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Native to Argentina and Brazil, the Argentine ant (Linepithema humile) is an invasive species that has become established on six continents and many oceanic islands. In several parts of its introduced range, including the western United States, southern Europe and Chile, the Argentine ant is unicolonial, forming extensive supercolonies. We examined(More)
Nestmate recognition plays a key role in the behavior and evolution of social insects. We demonstrated that hydrocarbons are the chemical cues used in Argentine ant, Linepithema humile, nestmate recognition, and that these hydrocarbons can be acquired from insect prey. Consequently, Argentine ant cuticular hydrocarbon patterns reveal the same hydrocarbons(More)
The Argentine ant, Linepithema humile, has invaded urban, agricultural, and natural habitats worldwide, causing economic damage and disrupting ecosystem processes. Introduced populations of L. humile and those of many other invasive ants tend to be unicolonial, forming expansive, multiqueened supercolonies that dominate native ant communities and challenge(More)
Argentine ants, Linepithema humile, were attacked by their nestmates following contact with a particular prey item, the brown-banded cockroach, Supella longipalpa. Contact with prey, as brief as 2 min, provoked nestmate aggression. Argentine ants contaminated with hydrocarbons extracted from S. longipalpa also released nestmate aggression behavior similar(More)
Discriminating nestmates from alien conspecifics via chemical cues is recognized as a critical element in maintaining the integrity of insect societies. We determined, in laboratory experiments, that nestmate recognition in an introduced population of the Argentine ant, Linepithema humile, is modified by hydrocarbons acquired from insect prey, and that(More)
Many potential species invasions fail before establishment. This is likely especially true for invasive Argentine ants that must overcome a severe founding bottleneck and transition from propagules that rely on protein-rich prey to massive supercolonies that dominate by consuming carbohydrate-rich honeydew from hemipteran mutualists. While this dietary(More)
Identifying mechanisms governing the establishment and spread of invasive species is a fundamental challenge in invasion biology. Because species invasions are frequently observed only after the species presents an environmental threat, research identifying the contributing agents to dispersal and subsequent spread are confined to retrograde observations.(More)
In response to the anthropogenic assault of toxic baits, populations of the German cockroach have rapidly evolved an adaptive behavioral aversion to glucose (a phagostimulant component of baits). We hypothesized that changes in the peripheral gustatory system are responsible for glucose aversion. In both wild-type and glucose-averse (GA) cockroaches,(More)
Territorial boundaries between conspecific social insect colonies are maintained through a highly developed nestmate recognition system modulated by heritable and, in some instances, nonheritable cues. Argentine ants, Linepithema humile, use both genetic and environmentally derived cues to discriminate nestmates from nonnestmates. We explored the(More)
Introduced populations of the Argentine ant, Linepithema humile, have experienced moderate to severe losses of genetic diversity, which may have affected nestmate recognition to various degrees. We hypothesized that cuticular hydrocarbons (CHC) serve as nestmate recognition cues, and facilitate colony fusion of unrelated L. humile colonies that share(More)