The temperature regime in the Solenopsis invicta mound and its effect on behavior



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Texas Tech University


The fire ant mound provides a unique environment for its inhabitants. This mound habitat allows for greater changes in temperature than would be available if nests were constructed below the surface. There is a significant difference in temperature regimes in mound soil and undisturbed soil adjacent to the mound. Significant temperature differences exist within the mound on a vertical plane. Surprisingly, a much less significant horizontal mound temperature change was noted. The temperature characteristics have an important impact on ant behavior and data suggest that they migrate in response to mound temperature changes. The S. invicta workers showed the greatest degree of migration, followed by the pupae and larvae. Reproductives and eggs showed less definite patterns of movement.



Solenopsis invicta, Body temperature -- Regulation, Solenopsis richteri, Ants -- Behavior, Ants -- Ecology, Fire ants