N,N-dimethyluracil and actinidine, two pheromones of the ponerine ant Megaponera foetens (Fab.) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

Edelgard Janssen, Hans J. Bestmann, Bert Hölldobler, Friedrich Kern

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


By means of gas chromatographic, mass spectrometric, and micro-preparative methods N,N-dimethyluracil and actinidine were identified as two ethologically active compounds in the ponerine ant Megaponera foetens. The synthesized poison gland compound N,N-dimethyluracil released trail-following behavior, whereas actinidine, found in the pygidial gland, stimulated ants to leave the nest, possibly in an alarm reaction. Biological activity of the synthetic samples were confirmed by behavioral experiments and electroantennogram responses with worker antennae.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1947-1955
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Chemical Ecology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1995
Externally publishedYes


  • 1,3-dimethyl-2,4(1 H,3 H)-pyrimidinedione
  • Formicidae
  • Megaponera foetens
  • N,N-dimethyluracil
  • actinidine
  • electroantennogram
  • poison gland
  • pygidial gland
  • recruitment pheromone
  • trail pheromone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Biochemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'N,N-dimethyluracil and actinidine, two pheromones of the ponerine ant Megaponera foetens (Fab.) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this