Memory of location and site recognition in the ant Formica uralensis (Hymenoptera : Formicidae)

Citation
O. Salo et R. Rosengren, Memory of location and site recognition in the ant Formica uralensis (Hymenoptera : Formicidae), ETHOLOGY, 107(8), 2001, pp. 737-752
Citations number
31
Language
INGLESE
art.tipo
Article
Categorie Soggetti
Animal Sciences","Neurosciences & Behavoir
Journal title
ETHOLOGY
ISSN journal
0179-1613 → ACNP
Volume
107
Issue
8
Year of publication
2001
Pages
737 - 752
Database
ISI
SICI code
0179-1613(200108)107:8<737:MOLASR>2.0.ZU;2-W
Abstract
Spatial recognition cues used in site fidelity in the ant Formica uralensis Ruzsky were studied using outdoor and laboratory arenas. Ant workers visit ing symmetrically spaced feeders were colour-marked corresponding to the in itial feeder visited during sampling. The effect of manipulating environmen tal cues on the mean 'spatial specialization' of the population was measure d. Site recognition appears to be based on visual landmark/canopy cues. How ever, ants maintained some fidelity when shielded from these cues, suggesti ng the involvement of additional cues. When ridding our experimental device of olfactory deposits and shielding Visual cues, site fidelity was lost. I diothetic and/or geomagnetic cues are thought to provide spatial references to visual or olfactory landmarks. Altering nest position relative to the a rena and changing the geomagnetic field within the arena in our study, howe ver, did nothing to the site fidelity of visually deprived and non-deprived foragers. We conclude that site fidelity is developed in a visually structured enviro nment but supplemented by an olfactory backup system that is probably based on discrete home range markings rather than radial odour trails. We demons trate furthermore that the visual component involved in site location can b e stored in the memory of individual F. uralensis foragers during a 6-month hibernation period.