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Cuticular Hydrocarbons in Social Insects

Abstract : All insects are covered by an epicuticular lipid layer comprising of long hydrocarbon chains generally termed cuticular hydrocarbons (CHCs)(2). In social insects, CHCs play multiple roles: they primarily serve structural and anti-desiccation functions, but they are also involved in various forms of signalling. More specifically, starting in the 1980s, researchers began to discover that CHCs play a role in interspecific, intercolonial, and interindividual recognition. Within colonies, they can convey information about nestmate status, kinship, caste, and fertility. They also act as sexual pheromones. In large part, they form signature mixtures, but they can also function as contact pheromones and primer pheromones.
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Contributor : Anne-Geneviève Bagnères <>
Submitted on : Monday, September 21, 2020 - 3:54:33 PM
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Anne-Geneviève Bagnères. Cuticular Hydrocarbons in Social Insects. Encyclopedia of Social Insects, Springer International Publishing; Springer International Publishing, pp.1-4, 2020, ⟨10.1007/978-3-319-90306-4_160-1⟩. ⟨hal-02383277⟩



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