Journal of Bioeconomics

, Volume 17, Issue 3, pp 271–291 | Cite as

The architecture of subterranean ant nests: beauty and mystery underfoot

  • Walter R. TschinkelEmail author


Over the 100 million years of their evolution, ants have constructed or occupied nests in a wide range of materials and situations. A large number of ant species excavate nests in the soil, and these subterranean nests have evolved into a wide range of sizes and architectures. On the basis of casts made of such nests, this variation and the patterns that govern it are described. The possible functions of architectural features are discussed, as are the behavioral “rules” through which the nests are created by worker ants.


Formicidae Excavation Soil nesting Thermoregulation Division of labor Vertical organization  Pogonmyrmex badius Dorymyrmex bossutus Dorymyrmex bureni Prenolepis imparis Solenopsis invicta Atta Cyphomyrmex rimosus Trachymyrmex septentrionalis Monomorium viridum Dolichoderus mariae Formica pallidefulva Formica archboldi Formica dolosa Camponotus socius Camponotus floridanus Pogonomyrmex californicus Odontomachus brunneus Aphaenogaster floridanus Veromessor pergandei Nylanderia arenivaga Pheidole morrisi 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biological ScienceFlorida State UniversityTallahasseeUSA

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