Symbolic communication is exchange of messages that change a priori expectation of events. Examples of this are modern communication technology as also exchange of information amongst animals.

In animal societies, symbolic communication helps one understand how they live in cooperating groups. The behavior of weaver ant workers has been carefully studied and it has been found that communicative gestures with respect to members of the same colony and intruders is different. But the symbolic dance of honeybees as a communicative language has been questioned.