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Territory Among Wood Ants (Formica rufa L.) at Picket Hill
Journal of Animal Ecology
Vol. 1, No. 1 (May, 1932), pp. 69-76
Published by: British Ecological Society
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/996
Page Count: 9
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1. A survey was made of the nests and trackways of an isolated community of wood ants (Formica rufa) in a bird sanctuary in Hampshire. 2. Each nest had a distinct territory containing certain trees and shrubs on which lived almost pure cultures of aphids tended by the ants for their secretions, and forming the basis of trackway systems from the nests. 3. There was no communication between the trackways of neighbouring nests, nor normally any hostility between ants of different nests, except for occasional destructive raids. 4. One nest was observed to split into two, which then divided up between them the original territory and had no further communication. 5. The main check on numbers of the wood ants was the green woodpecker (Picus viridis). 6. The different methods of working out densities in numbers of animal populations are discussed in relation to wood ants and to man.
Journal of Animal Ecology © 1932 British Ecological Society