Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Scout Ants Guide Colony To New Nests

Scientists at University of Bristol's Ant Lab have discovered that when nests of the "house-hunting" ant, Temnothorax albipennis are destroyed the colony relies on the knowledge of colony members that have scouted the area to lead them to a new nest site. By relocating a colony, complete with nest, to an 'ant arena in the lab & painting tiny spots of paint on each individual the team were able to record the ants' movements as they explored their new surroundings which included an identical, empty nest.  After a week the team destroyed the ants' nest and placed another brand new nest in the arena to see if they would go to the familiar nest or the new one. Using motion sensors they could record every time an ant entered a nest. They found that scouts who had been exploring the arena from the outset, went straight to the familiar nest  and then made a series of trips back and forth between the destroyed nest and the familiar one to bring new colony members there.


Very smart Ants! Hope I don't stand on these ones!

it takes a smart 'Ant' to know a smart ant ;)

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