Temporal learning in the giant tropical ant, Paraponera clavata

Jon Harrison, MICHAEL D. BREED

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


ABSTRACT. Our findings suggest that the capacity for temporal learning in ants may be associated with nectivory. We tested for the existence of time and location learning in the nectivorous tropical ant, Paraponera clavata (F.). Artificial nectar sources were provided at fixed times and locations to P. clavata workers for 5 days. Ants appeared at the feeding location at the appropriate time on the first day that no reward was provided. By the third day without reward there was no difference in visitation between the feeding site and a control site equidistant from the colony. Most ants arrived at the feeding sites within 30 min of the training time, indicating that the precision of ant time sense is similar to that previously documented for honeybees.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)317-320
Number of pages4
JournalPhysiological Entomology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1987
Externally publishedYes


  • ants
  • Formicidae
  • Paraponera clavata
  • Ponerinae
  • Temporal learning
  • time sense

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Insect Science


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