Social insect colonies provide a valuable resource that attracts and offers shelter to a large community of arthropods. Previous research has suggested that many specialist parasites of social insects chemically mimic their host in order to evade aggression. In the present study, we carry out a systematic study to test how common such chemical deception is across a group of 22 arthropods that are associated with red wood ants (Formica rufa group). In contrast to the examples of chemical mimicry documented in some highly specialized parasites in previous studies, we find that most of the rather unspecialized red wood ant associates surveyed did not use mimicry of the cuticular hydrocarbon recognition cues to evade host detection. Instead, we found that myrmecophiles with lower cuticular hydrocarbon concentrations provoked less host aggression. Therefore, some myrmecophiles with low hydrocarbon concentrations appear to evade host detection via a strategy known as chemical insignificance. Others showed no chemical disguise at all and, instead, relied on behavioral adaptations such as particular defense or evasion tactics, in order to evade host aggression. Overall, this study indicates that unspecialized myrmecophiles do not require the matching of host recognition cues and advanced strategies of chemical mimicry, but can integrate in a hostile ant nest via either chemical insignificance or specific behavioral adaptations.
Journal of Chemical Ecology – Springer Journals
Published: Jul 26, 2017
It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.
Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.
All for just $49/month
Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly
Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.
Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.
Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.
All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.
“Hi guys, I cannot tell you how much I love this resource. Incredible. I really believe you've hit the nail on the head with this site in regards to solving the research-purchase issue.”Daniel C.
“Whoa! It’s like Spotify but for academic articles.”@Phil_Robichaud
“I must say, @deepdyve is a fabulous solution to the independent researcher's problem of #access to #information.”@deepthiw
“My last article couldn't be possible without the platform @deepdyve that makes journal papers cheaper.”@JoseServera