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Foraging in nature


Butterflies respond to complex ecological conditions while foraging in the wild. The spatial scale of resource distribution and also adult nectar and larval resources influences butterfly foraging decisions. At large-spatial scales butterflies spent more time feeding in resource-poor areas as compared to resource-rich areas but at small spatial scales butterflies spent more time foraging in resource-rich patches. Our findings indicate that animals are capable of evaluating multiple resources at multiple spatial scales.

Multiple Sensory Modalities in Diurnal Geckos Is Associated with the Signaling Environment and Evolutionary Constraints


Being conspicuous in the environment allows males to attract mates and warn other males of their presence. Males of a species often use signal traits in different sensory modalities to achieve this. However, as elaboration of several signal-traits is demanding, trade-offs in investment in signal-traits in different modalities is expected, especially since not all traits are equally conspicuous in all environments. In Kabir et al. 2020, we show that signal traits in the chemical and visual modalities in the diurnal gecko, Cnemaspis are well associated with the local environment.

Top 2% Scientists from India

three from CES

A new list of 2% of top scientists worldwide has identified 1,494 scientists in India, out of which 3 are from Centre for Ecological Sciences [Raghavendra Gadagkar (Subject: Entomology), Raman Sukumar (Subject: Ecology), Ramachandra T.V. (Subject: Energy)], Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru. The prestigious list was prepared by Stanford University and published in the journal PLOS Biology.

Mate-searching context of prey influences the predator–prey space race


Mate-searching context of prey influences the predator–prey space race

Predators generally move towards prey in search of a meal. Far from being easy targets, prey proactively avoid predators at multiple spatial scales, to reduce risk. But prey cannot focus all their efforts on evading predators since they have other crucial tasks to accomplish, such as foraging and reproduction. In Torsekar and Thaker (2020), we show how reproductive behaviour of prey affect their spatial games with predators.

Male crickets shift to safer mate attraction tactics when predation risk is high


The currency of success in nature is the number of offspring you leave behind, so individuals may employ alternative ways to achieve mating success under different conditions. For instance, males may attempt to mate sneakily instead of performing conspicuous courtship displays, which may attract predators. Predation risk is believed to be a factor that can drive individuals to switch between different mating tactics, but this has rarely been studied experimentally.

Moisture alone is sufficient to impart strength but not weathering resistance to termite mounds

weathering resistance to termite mounds

Termite mounds are iconic examples of earthen structures that can withstand the forces of nature such as weathering and remain intact for decades if not centuries. We have discovered that moisture alone, at levels close to the liquid limits of the construction soil, which is a residual red soil in Bangalore, is sufficient to give termite mound soils its incredible strength. However, in the absence of the manipulation of soil by termites, this soil has no weathering resistance.

New publication: The termite mound has a porous exterior and a strong core

 termite mound has a porous exterior and a strong core

The termite mound is an iconic example of earthen construction. It is a self-organised structure built by thousands of blind termite workers that build a stable soil structure with extremely high safety factors and resistance to slope failure. Using finite element modeling, tomography, porosity measurements and experimental determination of air permeability, we show that the termite mound is a bilayered structure with a solid core and a porous shell.

Announcement of Vacancy for the Position of JRF for herpetofaunal research in the LTEO programme

Candidates with the following additional qualifications/skills will be preferred:

• Experience in field work with herpetofauna

• Quantitative skills including statistics and study design.

• Data analysis skills including working knowledge of R and GIS.

Remuneration: Salary will be commensurate with qualifications and work experience in accordance with GOI and IISc scales.

How to apply:

List of Selected students for the PhD program at CES (2020)

List of Selected students for the PhD program at CES (2020)


2 20100046 ARITRA BISWAS




6 20104684 AMANDA BEN

7 20110076 KAJAL KUMARI

8 20108394 AYAN DAS

9 20111917 PRATIK DAS

Waiting list

1 20102390 ANUBHAV DHAR

2 20113281 JASPREET KAUR



Vaibhav's Protanilla, a new species of ant described from Goa, India.


Vaibhav's Protanilla, Protanilla flamma a small subterranean ant measuring just 2.5mm has been described from the forests of Netravali Wildlife Sanctuary in Goa, India. This ant is completely blind and uses chemical cues for navigating in their dark subterranean world. The species is named after Prof. Vaibhav Chindarkar from Goa. The word “vaibhav” means eminence – like the glow of a flame in the dark in Sanskrit and incidentally, this species is also yellowish-orange in colour and hence, the species is named "flamma".