Obligate social parasites in the social insects have lost the worker caste and the ability to establish nest. As a result, parasites must usurp a host nest, overcome the host recognition system, and depend on the host workers to rear their offspring. We analysed cuticular hydrocarbon profiles of live parasite females of the paper wasp social parasite Polistes sulcifer before and after usurpation of host nests, using the non-destructive technique of solid-phase micro-extraction. Our results reveal that hydrocarbon profiles of parasites change after usurpation of host nests to match the cuticular profile of the host species. Chemical evidence further shows that the parasite queen changes the odour of the nest by the addition of a parasite-specific hydrocarbon. We discuss the possible role of this in the recognition and acceptance of the parasite and its offspring in the host colony. RI Massolo, Alessandro/I-3437-2012

Social hackers: Integration in the host chemical recognition system by a paper wasp social parasite

MASSOLO, ALESSANDRO;
2000

Abstract

Obligate social parasites in the social insects have lost the worker caste and the ability to establish nest. As a result, parasites must usurp a host nest, overcome the host recognition system, and depend on the host workers to rear their offspring. We analysed cuticular hydrocarbon profiles of live parasite females of the paper wasp social parasite Polistes sulcifer before and after usurpation of host nests, using the non-destructive technique of solid-phase micro-extraction. Our results reveal that hydrocarbon profiles of parasites change after usurpation of host nests to match the cuticular profile of the host species. Chemical evidence further shows that the parasite queen changes the odour of the nest by the addition of a parasite-specific hydrocarbon. We discuss the possible role of this in the recognition and acceptance of the parasite and its offspring in the host colony. RI Massolo, Alessandro/I-3437-2012
Turillazzi, Stefano; Sledge Matthew, F.; Dani Francesca, R.; Cervo, Rita; Massolo, Alessandro; Fondelli, Lara
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11568/833088
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