Retour au reportage Retour au reportage




Piliers et murs d’une fourmilière construite en conditions expérimentales

System of regularly spaced pillars and walls built in experimental conditions by groups of 500 ants of the "Lasius niger" species. By putting ants into experimental devices and varying the quantity of earth and the number of individuals, research scientists are studying the formation of a single level of an antheap. This begins with the establishment of pillars and walls, the basic units of the nest. This study made it possible to determine that it is the ants’ deposition of pheromones onto the earth pellets that governs the entire dynamics of construction, growth and the shape of the nests. Antheaps exhibit an extremely complex and dynamic architecture. In fact, ants are constantly destroying the structures that they build and adapt their habitat to their environment, in particular the external meteorological conditions. Therefore, research scientists are trying to understand how these insects, guided by their collective intelligence, manage to build very elaborate structures while exhibiting simple individual behaviour.

CNRS Institute(s)

Regional office(s)

Scientific topics

CNRS Images,

Our work is guided by the way scientists question the world around them and we translate their research into images to help people to understand the world better and to awaken their curiosity and wonderment.