Effect of Temperature on Brood Relocation in Pogonomyrmex salinus (Hymenopteria: Formicidae)
Brood movement in response to temperature by Pogonomyrmex salinus (seed-harvester ant) nurse workers was examined in the sagebrush steppe of southeast Idaho. Shading the mound surface of P. salinus colonies at dawn caused a decrease in mound temperature and led to significantly less brood accumulation near the surface. In a related experiment, a lab colony of P. salinus was offered an artificial thermal gradient during the cool/dark portion of the daily cycle. Nurse workers removed brood from the 21° --22° C range to soils with temperatures between 29° C and 36° C. Daily brood relocation by P. salinus nurse workers is a highly flexible behavior, capable of immediate response to temperature, and does not appear to follow a strict endogenous rhythm.
Anderson, Kirk E. and Munger, James C.. (2003). "Effect of Temperature on Brood Relocation in Pogonomyrmex salinus (Hymenopteria: Formicidae)". Western North American Naturalist, 63(1), 122-128.