The paper is devoted to analyzing consistent individual differences in behavior, also known as “personalities,” in the context of a vital ant task—the detection and transportation of food. I am trying to elucidate the extent to which collective cognition is individual-based and whether a single individual’s actions can suffice to direct the entire colony or colony units. The review analyzes personalities in various insects with different life cycles and provides new insights into the role of individuals in directing group actions in ants. Although it is widely accepted that, in eusocial insects, colony personality emerges from the workers’ personalities, there are only a few examples of investigations of personality at the individual level. The central question of the review is how the distribution of behavioral types and cognitive responsibilities within ant colonies depends on a species’ foraging style. In the context of how workers’ behavioral traits display during foraging, a crucial question is what makes an ant a scout that discovers a new food source and mobilizes its nestmates. In mass recruiting, tandem-running, and even in group-recruiting species displaying leadership, the division of labor between scouts and recruits appears to be ephemeral. There is only little, if any, evidence of ants’ careers and behavioral consistency as leaders. Personal traits characterize groups of individuals at the colony level but not performers of functional roles during foraging. The leader-scouting seems to be the only known system that is based on a consistent personal difference between scouting and foraging individuals.
Предметные области OECD FOS+WOS
- 1.06.GU ЭКОЛОГИЯ