According to a new study by Olivier Roux et al in PLoS One, she is spreading pheromones from a previously unknown gland: Abstract: In Oecophylla, an ant genus comprising two territorially dominant arboreal species, workers are known to (1) use anal spots to mark their territories, (2) drag their gaster along the substrate to deposit short-range recruitment trails, and (3) drag the extruded rectal gland along the substrate to deposit the trails used in long-range recruitment. Here we study an overlooked but important marking behavior in which O. longinoda workers first rub the underside of…
tags: The Ant Whisperer, ants, hymenoptera, pheromones, EO Wilson, behavioral ecology, sociobiology, evolution, streaming video If I owned a television, you can bet I'd be watching this Nova program on PBS tonight: The Lord of the Ants. This program describes some of EO Wilson's amazing discoveries about ant communication, behavioral ecology and evolution [3:40]
From the NOVA episode "Lord of the Ants"