Beibl, J. and D’Ettorre, P. and Heinze, J. (2007) Cuticular profiles and mating preference in a slave-making ant. Insectes Sociaux 54 (2), pp. 174-182.
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The remarkable ability of slave-making ants to integrate chemically in the colonies of their host species makes them useful model systems for investigating the role of cuticular hydrocarbons in chemical recognition. The purpose of our study was to examine the influence of the rearing host species on the cuticular hydrocarbon profile and on the mating behaviour of sexuals of the slave-making ant Chalepoxenus muellerianus. Sexuals from a population parasitizing exclusively the host species Temnothorax unifasciatus were reared in the laboratory either with their natural host or another potential host species, Temnothorax recedens. C. muellerianus males reared with T. unifasciatus investigated and mounted female sexuals reared with the same host significantly more often than female sexuals reared with T. recedens. Similarly, C. muellerianus males reared with T. unifasciatus discriminated against female sexuals from natural T. recedens colonies. Males experimentally or naturally reared with T. recedens did not clearly discriminate between female sexuals reared by the two host species and only rarely engaged in mating attempts with either type of female sexuals. Chemical analyses showed that host species affect the chemical profile of C. muellerianus sexuals and vice versa. Our findings indicate that cuticular hydrocarbons might be important in the mating success of this ant species.
|Institutions:||Biology, Preclinical Medicine > Institut für Zoologie|
|Keywords:||Chalepoxenus muellerianus; social parasitism; mating success; cuticular hydrocarbons; Formicoxenini|
|Subjects:||500 Science > 570 Life sciences|
500 Science > 590 Zoological sciences
|Refereed:||Yes, this version has been refereed|
|Created at the University of Regensburg:||Unknown|
|Deposited On:||29 Jan 2009 17:19|
|Last Modified:||20 Jul 2011 21:24|