Although it has been shown that visual cues play an essential role in navigation by the garden ant Lasius niger, no previous studies have addressed the way in which information from local visual cues is acquired and utilized in navigation. We found that in the absence of pheromone trails, ants whose homing motivation was triggered by feeding returned to the nest following local visual cues. In our experiments, the ants travelled through a maze to reach a feeder. They explored the maze and sometimes became trapped in its dead ends. We found that the ants more effectively used visual cues during their homeward journey if they experienced a dead end during their outward journey. This result suggested that the ants used the information acquired from visual cues during the outward journey to avoid a dead end on their return journey.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Insect Science