Influence of juvenile hormone analog on behavior in the red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta. Academic Article uri icon


  • Division of labor is a hallmark characteristic of social insect colonies. While it is understood that worker differentiation is regulated through either the queen or her brood, the understanding of the physiology behind task regulation varies within social species. Studies in eusocial insects have shown that juvenile hormone (JH) is associated with division of labor and the onset of foraging tasks. Although, outside of a few key species, this interaction has yet to be elucidated in the red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta. In this study, we evaluated the role of a JH analog, S-hydroprene in worker task transition in Solenopsis invicta. S-hydroprene wasapplied to nurses to observe behavioral changes. S-hyroprene application to nurses did not affect phototaxis, but there was a shift in behavior from internal, nest-based behaviors to external, foraging-based behaviors. These results show that JH may be implicated in worker task transition in S. invicta and may function similarly as it does in other eusocial insects.

published proceedings

  • Sci Rep

author list (cited authors)

  • Starkey, J., Hawkings, C., & Tamborindeguy, C.

complete list of authors

  • Starkey, Jesse||Hawkings, Chloe||Tamborindeguy, Cecilia

publication date

  • September 2023