Mandible associated glands in queens of the slave-making ant Polyergus rufescens (Hymenoptera, Formicidae)
A novel glandular structure is described within the mandibles of a series of representatives of the Formicidae. It consists of a variable number of secretory cells with their accompanying duct cells, located in the vicinity of the mandibular cuticle. Because of its localization inside the mandibles, we propose to designate this structure as the intramandibular gland of ants. Ultrastructural observations reveal the development of smooth endoplasmic reticulum in the glandular cells. Several electron-lucid and electron-dense inclusions occur in the cytoplasm. Until now, the function of this widespread gland among the Formicidae remains unknown.