Tomer J Czaczkes

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Foragers of many ant species use pheromone trails to guide nestmates to food sources. During foraging, individual workers can also learn the route to a food source. Foragers of the mass-recruiting ant Lasius niger use both pheromone trails and memory to locate a food source. As a result, an experienced forager can have a conflict between social information(More)
Insect workers cooperate to carry out a variety of tasks. One example is cooperative transport of food items by two or more ant workers, which is important in foraging in many species. We predicted that natural selection would result in strategies that improve the performance of this task and tested this in Pheidole oxyops, a Neotropical ant in which ca.(More)
Positive feedback plays a major role in the emergence of many collective animal behaviours. In many ants pheromone trails recruit and direct nestmate foragers to food sources. The strong positive feedback caused by trail pheromones allows fast collective responses but can compromise flexibility. Previous laboratory experiments have shown that when the(More)
Ants are key model organisms in the study of navigation and memory formation. Many ants learn food locations very quickly and with high accuracy. But can individual ants learn multiple separate food locations, associate them with a cue, and then correctly recall the food location and navigate towards it when later presented with that cue? In this(More)
Ants are central place foragers and use multiple information sources to navigate between the nest and feeding sites. Individual ants rapidly learn a route, and often prioritize memory over pheromone trails when tested on a simple trail with a single bifurcation. However, in nature, ants often forage at locations that are reached via more complex routes with(More)
Cooperation in foraging through information sharing is widespread in social insects and has been much studied. In contrast, cooperative transport of food items by groups of workers is less common and has received comparatively little attention. We investigated collective food retrieval in the Neotropical ant Pheidole oxyops, a ground-nesting species in(More)
Ant foraging is an important model system in the study of adaptive complex systems. Many ants use trail pheromones to recruit nestmates to resources. Differential recruitment depending on resource quality coupled with positive feedback allows ant colonies to make rapid and accurate collective decisions about how best to allocate their work-force. However,(More)
Communication of feeding locations is widespread in social animals. Many ants use pheromone trails to guide nestmates to food sources, but trail properties and how they are used vary. The ant Pheidole oxyops retrieves prey cooperatively using multiple workers. The recruited workers are guided to the prey by a pheromone trail laid by the initial discoverer.(More)
Individual animals are adept at making decisions and have cognitive abilities, such as memory, which allow them to hone their decisions. Social animals can also share information. This allows social animals to make adaptive group-level decisions. Both individual and collective decision-making systems also have drawbacks and limitations, and while both are(More)
Trail pheromones do more than simply guide social insect workers from point A to point B. Recent research has revealed additional ways in which they help to regulate colony foraging, often via positive and negative feedback processes that influence the exploitation of the different resources that a colony has knowledge of. Trail pheromones are often(More)