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|Title:||Visual navigation in the neotropical ant odontomachus hastatus (formicidae, ponerinae), a predominantly nocturnal, canopy-dwelling predator of the Atlantic rainforest|
|Author:||Rodrigues, Pedro A. P.|
Oliveira, Paulo S.
|Abstract:||The arboreal ant Odontomachus hastatus nests among roots of epiphytic bromeliads in the sandy forest at Cardoso Island (Brazil). Crepuscular and nocturnal foragers travel up to 8m to search for arthropod prey in the canopy, where silhouettes of leaves and branches potentially provide directional information. We investigated the relevance of visual cues (canopy, horizon patterns) during navigation in O. hastatus. Laboratory experiments using a captive ant colony and a round foraging arena revealed that an artificial canopy pattern above the ants and horizon visual marks are effective orientation cues for homing O. hastatus. On the other hand, foragers that were only given a tridimensional landmark (cylinder) or chemical marks were unable to home correctly. Navigation by visual cues in O. hastatus is in accordance with other diurnal arboreal ants. Nocturnal luminosity (moon, stars) is apparently sufficient to produce contrasting silhouettes from the canopy and surrounding vegetation, thus providing orientation cues. Contrary to the plain floor of the round arena, chemical cues may be important for marking bifurcated arboreal routes. This experimental demonstration of the use of visual cues by a predominantly nocturnal arboreal ant provides important information for comparative studies on the evolution of spatial orientation behavior in ants. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Neotropical Behaviour.|
The arboreal ant Odontomachus hastatus nests among roots of epiphytic bromeliads in the sandy forest at Cardoso Island (Brazil). Crepuscular and nocturnal foragers travel up to 8 m to search for arthropod prey in the canopy, where silhouettes of leaves an
Epífitas - Mata Atlântica
|Citation:||Behavioural Processes. v. 109 Pt A, p. 48-57, 2014-Nov.|
|Appears in Collections:||IB - Artigos e Outros Documentos|
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