Comparative study of the metatibial gland in ants (Hymenoptera, Formicidae)

Bert Hölldobler, Malu Obermayer, Christian Peeters

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


A novel glandular structure is described within the metatibia in ants of the poneroid group. This metatibial gland has been considered a major synapomorphic character of the subfamilies belonging to the doryline section. Histological investigations combined with scanning electron micrograph studies revealed a remarkably complex gland, consisting of a glandular epithelium and a cuticular pore plate, the morphology of which varies considerably between the species. This gland is also present in species of the genera Diacamma and Pachycondyla (Ponerini). Based on the morphology of glandular epithelia and pore plates, it is not possible to decide whether this structure is homologous or analogous to that of the doryline section subfamilies. In workers of certain species of the genus Diacamma, the secretions of this gland are involved in sexual calling behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)157-167
Number of pages11
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Developmental Biology


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