Written Paper

Intracolony vibroacoustic communication in social insects  [2013]

Hunt, J. H. Richard, F.-J.

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Vibrations and sounds, collectively called vibroacoustics, play significant roles in intracolony communication in termites, social wasps, ants, and social bees. Modalities of vibroacoustic signal production include stridulation, gross body movements, wing movements, high-frequency muscle contractions without wing movements, and scraping mandibles or tapping body parts on resonant substrates. Vibroacoustic signals are perceived primarily via Johnston’s organs in the antennae and subgenual organs in the legs. Substrate vibrations predominate as vibroacoustic modalities, with only honey bees having been shown to be able to hear airborne sound. Vibroacoustic messages include alarm, recruitment, colony activation, larval provisioning cues, and food resource assessment. This review describes the modalities and their behavioral contexts rather than electrophysiological aspects, therefore placing emphasis on the adaptive roles of vibroacoustic communication. Although much vibroacoustics research has been done, numerous opportunities exist for continuations and new directions in vibroacoustics research.

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Insectes sociaux

ISSN : 0020-1812