Histology of structures used in territorial combat by Borneos exploding ants

Abstract

Histological studies of the hypertrophied structures of Borneo's 'exploding ants' confirm homology with mandibular glands; reservoirs (only) are hypertrophied as storage structures. The general anatomical organization and ultrastructure of the glands is similar to that in other ant species. Development of secretory structures is not unusually great, and secretory cells are apparently confined to the head. These results suggest gradual production of mandibular gland compounds and filling of reservoirs and are consistent with known and hypothesized roles of mandibular glands and their products.

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