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How to coexist with fire ants: The roles of behaviour and cuticular compounds

Roux, Olivier and Rossi, Vivien and Céréghino, Régis and Compin, Arthur and Martin, Jean-Michel and Dejean, Alain How to coexist with fire ants: The roles of behaviour and cuticular compounds. (2013) Behavioural Processes, 98. 51-57. ISSN 0376-6357

(Document in English)

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.beproc.2013.04.014


tBecause territoriality is energetically costly, territorial animals frequently respond less aggressively toneighbours than to strangers, a reaction known as the “dear enemy phenomenon” (DEP). The contrary,the “nasty neighbour effect” (NNE), occurs mainly for group-living species defending resource-basedterritories. We studied the relationships between supercolonies of the pest fire ant Solenopsis saevissimaand eight ant species able to live in the vicinity of its nests plus Eciton burchellii, an army ant predatorof other ants. The workers from all of the eight ant species behaved submissively when confrontedwith S. saevissima (dominant) individuals, whereas the contrary was never true. Yet, S. saevissima weresubmissive towards E. burchellii workers. Both DEP and NNE were observed for the eight ant species, withsubmissive behaviours less frequent in the case of DEP. To distinguish what is due to chemical cues fromwhat can be attributed to behaviour, we extracted cuticular compounds from all of the nine ant speciescompared and transferred them onto a number of S. saevissima workers that were then confronted withuntreated conspecifics. The cuticular compounds from three species, particularly E. burchellii, triggeredgreater aggressiveness by S. saevissima workers, while those from the other species did not.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:Thanks to Elsevier editor. The original PDF of the article can be found at Behavioural Processes website : http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/03766357
HAL Id:hal-00913344
Audience (journal):International peer-reviewed journal
Uncontrolled Keywords:
Institution:Other partners > AgroParisTech (FRANCE)
French research institutions > Centre de Coopération Internationale en Recherche Agronomique - CIRAD (FRANCE)
French research institutions > Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - CNRS (FRANCE)
Université de Toulouse > Institut National Polytechnique de Toulouse - Toulouse INP (FRANCE)
French research institutions > Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - INRA (FRANCE)
French research institutions > Institut de Recherche pour le Développement - IRD (FRANCE)
Université de Toulouse > Université Toulouse III - Paul Sabatier - UT3 (FRANCE)
Other partners > Université de Montpellier 1 (FRANCE)
Other partners > Université de Montpellier 2 (FRANCE)
Other partners > Université des Antilles et de la Guyane (FRANCE)
Laboratory name:
Deposited On:03 Dec 2013 14:06

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