Trail pheromone of myrmicine ant Pristomyrmex pungens

Edelgard Janssen, Bert Hölldobler, Friedrich Kern, Hans Jürgen Bestmann, Kazuki Tsuji

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


The myrmicine ant Pristomyrmex pungens marks recruitment trails with poison gland secretions. The effective trail pheromone compound is 6-n-pentyl-2-pyrone. Poison gland components were identified by means of gas chromatographic coupled mass spectrometry. The biological activity was examined in trail-following experiments as well as in gas chromatographic coupled electroantennograms. In addition to 6-n-pentyl-2-pyrone, a number of monoterpenes were found in the poison gland secretion, i.e., α-pinene, camphene, β-pinene, myrcene, α-phellandrene, α-terpinene, and limonene. The terpenoid compounds increased the trail-following response only slightly when offered together with 6-n-pentyl-2-pyrone. In contrast to the latter component, synthetic monoterpenes elicited no orientation behavior in trail-following bioassays.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1025-1034
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Chemical Ecology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • 6-n-pentyl-2-pyrone
  • Ants
  • Monoterpenes
  • Myrmicinae
  • Poison gland
  • Trail pheromone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Biochemistry


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