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In this paper, we present an adaptive routing and wavelength assignment algorithm based on the ant colony optimization meta-heuristics. We propose a modification on the routing part of a previously published ant-based algorithm to enhance the performance in terms of blocking probability. In addition, we propose two new approaches for the wavelength assignment part: most-used and least-used. These two new approaches can be implemented by the deployment of a new structure at the optical nodes and by the straightforward collecting of wavelength usage in the links traversed by the ants.