Document Detail

Fight tactics in wood ants: individuals in smaller groups fight harder but die faster.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  21389029     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
When social animals engage in inter-group contests, the outcome is determined by group sizes and individual masses, which together determine group resource-holding potential ('group RHP'). Individuals that perceive themselves as being in a group with high RHP may receive a motivational increase and increase their aggression levels. Alternatively, individuals in lower RHP groups may increase their aggression levels in an attempt to overcome the RHP deficit. We investigate how 'group RHP' influences agonistic tactics in red wood ants Formica rufa. Larger groups had higher total agonistic indices, but per capita agonistic indices were highest in the smallest groups, indicating that individuals in smaller groups fought harder. Agonistic indices were influenced by relative mean mass, focal group size, opponent group size and opponent group agonistic index. Focal group attrition rates decreased as focal group relative agonistic indices increased and there was a strong negative influence of relative mean mass. The highest focal attrition rates were received when opponent groups were numerically large and composed of large individuals. Thus, fight tactics in F. rufa seem to vary with both aspects of group RHP, group size and the individual attributes of group members, indicating that information on these are available to fighting ants.
Tim P Batchelor; Mark Briffa
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't     Date:  2011-03-09
Journal Detail:
Title:  Proceedings. Biological sciences / The Royal Society     Volume:  278     ISSN:  1471-2954     ISO Abbreviation:  Proc. Biol. Sci.     Publication Date:  2011 Nov 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2011-09-28     Completed Date:  2012-01-13     Revised Date:  2014-10-14    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  101245157     Medline TA:  Proc Biol Sci     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  3243-50     Citation Subset:  IM    
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MeSH Terms
Agonistic Behavior / physiology*
Ants / physiology*
Behavior, Animal / physiology*
Body Size
Group Processes*
Linear Models
Population Density
Social Behavior*
Grant Support
BB/F014147/1//Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council; F014147/1//Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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