker ant queen,Polyergus breviceps emery, after killing a Formica host queen (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

Citation
Ca. Johnson et al., Changes in the cuticular hydrocarbon profile of the slave-maker ant queen,Polyergus breviceps emery, after killing a Formica host queen (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), J CHEM ECOL, 27(9), 2001, pp. 1787-1804
Citations number
48
Language
INGLESE
art.tipo
Article
Categorie Soggetti
Environment/Ecology
Journal title
JOURNAL OF CHEMICAL ECOLOGY
ISSN journal
0098-0331 → ACNP
Volume
27
Issue
9
Year of publication
2001
Pages
1787 - 1804
Database
ISI
SICI code
0098-0331(200109)27:9<1787:CITCHP>2.0.ZU;2-G
Abstract
Queens of the slave-maker ant, Polyergus breviceps, take over nests of thei r Formica host species by fatally attacking the resident queen. As workers only begin grooming the P. breviceps queen once she has ceased her attack, we investigated whether a change in parasite queen chemistry may account fo r the change in worker behavior. Cuticular hydrocarbon profiles of newly ma ted P. breviceps queens and of queens of their two Formica host species wer e found to be species-specific. Profiles of newly mated P breviceps queens that had attacked a Formica queen, however, were virtually identical to the queen profile of the species killed. Mass spectral analysis revealed that the hydrocarbons on the cuticles of newly mated P. breviceps changed from p rimarily normal alkanes to methyl and di-methyl branched alkanes after atta cks. The results suggest that cuticular compounds from the host queen were transferred to the parasite queen during their aggressive interaction.