Morphology of antennal cleaner in some selected ant species: A scanning electron microscopy study
Antennal cleaners are cuticular structures found in insects like ants which help them in antennal grooming. A well groomed antenna is important for better olfactory sensory perception. Scanning electron microscopy studies on the morphological features of antennal cleaners in some selected ants revealed structural differences like the presence of abundant brushes on the tarsal notches, tarsal comb with abundant tines, and presence of spines among the antennal cleaners of the ants. Differences even if subtle point towards different strategies of antennal grooming adopted by the ants. Bristles, brushes and spines present on the antennal cleaners are components of the antennal cleaner used for different grooming tasks such as adhesion and scraping mechanisms. Further significant differences in the morphometrical features of the antennal cleaners, which probably have a bearing with the life styles of each ants were reported.