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Sample records for ant camponotus fellah

  1. Long-term olfactory memories are stabilised via protein synthesis in Camponotus fellah ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Guerrieri, Fernando Javier; D'Ettorre, Patrizia; Deveaud, J-M.

    2011-01-01

    of molecular bases of learning and memory. An open question is whether the memories formed upon olfactory learning that are retrievable several days after training are indeed based on de novo protein synthesis. Here, we addressed this question in the ant Camponotus fellah using a conditioning protocol in which...... to conditioning. Cycloheximide did not impair acquisition of either short-term memory (10¿min) or early and late mid-term memories (1 or 12¿h). These results show that, upon olfactory learning, ants form different memories with variable molecular bases. While short- and mid-term memories do not require protein...... synthesis, long-term memories are stabilised via protein synthesis. Our behavioural protocol opens interesting research avenues to explore the cellular and molecular bases of olfactory learning and memory in ants....

  2. Long-term olfactory memories are stabilised via protein synthesis in Camponotus fellah ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Guerrieri, Fernando Javier; D'Ettorre, Patrizia; Deveaud, J-M.;

    2011-01-01

    of molecular bases of learning and memory. An open question is whether the memories formed upon olfactory learning that are retrievable several days after training are indeed based on de novo protein synthesis. Here, we addressed this question in the ant Camponotus fellah using a conditioning protocol in which......-chain hydrocarbons, one paired with sucrose and the other with quinine solution. Differential conditioning leads to the formation of a long-term memory retrievable at least 72¿h after training. Long-term memory consolidation was impaired by the ingestion of cycloheximide, a protein synthesis blocker, prior...... synthesis, long-term memories are stabilised via protein synthesis. Our behavioural protocol opens interesting research avenues to explore the cellular and molecular bases of olfactory learning and memory in ants....

  3. Blochmannia endosymbionts improve colony growth and immune defence in the ant Camponotus fellah

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    Depoix Delphine

    2009-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Microorganisms are a large and diverse form of life. Many of them live in association with large multicellular organisms, developing symbiotic relations with the host and some have even evolved to form obligate endosymbiosis 1. All Carpenter ants (genus Camponotus studied hitherto harbour primary endosymbiotic bacteria of the Blochmannia genus. The role of these bacteria in ant nutrition has been demonstrated 2 but the omnivorous diet of these ants lead us to hypothesize that the bacteria might provide additional advantages to their host. In this study, we establish links between Blochmannia, growth of starting new colonies and the host immune response. Results We manipulated the number of bacterial endosymbionts in incipient laboratory-reared colonies of Camponotus fellah by administrating doses of an antibiotic (Rifampin mixed in honey-solution. Efficiency of the treatment was estimated by quantitative polymerase chain reaction and Fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH, using Blochmannia specific primers (qPCR and two fluorescent probes (one for all Eubacterial and other specific for Blochmannia. Very few or no bacteria could be detected in treated ants. Incipient Rifampin treated colonies had significantly lower numbers of brood and adult workers than control colonies. The immune response of ants from control and treated colonies was estimated by inserting nylon filaments in the gaster and removing it after 24 h. In the control colonies, the encapsulation response was positively correlated to the bacterial amount, while no correlation was observed in treated colonies. Indeed, antibiotic treatment increased the encapsulation response of the workers, probably due to stress conditions. Conclusion The increased growth rate observed in non-treated colonies confirms the importance of Blochmannia in this phase of colony development. This would provide an important selective advantage during colony founding, where the colonies

  4. Long-term olfactory memories are stabilised via protein synthesis in Camponotus fellah ants.

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    Guerrieri, Fernando J; d'Ettorre, Patrizia; Devaud, Jean-Marc; Giurfa, Martin

    2011-10-01

    Ants exhibit impressive olfactory learning abilities. Operant protocols in which ants freely choose between rewarded and non-rewarded odours have been used to characterise associative olfactory learning and memory. Yet, this approach precludes the use of invasive methods allowing the dissection of molecular bases of learning and memory. An open question is whether the memories formed upon olfactory learning that are retrievable several days after training are indeed based on de novo protein synthesis. Here, we addressed this question in the ant Camponotus fellah using a conditioning protocol in which individually harnessed ants learn an association between odour and reward. When the antennae of an ant are stimulated with sucrose solution, the insect extends its maxilla-labium to absorb the solution (maxilla-labium extension response). We differentially conditioned ants to discriminate between two long-chain hydrocarbons, one paired with sucrose and the other with quinine solution. Differential conditioning leads to the formation of a long-term memory retrievable at least 72 h after training. Long-term memory consolidation was impaired by the ingestion of cycloheximide, a protein synthesis blocker, prior to conditioning. Cycloheximide did not impair acquisition of either short-term memory (10 min) or early and late mid-term memories (1 or 12 h). These results show that, upon olfactory learning, ants form different memories with variable molecular bases. While short- and mid-term memories do not require protein synthesis, long-term memories are stabilised via protein synthesis. Our behavioural protocol opens interesting research avenues to explore the cellular and molecular bases of olfactory learning and memory in ants.

  5. Calcium imaging in the ant Camponotus fellah reveals a conserved odour-similarity space in insects and mammals

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    Giurfa Martin

    2010-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Olfactory systems create representations of the chemical world in the animal brain. Recordings of odour-evoked activity in the primary olfactory centres of vertebrates and insects have suggested similar rules for odour processing, in particular through spatial organization of chemical information in their functional units, the glomeruli. Similarity between odour representations can be extracted from across-glomerulus patterns in a wide range of species, from insects to vertebrates, but comparison of odour similarity in such diverse taxa has not been addressed. In the present study, we asked how 11 aliphatic odorants previously tested in honeybees and rats are represented in the antennal lobe of the ant Camponotus fellah, a social insect that relies on olfaction for food search and social communication. Results Using calcium imaging of specifically-stained second-order neurons, we show that these odours induce specific activity patterns in the ant antennal lobe. Using multidimensional analysis, we show that clustering of odours is similar in ants, bees and rats. Moreover, odour similarity is highly correlated in all three species. Conclusion This suggests the existence of similar coding rules in the neural olfactory spaces of species among which evolutionary divergence happened hundreds of million years ago.

  6. Blochmannia endosymbionts and their host, the ant Camponotus fellah: cuticular hydrocarbons and melanization.

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    José de Souza, Danival; Devers, Séverine; Lenoir, Alain

    2011-10-01

    Carpenter ants (genus Camponotus) have mutualistic, endosymbiotic bacteria of the genus Blochmannia whose main contribution to their hosts is alimentary. It was also recently demonstrated that they play a role in improving immune function as well. In this study, we show that treatment with an antibiotic produces a physiological response inducing an increase in both the quantity of cuticular hydrocarbons and in the melanization of the cuticle probably due to a nutritive and immunological deficit. We suggest that this is because it enhances the protection the cuticle provides from desiccation and also from invasions by pathogens and parasites. Nevertheless, the cuticular hydrocarbon profile is not modified by the antibiotic treatment, which indicates that nestmate recognition is not modified.

  7. Octopamine reverses the isolation-induced increase in trophallaxis in the carpenter ant Camponotus fellah.

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    Boulay, R; Soroker, V; Godzinska, E J; Hefetz, A; Lenoir, A

    2000-02-01

    Social deprivation is an unusual situation for ants that normally maintain continuous contact with their nestmates. When a worker was experimentally isolated for 5 days and then reunited with a nestmate, she engaged in prolonged trophallaxis. It is suggested that trophallaxis allows her to restore a social bond with her nestmates and to re-integrate into the colony, particularly via the exchange of colony-specific hydrocarbons. Octopamine reduced trophallaxis in these workers as well as hydrocarbon transfer between nestmates, but not hydrocarbon biosynthesis. Administration of serotonin to such 5-day-isolated ants had no effect on the percentage of trophallaxis. Administration of phentolamine alone, an octopamine antagonist, had no effect, but when co-administrated with octopamine it reduced the effect of octopamine alone and restored trophallaxis to control levels. Moreover, the observed effect of octopamine was not due to a non-specific effect on locomotor activity. Therefore, we hypothesise that octopamine mediates behaviour patterns linked to social bonding, such as trophallaxis. On the basis of an analogy with the role of norepinephrine in vertebrates, we suggest that the levels of octopamine in the brain of socially deprived ants may decrease, together with a concomitant increase in their urge to perform trophallaxis and to experience social contacts. Octopamine administration may reduce this social deprivation effect, and octopamine could therefore be regarded as being partly responsible for the social cohesion between nestmates in ant colonies.

  8. Long-term olfactory memories are stabilised via protein synthesis in Camponotus fellah ants

    OpenAIRE

    Guerrieri, Fernando Javier; D'Ettorre, Patrizia; Deveaud, J-M.; Giurfa, M.

    2011-01-01

    Ants exhibit impressive olfactory learning abilities. Operant protocols in which ants freely choose between rewarded and nonrewarded odours have been used to characterise associative olfactory learning and memory. Yet, this approach precludes the use of invasive methods allowing the dissection of molecular bases of learning and memory. An open question is whether the memories formed upon olfactory learning that are retrievable several days after training are indeed based on de novo protein sy...

  9. Neuropeptidomics of the carpenter ant Camponotus floridanus.

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    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.

  10. A new carpenter ant, Camponotus parabarbatus (Hymenoptera: Formicidae from India

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    Himender Bharti

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available A new species of carpenter ant, collected in the Shivalik range of Himalaya is described and illustrated based on the worker and gyne castes under the name Camponotus parabarbatus sp. n. Presence of dense, short setae on gena and ventral surface of head resembles it most to Camponotus barbatus Roger, 1863 distributed in Southeast Asia. A regional identification key of Camponotus species is provided from the Shivalik hills of Indian Himalaya.

  11. Microsatellites reveal high genetic diversity within colonies of Camponotus ants.

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    Gertsch, P; Pamilo, P; Varvio, S L

    1995-04-01

    In order to characterize the sociogenetic structure of colonies in the carpenter ants Camponotus herculeanus and C. ligniperda, we have developed microsatellite markers. The three loci studied were either fixed for different alleles in the two species or showed different patterns of polymorphisms. Genotyping of workers and males showed that the broods of C. ligniperda include several matrilines, a rare phenomenon in the genus. Five alleles from a locus polymorphic in both species were sequenced from the respective PCR-products. A part of the length variation appeared to be due to changes outside the repeat sequence, and some PCR products of an equal length had a different number of dinucleotide repeats.

  12. Social isolation and brain development in the ant Camponotus floridanus

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    Seid, Marc A.; Junge, Erich

    2016-06-01

    Social interactions play a key role in the healthy development of social animals and are most pronounced in species with complex social networks. When developing offspring do not receive proper social interaction, they show developmental impairments. This effect is well documented in mammalian species but controversial in social insects. It has been hypothesized that the enlargement of the mushroom bodies, responsible for learning and memory, observed in social insects is needed for maintaining the large social networks and/or task allocation. This study examines the impact of social isolation on the development of mushroom bodies of the ant Camponotus floridanus. Ants raised in isolation were shown to exhibit impairment in the growth of the mushroom bodies as well as behavioral differences when compared to ants raised in social groups. These results indicate that social interaction is necessary for the proper development of C. floridanus mushroom bodies.

  13. Population and colony structure of the carpenter ant Camponotus floridanus.

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    Gadau, J; Heinze, J; Hölldobler, B; Schmid, M

    1996-12-01

    The colony and population structure of the carpenter ant, Camponotus floridanus, were investigated by multilocus DNA fingerprinting using simple repeat motifs as probes [e.g. (GATA)4]. The mating frequency of 15 queens was determined by comparing the fingerprint patterns of the queen and 17-33 of her progeny workers. C. floridanus queens are most probably singly mated, i.e. this species is monandrous and monogynous (one queen per colony). C. floridanus occurs in all counties of mainland Florida and also inhabits most of the Key islands in the southern part of Florida. We tested whether the two mainland populations and the island populations are genetically isolated. Wright's FST and Nei's D-value of genetic distance were calculated from intercolonial bandsharing-coefficients. The population of C. floridanus is substructured (FST = 0.19 +/- 0.09) and the highest degree of genetic distance was found between one of the mainland populations and the island populations (D = 0.35). Our fingerprinting technique could successfully be transferred to 12 other Camponotus species and here also revealed sufficient variability to analyse the genetic structure. In three of these species (C. ligniperdus, C. herculeanus and C. gigas) we could determine the mating frequency of the queen in one or two colonies, respectively.

  14. Differential Recruitment of Camponotus femoratus (Fabricius) Ants in Response to Ant Garden Herbivory.

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    Vicente, R E; Dáttilo, W; Izzo, T J

    2014-12-01

    Although several studies have shown that ants can recognize chemical cues from their host plants in ant-plant systems, it is poorly demonstrated in ant gardens (AGs). In this interaction, ant species constantly interact with various epiphyte species. Therefore, it is possible to expect a convergence of chemical signals released by plants that could be acting to ensure that ants are able to recognize and defend epiphyte species frequently associated with AGs. In this study, it was hypothesized that ants recognize and differentiate among chemical stimuli released by AG epiphytes and non-AG epiphytes. We experimentally simulated leaf herbivore damage on three epiphyte species restricted to AGs and a locally abundant understory herb, Piper hispidum, in order to quantify the number of recruited Camponotus femoratus (Fabricius) defenders. When exposed to the AG epiphytes Peperomia macrostachya and Codonanthe uleana leaves, it was observed that the recruitment of C. femoratus workers was, on average, respectively 556% and 246% higher than control. However, the number of ants recruited by the AG epiphyte Markea longiflora or by the non-AG plant did not differ from paper pieces. This indicated that ants could discern between chemicals released by different plants, suggesting that ants can select better plants. These results can be explained by evolutionary process acting on both ants' capability in discerning plants' chemical compounds (innate attraction) or by ants' learning based on the epiphyte frequency in AGs (individual experience). To disentangle an innate behavior, a product of classical coevolutionary process, from an ant's learned behavior, is a complicated but important subject to understand in the evolution of ant-plant mutualisms.

  15. Exploratory studies of classical conditioning of the preoral cavity in harnessed carpenter ants (Camponotus pennsylvanicus).

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    Sauer, Dustin L; Abramson, Charles I; Lawson, Adam L

    2002-06-01

    An attempt was made to classically condition the mouthparts of harnessed worker ants (Camponotus pennsylvanicus) in anticipation of feeding. Experiments were designed to investigate classical conditioning with one CS, discrimination between two CSs, and pseudoconditioning. Analysis indicated a small acquisition effect that could be accounted for by pseudoconditioning. The preparation can be used to study nonassociative learning and some instrumental conditioning situations.

  16. Trail-Laying Behaviour as a Function of Resource Quality in the Ant Camponotus rufipes

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    Pablo E. Schilman

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Chemical trails have been shown to act as an orientation cue in some ant species. Here, I report that the trail-laying behaviour in the nectar-feeding ant, Camponotus rufipes, varies with the concentration of the sucrose solutions collected. Single workers collected solutions of different sucrose concentrations (5%, 20%, and 40% in weight during 4 consecutive visits to the resource, and their trail-marking behaviour was recorded on soot-coated slides during their first and last visits. Results suggest that these chemical trails provide both an orientation cue between the nest and the food source, as previously suggested for Camponotus ants, as well as information about food quality.

  17. Yeasts associated with the infrabuccal pocket and colonies of the carpenter ant Camponotus vicinus.

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    Mankowski, M E; Morrell, J J

    2004-01-01

    After scanning electron microscopy indicated that the infrabuccal pockets of carpenter ants (Camponotus vicinus) contained numerous yeast-like cells, yeast associations were examined in six colonies of carpenter ants from two locations in Benton County in western Oregon. Samples from the infrabuccal-pocket contents and worker ant exoskeletons, interior galleries of each colony, and detritus and soil around the colonies were plated on yeast-extract/ malt-extract agar augmented with 1 M hydrochloric acid and incubated at 25 C. Yeasts were identified on the basis of morphological characteristics and physiological attributes with the BIOLOG(®) microbial identification system. Yeast populations from carpenter ant nest material and material surrounding the nest differed from those obtained from the infrabuccal pocket. Debaryomyces polymorphus was isolated more often from the infrabuccal pocket than from other material. This species has also been isolated from other ant species, but its role in colony nutrition is unknown.

  18. Trophallaxis and prophylaxis: social immunity in the carpenter ant Camponotus pennsylvanicus.

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    Hamilton, Casey; Lejeune, Brian T; Rosengaus, Rebeca B

    2011-02-23

    In social insects, group behaviour can increase disease resistance among nest-mates and generate social prophylaxis. Stomodeal trophallaxis, or mutual feeding through regurgitation, may boost colony-level immunocompetence. We provide evidence for increased trophallactic behaviour among immunized workers of the carpenter ant Camponotus pennsylvanicus, which, together with increased antimicrobial activity of the regurgitate droplet, help explain the improved survival of droplet recipient ants relative to controls following an immune challenge. We have identified a protein related to cathepsin D, a lysosomal protease, as a potential contributor to the antimicrobial activity. The combined behavioural and immunological responses to infection in these ants probably represent an effective mechanism underlying the social facilitation of disease resistance, which could potentially produce socially mediated colony-wide prophylaxis. The externalization and sharing of an individual's immune responses via trophallaxis could be an important component of social immunity, allowing insect colonies to thrive under high pathogenic pressures.

  19. Breeding system, colony structure, and genetic differentiation in the Camponotus festinatus species complex of carpenter ants.

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    Goodisman, Michael A D; Hahn, Daniel A

    2005-10-01

    All social insects live in highly organized societies. However, different social insect species display striking variation in social structure. This variation can significantly affect the genetic structure within populations and, consequently, the divergence between species. The purpose of this study was to determine if variation in social structure was associated with species diversification in the Camponotus festinatus desert carpenter ant species complex. We used polymorphic DNA microsatellite markers to dissect the breeding system of these ants and to determine if distinct C. festinatus forms hybridized in their natural range. Our analysis of single-queen colonies established in the laboratory revealed that queens typically mated with only a single male. The genotypes of workers sampled from a field population suggested that multiple, related queens occasionally reproduced within colonies and that colonies inhabited multiple nests. Camponotus festinatus workers derived from colonies of the same form originating at different locales were strongly differentiated, suggesting that gene flow was geographically restricted. Overall, our data indicate that C. festinatus populations are highly structured. Distinct C. festinatus forms possess similar social systems but are genetically isolated. Consequently, our data suggest that diversification in the C. festinatus species complex is not necessarily associated with a shift in social structure.

  20. Intracellular endosymbiotic bacteria of Camponotus species (carpenter ants): systematics, evolution and ultrastructural characterization.

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    Schröder, D; Deppisch, H; Obermayer, M; Krohne, G; Stackebrandt, E; Hôlldobler, B; Goebel, W; Gross, R

    1996-08-01

    Intracellular endosymbiotic bacteria inherent to ants of the genus Camponotus were characterized. The bacteria were localized in bacteriocytes, which are specialized cells of both workers and queen ants; these cells are intercalated between epithelial cells of the midgut. The bacteriocytes show a different morphology from the normal epithelial cells and carry a large number of the rod-shaped Gram-negative bacteria free in the cytoplasm. The bacteria were never observed in the neighbouring epithelial cells, but they were found intracellularly in oocytes, strongly indicating a maternal transmission of the bacteria. The 16S DNA encoding rrs loci of the endosymbionts of four species of the genus Camponotus derived either from Germany (C. herculeanus and C. ligniperdus), North America (C. floridanus) or South America (C. rufipes) were cloned after polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification using oligonucleotides complementary to all so far known eubacterial rrs sequences. The DNA sequences of the rrs loci of the four endosymbionts were determined, and, using various genus- and species-specific oligonucleotides derived from variable regions in the rrs sequences, the identity of the bacteria present in the bacteriocytes and the ovarian cells was confirmed by PCR and in situ hybridization techniques. Comparison of the 16S DNA sequences with the available database showed the endosymbiotic bacteria to be members of the gamma-subclass of Proteobacteria. They formed a distinct taxonomic group, a sister taxon of the taxons defined by the tsetse fly and aphid endosymbionts. Within the gamma-subclass, the cluster of the ant, tsetse fly and aphid endosymbionts are placed adjacent to the family of Enterobacteriaceae. The evolutionary tree of the ant endosymbionts reflects the systematic classification and geographical distribution of their host insects, indicating an early co-evolution of the symbiotic partners and a vertical transmission of the bacteria.

  1. Postembryonic development of the mushroom bodies in the ant, Camponotus japonicus.

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    Ishii, Yuri; Kubota, Kanae; Hara, Kenji

    2005-07-01

    Mushroom bodies (MB) are insect brain centers involved in learning and other complex behaviors and they are particularly large in ants. We describe the larval and pupal development of the MB in the carpenter ant, Camponotus japonicus. Based on morphological cues, we characterized the stages of preimaginal development of worker ants. We then describe morphological changes and neurogenesis underlying the MB development. Kenyon cells are produced in a proliferation cluster formed by symmetrical division of MB neuroblasts. While the duration of larval instars shows great individual variation, MB neuroblasts increase in number in each successive larval instar. The number of neuroblasts increases further during prepupal stages and peaks during early pupal stages. It decreases rapidly, and then neurogenesis generally ceases during the mid pupal stage (P4). In contrast to the larval period, the MB development of individuals is highly synchronized with physical time throughout metamorphosis. We show that carpenter ants (C. japonicus) have approximately half as many MB neuroblasts than are found in the honey bee Apis mellifera. Mature MBs of carpenter ants and honey bees reportedly comprise almost the same number of neurons. We therefore suggest that the MB neuroblasts in C. japonicus divide more often in order to produce a final number of MB neurons similar to that of honey bees.

  2. Natural history of Camponotus ant-fishing by the M group chimpanzees at the Mahale Mountains National Park, Tanzania.

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    Nishie, Hitonaru

    2011-10-01

    The aim of this study was to provide basic data on ant-fishing behavior among the M group chimpanzees at the Mahale Mountains National Park, Tanzania. Ant-fishing is a type of tool-using behavior that has been exhibited by Mahale chimpanzees when feeding upon arboreal carpenter ants (Camponotus spp.) since the 1970s, and is now regarded as a candidate of wild chimpanzee culture. Herein, I describe in detail the features of ant-fishing shown by the Mahale M group chimpanzees: (1) 2 species of Camponotus ants (Camponotus sp. (chrysurus-complex) [C. sp.1] and C. brutus) were identified as the target species of ant-fishing, and C. sp.1 was selected intensively as the main target; (2) 24 species (92 individuals) of trees were identified as ant-fishing sites-these were widely distributed throughout the western/lowland region of the M group's home range, and the top 5 species were used more frequently; (3) the efficiency of ant-fishing was influenced not only by the site choice or the skillfulness of the chimpanzees, but inevitably by the condition of the ants; (4) the estimated nutritional intake from ant-fishing was apparently negligible; (5) most of the M group members (50/60 individuals) older than 3 years of age successfully used tools to fish for ants; and (6) female chimpanzees engaged in ant-fishing more frequently and for longer periods than males did. Further, I compared the features of ant-fishing exhibited by the Mahale M group chimpanzees with those exhibited by the former K group at Mahale and by other populations of wild chimpanzees.

  3. Electrical signals during nectar sucking in the carpenter ant Camponotus mus.

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    Josens, Roxana; Falibene, Agustina; Gontijo, Alberto de Figueiredo

    2006-01-01

    Ants of the same size can vary their intake rate of a given sucrose solution depending on the colony's needs for carbohydrates. As this capacity has not yet been described for another insect, the question of how they can do that was the focus of our work. When viscosity and ant-morphometry remain constant, changes in intake rate can only be attributed to the sucking forces. The aim of this study was to analyze the nectar sucking activity in the ant Camponotus mus. Feeding behavior seems to be under motivational control; therefore, we developed a non-invasive experimental device. We recorded the electrical signal generated during nectar feeding by offering ants sucrose solutions of different concentrations (from 10%w/w to 70%w/w). The signal frequency was between 2 and 12 peaks/s. We could distinguish two different patterns of electrical signal during feeding depending on the solution concentration. Only the more concentrated solutions reached frequencies higher than 7 peaks/s and the signal performance was quite irregular. For the other concentrations (10%, 30% and 50%), signal frequencies were lower than 6 peaks/s and the signal pattern was sinusoidal, regular and decreased with intake in all cases. We discuss the possible implications of these two signal patterns.

  4. Epigenetic (re)programming of caste-specific behavior in the ant Camponotus floridanus

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    Brady, Cristina M.; Enzmann, Brittany L.; Desplan, Claude; Ray, Anandasankar; Zwiebel, Laurence J.; Bonasio, Roberto; Reinberg, Danny; Liebig, Jürgen; Berger, Shelley L.

    2016-01-01

    Eusocial insects organize themselves into behavioral castes whose regulation has been proposed to involve epigenetic processes, including histone modification. In the carpenter ant Camponotus floridanus, morphologically distinct worker castes called minors and majors exhibit pronounced differences in foraging and scouting behaviors. We found that these behaviors are regulated by histone acetylation likely catalyzed by the conserved acetyltransferase CBP. Transcriptome and chromatin analysis in brains of scouting minors fed pharmacological inhibitors of CBP and histone deacetylases (HDACs) revealed hundreds of genes linked to hyperacetylated regions targeted by CBP. Majors rarely forage, but injection of a HDAC inhibitor or small interfering RNAs against the HDAC Rpd3 into young major brains induced and sustained foraging in a CBP-dependent manner. Our results suggest that behavioral plasticity in animals may be regulated in an epigenetic manner via histone modification. PMID:26722000

  5. Epigenetic (re)programming of caste-specific behavior in the ant Camponotus floridanus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simola, Daniel F; Graham, Riley J; Brady, Cristina M; Enzmann, Brittany L; Desplan, Claude; Ray, Anandasankar; Zwiebel, Laurence J; Bonasio, Roberto; Reinberg, Danny; Liebig, Jürgen; Berger, Shelley L

    2016-01-01

    Eusocial insects organize themselves into behavioral castes whose regulation has been proposed to involve epigenetic processes, including histone modification. In the carpenter ant Camponotus floridanus, morphologically distinct worker castes called minors and majors exhibit pronounced differences in foraging and scouting behaviors. We found that these behaviors are regulated by histone acetylation likely catalyzed by the conserved acetyltransferase CBP. Transcriptome and chromatin analysis in brains of scouting minors fed pharmacological inhibitors of CBP and histone deacetylases (HDACs) revealed hundreds of genes linked to hyperacetylated regions targeted by CBP. Majors rarely forage, but injection of a HDAC inhibitor or small interfering RNAs against the HDAC Rpd3 into young major brains induced and sustained foraging in a CBP-dependent manner. Our results suggest that behavioral plasticity in animals may be regulated in an epigenetic manner via histone modification.

  6. A chromatin link to caste identity in the carpenter ant Camponotus floridanus.

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    Simola, Daniel F; Ye, Chaoyang; Mutti, Navdeep S; Dolezal, Kelly; Bonasio, Roberto; Liebig, Jürgen; Reinberg, Danny; Berger, Shelley L

    2013-03-01

    In many ant species, sibling larvae follow alternative ontogenetic trajectories that generate striking variation in morphology and behavior among adults. These organism-level outcomes are often determined by environmental rather than genetic factors. Therefore, epigenetic mechanisms may mediate the expression of adult polyphenisms. We produced the first genome-wide maps of chromatin structure in a eusocial insect and found that gene-proximal changes in histone modifications, notably H3K27 acetylation, discriminate two female worker and male castes in Camponotus floridanus ants and partially explain differential gene expression between castes. Genes showing coordinated changes in H3K27ac and RNA implicate muscle development, neuronal regulation, and sensory responses in modulating caste identity. Binding sites of the acetyltransferase CBP harbor the greatest caste variation in H3K27ac, are enriched with motifs for conserved transcription factors, and show evolutionary expansion near developmental and neuronal genes. These results suggest that environmental effects on caste identity may be mediated by differential recruitment of CBP to chromatin. We propose that epigenetic mechanisms that modify chromatin structure may help orchestrate the generation and maintenance of polyphenic caste morphology and social behavior in ants.

  7. Sexual dimorphism in the antennal lobe of the ant Camponotus japonicus.

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    Nishikawa, Michiko; Nishino, Hiroshi; Misaka, Yuko; Kubota, Maiko; Tsuji, Eriko; Satoji, Yuji; Ozaki, Mamiko; Yokohari, Fumio

    2008-02-01

    The carpenter ant, a social hymenopteran, has a highly elaborated antennal chemosensory system that is used for chemical communication in social life. The glomeruli in the antennal lobe are the first relay stations where sensory neurons synapse onto interneurons. The system is functionally and structurally similar to the olfactory bulbs of vertebrates. Using three-dimensional reconstruction of glomeruli and subsequent morphometric analyses, we found sexual dimorphism of the antennal lobe glomeruli in carpenter ants, Camponotus japonicus. Female workers and unmated queens had about 430 glomeruli, the highest number reported so far in ants. Males had a sexually dimorphic macroglomerulus and about 215 ordinary glomeruli. This appeared to result from a greatly reduced number of glomeruli in the postero-medial region of the antennal lobe compared with that in females. On the other hand, sexually isomorphic glomeruli were identifiable in the dorsal region of the antennal lobe. For example, large, uniquely shaped glomeruli located at the dorso-central margin of the antennal lobe were detected in all society members. The great sexual dimorphism seen in the ordinary glomeruli of the antennal lobe may reflect gender-specific tasks in chemical communications rather than different reproductive roles.

  8. Gliogenesis in the mushroom body of the carpenter ant, Camponotus japonicus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nasu, Natsume; Hara, Kenji

    2012-12-01

    Mushroom bodies (MBs) are insect brain centers involved in multimodal sensory integration and memory formation. Advanced Hymenoptera, such as ants and bees, have particularly large and elaborately organized MBs, which are repeatedly implicated in complex behaviors. In this study, to address the developmental aspects of their MBs, gliogenesis of mushroom body neuroblasts (MB Nbs) was examined in the carpenter ant Camponotus japonicus. Reversed Polarity (REPO) is a paired-like homeodomain protein located exclusively in the nucleus of differentiating glial cells in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. First, the molecular aspects of C. japonicus REPO (CjREPO) were identified. Then, the antibody (CjREPO-antibody) was raised against a peptide of CjREPO. Immunohistochemistry revealed that the strong labeling was located in the nucleus of glial cells in the developing brains, whereas no immunoreactivity was detectable in progeny derived from MB Nbs. These findings suggest that MB Nb in the ant is a neuronal precursor that does not produce glial cells.

  9. Ecdysone receptor expression in developing and adult mushroom bodies of the ant Camponotus japonicus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nemoto, Michie; Hara, Kenji

    2007-09-01

    Mushroom bodies (MBs) are insect brain centers involved in sensory integration and memory formation. In social Hymenoptera, MBs are large and comprise larger number of Kenyon cells and have repeatedly been implied to underlie the social behaviors. In the present study, to facilitate our understanding of the neural basis of social behaviors, two complementary DNAs (cDNAs) encoding presumed ecdysone receptor isoforms (CjEcR-A and CjEcR-alpha) were identified in the developing brains of the carpenter ant Camponotus japonicus. Sequence comparison indicated that these CjEcR proteins had common DNA- and hormone-binding domains linked to different N-terminal regions. The alignment of the distinct regions with other insects EcRs indicated that CjEcR-A is the ant homologue of EcR-A, and CjEcR-alpha has a novel type of A/B region. Immunohistochemical analyses of the MBs of C. japonicus with the common region antibody demonstrated that these CjEcRs appear in all neuroblasts, neurons, and glia cells during neurogenesis, whereas expression is confined to the neurons, disappearing in the glia cells in newly emerged workers. Less expression was observed in the forager MBs. These findings suggest that CjEcRs are involved in maturation and development of ant MBs.

  10. Higher brain centers for social tasks in worker ants, Camponotus japonicus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nishikawa, Michiko; Watanabe, Hidehiro; Yokohari, Fumio

    2012-05-01

    Ants, eusocial insects, have highly elaborate chemical communication systems using a wide variety of pheromones. In the carpenter ant, Camponotus japonicus, workers and queens have the female-specific basiconic sensilla on antennae. The antennal lobe, the primary processing center, in female carpenter ants contains about 480 glomeruli, which are divided into seven groups (T1–T7 glomeruli) based on sensory afferent tracts. The axons of sensory neurons in basiconic sensilla are thought to project to female-specific T6 glomeruli. Therefore, these sensilla and glomeruli are thought to relate to female-specific social tasks in the ants. By using dye filling into local neurons (LNs) and projection neurons (PNs) in the antennal lobe, we neuroanatomically revealed the existence of an isolated processing system for signals probably relating to social tasks in the worker ant. In the antennal lobe, two categories of glomeruli, T6 glomeruli and non-T6 glomeruli, are clearly segregated by LNs. Furthermore, axon terminals of uniglomerular PNs from the respective categories of glomeruli (T6 uni-PNs and non-T6 uni-PNs) are also segregated in the secondary olfactory centers, the calyces of the mushroom body and the lateral horn: T6 uni-PNs terminate in the outer layers of the basal ring and lip of mushroom body calyces and in the posterior region of the lateral horn, whereas non-T6 uni-PNs terminate in the middle and inner layers of the basal ring and lip and in the anterior region of the lateral horn. These findings suggest that information probably relating to social tasks might be isolated from other olfactory information and processed in a separate subsystem.

  11. Molecular characterization of antimicrobial peptide genes of the carpenter ant Camponotus floridanus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ratzka, Carolin; Förster, Frank; Liang, Chunguang; Kupper, Maria; Dandekar, Thomas; Feldhaar, Heike; Gross, Roy

    2012-01-01

    The production of antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) is a major defense mechanism against pathogen infestation and of particular importance for insects relying exclusively on an innate immune system. Here, we report on the characterization of three AMPs from the carpenter ant Camponotus floridanus. Due to sequence similarities and amino acid composition these peptides can be classified into the cysteine-rich (e.g. defensin) and glycine-rich (e.g. hymenoptaecin) AMP groups, respectively. The gene and cDNA sequences of these AMPs were established and their expression was shown to be induced by microbial challenge. We characterized two different defensin genes. The defensin-2 gene has a single intron, whereas the defensin-1 gene has two introns. The deduced amino acid sequence of the C. floridanus defensins is very similar to other known ant defensins with the exception of a short C-terminal extension of defensin-1. The hymenoptaecin gene has a single intron and a very peculiar domain structure. The corresponding precursor protein consists of a signal- and a pro-sequence followed by a hymenoptaecin-like domain and six directly repeated hymenoptaecin domains. Each of the hymenoptaecin domains is flanked by an EAEP-spacer sequence and a RR-site known to be a proteolytic processing site. Thus, proteolytic processing of the multipeptide precursor may generate several mature AMPs leading to an amplification of the immune response. Bioinformatical analyses revealed the presence of hymenoptaecin genes with similar multipeptide precursor structure in genomes of other ant species suggesting an evolutionary conserved important role of this gene in ant immunity.

  12. Molecular characterization of antimicrobial peptide genes of the carpenter ant Camponotus floridanus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carolin Ratzka

    Full Text Available The production of antimicrobial peptides (AMPs is a major defense mechanism against pathogen infestation and of particular importance for insects relying exclusively on an innate immune system. Here, we report on the characterization of three AMPs from the carpenter ant Camponotus floridanus. Due to sequence similarities and amino acid composition these peptides can be classified into the cysteine-rich (e.g. defensin and glycine-rich (e.g. hymenoptaecin AMP groups, respectively. The gene and cDNA sequences of these AMPs were established and their expression was shown to be induced by microbial challenge. We characterized two different defensin genes. The defensin-2 gene has a single intron, whereas the defensin-1 gene has two introns. The deduced amino acid sequence of the C. floridanus defensins is very similar to other known ant defensins with the exception of a short C-terminal extension of defensin-1. The hymenoptaecin gene has a single intron and a very peculiar domain structure. The corresponding precursor protein consists of a signal- and a pro-sequence followed by a hymenoptaecin-like domain and six directly repeated hymenoptaecin domains. Each of the hymenoptaecin domains is flanked by an EAEP-spacer sequence and a RR-site known to be a proteolytic processing site. Thus, proteolytic processing of the multipeptide precursor may generate several mature AMPs leading to an amplification of the immune response. Bioinformatical analyses revealed the presence of hymenoptaecin genes with similar multipeptide precursor structure in genomes of other ant species suggesting an evolutionary conserved important role of this gene in ant immunity.

  13. Sex-specific antennal sensory system in the ant Camponotus japonicus: glomerular organizations of antennal lobes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakanishi, Aki; Nishino, Hiroshi; Watanabe, Hidehiro; Yokohari, Fumio; Nishikawa, Michiko

    2010-06-15

    Ants have well-developed chemosensory systems for social lives. The goal of our study is to understand the functional organization of the ant chemosensory system based on caste- and sex-specific differences. Here we describe the common and sex-specific glomerular organizations in the primary olfactory center, the antennal lobe of the carpenter ant Camponotus japonicus. Differential labeling of the two antennal nerves revealed distinct glomerular clusters innervated by seven sensory tracts (T1-T7 from ventral to dorsal) in the antennal lobe. T7 innervated 10 glomeruli, nine of which received thick axon terminals almost exclusively from the ventral antennal nerve. Coelocapitular (hygro-/thermoreceptive), coeloconic (thermoreceptive), and ampullaceal (CO2-receptive) sensilla, closely appositioned in the flagellum, housed one or three large sensory neurons supplying thick axons exclusively to the ventral antennal nerve. These axons, therefore, were thought to project into T7 glomeruli in all three castes. Workers and virgin females had about 140 T6 glomeruli, whereas males completely lacked these glomeruli. Female-specific basiconic sensilla (cuticular hydrocarbon-receptive) contained over 130 sensory neurons and were completely lacking in males' antennae. These sensory neurons may project into T6 glomeruli in the antennal lobe of workers and virgin females. Serotonin-immunopositive neurons innervated T1-T5 and T7 glomeruli but not T6 glomeruli in workers and virgin females. Because males had no equivalents to T6 glomeruli, serotonin-immunopositive neurons appeared to innervate all glomeruli in the male's antennal lobe. T6 glomeruli in workers and virgin females are therefore female-specific and may have functions related to female-specific tasks in the colony rather than sexual behaviors.

  14. A New Species of Neotropical Carpenter Ant in the Genus Camponotus (Hymenoptera: Formicidae, Apparently without Major Workers

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    William Mackay

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available We describe a new species of carpenter ants from Ecuador, which apparently has an obligatory relationship with the ant plants Cecropia membranacea Trécul, C. herthae Diels and C. marginalis Cuatrec. The workers are relatively small and hairy, and based on a number of collections, it does not appear to have major workers. We compare the new species to Camponotus balzani, to which it appears to be similar and which has normal major workers, and also lives in Cecropia spp.

  15. Molecular Profile of the Brazilian Weaver Ant Camponotus textor Forel (Hymenoptera, Formicidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramalho, M O; Martins, C; Silva, L M R; Martins, V G; Bueno, O C

    2016-10-01

    Camponotus textor Forel is, to date, the only weaver ant recorded from Brazil, and all existing studies on the species are restricted to describing its weaving and nesting behaviors. The aim of this work is to establish the molecular profile of the species. We sampled eight different colonies by sequencing mitochondrial genes (COI, transfer DNA (tRNA), and an intergenic spacer) and the nuclear gene 28S ribosomal DNA (rDNA). We then assessed haplotype diversity and also analyzed distribution patterns of this species based on the correlation between genetic and geographic distances. Our results provide an additional tool for species identification by identifying new regions that can be used as molecular markers for barcoding (such as the intergenic spacer (IGS) and tRNA-Leu). In addition, the phylogenetic analysis revealed that C. textor has features that could be associated with deep population divergences. We identified a wide range of mitotypes and three distinct groups, suggesting a possible reduction of gene flow between colonies.

  16. The gut bacterial communities associated with lab-raised and field-collected ants of Camponotus fragilis (Formicidae: Formicinae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Hong; Wei, Cong; Wheeler, Diana E

    2014-09-01

    Camponotus is the second largest ant genus and known to harbor the primary endosymbiotic bacteria of the genus Blochmannia. However, little is known about the effect of diet and environment changes on the gut bacterial communities of these ants. We investigated the intestinal bacterial communities in the lab-raised and field-collected ants of Camponotus fragilis which is found in the southwestern United States and northern reaches of Mexico. We determined the difference of gut bacterial composition and distribution among the crop, midgut, and hindgut of the two types of colonies. Number of bacterial species varied with the methods of detection and the source of the ants. Lab-raised ants yielded 12 and 11 species using classical microbial culture methods and small-subunit rRNA genes (16S rRNAs) polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment-length polymorphism analysis, respectively. Field-collected ants yielded just 4 and 1-3 species using the same methods. Most gut bacterial species from the lab-raised ants were unevenly distributed among the crop, midgut, and hindgut, and each section had its own dominant bacterial species. Acetobacter was the prominent bacteria group in crop, accounting for about 55 % of the crop clone library. Blochmannia was the dominant species in midgut, nearly reaching 90 % of the midgut clone library. Pseudomonas aeruginosa dominated the hindgut, accounting for over 98 % of the hindgut clone library. P. aeruginosa was the only species common to all three sections. A comparison between lab-raised and field-collected ants, and comparison with other species, shows that gut bacterial communities vary with local environment and diet. The bacterial species identified here were most likely commensals with little effect on their hosts or mild pathogens deleterious to colony health.

  17. Antennal RNA-sequencing analysis reveals evolutionary aspects of chemosensory proteins in the carpenter ant, Camponotus japonicus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hojo, Masaru K; Ishii, Kenichi; Sakura, Midori; Yamaguchi, Katsushi; Shigenobu, Shuji; Ozaki, Mamiko

    2015-08-27

    Chemical communication is essential for the coordination of complex organisation in ant societies. Recent comparative genomic approaches have revealed that chemosensory genes are diversified in ant lineages, and suggest that this diversification is crucial for social organisation. However, how such diversified genes shape the peripheral chemosensory systems remains unknown. In this study, we annotated and analysed the gene expression profiles of chemosensory proteins (CSPs), which transport lipophilic compounds toward chemosensory receptors in the carpenter ant, Camponotus japonicus. Transcriptome analysis revealed 12 CSP genes and phylogenetic analysis showed that 3 of these are lineage-specifically expanded in the clade of ants. RNA sequencing and real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction revealed that, among the ant specific CSP genes, two of them (CjapCSP12 and CjapCSP13) were specifically expressed in the chemosensory organs and differentially expressed amongst ant castes. Furthermore, CjapCSP12 and CjapCSP13 had a ratio of divergence at non-synonymous and synonymous sites (dN/dS) greater than 1, and they were co-expressed with CjapCSP1, which is known to bind cuticular hydrocarbons. Our results suggested that CjapCSP12 and CjapCSP13 were functionally differentiated for ant-specific chemosensory events, and that CjapCSP1, CjapCSP12, and CjapCSP13 work cooperatively in the antennal chemosensilla of worker ants.

