Camponotus spp. workers reared in queenless groups recognize non-nestmate kin, apparently by shared heritable chemical cues or "discriminators", while workers reared in the presence of mated queens acquire labels which superoede such recognition. Whether queen-derived labels are themselves discriminators has not been examined previously. Groups of sister or unrelated workers of C. floridanus were adopted to sister or unrelated virgin queens, and recognition among non-nestmate adoptees was assayed in neutral arena encounters. Interactions were significantly less aggressive among workers whose queens were sisters than among those whose queens were not, indicating that their acquired recognition cues are queen discriminators.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Insect Science