Caste-dependent brood retrieval by workers in the ant Formica exsecta

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Pulliainen , O U I , Bos , N P M , d'Ettorre , P & Sundström , L 2018 , ' Caste-dependent brood retrieval by workers in the ant Formica exsecta ' , Animal Behaviour , vol. 140 , pp. 151-159 . https://doi.org/10.1016/j.anbehav.2018.04.015

Title: Caste-dependent brood retrieval by workers in the ant Formica exsecta
Author: Pulliainen, Outi Unni Inkeri; Bos, Nicky Peter Maria; d'Ettorre, Patrizia; Sundström, Liselotte
Contributor organization: Organismal and Evolutionary Biology Research Programme
Evolution, Sociality & Behaviour
Tvärminne Zoological Station
Date: 2018-06
Language: eng
Number of pages: 9
Belongs to series: Animal Behaviour
ISSN: 0003-3472
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.anbehav.2018.04.015
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/252772
Abstract: The ability to distinguish friends from foe is a widespread phenomenon among social animals. In ants, recognition of intruders is important for the maintenance of colony integrity and survival. Intruders are typically adult, but the acceptance of non-nestmate brood could result in severe fitness costs, depending on the caste of the brood. Accepting non-nestmate worker brood may not carry a cost, as they should not drain resources of the adoptive colony but may instead add to the workforce. Sexual brood, however, would typically not contribute to colony performance, yet require resources, and should thus be rejected. Here, we tested whether workers of the narrow-headed ant, Formica exsecta, which strongly discriminate between adult nestmates and non-nestmates, also discriminate between nestmate and non-nestmate pupae. Furthermore, we investigated whether the caste of the brood (workers/sexuals) affects discrimination. We carried out analysis of surface chemicals to investigate whether the chemical distance between colonies was associated with the propensity to accept non-nestmate pupae. We show that worker pupae were retrieved irrespective of their origin, whereas nestmate sexual pupae were retrieved at a slightly higher rate than non-nestmates. Our chemical data, however, suggest that both the reproductive and the worker brood carry sufficient chemical information for discrimination, as they both express colony signatures. However, this information is acted upon only in the case of sexual brood. Our results thus suggest that workers selectively capitalize on the chemical information in agreement with fitness predictions, albeit to a lower extent than during discrimination between adult individuals.
Description: Corrigendum : Animal behaviour 142 (2018) 85-86
Subject: 1181 Ecology, evolutionary biology
ANTS
BROOD
CASTE
CUTICULAR HYDROCARBONS
DISCRIMINATION
INCLUSIVE FITNESS
PUPA
RECOGNITION
RETRIEVAL
SOCIAL INSECTS
APIS-MELLIFERA L.
NESTMATE RECOGNITION
KIN RECOGNITION
HYMENOPTERA-FORMICIDAE
SOCIAL PARASITISM
CATAGLYPHIS-CURSOR
EGG DISCRIMINATION
POLYGYNE COLONIES
SLAVE REBELLION
ACCEPTANCE
Peer reviewed: Yes
Rights: other
Usage restriction: openAccess
Self-archived version: publishedVersion


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