Santi Burgas - Geur als Communicatie Mieren

Smell as communication

By Stephanie Helmer

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They are small, have six legs and communicate through smell … we are talking about ants here. Scientists have discovered that ants have four to five times more odor receptors than other insects. For example, a silkworm can distinguish 52 different scents, a fruit fly 61, one at 174. However, the ant still spans the crown with 400 receptors. These receptors can be divided into the 3 groups:

· ORs: receptors that can detect different scented substances and pheromones (natural signaling molecules).

· GRs: receptors that are able to distinguish between different odors.

· IR ‘: Receptors that react to different poisons.

It turned out that ants mainly have more ORs compared to other insects. This can explain why the extremely complex society of the ant is going well. For example, it has been known for some time that communication takes place with the help of chemical substances. Because in spite of the special complex society, ants in the ant colony never end up in traffic jams. For the flow of their wrong faith ants mainly on their sense of smell. The animals secrete odorous substances during walking, so-called pheromones. Pheromones are natural odor molecules that ensure that a message can be transmitted between individuals of the same species. One of the functions of a pheromone can be to promote sexual attraction.

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