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  • 1
    ISSN: 1420-9098
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Biology
    Description / Table of Contents: Summary With a new method the flow of liquid transmitted from one individual to another during food exchange between members of an ant society can be observed continuously. During the exchange, the radioactivity of the honey in the crop of an individual is measured and printed on a recorder. When complemented with other methods, and particularly by direct observation, interesting data are supplied by this technique.
    Notes: Resume La nouvelle méthode permet de suivre, de manière continue, le flux- de substance transmise d'un individu à l'autre, au cours d'un échange alimentaire entre membres d'une société de Fourmis. La radio-activité du miel contenu dans le jabot d'un individu est mesurée durant l'échange, et inscrite sur un enregistreur. Complétée par les autres méthodes et en particulier par l'observation directe, cette technique fournit des données intéressantes.
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  • 2
    ISSN: 1420-9098
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Biology
    Description / Table of Contents: Summary In investigating the antennal positions and movements associated with the transfer of substance from one worker ant to another, during trophallactic contacts, the question arises as to whether these different positions and movements act as particular singals. InCamponotus vagus, these behavioural units are organized into sequences. There is no stereotypy in the sequences: recordings show great variability, particularly in the donor ant. On the other hand, differences in the organization of sequences and in their variability were seen to be related to the worker's social function (forager or broodtender worker). Trophallactic behaviour in the two partners was analysed using different methods (slow motion film with frame by frame analysis; use of radioelements with simultaneous recording of trophallactic flux and antennal movements; cross-correlogrammes). No definite system of signals and responses corresponding to antennal movements was found to underly the ant's trophallactic behaviour. But it does not exclude that the antennæ activity as a whole, owing to its structure may have a function in communication.
    Notes: Resume L'étude des positions et mouvements d'antennes qui accompagnent les transferts de substances d'une ouvrière de Fourmi à l'autre, au cours des contacts trophallactiques, pose le problème de la valeur de signal de ces différents actes. ChezCamponotus vagus, ces unités comportementales sont organisées de manière séquentielle. Il n'y a pas stéréotypie des séquences; on enregistre une grande variablité, en particulier chez l'ouvrière donneuse. D'autre part, il apparaît des différences dans l'organisation des séquences et leur variabilité, en relation avec la fonction sociale exercée par l'ouvrière (récolteuse ou nourrice). L'analyse du comportement trophallactique des deux partenaires, par plusieurs méthodes différentes (cinéma accéléré avec analyse image par image, emploi des radio-éléments avec enregistrement simultané des actes et du flux trophallactique, cross-corrélogrammes), a permis de montrer que leurs actes ne constituent pas, au niveau antennaire, un système précis de signaux et de réponses. Ceci n'exclut pas la possibilité que l'activité antennaire globale ait par sa structure une fonction de communication.
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  • 3
    ISSN: 1420-9098
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Biology
    Description / Table of Contents: Summary The role of antennal contacts made by the donor worker on the receiver's head during trophallactic interactions among Ants (Camponotus vagus) was investigated by studying the food flow characteristics: amount of foodstuff transmitted, duration and speed of transmission. For this purpose, we either removed both the donors' antennal funicles or tied their scape/funicule articulations in the flexed position. The parameters of food transmission between control workers were found to depend on seasonal factors: the consequences of both antennal removal and immobilization were therefore analysed for each season separately. The workers with antennal lesions gave more food than control workers in spring and summer. On the contrary, in autumn the lesions did not bring about any significant change. The antennal contacts made by the donor on the receiver's head might be involved in the regulation of trophallactic food transmission, at least in spring and summer.
    Notes: Resume Nous avons recherché quel est, lors des interactions trophallactiques entre ouvrières de Fourmi (Camponotus vagus), le rôle des contacts antennaires effectués par l'ouvrière donneuse sur la tête de la receveuse, quant aux caractéristiques du flux: quantité de nourriture transmise, durée, vitesse de transmission. Dans ce but, nous avons pratiqué soit l'ablation des funicules antennaires de la donneuse, soit l'immobilisation, en position pliée, des articulations scape/funicule. Chez les témoins, les caractéristiques du flux trophallactique varient avec la saison. Il en est de même pour les effets de l'ablation ou de l'immobilisation, qui ont donc été étudiés séparément pour chaque saison. Au printemps et en été, les ouvrières opérées donnent plus de nourriture que les ouvrières intactes. En automne, au contraire, l'opération n'entraîne pas de modification significative. Il apparaît que, du moins au printemps et en été, les contacts des antennes de l'ouvrière donneuse peuvent intervenir dans la régulation du flux trophallactique.
