Insectes Sociaux

, Volume 29, Issue 2, pp 308–331 | Cite as

Relationship of raiding and emigration in the nearctic army antNeivamyrmex nigrescens Cresson

  • J. T. Mirenda
  • D. G. Eakins
  • H. Topoff


Field studies ofNeivamyrmex nigrescens were conducted to determine how recruitment to, location and amount of food affect emigration frequency, distance and direction. Observations of foraging showed that emigrations were usually preceded by raids, proceeded over a successful raid column, and terminated near raid sites. Recruitment to food was not a necessary prelude to emigration, however, nor did emigrations always move to an area of heavy raiding. The new nest was not usually formed in a raid site, and there was a short latency from the discovery of the nest site to the onset of the emigration. Direction, distance, and timing of emigrations were related more directly to discovery of nest sites than raid sites, suggesting separate recruitment mechanisms. Because both raids and emigrations were eliminated by overfeeding of colonies, these behaviors share a common motivating factor, namely, brood stimulation. The interplay between general arousal from the brood and recruitment to specific stimuli promotes efficient use of surface activity time and prevents unnecessary exposure of queen and brood. The tendency to emigrate into areas of heavy raids results from the discovery of a nest in that area; thus a colony generally follows its food supply. Emigrations interfere considerably with raiding, however, and probably evolved under ecological conditions very different from the present study.


Field Study Food Supply Surface Activity Activity Time Ecological Condition 
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Relation entre raids et émigration chez la fourmi migratrice néartiqueNeivamyrmex nigrescens Cresson


La fourmi migratriceNeivamyrmex nigrescens a été étudiée sur le terrain pour déterminer comment le recrutement, l'emplacement et la quantité de nourriture influencent la fréquence, la distance et la direction des émigrations. Les observations sur l'affouragement montrent que les émigrations sont habituellement précédées par des raids, se poursuivent sur une colonne de raid réussi et se terminent près des sites de raids. Cependant, le recrutement alimentaire n'est pas un préliminaire nécessaire à l'émigration, pas plus que les émigrations ne se font toujours dans un endroit où il y a beaucoup de raids. En général, le nouveau nid n'est pas construit sur un site de raids, et il y a un court délai entre la découverte d'un site de nidification et le déclenchement de l'émigration. La direction, la distance et le déroulement temporel des émigrations sont liés plus directement à la découverte des sites de nidification qu'aux sites de raids, ce qui suggère des mécanismes de recrutement distincts. Etant donné que les raids et les émigrations disparaissent lorsqu'on suralimente les colonies, ces conduites ont un facteur de motivation commun, en l'occurrence la stimulation du couvain. L'effet réciproque entre la stimulation générale issue du couvain et le recrutement à des stimulations spécifiques, suscite une utilisation efficace du temps d'activité à la surface et empêche une exposition inutile de la reine et du couvain. La tendance à émigrer dans les endroits où il y a beaucoup de raids provient de la découverte d'un nid dans un tel endroit. Ainsi une colonie suit-elle généralement sa réserve de nourriture. Cependant, les émigrations gênent beaucoup les raids et ont probablement évolué dans des conditions écologiques très différentes de celles de la présente étude.


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Copyright information

© Masson 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. T. Mirenda
    • 1
  • D. G. Eakins
    • 1
  • H. Topoff
    • 1
  1. 1.Animal Behavior-Biopsychology ProgramHunter College of the City University of New York and American Museum of Natural HistoryNew YorkUSA

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