Recognition of nestmate eggs in the ant Formica fusca is based on queen derived cues

Helanterä, Heikki, Martin, Stephen J and Ratnieks, Francis L W (2014) Recognition of nestmate eggs in the ant Formica fusca is based on queen derived cues. Current Zoology, 60 (1). pp. 131-136. ISSN 1674-5507

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Abstract

Inclusive fitness benefits depend on recognizing the right individuals to interact with. Social insect nests protect themselves from non-kin intruders through nestmate recognition based on chemical cues. The recognition cues on adult individuals are from a mixture of genetic and environmental sources, but the ontogeny and use of recognition cues on eggs has not been previously assessed. We studied recognition by workers of eggs that were either nestmates or non-nestmates. and the ontogeny of recognition cues on eggs in the ant Formica fusca, a species with precise egg recognition abilities. Workers were able to discriminate among freshly laid eggs with no nest derived cues on them, and the egg surface chemicals varied among nests in these eggs, suggesting that queen derived cues are used in nestmate recognition. The results are discussed in the light of their implications on deceptive social parasite strategies and within colony conflicts.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Life Sciences > Evolution, Behaviour and Environment
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH0301 Biology
Depositing User: Tom Gittoes
Date Deposited: 18 Mar 2015 09:09
Last Modified: 08 Mar 2017 07:45
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/53405

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