Expectative behavior (acting as expecting the occurrence of an event) has seldom been studied in animals. Here we examined if workers of the ant species Myrmica sabuleti present this ability by studying their expectation for food location, and if young ants (about one year old) already present this expectative behavior. We found that, after two food shift training, old workers present expectative behavior as they moved onto the subsequent potential food location, irrespective of whether the food was shifted along a linear or a circular line. On the contrary, young ants searched for food essentially on the previously experienced food location, thus presenting no expectative behavior. It could be concluded that M. sabuleti has the ability of acting with expectation, and that such ability is not innate but acquired in the course of life.
View Full Article