Do Odontomachus brunneus nestmates request for help and are taken care of when caught?

Authors

  • Luiz Carlos Santos Junior Universidade Estadual de Mato Grosso do Sul- Centro de Estudos em Recursos Naturais (CERNA), Laboratório de Ecologia Comportamental (LABECO), Dourados, Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil
  • Emerson Pereira Silva Universidade Federal da Grande Dourados (UFGD) –Dourados, Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil
  • William Fernando Antonialli-Junior Universidade Estadual de Mato Grosso do Sul- Centro de Estudos em Recursos Naturais (CERNA), Laboratório de Ecologia Comportamental (LABECO), Dourados, Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.13102/sociobiology.v68i3.6022

Keywords:

Poneromorph, Rescuers, Intraspecific Recognition, Rescue

Abstract

In social insects, situations can arise that threaten an individual or an entire colony. When the call for help goes out, different behavioral responses are elicited by signals emitted from nestmates. In ants, the response can be one of redemptive behavior by the worker receiving it. However, little is known about the evolution of this behavior and in which group of ants it manifests. Therefore, this study investigates whether workers of Odontomachus brunneus Patton can act as rescuers, able to detect and respond to calls for help from nestmates. Laboratory experiments were carried out in which the legs of ants were trapped by tape, simulating capture by a predator. Nearby were nestmates able to receive and respond to a request for help. Two experiments were performed: 1. Calls for help were made at different distances, in order to test the response latency. 2. Evaluation of whether rescuers would respond differently to calls for help from nestmates, non-nestmates of the same species, and ants of another species. Finally, evaluation was made of the behaviors of the rescuers when they responded to requests for help from nestmates and ants of another species. It could be concluded from the results that O. brunneus workers respond to signals emitted by workers who may have been captured by a potential predator, prompting the performance of behaviors related to rescue attempts. The signals involved appear to have an optimal range and are species-specific. When exposed to a capture situation, this species transmits audible signals by stridulation, so it is possible that this type of signal may be involved, in addition to chemical signaling.

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Published

2021-08-14

How to Cite

Santos Junior, L. C., Silva, E. P., & Antonialli-Junior, W. F. (2021). Do Odontomachus brunneus nestmates request for help and are taken care of when caught?. Sociobiology, 68(3), e6022. https://doi.org/10.13102/sociobiology.v68i3.6022

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Section

Research Article - Ants

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