Prophylaxis with resin in wood ants

Détails

Ressource 1Télécharger: BIB_475BB8503A64.P001.pdf (214.61 [Ko])
Etat: Public
Version: de l'auteur
ID Serval
serval:BIB_475BB8503A64
Type
Article: article d'un périodique ou d'un magazine.
Collection
Publications
Titre
Prophylaxis with resin in wood ants
Périodique
Animal Behaviour
Auteur(s)
Castella G., Chapuisat M., Christe P.
ISSN
0003-3472
Statut éditorial
Publié
Date de publication
2008
Peer-reviewed
Oui
Volume
75
Numéro
4
Pages
1591-1596
Langue
anglais
Résumé
Animals may use plant compounds to defend themselves against parasites. Wood ants, Formica paralugubris, incorporate pieces of solidified conifer resin into their nests. This behaviour inhibits the growth of bacteria and fungi in nest material and protects the ants against some detrimental microorganisms. Here, we studied the resin-collecting behaviour of ants under field and laboratory conditions. First, we focused on an important assumption of the self-medication hypothesis, which is that the animals deliberately choose the active plant material. In field cafeteria tests, the ants indeed showed a strong preference for resin over twigs and stones, which are building materials commonly encountered in their environment. We detected seasonal variation in the choice of ants: the preference for resin over twigs was more pronounced in spring than in summer, whereas in autumn the ants collected twigs and resin at equal rates. Second, we found almost similar seasonal patterns when comparing the collecting rates of pieces of wood that had been impregnated with turpentine (a distillate of oleoresin) and untreated pieces of wood, which reveals that the preference for resin is based on odour cues. Third, we tested whether the collection of resin is prophylactic or therapeutic. We found that the relative collection rate of resin versus stones did not depend on an experimental infection with the entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium anisopliae in laboratory colonies. Together, these results show that the ants deliberately choose the resin and suggest that resin collection is prophylactic rather than therapeutic.
Mots-clé
antiparasite behaviour, Formica paralugubris, medication, olfaction, prophylaxis, resin, wood ant
Web of science
Création de la notice
24/01/2008 19:22
Dernière modification de la notice
20/08/2019 13:53
Données d'usage