Queen pheromones

Cuticular chemistry of males and females in the ant Formica fusca

Communication between organisms involves visual, auditory, and olfactory pathways. In solitary insects, chemical recognition cues are influenced mainly by selection regimes related to species recognition and sexual selection. In social insects, …

Are queen ants inhibited by their own pheromone? Regulation of productivity via negative feedback

Social organisms have evolved diverse and complex regulatory mechanisms that allow them to coordinate group-level functions. Signals and cues produced by other group members facilitate assessment of the group’s current state, allowing the receiver to …

Costs and constraints conspire to produce honest signaling: insights from an ant queen pheromone

Signal costs and evolutionary constraints have both been proposed as ultimate explanations for the ubiquity of honest signaling, but the interface between these two factors is unclear. Here, I propose a pluralistic interpretation, and use game theory …

Queen pheromones: The chemical crown governing insect social life

Group-living species produce signals that alter the behavior and even the physiology of their social partners. Social insects possess especially sophisticated chemical communication systems that govern every aspect of colony life, including the …

Identification of an ant queen pheromone regulating worker sterility

The selective forces that shape and maintain eusocial societies are an enduring puzzle in evolutionary biology. Ordinarily sterile workers can usually reproduce given the right conditions, so the factors regulating reproductive division of labour may …

Selfish strategies and honest signalling: reproductive conflicts in ant queen associations

Social insects offer unique opportunities to test predictions regarding the evolution of cooperation, life histories and communication. Colony founding by groups of unrelated queens, some of which are later killed, may select for selfish reproductive …