Abraham Hefetz

Abraham Hefetz
Tel Aviv University | TAU · Department of Zoology

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242
Publications
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Publications

Publications (242)
Article
Full-text available
The invasive Argentine ants ( Linepithema humile ) and the red imported fire ants ( Solenopsis invicta ) constitute a worldwide threat, causing severe disruption to ecological systems and harming human welfare. In view of the limited success of current pest control measures, we propose here to employ repellents as means to mitigate the effect of th...
Article
Full-text available
Communication in social insect colonies depends on signals accurately reflecting the identity and physiological state of the individuals. Such information is coded by the products of multiple exocrine glands, and the resulting blends reflect the species, sex, caste, age, task, reproductive status, and health of an individual, and may also contain c...
Preprint
Full-text available
Communication in social insect colonies depends on signals accurately reflecting the identity and physiological state of the individuals. Such information is coded by the products of multiple exocrine glands, and the resulting blends reflect the species, sex, caste, age, task, reproductive status, and health of an individual, and may also contain c...
Article
Full-text available
Reproductive division of labor in insect societies is regulated through multiple concurrent mechanisms, primarily chemical and behavioral. Here, we examined if the Dufour’s gland secretion in the primitively eusocial bumble bee Bombus impatiens signals information about caste, social condition, and reproductive status. We chemically analyzed Dufour...
Article
Invasive species have major impacts on biodiversity and are one of the primary causes of amphibian decline and extinction. Unlike other top ant invaders that negatively affect larger fauna via chemical defensive compounds, the Argentine ant (Linepithema humile) does not have a functional sting. Nonetheless, it deploys defensive compounds against co...
Preprint
Full-text available
Reproductive division of labor in insect societies is regulated through multiple concurrent mechanisms, primarily chemical and behavioral. Here, we examined if the Dufour’s gland secretion in the primitively eusocial bumble bee Bombus impatiens signals information about caste, social condition, and reproductive status. We chemically analyzed Dufour...
Article
Full-text available
An amendment to this paper has been published and can be accessed via a link at the top of the paper.
Article
Insect societies headed by multiple queens (polygyny) raise evolutionary questions, such as how does genetic heterogeneity among colony members affect in‐nest interactions; or, are all queens equally reproductive or equally treated by workers? Answering such questions requires intensive and continuous observations of in‐nest behavior. Here, we addr...
Article
Full-text available
In social insects, due to considerable polyphenism as well as high level of hybridization, the delimitation of species can be challenging. The genus Cataglyphis presents a high level of diversification, making it an excellent model with which to study evolutionary paths. Israel appears to be a “hot spot” for recent speciation in this genus. Althoug...
Article
Full-text available
Honey bee (Apis mellifera) queens produce pheromones responsible for mediating both male mating behavior and many critical facets of worker social organization within their colony. These pheromones are dynamic multi-component blends, allowing the communication of detailed information. Indeed, variation in the queen’s mating and reproductive state i...
Article
Full-text available
Large social insect colonies exhibit a remarkable ability for recognizing group members via colony-specific cuticular pheromonal signatures. Previous work suggested that in some ant species, colony-specific pheromonal profiles are generated through a mechanism involving the transfer and homogenization of cuticular hydrocarbons (CHCs) across members...
Article
Full-text available
The host-associated microbiome affects individual health and behaviour, and may be influenced by local environmental condi- tions. However, little is known about microbiomes’ temporal dynamics in free-living species compared with their dynamics in humans and model organisms, especially in body sites other than the gut. Here, we investigate longitud...
Preprint
Full-text available
Species are the fundamental units upon which evolutionary research is based. In insects, due to the high level of hybridization, the delimitation of such species can be challenging. The genus Cataglyphis presents a high level of diversification, making it an excellent model with which to study evolutionary paths. Israel appears to be a 'hot spot' f...
Article
Full-text available
The remarkable diversity of ant social organization is reflected in both their life history and population kin structure. Different species demonstrate a high variation with respect to both social structure and mating strategies: from the ancestral colony type that is composed of a single queen (monogyny), singly inseminated (monoandry), to the mor...
Preprint
Large social insect colonies exhibit a remarkable ability for recognizing group members via colony-specific cuticular hydrocarbon (CHC) pheromonal signatures. Previous work suggested that in some ant species colony-specific signatures are generated through a “gestalt” mechanism via the passive transfer and homogenization of CHCs across all individu...
Article
Full-text available
Pheromones play a critical role in shaping societies of social insects, including honey bees, Apis mellifera. While diverse functions have been ascribed to queen- and worker-produced compounds, few studies have explored the identity and function of male-produced (drone) compounds. However, several lines of evidence suggest that drones engage in a v...
