Home > Papers from 2013 > Navigating in the mudflats

Navigating in the mudflats

Implicit to much of the science that we do is the idea that our study insects share a navigational repertoire which they implement in broadly similar ways. However, outside of the superstars of insect navigation research (e.g. apis and cataglyphis) we have only piecemeal evidence. Studies, such as this by Narendra et al, which use simple behavioral demonstrations to verify the presence and balance of visual navigation and Path Integration, are perhaps rarer than they should be. The ‘new’ species in question here is Polyrachis sokolova. Interesting because it occupies an intertidal niche.  The displacement experiments show that this ant has accurate Path Integration and visual cue use. Interestingly, we also see that the execution of a complete PI home vector depends on the ant being in a familiar visual scene; The kind of interaction which hints at interesting computations during insect navigation.

Ajay Narendra, Chloé A. Raderschall and Simon K. A. Robson (2013) Homing abilities of the Australian intertidal ant Polyrhachis sokolova. J Exp Biol 2013 216:3674-3681.

Categories: Papers from 2013

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