Résumé : ABSTRACT. The mandibular glands of the two species of ant, Myrmica schencki Em. and Myrmica rugulosa Nyl., contain mixtures of similar compounds, but in different proportions. M.rugulosa produces 3‐pentanol, 3‐hexanone, 3‐hexanol, 3‐heptanone, 3‐heptanol, 3‐octanone (by far the most abundant component), 3‐octanol, 3‐nonanol, 3‐decanone and 6‐methyl‐3‐octanone, in addition to small amounts of ethanal, acetone and methylpropanal. M.schencki produces most of these (though much less 3‐octanone and much more 3‐octanol), but also produces significant amounts of 3‐nonanol, 3‐decanol and 6‐methyl‐3‐octanol, while producing no detectable 3‐pentanol or 3‐hexanone. The mandibular gland secretions of these two species attract the workers, increase their linear speed, and reduce their sinuosity of movement. In M.schencki these behavioural activities are caused by 3‐octanol and 3‐octanone, the effect of a synthetic mixture of the two being exactly like that of an isolated mandibular gland; the two compounds act together to cause attraction and increase linear speed, and in synergy to reduce the workers' sinuosity of movement. In M.rugulosa, 3‐octanol, 3‐octanone and 6‐methyl‐3‐octanone are the major active constituents. 3‐Octanone attracts the workers, its effect being enhanced by 3‐octanol; it also increases the ants' linear speed, this effect being moderated slightly by the 3‐octanol. Presented together these two substances act synergistically to decrease the workers' sinuosity of movement, and reproduce exactly the overall behavioural activity of an isolated mandibular gland. The chemical and behavioural results are combined with those previously reported to explain the responses of M.rubra, M.ruginodis, M.rugulosa, M.sabuleti, M.schencki and M.scabrinodis workers to isolated mandibular glands of these species. Copyright © 1982, Wiley Blackwell. All rights reserved