Document Detail

Nest site and weather affect the personality of harvester ant colonies.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  22936841     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
Environmental conditions and physical constraints both influence an animal's behavior. We investigate whether behavioral variation among colonies of the black harvester ant, Messor andrei, remains consistent across foraging and disturbance situations and ask whether consistent colony behavior is affected by nest site and weather. We examined variation among colonies in responsiveness to food baits and to disturbance, measured as a change in numbers of active ants, and in the speed with which colonies retrieved food and removed debris. Colonies differed consistently, across foraging and disturbance situations, in both responsiveness and speed. Increased activity in response to food was associated with a smaller decrease in response to alarm. Speed of retrieving food was correlated with speed of removing debris. In all colonies, speed was greater in dry conditions, reducing the amount of time ants spent outside the nest. While a colony occupied a certain nest site, its responsiveness was consistent in both foraging and disturbance situations, suggesting that nest structure influences colony personality.
Noa Pinter-Wollman; Deborah M Gordon; Susan Holmes
Publication Detail:
Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE     Date:  2012-5-5
Journal Detail:
Title:  Behavioral ecology : official journal of the International Society for Behavioral Ecology     Volume:  23     ISSN:  1465-7279     ISO Abbreviation:  Behav. Ecol.     Publication Date:  2012 9 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-8-31     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9426330     Medline TA:  Behav Ecol     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  1022-1029     Citation Subset:  -    
Department of Biology, Stanford University, 371 Serra Mall, Stanford, CA 94305-5020, USA.
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