The behavioral ecology of mating in harvester ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Pogonomyrmex)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

137 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

1. The four sympatric species of Pogonomyrmex (P. barbatus, P. desertorum, P. maricopa and P. rugosus) frequently conduct their nuptial flights on the same days; however the daily timing rhythms of their mating swarms differ strongly. 2. Mating takes place on species-specific, perennial mating sites. In our study area the mating sites of P. barbatus and P. rugosus were located on the ground, those of P. desertorum and P. maricopa on bushes and trees. 3. Males mark these mating sites with the secretions of their mandibular glands. Apparently additional males as well as females are attracted by these secretions. 4. During mating activities a strong male competition exists. In P. barbatus and P. rugosus an average of 4-5 males, in P. desertorum and P. maricopa an average of 2-3 males simultaneously, compete, for access to one female. 5. Multiple matings have been observed in all four Popogonomyrmex species. 6. Sexual behavior is regulated by a stimulation pheromone produced in the female's poison glands and apparently also by a species-specific surface pheromone which the males perceive only when they approach closely enough to make direct antennal contact. 7. The combination of distinct daily activity rhythms, partial mating site isolation together with the ability of males to discriminate conspecific females from females of the other species isolates the sympatric Pogonomyrmex species from each other. 8. The mating aggregations of Pogonomyrmex are compared with the lek behavior of vertebrates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)405-423
Number of pages19
JournalBehavioral Ecology and Sociobiology
Volume1
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1976
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Pogonomyrmex
Hymenoptera
Ants
behavioral ecology
Ecology
ant
Formicidae
ecology
breeding sites
Sympatry
Pheromones
pheromone
secretion
Pogonomyrmex maricopa
pheromones
Pogonomyrmex rugosus
Pogonomyrmex barbatus
mandibular glands
lek
multiple mating

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Ecology
  • Animal Science and Zoology

Cite this

@article{f171ba8cc64145d7a1fe014aa35a93e0,
title = "The behavioral ecology of mating in harvester ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Pogonomyrmex)",
abstract = "1. The four sympatric species of Pogonomyrmex (P. barbatus, P. desertorum, P. maricopa and P. rugosus) frequently conduct their nuptial flights on the same days; however the daily timing rhythms of their mating swarms differ strongly. 2. Mating takes place on species-specific, perennial mating sites. In our study area the mating sites of P. barbatus and P. rugosus were located on the ground, those of P. desertorum and P. maricopa on bushes and trees. 3. Males mark these mating sites with the secretions of their mandibular glands. Apparently additional males as well as females are attracted by these secretions. 4. During mating activities a strong male competition exists. In P. barbatus and P. rugosus an average of 4-5 males, in P. desertorum and P. maricopa an average of 2-3 males simultaneously, compete, for access to one female. 5. Multiple matings have been observed in all four Popogonomyrmex species. 6. Sexual behavior is regulated by a stimulation pheromone produced in the female's poison glands and apparently also by a species-specific surface pheromone which the males perceive only when they approach closely enough to make direct antennal contact. 7. The combination of distinct daily activity rhythms, partial mating site isolation together with the ability of males to discriminate conspecific females from females of the other species isolates the sympatric Pogonomyrmex species from each other. 8. The mating aggregations of Pogonomyrmex are compared with the lek behavior of vertebrates.",
author = "Berthold Hoelldobler",
year = "1976",
month = "12",
doi = "10.1007/BF00299401",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "1",
pages = "405--423",
journal = "Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology",
issn = "0340-5443",
publisher = "Springer Verlag",
number = "4",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - The behavioral ecology of mating in harvester ants (Hymenoptera

T2 - Formicidae: Pogonomyrmex)

AU - Hoelldobler, Berthold

PY - 1976/12

Y1 - 1976/12

N2 - 1. The four sympatric species of Pogonomyrmex (P. barbatus, P. desertorum, P. maricopa and P. rugosus) frequently conduct their nuptial flights on the same days; however the daily timing rhythms of their mating swarms differ strongly. 2. Mating takes place on species-specific, perennial mating sites. In our study area the mating sites of P. barbatus and P. rugosus were located on the ground, those of P. desertorum and P. maricopa on bushes and trees. 3. Males mark these mating sites with the secretions of their mandibular glands. Apparently additional males as well as females are attracted by these secretions. 4. During mating activities a strong male competition exists. In P. barbatus and P. rugosus an average of 4-5 males, in P. desertorum and P. maricopa an average of 2-3 males simultaneously, compete, for access to one female. 5. Multiple matings have been observed in all four Popogonomyrmex species. 6. Sexual behavior is regulated by a stimulation pheromone produced in the female's poison glands and apparently also by a species-specific surface pheromone which the males perceive only when they approach closely enough to make direct antennal contact. 7. The combination of distinct daily activity rhythms, partial mating site isolation together with the ability of males to discriminate conspecific females from females of the other species isolates the sympatric Pogonomyrmex species from each other. 8. The mating aggregations of Pogonomyrmex are compared with the lek behavior of vertebrates.

AB - 1. The four sympatric species of Pogonomyrmex (P. barbatus, P. desertorum, P. maricopa and P. rugosus) frequently conduct their nuptial flights on the same days; however the daily timing rhythms of their mating swarms differ strongly. 2. Mating takes place on species-specific, perennial mating sites. In our study area the mating sites of P. barbatus and P. rugosus were located on the ground, those of P. desertorum and P. maricopa on bushes and trees. 3. Males mark these mating sites with the secretions of their mandibular glands. Apparently additional males as well as females are attracted by these secretions. 4. During mating activities a strong male competition exists. In P. barbatus and P. rugosus an average of 4-5 males, in P. desertorum and P. maricopa an average of 2-3 males simultaneously, compete, for access to one female. 5. Multiple matings have been observed in all four Popogonomyrmex species. 6. Sexual behavior is regulated by a stimulation pheromone produced in the female's poison glands and apparently also by a species-specific surface pheromone which the males perceive only when they approach closely enough to make direct antennal contact. 7. The combination of distinct daily activity rhythms, partial mating site isolation together with the ability of males to discriminate conspecific females from females of the other species isolates the sympatric Pogonomyrmex species from each other. 8. The mating aggregations of Pogonomyrmex are compared with the lek behavior of vertebrates.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=0001317639&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=0001317639&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1007/BF00299401

DO - 10.1007/BF00299401

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:0001317639

VL - 1

SP - 405

EP - 423

JO - Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology

JF - Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology

SN - 0340-5443

IS - 4

ER -