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DOI 10.1023/B:JOEC.0000017983.89279.c5
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Title (Primary) Cuticular hydrocarbons and aggression in the termite Macrotermes subhyalinus
Author Kaib, M.; Jmhasly, P.; Wilfert, L.; Durka, W. ORCID logo ; Franke, S.; Francke, W.; Leuthold, R.H.; Brandl, R.
Journal Journal of Chemical Ecology
Year 2004
Department BZF
Volume 30
Issue 2
Page From 365
Page To 385
Language englisch
Abstract Cuticular hydrocarbons are among the prime candidates for nestmate recognition in social insects. We analyzed the variation of cuticular hydrocarbons in the termite species M. subhyalinus in West Africa (Comoƫ National Park) on a small spatial scale (<1 km). We found considerable variation in the composition of cuticular hydrocarbons among colonies, with four distinct chemical phenotypes. Different phenotypes occurred within each of the four habitats. The difference between these phenotypes is primarily due to unsaturated compounds. A clear correlation between the difference of the hydrocarbon composition and the aggression between colonies was found. This correlation also holds in a multivariate analysis of genetic similarity (measured by AFLPs), morphometric distances (measured by Mahalanobis-distances), as well as geographic distances between colonies. In a more detailed analysis of the correlation between the composition of cuticular hydrocarbons and aggression, we found that no single compound is sufficient to explain variation in aggression between pairings of colonies. Thus, termites seem to use a bouquet of compounds. Multiple regression analysis suggested that many of these compounds are unsaturated hydrocarbons and, thus, may play a key role in colony recognition.
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Kaib, M., Jmhasly, P., Wilfert, L., Durka, W., Franke, S., Francke, W., Leuthold, R.H., Brandl, R. (2004):
Cuticular hydrocarbons and aggression in the termite Macrotermes subhyalinus
J. Chem. Ecol. 30 (2), 365 - 385