The segregation of laboratory maintained male and larval Myrmecia gulosa from workers resulted in increased levels of culturable microbiota. After 29 days, microbial levels recovered from segregated males and larvae were 27 and 126 times greater than from males and larvae not segregated from workers. These findings are consistent with the hypothesis that metapleural gland secretions, absent in larvae and males, are transferred from workers to larvae, and males contribute to the inhibition of cuticular microbiota.
- Bulldog ants
- Metapleural gland secretions