ヒアリの筏は「チェリオス効果」と呼ばれる力によって形成される(Fire Ant Rafts Form Thanks to a Force Known as the ‘Cheerios Effect’)

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2022-09-28 ジョージア工科大学

ジョージア工科大学の研究者たちは、同じ力が少数のアリを引き寄せ、撥水性のあるアリ筏を形成し始めることを発見した。

研究チームは、アリが洪水時に生き残るために集まって筏を形成する際に、安定した筏を形成するためにちょうど10匹のアリが必要であることを突き止めたのである。

<関連情報>

小型のヒアリイカダは不安定 Small fire ant rafts are unstable

Hungtang Ko, Mathias Hadgu, Keyana Komilian, and David L. Hu

Physical Review Fluids  Published: 20 September 2022

DOI:https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevFluids.7.090501

ABSTRACT

In this combined experimental and numerical study, we film the formation of fire ant rafts to determine how they cohere together. Surprisingly, we discover that ants prioritize separation and exploration: they flail legs and bounce off neighbors when they collide. Despite the active repulsion, fire ants cohere by the Cheerios effect, a capillary force that attracts small floating objects such as breakfast cereal. Experiments reveal that rafts consisting of fewer than ten ants disintegrate within minutes. Predictions by a Langevin model reproduce the stability transition and the critical raft size, which emerges from the balance between their mutual repulsion and the Cheerios effect. This work may inspire physically grounded models for the behavior of natural swarms.

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