Ants are a type of foraging insect species which harvests food resources based on availability. When ants locate food resources that are scarce within their habitat, they tend to be more strongly attracted to that food resource. This study used protein, carbohydrate and control based baits to examine if there was a deficiency in resources demonstrated by the ants at two different wetland habitats. We sampled Argentine ants (Linepithema humileMayr) within the saltwater and freshwater marshes of Ballona Wetlands in Los Angeles, CA. We found significant differences in the rapid deployment of Argentine ants towards protein baits over carbohydrate and control baits. We saw more Argentine ants at the protein baits in the saltwater marshes than in the freshwater marshes. We propose that a protein limitation exists in both wetland habitats with increased protein limitation in the saltwater marshes.
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Moore, M., M. Tansuwan, and V. Carmona-Galindo (2013). Differential bait preference and rate of attraction by Argentine ants (Linepithema humile Mayr) at freshwater and saltwater marsh sites in southern California. BIOS 84(4): 232–236.