Behavioural Assay for the Role of Cuticular Hydrocarbons in an Ant

S, Ashina (2016) Behavioural Assay for the Role of Cuticular Hydrocarbons in an Ant. Masters thesis, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research Kolkata.

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Cuticular hydrocarbons (CHCs) are present on the surface of all insects and play an important role in their survival. The current study focusses on an Indian queen less ponerine ant Diacamma indicum which lives in colonies ranging from a dozen to about 250 individuals. Unlike solitary organisms, defence of colony resources in ants require a reliable mode of distinction between nest mates and non-nest mates. Taking inspiration from prior studies across different ant species, we test the role of CHCs in interaction between members within and across colonies of this species. We found that colony shows higher antennation to non-nest mates with disrupted CHCs as compared to nest mates with disrupted CHCs. Further, we analyse the role of such hydrocarbons in this species in the context of colony relocation. This species employs a primitive mode of recruitment viz. tandem running where an individual ant recruits another ant from one location to another. A subset of ants in the colony (termed as leaders) take part actively in the recruitment process and this enabled us to investigate the differential presence of CHCs on this subset of individuals. We have found that disruption of CHCs of a leader compromises their ability to tandem run.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Additional Information: Supervisor: Dr. Annagiri Sumana
Uncontrolled Keywords: Ant; Behavioural Assay; Cuticular Hydrocarbons; Non-nest Mate; Tandem Running
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
Divisions: Department of Biological Sciences
Depositing User: IISER Kolkata Librarian
Date Deposited: 10 Aug 2016 09:31
Last Modified: 10 Aug 2016 09:32

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