Single-file Movement of Ants Stressed by a High Temperature

Qiao Wang, Weiguo Song, Shujie Wang, Siuming Lo


Single-file movement is a universal pattern in both nature and human society. In this paper, we investigate single-file movement of ants (Camponotus japonicus) driven by a high temperature in a narrow channel. Here, ants were placed in a chamber. The chamber was connected to a narrow channel which was 10 cm long and 0.6 cm wide so that the ants can escape through it one by one. Both chamber and narrow channel were in high temperature environment. In the channel, the random pause was observed due to the characteristic of ants. Moreover, ants were inclined to following the preceding one and trying to overtake it, which is different from the movement in natural investigation. On the other hand, the speed increased with distance headway when the distance headway is less than 0.26 cm, that is less than the body size of an ant. Furthermore, touching phenomenon was observed. When the following ants touched the preceding one, they could reduce speed, stop or move backward. On the contrary, the preceding ants increased their speed. Thus, the touching effect in multiple ants experiment can enhance the evacuation efficiency.


single-file movement, ant; high temperature; speed-distance headway; touching effect

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