The effects of electromagnetic radiation on ant pheromones. (Senior Division).
This investigation attempted to determine the relationship between
exposure to ultraviolet tight and the degradation of a pheromone trail
laid by black carpenter ants. This was done by allowing the ants to run
along an 11-inch length of plastic tubing (which kept the ants from
wandering) and finding a food source, then to return down the tube.
Afterwards, the plastic tubing was removed and the trail was exposed to
either ultraviolet light or darkness for five minutes, after which a
second ant was allowed to follow the trail without a guide tube. The
distance from the trail was measured at three points, and it was found
that the ants following the trail exposed to ultraviolet strayed on
average 2.4 times as far from the trail as did those in the control
group Also, six times as many ants in the ultraviolet group did not
detect a trail as in the control group. Nevertheless, because of
unforeseen error sources, this experiment proved to be inconclusive.
Ko-Chun Wang, Cherry Creek High School.