Olfactory memory established during trophallaxis affects food search behaviour in ants

Article English OPEN
<div class="autor_fcen" id="6944">Provecho, Y.</div> ; <div class="autor_fcen" id="4497">Josens, R.</div> (2009)
  • Subject: Ant | Camponotus mus | Olfactory memory | Trophallaxis | animal | animal behavior | animal communication | ant | article | catering service | decision making | feeding behavior | maze test | memory | odor | physiology | social behavior | Animal Communication | Animals | Ants | Behavior, Animal | Choice Behavior | Feeding Behavior | Food Supply | Maze Learning | Memory | Odors | Smell | Social Behavior | Formicidae

Camponotus mus ants can associate sucrose and odour at the source during successive foraging cycles and use this memory to locate the nectar in the absence of other cues. These ants perform conspicuous trophallactic behaviour during recruitment while foraging for nectar. In this work, we studied whether Camponotus mus ants are able to establish this odour-sucrose association in the social context of trophallaxis and we evaluated this memory in another context previously experienced by the ant, as a nectar source. After a single trophallaxis of a scented solution, the receiver ant was tested in a Y-maze without any reward, where two scents were presented: in one arm, the solution scent and in the other, a new scent. Ants consistently chose the arm with the solution scent and stayed longer therein. Trophallaxis duration had no effect on the arm choice or with the time spent in each arm. Workers are able to associate an odour (conditioned stimulus) with the sucrose (unconditioned stimulus) they receive through a social interaction and use this memory as choice criteria during food searching. Fil:Provecho, Y. Universidad de Buenos Aires. Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales; Argentina. Fil:Josens, R. Universidad de Buenos Aires. Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales; Argentina.
Share - Bookmark