Cuticular Hydrocarbon Variation of Castes and Sex in the Weaver Ant Camponotus textor (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

Fabio Santos do Nascimento


Cuticular hydrocarbons play important roles as chemical signatures of individuals, castes, sex and brood. They also can mediate the regulation of egg laying in ants, by informing directly or indirectly the reproductive status of queens. In this study we asked whether cuticular hydrocarbon profiles are correlated with castes and sex of Camponotus textor. Cuticular hydrocarbons were extracted from part of a mature colony (80 workers, 27 major workers, 27 queens, 27 virgin queens and 27 males). Results showed that cuticular hydrocarbons varied quantitatively and qualitatively among the groups and this variation was sufficiently strong to allow separation of castes and genders. We discuss the specificity of some compounds as possible regulatory compounds of worker tasks and reproduction in C. textor.


cuticular hydrocarbons; Camponotus textor; castes and sex

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