Learn more about the Army ant – with amazing Army ant videos, photos and facts on Arkive. Eciton burchellii are terrestrial, although colonies may occasionally bivouac ( temporarily nest) in trees several meters above ground. Army ants need very humid. Eciton burchellii swarms are largely diurnal, whereas other Eciton species may also be found hunting at night. Eciton burchellii swarms take a broad range of.

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During this nomadic phase, when the colony has larvae to feed, the ants perform mass swarm raids every day and migrate fciton a new nest site each night 6. You can copy, modify, distribute and perform the work, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission.

According to Schneirla’s theory of brood stimulation actually a hypothesisthe migratory burchelii is initiated when workers become excited by the near-simultaneous eclosion of new, callow workers from the pupae. Since they are above-ground foragers, they are extremely sensitive to forest clearing and habitat destruction.

File:Eciton burchellii army ants.jpg

Burcjellii structure is comprised of living workers clinging together by specialized tarsal hooks Schneirla, Males have been observed to grasp these horns with their mandibles while mating. The frequency of raids is also fine-tuned in at least one species Neivamyrmex nigrescens by the day-to-day availability of food. The entire dark-brown conglomerate exudes a musky, somewhat fetid odor. This “cooling off” behavior has been observed to last upwards of 30 minutes in some colonies.

Army ant biology The swarm raids of Eciton burchellii are the largest of any Neotropical army ant, with overindividuals proceeding at a rate of up to 20 metres per hour 6.


Army Ants of Darkness: Eciton burchellii parvispinum

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Also, the monthly migrations of these ant populations help spur enhanced gene flow and eliminate the harmful effects of small breeding population sizes.

In his catalog Bolton was particularly careful about checking names in the original publications. Eciton burchellii is specifically known to have relationships with Euxenister beetles which live in the nest, travel with the bivouac, groom adult workers, and indiscriminately feed off booty and broods Akre Departure calls can be used as cues to tell the other mate where the location of the raid is. On Barro Colorado Island, which has an area of approximately 17 km2, there exist only about 50 burchelli colonies at any one time.

The migratory phase itself continues as long as the brood initiated during the previous statary period remains in the larval stage.

Eciton burchellii, the swarm raider – MYRMECOS

Even when the sexual larvae are still very young, a large fraction of the worker force becomes affiliated with the brood as opposed to the mother queen. Colonies may be quite large, accommodating as many astoadult individuals. The smaller and medium-sized workers race along the chemical trails and extend it at the point, while the larger, clumsier soldiers, unable to keep a secure footing among their nestmates, travel for the most part on either side.


A male army ant will only mate with one queen in his lifetime. Sign efiton to our newsletter Get the latest wild news direct to your inbox. In his voluminous theoretical writings on the subject, Schneirla often spoke of “trophallaxis” as the driving force of the cycles of army ants, but it is clear that he ecitton this term to be virtually synonymous with “communication” in the broadest sense.

Another question of considerable interest, added to the inducement of queen oogenesis, is the stimulus that triggers the onset of the migratory phase. New colonies are formed when new queens emerge from their cocoons.

Species: Eciton burchellii parvispinum – AntWeb

Holldobler and Wilson, The specific pheromone used by the Eciton burchellii species is 4-methyl heptanonewhich produces an intense, but short-lived, behavioral response by others in the colony. Put another way, the flush of callow workers becomes the token signal to the workers to initiate daily emigrations.

Primary caretakers of broods are called minims, and tend to be smaller sized ants.

For species of ants that migrate frequently, such as the Eciton burchelliithe location of the nest may be the most important thermoregulation tool. Journal of Evolutionary Biology.

The Animal Diversity Web is an educational resource written largely by and for college students. They are, burxhellii use Schneirla’s expression, “sealed off” from the rest of the daughter colony.

Animal Behaviour ,

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