Spatial patterns in army ant foraging and migration: Eciton burchelli on Barro Colorado Island, Panama

  title={Spatial patterns in army ant foraging and migration: Eciton burchelli on Barro Colorado Island, Panama},
  author={Nigel R. Franks and Charles R. Fletcher},
  journal={Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology},
SummaryEciton burchelli colonies alternate bouts of central place foraging with periods of migration according to a set rhythm. When these army ants forage from a central nest site they separate neigh-bouring raids by using a pattern similar to that used by many plants in spiral phyllotaxis. During the intervening periods of migration, raids and emigrations are orientated to lower the probability that the raid path will cross itself and also to separate the successive bouts of central place… 
Spatial movement optimization in Amazonian Eciton burchellii army ants
The authors' data supported Franks and Fletcher's (1983) model for systematic avoidance of raided areas during the statary phase, as well as a hypothesis of distance optimization between successive statary bivouacs, and examined evidence for inter-colony avoidance from more than 330 colony emigrations and suggested that colony-specific pheromones are not necessarily repulsive to other colonies.
Effect of trail pheromones and weather on the moving behaviour of the army ant Eciton burchellii
The results suggest that caution should be taken when generalizing the insightful results obtained from the BCI population, and the effect of rainfall on the probability of moving and on deviation from the previous day’s raid direction.
Spatio-Temporal Dynamics of Foraging Networks in the Grass-Cutting Ant Atta bisphaerica Forel, 1908 (Formicidae, Attini)
The hypothesis is that ants could benefit from the underground tunnels and physical trails built during the humid season to maintain their foraging activity at a high level.
Reduced foraging investment as an adaptation to patchy food sources: A phasic army ant simulation.
Reduced foraging investment as an adaptation to patchy food sources: a phasic army ant simulation
It is suggested that phasic colony cycles to have emerged together with the doryline specialization in feeding on the brood of other eusocial insects, a resource that is hard to obtain but highly abundant if available.
Migration control: a distance compensation strategy in ants
This study uses the model system of the house-hunting ant Temnothorax albipennis to demonstrate a key strategy that can shorten migration exposure times in a group of social insects, and shows that colonies of this species facultatively alter the dynamics of a migration and so compensate for the distance over which a given migration occurs.
Diet and Spatial Pattern of Foraging in Ectatomma opaciventre (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in an Anthropic Area
Individual foraging pathways of Ectatomma opaciventre appeared to be spatially distributed in a way that avoids intersection with pathways from other nests and favors search for food in areas unexplored by other individuals.
Foraging dynamics in the group-hunting myrmicine ant,Pheidologeton diversus
  • M. Moffett
  • Environmental Science
    Journal of Insect Behavior
  • 2005
It is hypothesize that group hunting originated from an ancestor which hunted solitarily from trunk trails through the acceleration of trail production and reduction in worker autonomy, and is compared with the raiding strategies of other ants.
Behavioral ecology of the neotropical termite-hunting ant Pachycondyla (= Termitopone) marginata: colony founding, group-raiding and migratory patterns
It is concluded that P. marginata presents a rudimentary form of the so-called “army ant behavior”, which is highly developed in the subfamilies Dorylinae and Ecitoninae, and the associated high costs of migration are likely to prevent it from evolving a full army ant life pattern.
Multi-year genetic sampling indicates maternal gene flow via colony emigrations in the army ant Eciton burchellii parvispinum
The patterns suggest maternal dispersal via emigrations contributes to gene flow, reducing or eliminating male biases in dispersal, and habitat connectivity should be maintained to permit colony emigrate and support genetic diversity in populations of this keystone species.


Nomadic behavior of army ants in a desert-grassland habitat
Findings support Schneirla's theory that brood stimulation is a proximate cause of the nomadic phase of the army ant and do not support her version of brood-stimulative theory.
Foraging strategies of three species of desert ants were studied along gradients of altitude and season, both of which affect food density, and time spent searching for food is a good indication of available food.
Colony specificity in the trail pheromone of an ant
The colony specificity of the trail pheromone of the formicine ant Lasius neoniger, the most abundant ant species in North America, and its ecological significance is reported.
The Food Searching Behaviour of Two European Thrushes
1. The movement path of a predator will clearly be an important determinant of its ability to encounter and subsequently attack suitable prey items. Previous work on this aspect of searching
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These facts indicate that the Eciton odor trail pheromone is a substance which is relatively photostable, thermostable, and water-insoluble, and which possesses a low vapor pressure.
Colony-specific territorial pheromone in the African weaver ant Oecophylla longinoda (Latreille).
Major workers of Oecophylla longinoda mark their territories with persistent pheromones that are distinguishable to the ants at the colony level that are located at least in part in drops of rectal sac fluid deposited by workers over the territorial surface.
It is a seldom recognized fact that the behavior patterns supposedly characteristic of the doryline "army ants" also occur, at least to a limited extent, in some groups of the primitive subfamily
Territorial strategies in ants.
The geometric and behavioral organization of the absolute territories of the African weaver ants and harvester ants, and of the "spatiotemporal territories" of honey ants are described, and simple cost-benefit models are developed to illustrate the economic defensibility of each type of territory.
A new method for censusing animal populations: The number of Eciton burchelli army ant colonies on Barro Colorado Island, Panama
  • N. Franks
  • Biology, Environmental Science
  • 2004
This technique is used to provide an up to date estimate of the number of colonies of the army ant Eciton burchelli on Barro Colorado Island, Panama.