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A new view of the waggle dance: making scents to recruit fellow foragers.

Gross L - PLoS Biol. (2007)

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

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The honeybee and its waggle dance emerged as a model of animal communication and social behavior in 1947, when Karl von Frisch discovered that waggling tells other bees where to find bountiful forage away from the hive... Now in a new study, Corinna Thom et al. report yet another component of the waggling honeybee’s lexicon... Waggle-dancing bees, the researchers found, produce four distinctive odors that induce foraging activity in other honeybees... Based on evidence that honeybees (and other social insects) use pheromones to organize colony mates for hive tasks, the researchers reasoned that olfactory cues may also play an important role in coordinating foraging activity... Waggle dancers, they discovered, emitted four compounds that were absent from the airspace of nondancing bees... Compared with nondancing foragers and nonforaging bees, wagglers also had significantly higher amounts of these compounds, called cuticular hydrocarbons, on their abdomens... To find out whether the isolated chemicals influenced behavior, the researchers injected one of two mixtures onto the honeybee “dance floor” and then counted the number of bees exiting the hive... The researchers propose that synthesis of the compounds increases in dancing bees and that the waggle-dance scent may be released as dancing raises their body temperature... Though waggle-dance scent compounds have been associated with specific behaviors in other insects—for example, Vespula wasps use them to establish and follow trails, and flies use them as sex attractants—the compounds had not been linked to specific honeybee behavior before... These new results suggest that the waggle scent serves as an attractant for honeybees, too... The scent of wagglers may serve to identify them as successful provisioners and attract the attention of recruits, who home in on the dancing foragers for details on the food site... With evidence for a new role for olfactory cues in symbolic animal communication, researchers can explore just how the waggle scent elicits a behavioral response—and continue to decode the myriad communication mechanisms underlying the cooperative exploits of social insects.

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Waggle-dancing bees (center, with red mark) release scents that recruit other foragers.
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pbio-0050249-g001: Waggle-dancing bees (center, with red mark) release scents that recruit other foragers.


A new view of the waggle dance: making scents to recruit fellow foragers.

Gross L - PLoS Biol. (2007)

Waggle-dancing bees (center, with red mark) release scents that recruit other foragers.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC1994276&req=5

pbio-0050249-g001: Waggle-dancing bees (center, with red mark) release scents that recruit other foragers.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

AUTOMATICALLY GENERATED EXCERPT
Please rate it.

The honeybee and its waggle dance emerged as a model of animal communication and social behavior in 1947, when Karl von Frisch discovered that waggling tells other bees where to find bountiful forage away from the hive... Now in a new study, Corinna Thom et al. report yet another component of the waggling honeybee’s lexicon... Waggle-dancing bees, the researchers found, produce four distinctive odors that induce foraging activity in other honeybees... Based on evidence that honeybees (and other social insects) use pheromones to organize colony mates for hive tasks, the researchers reasoned that olfactory cues may also play an important role in coordinating foraging activity... Waggle dancers, they discovered, emitted four compounds that were absent from the airspace of nondancing bees... Compared with nondancing foragers and nonforaging bees, wagglers also had significantly higher amounts of these compounds, called cuticular hydrocarbons, on their abdomens... To find out whether the isolated chemicals influenced behavior, the researchers injected one of two mixtures onto the honeybee “dance floor” and then counted the number of bees exiting the hive... The researchers propose that synthesis of the compounds increases in dancing bees and that the waggle-dance scent may be released as dancing raises their body temperature... Though waggle-dance scent compounds have been associated with specific behaviors in other insects—for example, Vespula wasps use them to establish and follow trails, and flies use them as sex attractants—the compounds had not been linked to specific honeybee behavior before... These new results suggest that the waggle scent serves as an attractant for honeybees, too... The scent of wagglers may serve to identify them as successful provisioners and attract the attention of recruits, who home in on the dancing foragers for details on the food site... With evidence for a new role for olfactory cues in symbolic animal communication, researchers can explore just how the waggle scent elicits a behavioral response—and continue to decode the myriad communication mechanisms underlying the cooperative exploits of social insects.

No MeSH data available.