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Memory Effect On Predatory Behaviour of Odontomachus Troglodytes (Formicidae - Ponerinae)

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Naive hunting workers of Odontomachus troglodytes will attack larvae of the Chrysomelidae. These larvae exhibit a secretory reflexive defense. The first experiment showed that even if a hunter has palpated or attacked a chrysomeline larva only one time, it will avoid or flee this type of prey on subsequent encounters. The second experiment showed that this memory of the first contact lasts at least 28 days. The escape behaviour shown by the hunters is compared to other kinds of locomotion.

Affiliations: 1: Laboratoire d'Ethologie, Université Paris X, Ave. Jean Baptiste Clément, 93430 Villetaneuse, France

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