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Speed and accuracy in nest-mate recognition: a hover wasp prioritizes face recognition over colony odour cues to minimize intrusion by outsiders [Proceedings of the Royal Society B]

by Frédéric Magné - published on , updated on

Social insects have evolved sophisticated recognition systems enabling them to accept nest-mates but reject alien conspecifics. In the social wasp, Liostenogaster flavolineata (Stenogastrinae), individuals differ in their cuticular hydrocarbon profiles according to colony membership; each female also possesses a unique (visual) facial pattern. This species represents a unique model to understand how vision and olfaction are integrated and the extent to which wasps prioritize one channel over the other to discriminate aliens and nest-mates. Liostenogaster flavolineata females are able to discriminate between alien and nest-mate females using facial patterns or chemical cues in isolation...

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