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From Stimulus to Behavioral Decision-Making

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Front. Behav. Neurosci. | doi: 10.3389/fnbeh.2018.00074

Assessment of appetitive behavior in honey bee dance followers

Mariel A. Moauro1,  Maria S. Balbuena1 and  Walter M. Farina1*
  • 1IFIBYNE-CONICET, Department of Biodiversity and Experimental Biology, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina

Honey bees transfer different informational components of the discovered feeding source to their nestmates during the waggle dance. To decode the multicomponent information of this complex behavior, dance followers have to attend to the most relevant signal elements while filtering out less relevant ones. To achieve that, dance followers should present improved abilities to acquire information compared with those bees not engaged in this behavior. Through proboscis extension response assays, sensory and cognitive abilities were tested in follower and non-follower bees. Individuals were captured within the hive, immediately after following waggle runs or a bit further from the dancer. Both behavioral categories present low and similar spontaneous odor responses. However, followers exhibit differences in responsiveness to sucrose and odor discrimination: followers showed increased gustatory responsiveness and, after olfactory differential conditioning, better memory retention than non-followers. Thus, the abilities of the dance followers related to appetitive behavior would allow them to improve the acquisition of the dance surrounding information.

Keywords: Apis mellifera, waggle dance, Gustatory responsiveness, olfactory conditioning, proboscis extension response

Received: 22 Feb 2018; Accepted: 05 Apr 2018.

Edited by:

Gérard Coureaud, UMR5292 Centre de Recherche en Neurosciences de Lyon (CRNL), France

Reviewed by:

Nina Deisig, UMR7618 Institut d'écologie et des sciences de l'environnement de Paris (IEES), France
Jean-Marc Devaud, Université Toulouse III Paul Sabatier, France  

Copyright: © 2018 Moauro, Balbuena and Farina. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Prof. Walter M. Farina, Universidad de Buenos Aires, IFIBYNE-CONICET, Department of Biodiversity and Experimental Biology, Departamento de Biodiversidad y Biologia Experimental, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Ciudad Universitaria s/n, Pabellon II, Buenos Aires, 1428, Argentina, walter@bg.fcen.uba.ar