Nestmate and kin recognition in interspecific mixed colonies of ants

Norman F. Carlin, Bert Hölldobler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

137 Scopus citations


Recognition of nestmates and discrimination against aliens is the rule in the social insects. The principal mechanism of nestmate recognition in carpenter ants (Camponotus) appears to be odor labels or "discriminators" that originate from the queen and are distributed among, and learned by, all adult colony members. The acquired odor labels are sufficiently powerful to produce indiscriminate acceptance among workers of different species raised together in artificially mixed colonies and rejection of genetic sisters reared by different heterospecific queens.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1027-1029
Number of pages3
Issue number4627
StatePublished - 1983
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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