Article révisé par les pairs
Résumé : We examined if workers of the ant species Myrmica ruginodis would be able to localize a food source on the basis of its previous locations. To this end we progressively relocated food to predefined positions, both linearly, i.e., farther or nearer the nest entrance, and circularly, i.e., to the left or to the right of the nest entrance. After removal of food from one site and prior to the subsequent relocalization of the food to the next site, we counted the number of ants present at the different possible food locations. We found that the ants initially came to the site from where the food had just been removed, but following two or three relocations of food, they foraged around the following, expected food location in statistically significant numbers. The workers thus appeared to be able to spatially anticipate where food would be on the basis of its previous localizations. Such ability—hitherto unreported in ants—requires a knowledge of the environment around the nest, a long-term visual memory, memorization of the location of some food locations, knowledge of the pattern of food supply, some degree of providence, presentation of some anticipative behavior, and estimation of their orientation of movement and distances walked. These seven capabilities have been separately observed in previous studies on Myrmica species. Here, we report that the ant M. ruginodis also has the ability to learn a relation between previous food sites and a next one. © 2016, Japan Ethological Society and Springer Japan.