Based on a brief description of the general brain morphology of Camponotus floridanus, development of the brain is examined in ants of different ages (pupa to 10 months). During this period, brain volume increases by approximately 20 % while the antennal lobes and the mushroom body neuropile show a more substantial growth, almost doubling their volume. In addition to the age-dependent changes, the volume of the mushroom body neuropile also increases as a consequence of behavioural activity associated with brood care and foraging. Foraging activity may lead to a more than 50 % additional increase in mushroom body neuropile volume. It is unlikely that the growth of mushroom body neuropile results from cell proliferation because no neurogenesis could be observed in adult ant brains.
Age-dependent and task-related morphological changes in the brain and the mushroom bodies of the ant Camponotus floridanus
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W Gronenberg, S Heeren, B Hölldobler; Age-dependent and task-related morphological changes in the brain and the mushroom bodies of the ant Camponotus floridanus. J Exp Biol 1 September 1996; 199 (9): 2011–2019. doi: https://doi.org/10.1242/jeb.199.9.2011
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