Emergence of a complex movement pattern in an unfamiliar food place by foraging ants

Tomoko Sakiyama

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Although visual cues are essential for navigation in ants, few studies address movement dynamics in ants when they search and forage after finding food in an unfamiliar environment. Here I introduced Japanese wood ants to an unfamiliar food location by capturing individuals leaving their nest. The food was located at the centre of a straight, narrow, open-top channel. Next, I determined the segment lengths of the foraging paths of the ants between consecutive U-turns. I found that individuals travelled along characteristic and complex paths if they detected a visual landmark. This movement property was not detectable when individuals foraged in the channel without any visual landmarks. These results reveal the movement dynamics of ants when they encounter food in a novel place.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-66
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Comparative Physiology A: Neuroethology, Sensory, Neural, and Behavioral Physiology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 12 2019


  • Foraging
  • Japanese wood ants
  • Movement strategy
  • Pink noise
  • Visual information

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Physiology
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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