Head-on encounter rates and walking speed of foragers in leaf-cutting ant traffic

@article{Burd2003HeadonER,
  title={Head-on encounter rates and walking speed of foragers in leaf-cutting ant traffic},
  author={Martin Burd and Nuvan Aranwela},
  journal={Insectes Sociaux},
  year={2003},
  volume={50},
  pages={3-8}
}
Summary. Trail traffic of the leaf-cutting ant Atta cephalotes involves intermingled flows of outbound and returning foragers. Head-on encounters between workers from the opposite flows are a common occurrence in this traffic. Each encounter momentarily delays the two ants involved, and these small delays might pose a significant cost to the colony's foraging performance when summed over thousands of workers along many metres of trail. We videotaped outbound and returning foragers over a 1 m… 

Contact rate modulates foraging efficiency in leaf cutting ants

It is suggested that outgoing ants are able to collect information from inbound ants even when these latter do not carry any leaf fragment and that this information can influence their foraging decisions when reaching the end of the trail.

Crowding increases foraging efficiency in the leaf-cutting ant Atta colombica

It is concluded that crowding actually increased foraging efficiency, possibly because of increased communication between laden foragers returning to the nest and out-going ants.

Allometric scaling of foraging rate with trail dimensions in leaf-cutting ants

  • A. I. BruceM. Burd
  • Environmental Science
    Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
  • 2012
This work determined the scaling relationship between the rate of resource acquisition and the size of the trail system and foraging workforce for 18 colonies of Atta colombica and Atta cephalotes and examined conventional power-law scaling patterns, revealing the simultaneous effects of forager number, trail length and trail width.

Fast Food Delivery: Is There a Way for Foraging Success in Leaf-Cutting Ants?

Physical trails have an important role in foraging efficiency as they allow workers go quickly and further to forage, since they limit a path and congregate more individuals, raising the leaf delivery rate.

Traffic rules around the corner: walking of leaf-cutting ants at branching points in trunk trails

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Priority rules govern the organization of traffic on foraging trails under crowding conditions in the leaf-cutting ant Atta colombica

The cluster organization promotes information transfer about the level of food availability by increasing the number of contacts between outbound and inbound laden ants, which could possibly stimulate these former to cut and retrieve leaf fragments when reaching the end of the trail.

Dynamics of physical trail construction and of trail usage in the leaf-cutting ant Atta laevigata

The main benefit of trail construction is to mobilize less foragers on the trail to collect the same amount of food, leaving the possibility for the remaining workers to forage on other trails or to accomplish other tasks.

Branch Width and Height Influence the Incorporation of Branches into Foraging Trails and Travel Speed in Leafcutter Ants Atta cephalotes (L.) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

The results indicate that A. cephalotes can adjust their speed to compensate for the difficulty of traveling on branch slopes, and branch size should be considered when studying ant foraging efficiency.
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