Monthly Archives: December 2016

Not Focused On Objects

Humans commonly use landmarks for navigation. We routinely focus on nearby objects such as buildings to guide our navigation. Don’t all animals navigate using nearby landmarks? Apparently not. A group of scientists* tested desert ants, Melophorus bagoti, to determine if … Continue reading

Posted in behavior, by jjneal, Vision | 1 Comment

Living With a Panoramic View

Desert ants are fascinating organisms for studying navigation because they inhabit an environment with few local cues but impressive distant visual cues such as tall mountains. Navigating back to the nest after foraging can be challenging with few local cues. … Continue reading

Posted in behavior, by jjneal, Vision | 1 Comment

Living With Horizons

Insect vision is not good at imaging fine detail, but it does provide a wide angle view of the environment. Insects, including ants, can use a UV/Green receptor system to accurately detect the line between earth and sky. UV light … Continue reading

Posted in behavior, by jjneal, Vision | 1 Comment

Navigating Off Course

Wolf and Wehner* investigated navigation to a food source in desert ants, Cataglyphis fortis. Navigation errors are common, even among humans. Wolf and Wehner note that because of navigation errors, mariners sailing to a far off location would often arrive … Continue reading

Posted in behavior, by jjneal | 1 Comment

Foraging With Odors

The desert ant Cataglyphis fortis primarily feeds on dead insects that are sparse and unevenly distributed in their environment. A single forager can carry a small dead insect back to the nest without aid. As dead insects are typically found … Continue reading

Posted in behavior, by jjneal | 1 Comment

Responding To Roadblocks

The leaf cutter ant, Atta columbica, must collect a continuous supply of leaves to maintain their fungus gardens, the primary source of food. To move leaves efficiently, the ants clear trails leading from the nest to good foraging sites. These … Continue reading

Posted in behavior, by jjneal, Environment | 1 Comment

Gifts For the Young Entomologist

Little children like insects. Little children like toy cars. Would little children like a toy car driven by and insect? That is the bet made on the Bug Racer powered by Ele-Cricket-y. The battery operated vehicle has a cockpit that … Continue reading

Posted in by jjneal, Insect Inspired | 1 Comment