Chemical profiles, division of labor and social status in Pachycondyla queens (hymenoptera: Formicidae)

J. Tentschert, K. Kolmer, B. Hölldobler, H. J. Bestmann, J. Delabie, J. Heinze

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Queens of the neotropical ponerine ant Pachycondyla cf. 'inversa' may co-operate during colony founding. One of several co-founding queens specializes in foraging, whereas the others remain in the nest and guard the brood. Division of labor is achieved by aggressive interactions, which result in the formation of dominance hierarchies. Gas chromatography and mass spectrometry of cuticular hydrocarbons obtained from live queens by SPME revealed consistent differences between the patterns of cuticular hydrocarbons of queens with high versus low rank: only high-ranking queens showed considerable amounts of cuticular pentadecane (n-C15) and heptadecene (n-C17:1). These two substances presumably originate from the queens' Dufour glands.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)175-178
Number of pages4
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics


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