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The organization of floor evacuation in the ant genus pheidole hymenoptera formicidae


, : The organization of floor evacuation in the ant genus pheidole hymenoptera formicidae. Insectes Sociaux 33(4): 458-469

Minor workers of Pheidole cephalica respond to small quantities of water placed in the nest entrance by making alarm runs through the nest, often ending at alternate entrances. They use odor trails to lead nestmates into the entrance galleries and sometimes away from the nest altogether. With this procedure one or two workers are able to mobilize a large fraction of the colony in 30 secs or less. Standing water by itself is enough to induce the response, but moving water, which provides both chemical and tactile stimuli, is still more effective. Purely tactile stimulation does not evoke the response, even when vigorous enough to knock workers over. On the other hand, invasion by a single fire ant (Solenopsis invicta) often causes alarm runs, which are combined with alarm-recruitment to produce a composite pattern of defense and retreat distinct from flood evacuation. The responses to flooding by 25 species of Pheidole in addition to P. cephalica have been tested. Some species react with both alarm runs and alarm waves, in which short loops generate broader and more slowly advancing fronts of excitement. Others respond with alarm waves alone. Alarm runs occur more frequently in species that nest in pieces of rotting wood, and hence typically excavate a linear array of nest galleries and chambers. They tend to be absent in species that nest in coil and hence to excavate a broader spread of cavities. The correlation proved significant in both the "liberal" test, in which all species were counted equally, and the "conservative" test, in which sets of closely related species were treated as single taxonomic units.


Accession: 006728959

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Related references

Wilson, Eo, 1986: The organization of flood evacuation in the ant genus Pheidole (Hymenoptera Formicidae). Insectes sociaux = Social insects3(4): 458-469

Droual, R., 1983: The organization of nest evacuation in Pheidole desertorum Wheeler and P hyatti Emery Hymenoptera Formicidae. Pheidole desertorum and P. hyatti use rapid nest evacuation to defend against raids by the army ant Neivamyrmex nigrescens Cresson. The general organization of the defense is similar in both Pheidole species. The defense occurs in two distinct pha...

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Lapolla, John, S., 2006: Pheidole neoschultzi: Replacement name for Pheidole schultzi LaPolla, 2005 (Hymenoptera : Formicidae), a junior homonym of Pheidole schultzei Forel, 1910. Transactions of the American Entomological Society (Philadelphia) 132(3-4): 427

Wilson, E.O., 1976: The organization of colony defense in the ant pheidole dentata hymenoptera formicidae. Colonies of P. dentata employ a complex strategy of colony defense against invading fire ants. Their responses can be conveniently divided into the following 3 phases: at low stimulation, the minor workers recruit nestmates over considerable dista...

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Galli, J.C.sar.; Rampazzo, E.F.lix., 1996: Distribution of Pheidole spp and Solenopsis spp Hymenoptera, Formicidae collected on the soil of a guava orchard Psidium guajava L Distribuicao dos generos Pheidole e Solenopsis Hymenoptera, Formicidae coletados na superficie do solo em pomar de goiaba Psidium guajava L. Revista de Agricultura (Piracicaba). Setembro; 712: 157-163

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