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Volume 2011, Article ID 139385, 5 pages
Research Article

Trail-Laying Behaviour as a Function of Resource Quality in the Ant Camponotus rufipes

1Departamento de Biodiversidad y Biología Experimental, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales, Universidad de Buenos Aires, C1428EHA Buenos Aires, Argentina
2Theodor-Boveri-Institut, Lehrstuhl für Verhaltensphysiologie und Soziobiologie der Universität Würzburg, Am Hubland, 97074 Würzburg, Germany

Received 3 February 2011; Revised 25 March 2011; Accepted 4 April 2011

Academic Editor: James Charles Nieh

Copyright © 2011 Pablo E. Schilman. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Chemical trails have been shown to act as an orientation cue in some ant species. Here, I report that the trail-laying behaviour in the nectar-feeding ant, Camponotus rufipes, varies with the concentration of the sucrose solutions collected. Single workers collected solutions of different sucrose concentrations (5%, 20%, and 40% in weight) during 4 consecutive visits to the resource, and their trail-marking behaviour was recorded on soot-coated slides during their first and last visits. Results suggest that these chemical trails provide both an orientation cue between the nest and the food source, as previously suggested for Camponotus ants, as well as information about food quality.