Caste-specific techniques of defense in the polymorphic antPheidole embolopyx (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

  title={Caste-specific techniques of defense in the polymorphic antPheidole embolopyx (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)},
  author={Edward O. Wilson and Bert Hölldobler},
  journal={Insectes Sociaux},
Summary1.The queen of the Brazilian speciesPheidole embolopyx is unique among ants in possessing a posteriorly truncated abdomen; in addition, the rear surface is clothed in unusual, hook-shaped hairs (fig. 1–3). Contrary to expectation, however, our studies have shown that the queen does not use the abdomen to block nest entrances or otherwise to oppose opponents directly.2.The queen is also unique in possessing gelatinous sheaths on the scapes, anterior clypeal border, and frontal carinae… 

The organization of flood evacuation in the ant genusPheidole (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

Minor workers ofPheidole cephalica respond to small quantities of water placed in the nest entrance by making alarm runs through the nest, often ending at alternate entrances, which proved significant in both the “liberal” test, in which all species were counted equally, and the ‘conservative’ test, which sets of closely related species were treated as single taxonomic units.

Recruitment Response to Six Carbohydrates in the Ant Pheidole dentigula Smith, 1927 (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

The findings suggest that taste receptors of Pheidole dentigula are differentially sensitive to distinct carbohydrates, which may represent an evolutionary advantage for insect societies, since it allows them to organize efficiently the required effort to exploit the existing resources.

Caste differences in behavioral thresholds as a basis for polyethism during food recruitment in the ant,Pheidole pallidula (Nyl.) (Hymenoptera: Myrmicinae)

The experimental evidence of caste behavioral thresholds allow us to reconsider behavioral elasticity in the major caste as well as principles of division of labor in ant societies.

Between-species differences of behavioural repertoire of castes in the ant genus Pheidole: a methodological artefact?

It is shown that data analyses based on rarefaction curves provide better estimates of caste repertoire sizes and the ergonomic prediction that the repertoire size of one caste should be correlated to its numerical representation in the colony needs to be re-examined.

Morphological evolution in a hyperdiverse clade: the ant genus Pheidole

The pattern of morphological variation in the hyperdiverse ant genus Pheidole is analyzed, finding that most of this variation can be attributed to allometric changes along a size axis, leaving little opportunity for ecological specialization that might be reflected in the studied morphological traits.

Field study on foraging by the polymorphic ant species,Pheidole pallidula

  • C. Detrain
  • Environmental Science
    Insectes Sociaux
  • 2005
The dimorphic ant specics P. pallidula is widespread in all Mediterranean countries and was the dominant species in the study area, allowing us to discern the relations, particularly competitives ones, between their workers and other sympatric ant species.


It is suggested that parasites, and the antagonistic coevolutionary pressures they exert, may play an important role in the evolution of polyandry in social hymenopteran populations.

Caste allocation in litter Pheidole: lessons from plant defense theory

Three models from plant defense theory were adapted to study between-species patterns of caste allocation in Neotropical Pheidole, and only one correctly predicted that species with costly female alates invest more in defense.



The organization of colony defense in the ant Pheidole dentata mayr (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

  • E. Wilson
  • Environmental Science
    Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology
  • 2004
In tests with Solenopsis geminata, it was found that the Pheidole react both to the odor of the body surface and to the venom, provided either of these chemical cues are combined with movement.

A New Pheidole With Reversed Phragmosis (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

The queen’s thickened scape base and the largely smooth and shining alitrunk with overhanging scutal margins, are "protective" characters suggesting social parasitism as a way of nest-founding for this caste.

Description of the Ergatoid Queen of Pogonomyrmex mayri with Notes on the Worker and Male (Hym., Formicidae)

A fortnal description of ergatoid nest queens, notes on the worker and male suppletnenting Forel’s original description, and a discussion of the taxonotnic status of Pogonomyrmex mayri are presented.

The foraging system ofPheidole militicida (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

It was demonstrated that the foraging pathways of P. militicida are marked by very enduring chemical cues, which might be distinct from the poison gland trail pheromone, which seems to play a role in the directional maintenance of the trunk route.

A New Exocrine Gland in Novomessor (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) and its Possible Significance as a Taxonomic Character

In the course of a comparative study of communication mechanisims in Novomessor, a new complex exocrine gland is discovered that should be given considerable weight in the future taxonomic assessment of the species possessing it.

The relation between caste ratios and division of labor in the ant genus Pheidole (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

  • E. Wilson
  • Biology
    Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology
  • 2004
A distinction is made between programmed “elasticity” in the repertory of individual workers and castes and the “resiliency” of the colony as a whole, which depends upon the pattern of caste-specific elasticity.

The organization of nest evacuation in Pheidole desertorum wheeler and P. hyatti emery (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

  • R. Droual
  • Biology
    Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology
  • 2004
The greater importance of this tactic in P. hyatti is related to differences in the nest structure, running speed and combat abilities between the two Pheidole species.

Recruitment and food-retrieving behavior in Novomessor (Formicidae, Hymenoptera)

Summary1Novomessor cockerelli and N. albisetosus have been considered by previous authors to be individual foragers. This investigation, however, has demonstrated that workers of both species employ

Recruitment and food-retrieving behavior in Novomessor (Formicidae, Hymenoptera)

Stridulation in ants seems to be a mechanism for modulating the state of readiness of receivers to react to other stimuli (modulatory communication) and the stridulation signal adjusts the distribution of the worker force to a given situation and to group needs in a graded fashion.

The Evolution of the Alarm-Defense System in the Formicine Ants

It is suggested that two major adaptive alterations in the basic alarm-defense system have occurred within the higher Formicinae and are causally linked to the development of a strongly aggressive form of alarm communication.