Colony relocation is an important aspect in the lives of social insects. In ants, the process of relocation is further complicated as brood, in addition to adults, have to be transported to the new nest. Here, we have investigated brood transport in the Indian ponerine ant Diacamma indicum, which uses tandem running—a primitive mode of recruitment—for the entire colony to relocate. We have found that there were no brood transport specialists and most of the brood was transported in the mandibles of followers that were being tandem run. Therefore, in a single tandem run, one adult and one brood item was effectively transported by tandem leaders augmenting the relocation process.
Transport specialist Tandem running Colony relocation