  18. Bacteriocyte dynamics during development of a holometabolous insect, the carpenter ant Camponotus floridanus

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    Fraunholz Martin J

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The carpenter ant Camponotus floridanus harbors obligate intracellular mutualistic bacteria (Blochmannia floridanus in specialized cells, the bacteriocytes, intercalated in their midgut tissue. The diffuse distribution of bacteriocytes over the midgut tissue is in contrast to many other insects carrying endosymbionts in specialized tissues which are often connected to the midgut but form a distinct organ, the bacteriome. C. floridanus is a holometabolous insect which undergoes a complete metamorphosis. During pupal stages a complete restructuring of the inner organs including the digestive tract takes place. So far, nothing was known about maintenance of endosymbionts during this life stage of a holometabolous insect. It was shown previously that the number of Blochmannia increases strongly during metamorphosis. This implicates an important function of Blochmannia in this developmental phase during which the animals are metabolically very active but do not have access to external food resources. Previous experiments have shown a nutritional contribution of the bacteria to host metabolism by production of essential amino acids and urease-mediated nitrogen recycling. In adult hosts the symbiosis appears to degenerate with increasing age of the animals. Results We investigated the distribution and dynamics of endosymbiotic bacteria and bacteriocytes at different stages during development of the animals from larva to imago by confocal laser scanning microscopy. The number of bacteriocytes in relation to symbiont-free midgut cells varied strongly over different developmental stages. Especially during metamorphosis the relative number of bacteria-filled bacteriocytes increased strongly when the larval midgut epithelium is shed. During this developmental stage the midgut itself became a huge symbiotic organ consisting almost exclusively of cells harboring bacteria. In fact, during this phase some bacteria were also found in midgut

  19. Timekeeping through social contacts: social synchronization of circadian locomotor activity rhythm in the carpenter ant Camponotus paria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lone, Shahnaz Rahman; Sharma, Vijay Kumar

    2011-12-01

    In ant colonies a large proportion of individuals remain inside nests for most of their lives and come out only when necessary. It is not clear how, in a nest of several thousand individuals, information about local time is communicated among members of the colony. Central to this seem to be circadian clocks, which have an intrinsic ability to keep track of local time by entraining to environmental light-dark, temperature, and social cycles. Here, the authors report the results of their study aimed at understanding the role of cyclic social interactions in circadian timekeeping of a day-active species of carpenter ant Camponotus paria. The authors found that daily social interactions with visitors (worker ants) was able to synchronize the circadian locomotor activity rhythm of host worker ants and queens, in one-on-one (pair-wise) and multi-individual (group-wise) interactions. Interestingly, the outcome of cyclic social interactions was context specific; when visitor workers socially interacted with host workers one-on-one, host workers considered the time of interaction as subjective day, but when visitor workers interacted with a group of workers and queens, the hosts considered the time of interaction as subjective night. These results can be taken to suggest that members of the ant species C. paria keep track of local time by socially interacting with workers (foragers) who shuttle in and out of the colony in search of food. (Author correspondence: vsharma@jncasr.ac.in ).

  20. Reformation process of the neuronal template for nestmate-recognition cues in the carpenter ant Camponotus floridanus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leonhardt, Sara Diana; Brandstaetter, Andreas Simon; Kleineidam, Christoph Johannes

    2007-09-01

    Ants use cuticular hydrocarbons (CHC-profiles) as multicomponent recognition cues to identify colony members (nestmates). Recognition cues (label) are thought to be perceived during ant-ant encounters and compared to a neuronal template that represents the colony label. Over time, the CHC-profile may change, and the template is adjusted accordingly. A phenotype mismatch between label and template, as happens with CHC-profiles of foreign workers (non-nestmates), frequently leads to aggressive behavior. We investigated the template reformation in workers of the carpenter ant Camponotus floridanus by masking their antennae with postpharyngeal gland (PPG) extracts from nestmates or non-nestmates. The behavioral response of manipulated workers encountering unmanipulated workers was measured independently after 2 and after 15 h. After 2 h of incubation, workers treated with either of the two PPG-extracts showed low aggression towards nestmates and high aggression towards non-nestmates. In contrast, after 15 h of incubation, workers treated with non-nestmate PPG-extract showed low aggression towards both nestmates and non-nestmates. The slow (>2 h) adjustment of the template indicates a reformation localized in the central nervous system rather than in chemosensory neurons. In addition, our data show that template adjustment to a new CHC-profile does not impair the assessment of the old CHC-profile as nestmate label.

  1. Arboreal ant colonies as 'hot-points' of cryptic diversity for myrmecophiles: the weaver ant Camponotus sp. aff. textor and its interaction network with its associates.

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    Gabriela Pérez-Lachaud

    Full Text Available INTRODUCTION: Systematic surveys of macrofaunal diversity within ant colonies are lacking, particularly for ants nesting in microhabitats that are difficult to sample. Species associated with ants are generally small and rarely collected organisms, which makes them more likely to be unnoticed. We assumed that this tendency is greater for arthropod communities in microhabitats with low accessibility, such as those found in the nests of arboreal ants that may constitute a source of cryptic biodiversity. MATERIALS AND METHODS: We investigated the invertebrate diversity associated with an undescribed, but already threatened, Neotropical Camponotus weaver ant. As most of the common sampling methods used in studies of ant diversity are not suited for evaluating myrmecophile diversity within ant nests, we evaluated the macrofauna within ant nests through exhaustive colony sampling of three nests and examination of more than 80,000 individuals. RESULTS: We identified invertebrates from three classes belonging to 18 taxa, some of which were new to science, and recorded the first instance of the co-occurrence of two brood parasitoid wasp families attacking the same ant host colony. This diversity of ant associates corresponded to a highly complex interaction network. Agonistic interactions prevailed, but the prevalence of myrmecophiles was remarkably low. CONCLUSIONS: Our data support the hypothesis of the evolution of low virulence in a variety of symbionts associated with large insect societies. Because most myrmecophiles found in this work are rare, strictly specific, and exhibit highly specialized biology, the risk of extinction for these hitherto unknown invertebrates and their natural enemies is high. The cryptic, far unappreciated diversity within arboreal ant nests in areas at high risk of habitat loss qualifies these nests as 'hot-points' of biodiversity that urgently require special attention as a component of conservation and management

  2. Hypoxic conditions and oxygen supply in nests of the mangrove ant, Camponotus anderseni, during and after inundation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Mogens Gissel; Christian, K.; Malte, H.

    2009-01-01

    The small ant Camponotus anderseni lives exclusively in twigs of the mangrove tree Sonneratia alba, and during inundation, the entrance hole is blocked with a soldier's head which effectively prevents flooding. The nests can be very crowded, with the ants and coccids filling up to 50% of the volu...... is to avoid drowning without suffering anoxia or hypercapnia, and they show a remarkable ability to adapt to the extreme conditions in the mangrove and exploit a niche where the density of other ants is insignificant......., and due to their metabolic activity, the conditions in the nests during inundation become hypercapnic and hypoxic. Each nest has only one entrance, and the opening is quite small (1.56 ± 0.03 mm). The mean diameter of the galleries is 2.31 ± 0.23 mm, independent of the thickness of the twig and length...... of the nest. During normal conditions with open nests, the oxygen depletion is substantial in the part of the nest most distant from the opening, and in a 120 mm long nest the oxygen concentration can be as low as 15.7%. During simulated inundation, in which the nest entrances were blocked, the oxygen...

  3. Caste- and sex-specific adaptations within the olfactory pathway in the brain of the ant Camponotus floridanus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zube, Christina; Rössler, Wolfgang

    2008-11-01

    Olfaction plays a key role in mediating ant behavior, and ant societies are characterized by caste- and sex-specific division of labor. We propose that caste- and sex-specific adaptations in the olfactory pathway promote differences in olfactory behavior. This study compares olfactory centers in the brain of large (major) workers, small (minor) workers, virgin queens, and males of the carpenter ant Camponotus floridanus. The number of glomeruli in the antennal lobe was similar in the female castes, although the glomerular volumes differed. Males had approximately 45% fewer glomeruli compared to females (approximately 258 and approximately 434) and one antennal sensory tract was absent. A dual output pathway to the mushroom bodies was present in males. In contrast to females, however, the number of glomeruli connected to the medial antennocerebral tract was substantially smaller than those associated with the lateral tract. All glomeruli in the male antennal lobe contained serotonergic processes, whereas in the female castes glomeruli in the large tract six cluster lacked serotonergic innervations. We conclude that differences in general glomerular organization are subtle among the female castes, but sex-specific differences in the number, connectivity and neuromodulatory innervation of glomeruli are substantial and likely to underlie differences in olfactory processing and learning.

  4. Serotonin-immunoreactive neurons in the antennal sensory system of the brain in the carpenter ant, Camponotus japonicus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsuji, Eriko; Aonuma, Hitoshi; Yokohari, Fumio; Nishikawa, Michiko

    2007-08-01

    Social Hymenoptera such as ants or honeybees are known for their extensive behavioral repertories and plasticity. Neurons containing biogenic amines appear to play a major role in controlling behavioral plasticity in these insects. Here we describe the morphology of prominent serotonin-immunoreactive neurons of the antennal sensory system in the brain of an ant, Camponotus japonicus. Immunoreactive fibers were distributed throughout the brain and the subesophageal ganglion (SOG). The complete profile of a calycal input neuron was identified. The soma and dendritic elements are contralaterally located in the lateral protocerebrum. The neuron supplies varicose axon terminals in the lip regions of the calyces of the mushroom body, axon collaterals in the basal ring but not in the collar region, and other axon terminals ipsilaterally in the lateral protocerebrum. A giant neuron innervating the antennal lobe has varicose axon terminals in most of 300 glomeruli in the ventral region of the antennal lobe (AL) and a thick neurite that spans the entire SOG and continues towards the thoracic ganglia. However, neither a soma nor a dendritic element of this neuron was found in the brain or the SOG. A deutocerebral projection neuron has a soma in the lateral cell-body group of the AL, neuronal branches at most of the 12 glomeruli in the dorsocentral region of the ipsilateral AL, and varicose terminal arborizations in both hemispheres of the protocerebrum. Based on the present results, tentative subdivisions in neuropils related to the antennal sensory system of the ant brain are discussed.

  5. Sex-specific antennal sensory system in the ant Camponotus japonicus: structure and distribution of sensilla on the flagellum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakanishi, Aki; Nishino, Hiroshi; Watanabe, Hidehiro; Yokohari, Fumio; Nishikawa, Michiko

    2009-10-01

    The antennae are a critically important component of the ant's highly elaborated chemical communication systems. However, our understanding of the organization of the sensory systems on the antennae of ants, from peripheral receptors to central and output systems, is poorly understood. Consequently, we have used scanning electron and confocal laser microscopy to create virtually complete maps of the structure, numbers of sensory neurons, and distribution patterns of all types of external sensilla on the antennal flagellum of all types of colony members of the carpenter ant Camponotus japonicus. Based on the outer cuticular structures, the sensilla have been classified into seven types: coelocapitular, coeloconic, ampullaceal, basiconic, trichoid-I, trichoid-II, and chaetic sensilla. Retrograde staining of antennal nerves has enabled us to count the number of sensory neurons housed in the different types of sensilla: three in a coelocapitular sensillum, three in a coeloconic sensillum, one in an ampullaceal sensillum, over 130 in a basiconic sensillum, 50-60 in a trichoid-I sensillum, and 8-9 in a trichoid-II sensillum. The basiconic sensilla, which are cuticular hydrocarbon-receptive in the ant, are present in workers and unmated queens but absent in males. Coelocapitular sensilla (putatively hygro- and thermoreceptive) have been newly identified in this study. Coelocapitular, coeloconic, and ampullaceal sensilla form clusters and show biased distributions on flagellar segments of antennae in all colony members. The total numbers of sensilla per flagellum are about 9000 in unmated queens, 7500 in workers, and 6000 in males. This is the first report presenting comprehensive sensillar maps of antennae in ants.

  6. Organization of the olfactory pathway and odor processing in the antennal lobe of the ant Camponotus floridanus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zube, Christina; Kleineidam, Christoph Johannes; Kirschner, Sebastian; Neef, Jakob; Rössler, Wolfgang

    2008-01-20

    Ants rely heavily on olfaction for communication and orientation. Here we provide the first detailed structure-function analyses within an ant's central olfactory system asking whether in the carpenter ant, Camponotus floridanus, the olfactory pathway exhibits adaptations to processing many pheromonal and general odors. Using fluorescent tracing, confocal microscopy, and 3D-analyses we demonstrate that the antennal lobe (AL) contains up to approximately 460 olfactory glomeruli organized in seven distinct clusters innervated via seven antennal sensory tracts. The AL is divided into two hemispheres regarding innervation of glomeruli by either projection neurons (PNs) with axons leaving via the medial (m) or lateral (l) antennocerebral tract (ACT). M- and l-ACT PNs differ in their target areas in the mushroom-body calyx and lateral horn. Three additional ACTs project to the lateral protocerebrum only. We analyzed odor processing in AL glomeruli by retrograde loading of PNs with Fura-2 dextran and fluorimetric calcium imaging. Odor responses were reproducible and comparable across individuals. Calcium responses to pheromonal and nonpheromonal odors were very sensitive (10(-11) dilution) and patterns were partly overlapping, indicating that processing of both odor classes is not spatially segregated within the AL. Response patterns to the main trail-pheromone component nerolic acid remained stable over a wide range of intensities (7-8 log units), while response durations increased indicating that odor quality is maintained by a stable pattern and intensity is mainly encoded in response durations. The structure-function analyses contribute new insights into important aspects of odor processing in a highly advanced insect olfactory system.

  7. Tissue localization of the endosymbiotic bacterium "Candidatus Blochmannia floridanus" in adults and larvae of the carpenter ant Camponotus floridanus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sauer, Christina; Dudaczek, Dieter; Hölldobler, Bert; Gross, Roy

    2002-09-01

    The distribution of endosymbiotic bacteria in different tissues of queens, males, and workers of the carpenter ant Camponotus floridanus was investigated by light and electron microscopy and by in situ hybridization. A large number of bacteria could be detected in bacteriocytes within the midguts of workers, young virgin queens, and males. Large amounts of bacteria were also found in the oocytes of workers and queens. In contrast, bacteria were not present in oocyte-associated cells or in the spermathecae of mature queens, although occasionally a small number of bacteria could be detected in the testis follicles of males. Interestingly, the number of bacteriocytes in mature queens was strongly reduced and the bacteriocytes contained only very few or no bacteria at all, although the endosymbionts were present in huge amounts in the ovaries of the same animals. During embryogenesis of the deposited egg, the bacteria were concentrated in a ring of endodermal tissue destined to become the midgut in later developmental stages. However, during larval development, bacteria could also be detected in other tissues although to a lesser extent. Only in the last-instar larvae were bacteria found exclusively in the midgut tissue within typical bacteriocytes. Tetracycline and rifampin efficiently cleansed C. floridanus workers of their symbionts and the bacteriocytes of these animals still remained empty several months after treatment had ceased. Despite the lack of their endosymbionts, these adult animals were able to survive without any obvious negative effect under normal cultivation conditions.

  8. Two cold-sensitive neurons within one sensillum code for different parameters of the thermal environment in the ant Camponotus rufipes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagel, Manuel; Kleineidam, Christoph J

    2015-01-01

    Ants show high sensitivity when responding to minute temperature changes and are able to track preferred temperatures with amazing precision. As social insects, they have to detect and cope with thermal fluctuations not only for their individual benefit but also for the developmental benefit of the colony and its brood. In this study we investigate the sensory basis for the fine-tuned, temperature guided behaviors found in ants, specifically what information about their thermal environment they can assess. We describe the dose-response curves of two cold-sensitive neurons, associated with the sensillum coelocapitulum on the antenna of the carpenter ant Camponotus rufipes.One cold-sensitive neuron codes for temperature changes, thus functioning as a thermal flux-detector. Neurons of such type continuously provide the ant with information about temperature transients (TT-neuron). The TT-neurons are able to resolve a relative change of 37% in stimulus intensity (ΔT) and antennal scanning of the thermal environment may aid the ant's ability to use temperature differences for orientation.The second cold-sensitive neuron in the S. coelocapitulum responds to temperature only within a narrow temperature range. A temperature difference of 1.6°C can be resolved by this neuron type. Since the working range matches the preferred temperature range for brood care of Camponotus rufipes, we hypothesize that this temperature sensor can function as a thermal switch to trigger brood care behavior, based on absolute (steady state) temperature.

  9. Gene expression analysis of the endosymbiont-bearing midgut tissue during ontogeny of the carpenter ant Camponotus floridanus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ratzka, Carolin; Gross, Roy; Feldhaar, Heike

    2013-06-01

    Insects have frequently evolved mutualistic relationships with extracellular and/or intracellular bacterial endosymbionts. Infection with endosymbionts seems to affect several cellular functions of the host such as immune pathways, oxidative stress regulation and autophagy. Our current knowledge about specific host factors leading to endosymbiont tolerance and/or control is still scarce and is based on very few associations between insect hosts and bacteria only. Camponotus floridanus ants harbour the obligate intracellular bacterium Blochmannia floridanus within specialized midgut cells called bacteriocytes. The number of Blochmannia endosymbionts within the midgut tissue increases strongly during host development and reaches a maximum at the late pupal stage, where the entire midgut is transformed into a symbiotic organ. After eclosion of workers the number of Blochmannia strongly decreases again. We chose 15 candidate genes from C. floridanus likely to be involved in host-symbiont interactions based on their significant homology to previously investigated symbiosis-relevant genes from other insects. We determined the expression of these genes in the endosymbiont-bearing midgut tissue in comparison to the residual body tissue at different developmental stages of C. floridanus in order to reveal changes in gene expression correlating with changes in endosymbiont number per host. Strikingly, two pattern recognition receptors (amidase PGRP-LB and PGRP-SC2) were highly expressed in the midgut tissue at the pupal stage, potentially down-modulating the IMD pathway to enable endosymbiont tolerance. Moreover, we investigated the immune gene expression in response to bacterial challenge at the pupal stage. Results showed that the midgut tissue differs in expression pattern in contrast to the residual body. Our results support a key role for amidase PGRPs, especially PGRP-LB, in regulation of the immune response towards endosymbionts in C. floridanus and suggest an

  10. Synthesis of δ-lactonic pheromones ofXylocopa hirsutissima andVespa orientalis and an allomone of some ants of genusCamponotus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bacardit, R; Moreno-Mañas, M

    1983-06-01

    Simple preparations ofcis-3,6-dimethyltetrahydro-2-pyrone, VII,6-n-undecyltetrahydro-2-pyrone, XVIIb, and 6-n-pentyl-5,6-dihydro-2-pyrone, XVIa, have been achieved. Products VII and XVIIb, respectively, are the major constituent of the pheromonal blend of a carpenter bee (Xylocopa hirsutissima) and the pheromone of the queens of the Oriental hornet (Vespa orientalis). The lactone XVIa is a suspected defensive allomone in two species of formicine ants of the genusCamponotus. All three compounds have been prepared from dehydroacetic acid, I, a cheap and industrially available starting material.

  11. Two cold-sensitive neurons within one sensillum code for different parameters of the thermal environment in the ant Camponotus rufipes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Manuel eNagel

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Ants show high sensitivity when responding to minute temperature changes and are able to track preferred temperatures with amazing precision. As social insects, they have to detect and cope with thermal fluctuations not only for their individual benefit but also for the developmental benefit of the colony and its brood. In this study we investigate the sensory basis for the fine-tuned, temperature guided behaviors found in ants, specifically what information about their thermal environment they can assess. We describe the dose-response curves of two cold-sensitive neurons, associated with the sensillum coelocapitulum on the antenna of the carpenter ant Camponotus rufipes.One cold-sensitive neuron codes for temperature changes, thus functioning as a thermal flux-detector. Neurons of such type continuously provide the ant with information about temperature transients (TT-neuron. The TT-neurons are able to resolve a relative change of 37% in stimulus intensity (ΔT and antennal scanning of the thermal environment may aid the ant’s ability to use temperature differences for orientation.The second cold-sensitive neuron in the S. coelocapitulum responds to temperature only within a narrow temperature range. A temperature difference of 1.6°C can be resolved by this neuron type. Since the working range matches the preferred temperature range for brood care of Camponotus rufipes, we hypothesize that this temperature sensor can function as a thermal switch to trigger brood care behavior, based on absolute (steady state temperature.

  12. "Cytochrome c oxidase I DNA sequence of Camponotus ants with different nesting strategies is a tool for distinguishing between morphologically similar species".

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramalho, Manuela O F; Santos, Rodrigo M; Fernandes, Tae T; Morini, Maria Santina C; Bueno, Odair C

    2016-08-01

    The great diversity of Camponotus, high levels of geographic, intraspecific and morphological variation common to most species of this genus make the determination of the interspecific limits of Camponotus a complex task. The Cytochrome c oxidase 1 (COI) gene was sequenced in this study to serve as an auxiliary tool in the identification of two taxa of Camponotus thought to be morphologically similar. Additionally, characteristics related to nesting were described. Five to fifteen workers from twenty-one colonies were analyzed, collected from twigs scattered in the leaf litter and from trees located in different regions of Brazil. Phylogenetic reconstructions, haplotype network, and nesting strategies confirmed the existence of two species and that they correspond to Camponotus senex and Camponotus textor. Our results emphasize that the COI can be used as an additional tool for the identification of morphologically similar Camponotus species.

  13. Genome-wide and caste-specific DNA methylomes of the ants Camponotus floridanus and Harpegnathos saltator

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bonasio, Roberto; Li, Qiye; Lian, Jinmin

    2012-01-01

    Ant societies comprise individuals belonging to different castes characterized by specialized morphologies and behaviors. Because ant embryos can follow different developmental trajectories, epigenetic mechanisms must play a role in caste determination. Ants have a full set of DNA methyltransfera...

  14. Colony insularity through queen control on worker social motivation in ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boulay, Raphaël; Katzav-Gozansky, Tamar; Vander Meer, Robert K; Hefetz, Abraham

    2003-05-01

    We investigated the relative contribution of the queen and workers to colony nestmate recognition cues and on colony insularity in the Carpenter ant Camponotus fellah. Workers were either individually isolated, preventing contact with both queen and workers (colonial deprived, CD), kept in queenless groups, allowing only worker-worker interactions (queen deprived, QD) or in queenright (QR) groups. Two weeks post-separation QD and QR workers were amicable towards each other but both rejected their CD nestmates, which suggests that the queen does not measurably influence the colony recognition cues. By contrast, aggression between QD and QR workers from the same original colony was apparent only after six months of separation. This clearly demonstrates the power of the Gestalt and indicates that the queen is not a dominant contributor to the nestmate recognition cues in this species. Aggression between nestmates was correlated with a greater hydrocarbon (HC) profile divergence for CD than for QD and QR workers, supporting the importance of worker-worker interactions in maintaining the colony Gestalt odour. While the queen does not significantly influence nestmate recognition cues, she does influence colony insularity since within 3 days QD (queenless for six months) workers from different colony origins merged to form a single queenless colony. By contrast, the corresponding QR colonies maintained their territoriality and did not merge. The originally divergent cuticular and postpharyngeal gland HC profiles became congruent following the merger. Therefore, while workers supply and blend the recognition signal, the queen affects worker-worker interaction by reducing social motivation and tolerance of alien conspecifics.

  15. Pest repellent properties of ant pheromones

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Offenberg, Joachim

    2012-01-01

    ant species (iii) Azteca instabilis and (iv) Camponotus textor reduce herbivory by flea beetles (Margaridisa sp.), whereas (v) deposits from Solenopsis geminata, did not lead to reduced herbivory. Further evidence for the impact of ant pheromones comes from studies showing that non-herbivorous ant...

  16. 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.

  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. The Life of a Dead Ant : The Expression of an Adaptive Extended Phenotype

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Andersen, Sandra B.; Gerritsma, Sylvia; Yusah, Kalsum M.; Mayntz, David; Hywel-Jones, Nigel L.; Billen, Johan; Boomsma, Jacobus J.; Hughes, David P.

    2009-01-01

    Specialized parasites are expected to express complex adaptations to their hosts. Manipulation of host behavior is such an adaptation. We studied the fungus Ophiocordyceps unilateralis, a locally specialized parasite of arboreal Camponotus leonardi ants. Ant-infecting Ophiocordyceps are known to mak

  20. Caste-specific compounds in male carpenter ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brand, J M; Duffield, R M; Macconnell, J G; Blum, M S; Fales, H M

    1973-01-26

    Three caste-specific substances new to arthropod glandular secretions occur in the mandibular glands of male ants of five species in the genus Camponotus. These volatile compounds, which are not found in alate females or workers, have been identified as methyl 6-methyl salicylate, 2,4-dimethyl-2-hexenoic acid, and methyl anthranilate. The free acid has not been described previously.

  1. First records of Laboulbeniales (Ascomycota on ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae in Bulgaria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Albena Lapeva-Gjonova

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available The myrmecophilous fungi Rickia wasmannii Cavara, 1899 and Laboulbenia camponoti S. W. T. Batra, 1963 (Ascomycota: Laboulbeniales are reported for the first time from Bulgaria. Rickia wasmannii was found on Myrmica scabrinodis Nylander, 1846 ant workers (Hymenoptera: Formicidae in South-eastern Bulgaria near to the Black Sea coast. This is the easternmost record of Rickia wasmannii in Europe. Laboulbenia camponoti was found in six different localities in Bulgaria on the carpenter ants Camponotus aethiops (Latreille, 1798, C. universitatis Forel, 1890 and C. pilicornis (Roger, 1859. Camponotus aethiops and C. universitatis are new hosts for the fungus. For both fungi species the known distribution and host ranges summarized. This is the first record of the ant species Camponotus pilicornis for the Bulgarian fauna.

  2. Protection of Vochysia elliptica (Vochysiaceae) by a nectar-thieving ant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Romero, G Q

    2002-05-01

    Vochysia elliptica (Vochysiaceae) is a shrubby plant, which does not have EFNs. Camponotus ants thieve nectar, and can decrease plant fitness by making flowers less attractive to pollinators. However, ants remove herbivores, wHich can be beneficial. Results show that plants from which ants were excluded had lower rates of termite (simulated herbivore) removal than did plants visited by ants. Plants accessible to ants showed higher rates of termite removal in the base of leaves and in the inflorescence, than in the tip of leaves. This occurs because ants must pass through the principal axis to reach the inflorescence. Conclusive results of this cost/benefit analysis of the Camponotus sp. presence for V. elliptica can be obtained, with experimental manipulations.

  3. Protection of Vochysia elliptica (Vochysiaceae by a nectar-thieving ant

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. Q. ROMERO

    Full Text Available Vochysia elliptica (Vochysiaceae is a shrubby plant, which does not have EFNs. Camponotus ants thieve nectar, and can decrease plant fitness by making flowers less attractive to pollinators. However, ants remove herbivores, wich can be beneficial. Results show that plants from which ants were excluded had lower rates of termite (simulated herbivore removal than did plants visited by ants. Plants accessible to ants showed higher rates of termite removal in the base of leaves and in the inflorescence, than in the tip of leaves. This occurs because ants must pass through the principal axis to reach the inflorescence. Conclusive results of this cost/benefit analysis of the Camponotus sp. presence for V. elliptica can be obtained, with experimental manipulations.

  4. Comportamento de forrageio de Camponotus sericeiventris Guérin, 1838 (Hymenoptera, Formicidae em ambiente urbano

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thiago Elisei

    2012-07-01

    Abstract. Camponotus sericeiventris Guérin are described as omnivorous, their diet including floral and extrafloral nectar, exudates of hemipteran and lepidopteran, prey, seed and fruit foraged in the environment. The aim of this study was to examine the foraging behavior of C. sericeiventris, correlating the foraging activity and climatic factors as well as quantify and identify the resources exploited by the species and time of the foraging and action range. The specie studied was influenced positively by variations in the temperature. In most of the returns (94.81%, n = 7,072 the ants did not carry a load visible. Only 5.19% (n = 387 of the returns were identified and distributed as feces (35.40%, n = 137, animal protein (27.65%, n = 107 and vegetable fiber (36, 95%, n = 143. Two foraging trails, from colony to trees where ants were seeking resources, were measured (73 and 86 m representing an average of the distance of 79.5 ± 9.19 m, resulting in 19,596 m² of colony action. The duration of foraging of the C. sericeiventris had an average of 67 ± 16’97’’ (37’03’’- 101’ minutes. The results of this study provide important insights into understanding the dynamics of foraging activity of the C. sericeiventris in the human environment. Moreover, it shows the interaction of this specie with the environmental.

  5. The chemistry, recognition behaviors, and population genetics of Neotropical parabiotic ants

    OpenAIRE

    Emery, Virginia Jayne

    2013-01-01

    In my dissertation, I have explored behavioral, chemical and genetic aspects of a unique nesting symbiosis called parabiosis. In parabiosis, two unrelated ant species share a nest and foraging trails in a potentially mutualistic association. I have focused on the Neotropical parabiosis between Camponotus femoratus (Subfamily: Formicinae) and Crematogaster levior (Subfamily: Myrmicinae), which occur in ant- gardens throughout Amazonia. These two ants share a common nest but keep their brood in...

  6. 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...... ant builds nests in high canopy and its trails only occasionally descend to the forest floor where infection occurs. We advance the hypothesis that rare descents may be a function of limited canopy access to tree crowns and that resource profitability of such trees is potentially traded off against...

  7. 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.

  8. Complete mitochondrial genome of Camponotus atrox (Hymenoptera: Formicidae): a new tRNA arrangement in Hymenoptera.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Min Jee; Hong, Eui Jeong; Kim, Iksoo

    2016-01-01

    We sequenced the complete mitochondrial (mt) genome of Camponotus atrox (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), which is only distributed in Korea. The genome was 16 540 bp in size and contained typical sets of genes (13 protein-coding genes, 22 tRNAs, and 2 rRNAs). The C. atrox A+T-rich region, at 1402 bp, was the longest of all sequenced ant genomes and was composed of an identical tandem repeat consisting of six 100-bp copies and one 96-bp copy. A total of 315 bp of intergenic spacer sequence was spread over 23 regions. An alignment of the spacer sequences in ants was largely feasible among congeneric species, and there was substantial sequence divergence, indicating their potential use as molecular markers for congeneric species. The A/T contents at the first and second codon positions of protein-coding genes (PCGs) were similar for ant species, including C. atrox (73.9% vs. 72.3%, on average). With increased taxon sampling among hymenopteran superfamilies, differences in the divergence rates (i.e., the non-synonymous substitution rates) between the suborders Symphyta and Apocrita were detected, consistent with previous results. The C. atrox mt genome had a unique gene arrangement, trnI-trnM-trnQ, at the A+T-rich region and ND2 junction (underline indicates inverted gene). This may have originated from a tandem duplication of trnM-trnI, resulting in trnM-trnI-trnM-trnI-trnQ, and the subsequent loss of the first trnM and second trnI, resulting in trnI-trnM-trnQ.

  9. Effects of B vitamin deletion in chemically defined diets on brood development in Camponotus vicinus (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mankowski, Mark E; Morrell, J J

    2014-08-01

    The potential contributions of B vitamins by a yeast associate to the nutrition of the carpenter ant Camponotus vicinus Mayr was examined as part of an effort to develop a chemically defined diet. This diet was used to test the effects of individual B vitamin and other nutrient deletions on larval development. The chemically defined diet contained amino acids, vitamins, minerals, and other growth factors in a liquid sucrose matrix. C. vicinus worker colonies with third- and fourth-instar larvae were fed a complete artificial diet or that diet with a component deleted for a 12-wk period. There was a significant effect of diet on larval growth and number of adult worker ants produced in the overall nutrient deletion test, but ant development was often better on incomplete diets with one B vitamin deleted compared with the complete holidic basal diet. Thiamine deletion resulted in significantly higher brood weights compared with the complete diet. Diets of sugar water plus all B vitamins, sugar water only, or a diet minus all B vitamins and cholesterol were associated with significantly lower brood weights. Significantly more adult worker ants were produced by worker colonies fed diets minus cholesterol, choline, thiamine, or riboflavin compared with the complete basal diet. The results suggest that the diet, while suitable for rearing, could benefit from further study to better define component levels. The potential relationship of C. vicinus with yeast associates is discussed in relation to further studies.

  10. Ants in a hospital environment and their potential as mechanical bacterial vectors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wanda Ramos dos Santos Lima

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Introduction We studied the richness and abundance of ant species, their bacteria and the bacteria isolated from patient clinical samples. Methods Ants were collected with baited traps at 64 sites in a public hospital in São Luis, State of Maranhão, Brazil. Results In total, 1,659 ants from 14 species were captured. The most frequent species were Crematogaster victima, Solenopsis saevissima, Tapinoma melanocephalum, Camponotus vittatus and Paratrechina fulva. Forty-one species of bacteria were isolated from the ants and 18 from patients. Conclusions Ants are potential vehicles for pathogenic and opportunistic bacteria, and they can represent a risk factor in nosocomial infections.

  11. Ant foraging on extrafloral nectaries of Qualea grandiflora (Vochysiaceae) in cerrado vegetation: ants as potential antiherbivore agents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oliveira, P S; da Silva, A F; Martins, A B

    1987-12-01

    Qualea grandiflora is a typical tree of Brazilian cerrados (savanna-like vegetation) that bears paired extrafloral nectaries (EFNs) along its stems. Results show that possession of EFNs increases ant density on Q. grandiflora shrubs over that of neighbouring non-nectariferous plants. Frequency of ant occupancy and mean number of ants per plant were much higher on Qualea than on plants lacking EFNs. These differences resulted in many more live termitebaits being attacked by foraging ants on Qualea than on neighbours without EFNs. Termites were attacked in equal numbers and with equal speeds on different-aged leaves of Qualea. The greatest potential for herbivore deterrence was presented by Camponotus ants (C. crassus, C. rufipes and C. aff. blandus), which together attacked significantly more termites than nine other ant species grouped. EFNs are regarded as important promoters of ant activity on cerado plants.

  12. Molecular phylogenies reveal host-specific divergence of Ophiocordyceps unilateralis sensu lato following its host ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kobmoo, N; Mongkolsamrit, S; Tasanathai, K; Thanakitpipattana, D; Luangsa-Ard, J J

    2012-06-01

    Ophiocordyceps unilateralis (Hypocreales, Ascomycetes) is an entomopathogenic fungus specific to formicine ants (Formicinae, Hymenoptera). Previous works have shown that the carpenter ant Camponotus leonardi acts as the principal host with occasional infections of ants from the genus Polyrhachis (sister genus of Camponotus). Observations were made on the permanent plots of Mo Singto, Khao Yai National Park of Thailand according to which O. unilateralis was found to occur predominantly on three host species: C. leonardi, C. saundersi and P. furcata. Molecular phylogenies of the elongation factor 1-α and β-Tubulin genes indicate a separation of O. unilateralis samples into three clades, reflecting specificity to each of the three different ant species. Samples collected from P. furcata and from C. leonardi were found to form sister groups with samples from C. saundersi forming an outgroup to the latter. Additional samples collected from unidentified ant species of Camponotus and Polyrhachis were positioned as outgroups to those samples on identified species. These results demonstrate that O. unilateralis is clearly not a single phylogenetic species and comprises at least three species that are specific to different host ant species. These cryptic species may arise through recent events of speciation driven by their specificity to host ant species.

  13. Nestmate and kin recognition in interspecific mixed colonies of ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carlin, N F; Hölldobler, B

    1983-12-01

    Recognition of nestmates and discrimination against aliens is the rule in the social insects. The principal mechanism of nestmate recognition in carpenter ants (Camponotus) appears to be odor labels or "discriminators" that originate from the queen and are distributed among, and learned by, all adult colony members. The acquired odor labels are sufficiently powerful to produce indiscriminate acceptance among workers of different species raised together in artificially mixed colonies and rejection of genetic sisters reared by different heterospecific queens.

  14. Potential sources of nitrogen in an ant-garden tank-bromeliad

    OpenAIRE

    2009-01-01

    Epiphytic plants in general and bromeliads in particular live in a water and nutrient-stressed environment often limited in nitrogen. Thus, these plants have developed different ways to survive in such an environment. We focused on Aechmea mertensii (Bromeliaceae), which is both a tank-bromeliad and an ant-garden (AG) epiphyte initiated by either the ants Camponotus femoratus or Pachycondyla goeldii. By combining a study of plant morphology and physiology associated with aquatic insect biolog...

  15. Ant nestmate and non-nestmate discrimination by a chemosensory sensillum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ozaki, Mamiko; Wada-Katsumata, Ayako; Fujikawa, Kazuyo; Iwasaki, Masayuki; Yokohari, Fumio; Satoji, Yuji; Nisimura, Tomoyosi; Yamaoka, Ryohei

    2005-07-01

    In animal societies, chemical communication plays an important role in conflict and cooperation. For ants, cuticular hydrocarbon (CHC) blends produced by non-nestmates elicit overt aggression. We describe a sensory sensillum on the antennae of the carpenter ant Camponotus japonicus that functions in nestmate discrimination. This sensillum is multiporous and responds only to non-nestmate CHC blends. This suggests a role for a peripheral recognition mechanism in detecting colony-specific chemical signals.

  16. Genetic relationship among Camponotus rufipes Fabricius (Hymenoptera: Formicidae nests by RAPD molecular markers - doi: 10.4025/actascibiolsci.v35i1.10913

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexandre Wagner Silva Hilsdorf

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD markers were used to investigate the genetic relationship among nests of the carpenter ant, Camponotus rufipes, located in the same area. Five random oligodecamers were used to amplify DNA from 108 ant workers collected from six nests. A total of 47 RAPD markers were identified, which revealed low levels of genetic differentiation among nests (Fst = 0.00218 and a low average Shannon index (0.3727 among workers within nests. These results together suggest that the C. rufipes nest may be formed by a single, once-mated queen and that nests produced by queens that are genetically related tend to keep their nests in close proximity to one other.

  17. Do herbivores eavesdrop on ant chemical communication to avoid predation?

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    David J Gonthier

    Full Text Available Strong effects of predator chemical cues on prey are common in aquatic and marine ecosystems, but are thought to be rare in terrestrial systems and specifically for arthropods. For ants, herbivores are hypothesized to eavesdrop on ant chemical communication and thereby avoid predation or confrontation. Here I tested the effect of ant chemical cues on herbivore choice and herbivory. Using Margaridisa sp. flea beetles and leaves from the host tree (Conostegia xalapensis, I performed paired-leaf choice feeding experiments. Coating leaves with crushed ant liquids (Azteca instabilis, exposing leaves to ant patrolling prior to choice tests (A. instabilis and Camponotus textor and comparing leaves from trees with and without A. instabilis nests resulted in more herbivores and herbivory on control (no ant-treatment relative to ant-treatment leaves. In contrast to A. instabilis and C. textor, leaves previously patrolled by Solenopsis geminata had no difference in beetle number and damage compared to control leaves. Altering the time A. instabilis patrolled treatment leaves prior to choice tests (0-, 5-, 30-, 90-, 180-min. revealed treatment effects were only statistically significant after 90- and 180-min. of prior leaf exposure. This study suggests, for two ecologically important and taxonomically diverse genera (Azteca and Camponotus, ant chemical cues have important effects on herbivores and that these effects may be widespread across the ant family. It suggests that the effect of chemical cues on herbivores may only appear after substantial previous ant activity has occurred on plant tissues. Furthermore, it supports the hypothesis that herbivores use ant chemical communication to avoid predation or confrontation with ants.

  18. Cuticular Hydrocarbon Pheromones for Social Behavior and Their Coding in the Ant Antenna.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharma, Kavita R; Enzmann, Brittany L; Schmidt, Yvonne; Moore, Dani; Jones, Graeme R; Parker, Jane; Berger, Shelley L; Reinberg, Danny; Zwiebel, Laurence J; Breit, Bernhard; Liebig, Jürgen; Ray, Anandasankar

    2015-08-25

    The sophisticated organization of eusocial insect societies is largely based on the regulation of complex behaviors by hydrocarbon pheromones present on the cuticle. We used electrophysiology to investigate the detection of cuticular hydrocarbons (CHCs) by female-specific olfactory sensilla basiconica on the antenna of Camponotus floridanus ants through the utilization of one of the largest family of odorant receptors characterized so far in insects. These sensilla, each of which contains multiple olfactory receptor neurons, are differentially sensitive to CHCs and allow them to be classified into three broad groups that collectively detect every hydrocarbon tested, including queen and worker-enriched CHCs. This broad-spectrum sensitivity is conserved in a related species, Camponotus laevigatus, allowing these ants to detect CHCs from both nestmates and non-nestmates. Behavioral assays demonstrate that these ants are excellent at discriminating CHCs detected by the antenna, including enantiomers of a candidate queen pheromone that regulates the reproductive division of labor.

  19. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fayle, Tom M; Scholtz, Olivia; Dumbrell, Alex J; Russell, Stephen; Segar, Simon T; Eggleton, Paul

    2015-01-01

    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.

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

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    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.

  2. Discrimination Behavior in the Supercolonial Pharaoh Ant

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pontieri, Luigi

    ones and that low genetically diverse colonies discriminated high diverse non-nestmates better than vice versa. In the second chapter I investigated whether the high genetic differentiation characterizing natural colonies of pharaoh ants is sufficient to prevent unrelated colonies to fuse and how...... compiled datasets of cuticular hydrocarbons (CHCs) and aggression between colonies of three species of ants (Formica exsecta, Camponotus aethiops and Monomorium pharaonis) and a simulated dataset. Then, using the available information about the exact cues used for nestmate recognition in F. exsecta, we...... evaluated the power of different combinations of data transformation and chemical distance calculation in differentiating between true nestmate recognition (NMR) cues and other compounds. We found that particular combinations of statistical procedures are more effective in differentiating NMR cues from...

  3. Significance of chemical recognition cues is context dependent in ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bos, N.; Guerrieri, F.J.; d'Ettorre, P.

    2010-01-01

    Recognition of group members is of fundamental importance in social animals, allowing individuals to protect resources against intruders and parasites, as well as ensuring social cohesion within the group. In ants and other social insects, social recognition relies on multicomponent chemical...... been suggested that associative learning might play a role in nestmate recognition. We investigated whether Camponotus aethiops ants can associate a complete cuticular hydrocarbon profile, consisting of about 40 compounds, with a food reward and whether the new association, developed in an appetitive...... context, affects aggression against non-nestmates carrying the hydrocarbon profile associated with food. Individual ant workers were able to associate the non-nestmate chemical profile with food. However, conditioned ants were still aggressive when encountering a non-nestmate carrying the odour profile...

  4. 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)

  5. The role of tending ants in host plant selection and egg parasitism of two facultative myrmecophilous butterflies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bächtold, Alexandra; Alves-Silva, Estevão; Kaminski, Lucas A; Del-Claro, Kleber

    2014-11-01

    Ovipositing adult females of myrmecophilous lycaenids are expected to select plants based on ant presence in order to maximize the survivorship of immature stages. Usually, larvae feed ants with honey-like solutions and, in turn, ants ward off parasitoids. Nonetheless, a rarely investigated approach is whether ant partners can also extend their protective behavior towards lycaenids eggs. Here, we investigated the ant-related oviposition pattern of Allosmaitia strophius and Rekoa marius; then, we compared egg parasitism according to the presence of ants. Lycaenid oviposition and egg parasitism (in percent) were experimentally compared in ant-present and ant-excluded treatments. The study plant, Heteropterys byrsonimifolia, is an extrafloral nectaried shrub which supports several ant species. We sampled 280 eggs, of which 39.65 % belonged to A. strophius and 60.35 % to R. marius. Both lycaenids eggs were significantly more abundant on branches with ants, especially those with Camponotus crassus and Camponotus blandus, two ant species known to attend to lycaenids. A. strophius and R. marius parasitism was 4.5- and 2.4-fold higher, respectively, in ant-present treatments, but the results were not statistically significant. Our study shows that ant-mediated host plant selection in lycaenids might be much more widespread than previously thought, and not restricted to obligate myrmecophilous species. Tending ants may be inefficient bodyguards of lycaenid eggs, because unlike larvae which release sugared liquids, eggs do not offer obvious rewards to ants. Ants can ward off parasitoids of larvae, as observed elsewhere, but our findings show that positive ant-lycaenid interactions are conditional and depend on immature ontogeny.

  6. Effect of exit locations on ants escaping a two-exit room stressed with repellent

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Shujie; Cao, Shuchao; Wang, Qiao; Lian, Liping; Song, Weiguo

    2016-09-01

    In order to investigate the effect of the distance between two exits on ant evacuation efficiency and the behavior of ants escaping from a two-exit room, we conducted ant egress experiments using Camponotus japonicus in multiple situations. We found that the ants demonstrated the phenomenon of "symmetry breaking" in this stress situation. It was also shown that different locations for the exits obviously affected the ants' egress efficiency by measuring the time intervals between individual egress and flow rate in eight repeated experiments, each of which contained five different distance between the two exits. In addition, it is demonstrated that there are differences between the predictions of Social Force Model of pedestrians and the behaviors of ants in stress conditions through comparing some important behavioral features, including position, trajectory, velocity, and density map.

  7. The evolution of genome size in ants

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    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

  8. The importance of ants in cave ecology, with new records and behavioral observations of ants in Arizona caves

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    Robert B. Pape

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available The importance of ants as elements in cave ecology has been mostly unrecognized. A global list of ant species recorded from caves, compiled from a review of existing literature, is presented. This paper also reviews what is currently known about ants occurring in Arizona (USA caves. The diversity and distribution represented in these records suggests ants are relatively common cave visitors (trogloxenes. A general utilization of caves by ants within both temperate and tropical latitudes may be inferred from this combined evidence. Observations of ant behavior in Arizona caves demonstrate a low level and sporadic, but persistent, use of these habitats and their contained resources by individual ant colonies. Documentation of Neivamyrmex sp. preying on cave-inhabiting arthropods is reported here for the first time. Observations of hypogeic army ants in caves suggests they may not penetrate to great vertical depth in search of prey, but can be persistent occupants in relatively shallow, horizontal sections of caves where they may prey on endemic cave animals. First cave records for ten ant species are reported from Arizona caves. These include two species of Neivamyrmex (N. nigrescens Cresson and Neivamyrmex sp.; Formicidae: Dorylinae, four myrmicines (Pheidole portalensis Wilson, Pheidole cf. porcula Wheeler, Solenopsis aurea Wheeler and Stenamma sp. Westwood, one dolichoderine (Forelius keiferi Wheeler and three formicines (Lasius arizonicus Wheeler, L. sitiens Wilson, and Camponotus sp. Mayr.

  9. Formicitylenchus oregonensis n. g., n. sp. (Allantonematidae: Nematoda), the first tylenchid parasite of ants, with a review of nematodes described from ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poinar, George

    2003-09-01

    The first tylenchid parasite of ants, Formicitylenchus oregonensis n. g., n. sp., is described from a queen carpenter ant Camponotus vicinus Mayr in Western Oregon, USA. The new genus is characterised by the excretory pore anterior to the nerve-ring and rounded tails in the free-living adults, a stylet bearing basal thickenings in the free-living female, a smaller stylet lacking basal thickenings in the male and a short, crenulate leptoderan bursa. The mature parasitic female is light yellow and ovoviviparous. F. oregonensis n. sp. is closely related to members of Metaparasitylenchus Wachek, 1955, with species parasitising beetles living under bark or in rotten wood, a habitat similar to that of carpenter ants. However, males of Metaparasitylenchus are characterised by a fairly long tail with a broad peloderan bursa. It is suggested that this case of tylenchid parasitism in ants is an example of environmental host selection. A review of the described nematode parasites of ants is presented.

  10. Ants recognize foes and not friends.

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    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.

  11. 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.

  12. A checklist of the ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of Peru.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bezděčková, Klára; Bezděčka, Pavel; Machar, Ivo

    2015-09-21

    The article presents a comprehensive list of the ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of Peru. Distribution data for 592 valid names of species-group taxa in 76 genera and 12 subfamilies were collected through a bibliographical review. The most diverse subfamilies in terms of species richness are Myrmicinae (273 species/subspecies), Formicinae (86 species/subspecies) and Ponerinae (71 species/subspecies). The most diverse genera are Pheidole (86 species/subspecies), Camponotus (73 species/subspecies), and Pseudomyrmex (47 species/subspecies). With respect to geographic divisions, richness is highest in Madre de Dios (245 species/subspecies), followed by Huanuco (109 species/subspecies) and Cusco (104 species/subspecies). Regions in greatest need of additional survey work are Aycucho, Huancavelica, Moquegua and Tacna, from which virtually no information on the ant fauna is available.

  13. Species-Specific Effects of Ant Inhabitants on Bromeliad Nutrition.

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    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. Nutritional upgrading for omnivorous carpenter ants by the endosymbiont Blochmannia

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    Mueller Martin J

    2007-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Carpenter ants (genus Camponotus are considered to be omnivores. Nonetheless, the genome sequence of Blochmannia floridanus, the obligate intracellular endosymbiont of Camponotus floridanus, suggests a function in nutritional upgrading of host resources by the bacterium. Thus, the strongly reduced genome of the endosymbiont retains genes for all subunits of a functional urease, as well as those for biosynthetic pathways for all but one (arginine of the amino acids essential to the host. Results Nutritional upgrading by Blochmannia was tested in 90-day feeding experiments with brood-raising in worker-groups on chemically defined diets with and without essential amino acids and treated or not with antibiotics. Control groups were fed with cockroaches, honey water and Bhatkar agar. Worker-groups were provided with brood collected from the queenright mother-colonies (45 eggs and 45 first instar larvae each. Brood production did not differ significantly between groups of symbiotic workers on diets with and without essential amino acids. However, aposymbiotic worker groups raised significantly less brood on a diet lacking essential amino acids. Reduced brood production by aposymbiotic workers was compensated when those groups were provided with essential amino acids in their diet. Decrease of endosymbionts due to treatment with antibiotic was monitored by qRT-PCR and FISH after the 90-day experimental period. Urease function was confirmed by feeding experiments using 15N-labelled urea. GC-MS analysis of 15N-enrichment of free amino acids in workers revealed significant labelling of the non-essential amino acids alanine, glycine, aspartic acid, and glutamic acid, as well as of the essential amino acids methionine and phenylalanine. Conclusion Our results show that endosymbiotic Blochmannia nutritionally upgrade the diet of C. floridanus hosts to provide essential amino acids, and that it may also play a role in nitrogen recycling

  15. Foraging ants trade off further for faster: use of natural bridges and trunk trail permanency in carpenter ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loreto, Raquel G; Hart, Adam G; Pereira, Thairine M; Freitas, Mayara L R; Hughes, David P; Elliot, Simon L

    2013-10-01

    Trail-making ants lay pheromones on the substrate to define paths between foraging areas and the nest. Combined with the chemistry of these pheromone trails and the physics of evaporation, trail-laying and trail-following behaviours provide ant colonies with the quickest routes to food. In relatively uniform environments, such as that provided in many laboratory studies of trail-making ants, the quickest route is also often the shortest route. Here, we show that carpenter ants (Camponotus rufipes), in natural conditions, are able to make use of apparent obstacles in their environment to assist in finding the fastest routes to food. These ants make extensive use of fallen branches, twigs and lianas as bridges to build their trails. These bridges make trails significantly longer than their straight line equivalents across the forest floor, but we estimate that ants spend less than half the time to reach the same point, due to increased carriage speed across the bridges. We also found that these trails, mainly composed of bridges, are maintained for months, so they can be characterized as trunk trails. We suggest that pheromone-based foraging trail networks in field conditions are likely to be structured by a range of potentially complex factors but that even then, speed remains the most important consideration.

  16. Foraging ants trade off further for faster: use of natural bridges and trunk trail permanency in carpenter ants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loreto, Raquel G.; Hart, Adam G.; Pereira, Thairine M.; Freitas, Mayara L. R.; Hughes, David P.; Elliot, Simon L.

    2013-10-01

    Trail-making ants lay pheromones on the substrate to define paths between foraging areas and the nest. Combined with the chemistry of these pheromone trails and the physics of evaporation, trail-laying and trail-following behaviours provide ant colonies with the quickest routes to food. In relatively uniform environments, such as that provided in many laboratory studies of trail-making ants, the quickest route is also often the shortest route. Here, we show that carpenter ants ( Camponotus rufipes), in natural conditions, are able to make use of apparent obstacles in their environment to assist in finding the fastest routes to food. These ants make extensive use of fallen branches, twigs and lianas as bridges to build their trails. These bridges make trails significantly longer than their straight line equivalents across the forest floor, but we estimate that ants spend less than half the time to reach the same point, due to increased carriage speed across the bridges. We also found that these trails, mainly composed of bridges, are maintained for months, so they can be characterized as trunk trails. We suggest that pheromone-based foraging trail networks in field conditions are likely to be structured by a range of potentially complex factors but that even then, speed remains the most important consideration.

  17. Insecticidal and repellence activity of the essential oil of Pogostemon cablin against urban ants species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Albuquerque, Elânia L D; Lima, Janaína K A; Souza, Felipe H O; Silva, Indira M A; Santos, Abraão A; Araújo, Ana Paula A; Blank, Arie F; Lima, Rafaely N; Alves, Péricles B; Bacci, Leandro

    2013-09-01

    Ants are highly abundant in neotropical regions, with certain species adapted to the urban environment, where they can cause damage to human health. The main method for controlling ants consists of using organosynthetic insecticides, which are potentially toxic to the environment. Essential plant oils are considered a viable alternative to the use of conventional insecticides. In this study, we analyze the bioinsecticidal activity and repellence of patchouli essential oil (Pogostemon cablin) against three species of urban ants: Camponotus melanoticus, Camponotus novograndensis, and Dorymyrmex thoracicus. The chemical composition of the essential oil was analyzed by GC-MS and GC-FID. The major compounds were patchoulol (36.6%) followed by α-bulnesene (13.95%), and α-guaiene (11.96%). Toxicity and repellency bioassays were performed using the essential oil over the ants, and mortality evaluations were performed at 4, 24, and 48 h after performing the bioassays. Mortality percentage of the ants on 7 μg/mg was on average 84%. The essential oil of P. cablin displayed toxicity against all three species of urban ants, with the lowest LD₅₀ being observed for D. thoracicus (2.02 μg oil/mg insect) after 48 h of exposure compared to C. melanoticus (2.34 μg oil/mg insect) and C. novogranadensis (2.95 μg oil/mg insect). The essential oil of P. cablin was strongly repellent to the three species of ants in all concentrations tested (0.01% and 1% v/v). Considering the potential toxicity and repellency of the P. cablin essential oil to the urban ants, future studies could investigate the practical application of this oil to control of this insects.

  18. Species-specific seed dispersal in an obligate ant-plant mutualism.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elsa Youngsteadt

    Full Text Available Throughout lowland Amazonia, arboreal ants collect seeds of specific plants and cultivate them in nutrient-rich nests, forming diverse yet obligate and species-specific symbioses called Neotropical ant-gardens (AGs. The ants depend on their symbiotic plants for nest stability, and the plants depend on AGs for substrate and nutrients. Although the AGs are limited to specific participants, it is unknown at what stage specificity arises, and seed fate pathways in AG epiphytes are undocumented. Here we examine the specificity of the ant-seed interaction by comparing the ant community observed at general food baits to ants attracted to and removing seeds of the AG plant Peperomia macrostachya. We also compare seed removal rates under treatments that excluded vertebrates, arthropods, or both. In the bait study, only three of 70 ant species collected P. macrostachya seeds, and 84% of observed seed removal by ants was attributed to the AG ant Camponotus femoratus. In the exclusion experiment, arthropod exclusion significantly reduced seed removal rates, but vertebrate exclusion did not. We provide the most extensive empirical evidence of species specificity in the AG mutualism and begin to quantify factors that affect seed fate in order to understand conditions that favor its departure from the typical diffuse model of plant-animal mutualism.

  19. Role of relative humidity in colony founding and queen survivorship in two carpenter ant species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mankowski, Mark E; Morrell, J J

    2011-06-01

    Conditions necessary for optimal colony foundation in two carpenter ant species, Camponotus modoc Wheeler and Camponotus vicinus Mayr, were studied. Camponotus modoc and C. vicinus queens were placed in Douglas-fir, Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirb. Franco) and Styrofoam blocks conditioned in sealed chambers at 70, 80, or 100% RH. Nanitic workers produced after 12 wk were used to assess the effects of substrate and moisture content on colony initiation. Queens of C. vicinus in Douglas-fir and Styrofoam produced worker numbers that did not differ significantly with moisture content; however, the number of colonies initiated by C. modoc differed significantly with moisture content. The results indicate that colony founding in C. vicinus is less sensitive to moisture content than C. modoc for Douglas-fir and Styrofoam. In another test, groups of queens of each species were exposed to 20, 50, 70, and 100% RH and the time until 50% mortality occurred was recorded for each species. C. vicinus lived significantly longer at each of the test humidities than C. modoc, suggesting that the former species is adapted to better survive under xeric conditions.

  20. 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

  1. Ant community composition across a gradient of disturbed military landscapes at Fort Benning, Georgia

    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.

    2008-01-01

    Military training, soil texture, and ground cover influence ant communities at Fort Benning, a military installation in west-central Georgia. We sampled 81,237 ground-dwelling ants (47 species in 20 genera) with pitfall traps at 40 sites on a continuum from nearly pristine forest to highly disturbed training areas. We also measured 15 environmental variables related to vegetation and soil. Sites disturbed by military training had fewer trees, less canopy cover, more bare ground, and more compact soils with shallower A-horizons than comparable undisturbed sites. Pheidole bicarinata, Dorymyrmex smithi, and Pogonomyrmex badius dominated the most highly disturbed sites. Competitively submissive myrmicines, such as Aphaenogaster and Crematogaster, and formicines, such as Camponotus and Formica, were abundant in the undisturbed sites. Solenopsis invicta occurred in all but the least disturbed sites. Ant community composition was a useful indicator of disturbance at Fort Benning.

  2. Ants visit nectaries of Epidendrum denticulatum (Orchidaceae in a Brazilian rainforest: effects on herbivory and pollination

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. M. Almeida

    Full Text Available Epidendrum denticulatum (Orchidaceae produces nectar on the petioles of buds, flowers, and fruits (extrafloral nectaries but no nectar is found on its flowers, and it is probably a deceptive species. In the Brazilian Atlantic rainforest, some aspects of both the ecology and behavior of Camponotus sericeiventris (Formicinae and Ectatomma tuberculatum (Ponerinae, two ant species foraging on E. denticulatum extrafloral nectaries, were investigated. Both experiments, using termites as baits and field observations, suggest that these ant species are able to prevent reproductive organ herbivory, without affecting pollinator behaviour. Since a low fruit set is often cited as a characteristic of the family, especially for deceptive species, ants attracted to orchid inflorescences protect reproductive structures and increase the probability of pollination success. Epidendrum denticulatum flowers were visited and probably pollinated by Heliconius erato (Nymphalidae and Euphyes leptosema (Hesperiidae.

  3. Frequent summer nuptial flights of ants provide a primary food source for bats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levin, Eran; Yom-Tov, Yoram; Barnea, Anat

    2009-04-01

    In many ant species, nuptial flight tends to be short in time and assumed to be synchronous across a large area. Here, we report that, in the upper Jordan Valley, northern Israel, massive nuptial flights of Carpenter ants ( Camponotus sp.) occur frequently throughout the summer, and their alates form up to 90% of the diet of the greater mouse-tailed bat ( Rhinopoma microphyllum) during this period. This fat and protein-rich diet enables female bats to lactate during summer, and the large amount of fat that both sexes accumulate may serve as an energy source for their following winter hibernation and posthibernation mating in early spring (March-April). We suggest that the annual movement of these bats to the Mediterranean region of Israel may have evolved in order to enable them to exploit the extremely nutritious forms of ant alates when the bats’ energetic demands are highest.

  4. 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....

  5. Ant Farm

    OpenAIRE

    2012-01-01

    Publié à l’occasion de l’exposition d’Ant Farm au Frac Centre du 12 au 23 décembre 2007, ce très beau catalogue, qui fait état des dix ans de création du collectif californien, propose un nombre important de documents iconographiques, de notices et de textes concernant leurs différents projets. Fondé en 1968 par Doug Michels et Chip Lord, rejoints par la suite par Curtis Schreier, Hudson Marquez, Douglas Hurr et d’autres encore, le collectif Ant Farm a marqué les esprits par quelques œuvres s...

  6. Evaluation of control measures for black carpenter ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tripp, J M; Suiter, D R; Bennett, G W; Klotz, J H; Reid, B L

    2000-10-01

    Current control methods for the black carpenter ant, Camponotus pennsylvanicus (De Geer), include the use of remedial and preventative residual sprays as well as toxic baits. We evaluated the acceptance of three baits (Maxforce, Niban, and Baygon) to field colonies of the black carpenter ant in the spring and fall. Maxforce bait granules were more readily accepted than either Niban or Baygon bait granules in the spring. A change in food preference from protein to sugar by the black carpenter ant appeared to reduce the number of Maxforce bait granules removed in the fall, resulting in no differences in bait acceptability. The longevity of Dursban 50W and Tempo 20WP were evaluated in the summer and fall on painted wood panels. Panels aged outside for 15 d under prevailing weather conditions exhibited increased LT50 values. For each sampling period, panels aged on the south face (in the sun) exhibited less insecticidal activity (i.e., large LT50 values) than panels on the north face (shaded; small LT50 values). At each sampling period, Tempo 20WP provided smaller LT50 values than Dursban 50W. Because of changing dietary preferences, our data highlight the importance of using various bait types for carpenter ant control. Moreover, the application of residual spays should be made to locations protected from direct sunlight.

  7. 日本弓背蚁精子发生观察%Spermatogenesis in Camponotus Japonicus

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    詹光杰

    2010-01-01

    对日本弓背蚁(Camponotus japonic)精子的发生动态过程进行了连续观察和描述.精母细胞形态和细胞核形态变化特征性指标显示:日本弓背蚁精子发生过程总体可分为5个阶段:精原细胞时期、初级精母细胞时期、次级精母细胞时期、精子细胞时期和精子形成时期,最终成熟的精子通过交配活动排出体外.

  8. Systematic relationships and cospeciation of bacterial endosymbionts and their carpenter ant host species: proposal of the new taxon Candidatus Blochmannia gen. nov.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sauer, C; Stackebrandt, E; Gadau, J; Hölldobler, B; Gross, R

    2000-09-01

    The systematic relationships of intracellular bacteria of 13 Camponotus species (carpenter ants) from America and Europe were compared to those of their hosts. Phylogenetic trees of the bacteria and the ants were based on 16S rDNA (rrs) gene sequences and mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase subunit I (COI) gene sequences, respectively. The bacterial endosymbionts of Camponotus spp. form a distinct lineage in the y-subclass of the Proteobacteria. The taxa most closely related to these bacteria are endosymbionts of aphids and the tsetse fly. The bacterial and host phylogenies deduced from the sequence data show a high degree of congruence, providing significant evidence for cospeciation of the bacteria and the ants and a maternal transmission route of the symbionts. The cloned rrs genes of the endosymbionts contain putative intervening sequences (IVSs) with a much lower G+C content than the mean of the respective rrs genes. By in situ hybridization specific 16S rDNA oligonucleotide probes verified the presence of the bacteria within tissues of three of the eukaryotic hosts. It is proposed that the endosymbionts of these three carpenter ants be assigned to a new taxon 'Candidatus Blochmannia gen. nov.' with the symbionts of the individual ants being species named according to their host, 'Candidatus Blochmannia floridanus sp. nov.', 'Candidatus Blochmannia herculeanus sp. nov.' and 'Candidatus Blochmannia rufipes sp. nov.'.

  9. Myrmecochores can target high-quality disperser ants: variation in elaiosome traits and ant preferences for myrmecochorous Euphorbiaceae in Brazilian Caatinga.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leal, Laura Carolina; Lima Neto, Mário Correia; de Oliveira, Antônio Fernando Morais; Andersen, Alan N; Leal, Inara R

    2014-02-01

    Recent evidence suggests that the traditional view of myrmecochory as a highly diffuse interaction between diaspores and a wide range of ant species attracted to their elaiosomes may not be correct. The effectiveness of dispersal varies markedly among ant species, and combined with differential attractiveness of diaspores due to elaiosome size and composition, this raises the potential for myrmecochorous plants to target ant species that offer the highest quality dispersal services. We ask the question: Do particular physical and chemical traits of elaiosomes result in disproportionate removal of Euphorbiaceae diaspores by high-quality disperser ants in Caatinga vegetation of north-eastern Brazil? We offered seeds of five euphorb species that varied in morphological and chemical traits of elaiosomes to seed-dispersing ants. High-quality seed-disperser ants (species of Dinoponera, Ectatomma and Camponotus) were identified as those that rapidly collected and transported diaspores to their nests, often over substantial distances, whereas low-quality disperser ants (primarily species of Pheidole and Solenopsis) typically fed on elaiosomes in situ, and only ever transported diaspores very short distances. Low-quality disperser ants were equally attracted to the elaiosomes of all study species. However, high-quality dispersers showed a strong preference for diaspores with the highest elaiosome mass (and especially proportional mass). As far as we are aware, this is the first study to identify a mechanism of diaspore selection by high-quality ant dispersers based on elaiosome traits under field conditions. Our findings suggest that myrmecochorous plants can preferentially target high-quality seed-disperser ants through the evolution of particular elaiosome traits.

  10. A novel type of nutritional ant-plant interaction: ant partners of carnivorous pitcher plants prevent nutrient export by dipteran pitcher infauna.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scharmann, Mathias; Thornham, Daniel G; Grafe, T Ulmar; Federle, Walter

    2013-01-01

    Many plants combat herbivore and pathogen attack indirectly by attracting predators of their herbivores. Here we describe a novel type of insect-plant interaction where a carnivorous plant uses such an indirect defence to prevent nutrient loss to kleptoparasites. The ant Camponotus schmitzi is an obligate inhabitant of the carnivorous pitcher plant Nepenthes bicalcarata in Borneo. It has recently been suggested that this ant-plant interaction is a nutritional mutualism, but the detailed mechanisms and the origin of the ant-derived nutrient supply have remained unexplained. We confirm that N. bicalcarata host plant leaves naturally have an elevated (15)N/(14)N stable isotope abundance ratio (δ(15)N) when colonised by C. schmitzi. This indicates that a higher proportion of the plants' nitrogen is insect-derived when C. schmitzi ants are present (ca. 100%, vs. 77% in uncolonised plants) and that more nitrogen is available to them. We demonstrated direct flux of nutrients from the ants to the host plant in a (15)N pulse-chase experiment. As C. schmitzi ants only feed on nectar and pitcher contents of their host, the elevated foliar δ(15)N cannot be explained by classic ant-feeding (myrmecotrophy) but must originate from a higher efficiency of the pitcher traps. We discovered that C. schmitzi ants not only increase the pitchers' capture efficiency by keeping the pitchers' trapping surfaces clean, but they also reduce nutrient loss from the pitchers by predating dipteran pitcher inhabitants (infauna). Consequently, nutrients the pitchers would have otherwise lost via emerging flies become available as ant colony waste. The plants' prey is therefore conserved by the ants. The interaction between C. schmitzi, N. bicalcarata and dipteran pitcher infauna represents a new type of mutualism where animals mitigate the damage by nutrient thieves to a plant.

  11. Assessing ecological specialization of an ant-seed dispersal mutualism through a wide geographic range.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manzaneda, Antonio J; Rey, Pedro J

    2009-11-01

    Specialization in species interactions is of central importance for understanding the ecological structure and evolution of plant-animal mutualisms. Most plant-animal mutualisms are facultative and strongly asymmetric. In particular, myrmecochory (seed dispersal by ants) has been regarded as a very generalized interaction. Although some recent studies have suggested that only a few ant species are really important for dispersal, no rigorous measurement of the specialization in ant-seed dispersal mutualisms has been performed. Here, we use individual plants as basic units for replication to investigate the generalization-specialization of the herb Helleborus foetidus on its ant dispersers over a considerable part of its geographical range. We define generalization in terms of diversity components (species richness and evenness) of the ant visitor that realizes dispersal by removing diaspores. We obtain truly comparable values of ant visitor diversity, distinguishing among different functional groups of visitors and identifying incidental visitors and real ant dispersers. Using null model approaches, we test the null hypothesis that ant-mediated dispersal is a generalized mutualism. At least two premises should be confirmed to validate the hypothesis: (1) diaspores are dispersed by multiple ant-visitor species, and (2) diaspore dispersal is significantly equitable. Though up to 37 ant species visited diaspores across 10 populations, only two large formicines, Camponotus cruentatus and Formica lugubris, were responsible for the vast majority of visits resulting in dispersal in most populations and years, which strongly suggests that ant seed dispersal in H. foetidus is ecologically specialized. Interestingly, specialization degree was unrelated to dispersal success across populations. Our study offers new insights into the spatiotemporal dynamics of myrmecochory. We propose the existence of an alternative scenario to extensive generalization. In this new scenario

  12. Exposure to light enhances pre-adult fitness in two dark-dwelling sympatric species of ants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sharma Vijay

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background In insects, circadian clocks play a key role in enhancing fitness by regulating life history traits such as developmental time and adult lifespan. These clocks use environmental light/dark (LD cycles to fine-tune a wide range of behavioral and physiological processes. To study the effect of environmental LD conditions on pre-adult fitness components, we used two dark-dwelling sympatric species of ants (the night active Camponotus compressus and the day active Camponotus paria, which normally develop underground and have fairly long pre-adult developmental time. Results Our results suggest that ants develop fastest as pre-adults when maintained under constant light (LL, followed closely by 12:12 hr light/dark (LD, and then constant darkness (DD. While light exposure alters developmental rates of almost all stages of development, the overall pre-adult development in LL is speeded-up (relative to DD by ~37% (34 days in C. compressus and by ~35% (31 days in C. paria. In LD too, development is faster (relative to DD by ~29% (26 days in C. compressus and by ~28% (25 days in C. paria. Pre-adult viability of both species is also higher under LL and LD compared to DD. While pre-adult development time and viability is enhanced in LL and LD, clutch-size undergoes reduction, at least in C. compressus. Conclusion Exposure to light enhances pre-adult fitness in two dark-dwelling species of Camponotus by speeding-up development and by enhancing viability. This suggests that social ants use environmental light/dark cycles to modulate key life history traits such as pre-adult development time and viability.

  13. The Ants Have It!

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daugherty, Belinda

    2001-01-01

    Uses the GEMS guide, "Ants at Home Underground", to explore the life of ants and teach about them in a classroom setting. The activity applies students' knowledge of ants and students learn about ant colonies, what ants eat, and how they live. (SAH)

  14. Asymmetry in olfactory generalization and the inclusion criterion in ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bos, Nick

    2014-01-01

    Animals constantly face the challenge of extracting important information out of their environment, and for many animals much of this information is chemical in nature. The ability to discriminate and generalize between chemical stimuli is extremely important and is commonly thought to depend mostly on the structural similarity between the different stimuli. However, we previously provided evidence that in the carpenter ant Camponotus aethiops, generalization not only depends on structural similarity, but also on the animal's previous training experience. When individual ants were conditioned to substance A, they generalized toward a mixture of A and B. However, when trained to substance B, they did not generalize toward this mixture, resulting in asymmetrical generalization. This asymmetry followed an inclusion criterion, where the ants consistently generalized from a molecule with a long carbon chain to molecules with a shorter chain, but not the other way around. Here I will review the evidence for the inclusion criterion, describe possible proximate mechanisms underlying this phenomenon as well as discuss its potential adaptive significance.

  15. Divergent chemical cues elicit seed collecting by ants in an obligate multi-species mutualism in lowland Amazonia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Youngsteadt, Elsa; Guerra Bustios, Patricia; Schal, Coby

    2010-12-30

    In lowland Amazonian rainforests, specific ants collect seeds of several plant species and cultivate them in arboreal carton nests, forming species-specific symbioses called ant-gardens (AGs). In this obligate mutualism, ants depend on the plants for nest stability and the plants depend on ant nests for substrate and nutrients. AG ants and plants are abundant, dominant members of lowland Amazonian ecosystems, but the cues ants use to recognize the seeds are poorly understood. To address the chemical basis of the ant-seed interaction, we surveyed seed chemistry in nine AG species and eight non-AG congeners. We detected seven phenolic and terpenoid volatiles common to seeds of all or most of the AG species, but a blend of the shared compounds was not attractive to the AG ant Camponotus femoratus. We also analyzed seeds of three AG species (Anthurium gracile, Codonanthe uleana, and Peperomia macrostachya) using behavior-guided fractionation. At least one chromatographic fraction of each seed extract elicited retrieval behavior in C. femoratus, but the active fractions of the three plant species differed in polarity and chemical composition, indicating that shared compounds alone did not explain seed-carrying behavior. We suggest that the various AG seed species must elicit seed-carrying with different chemical cues.

  16. Divergent chemical cues elicit seed collecting by ants in an obligate multi-species mutualism in lowland Amazonia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elsa Youngsteadt

    Full Text Available In lowland Amazonian rainforests, specific ants collect seeds of several plant species and cultivate them in arboreal carton nests, forming species-specific symbioses called ant-gardens (AGs. In this obligate mutualism, ants depend on the plants for nest stability and the plants depend on ant nests for substrate and nutrients. AG ants and plants are abundant, dominant members of lowland Amazonian ecosystems, but the cues ants use to recognize the seeds are poorly understood. To address the chemical basis of the ant-seed interaction, we surveyed seed chemistry in nine AG species and eight non-AG congeners. We detected seven phenolic and terpenoid volatiles common to seeds of all or most of the AG species, but a blend of the shared compounds was not attractive to the AG ant Camponotus femoratus. We also analyzed seeds of three AG species (Anthurium gracile, Codonanthe uleana, and Peperomia macrostachya using behavior-guided fractionation. At least one chromatographic fraction of each seed extract elicited retrieval behavior in C. femoratus, but the active fractions of the three plant species differed in polarity and chemical composition, indicating that shared compounds alone did not explain seed-carrying behavior. We suggest that the various AG seed species must elicit seed-carrying with different chemical cues.

  17. Postfire Succession of Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) Nesting in Dead Wood of Northern Boreal Forest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boucher, Philippe; Hébert, Christian; Francoeur, André; Sirois, Luc

    2015-10-01

    Dead wood decomposition begins immediately after tree death and involves a large array of invertebrates. Ecological successions are still poorly known for saproxylic organisms, particularly in boreal forests. We investigated the use of dead wood as nesting sites for ants along a 60-yr postfire chronosequence in northeastern coniferous forests. We sampled a total of 1,625 pieces of dead wood, in which 263 ant nests were found. Overall, ant abundance increased during the first 30 yr after wildfire, and then declined. Leptothorax cf. canadensis Provancher, the most abundant species in our study, was absent during the first 2 yr postfire, but increased steadily until 30 yr after fire, whereas Myrmica alaskensis Wheeler, second in abundance, was found at all stages of succession in the chronosequence. Six other species were less frequently found, among which Camponotus herculeanus (Linné), Formica neorufibarbis Emery, and Formica aserva Forel were locally abundant, but more scarcely distributed. Dead wood lying on the ground and showing numerous woodborer holes had a higher probability of being colonized by ants. The C:N ratio was lower for dead wood colonized by ants than for noncolonized dead wood, showing that the continuous occupation of dead wood by ants influences the carbon and nitrogen dynamics of dead wood after wildfire in northern boreal forests.

  18. Asymmetrical behavioral response towards two boron toxicants depends on the ant species (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sola, Francisco; Falibene, Agustina; Josens, Roxana

    2013-04-01

    Urban ants are a worldwide critical household pests, and efforts to control them usually involve the use of alimentary baits containing slow-acting insecticides. A common toxicant used is boron, either as borax or boric acid. However, the presence of these compounds can affect the consumption of baits by reducing their acceptance and ingestion. Moreover, as feeding motivation varies widely, according not only to food properties but also to colony conditions, bait consumption might be diminished further in certain situations. In this study, we compared the feeding response of ants toward two boron toxic baits (boric acid and borax) in low motivation situations that enhance any possible phago-deterrence the baits may produce. Most studies investigating bait ingestion evaluate whole nests or groups of ants; here, we analyzed the individual ingestion behavior and mortality of the Argentine ant, Linepithema humile (Mayr), and the carpenter ant, Camponotus mus (Roger), for two boron baits, to detect which compound generates a higher rejection in each of these species. Although these two species have similar feeding habits, our results showed that ants under low motivation conditions reduced the acceptance and consumption of the toxic baits asymmetrically. While L. humile mostly rejected the borax, C. mus rejected the boric acid. These results denote the importance of considering the preference of each species when developing a pest management strategy.

  19. Can't take the heat: high temperature depletes bacterial endosymbionts of ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fan, Yongliang; Wernegreen, Jennifer J

    2013-10-01

    Members of the ant tribe Camponotini have coevolved with Blochmannia, an obligate intracellular bacterial mutualist. This endosymbiont lives within host bacteriocyte cells that line the ant midgut, undergoes maternal transmission from host queens to offspring, and contributes to host nutrition via nitrogen recycling and nutrient biosynthesis. While elevated temperature has been shown to disrupt obligate bacterial mutualists of some insects, its impact on the ant-Blochmannia partnership is less clear. Here, we test the effect of heat on the density of Blochmannia in two related Camponotus species in the lab. Transcriptionally active Blochmannia were quantified using RT-qPCR as the ratio of Blochmannia 16S rRNA to ant host elongation factor 1-α transcripts. Our results showed that 4 weeks of heat treatment depleted active Blochmannia by >99 % in minor workers and unmated queens. However, complete elimination of Blochmannia transcripts rarely occurred, even after 16 weeks of heat treatment. Possible mechanisms of observed thermal sensitivity may include extreme AT-richness and related features of Blochmannia genomes, as well as host stress responses. Broadly, the observed depletion of an essential microbial mutualist in heat-treated ants is analogous to the loss of zooanthellae during coral bleaching. While the ecological relevance of Blochmannia's thermal sensitivity is uncertain, our results argue that symbiont dynamics should be part of models predicting how ants and other animals will respond and adapt to a warming climate.

  20. A carnivorous plant fed by its ant symbiont: a unique multi-faceted nutritional mutualism.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vincent Bazile

    Full Text Available Scarcity of essential nutrients has led plants to evolve alternative nutritional strategies, such as myrmecotrophy (ant-waste-derived nutrition and carnivory (invertebrate predation. The carnivorous plant Nepenthes bicalcarata grows in the Bornean peatswamp forests and is believed to have a mutualistic relationship with its symbiotic ant Camponotus schmitzi. However, the benefits provided by the ant have not been quantified. We tested the hypothesis of a nutritional mutualism, using foliar isotopic and reflectance analyses and by comparing fitness-related traits between ant-inhabited and uninhabited plants. Plants inhabited by C. schmitzi produced more leaves of greater area and nitrogen content than unoccupied plants. The ants were estimated to provide a 200% increase in foliar nitrogen to adult plants. Inhabited plants also produced more and larger pitchers containing higher prey biomass. C. schmitzi-occupied pitchers differed qualitatively in containing C. schmitzi wastes and captured large ants and flying insects. Pitcher abortion rates were lower in inhabited plants partly because of herbivore deterrence as herbivory-aborted buds decreased with ant occupation rate. Lower abortion was also attributed to ant nutritional service. The ants had higher δ(15N values than any tested prey, and foliar δ(15N increased with ant occupation rate, confirming their predatory behaviour and demonstrating their direct contribution to the plant-recycled N. We estimated that N. bicalcarata derives on average 42% of its foliar N from C. schmitzi wastes, (76% in highly-occupied plants. According to the Structure Independent Pigment Index, plants without C. schmitzi were nutrient stressed compared to both occupied plants, and pitcher-lacking plants. This attests to the physiological cost of pitcher production and poor nutrient assimilation in the absence of the symbiont. Hence C. schmitzi contributes crucially to the nutrition of N. bicalcarata, via protection

  1. A carnivorous plant fed by its ant symbiont: a unique multi-faceted nutritional mutualism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bazile, Vincent; Moran, Jonathan A; Le Moguédec, Gilles; Marshall, David J; Gaume, Laurence

    2012-01-01

    Scarcity of essential nutrients has led plants to evolve alternative nutritional strategies, such as myrmecotrophy (ant-waste-derived nutrition) and carnivory (invertebrate predation). The carnivorous plant Nepenthes bicalcarata grows in the Bornean peatswamp forests and is believed to have a mutualistic relationship with its symbiotic ant Camponotus schmitzi. However, the benefits provided by the ant have not been quantified. We tested the hypothesis of a nutritional mutualism, using foliar isotopic and reflectance analyses and by comparing fitness-related traits between ant-inhabited and uninhabited plants. Plants inhabited by C. schmitzi produced more leaves of greater area and nitrogen content than unoccupied plants. The ants were estimated to provide a 200% increase in foliar nitrogen to adult plants. Inhabited plants also produced more and larger pitchers containing higher prey biomass. C. schmitzi-occupied pitchers differed qualitatively in containing C. schmitzi wastes and captured large ants and flying insects. Pitcher abortion rates were lower in inhabited plants partly because of herbivore deterrence as herbivory-aborted buds decreased with ant occupation rate. Lower abortion was also attributed to ant nutritional service. The ants had higher δ(15)N values than any tested prey, and foliar δ(15)N increased with ant occupation rate, confirming their predatory behaviour and demonstrating their direct contribution to the plant-recycled N. We estimated that N. bicalcarata derives on average 42% of its foliar N from C. schmitzi wastes, (76% in highly-occupied plants). According to the Structure Independent Pigment Index, plants without C. schmitzi were nutrient stressed compared to both occupied plants, and pitcher-lacking plants. This attests to the physiological cost of pitcher production and poor nutrient assimilation in the absence of the symbiont. Hence C. schmitzi contributes crucially to the nutrition of N. bicalcarata, via protection of assimilatory

  2. Behavioral mechanisms and morphological symptoms of zombie ants dying from fungal infection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Himaman Winanda

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Parasites that manipulate host behavior can provide prominent examples of extended phenotypes: parasite genomes controlling host behavior. Here we focus on one of the most dramatic examples of behavioral manipulation, the death grip of ants infected by Ophiocordyceps fungi. We studied the interaction between O. unilateralis s.l. and its host ant Camponotus leonardi in a Thai rainforest, where infected ants descend from their canopy nests down to understory vegetation to bite into abaxial leaf veins before dying. Host mortality is concentrated in patches (graveyards where ants die on sapling leaves ca. 25 cm above the soil surface where conditions for parasite development are optimal. Here we address whether the sequence of ant behaviors leading to the final death grip can also be interpreted as parasite adaptations and describe some of the morphological changes inside the heads of infected workers that mediate the expression of the death grip phenotype. Results We found that infected ants behave as zombies and display predictable stereotypical behaviors of random rather than directional walking, and of repeated convulsions that make them fall down and thus precludes returning to the canopy. Transitions from erratic wandering to death grips on a leaf vein were abrupt and synchronized around solar noon. We show that the mandibles of ants penetrate deeply into vein tissue and that this is accompanied by extensive atrophy of the mandibular muscles. This lock-jaw means the ant will remain attached to the leaf after death. We further present histological data to show that a high density of single celled stages of the parasite within the head capsule of dying ants are likely to be responsible for this muscular atrophy. Conclusions Extended phenotypes in ants induced by fungal infections are a complex example of behavioral manipulation requiring coordinated changes of host behavior and morphology. Future work should address the

  3. Graveyards on the move: the spatio-temporal distribution of dead ophiocordyceps-infected ants.

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    Maj-Britt Pontoppidan

    Full Text Available Parasites are likely to play an important role in structuring host populations. Many adaptively manipulate host behaviour, so that the extended phenotypes of these parasites and their distributions in space and time are potentially important ecological variables. The fungus Ophiocordyceps unilateralis, which is pan-tropical in distribution, causes infected worker ants to leave their nest and die under leaves in the understory of tropical rainforests. Working in a forest dynamic plot in Southern Thailand we mapped the occurrence of these dead ants by examining every leaf in 1,360 m(2 of primary rainforest. We established that high density aggregations exist (up to 26 dead ants/m(2, which we coined graveyards. We further established that graveyards are patchily distributed in a landscape with no or very few O. unilateralis-killed ants. At some, but not all, spatial scales of analysis the density 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 ant builds nests in high canopy and its trails only occasionally descend to the forest floor where infection occurs. We advance the hypothesis that rare descents may be a function of limited canopy access to tree crowns and that resource profitability of such trees is potentially traded off against the risk of losing workers due to infection when forest floor trails are the only access routes. Our work underscores the need for an integrative approach that recognises multiple facets of parasitism, such as their extended phenotypes.

  4. Invention and modification of a new tool use behavior: ant-fishing in trees by a wild chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes verus) at Bossou, Guinea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamamoto, Shinya; Yamakoshi, Gen; Humle, Tatyana; Matsuzawa, Tetsuro

    2008-07-01

    Wild chimpanzees are known to have a different repertoire of tool use unique to each community. For example, "ant-dipping" is a tool use behavior known in several chimpanzee communities across Africa targeted at driver ants (Dorylus spp.) on the ground, whereas "ant-fishing," which is aimed at carpenter ants (Camponotus spp.) in trees, has primarily been observed among the chimpanzees of Mahale in Tanzania. Although the evidence for differences between field sites is accumulating, we have little knowledge on how these tool use behaviors appear at each site and on how these are modified over time. This study reports two"ant-fishing" sessions which occurred 2 years apart by a young male chimpanzee at Bossou, Guinea. Ant-fishing had never been observed before in this community over the past 27 years. During the first session, at the age of 5, he employed wands of similar length when ant-fishing in trees to those used for ant-dipping on the ground, which is a customary tool use behavior of this community. Two years later, at the age of 7, his tools for ant-fishing were shorter and more suitable for capturing carpenter ants. This observation is a rare example of innovation in the wild and does provide insights into problem-solving and learning processes in chimpanzees.

  5. Fire Ant Bites

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  6. Repellent efficacy of formic acid and the abdominal secretion of carpenter ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) against Amblyomma ticks (Acari: Ixodidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Falótico, Tiago; Labruna, Marcelo B; Verderane, Michele P; De Resende, Briseida D; Izar, Patrícia; Ottoni, Eduardo B

    2007-07-01

    Formic acid is a substance produced by some ants for defense, trail marking, and recruitment. Some animals are known to rub ants or other arthropods on parts of their plumage or fur to anoint themselves with released substances. A recent study with a semifree-ranging group of capuchin monkeys, Cebus apella L., in the Tietê Ecological Park, Sao Paulo, Brazil, an area of occurrence of the tick species Amblyomma cajennense (F.), revealed that "anting" with carpenter ants, Camponotus rufipes F. (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), occurs frequently, especially during the A. cajennense subadult season. Based on these observations, we tested the repellent effect of the formic acid and the ants themselves against A. cajennense and Amblyomma incisum Neumann nymphs, and Amblyomma parcum Aragdo adult ticks in the laboratory. The results revealed a significant repellent effect of formic acid and ant secretion, and a significant duration of the repellent effect. The results suggest that the anting behavior of capuchin monkeys, and other vertebrates, may be related with repellence of ticks and other ectoparasites.

  7. Discovery of defense- and neuropeptides in social ants by genome-mining.

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    Christian W Gruber

    Full Text Available Natural peptides of great number and diversity occur in all organisms, but analyzing their peptidome is often difficult. With natural product drug discovery in mind, we devised a genome-mining approach to identify defense- and neuropeptides in the genomes of social ants from Atta cephalotes (leaf-cutter ant, Camponotus floridanus (carpenter ant and Harpegnathos saltator (basal genus. Numerous peptide-encoding genes of defense peptides, in particular defensins, and neuropeptides or regulatory peptide hormones, such as allatostatins and tachykinins, were identified and analyzed. Most interestingly we annotated genes that encode oxytocin/vasopressin-related peptides (inotocins and their putative receptors. This is the first piece of evidence for the existence of this nonapeptide hormone system in ants (Formicidae and supports recent findings in Tribolium castaneum (red flour beetle and Nasonia vitripennis (parasitoid wasp, and therefore its confinement to some basal holometabolous insects. By contrast, the absence of the inotocin hormone system in Apis mellifera (honeybee, another closely-related member of the eusocial Hymenoptera clade, establishes the basis for future studies on the molecular evolution and physiological function of oxytocin/vasopressin-related peptides (vasotocin nonapeptide family and their receptors in social insects. Particularly the identification of ant inotocin and defensin peptide sequences will provide a basis for future pharmacological characterization in the quest for potent and selective lead compounds of therapeutic value.

  8. Potential sources of nitrogen in an ant-garden tank-bromeliad.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leroy, Céline; Corbara, Bruno; Dejean, Alain; Céréghino, Régis

    2009-09-01

    Epiphytic plants in general and bromeliads in particular live in a water and nutrient-stressed environment often limited in nitrogen. Thus, these plants have developed different ways to survive in such an environment. We focused on Aechmea mertensii (Bromeliaceae), which is both a tank-bromeliad and an ant-garden (AG) epiphyte initiated by either the ants Camponotus femoratus or Pachycondyla goeldii. By combining a study of plant morphology and physiology associated with aquatic insect biology, we demonstrate that the ant species influences the leaf structure of the bromeliad, the structure of the aquatic community in its tank, and nutrient assimilation by the leaves. Based on nitrogen and nitrogen stable isotope measurements of the A. mertensii leaves, the leaf litter inside of the tank and the root-embedded carton nest, we discuss the potential sources of available nitrogen for the plant based on the ant partner. We demonstrate the existence of a complex ant-plant interaction that subsequently affects the biodiversity of a broader range of organisms that are themselves likely to influence nutrient assimilation by the A. mertensii leaves in a kind of plant-invertebrate-plant feedback loop.

  9. Mushroom body volumes and visual interneurons in ants: comparison between sexes and castes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ehmer, Birgit; Gronenberg, Wulfila

    2004-02-01

    The mushroom bodies are brain centers involved in complex behaviors such as learning and orientation. Here we examine the organization of mushroom bodies in ants, focusing on visual input. We describe the structure of visual neurons and compare the volume of brain structures involved in visual processing, especially the optic lobes and parts of the mushroom bodies receiving visual input in males, winged females, and workers of carpenter ants (Camponotus). A relatively small number of neurons connect the medulla with the mushroom bodies, and these neurons have relatively large dendritic fields in the medulla, suggesting low spatial resolution in ants. These neurons terminate in different yet overlapping strata in the mushroom bodies' collar region. While males have larger optic lobes than workers, their collar region is smaller than in females. Male ants have an additional type of medulla-mushroom body neuron with dendrites probing the distal medulla. These neurons are absent in female and worker ants. Most mushroom body Kenyon cells that are postsynaptic to visual input neurons appear to integrate visual as well as antennal input. This is in contrast to honey bees, where visual input to the mushroom bodies is more prominent and where Kenyon cells are not known to combine visual and antennal input.

  10. Discovery of defense- and neuropeptides in social ants by genome-mining.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gruber, Christian W; Muttenthaler, Markus

    2012-01-01

    Natural peptides of great number and diversity occur in all organisms, but analyzing their peptidome is often difficult. With natural product drug discovery in mind, we devised a genome-mining approach to identify defense- and neuropeptides in the genomes of social ants from Atta cephalotes (leaf-cutter ant), Camponotus floridanus (carpenter ant) and Harpegnathos saltator (basal genus). Numerous peptide-encoding genes of defense peptides, in particular defensins, and neuropeptides or regulatory peptide hormones, such as allatostatins and tachykinins, were identified and analyzed. Most interestingly we annotated genes that encode oxytocin/vasopressin-related peptides (inotocins) and their putative receptors. This is the first piece of evidence for the existence of this nonapeptide hormone system in ants (Formicidae) and supports recent findings in Tribolium castaneum (red flour beetle) and Nasonia vitripennis (parasitoid wasp), and therefore its confinement to some basal holometabolous insects. By contrast, the absence of the inotocin hormone system in Apis mellifera (honeybee), another closely-related member of the eusocial Hymenoptera clade, establishes the basis for future studies on the molecular evolution and physiological function of oxytocin/vasopressin-related peptides (vasotocin nonapeptide family) and their receptors in social insects. Particularly the identification of ant inotocin and defensin peptide sequences will provide a basis for future pharmacological characterization in the quest for potent and selective lead compounds of therapeutic value.

  11. Relevance of the endosymbiosis of Blochmannia floridanus and carpenter ants at different stages of the life cycle of the host.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zientz, Evelyn; Beyaert, Ivo; Gross, Roy; Feldhaar, Heike

    2006-09-01

    Expression of several genes possibly involved in the symbiotic relationship between the obligate intracellular endosymbiont Blochmannia floridanus and its ant host Camponotus floridanus was investigated at different developmental stages of the host by real-time quantitative PCR. These included a set of genes related to nitrogen metabolism (ureC, ureF, glnA, and speB) as well as genes involved in the synthesis of the aromatic amino acid tyrosine (tyrA, aspC, and hisC). The overall transcriptional activity of Blochmannia was found to be quite low during early developmental stages and to increase steadily with host age. However, a concerted peak of gene expression related to nitrogen recycling could be detected around the entire process of pupation, while expression of biosynthesis pathways for aromatic amino acids was elevated only during a short phase in pupation. These data suggest an important role of certain metabolic functions for the symbiotic interactions of the bacteria and an individual host organism in early phases of development. General relevance of Blochmannia for its ant host was tested in fostering experiments with worker groups of Camponotus floridanus, and their success in raising pupae from first-instar larvae was used as a fitness measure. Groups treated with antibiotics had a significantly reduced success in raising the brood in comparison to untreated control groups, indicating that the symbiosis is relevant for the development of the entire colony.

  12. Are ant assemblages of Brazilian veredas characterised by location or habitat type?

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    CB Costa-Milanez

    Full Text Available Wetland areas in the Brazilian Cerrado, known as “veredas”, represent ecosystems formed on sandy soils with high concentrations of peat, and are responsible for the recharge of aquiferous reservoirs. They are currently under threat by various human activities, most notably the clearing of vegetation for Eucalyptus plantations. Despite their ecological importance and high conservation value, little is known about the actual effects of human disturbance on the animal community. To assess how habitat within different veredas, and plantations surrounding them affect ant assemblages, we selected four independent vereda locations, two being impacted by Eucalyptus monoculture (one younger and one mature plantation and two controls, where the wetland was surrounded by cerrado vegetation. Ant sampling was conducted in May 2010 (dry season using three complementary methods, namely baits, pitfall traps, and hand collection, in the wetland and in the surrounding habitats. A total of 7,575 ants were sampled, belonging to seven subfamilies, 32 genera and 124 species. Ant species richness and abundance did not differ between vereda locations, but did between the habitats. When impacted by the monoculture, ant species richness and abundance decreased in wetlands, but were less affected in the cerrado habitat. Ant species composition differed between the three habitats and between vereda locations. Eucalyptus plantations had an ant species composition defined by high dominance of Pheidole sp. and Solenopsis invicta, while natural habitats were defined by Camponotus and Crematogaster species. Atta sexdens was strictly confined to native habitats of non-impacted “veredas”. Eucalyptus monocultures require high quantities of water in the early stages, which may have caused a decrease in groundwater level in the wetland, allowing hypogeic ants such as Labidus praedator to colonise this habitat.

  13. Disease in the Society: Infectious Cadavers Result in Collapse of Ant Sub-Colonies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loreto, Raquel G.; Hughes, David P.

    2016-01-01

    Despite the growing number of experimental studies on mechanisms of social immunity in ant societies, little is known about how social behavior relates to disease progression within the nests of ants. In fact, when empirically studying disease in ant societies, it is common to remove dead ants from experiments to confirm infection by the studied parasite. This unfortunately does not allow disease to progress within the nest as it may be assumed would happen under natural conditions. Therefore, the approach taken so far has resulted in a limited knowledge of diseases dynamics within the nest environment. Here we introduced a single infectious cadaver killed by the fungus Beauveria bassiana into small nests of the ant Camponotus castaneus. We then observed the natural progression of the disease by not removing the corpses of the ants that died following the first entry of the disease. Because some behaviors such as social isolation of sick individuals or the removal of cadavers by nestmates are considered social immune functions and thus adaptations at the colony level that reduce disease spread, we also experimentally confined some sub-colonies to one or two chamber nests to prevent the expression of such behaviors. Based on 51 small nests and survival studies in 1,003 ants we found that a single introduced infectious cadaver was able to transmit within the nest, and social immunity did not prevent the collapse of the small sub-colonies here tested. This was true whether ants did or did not have the option to remove the infectious cadaver. Therefore, we found no evidence that the typically studied social immunity behaviors can reduce disease spread in the conditions here tested. PMID:27529548

  14. Effectiveness of Winkler Litter Extraction and Pitfall Traps in Sampling Ant Communities and Functional Groups in a Temperate Forest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahon, Michael B; Campbell, Kaitlin U; Crist, Thomas O

    2017-03-20

    Selection of proper sampling methods for measuring a community of interest is essential whether the study goals are to conduct a species inventory, environmental monitoring, or a manipulative experiment. Insect diversity studies often employ multiple collection methods at the expense of researcher time and funding. Ants (Formicidae) are widely used in environmental monitoring owing to their sensitivity to ecosystem changes. When sampling ant communities, two passive techniques are recommended in combination: pitfall traps and Winkler litter extraction. These recommendations are often based on studies from highly diverse tropical regions or when a species inventory is the goal. Studies in temperate regions often focus on measuring consistent community response along gradients of disturbance or among management regimes; therefore, multiple sampling methods may be unnecessary. We compared the effectiveness of pitfalls and Winkler litter extraction in an eastern temperate forest for measuring ant species richness, composition, and occurrence of ant functional groups in response to experimental manipulations of two key forest ecosystem drivers, white-tailed deer and an invasive shrub (Amur honeysuckle). We found no significant effect of sampling method on the outcome of the ecological experiment; however, we found differences between the two sampling methods in the resulting ant species richness and functional group occurrence. Litter samples approximated the overall combined species richness and composition, but pitfalls were better at sampling large-bodied (Camponotus) species. We conclude that employing both methods is essential only for species inventories or monitoring ants in the Cold-climate Specialists functional group.

  15. Quick assessment of wealth ants (Hymenoptera, Formicidae in rain forest fragments in the Alta Floresta region, MT

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    Jéssica Borges da Veiga

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Forest fragmentation can change the community and wealth of ants, through changes to the vegetation structure, solar radiation and food availability. This study aims to evaluate the generic richness of ants in two forest fragments in the municipality of Alta Floresta - MT. Samples were collected at three points of both fragments (interior, transition and surrounding matrix, being delimited one quadrant of 5x5 m for each point, using attractive bait. The ants were identified according to Baccaro (2006 identification key. For statistical diagnosis used the Multivariate analysis of conglomerates through BioEstat 5.0 software, and analyzed the similarities between subfamilies, genera and environments. The study found a total of 71 ants distributed in seven subfamilies and 12 genera, especially the genus Camponotus to occur mainly in disturbed habitats and Paraponera kind to occur in forest area. The transition environment was the least similar to the other due to a higher number of individuals and general wealth. In this study, the forest fragment 2 had a higher number of ants in their transition area and is considered the richest in ant fauna when compared to the forest fragment 1.

  16. Diversity of canopy ants at a reserve area of Prince of Songkla University, Songkhla

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    Takodee, T.

    2007-03-01

    Full Text Available Diversity of canopy ants was examined by using pyrethoid fogging technique at a reserve area of Prince of Songkla University, Songkhla Province. A permanent plot of 100x100 m2 was set up and dividedinto 100 sub-units (10x10 m2. Three plants were randomly selected for pyrethoid fogging applications each time bimothly during July 2004 - May 2005. The results showed that a total of 2,343 individuals were collectedin 14 genera, 5 subfamily and 31 species. The Formicinae and Myrmicinae were the major subfamilies found in equal species numbers of 13. Shannon- Weiner Index and evenness value of ants were 1.73±0.39 and 0.35±0.08, respectively.Seasonal changes (wet and dry had no effect on individual numbers of ant species in each subfamily. The influence of physical factors (rainfall, temperature and relative humidity on numbers of ant species wasalso investigated. A significant negative correlation between rainfall and species numbers of Camponotus (Tanaemyrmex sp.2 was found, while temperature had a significant positive correlation with Crematogaster (Orthocrema sp.4, Meranoplus castaneus (F.Smith and Tetraponera sp.4, and relative humidity had asignificant positive correlation with only Tetraponera sp.4.

  17. Hidden diversity behind the zombie-ant fungus Ophiocordyceps unilateralis: four new species described from carpenter ants in Minas Gerais, Brazil.

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    Harry C Evans

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Ophiocordyceps unilateralis (Clavicipitaceae: Hypocreales is a fungal pathogen specific to ants of the tribe Camponotini (Formicinae: Formicidae with a pantropical distribution. This so-called zombie or brain-manipulating fungus alters the behaviour of the ant host, causing it to die in an exposed position, typically clinging onto and biting into the adaxial surface of shrub leaves. We (HCE and DPH are currently undertaking a worldwide survey to assess the taxonomy and ecology of this highly variable species. METHODS: We formally describe and name four new species belonging to the O. unilateralis species complex collected from remnant Atlantic rainforest in the south-eastern region (Zona da Mata of the State of Minas Gerais, Brazil. Fully illustrated descriptions of both the asexual (anamorph and sexual (teleomorph stages are provided for each species. The new names are registered in Index Fungorum (registration.indexfungorum.org and have received IF numbers. This paper is also a test case for the electronic publication of new names in mycology. CONCLUSIONS: We are only just beginning to understand the taxonomy and ecology of the Ophiocordyceps unilateralis species complex associated with carpenter ants; macroscopically characterised by a single stalk arising from the dorsal neck region of the ant host on which the anamorph occupies the terminal region and the teleomorph occurs as lateral cushions or plates. Each of the four ant species collected--Camponotus rufipes, C. balzani, C. melanoticus and C. novogranadensis--is attacked by a distinct species of Ophiocordyceps readily separated using traditional micromorphology. The new taxa are named according to their ant host.

  18. When can ants discriminate the sex of brood? A new aspect of queen-worker conflict.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nonacs, P; Carlin, N F

    1990-12-15

    The stage in preimaginal ontogeny at which the sexes can first be distinguished has important implications for queen-worker conflict in social insects. If workers are unable to sex larvae at an early instar, their opportunity to control colony reproductive strategies may be limited. In addition, by concealing the sex of her sons for some portion of development, the queen could protect them from the workers' attempts to substitute their own sons or to skew the numerical sex ratio. In a series of choice experiments, workers of the carpenter ant, Camponotus floridanus, failed to discriminate the sex of several stages of larvae but did retrieve female pupae significantly more rapidly than male pupae. Our results suggest that in this species, sex may not become detectable until pupation, which is consistent with sexual deception as an aspect of queen control.

  19. Nectar intake rate is modulated by changes in sucking pump activity according to colony starvation in carpenter ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Falibene, Agustina; Josens, Roxana

    2008-05-01

    Dynamics of fluid feeding has been deeply studied in insects. However, the ability to vary the nectar-intake rate depending only on the carbohydrate deprivation has been clearly demonstrated only in Camponotus mus ants. When insect morphometry and fluid properties remain constant, changes in intake rate could only be attributed to variations in sucking pump activity. Previous records of the electrical activity generated during feeding in C. mus have revealed two different signal patterns: the regular (RP, frequencies: 2-5 Hz) and the irregular (IP, frequencies: 7-12 Hz). This work studies the mechanism underlying food intake-rate modulation in ants by analysing whether these patterns are involved. Behaviour and electrical activity generated by ants at different starvation levels were analysed during feeding on sucrose solutions. Ants were able to modulate the intake rate for a variety of sucrose concentrations (10, 40 and 60%w/w). The IP only occurred for 60% of solutions and its presence did not affect the intake rate. However, during the RP generated under the starved state, we found frequencies up to 7.5 Hz. RP frequencies positively correlated with the intake-rate for all sucrose concentrations. Hence, intake-rate modulation according to sugar deprivation is mainly achieved by the ant's ability to vary the pumping frequency.

  20. One nutritional symbiosis begat another: Phylogenetic evidence that the ant tribe Camponotini acquired Blochmannia by tending sap-feeding insects

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    Brady Seán G

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Bacterial endosymbiosis has a recurring significance in the evolution of insects. An estimated 10-20% of insect species depend on bacterial associates for their nutrition and reproductive viability. Members of the ant tribe Camponotini, the focus of this study, possess a stable, intracellular bacterial mutualist. The bacterium, Blochmannia, was first discovered in Camponotus and has since been documented in a distinct subgenus of Camponotus, Colobopsis, and in the related genus Polyrhachis. However, the distribution of Blochmannia throughout the Camponotini remains in question. Documenting the true host range of this bacterial mutualist is an important first step toward understanding the various ecological contexts in which it has evolved, and toward identifying its closest bacterial relatives. In this study, we performed a molecular screen, based on PCR amplification of 16S rDNA, to identify bacterial associates of diverse Camponotini species. Results Phylogenetic analyses of 16S rDNA gave four important insights: (i Blochmannia occurs in a broad range of Camponotini genera including Calomyrmex, Echinopla, and Opisthopsis, and did not occur in outgroups related to this tribe (e.g., Notostigma. This suggests that the mutualism originated in the ancestor of the tribe Camponotini. (ii The known bacteriocyte-associated symbionts of ants, in Formica, Plagiolepis, and the Camponotini, arose independently. (iii Blochmannia is nestled within a diverse clade of endosymbionts of sap-feeding hemipteran insects, such as mealybugs, aphids, and psyllids. In our analyses, a group of secondary symbionts of mealybugs are the closest relatives of Blochmannia. (iv Blochmannia has cospeciated with its known hosts, although deep divergences at the genus level remain uncertain. Conclusions The Blochmannia mutualism occurs in Calomyrmex, Echinopla, and Opisthopsis, in addition to Camponotus, and probably originated in the ancestral lineage leading

  1. Distributed representation of social odors indicates parallel processing in the antennal lobe of ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brandstaetter, Andreas Simon; Kleineidam, Christoph Johannes

    2011-11-01

    In colonies of eusocial Hymenoptera cooperation is organized through social odors, and particularly ants rely on a sophisticated odor communication system. Neuronal information about odors is represented in spatial activity patterns in the primary olfactory neuropile of the insect brain, the antennal lobe (AL), which is analog to the vertebrate olfactory bulb. The olfactory system is characterized by neuroanatomical compartmentalization, yet the functional significance of this organization is unclear. Using two-photon calcium imaging, we investigated the neuronal representation of multicomponent colony odors, which the ants assess to discriminate friends (nestmates) from foes (nonnestmates). In the carpenter ant Camponotus floridanus, colony odors elicited spatial activity patterns distributed across different AL compartments. Activity patterns in response to nestmate and nonnestmate colony odors were overlapping. This was expected since both consist of the same components at differing ratios. Colony odors change over time and the nervous system has to constantly adjust for this (template reformation). Measured activity patterns were variable, and variability was higher in response to repeated nestmate than to repeated nonnestmate colony odor stimulation. Variable activity patterns may indicate neuronal plasticity within the olfactory system, which is necessary for template reformation. Our results indicate that information about colony odors is processed in parallel in different neuroanatomical compartments, using the computational power of the whole AL network. Parallel processing might be advantageous, allowing reliable discrimination of highly complex social odors.

  2. Riding with the ants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Duarte, A.P.M.; Attili-Angelis, D.; Baron, N.C.; Groenewald, J.Z.; Crous, P.W.; Pagnocca, F.C.

    2017-01-01

    Isolates of Teratosphaeriaceae have frequently been found in the integument of attine ants, proving to be common and diverse in this microenvironment. The LSU phylogeny of the ant-isolated strains studied revealed that they cluster in two main lineages. The first was associated with the genus Xenope

  3. Riding with the ants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Duarte, A. P. M.; Attili-Angelis, D.; Baron, N. C.; Groenewald, Johannes Z.; Crous, Pedro W.; Pagnocca, F. C.

    2016-01-01

    Isolates of Teratosphaeriaceae have frequently been found in the integument of attine ants, proving to be common and diverse in this microenvironment. The LSU phylogeny of the ant-isolated strains studied revealed that they cluster in two main lineages. The first was associated with the genus Xenope

  4. Genome evolution in an ancient bacteria-ant symbiosis: parallel gene loss among Blochmannia spanning the origin of the ant tribe Camponotini

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    Laura E. Williams

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Stable associations between bacterial endosymbionts and insect hosts provide opportunities to explore genome evolution in the context of established mutualisms and assess the roles of selection and genetic drift across host lineages and habitats. Blochmannia, obligate endosymbionts of ants of the tribe Camponotini, have coevolved with their ant hosts for ∼40 MY. To investigate early events in Blochmannia genome evolution across this ant host tribe, we sequenced Blochmannia from two divergent host lineages, Colobopsis obliquus and Polyrhachis turneri, and compared them with four published genomes from Blochmannia of Camponotus sensu stricto. Reconstructed gene content of the last common ancestor (LCA of these six Blochmannia genomes is reduced (690 protein coding genes, consistent with rapid gene loss soon after establishment of the symbiosis. Differential gene loss among Blochmannia lineages has affected cellular functions and metabolic pathways, including DNA replication and repair, vitamin biosynthesis and membrane proteins. Blochmannia of P. turneri (i.e., B. turneri encodes an intact DnaA chromosomal replication initiation protein, demonstrating that loss of dnaA was not essential for establishment of the symbiosis. Based on gene content, B. obliquus and B. turneri are unable to provision hosts with riboflavin. Of the six sequenced Blochmannia, B. obliquus is the earliest diverging lineage (i.e., the sister group of other Blochmannia sampled and encodes the fewest protein-coding genes and the most pseudogenes. We identified 55 genes involved in parallel gene loss, including glutamine synthetase, which may participate in nitrogen recycling. Pathways for biosynthesis of coenzyme A, terpenoids and riboflavin were lost in multiple lineages, suggesting relaxed selection on the pathway after inactivation of one component. Analysis of Illumina read datasets did not detect evidence of plasmids encoding missing functions, nor the presence of

  5. Natural history and morphology of the hoverfly Pseudomicrodon biluminiferus and its parasitic relationship with ants nesting in bromeliads.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmid, Volker S; Morales, Mírian N; Marinoni, Luciane; Kamke, Rafael; Steiner, Josefina; Zillikens, Anne

    2014-03-12

    The syrphid subfamily Microdontinae is characterized by myrmecophily of their immature stages, i.e., they develop in ant nests. Data on natural history of microdontines are scarce, especially in the Neotropics. Based on fieldwork in southern Brazil, this study provided new data on development and ecology of the hoverfly Pseudomicrodon biluminiferus (Hull) (Diptera: Syrphidae) as well as the first morphological descriptions of male genitalia, larvae, and pupa. Immature specimens were specifically found in colonies of the ant species Crematogaster limata Smith (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) found in rosettes of the bromeliad species Aechmea lindenii (E. Morren) Baker (Poales: Bromeliaceae) and A. nudicaulis (L.) Grisebach. Third instar larvae were observed preying on ant larvae, revealing the parasitic nature of P. biluminiferus. In this and several other aspects, the natural history of P. biluminiferus is similar to that of Holarctic microdontine species. Exceptions include: (i) indications that adults of P. biluminiferus outlast the winter months (in contrast to 3(rd)instar larvae in Holarctic species) and (ii) P. biluminiferus' relationship with bromeliads. The importance of bromeliads for this host-parasite system is evaluated in this paper. The single occurrence of another, unidentified microdontine species' pupae in a nest of the ant species Camponotus melanoticus Emery (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) is reported.

  6. Niemann-Pick type C2 protein mediating chemical communication in the worker ant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ishida, Yuko; Tsuchiya, Wataru; Fujii, Takeshi; Fujimoto, Zui; Miyazawa, Mitsuhiro; Ishibashi, Jun; Matsuyama, Shigeru; Ishikawa, Yukio; Yamazaki, Toshimasa

    2014-03-11

    Ants are eusocial insects that are found in most regions of the world. Within its caste, worker ants are responsible for various tasks that are required for colony maintenance. In their chemical communication, α-helical carrier proteins, odorant-binding proteins, and chemosensory proteins, which accumulate in the sensillum lymph in the antennae, play essential roles in transferring hydrophobic semiochemicals to chemosensory receptors. It has been hypothesized that semiochemicals are recognized by α-helical carrier proteins. The number of these proteins, however, is not sufficient to interact with a large number of semiochemicals estimated from chemosensory receptor genes. Here we shed light on this conundrum by identifying a Niemann-Pick type C2 (NPC2) protein from the antenna of the worker Japanese carpenter ant, Camponotus japonicus (CjapNPC2). CjapNPC2 accumulated in the sensillum cavity in the basiconic sensillum. The ligand-binding pocket of CjapNPC2 was composed of a flexible β-structure that allowed it to bind to a wide range of potential semiochemicals. Some of the semiochemicals elicited electrophysiolgical responses in the worker antenna. In vertebrates, NPC2 acts as an essential carrier protein for cholesterol from late endosomes and lysosomes to other cellular organelles. However, the ants have evolved an NPC2 with a malleable ligand-binding pocket as a moderately selective carrier protein in the sensillum cavity of the basiconic sensillum. CjapNPC2 might be able to deliver various hydrophobic semiochemicals to chemosensory receptor neurons and plays crucial roles in chemical communication required to perform the worker ant tasks.

  7. Rapid decision-making with side-specific perceptual discrimination in ants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nathalie Stroeymeyt

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Timely decision making is crucial for survival and reproduction. Organisms often face a speed-accuracy trade-off, as fully informed, accurate decisions require time-consuming gathering and treatment of information. Optimal strategies for decision-making should therefore vary depending on the context. In mammals, there is mounting evidence that multiple systems of perceptual discrimination based on different neural circuits emphasize either fast responses or accurate treatment of stimuli depending on the context. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We used the ant Camponotus aethiops to test the prediction that fast information processing achieved through direct neural pathways should be favored in situations where quick reactions are adaptive. Social insects discriminate readily between harmless group-members and dangerous strangers using easily accessible cuticular hydrocarbons as nestmate recognition cues. We show that i tethered ants display rapid aggressive reactions upon presentation of non-nestmate odor (120 to 160 ms; ii ants' aggressiveness towards non-nestmates can be specifically reduced by exposure to non-nestmate odor only, showing that social interactions are not required to alter responses towards non-nestmates; iii decision-making by ants does not require information transfer between brain hemispheres, but relies on side-specific decision rules. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our results strongly suggest that first-order olfactory processing centers (up to the antennal lobes are likely to play a key role in ant nestmate recognition. We hypothesize that the coarse level of discrimination achieved in the antennal lobes early in odor processing provides enough information to determine appropriate behavioral responses towards non-nestmates. This asks for a reappraisal of the mechanisms underlying social recognition in insects.

  8. 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.

  9. Tropical parabiotic ants: Highly unusual cuticular substances and low interspecific discrimination

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Schmitt Thomas

    2008-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Associations between animal species require that at least one of the species recognizes its partner. Parabioses are associations of two ant species which co-inhabit the same nest. Ants usually possess an elaborate nestmate recognition system, which is based on cuticular hydrocarbons and allows them to distinguish nestmates from non-nestmates through quantitative or qualitative differences in the hydrocarbon composition. Hence, living in a parabiotic association probably necessitates changes of the nestmate recognition system in both species, since heterospecific ants have to be accepted as nestmates. Results In the present study we report highly unusual cuticular profiles in the parabiotic species Crematogaster modiglianii and Camponotus rufifemur from the tropical rainforest of Borneo. The cuticle of both species is covered by a set of steroids, which are highly unusual surface compounds. They also occur in the Dufour gland of Crematogaster modiglianii in high quantities. The composition of these steroids differed between colonies but was highly similar among the two species of a parabiotic nest. In contrast, hydrocarbon composition of Cr. modiglianii and Ca. rufifemur differed strongly and only overlapped in three regularly occurring and three trace compounds. The hydrocarbon profile of Camponotus rufifemur consisted almost exclusively of methyl-branched alkenes of unusually high chain lengths (up to C49. This species occurred in two sympatric, chemically distinct varieties with almost no hydrocarbons in common. Cr. modiglianii discriminated between these two varieties. It only tolerated workers of the Ca. rufifemur variety it was associated with, but attacked the respective others. However, Cr. modiglianii did not distinguish its own Ca. rufifemur partner from allocolonial Ca. rufifemur workers of the same variety. Conclusion We conclude that there is a mutual substance transfer between Cr. modiglianii and Ca. rufifemur

  10. A "clearcut" case? Brown bear selection of coarse woody debris and carpenter ants on clearcuts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frank, Shane C; Steyaert, Sam M J G; Swenson, Jon E; Storch, Ilse; Kindberg, Jonas; Barck, Hanna; Zedrosser, Andreas

    2015-07-15

    Forest management alters habitat characteristics, resulting in various effects among and within species. It is crucial to understand how habitat alteration through forest management (e.g. clearcutting) affects animal populations, particularly with unknown future conditions (e.g. climate change). In Sweden, brown bears (Ursus arctos) forage on carpenter ants (Camponotus herculeanus) during summer, and may select for this food source within clearcuts. To assess carpenter ant occurrence and brown bear selection of carpenter ants, we sampled 6999 coarse woody debris (CWD) items within 1019 plots, of which 902 were within clearcuts (forests ⩽30 years of age) and 117 plots outside clearcuts (forests >30 years of age). We related various CWD and site characteristics to the presence or absence of carpenter ant galleries (nests) and bear foraging sign at three spatial scales: the CWD, plot, and clearcut scale. We tested whether both absolute and relative counts (the latter controlling for the number of CWD items) of galleries and bear sign in plots were higher inside or outside clearcuts. Absolute counts were higher inside than outside clearcuts for galleries (mean counts; inside: 1.8, outside: 0.8). CWD was also higher inside (mean: 6.8) than outside clearcuts (mean: 4.0). However, even after controlling for more CWD inside clearcuts, relative counts were higher inside than outside clearcuts for both galleries (mean counts; inside: 0.3, outside: 0.2) and bear sign (mean counts; inside: 0.03, outside: 0.01). Variables at the CWD scale best explained gallery and bear sign presence than variables at the plot or clearcut level, but bear selection was influenced by clearcut age. CWD circumference was important for both carpenter ant and bear sign presence. CWD hardness was most important for carpenter ant selection. However, the most important predictor for bear sign was the presence or absence of carpenter ant galleries. Bears had a high foraging "success" rate (⩾88%) in

  11. Disentangling environmental and heritable nestmate recognition cues in a carpenter ant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Zweden, Jelle S; Dreier, Stephanie; d'Ettorre, Patrizia

    2009-02-01

    Discriminating between group members and strangers is a key feature of social life. Nestmate recognition is very effective in social insects and is manifested by aggression and rejection of alien individuals, which are prohibited to enter the nest. Nestmate recognition is based on the quantitative variation in cuticular hydrocarbons, which can include heritable cues from the workers, as well as acquired cues from the environment or queen-derived cues. We tracked the profile of six colonies of the ant Camponotus aethiops for a year under homogeneous laboratory conditions. We performed chemical and behavioral analyses. We show that nestmate recognition was not impaired by constant environment, even though cuticular hydrocarbon profiles changed over time and were slightly converging among colonies. Linear hydrocarbons increased over time, especially in queenless colonies, but appeared to have weak diagnostic power between colonies. The presence of a queen had little influence on nestmate discrimination abilities. Our results suggest that heritable cues of workers are the dominant factor influencing nestmate discrimination in these carpenter ants and highlight the importance of colony kin structure for the evolution of eusociality.

  12. Epigenetic variation in the Egfr gene generates quantitative variation in a complex trait in ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alvarado, Sebastian; Rajakumar, Rajendhran; Abouheif, Ehab; Szyf, Moshe

    2015-03-11

    Complex quantitative traits, like size and behaviour, are a pervasive feature of natural populations. Quantitative trait variation is the product of both genetic and environmental factors, yet little is known about the mechanisms through which their interaction generates this variation. Epigenetic processes, such as DNA methylation, can mediate gene-by-environment interactions during development to generate discrete phenotypic variation. We therefore investigated the developmental role of DNA methylation in generating continuous size variation of workers in an ant colony, a key trait associated with division of labour. Here we show that, in the carpenter ant Camponotus floridanus, global (genome-wide) DNA methylation indirectly regulates quantitative methylation of the conserved cell-signalling gene Epidermal growth factor receptor to generate continuous size variation of workers. DNA methylation can therefore generate quantitative variation in a complex trait by quantitatively regulating the transcription of a gene. This mechanism, alongside genetic variation, may determine the phenotypic possibilities of loci for generating quantitative trait variation in natural populations.

  13. Immune-priming in ant larvae: social immunity does not undermine individual immunity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosengaus, Rebeca B; Malak, Tanya; Mackintosh, Christopher

    2013-01-01

    Social insects deploy numerous strategies against pathogens including behavioural, biochemical and immunological responses. While past research has revealed that adult social insects can generate immunity, few studies have focused on the immune function during an insect's early life stages. We hypothesized that larvae of the black carpenter ant Camponotus pennsylvanicus vaccinated with heat-killed Serratia marcescens should be less susceptible to a challenge with an active and otherwise lethal dose of the bacterium. We compared the in vivo benefits of prior vaccination of young larvae relative to naive and ringer injected controls. Regardless of colony of origin, survival parameters of vaccinated individuals following a challenge were significantly higher than those of the other two treatments. Results support the hypothesis that ant larvae exhibit immune-priming. Based on these results, we can infer that brood care by workers does not eliminate the need for individual-level immunological responses. Focusing on these early stages of development within social insect colonies can start addressing the complex dynamics between physiological (individual level) and social (collective) immunity.

  14. Hormigas como plagas potenciales en tres criaderos de mariposas del suroccidente de Colombia Ants as potential pest of butterflies in three rearing in the southwest of Colombia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    María Catalina Sanabria-Blandón

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available La fauna de hormigas asociada con la zoocría de mariposas en los departamentos de Valle del Cauca y Quindío (Colombia, se colectó por captura manual en tres ambientes (mariposario, vivero y laboratorio. De 125 muestras se extrajeron 779 hormigas, pertenecientes a cinco subfamilias, 18 géneros y 24 especies. El mayor número de especies se registró en el área de laboratorio (17, seguido por vivero (16 y mariposario (13. No se encontraron diferencias significativas (Chi² = 6.019, g.l.= 10, P>0.75, al evaluar la preferencia de las hormigas por un ambiente, sin embargo se observaron tendencias de esta manera: Wasmannia auropunctata (50%, Linepithema sp. (47%, Monomorium floricola (40% fueron las más importantes en el laboratorio, mientras que en el mariposario fueron Linepithema humile (42%, Camponotus novogranadensis (39% y Paratrechina longiconis (37.5% y en el vivero W. auropunctata (37.5% y P. longicornis (37.5%. Algunas de estas hormigas son reconocidas como vagabundas y plagas urbanas, lo que podría considerarse como un riesgo potencial para las actividades de zoocría de mariposas. En el presente estudio se propuso conocer las especies de hormigas que se asocian con tres criaderos de mariposas localizados en el suroccidente colombiano.The ant fauna associated to the butterflies rearing in the departments of Cauca Valley and Quindio (Colombia was studied. The ants were collected using manual capture method in three different environments (butterfly garden, nursery and laboratory. 779 ants were extracted from 125 samples, which belonged to five sub-families, 18 genera and 24 species. The greatest number of species were registered at the laboratory (17, followed by nursery (16 and butterfly garden (13. There weren't any significant differences (Chi2 = 6.019, d.f.= 10, P> 0.75, in assessing the preference of ants for some environment, however some trends were observed, on this way: at the lab Wasmannia auropunctata (50%, Linepithema sp

  15. Phylogenetic and transcriptomic analysis of chemosensory receptors in a pair of divergent ant species reveals sex-specific signatures of odor coding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Xiaofan; Slone, Jesse D; Rokas, Antonis; Berger, Shelley L; Liebig, Jürgen; Ray, Anandasankar; Reinberg, Danny; Zwiebel, Laurence J

    2012-01-01

    Ants are a highly successful family of insects that thrive in a variety of habitats across the world. Perhaps their best-known features are complex social organization and strict division of labor, separating reproduction from the day-to-day maintenance and care of the colony, as well as strict discrimination against foreign individuals. Since these social characteristics in ants are thought to be mediated by semiochemicals, a thorough analysis of these signals, and the receptors that detect them, is critical in revealing mechanisms that lead to stereotypic behaviors. To address these questions, we have defined and characterized the major chemoreceptor families in a pair of behaviorally and evolutionarily distinct ant species, Camponotus floridanus and Harpegnathos saltator. Through comprehensive re-annotation, we show that these ant species harbor some of the largest yet known repertoires of odorant receptors (Ors) among insects, as well as a more modest number of gustatory receptors (Grs) and variant ionotropic glutamate receptors (Irs). Our phylogenetic analyses further demonstrate remarkably rapid gains and losses of ant Ors, while Grs and Irs have also experienced birth-and-death evolution to different degrees. In addition, comparisons of antennal transcriptomes between sexes identify many chemoreceptors that are differentially expressed between males and females and between species. We have also revealed an agonist for a worker-enriched OR from C. floridanus, representing the first case of a heterologously characterized ant tuning Or. Collectively, our analysis reveals a large number of ant chemoreceptors exhibiting patterns of differential expression and evolution consistent with sex/species-specific functions. These differentially expressed genes are likely associated with sex-based differences, as well as the radically different social lifestyles observed between C. floridanus and H. saltator, and thus are targets for further functional characterization

  16. Phylogenetic and transcriptomic analysis of chemosensory receptors in a pair of divergent ant species reveals sex-specific signatures of odor coding.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiaofan Zhou

    Full Text Available Ants are a highly successful family of insects that thrive in a variety of habitats across the world. Perhaps their best-known features are complex social organization and strict division of labor, separating reproduction from the day-to-day maintenance and care of the colony, as well as strict discrimination against foreign individuals. Since these social characteristics in ants are thought to be mediated by semiochemicals, a thorough analysis of these signals, and the receptors that detect them, is critical in revealing mechanisms that lead to stereotypic behaviors. To address these questions, we have defined and characterized the major chemoreceptor families in a pair of behaviorally and evolutionarily distinct ant species, Camponotus floridanus and Harpegnathos saltator. Through comprehensive re-annotation, we show that these ant species harbor some of the largest yet known repertoires of odorant receptors (Ors among insects, as well as a more modest number of gustatory receptors (Grs and variant ionotropic glutamate receptors (Irs. Our phylogenetic analyses further demonstrate remarkably rapid gains and losses of ant Ors, while Grs and Irs have also experienced birth-and-death evolution to different degrees. In addition, comparisons of antennal transcriptomes between sexes identify many chemoreceptors that are differentially expressed between males and females and between species. We have also revealed an agonist for a worker-enriched OR from C. floridanus, representing the first case of a heterologously characterized ant tuning Or. Collectively, our analysis reveals a large number of ant chemoreceptors exhibiting patterns of differential expression and evolution consistent with sex/species-specific functions. These differentially expressed genes are likely associated with sex-based differences, as well as the radically different social lifestyles observed between C. floridanus and H. saltator, and thus are targets for further functional

  17. Record dynamics in ants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas O Richardson

    Full Text Available The success of social animals (including ourselves can be attributed to efficiencies that arise from a division of labour. Many animal societies have a communal nest which certain individuals must leave to perform external tasks, for example foraging or patrolling. Staying at home to care for young or leaving to find food is one of the most fundamental divisions of labour. It is also often a choice between safety and danger. Here we explore the regulation of departures from ant nests. We consider the extreme situation in which no one returns and show experimentally that exiting decisions seem to be governed by fluctuating record signals and ant-ant interactions. A record signal is a new 'high water mark' in the history of a system. An ant exiting the nest only when the record signal reaches a level it has never perceived before could be a very effective mechanism to postpone, until the last possible moment, a potentially fatal decision. We also show that record dynamics may be involved in first exits by individually tagged ants even when their nest mates are allowed to re-enter the nest. So record dynamics may play a role in allocating individuals to tasks, both in emergencies and in everyday life. The dynamics of several complex but purely physical systems are also based on record signals but this is the first time they have been experimentally shown in a biological system.

  18. Utilization of Anting-Anting (Acalypha indica) Leaves as Antibacterial

    Science.gov (United States)

    Batubara, Irmanida; Wahyuni, Wulan Tri; Firdaus, Imam

    2016-01-01

    Anting-anting (Acalypha indica) plants is a species of plant having catkin type of inflorescence. This research aims to utilize anting-anting as antibacterial toward Streptococcus mutans and degradation of biofilm on teeth. Anting-anting leaves were extracted by maceration technique using methanol, chloroform, and n-hexane. Antibacterial and biofilm degradation assays were performed using microdilution technique with 96 well. n-Hexane extracts of anting-anting leaves gave the best antibacterial potency with minimum inhibitory concentration and minimum bactericidal concentration value of 500 μg/mL and exhibited good biofilm degradation activity. Fraction of F3 obtained from fractionation of n-hexane's extract with column chromatography was a potential for degradation of biofilm with IC50 value of 56.82 μg/mL. Alkaloid was suggested as antibacterial and degradation of biofilm in the active fraction.

  19. Food resource and temporal partitioning amongst a guild of predatory agroecosystem-inhabiting ant species

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Vivek Mohan AGARWAL; Neelkamal RASTOGI

    2009-01-01

    Prey diversity and temporal foraging patterns of six abundant, predatory ant species were investigated seasonally in an ngroeeosystem with two main vegetable crops. Pheidole sp. demonstrated the highest predation success and therefore appears to be the dominant species while Tapinoma melanocephalum showed the lowest success under the natural field conditions. Investigation of prey diversity and temporal activity patterns with the null model tests of niche overlap revealed a significant overlap indicating that the activity periods and prey diversity may not be solely influenced by interactions among the co-existing ant species. However, niche partitioning in the daily peak activity periods was demonstrated during all the three seasons (summer, rainy and winter) particularly between Pheidole sp. and T. melanocephalum. Pheidole sp. exhibited a high intensity, broadly extended mono-modal foraging pattern. Camponotus compressus and C. paria showed bi-modality in their foraging activity during the rainy season and mono-modal patterns during summer and winter seasons. Pachycondyla tesserinoda, Tetramorium sp. and T. melanocephalum exhibited peak foraging activities in the morning hours during the summer and rainy seasons. The activity profiles of C. compressus and T. melanocephalum were skewed towards late afternoon hours during the winter season indicating avoidance of foraging activity during the favourable periods when the more aggressive Phe/do/e sp. is active. In the sponge gourd agroecosystem, the ants captured predominantly hymenopteran, orthopteran and eoleopteran insects. While Pheidole sp. hunted mainly the large orthopteran prey, other ant species captured worker ants in the sponge gourd ngroeeosystem. In the cauliflower ngroecosystem, while other species captured prey chiefly belonging to six orders, i. e., Lepidoptera, Hymenoptera, Coleoptera, Hemiptera, Isoptera and Diptera, Pheidole sp. and P. tesserinoda were the only species to also hunt many orthopteran

  20. 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...

  1. Tiny, Powerful, Awesome Ants!

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tate, Kathleen

    2007-01-01

    Peering through a thematic science lens--elementary students embarked on a one-week study of ants during a month-long summer school program. This integrated unit addressed reading and writing skills while developing the science-process skills of observation, inferring, and communicating in a motivating and authentic way. Pre- and post-assessments…

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. Urea in Weaver Ant Feces

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vidkjaer, Nanna H.; Wollenweber, Bernd; Jensen, Karl-Martin V.;

    2016-01-01

    investigate the interactions of weaver ants with the host plants with respect to plant nutrition. Here, we report the identification and quantification of urea, a highly effective foliar nutrient present in the fecal depositions of O. smaragdina. Feces samples obtained from six O. smaragdina colonies were......Weaver ants are tropical insects that nest in tree canopies, and for centuries these ants have been used for pest control in tropical orchards. Trees hosting weaver ants might benefit not only from the pest protective properties of these insects but also an additional supply of nutrients from ant...

  5. "Ant-egg" cataract revisited

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Clemmensen, Kåre; Enghild, Jan J; Ivarsen, Anders;

    2017-01-01

    PURPOSE: Hereditary congenital cataract varies immensely concerning location and form of the lens opacities. A specific and very rare phenotype is called "ant-egg" cataract first described in 1900. "Ant-eggs" have previously been examined using light microscopy, backscattered electron imaging and X......-ray scans and electron microscopy. The purpose of this study was to further characterize "ant-egg" cataract using modern technology and display the history of the "ant-eggs" after cataract extraction. METHODS: "Ant-eggs" were examined using Heidelberg SPECTRALIS Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT......-egg" structures in "ant-egg" cataract. Eighteen of these proteins are not natively found in the human lens. Moreover, "ant-eggs" do not vary over time, after cataract extraction, regarding size and location....

  6. 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.

  7. Distributed nestmate recognition in ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Esponda, Fernando; Gordon, Deborah M

    2015-05-07

    We propose a distributed model of nestmate recognition, analogous to the one used by the vertebrate immune system, in which colony response results from the diverse reactions of many ants. The model describes how individual behaviour produces colony response to non-nestmates. No single ant knows the odour identity of the colony. Instead, colony identity is defined collectively by all the ants in the colony. Each ant responds to the odour of other ants by reference to its own unique decision boundary, which is a result of its experience of encounters with other ants. Each ant thus recognizes a particular set of chemical profiles as being those of non-nestmates. This model predicts, as experimental results have shown, that the outcome of behavioural assays is likely to be variable, that it depends on the number of ants tested, that response to non-nestmates changes over time and that it changes in response to the experience of individual ants. A distributed system allows a colony to identify non-nestmates without requiring that all individuals have the same complete information and helps to facilitate the tracking of changes in cuticular hydrocarbon profiles, because only a subset of ants must respond to provide an adequate response.

  8. A “clearcut” case? Brown bear selection of coarse woody debris and carpenter ants on clearcuts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frank, Shane C.; Steyaert, Sam M.J.G.; Swenson, Jon E.; Storch, Ilse; Kindberg, Jonas; Barck, Hanna; Zedrosser, Andreas

    2015-01-01

    Forest management alters habitat characteristics, resulting in various effects among and within species. It is crucial to understand how habitat alteration through forest management (e.g. clearcutting) affects animal populations, particularly with unknown future conditions (e.g. climate change). In Sweden, brown bears (Ursus arctos) forage on carpenter ants (Camponotus herculeanus) during summer, and may select for this food source within clearcuts. To assess carpenter ant occurrence and brown bear selection of carpenter ants, we sampled 6999 coarse woody debris (CWD) items within 1019 plots, of which 902 were within clearcuts (forests ⩽30 years of age) and 117 plots outside clearcuts (forests >30 years of age). We related various CWD and site characteristics to the presence or absence of carpenter ant galleries (nests) and bear foraging sign at three spatial scales: the CWD, plot, and clearcut scale. We tested whether both absolute and relative counts (the latter controlling for the number of CWD items) of galleries and bear sign in plots were higher inside or outside clearcuts. Absolute counts were higher inside than outside clearcuts for galleries (mean counts; inside: 1.8, outside: 0.8). CWD was also higher inside (mean: 6.8) than outside clearcuts (mean: 4.0). However, even after controlling for more CWD inside clearcuts, relative counts were higher inside than outside clearcuts for both galleries (mean counts; inside: 0.3, outside: 0.2) and bear sign (mean counts; inside: 0.03, outside: 0.01). Variables at the CWD scale best explained gallery and bear sign presence than variables at the plot or clearcut level, but bear selection was influenced by clearcut age. CWD circumference was important for both carpenter ant and bear sign presence. CWD hardness was most important for carpenter ant selection. However, the most important predictor for bear sign was the presence or absence of carpenter ant galleries. Bears had a high foraging “success” rate (⩾88

  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. Eye structure, activity rhythms and visually-driven behavior are tuned to visual niche in ants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ayse eYilmaz

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Insects have evolved physiological adaptations and behavioural strategies that allow them to cope with a broad spectrum of environmental challenges and contribute to their evolutionary success. Visual performance plays a key role in this success. Correlates between life style and eye organization have been reported in various insect species. Yet, if and how visual ecology translates effectively into different visual discrimination and learning capabilities has been less explored. Here we report results from optical and behavioural analyses performed in two sympatric ant species, Formica cunicularia and Camponotus aethiops. We show that the former are diurnal while the latter are cathemeral. Accordingly, F. cunicularia workers present compound eyes with higher resolution, while C. aethiops workers exhibit eyes with lower resolution but higher sensitivity. The discrimination and learning of visual stimuli differs significantly between these species in controlled dual-choice experiments: discrimination learning of small-field visual stimuli is achieved by F. cunicularia but not by C. aethiops, while both species master the discrimination of large-field visual stimuli. Our work thus provides a paradigmatic example about how timing of foraging activities and visual environment match the organization of compound eyes and visually-driven behaviour. This correspondence underlines the relevance of an ecological/evolutionary framework for analyses in behavioural neuroscience.

  11. 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.

  12. The metapleural gland of ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yek, Sze Huei; Mueller, Ulrich G

    2011-11-01

    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 of the MG, sanitation and chemical defence, have received the strongest empirical support; two additional possible functions, recognition odour and territorial marking, are less well supported. The design of the MG is unusual for insects; glandular secretions are stored in a rigid, non-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 morphology, phylogenetic transitions and chemical ecology of the MGs of both the derived and the unstudied early-branching (basal) ant lineages is needed to elucidate the evolutionary origin and diversification of the MG of ants.

  13. 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...

  14. 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...

  15. Ants Orase kultuurisõnum

    Index Scriptorium Estoniae

    2007-01-01

    26. jaanuaril toimub Tallinna Ülikooli Akadeemilises Raamatukogus seminar silmapaistvast Eesti teadlasest ja tõlkijast Ants Orasest. Esinevad kirjandusteadlased Tallinna Ülikoolist, Tartu Ülikoolist ja Eesti Kirjandusmuuseumist. Avaettekandeks on sõna Oklahoma Ülikooli professoril Vincent B. Leitchil, kes oli Ants Orase viimaseks juhendatavaks doktorandiks. Seminari korraldavad Tallinna Ülikool ja Eesti Kirjandusmuuseum. Vt ka Postimees, 26, jaan., lk. 18

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Ants medicate to fight disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bos, Nick; Sundström, Liselotte; Fuchs, Siiri; Freitak, Dalial

    2015-11-01

    Parasites are ubiquitous, and the ability to defend against these is of paramount importance. One way to fight diseases is self-medication, which occurs when an organism consumes biologically active compounds to clear, inhibit, or alleviate disease symptoms. Here, we show for the first time that ants selectively consume harmful substances (reactive oxygen species, ROS) upon exposure to a fungal pathogen, yet avoid these in the absence of infection. This increased intake of ROS, while harmful to healthy ants, leads to higher survival of exposed ants. The fact that ingestion of this substance carries a fitness cost in the absence of pathogens rules out compensatory diet choice as the mechanism, and provides evidence that social insects medicate themselves against fungal infection, using a substance that carries a fitness cost to uninfected individuals.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2011-01-01

    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...

  1. 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.

  2. Two closely related species of desert carpenter ant differ in individual-level allocation to fat storage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hahn, Daniel A

    2006-01-01

    Comparison of closely related species that differ in their life histories is a powerful method for studying the underlying physiological mechanisms contributing to life-history variation. I investigated whether two closely related members of the Camponotus festinatus species complex of desert carpenter ants, C. nr. festinatus Desert Light and C. nr. festinatus Desert Dark, differed in their life-history tactics with respect to fat storage. Newly mated queens were collected in the field, and colonies were reared under common conditions in the laboratory for 2 yr before sampling. I show that the two species differ in fat storage at the individual level. While the basic scaling relationship between lean mass and fat content did not differ between the two species, Dark workers and soldiers stored significantly more fat per unit lean mass than Light workers or soldiers. There were no significant demographic differences in the proportions of workers or soldiers involved in fat storage between the two species, although there was a trend toward Light colonies having a greater proportion of soldiers storing large amounts of fat. There was also no significant difference in the total amount of fat stored by the two species at the colony level. The detection of strong individual-level effects but no colony-level effects was likely due to the low statistical power of colony-level analyses. Showing that these two closely related species differ in fat storage at the individual level in a common environment demonstrates their utility as a model for understanding the physiological and behavioral mechanisms regulating life-history variation in fat storage in ants.

  3. Optimal cue integration in ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wystrach, Antoine; Mangan, Michael; Webb, Barbara

    2015-10-07

    In situations with redundant or competing sensory information, humans have been shown to perform cue integration, weighting different cues according to their certainty in a quantifiably optimal manner. Ants have been shown to merge the directional information available from their path integration (PI) and visual memory, but as yet it is not clear that they do so in a way that reflects the relative certainty of the cues. In this study, we manipulate the variance of the PI home vector by allowing ants (Cataglyphis velox) to run different distances and testing their directional choice when the PI vector direction is put in competition with visual memory. Ants show progressively stronger weighting of their PI direction as PI length increases. The weighting is quantitatively predicted by modelling the expected directional variance of home vectors of different lengths and assuming optimal cue integration. However, a subsequent experiment suggests ants may not actually compute an internal estimate of the PI certainty, but are using the PI home vector length as a proxy.

  4. 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.

  5. Using Ants to Investigate the Environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hagevik, Rita A.

    2005-01-01

    The best place for students to begin to understand complex environmental relationships is in their own back yards. Doing investigations of ants allows students to establish a baseline survey of ant fauna, test the importance of ants in nutrient cycling and soil structure maintenance, and increase their understanding of the environment and their…

  6. The antipredatory behaviours of Neotropical ants towards army ant raids (Hymenoptera : Formicidae)

    OpenAIRE

    Dejean, A.; Corbara, B.; Roux, Olivier; Orivel, J.

    2014-01-01

    Group hunting, nomadism, wingless queens and colony fission characterize army ants, allowing them to have become the main tropical arthropod predators, mostly of other social insects. We studied the reactions of different ant species to the New World army ants Eciton burchellii (WESTWOOD, 1842) and E. hamatum (FABRICUS, 1782) (Ecitoninae). We compiled our results with those already known in a synthetic appendix. A wide range of ant species react to the approach of army ant raids by evacuating...

  7. 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....

  8. 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....

  9. Evolutional Ant Colony Method Using PSO

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morii, Nobuto; Aiyoshi, Eitarou

    The ant colony method is one of heuristic methods capable of solving the traveling salesman problem (TSP), in which a good tour is generated by the artificial ant's probabilistic behavior. However, the generated tour length depends on the parameter describing the ant's behavior, and the best parameters corresponding to the problem to be solved is unknown. In this technical note, the evolutional strategy is presented to find the best parameter of the ant colony by using Particle Swarm Optimization (PSO) in the parameter space. Numerical simulations for benchmarks demonstrate effectiveness of the evolutional ant colony method.

  10. Daily Thermal Fluctuations Experienced by Pupae via Rhythmic Nursing Behavior Increase Numbers of Mushroom Body Microglomeruli in the Adult Ant Brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Falibene, Agustina; Roces, Flavio; Rössler, Wolfgang; Groh, Claudia

    2016-01-01

    Social insects control brood development by using different thermoregulatory strategies. Camponotus mus ants expose their brood to daily temperature fluctuations by translocating them inside the nest following a circadian rhythm of thermal preferences. At the middle of the photophase brood is moved to locations at 30.8°C; 8 h later, during the night, the brood is transferred back to locations at 27.5°C. We investigated whether daily thermal fluctuations experienced by developing pupae affect the neuroarchitecture in the adult brain, in particular in sensory input regions of the mushroom bodies (MB calyces). The complexity of synaptic microcircuits was estimated by quantifying MB-calyx volumes together with densities of presynaptic boutons of microglomeruli (MG) in the olfactory lip and visual collar regions. We compared young adult workers that were reared either under controlled daily thermal fluctuations of different amplitudes, or at different constant temperatures. Thermal regimes significantly affected the large (non-dense) olfactory lip region of the adult MB calyx, while changes in the dense lip and the visual collar were less evident. Thermal fluctuations mimicking the amplitudes of natural temperature fluctuations via circadian rhythmic translocation of pupae by nurses (amplitude 3.3°C) lead to higher numbers of MG in the MB calyces compared to those in pupae reared at smaller or larger thermal amplitudes (0.0, 1.5, 9.6°C), or at constant temperatures (25.4, 35.0°C). We conclude that rhythmic control of brood temperature by nursing ants optimizes brain development by increasing MG densities and numbers in specific brain areas. Resulting differences in synaptic microcircuits are expected to affect sensory processing and learning abilities in adult ants, and may also promote interindividual behavioral variability within colonies.

  11. 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.

  12. Mechanisms of social regulation change across colony development in an ant

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liebig Jürgen

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Mutual policing is an important mechanism for reducing conflict in cooperative groups. In societies of ants, bees, and wasps, mutual policing of worker reproduction can evolve when workers are more closely related to the queen's sons than to the sons of workers or when the costs of worker reproduction lower the inclusive fitness of workers. During colony growth, relatedness within the colony remains the same, but the costs of worker reproduction may change. The costs of worker reproduction are predicted to be greatest in incipient colonies. If the costs associated with worker reproduction outweigh the individual direct benefits to workers, policing mechanisms as found in larger colonies may be absent in incipient colonies. Results We investigated policing behaviour across colony growth in the ant Camponotus floridanus. In large colonies of this species, worker reproduction is policed by the destruction of worker-laid eggs. We found workers from incipient colonies do not exhibit policing behaviour, and instead tolerate all conspecific eggs. The change in policing behaviour is consistent with changes in egg surface hydrocarbons, which provide the informational basis for policing; eggs laid by queens from incipient colonies lack the characteristic hydrocarbons on the surface of eggs laid by queens from large colonies, making them chemically indistinguishable from worker-laid eggs. We also tested the response to fertility information in the context of queen tolerance. Workers from incipient colonies attacked foreign queens from large colonies; whereas workers from large colonies tolerated such queens. Workers from both incipient and large colonies attacked foreign queens from incipient colonies. Conclusions Our results provide novel insights into the regulation of worker reproduction in social insects at both the proximate and ultimate levels. At the proximate level, our results show that mechanisms of social regulation, such as

  13. Introduced fire ants can exclude native ants from critical mutualist-provided resources.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilder, Shawn M; Barnum, Thomas R; Holway, David A; Suarez, Andrew V; Eubanks, Micky D

    2013-05-01

    Animals frequently experience resource imbalances in nature. For ants, one resource that may be particularly valuable for both introduced and native species is high-carbohydrate honeydew from hemipteran mutualists. We conducted field and laboratory experiments: (1) to test if red imported fire ants (Solenopsis invicta) competed with native ants for access to mutualisms with aphids, and (2) to quantify the effects of aphid honeydew presence or absence on colony growth of native ants. We focused on native dolichoderine ants (Formicidae, Dolichoderinae) because they are abundant ants that have omnivorous diets that frequently include mutualist-provided carbohydrates. At two sites in the southeastern US, native dolichoderine ants were far less frequent, and fire ants more frequent, at carbohydrate baits than would be expected based on their frequency in pitfall traps. A field experiment confirmed that a native ant species, Dorymyrmex bureni, was only found tending aphids when populations of S. invicta were suppressed. In the laboratory, colonies of native dolichoderine ants with access to both honeydew and insect prey had twice as many workers and over twice as much brood compared to colonies fed only ad libitum insect prey. Our results provide the first experimental evidence that introduced ants compete for access to mutualist-provided carbohydrates with native ants and that these carbohydrates represent critical resources for both introduced and native ants. These results challenge traditional paradigms of arthropod and ant nutrition and contribute to growing evidence of the importance of nutrition in mediating ecological interactions.

  14. Seasonal characteristics of gut bacterial communities associated with carpenter ant Camponotus japonicus (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)%日本弓背蚁肠道细菌群落的季节特征

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    徐阳; 南小宁; 魏琮; 贺虹

    2016-01-01

    [目的]在长期的进化过程中,蚂蚁和微生物之间建立了复杂的联系,尤其肠道微生物对蚂蚁的食性进化和物种分化产生了巨大的影响.弓背蚁属Camponotus蚂蚁消化道内普遍存在内共生菌Blochmannia及其他肠道细菌,这些细菌在寄主蚂蚁营养补充方面发挥了重要的作用,此外肠道微生物对食物类型的变化十分敏感,这些信息可能有助于调查寄主蚂蚁在不同季节的取食习性.本研究旨在揭示弓背蚁属蚂蚁肠道微生物是否存在季节特征.[方法]采用16S rRNA-RFLP方法分析比较了了2个日本弓背蚁蚁巢(巢1和2)的工蚁在4个月份时间点(2012年6月12日,8月15日和10月10日,2013年4月15日)的肠道茵群组成.[结果]在8个样品中共发现了17个属的细菌和1种未知细菌,弓背蚁属蚂蚁特有的内共生茵Blochmannia是优势细菌,出现在所有样品中,占67.1%~98.8%;假单胞菌属Pseudomonas和肠杆菌属Enterobacter在大多数的样本中都检测到,其他属的细菌则零星分布在个别样品中,只占较低的比例.两个蚁巢工蚁肠道茵群在4个月份没有呈现一致的变化趋势,都具有低的细菌多样性.在巢1中,4月和10月的肠道细菌多样性相对较高,在6月和8月较低;而在巢2中,8月的肠道细菌多样性明显高于4,6和10月.两个蚁巢6月和10月的肠道茵群组成相似,但是8月和4月差异较大.[结论]日本弓背蚁两个蚁巢的工蚁肠道菌群组成和多样性都随季节产生变化,但是没有呈现一致的变化趋势,没有表现出明显的季节特征.

  15. Ecosystem services delivered by weaver ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Offenberg, Joachim

    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......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...... they convert pest insects into accessible and edible protein. In short, this review show that weaver ants in agriculture can increase crop yields, improve fruit quality, chemically deter pests, fertilize crops, reduce diseases, and produce protein for human and livestock consumption....

  16. Bio-inspired Ant Algorithms: A review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sangita Roy

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Ant Algorithms are techniques for optimizing which were coined in the early 1990’s by M. Dorigo. The techniques were inspired by the foraging behavior of real ants in the nature. The focus of ant algorithms is to find approximate optimized problem solutions using artificial ants and their indirect decentralized communications using synthetic pheromones. In this paper, at first ant algorithms are described in details, then transforms to computational optimization techniques: the ACO metaheuristics and developed ACO algorithms. A comparative study of ant algorithms also carried out, followed by past and present trends in AAs applications. Future prospect in AAs also covered in this paper. Finally a comparison between AAs with well-established machine learning techniques were focused, so that combining with machine learning techniques hybrid, robust, novel algorithms could be produces for outstanding result in future.

  17. GRID SCHEDULING USING ENHANCED ANT COLONY ALGORITHM

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. Mathiyalagan

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available 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 schedules the tasks efficiently and better resource utilization. The simulation results prove that proposed method reduces the execution time of tasks compared to existing ant colony algorithm.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. Individual Recognition in Ant Queens

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    D'Ettorre, Patrizia; Heinze, Jürgen

    2005-01-01

    Personal relationships are the cornerstone of vertebrate societies, but insect societies are either too large for individual recognition, or their members were assumed to lack the necessary cognitive abilities 1 and 2 . This paradigm has been challenged by the recent discovery that paper wasps...... 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...

  2. Male parentage in army ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2006-01-01

    In most social insects workers do not mate, but have retained the ability to produce haploid eggs that can develop into viable male offspring. Under what circumstances this reproductive potential is realized and how the ensuing worker-queen conflict over male production is resolved, is an area...... 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...

  3. The distribution of weaver ant pheromones on host trees

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Offenberg, Joachim

    2007-01-01

    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...

  4. 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.

  5. Conflict resolution in an ant-plant interaction: Acacia constricta traits reduce ant costs to reproduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nicklen, E Fleur; Wagner, Diane

    2006-05-01

    Many plant species attract ants onto their foliage with food rewards or nesting space. However, ants can interfere with plant reproduction when they visit flowers. This study tests whether Acacia constricta separates visiting ant species temporally or spatially from newly opened inflorescences and pollinators. The diurnal activity patterns of ants and A. constricta pollinators peaked at different times of day, and the activity of pollinators followed the daily dehiscence of A. constricta inflorescences. In addition to being largely temporally separated, ants rarely visited open inflorescences. A floral ant repellent contributes to the spatial separation of ants and inflorescences. In a field experiment, ants of four species were given equal access to inflorescences in different developmental stages. On average, the frequency with which ants made initial, antennal contact with the floral stages did not differ, but ants significantly avoided secondary contact with newly opened inflorescences relative to buds and old inflorescences, and old inflorescences relative to buds. Ants also avoided contact with pollen alone, indicating that pollen is at least one source of the repellent. The results suggest A. constricta has effectively resolved the potential conflict between visiting ants and plant reproduction.

  6. 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.

  7. Open Problem: Analyzing Ant Robot Coverage

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    Efficient and inefficient ant coverage methods. Annals of Mathematics and Artificial Intelligence, 31, 41–76. The proofs can be found in the technical...Wagner, I., & Bruckstein, A. (2001). Special issue on ant robotics. Annals of Mathematics and Artificial Intelligence, 31. Wagner, I., Lindenbaum, M

  8. 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.

  9. 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

    2016-01-20

    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.

  10. Antthrushes, antpittas, and gnateaters (Aves, Formicariidae) as army ant followers

    OpenAIRE

    Edwin O. Willis

    1984-01-01

    Antthrushes (Formicarius, Chamaeza) sometimes walk around swarms of army ants and capture ground prey, but do not follow ants regularly. Among antpittas, only fast-leaping Pittasoma michleri and P. rufopileatum regularly follow ants. Gnateaters (Conopophaga) follow ants little. All these ground-foraging genera are poorly adapted for rapid flying, and failure to follow ants is perhaps due to inability to evade predators or out fly competitors near groups of birds attracted by ants.

  11. 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.

  12. Microclimatic conditions of Lasius flavus ant mounds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Véle, Adam; Holuša, Jaroslav

    2016-11-01

    Like other organisms, ants require suitable microclimatic conditions for their development. Thus, ant species inhabiting colder climates build nest mounds that rise above the soil surface, presumably to obtain heating from solar radiation. Although some ant species construct mounds of organic materials, which generate substantial heat due to microbial metabolism, Lasius flavus mounds consists mostly of soil, not organic material. The use of artificial shading in the current study demonstrated that L. flavus depends on direct solar radiation to regulate the temperature in its mound-like nests. Temperatures were much lower in shaded mounds than in unshaded mounds and were likely low enough in shaded mounds to reduce ant development and reproduction. In areas where L. flavus and similar ants are undesirable, they might be managed by shading.

  13. 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.

  14. Fungal Adaptations to Mutualistic Life with Ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kooij, Pepijn Wilhelmus

    . However, in rare occasions fungal symbionts might come into contact with symbionts from other colonies. I showed that in both leaf-cutting ant genera incompatibility reactions between fungal strains can avoid intermixing of different strains, and that these reactions strengthen when genetic distance...... successful. To understand the evolutionary development of domestication of the fungus over the phylogeny of the Attine ants, I compared the average number of nuclei per cell for the fungal symbionts, for each of the different groups of fungus-growing ants. I found that the fungal symbionts of the paleo...... is increased. This pattern, however, becomes distorted when fungal symbionts are contested across ant genera. The most important mechanism in the succession of this mutualism of leaf-cutting ants is the controlled degradation of plant material. I show that in the area of Gamboa, Panama, the two leaf...

  15. 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.

  16. Persistence of pollination mutualisms in the presence of ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yuanshi; Wang, Shikun

    2015-01-01

    This paper considers plant-pollinator-ant systems in which the plant-pollinator interaction is mutualistic but ants have both positive and negative effects on plants. The ants also interfere with pollinators by preventing them from accessing plants. While a Beddington-DeAngelis (BD) formula can describe the plant-pollinator interaction, the formula is extended in this paper to characterize the pollination mutualism under the ant interference. Then, a plant-pollinator-ant system with the extended BD functional response is discussed, and global dynamics of the model demonstrate the mechanisms by which pollination mutualism can persist in the presence of ants. When the ant interference is strong, it can result in extinction of pollinators. Moreover, if the ants depend on pollination mutualism for survival, the strong interference could drive pollinators into extinction, which consequently lead to extinction of the ants themselves. When the ant interference is weak, a cooperation between plant-ant and plant-pollinator mutualisms could occur, which promotes survival of both ants and pollinators, especially in the case that ants (respectively, pollinators) cannot survive in the absence of pollinators (respectively, ants). Even when the level of ant interference remains invariant, varying ants' negative effect on plants can result in survival/extinction of both ants and pollinators. Therefore, our results provide an explanation for the persistence of pollination mutualism when there exist ants.

  17. Some enzymic activities of two Australian ant venoms: a jumper ant Myrmecia pilosula and a bulldog ant Myrmecia pyriformis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matuszek, M A; Hodgson, W C; King, R G; Sutherland, S K

    1994-12-01

    Venoms from two related Australian ants, a jumper ant (Myrmecia pilosula) and a bulldog ant (Myrmecia pyriformis), were quantitatively analysed for the following enzymic activities: phospholipase A2, phospholipase B, phospholipase C, hyaluronidase, esterase, acid phosphatase, alkaline phosphatase and phosphodiesterase. Both venoms contained phospholipase A2, phospholipase B, hyaluronidase, acid phosphatase and alkaline phosphatase activities. Myrmecia pyriformis venom had significantly greater phospholipase B, acid phosphatase and alkaline phosphatase activities than Myrmecia pilosula venom. No detectable quantities of phospholipase C, esterase or phosphodiesterase activities were found in either venom.

  18. 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.

  19. Ant-lepidopteran associations along African forest edges

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dejean, Alain; Azémar, Frédéric; Libert, Michel; Compin, Arthur; Hérault, Bruno; Orivel, Jérôme; Bouyer, Thierry; Corbara, Bruno

    2017-02-01

    Working along forest edges, we aimed to determine how some caterpillars can co-exist with territorially dominant arboreal ants (TDAAs) in tropical Africa. We recorded caterpillars from 22 lepidopteran species living in the presence of five TDAA species. Among the defoliator and/or nectarivorous caterpillars that live on tree foliage, the Pyralidae and Nymphalidae use their silk to protect themselves from ant attacks. The Notodontidae and lycaenid Polyommatinae and Theclinae live in direct contact with ants; the Theclinae even reward ants with abundant secretions from their Newcomer gland. Lichen feeders (lycaenid; Poritiinae), protected by long bristles, also live among ants. Some lycaenid Miletinae caterpillars feed on ant-attended membracids, including in the shelters where the ants attend them; Lachnocnema caterpillars use their forelegs to obtain trophallaxis from their host ants. Caterpillars from other species live inside weaver ant nests. Those of the genus Euliphyra (Miletinae) feed on ant prey and brood and can obtain trophallaxis, while those from an Eberidae species only prey on host ant eggs. Eublemma albifascia (Erebidae) caterpillars use their thoracic legs to obtain trophallaxis and trophic eggs from ants. Through transfer bioassays of last instars, we noted that herbivorous caterpillars living in contact with ants were always accepted by alien conspecific ants; this is likely due to an intrinsic appeasing odor. Yet, caterpillars living in ant shelters or ant nests probably acquire cues from their host colonies because they were considered aliens and killed. We conclude that co-evolution with ants occurred similarly in the Heterocera and Rhopalocera.

  20. 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.

  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. Ant colonies for the travelling salesman problem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dorigo, M; Gambardella, L M

    1997-01-01

    We describe an artificial ant colony capable of solving the travelling 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. Computer simulations demonstrate that the artificial ant colony is capable of generating good solutions to both symmetric and asymmetric instances of the TSP. The method is an example, like simulated annealing, neural networks and evolutionary computation, of the successful use of a natural metaphor to design an optimization algorithm.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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...

  6. Stealthy invaders: the biology of Cardiocondyla tramp ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Heinze, J.; Cremer, Sylvia; Eckl, N.;

    2006-01-01

    Many invasive ant species, such as the Argentine ant or the red imported fire ant, have huge colonies with thousands of mass-foraging workers, which quickly monopolise resources and therefore represent a considerable threat to the native ant fauna. Cardiocondyla obscurior and several other species...

  7. Fungal enzymes in the attine ant symbiosis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    the more basal attine genera use substrates such as flowers, plant debris, small twigs, insect feces and insect carcasses. This diverse array of fungal substrates across the attine lineage implies that the symbiotic fungus needs different enzymes to break down the plant material that the ants provide...... or different efficiencies of enzyme function. Fungal enzymes that degrade plant cell walls may have functionally co-evolved with the ants in this scenario. We explore this hypothesis with direct measurements of enzyme activity in fungus gardens in 12 species across 8 genera spanning the entire phylogeny...... and diversity of life-styles within the attine clade. We find significant differences in enzyme activity between different genera and life-styles of the ants. How these findings relate to attine ant coevolution and crop optimization are discussed....

  8. 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...

  9. KohonAnts: A Self-Organizing Ant Algorithm for Clustering and Pattern Classification

    CERN Document Server

    Fernandes, C; Merelo, J J; Ramos, V; Laredo, J L J

    2008-01-01

    In this paper we introduce a new ant-based method that takes advantage of the cooperative self-organization of Ant Colony Systems to create a naturally inspired clustering and pattern recognition method. The approach considers each data item as an ant, which moves inside a grid changing the cells it goes through, in a fashion similar to Kohonen's Self-Organizing Maps. The resulting algorithm is conceptually more simple, takes less free parameters than other ant-based clustering algorithms, and, after some parameter tuning, yields very good results on some benchmark problems.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Congestion and communication in confined ant traffic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gravish, Nick; Gold, Gregory; Zangwill, Andrew; Goodisman, Michael A. D.; Goldman, Daniel I.

    2014-03-01

    Many social animals move and communicate within confined spaces. In subterranean fire ants Solenopsis invicta, mobility within crowded nest tunnels is important for resource and information transport. Within confined tunnels, communication and traffic flow are at odds: trafficking ants communicate through tactile interactions while stopped, yet ants that stop to communicate impose physical obstacles on the traffic. We monitor the bi-directional flow of fire ant workers in laboratory tunnels of varied diameter D. The persistence time of communicating ant aggregations, τ, increases approximately linearly with the number of participating ants, n. The sensitivity of traffic flow increases as D decreases and diverges at a minimum diameter, Dc. A cellular automata model incorporating minimal traffic features--excluded volume and communication duration--reproduces features of the experiment. From the model we identify a competition between information transfer and the need to maintain jam-free traffic flow. We show that by balancing information transfer and traffic flow demands, an optimum group strategy exists which maximizes information throughput. We acknowledge funding from NSF PoLS #0957659 and #PHY-1205878.

  14. 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.

  15. Antecedentes biológicos de hormigas presentes en Chile publicados en revistas científicas nacionales y extranjeras durante el siglo XX Biological background of ants found in Chile published in national and foreign scientific journals during the XX century

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    HUGO TORRES-CONTRERAS

    2001-09-01

    Full Text Available Se revisa la información sobre biología de hormigas presentes en Chile publicada en revistas científicas nacionales y extranjeras durante el período 1900-1999. Se evalúan estos antecedentes en términos de: (i la dinámica temporal de la producción de publicaciones, (ii las principales temáticas de estudio, y (iii los géneros de formícidos en los cuáles se ha concentrado la investigación. Los datos recolectados muestran que sólo a partir de la década del 60' se produce un marcado crecimiento del número de artículos sobre hormigas, lo cual alcanza su máxima expresión durante la década del 90'. Los principales tópicos de investigación han sido, en orden decreciente, aspectos sobre taxonomía, uso del hábitat, períodos de actividad, conductas tróficas y de reconocimiento entre individuos. Los géneros de formícidos en los que se han centrado estos estudios corresponden a Camponotus, Solenopsis, Pogonomyrmex, Brachymyrmex, Conomyrma y Linepithema. Estos resultados son discutidos a la luz de acontecimientos históricos que habrían determinado el curso de las investigaciones. Finalmente, se proponen líneas de investigación que en el futuro podrían desarrollar los estudios sobre hormigas en ChileInformation is reviewed on the biology of ants found in Chile published in national and foreign scientific journals during the period 1900-1999. The information is evaluated in terms of: (i temporal dynamics of publication production, (ii main themes of study, and (iii formicid groups in which the investigation has been concentrated. The collected data show that in the decade the 60's, the number of articles on ants grew, reaching a peack during the 90's. The main topics of investigation have been, in decreasing order, aspects of taxonomy, habitat use, periods of activity, trofic behavior and inter-individuals recognition. The formicid groups in which these studies have been focused correspond to Camponotus, Solenopsis, Pogonomyrmex

  16. Bacterial associates of arboreal ants and their putative functions in an obligate ant-plant mutualism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eilmus, Sascha; Heil, Martin

    2009-07-01

    Bacterial communities are highly diverse and have great ecological importance. In the present study, we used an in silico analysis of terminal restriction fragments (tRF) to characterize the bacterial community of the plant ant Pseudomyrmex ferrugineus. This species is an obligate inhabitant of Acacia myrmecophytes and feeds exclusively on plant-derived food sources. Ants are the dominant insect group in tropical rain forests. Associations of ants with microbes, which contribute particularly to the ants' nitrogen nutrition, could allow these insects to live on mostly or entirely plant-based diets and could thus contribute to the explanation of the high abundances that are reached by tropical ants. We found tRF patterns representing at least 30 prokaryotic taxa, of which the Acidobacteria, Actinobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Firmicutes, Planctomycetes, Proteobacteria, and Spirochaetes comprised 93%. Because most bacterial taxa were found in all ant-derived samples studied and because the bacteria detected on the ants' host plant revealed little overlap with this community, we regard our results as reliably representing the bacterial community that is associated with P. ferrugineus. Genera with a likely function as ant symbionts were Burkholderia, Pantoea, Weissella, and several members of the Enterobacteriaceae. The presence of these and various other groups was confirmed via independent PCR and cultivation approaches. Many of the bacteria that we detected belong to purportedly N-fixing taxa. Bacteria may represent important further partners in ant-plant mutualisms, and their influences on ant nutrition can contribute to the extraordinary abundance and evolutionary success of tropical arboreal ants.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Ants as shell collectors: notes on land snail shells found around ant nests

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Barna Páll-Gergely

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available We investigated the shell collecting activities of harvester ants (Messor spp. in semi-arid grasslands and shrubs in Turkey. We found eleven species of snails in the area, two of them were not collected by ants. Eight – mainly small sized – snail species were found on ant nests in a habitat characterized by shrubs, three in rocky grassland and four in a grassland habitat. Some shells (e.g. Chondrus zebrula tantalus, Multidentula ovularis might be taken into the nests, and we hypothesise that some of these snail species are consumed by ants (Monacha spp.. From a fauna inventory perspective, shell collecting activities of harvester ant may help malacologists to find snail species which are normally hidden for a specialist (e.g. Oxychilus hydatinus, Cecilioides spp. due to their special habits.

  20. 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...... can be combined with the use of the ants in biological control programmes in tropical plantations where pest insects are converted into ant biomass. To assess the cost-benefits of ant farming based on artificial feeding, food consumption and food conversion efficiency (ECI) of Oecophylla smaragdina...... (Fabricius) was tested under laboratory conditions. Of the two types of food offered, the ants ingested 76% pure sucrose and 24% insect prey (dry weights) leading to ECI’s of 29% and 39% including brood only or brood plus imago gain, respectively. Based on Thai sugar and protein food costs and ant brood...

  1. Ant-egg cataract. An electron microscopic study

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schrøder, H D; Nissen, S H

    1979-01-01

    The ultrastructure of the ant-egg cataractous lens has been studied. Comparison of tissue demineralized by means of EDTA with untreated tissue showed the calcium salts in the ant-eggs to be mostly crystalline. A laminar appearance of the ant-egg seen in EDTA treated material suggested an intermit......The ultrastructure of the ant-egg cataractous lens has been studied. Comparison of tissue demineralized by means of EDTA with untreated tissue showed the calcium salts in the ant-eggs to be mostly crystalline. A laminar appearance of the ant-egg seen in EDTA treated material suggested...

  2. 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.

  3. 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...... 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...

  4. Ant-plants and fungi: a new threeway symbiosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Defossez, Emmanuel; Selosse, Marc-André; Dubois, Marie-Pierre; Mondolot, Laurence; Faccio, Antonella; Djieto-Lordon, Champlain; McKey, Doyle; Blatrix, Rumsaïs

    2009-06-01

    Symbioses between plants and fungi, fungi and ants, and ants and plants all play important roles in ecosystems. Symbioses involving all three partners appear to be rare. Here, we describe a novel tripartite symbiosis in which ants and a fungus inhabit domatia of an ant-plant, and present evidence that such interactions are widespread. We investigated 139 individuals of the African ant-plant Leonardoxa africana for occurrence of fungus. Behaviour of mutualist ants toward the fungus within domatia was observed using a video camera fitted with an endoscope. Fungi were identified by sequencing a fragment of their ribosomal DNA. Fungi were always present in domatia occupied by mutualist ants but never in domatia occupied by opportunistic or parasitic ants. Ants appear to favour the propagation, removal and maintenance of the fungus. Similar fungi were associated with other ant-plants in Cameroon. All belong to the ascomycete order Chaetothyriales; those from L. africana formed a monophyletic clade. These new plant-ant-fungus associations seem to be specific, as demonstrated within Leonardoxa and as suggested by fungal phyletic identities. Such tripartite associations are widespread in African ant-plants but have long been overlooked. Taking fungal partners into account will greatly enhance our understanding of symbiotic ant-plant mutualisms.

  5. 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.

  6. Variation in Extrafloral Nectary Productivity Influences the Ant Foraging

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-01-01

    Extrafloral nectar is the main food source offered by plants to predatory ants in most land environments. Although many studies have demonstrated the importance of extrafloral nectaries (EFNs) to plant defense against herbivores, the influence of EFNs secretory activity pattern on predatory ants remains yet not fully understood. Here, we verified the relation between the extrafloral nectar production of a plant community in Cerrado in different times of the day, and its attractiveness to ants. The extrafloral nectaries (EFNs) of seven plant species showed higher productivity overnight. Ant abundance was higher in times of large extrafloral nectar production, however, there was no positive relation between ant richness on plants and EFNs productivity. There was temporal resource partitioning among ant species, and it indicates strong resource competition. The nectar productivity varied among plant species and time of the day, and it influenced the visitation patterns of ants. Therefore, EFNs are a key ant-plant interaction driver in the studied system. PMID:28046069

  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. 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....

  9. 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...

