Article

Homing Behaviour in Polyergus rufescens Latr. (Hymenoptera, Formicidae)

Ethology (Impact Factor: 1.95). 01/2010; 102(1):99-108. DOI: 10.1111/j.1439-0310.1996.tb01107.x

ABSTRACT Homing mechanisms of the European slave-making ant Polyergus rufescens Latr. are investigated by field experiments. The analysis of the behaviour and paths of both homing scouts and raiders after passive displacement showed that: i. Scouts probably home by using a path integration system based on celestial cues; and ii. Displaced raiders do not seem to adopt such a vectorial orientation mechanism. Moreover, we found that passively displaced scouts exhibit a systematic search strategy for the nest after a rectilinear path. By contrast, raiders perform a similar search pattern just after release. Similarities between Cataglyphis and Polyergus homing behaviour are discussed.

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