Arthropod navigation: ants, bees, crabs, spiders finding their way

Ken Cheng*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Arthropods are a much-studied group of animals, characterized by a hard exoskeleton and no internal bones. They include insects, spiders, and hard-shelled invertebrates such as crabs. This chapter reviews four broad topics on the navigational behavior of arthropods. The first is path integration, the ability to keep track of the straight-line distance and direction from one's starting point. The second is route behavior, in which landmarks figure in various ways. The third is image matching, the use of landmarks to pinpoint a target. The fourth is map-like navigational behavior. Recent reviews on arthropod navigation are plentiful, but there is no point in simply re-presenting all the data. Rather, this chapter aims for a selection tailored for an audience from the field of comparative cognition.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationComparative cognition
Subtitle of host publicationexperimental explorations of animal intelligence
EditorsEdward A. Wasserman, Thomas R. Zentall
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9780199848461
ISBN (Print)9780195167658, 0195167651
Publication statusPublished - 2006


  • Arthropods
  • Comparative cognition
  • Image matching
  • Insects
  • Landmarks
  • Navigation
  • Navigational behavior
  • Path integration
  • Route behavior
  • Spiders


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