The Ants - Chapter 10 Foraging Strategies, Territory, and Population Regulation Summary & Analysis

Bert Hölldobler
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Chapter 10 Foraging Strategies, Territory, and Population Regulation Summary

Foraging theory is presented in abstract terms. Optimal foraging strategy is constrained by several factors, some external (accidents, predators, competition) and some internal (physiology, limited sensory ability). Foraging must also be considered as an ergonomic activity, as individual worker loss can only be understood in terms of the colony's health.

"Every ant species operates within ranges of temperature and humidity...in other words every species has a temperature-humidity envelope" (p. 379). Field studies on foraging behavior as it relates to temperature and humidity are summarized in a species chart. Temperature-humidity envelope graphs are provided. Daily cycles of activity are also considered. The colony will regulate activity to maximize efficiency.

Different species forage using a variety of distinct methods. Several methods are enumerated and described, including solitary foraging, ortstreue (the tendency to repeatedly...

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