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The visual perception of the ant Myrmica ruginodis (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

Abstract

Myrmica ruginodis workers are able to distinguish black or white circles from black or white squares, black or white ellipses from black or white rectangles as well as hollow circles or ellipses from hollow squares or rectangles. They can also distinguish differently oriented elements as well as objects containing a various number of elements. These workers are also able to perceive and discriminate transparent cues on a black background and even small luminous spots on a black ceiling. Such visual abilities are in agreement with the species’ eye morphology and system of navigation: the eyes are rather large with a well-developed posterio-dorsal part, and the foragers rely exclusively on cues located above them, neglecting odorous elements as long as visual perception is possible. Probably, they might use cues located in the canopy and the sky to travel in certain circumstances.

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Correspondence to Marie-Claire Cammaerts.

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Cammaerts, MC. The visual perception of the ant Myrmica ruginodis (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Biologia 67, 1165–1174 (2012). https://doi.org/10.2478/s11756-012-0112-z

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Key words

  • ant eyes
  • operant conditioning
  • orientation system
  • visual cues