Ants have a well developed olfactory sense, which they need both for the perception of environmental chemicals, and for a highly sophisticated intraspecific communication system based on pheromones. The question arises therefore as to how different odors are coded in the antennal lobe, the first central neuropil to process olfactory information. We measured odor-evoked activity patterns using in vivo neuropil calcium recording in the antennal lobe of the ant Camponotus rufipes. We found that (a) odors elicit focal activity spots (diameter ca. 20 μm) which most probably represent the olfactory glomeruli; (b) different odors are coded in odor specific patterns of such activated spots, and a particular spot can participate in the pattern for different odors; (c) calcium increased in the activated spots within the 2-s stimulation period and slowly declined thereafter.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics