Title

Foraging For Non-Food Items in Harvester Ants

Department

Biological Sciences

Major

Biological Sciences

Research Advisor

Verble, Robin M.

Advisor's Department

Biological Sciences

Funding Source

Missouri S&T

Abstract

Several species of harvester ants have been observed regularly foraging for non-food items such as bits of charcoal and placing around the entrance to the colony. These behaviors are well-documented, but the reason remains unclear. Thermoregulation and sanitation are two prevailing theories, although research into these factors have proven inconclusive in the past. This project seeks to investigate these behaviors and determine whether there is a purpose behind this foraging habit, or whether it is simply and evolutionary quirk.

Biography

Dylan Johnson is entering his fourth year in the Biological Sciences program, with an emphasis on Secondary Education. He has worked on several projects in Dr. Verble's lab, including Berlese extraction methodology and acorn growth rates. Most recently, Dylan participated in a 6 week long research fellowship conducting and insect diversity survey for the environmental department in Fort Leonard Wood. Outside of the lab, Dylan was involved in Residential Life as a Resident Assistant and is currently working alongside high school teachers in local schools to prepare for student teaching.

Presentation Type

OURE Fellows Proposal Oral Applicant

Document Type

Presentation

Location

Missouri Room

Presentation Date

14 Apr 2022, 10:30 am - 11:00 am

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Apr 14th, 10:30 AM Apr 14th, 11:00 AM

Foraging For Non-Food Items in Harvester Ants

Missouri Room

Several species of harvester ants have been observed regularly foraging for non-food items such as bits of charcoal and placing around the entrance to the colony. These behaviors are well-documented, but the reason remains unclear. Thermoregulation and sanitation are two prevailing theories, although research into these factors have proven inconclusive in the past. This project seeks to investigate these behaviors and determine whether there is a purpose behind this foraging habit, or whether it is simply and evolutionary quirk.