Insectes Sociaux

, Volume 55, Issue 3, pp 329–333 | Cite as

Description of a simple synthetic diet for studying nutritional responses in ants

  • A. DussutourEmail author
  • S. J. Simpson
Technical article


A chemically defined diet is a powerful tool for the study of nutritional physiology. We have developed a simple, standardized diet for Rhytidoponera ants to facilitate experiments on nutrititional regulation and nutrient balancing in these ants. Colonies of Rhytidoponera metallica were fed with a standardized diet, containing a 1:2 ratio of total proteins to digestible carbohydrates. After 8 weeks, colony performance (number of brood raised, the mass of pupae, and the mortality of workers) was superior to that of colonies fed with Bhatkar-Whitcomb diet and similar to colonies fed with Drosophila and honey-water.


Artificial diet nutrition colony growth green headed ant 


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Copyright information

© Birkhaeuser 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Biological SciencesThe University of SydneySydneyAustralia

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