Home > Papers from 2015 > Tandem running during natural foraging

Tandem running during natural foraging

Most studies of the tandem running of ants have been from the Bristol group, where they have looked at how ants share information during nest relocation. This paper looks at tandem runs in a natural foraging situation. The experiment involves following a pair of ants and then separating them at the midpoint of their route towards a familiar foraging tree. By tracking the erstwhile followers after a separation it is possible to gauge their level of knowledge. It seems that in this situation many followers are not actually naive to the tree location. This raises interesting questions about the function of the tandem runs. It might be that the tandem running is required to recruit experienced foragers to new locations within a tree. Future experiments will, no doubt, uncover this.
Schultheiss, P., Raderschall, C. A., & Narendra, A. (2015). Follower ants in a tandem pair are not always naïve. Scientific Reports5. 10747; doi: 10.1038/srep10747 (2015).
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