Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Summary To test whether a change in a worker's cuticular mixture is perceived by other workers in aCamponotus vagus colony, (Z)-9-tricosene, a hydrocarbon which is not synthesized by this species, was dissolved in an organic solvent (pentane) and deposited on the worker's cuticle. Each treated worker was then placed in contact with 5 non-treated workers and the behavioural effects were investigated. The following interactions were analysed: antennations, trophallactic contacts, self-grooming, licking, mandible opening and biting. Detailed analysis of the antennations and mandible openings showed that the non-treated workers did in fact perceive the induced change in the chemical signature of the treated worker. The data suggest, however, that the non-treated workers quickly became habituated to the presence of (Z)-9-tricosene on the cuticle of the treated worker.
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