Ant chemical trails and detectors Moved to Biology

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1. How do you remove ants chemical trails on the wall? Water and rug not enough?

2. What are the exact details of the ants incredible chemical sensors in their antenna? How can they able to tell the difference between a hydrocarbon with 25 carbon atoms versus 24 atoms?

3. Lastly, is there an electronic detector that can smell the chemical trails of ants?

References:

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.wa...-crazy-refined-sense-of-smell/?outputType=amp

"These guys can smell almost any hydrocarbon we offered to them," Ray said. "Along with it, we also discovered not only did they have a very extensive olfactory system, they are also able to distinguish very well between very closely related [compounds]. They are able to tell the difference between a hydrocarbon with 25 carbon atoms versus 24 atoms."
 

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  • #2
Drakkith
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1. How do you remove ants chemical trails on the wall? Water and rug not enough?
Soap and water should work fine if I had to guess. Most biologically generated molecules are fairly susceptible to soap and water.

2. What are the exact details of the ants incredible chemical sensors in their antenna? How can they able to tell the difference between a hydrocarbon with 25 carbon atoms versus 24 atoms?
Just like your nose does. The receptors function sort of like a lock while the the molecules being smelled function sort of like a key. Adding another atom onto a molecule typically makes it change shape and not fit into its 'lock' and so it either doesn't bind or doesn't bind very well.
 
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By the way. I read somewhere humans may use quantum to smell (just google it).

Do ants use quantum too? Like the version of the human quantum smell?
 
  • #4
Drakkith
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Nature behaves according to laws which are best described by qauntum physics (except gravity, so far). So, one could say that everything 'uses quantum'.
 
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2. What are the exact details of the ants incredible chemical sensors in their antenna? How can they able to tell the difference between a hydrocarbon with 25 carbon atoms versus 24 atoms?
See: Specialized odorant receptors in social insects

Basically it's a beautiful example of neuro-biochemistry. The following (Olfactory receptor neurons) is a description of the process in the human nose but I believe it's very similar to how ants follow chem trails. I assume the olfactory receptors are receptors (proteins) on the dendrites of olfactory neurons located on ant antenna (this is the lock described above). The resulting action potential is the physiological manifestation of "detection" very similar to the way serotonin and other neuro-transmitters work in the human brain:

ORs (olfactory receptors), which are located on the membranes of the cilia have been classified as a complex type of ligand-gated metabotropic channels.[6] There are approximately 1000 different genes that code for the ORs, making them the largest gene family. An odorant will dissolve into the mucus of the olfactory epithelium and then bind to an OR. ORs can bind to a variety of odor molecules, with varying affinities. The difference in affinities causes differences in activation patterns resulting in unique odorant profiles.[7][8] The activated OR in turn activates the intracellular G-protein, GOLF (GNAL), adenylate cyclase and production of cyclic AMP (cAMP) opens ion channels in the cell membrane, resulting in an influx of sodium and calcium ions into the cell, and an efflux of chloride ions. This influx of positive ions and efflux of negative ions causes the neuron to depolarize, generating an action potential.
 
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Nature behaves according to laws which are best described by qauntum physics (except gravity, so far). So, one could say that everything 'uses quantum'.

https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-21150046

I was referring to Dr. Turin specific theory.

"Molecules can be viewed as a collection of atoms on springs, so the atoms can move relative to one another. Energy of just the right frequency - a quantum - can cause the "springs" to vibrate, and in a 1996 paper in Chemical Senses Dr Turin said it was these vibrations that explained smell.
The mechanism, he added, was "inelastic electron tunnelling": in the presence of a specific "smelly" molecule, an electron within a smell receptor in your nose can "jump" - or tunnel - across it and dump a quantum of energy into one of the molecule's bonds - setting the "spring" vibrating."

Does ants use inelastic electron tunnelling in their smelling?
 
  • #7
jim mcnamara
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I do not know. So I did a search on both ArXiv and NIH - nothing returned a decent match.
So, when there is no research to help us to help you we are kind of stuck. So, let's just say we do not know, which is the most reasonable answer.

What you seem to be interested in - google scholar search 'Formicidae pheromones' - does result in the most numbers of `interesting papers. But not spot on the topic you want.
 
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Drakkith
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https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-21150046

I was referring to Dr. Turin specific theory.

"Molecules can be viewed as a collection of atoms on springs, so the atoms can move relative to one another. Energy of just the right frequency - a quantum - can cause the "springs" to vibrate, and in a 1996 paper in Chemical Senses Dr Turin said it was these vibrations that explained smell.
The mechanism, he added, was "inelastic electron tunnelling": in the presence of a specific "smelly" molecule, an electron within a smell receptor in your nose can "jump" - or tunnel - across it and dump a quantum of energy into one of the molecule's bonds - setting the "spring" vibrating."

Does ants use inelastic electron tunnelling in their smelling?
I think this just describes molecular bonding, which takes place when you smell as molecules in the air bond with receptors in your nose. The description here is very basic but good enough for the average layman.
 
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  • #9
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I saw these ants in my parking near a small garden. It is about 0.3 inches in length. I didn't see any half inch. What kinds of ants are these? It seems to Carpenter ants but they were nowhere to be half inch and not near any wood. And they weren't attracted to Borax (won't drink them).

what_ant1.jpg


what_ant2.jpg


https://www.pestworld.org/news-hub/pest-articles/ants-101/

Cant identify it from any of the pictures in the site. Got any clue? Thank you.
 
  • #10
Drakkith
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Cant identify it from any of the pictures in the site. Got any clue? Thank you.
What is your location? That's going to help significantly.
 
  • #11
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I already confirmed it was Carpenter Ants.

carpen1.jpg


carpen2.jpg



I spent many hours researching how to get rid of it. Whether to use Prallethrin, Delmathrin, Iminoprine, Cyberthrin, Ant dusts, Ant Granules, Finopril bait. Borax doesn't work.

Who has dealt with Carpenter Ants among you? How do you get rid of them? Fortunately, Our version is only 1/4" long. Who has seen 1 " long Carpenter Ants?
 

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