1253 The organization and allocation of foragers in the Florida harvester ant (Pogonomyrmex badius)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009: 4:11 PM
Room 102, First Floor (Convention Center)
Christina Kwapich , School of Life Sciences, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ
Walter R. Tschinkel , Department of Biological Science, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL
In many ant species, workers are vertically stratified and perform specialized tasks within the nest according to age. This division of labor is present in the Florida Harvester Ant, Pogonomyrmex badius, where the eldest, most expendable workers forage for seeds and insects on the surface. To determine the percentage of the total colony allocated to foraging, estimates were made using the Lincoln Index. Distinct groups of foragers were captured, marked and recaptured both at first departure in the morning, and on baits at the peak of foraging in the afternoon, over several days. The nests were later excavated and censused. These data revealed the relationship between estimated forager population and total colony size. Additionally, patterns of directional fidelity in forager groups were assessed.

doi: 10.1603/ICE.2016.44772