Annals of the Entomological Society of America (2012) 105, 740-745

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Mónica G. Chirino, Lawrence E. Gilbert and Patricia J. Folgarait (2012)
Behavioral discrimination between monogyne and polygyne red fire ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in their native range
Annals of the Entomological Society of America 105 (5), 740-745
Abstract: Nestmate recognition among social insects is presumed to restrict non-nestmates from exploiting nest resources. Here, we developed aggression bioassays to assess the discrimination behaviors of both polygynous and monogynous forms of the red fire ant, Solenopsis invicta Buren, during symmetrical interactions in neutral arenas. Workers from polygyne colonies exhibited risk avoidance behaviors; that is, defensive postures or the avoidance of direct contact during interactions. Workers from monogyne colonies always exhibited aggressive behaviors in the form of physical or chemical attacks. In interactions between both, monogyne workers usually started the aggression by surrounding and biting the polygyne ants. Polygyne S. invicta workers also distinguished nestmates from foreigners, but their response was not as aggressive as that of monogynes. The proposed ethogram that we constructed identified monogyne and polygyne forms of S. invicta colonies in concordance with current measures, including number of queens, and expression of the Gp-9 gene.
(The abstract is excluded from the Creative Commons licence and has been copied with permission by the publisher.)
Link to article at publishers website
Database assignments for author(s): Patricia J. Folgarait, Lawrence E. Gilbert

Research topic(s) for pests/diseases/weeds:
general biology - morphology - evolution

Pest and/or beneficial records:

Beneficial Pest/Disease/Weed Crop/Product Country Quarant.

Solenopsis invicta