Weaver ants: Social establishment and maintenance of territory

Bert Holldobler, Edward O. Wilson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


Workers of the African weaver ant Oecophylla longinoda recruit nestmates to previously unoccupied space by means of odor trails laid from the rectal gland, a hitherto unrecognized musculated organ located at the rear of the rectal sac. When enemy ants and other intruders are encountered on the territory, the Oecophylla assemble nestmates into small resting clusters by dispensing an attractantarrestant pheromone from the sternal gland, a second newly discovered organ located on the last abdominal sternite. Under prolonged stress, additional forces are recruited to the combat area with the aid of the rectal-gland trail substance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)900-902
Number of pages3
Issue number4281
StatePublished - 1977
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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