Factors influencing the responses to nest damage in the African weaver ant. Oecophylla longinoda /Latreille/
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Responses of the African weaver ants (Oecophylla longinoda) to nest damages were studied in the field in Nigeria. During the wet season, the ants responded to nest damages almost unexceptionnally by a quick onset of nest-repairing behaviour. The latencies to the start of nest-repairing activities (LN) did not depend on the size of the damage, but they were significantly shorter during the night, and positively correlated with ambient temperature. During the dry season, the ants responded to large nest damages mainly by abandonning the nest. In the case of medium size damages, the onset of nest-repairing behaviour was equally rapid as during the wet season, but in the case of small damages it was sometimes greatly delayed (up to three hours). The values of LN did not differ between the nighttime and the remaining times of the day, and they were not correlated with ambient temperature.
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