Insect communication: "No entry" signal in ant foraging

Robinson, Elva J H, Jackson, Duncan E, Holcombe, Mike and Ratnieks, Francis L W (2005) Insect communication: "No entry" signal in ant foraging. Nature, 438. p. 442. ISSN 0028-0836

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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

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Discovery 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.
Schools and Departments: School of Life Sciences > Evolution, Behaviour and Environment
Depositing User: Francis Ratnieks
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 19:53
Last Modified: 21 Mar 2012 11:22
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