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  • 4
    ISSN: 1420-9098
    Keywords: Hydrocarbons ; nestmate recognition ; chemical communication ; contact chemoreception ; Camponotus vagus
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Biology
    Notes: 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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  • 5
    ISSN: 1420-9098
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Biology
    Description / Table of Contents: Summary The authors investigated the possible existence in ants of differences in the amounts of sugar food given to the queen and worker larvae by the workers. Experimental groups of the AntPlagiolepis pygmaea, rearing worker biased or queen biased larvae, were fed on honey containing radio-actively labeled gold (Au108). Upon introduction of the tracer, the groups were incubated at 26° for 4, 6, 8, 10 and 12 days. The radio-activity of the larvae was measured after 25, 48 and 76 hours. This permits a comparative estimation of the quantity of material which has been given to larval feeding from the crop of the workers. It can be only some radio-active honey ingested by the workers; but the salivary secretions of the larvae could also, in the interval, add a small quantity to the honey. The results show that,weight for weight, the queen larvae receive much more food coming from crop than the worker larvae. This difference, which is very slight until the 8th day of incubation, becomes obvious on the 9th day and reaches its maximum on the 10th and 11th days: the queen larvae receive, at this time, up to 6 times more food, weight for weight, than the worker larvae. We note that it is at the moment when the weight increase of the queen larvae is at its highest that the quantitative difference in the received sugary matter, weight for weight, is also at its highest. The authors think that the very high sugar content of the diet of queen larvae does not come into play until after caste determination has occurred.
    Notes: Résumé Les auteurs ont recherché s'il existe, chez les Fourmis, des différences dans les quantités d'aliments sucrés données par les ouvrières aux larves de reines et aux larves douvrières. Des groupes expérimentaux de la FourmiPlagiolepis pygmaea, élevant des larves d'ouvrières ou des larves de reines, ont été nourris avec du miel contenant de l'or radioactif (Au108). Lors de l'introduction du radio-élément, les groupes sont élevés à 26°C depuis 4, 6, 8, 10 et 12 jours. La radio-activité des larves est mesurée au bout de 25, 48 et 76 heures. Elle permet une estimation comparative de la quantité de substances qui a servi à l'alimentation des larves, en provenance du jabot des ouvrières. Il peut s'agir seulement du miel radio-actif ingéré par les ouvrières; mais des sécrétions salivaires ont pu aussi, dans l'intervalle, s'y ajouter en petite quantité. Les résultats montrent que,par unité de poids, les larves de reine reçoivent beaucoup plus de substances provenant du jabot que les larves d'ouvrières. Peu sensible ou faible jusqu'au 8e jour de la mise en élevage, cette différence devient très nette à partir du 9e jour, et atteint son maximum les 10e et 11e jours: les larves de reines reçoivent alors, par unité de poids, jusqu'à 6 fois plus de nourriture que les larves d'ouvrières. On constate que c'est au moment où la croissance pondérale des larves de reines est la plus importante que la différence quantitative dans les matières sucrées reçues, par unité de poids, est la plus forte. Les auteurs estiment que cette alimentation très riche en sucre des larves de reines n'intervient qu'après le déterminisme de la caste.
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  • 6
    ISSN: 1420-9098
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Biology
    Description / Table of Contents: Summary The antennal activities of twoCamponotus vagus workers engaged in trophallactic contact were analysed, and possible relationship between these activities and the flux of trophallactic substance were investigated. Among the antennæ positions and movements involved in these activities, several distinct behavioural units can be defined, which combine in variable sequences. The antennal activities of the donor ant are more complex and variable than those of the receiver. Certain behavioural units nevertheless occupy a definite place in the sequence of acts performed by the donor; but a continuous recording of the trophallactic flux (labelled with radioactive gold) on which the donor's antennal movements were simultaneously plotted showed that the onset of these behavioural units brought about no change in the flux. It seems unlikely that any of these units convey particular signals to the receiver ant.
    Notes: Resume L'activité antennaire de deux ouvrières deCamponotus vagus engagées dans un contact trophallactique est analysée, ainsi que les relations éventuelles de cette activité avec le flux de substance qui est transmise. Dans les positions et les mouvements d'antennes qui constituent cette activité, peuvent être définies des unités comportementales distinctes, qui se combínent de manière variable. L'activité antennaire de l'ouvrière donneuse est plus complexe et plus variable que celle de la receveuse. Certaines unités comportementales ont cependant une place déterminée dans la séquence d'actes présentée par la donneuse; mais l'enregistrement en continu du flux trophallactique (marqué par de l'or radioactif) et, simultanément, des mouvements d'antennes de la donneuse indique que l'apparition d'aucune de ces unités comportementales n'entraîne de modification de ce flux. II est permis de penser qu'aucune de ces unités n'a valeur de signal pour la receveuse.
