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, 438 (7067), 442

Insect Communication: 'No Entry' Signal in Ant Foraging

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Insect Communication: 'No Entry' Signal in Ant Foraging

Elva J H Robinson et al. Nature.

Abstract

Forager ants lay attractive trail pheromones to guide nestmates to food, but the effectiveness of foraging networks might be improved if pheromones could also be used to repel foragers from unrewarding routes. 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.

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