Journal of Insect Behavior

, Volume 9, Issue 5, pp 659–672 | Cite as

Giving-up time variation in response to differences in nectar volume and concentration in the giant tropical ant,Paraponera clavata (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

  • Michael D. Breed
  • Rachel M. Bowden
  • Melissa F. Garry
  • Aric L. Weicker


Giving-up times in resource patches by workers of the giant tropical ant,Paraponera clavata, are associated with travel time and reward volume but not reward concentration. The discovery of an artificial nectar reward stimulates local search which is centered around the initial reward site. Longer giving-up times increase the likelihood that a worker will find a second reward, but the search appears to be more effective for renewed rewards at the same location than for nearby rewards. When workers are near the colony, larger rewards cause the workers to stop searching and to initiate recruitment behavior. At patches distant from the nest, the threshold in reward volume for recruitment is much higher. These results are consistent with expectations for search strategies when energy expenditure in search is minimal, resources are renewable, and recruitment can occur.

Key Words

Formicidae Ponerinae Paraponera clavata Costa Rica giving-up time search strategy resource patch 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael D. Breed
    • 1
  • Rachel M. Bowden
    • 1
  • Melissa F. Garry
    • 1
  • Aric L. Weicker
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Environmental, Population, and Organismic BiologyUniversity of ColoradoBoulder

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