Chemical mimicry: Male ants disguised by the queen's bouquet

S. Cremer, M. Sledge, J. Heinze, Nature 419 (2002) 897–897.

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Journal Article | Published | English
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Abstract
Males of the tropical ant Cardiocondyla obscurior are either wingless and aggressive or winged and docile, and both compete for access to virgin queens in the nest1, 2. Although the fighter males (ergatoids) attack and kill other ergatoids, they tolerate and even attempt to mate with their winged rivals. Here we show that the winged males avoid the aggression of wingless males by mimicking the chemical bouquet of virgin queens, but that their mating success is not reduced as a result. This example of female mimicry by vigorous males is surprising, as in other species it is typically used as a protective strategy by weaker males, and may explain the coexistence and equal mating success of two male morphs.
Publishing Year
Date Published
2002-10-31
Journal Title
Nature
Volume
419
Page
897 - 897
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Cremer S, Sledge M, Heinze J. Chemical mimicry: Male ants disguised by the queen’s bouquet. Nature. 2002;419:897-897. doi:10.1038/419897a
Cremer, S., Sledge, M., & Heinze, J. (2002). Chemical mimicry: Male ants disguised by the queen’s bouquet. Nature, 419, 897–897. https://doi.org/10.1038/419897a
Cremer, Sylvia, Matthew Sledge, and Jürgen Heinze. “Chemical Mimicry: Male Ants Disguised by the Queen’s Bouquet.” Nature 419 (2002): 897–897. https://doi.org/10.1038/419897a.
S. Cremer, M. Sledge, and J. Heinze, “Chemical mimicry: Male ants disguised by the queen’s bouquet,” Nature, vol. 419, pp. 897–897, 2002.
Cremer S, Sledge M, Heinze J. 2002. Chemical mimicry: Male ants disguised by the queen’s bouquet. Nature. 419, 897–897.
Cremer, Sylvia, et al. “Chemical Mimicry: Male Ants Disguised by the Queen’s Bouquet.” Nature, vol. 419, Nature Publishing Group, 2002, pp. 897–897, doi:10.1038/419897a.

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