par Bordereau, Christian;Pasteels, Jacques
Editeur scientifique Bignell, David Edward;Roisin, Yves ;Lo, Nathan
Référence Biology of Termites, A Modern Synthesis, Springer SBM, Dordrecht, The Netherlands
Publication Publié, 2011
Partie d'ouvrage collectif
Résumé : Pheromones play a crucial role in the ecology of dispersal and foraging in termites. Sex-pairing pheromones possess a double role of long-range attraction to unite sexual partners and a short-range or contact attraction to maintain the pair during the tandem behaviour. Sex-pairing pheromones most often comprise a single compound capable of eliciting both behavioural effects. They appear very conservative in their evolution, and their role in the reproductive isolation of sympatric species greatly varies according to species. Species-specific sex-pairing pheromones consist of different major compounds or of a common major compound with species-specific minor components. Foraging is a collective behaviour mainly regulated by trail-following pheromones secreted from only one glandular source, the sternal gland. Trail-following pheromones may be also used by one-piece termites to colonise additional food sources. Although trail-following pheromones of termites have a double role of orientation and recruitment, they appear most often composed of only one compound. An alternative hypothesis is given to the postulated existence of a volatile ephemeral compound of recruitment and a long-lasting compound of orientation. Trail-following pheromones appear highly conserved in their chemical evolution (only 8 different pheromones for 60 species), even if a clear separation is observed between basal termites and more derived termites. The major ecological event of the external foraging was not related to a chemical evolutionary step of the trail-following pheromones. Pheromonal parsimony (the utilisation of a same molecule for multiple functions) is common in termites in the behavioural context of dispersal and foraging. The same molecule is used in many species as a sex-pairing pheromone and a trail-following pheromone, depending upon the pheromone concentration and the caste involved. © Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011.