In an ant society, olfaction and mechanoreception plays a big role for communication, recruitment and for identifying nestmates from non-nestmates. An ant’s antennae is packed with a number of detectors, sensilla, that capture different kinds of information. While ant sensilla have been previously described, there have been huge discrepancies with sensilla often being misidentified or given different names. Together with Fiorella and Jochen, using high quality scanning electron microscope images we described a range of sensilla on the antennae of the the now famous bull ant, Myrmecia pyriformis. Given the inconsistent use of sensillum nomenclature and difficulties associated in reliable identification we consolidated the ant sensilla literature to make possible interspecific comparisons in the future.
Read more here: Esquivel FR, Zeil J & Narendra A. in press. The antennal sensory array of the nocturnal bull ant, Myrmecia pyriformis. Arthropod Structure and Development. DOI: 10.1016/j.asd.2014.07.004