Title: Larval begging behaviour in the ant Myrmica rubra
Authors: Creemers, Bart ×
Billen, Johan
Gobin, Bruno #
Issue Date: Sep-2003
Publisher: Dipartimento di biologia animale e genetica, Università€ di Firenze
Series Title: Ethology, ecology & evolution vol:15 issue:3 pages:261-272
Abstract: Female ant larvae develop either into sterile workers or, when they receive extra nutrition, into fertile queens. Larvae are thus expected to maximize their fitness by acquiring as much food as possible. However, immobile ant larvae are totally dependent on worker care and have only one option for the manipulation of their food intake, begging. Until now it was unclear whether larvae show begging behaviour at all and how workers respond to this. We identified begging behaviour by quantitative correlation of larval behaviours with the frequency of feeding received from workers in experimental groups of the ant Myrmica rubra. Hungry larvae can attract feeding from workers by keeping their head bent upwards, in a stretch position. This position is assumed without previous contact with workers (non-induced). Although head movements of the larvae co-vary with adoption of the stretch position, we argue that they do not play a role in begging, as larvae that attract more feedings also prolong their stay in the stretch position. Furthermore, in those experimental groups where workers fed the larvae frequently, larvae showed this begging behaviour less often.
ISSN: 0394-9370
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IT
Appears in Collections:Ecology, Evolution and Biodiversity Conservation Section
× corresponding author
# (joint) last author

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