Communication in the migratory termite-hunting ant Pachycondyla ( = Termitopone) marginata (Formicidae, Ponerinae)

B. Hölldobler, E. Janssen, H. J. Bestmann, I. R. Leal, P. S. Oliveira, F. Kern, W. A. König

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


The Neotropical species Pachycondyla marginata conducts well-organized predatory raids on the termite species Neocapritermes opacus and frequently emigrates to new nest sites. During both activities the ants employ chemical trail communication. The trail pheromone orginates from the pygidial gland. Among the substances identified in the pygidial gland secretions, only citronellal was effective as a trail pheromone. Isopulegol elicited an increase in locomotory activity in the ants and may function as a synergist recruitment signal. The chemical signal is enhanced by a shaking display performed by the recruiting ant.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)47-53
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Comparative Physiology A: Sensory, Neural, and Behavioral Physiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1996
Externally publishedYes


  • Citronellal
  • Pheromones
  • Pygidial gland
  • Recruitment trails

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Physiology
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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