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Data from: Tolerance requires the right smell: first evidence for interspecific selection on chemical recognition cues

Citation

Menzel, Florian; Schmitt, Thomas (2011), Data from: Tolerance requires the right smell: first evidence for interspecific selection on chemical recognition cues, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.8dh2m474

Abstract

The integument of insects is generally covered with cuticular hydrocarbons (CHC). They serve multiple functions, most prominent among them waterproofing and – especially among social insects – as communication signal. CHC profiles are incredibly diverse within and across species. However, the causes for CHC variation between species, and potential selection pressures that may shape CHC profiles, are hardly understood. Here, we investigated potential selection pressures on ant CHC. We tested the hypotheses that living in association with another species (e.g., parabiosis), and the climate of the ant’s habitat, affect CHC composition. We conducted a large-scale comparison of 37 Camponotus species from five continents. Our results demonstrate that closely associated ant species possess significantly longer hydrocarbons and higher proportions of methylbranched alkenes and alkadienes than non- or loosely associated species. In contrast, climatic factors had no effects. This study shows that the need to be tolerated by another species greatly affects CHC profiles.

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