Home > Papers from 2013 > Group recruitment in desert ants

Group recruitment in desert ants

With studies of desert ant navigation, it is expected that one is studying solitary foragers. the age-old argument goes suggests that the harsh conditions mean that chemical signals would not be reliable.  However, Sommer et al. provide evidence that even in harsh (>60C) conditions some ants can use chemical signals as part of a group recruitment strategy, where a single knowledgeable ant is able to lead groups of ants through the occasional deposition of pheromone markers. This can be used to get teams to new resources many metres from the nest.

Sommer, Weibel, Blaser, Furrer, Wenzler, Ro¨ssler, Wehner (2013) Group recruitment in a thermophilic desert ant, Ocymyrmex robustior. J Comp Physiol A. doi: 10.1007/s00359-013-0830-x

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