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  • 7
    ISSN: 1420-9098
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Biology
    Description / Table of Contents: Summary Reversals in the direction of food flow can be observed in theCamponotus vagus Ant during a single trophallactic contact between two foragers. These reversals are accompanied by changes in the position and movements of the mandibles, antenn≸, palps and legs. This behaviour was observed in only 27% of the pairs studied. Pairs accustomed to reversing the trophallactic food flow also shared food significantly more frequently and devoted significantly more time to this activity. If two different societies are compared at the same time of year the frequency of trophallactic contacts and the time spent on this activity are the same for food-flow reversing worker pairs in both societies; whereas differences were noted between societies in the case of non-reversing pairs. Individuals that practised reversal moreover showed other behavioural characteristics: they were more aggressive, towards a worker from another society which was introduced into the foraging area outside their nest.
    Notes: Resume Chez la FourmiCamponotus vagus, on peut observer des inversions du sens du flux alimentaire lors d'un contact trophallactique entre deux ouvrières récolteuses. Ces inversions sont accompagnées de changements dans la position et les mouvements des appendices. Ce comportement a été observé seulement chez 27% des couples étudiés. Les couples qui inversent le sens du flux trophallactique pratiquent, de manière significative, des contacts plus fréquents et passent plus de temps en contacts. Lorsqu'on compare à une même saison deux sociétés différentes. la fréquence des contacts trophallactiques et le temps passé en contacts ne diffèrent pas pour les couples d'ouvrières qui pratiquent des inversions; par contre, des différences apparaissent en ce qui concerne les couples ne présentant pas ce comportement. D'autre part, les individus qui pratiquent des inversions présentent d'autres particularités comportementales: ils se montrent plus agressifs vis-à-vis d'une ouvrière étrangère à leur société, introduite sur l'aire de récolte de leur nid.
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  • 8
    ISSN: 1573-1561
    Keywords: Ants ; worker subcastes discrimination ; polyethism ; cuticular hydrocarbons
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Biology , Chemistry and Pharmacology
    Notes: Abstract In the antCamponotus vagus, when selected foragers that had been earlier removed from the foraging arena and brood-tenders that had been earlier removed from the nest were placed together in a foraging arena, most of the brood-tenders and only a few of the selected foragers were carried back to the nest by nonselected foragers. We hypothesize that cuticular hydrocarbons serve as a cue that allows foragers to discriminate between members of their own subcaste and brood-tenders. It has been established that the proportions of certain hydrocarbons, which are the same regardless of the colony studied, vary from one worker subcaste to another and thus constitute a specific chemical signature. These hydrocarbons belong to a wide range of chemical families (alkanes, monomethylalkanes, and dimethylalkanes). The greatest differences between the two subcastes were observed on the thorax of workers. Principal component analyses performed on the hydrocarbons (or hydrocarbon combinations) corresponding to the 45 main peaks in the cuticular profiles of the head and thorax of brood-tenders and foragers of several colonies show that there exist quantitative differences between the various signatures that characterize the colony, the worker subcastes, and the various body parts within the same species, which can be classified in a hierarchy where the differences between worker subcastes are less pronounced than those between body parts or between colonies.
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  • 9
    ISSN: 1573-1561
    Keywords: Cuticular hydrocarbons ; chemical signature ; postpharyngeal glands ; nestmate recognition ; Hymenoptera ; ant ; Camponotus vagus
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Biology , Chemistry and Pharmacology
    Notes: Abstract The aim of the present study was to investigate the regulation and the homogeneity of the chemical signature between members ofCamponotus vagus after experimentally changing the cuticular chemical signature by topically applying hydrocarbons. Topical application of pentane (solvent) to the cuticle of isolated workers led to a significant decrease in the quantities of the cuticular hydrocarbons measured within 3 hr, followed by an increase within the following 3 hr and a period of relative stability from 9 hr to 14 days. On the other hand, after topical application to isolated workers ofn-tetracosane, a hydrocarbon existing only in trace quantity in this species, the quantity of this hydrocarbon measured over time in the epicuticular wax tended to level out at about 14 days after treatment. In contrast, topically applied (Z)-9-tricosene, an unsaturated hydrocarbon not normally synthesized by this species, decreased dramatically within a few hours and had completely disappeared within 14 days. (Z)-9-Tricosene applied to one member of a group was present in the postpharyngeal glands of the other members from 30 min to seven days of cohabitation. The highest levels were recorded in all six workers in each group after one day. GC-MS analyses showed that (Z)-9-tricosene was present in the cuticles of some untreated workers only after four and seven days of cohabitation with a treated worker. These data suggest: (1) that the deposited (Z)-9-tricosene decreased very quickly on the cuticle of the treated worker, although the total amount was spread over the cuticle and postpharyngeal gland and (2) that it was absorbed by the nontreated workers via the postpharyngeal glands during licking or grooming activities and reincorporated into the cuticle at four and seven days. When the treated worker was separated from the other ants by a wire mesh, (Z)-9-tricosene was detected neither in the cuticle nor in the postpharyngeal gland of nontreated workers.
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