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Anonymity and specificity in the chemical communication signals of social insects

Holldobler, B.; Carlin, N.F.

Journal of Comparative Physiology A Sensory Neural and Behavioral Physiology 161.4: 567-581

1987


DOI: 10.1007/bf00603662
Accession: 001530250

The chemical communication signals of social insects (e.g. ants, bees and vespid wasps), like many other insect semiochemicals, are complex mixtures that exhibit considerable variation in molecular composition and in the relative proportions of components. It is proposed that this variation is often functional, identifying individual and groups on a variety of organizational levels and making possible a variety of adaptive discriminatory behaviours.

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