Document Detail

Path Integration Controls Nest-Plume Following in Desert Ants.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  22405868     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
The desert ant Cataglyphis fortis is equipped with sophisticated navigational skills for returning to its nest after foraging [1, 2]. The ant's primary means for long-distance navigation is path integration, which provides a continuous readout of the ant's approximate distance [3] and direction [4] from the nest [5]. The nest is pinpointed with the aid of visual [6-8] and olfactory landmarks [9-11]. Similar landmark cues help ants locate familiar food sites. Ants on their outward trip will position themselves so that they can move upwind using odor cues to find food [12]. Here we show that homing ants also move upwind along nest-derived odor plumes to approach their nest. The ants only respond to odor plumes if the state of their path integrator tells them that they are near the nest. This influence of path integration is important because we could experimentally provoke ants to follow odor plumes from a foreign, conspecific nest and enter that nest. We identified CO(2) as one nest-plume component that can by itself induce plume following in homing ants. Taken together, the results suggest that path-integration information enables ants to avoid entering the wrong nest, where they would inevitably be killed by resident ants.
Cornelia Buehlmann; Bill S Hansson; Markus Knaden
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Publication Detail:
Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE     Date:  2012-3-7
Journal Detail:
Title:  Current biology : CB     Volume:  -     ISSN:  1879-0445     ISO Abbreviation:  -     Publication Date:  2012 Mar 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-3-12     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9107782     Medline TA:  Curr Biol     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  -     Citation Subset:  -    
Copyright Information:
Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology, Hans-Knoell Strasse 8, 07745 Jena, Germany.
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