Vol. 61, 2022
Searching Behavior in the Tropical
Fire Ant Solenopsis geminata
Li‑Chuan Lai1,*, Tzu-Yen Chao1,
and Ming-Chung Chiu2
of Ecological Humanities, Providence University, 200, Sec. 7, Taiwan
Boulevard, Shalu Dist., Taichung City 43301, Taiwan. *Correspondence:
E-mail: email@example.com (Lai).
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org (Chaos)
2Department of Biology National Changhua University of
Education, Jin-De Campus, No.1, Jin-De Road, Changhua City 55007,
Taiwan. E-mail: email@example.com (Chiu)
Received 19 December 2021 / Accepted
13 April 2022
Communicated by John Wang
Social insects have evolved
different search strategies to find target objects in unknown
environments. In the present study, the searching behavior of the
tropical fire ant Solenopsis geminatawas
investigated in a circular arena. The average time, search path,
speed, and search patterns of worker ants in a circular arena were
determined. The results showed that fire ant workers followed six major
search patterns. The variation in the searching patterns of workers may
explain the different levels of exploration. Most workers (56.8%)
tended to search in small loops and progressively increase the search
area size. These workers mostly turned in one direction, either
clockwise or counterclockwise. More workers turned in a consistent
pattern than in an inconsistent pattern. Moving speed was also higher
in workers that maintained theirturning directions than in those that changed directions. We thus propose that following search patterns
consisting of loops of increasing size may be an effective strategy.
The tropical fire ant S. geminata
is a globally invasive species that was introduced to Taiwan 40 years
ago and has continued to threaten residents. Based on behavioral
studies of S. geminata, we may gain a better understanding of their
exploratory behavior in the ecosystem in Taiwan.
Key words: Solenopsis geminata, Searching
behavior, Searching patterns, Loops, Invasive species.
Lai LC, Chao TY, Chiu MC. 2022. Searching behavior in the tropical fire
ant Solenopsis geminata
(Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Zool Stud 61:26. doi:10.6620/ZS.2022.61-26.