Sand pile formation in Dorymyrmex ants

Tofilski, Adam and Ratnieks, Francis L W (2005) Sand pile formation in Dorymyrmex ants. Journal of Insect Behaviour, 18 (4). pp. 505-512. ISSN 0892-7553

Full text not available from this repository.


We studied circular sand pile formation by two colonies of Brazilian Dorymyrmex ants, in which workers dumped sand excavated from their underground nest around the nest entrance hole. In most cases a worker dumped its load just beyond the ridge of the pile. Each dumped piece either stayed where it was deposited (81.9% in colony A and 73.0% in colony B) or rolled down the outer slope of the sand pile away from the entrance (17.9% in colony A and 27.0% in colony B). Ants almost never dumped in a way that resulted in the load rolling back to the entrance. When one side of the sand pile was experimentally removed, ants preferentially dumped soil on the now flat side, thereby restoring the original circular shape.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Life Sciences > Evolution, Behaviour and Environment
Depositing User: Francis Ratnieks
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 20:29
Last Modified: 22 Mar 2012 09:22
📧 Request an update