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SSA could not be possible without the generous support of Drs. Herbert A. and Betty Lou Lubs and the Science, Society, and the Arts Research Conference Endowment. We are deeply grateful!
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Friday, March 17 • 3:00pm - 4:15pm
Easel 08: Friend or Foe: Manipulating Nestmate Recognition and Olfaction in Carpenter Ants

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Discriminating between friends and foes is imperative for the survival of social insects like ants, termites, and bees. When friends (nestmates) are together, they often participate in social grooming, group foraging, and food-sharing. When enemies (non-nestmates) are together, they will display context-specific aggression behaviors to protect their colonies. The ant species Camponotus pennsylvanicus uses unique combinations of cuticular hydrocarbon (CHC) cues to distinguish between colonies. However, it is debated whether this detection relies on the recognition of nestmates via familiar CHC profiles, or non-nestmates via unfamiliar ones. To address this question, we can manipulate odorant receptor activation as well as individual CHC profiles and observe the resulting changes in social recognition behavior. Using these strategies to modify the aggression behaviors, we hope to provide support toward one model of CHC-based nestmate discrimination.


Friday March 17, 2017 3:00pm - 4:15pm
Leyburn Library