Graded recruitment in a ponerine ant

Summary

(1) The giant tropical ant, Paraponera clavata, exhibits graded recruitment responses, depending on the type, quantity, and quality of a food source. More ants are initially recruited to a large prey or scavenge item than to a large quantity of sugar water. (2) Individual ants encountering prey items gauge the size and/or unwieldiness of the item, regardless of the weight, when determining whether to recruit. (3) The trail pheromone of this species is often used as an orientation device by individual ants, independent of recruitment of nestmates. (4) It is proposed that the foraging behavior of P. clavata represents one of the evolutionary transitions from the independent foraging activities of the primitive ants to the highly coordinated cooperative foraging activities of many “higher” ants.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

References

  1. Attygale AB, Morgan ED (1985) Ant trail pheromones. Adv Ins Physiol 18:1–30

    Google Scholar 

  2. Breed MD, Bennett B (1985) Mass recruitment to nectar sources in Paraponera clavata: A field study. Insectes Soc 32:198–208

    Google Scholar 

  3. Chadab R, Rettenmeyer CW (1975) Mass recruitment by army ants. Science 188:1124–1125

    Google Scholar 

  4. Crawford DL, Rissing SW (1983) Regulation of recruitment by individual scouts in Formica oreas Insectes Soc 30:177–183

    Google Scholar 

  5. Hangartner W (1969) Structure and variability of the individual odor trail in Solenopsis geminata. Z Vergl Physiol 62:111–120

    Google Scholar 

  6. Haskins CP, Haskins EF (1950) Notes on the biology and social behavior of the archaic ponerine ants of the genera Myrmecia and Promyrmecia. Ann Entomol Soc Am 43:461–491

    Google Scholar 

  7. Hölldobler B (1971) Recruitment behavior in Camponotus socius. Z Vergl Physiol 75:123–142

    Google Scholar 

  8. Hölldobler B (1974) Communication by tandem running in the ant Camponotus sericeus. J Comp Physiol 90:105–127

    Google Scholar 

  9. Hölldobler B (1976) Recruitment behavior, home range orientation and territoriality in harvester ants, Pogonomyrmex. Behav Ecol Sociobiol 1:3–44

    Google Scholar 

  10. Hölldobler B (1978) Ethological aspects of chemical communication in ants. Adv Study Behav 8:75–115

    Google Scholar 

  11. Hölldobler B (1984) The evolution of insect communication. In: Lewis T (ed) Insect communication, Academic Press, New York, pp 349–377

    Google Scholar 

  12. Hölldobler B, Stanton R, Markl H (1978) Recruitment and food-retrieving behavior in Novomessor. Behav Ecol Sociobiol 4:163–181

    Google Scholar 

  13. Hölldobler B, Wilson EO (1970) Recruitment trails in the harvester ant Pogonomyrmex badius. Psyche 77:385–399

    Google Scholar 

  14. Janzen DH, Carroll CR (1983) Paraponera clavata. In: Janzen DH (ed) Costa Rican Natural History. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, pp 752–753

    Google Scholar 

  15. Jaffe K, Howse PE (1978) The mass recruitment system of the leaf cutting ant, Atta cephalotes. Anim Behav 27:930–939

    Google Scholar 

  16. Jessen K, Maschwitz U (1985) Individual specific trails in the ant Pachycondyla tesserinoda. Naturwissenschaften 72:549–550

    Google Scholar 

  17. Markl H, Hölldobler B (1978) Recruitment and food-retrieving behavior in Novomessor. Behav Ecol Sociobiol 4:183–216

    Google Scholar 

  18. Michener CD (1974) The comparative social behavior of the bees. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass

    Google Scholar 

  19. Möglich M, Hölldobler B (1975) Communication and orientation during foraging and emigration in the ant, Formica fusca. J Comp Physiol 101:275–288

    Google Scholar 

  20. Oster G, Wilson EO (1978) Caste and ecology in social insects. Princeton University Press, Princeton

    Google Scholar 

  21. Taylor FJ (1978) Foraging behavior of ants: theoretical considerations. J Theor Biol 71:541–565

    Google Scholar 

  22. Traniello JFA (1977) Recruitment behavior, orientation, and the organization of foraging in the Carpenter ant Camponotus pennsylvanicus. Behav Ecol Sociobiol 2:61–79

    Google Scholar 

  23. Wilson EO (1962) Chemical communication among workers of the fire ant, Solenopsis saevissima. Anim Behav 10:134–164

    Google Scholar 

  24. Wilson EO (1971) The insect societies. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass

    Google Scholar 

  25. Young AM, Hermann HR (1980) Notes on the foraging of the giant tropical ant, Paraponera clavata J Kansas Entomol Soc 53:32–55

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Breed, M.D., Fewell, J.H., Moore, A.J. et al. Graded recruitment in a ponerine ant. Behav Ecol Sociobiol 20, 407–411 (1987). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00302983

Download citation

Keywords

  • Sugar
  • Food Source
  • Prey Item
  • Evolutionary Transition
  • Large Prey