Hindgut secretions in Camponotus pennsylvanicus (De Geer) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae): attractants and nitrogenous excretory materials
MetadataShow full item record
The anatomical source of the trail pheromone in the black carpenter ant, Camponotus pennsylvanicus , was investigated by presenting workers with crude or synthetic hindgut extracts to test for attractancy and trail-following behavior. Chemical analysis was used in conjunction with behavioral bioassays to detect and identify volatiles from the rectal sac, poison, and Dufourâ s glands. The rectal material was also examined to determine levels of total nitrogen and identify metabolites in relation to other solid material present.
Under laboratory conditions, foragers demonstrated a significant level of attraction to a combined Dufourâ s gland, poison gland, and rectal sac extract. No response was observed to synthetic compounds (formic acid and saturated hydrocarbons) from the poison or Dufourâ s gland. Two volatiles, n-undecane and n-tridecane, were identified from the Dufourâ s gland. Fatty acids and esters were found to be ubiquitous in the Dufourâ s and poison glands. Palmitic acid was identified in the poison gland. A compound described as a component of the trail pheromone in Camponotus atriceps (3,4-dihydro-3,5-dihydroxy-6-methyl-pyran-4-one) was identified in the rectum, but was not verified behaviorally as being part of the trail pheromone for C. pennsylvanicus . Trail following was not elicited from any of the rectal sac extracts.
Dry weight analysis determined that the rectal material was only 14% solid material and total nitrogen levels were estimated at 19.2 Â± 2 ug/mg of ant feces. Most of the components contributing to the total nitrogen excreted were left unidentified, but ammonia (2.7 Â± 1.2 ug/mg), two tryptophan intermediates (kynurenic and xanthurenic acid) and one pteridine (biopterin), were identified.
- Masters Theses