Visual and tactile learning of ground structures in desert ants

  title={Visual and tactile learning of ground structures in desert ants},
  author={Tobias Seidl and R{\"u}diger Wehner},
  journal={Journal of Experimental Biology},
  pages={3336 - 3344}
SUMMARY Place defining landmarks that have been studied intensively in insect navigation are large, voluminous objects visible to the insect from quite some distance. Here, we show that in desert ants, Cataglyphis fortis, local variations in ground properties can also serve as landmarks. The ants were trained to forage within a linear channel, in which the floor adjacent to the nest entrance was altered in optical and tactile properties. When ants were later tested within a test channel that… 

Multimodal influences on learning walks in desert ants (Cataglyphis fortis)

It is found that (1) the ants’ outwards headings are influenced by the wind direction with their routes deflected such that they will arrive downwind of their target, (2) a novel object along the route induces learning walks in experienced ants and (3) the structure of learning walks is shaped by theWind direction rather than the position of the visual cue.

Desert Ants Learn Vibration and Magnetic Landmarks

It is shown that Cataglyphis noda can additionally use magnetic and vibrational landmarks as nest-defining cues, which point to the flexibility of the ants' navigational system, which even makes use of cues that are probably most often sensed in a different context.

Food searches and guiding structures in North African desert ants, Cataglyphis

Ants with covered eyes did not deviate from expected search performances, whereas ants with normal eyes extended their searches along the axis of the leading structures by 15–20 %, in both channels and landmark alleys demonstrate that Cataglyphis orients along extended landmarks when searching for familiar food sources and alters its search pattern accordingly.

A Model of Ant Route Navigation Driven by Scene Familiarity

A model of visually guided route navigation in ants is proposed that captures the known properties of real behaviour whilst retaining mechanistic simplicity and thus biological plausibility, and is believed to be the only detailed and complete model of insect route guidance to date.

Landmark guidance and vector navigation in outbound desert ants

SUMMARY This study deals with the influence landmark information has on the foraging behaviour of the desert ant, Cataglyphis fortis, especially with the interaction of such landmark information with

Piloting in desert ants: pinpointing the goal by discrete landmarks

It is shown that the larger the image transformations (caused by the landmarks) in the ant's visual field, the faster the homing ants localize the goal.

Place learning by mechanical contact

It seems, therefore, that for humans (and, perhaps, for wandering spiders), mechanical contact can reveal the vectors and relations specifying places.

Vector-based and landmark-guided navigation in desert ants inhabiting landmark-free and landmark-rich environments

Data support the hypothesis that the North African Cataglyphis fortis has a higher propensity to rely on vector-mediated navigation, whereas in the same experimental situations M. bagoti more easily switches to landmark-guided behaviour.

Visually guided homing of bumblebees in ambiguous situations: A behavioural and modelling study

It is found that models guiding an agent by a single holistic view of the nest surroundings could not account for the bumblebees’ search behaviour in cue-conflict situations, and homing models relying on multiple views were sufficient.



Visual navigation in desert ants Cataglyphis fortis: are snapshots coupled to a celestial system of reference?

Investigation of the use of landmark information and a celestial system of reference for nest location by training desert ants shows that, in the ants' visual snapshot memory, a Memorized landmark scene can temporarily be decoupled from a memorized celestial systemof reference.

Landmark memories are more robust when acquired at the nest site than en route: experiments in desert ants

Memory traces of nest marks were much more robust against extinction and/or suppression than those of route marks, in accord with the observation that desert ants encounter new route marks during every foraging run but always pass the same landmarks when approaching the nest entrance.

The visual centring response in desert ants, Cataglyphis fortis.

When negotiating their way through cluttered environments, desert ants, Cataglyphis fortis, tend to run along the midlines of the alleys formed by adjacent low shrubs. This 'centring response' was

Landmark learning in bees

These experiments suggest that bees learn no more than the apparent size and bearing of the landmark as seen from the food source, and that to return there they move to a position where their retinal image matches their remembered image of the landmarks.

Nest mark orientation in desert ants Cataglyphis: what does it do to the path integrator?

Visual navigation in insects: coupling of egocentric and geocentric information

The flexible use of vectors, snapshots and landmark-based routes suffices to interpret the insect's behaviour and the cognitive-map approach in particular and the representational paradigm in general are discussed.

Calibration processes in desert ant navigation: vector courses and systematic search

It is suggested that the ants cannot learn separate inbound and outbound vectors, and that the recalibration of the vector and the modification of the search geometry are fast and flexible processes occurring whenever the ant experiences a mismatch between the stored and actual states of its path integrator.

The ant’s estimation of distance travelled: experiments with desert ants, Cataglyphis fortis

The ant’s odometric undershooting could be adaptive during natural foraging trips insofar as it leads the homing ant to concentrate the major part of its nest-search behaviour on the base of its individual foraging sector, i.e. on its familiar landmark corridor.

How do insects use path integration for their navigation?

Abstract. We combine experimental findings on ants and bees, and build on earlier models, to give an account of how these insects navigate using path integration, and how path integration interacts

Desert ant navigation: how miniature brains solve complex tasks

  • R. Wehner
  • Biology
    Journal of Comparative Physiology A
  • 2003
The general message is that Cataglyphis uses path integration as an egocentric guideline to acquire continually updated spatial information about places and routes, and relies on procedural knowledge, and largely context-dependent retrieval of such knowledge, rather than on all-embracing geocentred representations of space.