Title

The effect of pairing boric acid with xylose and sucrose at various concentrations on the foraging behavior of Pogonomyrmex barbatus

Author(s)

Taylor B. Ferguson

School Name

Spring Valley High School

Grade Level

10th Grade

Presentation Topic

Zoology

Presentation Type

Non-Mentored

Oral Presentation Award

1st Place

Abstract

The large range of ants and their attraction to sugar has become a problem due to their overwhelming populations in some areas. Attempts at their eradication has been difficult as ants have a natural drive to forage at all costs. The purpose of this study was to determine if ants were willing to forage a food source coated with varying concentrations of sugars even if a chemical threat was present. It was hypothesized that boric acid (15g) paired with sucrose (25g) in 100ml of water would yield the fastest times in trying to contact the food source. Trials were performed with boric acid paired with varying concentrations of xylose and sucrose dissolved into 100 ml of water which coated a food source. The ants were measured in seconds for the travel time, search time, and combined for an overall time. An ANOVA was used at an alpha value of 0.05 to analyze the three data sets. The first ANOVA on the travel time yielded [F(9,120)=4.58, p<0.001] with a standard deviation of 52 seconds. An ANOVA on the search times had a standard deviation of 42 seconds and resulted in [F(9,120)=4.25, p<0.001]. The ANOVA for overall times produced [F=(9,120)=4.58, p<0.001] with a standard deviation of 69 seconds. Scheffé tests performed for travel time indicated that sucrose (15g)/100ml and Xylose (15g) & Boric acid (15g)/100ml deviated most from the critical value, however, there was minimal variance amongst the means of all data sets.

Start Date

4-11-2015 11:00 AM

End Date

4-11-2015 11:15 AM

COinS
 
Apr 11th, 11:00 AM Apr 11th, 11:15 AM

The effect of pairing boric acid with xylose and sucrose at various concentrations on the foraging behavior of Pogonomyrmex barbatus

The large range of ants and their attraction to sugar has become a problem due to their overwhelming populations in some areas. Attempts at their eradication has been difficult as ants have a natural drive to forage at all costs. The purpose of this study was to determine if ants were willing to forage a food source coated with varying concentrations of sugars even if a chemical threat was present. It was hypothesized that boric acid (15g) paired with sucrose (25g) in 100ml of water would yield the fastest times in trying to contact the food source. Trials were performed with boric acid paired with varying concentrations of xylose and sucrose dissolved into 100 ml of water which coated a food source. The ants were measured in seconds for the travel time, search time, and combined for an overall time. An ANOVA was used at an alpha value of 0.05 to analyze the three data sets. The first ANOVA on the travel time yielded [F(9,120)=4.58, p<0.001] with a standard deviation of 52 seconds. An ANOVA on the search times had a standard deviation of 42 seconds and resulted in [F(9,120)=4.25, p<0.001]. The ANOVA for overall times produced [F=(9,120)=4.58, p<0.001] with a standard deviation of 69 seconds. Scheffé tests performed for travel time indicated that sucrose (15g)/100ml and Xylose (15g) & Boric acid (15g)/100ml deviated most from the critical value, however, there was minimal variance amongst the means of all data sets.