Archive for July, 2005

In an elegant study on the renowned Cataglyphis ant, the secret behind their remarkable ability of estimating distances has been found not to be involved with any visual cues at all. Their related hymenopterans, the honey bees and bumble bees use optic flow on their retina to calculate distances to reach both the food source and their hive. The absence of visual cues in ants, thus strengthens the possibility of distance estimation (odometry) to be driven by the pro-prio-receptors on the legs of these tiny fellows.

from: Thiellin-Bescond and Beugnon 2005. Naturwissenschaften 92: 193-197

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Ants of the species Pheidole magacephala recruit more nestmates, especially large numbers of soldiers, when they find hostile chemical cues around a food resource. A first for Myrmicines, soldiers castes of these ants carry liquid droplets under their head and thorax owing to surface tension, very similar to certain Ponerines.

from: Dejean et al,
Naturwissenschaften, 2005. 92: 324-327.

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