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Pretender punishment induced by chemical signalling in a queenless ant

Monnin, T., Ratnieks, F.L.W., Jones, G.R. and Beard, R. (2002) Pretender punishment induced by chemical signalling in a queenless ant. Nature, 419 (6902). pp. 61-65. ISSN 0028-0836


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Animal societies are stages for both conflict and cooperation. Reproduction is often monopolized by one or a few individuals who behave aggressively to prevent subordinates from reproducing (for example, naked mole-rats, wasps and ants). Here we report an unusual mechanism by which the dominant individual maintains reproductive control. In the queenless ant Dinoponera quadriceps, only the alpha female reproduces. If the alpha is challenged by another female she chemically marks the pretender who is then punished by low-ranking females. This cooperation between alpha and low-rankers allows the alpha to inflict punishment indirectly, thereby maintaining her reproductive primacy without having to fight

Item Type: Article
Copyright, Publisher and Additional Information: © 2002 Nature Publishing Group
Institution: The University of Sheffield
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Science (Sheffield) > School of Biological Sciences (Sheffield) > Department of Animal and Plant Sciences (Sheffield)
Depositing User: Repository Officer
Date Deposited: 20 Sep 2004
Last Modified: 06 Jun 2014 02:24
Published Version: http://www.nature.com/nature
Status: Published
Refereed: Yes
Identification Number: 10.1038/nature00932
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/99

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