Seasonal and temporal variations in colony-level foraging activity of a queenless ant, Diacamma sp., in Japan

Abstract

We investigated colony-level foraging activities of Diacamma sp., a queenless ponerine ant, in the field. Our aim was to elucidate the presence of any pattern in foraging activity in field colonies in relation to: (1) circadian rhythm, (2) physical environmental conditions such as extreme temperatures, (3) seasonality, and (4) short-term foraging efficiency (i.e. the success ratio in obtaining food per foraging trip). Colony-level foraging activity tended to be diurnal throughout the year, as more foraging trips were observed in the daytime. Although temperature had no linear effect on overall foraging activity, lower temperature precluded foraging at night. Overall, foraging was more frequent at times of day when foraging efficiency was high, but this relationship was weak and varied seasonally. Interestingly, we found that hourly foraging efficiency and hourly foraging activity were negatively correlated in autumn, the season when the average foraging efficiency peaked, whereas they were positively correlated in winter and spring.

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Acknowledgements

We thank Y. Okada and H. Fujioka for helpful advice.

Funding

This work was supported in part by KAKENHI grants (15H02652, 15H04425, 16K14865 and 17H01249).

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Correspondence to Aye T. Win.

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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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This article does not contain any studies with human participants performed by any of the authors. All applicable international, national and/or institutional guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed.

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Win, A.T., Machida, Y., Miyamoto, Y. et al. Seasonal and temporal variations in colony-level foraging activity of a queenless ant, Diacamma sp., in Japan. J Ethol 36, 277–282 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10164-018-0558-8

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Keywords

  • Circadian rhythm
  • Foraging efficiency
  • Ponerinae
  • Seasonality
  • Temperature