Group composition affects collective behaviors

The composition of a of group influences its collective actions. We examine how variation among individuals in behavior influences the collective actions of the group in the invasive  Argentine ant, Linepithima humile. We find that rapidly finding a suitable nest site is affected by the proportion of exploratory individuals in a group [1] and aggression towards native species is determined by the proportion of aggressive individuals in a group [2] . One proximate mechanisms explaining individual variation in explorations ants is the expression of the for gene [3].

1. Hui A & Pinter-Wollman N. 2014. Individual variation in exploratory behaviour improves speed and accuracy of collective nest selection by Argentine ants. Animal Behaviour. 93:261-6.

2. Newmann K. & Pinter-Wollman N. 2019. Collective response of Argentine ant groups to native species emerges from individual differences in aggressive behavior. Behavioral Ecology. arz017,  (PDF)

3. Page H., Sweeney A., Pilko A. & Pinter-Wollman N. 2018. Underlying mechanisms and ecological context of variation in exploratory behavior of the Argentine ant, Linepithema humile. Journal of Experimental Biology 221, jeb188722 (PDF)

 An  Argentine ant tending aphids:

argentine ant