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When Ants Attack: Chemicals That Trigger Aggression In Argentine Ants Synthesized

Experiments led by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, have demonstrated that normally friendly ants can turn against each other by exploiting the chemical cues they use to distinguish colony-mates from rivals.

The new study, to be published on October 28, in the open-access journal BMC Biology, sheds light on the factors influencing the social behavior of the Argentine ant, Linepithema humile, and provides hope for a new tactic in controlling the spread of this invasive species.

The research was conducted on the highly invasive Argentine ant, but the researchers note that the findings are likely relevant to other types of insects that rely upon chemical signals to identify each other.
 
 

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