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Inter-caste communication in social insects.
Current Opinion in Neurobiology
Publication types: Journal Article ; ReviewPublication Status: ppublish
Social insect colonies function as highly integrated units despite consisting of many individuals. This requires the different functional parts of the colony (e.g. different castes) to exchange information that aid in colony functioning and ontogeny. Here we discuss inter-caste communication in three contexts, firstly, the communication between males and females during courtship, secondly, the communication between queens and workers that regulate reproduction and thirdly, the communication between worker castes that allows colonies to balance the number of different worker types. Some signals show surprising complexity in both their chemistry and function, whereas others are simple compounds that were probably already used as pheromones in the solitary ancestors of several social insect lineages.
Web of science
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