Data from: Economic investment by ant colonies in searches for better homes.

  • Carolina Doran (Contributor)
  • Tom Pearce (Contributor)
  • Aaron Connor (Contributor)
  • Thomas Schlegel (Contributor)
  • Elizabeth Franklin (Contributor)
  • Ana B. Sendova-Franks (Contributor)
  • Nigel R. Franks (Contributor)



Organisms should invest more in gathering information when the pay-off from finding a profitable resource is likely to be greater. Here we ask whether animal societies put more effort in scouting for a new nest when their current one is of low quality. We measured the scouting behaviour of Temnothorax albipennis ant colonies when they inhabit nest-sites with different combinations of desirable attributes. We show that the average probability of an ant scouting decreases significantly with an increase in the quality of the nest in which the colony currently resides. This means that the greater the potential gain from finding a new nest, the more effort a colony puts into gathering information regarding new nest-sites. Our results show for the first time, the ability of animal societies to respond collectively to the quality of a resource they currently have at their disposal (e.g. current nest-site) and regulate appropriately their information gathering efforts for an alternative (e.g. a potentially better nest-site).,ants_searching_for_a_better_home_comments_raw_dataNumber of ants counted according to the protocol described in the manuscript.,
Date made available2 Oct 2013

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