Preprint
In the first longitudinal study of bat microbiomes, we find that unlike the pattern described in humans and other mammals, the prominent dynamics in Egyptian fruit bats’ fur microbiomes are those of change over time at the level of the colony as a whole. Thus, on average, a pair of fur microbiome samples from different individuals in the same colon...
Article
Full-text available
Unlike most desert-dwelling animals, Cataglyphis ants do not attempt to escape the heat; rather, they apply their impressive heat tolerance to avoid competitors and predators. This thermally defined niche has promoted a range of adaptations both at the individual and colony levels. We have also recently discovered that within the genus Cataglyphis...
Article
The creation of geographic barriers has long been suspected to contribute to the formation of new species. We investigated the phylogeography of desert ants in the western Mediterranean basin in order to elucidate their mode of diversification. These insects which have a low dispersal capacity are recently becoming important model systems in evolut...
Chapter
Bumblebee colonies transition through several social phases during their life cycle (encompassing a solitary phase, a cooperative phase, and a final phase of overt conflict), thus providing an excellent model for examining the mechanisms underpinning social behavior. Furthermore, as key pollinators of several agriculturally important crops, underst...
Article
Full-text available
Reproductive division of labour is a hallmark of eusociality, but disentangling the underlying proximate mechanisms can be challenging. In bumblebees, workers isolated from the queen can activate their ovaries and lay haploid, male eggs. We investigated if volatile, contact, visual or behavioural cues produced by the queen or brood mediate reproduc...
Article
Reproductive division of labour is a hallmark of eusociality, but disentangling the underlying proximate mechanisms can be challenging. In bumblebees, workers isolated from the queen can activate their ovaries and lay haploid, male eggs. We investigated if volatile, contact, visual or behavioural cues produced by the queen or brood mediate reproduc...
Article
Reproductive division of labour is a hallmark of eusociality, but disentangling the underlying proximate mechanisms can be challenging. In bumblebees, workers isolated from the queen can activate their ovaries and lay haploid, male eggs. We investigated if volatile, contact, visual or behavioural cues produced by the queen or brood mediate reproduc...
Article
Reproductive division of labour is a hallmark of eusociality, but disentangling the underlying proximate mechanisms can be challenging. In bumblebees, workers isolated from the queen can activate their ovaries and lay haploid, male eggs. We investigated if volatile, contact, visual or behavioural cues produced by the queen or brood mediate reproduc...
Article
Reproductive division of labour is a hallmark of eusociality, but disentangling the underlying proximate mechanisms can be challenging. In bumblebees, workers isolated from the queen can activate their ovaries and lay haploid, male eggs. We investigated if volatile, contact, visual or behavioural cues produced by the queen or brood mediate reproduc...
Article
Reproductive division of labour is a hallmark of eusociality, but disentangling the underlying proximate mechanisms can be challenging. In bumblebees, workers isolated from the queen can activate their ovaries and lay haploid, male eggs. We investigated if volatile, contact, visual or behavioural cues produced by the queen or brood mediate reproduc...
Article
Reproductive division of labour is a hallmark of eusociality, but disentangling the underlying proximate mechanisms can be challenging. In bumblebees, workers isolated from the queen can activate their ovaries and lay haploid, male eggs. We investigated if volatile, contact, visual or behavioural cues produced by the queen or brood mediate reproduc...
Article
Bumble bees are an outstanding model system in which to study the organization and evolution of complex social behaviour. Bumble bees pass through several distinct phases during their annual life cycle, including solitary and eusocial phases, and the final stage of the colony cycle is marked by intense competition among the queen and workers over t...
Article
Full-text available
During colony fission, honey bee workers are exquisitely sensitive to the presence of their queen in airborne swarms and bivouacs and will abandon swarming if she is absent. However, it is not known whether swarming queens produce a chemical bouquet that is distinct from non-swarming queens, containing either unique chemicals or altered proportions...
Article
Full-text available
Nestmate recognition is a hallmark of social insects. It is based on the match/mismatch of an identity signal carried by members of the society with that of the perceiving individual. While the behavioral response, amicable or aggressive, is very clear, the neural systems underlying recognition are not fully understood. Here we contrast two alterna...
Article
Juvenile hormone (JH) is an important regulator of development and physiology in insects. While in many insect species, including bumble bees, JH functions as gonadotropin in adults, in some highly eusocial insects its role has shifted to regulate social behavior including division of labor, dominance and aggression. Studying JH functions across so...
Article
The cephalic labial glands are well developed in many bee species. In bumble bee males they cover most of the head volume, and their secretion is used in marking reproductive territories and attracting virgin queens. In females, however, they are poorly studied. Here we present chemical analyses of their secretion in queens and workers of Bombus te...
