Ant workers exhibit specialization and memory during raft formation.

Details

Serval ID
serval:BIB_AD50ABD6EB78
Type
Article: article from journal or magazin.
Collection
Publications
Title
Ant workers exhibit specialization and memory during raft formation.
Journal
The Science of Nature
Author(s)
Avril A., Purcell J., Chapuisat M.
ISSN
1432-1904 (Electronic)
ISSN-L
0028-1042
Publication state
Published
Issued date
2016
Peer-reviewed
Oui
Volume
103
Number
36
Pages
1-6
Language
english
Abstract
By working together, social insects achieve tasks that are beyond the reach of single individuals. A striking example of collective behaviour is self-assembly, a process in which individuals link their bodies together to form structures such as chains, ladders, walls or rafts. To get insight into how individual behavioural variation affects the formation of self-assemblages, we investigated the presence of task specialization and the role of past experience in the construction of ant rafts. We subjected groups of Formica selysi workers to two consecutive floods and monitored the position of individuals in rafts. Workers showed specialization in their positions when rafting, with the same individuals consistently occupying the top, middle, base or side position in the raft. The presence of brood modified workers' position and raft shape. Surprisingly, workers' experience in the first rafting trial with brood influenced their behaviour and raft shape in the subsequent trial without brood. Overall, this study sheds light on the importance of workers' specialization and memory in the formation of self-assemblages.
Keywords
Animals, Ants/physiology, Behavior, Animal/physiology, Floods, Memory, Social Behavior
Pubmed
Web of science
Create date
06/04/2016 13:54
Last modification date
03/03/2018 20:29
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