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Insect communication: "No entry" signal in ant foraging
journal contributionposted on 2023-06-08, 00:25 authored by Elva J H Robinson, Duncan E Jackson, Mike Holcombe, Francis Ratnieks
Forager ants lay attractive trail pheromones to guide nestmates to food1, 2, but the effectiveness of foraging networks might be improved if pheromones could also be used to repel foragers from unrewarding routes3, 4. Here we present empirical evidence for such a negative trail pheromone, deployed by Pharaoh's ants (Monomorium pharaonis) as a 'no entry' signal to mark an unrewarding foraging path. This finding constitutes another example of the sophisticated control mechanisms used in self-organized ant colonies
Department affiliated with
- Evolution, Behaviour and Environment Publications
NotesDiscovery of first repellent/negative trail pheromone in ants. The pheromone acts as a "no entry" signal, and is placed on non-rewarding branches at trail bifurcations.
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