Territoriality in ants revisited: iconic collective displays reflect resource, not territorial defense in meat antsIridomyrmex purpureus
Shaolin Han, Mark A Elgar
SCIENCE OF NATURE | SPRINGER HEIDELBERG | Published : 2020
Non-injurious, collective ritualized displays may have evolved in some species of ants as a means of resolving contests for key resources, without causing a drain in worker numbers through injury. Colonies of the Australian meat ant, Iridomyrmex purpureus, deploy numerous workers to engage in collective displays, which are widely understood to be involved in maintaining exclusive territories. A combination of field surveys and behavioral assays revealed that display grounds do not delimit borders that define exclusive territories. Rather, the proportion of workers from a focal colony found in a quadrat declines monotonically with distance from the nest. In addition, we documented collective ..View full abstract
SH is supported by a scholarship from the China Scholarship Council.