Ants are social insects living in communities. Division of labor is a basic structure of social organization in which allows tasks specialization for each member. Each colony has its own workers specialized to do solely a task and workers accomplish their specific jobs for a perfect social organization. The queen only job is to lay eggs. The workers emerged from the eggs are travelling to hunt for food, protect their nest and make the colony bigger. They build the nest into many chambers. Ants are referred to the cool and warm temperature. Therefore, the ant colony is built under the stones or on the ground to the underground where it is less exposed to the heat (Robinson et al., 2009)
In the natural world, ants are wandering randomly. Upon finding the food, ants will leave the chemical trails for other recruits. Ants communicate with each other by touching each other with their antennae. The nestmates follow the pheromone trail to arrive at the specific food location. The pheromone chemicals can give off different kinds of information and each ant colony has their own pheromone smell. The main content of pheromone is cuticular hydrocarbons (CHC) with large availability of chemistry for specific pheromones. Therefore ants can produce many different kinds of pheromone. A certain pheromone can use as a warning for danger, mark a trail, or to recognize the other ants in the same colony (Dussutour and Nicolis, 2013, and Hannonen et al., 2002).
In insect societies, some foraging individuals may perform tasks that increase their risk of predation while others may be specialized in protecting the colony form predatory attacks (Evison et al., 2008). Foraging strategies is mediated by life expectancy in which specific tasks assign to the workers by age influence. Outside of nest, the foragers are performing the most dangerous tasks. Younger workers tend to stay close to the nest and do the safe tasks such as brood care while older age workers tend to do tasks increases with the distance from the center of the nest. Oldest workers are most likely foragers and territory patrollers (Tripet and Nonacs, 2004). To see how the ant colony assigns its foragers, I will test the hypothesis for the correlation of the workers with shorter life expectancy will perform riskier tasks. The risk levels use for this experiment will be the common factors such as the distance, the temperature, and the presence of competitors during foraging.
Materials and Methods:
The ant Myrmica tahoensis is the Nearctic Myrmica species and is distributed widely in the sierras of California. The colonies are polygynous with a few queens in small to medium size nest. The genus Myrmica is primarily confined to mountain habitats where it is cool and mesic condition. Therefore, its nests are built in shady places such as under stones, within objects on the ground, and in the soil. The main study object for this experiment is the workers of Myrmica tahoensis. Ant workers in...