Predatory behavior and chemical communication in two Metapone species (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

Berthold Hoelldobler, Neil J. Oldham, Gary D. Alpert, Juergen Liebig

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Colonies of two species of Metapone (M. madagascarica, M. new species.) were collected in Madagascar and established in laboratory nests. It could be demonstrated that both species are specialist predators of termites (Cryptotermes kirbyi). During hunting the ants sting the termites and thereby paralyze and preserve the prey alive. In this way prey can be stored in the ant nest for extended periods. During foraging and colony emigrations the ants lay chemical trails with poison gland secretions. Among the seven compounds identified in the venom only methyl pyrrole-2-carboxylate elicits trail following behavior in both Metapone species.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)147-151
Number of pages5
JournalChemoecology
Volume12
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Predatory Behavior
Hymenoptera
Ants
Poisons
Venoms
Isoptera
animal communication
ant
Formicidae
Cryptotermes
termite
communication
pyrroles
ant nests
Communication
nest
venoms
Madagascar
preserves
venom

Keywords

  • Poison gland
  • Prey storage
  • Pyrrole derivative
  • Termite predation
  • Trail pheromone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Biochemistry

Cite this

Predatory behavior and chemical communication in two Metapone species (Hymenoptera : Formicidae). / Hoelldobler, Berthold; Oldham, Neil J.; Alpert, Gary D.; Liebig, Juergen.

In: Chemoecology, Vol. 12, No. 3, 2002, p. 147-151.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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