  10. A global database of ant species abundances

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gibb, Heloise; Dunn, Rob R.; Sanders, Nathan J.; Grossman, Blair F.; Photakis, Manoli; Abril, Silvia; Agosti, Donat; Andersen, Alan N.; Angulo, Elena; Armbrecht, Ingre; Arnan, Xavier; Baccaro, Fabricio B.; Bishop, Tom R.; Boulay, Raphael; Bruhl, Carsten; Castracani, Cristina; Cerda, Xim; Del Toro, Israel; Delsinne, Thibaut; Diaz, Mireia; Donoso, David A.; Ellison, Aaron M.; Enriquez, Martha L.; Fayle, Tom M.; Feener Jr., Donald H.; Fisher, Brian L.; Fisher, Robert N.; Fitpatrick, Matthew C.; Gomez, Cristanto; Gotelli, Nicholas J.; Gove, Aaron; Grasso, Donato A.; Groc, Sarah; Guenard, Benoit; Gunawardene, Nihara; Heterick, Brian; Hoffmann, Benjamin; Janda, Milan; Jenkins, Clinton; Kaspari, Michael; Klimes, Petr; Lach, Lori; Laeger, Thomas; Lattke, John; Leponce, Maurice; Lessard, Jean-Philippe; Longino, John; Lucky, Andrea; Luke, Sarah H.; Majer, Jonathan; McGlynn, Terrence P.; Menke, Sean; Mezger, Dirk; Mori, Alessandra; Moses, Jimmy; Munyai, Thinandavha Caswell; Pacheco, Renata; Paknia, Omid; Pearce-Duvet, Jessica; Pfeiffer, Martin; Philpott, Stacy M.; Resasco, Julian; Retana, Javier; Silva, Rogerio R.; Sorger, Magdalena D.; Souza, Jorge; Suarez, Andrew V.; Tista, Melanie; Vasconcelos, Heraldo L.; Vonshak, Merav; Weiser, Michael D.; Yates, Michelle; Parr, Catherine L.

    2017-01-01

    What forces structure ecological assemblages? A key limitation to general insights about assemblage structure is the availability of data that are collected at a small spatial grain (local assemblages) and a large spatial extent (global coverage). Here, we present published and unpublished data from 51,388 ant abundance and occurrence records of more than 2693 species and 7953 morphospecies from local assemblages collected at 4212 locations around the world. Ants were selected because they are diverse and abundant globally, comprise a large fraction of animal biomass in most terrestrial communities, and are key contributors to a range of ecosystem functions. Data were collected between 1949 and 2014, and include, for each geo-referenced sampling site, both the identity of the ants collected and details of sampling design, habitat type and degree of disturbance. The aim of compiling this dataset was to provide comprehensive species abundance data in order to test relationships between assemblage structure and environmental and biogeographic factors. Data were collected using a variety of standardised methods, such as pitfall and Winkler traps, and will be valuable for studies investigating large-scale forces structuring local assemblages. Understanding such relationships is particularly critical under current rates of global change. We encourage authors holding additional data on systematically collected ant assemblages, especially those in dry and cold, and remote areas, to contact us and contribute their data to this growing dataset.

  11. 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...

  12. 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.

  13. 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...

  14. 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 ra...

  15. The ejaculatory biology of leafcutter ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2015-01-01

    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...

  16. Improving Emergency Management by Modeling Ant Colonies

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-03-01

    brood. The brood stages include the egg, the larval, and the pupa.27 The brood is dependent on the colony for nourishment and warmth until fully...night for rest and to relocate the colony. The bivouac is what is created when army ants huddle together in a ball instead of building a physical nest

  17. Enhanced Pest Ant Control with Hydrophobic Bait

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ants occupy every ecological niche in the world where they contribute to the ecosystem, e.g., as scavengers and aerators of the soil. However, when they are transported, usually through human activities, to new locations they have powerful negative impacts on their adopted homeland. Five of the 17 l...

  18. 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

  19. 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

  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. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. Eavesdropping on cooperative communication within an ant-butterfly mutualism

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Elgar, Mark A.; Nash, David Richard; Pierce, Naomi E.

    2016-01-01

    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...

  5. 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.

  6. Ants mediate the structure of phytotelm communities in an ant-garden bromeliad

    OpenAIRE

    Céréghino, Régis; Leroy, Céline; Dejean,Alain; Corbara, Bruno

    2010-01-01

    International audience; The main theories explaining the biological diversity of rain forests often confer a limited understanding of the contribution of interspecific interactions to the observed patterns. We show how two-species mutualisms can affect much larger segments of the invertebrate community in tropical rain forests. Aechmea mertensii (Bromeliaceae) is both a phytotelm (plant-held water) and an ant-garden epiphyte. We studied the influence of its associated ant species (Pachycondyl...

  7. Formigas (Hymenoptera: Formicidae urbanas em um hospital no município de Luz, Estado de Minas Gerais - DOI: 10.4025/actascihealthsci.v32i1.5805 Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae in a hospital in the city of Luz, Minas Gerais, Brazil - DOI: 10.4025/actascihealthsci.v32i1.5805

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Renata Bernardes Faria Campos

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available As formigas urbanas, quando presentes em ambientes hospitalares, tornam-se um perigo potencial à saúde pública, pelo fato de terem a capacidade de transportar organismos patogênicos, podendo essas estar diretamente associadas ao problema de infecção hospitalar. Durante o período de um ano, foram realizadas coletas de formigas em um hospital do município de Luz, Estado de Minas Gerais, utilizando-se iscas não-tóxicas. As mesmas foram distribuídas em 16 pontos de coleta, sendo três localizados na área externa e os demais na área interna do hospital. Foram encontradas formigas em 15 dos 16 pontos amostrados. Os gêneros mais abundantes foram Brachymyrmex e Tapinoma, sendo sua presença registrada tanto na parte externa, quanto na interna. Salienta-se, ainda, a presença do gênero Camponotus, observada, geralmente, onde há disponibilidade de alimento (como cozinha, quarto, refeitório e local de acondicionamento de lixo e falhas estruturais nas paredes. Também foram coletados, no hospital, Wasmannia, Pheidole, Linepithema, Monomorium, Dorymyrmex, Solenopsis e Paratrechina, totalizando-se dez gêneros. Nossos resultados indicam possíveis implicações da precariedade em estruturas de construção em hospitais e a importância da limpeza nesses ambientes.Urban ants, when present in hospital environments, can be a potential danger to public health, because they can carry pathogenic organisms and are possibly directly associated with the hospital cross infection problem. During a one-year period, collections were carried out, using non-toxic baits in a hospital of Luz, Minas Gerais State. The samples were distributed in 16 sites, being three outside and the others inside the hospital. Ants were found in 15 of the 16 sampled points. The most abundant genera were Brachymyrmex e Tapinoma, recorded inside and outside the hospital. The Camponotus genus was present as well, and generally collected where food was available (such as kitchen

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Are ant feces nutrients for plants? A metabolomics approach to elucidate the nutritional effects on plants hosting weaver ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vidkjær, Nanna Hjort; Wollenweber, Bernd; Gislum, René

    2015-01-01

    Weaver ants (genus Oecophylla) are tropical carnivorous ant species living in high numbers in the canopies of trees. The ants excrete copious amounts of fecal matter on leaf surfaces, and these feces may provide nutrients to host trees. This hypothesis is supported by studies of ant-plant interac......Weaver ants (genus Oecophylla) are tropical carnivorous ant species living in high numbers in the canopies of trees. The ants excrete copious amounts of fecal matter on leaf surfaces, and these feces may provide nutrients to host trees. This hypothesis is supported by studies of ant......-plant interactions involving other ant species that have demonstrated the transfer of nutrients from ants to plants. In this 7-months study, a GC–MS-based metabolomics approach along with an analysis of total nitrogen and carbon levels was used to study metabolic changes in ant-hosting Coffea arabica plants compared...... with control plants. The results showed elevated levels of total nitrogen, amino acids, fatty acids, caffeine, and secondary metabolites of the phenylpropanoid pathway in leaves from ant-hosting plants. Minor effects were observed for sugars, whereas little or no effect was observed for organic acids, despite...

  11. 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.

  12. The isolation of anaerobic bacteria from the gut of Camponotus japonicus%日本弓背蚁消化道厌氧细菌的分离培养

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    朱卓琳; 南小宁; 王云果; 贺虹

    2015-01-01

    Objectives] An anaerobic device was designed to culture anaerobic bacteria from the digestive tract of Camponotus japonicus. [Methods] A simple anaerobic device; the Interlayer Petri Dish Method, was improved to isolate anaerobic bacteria from the digestive tract of C. japonicus using four kinds of culture media (LB medium, Beef extract peptone, MRS medium and LBS medium). [Results] Twenty-two different bacterial strains were isolated from the guts of C. japonicus. These belonged to 17 genera of the Firmicutes, Actinobacteria and Proteobacterium. Four kinds of culture mediums had high selectivity, and isolated different bacterial species. More bacterial species were isolated from LB and beef extract peptone medium (10 and 8 species respectively), less were isolated from LBS and MRS medium (3 and 1 species respectively). In addition, bacterial species isolated from the digestive tracts of major and minor workers differed, which may be related to their functions and responsibilities in the colony. Further research will be required to clarify this. [Conclusion] Several anaerobic bacteria were successfully isolated from the guts of C. japonicus using the Interlayer Petri Dish Method, which provides a reference for isolating the gut bacteria of other insects.%【目的】采用自行设置的厌氧装置,分离培养日本弓背蚁Camponotus japonicus消化道厌氧细菌。【方法】改进了一种简易的厌氧装置——平皿夹层法,利用4种培养基对日本弓背蚁消化道内厌氧或兼性厌氧菌进行分离培养。【结果】从日本弓背蚁消化道共分离到22个不同的菌株,隶属于厚壁菌门、放线菌门和变形菌门3大类群的17个属;4种培养基分离到的细菌种类存在明显差异,选择性较强,其中从LB和牛肉膏蛋白胨培养基上分离到的细菌种类较多,分别为10种和8种;从MRS和LBS培养基上分离到的细菌较少,分别为3种和1种;大工蚁和小工蚁的消化道细

  13. Insect navigation: do ants live in the now?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graham, Paul; Mangan, Michael

    2015-03-01

    Visual navigation is a critical behaviour for many animals, and it has been particularly well studied in ants. Decades of ant navigation research have uncovered many ways in which efficient navigation can be implemented in small brains. For example, ants show us how visual information can drive navigation via procedural rather than map-like instructions. Two recent behavioural observations highlight interesting adaptive ways in which ants implement visual guidance. Firstly, it has been shown that the systematic nest searches of ants can be biased by recent experience of familiar scenes. Secondly, ants have been observed to show temporary periods of confusion when asked to repeat a route segment, even if that route segment is very familiar. Taken together, these results indicate that the navigational decisions of ants take into account their recent experiences as well as the currently perceived environment.

  14. Fast and flexible: argentine ants recruit from nearby trails.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flanagan, Tatiana P; Pinter-Wollman, Noa M; Moses, Melanie E; Gordon, Deborah M

    2013-01-01

    Argentine ants (Linepithema humile) live in groups of nests connected by trails to each other and to stable food sources. In a field study, we investigated whether some ants recruit directly from established, persistent trails to food sources, thus accelerating food collection. Our results indicate that Argentine ants recruit nestmates to food directly from persistent trails, and that the exponential increase in the arrival rate of ants at baits is faster than would be possible if recruited ants traveled from distant nests. Once ants find a new food source, they walk back and forth between the bait and sometimes share food by trophallaxis with nestmates on the trail. Recruiting ants from nearby persistent trails creates a dynamic circuit, like those found in other distributed systems, which facilitates a quick response to changes in available resources.

  15. Fast and flexible: argentine ants recruit from nearby trails.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tatiana P Flanagan

    Full Text Available Argentine ants (Linepithema humile live in groups of nests connected by trails to each other and to stable food sources. In a field study, we investigated whether some ants recruit directly from established, persistent trails to food sources, thus accelerating food collection. Our results indicate that Argentine ants recruit nestmates to food directly from persistent trails, and that the exponential increase in the arrival rate of ants at baits is faster than would be possible if recruited ants traveled from distant nests. Once ants find a new food source, they walk back and forth between the bait and sometimes share food by trophallaxis with nestmates on the trail. Recruiting ants from nearby persistent trails creates a dynamic circuit, like those found in other distributed systems, which facilitates a quick response to changes in available resources.

  16. Kin-informative recognition cues in ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2011-01-01

    Although social groups are characterized by cooperation, they are also often the scene of conflict. In non-clonal systems, the reproductive interests of group members will differ and individuals may benefit by exploiting the cooperative efforts of other group members. However, such selfish...... 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...

  17. 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 ...

  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 o...... 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.......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...

  19. Relative effects of disturbance on red imported fire ants and native ant species in a longleaf pine ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stuble, Katharine L; Kirkman, L Katherine; Carroll, C Ronald; Sanders, Nathan J

    2011-06-01

    The degree to which changes in community composition mediate the probability of colonization and spread of non-native species is not well understood, especially in animal communities. High species richness may hinder the establishment of non-native species. Distinguishing between this scenario 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 the abundance of native ants and fire ants in four experimental plots. We then observed the reassembly and reestablishment of the ants in these plots for 1 year after treatment. The abundance of fire ants in treated plots did not differ from abundance in control plots 1 year after treatment. Likewise, the abundance of native ants increased to levels comparable to those in control plots after 1 year. Our findings suggest that factors other than large reductions in ant abundance and species density (number of species per unit area) may affect the establishment of fire ants and that the response of native ants and fire ants to disturbance can be comparable.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. A plant needs ants like a dog needs fleas: Myrmelachista schumanni ants gall many tree species to create housing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edwards, David P; Frederickson, Megan E; Shepard, Glenn H; Yu, Douglas W

    2009-11-01

    Hundreds of tropical plant species house ant colonies in specialized chambers called domatia. When, in 1873, Richard Spruce likened plant-ants to fleas and asserted that domatia are ant-created galls, he incited a debate that lasted almost a century. Although we now know that domatia are not galls and that most ant-plant interactions are mutualisms and not parasitisms, we revisit Spruce's suggestion that ants can gall in light of our observations of the plant-ant Myrmelachista schumanni, which creates clearings in the Amazonian rain forest called "supay-chakras," or "devil's gardens." We observed swollen scars on the trunks of nonmyrmecophytic canopy trees surrounding supay-chakras, and within these swellings, we found networks of cavities inhabited by M. schumanni. Here, we summarize the evidence supporting the hypothesis that M. schumanni ants make these galls, and we hypothesize that the adaptive benefit of galling is to increase the amount of nesting space available to M. schumanni colonies.

  3. El periodista, ante la espiral de silencio

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dr. Fermín Galindo Arranz

    1998-01-01

    Full Text Available La percepción de la profesión periodística y de su influencia cambia mucho a lo largo del tiempo, de las coyunturas históricas y de los diferentes países y sociedades en los que desempeñan su labor. En un contexto mundial, la gravedad de las situaciones de riesgo periodístico se encuadran en situaciones políticas, económicas o sociales también conflictivas; es entonces cuando se suele reproducir con facilidad en la opinión pública el fenómeno de la espiral del silencio, ante el que inevitablemente se sitúa el periodista. Por definición, el trabajo del periodista consiste en ser portavoz de las novedades que se producen, en dar informaciones y emitir opiniones en la esfera pública, se tiene que situar, por tanto, de forma individual y notoriamente pública ante los fenómenos de espiral de silencio que puedan producirse en la opinión pública. Antonio Tabucchi nos presenta en su novela "Sostiene Pereira" un ejemplo magnífico del dilema del periodista ante este tipo de situaciones.

  4. 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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Offenberg, Hans Joachim

    2011-01-01

    Canopy dwelling weaver ants are widely distributed throughout the Old World Tropics where they build up high densities on their host trees. If managed properly the high number of ants will control a range of pest insects and benefit crop production. Simultaneously the ant larvae production, fuell...... be sustainable combined with their use in biocontrol, (ii) estimates of ant harvest yields from a mango plantation and (iii) how active feeding of ants may generate economic returns between 1.52 and 4.56 in a Thai market....... into a valuable and needed source of protein. Protein from conventional livestock production leave a high pressure on the environment as the food and farm area needed to produce each protein unit is high. For insect production these requirements are much lower and FAO has recently proposed research in insect...... 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...

  6. Chemically armed mercenary ants protect fungus-farming societies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adams, Rachelle M M; Liberti, Joanito; Illum, Anders A; Jones, Tappey H; Nash, David R; Boomsma, Jacobus J

    2013-09-24

    The ants are extraordinary in having evolved many lineages that exploit closely related ant societies as social parasites, but social parasitism by distantly related ants is rare. Here we document the interaction dynamics among a Sericomyrmex fungus-growing ant host, a permanently associated parasitic guest ant of the genus Megalomyrmex, and a raiding agro-predator of the genus Gnamptogenys. We show experimentally that the guest ants protect their host colonies against agro-predator raids using alkaloid venom that is much more potent than the biting defenses of the host ants. Relatively few guest ants are sufficient to kill raiders that invariably exterminate host nests without a cohabiting guest ant colony. We also show that the odor of guest ants discourages raider scouts from recruiting nestmates to host colonies. Our results imply that Sericomyrmex fungus-growers obtain a net benefit from their costly guest ants behaving as a functional soldier caste to meet lethal threats from agro-predator raiders. The fundamentally different life histories of the agro-predators and guest ants appear to facilitate their coexistence in a negative frequency-dependent manner. Because a guest ant colony is committed for life to a single host colony, the guests would harm their own interests by not defending the host that they continue to exploit. This conditional mutualism is analogous to chronic sickle cell anemia enhancing the resistance to malaria and to episodes in human history when mercenary city defenders offered either net benefits or imposed net costs, depending on the level of threat from invading armies.

  7. Parallelizing Ant Colony Optimization via Area of Expertise Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    2007-09-13

    lutions for all but the most trivial instances. Ant colony optimization (ACO) is a simple metaheuristic that can effectively solve problems in these...expertise” technique is applied to two problem domains: gridworld and the traveling salesman problem. 1.1 Motivation ACO is a metaheuristic that generates...independent ant agents, an obvious extension of the ant colony framework is to implement the algorithm in a parallel environment. One of the main

  8. Rhabdomyolysis and Acute Renal Failure After Fire Ant Bites

    OpenAIRE

    Koya, Supriya; Crenshaw, Daryl; Agarwal, Anupam

    2007-01-01

    We describe a 59-year-old patient who developed acute renal failure because of rhabdomyolysis after extensive red fire ant bites. This case illustrates a serious systemic reaction that may occur from fire ant bites. Consistent with the clinical presentation in rhabdomyolysis associated with non-traumatic causes, hyperkalemia, hypophosphatemia, hypocalcemia, and high anion gap acidosis were not observed in this patient. While local allergic reactions to fire ant bites are described in the lite...

  9. Consuming fire ants reduces northern bobwhite survival and weight gain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Myers, P.E.; Allen, Craig R.; Birge, Hannah E.

    2014-01-01

    Northern bobwhite quail, Colinus virginianus (L.) (Galliformes: Odontophoridae), population declines are well documented, but pinpointing the reasons for these decreases has proven elusive. Bobwhite population declines are attributed primarily to loss of habitat and land use changes. This, however, does not entirely explain population declines in areas intensively managed for bobwhites. Although previous research demonstrates the negative impact of red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta Buren) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) on northern bobwhites, the mechanisms underlying this effect are largely unknown. To meet the protein demands of early growth and development, bobwhite chicks predominantly consume small insects, of which ants are a substantial proportion. Fire ants alter ant community dynamics by often reducing native ant diversity and abundance while concurrently increasing the abundance of individuals. Fire ants have negative effects on chicks, but they are also a large potential protein source, making it difficult to disentangle their net effect on bobwhite chicks. To help investigate these effects, we conducted a laboratory experiment to understand (1) whether or not bobwhites consume fire ants, and (2) how the benefits of this consumption compare to the deleterious impacts of bobwhite chick exposure to fire ants. Sixty bobwhite chicks were separated into two groups of 30; one group was provided with starter feed only and the second group was provided with feed and fire ants. Bobwhite chicks were observed feeding on fire ants. Chicks that fed on fire ants had reduced survival and weight gain. Our results show that, while fire ants increase potential food sources for northern bobwhite, their net effect on bobwhite chicks is deleterious. This information will help inform land managers and commercial bobwhite rearing operations.

  10. Does Trichomes on the Plant Epidermic Surface Disturb Ants Locomotion?

    OpenAIRE

    Danon C. Cardoso; Maykon P Cristiano; Lenise C. M. Vilela; Tiago D. A. Martins

    2009-01-01

    Problem Statement: Many morphological characteristics, both physical and chemical, are used in the defense against herbivores on plants. Trichomes are structures used by plants as physics defense and when associated with glands combine physics and chemistry defense. Many species of ants are herbivores and use leaves and seeds, others ants use Extra Floral Nectars as a food resource, and the majority of the species are predators of other ants and other insects, &#...

  11. Evolutionarily advanced ant farmers rear polyploid fungal crops

    OpenAIRE

    Pepijn W Kooij; Aanen, D. K.; Schiøtt, M.; Boomsma, Jacobus J.

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Innovative evolutionary developments are often related to gene or genome duplications. The crop fungi of attine fungus‐growing ants are suspected to have enhanced genetic variation reminiscent of polyploidy, but this has never been quantified with cytological data and genetic markers. We estimated the number of nuclei per fungal cell for 42 symbionts reared by 14 species of Panamanian fungus‐growing ants. This showed that domesticated symbionts of higher attine ants are polykaryotic ...

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. [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

  15. 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.

  16. Insecticide transfer efficiency and lethal load in Argentine ants

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hooper-Bui, L.M. [Department of Environmental Science, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803 (United States); Department of Entomology, University of California, Riverside, CA 92521 (United States); Kwok, E.S.C. [Department of Cell Biology and Neuroscience, University of California, Riverside, CA 92521 (United States); Buchholz, B.A., E-mail: buchholz2@llnl.gov [Center for Accelerator Mass Spectrometry, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, CA 94551 (United States); Department of Environmental Toxicology, University of California, Davis, CA 95616 (United States); Rust, M.K. [Department of Entomology, University of California, Riverside, CA 92521 (United States); Eastmond, D.A. [Department of Cell Biology and Neuroscience, University of California, Riverside, CA 92521 (United States); Vogel, J.S. [Center for Accelerator Mass Spectrometry, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, CA 94551 (United States)

    2015-10-15

    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 {sup 14}C-sucrose, {sup 14}C-hydramethylnon, and {sup 14}C-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.

  17. Variation of ant community structure on Ficus benguetensis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shang-Yang Lin

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Although ants are commonly found on Ficus trees, information remains lacking on the pattern and diversity of the ant community visiting these trees. We hypothesize that dynamic changes in the availability and types of food can affect the composition as well as abundance of ant communities occurring on fig trees. To investigate the impact of resource availability, diversity, and variability on the ant community structure, we surveyed and recorded the fig phenology and ant abundance on 17 trees (11 male and six female trees of Ficus benguetensis in New Taipei City in northern Taiwan from 2011 to 2013. A total of 13 ant species were found on these fig trees, with 6 species more abundant than the others. The composition and relative abundance of the ant species occurring on F. benguetensis trees showed significant variations associated with tree sex, fig abundance, fig developmental phase, as well as temperature. A degree of dietary niche partitioning was also observed. We suggest that sexual differentiation in fig phenology plays a major role in controlling the availability and variance in food resources for ants, thereby shaping the complex ant communities foraging on F. benguetensis.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xianmin Wei

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available 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. Finally, through simulation experiments to prove that the algorithm can get the optimal solution and the convergence rate is faster than the average ant colony algorithm.

  19. Signals can trump rewards in attracting seed-dispersing ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turner, Kyle M; Frederickson, Megan E

    2013-01-01

    Both rewards and signals are important in mutualisms. In myrmecochory, or seed dispersal by ants, the benefits to plants are relatively well studied, but less is known about why ants pick up and move seeds. We examined seed dispersal by the ant Aphaenogaster rudis of four co-occurring species of plants, and tested whether morphology, chemical signaling, or the nutritional quality of fatty seed appendages called elaiosomes influenced dispersal rates. In removal trials, ants quickly collected diaspores (seeds plus elaiosomes) of Asarum canadense, Trillium grandiflorum, and Sanguinaria canadensis, but largely neglected those of T. erectum. This discrepancy was not explained by differences in the bulk cost-benefit ratio, as assessed by the ratio of seed to elaiosome mass. We also provisioned colonies with diaspores from one of these four plant species or no diaspores as a control. Colonies performed best when fed S. canadensis diaspores, worst when fed T. grandiflorum, and intermediately when fed A. canadense, T. erectum, or no diaspores. Thus, the nutritional rewards in elaiosomes affected colony performance, but did not completely predict seed removal. Instead, high levels of oleic acid in T. grandiflorum elaiosomes may explain why ants disperse these diaspores even though they reduce ant colony performance. We show for the first time that different elaiosome-bearing plants provide rewards of different quality to ant colonies, but also that ants appear unable to accurately assess reward quality when encountering seeds. Instead, we suggest that signals can trump rewards as attractants of ants to seeds.

  20. 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).

  1. Looking and homing: how displaced ants decide where to go.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeil, Jochen; Narendra, Ajay; Stürzl, Wolfgang

    2014-01-01

    We caught solitary foragers of the Australian Jack Jumper ant, Myrmecia croslandi, and released them in three compass directions at distances of 10 and 15 m from the nest at locations they have never been before. We recorded the head orientation and the movements of ants within a radius of 20 cm from the release point and, in some cases, tracked their subsequent paths with a differential GPS. We find that upon surfacing from their transport vials onto a release platform, most ants move into the home direction after looking around briefly. The ants use a systematic scanning procedure, consisting of saccadic head and body rotations that sweep gaze across the scene with an average angular velocity of 90° s(-1) and intermittent changes in turning direction. By mapping the ants' gaze directions onto the local panorama, we find that neither the ants' gaze nor their decisions to change turning direction are clearly associated with salient or significant features in the scene. Instead, the ants look most frequently in the home direction and start walking fast when doing so. Displaced ants can thus identify home direction with little translation, but exclusively through rotational scanning. We discuss the navigational information content of the ants' habitat and how the insects' behaviour informs us about how they may acquire and retrieve that information.

  2. Signals can trump rewards in attracting seed-dispersing ants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kyle M Turner

    Full Text Available Both rewards and signals are important in mutualisms. In myrmecochory, or seed dispersal by ants, the benefits to plants are relatively well studied, but less is known about why ants pick up and move seeds. We examined seed dispersal by the ant Aphaenogaster rudis of four co-occurring species of plants, and tested whether morphology, chemical signaling, or the nutritional quality of fatty seed appendages called elaiosomes influenced dispersal rates. In removal trials, ants quickly collected diaspores (seeds plus elaiosomes of Asarum canadense, Trillium grandiflorum, and Sanguinaria canadensis, but largely neglected those of T. erectum. This discrepancy was not explained by differences in the bulk cost-benefit ratio, as assessed by the ratio of seed to elaiosome mass. We also provisioned colonies with diaspores from one of these four plant species or no diaspores as a control. Colonies performed best when fed S. canadensis diaspores, worst when fed T. grandiflorum, and intermediately when fed A. canadense, T. erectum, or no diaspores. Thus, the nutritional rewards in elaiosomes affected colony performance, but did not completely predict seed removal. Instead, high levels of oleic acid in T. grandiflorum elaiosomes may explain why ants disperse these diaspores even though they reduce ant colony performance. We show for the first time that different elaiosome-bearing plants provide rewards of different quality to ant colonies, but also that ants appear unable to accurately assess reward quality when encountering seeds. Instead, we suggest that signals can trump rewards as attractants of ants to seeds.

  3. What is the effect of soil use on ant communities?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmidt, Fernando A; Diehl, Elena

    2008-01-01

    Studies on ant communities in agroecosystems have contributed to the knowledge of the effect of agricultural activities on biological communities. The aim of this study is to explain the effect of soil use on ant communities. We tested the hypothesis that there was a decrease in ant species richness and a change in the species composition at habitats with more intense soil use. We collected ants using sardine baits, subterranean traps and direct sampling at four habitats with different soil use (secundary forest, Acacia forestry, initial stage of succession and mixed crops). The ant species richness did not decrease with intensity of soil use. In successional habitat the species numbers collected using sardine baits and subterranean traps were significantly different. Species composition of communities had a pronounced variation, with the epigaeic and hypogaeic ant faunas of the habitat with high intense soil use (mixed crops) had low similarity with ant communities of the three other habitats. The predator species were restricted to habitats with low intensity of soil use. Then, species composition could better reflect the functional changes on ant communities than species richness. Our data can help to choose the component of ant community that better reflect the response of biodiversity to agricultural impacts.

  4. 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.

  5. Salud mental ante las crisis y desastres

    OpenAIRE

    2016-01-01

    La Salud Mental es un componente nuclear del bienestar personal y colectivo, es un concepto que aunque parcial de la salud general constituye el único camino probablemente para acercarse a la felicidad y la paz que todos los seres humanos (salvo excepciones) buscamos. Y las crisis y los desastres son eventos más allá de lo esperable que sobrepasa las defensas del ser humano y ante el que hay que enfrentarse con rapidez, eficacia, orden, multiprofesionalmente pero sobre todo con calma int...

  6. [Syagrus romanzoffiana (Arecaceae) seed utilization by ants in a secondary forest in South Brazil].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silva, Fernanda R; Begnini, Romualdo M; Klier, Vinícius A; Scherer, Karla Z; Lopes, Benedito C; Castellani, Tânia T

    2009-01-01

    Ants can nest in a wide variety of substracts. This paper shows Syagrus romanzoffiana seed utilization by ants in an Atlantic secondary forest. We report 29 seeds occupied by small-bodied ants, with 27 of them showing at least two ant development stages. Although a large number of seeds were sampled, a low level of ant occupation was observed.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

    The degree to which changes in community composition mediate the probability of colonization and spread of non-native species is not well understood, especially in animal communities. High species richness may hinder the establishment of non-native species. Distinguishing between this scenario...... the abundance of native ants and fire ants in four experimental plots. We then observed the reassembly and reestablishment of the ants in these plots for 1 year after treatment. The abundance of fire ants in treated plots did not differ from abundance in control plots 1 year after treatment. Likewise...

  10. Ant Foraging Behavior for Job Shop Problem

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mahad Diyana Abdul

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Ant Colony Optimization (ACO is a new algorithm approach, inspired by the foraging behavior of real ants. It has frequently been applied to many optimization problems and one such problem is in solving the job shop problem (JSP. The JSP is a finite set of jobs processed on a finite set of machine where once a job initiates processing on a given machine, it must complete processing and uninterrupted. In solving the Job Shop Scheduling problem, the process is measure by the amount of time required in completing a job known as a makespan and minimizing the makespan is the main objective of this study. In this paper, we developed an ACO algorithm to minimize the makespan. A real set of problems from a metal company in Johor bahru, producing 20 parts with jobs involving the process of clinching, tapping and power press respectively. The result from this study shows that the proposed ACO heuristics managed to produce a god result in a short time.

  11. The effect of diet and opponent size on aggressive interactions involving caribbean crazy ants (Nylanderia fulva).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horn, Katherine C; Eubanks, Micky D; Siemann, Evan

    2013-01-01

    Biotic interactions are often important in the establishment and spread of invasive species. In particular, competition between introduced and native species can strongly influence the distribution and spread of exotic species and in some cases competition among introduced species can be important. The Caribbean crazy ant, Nylanderia fulva, was recently introduced to the Gulf Coast of Texas, and appears to be spreading inland. It has been hypothesized that competition with the red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta, may be an important factor in the spread of crazy ants. We investigated the potential of interspecific competition among these two introduced ants by measuring interspecific aggression between Caribbean crazy ant workers and workers of Solenopsis invicta. Specifically, we examined the effect of body size and diet on individual-level aggressive interactions among crazy ant workers and fire ants. We found that differences in diet did not alter interactions between crazy ant workers from different nests, but carbohydrate level did play an important role in antagonistic interactions with fire ants: crazy ants on low sugar diets were more aggressive and less likely to be killed in aggressive encounters with fire ants. We found that large fire ants engaged in fewer fights with crazy ants than small fire ants, but fire ant size affected neither fire ant nor crazy ant mortality. Overall, crazy ants experienced higher mortality than fire ants after aggressive encounters. Our findings suggest that fire ant workers might outcompete crazy ant workers on an individual level, providing some biotic resistance to crazy ant range expansion. However, this resistance may be overcome by crazy ants that have a restricted sugar intake, which may occur when crazy ants are excluded from resources by fire ants.

  12. Eggs of Mallada desjardinsi (Neuroptera: Chrysopidae) are protected by ants: the role of egg stalks in ant-tended aphid colonies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayashi, Masayuki; Nomura, Masashi

    2014-08-01

    In ant-aphid mutualisms, ants usually attack and exclude enemies of aphids. However, larvae of the green lacewing Mallada desjardinsi (Navas) prey on ant-tended aphids without being excluded by ants; these larvae protect themselves from ants by carrying aphid carcasses on their backs. Eggs of M. desjardinsi laid at the tips of stalks have also been observed in ant-tended aphid colonies in the field. Here, we examined whether the egg stalks of M. desjardinsi protect the eggs from ants and predators. When exposed to ants, almost all eggs with intact stalks were untouched, whereas 50-80% of eggs in which stalks had been severed at their bases were destroyed by ants. In contrast, most eggs were preyed upon by larvae of the lacewing Chrysoperla nipponensis (Okamoto), an intraguild predator of M. desjardinsi, regardless of whether their stalks had been severed. These findings suggest that egg stalks provide protection from ants but not from C. nipponensis larvae. To test whether M. desjardinsi eggs are protected from predators by aphid-tending ants, we introduced C. nipponensis larvae onto plants colonized by ant-tended aphids. A significantly greater number of eggs survived in the presence of ants because aphid-tending ants excluded larvae of C. nipponensis. This finding indicates that M. desjardinsi eggs are indirectly protected from predators by ants in ant-tended aphid colonies.

  13. The hyper-cube framework for ant colony optimization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blum, Christian; Dorigo, Marco

    2004-04-01

    Ant colony optimization is a metaheuristic approach belonging to the class of model-based search algorithms. In this paper, we propose a new framework for implementing ant colony optimization algorithms called the hyper-cube framework for ant colony optimization. In contrast to the usual way of implementing ant colony optimization algorithms, this framework limits the pheromone values to the interval [0,1]. This is obtained by introducing changes in the pheromone value update rule. These changes can in general be applied to any pheromone value update rule used in ant colony optimization. We discuss the benefits coming with this new framework. The benefits are twofold. On the theoretical side, the new framework allows us to prove that in Ant System, the ancestor of all ant colony optimization algorithms, the average quality of the solutions produced increases in expectation over time when applied to unconstrained problems. On the practical side, the new framework automatically handles the scaling of the objective function values. We experimentally show that this leads on average to a more robust behavior of ant colony optimization algorithms.

  14. Disease dynamics in a specialized parasite of ant societies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2012-01-01

    -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...

  15. Patterns of male parentage in the fungus-growing ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Villesen, Palle; Boomsma, JJ

    2003-01-01

    Ant queens from eight species, covering three genera of lower and two genera of higher attine ants, have exclusively or predominantly single mating. The ensuing full-sib colonies thus have a strong potential reproductive conflict between the queen and the workers over male production...

  16. 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.

  17. Tracing the rise of ants - out of the ground.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lucky, Andrea; Trautwein, Michelle D; Guénard, Benoit S; Weiser, Michael D; Dunn, Robert R

    2013-01-01

    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.

  18. 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.

  19. Novel Phialophora species from leaf-cutting ants (tribe Attini)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Attili-Angelis, D.; Duarte, A.P.M.; Pagnocca, F.C.; Nagamoto, N.S.; de Vries, M.; Stielow, J.B.; de Hoog, G.S.

    2014-01-01

    Ants in the tribe Attini (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) maintain a 50 million-year-old lifestyle of co-evolution with symbiotic basidiomycetous fungi which they cultivate as essential source of nutrition. However, other microorganisms have been reported from ant habitats indicating a higher diversity of

  20. 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...

  1. 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.

  2. 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....

  3. 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 cul...

  4. 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

  5. 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...... conserved gut microbiomes, suggesting symbiont functions that directly relate to dietary preference of the ant host. These findings suggest an ecological role of gut symbionts in ants, for example, in metabolism and/or protection, and the comparative approach taken supports a model of co-evolution between...

  6. 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.

  7. 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...

  8. 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 ...

  9. 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.

  10. 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...

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Does Trichomes on the Plant Epidermic Surface Disturb Ants Locomotion?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Danon C. Cardoso

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Problem Statement: Many morphological characteristics, both physical and chemical, are used in the defense against herbivores on plants. Trichomes are structures used by plants as physics defense and when associated with glands combine physics and chemistry defense. Many species of ants are herbivores and use leaves and seeds, others ants use Extra Floral Nectars as a food resource, and the majority of the species are predators of other ants and other insects, and use plants as foraging substrate in search of prey. Likewise, on the assumption that ants feed preferentially in plants free of trichomes, we tested the hypothesis that trichomes plants clouded locomotion of ants. Approach: Experiments were carried out in the field using cotton to mimic the plants surface. Thirty traps for the treatment were assembled with cotton as well as other 30 experiments for the control (treatment without cotton. Each trap consisted of Petri dishes of 14,5 cm diameter with bait (sardine and honey in a disc (3 cm diameter in the center of the plate. Around the bait, 10 grams of cotton prepared uniformly were placed. Furthermore, morphometric analysis on the length of body and legs of ants was performed. Results: The number of ants which accessed baits in the center of Petri dishes in treatment with cotton was not statistically different of the number of accesses in the control treatment without cotton. The trichomes do not cloud locomotion of ants and that leg length is equal to or greater than body length. Conclusions/Recommendations: Data revealed that the trichomes do not cloud locomotion of ants; this allows the free walking of ants on the plants surface. However, glandular trichomes that combine physics and chemistry defense with release toxic and adhesives compounds when mechanically stressed may be more efficient in the defense against these insects.

  14. El periodista, ante la espiral de silencio

    OpenAIRE

    Dr. Fermín Galindo Arranz

    1998-01-01

    La percepción de la profesión periodística y de su influencia cambia mucho a lo largo del tiempo, de las coyunturas históricas y de los diferentes países y sociedades en los que desempeñan su labor. En un contexto mundial, la gravedad de las situaciones de riesgo periodístico se encuadran en situaciones políticas, económicas o sociales también conflictivas; es entonces cuando se suele reproducir con facilidad en la opinión pública el fenómeno de la espiral del silencio, ante el que inevitable...

  15. Desert ants achieve reliable recruitment across noisy interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Razin, Nitzan; Eckmann, Jean-Pierre; Feinerman, Ofer

    2013-05-06

    We study how desert ants, Cataglyphis niger, a species that lacks pheromone-based recruitment mechanisms, inform each other about the presence of food. Our results are based on automated tracking that allows us to collect a large database of ant trajectories and interactions. We find that interactions affect an ant's speed within the nest. Fast ants tend to slow down, whereas slow ones increase their speed when encountering a faster ant. Faster ants tend to exit the nest more frequently than slower ones. So, if an ant gains enough speed through encounters with others, then she tends to leave the nest and look for food. On the other hand, we find that the probability for her to leave the nest depends only on her speed, but not on whether she had recently interacted with a recruiter that has found the food. This suggests a recruitment system in which ants communicate their state by very simple interactions. Based on this assumption, we estimate the information-theoretical channel capacity of the ants' pairwise interactions. We find that the response to the speed of an interacting nest-mate is very noisy. The question is then how random interactions with ants within the nest can be distinguished from those interactions with a recruiter who has found food. Our measurements and model suggest that this distinction does not depend on reliable communication but on behavioural differences between ants that have found the food and those that have not. Recruiters retain high speeds throughout the experiment, regardless of the ants they interact with; non-recruiters communicate with a limited number of nest-mates and adjust their speed following these interactions. These simple rules lead to the formation of a bistable switch on the level of the group that allows the distinction between recruitment and random noise in the nest. A consequence of the mechanism we propose is a negative effect of ant density on exit rates and recruitment success. This is, indeed, confirmed by our

  16. Testing the effects of ant invasions on non-ant arthropods with high-resolution taxonomic data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanna, Cause; Naughton, Ida; Boser, Christina; Holway, David

    2015-10-01

    Invasions give rise to a wide range of ecological effects. Many invasions proceed without noticeable impacts on the resident biota, whereas others shift species composition and even alter ecosystem function. Ant invasions generate a broad spectrum of ecological effects, but controversy surrounds the extent of these impacts, especially with regard to how other arthropods are affected. This uncertainty in part results from the widespread use of low-resolution taxonomic data, which can mask the presence of other introduced species and make it difficult to isolate the effects of ant invasions on native species. Here, we use high-resolution taxonomic data to examine the effects of Argentine ant invasions on arthropods on Santa Cruz Island, California. We sampled arthropods in eight pairs of invaded and uninvaded plots and then collaborated with taxonomic experts to identify taxa in four focal groups: spiders, bark lice, beetles, and ants. Spiders, bark lice, and beetles made up ~40% of the 9868 non-ant arthropod individuals sampled; the majority of focal group arthropods were putatively native taxa. Although our results indicate strong negative effects of the Argentine ant on native ants, as is well documented, invaded and uninvaded plots did not differ with respect to the richness, abundance, or species composition of spiders, bark lice, and beetles. One common, introduced species of bark louse was more common in uninvaded plots than in invaded plots, and including this species into our analyses changed the relationship between bark louse richness vs. L. humile abundance from no relationship to a significant negative relationship. This case illustrates how failure to differentiate native and introduced taxa can lead to erroneous conclusions about the effects of ant invasions. Our results caution against unqualified assertions about the effects of ant invasions on non-ant arthropods, and more generally demonstrate that accurate assessments of invasion impacts depend on

  17. Overview of the Distribution, Habitat Association and Impact of Exotic Ants on Native Ant Communities in New Caledonia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maïa Berman

    Full Text Available Ants are among the most ubiquitous and harmful invaders worldwide, but there are few regional studies of their relationships with habitat and native ant communities. New Caledonia has a unique and diverse ant fauna that is threatened by exotic ants, but broad-scale patterns of exotic and native ant community composition in relation to habitat remain poorly documented. We conducted a systematic baiting survey of 56 sites representing the main New Caledonian habitat types: rainforest on ultramafic soils (15 sites, rainforest on volcano-sedimentary soils (13, maquis shrubland (15, Melaleuca-dominated savannas (11 and Acacia spirorbis thickets (2. We collected a total of 49 species, 13 of which were exotic. Only five sites were free of exotic species, and these were all rainforest. The five most abundant exotic species differed in their habitat association, with Pheidole megacephala associated with rainforests, Brachymyrmex cf. obscurior with savanna, and Wasmannia auropunctata and Nylanderia vaga present in most habitats. Anoplolepis gracilipes occurred primarily in maquis-shrubland, which contrasts with its rainforest affinity elsewhere. Multivariate analysis of overall ant species composition showed strong differentiation of sites according to the distribution of exotic species, and these patterns were maintained at the genus and functional group levels. Native ant composition differed at invaded versus uninvaded rainforest sites, in the absence of differences in habitat variables. Generalised Myrmicinae and Forest Opportunists were particularly affected by invasion. There was a strong negative relationship between the abundance of W. auropunctata and native ant abundance and richness. This emphasizes that, in addition to dominating many ant communities numerically, some exotic species, and in particular W. auropunctata, have a marked impact on native ant communities.

