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Emergence of a complex movement pattern in an unfamiliar food place by foraging ants
- Sakiyama, Tomoko
- Journal of comparative physiology 2019 v.205 no.1 pp. 61-66
- Formicidae, foraging, nests
- Although visual cues are essential for navigation in ants, few studies address movement dynamics in ants when they search and forage after finding food in an unfamiliar environment. Here I introduced Japanese wood ants to an unfamiliar food location by capturing individuals leaving their nest. The food was located at the centre of a straight, narrow, open-top channel. Next, I determined the segment lengths of the foraging paths of the ants between consecutive U-turns. I found that individuals travelled along characteristic and complex paths if they detected a visual landmark. This movement property was not detectable when individuals foraged in the channel without any visual landmarks. These results reveal the movement dynamics of ants when they encounter food in a novel place.