Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for June, 2013

The Australian Jack Jumper ant, Myrmecia croslandi. Canberra.

The Australian Jack Jumper ant, Myrmecia croslandi. Canberra.

Jack Jumper ants, Myrmecia croslandi, are one of these unusual day-active animals in which individuals from a single nest typically head to nest specific Eucalyptus trees. Some individuals make brief forays in other compass directions but for short distances. In our latest article, we show that when individual ants are moved to locations where they have never been to before, they return home directly. It is quite remarkable that animals make this decision of heading home within just a few seconds.

Examples of homing trajectories of ants from three nests. Ants were captured at the tree (star) and displaced to different compass direction around the nest. Ants both with (red paths) and without vector (blue paths) return home directly to the nest (yellow circle)

Examples of homing trajectories of ants from three nests. Ants were captured at the tree (star) and displaced to different compass directions (white circles) around the nest. Ants both with (red paths) and without vector (blue paths) return home directly to the nest (yellow circle).

We suggest that if ants compare the visual scene available at the displaced location with memorised nest views from different directions, it is theoretically possible to return home directly.

Reference: Ajay Narendra, Sarah Gourmaud, Jochen Zeil. 2013. Mapping the navigational knowledge of individually foraging ants, Myrmecia croslandi. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 280: 20130683.

Unfortunately, the paper is not freely available. Email me for a copy.

ABC covered this article with a nice interview from Jochen Zeil.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »