I'm working on developing a model of ant foraging. To do this, I have simulated food morsels distributed randomly within an area, with the minimum distance between morsels being variable. I'm trying to get a good idea of the scale at which I should define the distances. This has to depend on ant walking speed and their usual foraging distance.
I'm not very species-specific in my approach. One study (1) shows a survey of foraging distance for different species. They found that most of the species had a maximal foraging distance of less than 1m. Some species did go upwards of 10m. I presume this distance would increase with the presence of trails, but to only focus on finding food by exploring, I can keep the distance between food morsels to be 2m-3m.
Now, I also want to figure out the time that it would take an ant to start from the nest and reach the food given its distance. This is where I'm stuck. I wasn't able to find any survey or study on walking speeds of different ant species. I need an approximate 'exploring speed' of ants, which is just time taken to reach a morsel after leaving the nest. Are there any references I could use to estimate this value for my model?
- Eguchi, K., Bui, T. V., & Yamane, S. (2004). A preliminary study on foraging distance and nesting sites of ants in Indo-Chinese lowland vegetation. Sociobiology, 43(3), 445-457.