Secretions of Dufour’s gland in some ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

Journal Article
, Mashaly, A. M. A., Ahmed, A. M., Nunes, T. M. and Morgan, E. D. . 2014
Publication Work Type: 
Field and Lap work
Magazine \ Newspaper: 
African Entomology
Issue Number: 
Volume Number: 
Publication Abstract: 

The ant Pachycondyla sennaarensis (Mayr) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Ponerinae) is a small
dark ant, a recent accidental introduction into Saudi Arabia. It tends to be found in or near
human habitations, and it is particularly unpleasant because its sting can cause severe
reaction in some individuals, and there are reports of fatal effects. Analysis of the poison
apparatus of P. sennaarensis, locally known as the samsum ant, and comparison with two
other native small black ants, Messor meridionalis and M. foreli (Hymenoptera: Formicidae),
have shown distinct differences in the materials in their Dufour glands and clearly distinguish
P. sennaarensis from the two Messor species. Pachycondyla sennaarensis showed only
hydrocarbons in its Dufour gland dominated by nonadecene, nonadecane and heneicosane.
The powerful venom revealed no volatile compounds. The Dufour glands of M. meridionale
and M. foreli had characteristic mixtures of hydrocarbons, but no venom gland volatile
compounds. Pentadecane and hepadecane were the major compounds of the gland in
M. meridionalis while nonadecane and heneicosane were the major in M. foreli.

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