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The visual centring response in desert ants, Cataglyphis fortis.


Heusser, D; Wehner, R (2002). The visual centring response in desert ants, Cataglyphis fortis. Journal of Experimental Biology, 205(5):585-590.

Abstract

When negotiating their way through cluttered environments, desert ants, Cataglyphis fortis, tend to run along the midlines of the alleys formed by adjacent low shrubs. This 'centring response' was investigated by inducing foraging ants to walk through artificial channels. The sidewalls of the channel were either homogeneously black or provided with stationary or moving black-and-white gratings. The speed of motion and the spatial period of the gratings and the height of the walls could be varied independently on the left-hand and right-hand sides of the channel. The results clearly show that the ants, while exhibiting their centring responses, try to balance neither the self-induced image speeds nor the contrast frequencies seen in their left and right visual fields, but the vertical angle subtended by the landmarks on either side. When manoeuvring through the channel, the ants always adjust the lateral positions of their walking trajectories in such a way that the vertical angles subtended by the walls are identical for both eyes.

Abstract

When negotiating their way through cluttered environments, desert ants, Cataglyphis fortis, tend to run along the midlines of the alleys formed by adjacent low shrubs. This 'centring response' was investigated by inducing foraging ants to walk through artificial channels. The sidewalls of the channel were either homogeneously black or provided with stationary or moving black-and-white gratings. The speed of motion and the spatial period of the gratings and the height of the walls could be varied independently on the left-hand and right-hand sides of the channel. The results clearly show that the ants, while exhibiting their centring responses, try to balance neither the self-induced image speeds nor the contrast frequencies seen in their left and right visual fields, but the vertical angle subtended by the landmarks on either side. When manoeuvring through the channel, the ants always adjust the lateral positions of their walking trajectories in such a way that the vertical angles subtended by the walls are identical for both eyes.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Zoology (former)
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
590 Animals (Zoology)
Language:English
Date:1 March 2002
Deposited On:11 Feb 2008 12:17
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 12:15
Publisher:Company of Biologists
ISSN:0022-0949
Related URLs:http://jeb.biologists.org/cgi/content/abstract/205/5/585
PubMed ID:11907048

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