Home > Papers from 2011 > How do pheromone trails help experienced foragers?

How do pheromone trails help experienced foragers?

It is well known that experienced foragers trust their own route knowledge (often visual information) over public information provided by pheromone trails if the two are placed in conflict. In this paper Czaczkes et al investigate whether experienced foragers might still gain from the information provided by pheromone trails. A simple elegant experimental design allowed the team to show that experienced foragers produce faster, less sinuous routes when travelling along a pheromone marked route. This suggests that ants are integrating information from multiple modalities, leading to the appearance that pheromone trails increases ants’ confidence in their route knowledge.

Tomer J. Czaczkes, Christoph Grüter, Sam M. Jones and Francis L. W. Ratnieks (2011) Synergy between social and private information increases foraging efficiency in ants. Biology Letters. doi: 10.1098/rsbl.2011.0067

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Categories: Papers from 2011
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