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Title: Temporary prey storage along swarm columns of army ants: an adaptive strategy for successful raiding?
Authors: de Lima, Hilário Póvoas
Teseo, Serafino
de Lima, Raquel Leite Castro
Ferreira-Châline, Ronara Souza
Châline, Nicolas
Keywords: Science::Biological sciences
Issue Date: 2022
Source: de Lima, H. P., Teseo, S., de Lima, R. L. C., Ferreira-Châline, R. S. & Châline, N. (2022). Temporary prey storage along swarm columns of army ants: an adaptive strategy for successful raiding?. Biology Letters, 18(2), 20210440-.
Project: M408080000 
Journal: Biology Letters 
Abstract: While pillaging the brood of other ant colonies, Eciton army ants accumulate prey in piles, or caches, along their foraging trails. Widely documented, these structures have historically been considered as by-products of heavy traffic or aborted relocations of the ants' temporary nest, or bivouac. However, we recently observed that caches of the hook-jawed army ant, Eciton hamatum, appeared independently from heavy traffic or bivouac relocations. In addition, the flow of prey through caches varied based on the quantity of prey items workers transported. As this suggested a potential adaptive function, we developed agent-based simulations to compare raids of caching and non-caching virtual army ants. We found that caches increased the amount of prey that relatively low numbers of raiders were able to retrieve. However, this advantage became less conspicuous-and generally disappeared-as the number of raiders increased. Based on these results, we hypothesize that caches maximize the amount of prey that limited amounts of raiders can retrieve, especially as prey colonies coordinately evacuate their brood. In principle, caches also allow workers to safely collect multiple prey items and efficiently transport them to the bivouac. Further field observations are needed to test this and other hypotheses emerging from our study.
ISSN: 1744-9561
DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2021.0440
Rights: © 2022 The Author(s). Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.
Fulltext Permission: none
Fulltext Availability: No Fulltext
Appears in Collections:SBS Journal Articles

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