Directed aerial descent in canopy ants

  title={Directed aerial descent in canopy ants},
  author={Stephen P. Yanoviak and Robert Dudley and Michael Kaspari},
Numerous non-flying arboreal vertebrates use controlled descent (either parachuting or gliding sensu stricto ) to avoid predation or to locate resources, and directional control during a jump or fall is thought to be an important stage in the evolution of flight. Here we show that workers of the neotropical ant Cephalotes atratus L. (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) use directed aerial descent to return to their home tree trunk with >80% success during a fall. Videotaped falls reveal that C. atratus… 

Evolution and ecology of directed aerial descent in arboreal ants.

This work builds upon the discovery of DAD in ants of tropical canopies by summarizing its known phylogenetic distribution among ant genera, and within both the subfamily Pseudomyrmecinae and the genus Cephalotes, and indicates that the presence of a postpetiole is not essential for the behavior.

Arachnid aloft: directed aerial descent in neotropical canopy spiders

Along with the occurrence of directed aerial descent in ants, jumping bristletails, and other wingless hexapods, this discovery of targeted gliding in selenopid spiders further indicates strong selective pressures against uncontrolled falls into the understory for arboreal taxa.

The View from the Trees: Nocturnal Bull Ants, Myrmecia midas, Use the Surrounding Panorama While Descending from Trees

It is shown that views acquired at the base of the foraging tree nest can provide reliable nest-ward orientation up to 1.75 m above the ground, and how animals descending from trees compare their current scene to a memorised scene is discussed and the similarities in visually guided behaviour while navigating on the ground and descend from trees are reported.

Gliding hexapods and the origins of insect aerial behaviour

It is shown that tropical arboreal bristletails (Archaeognatha) direct their horizontal trajectories to tree trunks in approximately 90 per cent of falls, consistent with the hypothesis of a terrestrial origin for winged flight in insects.

Canopy parkour: movement ecology of post-hatch dispersal in a gliding nymphal stick insect (Extatosoma tiaratum)

To effectively disperse into canopies, ground-hatched stick insects use gravity and visual cues to navigate during midday, jump to cross air gaps and respond to threat or perturbation with self-dropping, supporting the importance of a diurnal niche in addition to the arboreal spatial niche, in the evolution of gliding in winglessArboreal invertebrates.

Aerial manoeuvrability in wingless gliding ants (Cephalotes atratus)

Overall, the control of gliding flight was remarkably robust to dramatic anatomical perturbations, suggesting effective control mechanisms in the face of adverse initial conditions (e.g. falling upside down), variable targeting decisions and turbulent wind gusts during flight.

The descent of ant: field-measured performance of gliding ants

It is determined that righting phase duration, glide angle, and path directness all significantly influence variation in glide index, and that ants are not passive gliders and that they exert active control over the aerodynamic forces they experience during their descent.

The role of visual cues in directed aerial descent of Cephalotes atratus workers (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

It is concluded that visually mediated aerial behavior in falling canopy ants is strongly influenced by reflectance properties of the target object, specifically brightness, and correlates with preferred natural targets of tree trunks.

The Ecology and Feeding Habits of the Arboreal Trap-Jawed Ant Daceton armigerum

Here we show that Daceton armigerum, an arboreal myrmicine ant whose workers are equipped with hypertrophied trap-jaw mandibles, is characterized by a set of unexpected biological traits including



Ant odometry in the third dimension

This work investigates for the first time how an animal's odometer operates when a path integration task has to be accomplished that includes a vertical component.

Relationships Between Pretarsus Morphology and Arboreal Life in Ponerine Ants of the Genus Pachycondyla (Formicidae: Ponerinae)

Abstract Morphological traits of the pretarsa, especially the tarsal claws and arolia, of 15 arboreal or ground-dwelling species of the genus Pachycondyla demonstrate that two types of morphologies

Effects of birds on the intensity of ant rain: a terrestrial form of invertebrate drift

  • P. Haemig
  • Environmental Science
    Animal Behaviour
  • 1997
This continuous rain of free-falling ants, from trees to the ground, is analogous to the drift of invertebrates in freshwater streams, and provides ecologists with an easily replicated terrestrial system for studying the phenomenon of drift.

Kinematics: Gliding flight in the paradise tree snake

The three-dimensional kinematics of gliding by the paradise tree snake, Chrysopelea paradisi, indicate that the aerial behaviour of this snake is unlike that of any other glider and that it can exert remarkable control over the direction it takes, despite an apparent lack of control surfaces.

Defensive behavior and associated morphological features in three species of the ant genusParacryptocerus

SummaryField observations on the defensive behavior of individual workers of three Costa Rican species ofParacryptocerus are described. Two very different «strategies» are revealed.P. umbraculatus

How plants shape the ant community in the Amazonian rainforest canopy: the key role of extrafloral nectaries and homopteran honeydew

It is hypothesized that the high availability of homopteran honeydew provides a key resource for ant mosaics, where dominant ant colonies and species maintain mutually exclusive territories on trees.

Community structure and the habitat templet: ants in the tropical forest canopy and litter

The canopy and litter templets subsume a number of environmental gradients that combine to shape ant community structure that include less activity, less interference, less differentiation across the landscape, and different size distributions than canopy assemblages.

Field observations on the social behavior of the flying lizard, Draco volans sumatranus, in Borneo

A database of tropical reef-fishes of the western Pacific Indonesia and adjacent waters and an analysis of the genera of surgeon fishes (family Acanthuridae) from 1955 to 1975.

Aerodynamic stability and maneuverability of the gliding frog Polypedates dennysi.

  • M. G. McCay
  • Biology, Environmental Science
    The Journal of experimental biology
  • 2001
The physical mechanisms used by frogs to glide and maneuver were investigated using a combination of observations of live frogs (Polypedates dennysi) gliding in a tilted wind-tunnel and aerodynamic forces and torques measured from physical models of tree frogs in a wind- Tunnel.