Bi-directional route learning in wood ants

Graham, Paul and Collett, Thomas S (2006) Bi-directional route learning in wood ants. Journal of Experimental Biology, 209 (18). pp. 3677-3684. ISSN 0022-0949

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Some ants and bees readily learn visually guided routes between their nests and feeding sites. They can learn the appearance of visual landmarks for the food-bound or homeward segment of the route when these landmarks are only present during that particular segment of their round trip. We show here that wood ants can also acquire landmark information for guiding their homeward path while running their food-bound path, and that this information may be picked up, when ants briefly reverse direction and retrace their steps for a short distance. These short periods of looking back tend to occur early in route acquisition and are more frequent on homeward than on food-bound segments.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: All authors contributed equally to the experimental design, execution, analysis and manuscript preparation. The paper reports on the first demonstration that insects can use visual information learnt on a food-bound route to guide their way home.
Schools and Departments: School of Life Sciences > Evolution, Behaviour and Environment
Depositing User: Paul Graham
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 19:04
Last Modified: 20 Mar 2012 13:59
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