[ExI] ants again
asa at nada.kth.se
Mon Oct 19 15:12:37 UTC 2009
> This is part of what I am hoping to find out: if the ants supplement their
> pheromone signals with visuals. There is a difference in activity levels
> as a function of light level, so that suggests some connection.
It could be just temperature: being poikilothermic, insects tend to speed
up a lot when there is more heat. It is very visible here in the UK. My
nemesis, Notiophilus biguttatus, is absurdly fast during sunny days.
> Of course ants
> can navigate in zero light conditions as you found on your last visit to
But obviously they aren't very smart in the darkness :-)
> I need to study the literature to see if anyone has under any
> managed to get one-way trails. If so, one could perhaps collect a tiny
> sample of the go-home pheromone, identify its chemical nature, synthesize
> in the lab, then spray it in a room, at which time all the ants present
> would go home. But if the keilbasa model is true, they will not go. If
> is a non-directional food-or-home single pheromone, it might make the
> problem worse, or could explain an odd phenom that you also discovered at
> own home.*
According to this paper,
the common garden ant uses isocoumarin (R)-1 for trails (and I think that
is your species). Other species have other, but somewhat similar-looking,
This paper seems to give support to the keilbasa theory, at least in one
species (the forest ant)
and this other paper argues (in a third species)
something similar. Now we just need experiments.
I'm very much an armchair entomologist... until the insects start climbing
over me. Then I turn into an entomological paparazzi.
> Anders I think you are just irresistable to bugs.
Just look at my code :-)
Future of Humanity Institute
Philosophy Faculty of Oxford University
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