Past experience: a help or a hindrance to Vespula germanica foragers?
LOZADA MARIANA; D'ADAMO, PAOLA
JOURNAL OF INSECT BEHAVIOR
Año: 2011 vol. 24 p. 159 - 166
In this study we investigate associative learning related to food location in Vespula germanica social wasps. Wasps were trained to associate a certain location with food, and their behaviour after food displacement was recorded. The effect of a different number of previous feeding experiences on the detection of the novel food source was evaluated. When these wasps associated a certain location with food, they returned to the original site despite the fact that food was no longer available. This occurred even when a new food source was placed very close to the learned location. The results demonstrate that this learning seems to temporarily impair the detection of new food sources. We discuss how previous experience seems to condition perception, delaying the detection of more rewarding contexts.