The detection of colors by red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta

Monday, November 17, 2014: 10:12 AM
Portland Ballroom 255 (Oregon Convention Center)
Jason R. Carbaugh , Entomology, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX
S. Bradleigh Vinson , Department of Entomology, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX
Ants rely heavily on chemical perception in their environment, but they also use visual perception. Color vision can be an important aspect of visual perception for ants. However, the perception of colors has been studied in only a few ant species. For this study, the color vision of Solenopsis invicta was investigated, while observing the digging behavior of the workers with the use of colored glass beads. Based on the results of previous studies with other ant species, the hypothesis is that S. invicta workers will remove more of the green, orange, and red colored glass beads compared to the other colored glass beads by digging. The colored glass beads used in the study consisted of blue, green, yellow, orange, and red. Each observation consisted of two different colored glass beads mixed together in equal amounts. Then the workers were allowed to dig into the colored glass beads. The number of beads retrieved by the workers was collected and each color was counted to determine if there was any potential color vision preference for S. invicta.