, Volume 35, Issue 12, pp 1569–1571

Visual spatial memory in desert ants,Cataglyphis bicolor (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

  • R. Wehner
  • F. Räber

DOI: 10.1007/BF01953197

Cite this article as:
Wehner, R. & Räber, F. Experientia (1979) 35: 1569. doi:10.1007/BF01953197


For navigation, desert ants apply piloting and dead-reckoning strategies based on terrestrial and celestial visual cues, respectively. Visual spatial memories, rather than general concepts derived from landmark constellations, are most probably used to define points on earth by nearby landmarks. The visual field of a specialized dorsal part of the ant's retina is mapped on to the celestial sphere to consider the possibility that similar mechanisms are used to define directions on earth by exploiting skylight patterns present at infinity.

Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. Wehner
    • 1
  • F. Räber
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ZoologyUniversity of ZurichZurich(Switzerland)

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