浴蚁

by xw

由 xw » 5月 15 2012
读蚁笔记:Birds Anting, Antbirds

以前听说过动物之间Grooming,尤其是哺乳动物间互相抚摸捉虱子的风习。蚁类也
一样,尤其是护理蚁后的大臣们,把蚁后清理得舒舒坦坦地,还有保育蚁,把幼虫
护理得一样整洁。人类有语言,可以如庄子说的“卮言日出”在发语中交际,和以天
倪。而蚁类声音弱一些,有气味可供交流,还有尝味,估计蚁后的大臣们清理舔尝
蚁后的过程不只是清理卫生,也有交流获取信息,传达命令的旨意。

蚂蚁作为社会昆虫,当然有社会成员间厮磨的风俗,况且蚂蚁社会并不象一般传说
那么忙碌。自然生命,一日劳作一两小时即足,剩下的时间除了交际就是发愣。蚂
蚁社会作为优良社会(eusocial, 真社会?),有以下几个指标:

合作照顾未成熟个体:某一个体会照顾群体中其他个体的后代。
世代重叠:群体中的成熟个体,可分为两个以上的世代。
繁殖分工:群体中可分为专行繁殖的阶级,或是较少、甚至不进行繁殖的阶级。

Birding这个动名词化意为“观鸟”,意在人为。Anting这个词就没有人的主观性,纯
粹指鸟类用Ants在身上爬来爬去寻找一种舒适,说搔痒痒也行。一般鸟类有自理
其毛羽,尤其是巨型水鸟,没事就理毛羽打蜡之类的。而崖鹰更是要把羽毛理顺了
才顺着清晨的暖流飞扬。小一些的鸟也理毛羽,鸡鸭鹅也一样喜欢理,有时是互相
理,但能形成哺乳动物群体Grooming规模的还不多。然而,依照John K. Terres,
有一百六十多种鸟类能借助蚂蚁爬痒痒快慰一番,有时翻折身体羽毛,能达到一种
快致,或者出神状态:

A Black Drongo in a typical anting posture

供鸟类用来Massage快慰的蚂蚁也有几十种之多。这种现象最先由德国学人Erwin
Stresemann发现(称为einemsen)并记录Ornithologische Monatsberichte XLIII.
138 in 1935. 我是读一本早先的蚁书The World of the Ant中了解了,原先也在
David Attenborough的自然BBC中约摸了解到过,但过后就过去了。直到这回读蚁
才仔细一回,笔记一番。

Hance Roy Iovy in Canada probably has witnessed more birds anting under
controlled conditions than any others...Baltimore orioles, robins, cardinals,
blue jays, starlings and catbirds have readily anted in Ivor's observatory. His
pet crow, however, did not ant like other birds but seemed to derive
pleasure when ants crawled over its plumage.

Various theories have been evolved to explain true purpose of anting. Holger
Poulsen, a Danish ornithologist(鸟类学家), concluded that the action was to
remove formic acid squirted on the birds' plumage by ants. Ivor does not agree,
since his camera studies show no evidence that his birds rub their heads
against their feathers while anting.

有提出供迁徒中作食物用的,有说拿蚂蚁清理身上的寄生虫的:要么歼灭之,要么
用蚁酸逐之。这倒接近维基上的说法:

It has been suggested that anting acts as way of reducing feather parasites
such as mites or in controlling fungi or bacteria, although there has been little
convincing support for any of the theories. It is possible that the use of certain
kinds of ants indicates the importance of the chemicals they release. Some
cases of anting involved the use of millipedes or Puss Moth caterpillars, and
these too are known to release powerful defensive chemicals.

这就有点象牛背上的鸟儿,鲸鲨随附的小鱼,捉虫子用的。在热带非洲与美洲,只
要是滨水的动物身上都背着大量的鸟虫之类,带管不管的,任鸟捉虫。

It has been suggested that birds ant for pure enjoyment. 习惯成自然,成瘾
也不是不会。就有人说蚁类分泌的化学芳香物,鸟类习之快慰。这么Anting成了鸟
类吸食致幻品?

Dusting with soil from ant-hills has been considered by some as equivalent
to anting.

Some birds like antbirds and flickers not only ant, but also consume the ants
as an important part of their diet...哈哈,维基不对!

Spotted Antbird (Hylophylax naevioides)

兵蚁(Eciton)群是一些蚁鸟的主要食物。大部份热带的蚂蚁都会组成大群,但蚁群
很多都是夜间或在地底下活动的。新热带界的行军蚁是最多鸟类光顾的物种,因它
们是日间及在地面活动的。以往认为光顾的鸟类是来吃蚁的,但研究发现多处地方
的行军蚁其实是驱猎者,将昆虫或其他节肢动物及细小的脊椎动物带到等候的蚁鸟
处。点斑蚁鸟在离开蚁群的地方觅食,就需111.8秒才找到食物;但在蚁群留守时
,每32.3秒就可以找到。有18种蚁鸟就是跟踪蚁群来觅食的,每天早上都会检查
兵蚁的巢。这些物种会先到达蚁群的巢,再呼叫其他物种到来。

由于兵蚁的行动不能预测,蚁鸟很难去组织一个包含蚁群的地盘。它们的地盘只是
用来繁殖的,它们会走到地盘以外的地方觅食。同一蚁群可能会有多对同种的蚁鸟
在觅食,并以蚁群所在的地盘拥有者来领导。除了同种之间的竞争外,不同物种之
间也存在竞争,多以较大型的物种领导。眼斑蚁雀是跟踪蚁群中体型最大的。体型
较大的会进占蚁群的正前方,获取最多的猎物。较细小的则位于较后或较高的地方
,猎物也较少。


2013-10-30 19:00:08

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