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:4/5/2017)... , April 4, 2017 KEY FINDINGS ... anticipated to expand at a CAGR of 25.76% during ... diseases is the primary factor for the growth of ... report: https://www.reportbuyer.com/product/4807905/ MARKET INSIGHTS The global ... product, technology, application, and geography. The stem cell market ...
(Date:3/30/2017)... HONG KONG , March 30, 2017 ... developed a system for three-dimensional (3D) fingerprint identification by adopting ground ... technology into a new realm of speed and accuracy for use ... applications at an affordable cost. ... ...
(Date:3/27/2017)... , March 27, 2017  Catholic Health Services ... Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Analytics for achieving Stage ... Model sm . In addition, CHS previously earned ... hospitals using an electronic medical record (EMR). ... high level of EMR usage in an outpatient ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/16/2017)... ... May 16, 2017 , ... Seattle-based ... metagenomic deconvolution service. ProxiMeta enables researchers to obtain complete, distinct genomes from ... at lower cost. , “We’re very excited about the commercial launch of ...
(Date:5/16/2017)... 2017 Telehealth has long been a ... that has been kept completely separate from discussions ... to   Logicalis Healthcare Solutions , the healthcare-focused ... and managed services provider ( www.us.logicalis.com ), there ... interrelationship between telehealth, imaging, and EHR optimization that ...
(Date:5/15/2017)... PA (PRWEB) , ... May 15, 2017 , ... ... insights in a presentation of “The Key Role of Specifications in Process Validation,” at ... of Philadelphia . The event will bring together leaders from the pharmaceutical and biotech ...
(Date:5/15/2017)... ... May 15, 2017 , ... Continuing to ... skincare brand has today launched its first-ever cross-medium campaign, #StandFirm, with high-visibility social ... digital and social media channels, emphasizing Algenist’s stance on individuality and disruption: ...
Breaking Biology Technology: