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Sample records for acromyrmex leaf-cutting ants

  1. Emigration of a colony of the leaf-cutting ant Acromyrmex heyeri Forel (Hymenoptera, Formicidae

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    Mariane Aparecida Nickele

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Emigration of a colony of the leaf-cutting ant Acromyrmex heyeri Forel (Hymenoptera, Formicidae. Colony migration is a poorly studied phenomenon in leaf-cutting ants. Here we report on the emigration of a colony of the leaf-cutting ant A. heyeri in Brazil. The colony emigrated to a new location 47.4 m away from the original nest site, possibly because it had undergone considerable stress due to competitive interactions with a colony of Acromyrmex crassispinus.

  2. Emigration of a colony of the leaf-cutting ant Acromyrmex heyeri Forel (Hymenoptera, Formicidae)

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    Mariane Aparecida Nickele; Marcio Roberto Pie; Wilson Reis Filho

    2012-01-01

    Emigration of a colony of the leaf-cutting ant Acromyrmex heyeri Forel (Hymenoptera, Formicidae). Colony migration is a poorly studied phenomenon in leaf-cutting ants. Here we report on the emigration of a colony of the leaf-cutting ant A. heyeri in Brazil. The colony emigrated to a new location 47.4 m away from the original nest site, possibly because it had undergone considerable stress due to competitive interactions with a colony of Acromyrmex crassispinus.

  3. LEAF-CUTTING ANTS Acromyrmex niger SMITH, 1858 (HYMENOPTERA; FORMICIDAE) USED AS BIOINDICATORS OF AGROTOXICS RESIDUES

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    Liriana Belizário Cantagalli; Denise Alves Lopes; Ana Lúcia Paes Barateiro Stuchi; Maria Claudia Colla Ruvolo Takasusuki

    2013-01-01

    Despite the condition of leaf-cutting ant pests in agroecosystems, it is undeniable the benefits they can bring in certain situations or environments. The leaf-cutting ants of the genus Acromyrmex attack mainly leaves of vegetables and fruit trees exposing not only to the agrochemicals used for their control as well as to those used for the control of other pests. Due to the bioindicator potential of environmental quality of the ants and their frequent exposure to agrochemicals such as organo...

  4. CONTROL OF THE BLACK LEAF CUTTING ANT, Acromyrmex crassispinus, WITH POWDERED FORMICIDES

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    Henrique Moreira Link

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available Four experiments  were carried out to evaluate the efficiency of some powdered formicides on the control of the black leaf cutting ant, Acromyrmex crassispinus (Forel, 1909 (Hymenoptera: Formicidae, in Santa Maria county, from 1996 until 1998. Powdered formicides containing  Fenthion at 50g a. i./kg, Imidacloprid at  4g a. i./kg, Betacyfluthrin at 2g a. i./kg, Chlorpyrifos at 20g a. i./kg and at 50g a. i./kg, Deltamethrin at  2g a. i./kg, Acephate at 750g a. i./kg and Diazinon at 10g a. i./kg were evaluated on big nests (>80cm of diameter. The big nests of this ant were efficiently controlled with 30g/nest of the commercial formulations of Fenthion, Diazinon and Chlorpyrifos (20g a. i./kg and  50g a. i./kg; with 3g/nest of the formulation of Acephate; with 5g/nest in dry season and 30g/nest in wet season of the powdered formulation of Deltamethrin.

  5. LEAF-CUTTING ANTS Acromyrmex niger SMITH, 1858 (HYMENOPTERA; FORMICIDAE USED AS BIOINDICATORS OF AGROTOXICS RESIDUES

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    Liriana Belizário Cantagalli

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available Normal 0 21 false false false PT-BR X-NONE X-NONE MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 Despite the condition of leaf-cutting ant pests in agroecosystems, it is undeniable the benefits they can bring in certain situations or environments. The leaf-cutting ants of the genus Acromyrmex attack mainly leaves of vegetables and fruit trees exposing not only to the agrochemicals used for their control as well as to those used for the control of other pests. Due to the bioindicator potential of environmental quality of the ants and their frequent exposure to agrochemicals such as organophosphates, neonicotinoids and growth regulators insecticide used for pest control, it is necessary to study the sublethal effects that these pesticides may cause. The electrophoresis technique was used to study the activity of esterase isozymes involved in the metabolism of xenobiotics of A. niger, combined with changes in the expression of isozymes after contamination by pesticides. A. niger  showed eight regions of esterase activity, which were called EST-1, EST-2, EST-3, EST-4, EST-5, EST-6, EST-7 and EST-8 according to the electrophoretic mobility. As the specificity to α  and β -naphthyl acetate substrates, the Est-7 and Est-8 may be classified as α -esterase and the others as αβ  esterases. EST-5 is considered an enzyme of the type cholinesterase II and the others are of the type carboxilesterase. The electrophoretic analysis showed partial inhibition to all esterases subjected to the contact with Malathion organophosforate at the concentrations 1 x10-3  % and 5 x 10-3  %, which may be considered as a biomarker for the presence of residues of this insecticide in the environment. The regression analysis for sublethal effects of the tested pesticides demonstrated correlation between dose and mortality only for Thiametoxam neonicotinoid pesticide. Utilización de hormigas cortadoras Acromyrmex niger Smith,1858 (Hymenoptera; Formicidae como bioindicadoresde residuos

  6. Symbiont recognition of mutualistic bacteria by Acromyrmex leaf-cutting ants

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    Zhang, Mingzi; Poulsen, Michael; Currie, Cameron R

    2007-01-01

    by an actinomycete bacterial mutualist (genus Pseudonocardia). Despite the potential of being infected by phylogenetically diverse strains of parasites, each ant colony maintains only a single Pseudonocardia symbiont strain, which is primarily vertically transmitted between colonies by the founding queens....... In this study, we show that Acromyrmex leaf-cutter ants are able to differentiate between their native actinomycete strain and a variety of foreign strains isolated from sympatric and allopatric Acromyrmex species, in addition to strains originating from other fungus-growing ant genera. The recognition...

  7. High recombination frequency creates genotypic diversity in colonies of the leaf-cutting ant Acromyrmex echinatior

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    Sirviö, A.; Gadau, J.; Rueppell, O.;

    2006-01-01

    Honeybees are known to have genetically diverse colonies because queens mate with many males and the recombination rate is extremely high. Genetic diversity among social insect workers has been hypothesized to improve general performance of large and complex colonies, but this idea has not been...... tested in other social insects. Here, we present a linkage map and an estimate of the recombination rate for Acromyrmex echinatior, a leaf-cutting ant that resembles the honeybee in having multiple mating of queens and colonies of approximately the same size. A map of 145 AFLP markers in 22 linkage...... demonstrated that variation in division of labour and pathogen resistance has a genetic component and that genotypic diversity among workers may thus give colonies of this leaf-cutting ant a functional advantage. The present result is therefore consistent with the hypothesis that complex social life can select...

  8. Specificity of the mutualistic association between actinomycete bacteria and two sympatric species of Acromyrmex leaf-cutting ants

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    Poulsen, M; Cafaro, M; Boomsma, J J;

    2005-01-01

    Acromyrmex leaf-cutting ants maintain two highly specialized, vertically transmitted mutualistic ectosymbionts: basidiomycete fungi that are cultivated for food in underground gardens and actinomycete Pseudonocardia bacteria that are reared on the cuticle to produce antibiotics that suppress...... the growth of Escovopsis parasites of the fungus garden. Mutualism stability has been hypothesized to benefit from genetic uniformity of symbionts, as multiple coexisting strains are expected to compete and, thus, reduce the benefit of the symbiosis. However, the Pseudonocardia symbionts are likely...... to be involved in Red-Queen-like antagonistic co-evolution with Escovopsis so that multiple strains per host might be favoured by selection provided the cost of competition between bacterial strains is low. We examined the genetic uniformity of the Pseudonocardia symbionts of two sympatric species of Acromyrmex...

  9. Purpureocillium lilacinum, potential agent for biological control of the leaf-cutting ant Acromyrmex lundii.

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    Goffré, D; Folgarait, P J

    2015-09-01

    Many leaf-cutter ant species are well known pests in Latin America, including species of the genera Acromyrmex and Atta. An environmentally friendly strategy to reduce the number of leafcutter ants and avoid indiscriminate use of chemical pesticides is biological control. In this work we evaluated the effectiveness of a strain of the entomopathogen Purpureocillium lilacinum, against worker ants from six Acromyrmex lundii field colonies, after immersions in pure suspensions at a concentration of 1×10(6)conidiaml(-1). Survival of ants treated with P. lilacinum was significantly lower than that recorded in controls, and median lethal time (LT50) was 6-7days. P. lilacinum was responsible for 85.6% (80.6-89.7) of the mortality in inoculated ants, in which we found that the percentage of other entomopathogens that naturally infected ants decreased also, suggesting a good competitive capability of the fungus. Horizontal transmission to non-inoculated ants was also evidenced, given that 58.5% (41.9-64.2) of them died because of P. lilacinum. Moreover, we tested pathogenicity for three concentrations of this strain (1.0×10(4), 10(6) and 10(8)conidiaml(-1)) and found a significantly faster mortality of ants and greater median percentage of infection at 10(8)conidiaml(-1) of P. lilacinum. CL50 value was 2.8×10(5)conidiaml(-1). We thus propose the use of P. lilacinum as a biological control agent of leafcutter ants in crops and plantations. PMID:26205173

  10. Acromyrmex ameliae sp. n. (Hymenoptera: Formicidae): A new social parasite of leaf-cutting ants in Brazil

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    DANIVAL JOS(E) DE SOUZA; ILKA MARIA FERNANDES SOARES; TEREZINHA MARIA CASTRO BELLA LUCIA

    2007-01-01

    The fungus-growing ants (Tribe Attini) are a New World group of > 200 species, all obligate symbionts with a fungus they use for food. Four attine taxa are known to be social parasites of other attines. Acromyrmex (Pseudoatto) argentina argentina and Acromyrmex (Pseudoatta) argentina platensis (parasites of Acromyrmex lundi), and Acromyrmex sp. (a parasite of Acromyrmex rugosus) produce no worker caste. In contrast, the recently discovered Acromyrmex insinuator (a parasite of Acromyrmex echinatior) does produce workers. Here, we describe a new species, Acromyrmex ameliae, a social parasite of Acromyrmex subterraneus subterraneus and Acromyrmex subterraneus brunneus in Minas Gerais, Brasil. Like A. insinuator, it produces workers and appears to be closely related to its hosts. Similar social parasites may be fairly common in the fungus-growing ants, but overlooked due to the close resemblance between parasite and host workers.

  11. Differential gene expression in Acromyrmex leaf-cutting ants after challenges with two fungal pathogens.

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    Yek, Sze H; Boomsma, Jacobus J; Schiøtt, Morten

    2013-04-01

    Social insects in general and leaf-cutting ants in particular have increased selection pressures on their innate immune system due to their social lifestyle and monoclonality of the symbiotic fungal cultivar. As this symbiosis is obligate for both parties, prophylactic behavioural defences against infections are expected to increase either ant survival or fungus-garden survival, but also to possibly trade off when specific infections differ in potential danger. We examined the effectiveness of prophylactic behaviours and modulations of innate immune defences by a combination of inoculation bioassays and genome-wide transcriptomic studies (RNA-Seq), using an ant pathogen (Metarhizium brunneum) and a fungus-garden pathogen (Escovopsis weberi) and administering inoculations both directly and indirectly (via the symbiotic partner). Upon detection of pathogen conidia, ant workers responded by increasing both general activity and the frequency of specific defence behaviours (self-grooming, allo-grooming, garden-grooming) independent of the pathogen encountered. This trend was also evident in the patterns of gene expression change. Both direct and indirect (via fungus garden) inoculations with Metarhizium induced a general up-regulation of gene expression, including a number of well-known immune-related genes. In contrast, direct inoculation of the fungus garden by Escovopsis induced an overall down-regulation of ant gene expression, whereas indirect inoculation (via the ants) did not, suggesting that increased activity of ants to remove this fungus-garden pathogen is costly and involves trade-offs with the activation of other physiological pathways. PMID:23480581

  12. Ectosymbionts and immunity in the leaf-cutting ant Acromyrmex subterraneus subterraneus.

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    de Souza, Danival José; Lenoir, Alain; Kasuya, Maria Catarina Megumi; Ribeiro, Myriam Marques Ramos; Devers, Séverine; Couceiro, Joel da Cruz; Della Lucia, Terezinha Maria Castro

    2013-02-01

    Associations with symbiotic organisms can serve as a strategy for social insects to resist pathogens. Antibiotics produced by attine ectosymbionts (Actinobacteria) suppress the growth of Escovopsis spp., the specialized parasite of attine fungus gardens. Our objective was to evaluate whether the presence or absence of symbiotic actinobacteria covering the whole ant cuticle is related to differential immunocompetence, respiratory rate and cuticular hydrocarbons (CHs). We evaluated these parameters in three worker groups of Acromyrmex subterraneus subterraneus: External workers (EXT), internal workers with actinobacteria covering the whole body (INB) and internal workers without actinobacteria covering the whole body (INØ). We also eliminated the actinobacteria by antibiotic treatment and examined worker encapsulation response. INB ants showed lower rates of encapsulation and respiration than did the EXT and INØ ants. The lower encapsulation rate did not seem to be a cost imposed by actinomycetes because the elimination of the actinomycetes did not increase the encapsulation rate. Instead, we propose that actinobacteria confer protection to young workers until the maturation of their immune system. Actinobacteria do not seem to change nestmate recognition in these colonies. Although it is known that actinobacteria have a specific action against Escovopsis spp., our studies, along with other independent studies, indicate that actinomycetes may also be important for the individual health of the workers. PMID:23207105

  13. The role of symbiont genetic distance and potential adaptability in host preference towards Pseudonocardia symbionts in Acromyrmex leaf-cutting ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Thomas-Poulsen, Michael; Maynard, Janielle; Roland, Damien L.;

    2011-01-01

    ), help defend the ants’ fungal mutualist from specialized parasites. In Acromyrmex Mayr (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) leaf-cutting ants, individual colonies maintain either a single or a few strains of Pseudonocardia, and the symbiont is primarily vertically transmitted between generations by colony...... to the role of adaptive recognition, potential ecological flexibility in symbiont preference, and more broadly, in relation to self versus non-self recognition....

  14. Tachykinin expression levels correlate with caste-specific aggression in workers of the leaf-cutting ant Acromyrmex echinatior

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    Jack eHowe

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available The tachykinins are a family of neuropeptides that influence a range of behavioral phenotypes in both vertebrates and invertebrates; they appear to have a conserved role in the processing of stimuli, and in the control of aggression in a wide range of animals. Expression of tachykinin in a cluster of neurons was recently shown to determine the stimulus response threshold for aggressive behavior in Drosophila (1. Varying response thresholds are often implicated in division of labor within social insect colonies, so we hypothesized that Tachykinin could play a role in the organization of colony defense by affecting individual response thresholds to non-nestmate stimuli. We used quantitative-PCR in combination with behavioral assays to test for associations between the expression of Tachykinin and its receptor, and the aggressive division of labor among the castes of the leaf-cutting ant Acromyrmex echinatior, a species with multiple worker castes. After correction for differences in brain size among castes, we found that the most aggressive large worker caste had the highest Tachykinin expression levels, but that no such effect was apparent for breeding and virgin queens. To further evaluate these deviating results for the reproductive caste, we manipulated the aggression threshold of virgin-queens by removing their wings, which is known to make them express a soldier-like behavioral phenotype. Despite heightened aggression, expression levels of Tachykinin remained unaffected, suggesting that aggression levels in reproductive caste phenotypes are controlled by differential expression of other genes.

  15. Ectosymbionts and immunity in the leaf-cutting ant Acromyrmex subterraneus subterraneus

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    José De Souza, Danival; Lenoir, Alain; Megumi Kasuya, Maria Catarina; Marques Ramos Ribeiro, Myriam; Devers, Séverine; Couceiro, Joel da Cruz; Castro Della Lucia, Terezinha Maria

    2012-01-01

    International audience Associations with symbiotic organisms can serve as a strategy for social insects to resist pathogens. Antibiotics produced by attine ectosymbionts (Actinobacteria) suppress the growth of Escovopsis spp., the specialized parasite of attine fungus gardens. Our objective was to evaluate whether the presence or absence of symbiotic actinobacteria covering the whole ant cuticle is related to differential immunocompetence, respiratory rate and cuticular hydrocarbons (CHs)....

  16. Tachykinin expression levels correlate with caste-specific aggression in workers of the leaf-cutting ant Acromyrmex echinatior

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Howe, Jack; Schiøtt, Morten; Boomsma, Jacobus J.

    2016-01-01

    The tachykinins are a family of neuropeptides that influence a range of behavioral phenotypes in both vertebrates and invertebrates; they appear to have a conserved role in the processing of stimuli, and in the control of aggression in a wide range of animals. Expression of tachykinin in a cluster...... of neurons was recently shown to determine the stimulus response threshold for aggressive behavior in Drosophila (1). Varying response thresholds are often implicated in division of labor within social insect colonies, so we hypothesized that Tachykinin could play a role in the organization of colony...... defense by affecting individual response thresholds to non-nestmate stimuli. We used quantitative-PCR in combination with behavioral assays to test for associations between the expression of Tachykinin and its receptor, and the aggressive division of labor among the castes of the leaf-cutting ant...

  17. Adaptive social immunity in leaf-cutting ants

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    Walker, Tom N.; Hughes, William O. H.

    2009-01-01

    Social insects have evolved a suite of sophisticated defences against parasites. In addition to the individual physiological immune response, social insects also express ‘social immunity’ consisting of group-level defences and behaviours that include allogrooming. Here we investigate whether the social immune response of the leaf-cutting ant Acromyrmex echinatior reacts adaptively to the virulent fungal parasite, Metarhizium anisopliae. We ‘immunized’ mini-nests of the ants by exposing them t...

  18. Differential resistance and the importance of antibiotic production in Acromyrmex echinatior leaf-cutting ant castes towards the entomopathogenic fungus Aspergillus nomius

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    Poulsen, Michael; Hughes, William Owen Hamar; Boomsma, Jacobus Jan

    2006-01-01

    Paired exocrine metapleural glands are present in almost all ants and produce compounds with antibiotic properties towards a variety of pathogenic fungi and bacteria. In Acromyrmex leaf-cutting ants, small workers have relatively large metapleural glands compared to large workers, and thus harbour...... approximately half the number of gland cells of large workers, despite being only one-fifteenth their body mass. Here we present results showing that when the two worker castes of A. echinatior are treated with spores of the pathogenic fungus Aspergillus nomius in doses that correspond to the difference...... in metapleural gland cell numbers they do not differ in survival. However, we also show, for the first time, that small workers survive significantly longer than large workers when both are challenged with a dose of spores that corresponds to their difference in body mass. Furthermore, the time until Aspergillus...

  19. Interaction specificity between leaf-cutting ants and vertically transmitted Pseudonocardia bacteria

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    Breum Andersen, Sandra; Yek, Sze Huei; Nash, David R.; Boomsma, Jacobus J.

    2015-01-01

    Background The obligate mutualism between fungus-growing ants and microbial symbionts offers excellent opportunities to study the specificity and stability of multi-species interactions. In addition to cultivating fungus gardens, these ants have domesticated actinomycete bacteria to defend gardens against the fungal parasite Escovopsis and possibly other pathogens. Panamanian Acromyrmex echinatior leaf-cutting ants primarily associate with actinomycetes of the genus Pseudonocardia. Colonies a...

  20. Exposure to creosote bush phenolic resin causes avoidance in the leaf-cutting ant Acromyrmex lobicornis (Formicidae: Attini La exposición a la resina fenólica de jarilla causa deterrencia en la hormiga cortadora de hojas Acromyrmex lobicornis (Formicidae: Attini

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    ANA I MEDINA

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available We focused our study on the effects of Larrea cuneifolia phenolic resin on leaf-cutting ants from two populations (Sierra de las Quijadas National Park and San Roque of Acromyrmex lobicornis in San Luis, Argentina. We conducted two bioassays of food choice (field and laboratory to compare the effects of phenolic resin on ant workers from these two populations. Results of the field experiment indicated that there were no differences in preference for either leaves treated with resin or untreated leaves among colonies from both localities. However, results of the laboratory experiments with individual ants indicated a significant effect of population and treatment on the time spent in different treatments. While leaf-cutting individual workers from Quijadas preferred the phenolic resin, workers from San Roque avoided it. These results evidence that ants respond according to time of exposure to chemicals from plants (presence or absence and that the effects of resin among a population can be observed and measured on individual ant workers, even in the absence of fungus garden influences in the nest.Este estudio se ha centrado en los efectos que produce la resina fenólica de Larrea cuneifolia sobre dos poblaciones distintas (Parque Nacional de Sierra de las Quijadas y la localidad de San Roque de Acromyrmex lobicornis en San Luis, Argentina. Se disenaron dos tipos de bioensayos (a campo y en laboratorio para comparar los efectos de la resina fenólica sobre las hormigas obreras de estas dos poblaciones. Los resultados de los experimentos de elección de la oferta alimentaria en el campo, indicaron que no hubo ninguna diferencia de preferencia entre las colonias, ni por las hojas tratadas con resina ni por las hojas sin tratar para ambas localidades. Sin embargo, los resultados de los experimentos de laboratorio con las hormigas obreras individualmente indicaron efectos significativos entre las poblaciones y entre los tratamientos. Mientras que las

  1. Immune defense in leaf-cutting ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Armitage, Sophie A O; Broch, Jens F; Marín, Hermogenes Fernández;

    2011-01-01

    -fostering experiment designed to address the influences of genotype and social rearing environment upon individual and social immune defenses. We used a multiply mating leaf-cutting ant, enabling us to test for patriline effects within a colony, as well as cross-colony matriline effects. The worker's father influenced...... social defense, a Pseudonocardia bacteria that helps to control pathogens in the ants' fungus garden, showed a significant colony of origin by rearing environment interaction, whereby ants that acquired the bacteria of a foster colony obtained a less abundant cover of bacteria: one explanation...

  2. Interaction between workers during a short time window is required for bacterial symbiont transmission in Acromyrmex leaf-cutting ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Marsh, Sarah E.; Thomas-Poulsen, Michael; Pinto-Tomás, Adrián;

    2014-01-01

    a Pseudonocardia Actinobacteria exosymbiont on their bodies that produces antifungal compounds that help inhibit specialized parasites of the ants' fungal garden. Major workers emerge from their pupal cases (eclose) symbiont-free, but exhibit visible Actinobacterial coverage within 14 days post-eclosion. Using...... exosymbiont-carrying major workers did not acquire visible Actinobacteria (0% acquiring, n = 73). We further show that the majority of ants exposed to major workers with exosymbionts within 2 hours of eclosion acquired bacteria (60.7% acquiring, n = 28), while normal acquisition did not occur when exposure...

  3. Differences in Forage-Acquisition and Fungal Enzyme Activity Contribute to Niche Segregation in Panamanian Leaf-Cutting Ants

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    Kooij, Pepijn W.; Joanito Liberti; Konstantinos Giampoudakis; Morten Schiøtt; Boomsma, Jacobus J.

    2014-01-01

    The genera Atta and Acromyrmex are often grouped as leaf-cutting ants for pest management assessments and ecological surveys, although their mature colony sizes and foraging niches may differ substantially. Few studies have addressed such interspecific differences at the same site, which prompted us to conduct a comparative study across six sympatric leaf- cutting ant species in Central Panama. We show that foraging rates during the transition between dry and wet season differ about 60 fold b...

  4. The dynamics of plant cell-wall polysaccharide decomposition in leaf-cutting ant fungus gardens

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Moller, Isabel Eva; de Fine Licht, Henrik Hjarvard; Harholt, Jesper;

    2011-01-01

    The degradation of live plant biomass in fungus gardens of leaf-cutting ants is poorly characterised but fundamental for understanding the mutual advantages and efficiency of this obligate nutritional symbiosis. Controversies about the extent to which the garden-symbiont Leucocoprinus gongylophorus......, to map the occurrence of cell wall polymers in consecutive sections of the fungus garden of the leaf-cutting ant Acromyrmex echinatior. We show that pectin, xyloglucan and some xylan epitopes are degraded, whereas more highly substituted xylan and cellulose epitopes remain as residuals in the waste...

  5. An Overview of Integrated Management of Leaf-Cutting Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in Brazilian Forest Plantations

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    Ronald Zanetti; José Cola Zanuncio; Juliana Cristina Santos; Willian Lucas Paiva da Silva; Genésio Tamara Ribeiro; Pedro Guilherme Lemes

    2014-01-01

    Brazilian forest producers have developed integrated management programs to increase the effectiveness of the control of leaf-cutting ants of the genera Atta and Acromyrmex. These measures reduced the costs and quantity of insecticides used in the plantations. Such integrated management programs are based on monitoring the ant nests, as well as the need and timing of the control methods. Chemical control employing baits is the most commonly used method, however, biological, mechanical and cul...

  6. Variabilidade genética interespecífica em formigas cortadeiras do gênero Acromyrmex que ocorrem no Estado do Rio Grande do Sul Inter-specific genetic variability of leaf cutting ants (Acromyrmex genus from Rio Grande do Sul State

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    Douglas Daniel Grutzmacher

    2007-08-01

    Full Text Available São poucos os taxonomistas que atuam na identificação de formigas cortadeiras. Os métodos morfométricos utilizados nem sempre permitem uma identificação confiável, em função do acentuado polimorfismo dentro do mesmo formigueiro. O objetivo do trabalho foi testar a possibilidade do uso da ferramenta da biologia molecular para auxiliar na identificação das espécies de formigas cortadeiras do gênero Acromyrmex que ocorrem no Estado do Rio Grande do Sul. O estudo foi realizado com seis espécies de formigas do gênero Acromyrmex coletadas em quatro regiões do RS. Utilizaram-se as técnicas RAPD e AFLP, testando-se inicialmente 50 primers, dos quais apenas 13 foram selecionados por terem amplificado com sucesso fragmentos de todas as espécies estudadas. Embora os 13 primers selecionados tenham produzido fragmentos que permitem várias alternativas de seu uso para a identificação das espécies A. heyeri, A. ambiguus, A. crassispinus, A. striatus, A. laticeps e A. aspersus, a identificação das mesmas poderá ser realizada utilizando-se apenas os primers UBC 354, UBC 348 e UBC 356, que apresentaram fragmentos bem visíveis, que permitem uma identificação segura. Os resultados obtidos com o dendograma e as características morfológicas analisadas mostram que as espécies A. striatus e A. laticeps são menos relacionadas com as demais espécies estudadas, enquanto maior proximidade genética foi observada entre as espécies A. ambiguus e A. crassispinus. Através deste trabalho, pode-se concluir que a identificação das espécies de Acromyrmex pode ser realizada de maneira segura pelas técnicas RAPD e AFLP.At present, a few number of taxonomists work on identification of leaf cutting ants. Morphological-based methods do not always produce a reliable identification, due to the strong polymorphism observed even in the same colony. This fact leads to hypothesize that, besides those variations, others may also occur related to

  7. Leaf-cutting ant fungi produce cell wall degrading pectinase complexes reminiscent of phytopathogenic fungi

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    Boomsma Jacobus J

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Leaf-cutting (attine ants use their own fecal material to manure fungus gardens, which consist of leaf material overgrown by hyphal threads of the basidiomycete fungus Leucocoprinus gongylophorus that lives in symbiosis with the ants. Previous studies have suggested that the fecal droplets contain proteins that are produced by the fungal symbiont to pass unharmed through the digestive system of the ants, so they can enhance new fungus garden growth. Results We tested this hypothesis by using proteomics methods to determine the gene sequences of fecal proteins in Acromyrmex echinatior leaf-cutting ants. Seven (21% of the 33 identified proteins were pectinolytic enzymes that originated from the fungal symbiont and which were still active in the fecal droplets produced by the ants. We show that these enzymes are found in the fecal material only when the ants had access to fungus garden food, and we used quantitative polymerase chain reaction analysis to show that the expression of six of these enzyme genes was substantially upregulated in the fungal gongylidia. These unique structures serve as food for the ants and are produced only by the evolutionarily advanced garden symbionts of higher attine ants, but not by the fungi reared by the basal lineages of this ant clade. Conclusions Pectinolytic enzymes produced in the gongylidia of the fungal symbiont are ingested but not digested by Acromyrmex leaf-cutting ants so that they end up in the fecal fluid and become mixed with new garden substrate. Substantial quantities of pectinolytic enzymes are typically found in pathogenic fungi that attack live plant tissue, where they are known to breach the cell walls to allow the fungal mycelium access to the cell contents. As the leaf-cutting ant symbionts are derived from fungal clades that decompose dead plant material, our results suggest that their pectinolytic enzymes represent secondarily evolved adaptations that are convergent to

  8. Laccase detoxification mediates the nutritional alliance between leaf-cutting ants and fungus-garden symbionts

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    De Fine Licht, Henrik; Schiøtt, Morten; Rogowska-Wrzesinska, Adelina;

    2013-01-01

    of neotropical ecosystems has remained elusive. Here we show how coevolutionary adaptation of a specific enzyme in the fungal symbiont has helped leaf-cutting ants overcome plant defensive phenolic compounds. We identify nine putative laccase-coding genes in the fungal genome of Leucocoprinus gongylophorus...... cultivated by the leaf-cutting ant Acromyrmex echinatior. One of these laccases (LgLcc1) is highly expressed in the specialized hyphal tips (gongylidia) that the ants preferentially eat, and we confirm that these ingested laccase molecules pass through the ant guts and remain active when defecated...... on the leaf pulp that the ants add to their gardens. This accurate deposition ensures that laccase activity is highest where new leaf material enters the fungus garden, but where fungal mycelium is too sparse to produce extracellular enzymes in sufficient quantities to detoxify phenolic compounds...

  9. The dynamics of plant cell-wall polysaccharide decomposition in leaf-cutting ant fungus gardens.

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    Isabel E Moller

    Full Text Available The degradation of live plant biomass in fungus gardens of leaf-cutting ants is poorly characterised but fundamental for understanding the mutual advantages and efficiency of this obligate nutritional symbiosis. Controversies about the extent to which the garden-symbiont Leucocoprinus gongylophorus degrades cellulose have hampered our understanding of the selection forces that induced large scale herbivory and of the ensuing ecological footprint of these ants. Here we use a recently established technique, based on polysaccharide microarrays probed with antibodies and carbohydrate binding modules, to map the occurrence of cell wall polymers in consecutive sections of the fungus garden of the leaf-cutting ant Acromyrmex echinatior. We show that pectin, xyloglucan and some xylan epitopes are degraded, whereas more highly substituted xylan and cellulose epitopes remain as residuals in the waste material that the ants remove from their fungus garden. These results demonstrate that biomass entering leaf-cutting ant fungus gardens is only partially utilized and explain why disproportionally large amounts of plant material are needed to sustain colony growth. They also explain why substantial communities of microbial and invertebrate symbionts have evolved associations with the dump material from leaf-cutting ant nests, to exploit decomposition niches that the ant garden-fungus does not utilize. Our approach thus provides detailed insight into the nutritional benefits and shortcomings associated with fungus-farming in ants.

  10. An Overview of Integrated Management of Leaf-Cutting Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae in Brazilian Forest Plantations

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    Ronald Zanetti

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Brazilian forest producers have developed integrated management programs to increase the effectiveness of the control of leaf-cutting ants of the genera Atta and Acromyrmex. These measures reduced the costs and quantity of insecticides used in the plantations. Such integrated management programs are based on monitoring the ant nests, as well as the need and timing of the control methods. Chemical control employing baits is the most commonly used method, however, biological, mechanical and cultural control methods, besides plant resistance, can reduce the quantity of chemicals applied in the plantations.

  11. Chemical basis of the synergism and antagonism in microbial communities in the nests of leaf-cutting ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schoenian, Ilka; Spiteller, Michael; Ghaste, Manoj; Wirth, Rainer; Herz, Hubert; Spiteller, Dieter

    2011-02-01

    Leaf-cutting ants cultivate the fungus Leucoagaricus gongylophorus, which serves as a major food source. This symbiosis is threatened by microbial pathogens that can severely infect L. gongylophorus. Microbial symbionts of leaf-cutting ants, mainly Pseudonocardia and Streptomyces, support the ants in defending their fungus gardens against infections by supplying antimicrobial and antifungal compounds. The ecological role of microorganisms in the nests of leaf-cutting ants can only be addressed in detail if their secondary metabolites are known. Here, we use an approach for the rapid identification of established bioactive compounds from microorganisms in ecological contexts by combining phylogenetic data, database searches, and liquid chromatography electrospray ionisation high resolution mass spectrometry (LC-ESI-HR-MS) screening. Antimycins A(1)-A(4), valinomycins, and actinomycins were identified in this manner from Streptomyces symbionts of leaf-cutting ants. Matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization (MALDI) imaging revealed the distribution of valinomycin directly on the integument of Acromyrmex echinatior workers. Valinomycins and actinomycins were also directly identified in samples from the waste of A. echinatior and A. niger leaf-cutting ants, suggesting that the compounds exert their antimicrobial and antifungal potential in the nests of leaf-cutting ants. Strong synergistic effects of the secondary meta-bolites produced by ant-associated Streptomyces were observed in the agar diffusion assay against Escovopsis weberi. Actinomycins strongly inhibit soil bacteria as well as other Streptomyces and Pseudonocardia symbionts. The antifungal antimycins are not only active against pathogenic fungi but also the garden fungus L. gongylophorus itself. In conclusion, secondary metabolites of microbial symbionts of leaf-cutting ants contribute to shaping the microbial communities within the nests of leaf-cutting ants. PMID:21245311

  12. Interaction specificity between leaf-cutting ants and vertically transmitted Pseudonocardia bacteria

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Breum Andersen, Sandra; Yek, Sze Huei; Nash, David R.;

    2015-01-01

    Background: The obligate mutualism between fungus-growing ants and microbial symbionts offers excellent opportunities to study the specificity and stability of multi-species interactions. In addition to cultivating fungus gardens, these ants have domesticated actinomycete bacteria to defend garde...... mutual co-adaptation within a single ant population.......Background: The obligate mutualism between fungus-growing ants and microbial symbionts offers excellent opportunities to study the specificity and stability of multi-species interactions. In addition to cultivating fungus gardens, these ants have domesticated actinomycete bacteria to defend gardens...... against the fungal parasite Escovopsis and possibly other pathogens. Panamanian Acromyrmex echinatior leaf-cutting ants primarily associate with actinomycetes of the genus Pseudonocardia. Colonies are inoculated with one of two vertically transmitted phylotypes (Ps1 or Ps2), and maintain the same...

  13. Differences in forage-acquisition and fungal enzyme activity contribute to niche segregation in Panamanian leaf-cutting ants.

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    Pepijn W Kooij

    Full Text Available The genera Atta and Acromyrmex are often grouped as leaf-cutting ants for pest management assessments and ecological surveys, although their mature colony sizes and foraging niches may differ substantially. Few studies have addressed such interspecific differences at the same site, which prompted us to conduct a comparative study across six sympatric leaf-cutting ant species in Central Panama. We show that foraging rates during the transition between dry and wet season differ about 60 fold between genera, but are relatively constant across species within genera. These differences appear to match overall differences in colony size, especially when Atta workers that return to their nests without leaves are assumed to carry liquid food. We confirm that Panamanian Atta specialize primarily on tree-leaves whereas Acromyrmex focus on collecting flowers and herbal leaves and that species within genera are similar in these overall foraging strategies. Species within genera tended to be spaced out over the three habitat categories that we distinguished (forest, forest edge, open grassland, but each of these habitats normally had only a single predominant Atta and Acromyrmex species. We measured activities of twelve fungus garden decomposition enzymes, belonging to the amylases, cellulases, hemicellulases, pectinases and proteinases, and show that average enzyme activity per unit of fungal mass in Atta gardens is lower than in Acromyrmex gardens. Expression profiles of fungal enzymes in Atta also appeared to be more specialized than in Acromyrmex, possibly reflecting variation in forage material. Our results suggest that species- and genus-level identities of leaf-cutting ants and habitat-specific foraging profiles may give predictable differences in the expression of fungal genes coding for decomposition enzymes.

  14. Differences in forage-acquisition and fungal enzyme activity contribute to niche segregation in Panamanian leaf-cutting ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kooij, Pepijn W; Liberti, Joanito; Giampoudakis, Konstantinos; Schiøtt, Morten; Boomsma, Jacobus J

    2014-01-01

    The genera Atta and Acromyrmex are often grouped as leaf-cutting ants for pest management assessments and ecological surveys, although their mature colony sizes and foraging niches may differ substantially. Few studies have addressed such interspecific differences at the same site, which prompted us to conduct a comparative study across six sympatric leaf-cutting ant species in Central Panama. We show that foraging rates during the transition between dry and wet season differ about 60 fold between genera, but are relatively constant across species within genera. These differences appear to match overall differences in colony size, especially when Atta workers that return to their nests without leaves are assumed to carry liquid food. We confirm that Panamanian Atta specialize primarily on tree-leaves whereas Acromyrmex focus on collecting flowers and herbal leaves and that species within genera are similar in these overall foraging strategies. Species within genera tended to be spaced out over the three habitat categories that we distinguished (forest, forest edge, open grassland), but each of these habitats normally had only a single predominant Atta and Acromyrmex species. We measured activities of twelve fungus garden decomposition enzymes, belonging to the amylases, cellulases, hemicellulases, pectinases and proteinases, and show that average enzyme activity per unit of fungal mass in Atta gardens is lower than in Acromyrmex gardens. Expression profiles of fungal enzymes in Atta also appeared to be more specialized than in Acromyrmex, possibly reflecting variation in forage material. Our results suggest that species- and genus-level identities of leaf-cutting ants and habitat-specific foraging profiles may give predictable differences in the expression of fungal genes coding for decomposition enzymes. PMID:24718261

  15. The effects of age and social interactions on innate immunity in a leaf-cutting ant

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Armitage, S.A.O.; Boomsma, J.J.

    2010-01-01

    Both developmental and environmental factors shape investment in costly immune defences. Social insect workers have different selection pressures on their innate immune system compared to non-social insects because workers do not reproduce and their longevity affects the fitness of relatives....... Furthermore, hygienic behavioural defences found in social insects can result in increased survival after fungal infection, although it is not known if there is modulation in physiological immune defence associated with group living vs. solitary living. Here we investigated whether physiological immune...... defence is affected by both age and the short-term presence or absence of nestmates in the leaf-cutting ant Acromyrmex octospinosus. We predicted that older ants would show immune senescence and that group living may result in prophylactic differences in immune defence compared to solitarily kept ants. We...

  16. Novel fungal disease in complex leaf-cutting ant societies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hughes, David Peter; Evans, Harry C.; Hywel-Jones, Nigel;

    2009-01-01

    . Specific fungal diseases of the leaf-cutting ants themselves have not been described, possibly because broad spectrum anti-fungal defences against mycopathogens have reduced their susceptibility to entomopathogens. 3. Using morphological and molecular tools, the present study documents three rare infection......1. The leaf-cutting ants practise an advanced system of mycophagy where they grow a fungus as a food source. As a consequence of parasite threats to their crops, they have evolved a system of morphological, behavioural, and chemical defences, particularly against fungal pathogens (mycopathogens). 2...... among the five host ants, the ability of Ophiocordyceps to shift between such distant hosts is remarkable; the results are discussed in the context of ant ecological immunology and fungal invasion strategies....

  17. Fungal-Fungal Interactions in Leaf-Cutting Ant Agriculture

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    Sunshine A. Van Bael

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Many organisms participate in symbiotic relationships with other organisms, yet studies of symbioses typically have focused on the reciprocal costs and benefits within a particular host-symbiont pair. Recent studies indicate that many ecological interactions involve alliances of symbionts acting together as mutualistic consortia against other consortia. Such interacting consortia are likely to be widespread in nature, even if the interactions often occur in a cryptic fashion. Little theory and empirical data exist concerning how these complex interactions shape ecological outcomes in nature. Here, we review recent work on fungal-fungal interactions between two consortia: (i leaf-cutting ants and their symbiotic fungi (the latter grown as a food crop by the former and (ii tropical plants and their foliar endophytes (the cryptic symbiotic fungi within leaves of the former. Plant characteristics (e.g., secondary compounds or leaf physical properties of leaves are involved in leaf-cutting ant preferences, and a synthesis of published information suggests that these plant traits could be modified by fungal presence. We discuss potential mechanisms for how fungal-fungal interactions proceed in the leaf-cutting ant agriculture and suggest themes for future research.

  18. Preliminary in vitro insights into the use of natural fungal pathogens of leaf-cutting ants as biocontrol agents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Folgarait, Patricia; Gorosito, Norma; Poulsen, Michael; Currie, Cameron R

    2011-09-01

    Leaf-cutting ants are one of the main herbivores of the Neotropics, where they represent an important agricultural pest. These ants are particularly difficult to control because of the complex network of microbial symbionts. Leaf-cutting ants have traditionally been controlled through pesticide application, but there is a need for alternative, more environmentally friendly, control methods such as biological control. Potential promising biocontrol candidates include the microfungi Escovopsis spp. (anamorphic Hypocreales), which are specialized pathogens of the fungi the ants cultivate for food. These pathogens are suppressed through ant behaviors and ant-associated antibiotic-producing Actinobacteria. In order to be an effective biocontrol agent, Escovopsis has to overcome these defenses. Here, we evaluate, using microbial in vitro assays, whether defenses in the ant-cultivated fungus strain (Leucoagaricus sp.) and Actinobacteria from the ant pest Acromyrmex lundii have the potential to limit the use of Escovopsis in biocontrol. We also explore, for the first time, possible synergistic biocontrol between Escovopsis and the entomopathogenic fungus Lecanicillium lecanii. All strains of Escovopsis proved to overgrow A. lundii cultivar in less than 7 days, with the Escovopsis strain isolated from a different leaf-cutting ant species being the most efficient. Escovopsis challenged with a Streptomyces strain isolated from A. lundii did not exhibit significant growth inhibition. Both results are encouraging for the use of Escovopsis as a biocontrol agent. Although we found that L. lecanii can suppress the growth of the cultivar, it also had a negative impact on Escovopsis, making the success of simultaneous use of these two fungi for biocontrol of A. lundii questionable. PMID:21739253

  19. Energetic cost of digging behavior in workers of the leaf-cutting ant Atta sexdens (Fabricius)

    OpenAIRE

    Roberto da Silva Camargo; Juliane F. S. Lopes; Luiz Carlos Forti

    2013-01-01

    Energetic cost of digging behavior in workers of the leaf-cutting ant Atta sexdens (Fabricius). During nest excavation, leaf-cutting ant workers undergo reduction in their body reserve, particularly carbohydrates. In order to estimate the energetic cost of digging, groups of 30 workers of the leaf-cutting ant Atta sexdens were sealed in a hermetic chamber for 24, 48 and 72 hours, with and without soil for digging, and had the CO2 concentration measured using respirometric chambers as well as ...

  20. Low variation in ribosomal DNA and internal transcribed spacers of the symbiotic fungi of leaf-cutting ants (Attini: Formicidae

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    Silva-Pinhati A.C.O.

    2004-01-01

    Full Text Available Leaf-cutting ants of the genera Atta and Acromyrmex (tribe Attini are symbiotic with basidiomycete fungi of the genus Leucoagaricus (tribe Leucocoprineae, which they cultivate on vegetable matter inside their nests. We determined the variation of the 28S, 18S, and 5.8S ribosomal DNA (rDNA gene loci and the rapidly evolving internal transcribed spacers 1 and 2 (ITS1 and ITS2 of 15 sympatric and allopatric fungi associated with colonies of 11 species of leafcutter ants living up to 2,600 km apart in Brazil. We found that the fungal rDNA and ITS sequences from different species of ants were identical (or nearly identical to each other, whereas 10 GenBank Leucoagaricus species showed higher ITS variation. Our findings suggest that Atta and Acromyrmex leafcutters living in geographic sites that are very distant from each other cultivate a single fungal species made up of closely related lineages of Leucoagaricus gongylophorus. We discuss the strikingly high similarity in the ITS1 and ITS2 regions of the Atta and Acromyrmex symbiotic L. gongylophorus studied by us, in contrast to the lower similarity displayed by their non-symbiotic counterparts. We suggest that the similarity of our L. gongylophorus isolates is an indication of the recent association of the fungus with these ants, and propose that both the intense lateral transmission of fungal material within leafcutter nests and the selection of more adapted fungal strains are involved in the homogenization of the symbiotic fungal stock.

  1. Energy substrate used by workers of leaf-cutting ants during nest excavation

    OpenAIRE

    Roberto S. Camargo; Juliane F. S. Lopes; Luiz C. Forti; Somera, Alexandre F.; Mauricio Bacci Jr

    2013-01-01

    Energy substrate used by workers of leaf-cutting ants during nest excavation. In this study we aimed to ascertain whether leaf-cutting ant workers lose body reserves (fat or sugars) as a function of nest excavation. For each treatment, we isolated 10 workers of Atta sexdens into two experimental groups, Control (C- without excavation) and Soil (S- with excavation), which were kept for different time intervals (0, 24, 48 or 72 hours), totaling 700 tested workers. We then determined the concent...

  2. Regulation and specificity of antifungal metapleural gland secretion in leaf-cutting ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Yek, Sze Huei; Nash, David Richard; Jensen, Annette Bruun;

    2012-01-01

    Ants have paired metapleural glands (MGs) to produce secretions for prophylactic hygiene. These exocrine glands are particularly well developed in leaf-cutting ants, but whether the ants can actively regulate MG secretion is unknown. In a set of controlled experiments using conidia of five fungi...

  3. Chemical basis of the synergism and antagonism in microbial communities in the nests of leaf-cutting ants

    OpenAIRE

    Schoenian, Ilka; Spiteller, Michael; Ghaste, Manoj; Wirth, Rainer; Herz, Hubert; Spiteller, Dieter

    2011-01-01

    Leaf-cutting ants cultivate the fungus Leucoagaricus gongylophorus, which serves as a major food source. This symbiosis is threatened by microbial pathogens that can severely infect L. gongylophorus. Microbial symbionts of leaf-cutting ants, mainly Pseudonocardia and Streptomyces, support the ants in defending their fungus gardens against infections by supplying antimicrobial and antifungal compounds. The ecological role of microorganisms in the nests of leaf-cutting ants can only be addresse...

  4. Nest enlargement in leaf-cutting ants: relocated brood and fungus trigger the excavation of new chambers.

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    Daniela Römer

    Full Text Available During colony growth, leaf-cutting ants enlarge their nests by excavating tunnels and chambers housing their fungus gardens and brood. Workers are expected to excavate new nest chambers at locations across the soil profile that offer suitable environmental conditions for brood and fungus rearing. It is an open question whether new chambers are excavated in advance, or will emerge around brood or fungus initially relocated to a suitable site in a previously-excavated tunnel. In the laboratory, we investigated the mechanisms underlying the excavation of new nest chambers in the leaf-cutting ant Acromyrmex lundi. Specifically, we asked whether workers relocate brood and fungus to suitable nest locations, and to what extent the relocated items trigger the excavation of a nest chamber and influence its shape. When brood and fungus were exposed to unfavorable environmental conditions, either low temperatures or low humidity, both were relocated, but ants clearly preferred to relocate the brood first. Workers relocated fungus to places containing brood, demonstrating that subsequent fungus relocation spatially follows the brood deposition. In addition, more ants aggregated at sites containing brood. When presented with a choice between two otherwise identical digging sites, but one containing brood, ants' excavation activity was higher at this site, and the shape of the excavated cavity was more rounded and chamber-like. The presence of fungus also led to the excavation of rounder shapes, with higher excavation activity at the site that also contained brood. We argue that during colony growth, workers preferentially relocate brood to suitable locations along a tunnel, and that relocated brood spatially guides fungus relocation and leads to increased digging activity around them. We suggest that nest chambers are not excavated in advance, but emerge through a self-organized process resulting from the aggregation of workers and their density

  5. Leaf-cutting ant fungi produce cell wall degrading pectinase complexes reminiscent of phytopathogenic fungi

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schiøtt, Morten; Rogowska-Wrzesinska, Adelina; Roepstorff, Peter;

    2010-01-01

    Leaf-cutting (attine) ants use their own fecal material to manure fungus gardens, which consist of leaf material overgrown by hyphal threads of the basidiomycete fungus Leucocoprinus gongylophorus that lives in symbiosis with the ants. Previous studies have suggested that the fecal droplets conta...

  6. Leaf endophyte load and fungal garden development in leaf-cutting ants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Previous work has shown that leaf-cutting ants prefer to cut leaf material that is relatively low in fungal endophyte content. Such a preference suggests that fungal endophytes exact a cost on the ants or on the development of their colonies. We hypothesized that endophytes may play a role in thei...

  7. Generation of Nutrients and Detoxification: Possible Roles of Yeasts in Leaf-Cutting Ant Nests

    OpenAIRE

    Pagnocca, Fernando C.; Ifeloju Dayo-Owoyemi; Marson, Fernando A L; Mendes, Thais D.; André Rodrigues

    2012-01-01

    The possible roles played by yeasts in attine ant nests are mostly unknown. Here we present our investigations on the plant polysaccharide degradation profile of 82 yeasts isolated from fungus gardens of Atta and Acromyrmex species to demonstrate that yeasts found in ant nests may play the role of making nutrients readily available throughout the garden and detoxification of compounds that may be deleterious to the ants and their fungal cultivar. Among the yeasts screened, 65% exhibited cellu...

  8. Shared Escovopsis parasites between leaf-cutting and non-leaf-cutting ants in the higher attine fungus-growing ant symbiosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meirelles, Lucas A; Solomon, Scott E; Bacci, Mauricio; Wright, April M; Mueller, Ulrich G; Rodrigues, Andre

    2015-09-01

    Fungus-gardening (attine) ants grow fungus for food in protected gardens, which contain beneficial, auxiliary microbes, but also microbes harmful to gardens. Among these potentially pathogenic microorganisms, the most consistently isolated are fungi in the genus Escovopsis, which are thought to co-evolve with ants and their cultivar in a tripartite model. To test clade-to-clade correspondence between Escovopsis and ants in the higher attine symbiosis (including leaf-cutting and non-leaf-cutting ants), we amassed a geographically comprehensive collection of Escovopsis from Mexico to southern Brazil, and reconstructed the corresponding Escovopsis phylogeny. Contrary to previous analyses reporting phylogenetic divergence between Escovopsis from leafcutters and Trachymyrmex ants (non-leafcutter), we found no evidence for such specialization; rather, gardens from leafcutters and non-leafcutters genera can sometimes be infected by closely related strains of Escovopsis, suggesting switches at higher phylogenetic levels than previously reported within the higher attine symbiosis. Analyses identified rare Escovopsis strains that might represent biogeographically restricted endemic species. Phylogenetic patterns correspond to morphological variation of vesicle type (hyphal structures supporting spore-bearing cells), separating Escovopsis with phylogenetically derived cylindrical vesicles from ancestral Escovopsis with globose vesicles. The new phylogenetic insights provide an improved basis for future taxonomic and ecological studies of Escovopsis. PMID:26473050

  9. Correlation between virulence and genetic structure of Escovopsis strains from leaf-cutting ant colonies in Costa Rica.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wallace, Diego E Elizondo; Asensio, Juan G Vargas; Tomás, Adrián A Pinto

    2014-08-01

    Leaf-cutting ants (genera Atta and Acromyrmex) cultivate a specialized fungus for food in underground chambers employing cut plant material as substrate. Parasitism occurs in this agricultural system and plays an important role in colony fitness. The microfungi Escovopsis, a specialized mycoparasite of the fungal cultivar, is highly prevalent among colonies. In this study, we tested the antagonistic activity of several Escovopsis strains from different geographical areas in Costa Rica. We employed a combination of laboratory tests to evaluate virulence, including pure culture challenges, toxicity to fungus garden pieces and subcolony bioassays. We also performed a phylogenetic analysis of these strains in order to correlate their virulence with the genetic structure of this population. The bioassays yielded results consistent between each other and showed significant differences in antagonistic activity among the parasites evaluated. However, no significant differences were found when comparing the results of the bioassays according to the source of the ants' fungal cultivar. The phylogenetic analyses were consistent with these results: whilst the fungal cultivar phylogeny showed a single clade with limited molecular variation, the Escovopsis phylogeny yielded several clades with the most virulent isolates grouping in the same well-supported clade. These results indicate that there are Escovopsis strains better suited to establish their antagonistic effect, whilst the genetic homogeneity of the fungal cultivars limits their ability to modulate Escovopsis antagonism. These findings should be taken into consideration when evaluating the potential of Escovopsis isolates as biocontrol agents for this important agricultural pest in the Neotropics. PMID:24836623

  10. A pest is a pest is a pest? The dilemma of neotropical leaf-cutting ants: Keystone taxa of natural ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fowler, Harold G.; Pagani, Maria Inez; da Silva, Osvaldo Aulino; Forti, Luis Carlos; da Silva, Virgilio Pereira; de Vasconcelos, Heraldo Luis

    1989-11-01

    Leaf-cutting ants of the genera Acromyrmex and Atta are considered the principal polyphagous pests of the Neotropics Although some members of these genera are of economic importance, have a broad geographic distribution, and are extremely good colonizers, others are endemic and closely interact with native ecosystems. Control is generally practiced against any colony, irrespective of its taxonomic status. Indiscriminate control coupled with habitat destruction threatens endemic species with extinction, and, through habitat simplification, favors other pest species. As nests of Atta are large, having several square meters of nest surface, the endemic taxa can be easily used as environmental indicators for natural ecosystems Likewise, the pest species can be used to detect environmental disturbance As these ants are keystone species and easily identified by nonspecialists, efforts should be made to integrate these into viable conservation programs

  11. Symbiotic adaptations in the fungal cultivar of leaf-cutting ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Fine Licht, Henrik H; Boomsma, Jacobus J; Tunlid, Anders

    2014-01-01

    Centuries of artificial selection have dramatically improved the yield of human agriculture; however, strong directional selection also occurs in natural symbiotic interactions. Fungus-growing attine ants cultivate basidiomycete fungi for food. One cultivar lineage has evolved inflated hyphal tips (gongylidia) that grow in bundles called staphylae, to specifically feed the ants. Here we show extensive regulation and molecular signals of adaptive evolution in gene trancripts associated with gongylidia biosynthesis, morphogenesis and enzymatic plant cell wall degradation in the leaf-cutting ant cultivar Leucoagaricus gongylophorus. Comparative analysis of staphylae growth morphology and transcriptome-wide expressional and nucleotide divergence indicate that gongylidia provide leaf-cutting ants with essential amino acids and plant-degrading enzymes, and that they may have done so for 20-25 million years without much evolutionary change. These molecular traits and signatures of selection imply that staphylae are highly advanced coevolutionary organs that play pivotal roles in the mutualism between leaf-cutting ants and their fungal cultivars.

  12. Low host-pathogen specificity in the leaf-cutting ant-microbe symbiosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taerum, Stephen J; Cafaro, Matías J; Little, Ainslie E F; Schultz, Ted R; Currie, Cameron R

    2007-08-22

    Host-parasite associations are shaped by coevolutionary dynamics. One example is the complex fungus-growing ant-microbe symbiosis, which includes ancient host-parasite coevolution. Fungus-growing ants and the fungi they cultivate for food have an antagonistic symbiosis with Escovopsis, a specialized microfungus that infects the ants' fungus gardens. The evolutionary histories of the ant, cultivar and Escovopsis are highly congruent at the deepest phylogenetic levels, with specific parasite lineages exclusively associating with corresponding groups of ants and cultivar. Here, we examine host-parasite specificity at finer phylogenetic levels, within the most derived clade of fungus-growing ants, the leaf-cutters (Atta spp. and Acromyrmex spp.). Our molecular phylogeny of Escovopsis isolates from the leaf-cutter ant-microbe symbiosis confirms specificity at the broad phylogenetic level, but reveals frequent host-switching events between species and genera of leaf-cutter ants. Escovopsis strains isolated from Acromyrmex and Atta gardens occur together in the same clades, and very closely related strains can even infect the gardens of both ant genera. Experimental evidence supports low host-parasite specificity, with phylogenetically diverse strains of Escovopsis being capable of overgrowing all leaf-cutter cultivars examined. Thus, our findings indicate that this host-pathogen association is shaped by the farming ants having to protect their cultivated fungus from phylogenetically diverse Escovopsis garden pathogens. PMID:17550881

  13. Density-dependence and within-host competition in a semelparous parasite of leaf-cutting ants

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    Thomsen Lene

    2004-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Parasite heterogeneity and within-host competition are thought to be important factors influencing the dynamics of host-parasite relationships. Yet, while there have been many theoretical investigations of how these factors may act, empirical data is more limited. We investigated the effects of parasite density and heterogeneity on parasite virulence and fitness using four strains of the entomopathogenic fungus, Metarhizium anisopliae var. anisopliae, and its leaf-cutting ant host Acromyrmex echinatior as the model system. Results The relationship between parasite density and infection was sigmoidal, with there being an invasion threshold for an infection to occur (an Allee effect. Although spore production was positively density-dependent, parasite fitness decreased with increasing parasite density, indicating within-host scramble competition. The dynamics differed little between the four strains tested. In mixed infections of three strains the infection-growth dynamics were unaffected by parasite heterogeneity. Conclusions The strength of within-host competition makes dispersal the best strategy for the parasite. Parasite heterogeneity may not have effected virulence or the infection dynamics either because the most virulent strain outcompeted the others, or because the interaction involved scramble competition that was impervious to parasite heterogeneity. The dynamics observed may be common for virulent parasites, such as Metarhizium, that produce aggregated transmission stages. Such parasites make useful models for investigating infection dynamics and the impact of parasite competition.

  14. Leaf endophyte load influences fungal garden development in leaf-cutting ants

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    Van Bael Sunshine A

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Previous work has shown that leaf-cutting ants prefer to cut leaf material with relatively low fungal endophyte content. This preference suggests that fungal endophytes exact a cost on the ants or on the development of their colonies. We hypothesized that endophytes may play a role in their host plants’ defense against leaf-cutting ants. To measure the long-term cost to the ant colony of fungal endophytes in their forage material, we conducted a 20-week laboratory experiment to measure fungal garden development for colonies that foraged on leaves with low or high endophyte content. Results Colony mass and the fungal garden dry mass did not differ significantly between the low and high endophyte feeding treatments. There was, however, a marginally significant trend toward greater mass of fungal garden per ant worker in the low relative to the high endophyte treatment. This trend was driven by differences in the fungal garden mass per worker from the earliest samples, when leaf-cutting ants had been foraging on low or high endophyte leaf material for only 2 weeks. At two weeks of foraging, the mean fungal garden mass per worker was 77% greater for colonies foraging on leaves with low relative to high endophyte loads. Conclusions Our data suggest that the cost of endophyte presence in ant forage material may be greatest to fungal colony development in its earliest stages, when there are few workers available to forage and to clean leaf material. This coincides with a period of high mortality for incipient colonies in the field. We discuss how the endophyte-leaf-cutter ant interaction may parallel constitutive defenses in plants, whereby endophytes reduce the rate of colony development when its risk of mortality is greatest.

  15. A colony-level response to disease control in a leaf-cutting ant

    OpenAIRE

    Brown, Mark

    2002-01-01

    PUBLISHED Parasites and pathogens often impose significant costs on their hosts. This is particularly true for social organisms, where the genetic structure of groups and the accumulation of contaminated waste facilitate disease transmission. In response, hosts have evolved many mechanisms of defence against parasites. Here we present evidence that Atta colombica, a leaf-cutting ant, may combat Escovopsis, a dangerous parasite of Atta?s garden fungus, through a colony-level behavioural res...

  16. Energetic cost of digging behavior in workers of the leaf-cutting ant Atta sexdens (Fabricius

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roberto da Silva Camargo

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Energetic cost of digging behavior in workers of the leaf-cutting ant Atta sexdens (Fabricius. During nest excavation, leaf-cutting ant workers undergo reduction in their body reserve, particularly carbohydrates. In order to estimate the energetic cost of digging, groups of 30 workers of the leaf-cutting ant Atta sexdens were sealed in a hermetic chamber for 24, 48 and 72 hours, with and without soil for digging, and had the CO2 concentration measured using respirometric chambers as well as volume of soil excavated (g. As expected, the worker groups that carried out soil excavation expelled more carbon dioxide than the groups that did not excavate. Therefore, a worker with body mass of 9.65 ± 1.50 mg dug in average 0.85 ± 0.27 g of soil for 24 hours, consuming ca. 0.58 ± 0.23 J. In this study, we calculate that the energetic cost of excavation per worker per day in the experimental set-up was ca. 0.58 J.

  17. The diversity of microorganisms associated with Acromyrmex leafcutter ants

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    Boomsma Jacobus J

    2002-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Molecular biological techniques are dramatically changing our view of microbial diversity in almost any environment that has so far been investigated. This study presents a systematic survey of the microbial diversity associated with a population of Acromyrmex leafcutter ants. In contrast to previous studies on social insects, which targeted specific groups of symbionts occurring in the gut (termites, Tetraponera ants or in specialised cells (Camponotus ants the objective of our present study was to do a total screening of all possible micro-organisms that can be found inside the bodies of these leafcutter ants. Results We amplified, cloned and sequenced SSU rRNA encoding gene fragments from 9 microbial groups known to have insect-associated representatives, and show that: (1 representatives of 5 out of 9 tested groups are present, (2 mostly several strains per group are present, adding up to a total of 33 different taxa. We present the microbial taxa associated with Acromymex ants in a phylogenetic context (using sequences from GenBank to assess and illustrate to which known microorganisms they are closely related. The observed microbial diversity is discussed in the light of present knowledge on the evolutionary history of Acromyrmex leafcutter ants and their known mutualistic and parasitic symbionts. Conclusions The major merits of the screening approach documented here is its high sensitivity and specificity, which allowed us to identify several microorganisms that are promising candidates for further study of their interactions with Acromyrmex leafcutter ants or their gardens.

  18. Mating biology of the leaf-cutting ants Atta colombica and A. cephalotes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Baer, Boris; Boomsma, Jacobus J

    2006-01-01

    Copulation behavior has often been shaped by sexually selected sperm competition or cryptic female choice. However, manipulation of previously deposited ejaculates is unknown in the social Hymenoptera and the degree to which sperm competes after insemination or is actively selected by females has...... remained ambiguous. We studied the mating process in the leaf-cutting ants Atta colombica and A. cephalotes, which belong to one of the few derived social insect lineages where obligate multiple mating has evolved. As copulations often occur at night and in remote places, direct observations were...

  19. Sequential Soil Transport and Its Influence on the Spatial Organisation of Collective Digging in Leaf-Cutting Ants

    OpenAIRE

    Steffen Pielström; Flavio Roces

    2013-01-01

    The Chaco leaf-cutting ant Atta vollenweideri (Forel) inhabits large and deep subterranean nests composed of a large number of fungus and refuse chambers. The ants dispose of the excavated soil by forming small pellets that are carried to the surface. For ants in general, the organisation of underground soil transport during nest building remains completely unknown. In the laboratory, we investigated how soil pellets are formed and transported, and whether their occurrence influences the spat...

  20. A colony-level response to disease control in a leaf-cutting ant

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hart, Adam; Bot, A. N. M.; Brown, Mark

    2002-03-01

    Parasites and pathogens often impose significant costs on their hosts. This is particularly true for social organisms, where the genetic structure of groups and the accumulation of contaminated waste facilitate disease transmission. In response, hosts have evolved many mechanisms of defence against parasites. Here we present evidence that Atta colombica, a leaf-cutting ant, may combat Escovopsis, a dangerous parasite of Atta's garden fungus, through a colony-level behavioural response. In A. colombica, garden waste is removed from within the colony and transported to the midden - an external waste dump - where it is processed by a group of midden workers. We found that colonies infected with Escovopsis have higher numbers of workers on the midden, where Escovopsis is deposited. Further, midden workers are highly effective in dispersing newly deposited waste away from the dumping site. Thus, the colony-level task allocation strategies of the Atta superorganism may change in response to the threat of disease to a third, essential party.

  1. Energy substrate used by workers of leaf-cutting ants during nest excavation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roberto S. Camargo

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Energy substrate used by workers of leaf-cutting ants during nest excavation. In this study we aimed to ascertain whether leaf-cutting ant workers lose body reserves (fat or sugars as a function of nest excavation. For each treatment, we isolated 10 workers of Atta sexdens into two experimental groups, Control (C- without excavation and Soil (S- with excavation, which were kept for different time intervals (0, 24, 48 or 72 hours, totaling 700 tested workers. We then determined the concentration of soluble carbohydrates and total lipid content in them. The total carbohydrates were determined colorimetrically, based on the reaction between carbohydrates and sulfuric acid-phenol. For determination of lipids, the insects were immersed in organic solvent until they reached a constant weight. Our results showed that carbohydrates are consumed during nest excavation activities. In the experimental groups S24, S48 and S72, there was an average reduction of 5.82 (20.42%, 14.31 (44.96% and 13.27 (43.96% µ.mg-1 in soluble sugar when compared with the experimental groups that did not excavate. Furthermore, the lipids were not used during this activity. With respect to dry mass of the workers, their values were C0 = 8%, C24 = 10.4%, C48 = 9.2%, C72 = 10%, S24 = 9.2%, S48 = 8.7% and S72 = 8.5%. Our results show experimentally that the source of energy for nest excavation is carbohydrates, whereas lipids are conserved for other activities.

  2. Combate sistemático de formigas-cortadeiras com iscas granuladas, em eucaliptais com cultivo mínimo Systematic control of leaf-cutting ants in areas with eucalyptus stands under minimum cultivation system

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ronald Zanetti

    2003-06-01

    Full Text Available Avaliou-se a eficiência do combate sistemático de formigas-cortadeiras em áreas de reforma de eucalipto com cultivo mínimo, na Celulose Nipo-Brasileira S.A., em Belo Oriente, Minas Gerais, de setembro a dezembro de 1996. Os tratamentos consistiram na aplicação de uma isca granulada com sulfluramida (0,3% de forma sistemática, a granel ou com microporta-iscas, na dosagem de 5 g a cada 6 m² e 10 g a cada 12 m², respectivamente. A mortalidade das colônias de formigas-cortadeiras foi avaliada 30 dias após a aplicação da isca. Foram encontradas até 396,3, 285,2, 59,3, 55,6, 29,6 e 14,8 colônias de Mycocepurus goeldii, Sericomyrmex sp., Acromyrmex subterraneus molestans, Atta spp., Acromyrmex balzani e Acromyrmex niger (Hymenoptera: Formicidae por hectare, respectivamente. A eficiência da isca granulada no combate sistemático variou com o método empregado e com a espécie de formiga-cortadeira. A maior eficiência foi obtida para A. subterraneus molestans, com 69,2% de suas colônias mortas com a isca aplicada a granel e 62,5% com microporta-iscas, o que indica que a distribuição entre dois pontos com isca nos plantios de eucalipto foi maior que a área de forrageamento das formigas-cortadeiras encontradas e, ou, que a dosagem aplicada por ponto foi insuficiente.The efficiency of a systematic application of baits against leaf-cutting ants was evaluated in a eucalypus plantation under a minimum cultivation system, in areas owned by Celulose Nipo-Brasileira S.A. (CENIBRA, in Belo Oriente, Minas Gerais, Brazil, from September to December 1996. Treatments consisted of applying a granulated bait with sulfluramide (0.3% in a systematic manner in bulk and plastic bags at a dose of five grams every 6 m² (T1 and 10 grams at each 12 m² (T2. Mortality of colonies of leaf-cutting ants was evaluated 30 days after bait application. A. maximum of 396.3; 285.2; 59.3; 55.6; 29.6 and 14.8 colonies of Mycocepurus goeldii, Sericomyrmex sp

  3. Immune defense in leaf-cutting ants: a cross-fostering approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Armitage, Sophie A O; Broch, Jens F; Marín, Hermogenes Fernández; Nash, David R; Boomsma, Jacobus J

    2011-06-01

    To ameliorate the impact of disease, social insects combine individual innate immune defenses with collective social defenses. This implies that there are different levels of selection acting on investment in immunity, each with their own trade-offs. We present the results of a cross-fostering experiment designed to address the influences of genotype and social rearing environment upon individual and social immune defenses. We used a multiply mating leaf-cutting ant, enabling us to test for patriline effects within a colony, as well as cross-colony matriline effects. The worker's father influenced both individual innate immunity (constitutive antibacterial activity) and the size of the metapleural gland, which secretes antimicrobial compounds and functions in individual and social defense, indicating multiple mating could have important consequences for both defense types. However, the primarily social defense, a Pseudonocardia bacteria that helps to control pathogens in the ants' fungus garden, showed a significant colony of origin by rearing environment interaction, whereby ants that acquired the bacteria of a foster colony obtained a less abundant cover of bacteria: one explanation for this pattern would be co-adaptation between host colonies and their vertically transmitted mutualist. These results illustrate the complexity of the selection pressures that affect the expression of multilevel immune defenses. PMID:21644963

  4. Ultrastructure and physiology of the CO2 sensitive sensillum ampullaceum in the leaf-cutting ant Atta sexdens

    OpenAIRE

    Kleineidam, Christoph; Romani, Roberto; Tautz, Jürgen; Isidoro, Nunzio

    2000-01-01

    The sensilla ampullacea on the apical antennomere of the leaf cutting ant Atta sexdens were investigated regarding both their responses to CO2 and their ultrastructure. By staining the sensillum during recording, we confirmed that the sensilla ampullacea are responsible for CO2 perception. We showed that the sensory neurons of the sensilla ampullacea are continuously active without adaptation during stimulation with CO2 (test duration: 1 h). This feature should enable ants to assess the absol...

  5. The Postpharyngeal Gland: Specialized Organ for Lipid Nutrition in Leaf-Cutting Ants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Decio, Pâmela; Vieira, Alexsandro Santana; Dias, Nathalia Baptista; Palma, Mario Sergio; Bueno, Odair Correa

    2016-01-01

    There are several hypotheses about the possible functions of the postpharyngeal gland (PPG) in ants. The proposed functions include roles as cephalic or gastric caeca and diverticulum of the digestive tract, mixing of hydrocarbons, nestmate recognition, feeding larvae, and the accumulation of lipids inside this gland, whose origin is contradictory. The current study aimed to investigate the functions of these glands by examining the protein expression profile of the PPGs of Atta sexdens rubropilosa (Hymenoptera, Formicidae). Mated females received lipid supplementation and their glands were extracted and analyzed using a proteomic approach. The protocol used combined two-dimensional electrophoresis and shotgun strategies, followed by mass spectrometry. We also detected lipid β-oxidation by immunofluorescent marking of acyl-CoA dehydrogenase. Supplying ants with lipids elicited responses in the glandular cells of the PPG; these included increased expression of proteins related to defense mechanisms and signal transduction and reorganization of the cytoskeleton due to cell expansion. In addition, some proteins in PPG were overexpressed, especially those involved in lipid and energy metabolism. Part of the lipids may be reduced, used for the synthesis of fatty alcohol, transported to the hemolymph, or may be used as substrate for the synthesis of acetyl-CoA, which is oxidized to form molecules that drive oxidative phosphorylation and produce energy for cellular metabolic processes. These findings suggest that this organ is specialized for lipid nutrition of adult leaf-cutting ants and characterized like a of diverticulum foregut, with the ability to absorb, store, metabolize, and mobilize lipids to the hemolymph. However, we do not rule out that the PPG may have other functions in other species of ants. PMID:27149618

  6. Isolation and molecular characterization of symbiotic fungus from Acromyrmex ambiguus and Acromyrmex heyeri ants of Rio Grande do Sul State, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniela Isabel Brayer Pereira

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Leaf-cutting ants of the genera Atta and Acromyrmex determine serious agricultural problems and live on symbiosis with Leucoagaricus gongylophorus. The aim of this study is to identify morphological and molecularly, as well as to verify the genotypic variability of the symbiotic fungus cultivated by A. heyeri and A. ambiguus from three different regions of the state of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. Fungus gardens were collected and fragments of mycelia were grown in selective medium. Total DNA was extracted and amplification of the ITS region was performed by PCR using universal primers. After DNA sequencing, the chromatograms were assembled and phylogenetic analyzes were performed by the Neighbor-Joining method. A total of six isolates of L. gongylophorus were obtained and their identities were confirmed by molecular analyses. Phylogenetic analysis of the ITS region showed a tree with two distinct groups regarding the fungus isolates from A. heiyeri and A. ambiguous. In this study, it was verified that A. heyeri and A. ambiguous, cultivate the same fungus. Additionally, the molecular marker used in this study showed variations in L. gongylophorus, evidencing two distinct branches in the phylogenetic tree, according to the ant species that cultivate L. gongylophorus. However, other studies involving the inclusion of a great number of isolates of L. gongylophorus, as well as the use of other molecular markers to validate the possible variations in the phylogenetic relationship of this symbiotic fungus are required.

  7. Nest Enlargement in Leaf-Cutting Ants: Relocated Brood and Fungus Trigger the Excavation of New Chambers

    OpenAIRE

    Daniela Römer; Flavio Roces

    2014-01-01

    During colony growth, leaf-cutting ants enlarge their nests by excavating tunnels and chambers housing their fungus gardens and brood. Workers are expected to excavate new nest chambers at locations across the soil profile that offer suitable environmental conditions for brood and fungus rearing. It is an open question whether new chambers are excavated in advance, or will emerge around brood or fungus initially relocated to a suitable site in a previously-excavated tunnel. In the laboratory,...

  8. Representation of thermal information in the antennal lobe of leaf-cutting ants

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    Markus eRuchty

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available Insects are equipped with various types of antennal sensilla, which house thermosensitive neurons adapted to receive different parameters of the thermal environment for a variety of temperature-guided behaviors. In the leaf-cutting ant Atta vollenweideri, the physiology and the morphology of the thermosensitive sensillum coeloconicum (Sc has been thoroughly investigated. However, the central projections of its receptor neurons are unknown. Here we selectively stained the three neurons found in single Sc and tracked their axons into the brain of Atta vollenweideri workers. Each of the three axons terminates in a single glomerulus of the antennal lobe (Sc-glomeruli. Two of the innervated glomeruli are adjacent to each other and are located laterally, while the third one is clearly separated and located medially in the antennal lobe. Using two-photon Ca2+ imaging of antennal lobe projection neurons, we studied where in the antennal lobe thermal information is represented. In the 11 investigated antennal lobes, we found up to 10 different glomeruli in a single specimen responding to temperature stimulation. Both, warm- and cold-sensitive glomeruli could be identified. The thermosensitive glomeruli were mainly located in the medial part of the antennal lobe. Based on the general representation of thermal information in the antennal lobe and functional data on the Sc-glomeruli we conclude that temperature stimuli received by Sc are processed in the medial of the three target glomeruli. The present study reveals an important role of the antennal lobe in temperature processing and links a specific thermosensitive neuron to its central target glomerulus.

  9. Ephemeral windows of opportunity for horizontal transmission of fungal symbionts in leaf-cutting ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Poulsen, Michael; Fernández-Marín, Hermógenes; Currie, Cameron R.;

    2009-01-01

    this paradox by showing that transmission among newly founded Acromyrmex colonies is not constrained. All tested queens of sympatric A. octospinosus and A. echinatior offered a novel fragment of fungus garden accepted the new symbiont. The outcome was unaffected by genetic distance between the novel...

  10. Towards a molecular understanding of symbiont function: identification of a fungal gene for the degradation of xylan in the fungus gardens of leaf-cutting ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schiøtt, Morten; De Fine Licht, Henrik H; Lange, Lene;

    2008-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Leaf-cutting ants live in symbiosis with a fungus that they rear for food by providing it with live plant material. Until recently the fungus' main inferred function was to make otherwise inaccessible cell wall degradation products available to the ants, but new studies have shed doub...

  11. Leaf-cutting ants toxicity of limonexic acid and degraded limonoids from Raulinoa echinata: X-ray structure of epoxy-fraxinellone

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Biavatti, Maique W.; Westerlon, Rosangela [Universidade do Vale do Itajai, SC (Brazil). Programa de Pos-Graduacao em Ciencias Farmaceuticas]. E-mail: maique@univali.br; Vieira, Paulo C.; Silva, M. Fatima G.F. da; Fernandes, Joao B. [Sao Carlos Univ., SP (Brazil). Dept. de Quimica; Penaflor, M. Fernanda G.V.; Bueno, Odair C. [UNESP, Rio Claro, SP (Brazil). Centro de Estudos de Insetos Sociais; Ellena, Javier [Sao Paulo Univ., Sao Carlos, SP (Brazil). Inst. de Fisica

    2005-11-15

    Phytochemical survey of roots extracts of the South Brazilian endemic plant Raulinoa echinata Cowan, Rutaceae led to the isolation of known degraded limonoids: fraxinellone, fraxinellonone and epoxy-fraxinellone. The latter was previously isolated also from the stems, but the relative configuration could not be solved by NMR experiments. This paper deals with the X-ray diffraction analysis of epoxy-fraxinellone and its toxicity to leaf-cutting ants, describes the isolation of fraxinellonone and fraxinellone for the first time in Raulinoa. Epoxy-fraxinellone showed no toxicity to the leaf-cutting ants (Atta sexdens rubropilosa). The limonoid limonexic acid, isolated from stems, presented high toxicity to the leaf-cutting ants, diminishing considerably their longevity. (author)

  12. Prevalence of the genus Cladosporium on the integument of leaf-cutting ants characterized by 454 pyrosequencing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duarte, A P M; Ferro, M; Rodrigues, A; Bacci, M; Nagamoto, N S; Forti, L C; Pagnocca, F C

    2016-09-01

    The relationship of attine ants with their mutualistic fungus and other microorganisms has been studied during the last two centuries. However, previous studies about the diversity of fungi in the ants' microenvironment are based mostly on culture-dependent approaches, lacking a broad characterization of the fungal ant-associated community. Here, we analysed the fungal diversity found on the integument of Atta capiguara and Atta laevigata alate ants using 454 pyrosequencing. We obtained 35,453 ITS reads grouped into 99 molecular operational taxonomic units (MOTUs). Data analysis revealed that A. capiguara drones had the highest diversity of MOTUs. Besides the occurrence of several uncultured fungi, the mycobiota analysis revealed that the most abundant taxa were the Cladosporium-complex, Cryptococcus laurentii and Epicoccum sp. Taxa in the genus Cladosporium were predominant in all samples, comprising 67.9 % of all reads. The remarkable presence of the genus Cladosporium on the integument of leaf-cutting ants alates from distinct ant species suggests that this fungus is favored in this microenvironment. PMID:27307255

  13. Functional role of phenylacetic acid from metapleural gland secretions in controlling fungal pathogens in evolutionarily derived leaf-cutting ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernández-Marín, Hermógenes; Nash, David R; Higginbotham, Sarah; Estrada, Catalina; van Zweden, Jelle S; d'Ettorre, Patrizia; Wcislo, William T; Boomsma, Jacobus J

    2015-05-22

    Fungus-farming ant colonies vary four to five orders of magnitude in size. They employ compounds from actinomycete bacteria and exocrine glands as antimicrobial agents. Atta colonies have millions of ants and are particularly relevant for understanding hygienic strategies as they have abandoned their ancestors' prime dependence on antibiotic-based biological control in favour of using metapleural gland (MG) chemical secretions. Atta MGs are unique in synthesizing large quantities of phenylacetic acid (PAA), a known but little investigated antimicrobial agent. We show that particularly the smallest workers greatly reduce germination rates of Escovopsis and Metarhizium spores after actively applying PAA to experimental infection targets in garden fragments and transferring the spores to the ants' infrabuccal cavities. In vitro assays further indicated that Escovopsis strains isolated from evolutionarily derived leaf-cutting ants are less sensitive to PAA than strains from phylogenetically more basal fungus-farming ants, consistent with the dynamics of an evolutionary arms race between virulence and control for Escovopsis, but not Metarhizium. Atta ants form larger colonies with more extreme caste differentiation relative to other attines, in societies characterized by an almost complete absence of reproductive conflicts. We hypothesize that these changes are associated with unique evolutionary innovations in chemical pest management that appear robust against selection pressure for resistance by specialized mycopathogens. PMID:25925100

  14. Random sperm use and genetic effects on worker caste fate in Atta colombica leaf-cutting ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Holman, Luke; Stürup, Marlene; Trontti, Kalevi;

    2011-01-01

    Sperm competition can produce fascinating adaptations with far-reaching evolutionary consequences. Social taxa make particularly interesting models, because the outcome of sexual selection determines the genetic composition of groups, with attendant sociobiological consequences. Here, we use...... molecular tools to uncover some of the mechanisms and consequences of sperm competition in the leaf-cutting ant Atta colombica, a species with extreme worker size polymorphism. Competitive PCR allowed quantification of the relative numbers of sperm stored by queens from different males, and offspring...... genotyping revealed how sperm number translated into paternity of eggs and adult workers. We demonstrate that fertilization success is directly related to sperm numbers, that stored sperm are well-mixed and that egg paternity is constant over time. Moreover, worker size was found to have a considerable...

  15. Protein content of leaf-cutting ant queens before the nuptial flight and during the post-claustral phase

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Edypo Jacob Silva

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Protein content of leaf-cutting ant queens before the nuptial flight and during the post-claustral phase. This study evaluated the crude protein content of queens of Atta sexdens before the nuptial flight and after the claustral phase in laboratory and field colonies. The hypothesis was that protein is used for survival of the queen and for early colony growth during the claustral phase. Additionally, the nest morphology, live biomass and adult population of field colonies were evaluated. Crude protein was determined by digestion of the organic material with sulfuric acid at high temperatures. The mean crude protein content was 123.23 ± 11.20 mg for females before the nuptial flight and 70.44 ± 12.21 mg for laboratory-reared queens after the claustral phase. The post-claustral crude protein content of field-collected queen was 55.90 ± 9.18 mg. With respect to the loss of crude protein as a function of duration of the claustral phase, laboratory-reared queens lost 52.79 mg and field-collected queens lost 67.33 mg compared to females before the nuptial flight. A positive linear correlation was observed between the weight of field-collected queens (256.4 ± 36.3 mg and colony biomass (13.02 ± 9.12 g, but there was no correlation between biomass and nest depth (13.11 ± 3.82 cm. As expected, the present results support the hypothesis that protein is used for survival of the queen and for early colony growth, as demonstrated by the reduction in crude protein content as a function of duration of the claustral phase. To our knowledge, this is the first study to provide data of the dynamics of protein reserves in leaf-cutting ant queens during the claustral phase.

  16. Caste-specific symbiont policing by workers of Acromyrmex fungus-growing ants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ivens, Aniek B. F.; Nash, David R.; Poulsen, Michael; Boomsma, Jacobus J.

    2009-01-01

    The interaction between leaf-cutting ants and their fungus garden mutualists is ideal for studying the evolutionary stability of interspecific cooperation. Although the mutualism has a long history of diffuse coevolution, there is ample potential for conflicts between the partners over the mixing an

  17. Interaction specificity between leaf-cutting ants and vertically transmitted Pseudonocardia bacteria

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Breum Andersen, Sandra; Yek, Sze Huei; Nash, David R.;

    2015-01-01

    Background: The obligate mutualism between fungus-growing ants and microbial symbionts offers excellent opportunities to study the specificity and stability of multi-species interactions. In addition to cultivating fungus gardens, these ants have domesticated actinomycete bacteria to defend gardens...

  18. Leucoagaricus gongylophorus uses leaf-cutting ants to vector proteolytic enzymes towards new plant substrate

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kooij, Pepijn Wilhelmus; Rogowska-Wrzesinska, Adelina; Hoffmann, Daniel;

    2014-01-01

    upregulated in the gongylidia, specialized hyphal tips whose only known function is to provide food to the ants. These combined results indicate that the enzymes are derived from the ingested fungal tissues. We infer that the five proteases are likely to accelerate protein extraction from plant cells...... in the leaf pulp that the ants add to the fungus garden, but regulatory functions such as activation of proenzymes are also possible, particularly for the aspartic proteases that were present but without showing activity. The proteases had high sequence similarities to proteolytic enzymes of phytopathogenic...... fungi, consistent with previous indications of convergent evolution of decomposition enzymes in attine ant fungal symbionts and phytopathogenic fungi....

  19. Social life and sanitary risks: evolutionary and current ecological conditions determine waste management in leaf-cutting ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farji-Brener, Alejandro G; Elizalde, Luciana; Fernández-Marín, Hermógenes; Amador-Vargas, Sabrina

    2016-05-25

    Adequate waste management is vital for the success of social life, because waste accumulation increases sanitary risks in dense societies. We explored why different leaf-cutting ants (LCA) species locate their waste in internal nest chambers or external piles, including ecological context and accounting for phylogenetic relations. We propose that waste location depends on whether the environmental conditions enhance or reduce the risk of infection. We obtained the geographical range, habitat and refuse location of LCA from published literature, and experimentally determined whether pathogens on ant waste survived to the high soil temperatures typical of xeric habitats. The habitat of the LCA determined waste location after phylogenetic correction: species with external waste piles mainly occur in xeric environments, whereas those with internal waste chambers mainly inhabit more humid habitats. The ancestral reconstruction suggests that dumping waste externally is less derived than digging waste nest chambers. Empirical results showed that high soil surface temperatures reduce pathogen prevalence from LCA waste. We proposed that LCA living in environments unfavourable for pathogens (i.e. xeric habitats) avoid digging costs by dumping the refuse above ground. Conversely, in environments suitable for pathogens, LCA species prevent the spread of diseases by storing waste underground, presumably, a behaviour that contributed to the colonization of humid habitats. These results highlight the adaptation of organisms to the hygienic challenges of social living, and illustrate how sanitary behaviours can result from a combination of evolutionary history and current environmental conditions. PMID:27226469

  20. Antagonistic interactions between garden yeasts and microfungal garden pathogens of leaf-cutting ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodrigues, Andre; Cable, Rachel N; Mueller, Ulrich G; Bacci, Maurício; Pagnocca, Fernando C

    2009-10-01

    We investigate the diversity of yeasts isolated in gardens of the leafcutter ant Atta texana. Repeated sampling of gardens from four nests over a 1-year time period showed that gardens contain a diverse assemblage of yeasts. The yeast community in gardens consisted mostly of yeasts associated with plants or soil, but community composition changed between sampling periods. In order to understand the potential disease-suppressing roles of the garden yeasts, we screened isolates for antagonistic effects against known microfungal garden contaminants. In vitro assays revealed that yeasts inhibited the mycelial growth of two strains of Escovopsis (a specialized attine garden parasite), Syncephalastrum racemosum (a fungus often growing in gardens of leafcutter lab nests), and the insect pathogen Beauveria bassiana. These garden yeasts add to the growing list of disease-suppressing microbes in attine nests that may contribute synergistically, together with actinomycetes and Burkholderia bacteria, to protect the gardens and the ants against diseases. Additionally, we suggest that garden immunity against problem fungi may therefore derive not only from the presence of disease-suppressing Pseudonocardia actinomycetes, but from an enrichment of multiple disease-suppressing microorganisms in the garden matrix. PMID:19449210

  1. Considerations for assessing maximum critical temperatures in small ectothermic animals: insights from leaf-cutting ants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pedro Leite Ribeiro

    Full Text Available The thermal limits of individual animals were originally proposed as a link between animal physiology and thermal ecology. Although this link is valid in theory, the evaluation of physiological tolerances involves some problems that are the focus of this study. One rationale was that heating rates shall influence upper critical limits, so that ecological thermal limits need to consider experimental heating rates. In addition, if thermal limits are not surpassed in experiments, subsequent tests of the same individual should yield similar results or produce evidence of hardening. Finally, several non-controlled variables such as time under experimental conditions and procedures may affect results. To analyze these issues we conducted an integrative study of upper critical temperatures in a single species, the ant Atta sexdens rubropiosa, an animal model providing large numbers of individuals of diverse sizes but similar genetic makeup. Our specific aims were to test the 1 influence of heating rates in the experimental evaluation of upper critical temperature, 2 assumptions of absence of physical damage and reproducibility, and 3 sources of variance often overlooked in the thermal-limits literature; and 4 to introduce some experimental approaches that may help researchers to separate physiological and methodological issues. The upper thermal limits were influenced by both heating rates and body mass. In the latter case, the effect was physiological rather than methodological. The critical temperature decreased during subsequent tests performed on the same individual ants, even one week after the initial test. Accordingly, upper thermal limits may have been overestimated by our (and typical protocols. Heating rates, body mass, procedures independent of temperature and other variables may affect the estimation of upper critical temperatures. Therefore, based on our data, we offer suggestions to enhance the quality of measurements, and offer

  2. Soil Moisture and Excavation Behaviour in the Chaco Leaf-Cutting Ant (Atta vollenweideri): Digging Performance and Prevention of Water Inflow into the Nest

    OpenAIRE

    Steffen Pielström; Flavio Roces

    2014-01-01

    The Chaco leaf-cutting ant Atta vollenweideri is native to the clay-heavy soils of the Gran Chaco region in South America. Because of seasonal floods, colonies are regularly exposed to varying moisture across the soil profile, a factor that not only strongly influences workers' digging performance during nest building, but also determines the suitability of the soil for the rearing of the colony's symbiotic fungus. In this study, we investigated the effects of varying soil moisture on behavio...

  3. Worker laying in leafcutter ant Acromyrmex subterraneus brunneus (Formicidae, Attini)

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ROBERTO S. CAMARGO; LUIZ C FORTI; JULIANE F. S. LOPES; NEWTON C. NORONHA; ANGELO L. T. OTTATI

    2007-01-01

    We studied the process of offspring production in queenless colonies of Acromyrmex subterraneus brunneus, and particularly evaluated the ovary development of workers as a function of their age. For this, subcolonies were set up and evaluated at different periods of isolation from the queen (2, 4 and 6 months), besides individually labeled age groups. The subcolonies were assessed according to offspring production and ovaries containing oocytes or not. The evaluations showed worker oviposition and development of males originating from worker-laid eggs. At 2 months' absence ofthe queen, eggs and larvae were found, with eggs in a higher proportion than larvae. After 4 months, the proportion of eggs had reduced while larvae had increased, and a pupa was found in one subcolony. At 6 months, besides a higher share of larvae, one pupa and one adult male were found. Dissection of workers revealed ovaries containing oocytes during the periods of evaluation. Only a group of medium-sized and large workers, 23.3%, 20.9% and 37.5% of the population from each period assessed in queenless subcolonies respectively, presented developed oocytes in the ovary. The same was observed in colonies with a queen, with 17.6%, 19.6% and 7.8% of the group of dissected workers from each time period, respectively. With respect to worker age, we observed by dissection of the ovary, that the greatest percentage of individuals with ovarioles containing oocytes occurred at 45 days (6 weeks) up to 90 days (12 weeks). These results probably are associated with the workers reproduction and the laying of trophic and reproductive eggs in colonies with and without a queen; these eggs have distinct functions in each situation.

  4. Differences in forage-acquisition and fungal enzyme activity contribute to niche segregation in Panamanian leaf-cutting ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kooij, Pepijn Wilhelmus; Liberti, Joanito; Giampoudakis, Konstantinos;

    2014-01-01

    activities of twelve fungus garden decomposition enzymes, belonging to the amylases, cellulases, hemicellulases, pectinases and proteinases, and show that average enzyme activity per unit of fungal mass in Atta gardens is lower than in Acromyrmex gardens. Expression profiles of fungal enzymes in Atta also...... for decomposition enzymes....

  5. Caste-specific expression of genetic variation in the size of antibiotic-producing glands of leaf-cutting ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hughes, W O H; Bot, A N M; Boomsma, J J

    2010-01-01

    Social insect castes represent some of the most spectacular examples of phenotypic plasticity, with each caste being associated with different environmental conditions during their life. Here we examine the level of genetic variation in different castes of two polyandrous species of Acromyrmex le...

  6. Antifungals of acromyrmex, allomerus, and tetraponera ant- and cultivarassociated bacteria

    OpenAIRE

    Barke, Joerg

    2013-01-01

    The central purpose of this thesis is to test the utility of ant-microbe associations for discovering antifungal compounds with novel molecular (sub-) structures. Novel antifungals displaying reduced adverse side-effects, increased water-solubilities, and/or strong fungicidal properties would be helpful in medical science for responding to the rising prevalence of human mycoses and for solving problems with adverse side-effects in currently used antifungal drugs. Host-symbiont systems m...

  7. Cytogenetic data on six leafcutter ants of the genus Acromyrmex Mayr, 1865 (Hymenoptera, Formicidae, Myrmicinae): insights into chromosome evolution and taxonomic implications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barros, Luísa Antônia Campos; de Aguiar, Hilton Jeferson Alves Cardoso; Mariano, Cléa dos Santos Ferreira; Andrade-Souza, Vanderly; Costa, Marco Antonio; Delabie, Jacques Hubert Charles; Pompolo, Silvia das Graças

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Cytogenetic data for the genus Acromyrmex Mayr, 1865 are available, to date, for a few species from Brazil and Uruguay, which have uniform chromosome numbers (2n = 38). The recent cytogenetic data of Acromyrmex striatus (Roger, 1863), including its banding patterns, showed a distinct karyotype (2n = 22), similar to earlier studied Atta Fabricius, 1804 species. Karyological data are still scarce for the leafcutter ants and many gaps are still present for a proper understanding of this group. Therefore, this study aimed at increasing cytogenetic knowledge of the genus through the characterization of other six species: Acromyrmex balzani (Emery, 1890), Acromyrmex coronatus Fabricius, 1804, Acromyrmex disciger (Mayr, 1887), Acromyrmex echinatior (Forel, 1899), Acromyrmex niger (Smith, 1858) and Acromyrmex rugosus (Smith, 1858), all of which were collected in Minas Gerais – Brazil, except for Acromyrmex echinatior which was collected in Barro Colorado – Panama. The number and morphology of the chromosomes were studied and the following banding techniques were applied: C-banding, fluorochromes CMA3 and DAPI, as well as the detection of 45S rDNA using FISH technique. All the six species had the same chromosome number observed for already studied species, i.e. 2n = 38. Acromyrmex balzani had a different karyotype compared with other species mainly due to the first metacentric pair. The heterochromatin distribution also showed interspecific variation. Nevertheless, all the studied species had a pair of bands in the short arm of the first subtelocentric pair. The fluorochrome CMA3 visualized bands in the short arm of the first subtelocentric pair for all the six species, while Acromyrmex rugosus and Acromyrmex niger also demonstrated in the other chromosomes. The AT-rich regions with differential staining using DAPI were not observed. 45S ribosomal genes were identified by FISH in the short arm of the first subtelocentric pair in Acromyrmex coronatus, Acromyrmex

  8. A mixed community of actinomycetes produce multiple antibiotics for the fungus farming ant Acromyrmex octospinosus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Barke Jörg

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Attine ants live in an intensely studied tripartite mutualism with the fungus Leucoagaricus gongylophorus, which provides food to the ants, and with antibiotic-producing actinomycete bacteria. One hypothesis suggests that bacteria from the genus Pseudonocardia are the sole, co-evolved mutualists of attine ants and are transmitted vertically by the queens. A recent study identified a Pseudonocardia-produced antifungal, named dentigerumycin, associated with the lower attine Apterostigma dentigerum consistent with the idea that co-evolved Pseudonocardia make novel antibiotics. An alternative possibility is that attine ants sample actinomycete bacteria from the soil, selecting and maintaining those species that make useful antibiotics. Consistent with this idea, a Streptomyces species associated with the higher attine Acromyrmex octospinosus was recently shown to produce the well-known antifungal candicidin. Candicidin production is widespread in environmental isolates of Streptomyces, so this could either be an environmental contaminant or evidence of recruitment of useful actinomycetes from the environment. It should be noted that the two possibilities for actinomycete acquisition are not necessarily mutually exclusive. Results In order to test these possibilities we isolated bacteria from a geographically distinct population of A. octospinosus and identified a candicidin-producing Streptomyces species, which suggests that they are common mutualists of attine ants, most probably recruited from the environment. We also identified a Pseudonocardia species in the same ant colony that produces an unusual polyene antifungal, providing evidence for co-evolution of Pseudonocardia with A. octospinosus. Conclusions Our results show that a combination of co-evolution and environmental sampling results in the diversity of actinomycete symbionts and antibiotics associated with attine ants.

  9. Integrating Paleodistribution Models and Phylogeography in the Grass-Cutting Ant Acromyrmex striatus (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in Southern Lowlands of South America.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cristiano, Maykon Passos; Clemes Cardoso, Danon; Fernandes-Salomão, Tânia Maria; Heinze, Jürgen

    2016-01-01

    Past climate changes often have influenced the present distribution and intraspecific genetic diversity of organisms. The objective of this study was to investigate the phylogeography and historical demography of populations of Acromyrmex striatus (Roger, 1863), a leaf-cutting ant species restricted to the open plains of South America. Additionally, we modeled the distribution of this species to predict its contemporary and historic habitat. From the partial sequences of the mitochondrial gene cytochrome oxidase I of 128 A. striatus workers from 38 locations we estimated genetic diversity and inferred historical demography, divergence time, and population structure. The potential distribution areas of A. striatus for current and quaternary weather conditions were modeled using the maximum entropy algorithm. We identified a total of 58 haplotypes, divided into five main haplogroups. The analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA) revealed that the largest proportion of genetic variation is found among the groups of populations. Paleodistribution models suggest that the potential habitat of A. striatus may have decreased during the Last Interglacial Period (LIG) and expanded during the Last Maximum Glacial (LGM). Overall, the past potential distribution recovered by the model comprises the current potential distribution of the species. The general structuring pattern observed was consistent with isolation by distance, suggesting a balance between gene flow and drift. Analysis of historical demography showed that populations of A. striatus had remained constant throughout its evolutionary history. Although fluctuations in the area of their potential historic habitat occurred during quaternary climate changes, populations of A. striatus are strongly structured geographically. However, explicit barriers to gene flow have not been identified. These findings closely match those in Mycetophylax simplex, another ant species that in some areas occurs in sympatry with A. striatus

  10. Comparative morpho-physiology of the metapleural glands of two Atta leaf-cutting ant queens nesting in clayish and organic soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vieira, Alexsandro Santana; Camargo-Mathias, Maria Izabel; Roces, Flavio

    2015-09-01

    Queens of leaf-cutting ants found their nests singly, each consisting of a vertical tunnel and a final horizontal chamber. Because of the claustral mode of nest founding, the queen and/or her initial fungus garden are exposed to threats imposed by several soil pathogens, and the antibiotic secretions produced by their metapleural glands are considered a main adaptation to deal with them. Nests of two Atta leaf-cutting ant species, Atta vollenweideri and Atta sexdens rubropilosa, occur in different soil types, alfisols and oxisols. Their queens are known to excavate the initial nest in different soil horizons, clayish and organic, respectively, which differ in their fertility and associated microbiota. The aim of the present study was to comparatively investigate the morpho-physiology of the metapleural glands in queens of A. vollenweideri and A. sexdens rubropilosa, addressing the question whether the distinct selective pressure imposed by the microbiota in the two different soil types led to morpho-physiological differences in the metapleural glands that were consistent with their antiseptic function. The results revealed that metapleural glands of A. sexdens rubropilosa have a larger number of secretory cells, and consequently a higher production of antibiotic secretions, which may have been selected to allow nest founding at the superficial horizon of oxisols rich in organic matter and microorganisms. Glands of A. vollenweideri, on the contrary, presented fewer secretory cells, suggesting less production of antibiotic secretions. We argue that the excavation of deep founding nests in A. vollenweideri was primarily selected for during evolution to avoid the risk posed by flooding, and further hypothesize that a reduced number of cells in their metapleural glands occurred because of a weak pathogen-driven selective pressure at the preferred soil depth. PMID:26145506

  11. Spatially Heterogeneous Nest-Clearing Behavior Coincides with Rain Event in the Leaf-Cutting Ant Atta cephalotes (L.) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stephan, J G; Wirth, R; Leal, I R; Meyer, S T

    2015-04-01

    Leaf-cutting ants of the genus Atta construct the probably largest nests among ants and are ecosystem engineers because they alter light and nutrient availability at nest sites. Besides creating canopy gaps in the forest, workers remove all vegetation from atop their nest mounds. Here, we examined the extent and spatial distribution of this nest-clearing behavior by transplanting Licania tomentosa seedlings on Atta cephalotes (Linnaeus) nest mounds in the Atlantic forest in northeast Brazil and documented defoliation patterns by the workers. Within 9 days, workers removed around 53% of the total leaf area planted per colony. All colonies showed a synchronized start of defoliation after a rain event in the fifth night after the seedlings had been transplanted. Defoliation increased with time elapsed since transplanting and with the number of entrances surrounding each seedling. In addition, workers started defoliation on the top of the mound. In contrast, the distance to the next entrance and the size of the seedling did not affect the defoliation pattern. Defoliation was not part of the colony foraging activities but was identified as an element of nest maintenance. Possible cues triggering nest-clearing behavior and the potential link between nest-clearing activities and the control of microclimate of ant nests are discussed. PMID:26013129

  12. Fungal Adaptations to Mutualistic Life with Ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kooij, Pepijn Wilhelmus

    the ant gut without being digested, and are excreted by the ants in their fecal fluid which they mix with freshly foraged plant material placed on the top of the fungus garden. The enzymes are still active and have therefore an important role in the biodegradation of the plant material. With this I show......-cutting ant genera forage for rather different plant material, with Atta species specializing on tree-leaves and Acromyrmex focusing more on flower material and herbal plant material. This difference is reflected in the overall enzyme activity patterns in the fungus gardens, with Atta specializing more...... on specific enzyme groups and Acromyrmex having an overall high enzyme activity. Finally, I show that the fungal symbiont of the leaf-cutting ant Acromyrmex echinatior produces large amounts of biodegrading enzymes in special structures called gongylidia. The ants eat these structures, but enzymes pass...

  13. Could pseudogenes be widespread in ants? Evidence of numts in the leafcutter ant Acromyrmex striatus (Roger, 1863) (Formicidae: Attini).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cristiano, Maykon Passos; Cardoso, Danon Clemes; Fernandes-Salomão, Tânia Maria

    2014-02-01

    The incorporation of fragments of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) in the nuclear genome, known as numts (nuclear mitochondrial pseudogenes), undermines general assumptions concerning the use of mtDNA in phylogenetic and phylogeographic studies. Accidental amplifications of these nuclear copies instead of the mitochondrial target can lead to crucial misinterpretations, thus the correct identification of numts and their differentiation from true mitochondrial sequences are important in preventing this kind of error. Our goal was to describe the existence of cytochrome b (cytb) numts in the leafcutter ant Acromyrmex striatus (Roger, 1863). PCR products were directly sequenced using a pair of universal primers designed to amplify the cytb gene of these insects. Other species of leafcutter ants were also sequenced. The sequences were analyzed and the numts were identified by the presence of double peaks, indels and premature stop codons. Only A. striatus clearly showed the presence of numts, while the other species displayed the expected amplification of the mtDNA cytb gene target using the same primer pair. We hope that our report will highlight the benefits and challenges of using mtDNA in the molecular phylogenetic reconstruction and phylogeographic studies of ants, while establishing the importance of numts reports for future studies.

  14. Functional role of phenylacetic acid from metapleural gland secretions in controlling fungal pathogens in evolutionarily derived leaf-cutting ants

    OpenAIRE

    Fernández-Marín, Hermógenes; Nash, David R.; Higginbotham, Sarah; Estrada, Catalina; Jelle S van Zweden; D'Ettorre, Patrizia; Wcislo, William T.; Boomsma, Jacobus J.

    2015-01-01

    Fungus-farming ant colonies vary four to five orders of magnitude in size. They employ compounds from actinomycete bacteria and exocrine glands as antimicrobial agents. Atta colonies have millions of ants and are particularly relevant for understanding hygienic strategies as they have abandoned their ancestors' prime dependence on antibiotic-based biological control in favour of using metapleural gland (MG) chemical secretions. Atta MGs are unique in synthesizing large quantities of phenylace...

  15. Functional role of phenylacetic acid from metapleural gland secretions in controlling fungal pathogens in evolutionarily derived leaf-cutting ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fernández-Marín, Hermógenes; Nash, David Richard; Higginbotham, Sarah;

    2015-01-01

    Fungus-farming ant colonies vary four to five orders of magnitude in size. They employ compounds from actinomycete bacteria and exocrine glands as antimicrobial agents. Atta colonies have millions of ants and are particularly relevant for understanding hygienic strategies as they have abandoned...... differentiation relative to other attines, in societies characterized by an almost complete absence of reproductive conflicts.We hypothesize that these changes are associatedwith unique evolutionary innovations in chemical pest management that appear robust against selection pressure for resistance by specialized...

  16. Soil moisture and excavation behaviour in the Chaco leaf-cutting ant (Atta vollenweideri: digging performance and prevention of water inflow into the nest.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Steffen Pielström

    Full Text Available The Chaco leaf-cutting ant Atta vollenweideri is native to the clay-heavy soils of the Gran Chaco region in South America. Because of seasonal floods, colonies are regularly exposed to varying moisture across the soil profile, a factor that not only strongly influences workers' digging performance during nest building, but also determines the suitability of the soil for the rearing of the colony's symbiotic fungus. In this study, we investigated the effects of varying soil moisture on behaviours associated with underground nest building in A. vollenweideri. This was done in a series of laboratory experiments using standardised, plastic clay-water mixtures with gravimetric water contents ranging from relatively brittle material to mixtures close to the liquid limit. Our experiments showed that preference and group-level digging rate increased with increasing water content, but then dropped considerably for extremely moist materials. The production of vibrational recruitment signals during digging showed, on the contrary, a slightly negative linear correlation with soil moisture. Workers formed and carried clay pellets at higher rates in moist clay, even at the highest water content tested. Hence, their weak preference and low group-level excavation rate observed for that mixture cannot be explained by any inability to work with the material. More likely, extremely high moistures may indicate locations unsuitable for nest building. To test this hypothesis, we simulated a situation in which workers excavated an upward tunnel below accumulated surface water. The ants stopped digging about 12 mm below the interface soil/water, a behaviour representing a possible adaptation to the threat of water inflow field colonies are exposed to while digging under seasonally flooded soils. Possible roles of soil water in the temporal and spatial pattern of nest growth are discussed.

  17. Examination of the immune responses of males and workers of the leaf-cutting ant Acromyrmex echinatior and the effect of infection

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Baer, Boris; Krug, A.; Boomsma, Jacobus Jan;

    2005-01-01

    Parasites represent significant challenges to social insects. The high density, interaction rate and relatedness of individuals within colonies are all predicted to make social insect colonies particularly vulnerable to parasites. To cope with this pressure, social insects have evolved a number o...... to the Metarhizium infection or was depressed by the parasite. The results suggest that the immune response is a costly and limited process, but further experiments are needed to distinguish between the alternative explanations for the effects observed.......Parasites represent significant challenges to social insects. The high density, interaction rate and relatedness of individuals within colonies are all predicted to make social insect colonies particularly vulnerable to parasites. To cope with this pressure, social insects have evolved a number...

  18. The origin of the chemical profiles of fungal symbionts and their significance for nestmate recognition in Acromyrmex leaf-cutting ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Richard, Freddie-Jeanne; Poulsen, Michael; Hefetz, Abraham;

    2007-01-01

    with less aggression when they are later introduced into that colony. It appears, therefore, that fungus gardens are an independent and significant source of chemical compounds, potentially contributing a richer and more abundant blend of recognition cues to the colony ¿gestalt¿ than the innate chemical...

  19. Caste-specific symbiont policing by workers of Acromyrmex fungus-growing ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ivens, Aniek B.F.; Nash, David R.; Poulsen, Michael;

    2009-01-01

    and minor Acromyrmex workers eliminate alien fungus fragments even in subcolonies where their resident symbiont is not present. We hypothesize that the different tasks and behaviors performed by majors and minors are likely to select for differential responses to alien fungi. Major workers forage and cut...... new leaves and masticate them after delivery in the upper parts of the fungus garden and so are likely to more frequently encounter alien fungus than minor workers maintaining the established fungus garden and caring for the brood. We show that major workers of Acromyrmex echinatior indeed express...... stronger incompatibility reactions toward alien fungus garden fragments than minor workers. This implies that only the major workers, through recognition and exclusion of foreign fungus clones at their point of entry to the nest, have a realistic possibility to eliminate alien fungal tissue before it gets...

  20. Registro de Acromyrmex disciger Mayr, 1887 (Hymenoptera: Formicidae em Cinnamomum zeylanicum (Lauraceae no Município de Braço do Trombudo, Santa Catarina, Brasil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tiago Pikart

    2010-11-01

    Abstract. Cinnamomum zeylanicum Blume (Lauraceae is cultivated for production of leaves, bark and roots, due to its aromatic and spice proprieties. But despite being a resistant plant, C. zeylanicum is subject to attack by various insects and mites during their development, and these pests are responsible for considerable reduction in crop yields. The aim of this study was to record and characterize the attack by leaf-cutting ants in plants of C. zeylanicum in Braço do Trombudo, Santa Catarina State, Brazil between January and March 2010. Damage were characterized by cutting young leaves and shoots of plants of C. zeylanicum with height between 1.0 to 1.5 m and total defoliation of plants less than 1.0 m. The attack in adult plants was not observed. This is the first record of leaf-cutting ant Acromyrmex disciger Mayr damaging plants of C. zeylanicum in Brazil.

  1. Association between Pseudonocardia symbionts and Atta leaf-cutting ants suggested by improved isolation methods

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Marsh, Sarah E.; Poulsen, Michael; Gorosito, Norma B.;

    2013-01-01

    Fungus-growing ants associate with multiple symbiotic microbes, including Actinobacteria for production of antibiotics. The best studied of these bacteria are within the genus Pseudonocardia, which in most fungus-growing ants are conspicuously visible on the external cuticle of workers. However, ...

  2. Biomass conversion in the fungal garden of the leaf-cutter ant Acromyrmex echinatior

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Grell, Morten Nedergaard; Nygaard, Sanne; Linde, Tore;

    2011-01-01

    It has been demonstrated that fungal enzymes play a significant role in the fungal garden conversion of the fresh-cut leaves into accessible food for the ant larvae (Schiøtt et al. 2008, BMC Microbiol, 8:40; Licht et al. 2010, Evolution 64: 2055-2069). However, so far specific documentation of co...

  3. Self-restraint and sterility in workers of Acromyrmex and Atta leafcutter ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dijkstra, Michiel Bendert; Nash, David Richard; Boomsma, Jacobus Jan

    2005-01-01

    large workers) lay eggs that are similar in size to queen-laid eggs, but mostly with a reduced amount of yolk. Trophic eggs appear to be an important source of food for larvae in Acromyrmex (especially in Ac. echinatior), but not in Atta. Five (0.8) of 616 dissected Ac. echinatior workers but no Ac...

  4. The prominent role of fungi and fungal enzymes in the ant-fungus biomass conversion symbiosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lange, L; Grell, M N

    2014-06-01

    Molecular studies have added significantly to understanding of the role of fungi and fungal enzymes in the efficient biomass conversion, which takes place in the fungus garden of leaf-cutting ants. It is now clear that the fungal symbiont expresses the full spectrum of genes for degrading cellulose and other plant cell wall polysaccharides. Since the start of the genomics era, numerous interesting studies have especially focused on evolutionary, molecular, and organismal aspects of the biological and biochemical functions of the symbiosis between leaf-cutting ants (Atta spp. and Acromyrmex spp.) and their fungal symbiont Leucoagaricus gongylophorus. Macroscopic observations of the fungus-farming ant colony inherently depict the ants as the leading part of the symbiosis (the myrmicocentric approach, overshadowing the mycocentric aspects). However, at the molecular level, it is fungal enzymes that enable the ants to access the nutrition embedded in recalcitrant plant biomass. Our hypothesis is that the evolutionary events that established fungus-farming practice were predisposed by a fascinating fungal evolution toward increasing attractiveness to ants. This resulted in the ants allowing the fungus to grow in the nests and began to supply plant materials for more fungal growth. Molecular studies also confirm that specialized fungal structures, the gongylidia, with high levels of proteins and rich blend of enzymes, are essential for symbiosis. Harvested and used as ant feed, the gongylidia are the key factor for sustaining the highly complex leaf-cutting ant colony. This microbial upgrade of fresh leaves to protein-enriched animal feed can serve as inspiration for modern biorefinery technology. PMID:24728757

  5. Genetic royal cheats in leaf-cutting ant societies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hughes, William O H; Boomsma, Jacobus J

    2008-01-01

    by biasing their larval development toward becoming queens rather than workers. Two distinct mechanisms appear to be involved, one most probably involving a general tendency to become a larger adult and the other relating specifically to the queen-worker developmental switch. Just as evolutionary theory...... be widespread in even the most cooperative of societies and illustrate that identical principles govern social evolution in highly diverse systems....

  6. Diploid male production in a leaf-cutting ant

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Armitage, S.; Boomsma, J.; Baer, Boris

    2010-01-01

    1. In haplodiploid social insects where males are haploid and females are diploid, inbreeding depression is expressed as the production of diploid males when homozygosity at the sex-determining locus results in the production of diploid individuals with a male phenotype. Diploid males are often...... success would be reduced compared with haploid males if they were able to copulate. 5. We conclude that diploid male production is likely to affect the fitness of A. sexdens queens with a matched mating, as these males are produced at the cost of workers and, if the colony survives to reach mature size...

  7. Características biológicas e comportamentais de Neodohrniphora elongata Brown (Diptera, Phoridae, um parasitóide da saúva Atta sexdens rubropilosa Forel (Hymenoptera, Formicidae Biological and behavioral characteristics of Neodohrniphora elongata Brown (Diptera, Phoridae, a parasitic fly of the leaf-cutting ant Atta sexdens rubropilosa Forel (Hymenoptera, Formicidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcos A. L. Bragança

    2009-12-01

    foraging arena. Flies launched attacks on flies and failed four or five times before they would successfully attack ants and oviposit on the head of workers. Larvae of the parasitoid developed in the cephalic capsule of 63.8% of the 426 attacked workers; 218 flies emerged. N. elongata oviposited on bigger workers, or those with cephalic capsules 2.9 ± 0.4 mm wide. Capsule width seems to be important for the development of the parasitoid because failure in pupa formation and the non-emergence of adults occurred primarily among ants with capsules smaller than 2.9 mm. Flies that emerged in the laboratory had greater longevity when fed on honey solution at 10% than honey solution at 50%, or on distilled water only. The females emerged in laboratory had flight and attack behavior similar to those of field females, although second generation parasitoids could not be obtained. Additional studies on the impact of natural sources of carbohydrates and protein on the longevity and reproduction of N. elongate should be conducted to multiply this and other phorids of leaf-cutting ants in the laboratory.

  8. Broad Escovopsis-inhibition activity of Pseudonocardia associated with Trachymyrmex ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meirelles, Lucas A; Mendes, Thaís D; Solomon, Scott E; Bueno, Odair C; Pagnocca, Fernando C; Rodrigues, Andre

    2014-08-01

    Attine ants maintain an association with antibiotic-producing Actinobacteria found on their integuments. Evidence supports these bacteria as auxiliary symbionts that help ants to defend the fungus gardens against pathogens. Using Pseudonocardia strains isolated from Trachymyrmex ants, we tested whether the inhibitory capabilities of such strains are restricted to Escovopsis parasites that infect gardens of this ant genus. Twelve Pseudonocardia strains were tested in in vitro bioassays against Escovopsis strains derived from fungus gardens of Trachymyrmex (n = 1) and leaf-cutting ants (n = 3). Overall, significant differences were observed in the mycelial growth among each Escovopsis strain in the presence of Pseudonocardia. Particularly, Escovopsis from Acromyrmex and Trachymyrmex were the most inhibited strains in comparison to Escovopsis isolated from Atta. This result suggests that Pseudonocardia isolated from Trachymyrmex possibly secrete antimicrobial compounds effective against diverse Escovopsis strains. The fact that Trachymyrmex ants harbour Pseudonocardia strains with broad spectrum of activity and its defensive role on attine gardens are discussed. PMID:24992532

  9. Non-specific association between filamentous bacteria and fungus-growing ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kost, Christian; Lakatos, Tanja; Böttcher, Ingo; Arendholz, Wolf-Rüdiger; Redenbach, Matthias; Wirth, Rainer

    2007-10-01

    Fungus-growing ants and their fungal cultivar form a highly evolved mutualism that is negatively affected by the specialized parasitic fungus Escovopsis. Filamentous Pseudonocardia bacteria occurring on the cuticle of attine ants have been proposed to form a mutualistic interaction with these ants in which they are vertically transmitted (i.e. from parent to offspring colonies). Given a strictly vertical transmission of Pseudonocardia, the evolutionary theory predicts a reduced genetic variability of symbionts among ant lineages. The aim of this study was to verify whether actinomycetes, which occur on Acromyrmex octospinosus leaf-cutting ants, meet this expectation by comparing their genotypic variability with restriction fragment length polymorphisms. Multiple actinomycete strains could be isolated from both individual ant workers and colonies (one to seven strains per colony). The colony specificity of actinomycete communities was high: Only 15% of all strains were isolated from more than one colony, and just 5% were present in both populations investigated. Partial sequencing of 16S ribosomal deoxyribonucleic acid of two of the isolated strains assigned both of them to the genus Streptomyces. Actinomycetes could also be isolated from workers of the two non-attine ant species Myrmica rugulosa and Lasius flavus. Sixty-two percent of the strains derived from attine ants and 80% of the strains isolated from non-attine ants inhibited the growth of Escovopsis. Our data suggest that the association between attine ants and their actinomycete symbionts is less specific then previously thought. Soil-dwelling actinomycetes may have been dynamically recruited from the environment (horizontal transmission), probably reflecting an adaptation to a diverse community of microbial pathogens. PMID:17541536

  10. Antagonistic bacterial interactions help shape host-symbiont dynamics within the fungus-growing ant-microbe mutualism.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael Poulsen

    Full Text Available Conflict within mutually beneficial associations is predicted to destabilize relationships, and theoretical and empirical work exploring this has provided significant insight into the dynamics of cooperative interactions. Within mutualistic associations, the expression and regulation of conflict is likely more complex than in intraspecific cooperative relationship, because of the potential presence of: i multiple genotypes of microbial species associated with individual hosts, ii multiple species of symbiotic lineages forming cooperative partner pairings, and iii additional symbiont lineages. Here we explore complexity of conflict expression within the ancient and coevolved mutualistic association between attine ants, their fungal cultivar, and actinomycetous bacteria (Pseudonocardia. Specifically, we examine conflict between the ants and their Pseudonocardia symbionts maintained to derive antibiotics against parasitic microfungi (Escovopsis infecting the ants' fungus garden. Symbiont assays pairing isolates of Pseudonocardia spp. associated with fungus-growing ants spanning the phylogenetic diversity of the mutualism revealed that antagonism between strains is common. In contrast, antagonism was substantially less common between more closely related bacteria associated with Acromyrmex leaf-cutting ants. In both experiments, the observed variation in antagonism across pairings was primarily due to the inhibitory capabilities and susceptibility of individual strains, but also the phylogenetic relationships between the ant host of the symbionts, as well as the pair-wise genetic distances between strains. The presence of antagonism throughout the phylogenetic diversity of Pseudonocardia symbionts indicates that these reactions likely have shaped the symbiosis from its origin. Antagonism is expected to prevent novel strains from invading colonies, enforcing single-strain rearing within individual ant colonies. While this may align ant

  11. Ocorrência de formigas Acromyrmex Mayr, 1865, em alguns municípios do Brasil - DOI: 10.4025/actascibiolsci.v27i2.1322 Occurrence of ants Acromyrmex Mayr, 1865 in some cities of Brasil - DOI: 10.4025/actascibiolsci.v27i2.1322

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luiz Carlos Forti

    2005-03-01

    Full Text Available Espécies de Acromyrmex Mayr, 1865, foram coletadas em vários municípios do Brasil, nos seguintes estados: de Santa Catarina, Paraná, São Paulo, Minas Gerais, Goiás, Mato Grosso do Sul, Mato Grosso, Rondônia, Amapá, e também no Paraguai e no Uruguai, visando atualizar a ocorrência das mesmas. Os exemplares coletados nas viagens foram identificados no laboratório da Fca/Unesp/Botucatu-SP. Foram registradas, pela primeira vez, as ocorrências de A. rugosus rugosus (F. Smith, 1858 no Paraná, em Rondônia e em Santa Catarina; de A. subterraneus subterraneus (Forel, 1893 no Amapá e na Bahia; de A. diasi (Gonçalves, 1982 no Rio Grande do Sul e no Paraná; de A. coronatus (Fabricius, 1804 no Paraná; de A. balzani (Emery, 1890 no Amapá e de A. subterraneus brunneus (Forel, 1911 em GoiásIt were collected species of Acromyrmex Mayr, 1865 in many brazilian cities from Santa Catarina, Paraná, São Paulo, Minas Gerais, Goiás, Mato Grosso do Sul, Mato Grosso, Rondônia and Amapá states and in Paraguay and Uruguay, with the purpose to bring up-to-date their occurrence. Specimens collected on trips were identified at laboratory of Fca/Unesp/Botucatu-SP. It were recorded, for the first time, the occurrence of A. rugosus rugosus (F. Smith, 1858 in Paraná, Rondônia and Santa Catarina states; A. subterraneus subterraneus (Forel, 1893 in Amapá and Bahia; A. diasi Gonçalves, 1982 in Rio Grande do Sul and Paraná states; A. coronatus (Fabricius, 1804 in Paraná; A. balzani (Emery, 1890 in Amapá and A. subterraneus brunneus (Forel, 1911 in Goiás

  12. Cloning and sequencing of wsp encoding gene fragments reveals a diversity of co-infecting Wolbachia strains in Acromyrmex leafcutter ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    van Borm, S.; Wenseleers, T.; Billen, J.;

    2003-01-01

    By sequencing part of the wsp gene of a series of clones, we detected an unusually high diversity of nine Wolbachia strains in queens of three species of leafcutter ants. Up to four strains co-occurred in a single ant. Most strains occurred in two clusters (InvA and InvB), but the social parasite...

  13. Adventitious shoot formation on leaf cuttings in vivo, a tool in horticulture.

    OpenAIRE

    Custers, J.B.M.

    1986-01-01

    Adventitious shoot formation implies the regeneration or development of shoots from fully differentiated tissue. Its application has, after the rise of in vitro culture, assumed large proportions. Then the question arose whether in vivo adventitious shoot formation could not be applied more widely in commercial horticulture. To answer this question investigations were made on the regeneration of leaf cuttings and the results are presented in this thesis.It was found that the majority of a lar...

  14. Leaf-Cutter Ant Parasitoids: Current Knowledge

    OpenAIRE

    Patricia J. Folgarait

    2013-01-01

    This review updates and summarizes the current knowledge about the interaction of leaf-cutter ants and their parasitoids by providing comparable data for Acromyrmex and Atta ants. First, an overview of the relevant aspects of the biology and taxonomy of leaf cutters and of their parasitoids is provided. Second, I show the peculiarities of the parasitoids attacking behaviors towards their host as well as the responses or ant defenses against the phorids exhibited by their hosts. Third, I discu...

  15. Slowing them down will make them lose: a role for attine ant crop fungus in defending pupae against infections?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Armitage, Sophie A O; Fernández-Marín, Hermógenes; Boomsma, Jacobus J; Wcislo, William T

    2016-09-01

    Fungus-growing ants (Attini) have evolved an obligate dependency upon a basidiomycete fungus that they cultivate as their food. Less well known is that the crop fungus is also used by many attine species to cover their eggs, larvae and pupae. The adaptive functional significance of this brood covering is poorly understood. One hypothesis to account for this behaviour is that it is part of the pathogen protection portfolio when many thousands of sister workers live in close proximity and larvae and pupae are not protected by cells, as in bees and wasps, and are immobile. We performed behavioural observations on brood covering in the leaf-cutting ant Acromyrmex echinatior, and we experimentally manipulated mycelial cover on pupae and exposed them to the entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium brunneum to test for a role in pathogen resistance. Our results show that active mycelial brood covering by workers is a behaviourally plastic trait that varies temporally, and across life stages and castes. The presence of a fungal cover on the pupae reduced the rate at which conidia appeared and the percentage of pupal surface that produced pathogen spores, compared to pupae that had fungal cover experimentally removed or naturally had no mycelial cover. Infected pupae with mycelium had higher survival rates than infected pupae without the cover, although this depended upon the time at which adult sister workers were allowed to interact with pupae. Finally, workers employed higher rates of metapleural gland grooming to infected pupae without mycelium than to infected pupae with mycelium. Our results imply that mycelial brood covering may play a significant role in suppressing the growth and subsequent spread of disease, thus adding a novel layer of protection to their defence portfolio. PMID:27136600

  16. Exposure of Workers of Ectatomma brunneum Smith (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Ectatomminae) to ant Baits Containing Different Active Ingredients under Laboratory Conditions

    OpenAIRE

    Viviane Tofolo; Edilberto Giannotti; Marcos Pizano

    2015-01-01

    This work evaluated the short-range mortality of workers of Ectatomma brunneum Smith when exposed to ant baits in laboratory, in order to verify if the attractiveness of this non-target species by ant baits intended to be used in the control of leaf-cutting (target) ants might be harmful to the population studied. Workers were exposed in laboratory for 48 hours to ant baits used in pastures to control the leaf-cutting ants Atta capiguara Gonçalves (Formicidae: Attini) and Atta bisphaerica For...

  17. Variation in fungal enzyme spectra may affect mutualistic division of labour between ants and fungus gardens

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    de Fine Licht, Henrik Hjarvard; Boomsma, Jacobus Jan

    partners vary in metabolic performance, division of labour may not always be optimized and co-evolutionary trajectories become less predictable. The higher fungus-growing (attine) ants consist of the leafcutter ants (Acromyrmex and Atta), which rear a single fungal species throughout their Latin American...

  18. Low host–pathogen specificity in the leaf-cutting ant–microbe symbiosis

    OpenAIRE

    Stephen J Taerum; Cafaro, Matías J.; Little, Ainslie E. F.; Schultz, Ted R.; Currie, Cameron R

    2007-01-01

    Host–parasite associations are shaped by coevolutionary dynamics. One example is the complex fungus-growing ant–microbe symbiosis, which includes ancient host–parasite coevolution. Fungus-growing ants and the fungi they cultivate for food have an antagonistic symbiosis with Escovopsis, a specialized microfungus that infects the ants' fungus gardens. The evolutionary histories of the ant, cultivar and Escovopsis are highly congruent at the deepest phylogenetic levels, with specific parasite li...

  19. Activities of extracts and compounds from Spiranthera odoratissima St. Hil. (Rutaceae) in leaf-cutting ants and their symbiotic fungus

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Terezan, Ana Paula; Fernandes, Joao B.; Silva, M. Fatima das Gracas Fernandes da; Vieira, Paulo C. [Universidade Federal de Sao Carlos (UFSCAR), Sao Carlos, SP (Brazil). Dept. de Quimica; Rossi, Raquel Andrade; Almeida, Roberta N.A.; Freitas, Tais Garcia; Bueno, Odair C.; Pagnocca, Fernando C. [Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP), Rio Claro, SP (Brazil). Centro de Estudos de Insetos Sociais; Pirani, Jose R., E-mail: djbf@power.ufscar.b [Universidade de Sao Paulo (USP), SP (Brazil). Inst. de Biociencias. Dept. de Botanica

    2010-07-01

    The study of the Spiranthera odoratissima St. Hil (Rutaceae) branches extracts led to the isolation of the furoquinoline (dictamine, gamma-fagarine and skimmianine) and 2-arylquinoli-4-one (1-methyl-2-phenylquinoline-4-one) alkaloids and limonoids (limonexic acid and limonin). The compounds 1-methyl-2-phenylquinoline-4-one and limonexic acid were isolated for the first time from the Spiranthera. These furoquinoline and 2-arylquinoli-4-one alkaloids and limonoids showed insecticidal and/or fungicidal activity in the nest of the Atta sexdens rubropilosa. (author)

  20. Density-dependence and within-host competition in a semelparous parasite of leaf-cutting ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hughes, William; Petersen, Klaus; Ugelvig, Line;

    2004-01-01

    BACKGROUND:Parasite heterogeneity and within-host competition are thought to be important factors influencing the dynamics of host-parasite relationships. Yet, while there have been many theoretical investigations of how these factors may act, empirical data is more limited. We investigated the e...

  1. Primeiro registro da quenquém cisco-da-Amazônia Acromyrmex hystrix Latreille (Formicidae: Myrmicinae para o estado do Maranhão, Brasil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wesley Dáttilo

    2010-12-01

    Abstract. It is recorded, for the first time, using pitfall traps, four workers of ant “quenquém-cisco-da-Amazônia”, Acromyrmex hystrix (Latreille (Formicidae: Myrmicinae in a cave at state of Maranhão, northeastern Brazil. However, we could not imply any additional information about the abundance of this species in the region once that this record was accidental. The region where the individuals were found is placed at border of state of Maranhão and state of Tocantins suggesting that this species also occurs in this state.

  2. Sex allocation in fungus-growing ants: worker or queen control without symbiont-induced female bias

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dijkstra, Michiel B.; Boomsma, Jacobus Jan

    2008-01-01

    The fungal cultivars of fungus-growing ants are vertically transmitted by queens but not males. Selection would therefore favor cultivars that bias the ants' sex ratio towards gynes, beyond the gyne bias that is optimal for workers and queens. We measured sex allocation in 190 colonies of six...... sympatric fungus-growing ant species. As predicted from relatedness, female bias was greater in four singly mated Sericomyrmex and Trachymyrmex species than in two multiply mated Acromyrmex species. Colonies tended to raise mainly a single sex, which could be partly explained by variation in queen number......, colony fecundity, and fungal garden volume for Acromyrmex and Sericomyrmex, but not for Trachymyrmex. Year of collection, worker number and mating frequency of Acromyrmex queens did not affect the colony sex ratios. We used a novel sensitivity analysis to compare the population sex allocation ratios...

  3. EVOLUTIONARY TRANSITIONS IN ENZYME ACTIVITY OF ANT FUNGUS GARDENS

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    De Fine Licht, Henrik H; Schiøtt, Morten; Mueller, Ulrich G;

    2010-01-01

    an association with a monophyletic clade of specialized symbionts. In conjunction with the transition to specialized symbionts, the ants advanced in colony size and social complexity. Here we provide a comparative study of the functional specialization in extracellular enzyme activities in fungus gardens across...... the attine phylogeny. We show that, relative to sister clades, gardens of higher-attine ants have enhanced activity of protein-digesting enzymes, whereas gardens of leaf-cutting ants also have increased activity of starch-digesting enzymes. However, the enzyme activities of lower-attine fungus gardens...... are targeted primarily towards partial degradation of plant cell walls, reflecting a plesiomorphic state of non-domesticated fungi. The enzyme profiles of the higher-attine and leaf-cutting gardens appear particularly suited to digest fresh plant materials and to access nutrients from live cells without major...

  4. Forage collection, substrate preparation, and diet composition in fungus-growing ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Licht, H.H.D.; Boomsma, J.J.

    2010-01-01

    2. The attine fungus-growing ants are a tribe of more than 230 described species (12 genera) that use a variety of different substrates to manure the symbiotic fungus they cultivate inside the nest. Common 'wisdom' is that the conspicuous leaf-cutting ants primarily use freshly cut plant material......, whereas most of the other attine species use dry and partly degraded plant material such as leaf litter and caterpillar frass, but systematic comparative studies of actual resource acquisition across the attine ants have not been done. 3. Here we review 179 literature records of diet composition across...... the extant genera of fungus-growing ants. The records confirm the dependence of leaf-cutting ants on fresh vegetation but find that flowers, dry plant debris, seeds (husks), and insect frass are used by all genera, whereas other substrates such as nectar and insect carcasses are only used by some. 4. Diet...

  5. Co-evolution of enzyme function in the attine ant-fungus symbiosis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    de Fine Licht, Henrik Hjarvard; Schiøtt, Morten; Boomsma, Jacobus Jan

    have small nests with a fungus garden the size of a table-tennis ball. Only the leaf-cutting ants are specialized on using fresh leaves as substrate for their fungus gardens, whereas the more basal attine genera use substrates such as dry plant material (leaf litter and small twigs) and also insect...

  6. Efecto de los cortafuegos sobre el ensamble de hormigas (Hymenoptera, Formicidae en una región semiárida, Argentina Effects of firebreaks on ant density (Hymenoptera, Formicidae in a semiarid region, Argentina

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francisco Rodrigo Tizón

    2010-09-01

    (shrubland, herbaceous cover (grass, and 80% of bare soil (firebreaks within a 12 ha study area where large herbivores were excluded. We recorded soil surface temperature, humidity, pH and degree of soil compaction in each area. The density of nests was assessed by randomly placing three transects (80 m x 5 m in each experimental unit. Soil temperature was higher in firebreaks and soil compaction was higher in the shrubland and the grassland. No differences in ant assemblage were found regarding nest density among environments. However, Acromyrmex striatus (Roger, 1863 was found mostly in firebreaks where loose soil with greater porosity allows more gas exchange and water infiltration. Our findings revealed that the construction of firebreaks favors the establishment of leaf-cutting ants, which due to their competitive advantage, could negatively affect ant and plant composition in the community.

  7. Comparative studies of the secretome of fungus-growing ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Linde, Tore; Grell, Morten Nedergaard; Schiøtt, Morten;

    2009-01-01

    Leafcutter ants of the species Acromyrmex echinatior live in symbiosis with the fungus Leucoagaricus gongylophorus. The ants harvest fragments of leaves and carry them to the nest where they place the material on the fungal colony. The fungus secretes a wide array of proteins to degrade the leaves...... into nutrients that the ants can feed on. The focus of this study is to discover, characterize and compare the secreted proteins. In order to do so cDNA libraries are constructed from mRNA extracted from the fungus material. The most efficient technology to screen cDNA libraries selectively for secreted...

  8. Implications of season and management protocol on the landscape of gene regulation during diapause development in the Alfalfa Leaf Cutting Bee

    Science.gov (United States)

    : The alfalfa leaf cutting bee, Megachile rotundata, is the world’s most intensively managed solitary bee for commercial pollination. It is the primary pollinator of seed alfalfa, a valuable crop for dairy cow feed. Overwintering bees emerge in the spring during alfalfa bloom to mate an...

  9. Laccase gene expression as a possible key adaptation for herbivorous niche expansion in the attine fungus-growing ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    de Fine Licht, Henrik Hjarvard; Schiøtt, Morten; Nygaard, Sanne;

    played an important role in allowing the leaf-cutting ants to become generalist functional herbivores. Laccases are polyphenol oxidase enzymes (PPOs) that are best known for their ability to degrade lignin in saprophytic and wood-pathogenic fungi. We found that laccase activity was primarily expressed...

  10. PREFERÊNCIA DE CORTE DE Acromyrmex crassispinus (FOREL, 1909 E Acromyrmex ambiguus (EMERY, 1887 (HYMENOPTERA: FORMICIDAE POR DIFERENTES ESPÉCIES DE EUCALIPTOS EM LABORATÓRIO

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    João Luis Osório Rosado

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available A busca por novos métodos de manejo e controle de formigas-cortadeiras vem sendo enfoque de inúmeros estudos pelo país, impulsionada por aspectos econômicos e ambientais. O estabelecimento de espécies resistentes ou menos preferidas ao corte pode contribuir substancialmente neste sentido. Logo, o objetivo deste estudo foi avaliar a preferência de corte entre as espécies Corymbia citriodora, Eucalyptus benthamii, Eucalyptus camaldulensis, Eucalyptus dunnii, Eucalyptus globulus e Eucalyptus urograndis por Acromyrmex ambiguus e Acromyrmex crassispinus em laboratório. Para isso, folhas foram ofertadas, simultaneamente, para seis colônias de cada espécie em bioensaios com chance de escolha. No entanto, nos testes sem chance de escolha, apenas as espécies menos preferidas pelo teste anterior foram utilizadas. Para Acromyrmex crassispinus, as espécies Eucalyptus camaldulensis e Eucalyptus urograndis foram mais cortadas, enquanto que as espécies Corymbia citriodora, Eucalyptus dunnii e Eucalyptus globulus foram menos preferidas ao corte. Acromyrmex ambiguus apresentou padrão similar de preferência, adicionando-se Eucalyptus benthamii entre as mais preferidas e excluindo-se Eucalyptus dunnii das menos preferidas.

  11. Use of RAPD analyses to estimate population genetic parameters in the alfalfa leaf-cutting bee, Megachile rotundata.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, R; Rank, G H

    1996-08-01

    RAPD analyses were performed on five geographically isolated populations of Megachile rotundata. We used haploid males of the alfalfa leaf-cutting bee, M. rotundata, to overcome the limitation of the dominance of RAPD markers in the determination of population genetic parameters. Sixteen primers gave rise to 130 polymorphic and 31 monomorphic bands. The unbiased estimators calculated in this study include within- and between-population heterozygosity, nucleotide divergence, and genetic distance. The genetic diversity (H = 0.32-0.35) was found to be about 10 times that of previous estimates (H = 0.033) based on allozyme data. Contrary to the data obtained at the protein level, our results suggest that Hymenoptera do not have a lower level of genetic variability at the DNA level compared with other insect species. Regardless of the different assumptions underlying the calculation of heterozygosity, divergence, and genetic distance, all five populations showed a parallel interrelationship for the three parameters. We conclude that RAPD markers are a convenient tool to estimate population genetic variation in haploid M. rotundata and that with an adequate sample size the technique is applicable to the evaluation of divergence in diploid populations. Key words : Megachile rotundata, RAPD, heterozygosity, genetic distance, nucleotide divergence. PMID:18469925

  12. The role of enzymes in fungus-growing ant evolution

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    de Fine Licht, Henrik Hjarvard

    behaviour. Here we report the first large-scale comparative study on fungus garden enzyme profiles and show that various interesting changes can be documented. A more detailed analysis of laccase expression, an enzyme that is believed to oxidize phenols in defensive secondary plant compounds such as tannins......, showed that this enzyme is exclusively found in the gardens of leaf-cutting ants, where it is significantly upregulated in the gongylidia. I’ll discuss the possible role of this enzyme and other fungal modifications in the evolution of the leafcutter ants and their non-leafcutting attine relatives....

  13. Kin-informative recognition cues in ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nehring, Volker; Evison, Sophie E F; Santorelli, Lorenzo A;

    2011-01-01

    behaviour is thought to be rare in one of the classic examples of cooperation--social insect colonies--because the colony-level costs of individual selfishness select against cues that would allow workers to recognize their closest relatives. In accord with this, previous studies of wasps and ants have...... found little or no kin information in recognition cues. Here, we test the hypothesis that social insects do not have kin-informative recognition cues by investigating the recognition cues and relatedness of workers from four colonies of the ant Acromyrmex octospinosus. Contrary to the theoretical...... prediction, we show that the cuticular hydrocarbons of ant workers in all four colonies are informative enough to allow full-sisters to be distinguished from half-sisters with a high accuracy. These results contradict the hypothesis of non-heritable recognition cues and suggest that there is more potential...

  14. Cassava leaf methanolic extract as an alternative to control of fall armyworm and leaf cutter ants

    OpenAIRE

    Mírian Aparecida Isidro Santos; Angelita Duarte Corrêa; Ana Paula de Carvalho Alves; Anderson Assaid Simão; Dejane Santos Alves; Rodrigo Lopes de Oliveira; Adelir Aparecida Saczk; Geraldo Andrade Carvalho

    2013-01-01

    The objective of this study was to characterize phenolic compounds and evaluate the effect, under laboratory conditions, of the cassava leaf powder methanol extract on the development of fall armyworm Spodoptera frugiperda and of leaf-cutting ant Atta sexdens rubropilosa. The extract was incorporated into an artificial diet, to which the armyworm was exposed, at concentrations of 250, 500, 1,000 and 1,500 mg kg-1, in order to evaluate biological characteristics. Soon after the insects emergen...

  15. Dynamic Wolbachia prevalence in Acromyrmex leaf‐cutting ants: potential for a nutritional symbiosis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, S. B.; Boye, Mette; Nash, D. R.;

    2012-01-01

    Wolbachia are renowned as reproductive parasites, but their phenotypic effects in eusocial insects are not well understood. We used a combination of qrt‐PCR, fluorescence in situ hybridization and laser scanning confocal microscopy to evaluate the dynamics of Wolbachia infections in the leaf...

  16. O jardim de fungo atua como um molde para a construção das câmaras em formigas cortadeiras? Fungus garden acts as a template for the construction of chambers in ants?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roberto da Silva Camargo

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Os ninhos adultos das formigas cortadeiras (gênero Atta e Acromyrmex são compostos de milhares de câmaras subterrâneas, as quais abrigam o jardim de fungo, lixo e a população desses insetos. Entretanto, como as câmaras são construídas? Para responder essa questão, nós hipotetizamos que o jardim de fungo atua como um molde para a construção das câmaras. Assim, foram utilizadas 20 colônias de 6 meses de idade, divididas em quatro séries experimentais: padrão (quantidade normal de jardim de fungo; metade de jardim de fungo; dobro de jardim de fungo e sem jardim de fungo (Testemunha. As variáveis estudadas foram: parâmetros morfológicos das estruturas (túneis e câmara formada; fluxo das atividades das operárias; volume de solo escavado. Como se esperava, o jardim de fungo atua como um molde para a construção das câmaras em formigas cortadeiras. Os resultados foram: o tratamento sem jardim de fungo não apresentou nenhuma câmara, apenas túneis, em contraposição às demais séries experimentais que apresentaram no mínimo 2 câmaras, com dimensões similares; o fluxo das operárias carregando pellet de solo por minuto durante as 72 horas diferiu estatisticamente entre as séries experimentais e, finalmente, o volume do solo escavado foi resultado da taxa de escavação das operárias, diferindo estatisticamente entre as séries experimentais. Os resultados corroboram a hipótese de que o jardim de fungo atua como um molde para a construção da câmara. A ausência de uma estrutura funcional como uma câmara, quando o jardim de fungo está ausente, comprova a hipótese.Adult nests of leaf cutting ants (genus Atta and Acromyrmex are composed of thousands of underground chambers, which harbor the fungus garden, garbage and their population. However, how the chambers are constructed? To answer this question, we hypothesized that the fungus garden acts as a template for the chambers construction. Thus, we used 20 colonies of

  17. Evolution of Fungal enzymes in the attine ant symbiosis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    de Fine Licht, Henrik Hjarvard; Schiøtt, Morten; Boomsma, Jacobus Jan

    , indirectly, on fungal enzymes to break down the plant material brought in by the ants as fungal substrate. The more than 210 extant fungus-growing ant species differ considerably in colony size, social complexity and substrate-use. Only the derived leaf-cutting ants are specialized on using fresh leaves...... as garden substrate, whereas the more basal genera use leaf litter, insect feces and insect carcasses. We hypothesized that enzyme activity of fungal symbionts has co-evolved with substrate use and we measured enzyme activities of fungus gardens in the field to test this, focusing particularly on plant...... decomposing enzymes. We further obtained gene sequences coding for specific enzymes and used them to reconstruct the fungal symbiont phylogeny and to compare the trees obtained with those known from sequence information of genes that have no specific link to enzyme function. Differences in fungus garden...

  18. Uninformed sacrifice: Evidence against long-range alarm transmission in foraging ants exposed to localized abduction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tejera, F.; Reyes, A.; Altshuler, E.

    2016-07-01

    It is well established that danger information can be transmitted by ants through relatively small distances, provoking either a state of alarm when they move away from potentially dangerous stimulus, or charge toward it aggressively. There is almost no knowledge if danger information can be transmitted along large distances. In this paper, we abduct leaf cutting ants of the species Atta insularis while they forage in their natural environment at a certain point of the foraging line, so ants make a "U" turn to escape from the danger zone and go back to the nest. Our results strongly suggest that those ants do not transmit "danger information" to other nestmates marching towards the abduction area. The individualistic behavior of the ants returning from the danger zone results in a depression of the foraging activity due to the systematic sacrifice of non-informed individuals.

  19. Honey Ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conway, John R.

    1984-01-01

    Provides background information on honey ants. These ants are found in dry or desert regions of North America, Africa, and Australia. Also provides a list of activities using local species of ants. (JN)

  20. Patterns of diversity and abundance of fungus-growing ants (Formicidae: Attini) in areas of the Brazilian Cerrado Padrões de diversidade e abundância de formigas cultivadoras de fungo (Formicidade: Attini) em áreas do Cerrado Brasileiro

    OpenAIRE

    Heraldo L. Vasconcelos; Bruna B. Araújo; Antonio J. Mayhé-Nunes

    2008-01-01

    Fungus-growing ants (tribe Attini) are characteristic elements of the New World fauna. However, there is little information on the patterns of diversity, abundance, and distribution of attine species in their native ecosystems, especially for the so-called "lower" genera of the tribe. A survey of attine ant nests (excluding Atta Fabricus, 1804 and Acromyrmex Mayr, 1865) was conducted in a variety of savanna and forest habitats of the Cerrado biome near Uberlândia, Brazil. In total, 314 nests ...

  1. A comparative study of exocrine gland chemistry in Trachymyrmex and Sericomyrmex fungus-growing ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Adams, Rachelle Martha Marie; Jones, Tappey H.; Jeter, Andrew W.;

    2012-01-01

    Ants possess many exocrine glands that produce a variety of compounds important for chemical communication. Fungus-growing ants, a tribe of over 230 species within the subfamily Myrmicinae, are unique among ants because they cultivate fungus gardens inside their nests as food. Here the chemistry...... possess many derived characteristics such as extensive leaf-cutting behavior and massive colony sizes, effectively making them major herbivores in many Neotropical habitats. This is the first comparison of the chemistry of eight Trachymyrmex and one Sericomyrmex species in a phylogenetic context. Most......-known mandibular gland compounds from a number of ant genera, together with high levels of undecane, likely from the Dufour’s gland, all generally thought to be used as alarm pheromones. Overall the combination of compounds discovered was unique for each species but biosynthetic similarities corroborate, at a very...

  2. Sperm storage induces an immunity cost in ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Baer, Boris; Armitage, Sophie A O; Boomsma, Jacobus J

    2006-01-01

    what selective forces determine the upper limit to sperm storage. Here we show that sperm storage carries a significant cost of reduced immunity during colony founding. Newly mated queens of the leaf-cutting ant Atta colombica upregulate their immune response shortly after completing their nest burrow......Ant queens are among the most long-lived insects known. They mate early in adult life and maintain millions of viable sperm in their sperm storage organ until they die many years later. Because they never re-mate, the reproductive success of queens is ultimately sperm-limited, but it is not known......-term reproductive success. The immune response was lower when more males contributed to the stored sperm, indicating that there might be an additional cost of mating or storing genetically different ejaculates....

  3. Mutualistic fungi control crop diversity in fungus-growing ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Poulsen, Michael; Boomsma, Jacobus J

    2005-01-01

    Leaf-cutting ants rear clonal fungi for food and transmit the fungi from mother to daughter colonies so that symbiont mixing and conflict, which result from competition between genetically different clones, are avoided. Here we show that despite millions of years of predominantly vertical...... transmission, the domesticated fungi actively reject mycelial fragments from neighboring colonies, and that the strength of these reactions are in proportion to the overall genetic difference between these symbionts. Fungal incompatibility compounds remain intact during ant digestion, so that fecal droplets......, which are used for manuring newly grown fungus, elicit similar hostile reactions when applied to symbionts from other colonies. Symbiont control over new mycelial growth by manurial imprinting prevents the rearing of multiple crops in fungus gardens belonging to the same colony....

  4. Incubation of introduced alfalfa leaf-cutting bee in Gansu province%甘肃省引进苜蓿切叶蜂孵化试验

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    吴衍庆; 花立民; 向金成; 李新一

    2001-01-01

    The experiment on incubation of Canadian alfalfa leaf-cutting bee (Megachile ro-tundata (F)) showed that the main factor influencing the hatchability was 30℃ of constant incu-bating temperature. The parasitic insect also had a very obvious influence upon the incubation effect. It is considered that 0. 7 mi of DDVP latex with 37% of concentration used in a 50 cm× 50 cm× 65 cm of incubator for pteromalid (Pteromalus) control is a secure dosage.%通过对引进加拿大苜蓿切叶蜂孵化实验表明,孵化温度30℃恒温是影响苜蓿切叶蜂孵化率的主要因素,寄生蜂对切叶蜂孵化率的影响极为明显,实验认为在容积50 cm×50 cm×65 cm大的孵化箱中用37%敌敌畏乳液O.71 ml防治金小蜂是一个安全剂量。

  5. Male adaptations and female sperm use in organismal societies of ants and bees

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Stürup, Marlene

    ’s sperm stores and compared this with paternity shares in offspring. I also examined whether patriline distributions in worker cohorts remain stable over time, which is expected to yield the highest colony benefits in terms of worker genetic variation. Selection for extreme sperm viability in males......’, where paternity shares in offspring can be accurately predicted from relative number of sperm stored. Furthermore, sperm was completely mixed inside the spermatheca and sperm used is highly consistent over time in leaf-cutting ants, supporting expectations if polyandrous queens are to obtain the highest...

  6. Laccase gene expression as a possible key adaptation for herbivorous niche expansion in the attine fungus-growing ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    de Fine Licht, Henrik Hjarvard; Schiøtt, Morten; Boomsma, Jacobus Jan

    is differentially expressed in the modified hyphal tips (gongylidia) that the fungal symbiont produces. We can also show that this laccase enzyme passes through the ant gut to be expressed in the fecal droplets that the ants mix with their chewed-up fresh leaf forage, providing strong indications for an adaptive......Fungus garden enzyme activity is crucial for sustaining societies of attine ants. The evolutionary diversification of this clade has likely been influenced by enzymatic specialization in connection to changes in foraging niche, particularly when the ancestral leaf-cutting ants shifted from a diet...... generalist functional herbivores. Laccases are polyphenol oxidase enzymes (PPOs) that are best known for their ability to degrade lignin in saprophytic and wood-pathogenic fungi. We found that laccase activity was primarily expressed in newly constructed garden sections where secondary leaf compounds...

  7. [Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) as vectors for bacteria in two hospitals in the municipality of Divinópolis, State of Minas Gerais].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santos, Paula Fernandes dos; Fonseca, Alysson Rodrigo; Sanches, Newton Moreno

    2009-01-01

    The presence of ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in hospital environments may constitute a public health problem, especially since they are mechanical vectors for pathogenic organisms. This study aimed to survey the ant populations and analyze the presence of bacteria associated with them in two medium-sized regional hospitals in the municipality of Divinópolis, Minas Gerais, Brazil. Specimens were collected every monthly over a six-month period. The following ant species were found: Pheidole sp1 and sp2, Linepithema humile, Wasmannia auropunctata, Camponotus sp1 and sp2, Odontomachus sp, Solenopsis sp, Acromyrmex sp and Tapinoma melenocephalum. It was observed that these ants mechanically transported Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Enterococcus, Streptococcus, Escherichia coli and non-pathogenic and pathogenic Staphylococcus. These results show the propensity for occurrences of hospital infections at these sites caused by mechanical transmission of pathogens by ants. PMID:19967241

  8. Carpenter Ants

    OpenAIRE

    Davis, Ryan S.

    2016-01-01

    Carpenter ants in the genus Camponotus (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) are considered some of the most serious pests to wood structures worldwide. There are over 900 species of carpenter ants in the world, 50 in the United States and Canada, and 12 in Utah. In nature, carpenter ants are most abundant in forests and can be easily found under loose bark of dead trees, stumps, or fallen logs.

  9. Workers of Acromyrmex echinatior leafcutter ants police worker-laid eggs, but not reproductive workers

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dijkstra, Michiel B.; van Zweden, Jelle Stijn; Dirchsen, Maria;

    2010-01-01

    Nonreproductive workers of many eusocial Hymenoptera 'police' the colony, that is, they attack reproductive sister workers or destroy their eggs (unfertilized; developing into haploid males). Several ultimate causes of policing have been proposed, including (1) an increase in colony productivity,...... reproductive workers. We infer that relatedness incentives are the most likely ultimate cause of the evolutionary maintenance of worker-egg policing in A. echinatior. (C) 2010 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved...

  10. ALTERNATIVAS DE FORMICIDAS EM PÓ NO CONTROLE DA FORMIGA-VERMELHA-DE-MONTE, Acromyrmex heyeri

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fábio Moreira Link

    2000-11-01

    Full Text Available Com o objetivo de criar alternativas no controle químico da formiga-vermelha-de-monte, Acromyrmex heyeri (Forel, 1899 (Hymenoptera: Formicidae, Attini foram instalados quatro ensaios com formicidas em pó, em Santa Maria, estado do Rio Grande do Sul, entre 1996 e 1998. Avaliaram-se em formigueiros médios (+/- 45cm de diâmetro ou em formigueiros grandes (diâmetro superior a 60cm, doses de Deltametrina (2g i.a./kg, de Acefato (750g i.a./kg, de Clorpirifós (20g i.a./kg e 50g i.a./kg, de Fentiom (50g i.a./kg e de Diazinom (10g i.a./kg. Deltametrina e Acefato, partindo-se de 5g/ninho e, Clorpirifós (50g i.a./kg e Fentiom, partindo-se de 10g/ninho, foram eficazes no controle de formigueiros médios. Clorpirifós (50 g i.a./kg e Diazinom, com base em 10g/ninho e, Clorpirifós (20g i.a./kg, partindo-se de 30g/ninho controlaram eficientemente os formigueiros grandes dessa espécie.

  11. EFEITO DE DIFERENTES DOSES DO FORMICIDA “CITROMAX” NO CONTROLE DE Acromyrmex lundi (HYMENOPTERA: FORMICIDAE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Edison Rogério Perrando

    2005-08-01

    Full Text Available Neste trabalho, objetivou-se avaliar o efeito do formicida Citromax a base de timbó (Ateleia glazioviana em diferentes doses no controle de Acromyrmex lundi, em campo nativo, no município de São Sepé, estado do Rio Grande do Sul. Foram analisados quatro tratamentos, constituídos por doses de 5g, 10g e 15g de “Citromax” e 10g de “Mirex-S” (sulfluramida 0,3% por formigueiro. O delineamento experimental foi inteiramente casualizado com dez repetições, considerando cada formigueiro uma repetição. A eficiência foi avaliada no 1º, 5º, 10º, 15º e 20º dia após a aplicação dos tratamentos. Os resultados obtidos permitiram concluir que “Citromax” apresenta ação de choque, pois houve alto percentual de controle nos primeiros cinco dias. O controle de A. lundi mediante a utilização do formicida “Citromax”, foi eficiente em todas as doses avaliadas, obtendo-se um percentual de controle superior a 85%. Não houve influência do tamanho do formigueiro em relação ao percentual de controle.

  12. Struggling Ants

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2009-01-01

    Some of China’s college graduates are barely scraping by The village of Tangjialing, 20 km north of down town Beijing, was thrust into the public consciousness in November. Publishers that month released a book titled Ants

  13. Beyond ANT

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jansen, Till

    2016-01-01

    Actor-Network-Theory (ANT) offers an ‘infra-language’ of the social that allows one to trace social relations very dynamically, while at the same time dissolving human agency, thus providing a flat and de-centred way into sociology. However, ANT struggles with its theoretical design that may lead...... us to reduce agency to causation and to conceptualize actor-networks as homogeneous ontologies of force. This article proposes to regard ANT’s inability to conceptualize reflexivity and the interrelatedness of different ontologies as the fundamental problem of the theory. Drawing on Günther......, it offers an ‘infra-language’ of reflexive relations while maintaining ANT’s de-centred approach. This would enable us to conceptualize actor-networks as non-homogeneous, dynamic and connecting different societal rationales while maintaining the main strengths of ANT....

  14. EFFECTS OF DIFFERENT DOSES OF THE FORMICIDE “CITROMAX” ON THE CONTROL OF Acromyrmex lundi (HYMENOPTERA: FORMICIDAE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Edison Bisognin Cantarelli

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available The objective of this study was the analysis of the effect of the formicide “Citromax”, formulated with Ateleia glazioviana, in different doses on the control of Acromyrmex lundi, in native field in São Sepé county,  Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. Four treatments were analyzed, constituted of doses of 5, 10 and 15g of “Citromax” and 10g of “Mirex-S” (sulphluramide 0,3% in each nest. The statistical design was completely randomized with 10 repetitions, considering each nest as one repetition. The effectiveness was evaluated in the 1st, 5th, 10th, 15th and 20th day after treatment application. The obtained results allow to conclude that “Citromax” shows an impact action, because there was a high percentage of control in the first five days. The Acromyrmex lundi control due to “Citromax” formicide was efficient in all the evaluated doses, obtaining a control percentage up to 85%. The influence of net size was not observed in relation to the percentage control.

  15. Ants can learn to forage on one-way trails.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pedro Leite Ribeiro

    Full Text Available The trails formed by many ant species between nest and food source are two-way roads on which outgoing and returning workers meet and touch each other all along. The way to get back home, after grasping a food load, is to take the same route on which they have arrived from the nest. In many species such trails are chemically marked by pheromones providing orientation cues for the ants to find their way. Other species rely on their vision and use landmarks as cues. We have developed a method to stop foraging ants from shuttling on two-way trails. The only way to forage is to take two separate roads, as they cannot go back on their steps after arriving at the food or at the nest. The condition qualifies as a problem because all their orientation cues -- chemical, visual or any other -- are disrupted, as all of them cannot but lead the ants back to the route on which they arrived. We have found that workers of the leaf-cutting ant Atta sexdens rubropilosa can solve the problem. They could not only find the alternative way, but also used the unidirectional traffic system to forage effectively. We suggest that their ability is an evolutionary consequence of the need to deal with environmental irregularities that cannot be negotiated by means of excessively stereotyped behavior, and that it is but an example of a widespread phenomenon. We also suggest that our method can be adapted to other species, invertebrate and vertebrate, in the study of orientation, memory, perception, learning and communication.

  16. Leucoagaricus gongylophorus Produces Diverse Enzymes for the Degradation of Recalcitrant Plant Polymers in Leaf-Cutter Ant Fungus Gardens

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Aylward, Frank O. [Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, WI (United States); Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Burnum-Johnson, Kristin E. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Tringe, Susannah G. [Dept. of Energy Joint Genome Inst., Walnut Creek, CA (United States); Teiling, Clotilde [Roche Diagnostics, Indianapolis, IN (United States); Tremmel, Daniel [Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, WI (United States); Moeller, Joseph [Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, WI (United States); Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Scott, Jarrod J. [Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, WI (United States); Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Barry, Kerrie W. [Dept. of Energy Joint Genome Inst., Walnut Creek, CA (United States); Piehowski, Paul D. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Nicora, Carrie D. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Malfatti, Stephanie [Dept. of Energy Joint Genome Inst., Walnut Creek, CA (United States); Monroe, Matthew E. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Purvine, Samuel O. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Goodwin, Lynne A. [Dept. of Energy Joint Genome Inst., Walnut Creek, CA (United States); Smith, Richard D. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Weinstock, George [Washington Univ. School of Medicine, St. Louis, MS (United States); Gerardo, Nicole [Emory Univ., Atlanta, GA (United States); Suen, Garret [Dept. of Energy Joint Genome Inst., Walnut Creek, CA (United States); Lipton, Mary S. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Currie, Cameron R. [Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, WI (United States); Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Smothsonian Tropical Research Inst., Balboa (Panama)

    2013-06-12

    Plants represent a large reservoir of organic carbon comprised largely of recalcitrant polymers that most metazoans are unable to deconstruct. Many herbivores gain access to nutrients in this material indirectly by associating with microbial symbionts, and leaf-cutter ants are a paradigmatic example. These ants use fresh foliar biomass as manure to cultivate fungus gardens composed primarily of Leucoagaricus gongylophorus, a basidiomycetous symbiont that produces specialized hyphal swellings that serve as a food source for the host ant colony. Although leaf-cutter ants are conspicuous herbivores that contribute substantially to carbon turnover in Neotropical ecosystems, the process through which plant biomass is degraded in their fungus gardens is not well understood. Here we present the first draft genome of L. gongylophorus, and using genomic, metaproteomic, and phylogenetic tools we investigate its role in lignocellulose degradation in the fungus gardens of both Atta cephalotes and Acromyrmex echinatior leaf-cutter ants. We show that L. gongylophorus produces a diversity of lignocellulases in fungus gardens, and is likely the primary driver of plant biomass degradation in these ecosystems. We also show that this fungus produces distinct sets of lignocellulases throughout the different stages of biomass degradation, including numerous cellulases and laccases that may be playing an important but previously uncharacterized role in lignocellulose degradation. Our study provides a comprehensive analysis of plant biomass degradation in leaf-cutter ant fungus gardens and provides insight into the molecular dynamics underlying the symbiosis between these dominant herbivores and their obligate fungal cultivar.

  17. Fungos Filamentosos Associados às Espécies Atta sexdens (Linnaeus e Atta laevigata (F. Smith (Hymenoptera: Formicidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aline Dornelas

    2016-04-01

    Abstract. Leaf-cutting ants, Atta and Acromyrmex genera, are considered major pests in a neotropical agroforestry system because they cut plant material that will serve as food for the symbiotic fungus cultivated by them. Several fungi naturally occurring in the soil can be found associated with leaf-cutting ants, many of them are demonstrably entomopathogenic. However, these agents have not been used as biological control of leaf-cutting ants. The aim of this study was to isolate and to identify filamentous fungi associated with forage workers of Atta sexdens (Linnaeus and Atta laevigata (F. Smith and to test their pathogenicity against workers from laboratory colonies. To isolate filamentous fungi, it was collected a total of 180 forage workers (30 in each colony in six field colonies, 90 of A. sexdens and 90 workers of A. laevigata. Six fungi species from A. sexdens were isolated and identified: Metarhizium anisopliae (Metchnikoff Sorokin, Aspergillus flavus Link, Acremonium sp. 1, Aspergillus sp. 1, Colletotrichum sp. and Acremonium sp. 2. In A. laevigata, it was found four species: Mucor sp., Aspergillus flavus, Fusarium solani (Martius Saccardo, Aspergillus niger van Tieghem. Three of these fungi were selected for pathogenicity tests against workers of the leaf-cutting ant A. sexdens: A. flavus, A. niger and M. anisopliae. The LT50 (time to cause 50% mortality of workers in tests with A. niger and M. anisopliae were five days and significantly lower than the control group. Therefore, further tests should proceed with those isolates to demonstrate their potential use in the biological control of leaf-cutting ants.

  18. Are workers of Atta leafcutter ants capable of reproduction?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dijkstra, Michiel Bendert; Boomsma, Jacobus Jan

    2006-01-01

    ovaries. Workers of Atta leafcutter ants only lay trophic eggs in queenright colonies. Although Atta colonies are commonly kept at universities, museums, and zoos, no reports of worker sons in orphaned colonies exist, suggesting that Atta workers are infertile. To explicitly test this, we created eleven...... orphaned laboratory nests of Atta cephalotes, A. sexdens, and A. colombica, and maintained them for 3-6 months after queen loss. Eight colonies did not produce any brood, but three nests produced 1-4 worker-derived male larvae and pupae. Microsatellite genotyping indicated that these were worker sons...... fertility is low compared to the sister genus Acromyrmex, where workers routinely produce normally-size males after queen loss in the laboratory. We hypothesize that worker reproduction in orphaned Atta field colonies is almost never successful because the last workers die before their sons can be raised to...

  19. Fire Ant Bites

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Favorite Name: Category: Share: Yes No, Keep Private Fire Ant Bites Share | Fire ants are aggressive, venomous insects that have pinching ... across the United States, even into Puerto Rico. Fire ant stings usually occur on the feet or ...

  20. Screening of Leaf Cutting Flower Varieties Interplanted With Areca Catechu in Hainan Province%海南槟榔林下套种切叶花卉品种筛选

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    任军方; 张浪; 姜殿强; 李海文; 云勇

    2015-01-01

    After respectively interplanting Asplenium nidus ,Chrysalidocarpuslutescens and Philodenron selloum Koch in the undergrow th of Areca catechu ,the research conducts a study on the grow th process at different matrixes and canopy densities .The results show that the best effect comes from the mixed matrix of coconut residuum ,farmyard manure and undergrow th original soil .When canopy density is 70% ,the grow th of leaf cutting flowers is the best .While the growing status of Asplenium nidus and Chrysalidocarpuslutes‐cens in undergrowth of Areca catechu is fine and the two can be selected as the preferred varieties .%在槟榔林下分别套种鸟巢蕨、散尾葵、春羽,对不同基质,不同郁闭度,进行了生长过程研究,结果表明:椰糠、农家肥和槟榔林下原土混合基质,效果最好;70%郁闭度时,切叶花卉生长最好;而鸟巢蕨和散尾葵在槟榔林下生长状态良好,为优选品种。

  1. [Composition, abundance and infestation rate of ant species in a children's hospital in the city of Palmas, Tocantins, Brazil].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bragança, Marcos A L; Lima, Jefferson D

    2010-01-01

    This first survey of the ant fauna in a children's hospital in the city of Palmas, state of Tocantins, compares species composition, abundance and infestation rate of ants between rainy and dry seasons, day and night periods, and among 15 hospital sectors. Forty-eight collections, being 12 diurnal and 12 nocturnal in each season using five attractive baits distributed per sector, maintained for 3h per sampling. A total of 34,309 ants were collected, distributed in 12 species: Acromyrmex sp., Brachymyrmex sp., Camponotus spp. (four morphospecies), Dorymyrmex sp., Tetramorium sp., Solenopsis globularia (Creighton), Solenopsis saevissima Smith, Tapinoma melanocephalum (Fabricius) and Paratrechina longicornis (Latreille). The hospital presented an average building infestation rate (40.3%), when compared with hospitals from other Brazilian regions. In general, there was no difference in the species composition between seasons and the period of the day, although abundance of ants was higher at night. The dry season and the nocturnal period showed the highest infestation rate, mainly by T.melanocephalum and S.globularia. Gynecologic ward, lactation unit, preconception and pediatric ward access ramp showed higher infestation rate, although these varied between seasons. The significant infestation levels by the three species above, especially in sectors with restricted access such as lactation unit, laboratory, Intensive Care Unit e surgery center, indicate potential risks for contamination of patients by multi resistant pathogens possibly present in ants' bodies, as verified in others studies. PMID:20305908

  2. From so simple a beginning: Enzymatic innovation in fungus-growing ants involved a transition from individual symbiont selection to colony-level selection

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    de Fine Licht, Henrik Hjarvard; Schiøtt, Morten; Boomsma, Jacobus Jan

    Obligate mutualistic relationships are often inferred to be the result of higher levels of selection. However, because such mutualists consist of separate gene pools, innovative group-selected traits can only become established when they first provide a decisive fitness advantage to one of the pa......Obligate mutualistic relationships are often inferred to be the result of higher levels of selection. However, because such mutualists consist of separate gene pools, innovative group-selected traits can only become established when they first provide a decisive fitness advantage to one...... of the partner species. Here we document such a sequence that was connected to a major evolutionary transition in the fungus-growing ants, when the ancestor of the derived leaf-cutting ants shifted from a diet of dry vegetative material to the almost exclusive use of freshly cut leaves. This shift generated...

  3. Ant colony for TSP

    OpenAIRE

    Feng, Yinda

    2010-01-01

    The aim of this work is to investigate Ant Colony Algorithm for the traveling salesman problem (TSP). Ants of the artificial colony are able to generate successively shorter feasible tours by using information accumulated in the form of a pheromone trail deposited on the edges of the TSP graph. This paper is based on the ideas of ant colony algorithm and analysis the main parameters of the ant colony algorithm. Experimental results for solving TSP problems with ant colony algorithm show great...

  4. Influências de Atta spp. (Hymenoptera: Formicidae na recuperação da vegetação pós-fogo em floresta de transição amazônica Influences of leafcutter ant Atta spp. (Hymenoptera: Formicidae on vegetation recovery after fire in Amazonian transitional forest

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karine Santana Carvalho

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Este estudo investigou o papel das saúvas na recuperação da vegetação pós-fogo. Foi hipotetizado que a perturbação do fogo aumenta a abundância de ninhos de saúva (1 e as atividades de remoção de sementes (2 e desfolha (3, especialmente no ambiente de borda. Os ninhos de saúva foram inventariados e mapeados e após 17 meses, checados para o registro de sua atividade e de novas colônias emergindo na área. Realizou-se experimentos comparativos de remoção de sementes e desfolha de plântulas em duas parcelas de 50 ha, uma submetida a fogo anual (tratamento e outra sem fogo (controle. A abundância de ninhos de saúva foi maior na parcela tratamento que na parcela controle, especialmente na borda da floresta. As espécies encontradas foram: Atta cephalotes, A. laevigata e A. sexdens , sendo esta última a espécie mais abundante e que mostrou aumento em número de colônias ativas após 17 meses. O aumento na abundância de ninhos na parcela tratamento foi acompanhado por um aumento na atividade dessas formigas. Enquanto mais de duas folhas foram arrancadas por plântula nessa parcela, menos de uma foi registrada na parcela controle. Também a abundância média de galhos desfolhados e de sementes removidas por saúvas foi maior na parcela tratamento que na parcela controle. As saúvas tanto podem diminuir ou retardar o processo de regeneração florestal pós-fogo, quanto acelerá-lo, devido à elevada predação seletiva que favorece as espécies menos palatáveis. Desta forma, suas atividades podem modificador apenas a composição da vegetação recuperando-se do fogo.In this study we investigated the role of leaf-cutting ants in the post-fire vegetation recovery. We hypothesized that a forest plot submitted to annual fire presents: (1 higher abundance of leaf-cutting ant nests; (2 higher removal of seeds; and (3 higher herbivory rates of leaf-cutting ants, when compared to the forest plots without fire (control. The leaf-cutting

  5. ACO - Ant Colony Optimization

    OpenAIRE

    Žumer, Viljem; Brest, Janez; Pešl, Ivan

    2015-01-01

    Ant colony optimization is a relatively new approach to solving NP-Hard problems. It is based on the behavior of real ants, which always find the shortest path between their nest and a food source. Such behavior can be transferred into the discrcte world, were real ants are replaced by simple agents. Such simple agents are placed into the environment where different combinatorial problems can be solved In this paper we describe an artificial ant colony capable of solving the travelling salesm...

  6. Alternativas de formicidas em pó no controle da formiga-vermelha-de-monte, Acromyrmex heyeri.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fábio Moreira Link

    2009-10-01

    Full Text Available Normal 0 21 MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Tabela normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0cm; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman";} Com o objetivo de criar alternativas no controle químico da formiga-vermelha-de-monte, Acromyrmex heyeri (Forel, 1899 (Hymenoptera: Formicidae, Attini  foram instalados quatro ensaios com formicidas em pó, em Santa Maria, estado do Rio Grande do Sul, entre 1996 e 1998. Avaliaram-se em formigueiros médios (+/- 45cm de diâmetro ou em formigueiros grandes (diâmetro superior a 60cm, doses de Deltametrina (2g i.a./kg, de Acefato (750g i.a./kg, de Clorpirifós (20g i.a./kg e 50g i.a./kg, de Fentiom (50g i.a./kg e de Diazinom (10g i.a./kg. Deltametrina e Acefato, partindo-se de 5g/ninho e, Clorpirifós (50g i.a./kg e Fentiom, partindo-se de 10g/ninho, foram eficazes no controle de formigueiros médios. Clorpirifós (50 g i.a./kg e Diazinom, com base em 10g/ninho e, Clorpirifós (20g i.a./kg, partindo-se de 30g/ninho controlaram eficientemente os formigueiros grandes dessa espécie.

  7. Specificity in chemical profiles of workers, brood and mutualistic fungi in Atta, Acromyrmex, and Sericomyrmex fungus-growing ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Richard, Freddie-Jeanne; Poulsen, Michael; Drijfhout, Falko;

    2007-01-01

    , acids, and esters. The chemical profiles in all three species are likely to be sufficiently different to allow discrimination at the species and colony level and sufficiently similar within colonies to generate a relatively constant colony-specific chemical gestalt. The relative likelihood of individual...

  8. Cassava leaf methanolic extract as an alternative to control of fall armyworm and leaf cutter ants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mírian Aparecida Isidro Santos

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available The objective of this study was to characterize phenolic compounds and evaluate the effect, under laboratory conditions, of the cassava leaf powder methanol extract on the development of fall armyworm Spodoptera frugiperda and of leaf-cutting ant Atta sexdens rubropilosa. The extract was incorporated into an artificial diet, to which the armyworm was exposed, at concentrations of 250, 500, 1,000 and 1,500 mg kg-1, in order to evaluate biological characteristics. Soon after the insects emergence, another experiment was conducted to verify the possible sub lethal activity of the extract; therefore, S. frugiperda couples were isolated in cages and eggs were collected and counted. The Manihot esculenta Crantz extract caused a reduction in the percentage of armyworm survival, as well as in the eggs number. Then, the same extract was solubilized in 10% ethanol and applied to ants; mortality was observed, compared to the control. It is possible to conclude that the M. esculenta Crantz leaf powder methanolic extract, containing gallic acid and catechin, is a promising alternative to control S. frugiperda and Atta sexdens rubropilosa.

  9. Ant- and Ant-Colony-Inspired ALife Visual Art.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greenfield, Gary; Machado, Penousal

    2015-01-01

    Ant- and ant-colony-inspired ALife art is characterized by the artistic exploration of the emerging collective behavior of computational agents, developed using ants as a metaphor. We present a chronology that documents the emergence and history of such visual art, contextualize ant- and ant-colony-inspired art within generative art practices, and consider how it relates to other ALife art. We survey many of the algorithms that artists have used in this genre, address some of their aims, and explore the relationships between ant- and ant-colony-inspired art and research on ant and ant colony behavior. PMID:26280070

  10. Vitellogenin underwent subfunctionalization to acquire caste and behavioral specific expression in the harvester ant Pogonomyrmex barbatus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corona, Miguel; Libbrecht, Romain; Wurm, Yannick; Riba-Grognuz, Oksana; Studer, Romain A; Keller, Laurent

    2013-01-01

    The reproductive ground plan hypothesis (RGPH) proposes that the physiological pathways regulating reproduction were co-opted to regulate worker division of labor. Support for this hypothesis in honeybees is provided by studies demonstrating that the reproductive potential of workers, assessed by the levels of vitellogenin (Vg), is linked to task performance. Interestingly, contrary to honeybees that have a single Vg ortholog and potentially fertile nurses, the genome of the harvester ant Pogonomyrmex barbatus harbors two Vg genes (Pb_Vg1 and Pb_Vg2) and nurses produce infertile trophic eggs. P. barbatus, thus, provides a unique model to investigate whether Vg duplication in ants was followed by subfunctionalization to acquire reproductive and non-reproductive functions and whether Vg reproductive function was co-opted to regulate behavior in sterile workers. To investigate these questions, we compared the expression patterns of P. barbatus Vg genes and analyzed the phylogenetic relationships and molecular evolution of Vg genes in ants. qRT-PCRs revealed that Pb_Vg1 is more highly expressed in queens compared to workers and in nurses compared to foragers. By contrast, the level of expression of Pb_Vg2 was higher in foragers than in nurses and queens. Phylogenetic analyses show that a first duplication of the ancestral Vg gene occurred after the divergence between the poneroid and formicoid clades and subsequent duplications occurred in the lineages leading to Solenopsis invicta, Linepithema humile and Acromyrmex echinatior. The initial duplication resulted in two Vg gene subfamilies preferentially expressed in queens and nurses (subfamily A) or in foraging workers (subfamily B). Finally, molecular evolution analyses show that the subfamily A experienced positive selection, while the subfamily B showed overall relaxation of purifying selection. Our results suggest that in P. barbatus the Vg gene underwent subfunctionalization after duplication to acquire caste- and

  11. Vitellogenin underwent subfunctionalization to acquire caste and behavioral specific expression in the harvester ant Pogonomyrmex barbatus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miguel Corona

    Full Text Available The reproductive ground plan hypothesis (RGPH proposes that the physiological pathways regulating reproduction were co-opted to regulate worker division of labor. Support for this hypothesis in honeybees is provided by studies demonstrating that the reproductive potential of workers, assessed by the levels of vitellogenin (Vg, is linked to task performance. Interestingly, contrary to honeybees that have a single Vg ortholog and potentially fertile nurses, the genome of the harvester ant Pogonomyrmex barbatus harbors two Vg genes (Pb_Vg1 and Pb_Vg2 and nurses produce infertile trophic eggs. P. barbatus, thus, provides a unique model to investigate whether Vg duplication in ants was followed by subfunctionalization to acquire reproductive and non-reproductive functions and whether Vg reproductive function was co-opted to regulate behavior in sterile workers. To investigate these questions, we compared the expression patterns of P. barbatus Vg genes and analyzed the phylogenetic relationships and molecular evolution of Vg genes in ants. qRT-PCRs revealed that Pb_Vg1 is more highly expressed in queens compared to workers and in nurses compared to foragers. By contrast, the level of expression of Pb_Vg2 was higher in foragers than in nurses and queens. Phylogenetic analyses show that a first duplication of the ancestral Vg gene occurred after the divergence between the poneroid and formicoid clades and subsequent duplications occurred in the lineages leading to Solenopsis invicta, Linepithema humile and Acromyrmex echinatior. The initial duplication resulted in two Vg gene subfamilies preferentially expressed in queens and nurses (subfamily A or in foraging workers (subfamily B. Finally, molecular evolution analyses show that the subfamily A experienced positive selection, while the subfamily B showed overall relaxation of purifying selection. Our results suggest that in P. barbatus the Vg gene underwent subfunctionalization after duplication to

  12. Ant Colony Optimization

    OpenAIRE

    Zahálka, Jaroslav

    2007-01-01

    This diploma thesis deals with Ant Colony algorithms and their usage for solving Travelling Salesman Problems and Vehicle Routing Problems. These algorithms are metaheuristics offering new approach to solving NP-hard problems. Work begins with a description of the forementioned tasks including ways to tackle them. Next chapter analyses Ant Colony metaheuristic and its possible usage and variations. The most important part of the thesis is practical and is represented by application Ant Colony...

  13. Formigas (Hymenoptera: Formicidae como vetores de bactérias em dois hospitais do município de Divinópolis, Estado de Minas Gerais Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae as vectors for bacteria in two hospitals in the municipality of Divinópolis, State of Minas Gerais

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paula Fernandes dos Santos

    2009-10-01

    Full Text Available A presença de formigas (Hymenoptera: Formicidae em ambientes hospitalares pode constituir um problema de saúde pública, especialmente por serem vetores mecânicos de organismos patogênicos. O trabalho teve como objetivo realizar o levantamento de formigas e analisar a presença de bactérias a elas associadas em dois hospitais regionais de médio porte da cidade de Divinópolis, MG. As coletas foram realizadas mensalmente, durante um período de seis meses. Foram coletadas formigas Pheidole sp1 e sp2, Linepithema humile, Wasmannia auropunctata, Camponotus sp1 e sp2, Odontomachus sp, Solenopsis sp, Acromyrmex sp e Tapinoma melenocephalum. Observou-se que estas transportavam mecanicamente Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Enterococcus, Streptococcus, Staphylococcus patogênico e não patogênico e Escherichia coli. Tais resultados evidenciam a propensão à ocorrência de infecções hospitalares nesses locais pela transmissão mecânica de agentes patogênicos por formigas.The presence of ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae in hospital environments may constitute a public health problem, especially since they are mechanical vectors for pathogenic organisms. This study aimed to survey the ant populations and analyze the presence of bacteria associated with them in two medium-sized regional hospitals in the municipality of Divinópolis, Minas Gerais, Brazil. Specimens were collected every monthly over a six-month period. The following ant species were found: Pheidole sp1 and sp2, Linepithema humile, Wasmannia auropunctata, Camponotus sp1 and sp2, Odontomachus sp, Solenopsis sp, Acromyrmex sp and Tapinoma melenocephalum. It was observed that these ants mechanically transported Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Enterococcus, Streptococcus, Escherichia coli and non-pathogenic and pathogenic Staphylococcus. These results show the propensity for occurrences of hospital infections at these sites caused by mechanical transmission of pathogens by ants.

  14. Ant Ballet: Phase I

    OpenAIRE

    Ollie Palmer

    2014-01-01

    The Ant Ballet project aims to create a precisely choreographed movement from a colony of ants through the use of artificial pheromones. This article presents an annotated storyboard of the film that documents the first set of experiments within the project. The full film can be viewed online at href="http://www.antballet.org"www.antballet.org.

  15. The first mesozoic ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, E O; Carpenter, F M; Brown, W L

    1967-09-01

    Two worker ants preserved in amber of Upper Cretaceous age have been found in New Jersey. They are the first undisputed remains of social insects of Mesozoic age, extending the existence of social life in insects back to approximately 100 million years. They are also the earliest known fossils that can be assigned with certainty to aculeate Hymenoptera. The species, Sphecomyrma freyi, is considered to represent a new subfamily (Sphecomyrminae), more primitive than any previously known ant group. It forms a near-perfect link between certain nonsocial tiphiid wasps and the most primitive myrmecioid ants.

  16. Sick ants become unsociable.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bos, N; Lefèvre, T; Jensen, A B; d'Ettorre, P

    2012-02-01

    Parasites represent a severe threat to social insects, which form high-density colonies of related individuals, and selection should favour host traits that reduce infection risk. Here, using a carpenter ant (Camponotus aethiops) and a generalist insect pathogenic fungus (Metarhizium brunneum), we show that infected ants radically change their behaviour over time to reduce the risk of colony infection. Infected individuals (i) performed less social interactions than their uninfected counterparts, (ii) did not interact with brood anymore and (iii) spent most of their time outside the nest from day 3 post-infection until death. Furthermore, infected ants displayed an increased aggressiveness towards non-nestmates. Finally, infected ants did not alter their cuticular chemical profile, suggesting that infected individuals do not signal their physiological status to nestmates. Our results provide evidence for the evolution of unsociability following pathogen infection in a social animal and suggest an important role of inclusive fitness in driving such evolution. PMID:22122288

  17. Sick ants become unsociable

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bos, Nicky Peter Maria; Lefevre, T.; Jensen, A.B.;

    2012-01-01

    Parasites represent a severe threat to social insects, which form high-density colonies of related individuals, and selection should favour host traits that reduce infection risk. Here, using a carpenter ant (Camponotus aethiops) and a generalist insect pathogenic fungus (Metarhizium brunneum), we...... show that infected ants radically change their behaviour over time to reduce the risk of colony infection. Infected individuals (i) performed less social interactions than their uninfected counterparts, (ii) did not interact with brood anymore and (iii) spent most of their time outside the nest from...... day 3 post-infection until death. Furthermore, infected ants displayed an increased aggressiveness towards non-nestmates. Finally, infected ants did not alter their cuticular chemical profile, suggesting that infected individuals do not signal their physiological status to nestmates. Our results...

  18. Sick ants become unsociable.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bos, N; Lefèvre, T; Jensen, A B; d'Ettorre, P

    2012-02-01

    Parasites represent a severe threat to social insects, which form high-density colonies of related individuals, and selection should favour host traits that reduce infection risk. Here, using a carpenter ant (Camponotus aethiops) and a generalist insect pathogenic fungus (Metarhizium brunneum), we show that infected ants radically change their behaviour over time to reduce the risk of colony infection. Infected individuals (i) performed less social interactions than their uninfected counterparts, (ii) did not interact with brood anymore and (iii) spent most of their time outside the nest from day 3 post-infection until death. Furthermore, infected ants displayed an increased aggressiveness towards non-nestmates. Finally, infected ants did not alter their cuticular chemical profile, suggesting that infected individuals do not signal their physiological status to nestmates. Our results provide evidence for the evolution of unsociability following pathogen infection in a social animal and suggest an important role of inclusive fitness in driving such evolution.

  19. It is not all pheromones: No evidence that pheromones affect digging face choice during ant nest excavation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruce, Andrew I

    2016-01-01

    Ants create nests of a size that is tailored to the number of individuals in a nest via a self-organized process. It is not yet clear how they accomplish this. Deposition and evaporation of pheromones at the digging face has been hypothesised by Deneubourg and Franks (1995) and Buhl et al. (2005) to be part of the nest construction process, with models being presented to support this contention. This hypothesis was tested by allowing groups of 5 Acromyrmex lundi workers to choose between two excavation sites, one that was freshly exposed to digging and one where digging had ceased an hour previously. It was expected that if pheromones played a role in stimulating digging, then ants would show a preference for digging in the "fresh" sites rather than the "aged" sites where the putative digging pheromone had decayed. No significant difference in digging activity between "fresh" and "aged" sites was detected. It is therefore likely that, while digging pheromones may play other roles in other parts of the digging system, they do not play an important role in regulation of soil excavation at the digging face. PMID:26529291

  20. Ant traffic rules.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fourcassié, Vincent; Dussutour, Audrey; Deneubourg, Jean-Louis

    2010-07-15

    Many animals take part in flow-like collective movements. In most species, however, the flow is unidirectional. Ants are one of the rare group of organisms in which flow-like movements are predominantly bidirectional. This adds to the difficulty of the task of maintaining a smooth, efficient movement. Yet, ants seem to fare well at this task. Do they really? And if so, how do such simple organisms succeed in maintaining a smooth traffic flow, when even humans experience trouble with this task? How does traffic in ants compare with that in human pedestrians or vehicles? The experimental study of ant traffic is only a few years old but it has already provided interesting insights into traffic organization and regulation in animals, showing in particular that an ant colony as a whole can be considered as a typical self-organized adaptive system. In this review we will show that the study of ant traffic can not only uncover basic principles of behavioral ecology and evolution in social insects but also provide new insights into the study of traffic systems in general. PMID:20581264

  1. Morpho-physiological Differences of the Spermatheca of Attini Ants (Hymenoptera: Myrmicinae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gabriela Ortiz

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available The insect's spermatheca store the spermatozoa from the time of copulation until the fertilization of the eggs and consists of a sac, usually associated to glands. The ant species Atta laevigata, Atta sexdens sexdens, Atta sexdens piriventris, Acromyrmex coronatus and Cyphomyrmex muelleri are considered pests, as they cause economics losses to several crops. The spermatheca of these species were examined by scanning electron microscopy, histological and histochemical techniques. Their morphology resembled that of a bilobular pouch partially jointed in the central portion. In A. coronatus and C. muelleri it is flatter in shape than those of other species. The external spermathecal gland, groups of secretory cells, was located at the joining point of the two spermathecal lobes of the reservoir. This was observed in A. laevigata, A. s. sexdens and A. coronatus, like a group of cells, while in C. muelleri, like filaments. An external associated gland was not observed in A. s. piriventris, instead secretory cells were arranged in a simple prismatic epithelium internally lining the spermathecal lumen. This epithelium was also observed in A. s. sexdens, although it was restricted to the joining point of the spermathecal lobes. The presence of an internal secretory epithelium in A. s. piriventris and A. s. sexdens suggests that their physiology for the maintenance of spermatozoa in viable conditions for egg fertilization might differ from A. laevigata, A. coronatus and C. muelleri, in which only an external spermathecal gland was observed.

  2. Alate susceptibility in ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ho, Eddie K H; Frederickson, Megan E

    2014-11-01

    Pathogens are predicted to pose a particular threat to eusocial insects because infections can spread rapidly in colonies with high densities of closely related individuals. In ants, there are two major castes: workers and reproductives. Sterile workers receive no direct benefit from investing in immunity, but can gain indirect fitness benefits if their immunity aids the survival of their fertile siblings. Virgin reproductives (alates), on the other hand, may be able to increase their investment in reproduction, rather than in immunity, because of the protection they receive from workers. Thus, we expect colonies to have highly immune workers, but relatively more susceptible alates. We examined the survival of workers, gynes, and males of nine ant species collected in Peru and Canada when exposed to the entomopathogenic fungus Beauveria bassiana. For the seven species in which treatment with B. bassiana increased ant mortality relative to controls, we found workers were significantly less susceptible compared with both alate sexes. Female and male alates did not differ significantly in their immunocompetence. Our results suggest that, as with other nonreproductive tasks in ant colonies like foraging and nest maintenance, workers have primary responsibility for colony immunity, allowing alates to specialize on reproduction. We highlight the importance of colony-level selection on individual immunity in ants and other eusocial organisms. PMID:25540683

  3. Ant Colony Optimization for Control

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van Ast, J.M.

    2010-01-01

    The very basis of this thesis is the collective behavior of ants in colonies. Ants are an excellent example of how rather simple behavior on a local level can lead to complex behavior on a global level that is beneficial for the individuals. The key in the self-organization of ants is communication

  4. ANT i arbejdslivsforskningen

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    2012-01-01

    for Tidsskrift for Arbejdsliv at stille skarpt på, hvorledes teknologi kan forstås og udforskes, og her står nyere teoridannelser som STS (Science- and Technology Studies) og ANT (Actor-Network Theory) centralt. Dette temanummer af tidsskriftet har derfor disse teorier og deres anvendelse i studier af arbejdsliv...

  5. Ant Colony Optimization: A Review and Comparison

    OpenAIRE

    Sundus Shaukat; Riaz Ahmed Bhatti; Khalid Ibrahim Qureshi; Shafqat Ali Shad

    2014-01-01

    Many optmization algorithms are developed over period of time, among these most famous and widely used is Ant Colony systems (ACA). Ant Colony Systems (ACS) are the collection of different ant colony optimization algorithms. Different algorithms are used for solve the Travelling salesmen Problem (TCP) but ant colony algorithm is more preferred to solve the travelling salesmen problem. In ant colony best solution is found with the help of cooperating agents called ants. Ants cooperate with eac...

  6. Antártida

    OpenAIRE

    Ricardo Felicio

    2007-01-01

    No extremo Sul do planeta Terra há a última fronteira ao avanço e controle total do homem. Se já são tantas as dificuldades para a sobrevivência em um ambiente hostil, podemos imaginar o esforço maior para a permanência total e indefinida. Tal território, sempre idealizado pelos antigos gregos, cerca de 300 a.C., mas descoberto há pouco mais de um século é a Antártida. Suas diferenças são marcantes em relação ao seu par, no pólo Norte, em todos os sentidos. O mais importante é o fato de a Ant...

  7. Ante la ley

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kafka Franz

    1999-12-01

    Full Text Available Ante las puertas de la ley hay un guardian. Un campesino se llega hasta ese guardian y le pide que le permita entra en la ley, pero el guardian le dice que por ahora no se lo puede permitir. El hombre reflexiona y entonces pregunta si podria entrar despues. Es posible -dice el guardian-; pero no ahora. La puerta de entrada a la ley esta abierta como siempre.

  8. Alate susceptibility in ants

    OpenAIRE

    Ho, Eddie K H; Frederickson, Megan E

    2014-01-01

    Pathogens are predicted to pose a particular threat to eusocial insects because infections can spread rapidly in colonies with high densities of closely related individuals. In ants, there are two major castes: workers and reproductives. Sterile workers receive no direct benefit from investing in immunity, but can gain indirect fitness benefits if their immunity aids the survival of their fertile siblings. Virgin reproductives (alates), on the other hand, may be able to increase their investm...

  9. The metapleural gland of ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Yek, Sze Huei; Mueller, Ulrich G

    2011-01-01

    The metapleural gland (MG) is a complex glandular structure unique to ants, suggesting a critical role in their origin and ecological success. We synthesize the current understanding of the adaptive function, morphology, evolutionary history, and chemical properties of the MG. Two functions......-compressible invagination of the integument and the secretion is thought to ooze out passively through the non-closable opening of the MG or is groomed off by the legs and applied to target surfaces. MG loss has occurred repeatedly among the ants, particularly in the subfamilies Formicinae and Myrmicinae, and the MG...... is more commonly absent in males than in workers. MG chemistry has been characterized mostly in derived ant lineages with unique biologies (e.g. leafcutter ants, fire ants), currently precluding any inferences about MG chemistry at the origin of the ants. A synthetic approach integrating functional...

  10. Artificial Ant Species on Solving Optimization Problems

    OpenAIRE

    Pintea, Camelia-M.

    2013-01-01

    During the last years several ant-based techniques were involved to solve hard and complex optimization problems. The current paper is a short study about the influence of artificial ant species in solving optimization problems. There are studied the artificial Pharaoh Ants, Lasius Niger and also artificial ants with no special specificity used commonly in Ant Colony Optimization.

  11. Further travels with my ant

    OpenAIRE

    Gale, David; Propp, James; Sutherland, Scott; Troubetzkoy, Serge

    1995-01-01

    We discuss some properties of a class of cellular automata sometimes called a "generalized ant". This system is perhaps most easily understood by thinking of an ant which moves about a lattice in the plane. At each vertex (or "cell"), the ant turns right or left, depending on the the state of the cell, and then changes the state of the cell according to certain prescribed rule strings. (This system has been the subject of several Mathematical Entertainments columns in the Mathematical Intelli...

  12. Chemically armed mercenary ants protect fungus-farming societies

    OpenAIRE

    Adams, R. M. M.; Liberti, J.; Illum, A. A.; Jones, T H; Nash, D R; Boomsma, J.J.

    2013-01-01

    We document the behavioral interactions among three ant species: a fungus-growing host ant, a permanently associated parasitic guest ant, and a raiding agro-predator ant. We show that the presence of guest ants becomes advantageous when host ants are attacked by raider ants, because guest ants use alkaloid venom to defend their host ant colony. Furthermore, detection of the guest ant odors is sufficient to discourage raider scouts from recruiting nestmates to host colonies. Guest ants likely ...

  13. Ex Ante Allusions

    OpenAIRE

    Holt, Jason

    2015-01-01

    We tend to think of allusions as indirect references to objects that already exist. Here I argue against this post facto orthodoxy and for the view that certain cases of allusion count as ex ante allusions (i.e. allusions before the fact). I argue that the standard view conflates the epistemic dependence of allusion (knowledge of the object of allusion) with an existential dependence (the object must already exist). As an adequate account of allusion should explain both the apparent paradoxic...

  14. Temperature: Human Regulating, Ants Conforming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clopton, Joe R.

    2007-01-01

    Biological processes speed up as temperature rises. Procedures for demonstrating this with ants traveling on trails, and data gathered by students on the Argentine ant ("Linepithema humile") are presented. The concepts of temperature regulation and conformity are detailed with a focus on the processes rather than on terms that label the organisms.

  15. AntR-mediated bidirectional activation of antA and antR, anthranilate degradative genes in Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Soo-Kyoung; Im, Su-Jin; Yeom, Doo-Hwan; Lee, Joon-Hee

    2012-08-15

    Bidirectional activation of transcription is a peculiar regulation mode of gene expression. In this study, we show that genes involved in the metabolism of anthranilate, a precursor of biosynthesis of tryptophan and Pseudomonas quinolone signal (PQS) are regulated by this bidirectional activation of transcription. Anthranilate is degraded by anthranilate dioxygenase complex encoded by antABC operon, and AntR, a LysR-type regulator encoded by antR activates the transcription of antABC operon in the presence of anthranilate. In P. aeruginosa, antABC and antR are divergently located and AntR binds to the intergenic region between antA and antR to activate the antABC transcription. In this study, we determined the transcriptional start site of the antA promoter (antA(p)) and AntR-responsive elements (AREs) in P. aeruginosa. The upstream deletion analysis of antA(p) and in vitro gel shift assay with purified AntR showed that there are two AREs at -194 to -148 and -88 to -47 regions. We also found that AntR activates antR promoter (antR(p)) in the opposite direction and both AREs are important in the bidirectional activation of antA(p) and antR(p). Two AREs have different binding affinities to AntR and the strength of transcriptional activation was dramatically asymmetric depending on the direction. We suggest that the different affinities of two AREs may explain the asymmetry of the bidirectional activation by AntR. PMID:22609066

  16. Runtime analysis of the 1-ANT ant colony optimizer

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Doerr, Benjamin; Neumann, Frank; Sudholt, Dirk;

    2011-01-01

    The runtime analysis of randomized search heuristics is a growing field where, in the last two decades, many rigorous results have been obtained. First runtime analyses of ant colony optimization (ACO) have been conducted only recently. In these studies simple ACO algorithms such as the 1-ANT...... are investigated. The influence of the evaporation factor in the pheromone update mechanism and the robustness of this parameter w.r.t. the runtime behavior have been determined for the example function OneMax.This work puts forward the rigorous runtime analysis of the 1-ANT on the example functions Leading......Ones and BinVal. With respect to Evolutionary Algorithms (EAs), such analyses were essential to develop methods for the analysis on more complicated problems. The proof techniques required for the 1-ANT, unfortunately, differ significantly from those for EAs, which means that a new reservoir of methods has...

  17. Determinação do fator de conversão em colônias de Atta sexdens rubropilosa (Hymenoptera: Formicidae e sua relação com a qualidade do material vegetal cortado Determination of the conversion factor in colonies of Atta sexdens rubropilosa (Hymenoptera: Formicidae and its relationship with the quality of harvested leaf substrate

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leandro Sousa-Sou

    2007-02-01

    Full Text Available As formigas cortadeiras (Atta e Acromyrmex são consideradas importantes pragas na agricultura e silvicultura, mas pouco se sabe sobre os reais danos dessas espécies. Uma forma bastante difundida de avaliação do dano é por meio do cálculo da taxa de conversão, dividindo-se o peso do material cortado pelo peso de lixo produzido pelas colônias. Foi levantada a hipótese de que a qualidade do substrato cortado pode influenciar no forrageamento das operárias, alterando a taxa de conversão e dificultando as estimativas de dano. A taxa de conversão de oito colônias de Atta sexdens rubropilosa Forel (Hymenoptera: Formicidae foi calculada com duas espécies vegetais com diferentes concentrações de lignina e celulose, para testar essa hipótese. Colônias mantidas com folhas de baixa qualidade (razão lignina/celulose elevada tiveram maior forrageamento e produziram mais lixo. Entretanto, a taxa de conversão das colônias foi semelhante com essas duas plantas (média = 1,54. Esse valor está dentro da variação encontrada para outras espécies no campo (1,5-1,8, indicando um fator semelhante de conversão entre os gêneros Atta e Acromyrmex. O consumo médio de material vegetal, em termos de pesos seco e fresco, de uma colônia de A. sexdens rubropilosa com 4.500 operárias, foi estimado em 520 e 1.100 g/ano, respectivamente.Leaf-cutting ants (Atta and Acromyrmex are important pests in agriculture and forestry, although few data exist on the actual damage caused by these species. A model used to evaluate damage by leaf-cutting ants are estimates of the conversion factor, which is the ratio between the weight of material cut by the ants and the refuse produced by the colonies. The hypothesis that substrate quality influences foraging by workers, modifying the conversion factor and impairing damage estimates was put forward. To test this hypothesis, the conversion factor was calculated for eight colonies of Atta sexdens rubropilosa Forel

  18. Le cybercommerçant

    OpenAIRE

    Lauboué, Adongon Sylvain

    2015-01-01

    Le cybercommerçant se distingue du commerçant traditionnel à travers ladématérialisation de ses activités due à l’utilisation d’Internet. Ainsi, la dématérialisation desactivités du cybercommerçant, en dépit des avantages, pose deux séries de problèmes dues àl’ubiquité et à la dépersonnalisation. L’ubiquité se manifeste par le fait que le site Internet ducybercommerçant est accessible dans presque tous les États. La dépersonnalisation crée desrisques dus d’une part, au défaut de présence phys...

  19. ANT, tourism and situated globality

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jóhannesson, Gunnar Thór; Ren, Carina Bregnholm; van der Duim, René

    2015-01-01

    are used to define as the separate spheres of nature and culture. This paper explores and relates the central tenets of ANT in tourism with regard to the concept of the Anthropocene. It presents the ANT approach as a flat and object-oriented ontology and methodology and explores its potentials to carve out......In recent years Actor-network theory (ANT) has increasingly been felt in the field of tourism studies (Van der Duim, Ren, & Jóhannesson, 2012). An important implication of the meeting between ANT and tourism studies is the notion of tourism being described as a heterogeneous assemblage of what we...... viable descriptions of the collective condition of humans and more-than-humans in the Anthropocene. Also and moving past a merely descriptive approach, it discusses it as a useful tool to engage with the situated globalities which come into being through the socio-spatial coupling of tourism...

  20. Pest repelling properties of ant pheromones

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Offenberg, Joachim

    2014-01-01

    Ants control pests via predation and physical deterrence; however, ant communication is based on chemical cues which may serve as warning signals to potential prey and other intruders. The presence of ant pheromones may, thus, be sufficient to repel pests from ant territories. This mini......-review shows that four out of five tested ant species deposit pheromones that repel herbivorous prey from their host plants....

  1. Pest repelling properties of ant pheromones

    OpenAIRE

    Offenberg, Joachim

    2014-01-01

    Ants control pests via predation and physical deterrence; however, ant communication is based on chemical cues which may serve as warning signals to potential prey and other intruders. The presence of ant pheromones may, thus, be sufficient to repel pests from ant territories. This mini-review shows that four out of five tested ant species deposit pheromones that repel herbivorous prey from their host plants.

  2. Termites, hemimetabolous diploid white ants?

    OpenAIRE

    Korb Judith

    2008-01-01

    Abstract Ants and termites are the most abundant animals on earth. Their ecological success is attributed to their social life. They live in colonies consisting of few reproducing individuals, while the large majority of colony members (workers/soldiers) forego reproduction at least temporarilly. Despite their apparent resemblance in social organisation, both groups evolved social life independently. Termites are basically social cockroaches, while ants evolved from predatory wasps. In this r...

  3. Neuroretinitis following bull ant sting

    OpenAIRE

    Ullrich, Katja; Saha, Niladri; Lake, Stewart

    2012-01-01

    Cat scratch disease causes the majority of cases of neuroretinitis. Neuroretinitis is characterised by clinical features of papillitis, macular oedema and macular star. We report a case study of infection with Bartonella henselae most likely transmitted by a bull ant sting. The patient presented with blurred vision and reduced visual acuity after being stung by an ant in her garden some 7 days earlier. Further testing revealed positive serology to B henselae and the patient improved with appr...

  4. Identifying potential evolutionary relationships within a facultative lycaenid-ant system: Ant association,oviposition, and butterfly-ant conflict

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    NEIL COLLIER

    2007-01-01

    Facultative associations are commonly encountered between ants and lycaenids,although the nature and patterns of associations are typically unclear. This study investigated a facultative symbiosis involving the lycaenid Theclinesthes albocincta (Lycaenidae), its host plant Adriana quadripartita and Australian native ants. Ants in the genera Ochetellus and Iridomyrmex were most frequently found in association with T. albocincta larvae,although Iridomyrmex ants were found in much lower abundance than were ants in Ochetellus. The abundances of Ochetellus and Iridomyrmex were highly correlated with larval abundance, but not egg abundance. Observations and experiments recorded oviposition on male inflorescences on more than 95% of occasions, but oviposition was not greater on inflorescences with ants present. Behavioral assays showed that Iridomyrmex ants were aggressive towards female butterflies on significantly more occasions than were Ochetellus ants. These findings indicate potential evolutionary relationships between T. albocincta and two genera of ants that were abundant within the habitat.

  5. Evaluation of the possible role of ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae as mechanical vectors of nematodes and protists

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fabio Villani

    2008-10-01

    Full Text Available Nematodes and protists can be transmitted to humans in many ways and little concern has been given to the mechanical transmission by ants. This study aimed at analysing how the eggs of Ascaris lumbricoides and cysts of Entamoeba coli could be mechanically transmitted to the man by Formicidae. Through the experiments using nests of Tapinoma melanocephalum, Linepithema humile and Monomorium pharaonis reared in the laboratory allied to observations of some 17 ant species in an urban park area in Mogi das Cruzes (SP, it was found that L. humile was capable of carrying eggs of A. lumbricoides both in the field and laboratory conditions (1 worker, as well as was Camponotus rufipes (2, Solenopsis saevissima (1 and Acromyrmex niger (1. The cysts of Escherichia coli were found over three workers of C. rufipes. Although the frequency of the workers found transporting pathogens was low, the capacity of common household species in carrying pathogens like nematodes and protists was demonstrated.Os Nematoda e Protista podem ser transmitidos ao homem de diversas maneiras, mas pouca ênfase é dada para a transmissão mecânica por intermédio de formigas. Assim, esse trabalho procurou investigar a transmissão mecânica de ovos de Ascaris lumbricoides e cistos de Entamoeba coli pelos Formicidae. Através de experimentos com espécies mantidas em ninhos no laboratório (Tapinoma melanocephalum, Linepithema humile e Monomorium pharaonis e com 17 espécies de formigas de uma área antropizada na região de Mogi as Cruzes (SP, foi possível constar que os ovos A. lumbricoides foram transportados por L. humile, tanto no campo (1 operária como no laboratório (1 operária, por Camponotus rufipes (2, por Solenopsis saevissima (1 e por Acromyrmrex niger (1. Em três operárias de C. rufipes foram encontrados cistos de E. coli. Apesar da baixa incidência de transporte, as três primeiras espécies pelo fato de viverem muito próximas ao ser humano, podem levar para

  6. Ant larval demand reduces aphid colony growth rates in an ant-aphid interaction

    OpenAIRE

    Cook, James M.; Leather, Simon R; Oliver, Tom H.

    2012-01-01

    Ants often form mutualistic interactions with aphids, soliciting honeydew in return for protective services. Under certain circumstances, however, ants will prey upon aphids. In addition, in the presence of ants aphids may increase the quantity or quality of honeydew produced, which is costly. Through these mechanisms, ant attendance can reduce aphid colony growth rates. However, it is unknown whether demand from within the ant colony can affect the ant-aphid interaction. In a factorial exper...

  7. Using Ants as bioindicators: Multiscale Issues in Ant Community Ecology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alan Andersen

    1997-06-01

    Full Text Available Ecological patterns and processes are characteristically scale dependent, and research findings often cannot be translated easily from one scale to another. Conservation biology is challenged by a lack of congruence between the spatial scales of ecological research (typically involving small plots and land management (typically involving whole landscapes. Here, I discuss spatial scaling issues as they relate to an understanding of ant communities and, consequently, their use as bioindicators in land management. Our perceptions of fundamental patterns and processes in ant communities depend on scale: taxa that are behaviorally dominant at one scale are not necessarily so at others, functional groups recognized at one scale are often inappropriate for others, and the role of competition in community structure depends on the scale of analysis. Patterns of species richness and composition, and the ability of total richness to be estimated by surrogates, are all also scale dependent. Ant community ecology has a tradition of detailed studies in small plots, but the use of ants as bioindicators requires a predictive understanding of community structure and dynamics at a range of spatial scales. Such an appreciation of ant communities and their most effective use as bioindicators is best served by studies integrating results from plot-scale research with the broad-scale paradigms of biogeography, systematics, and evolutionary biology.

  8. Monoculture of leafcutter ant gardens.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ulrich G Mueller

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Leafcutter ants depend on the cultivation of symbiotic Attamyces fungi for food, which are thought to be grown by the ants in single-strain, clonal monoculture throughout the hundreds to thousands of gardens within a leafcutter nest. Monoculture eliminates cultivar-cultivar competition that would select for competitive fungal traits that are detrimental to the ants, whereas polyculture of several fungi could increase nutritional diversity and disease resistance of genetically variable gardens. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Using three experimental approaches, we assessed cultivar diversity within nests of Atta leafcutter ants, which are most likely among all fungus-growing ants to cultivate distinct cultivar genotypes per nest because of the nests' enormous sizes (up to 5000 gardens and extended lifespans (10-20 years. In Atta texana and in A. cephalotes, we resampled nests over a 5-year period to test for persistence of resident cultivar genotypes within each nest, and we tested for genetic differences between fungi from different nest sectors accessed through excavation. In A. texana, we also determined the number of Attamyces cells carried as a starter inoculum by a dispersing queens (minimally several thousand Attamyces cells, and we tested for genetic differences between Attamyces carried by sister queens dispersing from the same nest. Except for mutational variation arising during clonal Attamyces propagation, DNA fingerprinting revealed no evidence for fungal polyculture and no genotype turnover during the 5-year surveys. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Atta leafcutter ants can achieve stable, fungal monoculture over many years. Mutational variation emerging within an Attamyces monoculture could provide genetic diversity for symbiont choice (gardening biases of the ants favoring specific mutational variants, an analog of artificial selection.

  9. How ants drop out: ant abundance on tropical mountains.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John T Longino

    Full Text Available In tropical wet forests, ants are a large proportion of the animal biomass, but the factors determining abundance are not well understood. We characterized ant abundance in the litter layer of 41 mature wet forest sites spread throughout Central America (Chiapas, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica and examined the impact of elevation (as a proxy for temperature and community species richness. Sites were intentionally chosen to minimize variation in precipitation and seasonality. From sea level to 1500 m ant abundance very gradually declined, community richness declined more rapidly than abundance, and the local frequency of the locally most common species increased. These results suggest that within this elevational zone, density compensation is acting, maintaining high ant abundance as richness declines. In contrast, in sites above 1500 m, ant abundance dropped abruptly to much lower levels. Among these high montane sites, community richness explained much more of the variation in abundance than elevation, and there was no evidence of density compensation. The relative stability of abundance below 1500 m may be caused by opposing effects of temperature on productivity and metabolism. Lower temperatures may decrease productivity and thus the amount of food available for consumers, but slower metabolisms of consumers may allow maintenance of higher biomass at lower resource supply rates. Ant communities at these lower elevations may be highly interactive, the result of continuous habitat presence over geological time. High montane sites may be ephemeral in geological time, resulting in non-interactive communities dominated by historical and stochastic processes. Abundance in these sites may be determined by the number of species that manage to colonize and/or avoid extinction on mountaintops.

  10. Ants as flower visitors : floral ant-repellence and the impact of ant scent-marks on pollinator behaviour

    OpenAIRE

    Ballantyne, Gavin

    2011-01-01

    As flower visitors, ants rarely benefit a plant, commonly disrupting pollination by deterring other flower visitors, or stealing nectar. This thesis examines three aspects of ant-flower interactions, focusing on the occurrence of floral traits that prevent disruption of pollination and a novel means by which ants may influence pollinator behaviour. To assess which types of plant species possess ant-repelling floral traits I carried out a survey of 49 Neotropical plant species. ...

  11. Myrmecotrophy: Plants fed by ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beattie, A

    1989-06-01

    Two plant genera with tubers specialized for occupation by ants absorb nutrients from waste materials accumulated by the resident colonies. The mineral resources of these host plants are augmented by colony foraging which functions as a second root system. This mutualistic interaction has become known as myrmecotrophy. Many other kinds of plant structure are apparent adaptations to accommodate ant colonies; these include pouches on leaves or petioles and hollow twigs, stems or thorns. Sometimes the ant species residing in these structures are aggressive towards enemies of the host plant and are important for plant defence. Recent research provides some evidence that myrmecotrophy may have a wider role in plant nutrition, at least when subsidizing the costs of plant defence. PMID:21227344

  12. A cellular automata model for ant trails

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Sibel Gokce; Ozhan Kayacan

    2013-05-01

    In this study, the unidirectional ant traffic flow with U-turn in an ant trail was investigated using one-dimensional cellular automata model. It is known that ants communicate with each other by dropping a chemical, called pheromone, on the substrate. Apart from the studies in the literature, it was considered in the model that (i) ant colony consists of two kinds of ants, goodand poor-smelling ants, (ii) ants might make U-turn for some special reasons. For some values of densities of good- and poor-smelling ants, the flux and mean velocity of the colony were studied as a function of density and evaporation rate of pheromone.

  13. Hey! A Fire Ant Stung Me!

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Snowboarding, Skating Crushes What's a Booger? Hey! A Fire Ant Stung Me! KidsHealth > For Kids > Hey! A ... Me picó una roja o colorada! What's a Fire Ant? There are many different types of fire ...

  14. Ants as Fluids: Physics-Inspired Biology

    CERN Document Server

    Streiff, Micah; Shinotsuka, Sho; Alexeev, Alex; Hu, David

    2010-01-01

    Fire ants use their claws to grip diverse surfaces, including each other. As a result of their mutual adhesion and large numbers, ant colonies flow like inanimate fluids. In this sequence of films, we demonstrate how ants behave similarly to the spreading of drops, the capillary rise of menisci, and gravity-driven flow down a wall. By emulating the flow of fluids, ant colonies can remain united under stressful conditions.

  15. The biochemical toxin arsenal from ant venoms

    OpenAIRE

    Aili, Samira R.; Fox, Eduardo Goncalves Paterson; Escoubas, Pierre; Orivel, Jérôme; Nicholson, Graham M.; Dejean, Alain

    2016-01-01

    Ants (Formicidae) represent a taxonomically diverse group of hymenopterans with over 13,000 extant species, the majority of which inject or spray secretions from a venom gland. The evolutionary success of ants is mostly due to their unique eusociality that has permitted them to develop complex collaborative strategies, partly involving their venom secretions, to defend their nest against predators, microbial pathogens, ant competitors, and to hunt prey. Activities of ant venom include paralyt...

  16. Ants defend coffee from berry borer colonization

    OpenAIRE

    Gonthier, DJ; Ennis, KK; Philpott, SM; Vandermeer, J; Perfecto, I.

    2013-01-01

    Ants frequently prevent herbivores from damaging plants. In agroecosystems they may provide pest control services, although their contributions are not always appreciated. Here we compared the ability of eight ant species to prevent the coffee berry borer from colonizing coffee berries with a field exclusion experiment. We removed ants from one branch (exclusion) and left ants to forage on a second branch (control) before releasing 20 berry borers on each branch. After 24 h, six of eight spec...

  17. The Biochemical Toxin Arsenal from Ant Venoms

    OpenAIRE

    Axel Touchard; Aili, Samira R.; Eduardo Gonçalves Paterson Fox; Pierre Escoubas; Jérôme Orivel; Nicholson, Graham M; Alain Dejean

    2016-01-01

    Ants (Formicidae) represent a taxonomically diverse group of hymenopterans with over 13,000 extant species, the majority of which inject or spray secretions from a venom gland. The evolutionary success of ants is mostly due to their unique eusociality that has permitted them to develop complex collaborative strategies, partly involving their venom secretions, to defend their nest against predators, microbial pathogens, ant competitors, and to hunt prey. Activities of ant venom include paralyt...

  18. Ant opsins: sequences from the Saharan silver ant and the carpenter ant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Popp, M P; Grisshammer, R; Hargrave, P A; Smith, W C

    1996-03-01

    cDNA clones encoding opsins from compound eyes of carpenter ant, Camponotus abdominalis, and Saharan silver ant, Cataglyphis bombycina, were isolated from cDNA libraries. The opsin cDNAs from each species code for deduced proteins with 378 amino acids which are 92% identical. Of the 30 amino acid differences between the two proteins, 13 are non-conservative. Eight of these non-conservative substitutions are within the membrane spanning domain. The presence of a potential Schiff-base counterion in helix III in both species suggests that these opsins are the protein moiety of the visible range pigments. When compared to all known opsins, these opsins are most similar to the opsin from preying mantis (76% identity at the amino acid level). Phyletic comparisons group the two ant opsins with the other arthropod long wavelength opsins. PMID:9372150

  19. Ant opsins: sequences from the Saharan silver ant and the carpenter ant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Popp, M P; Grisshammer, R; Hargrave, P A; Smith, W C

    1996-03-01

    cDNA clones encoding opsins from compound eyes of carpenter ant, Camponotus abdominalis, and Saharan silver ant, Cataglyphis bombycina, were isolated from cDNA libraries. The opsin cDNAs from each species code for deduced proteins with 378 amino acids which are 92% identical. Of the 30 amino acid differences between the two proteins, 13 are non-conservative. Eight of these non-conservative substitutions are within the membrane spanning domain. The presence of a potential Schiff-base counterion in helix III in both species suggests that these opsins are the protein moiety of the visible range pigments. When compared to all known opsins, these opsins are most similar to the opsin from preying mantis (76% identity at the amino acid level). Phyletic comparisons group the two ant opsins with the other arthropod long wavelength opsins.

  20. cAnt-Miner: an ant colony classification algorithm to cope with continuous attributes

    OpenAIRE

    Otero, Fernando E.B.; Freitas, Alex. A.; Johnson, Colin G.

    2008-01-01

    This paper presents an extension to Ant-Miner, named cAnt-Miner (Ant-Miner coping with continuous attributes), which incorporates an entropy-based discretization method in order to cope with continuous attributes during the rule construction process. By having the ability to create discrete intervals for continuous attributes "on-the-fly", cAnt-Miner does not requires a discretization method in a preprocessing step, as Ant-Miner requires. cAnt-Miner has been compared against Ant-Miner in eigh...

  1. Ant colony optimization in continuous problem

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    YU Ling; LIU Kang; LI Kaishi

    2007-01-01

    Based on the analysis of the basic ant colony optimization and optimum problem in a continuous space,an ant colony optimization (ACO) for continuous problem is constructed and discussed. The algorithm is efficient and beneficial to the study of the ant colony optimization in a continuous space.

  2. Individual Recognition in Ant Queens

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    D'Ettorre, Patrizia; Heinze, Jürgen

    2005-01-01

    recognize each other's unique facial color patterns [3] . Individual recognition is advantageous when dominance hierarchies control the partitioning of work and reproduction 2 and 4 . Here, we show that unrelated founding queens of the ant Pachycondyla villosa use chemical cues to recognize each other...

  3. Male parentage in army ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kronauer, Daniel J C; Schöning, Caspar; Boomsma, Jacobus J

    2006-01-01

    of active research in insect sociobiology. Here we present microsatellite data for 176 males from eight colonies of the African army ant Dorylus (Anomma) molestus. Comparison with worker genotypes and inferred queen genotypes from the same colonies show that workers do not or at best very rarely reproduce...

  4. Microsatellite primers for fungus-growing ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Villesen, Palle; Gertsch, P J; Boomsma, JJ

    2002-01-01

    We isolated five polymorphic microsatellite loci from a library of two thousand recombinant clones of two fungus-growing ant species, Cyphomyrmex longiscapus and Trachymyrmex cf. zeteki. Amplification and heterozygosity were tested in five species of higher attine ants using both the newly...... developed primers and earlier published primers that were developed for fungus-growing ants. A total of 20 variable microsatellite loci, developed for six different species of fungus-growing ants, are now available for studying the population genetics and colony kin-structure of these ants....

  5. Microsatellite Primers for Fungus-Growing Ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Villesen Fredsted, Palle; Gertsch, Pia J.; Boomsma, Jacobus Jan (Koos)

    2002-01-01

    We isolated five polymorphic microsatellite loci from a library of two thousand recombinant clones of two fungus-growing ant species, Cyphomyrmex longiscapus and Trachymyrmex cf. zeteki. Amplification and heterozygosity were tested in five species of higher attine ants using both the newly...... developed primers and earlier published primers that were developed for fungus-growing ants. A total of 20 variable microsatellite loci, developed for six different species of fungus-growing ants, are now available for studying the population genetics and colony kin-structure of these ants....

  6. Team swimming in ant spermatozoa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pearcy, Morgan; Delescaille, Noémie; Lybaert, Pascale; Aron, Serge

    2014-06-01

    In species where females mate promiscuously, competition between ejaculates from different males to fertilize the ova is an important selective force shaping many aspects of male reproductive traits, such as sperm number, sperm length and sperm-sperm interactions. In eusocial Hymenoptera (bees, wasps and ants), males die shortly after mating and their reproductive success is ultimately limited by the amount of sperm stored in the queen's spermatheca. Multiple mating by queens is expected to impose intense selective pressure on males to optimize the transfer of sperm to the storage organ. Here, we report a remarkable case of cooperation between spermatozoa in the desert ant Cataglyphis savignyi. Males ejaculate bundles of 50-100 spermatozoa. Sperm bundles swim on average 51% faster than solitary sperm cells. Team swimming is expected to increase the amount of sperm stored in the queen spermatheca and, ultimately, enhance male posthumous fitness.

  7. Team swimming in ant spermatozoa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pearcy, Morgan; Delescaille, Noémie; Lybaert, Pascale; Aron, Serge

    2014-06-01

    In species where females mate promiscuously, competition between ejaculates from different males to fertilize the ova is an important selective force shaping many aspects of male reproductive traits, such as sperm number, sperm length and sperm-sperm interactions. In eusocial Hymenoptera (bees, wasps and ants), males die shortly after mating and their reproductive success is ultimately limited by the amount of sperm stored in the queen's spermatheca. Multiple mating by queens is expected to impose intense selective pressure on males to optimize the transfer of sperm to the storage organ. Here, we report a remarkable case of cooperation between spermatozoa in the desert ant Cataglyphis savignyi. Males ejaculate bundles of 50-100 spermatozoa. Sperm bundles swim on average 51% faster than solitary sperm cells. Team swimming is expected to increase the amount of sperm stored in the queen spermatheca and, ultimately, enhance male posthumous fitness. PMID:24919705

  8. Revolutionizing Remote Exploration with ANTS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, P. E.; Rilee, M. L.; Curtis, S.; Truszkowski, W.

    2002-05-01

    We are developing the Autonomous Nano-Technology Swarm (ANTS) architecture based on an insect colony analogue for the cost-effective, efficient, systematic survey of remote or inaccessible areas with multiple object targets, including planetary surface, marine, airborne, and space environments. The mission context is the exploration in the 2020s of the most compelling remaining targets in the solar system: main belt asteroids. Main belt asteroids harbor important clues to Solar System origins and evolution which are central to NASA's goals in Space Science. Asteroids are smaller than planets, but their number is far greater, and their combined surface area likely dwarfs the Earth's. An asteroid survey will dramatically increase our understanding of the local resources available for the Human Exploration and Development of Space. During the mission composition, shape, gravity, and orbit parameters could be returned to Earth for perhaps several thousand asteroids. A survey of this area will rival the great explorations that encircled this globe, opened up the New World, and laid the groundwork for the progress and challenges of the last centuries. The ANTS architecture for a main belt survey consists of a swarm of as many as a thousand or more highly specialized pico-spacecraft that form teams to survey as many as one hundred asteroids a month. Multi-level autonomy is critical for ANTS and the objective of the proposed study is to work through the implications and constraints this entails. ANTS couples biologically inspired autonomic control for basic functions to higher level artificial intelligence that together enable individual spacecraft to operate as specialized, cooperative, social agents. This revolutionary approach postulates highly advanced, but familiar, components integrated and operated in a way that uniquely transcends any evolutionary extrapolation of existing trends and enables thousand-spacecraft missions.

  9. Ecosystem services delivered by weaver ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Offenberg, Joachim

    Weaver ants (Oecopgylla spp.) are increasingly being utilized as efficient biocontrol agents in a number of tropical tree crops, as they prey on pest insects and increase yields. However, recent studies and a review of the literature reveal that a number of other services may derive from the pres......Weaver ants (Oecopgylla spp.) are increasingly being utilized as efficient biocontrol agents in a number of tropical tree crops, as they prey on pest insects and increase yields. However, recent studies and a review of the literature reveal that a number of other services may derive from...... the presence of these ants. First of all, the chemical footprint left by the high density of ants in managed host trees may results in additional benefits. (i) Ant deposits may lead to improved fruit quality, e.g. increased sugar content, (ii) ant deposits may deter important pests (chemical deterrence) from...... crops, and lastly, (iii) ant waste products deposited ias anal spots contain urea that may be taken up by plant leaves and in this way fertilize ant-plants. On top of chemical services, weaver ants have been shown to reduce plant disease incidence via competitive exclusion of other ant species because...

  10. Discrimination Behavior in the Supercolonial Pharaoh Ant

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pontieri, Luigi

    The majority of eusocial insect species live in small, kin structured colonies that are mutually aggressive and rarely interact. By contrast, a restricted group of ant species show a peculiar social organization called unicoloniality, where colonies can grow to vast networks of geographically...... separated but mutually tolerant nests, also referred to as “supercolonies”. Many unicolonial ants are invasive, as their introduced supercolonies attain huge size and cause severe economic and ecological damage, affecting in particular species composition and functioning of ecosystems. There is therefore...... the discrimination behavior of the invasive pharaoh ant (Monomorium pharaonis) as a model for other invasive and supercolonial ant species. The pharaoh ant is one of the few ant species that can be reared in the laboratory for many generations. Furthermore, the possibility to do controlled crosses of colonies...

  11. Pest repellent properties of ant pheromones

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Offenberg, Joachim

    2012-01-01

    Many ant species are efficient control agents against a wide range of pest insects in many crops. They control pest insects via predation; however, ant communication is based on chemical cues which may be eavesdropped by potential prey and serve as chemical warning signals. Thus, the presence...... of ant pheromones may be sufficient to repel pest insects from ant territories. The study of ant semiochemicals is in its infancy, yet, evidence for their potential use in pest management is starting to build up. Pheromones from four of five tested ant species have been shown to deter herbivorous insect...... from the ants’ host plants. (i) Oecophylla smaragdina deposits disrupt chrysomelid (Rhyparida wallacei) feeding on a Thai mangrove, and (ii) deposits from O. longinoda repel ovipositing fruit flies (Bactrosera invadens and Ceratitis cosyra) from mango fruits in Benin. Also, deposits from two New World...

  12. The use of weaver ants (Oecophylla spp.) in tropical agriculture

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Offenberg, Hans Joachim

    2011-01-01

    farming as a way forward to solve an increasing future demand for protein. Weaver ant farming may build on natural food collected by the ants or alternatively be boosted by feeding the ant colonies actively with protein and sugar. In both cases, when ant biocontrol is combined with ant farming...

  13. Symbiont recruitment versus ant-symbiont co-evolution in the attine ant-microbe symbiosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mueller, Ulrich G

    2012-06-01

    The symbiosis between fungus-farming ants (Attini, Formicidae), their cultivated fungi, garden-infecting Escovopsis pathogens, and Pseudonocardia bacteria on the ant integument has been popularized as an example of ant-Escovopsis-Pseudonocardia co-evolution. Recent research could not verify earlier conclusions regarding antibiotic-secreting, integumental Pseudonocardia that co-evolve to specifically suppress Escovopsis disease in an ancient co-evolutionary arms-race. Rather than long-term association with a single, co-evolving Pseudonocardia strain, attine ants accumulate complex, dynamic biofilms on their integument and in their gardens. Emerging views are that the integumental biofilms protect the ants primarily against ant diseases, whereas garden biofilms protect primarily against garden diseases; attine ants selectively recruit ('screen in') microbes into their biofilms; and the biofilms of ants and gardens serve diverse functions beyond disease-suppression. PMID:22445196

  14. Effects of planting spacing and leaf-cutting on canopy interception of light energy in greenhouse tomato%定植密度和剪叶处理对日光温室番茄冠层光截获性能的影响

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    高志奎; 王梅; 任士福; 高洪波

    2011-01-01

    to red light. However, the ratio of εred/εblue of ‘ Harvest’, ‘ Laifu 60 , , ‘ Hongli’ and ‘ Israel 1498’ varieties was less than 1, which indicated that leaf of these varieties had strong absorption capacity to blue light. Increasing row space could inhibited effectively group unrestrained growth and decreased the leaf area index (ILA) by 22.3 %, which could avoid closure of inside canopy. As the degree of leaf-cutting increasing,the tomato plant width in greenhouse significantly decreased, meanwhile the overlap rate of plant width (ξp), the overlap coefficient of leaf area(ξ) and complex light absorption coefficient (a′) of canopy consisting with canopy leaves and canopy air space were all decreased accordingly. Using the techniques of cutting-half-leaf with the close-planting, namely, ear inferior leaves were cut 1/3-1/2 as fruit expanding stage to maintaining overlap rate of plant width(ξp) between 10% and 20% when the planting density increased by 17%-30%, achieved the double effects of both improving the light energy interception of middle and lower canopy and enhancing the groups photosynthetic capacity.

  15. Ants recognize foes and not friends

    OpenAIRE

    Fernando J. Guerrieri; Nehring, Volker; Jørgensen, Charlotte G.; Nielsen, John; Galizia, Cosmas Giovanni; Patrizia d'Ettorre

    2009-01-01

    Discriminating among individuals and rejecting non-group members is essential for the evolution and stability of animal societies. Ants are good models for studying recognition mechanisms, because they are typically very efficient in discriminating 'friends' (nest-mates) from 'foes' (non-nest-mates). Recognition in ants involves multicomponent cues encoded in cuticular hydrocarbon profiles. Here, we tested whether workers of the carpenter ant Camponotus herculeanus use the presence and/or ab...

  16. Towards a multilevel ant colony optimization

    OpenAIRE

    Lian, Thomas Andreé; Llave, Marilex Rea

    2014-01-01

    Ant colony optimization is a metaheuristic approach for solving combinatorial optimization problems which belongs to swarm intelligence techniques. Ant colony optimization algorithms are one of the most successful strands of swarm intelligence which has already shown very good performance in many combinatorial problems and for some real applications. This thesis introduces a new multilevel approach for ant colony optimization to solve the NP-hard problems shortest path and traveling salesman....

  17. GRID SCHEDULING USING ENHANCED ANT COLONY ALGORITHM

    OpenAIRE

    Mr. P.Mathiyalagan; U.R. Dhepthie; S.N. Sivanandam

    2010-01-01

    Grid computing is a high performance computing used to solve larger scale computational demands. Task scheduling is a major issue in grid computing systems. Scheduling of tasks is the NP hard problem. The heuristic approach provides optimal solution for NP hard problems .The ant colony algorithm provides optimal solution. The existing ant colony algorithm takes more time to schedule the tasks. In this paper ant colony algorithm improved by enhancing pheromone updating rule such that it schedu...

  18. The agricultural pathology of ant fungus gardens

    OpenAIRE

    Currie, Cameron R; Mueller, Ulrich G.; Malloch, David

    1999-01-01

    Gardens of fungus-growing ants (Formicidae: Attini) traditionally have been thought to be free of microbial parasites, with the fungal mutualist maintained in nearly pure “monocultures.” We conducted extensive isolations of “alien” (nonmutualistic) fungi from ant gardens of a phylogenetically representative collection of attine ants. Contrary to the long-standing assumption that gardens are maintained free of microbial pathogens and parasites, they are in fact host to specialized parasites th...

  19. Ant cuticular response to phthalate pollution

    OpenAIRE

    Lenoir, Alain; Axel, Touchard; Devers, Séverine; Christidès, Jean-Philippe; Boulay, Raphaël; Cuvillier-Hot, Virginie

    2014-01-01

    Phthalates are common atmospheric contaminantsused in the plastic industry. Ants have been shown to constitutegood bioindicators of phthalate pollution. Hence,phthalates remain trapped on ant cuticles which are mostlycoated with long-chain hydrocarbons. In this study, we artificiallycontaminated Lasius niger ants with four phthalates:dibutyl phthalate (DBP), diisobutyl phthalate (DiBP), di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP), and benzyl butyl phthalate(BBP). The first three have previously been fo...

  20. The fire ant Solenopsis saevissima and habitat disturbance alter ant communities

    OpenAIRE

    Dejean, A; Cereghino, R.; Leponce, M.; Rossi, V; Roux, Olivier; Compin, A.; Delabie, J. H. C.; Corbara, B.

    2015-01-01

    The fire ant Solenopsis saevissima is a major pest frequent in human-disturbed areas of its native range where it forms 'supercolonies'. We determined that its natural habitat in French Guiana is likely the sporadically flooded riparian forest and aimed to evaluate this ant's impact on the abundance and diversity of other ants by comparing different habitats at two sites. We noted a significant decrease in ant species richness between the rainforest and human-disturbed habitats (but not betwe...

  1. Ant Colony Optimization Algorithm for Continuous Domains Based on Position Distribution Model of Ant Colony Foraging

    OpenAIRE

    Liqiang Liu; Yuntao Dai; Jinyu Gao

    2014-01-01

    Ant colony optimization algorithm for continuous domains is a major research direction for ant colony optimization algorithm. In this paper, we propose a distribution model of ant colony foraging, through analysis of the relationship between the position distribution and food source in the process of ant colony foraging. We design a continuous domain optimization algorithm based on the model and give the form of solution for the algorithm, the distribution model of pheromone, the update rules...

  2. From Ant Trails to Pedestrian Dynamics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andreas Schadschneider

    2003-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents a model for the simulation of pedestrian dynamics inspired by the behaviour of ants in ant trails. Ants communicate by producing a pheromone that can be smelled by other ants. In this model, pedestrians produce a virtual pheromone that influences the motion of others. In this way all interactions are strictly local, and so even large crowds can be simulated very efficiently. Nevertheless, the model is able to reproduce the collective effects observed empirically, eg the formation of lanes in counterflow. As an application, we reproduce a surprising result found in experiments of evacuation from an aircraft.

  3. Ilmub suurmeister Evald Okase monograafia / Ants Juske

    Index Scriptorium Estoniae

    Juske, Ants, 1956-

    2009-01-01

    22. aprillil Kumu Kunstimuuseumis esitletavast monograafiast "Evald Okas", mille on kirjutanud Ants Juske, kujundanud Tiit Jürna. Evald Okasest, tema loomingust, elust Jaroslavlis ja rindekunstnikuna

  4. Enhanced ants system and its application

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2005-01-01

    NP-hard combinational optimization problem is not solved very well until now. One enhanced ants system based on ants system is advanced after analysis of the deficiencies of existing ants systems. Some improvements are made in state transfer rule and local modification rule. Furthermore, the enhanced ants system can solve NP-hard combinational optimization problem with restraints and condition path. The successful application of TSP problem and transportation net problem indicates that the proposed system has stronger function and higher efficiency than the original system.

  5. Plants in Your Ants: Using Ant Mounds to Test Basic Ecological Principles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zettler, Jennifer A.; Collier, Alexander; Leidersdorf, Bil; Sanou, Missa Patrick

    2010-01-01

    Urban students often have limited access to field sites for ecological studies. Ubiquitous ants and their mounds can be used to study and test ecology-based questions. We describe how soil collected from ant mounds can be used to investigate how biotic factors (ants) can affect abiotic factors in the soil that can, in turn, influence plant growth.

  6. The evolution of genome size in ants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Spagna Joseph C

    2008-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Despite the economic and ecological importance of ants, genomic tools for this family (Formicidae remain woefully scarce. Knowledge of genome size, for example, is a useful and necessary prerequisite for the development of many genomic resources, yet it has been reported for only one ant species (Solenopsis invicta, and the two published estimates for this species differ by 146.7 Mb (0.15 pg. Results Here, we report the genome size for 40 species of ants distributed across 10 of the 20 currently recognized subfamilies, thus making Formicidae the 4th most surveyed insect family and elevating the Hymenoptera to the 5th most surveyed insect order. Our analysis spans much of the ant phylogeny, from the less derived Amblyoponinae and Ponerinae to the more derived Myrmicinae, Formicinae and Dolichoderinae. We include a number of interesting and important taxa, including the invasive Argentine ant (Linepithema humile, Neotropical army ants (genera Eciton and Labidus, trapjaw ants (Odontomachus, fungus-growing ants (Apterostigma, Atta and Sericomyrmex, harvester ants (Messor, Pheidole and Pogonomyrmex, carpenter ants (Camponotus, a fire ant (Solenopsis, and a bulldog ant (Myrmecia. Our results show that ants possess small genomes relative to most other insects, yet genome size varies three-fold across this insect family. Moreover, our data suggest that two whole-genome duplications may have occurred in the ancestors of the modern Ectatomma and Apterostigma. Although some previous studies of other taxa have revealed a relationship between genome size and body size, our phylogenetically-controlled analysis of this correlation did not reveal a significant relationship. Conclusion This is the first analysis of genome size in ants (Formicidae and the first across multiple species of social insects. We show that genome size is a variable trait that can evolve gradually over long time spans, as well as rapidly, through processes that may

  7. Spectacular Batesian mimicry in ants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ito, Fuminori; Hashim, Rosli; Huei, Yek Sze; Kaufmann, Eva; Akino, Toshiharu; Billen, Johan

    2004-10-01

    The mechanism by which palatable species take advantage of their similarity in appearance to those that are unpalatable, in order to avoid predation, is called Batesian mimicry. Several arthropods are thought to be Batesian mimics of social insects; however, social insects that are Batesian mimics among themselves are rare. In Malaysia we found a possible Batesian mimic in an arboreal ant species, Camponotus sp., which was exclusively observed on foraging trails of the myrmicine ant Crematogaster inflata. The bright yellow and black colouring pattern, as well as the walking behaviour, were very similar in both species. We observed general interactions between the two species, and tested their palatability and the significance of the remarkably similar visual colour patterns for predator avoidance. Prey offered to C. inflata was also eaten by Camponotus workers in spite of their being attacked by C. inflata, indicating that Camponotus sp. is a commensal of C. inflata. An experiment with chicks as potential predators suggests that Camponotus sp. is palatable whereas C. inflata is unpalatable. After tasting C. inflata, the chicks no longer attacked Camponotus sp., indicating that Camponotus sp. is a Batesian mimic of Crematogaster inflata.

  8. Neuropeptidomics of the carpenter ant Camponotus floridanus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmitt, Franziska; Vanselow, Jens T; Schlosser, Andreas; Kahnt, Jörg; Rössler, Wolfgang; Wegener, Christian

    2015-03-01

    Ants show a rich behavioral repertoire and a highly complex organization, which have been attracting behavioral and sociobiological researchers for a long time. The neuronal underpinnings of ant behavior and social organization are, however, much less understood. Neuropeptides are key signals that orchestrate animal behavior and physiology, and it is thus feasible to assume that they play an important role also for the social constitution of ants. Despite the availability of different ant genomes and in silico prediction of ant neuropeptides, a comprehensive biochemical survey of the neuropeptidergic communication possibilities of ants is missing. We therefore combined different mass spectrometric methods to characterize the neuropeptidome of the adult carpenter ant Camponotus floridanus. We also characterized the local neuropeptide complement in different parts of the nervous and neuroendocrine system, including the antennal and optic lobes. Our analysis identifies 39 neuropeptides encoded by different prepropeptide genes, and in silico predicts new prepropeptide genes encoding CAPA peptides, CNMamide as well as homologues of the honey bee IDLSRFYGHFNT- and ITGQGNRIF-containing peptides. Our data provides basic information about the identity and localization of neuropeptides that is required to anatomically and functionally address the role and significance of neuropeptides in ant behavior and physiology. PMID:25641051

  9. Dynamical Equilibrium of Interacting Ant Societies

    CERN Document Server

    Leok, B T M

    1996-01-01

    The sustainable biodiversity associated with a specific ecological niche as a function of land area is analysed computationally by considering the interaction of ant societies over a collection of islands. A power law relationship between sustainable species and land area is observed. We will further consider the effect a perturbative inflow of ants has upon the model.

  10. The Biochemical Toxin Arsenal from Ant Venoms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Touchard, Axel; Aili, Samira R; Fox, Eduardo Gonçalves Paterson; Escoubas, Pierre; Orivel, Jérôme; Nicholson, Graham M; Dejean, Alain

    2016-01-01

    Ants (Formicidae) represent a taxonomically diverse group of hymenopterans with over 13,000 extant species, the majority of which inject or spray secretions from a venom gland. The evolutionary success of ants is mostly due to their unique eusociality that has permitted them to develop complex collaborative strategies, partly involving their venom secretions, to defend their nest against predators, microbial pathogens, ant competitors, and to hunt prey. Activities of ant venom include paralytic, cytolytic, haemolytic, allergenic, pro-inflammatory, insecticidal, antimicrobial, and pain-producing pharmacologic activities, while non-toxic functions include roles in chemical communication involving trail and sex pheromones, deterrents, and aggregators. While these diverse activities in ant venoms have until now been largely understudied due to the small venom yield from ants, modern analytical and venomic techniques are beginning to reveal the diversity of toxin structure and function. As such, ant venoms are distinct from other venomous animals, not only rich in linear, dimeric and disulfide-bonded peptides and bioactive proteins, but also other volatile and non-volatile compounds such as alkaloids and hydrocarbons. The present review details the unique structures and pharmacologies of known ant venom proteinaceous and alkaloidal toxins and their potential as a source of novel bioinsecticides and therapeutic agents. PMID:26805882

  11. The Biochemical Toxin Arsenal from Ant Venoms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Axel Touchard

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Ants (Formicidae represent a taxonomically diverse group of hymenopterans with over 13,000 extant species, the majority of which inject or spray secretions from a venom gland. The evolutionary success of ants is mostly due to their unique eusociality that has permitted them to develop complex collaborative strategies, partly involving their venom secretions, to defend their nest against predators, microbial pathogens, ant competitors, and to hunt prey. Activities of ant venom include paralytic, cytolytic, haemolytic, allergenic, pro-inflammatory, insecticidal, antimicrobial, and pain-producing pharmacologic activities, while non-toxic functions include roles in chemical communication involving trail and sex pheromones, deterrents, and aggregators. While these diverse activities in ant venoms have until now been largely understudied due to the small venom yield from ants, modern analytical and venomic techniques are beginning to reveal the diversity of toxin structure and function. As such, ant venoms are distinct from other venomous animals, not only rich in linear, dimeric and disulfide-bonded peptides and bioactive proteins, but also other volatile and non-volatile compounds such as alkaloids and hydrocarbons. The present review details the unique structures and pharmacologies of known ant venom proteinaceous and alkaloidal toxins and their potential as a source of novel bioinsecticides and therapeutic agents.

  12. Neuropeptidomics of the carpenter ant Camponotus floridanus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmitt, Franziska; Vanselow, Jens T; Schlosser, Andreas; Kahnt, Jörg; Rössler, Wolfgang; Wegener, Christian

    2015-03-01

    Ants show a rich behavioral repertoire and a highly complex organization, which have been attracting behavioral and sociobiological researchers for a long time. The neuronal underpinnings of ant behavior and social organization are, however, much less understood. Neuropeptides are key signals that orchestrate animal behavior and physiology, and it is thus feasible to assume that they play an important role also for the social constitution of ants. Despite the availability of different ant genomes and in silico prediction of ant neuropeptides, a comprehensive biochemical survey of the neuropeptidergic communication possibilities of ants is missing. We therefore combined different mass spectrometric methods to characterize the neuropeptidome of the adult carpenter ant Camponotus floridanus. We also characterized the local neuropeptide complement in different parts of the nervous and neuroendocrine system, including the antennal and optic lobes. Our analysis identifies 39 neuropeptides encoded by different prepropeptide genes, and in silico predicts new prepropeptide genes encoding CAPA peptides, CNMamide as well as homologues of the honey bee IDLSRFYGHFNT- and ITGQGNRIF-containing peptides. Our data provides basic information about the identity and localization of neuropeptides that is required to anatomically and functionally address the role and significance of neuropeptides in ant behavior and physiology.

  13. The Complexity of Fire Ant Nestmate Recognition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fire ants, Solenopsis invicta and Solenopsis richteri, were inadvertently introduced into the United States in the early 1900s and currently inhabit over 129 million hectares in Puerto Rico and twelve southern states from Texas to Virginia. Imported fire ants have also become established in isolated...

  14. Implementasi Algoritma Ant Colony System Dalam Menentukan Optimisasi Network Routing .

    OpenAIRE

    Lubis, Dini Anggraini

    2011-01-01

    Ant Colony System is an algorithm that adapt from ants biologic behavior which the ant colony can hold to find shortest path. Ant Colony System can implement for several optimization problems and one of them is in network routing. Ant colony system that talked in this paper is about optimization cases in network routing called AntNet. The purpose of AntNet is to search shortest path between source node to destination node based the table routing read by AntNet. In this research, it implemente...

  15. AntStar: Enhancing Optimization Problems by Integrating an Ant System and A⁎ Algorithm

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohammed Faisal

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Recently, nature-inspired techniques have become valuable to many intelligent systems in different fields of technology and science. Among these techniques, Ant Systems (AS have become a valuable technique for intelligent systems in different fields. AS is a computational system inspired by the foraging behavior of ants and intended to solve practical optimization problems. In this paper, we introduce the AntStar algorithm, which is swarm intelligence based. AntStar enhances the optimization and performance of an AS by integrating the AS and A⁎ algorithm. Applying the AntStar algorithm to the single-source shortest-path problem has been done to ensure the efficiency of the proposed AntStar algorithm. The experimental result of the proposed algorithm illustrated the robustness and accuracy of the AntStar algorithm.

  16. Modified chaotic ant swarm to function optimization

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    LI Yu-ying; WEN Qiao-yan; LI Li-xiang

    2009-01-01

    The chaotic ant swarm algorithm (CAS) is an optimization algorithm based on swarm intelligence theory, and it is inspired by the chaotic and self-organizing behavior of the ants in nature. Based on the analysis of the properties of the CAS, this article proposes a variation on the CAS called the modified chaotic ant swarm (MCAS), which employs two novel strategies to significantly improve the performance of the original algorithm. This is achieved by restricting the variables to search ranges and making the global best ant to learn from different ants' best information in the end. The simulation of the MCAS on five benchmark functions shows that the MCAS improves the precision of the solution.

  17. Urban ants and transportation of nosocomial bacteria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodovalho, Cynara M; Santos, Ana L; Marcolino, Marcus T; Bonetti, Ana M; Brandeburgo, Malcon A M

    2007-01-01

    Many ant species displaying synanthropic behavior that have successfully dispersed in urban areas can cause problems in hospitals by acting as bacterial vectors. In this study, we encountered bacteria on ants collected at the Universidade Federal de Uberlândia hospital, in the campus and at households nearby. The ants were identified as Tapinoma melanocephalum (Fabricius) and Camponotus vittatus (Forel) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) and the bacterial strains found here belong to the group of the coagulase-positive staphylococcus, coagulase-negative staphylococcus and gram negative bacilli, including antimicrobial drug-resistant strains. An investigation of the bacteria found in the ants and in the environment revealed that some ants carried non-isolated bacteria from the same environment and with high levels of resistance, evidencing the transmission potential of these insects. PMID:17710329

  18. Cryptococcus neoformans carried by Odontomachus bauri ants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mariana Santos de Jesus

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Cryptococcus neoformans is the most common causative agent of cryptococcosis worldwide. Although this fungus has been isolated from a variety of organic substrates, several studies suggest that hollow trees constitute an important natural niche for C. neoformans. A previously surveyed hollow of a living pink shower tree (Cassia grandis positive for C. neoformans in the city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, was chosen for further investigation. Odontomachus bauri ants (trap-jaw ants found inside the hollow were collected for evaluation as possible carriers of Cryptococcus spp. Two out of 10 ants were found to carry phenoloxidase-positive colonies identified as C. neoformans molecular types VNI and VNII. The ants may have acted as a mechanical vector of C. neoformans and possibly contributed to the dispersal of the fungi from one substrate to another. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report on the association of C. neoformans with ants of the genus Odontomachus.

  19. Optimal Load Dispatch Using Ant Lion Optimization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Menakshi Mahendru Nischal

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents Ant lion optimization (ALO technique to solve optimal load dispatch problem. Ant lion optimization (ALO is a novel nature inspired algorithm. The ALO algorithm mimics the hunting mechanism of ant lions in nature. Five main steps of hunting prey such as the random walk of ants, building traps, entrapment of ants in traps, catching preys, and re-building traps are implemented. Optimal load dispatch (OLD is a method of determining the most efficient, low-cost and reliable operation of a power system by dispatching available electricity generation resources to supply load on the system. The primary objective of OLD is to minimize total cost of generation while honoring operational constraints of available generation resources. The proposed technique is implemented on 3, 6 & 20 unit test system for solving the OLD. Numerical results shows that the proposed method has good convergence property and better in quality of solution than other algorithms reported in recent literature.

  20. How to be an ant on figs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bain, Anthony; Harrison, Rhett D.; Schatz, Bertrand

    2014-05-01

    Mutualistic interactions are open to exploitation by one or other of the partners and a diversity of other organisms, and hence are best understood as being embedded in a complex network of biotic interactions. Figs participate in an obligate mutualism in that figs are dependent on agaonid fig wasps for pollination and the wasps are dependent on fig ovules for brood sites. Ants are common insect predators and abundant in tropical forests. Ants have been recorded on approximately 11% of fig species, including all six subgenera, and often affect the fig-fig pollinator interaction through their predation of either pollinating and parasitic wasps. On monoecious figs, ants are often associated with hemipterans, whereas in dioecious figs ants predominantly prey on fig wasps. A few fig species are true myrmecophytes, with domatia or food rewards for ants, and in at least one species this is linked to predation of parasitic fig wasps. Ants also play a role in dispersal of fig seeds and may be particularly important for hemi-epiphytic species, which require high quality establishment microsites in the canopy. The intersection between the fig-fig pollinator and ant-plant systems promises to provide fertile ground for understanding mutualistic interactions within the context of complex interaction networks.

  1. Collective search by ants in microgravity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefanie M. Countryman

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available The problem of collective search is a tradeoff between searching thoroughly and covering as much area as possible. This tradeoff depends on the density of searchers. Solutions to the problem of collective search are currently of much interest in robotics and in the study of distributed algorithms, for example to design ways that without central control robots can use local information to perform search and rescue operations. Ant colonies operate without central control. Because they can perceive only local, mostly chemical and tactile cues, they must search collectively to find resources and to monitor the colony's environment. Examining how ants in diverse environments solve the problem of collective search can elucidate how evolution has led to diverse forms of collective behavior. An experiment on the International Space Station in January 2014 examined how ants (Tetramorium caespitum perform collective search in microgravity. In the ISS experiment, the ants explored a small arena in which a barrier was lowered to increase the area and thus lower ant density. In microgravity, relative to ground controls, ants explored the area less thoroughly and took more convoluted paths. It appears that the difficulty of holding on to the surface interfered with the ants’ ability to search collectively. Ants frequently lost contact with the surface, but showed a remarkable ability to regain contact with the surface.

  2. Pheromone disruption of Argentine ant trail integrity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suckling, D.M.; Peck, R.W.; Manning, L.M.; Stringer, L.D.; Cappadonna, J.; El-Sayed, A. M.

    2008-01-01

    Disruption of Argentine ant trail following and reduced ability to forage (measured by bait location success) was achieved after presentation of an oversupply of trail pheromone, (Z)-9-hexadecenal. Experiments tested single pheromone point sources and dispersion of a formulation in small field plots. Ant walking behavior was recorded and digitized by using video tracking, before and after presentation of trail pheromone. Ants showed changes in three parameters within seconds of treatment: (1) Ants on trails normally showed a unimodal frequency distribution of walking track angles, but this pattern disappeared after presentation of the trail pheromone; (2) ants showed initial high trail integrity on a range of untreated substrates from painted walls to wooden or concrete floors, but this was significantly reduced following presentation of a point source of pheromone; (3) the number of ants in the pheromone-treated area increased over time, as recruitment apparently exceeded departures. To test trail disruption in small outdoor plots, the trail pheromone was formulated with carnuba wax-coated quartz laboratory sand (1 g quartz sand/0.2 g wax/1 mg pheromone). The pheromone formulation, with a half-life of 30 h, was applied by rotary spreader at four rates (0, 2.5, 7.5, and 25 mg pheromone/m2) to 1- and 4-m2 plots in Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii. Ant counts at bait cards in treated plots were significantly reduced compared to controls on the day of treatment, and there was a significant reduction in ant foraging for 2 days. These results show that trail pheromone disruption of Argentine ants is possible, but a much more durable formulation is needed before nest-level impacts can be expected. ?? 2008 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.

  3. Data classification by Fuzzy Ant-Miner

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohamed Hamlich

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available In this paper we propose an extension of classification algorithm based on ant colony algorithms to handle continuous valued attributes using the concepts of fuzzy logic. The ant colony algorithms transform continuous attributes into nominal attributes by creating clenched discrete intervals. This may lead to false predictions of the target attribute, especially if the attribute value history is close to the borders of discretization. Continuous attributes are discretized on the fly into fuzzy partitions that will be used to develop an algorithm called Fuzzy Ant-Miner. Fuzzy rules are generated by using the concept of fuzzy entropy and fuzzy fitness of a rule.

  4. 9 CFR 354.121 - Ante-mortem inspection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    ... 9 Animals and Animal Products 2 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Ante-mortem inspection. 354.121 Section 354.121 Animals and Animal Products FOOD SAFETY AND INSPECTION SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE... Procedures; Ante-Mortem Inspections § 354.121 Ante-mortem inspection. An ante-mortem inspection of...

  5. 9 CFR 381.71 - Condemnation on ante mortem inspection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    ... 9 Animals and Animal Products 2 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Condemnation on ante mortem inspection... INSPECTION AND CERTIFICATION POULTRY PRODUCTS INSPECTION REGULATIONS Ante Mortem Inspection § 381.71 Condemnation on ante mortem inspection. (a) Birds plainly showing on ante mortem inspection any disease...

  6. Faster-is-slower effect in escaping ants revisited: Ants do not behave like humans

    CERN Document Server

    Parisi, Daniel R; Josens, Roxana

    2014-01-01

    In this work we studied the trajectories, velocities and densities of ants when egressing under controlled levels of stress produced by a chemical repellent at different concentrations. We found that, unlike other animals escaping under life-and-death conditions and pedestrian simulations, ants do not produce a higher density zone near the exit door. Instead, ants are uniformly distributed over the available space allowing for efficient evacuations. Consequently, the faster-is-slower effect observed in ants (Soria et al., 2012) is clearly of a different nature to that predicted by de social force model. In the case of ants, the minimum evacuation time is correlated with the lower probability of taking backward steps. Thus, as biological model ants have important differences that make their use inadvisable for the design of human facilities.

  7. Deterministic ants in labirynth -- information gained by map sharing

    CERN Document Server

    Malinowski, Janusz

    2014-01-01

    A few of ant robots are dropped to a labirynth, formed by a square lattice with a small number of nodes removed. Ants move according to a deterministic algorithm designed to explore all corridors. Each ant remembers the shape of corridors which she has visited. Once two ants met, they share the information acquired. We evaluate how the time of getting a complete information by an ant depends on the number of ants, and how the length known by an ant depends on time. Numerical results are presented in the form of scaling relations.

  8. Multitasking in a plant-ant interaction: how does Acacia myrtifolia manage both ants and pollinators?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martínez-Bauer, Angélica E; Martínez, Gerardo Cerón; Murphy, Daniel J; Burd, Martin

    2015-06-01

    Plant associations with protective ants are widespread among angiosperms, but carry the risk that ants will deter pollinators as well as herbivores. Such conflict, and adaptations to ameliorate or prevent the conflict, have been documented in African and neotropical acacias. Ant-acacia associations occur in Australia, but little is known of their ecology. Moreover, recent phylogenetic evidence indicates that Australian acacias are only distantly related to African and American acacias, providing an intercontinental natural experiment in the management of ant-pollinator conflict. We examined four populations of Acacia myrtifolia over a 400-km environmental gradient in southeastern Australia using ant and pollinator exclusion as well as direct observation of ants and pollinators to assess the potential for ant-pollinator conflict to affect seed set. Native bees were the only group of floral visitors whose visitation rates were a significant predictor of fruiting success, although beetles and wasps may play an important role as "insurance" pollinators. We found no increase in pollinator visitation or fruiting success following ant exclusion, even with large sample sizes and effective exclusion. Because ants are facultative visitors to A. myrtifolia plants, their presence may be insufficient to interfere greatly with floral visitors. It is also likely that the morphological location of extrafloral nectaries tends to draw ants away from reproductive parts, although we commonly observed ants on inflorescences, so the spatial separation is not strict. A. myrtifolia appears to maintain a generalized mutualism over a wide geographic range without the need for elaborate adaptations to resolve ant-pollinator conflict. PMID:25571873

  9. The distribution of weaver ant pheromones on host trees

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Offenberg, Joachim

    2007-01-01

    The visible anal spots deposited by Oecophylla smaragdina ants have been suggested to deter ant prey, affect interspecific competition and facilitate mutualists and parasites in tracking down Oecophylla ants. I measured the density of anal spots on host trees with and without ants and tested...... for correlations between spot density, ant activity and the likelihood of being detected by an ant. Spots were only found on trees with ants. On ant-trees, spots were distributed throughout the trees but with higher densities in areas with high ant activity and pheromone densities were higher on twigs compared...... to leaves. Also there was a positive correlation between spot density and the likelihood of being detected by ants. Anal spots may thus function as reliable cues to interacting species and be an important factor in shaping the community around Oecophylla colonies....

  10. Ants as tools in sustainable agriculture

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Offenberg, Joachim

    2015-01-01

    1. With an expanding human population placing increasing pressure on the environment, agriculture needs sustainable production that can match conventional methods. Integrated pest management (IPM) is more sustainable, but not necessarily as efficient as conventional non-sustainable measures. 2...... in multiple crops. Their efficiency is comparable to chemical pesticides or higher, while at lower costs. They provide a rare example of documented efficient conservation biological control. 3. Weaver ants share beneficial traits with almost 13 000 other ant species and are unlikely to be unique...... of agricultural systems, this review emphasizes the potential of managing ants to achieve sustainable pest management solutions. The synthesis suggests future directions and may catalyse a research agenda on the utilization of ants, not only against arthropod pests, but also against weeds and plant diseases...

  11. Thomas Stearns Elioti neoklassitsistlik luuleteooria / Ants Oras

    Index Scriptorium Estoniae

    Oras, Ants

    2003-01-01

    Varem ilmunud: rmt.: "Looming" 1932, nr. 2, lk. 196-208 ; rmt.: Ants Oras, "Laiemasse ringi : kirjanduslikke perspektiive ja profiile". Stockholm : Vaba Eesti, 1961, lk. 29-48, pealkirjaga "T. S. Elioti neoklassiline luuleteooria"

  12. Rose Atoll - Eradication of Invasive Ants

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — There are at least 9 species of ants introduced to Rose Atoll, including species that tend to scale insects that are devastating the Pisonia grandis trees on the 15...

  13. Automatic Programming with Ant Colony Optimization

    OpenAIRE

    Green, Jennifer; Jacqueline L. Whalley; Johnson, Colin G.

    2004-01-01

    Automatic programming is the use of search techniques to find programs that solve a problem. The most commonly explored automatic programming technique is genetic programming, which uses genetic algorithms to carry out the search. In this paper we introduce a new technique called Ant Colony Programming (ACP) which uses an ant colony based search in place of genetic algorithms. This algorithm is described and compared with other approaches in the literature.

  14. Covenant idea in ante-Nicene theology

    OpenAIRE

    Duncan, Jennings Ligon

    1995-01-01

    This thesis argues that the covenant idea was more significant in the writings of particular ante-Nicene theologians than has generally been admitted in patristic research or general surveys of the history of the covenant idea in the Christian tradition. Indeed, this survey of the covenant idea in the ante-Nicene period demonstrates a significant usage, development, and modification of the covenant concept as it is found in the OT and NT writings and in early Judaism. This investigation revea...

  15. HERBAL PLANTS AS AN ANT REPELLENT

    OpenAIRE

    Chaudhari PS*, Jangam SS Chaudhari SV, Baheti KG, Patil SU and Jadhav GB

    2013-01-01

    The present study focused on developing effective ant repellent from herbal plant extracts. The extracts of mentioned plants were prepared by grinding with water. The aqueous extracts were treated individually as well as in different combination against 15 ants at dose levels of 1%, 5%, 10%. Observations were made at 5 min of time intervals for total period of 15 min. Highest % repellency was recorded in cucumber-mint (100%) , lemon-garlic (100%), garlic-mint (100%) & all plant mixture (1...

  16. On Ants, Bacteria and Dynamic Environments

    OpenAIRE

    Ramos, Vitorino; Fernandes, Carlos; Rosa, Agostinho C

    2005-01-01

    Wasps, bees, ants and termites all make effective use of their environment and resources by displaying collective swarm intelligence. Termite colonies - for instance - build nests with a complexity far beyond the comprehension of the individual termite, while ant colonies dynamically allocate labor to various vital tasks such as foraging or defense without any central decision-making ability. Recent research suggests that microbial life can be even richer: highly social, intricately networked...

  17. Worker Longevity in Harvester Ants (Pogonomyrmex)

    OpenAIRE

    Gordon, D M; Hölldobler, B.

    1987-01-01

    Most studies of worker longevity in ants have been made in the laboratory (Haskins and Haskins 1980; Porter and Tschinkel 1982). In the field, increased energy expenditures, predation, and environmental fluctuations may all contribute to shorten the life of a worker ant. In the few existing studies of worker longevity conducted in the field, the lifespan of exterior workers was found to be extremely short. For example, Schmid-Hempel and Schmid- Hempel (1984) found that the half-life of Catagl...

  18. An Improved Heuristic Ant-Clustering Algorithm

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Yunfei Chen; Yushu Liu; Jihai Zhao

    2004-01-01

    An improved heuristic ant-clustering algorithm(HAC)is presented in this paper. A device of 'memory bank' is proposed,which can bring forth heuristic knowledge guiding ant to move in the bi-dimension grid space.The device experiments on real data sets and synthetic data sets.The results demonstrate that HAC has superiority in misclassification error rate and runtime over the classical algorithm.

  19. Structure and formation of ant transportation networks

    OpenAIRE

    Latty, Tanya; Ramsch, Kai; Ito, Kentaro; Nakagaki, Toshiyuki; Sumpter, David J. T.; Middendorf, Martin; Beekman, Madeleine

    2011-01-01

    Many biological systems use extensive networks for the transport of resources and information. Ants are no exception. How do biological systems achieve efficient transportation networks in the absence of centralized control and without global knowledge of the environment? Here, we address this question by studying the formation and properties of inter-nest transportation networks in the Argentine ant (Linepithema humile). We find that the formation of inter-nest networks depends on the number...

  20. Statistical Approach for Selecting Elite Ants

    CERN Document Server

    S., Raghavendra G

    2012-01-01

    Applications of ACO algorithms to obtain better solutions for combinatorial optimization problems have become very popular in recent years. In ACO algorithms, group of agents repeatedly perform well defined actions and collaborate with other ants in order to accomplish the defined task. In this paper, we introduce new mechanisms for selecting the Elite ants dynamically based on simple statistical tools. We also investigate the performance of newly proposed mechanisms.

  1. Optic disc detection using ant colony optimization

    OpenAIRE

    Dias, Marcy; Monteiro, Fernando C.

    2012-01-01

    The retinal fundus images are used in the treatment and diagnosis of several eye diseases, such as diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma. This paper proposes a new method to detect the optic disc (OD) automatically, due to the fact that the knowledge of the OD location is essential to the automatic analysis of retinal images. Ant Colony Optimization (ACO) is an optimization algorithm inspired by the foraging behaviour of some ant species that has been applied in image processing for edge detectio...

  2. Entangled active matter: From cells to ants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, D. L.; Phonekeo, S.; Altshuler, E.; Brochard-Wyart, F.

    2016-07-01

    Both cells and ants belong to the broad field of active matter, a novel class of non-equilibrium materials composed of many interacting units that individually consume energy and collectively generate motion or mechanical stresses. However cells and ants differ from fish and birds in that they can support static loads. This is because cells and ants can be entangled, so that individual units are bound by transient links. Entanglement gives cells and ants a set of remarkable properties usually not found together, such as the ability to flow like a fluid, spring back like an elastic solid, and self-heal. In this review, we present the biology, mechanics and dynamics of both entangled cells and ants. We apply concepts from soft matter physics and wetting to characterize these systems as well as to point out their differences, which arise from their differences in size. We hope that our viewpoints will spur further investigations into cells and ants as active materials, and inspire the fabrication of synthetic active matter.

  3. Toxic industrial deposit remediation by ant activity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jilkova, Veronika; Frouz, Jan

    2016-04-01

    Toxic industrial deposits are often contaminated by heavy metals and the substrates have low pH values. In such systems, soil development is thus slowed down by high toxicity and acidic conditions which are unfavourable to soil fauna. Ants (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) are considered tolerant to heavy metal pollution and are known to increase organic matter content and microbial activity in their nests. Here, we focused on soil remediation caused by three ant species (Formica sanguinea, Lasius niger, and Tetramorium sp.) in an ore-washery sedimentation basin near Chvaletice (Czech Republic). Soil samples were taken from the centre of ant nests and from the nest surroundings (>3 m from nests). Samples were then analyzed for microbial activity and biomass and contents of organic matter and nutrients. As a result, ant species that most influenced soil properties was F. sanguinea as there were higher microbial activity and total nitrogen and ammonia contents in ant nests than in the surrounding soil. We expected such a result because F. sanguinea builds conspicuous large nests and is a carnivorous species that brings substantial amounts of nitrogen in insect prey to their nests. Effects of the other two ant species might be lower because of smaller nests and different feeding habits as they rely mainly on honeydew from aphids or on plant seeds that do not contain much nutrients.

  4. Exploration adjustment by ant colonies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doran, Carolina; Stumpe, Martin C; Sendova-Franks, Ana; Franks, Nigel R

    2016-01-01

    How do animals in groups organize their work? Division of labour, i.e. the process by which individuals within a group choose which tasks to perform, has been extensively studied in social insects. Variability among individuals within a colony seems to underpin both the decision over which tasks to perform and the amount of effort to invest in a task. Studies have focused mainly on discrete tasks, i.e. tasks with a recognizable end. Here, we study the distribution of effort in nest seeking, in the absence of new nest sites. Hence, this task is open-ended and individuals have to decide when to stop searching, even though the task has not been completed. We show that collective search effort declines when colonies inhabit better homes, as a consequence of a reduction in the number of bouts (exploratory events). Furthermore, we show an increase in bout exploration time and a decrease in bout instantaneous speed for colonies inhabiting better homes. The effect of treatment on bout effort is very small; however, we suggest that the organization of work performed within nest searching is achieved both by a process of self-selection of the most hard-working ants and individual effort adjustment. PMID:26909180

  5. No detection of Vairimorpha invictae in fire ant decapitating flies reared from V. invictae- infected ants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vairimorpha invictae is a microsporidian entomopathogen that is under evaluation as a biological control agent for red imported fire ants, Solenopsis invicta. Infections of V. invictae alone and in combination with another pathogen of fire ants, Thelohania solenopsae, have resulted in declines of 5...

  6. Solution to the problem of ant being stuck by ant colony routing algorithm

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ZHAO Jing; TONG Wei-ming

    2009-01-01

    Many ant colony routing (ACR) algorithms have been presented in recent years, but few have studied the problem that ants will get stuck with probability in any terminal host when they are searching paths to route packets around a network. The problem has to be faced when designing and implementing the ACR algorithm. This article analyzes in detail the differences between the ACR and the ant colony optimization (ACO). Besides, particular restrictions on the ACR are pointed out and the three causes of ant being-stuck problem are obtained. Furthermore, this article proposes a new ant searching mechanism through dual path-checking and online routing loop removing by every intermediate node an ant visited and the destination host respectively, to solve the problem of ant being stuck and routing loop simultaneously. The result of numerical simulation is abstracted from one real network. Compared with existing two typical ACR algorithms, it shows that the proposed algorithm can settle the problem of ant being stuck and achieve more effective searching outcome for optimization path.

  7. Impacts of residual insecticide barriers on perimeter-invading ants, with particular reference to the odorous house ant, Tapinoma sessile.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scharf, Michael E; Ratliff, Catina R; Bennett, Gary W

    2004-04-01

    Three liquid insecticide formulations were evaluated as barrier treatments against perimeter-invading ants at a multifamily housing complex in West Lafayette, IN. Several ant species were present at the study site, including (in order of abundance) pavement ant, Tetramorium caespitum (L.); honey ant, Prenolepis imparis (Say); odorous house ant, Tapinoma sessile (Say); thief ant, Solenopsis molesta (Say); acrobat ant, Crematogaster ashmeadi (Mayr); crazy ant, Paratrechina longicornis (Latrielle), field ants, Formica spp.; and carpenter ant Camponotus pennsylvanicus (DeGeer). Studies began in May 2001 and concluded 8 wk later in July. Individual replicate treatments were placed 0.61 in (2 feet) up and 0.92 m (3 feet) out from the ends of 46.1 by 10.1-m (151 by 33-foot) apartment buildings. Ant sampling was performed with 10 placements of moist cat food for 1 h within treatment zones, followed by capture and removal of recruited ants for later counting. All treatments led to substantial reductions in ant numbers relative to untreated controls. The most effective treatment was fipronil, where 2% of before-treatment ant numbers were present at 8 wk after treatment. Both imidacloprid and cyfluthrin barrier treatments had efficacy comparative with fipronil, but to 4 and 2 wk, respectively. Odorous house ants were not sampled before treatment. Comparisons of ant species composition between treatments and controls revealed an increase in odorous house ant frequencies at 1-8 wk after treatment in treated locations only. These results demonstrate efficacy for both nonrepellent and repellent liquid insecticides as perimeter treatments for pest ants. In addition, our findings with odorous house ant highlight an apparent invasive-like characteristic of this species that may contribute to its dramatic increase in structural infestation rates in many areas of the United States. PMID:15154488

  8. Impacts of residual insecticide barriers on perimeter-invading ants, with particular reference to the odorous house ant, Tapinoma sessile.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scharf, Michael E; Ratliff, Catina R; Bennett, Gary W

    2004-04-01

    Three liquid insecticide formulations were evaluated as barrier treatments against perimeter-invading ants at a multifamily housing complex in West Lafayette, IN. Several ant species were present at the study site, including (in order of abundance) pavement ant, Tetramorium caespitum (L.); honey ant, Prenolepis imparis (Say); odorous house ant, Tapinoma sessile (Say); thief ant, Solenopsis molesta (Say); acrobat ant, Crematogaster ashmeadi (Mayr); crazy ant, Paratrechina longicornis (Latrielle), field ants, Formica spp.; and carpenter ant Camponotus pennsylvanicus (DeGeer). Studies began in May 2001 and concluded 8 wk later in July. Individual replicate treatments were placed 0.61 in (2 feet) up and 0.92 m (3 feet) out from the ends of 46.1 by 10.1-m (151 by 33-foot) apartment buildings. Ant sampling was performed with 10 placements of moist cat food for 1 h within treatment zones, followed by capture and removal of recruited ants for later counting. All treatments led to substantial reductions in ant numbers relative to untreated controls. The most effective treatment was fipronil, where 2% of before-treatment ant numbers were present at 8 wk after treatment. Both imidacloprid and cyfluthrin barrier treatments had efficacy comparative with fipronil, but to 4 and 2 wk, respectively. Odorous house ants were not sampled before treatment. Comparisons of ant species composition between treatments and controls revealed an increase in odorous house ant frequencies at 1-8 wk after treatment in treated locations only. These results demonstrate efficacy for both nonrepellent and repellent liquid insecticides as perimeter treatments for pest ants. In addition, our findings with odorous house ant highlight an apparent invasive-like characteristic of this species that may contribute to its dramatic increase in structural infestation rates in many areas of the United States.

  9. Ecology of a fig ant-plant

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harrison, Rhett D.

    2014-05-01

    Mutualistic interactions are embedded in networks of interactions that affect the benefits accruing to the mutualistic partners. Figs and their pollinating wasps are engaged in an obligate mutualism in which the fig is dependent on the fig pollinator for pollination services and the pollinator is dependent on fig ovules for brood sites. This mutualism is exploited by non-pollinating fig wasps that utilise the same ovules, but do not provide a pollination service. Most non-pollinating wasps oviposit from outside the inflorescence (syconium), where they are vulnerable to ant predation. Ficus schwarzii is exposed to high densities of non-pollinating wasps, but Philidris sp. ants patrolling the syconia prevent them from ovipositing. Philidris rarely catch wasps, but the fig encourages the patrolling by providing a reward through extra-floral nectaries on the surface of syconia. Moreover, the reward is apparently only produced during the phase when parasitoids are ovipositing. An ant-exclusion experiment demonstrated that, in the absence of ants, syconia were heavily attacked and many aborted as a consequence. Philidris was normally rare on the figs during the receptive phase or at the time of day when wasp offspring are emerging, so predation on pollinators was limited. However, Myrmicaria sp. ants, which only occurred on three trees, preyed substantially on pollinating as well as non-pollinating wasps. F. schwarzii occurs in small clusters of trees and has an exceptionally rapid crop turnover. These factors appear to promote high densities of non-pollinating wasps and, as a consequence, may have led to both a high incidence of ants on trees and increased selective pressure on fig traits that increase the payoffs of the fig-ant interaction for the fig. The fig receives no direct benefit from the reward it provides, but protects pollinating wasps that will disperse its pollen.

  10. Ant colony optimization algorithm for continuous domains based on position distribution model of ant colony foraging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Liqiang; Dai, Yuntao; Gao, Jinyu

    2014-01-01

    Ant colony optimization algorithm for continuous domains is a major research direction for ant colony optimization algorithm. In this paper, we propose a distribution model of ant colony foraging, through analysis of the relationship between the position distribution and food source in the process of ant colony foraging. We design a continuous domain optimization algorithm based on the model and give the form of solution for the algorithm, the distribution model of pheromone, the update rules of ant colony position, and the processing method of constraint condition. Algorithm performance against a set of test trials was unconstrained optimization test functions and a set of optimization test functions, and test results of other algorithms are compared and analyzed to verify the correctness and effectiveness of the proposed algorithm. PMID:24955402

  11. The descent of ant: field-measured performance of gliding ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Munk, Yonatan; Yanoviak, Stephen P; Koehl, M A R; Dudley, Robert

    2015-05-01

    Gliding ants avoid predatory attacks and potentially mortal consequences of dislodgement from rainforest canopy substrates by directing their aerial descent towards nearby tree trunks. The ecologically relevant measure of performance for gliding ants is the ratio of net horizontal to vertical distance traveled over the course of a gliding trajectory, or glide index. To study variation in glide index, we measured three-dimensional trajectories of Cephalotes atratus ants gliding in natural rainforest habitats. We determined that righting phase duration, glide angle, and path directness all significantly influence variation in glide index. Unsuccessful landing attempts result in the ant bouncing off its target and being forced to make a second landing attempt. Our results indicate that ants are not passive gliders and that they exert active control over the aerodynamic forces they experience during their descent, despite their apparent lack of specialized control surfaces. PMID:25788722

  12. Improving the cAnt-MinerPB Classification Algorithm

    OpenAIRE

    Medland, Matthew; Otero, Fernando E. B.; Freitas, Alex A

    2012-01-01

    Ant Colony Optimisation (ACO) has been successfully applied to the classification task of data mining in the form of Ant-Miner. A new extension of Ant-Miner, called cAnt-MinerPB, uses the ACO procedure in a different fashion. The main difference is that the search in cAnt-MinerPB is optimised to find the best list of rules, whereas in Ant-Miner the search is optimised to find the best individual rule at each step of the sequential covering, producing a list of best rules. We aim to improve cA...

  13. Detection of mitochondrial COII DNA sequences in ant guts as a method for assessing termite predation by ants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tom M Fayle

    Full Text Available Termites and ants contribute more to animal biomass in tropical rain forests than any other single group and perform vital ecosystem functions. Although ants prey on termites, at the community level the linkage between these groups is poorly understood. Thus, assessing the distribution and specificity of ant termitophagy is of considerable interest. We describe an approach for quantifying ant-termite food webs by sequencing termite DNA (cytochrome c oxidase subunit II, COII from ant guts and apply this to a soil-dwelling ant community from tropical rain forest in Gabon. We extracted DNA from 215 ants from 15 species. Of these, 17.2 % of individuals had termite DNA in their guts, with BLAST analysis confirming the identity of 34.1 % of these termites to family level or better. Although ant species varied in detection of termite DNA, ranging from 63 % (5/7; Camponotus sp. 1 to 0 % (0/7; Ponera sp. 1, there was no evidence (with small sample sizes for heterogeneity in termite consumption across ant taxa, and no evidence for species-specific ant-termite predation. In all three ant species with identifiable termite DNA in multiple individuals, multiple termite species were represented. Furthermore, the two termite species that were detected on multiple occasions in ant guts were in both cases found in multiple ant species, suggesting that ant-termite food webs are not strongly compartmentalised. However, two ant species were found to consume only Anoplotermes-group termites, indicating possible predatory specialisation at a higher taxonomic level. Using a laboratory feeding test, we were able to detect termite COII sequences in ant guts up to 2 h after feeding, indicating that our method only detects recent feeding events. Our data provide tentative support for the hypothesis that unspecialised termite predation by ants is widespread and highlight the use of molecular approaches for future studies of ant-termite food webs.

  14. Swarm controlled emergence for ant clustering

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Scheidler, Alexander; Merkle, Daniel; Middendorf, Martin

    2013-01-01

    Purpose: Swarm controlled emergence is proposed as an approach to control emergent effects in (artificial) swarms. The method involves the introduction of specific control agents into the swarm systems. Control agents behave similar to the normal agents and do not directly influence the behavior...... of the normal agents. The specific design of the control agents depends on the particular swarm system considered. The aim of this paper is to apply the method to ant clustering. Ant clustering, as an emergent effect, can be observed in nature and has inspired the design of several technical systems, e.......g. moving robots, and clustering algorithms. Design/methodology/approach: Different types of control agents for that ant clustering model are designed by introducing slight changes to the behavioural rules of the normal agents. The clustering behaviour of the resulting swarms is investigated by extensive...

  15. Moribund Ants Do Not Call for Help.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miler, Krzysztof

    2016-01-01

    When an antlion captures a foraging ant, the victim's nestmates may display rescue behaviour. This study tested the hypothesis that the expression of rescue behaviour depends on the life expectancy of the captured ant. This hypothesis predicts that the expression of rescue behaviour will be less frequent when the captured ant has a lower life expectancy than when it has a higher life expectancy because such a response would be adaptive at the colony level. Indeed, significant differences were found in the frequency of rescue behaviours in response to antlion victims with differing life expectancies. In agreement with prediction, victims with lower life expectancies were rescued less frequently, and those rescues had a longer latency and shorter duration. There was also a qualitative difference in the behaviour of rescuers to victims from the low and high life expectancy groups. Several explanations for these findings are proposed. PMID:26986741

  16. Hopfield neural network based on ant system

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    洪炳镕; 金飞虎; 郭琦

    2004-01-01

    Hopfield neural network is a single layer feedforward neural network. Hopfield network requires some control parameters to be carefully selected, else the network is apt to converge to local minimum. An ant system is a nature inspired meta heuristic algorithm. It has been applied to several combinatorial optimization problems such as Traveling Salesman Problem, Scheduling Problems, etc. This paper will show an ant system may be used in tuning the network control parameters by a group of cooperated ants. The major advantage of this network is to adjust the network parameters automatically, avoiding a blind search for the set of control parameters.This network was tested on two TSP problems, 5 cities and 10 cities. The results have shown an obvious improvement.

  17. The evolution of invasiveness in garden ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cremer, Sylvia; Ugelvig, Line Vej; Drijfhout, Falko P;

    2008-01-01

    It is unclear why some species become successful invaders whilst others fail, and whether invasive success depends on pre-adaptations already present in the native range or on characters evolving de-novo after introduction. Ants are among the worst invasive pests, with Lasius neglectus and its...... rapid spread through Europe and Asia as the most recent example of a pest ant that may become a global problem. Here, we present the first integrated study on behavior, morphology, population genetics, chemical recognition and parasite load of L. neglectus and its non-invasive sister species L. turcicus....... We find that L. neglectus expresses the same supercolonial syndrome as other invasive ants, a social system that is characterized by mating without dispersal and large networks of cooperating nests rather than smaller mutually hostile colonies. We conclude that the invasive success of L. neglectus...

  18. Recognition of social identity in ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bos, Nick; d'Ettorre, Patrizia

    2012-01-01

    Recognizing the identity of others, from the individual to the group level, is a hallmark of society. Ants, and other social insects, have evolved advanced societies characterized by efficient social recognition systems. Colony identity is mediated by colony specific signature mixtures, a blend...... of hydrocarbons present on the cuticle of every individual (the “label”). Recognition occurs when an ant encounters another individual, and compares the label it perceives to an internal representation of its own colony odor (the “template”). A mismatch between label and template leads to rejection...... of the encountered individual. Although advances have been made in our understanding of how the label is produced and acquired, contradictory evidence exists about information processing of recognition cues. Here, we review the literature on template acquisition in ants and address how and when the template...

  19. Desert ants learn vibration and magnetic landmarks.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cornelia Buehlmann

    Full Text Available The desert ants Cataglyphis navigate not only by path integration but also by using visual and olfactory landmarks to pinpoint the nest entrance. Here we show that Cataglyphis noda can additionally use magnetic and vibrational landmarks as nest-defining cues. The magnetic field may typically provide directional rather than positional information, and vibrational signals so far have been shown to be involved in social behavior. Thus it remains questionable if magnetic and vibration landmarks are usually provided by the ants' habitat as nest-defining cues. However, our results point to the flexibility of the ants' navigational system, which even makes use of cues that are probably most often sensed in a different context.

  20. Recruitment strategies and colony size in ants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert Planqué

    Full Text Available Ants use a great variety of recruitment methods to forage for food or find new nests, including tandem running, group recruitment and scent trails. It has been known for some time that there is a loose correlation across many taxa between species-specific mature colony size and recruitment method. Very small colonies tend to use solitary foraging; small to medium sized colonies use tandem running or group recruitment whereas larger colonies use pheromone recruitment trails. Until now, explanations for this correlation have focused on the ants' ecology, such as food resource distribution. However, many species have colonies with a single queen and workforces that grow over several orders of magnitude, and little is known about how a colony's organization, including recruitment methods, may change during its growth. After all, recruitment involves interactions between ants, and hence the size of the colony itself may influence which recruitment method is used--even if the ants' behavioural repertoire remains unchanged. Here we show using mathematical models that the observed correlation can also be explained by recognizing that failure rates in recruitment depend differently on colony size in various recruitment strategies. Our models focus on the build up of recruiter numbers inside colonies and are not based on optimality arguments, such as maximizing food yield. We predict that ant colonies of a certain size should use only one recruitment method (and always the same one rather than a mix of two or more. These results highlight the importance of the organization of recruitment and how it is affected by colony size. Hence these results should also expand our understanding of ant ecology.

  1. Sobre: Julio Ortega Bobadilla, Foucault ante Freud

    OpenAIRE

    Zavaleta Betancourt, José Alfredo; IIH-S, Universidad Veracruzana, Xalapa, Ver.

    2014-01-01

    Desde el título, Foucault ante Freud es un texto elíptico. Quizá debería titularse Foucault contra Freud o bien Freud ante Foucault o, mejor, Freud a pesar de Foucault. Ortega describe el contexto de las relaciones discursivas de Foucault con mÚltiples autores que lo influyeron: modelos ejempla- res, mentores o aliados, y es vasta la información que utiliza para reconstruir el contexto de esta lucha discursiva. 

  2. The ejaculatory biology of leafcutter ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    den Boer, Susanne; Stürup, Marlene; Boomsma, Jacobus Jan;

    2015-01-01

    The eusocial ants are unique in that females (queens) acquire and store sperm on a single mating flight early in adult life. This event largely determines the size (possibly millions of workers), longevity (possibly decades) and genetic variation of the colonies that queens found, but our...... understanding of the fundamental biology of ejaculate production, transfer and physiological function remains extremely limited. We studied the ejaculation process in the leafcutter ant Atta colombica and found that it starts with the appearance of a clear pre-ejaculatory fluid (PEF) at the tip...

  3. GrAnt: Inferring Best Forwarders from Complex Networks' Dynamics through a Greedy Ant Colony Optimization

    OpenAIRE

    Kochem Vendramin, Ana Cristina; Munaretto, Anelise; Regattieri Delgado, Myriam; Carneiro Viana, Aline

    2011-01-01

    This paper presents a new prediction-based forwarding protocol for the complex and dynamic Delay Tolerant Networks (DTN). The proposed protocol is called GrAnt (Greedy Ant) as it uses a greedy transition rule for the Ant Colony Optimization (ACO) metaheuristic to select the most promising forwarder nodes or to provide the exploitation of good paths previously found. The main motivation for the use of ACO is to take advantage of its population-based search and of the rapid adaptation of its le...

  4. Optimized Ant Colony Algorithm by Local Pheromone Update

    OpenAIRE

    Hui Yu

    2013-01-01

    Ant colony algorithm, a heuristic simulated algorithm, provides better solutions for non-convex, non-linear and discontinuous optimization problems. For ant colony algorithm, it is frequently to be trapped into local optimum, which might lead to stagnation. This article presents the  city-select strategy, local pheromone update strategy, optimum solution prediction strategy and local optimization strategy to optimize ant colony algorithm, provides ant colony algorithm based on local pheromone...

  5. The ant colony metaphor in continuous spaces using boundary search

    OpenAIRE

    Leguizamón, Guillermo

    2003-01-01

    This paper presents an application of the ant colony metaphor for continuous space optimization problems. The ant algortihm proposed works following the principle of the ant colony approach, i.e., a population of agents iteratively, cooperatively, and independently search for a solution. Each ant in the distributed algorithm applies a local search operator which explores the neighborhood region of a particular point in the search space (individual search level). The local search operator i...

  6. Extended phenotype: nematodes turn ants into bird-dispersed fruits

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hughes, D P; Kronauer, D J C; Boomsma, J J

    2008-01-01

    A recent study has discovered a novel extended phenotype of a nematode which alters its ant host to resemble ripe fruit. The infected ants are in turn eaten by frugivorous birds that disperse the nematode's eggs.......A recent study has discovered a novel extended phenotype of a nematode which alters its ant host to resemble ripe fruit. The infected ants are in turn eaten by frugivorous birds that disperse the nematode's eggs....

  7. Research on the Perceptual Law of Artificial Ants

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ZHENG Zhaobao

    2005-01-01

    Beginning with the analysis of the behavior of natural ants, this paper illuminates the principle and method that, by adopting image texture energy as pheromone and finding their way on the track of the pheromone, artificial ants have the ability to identify and remember through similar measurement of pheromone. Based on the quantity of experiments, this paper analyzes some factors that influence the ability of artificial ants and draws some conclusions about the law of ant perception.

  8. Trait-Mediated Indirect Effects of Phorid Flies on Ants

    OpenAIRE

    Hsun-Yi Hsieh; Ivette Perfecto

    2012-01-01

    This paper provides a synthesis of the ecological impact of phorid fly parasitoids on ants. We find the most important impact of phorids on ants to be trait-mediated effects. Phorids diminish the foraging activity of ants, frequently reducing the number and average size of foragers and reducing the amount of food retrieved by a colony. However, ants' coping mechanisms include changing foraging site and time. Phorids can also affect competition, especially through changes in the ability of the...

  9. Liquid baits control Argentine ants sustainably in coastal vineyards

    OpenAIRE

    Cooper, Monica L; Daane, Kent M.; Nelson, Erik H; Varela, Lucia G; Battany, Mark; Tsutsui, Neil D.; Rust, M K

    2008-01-01

    Liquid ant baits are an alternative to broad-spectrum insecticide sprays conventionally used to control Argentine ants. We review the development of liquid ant baits, which capitalize on the ants’ sugar-feeding requirements and social structure to deliver small doses of toxicant throughout the colony. The ant bait program described here, developed for commercial vineyards, also has the potential to facilitate the use of biological controls for mealybug and scale pests. The implementation of a...

  10. Dealing with water deficit in Atta ant colonies: large ants scout for water while small ants transport it

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antonio Carlos Da-Silva

    2012-07-01

    Leafcutter ants (Atta sexdens rubropilosa (Forel 1908 have an elaborate social organization, complete with caste divisions. Activities carried out by specialist groups contribute to the overall success and survival of the colony when it is confronted with environmental challenges such as dehydration. Ants detect variations in humidity inside the nest and react by activating several types of behavior that enhance water uptake and decrease water loss, but it is not clear whether or not a single caste collects water regardless of the cost of bringing this resource back to the colony. Accordingly, we investigated water collection activities in three colonies of Atta sexdens rubropilosa experimentally exposed to water stress. Specifically, we analyzed whether or not the same ant caste foraged for water, regardless of the absolute energetic cost (distance of transporting this resource back to the colony. Our experimental design offered water sources at 0 m, 1 m and 10 m from the nest. We studied the body size of ants near the water sources from the initial offer of water (time  =  0 to 120 min, and tested for specialization. We observed a reduction in the average size and variance of ants that corroborated the specialization hypothesis. Although the temporal course of specialization changed with distance, the final outcome was similar among distances. Thus, we conclude that, for this species, a specialist (our use of the word “specialist” does not mean exclusive task force is responsible for collecting water, regardless of the cost of transporting water back to the colony.

  11. Dynamics of an ant-plant-pollinator model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yuanshi; DeAngelis, Donald L.; Nathaniel Holland, J.

    2015-03-01

    In this paper, we consider plant-pollinator-ant systems in which plant-pollinator interaction and plant-ant interaction are both mutualistic, but there also exists interference of pollinators by ants. The plant-pollinator interaction can be described by a Beddington-DeAngelis formula, so we extend the formula to characterize plant-pollinator mutualisms, including the interference by ants, and form a plant-pollinator-ant model. Using dynamical systems theory, we show uniform persistence of the model. Moreover, we demonstrate conditions under which boundary equilibria are globally asymptotically stable. The dynamics exhibit mechanisms by which the three species could coexist when ants interfere with pollinators. We define a threshold in ant interference. When ant interference is strong, it can drive plant-pollinator mutualisms to extinction. Furthermore, if the ants depend on pollination mutualism for their persistence, then sufficiently strong ant interference could lead to their own extinction as well. Yet, when ant interference is weak, plant-ant and plant-pollinator mutualisms can promote the persistence of one another.

  12. Model Specification Searches Using Ant Colony Optimization Algorithms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marcoulides, George A.; Drezner, Zvi

    2003-01-01

    Ant colony optimization is a recently proposed heuristic procedure inspired by the behavior of real ants. This article applies the procedure to model specification searches in structural equation modeling and reports the results. The results demonstrate the capabilities of ant colony optimization algorithms for conducting automated searches.

  13. New results of ant algorithms for the Linear Ordering Problem

    OpenAIRE

    Pintea, Camelia-M.; Chira, Camelia; Dumitrescu, D.

    2012-01-01

    Ant-based algorithms are successful tools for solving complex problems. One of these problems is the Linear Ordering Problem (LOP). The paper shows new results on some LOP instances, using Ant Colony System (ACS) and the Step-Back Sensitive Ant Model (SB-SAM).

  14. Mutualistic ants as an indirect defence against leaf pathogens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    González-Teuber, Marcia; Kaltenpoth, Martin; Boland, Wilhelm

    2014-04-01

    Mutualistic ants are commonly considered as an efficient indirect defence against herbivores. Nevertheless, their indirect protective role against plant pathogens has been scarcely investigated. We compared the protective role against pathogens of two different ant partners, a mutualistic and a parasitic ant, on the host plant Acacia hindsii (Fabaceae). The epiphytic bacterial community on leaves was evaluated in the presence and absence of both ant partners by cultivation and by 454 pyrosequencing of the 16S rRNA gene. Pathogen-inflicted leaf damage, epiphytic bacterial abundance (colony-forming units) and number of operational taxonomic units (OTUs) were significantly higher in plants inhabited by parasitic ants than in plants inhabited by mutualistic ants. Unifrac unweighted and weighted principal component analyses showed that the bacterial community composition on leaves changed significantly when mutualistic ants were removed from plants or when plants were inhabited by parasitic ants. Direct mechanisms provided by ant-associated bacteria would contribute to the protective role against pathogens. The results suggest that the indirect defence of mutualistic ants also covers the protection from bacterial plant pathogens. Our findings highlight the importance of considering bacterial partners in ant-plant defensive mutualisms, which can contribute significantly to ant-mediated protection from plant pathogens. PMID:24392817

  15. Ants Orasest ja Anne Lange monograafiast / Jüri Talvet

    Index Scriptorium Estoniae

    Talvet, Jüri, 1945-

    2005-01-01

    Arvustus: Oras, Ants. Luulekool. I, Apoloogia / koostajad Hando Runnel ja Jaak Rähesoo. Tartu : Ilmamaa, 2003 ; Oras, Ants. Luulekool II, Meistriklass. Tartu : Ilmamaa, 2004 ; Lange, Anne. Ants Oras : [kirjandusteadlane, -kriitik ja tõlkija (1900-1982)]. Tartu : Ilmamaa, 2004

  16. A Novel delivery Method for Ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) toxicants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Described here is a new delivery method for ant toxicants consisting of an inert carrier, an attractant, and a toxicant. Unlike baits, this system does not contain a food source, but uses ant to ant contact rather than trophallaxis as the mechanism for horizontal dispersal of the toxicant through th...

  17. Ants Veetõusme ja tema valikud / Ants Veetõusme ; interv. Imbi E. Kaljuste

    Index Scriptorium Estoniae

    Veetõusme, Ants, 1949-

    2002-01-01

    Eesti Maksumaksjate Liidu juhatuse esimehe Ants Veetõusme varasemast elust ning praegusest tegevusest EML-i juhi, spordijuhi ja FIE-na. Kommenteerivad Tõnu Anton ja Tiit Nuudi. Tartu linnapea 1991-1993

  18. Nõunik Ants Laansalu - rohkem talupoeg kui sulane / Ants Laansalu ; interv. Heiki Raudla

    Index Scriptorium Estoniae

    Laansalu, Ants, 1938-2011

    2008-01-01

    Intervjuu põllumajandusministeeriumi nõunikuga, kes vastab küsimustele, mis puudutavad Eesti põllumajandusministreid, põllumehe mainet, põllumajanduse tulevikku Eestis ja maailmas. Vt. samas: Ants Laansalu: CV

  19. Vestlus päevapoliitikast Ants Vahtrasega / Ants Vahtras ; interv. Hillar Padu

    Index Scriptorium Estoniae

    Vahtras, Ants, 1953-

    2001-01-01

    Keskerakonna Hiiumaa osakonna esimees Ants Vahtras keskendub vestluses Keskerakonna kandidaatidele presidendi valimistele, arutleb presidendile vajalike isikuomaduste, haldusreformi, Hiiumaa Suurkogu, erastamiselt laekuva raha kasutamise üle ning annab hinnangu kultuuripoliitikale. Autor: Keskerakond

  20. Ants ja Jaak / Ants Juske, Jaak Juske ; intervjueerinud Margit Tõnson, Maris Sander

    Index Scriptorium Estoniae

    Juske, Ants, 1956-

    2011-01-01

    Kunstiteadlane Ants Juske ja tema poliitikust poeg Jaak Juske räägivad põlvkondade erinevustest ja konfliktidest, oma poliitilisest identiteedist, haridusest, eeskujudest, huvidest, eluviisidest. Nende eluloolisi andmeid

  1. Comparative study of nest architecture and colony structure of the fungus-growing ants, Mycocepurus goeldii and M. smithii.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rabeling, C; Verhaagh, M; Engels, W

    2007-01-01

    Nest architecture and demography of the non leaf-cutting fungus-growing ant species Mycocepurus goeldii and M. smithii (Attini: Formicidae) were studied in an agroforest habitat near Manaus, Brazil during the excavation of 13 nests. Both species built their nests in two different ways. The first type possessed a "tree-like" architecture, in which a vertical tunnel led downwards and lateral tunnels branched off at 90 degrees angles from the main tunnel, with a chamber at the end of each side branch. Alternatively, other nests displayed a "necklace-like" architecture, where the main tunnel also led down vertically, but entered each chamber from the top and exited it at the bottom, resulting in an architecture where chambers appeared like pearls on a necklace. The nest systems of M. goeldii and M. smithii consisted of 1-21 or 1-15 chambers, respectively. Of 199 excavated chambers, 57 % contained fungus-gardens. Chambers not containing fungus gardens were filled with organic matter from decaying fungus gardens or earthworm feces. Only M. smithii workers deposited loose soil in abandoned chambers during the construction of new nest chambers. Workers of M. smithii constructed significantly smaller chambers than those of M. goeldii. In both species, fungus garden-containing chambers were larger than non-garden chambers and were homogenously distributed in the soil between 17 cm and 105 cm depth. Neither fungus gardens nor abandoned chambers were encountered more frequently in deeper or shallower soil strata indicating that ants of both species did not abandon shallower versus deeper chambers, or move the colony to deeper soil layers with increasing colony age. Fungus gardens were suspended from the ceiling of the subterranean chambers and originated as small mycelial tufts. Through continual addition of organic debris, the tufts first grew vertically to strands before they expanded laterally until most of the chamber volume was filled with fungus garden curtains. New

  2. Ants recognize foes and not friends.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guerrieri, Fernando J; Nehring, Volker; Jørgensen, Charlotte G; Nielsen, John; Galizia, C Giovanni; d'Ettorre, Patrizia

    2009-07-01

    Discriminating among individuals and rejecting non-group members is essential for the evolution and stability of animal societies. Ants are good models for studying recognition mechanisms, because they are typically very efficient in discriminating 'friends' (nest-mates) from 'foes' (non-nest-mates). Recognition in ants involves multicomponent cues encoded in cuticular hydrocarbon profiles. Here, we tested whether workers of the carpenter ant Camponotus herculeanus use the presence and/or absence of cuticular hydrocarbons to discriminate between nest-mates and non-nest-mates. We supplemented the cuticular profile with synthetic hydrocarbons mixed to liquid food and then assessed behavioural responses using two different bioassays. Our results show that (i) the presence, but not the absence, of an additional hydrocarbon elicited aggression and that (ii) among the three classes of hydrocarbons tested (unbranched, mono-methylated and dimethylated alkanes; for mono-methylated alkanes, we present a new synthetic pathway), only the dimethylated alkane was effective in eliciting aggression. Our results suggest that carpenter ants use a fundamentally different mechanism for nest-mate recognition than previously thought. They do not specifically recognize nest-mates, but rather recognize and reject non-nest-mates bearing odour cues that are novel to their own colony cuticular hydrocarbon profile. This begs for a reappraisal of the mechanisms underlying recognition systems in social insects. PMID:19364750

  3. Ant parasite queens revert to mating singly

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sumner, Seirian; Hughes, William Owen Hamar; Pedersen, Jes Søe;

    2004-01-01

    A parasitic ant has abandoned the multiple mating habit of the queens of its related host. Multiple mating (polyandry) is widespread among animal groups, particularly insects 1 . But the factors that maintain it and underlie its evolution are hard to verify because benefits and costs are not easi...

  4. Ant System Algorithm Research and Its Applications

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2002-01-01

    In this paper, systematic review on Ant System (AS) algorithm research and application is made, and the authors works of introducing As algorithm into continuous space application are summarized. Then the applicability characters of AS in continuous space optimization problems are also discussed.

  5. Histrionicotoxin alkaloids finally detected in an ant

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jones, Tappey H.; Adams, Rachelle Martha Marie; Spande, Thomas F.;

    2012-01-01

    Workers of the ant Carebarella bicolor collected in Panama were found to have two major poison-frog alkaloids, cis- and trans-fused decahydroquinolines (DHQs) of the 269AB type, four minor 269AB isomers, two minor 269B isomers, and three isomers of DHQ 271D. For the first time in an ant, however......, the DHQs were accompanied by six histrionicotoxins (HTXs), viz., 283A, 285A, 285B, 285C, 287A, and 287D. This co-occurrence of the HTX and DHQ alkaloids is the usual pattern seen in dendrobatid frogs. This finding contrasts with our earlier study, where workers of a Brazilian ant, Solenopsis (Diplorhoptrum......) sp., were found to have a very similar DHQ complex but failed to show HTXs. Several new DHQ alkaloids of MW 271 (named in the frog as 271G) are reported from the above ants that have both m/z 202 and 204 as major fragment ions, unlike the spectrum seen for the poison-frog alkaloid 271D, which has...

  6. Fungal enzymes in the attine ant symbiosis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    de Fine Licht, Henrik Hjarvard; Schiøtt, Morten; Boomsma, Jacobus Jan

    build huge nests displacing several cubic meters of soil, whereas lower attine genera such as Cyphomyrmex and Mycocepurus have small nests with a fungus garden the size of a table-tennis ball. Only the leaf-cutter ants are specialized on using fresh leaves as substrate for their fungus gardens, whereas...

  7. Water surface locomotion in tropical canopy ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yanoviak, S P; Frederick, D N

    2014-06-15

    Upon falling onto the water surface, most terrestrial arthropods helplessly struggle and are quickly eaten by aquatic predators. Exceptions to this outcome mostly occur among riparian taxa that escape by walking or swimming at the water surface. Here we document sustained, directional, neustonic locomotion (i.e. surface swimming) in tropical arboreal ants. We dropped 35 species of ants into natural and artificial aquatic settings in Peru and Panama to assess their swimming ability. Ten species showed directed surface swimming at speeds >3 body lengths s(-1), with some swimming at absolute speeds >10 cm s(-1). Ten other species exhibited partial swimming ability characterized by relatively slow but directed movement. The remaining species showed no locomotory control at the surface. The phylogenetic distribution of swimming among ant genera indicates parallel evolution and a trend toward negative association with directed aerial descent behavior. Experiments with workers of Odontomachus bauri showed that they escape from the water by directing their swimming toward dark emergent objects (i.e. skototaxis). Analyses of high-speed video images indicate that Pachycondyla spp. and O. bauri use a modified alternating tripod gait when swimming; they generate thrust at the water surface via synchronized treading and rowing motions of the contralateral fore and mid legs, respectively, while the hind legs provide roll stability. These results expand the list of facultatively neustonic terrestrial taxa to include various species of tropical arboreal ants. PMID:24920838

  8. Ants recognize foes and not friends.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guerrieri, Fernando J; Nehring, Volker; Jørgensen, Charlotte G; Nielsen, John; Galizia, C Giovanni; d'Ettorre, Patrizia

    2009-07-01

    Discriminating among individuals and rejecting non-group members is essential for the evolution and stability of animal societies. Ants are good models for studying recognition mechanisms, because they are typically very efficient in discriminating 'friends' (nest-mates) from 'foes' (non-nest-mates). Recognition in ants involves multicomponent cues encoded in cuticular hydrocarbon profiles. Here, we tested whether workers of the carpenter ant Camponotus herculeanus use the presence and/or absence of cuticular hydrocarbons to discriminate between nest-mates and non-nest-mates. We supplemented the cuticular profile with synthetic hydrocarbons mixed to liquid food and then assessed behavioural responses using two different bioassays. Our results show that (i) the presence, but not the absence, of an additional hydrocarbon elicited aggression and that (ii) among the three classes of hydrocarbons tested (unbranched, mono-methylated and dimethylated alkanes; for mono-methylated alkanes, we present a new synthetic pathway), only the dimethylated alkane was effective in eliciting aggression. Our results suggest that carpenter ants use a fundamentally different mechanism for nest-mate recognition than previously thought. They do not specifically recognize nest-mates, but rather recognize and reject non-nest-mates bearing odour cues that are novel to their own colony cuticular hydrocarbon profile. This begs for a reappraisal of the mechanisms underlying recognition systems in social insects.

  9. The worldwide expansion of the Argentine ant

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vogel, Valerie; Pedersen, Jes Søe; Giraud, Tatiana;

    2010-01-01

    ) and secondary introductions (from sites with established invasive supercolonies) were important in the global expansion of the Argentine ant. In combination with the similar social organization of colonies in the native and introduced range, this indicates that invasiveness did not evolve recently as a unique...

  10. TestAnt: an ant colony system approach to sequential testing under precedence constraints

    OpenAIRE

    Çatay, Bülent; Catay, Bulent; Özlük, Özgür; Ozluk, Ozgur; Ünlüyurt, Tonguç; Unluyurt, Tonguc

    2011-01-01

    We consider the problem of minimum cost sequential testing (diagnosis) of a series (or parallel) system under precedence constraints. We model the problem as a nonlinear integer program. We develop and implement an ant colony algorithm for the problem. We demonstrate the performance of this algorithm for special type of instances for which the optimal solutions can be found in polynomial time. In addition, we compare the performance of the ant colony algorithm with a branch and bound algorith...

  11. Can the Argentine ant ( Linepithema humile Mayr) replace native ants in myrmecochory?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gómez, Crisanto; Oliveras, Jordi

    2003-04-01

    We analyse the influence of the Argentine ant ( Linepithema humile Mayr) on the seed dispersal process of the myrmecochorous plants Euphorbia characias, E. biumbellata, Genista linifolia, G. triflora, G. monspessulana and Sarothamnus arboreus. The observations were made in two study plots of Mediterranean cork-oak secondary forest (invaded and non-invaded by L. humile). The presence of L. humile implies the displacement of all native ant species that disperse seeds. Seed transports in the non-invaded zone were carried out by eight ant species. In the invaded zone, L. humile workers removed and transported seeds to the nest. In vertebrate exclusion trials, we observed the same level of seed removal in the invaded and non-invaded zones. Two findings could explain this result. Although mean time to seed localization was higher for native ants (431.7 s) than that for L. humile (150.5 s), the mean proportion of seeds transported after being detected was higher (50.1%) in non-invaded than in invaded (16.8%) zones. The proportion of seeds removed and transported into an ant nest after an ant-seed interaction had dramatically reduced from non-invaded (41.9%) to invaded (7.4%) zones. The levels of seed dispersal by ants found prior to invasion are unlikely to be maintained in invaded zones. However, total replacement of seed dispersal function is possible if contact iteration finally offers similar levels or quantities of seeds reaching the nests. The results obtained confirm that the Argentine ant invasion may affect myrmecochory dramatically in the Mediterranean biome.

  12. Dead ant walking: a myrmecophilous beetle predator uses parasitoid host location cues to selectively prey on parasitized ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mathis, Kaitlyn A; Tsutsui, Neil D

    2016-08-17

    Myrmecophiles (i.e. organisms that associate with ants) use a variety of ecological niches and employ different strategies to survive encounters with ants. Because ants are typically excellent defenders, myrmecophiles may choose moments of weakness to take advantage of their ant associates. This hypothesis was studied in the rove beetle, Myrmedonota xipe, which associates with Azteca sericeasur ants in the presence of parasitoid flies. A combination of laboratory and field experiments show that M. xipe beetles selectively locate and prey upon parasitized ants. These parasitized ants are less aggressive towards beetles than healthy ants, allowing beetles to eat the parasitized ants alive without interruption. Moreover, behavioural assays and chemical analysis reveal that M. xipe are attracted to the ant's alarm pheromone, the same secretion used by the phorid fly parasitoids in host location. This strategy allows beetles access to an abundant but otherwise inaccessible resource, as A. sericeasur ants are typically highly aggressive. These results are the first, to our knowledge, to demonstrate a predator sharing cues with a parasitoid to gain access to an otherwise unavailable prey item. Furthermore, this work highlights the importance of studying ant-myrmecophile interactions beyond just their pairwise context. PMID:27512148

  13. Interactive effects of soil-dwelling ants, ant mounds and simulated grazing on local plant community composition

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Veen, G.F.; Olff, H.

    2011-01-01

    Interactions between aboveground vertebrate herbivores and subterranean yellow meadow ants (Lasius flavus) can drive plant community patterns in grassland ecosystems. Here, we study the relative importance of the presence of ants (L. flavus) and ant mounds under different simulated grazing regimes f

  14. Parameters of ante-mortem delirium

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Deksnyte, Aušra

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Objectives. The aim of this study was to investigate the parameters of ante-mortem delirium of the patients in a closed psychiatric institution and to compare them with the ante-mortem psychopathology of the medical patients. Methods. There were 139 medical records of the patients analyzed, who died during the period of 1997-2003 at the in-patient psychiatric institution. The diagnoses were recorded according to the International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision (ICD-10 criteria. Patients’ data included age, gender, previous psychiatric disorders, current somatic and psychiatric morbidity, and comorbidity. Results. The incidence of delirium was 83,7%. The delirium group included more elder, male persons who were more likely to have dementia and less inclined to depression. Surprisingly the incidence of delirium among non-dementia men was quite high – 76,9%, as compared to non-dementia women – 23,1% (P=0,008. The duration of delirium differed from 1 to 1335 days. Longer delirium was observed among elder than 75 years (87,7, SD 183,9 vs52,6, SD 121,4 days; P=0,019 and dementia (83,6, SD 173,6 vs 13,5, SD 11,6 days; P<0,001 patients, but did not differ in gender groups. Conclusions. Ante-mortem delirium occurred more commonly in more elder and demented patients The duration of ante-mortem delirium was shorter in younger and non-dementia patients. Patients of the psychiatric institution tend to have longer deliriums than medical patients. The patients with depression and the history of alcohol abuse were not likely to get ante-mortem delirium. Before death in many persons hyperactive and mixed delirium transformed into hypoactive.

  15. Oecophylla smaragdina food conversion efficiency: prospects for ant farming

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Offenberg, Hans Joachim

    2011-01-01

    Oecophylla ants are sold at high prices on several commercial markets as a human delicacy, as pet food or as traditional medicine. Currently markets are supplied by ants collected from the wild; however, an increasing interest in ant farming exists as all harvest is easily sold and as ant farming...... selling prices these efficiencies led to rates of return from 1.52 to 4.56, respectively, if: (i) protein is supplied from commercial products; or (ii) alternatively supplied from free sources such as insects and kitchen waste. These results suggest that Oecophylla ant farming may become highly profitable...

  16. The Pied Piper: A Parasitic Beetle's Melodies Modulate Ant Behaviours.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea Di Giulio

    Full Text Available Ants use various communication channels to regulate their social organisation. The main channel that drives almost all the ants' activities and behaviours is the chemical one, but it is long acknowledged that the acoustic channel also plays an important role. However, very little is known regarding exploitation of the acoustical channel by myrmecophile parasites to infiltrate the ant society. Among social parasites, the ant nest beetles (Paussus are obligate myrmecophiles able to move throughout the colony at will and prey on the ants, surprisingly never eliciting aggression from the colonies. It has been recently postulated that stridulatory organs in Paussus might be evolved as an acoustic mechanism to interact with ants. Here, we survey the role of acoustic signals employed in the Paussus beetle-Pheidole ant system. Ants parasitised by Paussus beetles produce caste-specific stridulations. We found that Paussus can "speak" three different "languages", each similar to sounds produced by different ant castes (workers, soldiers, queen. Playback experiments were used to test how host ants respond to the sounds emitted by Paussus. Our data suggest that, by mimicking the stridulations of the queen, Paussus is able to dupe the workers of its host and to be treated as royalty. This is the first report of acoustic mimicry in a beetle parasite of ants.

  17. Behind every great ant, there is a great gut

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Poulsen, Michael; Sapountzis, Panagiotis

    2012-01-01

    Ants are quite possibly the most successful insects on Earth, with an estimated 10 000 species worldwide, making up at least a third of the global insect biomass, and comprising several times the biomass of all land vertebrates combined. Ant species have diverse trophic habits, including herbivory...... on the potential contribution of the ants’ gut symbionts. This issue of Molecular Ecology contains a study by Anderson et al. (2012), who take a comparative approach to explore the link between trophic levels and ant microbiomes, specifically, to address three main questions: (i) Do closely related herbivorous...... ants share similar bacterial communities? (ii) Do species of predatory ants share similar bacterial communities? (iii) Do distantly related herbivorous ants tend to share similar bacterial communities? By doing so, the authors demonstrate that ants with similar trophic habits appear to have relatively...

  18. Bioturbation by Fire Ants in the Coastal Prairie of Texas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cameron, G.; Williams, L.

    2001-12-01

    Fire ants (Solenopsis invicta) were introduced to the US in the early part of the last century. They have spread throughout the southeastern US in the absence of native competitors and predators with a range limited by abiotic factors. Each fire ant mound contains thousands of individuals, can be large, and can be numerous enough to comprise a dominant feature of the landscape. Studies of this species have focused upon its spread, formation of single- and multiple-queen colonies, genetic structure, and impact on native fauna and human health. Some studies have analyzed native fire ant-soil interactions, but few studies have examined the process of bioturbation by introduced fire ants in native ecosystems. Fire ants on the coastal prairie of Texas primarily are of the multiple-queen type that exhibit a much higher density of mounds than the single-queen type. Consequently, mound-building activities by fire ants can have a marked effect upon soil structure and nutrient content and may affect soil organisms and plants. Fire ant activity, mound density, mound dispersion, soil texture, soil permeability, soil moisture content, and soil nutrients were measured. Fire ants mounds are visible aboveground from April-November. Density of mounds was 117-738/ha, and average mound lifespan was 3.6 months with only 9% of the mounds remaining active throughout the entire season. Mounds were dispersed randomly. Foraging activity by fire ants was from June through October with a peak in July. Annual soil turnover was estimated by collecting and weighing mounds. There was no effect of ant mounds on soil texture, but water infiltration was higher in areas with ant mounds. Early-season samples showed no nutrient differences, but late-season samples showed that ant mounds contained higher amounts of micronutrients than random samples of soil. These data are compared to similar data on effects of mounds from native ants and from native and introduced ants in different habitats.

  19. Field tests of interspecific competition in ant assemblages: revisiting the dominant red wood ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gibb, Heloise; Johansson, Therese

    2011-05-01

    1. There has been considerable debate on the importance of competition in ecological communities, but its importance in structuring ant assemblages has often been uncritically accepted. Here, we briefly review field experiments examining competition in ant assemblages and use a removal experiment to test the effect of the classical territorial dominant ant, Formica aquilonia. Ants of this species group are thought to structure communities through a dominance hierarchy. 2. First, we used pitfall traps to compare the abundance of other ants in replicated sites with low and high densities of F. aquilonia. We found differences in community composition, in particular, Camponotus herculeanus was more common in low-density sites, in accordance with predictions. Differences in ant assemblages were not owing to differences in measured habitat variables. 3. We removed F. aquilonia from a set of high-density sites, using physical and chemical methods, and repeated these procedures at procedural control sites. One year after removal, abundances of F. aquilonia at removal sites were similar to those at low-density sites. However, the composition of other species did not change in response to F. aquilonia removal. Replication rates were identical in the mensurative and experimental components of this study, so this is unlikely to be owing to the analysis being insufficiently powerful. 4. We suggest three possibilities for the lack of difference. First, the study may have been too short term or small scale to detect differences. However, previous studies have shown effects on smaller spatial- and temporal-scales. Second, priority effects may be important in the successful colonisation by F. aquilonia. Thirdly, boreal ant assemblages may be too depauperate for redundancy in ecological roles and for competition to play an important structuring role. 5. We thus recommend that long-term large-scale experiments be considered essential if we are to distinguish between competing

  20. Patterns of diversity and abundance of fungus-growing ants (Formicidae: Attini in areas of the Brazilian Cerrado Padrões de diversidade e abundância de formigas cultivadoras de fungo (Formicidade: Attini em áreas do Cerrado Brasileiro

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Heraldo L. Vasconcelos

    2008-09-01

    Full Text Available Fungus-growing ants (tribe Attini are characteristic elements of the New World fauna. However, there is little information on the patterns of diversity, abundance, and distribution of attine species in their native ecosystems, especially for the so-called "lower" genera of the tribe. A survey of attine ant nests (excluding Atta Fabricus, 1804 and Acromyrmex Mayr, 1865 was conducted in a variety of savanna and forest habitats of the Cerrado biome near Uberlândia, Brazil. In total, 314 nests from 21 species of nine genera were found. Trachymyrmex Forel, 1893 was the most diverse genus with 10 species. Eighteen species were found in the savannas, including Mycetagroicus cerradensis Brandão & Mayhé-Nunes, 2001, a species from a recently-described genus of Attini, whereas in the forests only 12 species were found. Forest and savannas support relatively distinct faunas, each with a number of unique species; the species present in the forest habitats did not represent a nested subset of the species found in the savannas. Furthermore, although many species were common to both types of vegetation, their abundances were quite different. The density of attine nests is relatively high at some sites, exceeding an estimated 4,000 nests per hectare. In this sense, attine ants can be regarded as prevalent invertebrate taxa in the Brazilian Cerrado.As formigas cultivadoras de fungos (tribo Attini são exclusivas da fauna do Novo Mundo. Entretanto, existem poucas informações sobre os padrões de diversidade, abundância e distribuição das espécies de Attini em seus ecossistemas nativos, em especial para os gêneros menos derivados desta tribo. Um levantamento de ninhos de Attini (excluindo Atta Fabricius, 1804 e Acromyrmex Mayr, 1865 foi realizado em diversos ambientes savânicos e de floresta do bioma Cerrado próximos à Uberlândia, Brasil. Encontramos 314 ninhos de 21 espécies pertencentes a nove gêneros da tribo. Trachymyrmex Forel, 1893 foi o g

  1. Low-toxicity baits control ants in citrus orchards and grape vineyards

    OpenAIRE

    Tollerup, Kris E.; Rust, Michael K.; Dorschner, Keith W.; Phillips, Phil A.; Klotz, John H.

    2004-01-01

    Effective ant control is critical for controlling honeydew-secreting homopteran agricultural pests such as whitefly and mealybug. Low-toxicity ant baits may more effectively control ants than the broad-spectrum insecticides currently used in California vineyards and citrus orchards. This study focused on developing effective ant baits for use in bait stations to control field ant and Argentine ant, which aggressively tend homopteran pests. In the Coachella Valley, field ant is associated with...

  2. How load-carrying ants avoid falling over: mechanical stability during foraging in Atta vollenweideri grass-cutting ants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karin Moll

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Foraging workers of grass-cutting ants (Atta vollenweideri regularly carry grass fragments larger than their own body. Fragment length has been shown to influence the ants' running speed and thereby the colony's food intake rate. We investigated whether and how grass-cutting ants maintain stability when carrying fragments of two different lengths but identical mass. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Ants carried all fragments in an upright, backwards-tilted position, but held long fragments more vertically than short ones. All carrying ants used an alternating tripod gait, where mechanical stability was increased by overlapping stance phases of consecutive steps. The overlap was greatest for ants carrying long fragments, resulting in more legs contacting the ground simultaneously. For all ants, the projection of the total centre of mass (ant and fragment was often outside the supporting tripod, i.e. the three feet that would be in stance for a non-overlapping tripod gait. Stability was only achieved through additional legs in ground contact. Tripod stability (quantified as the minimum distance of the centre of mass to the edge of the supporting tripod was significantly smaller for ants with long fragments. Here, tripod stability was lowest at the beginning of each step, when the center of mass was near the posterior margin of the supporting tripod. By contrast, tripod stability was lowest at the end of each step for ants carrying short fragments. Consistently, ants with long fragments mainly fell backwards, whereas ants carrying short fragments mainly fell forwards or to the side. Assuming that transporting ants adjust neither the fragment angle nor the gait, they would be less stable and more likely to fall over. CONCLUSIONS: In grass-cutting ants, the need to maintain static stability when carrying long grass fragments has led to multiple kinematic adjustments at the expense of a reduced material transport rate.

  3. Ant Colony Optimization and Hypergraph Covering Problems

    CERN Document Server

    Pat, Ankit

    2011-01-01

    Ant Colony Optimization (ACO) is a very popular metaheuristic for solving computationally hard combinatorial optimization problems. Runtime analysis of ACO with respect to various pseudo-boolean functions and different graph based combinatorial optimization problems has been taken up in recent years. In this paper, we investigate the runtime behavior of an MMAS*(Max-Min Ant System) ACO algorithm on some well known hypergraph covering problems that are NP-Hard. In particular, we have addressed the Minimum Edge Cover problem, the Minimum Vertex Cover problem and the Maximum Weak- Independent Set problem. The influence of pheromone values and heuristic information on the running time is analysed. The results indicate that the heuristic information has greater impact towards improving the expected optimization time as compared to pheromone values. For certain instances of hypergraphs, we show that the MMAS* algorithm gives a constant order expected optimization time when the dominance of heuristic information is ...

  4. Optic disc detection using ant colony optimization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dias, Marcy A.; Monteiro, Fernando C.

    2012-09-01

    The retinal fundus images are used in the treatment and diagnosis of several eye diseases, such as diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma. This paper proposes a new method to detect the optic disc (OD) automatically, due to the fact that the knowledge of the OD location is essential to the automatic analysis of retinal images. Ant Colony Optimization (ACO) is an optimization algorithm inspired by the foraging behaviour of some ant species that has been applied in image processing for edge detection. Recently, the ACO was used in fundus images to detect edges, and therefore, to segment the OD and other anatomical retinal structures. We present an algorithm for the detection of OD in the retina which takes advantage of the Gabor wavelet transform, entropy and ACO algorithm. Forty images of the retina from DRIVE database were used to evaluate the performance of our method.

  5. Polyethism in a colony of artificial ants

    CERN Document Server

    Marriott, Chris

    2011-01-01

    We explore self-organizing strategies for role assignment in a foraging task carried out by a colony of artificial agents. Our strategies are inspired by various mechanisms of division of labor (polyethism) observed in eusocial insects like ants, termites, or bees. Specifically we instantiate models of caste polyethism and age or temporal polyethism to evaluated the benefits to foraging in a dynamic environment. Our experiment is directly related to the exploration/exploitation trade of in machine learning.

  6. Road Traffic System: Optimization Using Ant Systems

    OpenAIRE

    Yeong, Kim Ming

    2003-01-01

    Let us look at these social insects, which are relatively simple however, they can perform effective strategy following the simple, adaptive to local rules, which allows them to change according to the environment for survival. This uniqueness of the insect world helps us to understand that complex situation does have solution. The study of ant colonies behavior is an interesting issue that provides good modeling solution for difficult optimization and distributed control problems. Transporta...

  7. Ants and sustainable agriculture. A review

    OpenAIRE

    Benckiser, Gero

    2010-01-01

    International audience 60% of the world's ecosystems are not used in a sustainable way. Modern agriculture is blamed for declining soil carbon and biodiversity. Climate change, habitat fragmentation and other obstacles impede the movement of many animal species, and distribution changes are projected to continue. Therefore, we need alternative management strategies. The colony organisation of social insects, especially of ants, is seen as a model to design an improved agricultural manageme...

  8. Ant colony optimization and constraint programming

    CERN Document Server

    Solnon, Christine

    2013-01-01

    Ant colony optimization is a metaheuristic which has been successfully applied to a wide range of combinatorial optimization problems. The author describes this metaheuristic and studies its efficiency for solving some hard combinatorial problems, with a specific focus on constraint programming. The text is organized into three parts. The first part introduces constraint programming, which provides high level features to declaratively model problems by means of constraints. It describes the main existing approaches for solving constraint satisfaction problems, including complete tree search

  9. Ant-Man and the quantum realm

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michalakis, Spiros

    2015-11-01

    I was in Los Angeles airport, stuffing French fries into my mouth and waiting for a flight to Charlotte, North Carolina, when my phone buzzed. The e-mail was from the Science and Entertainment Exchange, a non-profit organization working to elevate the level of science in the movies, and it told me to report to Atlanta to consult on a new superhero movie: Ant-Man.

  10. Some 'ant'swers: Application of a layered barcode approach to problems in ant taxonomy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paknia, Omid; Bergmann, Tjard; Hadrys, Heike

    2015-11-01

    DNA barcoding has emerged as a routine tool in modern taxonomy. Although straightforward, this approach faces new challenges, when applied to difficult situation such as defining cryptic biodiversity. Ants are prime examples for high degrees of cryptic biodiversity due to complex population differentiation, hybridization and speciation processes. Here, we test the DNA barcoding region, cytochrome c oxidase 1 and two supplementary markers, 28S ribosomal DNA and long-wavelength rhodopsin, commonly used in ant taxonomy, for their potential in a layered, character-based barcoding approach across different taxonomic levels. Furthermore, we assess performance of the character-based barcoding approach to determine cryptic species diversity in ants. We found (i) that the barcode potential of a specific genetic marker varied widely among taxonomic levels in ants; (ii) that application of a layered, character-based barcode for identification of specimens can be a solution to taxonomical challenging groups; (iii) that the character-based barcoding approach allows us to differentiate specimens even within locations based on pure characters. In summary, (layered) character-based barcoding offers a reliable alternative for problematic species identification in ants and can be used as a fast and cost-efficient approach to estimate presence, absence or frequency of cryptic species. PMID:25712507

  11. Recognition of social identity in ants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nick eBos

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Recognizing the identity of others, from the individual to the group level, is a hallmark of society. Ants, and other social insects, have evolved advanced societies characterized by efficient social recognition systems. Colony identity is mediated by colony specific signature mixtures, a blend of hydrocarbons present on the cuticle of every individual (the label. Recognition occurs when an ant encounters another individual, and compares the label it perceives to an internal representation of its own colony odor (the template. A mismatch between label and template leads to rejection of the encountered individual. Although advances have been made in our understanding of how the label is produced and acquired, contradictory evidence exists about information processing of recognition cues. Here, we review the literature on template acquisition in ants and address how and when the template is formed, where in the nervous system it is localized, and the possible role of learning. We combine seemingly contradictory evidence in to a novel, parsimonious theory for the information processing of nestmate recognition cues.

  12. Polydomy in the ant Ectatomma opaciventre.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tofolo, Viviane C; Giannotti, Edilberto; Neves, Erika F; Andrade, Luis H C; Lima, Sandro M; Súarez, Yzel R; Antonialli-Junior, William F

    2014-01-01

    Tropical ants commonly exhibit a hyper-dispersed pattern of spatial distribution of nests. In polydomous species, nests may be satellites, that is, secondary structures of the main nest, where the queen is found. In order to evaluate whether the ant Ectatomma opaciventre Roger (Formicidae: Ectatomminae) uses the strategy of building polydomous nests, the spatial distribution pattern of 33 nests in a 1,800 m(2) degraded area located in Rio Claro, SP, Brazil, were investigated using the nearest neighbor method. To complement the results of this investigation, the cuticular chemical profile of eight colonies was analyzed using Fourier transform infrared photoacoustic spectroscopy (FTIR-PAS). The nests of E. opaciventre presented a hyper-dispersed or regular distribution, which is the most common in ants. The analysis of the cuticular hydrocarbons apparently con-firmed the hypothesis that this species is polydomous, since the chemical profiles of all studied colonies with nests at different sites were very similar to the chemical signature of the single found queen and were also different from those of colonies used as control. PMID:25373168

  13. Polygyny and polyandry in small ant societies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kellner, K; Trindl, A; Heinze, J; D'Ettorre, P

    2007-06-01

    Social insects, ants in particular, show considerable variation in queen number and mating frequency resulting in a wide range of social structures. The dynamics of reproductive conflicts in insect societies are directly connected to the colony kin structure, thus, the study of relatedness patterns is essential in order to understand the evolutionary resolution of these conflicts. We studied colony kin structure and mating frequencies in two closely related Neotropical ant species Pachycondyla inversa and Pachycondyla villosa. These represent interesting model systems because queens found new colonies cooperatively but, unlike many other ant species, they may still co-exist when the colony becomes mature (primary polygyny). By using five specific and highly variable microsatellite markers, we show that in both species queens usually mate with two or more males and that cofounding queens are always unrelated. Polygynous and polyandrous colonies are characterized by a high genetic diversity, with a mean relatedness coefficient among worker nestmates of 0.27 (+/- 0.03 SE) for P. inversa and 0.31 (+/- 0.05 SE) for P. villosa. However, relatedness among workers of the same matriline is high (0.60 +/- 0.03 in P. inversa, 0.62 +/- 0.08 in P. villosa) since males that mated with the same queen are on average closely related. Hence, we have found a new taxon in social Hymenoptera with high queen-mating frequencies and with intriguing mating and dispersal patterns of the sexuals. PMID:17561897

  14. Reduced Chitinase Activities in Ant Plants of the Genus Macaranga

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heil, Martin; Fiala, Brigitte; Linsenmair, K. Eduard; Boller, Thomas

    Many plant species have evolved mutualistic associations with ants, protecting their host against detrimental influences such as herbivorous insects. Letourneau (1998) reported in the case of Piper that ants defend their plants principally against stem-boring insects and also reduce fungal infections on inflorescences. Macaranga plants that were experimentally deprived of their symbiotic Crematogaster ants suffered heavily from shoot borers and pathogenic fungi (Heil 1998). Here we report that ants seem to reduce fungal infections actively in the obligate myrmecophyte Macarangatriloba (Euphorbiaceae), while ant-free plants can be easily infected. We also found extremely low chitinase activity in Macaranga plants. The plants' own biochemical defense seems to be reduced, and low chitinase activity perhaps may represent a predisposition for the evolution of myrmecophytism. These plants are therefore highly dependent on their ants, which obviously function not only as an antiherbivore defense but also as an effective agent against fungal pathogens.

  15. Image feature extraction based multiple ant colonies cooperation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Zhilong; Yang, Weiping; Li, Jicheng

    2015-05-01

    This paper presents a novel image feature extraction algorithm based on multiple ant colonies cooperation. Firstly, a low resolution version of the input image is created using Gaussian pyramid algorithm, and two ant colonies are spread on the source image and low resolution image respectively. The ant colony on the low resolution image uses phase congruency as its inspiration information, while the ant colony on the source image uses gradient magnitude as its inspiration information. These two ant colonies cooperate to extract salient image features through sharing a same pheromone matrix. After the optimization process, image features are detected based on thresholding the pheromone matrix. Since gradient magnitude and phase congruency of the input image are used as inspiration information of the ant colonies, our algorithm shows higher intelligence and is capable of acquiring more complete and meaningful image features than other simpler edge detectors.

  16. Graveyards on the Move: The Spatio-Temporal Distribution of Dead Ophiocordyceps-Infected Ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pontoppidan, Maj-Britt; Himaman, Winanda; Hywel-Jones, Nigel L.;

    2009-01-01

    of dead ants correlated with temperature, humidity and vegetation cover. Remarkably, having found 2243 dead ants inside graveyards we only found 2 live ants of the principal host, ant Camponotus leonardi, suggesting that foraging host ants actively avoid graveyards. We discovered that the principal host...

  17. A Theoretic Basis for IS? The Contribution of ANT

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jim Underwood

    2002-11-01

    Full Text Available Representation is a key issue of IS design and operation that is often ignored. Actor-network theory (ANT, a semiotic theory of stakeholders, provides a way of dealing with representation. Combining aspects of ANT and Foucault's discourse theory allows us to include concepts as actors and promises a flexible and durable foundation for IS practice, but ANT itself indicates that the search for a purely theoretical foundation for IS is misguided.

  18. Tuning PID Controller Using Multiobjective Ant Colony Optimization

    OpenAIRE

    Pierre Borne; Noureddine Liouane; Ibtissem Chiha

    2012-01-01

    This paper treats a tuning of PID controllers method using multiobjective ant colony optimization. The design objective was to apply the ant colony algorithm in the aim of tuning the optimum solution of the PID controllers (Kp, Ki, and Kd) by minimizing the multiobjective function. The potential of using multiobjective ant algorithms is to identify the Pareto optimal solution. The other methods are applied to make comparisons between a classic approach based on the “Ziegler-Nichols” method an...

  19. Optimization Planning based on Improved Ant Colony Algorithm for Robot

    OpenAIRE

    Xin Zhang; Zhanwen Wu

    2014-01-01

    As the ant colony algorithm has the defects in robot optimization path planning such as that low convergence cause local optimum, an improved ant colony algorithm is proposed to apply to the planning of path finding for robot. This algorithm uses the search way of exhumation ant to realize the complementation of advantages and accelerate the convergence of algorithm. The experimental result shows that the algorithm of this paper make the optimization planning of robot more reasonable

  20. Improved Ant Colony Clustering Algorithm and Its Performance Study

    OpenAIRE

    Wei Gao

    2015-01-01

    Clustering analysis is used in many disciplines and applications; it is an important tool that descriptively identifies homogeneous groups of objects based on attribute values. The ant colony clustering algorithm is a swarm-intelligent method used for clustering problems that is inspired by the behavior of ant colonies that cluster their corpses and sort their larvae. A new abstraction ant colony clustering algorithm using a data combination mechanism is proposed to improve the computational ...

  1. An Improved Ant Colony Routing Algorithm for WSNs

    OpenAIRE

    Tan Zhi; Zhang Hui

    2015-01-01

    Ant colony algorithm is a classical routing algorithm. And it are used in a variety of application because it is economic and self-organized. However, the routing algorithm will expend huge amounts of energy at the beginning. In the paper, based on the idea of Dijkstra algorithm, the improved ant colony algorithm was proposed to balance the energy consumption of networks. Through simulation and comparison with basic ant colony algorithms, it is obvious that improved algorithm can effectively...

  2. Improvement and Implementation of Best-worst Ant Colony Algorithm

    OpenAIRE

    Xianmin Wei

    2013-01-01

    In this study, we introduced the ant colony algorithm of best-worst ant system based on the pheromone update. By update improvements of local pheromone and global pheromone, as well as the optimal solution enhancement to a greater extent and the weakening of the worst solution, the algorithm further increased the difference of pheromone amount between the edge of the optimal path and the edge of the worst path and allowed the ant colony search behavior more focused near the optimal solution. ...

  3. The Molecular Clockwork of the Fire Ant Solenopsis invicta

    OpenAIRE

    Ingram, Krista K.; Alexander Kutowoi; Yannick Wurm; Dewayne Shoemaker; Rudolf Meier; Guy Bloch

    2012-01-01

    The circadian clock is a core molecular mechanism that allows organisms to anticipate daily environmental changes and adapt the timing of behaviors to maximize efficiency. In social insects, the ability to maintain the appropriate temporal order is thought to improve colony efficiency and fitness. We used the newly sequenced fire ant (Solenopsis invicta) genome to characterize the first ant circadian clock. Our results reveal that the fire ant clock is similar to the clock of the honeybee, a ...

  4. Protein structure optimization with a "Lamarckian" ant colony algorithm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oakley, Mark T; Richardson, E Grace; Carr, Harriet; Johnston, Roy L

    2013-01-01

    We describe the LamarckiAnt algorithm: a search algorithm that combines the features of a "Lamarckian" genetic algorithm and ant colony optimization. We have implemented this algorithm for the optimization of BLN model proteins, which have frustrated energy landscapes and represent a challenge for global optimization algorithms. We demonstrate that LamarckiAnt performs competitively with other state-of-the-art optimization algorithms. PMID:24407312

  5. Nutritional composition of Polyrhachis vicina Roger (Edible Chinese black ant)

    OpenAIRE

    Yucui Ren; Lirong Shen; Fengqin Feng; Duo Li

    2006-01-01

    Edible black ant (Polyrhachis vicina Roger) is a traditional edible insect species in China. It has been used as a functional ingredient in various tonics or health foods. This study determined the nutritional composition of the black ant, which included minerals, amino acids, superoxide dismutase (SOD), Vitamin E, and total acid. Supercritical CO2 fluid extraction was used to extract the organic compounds. The compounds were identified and quantified by GC-MS. Results showed that the ant pow...

  6. Newly discovered sister lineage sheds light on early ant evolution

    OpenAIRE

    Rabeling, Christian; Brown, Jeremy M.; Verhaagh, Manfred

    2008-01-01

    Ants are the world's most conspicuous and important eusocial insects and their diversity, abundance, and extreme behavioral specializations make them a model system for several disciplines within the biological sciences. Here, we report the discovery of a new ant that appears to represent the sister lineage to all extant ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). The phylogenetic position of this cryptic predator from the soils of the Amazon rainforest was inferred from several nuclear genes, sequenced ...

  7. Colony-level impacts of parasitoid flies on fire ants.

    OpenAIRE

    Mehdiabadi, Natasha J; Gilbert, Lawrence E

    2002-01-01

    The red imported fire ant is becoming a global ecological problem, having invaded the United States, Puerto Rico, New Zealand and, most recently, Australia. In its established areas, this pest is devastating natural biodiversity. Early attempts to halt fire ant expansion with pesticides actually enhanced its spread. Phorid fly parasitoids from South America have now been introduced into the United States as potential biological control agents of the red imported fire ant, but the impact of th...

  8. Entomopathogens Isolated from Invasive Ants and Tests of Their Pathogenicity

    OpenAIRE

    Maria Fernanda Miori de Zarzuela; Luis Garrigós Leite; José Eduardo Marcondes; Ana Eugênia de Carvalho Campos

    2012-01-01

    Some ant species cause severe ecological and health impact in urban areas. Many attempts have been tested to control such species, although they do not always succeed. Biological control is an alternative to chemical control and has gained great prominence in research, and fungi and nematodes are among the successful organisms controlling insects. This study aimed to clarify some questions regarding the biological control of ants. Invasive ant species in Brazil had their nests evaluated for t...

  9. Cercomacra and related antbirds (Aves, Formicariidae as army ant followers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Edwin O. Willis

    1984-01-01

    Full Text Available Cercomacra and Schistocichla antbirds (Formicariidae favor dense foliage and seldom follow army ants for flushed prey, since the ants move through open forest understory as well as through dense zones. Two other lineages, the Drymophila-Hypocnemis lineage (of dense woodland understory and the Formicivora lineage (of dense bushes in dry or semiopen zones, also cannot follow ants regularly through open forest understory.

  10. Ant-Crypto, a Cryptographer for Data Encryption Standard

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Salabat Khan

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Swarm Intelligence and Evolutionary Techniques are attracting the cryptanalysts in the field of cryptography. This paper presents a novel swarm based attack called Ant-Crypto (Ant-Cryptographer for the cryptanalysis of Data Encryption Standard (DES. Ant-Crypto is based on Binary Ant Colony Optimization (BACO i.e. a binary search space based directed graph is modeled for efficiently searching the optimum result (an original encryption key, in our case. The reason that why evolutionary techniques are becoming attractive is because of the inapplicability of traditional techniques and brute force attacks against feistel ciphers due to their inherent structure based on high nonlinearity and low autocorrelation. Ant-Crypto uses a known-plaintext attack to recover the secret key of DES which is required to break/ decipher the secret messages. Ant-Crypto iteratively searches for the secret key while generating several candidate optimum keys that are guessed across different runs on the basis of routes completed by ants. These optimum keys are then used to find each individual bit of the 56 bit secret key used during encryption by DES. Ant-Crypto is compared with some other state of the art evolutionary based attacks i.e. Genetic Algorithm and Comprehensive Binary Particle Swarm Optimization. The experimental results show that Ant-Crypto is an effective evolutionary attack against DES and can deduce large number of valuable bits as compared to other evolutionary algorithms; both in terms of time and space complexity.

  11. Insecticide transfer efficiency and lethal load in Argentine ants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hooper-Bui, L. M.; Kwok, E. S. C.; Buchholz, B. A.; Rust, M. K.; Eastmond, D. A.; Vogel, J. S.

    2015-10-01

    Trophallaxis between individual worker ants and the toxicant load in dead and live Argentine ants (Linepithema humile) in colonies exposed to fipronil and hydramethylnon experimental baits were examined using accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS). About 50% of the content of the crop containing trace levels of 14C-sucrose, 14C-hydramethylnon, and 14C-fipronil was shared between single donor and recipient ants. Dead workers and queens contained significantly more hydramethylnon (122.7 and 22.4 amol/μg ant, respectively) than did live workers and queens (96.3 and 10.4 amol/μg ant, respectively). Dead workers had significantly more fipronil (420.3 amol/μg ant) than did live workers (208.5 amol/μg ant), but dead and live queens had equal fipronil levels (59.5 and 54.3 amol/μg ant, respectively). The distribution of fipronil differed within the bodies of dead and live queens; the highest amounts of fipronil were recovered in the thorax of dead queens whereas live queens had the highest levels in the head. Resurgence of polygynous ant colonies treated with hydramethylnon baits may be explained by queen survival resulting from sublethal doses due to a slowing of trophallaxis throughout the colony. Bait strategies and dose levels for controlling insect pests need to be based on the specific toxicant properties and trophic strategies for targeting the entire colony.

  12. Improved Ant Colony Clustering Algorithm and Its Performance Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gao, Wei

    2016-01-01

    Clustering analysis is used in many disciplines and applications; it is an important tool that descriptively identifies homogeneous groups of objects based on attribute values. The ant colony clustering algorithm is a swarm-intelligent method used for clustering problems that is inspired by the behavior of ant colonies that cluster their corpses and sort their larvae. A new abstraction ant colony clustering algorithm using a data combination mechanism is proposed to improve the computational efficiency and accuracy of the ant colony clustering algorithm. The abstraction ant colony clustering algorithm is used to cluster benchmark problems, and its performance is compared with the ant colony clustering algorithm and other methods used in existing literature. Based on similar computational difficulties and complexities, the results show that the abstraction ant colony clustering algorithm produces results that are not only more accurate but also more efficiently determined than the ant colony clustering algorithm and the other methods. Thus, the abstraction ant colony clustering algorithm can be used for efficient multivariate data clustering. PMID:26839533

  13. Ant Homing Ability Is Not Diminished When Traveling Backwards.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ardin, Paul B; Mangan, Michael; Webb, Barbara

    2016-01-01

    Ants are known to be capable of homing to their nest after displacement to a novel location. This is widely assumed to involve some form of retinotopic matching between their current view and previously experienced views. One simple algorithm proposed to explain this behavior is continuous retinotopic alignment, in which the ant constantly adjusts its heading by rotating to minimize the pixel-wise difference of its current view from all views stored while facing the nest. However, ants with large prey items will often drag them home while facing backwards. We tested whether displaced ants (Myrmecia croslandi) dragging prey could still home despite experiencing an inverted view of their surroundings under these conditions. Ants moving backwards with food took similarly direct paths to the nest as ants moving forward without food, demonstrating that continuous retinotopic alignment is not a critical component of homing. It is possible that ants use initial or intermittent retinotopic alignment, coupled with some other direction stabilizing cue that they can utilize when moving backward. However, though most ants dragging prey would occasionally look toward the nest, we observed that their heading direction was not noticeably improved afterwards. We assume ants must use comparison of current and stored images for corrections of their path, but suggest they are either able to chose the appropriate visual memory for comparison using an additional mechanism; or can make such comparisons without retinotopic alignment. PMID:27147991

  14. Chimpanzees prey on army ants with specialized tool set.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanz, Crickette M; Schöning, Caspar; Morgan, David B

    2010-01-01

    Several populations of chimpanzees have been reported to prey upon Dorylus army ants. The most common tool-using technique to gather these ants is with "dipping" probes, which vary in length with regard to aggressiveness and lifestyle of the prey species. We report the use of a tool set in army ant predation by chimpanzees in the Goualougo Triangle, Republic of Congo. We recovered 1,060 tools used in this context and collected 25 video recordings of chimpanzee tool-using behavior at ant nests. Two different types of tools were distinguished based on their form and function. The chimpanzees use a woody sapling to perforate the ant nest, and then a herb stem as a dipping tool to harvest the ants. All of the species of ants preyed upon in Goualougo are present and consumed by chimpanzees at other sites, but there are no other reports of such a regular or widespread use of more than one type of tool to prey upon Dorylus ants. Furthermore, this tool set differs from other types of tool combinations used by chimpanzees at this site for preying upon termites or gathering honey. Therefore, we conclude that these chimpanzees have developed a specialized method for preying upon army ants, which involves the use of an additional tool for opening nests. Further research is needed to determine which specific ecological and social factors may have shaped the emergence and maintenance of this technology. PMID:19731231

  15. Ant patchiness: a spatially quantitative test in coffee agroecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Philpott, Stacy M.

    2006-08-01

    Arboreal ants form patchy spatial patterns in tropical agroforest canopies. Such patchy distributions more likely occur in disturbed habitats associated with lower ant diversity and resource availability than in forests. Yet, few studies have quantitatively examined these patchy patterns to statistically test if ants are non-randomly distributed or at what scale. Coffee agroecosystems form a gradient of management intensification along which vegetative complexity and ant diversity decline. Using field studies and a spatially explicit randomization model, I investigated ant patchiness in coffee agroecosystems in Chiapas, Mexico varying in management intensity to examine if: (1) coffee intensification affects occurrence of numerically dominant ants, (2) numerical dominants form statistically distinguishable single-species patches in coffee plants, (3) shade trees play a role in patch location, and (4) patch formation or size varies with management intensity. Coffee intensification correlated with lower occurrence frequency of numerically dominant species generally and of one of four taxa examined. All dominant ant species formed patches but only Azteca instabilis was patchy around shade trees. Ant patchiness did vary somewhat with spatial scale and with strata (within the coffee layer vs around shade trees). Patchiness, however, did not vary with management intensity. These results provide quantitative evidence that numerically dominant ants are patchy within the coffee layer at different scales and that shade tree location, but not coffee management intensity, may play a role in the formation of patchy distributions.

  16. Disease dynamics in a specialized parasite of ant societies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, Sandra Breum; Ferrari, Matthew; Evans, Harry C.;

    2012-01-01

    Coevolution between ant colonies and their rare specialized parasites are intriguing, because lethal infections of workers may correspond to tolerable chronic diseases of colonies, but the parasite adaptations that allow stable coexistence with ants are virtually unknown. We explore the trade......-offs experienced by Ophiocordyceps parasites manipulating ants into dying in nearby graveyards. We used field data from Brazil and Thailand to parameterize and fit a model for the growth rate of graveyards. We show that parasite pressure is much lower than the abundance of ant cadavers suggests...

  17. Five new records of ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) for Nebraska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nemec, Kristine T.; Trager, James C.; Manley, Elizabeth; Allen, Craig R.

    2012-01-01

    Ants are ubiquitous and influential organisms in terrestrial ecosystems. About 1,000 ant species occur in North America, where they are found in nearly every habitat (Fisher and Cover 2007). Ants are critical to ecological processes and structure. Ants affect soils via tunneling activity (Baxter and Hole 1967), disperse plant seeds (Lengyel et al. 2009), prey upon a variety of insects and other invertebrates (Way and Khoo 1992, Folgarait 1998), are often effective primary consumers through their prodigious consumption of floral and especially extrafloral nectar, and honeydew (Tobin 1994), and serve as prey for invertebrates (Gotelli 1996, Gastreich 1999) and vertebrates (Reiss 2001).

  18. Adventitious shoot formation on leaf cuttings in vivo, a tool in horticulture.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Custers, J.B.M.

    1986-01-01

    Adventitious shoot formation implies the regeneration or development of shoots from fully differentiated tissue. Its application has, after the rise of in vitro culture, assumed large proportions. Then the question arose whether in vivo adventitious shoot formation could not be applied more widely i

  19. [Ants: a chemical library of anticancer molecules].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vétillard, Angélique; Bouzid, Wafa

    2016-01-01

    Animal venoms are complex mixtures containing simple organic molecules, proteins, peptides, and other bioactive elements with extraordinary biological properties associated with their ability to act on a number of molecular receptors in the process of incapacitating their target organisms. In such a context, arthropod venoms are invaluable sources of bioactive substances, with therapeutic interest but the limited availability of some venom such as those from ants, has restricted the potential that these biomolecules could represent. We investigated for the first time transcriptomic expression from the ant species Tetramorium bicarinatum. Four hundred randomly selected clones from cDNA libraries were sequenced and a total of 374 expressed sequence tags (ESTs) were generated. Based on the results of BLAST searches, these sequences were clustered and assembled into 269 contigs. About 72% (269) of these matched BLASTx hits with an interesting diversity and unusual abundance of cellular transcripts (48%) related to gene and protein expression reflecting the specialization of this tissue. In addition, transcripts encoding transposases were relatively highly expressed (14%). It may be that transposable elements are present and that their presence accounts for some of the variation in venom toxins. About twenty per cent of the ESTs were categorized as putative toxins, the major part represented by allergens (48% of the total venom toxins) such as pilosulin 5, sol i 3 and Myp p I and II. Several contigs encoding enzymes, including zinc-metalloproteases (17%) that are likely involved in the processing and activation of venom proteins/peptides, were also identified from the library. In addition, a number of sequences (8%) had no significant similarity to any known sequence which indicates a potential source of for the discovery of new toxins. In order to provide a global insight on the transcripts expressed in the venom gland of the Brazilian ant species Tetramorium

  20. The evolution of invasiveness in garden ants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sylvia Cremer

    Full Text Available It is unclear why some species become successful invaders whilst others fail, and whether invasive success depends on pre-adaptations already present in the native range or on characters evolving de-novo after introduction. Ants are among the worst invasive pests, with Lasius neglectus and its rapid spread through Europe and Asia as the most recent example of a pest ant that may become a global problem. Here, we present the first integrated study on behavior, morphology, population genetics, chemical recognition and parasite load of L. neglectus and its non-invasive sister species L. turcicus. We find that L. neglectus expresses the same supercolonial syndrome as other invasive ants, a social system that is characterized by mating without dispersal and large networks of cooperating nests rather than smaller mutually hostile colonies. We conclude that the invasive success of L. neglectus relies on a combination of parasite-release following introduction and pre-adaptations in mating system, body-size, queen number and recognition efficiency that evolved long before introduction. Our results challenge the notion that supercolonial organization is an inevitable consequence of low genetic variation for chemical recognition cues in small invasive founder populations. We infer that low variation and limited volatility in cuticular hydrocarbon profiles already existed in the native range in combination with low dispersal and a highly viscous population structure. Human transport to relatively disturbed urban areas thus became the decisive factor to induce parasite release, a well established general promoter of invasiveness in non-social animals and plants, but understudied in invasive social insects.

  1. The evolution of invasiveness in garden ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cremer, Sylvia; Ugelvig, Line V; Drijfhout, Falko P; Schlick-Steiner, Birgit C; Steiner, Florian M; Seifert, Bernhard; Hughes, David P; Schulz, Andreas; Petersen, Klaus S; Konrad, Heino; Stauffer, Christian; Kiran, Kadri; Espadaler, Xavier; d'Ettorre, Patrizia; Aktaç, Nihat; Eilenberg, Jørgen; Jones, Graeme R; Nash, David R; Pedersen, Jes S; Boomsma, Jacobus J

    2008-01-01

    It is unclear why some species become successful invaders whilst others fail, and whether invasive success depends on pre-adaptations already present in the native range or on characters evolving de-novo after introduction. Ants are among the worst invasive pests, with Lasius neglectus and its rapid spread through Europe and Asia as the most recent example of a pest ant that may become a global problem. Here, we present the first integrated study on behavior, morphology, population genetics, chemical recognition and parasite load of L. neglectus and its non-invasive sister species L. turcicus. We find that L. neglectus expresses the same supercolonial syndrome as other invasive ants, a social system that is characterized by mating without dispersal and large networks of cooperating nests rather than smaller mutually hostile colonies. We conclude that the invasive success of L. neglectus relies on a combination of parasite-release following introduction and pre-adaptations in mating system, body-size, queen number and recognition efficiency that evolved long before introduction. Our results challenge the notion that supercolonial organization is an inevitable consequence of low genetic variation for chemical recognition cues in small invasive founder populations. We infer that low variation and limited volatility in cuticular hydrocarbon profiles already existed in the native range in combination with low dispersal and a highly viscous population structure. Human transport to relatively disturbed urban areas thus became the decisive factor to induce parasite release, a well established general promoter of invasiveness in non-social animals and plants, but understudied in invasive social insects. PMID:19050762

  2. Ants Laaneots : Peame venelaste provokatsiooniks valmis olema / Ants Laaneots ; interv. Urmo Soonvald

    Index Scriptorium Estoniae

    Laaneots, Ants, 1948-

    2002-01-01

    Ilmunud ka: Den za Dnjom 13. september lk. 9. Kindralmajor Ants Laaneots vastab küsimustele, kui reaalne on tulevikus Eesti pinnal sõja puhkemise oht, 11. septembri sündmuste kohta USA-s, Eesti NATO liikmeks kutsumise, provokatsioonide vastu valmisoleku, võõrriigi oletatava Eestisse sissetungi kohta

  3. Ants Laaneots : palgaarmeele üleminek pole praegu aktuaalne / Ants Laaneots ; interv. Peeter Kuimet

    Index Scriptorium Estoniae

    Laaneots, Ants, 1948-

    2006-01-01

    Ilmunud ka: Postimees : na russkom jazõke 6. dets. lk. 2. Kaitseväe uus juhataja kindralmajor Ants Laaneots vastab küsimustele kaitseväe ja ajateenistuse probleemide kohta. Lisa: Eesti kaitseväe juhatajad 1993-2006. Vt. samas: Laaneotsalt oodatakse sisetülide lahendamist

  4. Nectar theft and floral ant-repellence: a link between nectar volume and ant-repellent traits?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gavin Ballantyne

    Full Text Available As flower visitors, ants rarely benefit a plant. They are poor pollinators, and can also disrupt pollination by deterring other flower visitors, or by stealing nectar. Some plant species therefore possess floral ant-repelling traits. But why do particular species have such traits when others do not? In a dry forest in Costa Rica, of 49 plant species around a third were ant-repellent at very close proximity to a common generalist ant species, usually via repellent pollen. Repellence was positively correlated with the presence of large nectar volumes. Repellent traits affected ant species differently, some influencing the behaviour of just a few species and others producing more generalised ant-repellence. Our results suggest that ant-repellent floral traits may often not be pleiotropic, but instead could have been selected for as a defence against ant thieves in plant species that invest in large volumes of nectar. This conclusion highlights to the importance of research into the cost of nectar production in future studies into ant-flower interactions.

  5. Enhanced ant colony optimization for multiscale problems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Nan; Fish, Jacob

    2016-03-01

    The present manuscript addresses the issue of computational complexity of optimizing nonlinear composite materials and structures at multiple scales. Several solutions are detailed to meet the enormous computational challenge of optimizing nonlinear structures at multiple scales including: (i) enhanced sampling procedure that provides superior performance of the well-known ant colony optimization algorithm, (ii) a mapping-based meshing of a representative volume element that unlike unstructured meshing permits sensitivity analysis on coarse meshes, and (iii) a multilevel optimization procedure that takes advantage of possible weak coupling of certain scales. We demonstrate the proposed optimization procedure on elastic and inelastic laminated plates involving three scales.

  6. Loading pattern optimization using ant colony algorithm

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Electricite de France (EDF) operates 58 nuclear power plants (NPP), of the Pressurized Water Reactor type. The loading pattern optimization of these NPP is currently done by EDF expert engineers. Within this framework, EDF R and D has developed automatic optimization tools that assist the experts. LOOP is an industrial tool, developed by EDF R and D and based on a simulated annealing algorithm. In order to improve the results of such automatic tools, new optimization methods have to be tested. Ant Colony Optimization (ACO) algorithms are recent methods that have given very good results on combinatorial optimization problems. In order to evaluate the performance of such methods on loading pattern optimization, direct comparisons between LOOP and a mock-up based on the Max-Min Ant System algorithm (a particular variant of ACO algorithms) were made on realistic test-cases. It is shown that the results obtained by the ACO mock-up are very similar to those of LOOP. Future research will consist in improving these encouraging results by using parallelization and by hybridizing the ACO algorithm with local search procedures. (author)

  7. Loading pattern optimization using ant colony algorithm

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hoareau, Fabrice [EDF R and D, Clamart (France)

    2008-07-01

    Electricite de France (EDF) operates 58 nuclear power plants (NPP), of the Pressurized Water Reactor type. The loading pattern optimization of these NPP is currently done by EDF expert engineers. Within this framework, EDF R and D has developed automatic optimization tools that assist the experts. LOOP is an industrial tool, developed by EDF R and D and based on a simulated annealing algorithm. In order to improve the results of such automatic tools, new optimization methods have to be tested. Ant Colony Optimization (ACO) algorithms are recent methods that have given very good results on combinatorial optimization problems. In order to evaluate the performance of such methods on loading pattern optimization, direct comparisons between LOOP and a mock-up based on the Max-Min Ant System algorithm (a particular variant of ACO algorithms) were made on realistic test-cases. It is shown that the results obtained by the ACO mock-up are very similar to those of LOOP. Future research will consist in improving these encouraging results by using parallelization and by hybridizing the ACO algorithm with local search procedures. (author)

  8. Enhanced ANT Colony algorithm for Grid Scheduling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D.Maruthanayagam

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available Grid computing is to make multiple machines that may be in different physical locations, behave like they are one large virtual machine. Grid scheduling environment is a arranging the machines in the course of find it fast called the Ant algorithm. The find for resource in the collection of geographically distributed heterogeneous computing systems and making scheduling decisions, taking into consideration eminence of service. Allocation of resources to a large number of jobs in a grid computing environment presents more difficulty than in network computational environments. Resource and job will have been allocating by resource discovery and filtering, composed of the selection of resources and idea specific scheduling and job submission. This algorithm is evaluated using the simulated execution times for a grid environment. Before starting the grid scheduling, the expected execution time for each task on each machine must be estimated and represented by an Expected Time calculation. The proposed scheduler allocates adopt the system environment freely at runtime. This resource optimally and adaptively in the scalable, dynamic and distribute controlled environment. Conclude of this propose depending upon the performance of the grid systems. Key words: Grid Computing, Job Scheduling, Heuristic Algorithm, Load Balancing, scheduling algorithm simulation, ant algorithm

  9. Odorous house ants (Tapinoma sessile) as back-seat drivers of localized ant decline in urban habitats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salyer, Adam; Bennett, Gary W; Buczkowski, Grzegorz A

    2014-01-01

    Invasive species and habitat disturbance threaten biodiversity worldwide by modifying ecosystem performance and displacing native organisms. Similar homogenization impacts manifest locally when urbanization forces native species to relocate or reinvade perpetually altered habitat. This study investigated correlations between ant richness and abundance in response to urbanization and the nearby presence of invasive ant species, odorous house ants (Tapinoma sessile), within its native region. Surveying localized ant composition within natural, semi-natural, and urban habitat supported efforts to determine whether T. sessile appear to be primary (drivers) threats as instigators or secondary (passengers) threats as inheritors of indigenous ant decline. Sampling 180 sites, evenly split between all habitats with and without T. sessile present, yielded 45 total species. Although urbanization and T. sessile presence factors were significantly linked to ant decline, their interaction correlated to the greatest reduction of total ant richness (74%) and abundance (81%). Total richness appeared to decrease from 27 species to 18 when natural habitat is urbanized and from 18 species to 7 with T. sessile present in urban plots. Odorous house ant presence minimally influenced ant communities within natural and semi-natural habitat, highlighting the importance of habitat alteration and T. sessile presence interactions. Results suggest urbanization releases T. sessile from unknown constraints by decreasing ant richness and competition. Within urban environment, T. sessile are pre-adapted to quickly exploit new resources and grow to supercolony strength wherein T. sessile drive adjacent biodiversity loss. Odorous house ants act as passengers and drivers of ecological change throughout different phases of urban 'invasion'. This progression through surviving habitat alteration, exploiting new resources, thriving, and further reducing interspecific competition supports a "back

  10. What is important for ant assemblages in temperate forest soils?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tae-Sung Kwon

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Ant assemblages in the soil have been studied at eight forest sites (4 oak forest sites, and 4 pine forest sites in four study areas (1 seminatural area, and 3 industrialized areas in South Korea for 6 years from 2002 to 2010. Soil cores and Tullgren funnel were used for the ant survey. Ant surveys were carried out once per year in autumn (from late September to mid-October. The soil pH was lower in the industrialized than in the seminatural area, showing the acidified soils in the industrialized areas. However, the soil acidification did not influence the ant assemblages. The results from the nonmetric multidimensional scaling ordination and from the community temperature index values indicate that temperature is a key determinant for structures of the soil ant assemblages. The ant assemblages were not different according to the forest types (oak forests vs. pine forests. Occurrence of ant species varied greatly among years, indicating that more replicates and advanced sampling method are needed for the monitoring of the soil ant assemblages.

  11. Sucking pump activity in feeding behaviour regulation in carpenter ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Falibene, Agustina; Gontijo, Alberto de Figueiredo; Josens, Roxana

    2009-06-01

    Modulation of liquid feeding-rate would allow insects to ingest more food in the same time when this was required. Ants can vary nectar intake rate by increasing sucking pump frequency according to colony requirements. We analysed electrical signals generated by sucking pump activity of ants during drinking solutions of different sucrose concentrations and under different carbohydrate-deprivation levels. Our aim was to define parameters that characterize the recordings and analyse their relationship with feeding behaviour. Signals showed that the initial and final frequencies of sucking pump activity, as well as the difference between them were higher in sugar-deprived ants. However, these parameters were not influenced by sucrose solution concentration, which affected the number of pump contractions and the volume per contraction. Unexpectedly, we found two different responses in feeding behaviour of starved and non-starved ants depending on concentration. Starved ants drank dilute solutions for the same length of time as non-starved ants but ingested higher volumes. While drinking the concentrated solutions, starved ants drank the same volume, but did so in a shorter time than the non-starved ones. Despite these differences, for each analysed concentration the total number of pump contractions remained constant independently of sugar-deprivation level. These results are discussed in the frame of feeding regulation and decision making in ant foraging behaviour. PMID:19217950

  12. Tracing the rise of ants - out of the ground.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea Lucky

    Full Text Available The evolution of ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae is increasingly well-understood due to recent phylogenetic analyses, along with estimates of divergence times and diversification rates. Yet, leading hypotheses regarding the ancestral habitat of ants conflict with new findings that early ant lineages are cryptic and subterranean. Where the ants evolved, in respect to habitat, and how habitat shifts took place over time have not been formally tested. Here, we reconstruct the habitat transitions of crown-group ants through time, focusing on where they nest and forage (in the canopy, litter, or soil. Based on ancestral character reconstructions, we show that in contrast to the current consensus based on verbal arguments that ants evolved in tropical leaf litter, the soil is supported as the ancestral stratum of all ants. We also find subsequent movements up into the litter and, in some cases, into the canopy. Given the global importance of ants, because of their diversity, ecological influence and status as the most successful eusocial lineage on Earth, understanding the early evolution of this lineage provides insight into the factors that made this group so successful today.

  13. Chaos-order transition in foraging behavior of ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Lixiang; Peng, Haipeng; Kurths, Jürgen; Yang, Yixian; Schellnhuber, Hans Joachim

    2014-06-10

    The study of the foraging behavior of group animals (especially ants) is of practical ecological importance, but it also contributes to the development of widely applicable optimization problem-solving techniques. Biologists have discovered that single ants exhibit low-dimensional deterministic-chaotic activities. However, the influences of the nest, ants' physical abilities, and ants' knowledge (or experience) on foraging behavior have received relatively little attention in studies of the collective behavior of ants. This paper provides new insights into basic mechanisms of effective foraging for social insects or group animals that have a home. We propose that the whole foraging process of ants is controlled by three successive strategies: hunting, homing, and path building. A mathematical model is developed to study this complex scheme. We show that the transition from chaotic to periodic regimes observed in our model results from an optimization scheme for group animals with a home. According to our investigation, the behavior of such insects is not represented by random but rather deterministic walks (as generated by deterministic dynamical systems, e.g., by maps) in a random environment: the animals use their intelligence and experience to guide them. The more knowledge an ant has, the higher its foraging efficiency is. When young insects join the collective to forage with old and middle-aged ants, it benefits the whole colony in the long run. The resulting strategy can even be optimal. PMID:24912159

  14. Life-Histories of Sub-Arctic Ants

    OpenAIRE

    Heinze, Jürgen

    1993-01-01

    Ant species belonging to seven genera occur in habitats near the tree line in the Northern Hemisphere. An analysis of colony founding strategies suggests that in addition to physiological cold resistance, behavioral and sociometric adaptations might be important for survival and propagation of ants in subarctic biomes.

  15. Diversity of peptide toxins from stinging ant venoms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aili, Samira R; Touchard, Axel; Escoubas, Pierre; Padula, Matthew P; Orivel, Jérôme; Dejean, Alain; Nicholson, Graham M

    2014-12-15

    Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) represent a taxonomically diverse group of arthropods comprising nearly 13,000 extant species. Sixteen ant subfamilies have individuals that possess a stinger and use their venom for purposes such as a defence against predators, competitors and microbial pathogens, for predation, as well as for social communication. They exhibit a range of activities including antimicrobial, haemolytic, cytolytic, paralytic, insecticidal and pain-producing pharmacologies. While ant venoms are known to be rich in alkaloids and hydrocarbons, ant venoms rich in peptides are becoming more common, yet remain understudied. Recent advances in mass spectrometry techniques have begun to reveal the true complexity of ant venom peptide composition. In the few venoms explored thus far, most peptide toxins appear to occur as small polycationic linear toxins, with antibacterial properties and insecticidal activity. Unlike other venomous animals, a number of ant venoms also contain a range of homodimeric and heterodimeric peptides with one or two interchain disulfide bonds possessing pore-forming, allergenic and paralytic actions. However, ant venoms seem to have only a small number of monomeric disulfide-linked peptides. The present review details the structure and pharmacology of known ant venom peptide toxins and their potential as a source of novel bioinsecticides and therapeutic agents. PMID:25448389

  16. Host ant independent oviposition in the parasitic butterfly Maculinea alcon

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fürst, Matthias A; Nash, David Richard

    2010-01-01

    Parasitic Maculinea alcon butterflies can only develop in nests of a subset of available Myrmica ant species, so female butterflies have been hypothesized to preferentially lay eggs on plants close to colonies of the correct host ants. Previous correlational investigations of host...... is necessary for conservation of this endangered butterfly....

  17. Reciprocal genomic evolution in the ant-fungus agricultural symbiosis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nygaard, Sanne; Hu, Haofu; Li, Cai;

    2016-01-01

    The attine ant-fungus agricultural symbiosis evolved over tens of millions of years, producing complex societies with industrial-scale farming analogous to that of humans. Here we document reciprocal shifts in the genomes and transcriptomes of seven fungus-farming ant species and their fungal...

  18. The genome of the fire ant Solenopsis invicta

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ants have evolved very complex societies and are key ecosystem members. Some of them are also major pests, as exemplified by the fire ant Solenopsis invicta. We present here the draft genome of S. invicta, assembled from 454 and Illumina reads obtained from a focal haploid male and his brothers. In ...

  19. Sucking pump activity in feeding behaviour regulation in carpenter ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Falibene, Agustina; Gontijo, Alberto de Figueiredo; Josens, Roxana

    2009-06-01

    Modulation of liquid feeding-rate would allow insects to ingest more food in the same time when this was required. Ants can vary nectar intake rate by increasing sucking pump frequency according to colony requirements. We analysed electrical signals generated by sucking pump activity of ants during drinking solutions of different sucrose concentrations and under different carbohydrate-deprivation levels. Our aim was to define parameters that characterize the recordings and analyse their relationship with feeding behaviour. Signals showed that the initial and final frequencies of sucking pump activity, as well as the difference between them were higher in sugar-deprived ants. However, these parameters were not influenced by sucrose solution concentration, which affected the number of pump contractions and the volume per contraction. Unexpectedly, we found two different responses in feeding behaviour of starved and non-starved ants depending on concentration. Starved ants drank dilute solutions for the same length of time as non-starved ants but ingested higher volumes. While drinking the concentrated solutions, starved ants drank the same volume, but did so in a shorter time than the non-starved ones. Despite these differences, for each analysed concentration the total number of pump contractions remained constant independently of sugar-deprivation level. These results are discussed in the frame of feeding regulation and decision making in ant foraging behaviour.

  20. Commercial agrochemical applications in vineyards do not influence ant communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chong, Chee Seng; Hoffmann, Ary A; Thomson, Linda J

    2007-12-01

    Ants have been widely used as bioindicators for various terrestrial monitoring and assessment programs but are seldom considered in evaluation of nontarget pesticide effect. Much chemical assessment has been biased toward laboratory and bioassay testing for control of specific pest ant species. Several field studies that did explore the nontarget impacts of pesticides on ants have reported contradictory findings. To address the impact of chemical applications on ants, we tested the response of epigeal ant assemblages and community structure to three pesticide gradients (cumulative International Organization for Biological and Integrated Control toxicity rating, chlorpyrifos use rate, and sulfur use rate) in 19 vineyards. Ordination analyses using nonmetric multidimensional scaling detected community structures at species and genus levels, but the structures were not explained by any pesticide variables. There was no consistent pattern in species and genus percentage complementarities and ant assemblages along pesticide gradients. In contrast, ant community structure was influenced by the presence of shelterbelts near the sampling area. Reasons for the resilience of ants to pesticides are given and assessment at the colony level instead of workers abundance is suggested. The presence of Linepithema humile (Mayr) is emphasized. PMID:18284765

  1. SECURING MOBILE ANT AGENT USING CHINESE REMAINDER THEOREM

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Srinath Doss

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Recent days, research in wireless network becomes major area for the past few decades. In wireless routing many routing methods such as table driven, source driven; many characteristics such as reactive routing, proactive routing; many routing algorithms such as dijikstra’s shortest path, distributed bell-man ford algorithm are proposed in the literature. For effective wireless routing, the recent ant colony optimization proves better result than the existing methodologies. The ant colony optimization is a swarm intelligence technique which widely used for combinatorial optimization problems such as travelling salesman, network routing, clustering. The ant colony optimization is a real time routing protocol which offers highly reliable and optimal routing for both single path and multi path routing. As the ant is a small tiny mobile agent, providing security is critical issue. In this study, a secured ant colony optimization using Chinese remainder theorem is proposed.

  2. A Novel Parser Design Algorithm Based on Artificial Ants

    CERN Document Server

    Maiti, Deepyaman; Konar, Amit; Ramadoss, Janarthanan

    2008-01-01

    This article presents a unique design for a parser using the Ant Colony Optimization algorithm. The paper implements the intuitive thought process of human mind through the activities of artificial ants. The scheme presented here uses a bottom-up approach and the parsing program can directly use ambiguous or redundant grammars. We allocate a node corresponding to each production rule present in the given grammar. Each node is connected to all other nodes (representing other production rules), thereby establishing a completely connected graph susceptible to the movement of artificial ants. Each ant tries to modify this sentential form by the production rule present in the node and upgrades its position until the sentential form reduces to the start symbol S. Successful ants deposit pheromone on the links that they have traversed through. Eventually, the optimum path is discovered by the links carrying maximum amount of pheromone concentration. The design is simple, versatile, robust and effective and obviates ...

  3. Improved ant algorithms for software testing cases generation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Shunkun; Man, Tianlong; Xu, Jiaqi

    2014-01-01

    Existing ant colony optimization (ACO) for software testing cases generation is a very popular domain in software testing engineering. However, the traditional ACO has flaws, as early search pheromone is relatively scarce, search efficiency is low, search model is too simple, positive feedback mechanism is easy to produce the phenomenon of stagnation and precocity. This paper introduces improved ACO for software testing cases generation: improved local pheromone update strategy for ant colony optimization, improved pheromone volatilization coefficient for ant colony optimization (IPVACO), and improved the global path pheromone update strategy for ant colony optimization (IGPACO). At last, we put forward a comprehensive improved ant colony optimization (ACIACO), which is based on all the above three methods. The proposed technique will be compared with random algorithm (RND) and genetic algorithm (GA) in terms of both efficiency and coverage. The results indicate that the improved method can effectively improve the search efficiency, restrain precocity, promote case coverage, and reduce the number of iterations. PMID:24883391

  4. A stochastic model of ant trail following with two pheromones

    CERN Document Server

    Malíčková, Miriam; Boďová, Katarína

    2015-01-01

    Colonies of ants are systems of interacting living organisms in which interactions between individuals and their environment can produce a reliable performance of a complex tasks without the need for centralised control. Particularly remarkable is the process of formation of refined paths between the nest and food sources that is essential for successful foraging. We have designed a simple stochastic off-lattice model of ant foraging in the absence of direct communication. The motion of ants is governed by two components - a random change in direction of motion that improves ability to explore the environment (facilitating food discovery), and a non-random global indirect interaction component based on pheromone signalling. Using numerical simulations we have studied the model behaviour in different parameter regimes and tested the ability of our model ants to adapt to changes in the external environment. The simulated behaviour of ants in the model recapitulated the experimentally observed behaviours of real...

  5. AntNet: Distributed Stigmergetic Control for Communications Networks

    CERN Document Server

    Di Caro, G

    2011-01-01

    This paper introduces AntNet, a novel approach to the adaptive learning of routing tables in communications networks. AntNet is a distributed, mobile agents based Monte Carlo system that was inspired by recent work on the ant colony metaphor for solving optimization problems. AntNet's agents concurrently explore the network and exchange collected information. The communication among the agents is indirect and asynchronous, mediated by the network itself. This form of communication is typical of social insects and is called stigmergy. We compare our algorithm with six state-of-the-art routing algorithms coming from the telecommunications and machine learning fields. The algorithms' performance is evaluated over a set of realistic testbeds. We run many experiments over real and artificial IP datagram networks with increasing number of nodes and under several paradigmatic spatial and temporal traffic distributions. Results are very encouraging. AntNet showed superior performance under all the experimental condit...

  6. The invasion biology and sociogenetics of pharaoh ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schmidt, Anna Mosegaard

    ? or ?tramps?, though often considered negative influences, can also be seen as natural experiments, generating a number of questions in the fields of ecology and evolution. Pharaoh ants (Monomorium pharaonis) are very successful invaders of human habitation in most parts of the world. Individual pharaoh ants...... are small, their colonies are polygynous (have multiple queens), and consist of multiple interconnected nests that can spread to cover large areas through so?called budding. Pharaoh ants appear to mate exclusively within their nests, indiscriminately inbreeding without a cost to colony performance....... Combining these traits, and adding to them that numerous introductions of the species have resulted in genetically highly differentiated, low diversity colonies, makes pharaoh ants an interesting model system. During my PhD I have thus investigated the potential of pharaoh ants as models for questions...

  7. An ant colony algorithm on continuous searching space

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xie, Jing; Cai, Chao

    2015-12-01

    Ant colony algorithm is heuristic, bionic and parallel. Because of it is property of positive feedback, parallelism and simplicity to cooperate with other method, it is widely adopted in planning on discrete space. But it is still not good at planning on continuous space. After a basic introduction to the basic ant colony algorithm, we will propose an ant colony algorithm on continuous space. Our method makes use of the following three tricks. We search for the next nodes of the route according to fixed-step to guarantee the continuity of solution. When storing pheromone, it discretizes field of pheromone, clusters states and sums up the values of pheromone of these states. When updating pheromone, it makes good resolutions measured in relative score functions leave more pheromone, so that ant colony algorithm can find a sub-optimal solution in shorter time. The simulated experiment shows that our ant colony algorithm can find sub-optimal solution in relatively shorter time.

  8. Eavesdropping on cooperative communication within an ant-butterfly mutualism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elgar, Mark A.; Nash, David R.; Pierce, Naomi E.

    2016-10-01

    Signalling is necessary for the maintenance of interspecific mutualisms but is vulnerable to exploitation by eavesdropping. While eavesdropping of intraspecific signals has been studied extensively, such exploitation of interspecific signals has not been widely documented. The juvenile stages of the Australian lycaenid butterfly, Jalmenus evagoras, form an obligate association with several species of attendant ants, including Iridomyrmex mayri. Ants protect the caterpillars and pupae, and in return are rewarded with nutritious secretions. Female and male adult butterflies use ants as signals for oviposition and mate searching, respectively. Our experiments reveal that two natural enemies of J. evagoras, araneid spiders and braconid parasitoid wasps, exploit ant signals as cues for increasing their foraging and oviposition success, respectively. Intriguingly, selection through eavesdropping is unlikely to modify the ant signal.

  9. Remote Sensing Image Feature Extracting Based Multiple Ant Colonies Cooperation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhang Zhi-long

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents a novel feature extraction method for remote sensing imagery based on the cooperation of multiple ant colonies. First, multiresolution expression of the input remote sensing imagery is created, and two different ant colonies are spread on different resolution images. The ant colony in the low-resolution image uses phase congruency as the inspiration information, whereas that in the high-resolution image uses gradient magnitude. The two ant colonies cooperate to detect features in the image by sharing the same pheromone matrix. Finally, the image features are extracted on the basis of the pheromone matrix threshold. Because a substantial amount of information in the input image is used as inspiration information of the ant colonies, the proposed method shows higher intelligence and acquires more complete and meaningful image features than those of other simple edge detectors.

  10. Ecological consequences of traffic organisation in ant societies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burd, Martin

    2006-12-01

    Many species of ants engage in social foraging in which traffic develops over pathways defined by pheromones or physical roads cleared through debris. Worker ants from the same colony have a common underlying evolutionary interest in their collective performance. Thus, ant traffic makes an interesting comparison to other kinds of cellular or organismal traffic composed of elements with varying degrees of shared or disparate goals. Recent studies have revealed how small-scale interactions among ants amplify to create large-scale traffic structure, such as segregation of counterflows. However, much less is known about the ecological costs and benefits of different kinds of traffic organization. The common assumption that maximum traffic flux provides maximum ecological benefit needs closer scrutiny. Ant traffic provides a potentially useful model system for experimental study of crowd panics, and for assessing the role of transport networks in creating scaling relationships between the size and activity rates of the entities they serve.

  11. Using pleometrosis (multiple queens) and pupae transplantation to boost weaver ant (Oecophylla smaragdina) colony growth in ant nurseries

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Offenberg, Hans Joachim; Nielsen, Mogens Gissel; Peng, Renkang

    2011-01-01

    Weaver ants (Oecophylla spp.) are increasingly being used for biocontrol and are targeted for future production of insect protein in ant farms. An efficient production of live ant colonies may facilitate the utilization of these ants but the production of mature colonies is hampered by the long...... and no transplantation. Thus, in ant nurseries the use of multiple queens during nest founding as well as transplantation of pupae from foreign colonies may be utilised to decrease the time it takes to produce a colony ready for implementation....... time it takes for newly established colonies to grow to a suitable size. In this study we followed the growth of newly founded O. smaragdina colonies with 2, 3 or 4 founding queens during 12 days of development, following the transplantation of 0, 30 or 60 pupae from a mature donor colony. Colony...

  12. ANT International chemistry update and best practices

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    There is an increasing number of Nuclear Power Plants (NPP) in various countries. Their chemistry practices are different due to the variety of designs and experiences while in the past the view was more monolithic. This is allowing a very rich experience that is extremely difficult to fully be aware of. ANT International is now collecting and evaluating these data as well as related R and D Information. This allows interested parties to have an easier access to the various sources of information. The chemistry experts associated to ANT International have been gathering a comprehensive detailed view of: The numerous laboratory data gained all over the world during the past decades; The extensive plant operating experiences with various types of chemistry strategies, crosschecked for various types of reactors designs and materials; An experienced international knowledge able to give the comprehensive overview that young engineers now in charge of many other activities are unable to fully cover. This paper gives the core conclusions of the detailed ANT International reports and results that have recently been gathered in the area of chemistry. It particularly covers: The primary water chemistry and its relation with radionuclides, dose rates and fuel behaviour; The secondary water chemistry focusing on its rationale selection depending on materials, design and other constraints; The start up and shutdown chemistry with it large variety of practices hardly understandable even for some experts; and, The maintenance remedies such as decontamination, steam generator cleaning and its alternate options. Various types of Reactor designs (PWR, VVER, BWR, CANDU®) are considered. The different materials, for example the impact of steam generator tubing and its evolution on the secondary water chemistry rationale or on the radioactivity built-up in the primary coolant, are described. The ways to improve the plant operation with a long term reliability as well as the most

  13. Ant Colony Optimization for Capacity Problems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tad Gonsalves

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper deals with the optimization of the capac ity of a terminal railway station using the Ant Colony Optimization algorithm. The capacity of the terminal station is defined as the number of trains that depart from the station in un it interval of time. The railway capacity optimization problem is framed as a typical symmetr ical Travelling Salesman Problem (TSP, with the TSP nodes representing the train arrival / departure events and the TSP total cost representing the total time-interval of the schedul e. The application problem is then optimized using the ACO algorithm. The simulation experiments validate the formulation of the railway capacity problem as a TSP and the ACO algorithm pro duces optimal solutions superior to those produced by the domain experts.

  14. Antes del Diseño

    OpenAIRE

    Javier González Solas

    2014-01-01

    La práctica profesional del diseño está sometida a una dispersión que dificulta la reflexión sobre ella misma. Y la enseñanza universitaria se ha convertido en gran parte en una práctica más. De este modo la ausencia de una reflexión radical, anterior en el tiempo (revisión de la historia) y anterior en el método (pensar antes de hacer), puede convertirse en un colaboracionismo amoral con todo tipo de catástrofe intelectual y sociopolítica. La perspectiva aquí adoptada proviene de una toma de...

  15. Chimpanzees detect ant-inhabited dead branches and stems: a study of the utilization of plant-ant relationships in the Mahale Mountains, Tanzania.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fuse, Mieko

    2013-10-01

    Chimpanzees in the Mahale Mountains of Tanzania consume several species of stem- and branch-inhabiting ants throughout the year, without tools. Those ants are cryptic species, and it was unknown how to find them constantly. There has been little research on how the chimpanzees locate these ants. In this study, I use behavioral observations of the chimpanzee predators and surveys of the ant fauna and plants across different habitats to test the hypothesis that chimpanzees use plant species as a cue to efficiently locate ant colonies in litter units (dead parts of the plant). Ants were found to be associated with live plants and with spaces within litter units which provide nesting places. Such ant-plant litter relationships were not necessarily as strong as the mutualism often observed between live plants and ants. The proportion of available litter units inhabited by ants was 20 %, and litter units of three plant species (Vernonia subligera, Dracaena usambarensis, and Senna spectabilis) were well occupied by ants in the home range of the chimpanzees. The ant-inhabited ratio in chimpanzee-foraged litter units was higher than that in the available units in the home range. Chimpanzees fed more often on Crematogaster spp. than on other resident ants and at a higher rate than expected from their occurrence in the litter units. Above three plant species were well occupied by Crematogaster sp. 3 or C. sp. 18. It is concluded that chimpanzees locate ants by selecting litter units of plant species inhabited by ants. PMID:23842594

  16. Chemical defense by the native winter ant (Prenolepis imparis against the invasive Argentine ant (Linepithema humile.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Trevor R Sorrells

    Full Text Available The invasive Argentine ant (Linepithema humile is established worldwide and displaces native ant species. In northern California, however, the native winter ant (Prenolepis imparis persists in invaded areas. We found that in aggressive interactions between the two species, P. imparis employs a potent defensive secretion. Field observations were conducted at P. imparis nest sites both in the presence and absence of L. humile. These observations suggested and laboratory assays confirmed that P. imparis workers are more likely to secrete when outnumbered by L. humile. Workers of P. imparis were also more likely to secrete near their nest entrances than when foraging on trees. One-on-one laboratory trials showed that the P. imparis secretion is highly lethal to L. humile, causing 79% mortality. The nonpolar fraction of the secretion was chemically analyzed with gas chromatography/mass spectrometry, and found to be composed of long-chain and cyclic hydrocarbons. Chemical analysis of dissected P. imparis workers showed that the nonpolar fraction is derived from the Dufour's gland. Based on these conclusions, we hypothesize that this chemical defense may help P. imparis to resist displacement by L. humile.

  17. USING ANT COMMUNITIES FOR RAPID ASSESSMENT OF TERRESTRIAL ECOSYSTEM HEALTH

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wike, L; Doug Martin, D; Michael Paller, M; Eric Nelson, E

    2007-01-12

    Ecosystem health with its near infinite number of variables is difficult to measure, and there are many opinions as to which variables are most important, most easily measured, and most robust, Bioassessment avoids the controversy of choosing which physical and chemical parameters to measure because it uses responses of a community of organisms that integrate all aspects of the system in question. A variety of bioassessment methods have been successfully applied to aquatic ecosystems using fish and macroinvertebrate communities. Terrestrial biotic index methods are less developed than those for aquatic systems and we are seeking to address this problem here. This study had as its objective to examine the baseline differences in ant communities at different seral stages from clear cut back to mature pine plantation as a precursor to developing a bioassessment protocol. Comparative sampling was conducted at four seral stages; clearcut, 5 year, 15 year and mature pine plantation stands. Soil and vegetation data were collected at each site. All ants collected were preserved in 70% ethyl alcohol and identified to genus. Analysis of the ant data indicates that ants respond strongly to the habitat changes that accompany ecological succession in managed pine forests and that individual genera as well as ant community structure can be used as an indicator of successional change. Ants exhibited relatively high diversity in both early and mature seral stages. High ant diversity in the mature seral stages was likely related to conditions on the forest floor which favored litter dwelling and cool climate specialists.

  18. Interactions Increase Forager Availability and Activity in Harvester Ants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Evlyn Pless

    Full Text Available Social insect colonies use interactions among workers to regulate collective behavior. Harvester ant foragers interact in a chamber just inside the nest entrance, here called the 'entrance chamber'. Previous studies of the activation of foragers in red harvester ants show that an outgoing forager inside the nest experiences an increase in brief antennal contacts before it leaves the nest to forage. Here we compare the interaction rate experienced by foragers that left the nest and ants that did not. We found that ants in the entrance chamber that leave the nest to forage experienced more interactions than ants that descend to the deeper nest without foraging. Additionally, we found that the availability of foragers in the entrance chamber is associated with the rate of forager return. An increase in the rate of forager return leads to an increase in the rate at which ants descend to the deeper nest, which then stimulates more ants to ascend into the entrance chamber. Thus a higher rate of forager return leads to more available foragers in the entrance chamber. The highest density of interactions occurs near the nest entrance and the entrances of the tunnels from the entrance chamber to the deeper nest. Local interactions with returning foragers regulate both the activation of waiting foragers and the number of foragers available to be activated.

  19. Interactions Increase Forager Availability and Activity in Harvester Ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pless, Evlyn; Queirolo, Jovel; Pinter-Wollman, Noa; Crow, Sam; Allen, Kelsey; Mathur, Maya B; Gordon, Deborah M

    2015-01-01

    Social insect colonies use interactions among workers to regulate collective behavior. Harvester ant foragers interact in a chamber just inside the nest entrance, here called the 'entrance chamber'. Previous studies of the activation of foragers in red harvester ants show that an outgoing forager inside the nest experiences an increase in brief antennal contacts before it leaves the nest to forage. Here we compare the interaction rate experienced by foragers that left the nest and ants that did not. We found that ants in the entrance chamber that leave the nest to forage experienced more interactions than ants that descend to the deeper nest without foraging. Additionally, we found that the availability of foragers in the entrance chamber is associated with the rate of forager return. An increase in the rate of forager return leads to an increase in the rate at which ants descend to the deeper nest, which then stimulates more ants to ascend into the entrance chamber. Thus a higher rate of forager return leads to more available foragers in the entrance chamber. The highest density of interactions occurs near the nest entrance and the entrances of the tunnels from the entrance chamber to the deeper nest. Local interactions with returning foragers regulate both the activation of waiting foragers and the number of foragers available to be activated.

  20. Learning and perceptual similarity among cuticular hydrocarbons in ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bos, Nick; Dreier, Stephanie; Jørgensen, Charlotte G; Nielsen, John; Guerrieri, Fernando J; d'Ettorre, Patrizia

    2012-01-01

    Nestmate recognition in ants is based on perceived differences in a multi-component blend of hydrocarbons that are present on the insect cuticle. Although supplementation experiments have shown that some classes of hydrocarbons, such as methyl branched alkanes and alkenes, have a salient role in nestmate recognition, there was basically no information available on how ants detect and perceive these molecules. We used a new conditioning procedure to investigate whether individual carpenter ants could associate a given hydrocarbon (linear or methyl-branched alkane) to sugar reward. We then studied perceptual similarity between a hydrocarbon previously associated with sugar and a novel hydrocarbon. Ants learnt all hydrocarbon-reward associations rapidly and with the same efficiency, regardless of the structure of the molecules. Ants could discriminate among a large number of pairs of hydrocarbons, but also generalised. Generalisation depended both on the structure of the molecule and the animal's experience. For linear alkanes, generalisation was observed when the novel molecule was smaller than the conditioned one. Generalisation between pairs of methyl-alkanes was high, while generalisation between hydrocarbons that differed in the presence or absence of a methyl group was low, suggesting that chain length and functional group might be coded independently by the ant olfactory system. Understanding variations in perception of recognition cues in ants is necessary for the general understanding of the mechanisms involved in social recognition processes based on chemical cues. PMID:22067290

  1. Entomopathogens Isolated from Invasive Ants and Tests of Their Pathogenicity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Fernanda Miori de Zarzuela

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Some ant species cause severe ecological and health impact in urban areas. Many attempts have been tested to control such species, although they do not always succeed. Biological control is an alternative to chemical control and has gained great prominence in research, and fungi and nematodes are among the successful organisms controlling insects. This study aimed to clarify some questions regarding the biological control of ants. Invasive ant species in Brazil had their nests evaluated for the presence of entomopathogens. Isolated entomopathogens were later applied in colonies of Monomorium floricola under laboratory conditions to evaluate their effectiveness and the behavior of the ant colonies after treatment. The entomopathogenic nematodes Heterorhabditis sp. and Steinernema sp. and the fungi Beauveria bassiana, Metarhizium anisopliae, and Paecilomyces sp. were isolated from the invasive ant nests. M. floricola colonies treated with Steinernema sp. and Heterorhabditis sp. showed a higher mortality of workers than control. The fungus Beauveria bassiana caused higher mortality of M. floricola workers. However, no colony reduction or elimination was observed in any treatment. The defensive behaviors of ants, such as grooming behavior and colony budding, must be considered when using fungi and nematodes for biological control of ants.

  2. Trait-Mediated Indirect Effects of Phorid Flies on Ants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hsun-Yi Hsieh

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper provides a synthesis of the ecological impact of phorid fly parasitoids on ants. We find the most important impact of phorids on ants to be trait-mediated effects. Phorids diminish the foraging activity of ants, frequently reducing the number and average size of foragers and reducing the amount of food retrieved by a colony. However, ants' coping mechanisms include changing foraging site and time. Phorids can also affect competition, especially through changes in the ability of the host to win in exploitative competition. Factors such as microclimate, resource size, and habitat complexity interact with phorids to change their effect on competition. By being highly specific and attacking ants high in the competitive hierarchy, phorids can alter the linear nature of the competitive transitivity, and by reducing the number of foragers, they can change the discovery-dominance tradeoff that is observed in some ant communities. Trait-mediated effects of phorids also cascade to other trophic levels. As an example, we discuss the trait-mediated cascade of phorids on the Azteca instabilis system in coffee. In this system, by reducing the foraging activity of A. instabilis, phorids reduce the direct and indirect biological control impact of the ant in the coffee agroecosystem.

  3. Stridulations reveal cryptic speciation in neotropical sympatric ants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ronara Souza Ferreira

    Full Text Available The taxonomic challenge posed by cryptic species underlines the importance of using multiple criteria in species delimitation. In the current paper we tested the use of acoustic analysis as a tool to assess the real diversity in a cryptic species complex of Neotropical ants. In order to understand the potential of acoustics and to improve consistency in the conclusions by comparing different approaches, phylogenetic relationships of all the morphs considered were assessed by the analysis of a fragment of the mitochondrial DNA cytochrome b. We observed that each of the cryptic morph studied presents a morphologically distinct stridulatory organ and that all sympatric morphs produce distinctive stridulations. This is the first evidence of such a degree of specialization in the acoustic organ and signals in ants, which suggests that stridulations may be among the cues used by these ants during inter-specific interactions. Mitochondrial DNA variation corroborated the acoustic differences observed, confirming acoustics as a helpful tool to determine cryptic species in this group of ants, and possibly in stridulating ants in general. Congruent morphological, acoustic and genetic results constitute sufficient evidence to propose each morph studied here as a valid new species, suggesting that P. apicalis is a complex of at least 6 to 9 species, even if they present different levels of divergence. Finally, our results highlight that ant stridulations may be much more informative than hitherto thought, as much for ant communication as for integrative taxonomists.

  4. Learning and perceptual similarity among cuticular hydrocarbons in ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bos, Nick; Dreier, Stephanie; Jørgensen, Charlotte G; Nielsen, John; Guerrieri, Fernando J; d'Ettorre, Patrizia

    2012-01-01

    Nestmate recognition in ants is based on perceived differences in a multi-component blend of hydrocarbons that are present on the insect cuticle. Although supplementation experiments have shown that some classes of hydrocarbons, such as methyl branched alkanes and alkenes, have a salient role in nestmate recognition, there was basically no information available on how ants detect and perceive these molecules. We used a new conditioning procedure to investigate whether individual carpenter ants could associate a given hydrocarbon (linear or methyl-branched alkane) to sugar reward. We then studied perceptual similarity between a hydrocarbon previously associated with sugar and a novel hydrocarbon. Ants learnt all hydrocarbon-reward associations rapidly and with the same efficiency, regardless of the structure of the molecules. Ants could discriminate among a large number of pairs of hydrocarbons, but also generalised. Generalisation depended both on the structure of the molecule and the animal's experience. For linear alkanes, generalisation was observed when the novel molecule was smaller than the conditioned one. Generalisation between pairs of methyl-alkanes was high, while generalisation between hydrocarbons that differed in the presence or absence of a methyl group was low, suggesting that chain length and functional group might be coded independently by the ant olfactory system. Understanding variations in perception of recognition cues in ants is necessary for the general understanding of the mechanisms involved in social recognition processes based on chemical cues.

  5. Species richness, equitability, and abundance of ants in disturbed landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graham, J.H.; Krzysik, A.J.; Kovacic, D.A.; Duda, J.J.; Freeman, D.C.; Emlen, J.M.; Zak, J.C.; Long, W.R.; Wallace, M.P.; Chamberlin-Graham, C.; Nutter, J.P.; Balbach, H.E.

    2009-01-01

    Ants are used as indicators of environmental change in disturbed landscapes, often without adequate understanding of their response to disturbance. Ant communities in the southeastern United States displayed a hump-backed species richness curve against an index of landscape disturbance. Forty sites at Fort Benning, in west-central Georgia, covered a spectrum of habitat disturbance (military training and fire) in upland forest. Sites disturbed by military training had fewer trees, less canopy cover, more bare ground, and warmer, more compact soils with shallower A-horizons. We sampled ground-dwelling ants with pitfall traps, and measured 15 habitat variables related to vegetation and soil. Ant species richness was greatest with a relative disturbance of 43%, but equitability was greatest with no disturbance. Ant abundance was greatest with a relative disturbance of 85%. High species richness at intermediate disturbance was associated with greater within-site spatial heterogeneity. Species richness was also associated with intermediate values of the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), a correlate of net primary productivity (NPP). Available NPP (the product of NDVI and the fraction of days that soil temperature exceeded 25 ??C), however, was positively correlated with species richness, though not with ant abundance. Species richness was unrelated to soil texture, total ground cover, and fire frequency. Ant species richness and equitability are potential state indicators of the soil arthropod community. Moreover, equitability can be used to monitor ecosystem change. ?? 2008 Elsevier Ltd.

  6. Ant diversity and distribution in Acadia National Park, Maine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ouellette, Gary D; Drummond, Francis A; Choate, Beth; Groden, Eleanor

    2010-10-01

    Exotic ant species are a primary threat to ant biological diversity, posing a negative impact to native ant communities. In this study, we examine species richness of ants (family Formicidae) in Acadia National Park, ME, as a fundamental step toward understanding the present impact of the exotic species Myrmica rubra on native ant species. Twelve habitat types were sampled, along six transects, with pitfall traps, visual searching, bait traps, and leaf litter extraction, and the aid of 34 volunteers. We report 42 species of ants in Acadia National Park, comprising five subfamilies (Amblyoponinae, Dolichoderinae, Formicinae, Myrmicinae, and Ponerinae) and 15 genera; the cataloged species represents 75% of the species originally recorded in the area by Procter (1946). Our findings suggest M. rubra is currently not a dominant species throughout the entire island. However, where this species has invaded locally, few competing native species coexist. The species Lasius alienus, Formica subsericea, Myrmica detritinodis, Camponotus herculeanus, Formica argentea, Formica aserva, and Tapinoma sessile occurred most often in our survey. We report the ant species Amblyopone pallipes and Dolichoderus mariae as two new records for the state of Maine. PMID:22546439

  7. Ant Foraging As an Indicator of Tropical Dry Forest Restoration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hernández-Flores, J; Osorio-Beristain, M; Martínez-Garza, C

    2016-08-01

    Variation in foraging behavior may indicate differences in food availability and allow assessment of restoration actions. Ants are prominent bioindicators used in assessing ecological responses to disturbance. However, behavioral data have been poorly incorporated as an index. The foraging performance of red harvester ants was quantified in order to evaluate the success of a restoration ecology experiment in the tropical dry forest of Sierra de Huautla, Morelos, in central Mexico. Foraging performance by granivorous, Pogonomyrmex barbatus, ants was diminished after 6 and 8 years of cattle grazing and wood harvest were excluded as part of a restoration experiment in a highly degraded biome. Despite investing more time in foraging, ant colonies in exclusion plots showed lower foraging success and acquired less seed biomass than colonies in control plots. In line with the predictions of optimal foraging theory, in restored plots where ant foraging performance was poor, ants harvested a higher diversity of seeds. Reduced foraging success and increased harvest of non-preferred foods in exclusion plots were likely due to the growth of herbaceous vegetation, which impedes travel by foragers. Moreover, by 8 years of exclusion, 37% of nests in exclusion plots had disappeared compared to 0% of nests in control plots. Ants' foraging success and behavior were sensitive to changes in habitat quality due to the plant successional process triggered by a restoration intervention. This study spotlights on the utility of animal foraging behavior in the evaluation of habitat restoration programs.