  18. Overview of the Distribution, Habitat Association and Impact of Exotic Ants on Native Ant Communities in New Caledonia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berman, Maïa; Andersen, Alan N; Hély, Christelle; Gaucherel, Cédric

    2013-01-01

    Ants are among the most ubiquitous and harmful invaders worldwide, but there are few regional studies of their relationships with habitat and native ant communities. New Caledonia has a unique and diverse ant fauna that is threatened by exotic ants, but broad-scale patterns of exotic and native ant community composition in relation to habitat remain poorly documented. We conducted a systematic baiting survey of 56 sites representing the main New Caledonian habitat types: rainforest on ultramafic soils (15 sites), rainforest on volcano-sedimentary soils (13), maquis shrubland (15), Melaleuca-dominated savannas (11) and Acacia spirorbis thickets (2). We collected a total of 49 species, 13 of which were exotic. Only five sites were free of exotic species, and these were all rainforest. The five most abundant exotic species differed in their habitat association, with Pheidole megacephala associated with rainforests, Brachymyrmex cf. obscurior with savanna, and Wasmannia auropunctata and Nylanderia vaga present in most habitats. Anoplolepis gracilipes occurred primarily in maquis-shrubland, which contrasts with its rainforest affinity elsewhere. Multivariate analysis of overall ant species composition showed strong differentiation of sites according to the distribution of exotic species, and these patterns were maintained at the genus and functional group levels. Native ant composition differed at invaded versus uninvaded rainforest sites, in the absence of differences in habitat variables. Generalised Myrmicinae and Forest Opportunists were particularly affected by invasion. There was a strong negative relationship between the abundance of W. auropunctata and native ant abundance and richness. This emphasizes that, in addition to dominating many ant communities numerically, some exotic species, and in particular W. auropunctata, have a marked impact on native ant communities.

  19. 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.

  20. Ant-mediated seed dispersal in a warmed world

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patterson, Courtney M.; Rodriguez-Cabal, Mariano A.; Ribbons, Relena R.; Dunn, Robert R.; Sanders, Nathan J.

    2014-01-01

    Climate change affects communities both directly and indirectly via changes in interspecific interactions. One such interaction that may be altered under climate change is the ant-plant seed dispersal mutualism common in deciduous forests of eastern North America. As climatic warming alters the abundance and activity levels of ants, the potential exists for shifts in rates of ant-mediated seed dispersal. We used an experimental temperature manipulation at two sites in the eastern US (Harvard Forest in Massachusetts and Duke Forest in North Carolina) to examine the potential impacts of climatic warming on overall rates of seed dispersal (using Asarum canadense seeds) as well as species-specific rates of seed dispersal at the Duke Forest site. We also examined the relationship between ant critical thermal maxima (CTmax) and the mean seed removal temperature for each ant species. We found that seed removal rates did not change as a result of experimental warming at either study site, nor were there any changes in species-specific rates of seed dispersal. There was, however, a positive relationship between CTmax and mean seed removal temperature, whereby species with higher CTmax removed more seeds at hotter temperatures. The temperature at which seeds were removed was influenced by experimental warming as well as diurnal and day-to-day fluctuations in temperature. Taken together, our results suggest that while temperature may play a role in regulating seed removal by ants, ant plant seed-dispersal mutualisms may be more robust to climate change than currently assumed. PMID:24688863

  1. 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.

  2. Artificial ants deposit pheromone to search for regulatory DNA elements

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liu Yunlong

    2006-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Identification of transcription-factor binding motifs (DNA sequences can be formulated as a combinatorial problem, where an efficient algorithm is indispensable to predict the role of multiple binding motifs. An ant algorithm is a biology-inspired computational technique, through which a combinatorial problem is solved by mimicking the behavior of social insects such as ants. We developed a unique version of ant algorithms to select a set of binding motifs by considering a potential contribution of each of all random DNA sequences of 4- to 7-bp in length. Results Human chondrogenesis was used as a model system. The results revealed that the ant algorithm was able to identify biologically known binding motifs in chondrogenesis such as AP-1, NFκB, and sox9. Some of the predicted motifs were identical to those previously derived with the genetic algorithm. Unlike the genetic algorithm, however, the ant algorithm was able to evaluate a contribution of individual binding motifs as a spectrum of distributed information and predict core consensus motifs from a wider DNA pool. Conclusion The ant algorithm offers an efficient, reproducible procedure to predict a role of individual transcription-factor binding motifs using a unique definition of artificial ants.

  3. Ant-mediated seed dispersal in a warmed world.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stuble, Katharine L; Patterson, Courtney M; Rodriguez-Cabal, Mariano A; Ribbons, Relena R; Dunn, Robert R; Sanders, Nathan J

    2014-01-01

    Climate change affects communities both directly and indirectly via changes in interspecific interactions. One such interaction that may be altered under climate change is the ant-plant seed dispersal mutualism common in deciduous forests of eastern North America. As climatic warming alters the abundance and activity levels of ants, the potential exists for shifts in rates of ant-mediated seed dispersal. We used an experimental temperature manipulation at two sites in the eastern US (Harvard Forest in Massachusetts and Duke Forest in North Carolina) to examine the potential impacts of climatic warming on overall rates of seed dispersal (using Asarum canadense seeds) as well as species-specific rates of seed dispersal at the Duke Forest site. We also examined the relationship between ant critical thermal maxima (CTmax) and the mean seed removal temperature for each ant species. We found that seed removal rates did not change as a result of experimental warming at either study site, nor were there any changes in species-specific rates of seed dispersal. There was, however, a positive relationship between CTmax and mean seed removal temperature, whereby species with higher CTmax removed more seeds at hotter temperatures. The temperature at which seeds were removed was influenced by experimental warming as well as diurnal and day-to-day fluctuations in temperature. Taken together, our results suggest that while temperature may play a role in regulating seed removal by ants, ant plant seed-dispersal mutualisms may be more robust to climate change than currently assumed.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Contact rate modulates foraging efficiency in leaf cutting ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bouchebti, S; Ferrere, S; Vittori, K; Latil, G; Dussutour, A; Fourcassié, V

    2015-12-21

    Lane segregation is rarely observed in animals that move in bidirectional flows. Consequently, these animals generally experience a high rate of head-on collisions during their journeys. Although these collisions have a cost (each collision induces a delay resulting in a decrease of individual speed), they could also have a benefit by promoting information transfer between individuals. Here we explore the impact of head-on collisions in leaf-cutting ants moving on foraging trails by artificially decreasing the rate of head-on collisions between individuals. We show that head-on collisions do not influence the rate of recruitment in these ants but do influence foraging efficiency, i.e. the proportion of ants returning to the nest with a leaf fragment. Surprisingly, both unladen and laden ants returning to the nest participate in the modulation of foraging efficiency: foraging efficiency decreases when the rate of contacts with both nestbound laden or unladen ants decreases. These results suggest that outgoing ants are able to collect information from inbound ants even when these latter do not carry any leaf fragment and that this information can influence their foraging decisions when reaching the end of the trail.

  7. Effect of interactions between harvester ants on forager decisions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jacob D Davidson

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Harvester ant colonies adjust their foraging activity to day-to-day changes in food availability and hour-to-hour changes in environmental conditions. This collective behavior is regulated through interactions, in the form of brief antennal contacts, between outgoing foragers and returning foragers with food. Here we consider how an ant, waiting in the entrance chamber just inside the nest entrance, uses its accumulated experience of interactions to decide whether to leave the nest to forage. Using videos of field observations, we tracked the interactions and foraging decisions of ants in the entrance chamber. Outgoing foragers tended to interact with returning foragers at higher rates than ants that returned to the deeper nest and did not forage. To provide a mechanistic framework for interpreting these results, we develop a decision model in which ants make decisions based upon a noisy accumulation of individual contacts with returning foragers. The model can reproduce core trends and realistic distributions for individual ant interaction statistics, and suggests possible mechanisms by which foraging activity may be regulated at an individual ant level.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Plant defense, herbivory, and the growth of Cordia alliodora trees and their symbiotic Azteca ant colonies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pringle, Elizabeth G; Dirzo, Rodolfo; Gordon, Deborah M

    2012-11-01

    The effects of herbivory on plant fitness are integrated over a plant's lifetime, mediated by ontogenetic changes in plant defense, tolerance, and herbivore pressure. In symbiotic ant-plant mutualisms, plants provide nesting space and food for ants, and ants defend plants against herbivores. The benefit to the plant of sustaining the growth of symbiotic ant colonies depends on whether defense by the growing ant colony outpaces the plant's growth in defendable area and associated herbivore pressure. These relationships were investigated in the symbiotic mutualism between Cordia alliodora trees and Azteca pittieri ants in a Mexican tropical dry forest. As ant colonies grew, worker production remained constant relative to ant-colony size. As trees grew, leaf production increased relative to tree size. Moreover, larger trees hosted lower densities of ants, suggesting that ant-colony growth did not keep pace with tree growth. On leaves with ants experimentally excluded, herbivory per unit leaf area increased exponentially with tree size, indicating that larger trees experienced higher herbivore pressure per leaf area than smaller trees. Even with ant defense, herbivory increased with tree size. Therefore, although larger trees had larger ant colonies, ant density was lower in larger trees, and the ant colonies did not provide sufficient defense to compensate for the higher herbivore pressure in larger trees. These results suggest that in this system the tree can decrease herbivory by promoting ant-colony growth, i.e., sustaining space and food investment in ants, as long as the tree continues to grow.

  13. 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.

  14. Competitive assembly of South Pacific invasive ant communities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarty Megan

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The relative importance of chance and determinism in structuring ecological communities has been debated for nearly a century. Evidence for determinism or assembly rules is often evaluated with null models that randomize the occurrence of species in particular locales. However, analyses of the presence or absence of species ignores the potential influence of species abundances, which have long been considered of major importance on community structure. Here, we test for community assembly rules in ant communities on small islands of the Tokelau archipelago using both presence-absence and abundance data. We conducted three sets of analyses on two spatial scales using three years of sampling data from 39 plots on 11 islands. Results First, traditional null model tests showed support for negative species co-occurrence patterns among plots within islands, but not among islands. A plausible explanation for this result is that analyses at larger spatial scales merge heterogeneous habitats that have considerable effects on species occurrences. Second, analyses of ant abundances showed that samples with high ant abundances had fewer species than expected by chance, both within and among islands. One ant species, the invasive yellow crazy ant Anoplolepis gracilipes, appeared to have a particularly strong effect on community structure correlated with its abundance. Third, abundances of most ant species were inversely correlated with the abundances of all other ants at both spatial scales. This result is consistent with competition theory, which predicts species distributions are affected by diffuse competition with suites of co-occurring species. Conclusion Our results support a pluralistic explanation for ant species abundances and assembly. Both stochastic and deterministic processes interact to determine ant community assembly, though abundance patterns clearly drive the deterministic patterns in this community. These deterministic

  15. Ants of the national park of American Samoa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Banko, Paul C.; Peck, Robert W.

    2015-01-01

    American Samoa makes up the eastern end of the Samoan Archipelago. On the islands of Tutuila, Taʽū and Ofu, the National Park of American Samoa (NPSA) protects about 4,000 ha of coastal, mid-slope and ridge-top forest. While the ant fauna of the Samoan Archipelago is considered relatively well documented, much of NPSA has never been surveyed for ants, leaving the fauna and its distribution poorly known. To address this shortfall, we systematically surveyed ants within the Tutuila and Taʽū units of NPSA using standard methods (hand collecting, litter sifting, and baits) at 39 sites within six vegetation types ranging from 8 to 945 m elevation. Forty-four ant species were identified, 19 of which are exotic to the Samoan Archipelago. Two notoriously aggressive species, Anoplolepis gracilipes and Pheidole megacephala were detected at two and seven sites, respectively. Both of these species largely excluded all other ants from bait, although their impact on ant community composition is unclear. A suite of habitat variables measured at each site was assessed to explain park-wide ant distributions. Of eight variables evaluated, only elevation was associated with ant community structure, as the ratio of native to exotic ant species increased significantly with elevation on Tutuila. Our survey documented two species not previously reported from American Samoa. Strumigenys eggersi, detected at 12 sites, appears to be a new immigrant to the Pacific Basin. A species of Pheidole was collected that likely represents an undescribed species. Solenopsis geminata, an aggressive species first reported on Tutuila in 2002, was not detected during our survey.

  16. Weaver ant role in cashew orchards in Vietnam.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peng, Renkang; Lan, La Pham; Christian, Keith

    2014-08-01

    Cashew (Anacardium occidentale L.) is a very important source of income for more than 200,000 farmer households in Vietnam. The present cashew productivity in Vietnam is low and unstable, and pest damage is partly responsible for this. Cashew farmers rely on pesticides to minimize the damage, resulting in adverse impacts on farm environment and farmers' health. Weaver ants (Oecophylla spp) are effective biocontrol agents of a range of cashew insect pests in several cashew-growing countries, and these ants are widely distributed in Vietnam. The aim of this study is to evaluate the potential of weaver ants in cashew orchards in Vietnam. Field surveys and field experiment were conducted in five cashew orchards from July 2006 to January 2008 in Binh Phuoc, Dong Nai, and Ba Ria Vung Tau provinces, Vietnam. Based on the field surveys, the most important pests that damage flushing foliar and floral shoots and young cashew fruits and nuts were mosquito bugs, brown shoot borers, blue shoot borers, and fruit-nut borers. The damage caused by each of these pests was significantly lower on trees with weaver ants compared with trees without the ants, showing that the ants were able to keep these pest damages under the control threshold. Regular monitoring of the field experiment showed that weaver ants were similar to insecticides for controlling mosquito bugs, blue shoot borers, fruit-nut borers, leaf rollers, and leaf miners. Aphids did not become major pests in plot with weaver ants. To manage insect pest assemblage in cashew orchards, an integrated pest management using weaver ants as a major component is discussed.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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...

  20. Solving the Mixed Vrp with Backhauling Using Ants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wassan, N. A.; Salhi, S.; Nagy, G.

    2009-08-01

    The mixed vehicle routing problem with backhauls is investigated using an ant system heuristic. This distribution problem seems to suffer from a lack of published work even though it has immense practical applicability especially within logistic systems. Some enhancements to the basic ant system algorithm are embedded into the search. In particular a focus is on the choice in the placement of ants, the use of a site-dependent candidate list, the introduction of a look ahead-based visibility, and appropriate strategies for updating local and global trails. Encouraging computational results are reported when tested on benchmark data sets.

  1. The Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae of Jaragua National Park, Dominican Republic

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Lubertazzi

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available This study examined ant species richness in Jaragua National Park (Pedernales Province, Dominican Republic. Ants were sampled at 15 sites during late March and early April, 2012. Habitats sampled included dry forest, beach scrub, lakeside acacia scrub, and thorn woodland. Sixty-four species from 23 genera were collected. Species richness was higher than expected, considering only 125 species had previously been reported for all of Hispaniola. Jaragua National Park is part of the Jaragua-Bahoruco-Enriquillo Biosphere Reserve. The ant species richness observed in this study suggests that the park, along with larger reserve, is successful in preserving important habitat for insects.

  2. 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

  3. Fatty Amines from Little Black Ants, Monomorium minimum, and Their Biological Activities Against Red Imported Fire Ants, Solenopsis invicta.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Lei; Chen, Jian

    2015-08-01

    Red imported fire ants, Solenopsis invicta, are significant invasive pests. Certain native ant species can compete with S. invicta, such as the little black ant, Monomorium minimum. Defensive secretions may contribute to the competition capacity of native ants. The chemistry of ant defensive secretions in the genus Monomorium has been subjected to extensive research. The insecticidal alkaloids, 2,5-dialkyl-pyrrolidines and 2,5-dialkyl-pyrrolines have been reported to dominate the venom of M. minimum. In this study, analysis of defensive secretions of workers and queens of M. minimum revealed two primary amines, decylamine and dodecylamine. Neither amine has been reported previously from natural sources. Toxicity and digging suppression by these two amines against S. invicta were examined. Decylamine had higher toxicity to S. invicta workers than dodecylamine, a quicker knockdown effect, and suppressed the digging behavior of S. invicta workers at lower concentration. However, the amount of fatty amines in an individual ant was not enough to knockdown a fire ant or suppress its digging behavior. These amines most likely work in concert with other components in the chemical defense of M. minimum.

  4. Disruption of a protective ant-plant mutualism by an invasive ant increases elephant damage to savanna trees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riginos, Corinna; Karande, Megan A; Rubenstein, Daniel I; Palmer, Todd M

    2015-03-01

    Invasive species can indirectly affect ecosystem processes via the disruption of mutualisms. The mutualism between the whistling thorn acacia (Acacia drepanolobium) and four species of symbiotic ants is an ecologically important one; ants strongly defend trees against elephants, which can otherwise have dramatic impacts on tree cover. In Laikipia, Kenya, the invasive big-headed ant (Pheidole megacephala) has established itself at numerous locations within the last 10-15 years. In invaded areas on five properties, we found that three species of symbiotic Crematogaster ants were virtually extirpated, whereas Tetraponera penzigi co-occurred with P. megacephala. T. penzigi appears to persist because of its nonaggressive behavior; in a whole-tree translocation experiment, Crematogaster defended host trees against P. megacephala, but were extirpated from trees within hours. In contrast, T. penzigi retreated into domatia and withstood invading ants for >30 days. In the field, the loss of defensive Crematogaster ants in invaded areas led to a five- to sevenfold increase in the number of trees catastrophically damaged by elephants compared to uninvaded areas. In savannas, tree cover drives many ecosystem processes and provides essential forage for many large mammal species; thus, the invasion of big-headed ants may strongly alter the dynamics and diversity of East Africa's whistling thorn savannas by disrupting this system's keystone acaciaant mutualism.

  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. Variable interaction specificity and symbiont performance in Panamanian Trachymyrmex and Sericomyrmex fungus-growing ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    de Fine Licht, Henrik Hjarvard; Boomsma, Jacobus Jan

    2014-01-01

    spectra were significantly affected by both cultivar species and farming ant species, and more so for certain ant-cultivar combinations than others. However, relative changes in activity of single enzymes only depended on cultivar genotype and not on the ant species farming a cultivar. Conclusions Ant...

  7. 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...

  8. 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...

  9. 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,...

  10. 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...

  11. 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

  12. Using insect traps to increase weaver ant (Oecophylla longinoda) prey capture

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lynegaard, Gina; Offenberg, Joachim; Fast, Thora;

    2014-01-01

    production of ants. Malaise like traps placed in trees may catch flying insects without catching ants, as ants may use pheromone trails to navigate in and out of the traps. Thus, ants may increase their prey intake if they are able to extract insects caught in traps. In a mango plantation in Tanzania, we...

  13. Tuning PID Controller Using Multiobjective Ant Colony Optimization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ibtissem Chiha

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available 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 and a metaheuristic approach based on the genetic algorithms. Simulation results demonstrate that the new tuning method using multiobjective ant colony optimization has a better control system performance compared with the classic approach and the genetic algorithms.

  14. Hybrid Ant Algorithm and Applications for Vehicle Routing Problem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiao, Zhang; Jiang-qing, Wang

    Ant colony optimization (ACO) is a metaheuristic method that inspired by the behavior of real ant colonies. ACO has been successfully applied to several combinatorial optimization problems, but it has some short-comings like its slow computing speed and local-convergence. For solving Vehicle Routing Problem, we proposed Hybrid Ant Algorithm (HAA) in order to improve both the performance of the algorithm and the quality of solutions. The proposed algorithm took the advantages of Nearest Neighbor (NN) heuristic and ACO for solving VRP, it also expanded the scope of solution space and improves the global ability of the algorithm through importing mutation operation, combining 2-opt heuristics and adjusting the configuration of parameters dynamically. Computational results indicate that the hybrid ant algorithm can get optimal resolution of VRP effectively.

  15. Ant groups optimally amplify the effect of transiently informed individuals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gelblum, Aviram; Pinkoviezky, Itai; Fonio, Ehud; Ghosh, Abhijit; Gov, Nir; Feinerman, Ofer

    2015-07-28

    To cooperatively transport a large load, it is important that carriers conform in their efforts and align their forces. A downside of behavioural conformism is that it may decrease the group's responsiveness to external information. Combining experiment and theory, we show how ants optimize collective transport. On the single-ant scale, optimization stems from decision rules that balance individuality and compliance. Macroscopically, these rules poise the system at the transition between random walk and ballistic motion where the collective response to the steering of a single informed ant is maximized. We relate this peak in response to the divergence of susceptibility at a phase transition. Our theoretical models predict that the ant-load system can be transitioned through the critical point of this mesoscopic system by varying its size; we present experiments supporting these predictions. Our findings show that efficient group-level processes can arise from transient amplification of individual-based knowledge.

  16. The Evolutionary Ecology of Multi-Queen Breeding in Ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Huszár, Dóra Borbála

    Ants, like other social insects, have evolved cooperative societies based on kinship. Colonies headed by a single breeding queen (monogyny) was the ancestral state but today ca. half of the ant species live in multi-queen societies (polygyny), which can sometimes reach extreme sizes (supercolony...... that only ants, not the other obligatorily social insects were able to decrease social and sexual conflicts sufficiently to make polygyny reach obligate form in some species. This can be explained by general ant biology, such as perennial lifehistories, foraging on foot instead of wings and having one...... nest types. High inbreeding also resulted in high genetic relatedness, which could imply substantial indirect fitness benefits since obviously negative fitness effects were not produced such as suboptimal body size, significant fluctuating asymmetry in reproductively relevant traits, or diploid male...

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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。

  1. 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.

  2. Ant colonies prefer infected over uninfected nest sites

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pontieri, Luigi; Vojvodic, Svjetlana; Graham, Riley

    2014-01-01

    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...

  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. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

    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....... 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...... 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....

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. FMR measurements in fire ants: evidence of magnetic material

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Esquivel, Darci M.S.; Acosta-Avalos, Daniel; El-Jaick, Lea J.; Cunha, Alexandra D.M.; Malheiros, Maria G.; Wajnberg, Eliane [Centro Brasileiro de Pesquisas Fisicas (CBPF), Rio de Janeiro, RJ (Brazil); Linhares, Marilia P. [Centro de Ciencias do Estado, do Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, RJ (Brazil)

    1998-01-01

    Based on the behavioral and the localization of iron-containing tissue fire ants were examined by EPR for magnetic material. Results suggest the presence of magnetite particles. (author) 12 refs., 1 fig.

  10. 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...

  11. Evidence of Competition Between Two Canopy Ant Species: Is Aggressive Behavior Innate or Shaped by a Competitive Environment?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nádia Barbosa do Espírito Santo

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Competition occurs in all ecological communities, although it has not always been experimentally tested as a structuring force in the distribution of species. We tested the hypothesis that the aggressiveness exhibited by Camponotus rufipes changes according to the pressures of a competitive environment. This is a dominant species in the montane forest of the Itacolomi State Park, Brazil, where Camponotus sericeiventris does not occur. Using bait traps in a field site where both species occur, (“Juiz de Fora” site we showed that C. sericeiventris was able to remove C. rufipes workers at the same bait. In the laboratory, we used dyadic encounters to test workers from both species taken from colonies found in areas where both occur and where only C. rufipes was found. Camponotus rufipes from Itacolomi fought significantly less and was killed during the first few minutes in 60% of the events. On the other hand, the workers that co-existed with C. sericeiventris in the field were more aggressive, but less efficient fighters than the latter. This investigation demonstrated existence of competition between C. rufipes and C. sericeiventris, and also the lower aggressiveness of C. rufipes' individuals that did not co-exist in the field with C. sericeiventris.

  12. Nasa's Ant-Inspired Swarmie Robots

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leucht, Kurt W.

    2016-01-01

    As humans push further beyond the grasp of earth, robotic missions in advance of human missions will play an increasingly important role. These robotic systems will find and retrieve valuable resources as part of an in-situ resource utilization (ISRU) strategy. They will need to be highly autonomous while maintaining high task performance levels. NASA Kennedy Space Center has teamed up with the Biological Computation Lab at the University of New Mexico to create a swarm of small, low-cost, autonomous robots to be used as a ground-based research platform for ISRU missions. The behavior of the robot swarm mimics the central-place foraging strategy of ants to find and collect resources in a previously unmapped environment and return those resources to a central site. This talk will guide the audience through the Swarmie robot project from its conception by students in a New Mexico research lab to its robot trials in an outdoor parking lot at NASA. The software technologies and techniques used on the project will be discussed, as well as various challenges and solutions that were encountered by the development team along the way.

  13. Juan Manuel de Prada ante el papel

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antonio Preciado

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available En la primavera de 1997, interesado en el joven autor de 26 años que había demostrado una madurez desconcertante, conseguí hacerle una entrevista para la Radio Universitaria de Salamanca, que, por una reforma radical en la emisora, nunca fue emitida. En octubre, de Prada obtuvo, a tan temprana edad, el Premio Planeta, convirtiéndose en lo que es ahora, un autor de primera fila en la literatura española, y un técnico de la emisora con sentido ético me llamó para entregarme la grabación. Me dirigí a la prensa para publicar la entrevista, juzgando que sería bien recibida, pero no obtuve respuesta. Por fin, después de tanto tiempo, he decidido dar a conocer aquella entrevista, que fue hecha en toda profundidad y que desvela ante nuestros ojos cómo son los comienzos de un autor joven y desconocido, que se ha convertido, por cierto, en el más controvertido ideológica y literariamente de la actualidad.

  14. Public goods dilemma in asexual ant societies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dobata, Shigeto; Tsuji, Kazuki

    2013-10-01

    Cooperation in biological, social, and economic groups is underpinned by public goods that are generated by group members at some personal cost. Theory predicts that public goods will be exploited by cheaters who benefit from the goods by not paying for them, thereby leading to the collapse of cooperation. This situation, described as the "public goods dilemma" in game theory, makes the ubiquity of cooperation a major evolutionary puzzle. Despite this generalization, the demonstration of genetic background and fitness effects of the public goods dilemma has been limited to interactions between viruses and between cells, and thus its relevance at higher levels of organismal complexity is still largely unexplored. Here we provide experimental evidence for the public goods dilemma in a social insect, the ant Pristomyrmex punctatus. In this species, all workers are involved in both asexual reproduction and cooperative tasks. Genetic cheaters infiltrate field colonies, reproducing more than the workers but shunning cooperative tasks. In laboratory experiments, cheaters outcompeted coexisting workers in both survival and reproduction, although a group composed only of cheaters failed to produce offspring. The operations of the public goods dilemma in P. punctatus showed a remarkable convergence with those in microbial societies, not only in fitness consequences but also in behavioral mechanisms. Our study reinforces the evolutionary impact of cheaters on diverse cooperative systems in the laboratory and in the field.

  15. Antes del Diseño

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Javier González Solas

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available 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 posición, también previa, a lo que a veces se toma como científico. Frente a un estado de cosas difícil de cambiar, cabe asumirlo tal cual y reducirse a un papel instrumental (antipolítico, o reflexionar. Y ese sería el papel político de la Universidad.

  16. Ant Colony Optimisation for Backward Production Scheduling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leandro Pereira dos Santos

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available The main objective of a production scheduling system is to assign tasks (orders or jobs to resources and sequence them as efficiently and economically (optimised as possible. Achieving this goal is a difficult task in complex environment where capacity is usually limited. In these scenarios, finding an optimal solution—if possible—demands a large amount of computer time. For this reason, in many cases, a good solution that is quickly found is preferred. In such situations, the use of metaheuristics is an appropriate strategy. In these last two decades, some out-of-the-shelf systems have been developed using such techniques. This paper presents and analyses the development of a shop-floor scheduling system that uses ant colony optimisation (ACO in a backward scheduling problem in a manufacturing scenario with single-stage processing, parallel resources, and flexible routings. This scenario was found in a large food industry where the corresponding author worked as consultant for more than a year. This work demonstrates the applicability of this artificial intelligence technique. In fact, ACO proved to be as efficient as branch-and-bound, however, executing much faster.

  17. 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...

  18. 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.

  19. Ant Colony Optimization for Train Scheduling: An Analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sudip Kumar Sahana

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  20. 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....

  1. Chemical signals associated with life inhibit necrophoresis in Argentine ants

    OpenAIRE

    Choe, Dong-Hwan; Millar, Jocelyn G.; Rust, Michael K.

    2009-01-01

    One of the most conspicuous and stereotyped activities of social insects such as ants and honey bees is necrophoresis, the removal of dead colony members from the nest. Previous researchers suggested that decomposition products such as fatty acids trigger necrophoric behavior by ant workers. However, fatty acids elicit both foraging and necrophoric responses, depending on the current nest activities (e.g., feeding or nest maintenance). Furthermore, workers often carry even freshly killed work...

  2. The Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of Jaragua National Park, Dominican Republic

    OpenAIRE

    David Lubertazzi; Gary D. Alpert

    2014-01-01

    This study examined ant species richness in Jaragua National Park (Pedernales Province, Dominican Republic). Ants were sampled at 15 sites during late March and early April, 2012. Habitats sampled included dry forest, beach scrub, lakeside acacia scrub, and thorn woodland. Sixty-four species from 23 genera were collected. Species richness was higher than expected, considering only 125 species had previously been reported for all of Hispaniola. Jaragua National Park is part of the Jaragua-Baho...

  3. 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.

  4. Action of Ants on Vertebrate Carcasses and Blow Flies (Calliphoridae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paula, Michele C; Morishita, Gustavo M; Cavarson, Carolina H; Gonçalves, Cristiano R; Tavares, Paulo R A; Mendonça, Angélica; Súarez, Yzel R; Antonialli-Junior, William F

    2016-11-01

    Forensic entomology is a science that uses insect fauna as a tool to assist in criminal investigations and civil proceedings. Although the most researched insects are the Diptera and Coleoptera, ants may be present in all stages of decomposition. The aim of this study was to evaluate the role of ants and their action on blow flies during the decomposition process. Experiments were performed in which four pig carcasses were exposed in the cold and dry season (November/2012 and March/2013) and four in the hot and wet season (May/2013 and August/2013). Flies were the first insects to detect and interact with the carcasses, and six species of the Calliphoridae family were identified. Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) were the second group, with six subfamilies identified. Myrmycinae represented 42% of the species, followed by Formicinae (28%), Ectatominae and Ponerinae (both 10%), and Ecitoninae and Dolichoderinae (both 5%). The ants acted on the carcasses as predators of visiting species, omnivores, and necrophagous, in all cases significantly affecting the decomposition time, slowing it down when the ants preyed on adult and immature insects consuming the carcass, or accelerating it by consuming the carcass and creating holes that could serve as gateways for the action of other organisms. The ants also generated artifacts that could lead to forensic misinterpretation.

  5. Trail Pheromone Disruption of Argentine Ant Trail Formation and Foraging

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suckling, D.M.; Peck, R.W.; Stringer, L.D.; Snook, K.; Banko, P.C.

    2010-01-01

    Trail pheromone disruption of invasive ants is a novel tactic that builds on the development of pheromone-based pest management in other insects. Argentine ant trail pheromone, (Z)-9-hexadecenal, was formulated as a micro-encapsulated sprayable particle and applied against Argentine ant populations in 400 m2 field plots in Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park. A widely dispersed point source strategy for trail pheromone disruption was used. Traffic rates of ants in bioassays of treated filter paper, protected from rainfall and sunlight, indicated the presence of behaviorally significant quantities of pheromone being released from the formulation for up to 59 days. The proportion of plots, under trade wind conditions (2-3 m s-1), with visible trails was reduced for up to 14 days following treatment, and the number of foraging ants at randomly placed tuna-bait cards was similarly reduced. The success of these trail pheromone disruption trials in a natural ecosystem highlights the potential of this method for control of invasive ant species in this and other environments. ?? Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010.

  6. An invasive slug exploits an ant-seed dispersal mutualism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meadley Dunphy, Shannon A; Prior, Kirsten M; Frederickson, Megan E

    2016-05-01

    Plant-animal mutualisms, such as seed dispersal, are often vulnerable to disruption by invasive species. Here, we show for the first time how a non-ant invasive species negatively affects seed dispersal by ants. We examined the effects of several animal species that co-occur in a temperate deciduous forest-including native and invasive seed-dispersing ants (Aphaenogaster rudis and Myrmica rubra, respectively), an invasive slug (Arion subfuscus), and native rodents-on a native myrmecochorous plant, Asarum canadense. We experimentally manipulated ant, slug, and rodent access to seed depots and measured seed removal. We also video-recorded depots to determine which other taxa interact with seeds. We found that A. rudis was the main disperser of seeds and that A. subfuscus consumed elaiosomes without dispersing seeds. Rodent visitation was rare, and rodent exclusion had no significant effect on seed or elaiosome removal. We then used data obtained from laboratory and field mesocosm experiments to determine how elaiosome robbing by A. subfuscus affects seed dispersal by A. rudis and M. rubra. We found that elaiosome robbing by slugs reduced seed dispersal by ants, especially in mesocosms with A. rudis, which picks up seeds more slowly than M. rubra. Taken together, our results show that elaiosome robbing by an invasive slug reduces seed dispersal by ants, suggesting that invasive slugs can have profound negative effects on seed dispersal mutualisms.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Weeding and grooming of pathogens in agriculture by ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Currie, C R; Stuart, A E

    2001-05-22

    The ancient mutualism between fungus-growing ants and the fungi they cultivate for food is a textbook example of symbiosis. Fungus-growing ants' ability to cultivate fungi depends on protection of the garden from the aggressive microbes associated with the substrate added to the garden as well as from the specialized virulent garden parasite Escovopsis. We examined ants' ability to remove alien microbes physically by infecting Atta colombica gardens with the generalist pathogen Trichoderma viride and the specialist pathogen Escovopsis. The ants sanitized the garden using two main behaviours: grooming of alien spores from the garden (fungus grooming) and removal of infected garden substrate (weeding). Unlike previously described hygienic behaviours (e.g. licking and self-grooming), fungus-grooming and garden-removal behaviours are specific responses to the presence of fungal pathogens. In the presence of pathogens, they are the primary activities performed by workers, but they are uncommon in uninfected gardens. In fact, workers rapidly eliminate Trichoderma from their gardens by fungus grooming and weeding, suggesting that these behaviours are the primary method of garden defence against generalist pathogens. The same sanitary behaviours were performed in response to the presence of the specialist pathogen Escovopsis. However, the intensity and duration of these behaviours were much greater in this treatment. Despite the increased effort, the ants were unable to eliminate Escovopsis from their gardens, suggesting that this specialized pathogen has evolved counter-adaptations in order to overcome the sanitary defences of the ants.

  10. 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...... 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...... growth (number of individuals) increased with increasing numbers of queens (pleometrosis) as well as with the transplantation of pupae. Transplanted pupae were accepted and developed into mature workers and not only added extra individuals to the receiver colonies but also increased the egg production...

  11. 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...

  12. Effects of substrate, ant and fungal species on plant fiber degradation in a fungus-gardening ant symbiosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeMilto, Alexandria M; Rouquette, Monte; Mueller, Ulrich G; Kellner, Katrin; Seal, Jon N

    2017-02-11

    Fungus-gardening or attine ants have outsourced most of their digestive function to a symbiotic fungus. The ants feed their fungus - essentially an external digestive organ - a variety of substrates of botanical origin, including fresh and dried flowers, leaves and insect frass (processed leaves). Although plant tissues are rich in fibers (lignocelluloses, hemicelluloses, pectins and starches) and the symbiotic fungus possesses the genetic and enzymatic machinery to metabolize these compounds, the highly derived attines, the leaf-cutters (Atta and Acromyrmex), are known to produce fiber-rich waste. While leaf-cutting ants are important consumers of primary plant tissue, there have been fewer studies on physiological activity of fungi grown by closely related ant species in the genus Trachymyrmex, which generally grow related species of fungi, have smaller colonies and consume a wider variety of fungal substrates in addition to fresh leaves and flowers. In this study, we measured the cellulase activity of the fungus-gardening ants Atta texana, Trachymyrmex arizonensis and T. septentrionalis. We then quantified fiber consumption of the fungus-gardening ants Trachymyrmex septentrionalis and Trachymyrmex arizonensis by comparing the amounts and percentages present in their food and in fungus garden refuse during a controlled feeding experiment over the span of several months. Finally, we compared waste composition of T. arizonensis colonies growing different fungal strains, because this species is known to cultivate multiple strains of Leucoagaricus in its native range. The leaf-cutting ant A. texana was found to have lower cellulytic activity than T. arizonensis or T. septentrionalis. Total lignocellulose and hemicellulose amounts were significantly lower in refuse piles than in the substrates fed to the Trachymyrmex colonies, thus these fibers were consumed by the fungal symbionts of these ant species. Although lignocellulose utilization was similar in two distinct

  13. Ants as Indicators in Brazil: A Review with Suggestions to Improve the Use of Ants in Environmental Monitoring Programs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carla R. Ribas

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available We describe the use of ants as indicators in Brazil, based on a critical review of published articles. The analysis of fifty-eight papers, encompassing a range of almost 25 years, indicates an increased number of studies using ants as indicators in the last decade. Among the parameters analyzed in the papers, species composition is the most suitable to evaluate the effect of the disturbance on ant communities. The use of other metrics that consider the specificity and fidelity (e.g., IndVal index of ant species to a level or state of disturbance is also highly desirable. We discuss several alternative ways of overcoming many of the drawbacks related to the robustness of the results and to reduce the financial, logistic, and time costs involved with the use of ants as indicators in monitoring programs. By doing so, we expect to encourage new research on ants as bioindicators as well as to summarize current knowledge, facilitating further research.

  14. Alkaloid venom weaponry of three Megalomyrmex thief ants and the behavioral response of Cyphomyrmex costatus host ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adams, Rachelle M M; Jones, Tappey H; Longino, John T; Weatherford, Robert G; Mueller, Ulrich G

    2015-04-01

    Social parasites exploit other societies by invading and stealing resources. Some enter protected nests using offensive chemical weaponry made from alkaloid-based venom. We characterized the venoms of three Megalomyrmex thief ant species (M. mondabora, M. mondaboroides, and M. silvestrii) that parasitize the fungus-growing ants, and developed an ethogram to describe host ant reactions to raiding M. mondaboroides and M. silvestrii parasites. We compared piperidine, pyrrolidine, and pyrolizidine venom alkaloid structures with synthetic samples from previous studies, and describe the novel stereochemistry of trans 2-hexyl-5-[8-oxononyl]-pyrrolidine (3) from M. mondabora. We showed that workers of Cyphomyrmex costatus, the host of M. mondaboroides and M. silvestrii, react to a sting by Megalomyrmex parasites mainly with submissive behavior, playing dead or retreating. Host submission also followed brief antennal contact. The behavior of C. costatus ants observed in this study was similar to that of Cyphomyrmex cornutus, host of M. mondabora, suggesting that the alkaloidal venoms with pyrrolidines from M. mondabora, piperidines from M. mondaboroides, and pyrolizidines from M. silvestrii may function similarly as appeasement and repellent allomones against host ants, despite their different chemical structure. With the use of these chemical weapons, the Megalomyrmex thief ants are met with little host resistance and easily exploit host colony resources.

  15. Ant-mediated seed dispersal in a warmed world

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katharine L. Stuble

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Climate change affects communities both directly and indirectly via changes in interspecific interactions. One such interaction that may be altered under climate change is the ant-plant seed dispersal mutualism common in deciduous forests of eastern North America. As climatic warming alters the abundance and activity levels of ants, the potential exists for shifts in rates of ant-mediated seed dispersal. We used an experimental temperature manipulation at two sites in the eastern US (Harvard Forest in Massachusetts and Duke Forest in North Carolina to examine the potential impacts of climatic warming on overall rates of seed dispersal (using Asarum canadense seeds as well as species-specific rates of seed dispersal at the Duke Forest site. We also examined the relationship between ant critical thermal maxima (CTmax and the mean seed removal temperature for each ant species. We found that seed removal rates did not change as a result of experimental warming at either study site, nor were there any changes in species-specific rates of seed dispersal. There was, however, a positive relationship between CTmax and mean seed removal temperature, whereby species with higher CTmax removed more seeds at hotter temperatures. The temperature at which seeds were removed was influenced by experimental warming as well as diurnal and day-to-day fluctuations in temperature. Taken together, our results suggest that while temperature may play a role in regulating seed removal by ants, ant plant seed-dispersal mutualisms may be more robust to climate change than currently assumed.

  16. Widespread Chemical Detoxification of Alkaloid Venom by Formicine Ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    LeBrun, Edward G; Diebold, Peter J; Orr, Matthew R; Gilbert, Lawrence E

    2015-10-01

    The ability to detoxify defensive compounds of competitors provides key ecological advantages that can influence community-level processes. Although common in plants and bacteria, this type of detoxification interaction is extremely rare in animals. Here, using laboratory behavioral assays and analyses of videotaped interactions in South America, we report widespread venom detoxification among ants in the subfamily Formicinae. Across both data sets, nine formicine species, representing all major clades, used a stereotyped grooming behavior to self-apply formic acid (acidopore grooming) in response to fire ant (Solenopsis invicta and S. saevissima) venom exposure. In laboratory assays, this behavior increased the survivorship of species following exposure to S. invicta venom. Species expressed the behavior when exposed to additional alkaloid venoms, including both compositionally similar piperidine venom of an additional fire ant species and the pyrrolidine/pyrroline alkaloid venom of a Monomorium species. In addition, species expressed the behavior following exposure to the uncharacterized venom of a Crematogaster species. However, species did not express acidopore grooming when confronted with protein-based ant venoms or when exposed to monoterpenoid-based venom. This pattern, combined with the specific chemistry of the reaction of formic acid with venom alkaloids, indicates that alkaloid venoms are targets of detoxification grooming. Solenopsis thief ants, and Monomorium species stand out as brood-predators of formicine ants that produce piperidine, pyrrolidine, and pyrroline venom, providing an important ecological context for the use of detoxification behavior. Detoxification behavior also represents a mechanism that can influence the order of assemblage dominance hierarchies surrounding food competition. Thus, this behavior likely influences ant-assemblages through a variety of ecological pathways.

  17. Why do house-hunting ants recruit in both directions?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Planqué, R.; Dechaume-Moncharmont, F.-X.; Franks, N. R.; Kovacs, T.; Marshall, J. A. R.

