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Sand pile formation in Dorymyrmex ants
journal contributionposted on 2023-06-08, 06:26 authored by Adam Tofilski, Francis Ratnieks
We studied circular sand pile formation by two colonies of Brazilian Dorymyrmex ants, in which workers dumped sand excavated from their underground nest around the nest entrance hole. In most cases a worker dumped its load just beyond the ridge of the pile. Each dumped piece either stayed where it was deposited (81.9% in colony A and 73.0% in colony B) or rolled down the outer slope of the sand pile away from the entrance (17.9% in colony A and 27.0% in colony B). Ants almost never dumped in a way that resulted in the load rolling back to the entrance. When one side of the sand pile was experimentally removed, ants preferentially dumped soil on the now flat side, thereby restoring the original circular shape.
JournalJournal of Insect Behaviour
Department affiliated with
- Evolution, Behaviour and Environment Publications
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