Chemical communication in the dacetine ant Daceton armigerum (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

Bert Hölldobler, Jacqueline M. Palmer, Mark W. Moffett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Contrary to previous assumptions, Daceton armigerum, the largest ant in the myrmicine tribe Dacetini, employs trail communication. We identified two anatomical sources of trail pheromones: Trails drawn with poison gland contents can last for more than seven days. Trails drawn with the newly discovered sternal glands (in the VIth and VIIth abdominal sternites) are effective but relatively short-lived. In addition, our bioassays revealed that the contents of the mandibular glands elicit alarm behavior, and secretions from the pygidial gland release attraction. When tested with artificial poison gland trails from seven other myrmicine species, Daceton did not exhibit trail following behavior. We confirmed, however, previous findings that Atta respond to Daceton poison gland trails and Solenopsis follow Daceton Dufour's gland trails.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1207-1219
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Chemical Ecology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 1990
Externally publishedYes


  • Ants
  • Dacetini
  • Daceton armigerum
  • Formicidae
  • Hymenoptera
  • alarm communication
  • mandibular gland
  • poison gland
  • pygidial gland
  • sternal gland
  • trail communication

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Biochemistry


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