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Data for differential feeding responses of several bee species to sugar sources containing Iridomyrmecin, an Argentine ant trail pheromone component


Wilson Rankin, Erin; Cecala, Jacob; Choe, Dong-Hwan; Hernandez Pineda, Nohely (2020), Data for differential feeding responses of several bee species to sugar sources containing Iridomyrmecin, an Argentine ant trail pheromone component, Dryad, Dataset,


These data describe the bioassays associated with published article, doi: 10.1007/s10905-020-09748-8 (Differential Feeding Responses of Several Bee Species to Sugar Sources Containing Iridomyrmecin, an Argentine Ant Trail Pheromone Component).

We investigated the response of three commercially important pollinator species to a pheromone deposited by Argentine ants at a food source. The Argentine ant Linepithema humile is one of the most invasive and problematic ant species; it has been introduced to Mediterranean-type habitats around the globe. In invaded areas, the Argentine ant has negatively affected a diversity of native plant and animal taxa Using three bee species that are commercial pollinators (Megachile rotundata, Osmia lignaria, and Apis mellifera), we sought to quantify the effects of an invasive Argentine ant pheromone on the resource collection of bees. Our study suggests that flowers or other nectar sources that are currently visited by Argentine ants are likely to have iridomyrmecin deposited on them. 


For detailed methods, please refer to the publication which reports the collection and analysis of these data ( This reports the feeding response of individual bees when given a choice between two sucrose solutions, one with and one without pheromone. Each bee is represented by a single row. The sugar solutions were dyed yellow or red, such that by looking at the color of the bee's fecal material, we could assess which sucrose solution they fed upon. Each bee was kept in isolation with filter paper lining the bottom of their container. Its feeding response was assessed as to whether they fed solely on the control, solely on teh pheromone, or on both solutions. Please refer to the usage notes for explanation as to how to use these data.

Usage notes

The dataset consists of behavioral response data for 3 species of choice tests between a control sucrose solution and a sucrose solution with an ant pheromone at either 0.1mg/mL or 0.001mg/mL iridomyrmecin.

Species: Apis mellifera=Apis; Megachile rotundata=Megachile; Osmia lignaria=Osmia

Pher.Conc.: describes the concentration of iridomyrmecin provided in a sucrose solution in choice tests to individual bees (0.1=0.1mg/mL; 0.01=0.01mg/mL)

Feed.response: describes the feeding behavior of each individual bee. 1= bee fed on control solution only; 2= bee fed on both control and pheromone solutions; 3=bee fed on pheromone solution only

Each bee is only represented once in the dataset, such that each line is an individual bee.