Recurrence analysis of ant activity patterns

Felipe Marcel Neves*, Ricardo Luiz Viana, Marcio Roberto Pie

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


In this study, we used recurrence quantification analysis (RQA) and recurrence plots (RPs) to compare the movement activity of individual workers of three ant species, as well as a gregarious beetle species. RQA and RPs quantify the number and duration of recurrences of a dynamical system, including a detailed quantification of signals that could be stochastic, deterministic, or both. First, we found substantial differences between the activity dynamics of beetles and ants, with the results suggesting that the beetles have quasi-periodic dynamics and the ants do not. Second, workers from different ant species varied with respect to their dynamics, presenting degrees of predictability as well as stochastic signals. Finally, differences were found among minor and major caste of the same (dimorphic) ant species. Our results underscore the potential of RQA and RPs in the analysis of complex behavioral patterns, as well as in general inferences on animal behavior and other biological phenomena.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0185968
JournalPLoS One
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 9 Oct 2017


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