Navigation Links
Ant colonies remember rivals' odor and compete like sports fans
Date:2/21/2012

A new study led by the University of Melbourne has shown that weaver ants share a collective memory for the odour of ants in rival nests, and use the information to identify them and compete, similar to how sports fans know each other instantly by their unique colours.

The ant colony collective memory gives them an edge in a competitive world by priming all nest mates with information about rivals before they encounter them, said study leader Professor Mark Elgar from the University's Department of Zoology.

"This communication highlights the impressive nature of ant societies because the colonies of some species, like weaver ants, can consist of networks of nests containing millions of workers," said Professor Elgar.

The research is published in the current issue of the international journal Naturwissenschaften and included researchers from the Departments of Zoology and Mathematics and Statistics at the University of Melbourne.

The research team conducted experiments with colonies of weaver ants (Oecophylla smaragdina) who are more aggressive to ants from nearby rival nests, just as sporting rivalry is greater between teams from the same city, prime examples include Carlton and Collingwood in Australian rules football or Manchester City and Manchester United

The scientists took ants from 12 colonies of weaver ants and challenged them with intruders from other colonies that were either familiar or unfamiliar to them, based on previous experimental challenges.

"We find that once an ant has had an encounter with a rival, it can go back to its colony and pass on information about the rival's smell and about how aggressive the interaction was.

"When a colony was exposed to intruders from the same rival nest repeatedly, we saw the encounters were increasingly aggressive, suggesting that ants were passing on information about the frequency of interaction to their nest mates as well as information about their identity."

The next step for the research team is to understand what chemical and behavioural cues the ants use to communicate this complex information.

Weaver ants build intricate nests in trees and are found in northern Australia, India and Africa.


'/>"/>

Contact: Nerissa Hannink
nhannink@unimelb.edu.au
61-383-448-151
University of Melbourne
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Team approach appears to work best for insect colonies
2. Fewer honey bee colonies and beekeepers throughout Europe
3. Study suggests theory for insect colonies as superorganisms
4. Colonies of bacteria fight for resources with lethal protein
5. Common house ants form supercolonies, prosper in urban settings
6. A coating that prevents barnacles forming colonies
7. Circadian clock may be critical for remembering what you learn, Stanford researchers say
8. Old and young brains rely on different systems to remember emotional content
9. You must remember this: Scientists develop nasal spray that improves memory
10. Remember magnesium if you want to remember
11. To remember the good times, reach for the sky
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:1/22/2016)... 2016 http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/p74whf/global_biometrics ... "Global Biometrics Market in Retail Sector ... --> http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/p74whf/global_biometrics ) has announced ... Market in Retail Sector 2016-2020" report ... Research and Markets ( http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/p74whf/global_biometrics ) has ...
(Date:1/20/2016)... 20, 2016 A market that just keeps ... from the explosion in genomics knowledge. Learn all about ... A range of dynamic trends are pushing market growth ... medicine - pharmacogenomics - pathogen evolution - next generation ... - greater understanding of the role of genetic material ...
(Date:1/20/2016)... JOSE, Calif. , Jan. 20, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... developer of human interface solutions, today announced sampling ... controller solution for wearables and small screen applications ... such as printers. Supporting round and rectangular shapes, ... S1423 offers excellent performance with moisture on screen, ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/11/2016)... -- Wellcentive today announced it has been selected by FamilyCare ... community care organization (CCO) with more than 130,000 ... and care management solutions and services. Wellcentive,s capabilities ... managers, analysts and care managers while providing insight ... members. Oregon . ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... SANTA CRUZ, Calif. , Feb. 11, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... accepting applications to its beta program for a planned ... co-founder, will present the company,s metagenomic genome assembly method ... 2016 Advances in Genome Biology & Technology conference in ... novo  assembly of these highly complex datasets is difficult. ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... BioInformant announces the February 2016 release of its ... and Technologies – Market Size, Segments, Trends, and Projections ... The first and only market research firm ... more than a decade of historical information on all ... type. This powerful 175 page global strategic report contains ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... ... February 11, 2016 , ... Global Stem ... agreement with Bankok,Thailand-based Global Stem Cells Network (GSCN) to distribute exosome injection and ... countries, including Mexico, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Colombia, Argentina, Nicaragua, Panama, El Salvador, ...
Breaking Biology Technology: