Foraging members of Pharaoh ant colonies guide fellow foragers away from unrewarding routes via a repellent pheromone.

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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.” (Robinson et al. 2005:442)

Journal article
Insect communication: ‘No entry’ signal in ant foragingNatureNovember 23, 2005
Elva J. H. Robinson, Duncan E. Jackson, Mike Holcombe, Francis L. W. Ratnieks

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Living System/s

Pharaoh AntMonomorium pharaonisSpecies

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