Titlebar

Export bibliographic data
Literature by the same author
plus on the publication server
plus at Google Scholar

 

Correlated changes in breeding status and polyunsaturated cuticular hydrocarbons : the chemical basis of nestmate recognition in the burying beetle Nicrophorus vespilloides?

Title data

Steiger, Sandra ; Peschke, Klaus ; Müller, Josef K.:
Correlated changes in breeding status and polyunsaturated cuticular hydrocarbons : the chemical basis of nestmate recognition in the burying beetle Nicrophorus vespilloides?
In: Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology. Vol. 62 (2008) Issue 7 . - pp. 1053-1060.
ISSN 1432-0762
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00265-007-0532-x

Abstract in another language

Nestmate recognition in eusocial insects has received a lot of attention in the last decades. Recognition in subsocial species, in contrast, has been ignored almost completely and consequently, and little is known about proximate mechanisms of recognition in subsocial systems. We studied one subsocial species, the biparental brood caring burying beetle Nicrophorus vespilloides, an interesting model organism for studies of recognition because of its ability to discriminate between breeding partners and conspecific competitors. Recognition appears to be based on a chemical cue closely linked to the breeding status of individuals. Breeding and non-breeding beetles consistently differ in their relative proportions of polyunsaturated cuticular hydrocarbons. To investigate the function of these polyenes in the burying beetles’ recognition system, we quantified their concentration on the cuticle during the early state of a breeding attempt and tested the response of breeding beetles in corresponding behavioural experiments. We observed a rapid increase in the proportion of polyunsaturated hydrocarbons of both males and females after they were provided with a carcass suitable for reproduction. Furthermore, we found that the relative amount of polyenes on an individual’s surface was closely correlated with its chance of being accepted as breeding partner. Our results support the idea that polyunsaturated hydrocarbons are involved in breeding partner recognition in N. vespilloides, functioning as a signal that conveys information about the individual’s breeding status. Breeding females have greater amount of polyenes than breeding males, and females ingest more carrion during the first days on the carcass, which supports our hypothesis that precursors for the respective polyenes are derived from ingested carrion.

Further data

Item Type: Article in a journal
Refereed: Yes
Additional notes: BAYCEER147325
Keywords: Burying beetles; Nicrophorus; Nestmate recognition; Chemical cues; Polyunsaturated hydrocarbons
Institutions of the University: Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Biology > Chair Animal Ecology II - Evolutionary Animal Ecology > Chair Animal Ecology II - Evolutionary Animal Ecology - Univ.-Prof. Dr. Sandra Steiger
Research Institutions
Research Institutions > Research Centres
Research Institutions > Research Centres > Bayreuth Center of Ecology and Environmental Research- BayCEER
Result of work at the UBT: No
DDC Subjects: 500 Science
Date Deposited: 15 Apr 2019 07:58
Last Modified: 15 Apr 2019 07:58
URI: https://eref.uni-bayreuth.de/id/eprint/48410