Article
Full-text available
The evolution of advanced sociality in bees is associated with apparent modifications in juvenile hormone (JH) signaling. By contrast to most insects in which JH is a gonadotropin regulating female fertility, in the highly eusocial honey bee (Apis mellifera) JH has lost its gonadotrophic function in adult females, and instead regulates age-related...
Article
Full-text available
Although cuticular hydrocarbons (CHCs) have received much attention from biologists because of their important role in insect communication, few studies have addressed the chemical ecology of clonal species of eusocial insects. In this study we investigated whether and how differences in CHCs relate to the genetics and reproductive dynamics of the...
Article
Full-text available
The genetic and physiological pathways regulating behavior in solitary species are hypothesized to have been co-opted to regulate social behavior in social species. One classic example is the interaction between vitellogenin (an egg-yolk and storage protein) and juvenile hormone, which are positively correlated in most insect species but have modif...
Article
Full-text available
The response of individual animals to mating signals depends on the sexual identity of the individual and the genetics of the mating targets, which represent the mating social context (social environment). However, how social signals are sensed and integrated during mating decisions remains a mystery. One of the models for understanding mating beha...
Data
Full-text available
Table S1. Composition of ant and Thorictus beetle cuticular hydrocarbons (means ± SE). Figure S1. Gas chromatograms of the CHCs of Cataglyphis hispanica and Thorictus sulcicollis. Peak numbers refer to the hydrocarbons described in Table S1. Figure S2. Gas chromatograms of the CHCs of Cataglyphis sp and Thorictus martinezi. Peak numbers refer to th...
Article
Full-text available
Pheromones mediate social interactions among individuals in a wide variety of species, from yeast to mammals. In social insects such as honey bees, pheromone communication systems can be extraordinarily complex and serve to coordinate behaviors among many individuals. One of the primary mediators of social behavior and organization in honey bee col...
Conference Paper
Reproductive division of labor is a hallmark of eusociality, but proximate mechanisms establishing this have only been identified in some species. Bumble bees are widely used models for social behavior, but surprisingly mechanisms regulating queen dominance over reproduction are unknown. When isolated from the queen workers become reproductively ac...
Article
Full-text available
Bombus terrestris colonies go through two major phases: the "pre-competition phase" in which the queen is the sole reproducer and aggression is rare, and the "competition phase" in which workers aggressively compete over reproduction. Conflicts over reproduction are partially regulated by a group of octyl esters that are produced in Dufour's gland...
Article
Full-text available
In ants dispersing through colony fission, queens mate near their natal nest and found a new society with the help of workers. This allows potential future queens to challenge the mother queen's reproductive monopoly. Conflicts might be resolved if the mated queen signals her presence and the workers control the developmental fate of the diploid la...
Article
Full-text available
Abstract In invasion areas, the Argentine ant (Linepithema humile) forms huge supercolonies with free exchange of individuals among nests. Two continental supercolonies on the French mediterranean coast, the Main European supercolony and the Corsican supercolony, are known to contain workers showing moderate to high levels of inter-supercolony aggr...
Article
Insect societies generally manifest reproductive division of labor with one or a few fecund females (queens) and sterile helpers (workers). This is generally mediated by behavioural hierarchy that reduces the cost of within-group aggression. Aggressive behaviour and ovarian development are thus two co-occurring correlates of reproductive skew, but...
Article
Full-text available
Correct species identification is a precondition for biological study, yet despite a long history of morphological investigations, the systematic position of many ant species remains unclear. Here, we compared and identified cuticular hydrocarbon profiles of workers of several species of Tapinoma from Algeria, Morocco, Israel, France (mainland and...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Territorial boundaries between conspecific social insect colonies are maintained through nestmate recognition systems. However, in supercolony-forming ants, which have developed an extraordinary social organization style known as unicoloniality, a single supercolony extends across large geographic distance. The underlying mechanism is...
Data
Raster plots for the experiments presented in Figure 4A and 4B. Impulses of the “Hoshioki” CHC sensilla on the antennae attached to the haeds (A) and “Shinkawa” CHC sensilla on the antennae attached to the haeds (B) and those of the “Hoshioki” CHC sensilla on the antennae detached from the haeds (C), which are sorted into different unit clusters, a...
Data
Correlates of biting behaviors, Mahalanobis distances of CHC profiles, and genetic relatedness in resident or invader ants. (A) Correlation between % of invader ants and of glass beads inducing biting behavior of resident “Hoshioki” ants. (B) Correlation between aggressive behavior and average of Mahalanobis distances of CHC profiles between reside...