Rotating panoramic view: Interaction between visual and olfactory cues in ants

Mai Minoura, Kohei Sonoda, Tomoko Sakiyama, Yukio Pegio Gunji*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Insects use a navigational toolkit consisting of multiple strategies such as path integration, view-dependent recognition methods and olfactory cues. The question arises as to how directional cues afforded by a visual panorama combine with olfactory cues from a pheromone trail to guide ants towards their nest. We positioned a garden ant Lasius niger on a rotating table, whereon a segment of a pheromone trail relative to the stationary panorama was rotated while the ant walked along the trail towards its nest. The rotational speed of the table (3 r.p.m.) was set so that the table would rotate through about 90° by the time that an ant had walked from the start to the centre of the table. The ant completed a U-turn at about this point and so travelled in a nest-ward direction without leaving the trail. These results suggest that the ants persist on the pheromone trail and use visual input to determine their direction of travel along the trail.

Original languageEnglish
Article number150426
JournalRoyal Society Open Science
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Jan


  • Ant
  • Foraging
  • Landmark

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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