Ants Food Experiment

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Ants foraging activity: the type of sugar concentration preference
R. J. Matlhabe, 212560085
School of Biological and Conservation Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal Pietermaritzburg, Private Bag X01, Scottsville 3209, South Africa
ABSTRACT
Ants normally select food as a group and select the type of food preference depends on the availability, palatability and accessibility of the food. The selection of food must result in the success of individuals. This study investigated if ants showed preferential forage selection when exposed to different sugar concentrated solutions. Three types of sugar concentrated solutions (5%, 15% and 30%) were placed around an ant hive for 60 minutes. The number of ants found in each sugar concentration was recorded
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The preference of food by ants has been studied such as Barbani (2003), studied the food preference and activity of Odorous house ants, and O’Brien (2005) studied the Red imported fire ants and their preference in liquid feeding. It has been seen that ants can as act predators, scavengers, herbivores, detrivores and granivores (Holldobler and Wilson, 1990; Holway et al., 2002) and they choose food which varies in abundance, accessibility, palatability and nutritional value (Goud). The digestive system also plays a role in the type of food to be selected because the intake of food. The digestive enzymes of ants are able to breakdown solid foods and hence most ants prefer liquid sugary food because it easy to digest than the other times of food (Barbani, 2003; Ricks and Vison, 2004). In this will determine ant’s foraging preference when exposed to different sugar concentrated solutions. The objective is to determine foraging preference of ants by observing and measuring their selection between three different sugar concentrated solutions (5%, 15%, and 30%). The hypothesis is that ants prefer high sugar concentrated solutions than low sugar concentrated solutions. The prediction is that most ants will prefer high concentrated solution (30%) than the less concentrated solution…show more content…
There is a significant difference (p-0.009) on the type of the sugar concentrated solution preferred (Table 1). The interactions between treatments indicate that there is significant difference between the 5% and the 30% sugar concentrated solutions preference by ants compared to the 15% and 30% sugar concentrated which is insignificant (Table 2). We therefore can accept the hypothesis that ants prefer high concentrated sugar solution than the less concentrated. In most studies it has been shown that ants prefer sugary foods and according to Went et al. (1972) it is because sugar is in abundance, it is easy to store, provides high energy levels and its ease of digestion. In the time interval of 10
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