Nest-mate recognition cues are not used during or influenced by mating in the antFormica exsecta

Martin, SJ ORCID:, Shemilt, S and Trontti, K 2014, 'Nest-mate recognition cues are not used during or influenced by mating in the antFormica exsecta' , Ethology Ecology & Evolution, 26 (1) , pp. 40-48.

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A wide range of mating isolating mechanisms has evolved to avoid mating with close relatives. In mating aggregations that commonly occur in social insects (bees, wasps and ants) sexuals from the same colony can potentially be present, so some type of colony-recognition system would be useful to avoid inbreeding. In the ant Formica exsecta, colony-specific (Z)9-alkene profiles are used by workers to distinguish nest-mates from non-nest-mates, so this information has the potential to be employed in mating behaviour, i.e. to recognise potential mates, avoid inbreeding and indicate mating status. However, in F. exsecta queens, we found no consistent quantitative or qualitative differences in the cuticular hydrocarbon (CHC) profiles between males and queens, or any changes associated with mating in queens. Neither did the (Z)9-alkene recognition profile appear to be acting as a pre-mating barrier, since successful mating occurred across a wide range of CHC profiles. The main pre-mating barrier in F. exsecta appears to be the sequential production of males followed by queens coupled with a long mating period, a strategy adopted by many social insects.

Item Type: Article
Schools: Schools > School of Environment and Life Sciences
Journal or Publication Title: Ethology Ecology & Evolution
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 0394-9370
Related URLs:
Depositing User: S Rafiq
Date Deposited: 06 May 2014 13:25
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 23:08

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