The Light and Magnetic Compass of the Weaver Ant, Oecophylla smaragdina (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

Authors

  • Rudolf Jander,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Entomology and Department of Systematics and Ecology, University of Kansas, Lawrence; Department of Biology, Washburn University, Topeka
      Department of Entomology, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS 66045, USA. E-mail: RJander@Kuhub.cc.Ukans.edu
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  • Ursula Jander

    1. Department of Entomology and Department of Systematics and Ecology, University of Kansas, Lawrence; Department of Biology, Washburn University, Topeka
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Department of Entomology, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS 66045, USA. E-mail: RJander@Kuhub.cc.Ukans.edu

Abstract

Some of the foraging of the arboreal Australian weaver ant Oecophylla smaragdina takes place on the ground. Odor trails and compass orientation are used to return to the trunk of their nesting tree. Field experiments established directional responses to light and the natural magnetic field. The precision of the light compass orientation is much greater than that of the magnetic compass orientation: the respective average wrapped-around standard deviations (WSD) of directional choices towards home are WSD = ± 48° and WSD = ± 105°.

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