Fast trap jaws and giant neurons in the ant Odontomachus

Wulfila Gronenberg, Jürgen Tautz, Berthold Hoelldobler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

52 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Ants of the ponerine genus Odontomachus use a trap jaw mechanism when hunting fast prey. When particular trigger hairs, located on the inner edge of the mandibles, are touched by prey, the jaws close extremely rapidly and trap the target. This trap jaw response lasts only 0.33 to 1 millisecond. Electrophysiological recordings demonstrated that the trigger hairs function as mechanoreceptors. Associated with each trigger hair are large sensory cells, the sensory axons of which measure 15 to 20 micrometers in diameter. These are among the largest sensory neurons, and their size implies that these axons conduct information very rapidly.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)561-563
Number of pages3
JournalScience
Volume262
Issue number5133
StatePublished - 1993
Externally publishedYes

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Ants
Jaw
Neurons
Axons
Mechanoreceptors
Sensory Receptor Cells
Mandible

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

Cite this

Gronenberg, W., Tautz, J., & Hoelldobler, B. (1993). Fast trap jaws and giant neurons in the ant Odontomachus. Science, 262(5133), 561-563.

Fast trap jaws and giant neurons in the ant Odontomachus. / Gronenberg, Wulfila; Tautz, Jürgen; Hoelldobler, Berthold.

In: Science, Vol. 262, No. 5133, 1993, p. 561-563.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Gronenberg, W, Tautz, J & Hoelldobler, B 1993, 'Fast trap jaws and giant neurons in the ant Odontomachus', Science, vol. 262, no. 5133, pp. 561-563.
Gronenberg, Wulfila ; Tautz, Jürgen ; Hoelldobler, Berthold. / Fast trap jaws and giant neurons in the ant Odontomachus. In: Science. 1993 ; Vol. 262, No. 5133. pp. 561-563.
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