Multi-level instrumentation of bivouac thermoregulation: Current methods and future directions

This is a Preprint and has not been peer reviewed. The published version of this Preprint is available: This is version 2 of this Preprint.


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Kaitlin Baudier, Theodore P. Pavlic


Army ants are frequently used as charismatic organismal representatives of collective behavior in nature, providing templates for modern engineered systems as well as continuing to drive aspirational goals for the engineered systems of the future. Most attention on army ants has been focused on the ability of groups of ants to self-assemble into adaptive structures such as bridges or even whole-colony bivouacs (living nests) that provide shelter and protection. Less attention has been paid to the demonstrated abilities of these large-scale army-ant structures to thermoregulate, which is a particularly notable adaptation given that each individual ant has limited ability to regulate her own body temperature. Understanding the emergence of group-level thermoregulation from inexpensive components provides significant opportunities for engineered systems but also requires surmounting significant instrumentation challenges. Here, we review what is known about army-ant thermoregulation, what is currently possible in terms of multi-scale instrumentation, and what important gaps need to be filled to advance the field further.



Entomology, Life Sciences


Collective behavior, Dorylinae, Homeostasis, Methodology, Thermal performance, Thermal regulation


Published: 2022-03-24 14:45

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CC-By Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International

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Data and Code Availability Statement:
This is a review paper, so raw data associated with the patterns we describe can be found in the supplementary materials of the sources we cite.

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