Data for: Complementary landmarks facilitate ant navigation

We investigated the effect of presenting rock ant colonies (Temnothorax albipennis) with identical horizontal landmarks either side of their route, versus one horizontal landmark paired with a sloping landmark, as they navigated to a new nest site. Our findings suggest that ants can obtain more navigational information from a combination of dissimilar landmarks: the average tortuosity of the route taken between old and new nests was significantly lower when a horizontal landmark was paired with a monotonically downward sloping landmark (the paths were more direct). The impact on available navigational information from the similarity or dissimilarity of nearby landmarks is likely made through more distinctive visual panoramas, and could be an influential factor in individual and collective animal decision-making about which routes are followed.