The influence of the few: a stable 'oligarchy' controls information flow in house-hunting ants.

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State: Public
Version: Final published version
Serval ID
serval:BIB_4E2847D3C9AB
Type
Article: article from journal or magazin.
Collection
Publications
Title
The influence of the few: a stable 'oligarchy' controls information flow in house-hunting ants.
Journal
Proceedings. Biological sciences
Author(s)
Richardson T.O., Mullon C., Marshall JAR, Franks N.R., Schlegel T.
ISSN
1471-2954 (Electronic)
ISSN-L
0962-8452
Publication state
Published
Issued date
14/02/2018
Peer-reviewed
Oui
Volume
285
Number
1872
Pages
20172726
Language
english
Notes
Publication types: Journal Article ; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
Publication Status: ppublish
Abstract
Animals that live together in groups often face difficult choices, such as which food resource to exploit, or which direction to flee in response to a predator. When there are costs associated with deadlock or group fragmentation, it is essential that the group achieves a consensus decision. Here, we study consensus formation in emigrating ant colonies faced with a binary choice between two identical nest-sites. By individually tagging each ant with a unique radio-frequency identification microchip, and then recording all ant-to-ant 'tandem runs'-stereotyped physical interactions that communicate information about potential nest-sites-we assembled the networks that trace the spread of consensus throughout the colony. Through repeated emigrations, we show that both the order in which these networks are assembled and the position of each individual within them are consistent from emigration to emigration. We demonstrate that the formation of the consensus is delegated to an influential but exclusive minority of highly active individuals-an 'oligarchy'-which is further divided into two subgroups, each specialized upon a different tandem running role. Finally, we show that communication primarily occurs between subgroups not within them, and further, that such between-group communication is more efficient than within-group communication.
Keywords
Animal Communication, Animals, Ants/physiology, Choice Behavior, Decision Making, Nesting Behavior, Social Behavior, animal behaviour, communication, decision-making, division of labour, network analysis, social insect
Pubmed
Web of science
Open Access
Yes
Create date
23/02/2018 12:43
Last modification date
20/08/2019 14:03
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