The locomotory behaviour of workers of 12 ant species belonging to four different genera (Formicinae: Cataglyphis, Formica, Lasius; Myrmicinae: Myrmica) was studied by filming individuals walking on smoked-glass plates. Subsequent multivariate analyses of footfall positions and walking kinematics revealed a set of constant features characterizing ant locomotion. The alternating tripod gait prevails over a wide range of speeds. The temporal rigidity of tripod coordination is paralleled by spatially rigid footfall patterns. Tripod geometry is preserved irrespective of speed and curvature. When walking around curves, tripods are rotated relative to the walking trajectory. Whereas stride length on the inner side of the curve is shortened, that on the outer side is independent of curvature.

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