publication . Article . Other literature type . 1985

Gaster flagging by fire ants (Solenopsis spp.): functional significance of venom dispersal behavior. J Chem Ecol

Martin S. Obin; Robert K. Vander Meer;
Open Access
  • Published: 01 Dec 1985
Abstract
Behavioral and chemical studies with laboratory colonies indicate that the imported fire antSolenopsis invicta Buren (Myrmicinae) disperses venom through the air by raising and vibrating its gaster (i.e., “gaster flagging”). This mechanism of airborne venom dispersal is unreported for any ant species. Foraging workers utilize this air-dispersed venom (up to 500 ng) to repel heterospecifics encountered in the foraging arena, while brood tenders dispense smaller quantities (∼ 1 ng) to the brood surface, presumably as an antibiotic. Brood tenders removed from the brood cell and tested in heteropspecific encounters in the foraging arena exhibited the complete repert...
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Subjects
Medical Subject Headings: behavior and behavior mechanismsfungireproductive and urinary physiologycomplex mixtures
free text keywords: Biochemistry, Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics, General Medicine, Myrmicinae, biology.organism_classification, biology, Ecology, Hymenoptera, Venom, Gaster, Foraging, Brood, Biological dispersal, Agonistic behaviour
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