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Behavioural ecology of mass recruitment in the army ant Neivamyrmex nigrescens


, : Behavioural ecology of mass recruitment in the army ant Neivamyrmex nigrescens. Animal Behaviour, 283: 779-789

The successful rearing of the army ant N. nigrescens in the laboratory has indicated that the pheromone trail deposited by recruiting workers is qualitatively different from the ants' exploratory trail. The recruitment trail alone can initiate as strong a mass recruitment response as can a recruiting worker that physically interacts with nestmates. The rapidity with which workers are aroused is due to secondary recruitment. Army ants are able to assemble a critical striking force before food is located, as a result of mass recruitment to new terrain. In addition to feeding behavior, mass recruitment occurs when army ants emigrate to new nests. In both behavior contexts, primary and secondary recruiters run more rapidly, with exagerrated vertical motor patterns, than exploring ants.

US$19.90

DOI: 10.1016/s0003-3472(80)80138-2


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