SciELO - Scientific Electronic Library Online

vol.89Directional orientation of reproductive tissue of Eulychnia breviflora (Cactaceae) in the hyperarid Atacama DesertRelationship between climate and geographical variation of local woody species richness within the Mediterranean-type region of Chile author indexsubject indexarticles search
Home Pagealphabetic serial listing  

Services on Demand




Related links

  • On index processCited by Google
  • Have no similar articlesSimilars in SciELO
  • On index processSimilars in Google


Revista chilena de historia natural

Print version ISSN 0716-078X


AGUILERA-OLIVARES, Daniel et al. Nestmate recognition in defense against nest invasion by conspecifics during swarming in a one-piece nesting termite. Rev. chil. hist. nat. [online]. 2016, vol.89, pp.1-8. ISSN 0716-078X.

BACKGROUND: In one-piece nesting termites, which nest and forage in a single piece of wood, soldier production increases during the swarming period, i.e. when the risk of invasion of their substrate and hence of their colony by dealates in search of a nesting substrate increases. In Neotermes chilensis, a one-piece nesting termite endemic to Chile, we hypothesized: i) that during swarming soldiers would defend their colony by showing higher aggressiveness toward non-nestmate than toward nestmate dealates, ii) that aggressiveness would negatively correlate with genetic relatedness of interacting soldier/dealate pairs and iii) that nestmate recognition would be based on differences in cues provided by cuticular compounds (CC) between nestmates and non-nestmate dealates. METHODS: The first hypothesis was tested using bioassays in which a soldier was confronted with a nestmate or a non-nestmate dealate; the second hypothesis by using microsatellites to assess genetic relatedness of the interacting pairs; and the third hypothesis using bioassays in which a soldier was confronted with a nestmate or a non-nestmate dead dealate with or without its CC and with dead dealates with interchanged CC between nestmate and non-nestmate. RESULTS: Soldiers were more aggressive toward non-nestmate than nestmate dealates, aggressiveness was inversely correlated with genetic relatedness of the interacting pair, and CC accounted for the differences in aggressiveness towards nestmate and non-nestmate dealates. CONCLUSIONS: During swarming, soldiers of N. chilensis protect their nest against invasion by non-nestmate conspecific dealates; discrimination is based on CC and aggressiveness correlates inversely with genetic relatedness of the interacting soldier/dealate pairs.

Keywords : Chemical communication; Neotermes chilensis; Kin recognition; Cuticular compounds; Aggressive behavior; Genetic relatedness.

        · text in English     · English ( pdf )


Creative Commons License All the contents of this journal, except where otherwise noted, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License