Wax on, wax off: nest soil facilitates indirect transfer of recognition cues between ant nestmates
Social animals use recognition cues to discriminate between group members and non-members. These recognition cues may be conceptualized as a label, which is compared to a neural representation of acceptable cue combinations termed the template. In ants and other social insects, the label consists of a waxy layer of colony-specific hydrocarbons on the body surface. Genetic and environmental differences between colony members may confound recognition and social cohesion, so many species perform...[Show more]
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