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Summary. We studied leaf transfer on trails of the leafcutter ant Atta colombica. 78.6% (N = 210) of leaves were not
 

Summary: Summary. We studied leaf transfer on trails of the leafcutter
ant Atta colombica. 78.6% (N = 210) of leaves were not
transferred, 12.4% (33) were cached and the remaining 9%
(24) were transferred directly to another individual. Directly-
transferred leaves travelled significantly faster post-transfer.
There was no difference between the speeds of leaves that
were not transferred and those post-transfer, although there
was a significant difference among the pre-direct-transfer,
pre-cache, and non-transfer speeds. We suggest that there
may be a critical transportation speed, and that if this speed
is not met, an individual will relinquish its leaf.
Key words: Task partitioning, leaf-transfer, foraging trails,
Atta colombica.
Introduction
Little quantitative data exist on the costs and benefits of task
partitioning the process in which material is passed from
worker to worker in a relay fashion (Jeanne, 1986; reviewed
in Ratnieks and Anderson, 1999; see also Anderson and
Ratnieks, 2000). However, such data is necessary to help
elucidate the conditions in which task partitioning is

  

Source: Anderson, Carl - Synthetic Intelligence, Qbit, LLC, Bethesda, MD

 

Collections: Environmental Sciences and Ecology; Engineering; Mathematics