Homing in the Ant Cataglyphis bicolor

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Science  11 Apr 1969:
Vol. 164, Issue 3876, pp. 192-194
DOI: 10.1126/science.164.3876.192


Cataglyphis bicolor, an ant widely distributed in North Africa and the Near East, orient to the sun as well as to visual patterns of the environment. These two mechanisms can be separated. Foraging ants (hunters) orient to terrestrial cues as long as possible, and only after these have become ineffective do they switch over to the menotactical sun orientation. In the digging individuals, however, the visual knowledge of locality is significantly inferior to that of the hunters. Diggers vary considerably in size, but hunters belong to the largest size group. In addition, the largest and smallest individuals orient differently toward black and white areas and stripe patterns.

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