  8. The molecular clockwork of the fire ant Solenopsis invicta.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Krista K Ingram

    Full Text Available The circadian clock is a core molecular mechanism that allows organisms to anticipate daily environmental changes and adapt the timing of behaviors to maximize efficiency. In social insects, the ability to maintain the appropriate temporal order is thought to improve colony efficiency and fitness. We used the newly sequenced fire ant (Solenopsis invicta genome to characterize the first ant circadian clock. Our results reveal that the fire ant clock is similar to the clock of the honeybee, a social insect with an independent evolutionary origin of sociality. Gene trees for the eight core clock genes, period, cycle, clock, cryptochrome-m, timeout, vrille, par domain protein 1 & clockwork orange, show ant species grouping closely with honeybees and Nasonia wasps as an outgroup to the social Hymenoptera. Expression patterns for these genes suggest that the ant clock functions similar to the honeybee clock, with period and cry-m mRNA levels increasing during the night and cycle and clockwork orange mRNAs cycling approximately anti-phase to period. Gene models for five of these genes also parallel honeybee models. In particular, the single ant cryptochrome is an ortholog of the mammalian-type (cry-m, rather than Drosophila-like protein (cry-d. Additionally, we find a conserved VPIFAL C-tail region in clockwork orange shared by insects but absent in vertebrates. Overall, our characterization of the ant clock demonstrates that two social insect lineages, ants and bees, share a similar, mammalian-like circadian clock. This study represents the first characterization of clock genes in an ant and is a key step towards understanding socially-regulated plasticity in circadian rhythms by facilitating comparative studies on the organization of circadian clockwork.

  9. The molecular clockwork of the fire ant Solenopsis invicta.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ingram, Krista K; Kutowoi, Alexander; Wurm, Yannick; Shoemaker, Dewayne; Meier, Rudolf; Bloch, Guy

    2012-01-01

    The circadian clock is a core molecular mechanism that allows organisms to anticipate daily environmental changes and adapt the timing of behaviors to maximize efficiency. In social insects, the ability to maintain the appropriate temporal order is thought to improve colony efficiency and fitness. We used the newly sequenced fire ant (Solenopsis invicta) genome to characterize the first ant circadian clock. Our results reveal that the fire ant clock is similar to the clock of the honeybee, a social insect with an independent evolutionary origin of sociality. Gene trees for the eight core clock genes, period, cycle, clock, cryptochrome-m, timeout, vrille, par domain protein 1 & clockwork orange, show ant species grouping closely with honeybees and Nasonia wasps as an outgroup to the social Hymenoptera. Expression patterns for these genes suggest that the ant clock functions similar to the honeybee clock, with period and cry-m mRNA levels increasing during the night and cycle and clockwork orange mRNAs cycling approximately anti-phase to period. Gene models for five of these genes also parallel honeybee models. In particular, the single ant cryptochrome is an ortholog of the mammalian-type (cry-m), rather than Drosophila-like protein (cry-d). Additionally, we find a conserved VPIFAL C-tail region in clockwork orange shared by insects but absent in vertebrates. Overall, our characterization of the ant clock demonstrates that two social insect lineages, ants and bees, share a similar, mammalian-like circadian clock. This study represents the first characterization of clock genes in an ant and is a key step towards understanding socially-regulated plasticity in circadian rhythms by facilitating comparative studies on the organization of circadian clockwork. PMID:23152747

  10. How Random Is Spatiotemporal Chaos of Langton's Ant?1

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luptáková I. I. Dirgová

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available In recent years there have been numerous attempts to control chaotic behavior by evolutionary optimization. Most of these attempts were aimed at a study of chaotic systems defined by differential equations, but a few attempts were made also at evolutionary design of initial conditions or rules of cellular automata aimed at performing a specified task. We shall use a simple cellular automaton called Langton's ant after its designer, Christopher Langton. Generally, the ant acts on a 2D grid, where each it’s square can be either black or white. The ant is facing in one of four directions, and its behavior is described by 3 rules: (1 If ant is on a black square, it makes a left turn. (2 If ant is on a white square, it makes a right turn. (3 When ant moves to the next square, the one it was on reverses color. Despite simplicity of these rules, the ant produces extremely complex behavior, but after around 10000 steps the ant begins to construct a diagonal „highway“. This stable attractor has been always achieved regardless of the initial setting of black and white squares, but there is no proof, that it is always so. This behavior can be related to the undecidability of the halting problem. Our goal in this paper is to optimize initial conditions for the ant on a grid, so that it will be maximally “slowed down” in the sense that it should arrive at the preset boundary of the grid as late as possible. By a comparison of greedy stochastic optimization with an optimization by blind search are able to estimate, that is this chaotic system is not reasonably controllable and appears to have no regularity in the “optimal” initial conditions.

  11. Optimal Power Flow Solution Using Ant Manners for Electrical Network

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    ALLAOUA, B.

    2009-02-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents ant manners and the collective intelligence for electrical network. Solutions for Optimal Power Flow (OPF problem of a power system deliberate via an ant colony optimization metaheuristic method. The objective is to minimize the total fuel cost of thermal generating units and also conserve an acceptable system performance in terms of limits on generator real and reactive power outputs, bus voltages, shunt capacitors/reactors, transformers tap-setting and power flow of transmission lines. Simulation results on the IEEE 30-bus electrical network show that the ant colony optimization method converges quickly to the global optimum.

  12. What is important for ant assemblages in temperate forest soils?

    OpenAIRE

    Tae-Sung Kwon

    2016-01-01

    Ant assemblages in the soil have been studied at eight forest sites (4 oak forest sites, and 4 pine forest sites) in four study areas (1 seminatural area, and 3 industrialized areas) in South Korea for 6 years from 2002 to 2010. Soil cores and Tullgren funnel were used for the ant survey. Ant surveys were carried out once per year in autumn (from late September to mid-October). The soil pH was lower in the industrialized than in the seminatural area, showing the acidified soils in the industr...

  13. Ant Colony Algorithm for Solving QoS Routing Problem

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    SUN Li-juan; WANG Liang-jun; WANG Ru-chuan

    2004-01-01

    Based on the state transition rule, the local updating rule and the global updating rule of ant colony algorithm, we propose an improved ant colony algorithm of the least-cost quality of service (QoS) unicast routing. The algorithm is used for solving the routing problem with delay, delay jitter, bandwidth, and packet loss-constrained. In the simulation, about 52.33% ants find the successful QoS routing , and converge to the best. It is proved that the algorithm is efficient and effective.

  14. The cavity-nest ant Temnothorax crassispinus prefers larger nests

    OpenAIRE

    Mitrus, S.

    2014-01-01

    Colonies of the ant Temnothorax crassispinus inhabit mostly cavities in wood and hollow acorns. Typically in the field, nest sites that can be used by the ant are a limited resource. In a field experiment, it was investigated whether the ants prefer a specific size of nest, when different ones are available. In July 2011, a total of 160 artificial nests were placed in a beech-pine forest. Four artificial nests (pieces of wood with volume cavities, ca 415, 605, 730, and 980 mm3, respectively) ...

  15. Sexual Cooperation: Mating Increases Longevity in Ant Queens

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schrempf, Alexandra; Heinze, Jürgen; Cremer, Sylvia

    2005-01-01

    Divergent reproductive interests of males and females often cause sexual conflict [1] and [2] . Males of many species manipulate females by transferring seminal fluids that boost female short-term fecundity while decreasing their life expectancy and future reproductivity [3] and [4] . The life...... history of ants, however, is expected to reduce sexual conflict; whereas most insect females show repeated phases of mating and reproduction, ant queens mate only during a short period early in life and undergo a lifelong commitment to their mates by storing sperm [5] . Furthermore, sexual offspring can...... instead reveal the existence of sexual cooperation in ants....

  16. Ocelli: A Celestial Compass in the Desert Ant Cataglyphis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fent, Karl; Wehner, Rudiger

    1985-04-01

    In addition to multifaceted lateral compound eyes, most insects possess three frontal eyes called ocelli. Each ocellus has a single lens, as does the vertebrate eye. The ocelli of some flying insects, locusts and dragonflies, have been shown to function as horizon detectors involved in the visual stabilization of course. In a walking insect, the desert ant Cataglyphis, it is now shown that the ocelli can read compass information from the blue sky. When the ant's compound eyes are occluded and both sun and landmarks are obscured, the ocelli, using the pattern of polarized light in the sky as a compass cue, help in guiding the ant back home.

  17. An Improved Ant Colony Routing Algorithm for WSNs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tan Zhi

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Ant colony algorithm is a classical routing algorithm. And it are used in a variety of application because it is economic and self-organized. However, the routing algorithm will expend huge amounts of energy at the beginning. In the paper, based on the idea of Dijkstra algorithm, the improved ant colony algorithm was proposed to balance the energy consumption of networks. Through simulation and comparison with basic ant colony algorithms, it is obvious that improved algorithm can effectively balance energy consumption and extend the lifetime of WSNs.

  18. Automating ActionScript Projects with Eclipse and Ant

    CERN Document Server

    Koning, Sidney

    2011-01-01

    Automating repetitive programming tasks is easier than many Flash/AS3 developers think. With the Ant build tool, the Eclipse IDE, and this concise guide, you can set up your own "ultimate development machine" to code, compile, debug, and deploy projects faster. You'll also get started with versioning systems, such as Subversion and Git. Create a consistent workflow for multiple machines, or even complete departments, with the help of extensive Ant code samples. If you want to work smarter and take your skills to a new level, this book will get you on the road to automation-with Ant. Set up y

  19. Draft Genome Sequence of the Ant-associated Fungus Phialophora attae (CBS 131958)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Hoog, S.

    2015-01-01

    The black yeast Phialophora attae was isolated from the cuticle of tropical ant gynes. The ant-fungus association is sustained due to symbiotic evolutionary adaptations that allow fungal assimilation and tolerance of toxic compounds produced by the ant. The genome sequence of the first ant-associate

  20. 9 CFR 381.70 - Ante mortem inspection; when required; extent.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    ... 9 Animals and Animal Products 2 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Ante mortem inspection; when required... AND VOLUNTARY INSPECTION AND CERTIFICATION POULTRY PRODUCTS INSPECTION REGULATIONS Ante Mortem Inspection § 381.70 Ante mortem inspection; when required; extent. (a) An ante mortem inspection of...

  1. 9 CFR 309.1 - Ante-mortem inspection in pens of official establishments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    ... 9 Animals and Animal Products 2 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Ante-mortem inspection in pens of... AND VOLUNTARY INSPECTION AND CERTIFICATION ANTE-MORTEM INSPECTION § 309.1 Ante-mortem inspection in...) Such ante-mortem inspection shall be made in pens on the premises of the establishment at which...

  2. 9 CFR 354.122 - Condemnation on ante-mortem inspection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    ... 9 Animals and Animal Products 2 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Condemnation on ante-mortem inspection... Procedures; Ante-Mortem Inspections § 354.122 Condemnation on ante-mortem inspection. Rabbits found in a... showing, on ante-mortem inspection, any disease or condition, that under §§ 354.129 to 354.131,...

  3. 9 CFR 354.123 - Segregation of suspects on ante-mortem inspection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    ... 9 Animals and Animal Products 2 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Segregation of suspects on ante-mortem... Inspection Procedures; Ante-Mortem Inspections § 354.123 Segregation of suspects on ante-mortem inspection. All rabbits which, on ante-mortem inspection, do not plainly show, but are suspected of being...

  4. The introduction history of invasive garden ants in Europe: integrating genetic, chemical and behavioural approaches

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ugelvig, Line; Drijfhout, Falko; Kronauer, Daniel;

    2008-01-01

    BACKGROUND: The invasive garden ant, Lasius neglectus, is the most recently detected pest ant and the first known invasive ant able to become established and thrive in the temperate regions of Eurasia. In this study, we aim to reconstruct the invasion history of this ant in Europe analysing 14...

  5. Selenium exposure results in reduced reproduction in an invasive ant species and altered competitive behavior for a native ant species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De La Riva, Deborah G; Trumble, John T

    2016-06-01

    Competitive ability and numerical dominance are important factors contributing to the ability of invasive ant species to establish and expand their ranges in new habitats. However, few studies have investigated the impact of environmental contamination on competitive behavior in ants as a potential factor influencing dynamics between invasive and native ant species. Here we investigated the widespread contaminant selenium to investigate its potential influence on invasion by the exotic Argentine ant, Linepithema humile, through effects on reproduction and competitive behavior. For the fecundity experiment, treatments were provided to Argentine ant colonies via to sugar water solutions containing one of three concentrations of selenium (0, 5 and 10 μg Se mL(-1)) that fall within the range found in soil and plants growing in contaminated areas. Competition experiments included both the Argentine ant and the native Dorymyrmex bicolor to determine the impact of selenium exposure (0 or 15 μg Se mL(-1)) on exploitation- and interference-competition between ant species. The results of the fecundity experiment revealed that selenium negatively impacted queen survival and brood production of Argentine ants. Viability of the developing brood was also affected in that offspring reached adulthood only in colonies that were not given selenium, whereas those in treated colonies died in their larval stages. Selenium exposure did not alter direct competitive behaviors for either species, but selenium exposure contributed to an increased bait discovery time for D. bicolor. Our results suggest that environmental toxins may not only pose problems for native ant species, but may also serve as a potential obstacle for establishment among exotic species.

  6. Area-wide suppression of invasive fire ant populations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Full text: The fire ants, Solenopsis invicta and Solenopsis richteri, were inadvertently introduced into the United States in the early 1900s and currently inhabit over 150 million ha in Puerto Rico and twelve southern states from Texas to Virginia. Imported fire ants have also become established in isolated sites in California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Maryland. They have also widened their invasive character by accidental importation and establishment in Australia and Taiwan. Fire ant colonies (single queen) can contain up to 250,000 workers and reach infestation rates of over 130 mounds per hectare. More recently, multiple-queen colonies have proliferated in the southern states with even greater population densities. The fire ant's large numbers, resource requirements, aggressive behavior, and potent sting have resulted in many negative interactions with man and the ecosystem. Many ground inhabiting arthropods and other small animals are destroyed, yields of several agricultural crops are reduced, and ca. 1% of the population is at risk from hypersensitivity to fire ant venom. The population densities in the US are 5-10 times higher than in South America, most likely due to their escape from natural enemies. Chemical Control: Several commercial insecticide baits have been developed for fire ant control; however, they are costly, many are not registered for large acreage, and most have adverse environmental impact when used in environmentally sensitive locations. Biological Control: At least 22 species of parasitic Pseudacteon flies have been found attacking fire ants in South America. These flies have been shown to stop fire ant foraging and shift the local competitive balance to other ant species, thus limiting resources to the fire ant. There are also two Protozoan pathogens, Thelohania solenopsae, and Vairimorpha invictae that naturally infect S. invicta in South America. Both have been shown to cause reductions of field populations, and T. solenopsae

  7. Ant-32 Assembly Language Tutorial (for version 3.1.0b)

    OpenAIRE

    Ellard, Daniel J.; Ellard, Penelope A.

    2002-01-01

    This document contains a brief tutorial for Ant-32 assembly language programming, the assembly language utilities, and a description of the general Ant-32 instruction set architecture. A complete specification of the Ant-32 architecture, including the exception handling mechanisms, the MMU, and related issues, is given in the The Ant-32 Architecture (version Revision 3.1.0b), which is provided as part of the Ant distribution and is also available from the Ant web site (www.ant.harvard.edu). T...

  8. Relative effects of disturbance on red imported fire ants and native ant species in a longleaf pine ecosystem

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Stuble, Katharine L.; Kirkman, L. Katherine; Carroll, C. Ronald;

    2011-01-01

    and cases in which non-native species become established in intact (lacking extensive anthropogenic soil disturbance) communities and subsequently diminish the abundance and richness of native species is challenging on the basis of observation alone. The red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta......), an invasive species that occurs throughout much of the southeastern United States, is such an example. Rather than competitively displacing native species, fire ants may become established only in disturbed areas in which native species richness and abundance are already reduced. We used insecticide to reduce...... and fire ants to disturbance can be comparable....

  9. Melissotarsus ants are likely able to digest plant polysaccharides.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mony, Ruth; Dejean, Alain; Bilong, Charles Félix Bilong; Kenne, Martin; Rouland-Lefèvre, Corinne

    2013-10-01

    Melissotarsus ants have an extremely specialized set of behaviours. Both workers and gynes tunnel galleries in their host tree bark. Workers walk with their mesothoracic legs pointing upwards and tend Diaspididae hemiptera for their flesh. The ants use their forelegs to plug the galleries with silk that they secrete themselves. We hypothesised that the ants' energetic needs for nearly constant gallery digging could be satisfied through the absorption of host tree tissues; so, using basic techniques, we examined the digestive capacities of workers from two species. We show that workers are able to degrade oligosaccharides and heterosides as well as, to a lesser degree, polysaccharides. This is one of the rare reports on ants able to digest plant polysaccharides other than starch.

  10. Communal peeing: a new mode of flood control in ants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maschwitz, Ulrich; Moog, J.

    The behavioral response of the obligate bamboo-nesting ant Cataulacus muticus to nest flooding was studied in a perhumid tropical rainforest in Malaysia and in the laboratory. The hollow internodes of giant bamboo, in which C. muticus exclusively nests, are prone to flooding by heavy rains. The ants showed a two-graded response to flooding. During heavy rain workers block the nest entrances with their heads to reduce water influx. However, rainwater may still intrude into the nest chamber. The ants respond by drinking the water, leaving the nest and excreting water droplets on the outer stem surface. This cooperative 'peeing' behavior is a new survival mechanism adaptive to the ants' nesting ecology. Laboratory experiments conducted with two other Cataulacus species, C. catuvolcus colonizing small dead twigs and C. horridus inhabiting rotten wood, did not reveal any form of water-bailing behavior.

  11. Data transmission optimal routing in WSN using ant colony algorithm

    OpenAIRE

    Jun, Su; Yatskiv, Vasyl; Sachenko, Anatoly; Yatskiv, Nataliya

    2012-01-01

    Ant colony algorithm to search an optimal route of data transmission in Wireless Sensor Network was explored. Correspondent software was designed and the dynamics and the decision search time was investigated for the given network topology.

  12. SWARM INTELLIGENCE FROM NATURAL TO ARTIFICIAL SYSTEMS: ANT COLONY OPTIMIZATION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    O. Deepa

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Successful applications coming from biologically inspired algorithm like Ant Colony Optimization (ACO based on artificial swarm intelligence which is inspired by the collective behavior of social insects. ACO has been inspired from natural ants system, their behavior, team coordination, synchronization for the searching of optimal solution and also maintains information of each ant. At present, ACO has emerged as a leading metaheuristic technique for the solution of combinatorial optimization problems which can be used to find shortest path through construction graph. This paper describe about various behavior of ants, successfully used ACO algorithms, applications and current trends. In recent years, some researchers have also focused on the application of ACO algorithms to design of wireless communication network, bioinformatics problem, dynamic problem and multi-objective problem.

  13. Kunstipiiride valvaja Ants Juske ja "12 tooli" / Peeter Linnap

    Index Scriptorium Estoniae

    Linnap, Peeter, 1960-

    1999-01-01

    Vastuseks A. Juske kirjutisele 23. nov. Eesti Päevalehes "Backdoor Media" kunstiväljaandest. Kui pahempoolne tohib olla vasakpoolsus kultuuris Ants Juske arvates. Ilmunud ka raamatus: Linnap, P. Silmakirjad. Tartu, 2007, lk. 228

  14. Simple cellular automata to mimic foraging ants submitted to abduction

    CERN Document Server

    Tejera, F

    2015-01-01

    Many species of ants forage by building up two files: an outbound one moving from the nest to the foraging area, and a nestbound one, returning from it to the nest. Those files are eventually submitted to different threats. If the danger is concentrated at one point of the file, one might expect that ants returning to the nest will pass danger information to their nestmates moving in the opposite direction towards the danger area. In this paper, we construct simple cellular automata models for foraging ants submitted to localized abduction, were danger information is transmitted using different protocols, including the possibility of no transmission. The parameters we have used in the simulations have been estimated from actual experiments under natural conditions. So, it would be easy to test our information-transmission hypothese in real experiments. Preliminary experimental results published elsewhere suggest that the behavior of foraging ants of the species Atta insularis is best described using the hypot...

  15. All-Optical Implementation of the Ant Colony Optimization Algorithm

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Wenchao; Wu, Kan; Shum, Perry Ping; Zheludev, Nikolay I.; Soci, Cesare

    2016-05-01

    We report all-optical implementation of the optimization algorithm for the famous “ant colony” problem. Ant colonies progressively optimize pathway to food discovered by one of the ants through identifying the discovered route with volatile chemicals (pheromones) secreted on the way back from the food deposit. Mathematically this is an important example of graph optimization problem with dynamically changing parameters. Using an optical network with nonlinear waveguides to represent the graph and a feedback loop, we experimentally show that photons traveling through the network behave like ants that dynamically modify the environment to find the shortest pathway to any chosen point in the graph. This proof-of-principle demonstration illustrates how transient nonlinearity in the optical system can be exploited to tackle complex optimization problems directly, on the hardware level, which may be used for self-routing of optical signals in transparent communication networks and energy flow in photonic systems.

  16. Ant Genetics: Reproductive Physiology, Worker Morphology, and Behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Friedman, D A; Gordon, D M

    2016-07-01

    Many exciting studies have begun to elucidate the genetics of the morphological and physiological diversity of ants, but as yet few studies have investigated the genetics of ant behavior directly. Ant genomes are marked by extreme rates of gene turnover, especially in gene families related to olfactory communication, such as the synthesis of cuticular hydrocarbons and the perception of environmental semiochemicals. Transcriptomic and epigenetic differences are apparent between reproductive and sterile females, males and females, and workers that differ in body size. Quantitative genetic approaches suggest heritability of task performance, and population genetic studies indicate a genetic association with reproductive status in some species. Gene expression is associated with behavior including foraging, response to queens attempting to join a colony, circadian patterns of task performance, and age-related changes of task. Ant behavioral genetics needs further investigation of the feedback between individual-level physiological changes and socially mediated responses to environmental conditions. PMID:27050321

  17. Heavy metal pollution disturbs immune response in wild ant populations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Concern about the effects of environmental contaminants on immune function in both humans and wildlife is growing and practically nothing is known about this impact on terrestrial invertebrates, even though they are known to easily accumulate pollutants. We studied the effect of industrial heavy metal contamination on immune defense of a free-living wood ant (Formica aquilonia). To find out whether ants show an adapted immune function in a polluted environment, we compared encapsulation responses between local and translocated colonies. Local colonies showed higher heavy metal levels than the translocated ones but the encapsulation response was similar between the two groups, indicating that the immune system of local ants has not adapted to high contamination level. The encapsulation response was elevated in moderate whereas suppressed in high heavy metal levels suggesting higher risk for infections in heavily polluted areas. - Heavy metal pollution affects immune function in ants

  18. Ant Colony versus Genetic Algorithm based on Travelling Salesman Problem

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohammed Alhanjouri

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available The travelling salesman problem (TSP is a nondeterministic Polynomial hard problem in combinatorial optimization studied in operations research and theoretical computer science. And to solve this problem we used two popular meta-heuristics techniques that used for optimization tasks; the first one is Ant Colony Optimization (ACO, and the second is Genetic Algorithm (GA. In this work, we try to apply both techniques to solve TSP by using the same dataset and compare between them to determine the best one for travelling salesman problem. for Ant Colony Optimization, we studied the effect of some parameters on the produced results, these parameters as: number of used Ants, evaporation, and number of iterations. On the other hand, we studied the chromosome population, crossover probability, and mutation probability parameters that effect on the Genetic Algorithm results.The comparison between Genetic Algorithm and Ant Colony Optimization is accomplished to state the better one for travelling salesman problem.

  19. FARS: Fuzzy Ant based Recommender System for Web Users

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shiva Nadi

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Recommender systems are useful tools which provide an adaptive web environment for web users. Nowadays, having a user friendly website is a big challenge in e-commerce technology. In this paper, applying the benefits of both collaborative and content based filtering techniques is proposed by presenting a fuzzy recommender system based on collaborative behavior of ants (FARS. FARS works in two phases: modeling and recommendation. First, user's behaviors are modeled offline and the results are used in second phase for online recommendation. Fuzzy techniques provide the possibility of capturing uncertainty among user interests and ant based algorithms provides us with optimal solutions. The performance of FARS is evaluated using log files of "Information and Communication Technology Center" of Isfahan municipality in Iran and compared with ant based recommender system (ARS. The results shown are promising and proved that integrating fuzzy Ant approach provides us with more functional and robust recommendations.

  20. Ant Genetics: Reproductive Physiology, Worker Morphology, and Behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Friedman, D A; Gordon, D M

    2016-07-01

    Many exciting studies have begun to elucidate the genetics of the morphological and physiological diversity of ants, but as yet few studies have investigated the genetics of ant behavior directly. Ant genomes are marked by extreme rates of gene turnover, especially in gene families related to olfactory communication, such as the synthesis of cuticular hydrocarbons and the perception of environmental semiochemicals. Transcriptomic and epigenetic differences are apparent between reproductive and sterile females, males and females, and workers that differ in body size. Quantitative genetic approaches suggest heritability of task performance, and population genetic studies indicate a genetic association with reproductive status in some species. Gene expression is associated with behavior including foraging, response to queens attempting to join a colony, circadian patterns of task performance, and age-related changes of task. Ant behavioral genetics needs further investigation of the feedback between individual-level physiological changes and socially mediated responses to environmental conditions.

  1. Efficient Egress of Escaping Ants Stressed with Temperature

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boari, Santiago; Josens, Roxana; Parisi, Daniel R.

    2013-01-01

    In the present work we investigate the egress times of a group of Argentine ants (Linepithema humile) stressed with different heating speeds. We found that the higher the temperature ramp is, the faster ants evacuate showing, in this sense, a group-efficient evacuation strategy. It is important to note that even when the life of ants was in danger, jamming and clogging was not observed near the exit, in accordance with other experiments reported in the literature using citronella as aversive stimuli. Because of this clear difference between ants and humans, we recommend the use of some other animal models for studying competitive egress dynamics as a more accurate approach to understanding competitive egress in human systems. PMID:24312264

  2. 安科特纳Acterna ANT-10G

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2004-01-01

    ANT-10G-SDH版是ANT-20SE家族的成员,它可以在实验室也可以在现场使用。由于其优异的测试灵活性,ANT-10G使测试者能够利用多种方法对所有主要质量参数进行测试,从简单的误码率测试(BERTs),性能和指针分析,到复杂的同步问题。ANT-10G也可按照用户需要定制。

  3. Incremental Web Usage Mining Based on Active Ant Colony Clustering

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    SHEN Jie; LIN Ying; CHEN Zhimin

    2006-01-01

    To alleviate the scalability problem caused by the increasing Web using and changing users' interests, this paper presents a novel Web Usage Mining algorithm-Incremental Web Usage Mining algorithm based on Active Ant Colony Clustering. Firstly, an active movement strategy about direction selection and speed, different with the positive strategy employed by other Ant Colony Clustering algorithms, is proposed to construct an Active Ant Colony Clustering algorithm, which avoid the idle and "flying over the plane" moving phenomenon, effectively improve the quality and speed of clustering on large dataset. Then a mechanism of decomposing clusters based on above methods is introduced to form new clusters when users' interests change. Empirical studies on a real Web dataset show the active ant colony clustering algorithm has better performance than the previous algorithms, and the incremental approach based on the proposed mechanism can efficiently implement incremental Web usage mining.

  4. Myrmeciza and related antbirds (Aves, Formicariidae as army ant followers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Edwin O. Willis

    1984-01-01

    Full Text Available Antbirds of the genera Myrmeciza (including Sipia and Myrmoborus, Gymnocichla, and Sclateria hop near or on the ground in fairly dense vegetation, "pounding" their tails downward. Where dense understory vegetation is widespread and ants move in it for long distances, certain of these antbirds become regular ant followers: M. immaculata and M. fortis in cluttered moist foothill forest from Costa Rica to upper Amazonia; Gymnocichla nudiceps in moist cluttered second growth of Central America to Colombia. Where the forest understory is more open, Myrmeciza species follow ants mainly in cluttered patches: M. exsul in lowland forest west of the Andes, M. myotherina east of the Andes. Myrmeciza or relatives that specialize on water-edge or very dense zones rarely follow ants.

  5. An ant colony approach for image texture classification

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ye, Zhiwei; Zheng, Zhaobao; Ning, Xiaogang; Yu, Xin

    2005-10-01

    Ant colonies, and more generally social insect societies, are distributed systems that show a highly structured social organization in spite of the simplicity of their individuals. As a result of this swarm intelligence, ant colonies can accomplish complex tasks that far exceed the individual capacities of a single ant. As is well known that aerial image texture classification is a long-term difficult problem, which hasn't been fully solved. This paper presents an ant colony optimization methodology for image texture classification, which assigns N images into K type of clusters as clustering is viewed as a combinatorial optimization problem in the article. The algorithm has been tested on some real images and performance of this algorithm is superior to k-means algorithm. Computational simulations reveal very encouraging results in terms of the quality of solution found.

  6. Ant Colony Search Algorithm for Solving Unit Commitment Problem

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M.Surya Kalavathi

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available In this paper Ant Colony Search Algorithm is proposed to solve thermal unit commitment problem. Ant colony search (ACS studies are inspired from the behavior of real ant colonies that are used to solve function or combinatorial optimization problems. In the ACSA a set of cooperating agents called ants cooperates to find good solution of unit commitment problem of thermal units. The UC problem is to determine a minimal cost turn-on and turn-off schedule of a set of electrical power generating units to meet a load demand while satisfying a set of operational constraints. This proposed approach is a tested on 10 unit power system and compared to conventional methods.

  7. A New Version of the Ant-Miner Algorithm Discovering Unordered Rule Sets

    OpenAIRE

    Smaldon, James; Freitas, Alex A

    2006-01-01

    The Ant-Miner algorithm, first proposed by Parpinelli and colleagues, applies an ant colony optimization heuristic to the classification task of data mining to discover an ordered list of classification rules. In this paper we present a new version of the Ant-Miner algorithm, which we call Unordered Rule Set Ant-Miner, that produces an unordered set of classification rules. The proposed version was evaluated against the original Ant-Miner algorithm in six public-domain da...

  8. A Survey Paper on Solving TSP using Ant Colony Optimization on GPU

    OpenAIRE

    Khushbu khatri; Vinit Kumar Gupta

    2014-01-01

    Ant Colony Optimization (ACO) is meta-heuristic algorithm inspired from nature to solve many combinatorial optimization problem such as Travelling Salesman Problem (TSP). There are many versions of ACO used to solve TSP like, Ant System, Elitist Ant System, Max-Min Ant System, Rank based Ant System algorithm. For improved performance, these methods can be implemented in parallel architecture like GPU, CUDA architecture. Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) provides highly parallel and f...

  9. Distribution and Management of the Red Imported Fire Ant, Solenopsis invicta Buren, in Virginia

    OpenAIRE

    Allen, Hamilton Ross

    2010-01-01

    Red imported fire ant specimens were first collected in Virginia in 1989 from colonies located in Hampton, Va. Now colonies are established throughout the Hampton Roads area of Virginia. Because the fire ant is a new pest information regarding the distribution, biology, and management of the ant in Virgnia are absent. Therefore studies were conducted to compare the efficacies of four broadcast fire ant control products and an individual mound treatment to control fire ants and to determine...

  10. Unique soil microbial assemblages associated with grassland ant species with different nesting and foraging strategies

    OpenAIRE

    Boots, Bas; Keith, Aidan M.; Niechoj, Robin; Breen, John; Schmidt, Olaf; Clipson, Nicholas

    2012-01-01

    Ants are important ecosystem engineers and can be abundant in extensively managed grassland ecosystems. Different ant species create nests varying in structure and size, and tend to have a variety of feeding strategies. Differences in food imported to the nest and contrasting nest behaviour may control soil microbial community structure in nest soil, with cascading effects on nutrient cycling, but this has not been tested in grassland ants. Soil and ants were sampled from nests of three ant s...

  11. RESEARCH ON SOLVING TRAVELLING SALESMAN PROBLEM USING RANK BASED ANT SYSTEM ON GPU

    OpenAIRE

    Khushbu Khatri; Vinit Kumar Gupta

    2015-01-01

    Ant Colony Optimization (ACO) is meta-heuristic algorithm inspired from nature to solve many combinatorial optimization problems such as Travelling Salesman Problem (TSP). There are many versions of ACO used to solve TSP like, Ant System, Elitist Ant System, Max-Min Ant System, Rank based Ant System algorithm. For improved performance, these methods can be implemented in parallel architecture like GPU, CUDA architecture. Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) provides highly parallel and fully progra...

  12. Physics of Traffic on Ant Trails and Related Systems

    OpenAIRE

    John, Alexander

    2006-01-01

    The main aim of the present work is the investigation of the dynamical properties of traffic on preexisting ant trails. It is mainly divided into two parts which are based on the interplay between theory and experiment. Both parts are developed independently and compared later on in a final discussion. Methods from statistical and non-equilibrium physics were employed for theoretical studies. New models for bidirectional traffic on preexisting ant trails were introduced. Also the understandin...

  13. Social isolation causers mortality by disrupting energy homeostrasis in ants

    OpenAIRE

    Koto A.; Mersch D.; Hollis B.; Keller L

    2015-01-01

    Social deprivation can have negative effects on the lives of social animals, including humans, yet little is known about the mechanisms by which social withdrawal affects animal health. Here we show that in the carpenter ant Camponotus fellah, socially isolated workers have a greatly reduced life span relative to ants kept in groups of ten individuals. By using a new tracking system, we found that social isolation resulted in important behavioral changes and greatly increased locomotor activi...

  14. Energy Aware Simple Ant Routing Algorithm for Wireless Sensor Networks

    OpenAIRE

    2015-01-01

    Network lifetime is one of the most prominent barriers in deploying wireless sensor networks for large-scale applications because these networks employ sensors with nonrenewable scarce energy resources. Sensor nodes dissipate most of their energy in complex routing mechanisms. To cope with limited energy problem, we present EASARA, an energy aware simple ant routing algorithm based on ant colony optimization. Unlike most algorithms, EASARA strives to avoid low energy routes and optimizes the ...

  15. Experiment Study of Entropy Convergence of Ant Colony Optimization

    OpenAIRE

    Pang, Chao-Yang; Wang, Chong-Bao; Hu, Ben-Qiong

    2009-01-01

    Ant colony optimization (ACO) has been applied to the field of combinatorial optimization widely. But the study of convergence theory of ACO is rare under general condition. In this paper, the authors try to find the evidence to prove that entropy is related to the convergence of ACO, especially to the estimation of the minimum iteration number of convergence. Entropy is a new view point possibly to studying the ACO convergence under general condition. Key Words: Ant Colony Optimization, Conv...

  16. A critical analysis of parameter adaptation in ant colony optimization

    OpenAIRE

    PELLEGRINI, Paola; Stützle, Thomas; Birattari, Mauro

    2012-01-01

    Applying parameter adaptation means operating on parameters of an algorithm while it is tackling an instance. For ant colony optimization, several parameter adaptation methods have been proposed. In the literature, these methods have been shown to improve the quality of the results achieved in some particular contexts. In particular, they proved to be successful when applied to novel ant colony optimization algorithms for tackling problems that are not a classical testbed for optimization alg...

  17. Improved Ant Algorithms for Software Testing Cases Generation

    OpenAIRE

    Shunkun Yang; Tianlong Man; Jiaqi Xu

    2014-01-01

    Existing ant colony optimization (ACO) for software testing cases generation is a very popular domain in software testing engineering. However, the traditional ACO has flaws, as early search pheromone is relatively scarce, search efficiency is low, search model is too simple, positive feedback mechanism is easy to porduce the phenomenon of stagnation and precocity. This paper introduces improved ACO for software testing cases generation: improved local pheromone update strategy for ant colony...

  18. Evolutionary transitions in enzyme activity of ant fungus gardens

    OpenAIRE

    de Fine Licht, Henrik Hjarvard; Schiøtt, M.; Mueller, U. G.; Boomsma, J.J.

    2010-01-01

    Fungus-growing (attine) ants and their fungal symbionts passed through several evolutionary transitions during their 50 million year old evolutionary history. The basal attine lineages often shifted between two main cultivar clades, whereas the derived higher-attine lineages maintained an association with a monophyletic clade of specialized symbionts. In conjunction with the transition to specialized symbionts, the ants advanced in colony size and social complexity. Here we provide a comparat...

  19. Electricity Consumption Prediction Based on SVR with Ant Colony Optimization

    OpenAIRE

    Haijiang Wang; Shanlin Yang

    2013-01-01

    Accurate forecasting of electric load has always been the most important issues in the electricity industry, particularly for developing countries. Due to the various influences, electric load forecasting reveals highly nonlinear characteristics. This paper creates a system for power load forecasting using support vector machine and ant colony optimization. The method of colony optimization is employed to process large amount of data and eliminate. The SVR model with ant colony optimization i...

  20. An ant colony optimization algorithm for job shop scheduling problem

    OpenAIRE

    Edson Flórez; Wilfredo Gómez; MSc. Lola Bautista

    2013-01-01

    The nature has inspired several metaheuristics, outstanding among these is Ant Colony Optimization (ACO), which have proved to be very effective and efficient in problems of high complexity (NP-hard) in combinatorial optimization. This paper describes the implementation of an ACO model algorithm known as Elitist Ant System (EAS), applied to a combinatorial optimization problem called Job Shop Scheduling Problem (JSSP). We propose a method that seeks to reduce delays designating th...

  1. Ant Colony Optimization for Train Scheduling: An Analysis

    OpenAIRE

    Sudip Kumar Sahana; Aruna Jain; Prabhat Kumar Mahanti

    2014-01-01

    This paper deals on cargo train scheduling between source station and destination station in Indian railways scenario. It uses Ant Colony Optimization (ACO) technique which is based on ant’s food finding behavior. Iteration wise convergence process and the convergence time for the algorithm are studied and analyzed. Finally, the run time analysis of Ant Colony Optimization Train Scheduling (ACOTS) and Standard Train Scheduling (STS) algorithm has been performed.

  2. Response Ant Colony Optimization of End Milling Surface Roughness

    OpenAIRE

    Ahmed N. Abd Alla; M. M. Noor; K. Kadirgama

    2010-01-01

    Metal cutting processes are important due to increased consumer demands for quality metal cutting related products (more precise tolerances and better product surface roughness) that has driven the metal cutting industry to continuously improve quality control of metal cutting processes. This paper presents optimum surface roughness by using milling mould aluminium alloys (AA6061-T6) with Response Ant Colony Optimization (RACO). The approach is based on Response Surface Method (RSM) and Ant C...

  3. Ant Colony Optimization for Inferring Key Gene Interactions

    OpenAIRE

    Raza, Khalid; Kohli, Mahish

    2014-01-01

    Inferring gene interaction network from gene expression data is an important task in systems biology research. The gene interaction network, especially key interactions, plays an important role in identifying biomarkers for disease that further helps in drug design. Ant colony optimization is an optimization algorithm based on natural evolution and has been used in many optimization problems. In this paper, we applied ant colony optimization algorithm for inferring the key gene interactions f...

  4. Floral volatiles play a key role in specialized ant pollination

    OpenAIRE

    Vega, Clara de; Carlos M Herrera; Dötterl, Stefan

    2014-01-01

    Chemical signals emitted by plants are crucial to understand the ecology and evolution of plant–animal interactions. Scent is an important component of floral phenotype and represents a decisive communication channel between plants and floral visitors. Floral volatiles promote attraction of mutualistic pollinators and, in some cases, serve to prevent flower visitation by antagonists such as ants. Despite ant visits to flowers have been suggested to be detrimental to plant fitness, in recent y...

  5. Introduction to Ant Colony Algorithm and Its Application in CIMS

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2002-01-01

    Ant colony algorithm is a novel simulated ecosystem e volutionary algorithm, which is proposed firstly by Italian scholars M.Dorigo, A . Colormi and V. Maniezzo. Enlightened by the process of ants searching for food , scholars bring forward this new evolutionary algorithm. This algorithm has sev eral characteristics such as positive feedback, distributed computing and stro nger robustness. Positive feedback and distributed computing make it easier to find better solutions. Based on these characteristics...

  6. No sex in fungus-farming ants or their crops

    OpenAIRE

    Himler, Anna G.; Caldera, Eric J.; Baer, Boris C.; Fernández-Marín, Hermógenes; Mueller, Ulrich G.

    2009-01-01

    Asexual reproduction imposes evolutionary handicaps on asexual species, rendering them prone to extinction, because asexual reproduction generates novel genotypes and purges deleterious mutations at lower rates than sexual reproduction. Here, we report the first case of complete asexuality in ants, the fungus-growing ant Mycocepurus smithii, where queens reproduce asexually but workers are sterile, which is doubly enigmatic because the clonal colonies of M. smithii also depend on clonal fungi...

  7. Nest-moving by the polydomous ant Cataglyphis iberica

    OpenAIRE

    Dahbi, A.; Retana, Javier; Lenoir, Alain; CERDÁ, XIM

    2008-01-01

    In this paper we analyze emigration from nests by the polydomous ant Cataglyphis iberica. Social carrying of workers of this species between different nests of the colony is frequent. In Bellaterra (Barcelona, NE Spain), we monitored field emigration of C. iberica by noting for each nest the migratory behavior of C. iberica workers and, when the nests were attacked by another ant species, Camponotus foreli, we noted the number of C. foreli workers involved in the attacks. Emigration of C. ibe...

  8. Hybridization in East African swarm-raiding army ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kronauer, Daniel Jc; Peters, Marcell K; Schöning, Caspar;

    2011-01-01

    Hybridization can have complex effects on evolutionary dynamics in ants because of the combination of haplodiploid sex-determination and eusociality. While hybrid non-reproductive workers have been found in a range of species, examples of gene-flow via hybrid queens and males are rare. We studied...... hybridization in East African army ants (Dorylus subgenus Anomma) using morphology, mitochondrial DNA sequences, and nuclear microsatellites....

  9. Brief Announcement: Distributed Task Allocation in Ant Colonies

    OpenAIRE

    Dornhaus, Anna; Lynch, Nancy; Radeva, Tsvetomira; Su, and Hsin-Hao

    2015-01-01

    International audience A common problem in both distributed computing and insect biology is designing a model that accurately captures the behavior of a given distributed system or an ant colony, respectively. While the challenges involved in modeling computer systems and ant colonies are quite different from each other, a common approach is to explore multiple variations of different models and compare the results in terms of the simplicity of the model and the quality of the results. We ...

  10. Determining the Optimum Section of Tunnels Using Ant Colony Optimization

    OpenAIRE

    S. Talatahari

    2013-01-01

    Ant colony optimization is developed to determine optimum cross sections of tunnel structures. Tunnel structures are expensive infrastructures in terms of material, construction, and maintenance and the application of optimization methods has a great role in minimizing their costs. This paper presents the formulation of objective function and constraints of the problem for the first time, and the ant colony optimization, as a developed metaheuristic approach, has been used to solve the proble...

  11. Measuring the Ex-Ante Social Cost of Aggregate Volatility

    OpenAIRE

    Mordecai Kurz

    2005-01-01

    Ex-ante cost of aggregate fluctuations consist of all individual and social cost expanded by optimizing agents aiming to prevent or reduce fluctuations of consumption. These are measured by the cost of resources used to attain the level of consumption volatility currently observed. This paper proposes that the ex-ante component of cost is important and large. The unifying principle in measuring these cost arises from the fact that agents utilize resources for reserves used for self insurance ...

  12. Color polymorphism in an aphid is maintained by attending ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watanabe, Saori; Murakami, Taiga; Yoshimura, Jin; Hasegawa, Eisuke

    2016-09-01

    The study of polymorphisms is particularly informative for enhancing our understanding of phenotypic and genetic diversity. The persistence of polymorphism in a population is generally explained by balancing selection. Color polymorphisms that are often found in many insects and arthropods are prime examples of the maintenance of polymorphisms via balancing selection. In some aphids, color morphs are maintained through frequency-dependent predation by two predatory insects. However, the presence of color polymorphism in ant-attended aphids cannot be explained by traditional balancing selection because these aphids are free from predation. We examined the selective advantages of the existence of two color (red and green) morphs in the ant-attended aphid, Macrosiphoniella yomogicola, in fields. We measured the degree of ant attendance on aphid colonies with different proportions of color morphs. The results show that the ants strongly favor aphid colonies with intermediate proportions of the two color morphs. The relationship between the degree of ant attendance and the proportion of color morphs in the field is convex when aphid colony size and ant colony size are controlled. This function has a peak of approximately 65% of green morphs in a colony. This system represents the first case of a balancing polymorphism that is not maintained by opposing factors but by a symbiotic relationship. PMID:27617289

  13. Species-Specific Effects of Ant Inhabitants on Bromeliad Nutrition.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana Z Gonçalves

    Full Text Available Predator activities may lead to the accumulation of nutrients in specific areas of terrestrial habitats where they dispose of prey carcasses. In their feeding sites, predators may increase nutrient availability in the soil and favor plant nutrition and growth. However, the translocation of nutrients from one habitat to another may depend on predator identity and diet, as well as on the amount of prey intake. Here we used isotopic (15N and physiological methods in greenhouse experiments to evaluate the effects of the identity of predatory ants (i.e., the consumption of prey and nest sites on the nutrition and growth of the bromeliad Quesnelia arvensis. We showed that predatory ants with protein-based nutrition (i.e., Odontomachus hastatus, Gnamptogenys moelleri improved the performance of their host bromeliads (i.e., increased foliar N, production of soluble proteins and growth. On the other hand, the contribution of Camponotus crassus for the nutritional status of bromeliads did not differ from bromeliads without ants, possibly because this ant does not have arthropod prey as a preferred food source. Our results show, for the first time, that predatory ants can translocate nutrients from one habitat to another within forests, accumulating nutrients in their feeding sites that become available to bromeliads. Additionally, we highlight that ant contribution to plant nutrition may depend on predator identity and its dietary requirements. Nest debris may be especially important for epiphytic and terrestrial bromeliads in nutrient-poor environments.

  14. The natural history of the arboreal ant, Crematogaster ashmeadi

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Walter R. Tschinkel

    2002-07-01

    Full Text Available The arboreal ant, Crematogaster ashmeadi Emery (Hymenoptera: Formicidae, is the most dominant arboreal ant in the pine forests of the coastal plain of northern Florida. The majority of pine trees harbor a colony of these ants. The colonies inhabit multiple chambers abandoned by bark-mining caterpillars, especially those of the family Cossidae, in the outer bark of living pines. They also inhabit ground level termite galleries in the bark, often locating the queen in galleries. The density of chambers and ants is highest in the base of the tree and drops sharply with height on the trunk. Because chambers are formed in the inner layer of bark, they gradually move outward as more bark layers are laid down, eventually sloughing off the tree's outer surface. Chambers have a mean lifetime of about 25 yr. The abundant chambers in pine bark are excavated by a small population of caterpillars and accumulate over decades. Ant colonies also inhabit abandoned galleries of woodboring beetles in dead branches in the crowns of pines. Because newly mated queens found colonies in abandoned woodboring beetle galleries in the first dead branches that form on pine saplings, C. ashmeadi is dependent on cavities made by other insects throughout its life cycle, and does little if any excavation of its own. Mature colonies nest preferentially in chambers greater than 10 cm2 in area, a relatively rare chamber size. In natural pine forests, this does not seem to limit the ant's populations.

  15. No sex in fungus-farming ants or their crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Himler, Anna G; Caldera, Eric J; Baer, Boris C; Fernández-Marín, Hermógenes; Mueller, Ulrich G

    2009-07-22

    Asexual reproduction imposes evolutionary handicaps on asexual species, rendering them prone to extinction, because asexual reproduction generates novel genotypes and purges deleterious mutations at lower rates than sexual reproduction. Here, we report the first case of complete asexuality in ants, the fungus-growing ant Mycocepurus smithii, where queens reproduce asexually but workers are sterile, which is doubly enigmatic because the clonal colonies of M. smithii also depend on clonal fungi for food. Degenerate female mating anatomy, extensive field and laboratory surveys, and DNA fingerprinting implicate complete asexuality in this widespread ant species. Maternally inherited bacteria (e.g. Wolbachia, Cardinium) and the fungal cultivars can be ruled out as agents inducing asexuality. M. smithii societies of clonal females provide a unique system to test theories of parent-offspring conflict and reproductive policing in social insects. Asexuality of both ant farmer and fungal crop challenges traditional views proposing that sexual farmer ants outpace coevolving sexual crop pathogens, and thus compensate for vulnerabilities of their asexual crops. Either the double asexuality of both farmer and crop may permit the host to fully exploit advantages of asexuality for unknown reasons or frequent switching between crops (symbiont reassociation) generates novel ant-fungus combinations, which may compensate for any evolutionary handicaps of asexuality in M. smithii.

  16. Ant colonies prefer infected over uninfected nest sites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pontieri, Luigi; Vojvodic, Svjetlana; Graham, Riley; Pedersen, Jes Søe; Linksvayer, Timothy A

    2014-01-01

    During colony relocation, the selection of a new nest involves exploration and assessment of potential sites followed by colony movement on the basis of a collective decision making process. Hygiene and pathogen load of the potential nest sites are factors worker scouts might evaluate, given the high risk of epidemics in group-living animals. Choosing nest sites free of pathogens is hypothesized to be highly efficient in invasive ants as each of their introduced populations is often an open network of nests exchanging individuals (unicolonial) with frequent relocation into new nest sites and low genetic diversity, likely making these species particularly vulnerable to parasites and diseases. We investigated the nest site preference of the invasive pharaoh ant, Monomorium pharaonis, through binary choice tests between three nest types: nests containing dead nestmates overgrown with sporulating mycelium of the entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium brunneum (infected nests), nests containing nestmates killed by freezing (uninfected nests), and empty nests. In contrast to the expectation pharaoh ant colonies preferentially (84%) moved into the infected nest when presented with the choice of an infected and an uninfected nest. The ants had an intermediate preference for empty nests. Pharaoh ants display an overall preference for infected nests during colony relocation. While we cannot rule out that the ants are actually manipulated by the pathogen, we propose that this preference might be an adaptive strategy by the host to "immunize" the colony against future exposure to the same pathogenic fungus. PMID:25372856

  17. Ant colonies prefer infected over uninfected nest sites.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luigi Pontieri

    Full Text Available During colony relocation, the selection of a new nest involves exploration and assessment of potential sites followed by colony movement on the basis of a collective decision making process. Hygiene and pathogen load of the potential nest sites are factors worker scouts might evaluate, given the high risk of epidemics in group-living animals. Choosing nest sites free of pathogens is hypothesized to be highly efficient in invasive ants as each of their introduced populations is often an open network of nests exchanging individuals (unicolonial with frequent relocation into new nest sites and low genetic diversity, likely making these species particularly vulnerable to parasites and diseases. We investigated the nest site preference of the invasive pharaoh ant, Monomorium pharaonis, through binary choice tests between three nest types: nests containing dead nestmates overgrown with sporulating mycelium of the entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium brunneum (infected nests, nests containing nestmates killed by freezing (uninfected nests, and empty nests. In contrast to the expectation pharaoh ant colonies preferentially (84% moved into the infected nest when presented with the choice of an infected and an uninfected nest. The ants had an intermediate preference for empty nests. Pharaoh ants display an overall preference for infected nests during colony relocation. While we cannot rule out that the ants are actually manipulated by the pathogen, we propose that this preference might be an adaptive strategy by the host to "immunize" the colony against future exposure to the same pathogenic fungus.

  18. No sex in fungus-farming ants or their crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Himler, Anna G; Caldera, Eric J; Baer, Boris C; Fernández-Marín, Hermógenes; Mueller, Ulrich G

    2009-07-22

    Asexual reproduction imposes evolutionary handicaps on asexual species, rendering them prone to extinction, because asexual reproduction generates novel genotypes and purges deleterious mutations at lower rates than sexual reproduction. Here, we report the first case of complete asexuality in ants, the fungus-growing ant Mycocepurus smithii, where queens reproduce asexually but workers are sterile, which is doubly enigmatic because the clonal colonies of M. smithii also depend on clonal fungi for food. Degenerate female mating anatomy, extensive field and laboratory surveys, and DNA fingerprinting implicate complete asexuality in this widespread ant species. Maternally inherited bacteria (e.g. Wolbachia, Cardinium) and the fungal cultivars can be ruled out as agents inducing asexuality. M. smithii societies of clonal females provide a unique system to test theories of parent-offspring conflict and reproductive policing in social insects. Asexuality of both ant farmer and fungal crop challenges traditional views proposing that sexual farmer ants outpace coevolving sexual crop pathogens, and thus compensate for vulnerabilities of their asexual crops. Either the double asexuality of both farmer and crop may permit the host to fully exploit advantages of asexuality for unknown reasons or frequent switching between crops (symbiont reassociation) generates novel ant-fungus combinations, which may compensate for any evolutionary handicaps of asexuality in M. smithii. PMID:19369264

  19. Social prophylaxis through distant corpse removal in ants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diez, Lise; Deneubourg, Jean-Louis; Detrain, Claire

    2012-10-01

    Living in groups raises important issues concerning waste management and related sanitary risks. Social insects such as ants live at high densities with genetically related individuals within confined and humid nests, all these factors being highly favorable for the spread of pathogens. Therefore, in addition to individual immunity, a social prophylaxis takes place, namely, by the removal of risky items such as corpses and their rejection at a distance from the ant nest. In this study, we investigate how Myrmica rubra workers manage to reduce encounters between potentially hazardous corpses and nestmates. Using both field and laboratory experiments, we describe how the spatial distribution and the removal distance of waste items vary as a function of their associated sanitary risks (inert item vs. corpse). In the field, corpse-carrying ants walked in a rather linear way away from the nest entrance and had an equal probability of choosing any direction. Therefore, they did not aggregate corpses in dedicated areas but scattered them in the environment. In both field and laboratory experiments, ants carrying corpses dropped their load in more remote—and less frequented—areas than workers carrying inert items. However, for equidistant areas, ants did not avoid dropping corpses at a location where they perceived area marking as a cue of high occupancy level by nestmates. Our results suggest that ants use distance to the nest rather than other occupancy cues to limit sanitary risks associated with dead nestmates.

  20. Water stress strengthens mutualism among ants, trees, and scale insects.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elizabeth G Pringle

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available Abiotic environmental variables strongly affect the outcomes of species interactions. For example, mutualistic interactions between species are often stronger when resources are limited. The effect might be indirect: water stress on plants can lead to carbon stress, which could alter carbon-mediated plant mutualisms. In mutualistic ant-plant symbioses, plants host ant colonies that defend them against herbivores. Here we show that the partners' investments in a widespread ant-plant symbiosis increase with water stress across 26 sites along a Mesoamerican precipitation gradient. At lower precipitation levels, Cordia alliodora trees invest more carbon in Azteca ants via phloem-feeding scale insects that provide the ants with sugars, and the ants provide better defense of the carbon-producing leaves. Under water stress, the trees have smaller carbon pools. A model of the carbon trade-offs for the mutualistic partners shows that the observed strategies can arise from the carbon costs of rare but extreme events of herbivory in the rainy season. Thus, water limitation, together with the risk of herbivory, increases the strength of a carbon-based mutualism.