Army Ants on the Move: Relation Between Food Supply and Emigration Frequency

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Science  07 Mar 1980:
Vol. 207, Issue 4435, pp. 1099-1100
DOI: 10.1126/science.207.4435.1099


Underfed colonies of Neivamyrmex nigrescens in the laboratory emigrated on 62 percent of the nomadic days, as compared with only 28 percent for overfed colonies. Because the emigration frequency in the field is similar to that of underfed colonies, nomadic raids may not bring in enough food to satiate the larval broods. Since emigrations take time away from raiding, the food-related mechanism underlying emigrations may have evolved under more stringent ecological conditions.