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0 Q&A 212 Views Jul 5, 2023

Ants use cuticular hydrocarbon (CHC) as a semiochemical for recognizing their nestmates. For socially parasitic ants, deceiving the CHC is an important survival strategy. Profiling and quantifying CHC is a potent approach to understanding such nestmate discrimination behavior. Thus, a highly efficient, stable, and reproducible extraction method for CHC is essential for this purpose. This paper describes a method for socially parasitic ants to disguise the host species’ CHC profile under laboratory conditions, as well as the extraction and measurement of CHC from ants (from a previous study). First, the artificial isotopic substance is applied to the host worker; then, the socially parasitic ant disguises the host-like CHC profile against the above host worker. Next, the CHC is extracted and fractionated from a socially parasitic ant using hexane and silica gel. After concentrating the fractionated product, this product is then used for measurement by gas chromatographymass spectrometry (GC-MS). The CHC extraction protocol described in this paper may be used for various ant species.

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