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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A queen will mate when a winged male is discovered by foraging workers and brought back to the bivouac.

File:Eciton burchellii army ants.jpg

After he had demonstrated the endogenous nature of the cycle, and its control by synchronous brood development, he dismissed the role of food depletion. 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.

These attacks often involve the destruction of the wasp nest as Eciton burchellii consume the larva and pupa. In addition to chemical signals, army ants communicate with vibrations and touch. Skip to content An Eciton burchellii parvispinum worker carries an ant pupa back from the raid front. Also, individuals who are outbound, turn to avoid the inbound ants more frequently, giving the prey-burdened ants the right-of-way on the trail.

As the day progresses, the swarm moves through the forest for a distance about that of a football field. The Smithsonian Report, Report for Social animals need an alarm system to alert others to defend against potential threats or to recruit others to attack prey. Army ant biology The swarm raids of Eciton burchellii are the largest of any Neotropical army ant, with overburchllii proceeding at a rate of up to 20 metres per hour 6.

Since numerous insects and other small prey can escape ecjton swarm, the frequent raids of the ants do not desecrate an area’s prey reserves.

Blue-banded kingfisher Alcedo euryzona. Many mites live in the bivouacs and ant columns.

Species: Eciton burchellii parvispinum – AntWeb

Little information is known about the exact lifetimes as this species is very difficult to keep in captivity, and its nomadic behavior makes individuals very difficult to track over long periods of time. This causes not only high colony population viscosity, but also burxhellii maternal gene flow among the colonies.


Raids set eeciton in the morning with a swarm front near the overnight bivuoac. Arthropods, such as ticks, escape through their excitatory secretions, stick insects through repellent chemicals, as tests show, as well as through tonic immobility. A male army ant will only mate with one queen in his lifetime. First noticed by Drummondthe butterflies are now known to feed on the droppings of the antbirds Ray and Andrews, ; Andrews, Referring to a mating system in which a female mates with several males during one breeding season compare polygynous.

A study in social organization. Mandel; Thomas Rassweiler; Ian D.

The location of the Eciton soldiers misled early observers into concluding that they are burcheloii leaders. This allows for smaller prey to take shelter in the crevices of the leaf litter to hide from the oncoming ants. In print, each image must include attribution to its photographer, the specimen code of the image, and “from www. This event energizes the colony, sets off a maximum raid followed by emigration, and at last splits the bivouac. Our lack of knowledge of the semiotic basis of the Eciton cycle is due simply to the lack of any serious attempt to obtain it.

Beetles that mimic the ants can be found in the bivouac and in columns.

Eciton burchellii or burchelli? Insects, in general, are very vulnerable to the effects of dehydration because of their large surface area to volume ratio. 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 eiton half was bare differing across a sagittal plane.

The two forms ecitn not appear to coexist. Which species are on the road to recovery? To summarize very briefly to this point, the colonies of Eciton and at least some other army ant species follow an endogenous cycle as Schneirla described it. Eciton burchellii has a fixed day activity cycle of raiding and migration that is associated with the growth of new broods of workers in the colony Primarily Aphaenogaster and Pheidole N.

Holldobler and Wilson, Biogeographic Regions neotropical native Habitat Eciton burchellii are terrestrial, although colonies may occasionally bivouac temporarily nest in trees several meters above ground.

He also witnessed snakes, lizards, and nestling birds being attacked, although there are no accounts of vertebrate prey being carried back to the bivouac. Heavy rains have been observed to alter the foraging trails and movement patterns. They most likely were present to exploit the hosts for mechanical transportation or to use their waste deposits. The primary difference is gustatory. The colony members can also manipulate the bivouac to avoid rainfall or direct sunlight.


The ants can detect the pheromones with their antennae and can tell the difference in concentration gradients of the pheromones as they move away from the center of the trail. True nomadism is known among ants only in certain Malaysian species of Eciyon. 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.

The queen is able to store sperm in order to fertilize all of her eggs after mating only once. According to Schneirla’s theory of brood stimulation actually a hypothesisthe migratory phase is initiated when workers become excited by the fciton eclosion of new, callow workers from the pupae.

Eciton burchellii, the swarm raider

Apparently he had no clear ideas about the nature of the signals utilized. Although the queens only job is to lay eggs, the workers care diligently for every egg, larva, and pupa. Akre, ; Franks, ; Holldobler and Wilson, Habitat Regions tropical terrestrial Terrestrial Biomes forest rainforest scrub forest Other Habitat Features agricultural Physical Description Eciton burchellii are polymorphic, worker sizes range from 3mm to 12mm.

Numerous antbirds parasitize the Eciton burchellii by using their raids as a source of food. At least four burchellij of workers exist in its social system. Franks found that during the wet season the majority of food items brought back to the nest are wasp and ant broods, while cockroaches and crickets predominate in the dry burchelloi.

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. The eggs of Eciton burchellii develop in synchrony and hatch into larvae at the end of the day statary period.