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Journal articles

Influence of Mutualistic Lifestyle, Mutualistic Partner, and Climate on Cuticular Hydrocarbon Profiles in Parabiotic Ants

Abstract : A vital trait in insects is their cuticular hydrocarbon (CHC) profile, which protects the insect against desiccation and serves in chemical communication. Due to these functions, CHC profiles are shaped by both climatic conditions and biotic interactions. Here, we investigated CHC differentiation in the neotropical parabiotic ant species Crematogaster levior and Camponotus femoratus, which mutualistically share a nest. Both consist of two cryptic species each (Cr. levior A and B and Ca. femoratus PAT and PS) that differ genetically and possess strongly different CHC profiles. We characterized and compared CHC profiles of the four cryptic species in detail. Our results suggest that Cr. levior A, Ca. femoratus PAT and Ca. femoratus PS adapted their CHC profiles to the parabiotic lifestyle by producing longer-chain CHCs. At the same time, they changed their major CHC classes, and produce more alkadienes and methyl-branched alkenes compared to Cr. levior B or non-parabiotic species. The CHC profiles of Cr. levior B were more similar to related, non-parabiotic species of the Orthocrema clade than Cr. levior A, and the chain lengths of B were similar to the reconstructed ancestral state. Signals of both the parabiotic partner (biotic conditions) and climate (abiotic conditions) were found in the CHC profiles of all four cryptic species. Our data suggest that mutualisms shaped the CHC profiles of the studied species, in particular chain length and CHC class composition. Beside this, signals of the parabiotic partners indicate potential impacts of biotic interactions, via chemical mimicry or chemical camouflage.
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Contributor : Jerome Orivel Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Tuesday, October 22, 2019 - 1:46:26 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, May 19, 2022 - 1:52:03 PM



Philipp Sprenger, Juliane Hartke, Barbara Feldmeyer, Jérôme Orivel, Thomas Schmitt, et al.. Influence of Mutualistic Lifestyle, Mutualistic Partner, and Climate on Cuticular Hydrocarbon Profiles in Parabiotic Ants. Journal of Chemical Ecology, Springer Verlag, 2019, 45 (9), pp.741-754. ⟨10.1007/s10886-019-01099-9⟩. ⟨hal-02326043⟩



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