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The Pied Piper : A Parasitic Beetle’s Melodies Modulate Ant Behaviours [Plos One]

Keywords : ants, beetles, acoustics, imitation, principal components analysis, social communication

par Frédéric Magné - publié le

Ants use various communication channels to regulate their social organisation. The main channel that drives almost all the ants’ activities and behaviours is the chemical one, but it is long acknowledged that the acoustic channel also plays an important role. However, very little is known regarding exploitation of the acoustical channel by myrmecophile parasites to infiltrate the ant society. Among social parasites, the ant nest beetles (Paussus) are obligate myrmecophiles able to move throughout the colony at will and prey on the ants, surprisingly never eliciting aggression from the colonies.(...)

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