Gastral exocrine products of a myrmicine ant strongly overlap pygidial gland products of Dolichoderinae

D. W. Davidson, D. A. Clark, T. H. Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Scopus citations


In most subfamilies of ants (Formicidae), a pygidial gland occurs in the worker's dorsal gaster, and where tested, products of this gland function in alarm/defense and/or recruitment communication. These products are well characterized for members of the subfamily Dolichoderinae but remain unidentified for Myrmicinae. Both major and minor workers of one myrmicine, Pheidole biconstricta Mayr, are known to have greatly hypertrophied pygidial glands with alarm/repellent products. GC/MS analysis of methanol extracts of worker gasters revealed actinidine and six diastereomers of iridodials as major components, as well as lesser amounts of two lactones, iridomyrmecin and dihydronepetalactone. The iridoids also occur in the pygidial glands of some dolichoderines. Results are related to functional and phylogenetic considerations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)305-308
Number of pages4
JournalInsectes Sociaux
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 2005
Externally publishedYes



  • Actinidine
  • Cyclopentanoid monoterpenes
  • Iridoids
  • Pheidole biconstricta
  • Pygidial gland

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Insect Science

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