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Homing in a tropical social wasp: role of spatial familiarity, motivation and age

Mandal, Souvik and Brahma, Anindita and Gadagkar, Raghavendra (2017) Homing in a tropical social wasp: role of spatial familiarity, motivation and age. In: JOURNAL OF COMPARATIVE PHYSIOLOGY A-NEUROETHOLOGY SENSORY NEURAL AND BEHAVIORAL PHYSIOLOGY, 203 (11). pp. 915-927.

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Official URL: http://doi.org/10.1007/s00359-017-1202-8

Abstract

We captured foragers of the tropical social wasp Ropalidia marginata from their nests and displaced them at different distances and directions. Wasps displaced within their probable foraging grounds returned to their nests on the day of release although they oriented randomly upon release; however, wasps fed before release returned sooner, displaying nest-ward orientation. When displaced to places far from their nests, thus expected to be unfamiliar, only a third returned on the day of release showing nest-ward orientation; others oriented randomly and either returned on subsequent days or never. When confined within mosquito-net tents since eclosion and later released to places close to their nests (but unfamiliar), even fed wasps oriented randomly, and only older wasps returned, taking longer time. Thus, contrary to insects inhabiting less-featured landscapes, R. marginata foragers appear to have thorough familiarity with their foraging grounds that enables them to orient and home efficiently after passive displacement. Their initial orientation is, however, determined by an interaction of the information acquired from surrounding landscape and their physiological motivation. With age, they develop skills to home from unfamiliar places. Homing behaviour in insects appears to be influenced by evolutionarily conserved mechanisms and the landscape in which they have evolved.

Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: Copy right for this article belongs to the SPRINGER, 233 SPRING ST, NEW YORK, NY 10013 USA
Department/Centre: Division of Biological Sciences > Centre for Ecological Sciences
Depositing User: Id for Latest eprints
Date Deposited: 11 Nov 2017 07:20
Last Modified: 11 Nov 2017 07:20
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/58185

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