Foraging and Defence Strategies

Anna Dornhaus, Scott Powell

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

52 Scopus citations


In many habitats, the first animal that a visitor is likely to notice is an ant forager. Ants are model systems for the study of foraging strategies, and have stimulated the development of theories in optimal foraging, central place foraging, risk and robustness, and search algorithms. Differences in diet, as well as differences in habitat structure, competitive environment, and colony size have likely led to the broad diversity of foraging and defence strategies in ants. Many factors affect foraging behaviour at the individual and colony levels, including energy requirements, distance to food resources, and avoidance of mortality. As a taxon, ants employ a range of strategies including morphological, chemical, and behavioural defences during foraging to defend both themselves and any resources they are handling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAnt Ecology
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780191720192
ISBN (Print)9780199544639
StatePublished - Feb 1 2010


  • Behavioural defence
  • Central place foraging
  • Chemical defence
  • Defence strategy
  • Diet
  • Foraging strategy
  • Morphological defence
  • Optimal foraging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


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