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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As illustrated in Figurethe mass eclosion at the start of the migratory phase coincides with the hatching of the egg mass. Over recorded species, from birds to insects, are known to associate with Eciton burchellii and are thought to depend on the ant for their existence in some way 3. The majors and submajors still had light-colored heads while retaining the dark metasoma:.

Ection submajor workers are a specialized prey-carrying caste. Sign up to our newsletter Get the latest wild news direct to your inbox. Got anything on the common household fly?

Eciton burchellii, the swarm raider

Among a series of males from Monteverde, which is close to the zone of contact of the two forms, one had long setae on one half of the scutellum and the other half was bare differing across a sagittal plane. For if the activity cycle is controlled by the reproductive cycle, what controls the reproductive cycle?

Their bodies are heavily laden with exocrine glands resembling those of the queens.

I doubt these forms are completely geographically isolated. Eciton burchellii ants are found in the tropical jungles of Central and South America, from Mexico to Paraguay.

Chemicals can additionally be used to communicate needs for assistance, food, tropholaxis the exchange of oral or anal fluidcontrol of reproduction within the colony, and sexual communication. Mingled in is the murmur or hissing caused by the frantic movements of countless insects trying to escape the raiders, and the buzzing of parasitic flies. The raiding biology and dietary habits of both forms are so similar that the two would certainly enter into intense competition, so one or the other ends up winning out in a particular patch of habitat.


Just before the queen emerges from the bivouac, the workers on the trail nearby become distinctly more excited, and the column of running workers thickens beyond its usual width of 2 to 3 cm, soon widening to as much as 15 cm.

No part of the prosaic clatter, but impressive solo effects, are the occasional calls of antbirds. The sites most favored for bivouacs are the spaces between the buttresses of forest trees and beneath fallen tree trunks see Figure and Plate 20 or any sheltered spot along the trunks and main branches of standing trees to a height of twenty meters or more above the ground.

By her astonishing capacity to lay all of her eggs in one brief burst, she creates the synchronization of brood development, which is the essential feature for the colonial control of the activity cycle. Thanks for your comment, Josh. Thermoregulation within these bivouacs is accomplished through the opening or sealing of airways. When the ant colony swarms the forest leaf litter, arthropods flee, which are then eaten by the birds, lizards, insects, and even some mammals that attend the raids.

Eciton burchellii, the swarm raider – MYRMECOS

By filling these obstacles, the ants greatly increase the overall prey-laden traffic back to the nest. Raids set out in the morning with a swarm front near the overnight bivuoac. 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.

If need be, the ants retreat to the cool, humid bare soil or huddle beneath stones and logs in order to recover burchellli the endurance of high temperatures. In short, the colony enters the migratory phase. New colonies are formed when new queens emerge from their cocoons.


The following other wikis use this file: Then, as Johnson has expressed it, comes a “chirring, twittering, and piping” of antbirds close to the ground.

Each colony consists of permanently wingless queens and four worker castes. There is a kind of foundation noise from the rattling and rustling of leaves and vegetation as the ants seethe along and a screen of agitated small life is flushed out.

Two colonies overfed with prey emigrated on only 28 percent of the days during the migratory phase of the cycle, while two underfed butchellii emigrated on 62 percent of the migratory days. Gotwald, Behavior Army ants Dorylinae are characterized by their unique nomadic behavior pattern and purely carnivorous diet SchneirlaSchneirla et al.

Create Account Forgot Password? He proceeded to demonstrate that each Eciton colony alternates between a statary phase, in which it remains at the same bivouac site for as long as two to three weeks, and a nomadic phase, in which it moves to a new bivouac site at the close of each burcyellii, also for a period of two to three weeks.

As the day progresses, the swarm moves through the forest for a distance about that of a football field. DNA barcoding strongly supports the distinction of these two forms as distinct species. The activity cycle of Eciton colonies is truly endogenous. On Barro Colorado Island, Panama, where Schneirla conducted most of his studies, the antbirds normally follow only the raids of Eciton burchelli and those of another common swarm-raider, Labidus praedator.

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 The Harvard University Press Reader.