Insectes Sociaux

, Volume 32, Issue 2, pp 198–208 | Cite as

Mass recruitment to nectar sources inParaponera clavata: A field study

  • M. D. Breed
  • B. Bennett


Paraponera clavata foragers employ a trail pheromone and activation within the nest to obtain mass recruitment to simulated nectar sources. Foragers leaving and returning to the nest normally follow the same path. The existence of a trail pheromone was inferred from a series of experiments in which different techniques were employed to disrupt main foraging routes. Individuals baited to simulated nectar sources were observed to drag their gasters in a distinctive fashion when returning to the main trail. The return of an individual from a bait site resulted in greatly increased foraging activity from the colony. A maximum of 352 individuals were recruited within an hour following presentation of the bait. Recruited individuals were able to find the bait site in the absence of the initial forager by following the path taken by the initial forager. Even under normal, unbaited, conditions ants leave colonies in a temporal sequence that suggests social facilitation.


Field Study Temporal Sequence Forage Activity Trail Pheromone Facilitation Sociale 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Recrutement de masse vers des sources de nectar chez paraponera clavata: une étude de terrain


Les fourragères deParaponera clavata emploient une phéromone de piste et l'activation dans le nid pour obtenir un recrutement de masse vers des sources de nectar artificielles. Les fourragères allant et revenant au nid suivent normalement la même direction. L'existence d'une phéromone de piste découle d'une série d'expériences dans lesquelles différentes techniques furent employées afin de rompre les principales routes de fourragement. Des individus attirés vers des sources de nectar artificielles furent observés tirant leur abdomen d'une manière particulière en retournantà la piste principale. Le retour de l'individu du site de l'appât provoqua un grand accroissement de l'activité de fouraagement de la colonie. Un maximum de 352 individus fut recruté dans l'heure suivant la présentation de l'appât. Des individus recrutés furent capables de trouver le site de l'appât en l'absence de la fourragère initiale en suivant la direction prise par cette dernière. Même dans des conditions normales, sans appât, les fourmis quittent les colonies dans une séquence temporelle qui suggère une facilitation sociale.


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Copyright information

© Masson 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. D. Breed
    • 1
  • B. Bennett
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Environmental, Population and Organismic BiologyThe University of ColoradoBoulderU.S.A.

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