    2007-11-01

    To perform tasks, organisms often use multiple procedures. Explaining the breadth of such behavioural repertoires is not always straightforward. During house hunting, colonies of Temnothorax albipennis ants use a range of behaviours to organise their emigrations. In particular, the ants use tandem running to recruit naïve ants to potential nest sites. Initially, they use forward tandem runs (FTRs) in which one leader takes a single follower along the route from the old nest to the new one. Later, they use reverse tandem runs (RTRs) in the opposite direction. Tandem runs are used to teach active ants the route between the nests, so that they can be involved quickly in nest evaluation and subsequent recruitment. When a quorum of decision-makers at the new nest is reached, they switch to carrying nestmates. This is three times faster than tandem running. As a rule, having more FTRs early should thus mean faster emigrations, thereby reducing the colony’s vulnerability. So why do ants use RTRs, which are both slow and late? It would seem quicker and simpler for the ants to use more FTRs (and higher quorums) to have enough knowledgeable ants to do all the carrying. In this study, we present the first testable theoretical explanation for the role of RTRs. We set out to find the theoretically fastest emigration strategy for a set of emigration conditions. We conclude that RTRs can have a positive effect on emigration speed if FTRs are limited. In these cases, low quorums together with lots of reverse tandem running give the fastest emigration.

  18. A Novel Polymorphic Ant Colony -Based Clustering Mechanism for Wireless Sensor Networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Min Xiang

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available In wireless sensor networks, sensor nodes are extremely power constrained, so energy efficient clustering mechanism is mainly considered in the network topology management. A new clustering mechanism based on the polymorphic ant colony (PAC is designed for dynamically controlling the networks clustering structure. According to different functions, the nodes of the networks are respectively defined as the queen ant, the scout ant and worker ant. Based on the calculated cost function and real-time pheromone, the queen ant restructures an optimum clustering structure. Furthermore, the worker ants and the scout ants can send or receive sensing data with optional communication path based on their pheromones. With the mechanism, the energy consumption in inter-cluster and intra-cluster communication for the worker ants and scout ants can be reduced. The simulation results demonstrate that the proposed mechanism can effectively remodel the clustering structure and improve the energy efficiency of the networks.

  19. Various chemical strategies to deceive ants in three Arhopala species (lepidoptera: Lycaenidae exploiting Macaranga myrmecophytes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yoko Inui

    Full Text Available Macaranga myrmecophytes (ant-plants are generally well protected from herbivore attacks by their symbiotic ants (plant-ants. However, larvae of Arhopala (Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae species survive and develop on specific Macaranga ant-plant species without being attacked by the plant-ants of their host species. We hypothesized that Arhopala larvae chemically mimic or camouflage themselves with the ants on their host plant so that the larvae are accepted by the plant-ant species of their host. Chemical analyses of cuticular hydrocarbons showed that chemical congruency varied among Arhopala species; A. dajagaka matched well the host plant-ants, A. amphimuta did not match, and unexpectedly, A. zylda lacked hydrocarbons. Behaviorally, the larvae and dummies coated with cuticular chemicals of A. dajagaka were well attended by the plant-ants, especially by those of the host. A. amphimuta was often attacked by all plant-ants except for the host plant-ants toward the larvae, and those of A. zylda were ignored by all plant-ants. Our results suggested that conspicuous variations exist in the chemical strategies used by the myrmecophilous butterflies that allow them to avoid ant attack and be accepted by the plant-ant colonies.

  20. Various chemical strategies to deceive ants in three Arhopala species (lepidoptera: Lycaenidae) exploiting Macaranga myrmecophytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Inui, Yoko; Shimizu-Kaya, Usun; Okubo, Tadahiro; Yamsaki, Eri; Itioka, Takao

    2015-01-01

    Macaranga myrmecophytes (ant-plants) are generally well protected from herbivore attacks by their symbiotic ants (plant-ants). However, larvae of Arhopala (Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae) species survive and develop on specific Macaranga ant-plant species without being attacked by the plant-ants of their host species. We hypothesized that Arhopala larvae chemically mimic or camouflage themselves with the ants on their host plant so that the larvae are accepted by the plant-ant species of their host. Chemical analyses of cuticular hydrocarbons showed that chemical congruency varied among Arhopala species; A. dajagaka matched well the host plant-ants, A. amphimuta did not match, and unexpectedly, A. zylda lacked hydrocarbons. Behaviorally, the larvae and dummies coated with cuticular chemicals of A. dajagaka were well attended by the plant-ants, especially by those of the host. A. amphimuta was often attacked by all plant-ants except for the host plant-ants toward the larvae, and those of A. zylda were ignored by all plant-ants. Our results suggested that conspicuous variations exist in the chemical strategies used by the myrmecophilous butterflies that allow them to avoid ant attack and be accepted by the plant-ant colonies.

  1. Mutualism as reciprocal exploitation: African plant-ants defend foliar but not reproductive structures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palmer, Todd M; Brody, Alison K

    2007-12-01

    The foundation of many plant-ant mutualisms is ant protection of plants from herbivores in exchange for food and/or shelter. While the role of symbiotic ants in protecting plants from stem- and leaf-feeding herbivores has been intensively studied, the relationship between ant defense and measures of plant fitness has seldom been quantified. We studied ant aggression, damage by herbivores and seed predators, and fruit production among Acacia drepanolobium trees occupied by four different acacia-ant species in an East African savanna. Levels of ant aggression in response to experimental disturbance differed strongly among the four species. All four ant species recruited more strongly to new leaf growth on host plants following disturbance, while recruitment to developing fruits was on average an order of magnitude lower. Host plants occupied by more aggressive ant species suffered significantly less vegetative damage from leaf-feeding insects, stem-boring beetles, and vertebrate browsers than host plants occupied by less aggressive ant species. However, there were no differences among fruiting host plants occupied by different ant species in levels of seed predation by bruchid seed predators. Fruit production on host trees was significantly correlated with tree stem diameter but not with the identity of resident ants. Our results demonstrate that defense of host plants may differ substantially among ant species and between vegetative and reproductive structures and that fruit production is not necessarily correlated with high levels of aggression by resident ants.

  2. A novel property of spider silk: chemical defence against ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Shichang; Koh, Teck Hui; Seah, Wee Khee; Lai, Yee Hing; Elgar, Mark A; Li, Daiqin

    2012-05-07

    Spider webs are made of silk, the properties of which ensure remarkable efficiency at capturing prey. However, remaining on, or near, the web exposes the resident spiders to many potential predators, such as ants. Surprisingly, ants are rarely reported foraging on the webs of orb-weaving spiders, despite the formidable capacity of ants to subdue prey and repel enemies, the diversity and abundance of orb-web spiders, and the nutritional value of the web and resident spider. We explain this paradox by reporting a novel property of the silk produced by the orb-web spider Nephila antipodiana (Walckenaer). These spiders deposit on the silk a pyrrolidine alkaloid (2-pyrrolidinone) that provides protection from ant invasion. Furthermore, the ontogenetic change in the production of 2-pyrrolidinone suggests that this compound represents an adaptive response to the threat of natural enemies, rather than a simple by-product of silk synthesis: while 2-pyrrolidinone occurs on the silk threads produced by adult and large juvenile spiders, it is absent on threads produced by small juvenile spiders, whose threads are sufficiently thin to be inaccessible to ants.

  3. Improved Ant Algorithms for Software Testing Cases Generation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shunkun Yang

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available 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 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.

  4. DATA MINING UNTUK KLASIFIKASI PELANGGAN DENGAN ANT COLONY OPTIMIZATION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maulani Kapiudin

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available In this research the system for potentially customer classification is designed by extracting rule based classification from raw data with certain criteria. The searching process uses customer database from a bank with data mining technic by using ant colony optimization. A test based on min_case_per_rule variety and phenomene updating were done on a certain period of time. The result are group of customer class which base on rules built by ant and by modifying the pheromone updating, the area of the case is getting bigger. Prototype of the software is coded with C++ 6 version. The customer database master is created by using Microsoft Access. This paper gives information about potential customer of bank that can be classified by prototype of the software. Abstract in Bahasa Indonesia : Pada penelitian untuk sistem klasifikasi potensial customer ini didesain dengan melakukan ekstrak rule berdasarkan klasifikasi dari data mentah dengan kriteria tertentu. Proses pencarian menggunakan database pelanggan dari suatu bank dengan teknik data mining dengan ant colony optimization. Dilakukan percobaan dengan min_case_per_rule variety dan phenomene updating pada periode waktu tertentu. Hasilnya adalah sekelompok class pelanggan yang didasarkan dari rules yang dibangun dengan ant dan dengan dimodifikasi dengan pheromone updating, area permasalahan menjadi lebih melebar. Prototype dari software ini menggunakan C++ versi 6. Database pelanggan dibangun dengan Microsoft Access. Paper ini memberikan informasi mengenai potensi pelanggan dari bank, sehingga dapat diklasifikasikan dengan prototype dari software. Kata kunci: ant colony optimization, classification, min_case_per_rule, term, pheromone updating

  5. Global path planning approach based on ant colony optimization algorithm

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    WEN Zhi-qiang; CAI Zi-xing

    2006-01-01

    Ant colony optimization (ACO) algorithm was modified to optimize the global path. In order to simulate the real ant colonies, according to the foraging behavior of ant colonies and the characteristic of food, conceptions of neighboring area and smell area were presented. The former can ensure the diversity of paths and the latter ensures that each ant can reach the goal. Then the whole path was divided into three parts and ACO was used to search the second part path. When the three parts pathes were adjusted,the final path was found. The valid path and invalid path were defined to ensure the path valid. Finally, the strategies of the pheromone search were applied to search the optimum path. However, when only the pheromone was used to search the optimum path, ACO converges easily. In order to avoid this premature convergence, combining pheromone search and random search, a hybrid ant colony algorithm(HACO) was used to find the optimum path. The comparison between ACO and HACO shows that HACO can be used to find the shortest path.

  6. Competition can lead to unexpected patterns in tropical ant communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ellwood, M. D. Farnon; Blüthgen, Nico; Fayle, Tom M.; Foster, William A.; Menzel, Florian

    2016-08-01

    Ecological communities are structured by competitive, predatory, mutualistic and parasitic interactions combined with chance events. Separating deterministic from stochastic processes is possible, but finding statistical evidence for specific biological interactions is challenging. We attempt to solve this problem for ant communities nesting in epiphytic bird's nest ferns (Asplenium nidus) in Borneo's lowland rainforest. By recording the frequencies with which each and every single ant species occurred together, we were able to test statistically for patterns associated with interspecific competition. We found evidence for competition, but the resulting co-occurrence pattern was the opposite of what we expected. Rather than detecting species segregation-the classical hallmark of competition-we found species aggregation. Moreover, our approach of testing individual pairwise interactions mostly revealed spatially positive rather than negative associations. Significant negative interactions were only detected among large ants, and among species of the subfamily Ponerinae. Remarkably, the results from this study, and from a corroborating analysis of ant communities known to be structured by competition, suggest that competition within the ants leads to species aggregation rather than segregation. We believe this unexpected result is linked with the displacement of species following asymmetric competition. We conclude that analysing co-occurrence frequencies across complete species assemblages, separately for each species, and for each unique pairwise combination of species, represents a subtle yet powerful way of detecting structure and compartmentalisation in ecological communities.

  7. Specialized myrmecophily at the ecological dawn of modern ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parker, Joseph; Grimaldi, David A

    2014-10-20

    Myrmecophiles--species that depend on ant societies--include some of the most morphologically and behaviorally specialized animals known. Remarkable adaptive characters enable these creatures to bypass fortress-like security, integrate into colony life, and exploit abundant resources and protection inside ant nests. Such innovations must result from intimate coevolution with hosts, but a scarcity of definitive fossil myrmecophiles obscures when and how this lifestyle arose. Here, we report the earliest known morphologically specialized and apparently obligate myrmecophile, in Early Eocene (∼ 52 million years old) Cambay amber from India. Protoclaviger trichodens gen. et sp. nov. is a stem-group member of Clavigeritae, a speciose supertribe of pselaphine rove beetles (Coleoptera: Staphylinidae) heavily modified for myrmecophily via reduced mouthparts for trophallaxis with worker ants, brush-like trichomes that exude appeasement compounds, and fusions of many body and antennal segments. Protoclaviger captures a transitional stage in the evolutionary development of this novel body plan, most evident in its still-distinct abdominal tergites. The Cambay paleobiota marks one of the first occurrences in the fossil record of a significant presence of modern ants. Protoclaviger reveals that sophisticated social parasites were nest intruders throughout, and probably before, the ascent of ants to ecological dominance, with ancient groups such as Clavigeritae primed to radiate as their hosts became increasingly ubiquitous.

  8. PARAMETER ESTIMATION OF VALVE STICTION USING ANT COLONY OPTIMIZATION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Kalaivani

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available In this paper, a procedure for quantifying valve stiction in control loops based on ant colony optimization has been proposed. Pneumatic control valves are widely used in the process industry. The control valve contains non-linearities such as stiction, backlash, and deadband that in turn cause oscillations in the process output. Stiction is one of the long-standing problems and it is the most severe problem in the control valves. Thus the measurement data from an oscillating control loop can be used as a possible diagnostic signal to provide an estimate of the stiction magnitude. Quantification of control valve stiction is still a challenging issue. Prior to doing stiction detection and quantification, it is necessary to choose a suitable model structure to describe control-valve stiction. To understand the stiction phenomenon, the Stenman model is used. Ant Colony Optimization (ACO, an intelligent swarm algorithm, proves effective in various fields. The ACO algorithm is inspired from the natural trail following behaviour of ants. The parameters of the Stenman model are estimated using ant colony optimization, from the input-output data by minimizing the error between the actual stiction model output and the simulated stiction model output. Using ant colony optimization, Stenman model with known nonlinear structure and unknown parameters can be estimated.

  9. Ant-like task allocation and recruitment in cooperative robots.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krieger, M J; Billeter, J B; Keller, L

    2000-08-31

    One of the greatest challenges in robotics is to create machines that are able to interact with unpredictable environments in real time. A possible solution may be to use swarms of robots behaving in a self-organized manner, similar to workers in an ant colony. Efficient mechanisms of division of labour, in particular series-parallel operation and transfer of information among group members, are key components of the tremendous ecological success of ants. Here we show that the general principles regulating division of labour in ant colonies indeed allow the design of flexible, robust and effective robotic systems. Groups of robots using ant-inspired algorithms of decentralized control techniques foraged more efficiently and maintained higher levels of group energy than single robots. But the benefits of group living decreased in larger groups, most probably because of interference during foraging. Intriguingly, a similar relationship between group size and efficiency has been documented in social insects. Moreover, when food items were clustered, groups where robots could recruit other robots in an ant-like manner were more efficient than groups without information transfer, suggesting that group dynamics of swarms of robots may follow rules similar to those governing social insects.

  10. Specificity and transmission mosaic of ant nest-wall fungi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schlick-Steiner, Birgit C; Steiner, Florian M; Konrad, Heino; Seifert, Bernhard; Christian, Erhard; Moder, Karl; Stauffer, Christian; Crozier, Ross H

    2008-01-22

    Mutualism, whereby species interact to their mutual benefit, is extraordinary in a competitive world. To recognize general patterns of origin and maintenance from the plethora of mutualistic associations proves a persisting challenge. The simplest situation is believed to be that of a single mutualist specific to a single host, vertically transmitted from one host generation to the next. We characterized ascomycete fungal associates cultured for nest architecture by the ant subgenera Dendrolasius and Chthonolasius. The ants probably manage their fungal mutualists by protecting them against fungal competitors. The ant subgenera display different ant-to-fungus specificity patterns, one-to-two and many-to-one, and we infer vertical transmission, in the latter case overlaid by horizontal transmission. Possible evolutionary trajectories include a reversal from fungiculture by other Lasius subgenera and inheritance of fungi through life cycle interactions of the ant subgenera. The mosaic indicates how specificity patterns can be shaped by an interplay between host life-cycles and transmission adaptations.

  11. Stigmergic construction and topochemical information shape ant nest architecture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khuong, Anaïs; Gautrais, Jacques; Perna, Andrea; Sbaï, Chaker; Combe, Maud; Kuntz, Pascale; Jost, Christian; Theraulaz, Guy

    2016-02-01

    The nests of social insects are not only impressive because of their sheer complexity but also because they are built from individuals whose work is not centrally coordinated. A key question is how groups of insects coordinate their building actions. Here, we use a combination of experimental and modeling approaches to investigate nest construction in the ant Lasius niger. We quantify the construction dynamics and the 3D structures built by ants. Then, we characterize individual behaviors and the interactions of ants with the structures they build. We show that two main interactions are involved in the coordination of building actions: (i) a stigmergic-based interaction that controls the amplification of depositions at some locations and is attributable to a pheromone added by ants to the building material; and (ii) a template-based interaction in which ants use their body size as a cue to control the height at which they start to build a roof from existing pillars. We then develop a 3D stochastic model based on these individual behaviors to analyze the effect of pheromone presence and strength on construction dynamics. We show that the model can quantitatively reproduce key features of construction dynamics, including a large-scale pattern of regularly spaced pillars, the formation and merging of caps over the pillars, and the remodeling of built structures. Finally, our model suggests that the lifetime of the pheromone is a highly influential parameter that controls the growth and form of nest architecture.

  12. Density-mediated, context-dependent consumer-resource interactions between ants and extrafloral nectar plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chamberlain, Scott A; Holland, J Nathaniel

    2008-05-01

    Interspecific interactions are often mediated by the interplay between resource supply and consumer density. The supply of a resource and a consumer's density response to it may in turn yield context-dependent use of other resources. Such consumer-resource interactions occur not only for predator-prey and competitive interactions, but for mutualistic ones as well. For example, consumer-resource interactions between ants and extrafloral nectar (EFN) plants are often mutualistic, as EFN resources attract and reward ants which protect plants from herbivory. Yet, ants also commonly exploit floral resources, leading to antagonistic consumer-resource interactions by disrupting pollination and plant reproduction. EFN resources associated with mutualistic ant-plant interactions may also mediate antagonistic ant-flower interactions through the aggregative density response of ants on plants, which could either exacerbate ant-flower interactions or alternatively satiate and distract ants from floral resources. In this study, we examined how EFN resources mediate the density response of ants on senita cacti in the Sonoran Desert and their context-dependent use of floral resources. Removal of EFN resources reduced the aggregative density of ants on plants, both on hourly and daily time scales. Yet, the increased aggregative ant density on plants with EFN resources decreased rather than increased ant use of floral resources, including contacts with and time spent in flowers. Behavioral assays showed no confounding effect of floral deterrents on ant-flower interactions. Thus, ant use of floral resources depends on the supply of EFN resources, which mediates the potential for both mutualistic and antagonistic interactions by increasing the aggregative density of ants protecting plants, while concurrently distracting ants from floral resources. Nevertheless, only certain years and populations of study showed an increase in plant reproduction through herbivore protection or ant

  13. The effectiveness of weaver ant (Oecophylla smaragdina) biocontrol in Southeast Asian citrus and mango

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Offenberg, Joachim; Cuc, Nguyen Thi Thu; Wiwatwitaya, Decha

    2013-01-01

    % increase in the Vietnamese plantation was statistically significant. In contrast, ant protection was ineffectual in Thai mango. Here, the profit in ant plots was negative, and 125 % higher than in chemical plots, due to failed fruit set on ant-trees. This was mainly due to the leafhopper Idioscopus...... plantation and in a Thai mango plantation. In Thai pomelo and Vietnamese mixed pomelo/orange, ants and chemical pesticides lead to equal fruit yields. Lower costs in ant treatments, though, generated profit increases of 15 and 47 %, respectively, in ant plots compared with pesticide plots, though only the 47...

  14. A Dynamic Job Shop Scheduling Method Based on Ant Colony Coordination System

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ZHU Qiong; WU Li-hui; ZHANG Jie

    2009-01-01

    Due to the stubborn nature of dynamic job shop scheduling problem, a novel ant colony coordination mechanism is proposed in this paper to search for an optimal schedule in dynamic environment. In ant colony coordination mechanism, the dynamic .job shop is composed of several autonomous ants. These ants coordinate with each other by simulating the ant foraging behavior of spreading pheromone on the trails, by which they can make information available globally, and further more guide ants make optimal decisions. The proposed mechanism is tested by several instances and the results confirm the validity of it.

  15. Density-dependent benefits in ant-hemipteran mutualism? The case of the ghost ant Tapinoma melanocephalum (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) and the invasive mealybug Phenacoccus solenopsis (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Aiming; Kuang, Beiqing; Gao, Yingrui; Liang, Guangwen

    2015-01-01

    Although density-dependent benefits to hemipterans from ant tending have been measured many times, few studies have focused on integrated effects such as interactions between ant tending, natural enemy density, and hemipteran density. In this study, we tested whether the invasive mealybug Phenacoccus solenopsis is affected by tending by ghost ants (Tapinoma melanocephalum), the presence of parasitoids, mealybug density, parasitoid density and interactions among these factors. Our results showed that mealybug colony growth rate and percentage parasitism were significantly affected by ant tending, parasitoid presence, and initial mealybug density separately. However, there were no interactions among the independent factors. There were also no significant interactions between ant tending and parasitoid density on either mealybug colony growth rate or percentage parasitism. Mealybug colony growth rate showed a negative linear relationship with initial mealybug density but a positive linear relationship with the level of ant tending. These results suggest that benefits to mealybugs are density-independent and are affected by ant tending level.

  16. Unamuno y Francisco Antón Casaseca. Epistolario

    OpenAIRE

    Tellechea Idígoras, José Ignacio

    2001-01-01

    [ES] La edición de este epistolario tiene dos partes tras una introducción general. En la primera se recogen las cartas de Unamuno dirigiera a Antón Casaseca editadas por éste en 1962 con interesantes glosas personales. En la segunda cincuenta cartas de bella prosa del zamorano Francisco Antón muestran la admiración entusiasta de un joven por el maestro, al que conoció en Salamanca y acompañaba en sus visitas a Zamora. La mayoría son de los años 1905-1911, en que Antón contaba 25-30 años. ...

  17. Information Certainty Determines Social and Private Information Use in Ants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stroeymeyt, Nathalie; Giurfa, Martin; Franks, Nigel R.

    2017-01-01

    Decision-making in uncertain environments requires animals to evaluate, contrast and integrate various information sources to choose appropriate actions. In consensus-making groups, quorum responses are commonly used to combine private and social information, leading to both robust and flexible decisions. Here we show that in house-hunting ant colonies, individuals fine-tune the parameters of their quorum responses depending on their private knowledge: informed ants evaluating a familiar new nest rely relatively more on social than private information when the certainty of their private information is low, and vice versa. This indicates that the ants follow a highly sophisticated ‘copy-when-uncertain’ social learning strategy similar to that observed in a few vertebrate species. Using simulations, we further show that this strategy improves colony performance during emigrations and confers well-informed individuals more weight in the decision process, thus representing a novel mechanism for the emergence of leadership in collective decision-making.

  18. Optimization of PID Controllers Using Ant Colony and Genetic Algorithms

    CERN Document Server

    Ünal, Muhammet; Topuz, Vedat; Erdal, Hasan

    2013-01-01

    Artificial neural networks, genetic algorithms and the ant colony optimization algorithm have become a highly effective tool for solving hard optimization problems. As their popularity has increased, applications of these algorithms have grown in more than equal measure. While many of the books available on these subjects only provide a cursory discussion of theory, the present book gives special emphasis to the theoretical background that is behind these algorithms and their applications. Moreover, this book introduces a novel real time control algorithm, that uses genetic algorithm and ant colony optimization algorithms for optimizing PID controller parameters. In general, the present book represents a solid survey on artificial neural networks, genetic algorithms and the ant colony optimization algorithm and introduces novel practical elements related to the application of these methods to  process system control.

  19. Sexual Cooperation: Mating Increases Longevity in Ant Queens

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schrempf, Alexandra; Heinze, Jürgen; Cremer, Sylvia

    2005-01-01

    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......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...... only be reared after a sterile worker force has been built up [5] . Therefore, the males should also profit from a long female lifespan. In the ant Cardiocondyla obscurior, mating indeed has a positive effect on the lifetime reproductive success of queens. Queens that mated to either one fertile or one...

  20. Pheromone-Based Ant Routing System for IP Networks

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    张林; 任勇; 山秀明

    2004-01-01

    The pheromone-based ant routing algorithm is a distributed routing algorithm with good scalability and robustness. A 2-D cellular automata (CA) model of the computer network was presented to analyze the algorithm. The results show that the procedure of establishing a stable route is self-organized towards the attractive peculiar state, and the duration of time for the routing establishment is power-law distributed. A practical ant routing protocol over an IP network was also presented, and two simulations were done to compare the performance dynamic and the load balancing performance between this protocol and the open shortest path first (OSPF) protocol. The results show that the ant routing protocol out-performs OSPF in these aspects.

  1. Mating, hybridisation and introgression in Lasius ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Van der Have, Tom; Pedersen, Jes Søe; Boomsma, Jacobus Jan

    2011-01-01

    Recent reviews have shown that hybridisation among ant species is likely to be more common than previously appreci-ated, but that documented cases of introgression remain rare. After molecular phylogenetic work had shown that Euro-pean Lasius niger (LINNAEUS, 1758) and L. psammophilus SEIFERT, 1992...... (formerly L. alienus (FOERSTER, 1850)) are unlikely to be very closely related, we decided to analyse an old data set confirming the conclusion by PEARSON (1983) that these two ants can indeed form viable hybrids. We show that signatures of introgression can be detected in a Danish site...... sympatrically. This would imply that multiple accessible field sites are available to study the molecular details of hybridisation and in-trogression between two ant species that have variable degrees of sympatry throughout their distributional ranges...

  2. Effective ANT based Routing Algorithm for Data Replication in MANETs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N.J. Nithya Nandhini

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available In mobile ad hoc network, the nodes often move and keep on change its topology. Data packets can be forwarded from one node to another on demand. To increase the data accessibility data are replicated at nodes and made as sharable to other nodes. Assuming that all mobile host cooperative to share their memory and allow forwarding the data packets. But in reality, all nodes do not share the resources for the benefits of others. These nodes may act selfishly to share memory and to forward the data packets. This paper focuses on selfishness of mobile nodes in replica allocation and routing protocol based on Ant colony algorithm to improve the efficiency. The Ant colony algorithm is used to reduce the overhead in the mobile network, so that it is more efficient to access the data than with other routing protocols. This result shows the efficiency of ant based routing algorithm in the replication allocation.

  3. Comparative Immature Morphology of Brazilian Fire Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Solenopsis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eduardo Gonçalves Paterson Fox

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Although common in Brazil, the biology of the fire ant Solenopsis saevissima (Smith is still poorly studied. Larval descriptions are useful to genus-level ant systematics and sometimes to species-level taxonomy. This study presents a detailed description of juveniles of S. saevissima from Brazil, which were compared with Brazilian specimens of Solenopsis invicta Buren, Solenopsis geminata (Fabricius, and Solenopsis altipunctata Pitts. Different larval instars were separated by diagnostic morphological traits which were confirmed by observing moults. Reproductive larvae could be easily sorted by their distinctive body dimensions and shape. Contrary to previous reports on this species, the larvae of S. saevissima proved to be generally identical to those of S. invicta, while a few specimens resembled those of other close species, such as Solenopsis megergates Trager. Mature larvae thus presented considerable intraspecific variation in some characters recently proposed to aid fire ant species separation (morphology of head hairs.

  4. Antígonas. Una visión intertextual

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elena Cano Turrión

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available In this article and from an intertextual point of view, we will try to examine how theSophoclean hypotext has generated three very different hypertexts. The first one is the short story“Antígona o la elección” by M. Yourcenar, which goes further the religious motivation in the originaltext; then, there is an essay written as a dialogue by Maria Zambrano, entitled La tumba de Antígonawhich main topics are confrontation against power, lack of freedom and destiny and faith in humanconscience. Finally, Luis Riaza’s Antígona…¡Cerda! Appears closer to its hypotext but at the same timesemantic deviation becomes more relevant.

  5. Evolution of Fungal enzymes in the attine ant symbiosis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    The attine ant symbiosis is characterized by ancient but varying degrees of diffuse co-evolution between the ants and their fungal cultivars. Domesticated fungi became dependent on vertical transmission by queens and the ant colonies came to rely on their symbiotic fungus for food and thus...... 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...

  6. Garden sharing and garden stealing in fungus-growing ants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adams, Rachelle M. M.; Mueller, U. G.; Holloway, Alisha K.; Green, Abigail M.; Narozniak, Joanie

    Fungi cultivated by fungus-growing ants (Attini: Formicidae) are passed on between generations by transfer from maternal to offspring nest (vertical transmission within ant species). However, recent phylogenetic analyses revealed that cultivars are occasionally also transferred between attine species. The reasons for such lateral cultivar transfers are unknown. To investigate whether garden loss may induce ants to obtain a replacement cultivar from a neighboring colony (lateral cultivar transfer), pairs of queenright colonies of two Cyphomyrmex species were set up in two conjoined chambers; the garden of one colony was then removed to simulate the total crop loss that occurs naturally when pathogens devastate gardens. Garden-deprived colonies regained cultivars through one of three mechanisms: joining of a neighboring colony and cooperation in a common garden; stealing of a neighbor's garden; or aggressive usurpation of a neighbor's garden. Because pathogens frequently devastate attine gardens under natural conditions, garden joining, stealing and usurpation emerge as critical behavioral adaptations to survive garden catastrophes.

  7. 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...

  8. The scent of mixtures: rules of odour processing in ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perez, Margot; Giurfa, Martin; d'Ettorre, Patrizia

    2015-03-02

    Natural odours are complex blends of numerous components. Understanding how animals perceive odour mixtures is central to multiple disciplines. Here we focused on carpenter ants, which rely on odours in various behavioural contexts. We studied overshadowing, a phenomenon that occurs when animals having learnt a binary mixture respond less to one component than to the other, and less than when this component was learnt alone. Ants were trained individually with alcohols and aldehydes varying in carbon-chain length, either as single odours or binary mixtures. They were then tested with the mixture and the components. Overshadowing resulted from the interaction between chain length and functional group: alcohols overshadowed aldehydes, and longer chain lengths overshadowed shorter ones; yet, combinations of these factors could cancel each other and suppress overshadowing. Our results show how ants treat binary olfactory mixtures and set the basis for predictive analyses of odour perception in insects.

  9. Sperm length evolution in the fungus-growing ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Baer, B.; Dijkstra, M. B.; Mueller, U. G.

    2009-01-01

    the evolution of sperm length. Sperm length does not decrease further in multiply mating leaf-cutting ants, despite substantial further increases in colony size. In a combined analysis, sexual dimorphism explained 63.1% of the variance in sperm length between species. As colony size was not a significant...... in phylogenetically independent contrasts. Some of the remaining variation was explained by the relative size of the sperm-storage organ, but only in the multiply mating leaf-cutting ants, suggesting that sperm-storage constraints become important for the evolution of sperm length in this derived group. Mate number...... affected sperm length to a minor extent, and only in interaction with other predictor variables, suggesting that sperm competition has not been a major selective force for sperm length evolution in these ants....

  10. Climbing, falling and jamming during ant locomotion in confined environments

    CERN Document Server

    Gravish, Nick; Goodisman, Michael A D; Goldman, Daniel I

    2013-01-01

    Locomotion emerges from effective interactions of an individual with its environment. Principles of biological terrestrial locomotion have been discovered on unconfined vertical and horizontal substrates. However a diversity of organisms construct, inhabit, and move within confined spaces. Such animals are faced with locomotor challenges including limited limb range of motion, crowding, and visual sensory deprivation. Little is known about how these organisms accomplish their locomotor tasks, and such environments challenge human-made devices. To gain greater insight into how animals move within confined spaces we study the confined locomotion of the fire ant {\\em Solenopsis invicta}, which constructs subterranean tunnel networks (nests). Laboratory experiments reveal that ants construct tunnels with diameter, D, comparable to bodylength, L=3.5 $\\pm$ 0.5 mm. Ants can move rapidly (> 9 bodylengths/sec) within these environments; their tunnels allow for effective limb, body, and antennae interaction with walls ...

  11. Evolutionarily advanced ant farmers rear polyploid fungal crops

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kooij, Pepijn Wilhelmus; Aanen, D.K.; Schiøtt, Morten

    2015-01-01

    Innovative evolutionary developments are often related to gene or genome duplications. The crop fungi of attine fungus-growing ants are suspected to have enhanced genetic variation reminiscent of polyploidy, but this has never been quantified with cytological data and genetic markers. We estimated...... the number of nuclei per fungal cell for 42 symbionts reared by 14 species of Panamanian fungus-growing ants. This showed that domesticated symbionts of higher attine ants are polykaryotic with 7-17 nuclei per cell, whereas nonspecialized crops of lower attines are dikaryotic similar to most free......-living basidiomycete fungi. We then investigated how putative higher genetic diversity is distributed across polykaryotic mycelia, using microsatellite loci and evaluating models assuming that all nuclei are either heterogeneously haploid or homogeneously polyploid. Genetic variation in the polykaryotic symbionts...

  12. 川西北高寒草甸蚁丘植物群落演替:种类组成与物种多样性%Plant Community Succession on Ant-hills of a Sub-alpine Meadow in Northwestern Sichuan, China:Species Composition and Diversity

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    蒙凤群; 高贤明; 孙书存

    2011-01-01

    Ants may increase habitat heterogeneity by means of building ant-hills, thereby changing community species composition and ecosystem structure and functioning.We investigated plant height, coverage and abundance for each species and calculated species richness and diversity for ant-hills of Camponotus herculeanus differing in size ( 309.45 cm2.948.45 cm2.2124.90 cmz for the small, intermediate and large ant-hills , reapectively).The dominant species was subsequently identified for the three size-classes of ant-hiUs and the mechanism underlying anthill community succession was derived.Our results showed that diumal temperature fluctuation was greater in ant-hills than the surrounding flat soil.where the temperature of the ant-hills was higher in daytime but lower at night relative to the counterpart.The soil maisture was lower in center than in edge of ant-hiLls whose moisture was lower than the flat soil.Plant species diversity and nchness were not significantly different among the three classes of ant-hills while the dominant species conspicuously changed.The importance value of the most dominant species, Kobresia uncinoides, increased significantly with increasing ant-hill size; the subdominant species was Galium aparine, Festuca ovina, Elymus nutans for the small, intermediate and large ant-hills, respectively.The dominance of grasses was significantly higher, but that of forbs was lower on ant-hills than in surrounding communities.The ant-hills were dominated by species from Cyperaceae and Gramineae while Compositae and Ranunculaceae dominated the surrounding communities.In addition, we discussed the poasible mechanisms driving ant-hill community succession and the potential significance of ant-hills to the whole community composition and dynamics in the alpine meadow.%蚂蚁通过构建蚁丘,提高了群落生境异质性,影响群落物种组成,甚至生态系统结构和功能.我们在川西北典型高寒草甸调查了平地(非蚁丘,即距离蚁丘4

  13. Sex-specific kleptoparasitic foraging in ant-eating spiders

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Martisová, Martina; Bilde, T.; Pekar, Stano

    2009-01-01

    Foraging by intraspecific kleptoparasitism is widespread among animal taxa. Most kleptoparasitic interactions are considered facultative, and can be influenced by life history stage and trade-offs with other activities such as mate searching. Trade-offs with mating strategies are often sex specific....... To investigate this hypothesis, we studied the effect of sex and life history stage on the frequency of kleptoparasitism in ant-eating spiders of the genus Zodarion in the field. These spiders use a special capture technique involving a quick attack on an ant that is left unguarded by spiders for several minutes...

  14. Prudent sperm use by leaf-cutter ant queens

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Den Boer, Susanne Petronella A; Baer, Boris; Dreier, Stéphanie Agnès Jeanine

    2009-01-01

    In many species, females store sperm between copulation and egg fertilization, but the consequences of sperm storage and patterns of sperm use for female life history and reproductive success have not been investigated in great detail. In hymenopteran insect societies (ants, bees, wasps......), reproduction is usually monopolized by one or relatively few queens, who mate only during a brief period early in life and store sperm for later use. The queens of some ants are particularly long-lived and have the potential to produce millions of offspring during their life. To do so, queens store many sperm...

  15. 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...

  16. Long-term memory of individual identity in ant queens

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dreier, Stéphanie Agnès Jeanine; Van Zweden, Jelle Stijn; D'Ettorre, Patrizia

    2007-01-01

    Remembering individual identities is part of our own everyday social life. Surprisingly, this ability has recently been shown in two social insects. While paper wasps recognize each other individually through their facial markings, the ant, Pachycondyla villosa, uses chemical cues. In both species......, individual recognition is adaptive since it facilitates the maintenance of stable dominance hierarchies among individuals, and thus reduces the cost of conflict within these small societies. Here, we investigated individual recognition in Pachycondyla ants by quantifying the level of aggression between pairs...

  17. Core Business Selection Based on Ant Colony Clustering Algorithm

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yu Lan

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Core business is the most important business to the enterprise in diversified business. In this paper, we first introduce the definition and characteristics of the core business and then descript the ant colony clustering algorithm. In order to test the effectiveness of the proposed method, Tianjin Port Logistics Development Co., Ltd. is selected as the research object. Based on the current situation of the development of the company, the core business of the company can be acquired by ant colony clustering algorithm. Thus, the results indicate that the proposed method is an effective way to determine the core business for company.

  18. AN IMPROVED ANT COLONY ALGORITHM IN CONTINUOUS OPTIMIZATION

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Ling CHEN; Jie SHEN; Ling QIN; Hongjian CHEN

    2003-01-01

    A modified ant colony algorithm for solving optimization problem with continuous parameters is presented. In the method, groups of candidate values of the components are constructed, and each value in the group has its trail information. In each iteration of the ant colony algorithm, the method first chooses initial values of the components using the trail information. Then GA operations of crossover and mutation can determine the values of the components in the solution. Our experimental results on the problem of nonlinear programming show that our method has a much higher convergence speed and stability than those of simulated annealing (SA) and GA.

  19. An ant colony algorithm for solving Max-cut problem

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Lin Gao; Yan Zeng; Anguo Dong

    2008-01-01

    Max-cut problem is an NP-complete and classical combinatorial optimization problem that has a wide range of appfications in dif-ferent domains,such as bioinformatics,network optimization,statistical physics,and very large scale integration design.In this paper we investigate the capabilities of the ant colony optimization(ACO)heuristic for solving the Max-cut problem and present an AntCut algo-rithm.A large number of simulation experiments show that the algorithm can solve the Max-cut problem more efficiently and effectively.

  20. Fire ants actively control spacing and orientation within self-assemblages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foster, Paul C; Mlot, Nathan J; Lin, Angela; Hu, David L

    2014-06-15

    To overcome obstacles and survive harsh environments, fire ants link their bodies together to form self-assemblages such as rafts, bridges and bivouacs. Such structures are examples of self-assembling and self-healing materials, as ants can quickly create and break links with one another in response to changes in their environment. Because ants are opaque, the arrangement of the ants within these three-dimensional networks was previously unknown. In this experimental study, we applied micro-scale computed tomography, or micro-CT, to visualize the connectivity, arrangement and orientation of ants within an assemblage. We identified active and geometric mechanisms that ants use to obtain favorable packing properties with respect to well-studied packing of inert objects such as cylinders. Ants use their legs to push against their neighbors, doubling their spacing relative to random packing of cylinders. These legs also permit active control of their orientation, an ability ants use to arrange themselves perpendicularly rather than in parallel. Lastly, we found an important role of ant polymorphism in promoting self-aggregation: a large distribution of ant sizes permits small ants to fit between the legs of larger ants, a phenomenon that increases the number of average connections per ant. These combined mechanisms lead to low packing fraction and high connectivity, which increase raft buoyancy and strength during flash floods.

  1. adPEO mutations in ANT1 impair ADP-ATP translocation in muscle mitochondria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kawamata, Hibiki; Tiranti, Valeria; Magrané, Jordi; Chinopoulos, Christos; Manfredi, Giovanni

    2011-08-01

    Mutations in the heart and muscle isoform of adenine nucleotide translocator 1 (ANT1) are associated with autosomal-dominant progressive external opthalmoplegia (adPEO) clinically characterized by exercise intolerance, ptosis and muscle weakness. The pathogenic mechanisms underlying the mitochondrial myopathy caused by ANT1 mutations remain largely unknown. In yeast, expression of ANT1 carrying mutations corresponding to the human adPEO ones causes a wide range of mitochondrial abnormalities. However, functional studies of ANT1 mutations in mammalian cells are lacking, because they have been hindered by the fact that ANT1 expression leads to apoptotic cell death in commonly utilized replicating cell lines. Here, we successfully express functional ANT1 in differentiated mouse myotubes, which naturally contain high levels of ANT1, without causing cell death. We demonstrate, for the first time in these disease-relevant mammalian cells, that mutant human ANT1 causes dominant mitochondrial defects characterized by decreased ADP-ATP exchange function and abnormal translocator reversal potential. These abnormalities are not due to ANT1 loss of function, because knocking down Ant1 in myotubes causes functional changes different from ANT1 mutants. Under certain physiological conditions, mitochondria consume ATP to maintain membrane potential by reversing the ADP-ATP transport. The modified properties of mutant ANT1 can be responsible for disease pathogenesis in adPEO, because exchange reversal occurring at higher than normal membrane potential can cause excessive energy depletion and nucleotide imbalance in ANT1 mutant muscle cells.

  2. adPEO mutations in ANT1 impair ADP–ATP translocation in muscle mitochondria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kawamata, Hibiki; Tiranti, Valeria; Magrané, Jordi; Chinopoulos, Christos; Manfredi, Giovanni

    2011-01-01

    Mutations in the heart and muscle isoform of adenine nucleotide translocator 1 (ANT1) are associated with autosomal-dominant progressive external opthalmoplegia (adPEO) clinically characterized by exercise intolerance, ptosis and muscle weakness. The pathogenic mechanisms underlying the mitochondrial myopathy caused by ANT1 mutations remain largely unknown. In yeast, expression of ANT1 carrying mutations corresponding to the human adPEO ones causes a wide range of mitochondrial abnormalities. However, functional studies of ANT1 mutations in mammalian cells are lacking, because they have been hindered by the fact that ANT1 expression leads to apoptotic cell death in commonly utilized replicating cell lines. Here, we successfully express functional ANT1 in differentiated mouse myotubes, which naturally contain high levels of ANT1, without causing cell death. We demonstrate, for the first time in these disease-relevant mammalian cells, that mutant human ANT1 causes dominant mitochondrial defects characterized by decreased ADP–ATP exchange function and abnormal translocator reversal potential. These abnormalities are not due to ANT1 loss of function, because knocking down Ant1 in myotubes causes functional changes different from ANT1 mutants. Under certain physiological conditions, mitochondria consume ATP to maintain membrane potential by reversing the ADP–ATP transport. The modified properties of mutant ANT1 can be responsible for disease pathogenesis in adPEO, because exchange reversal occurring at higher than normal membrane potential can cause excessive energy depletion and nucleotide imbalance in ANT1 mutant muscle cells. PMID:21586654

  3. Plant genotype shapes ant-aphid interactions: implications for community structure and indirect plant defense.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mooney, Kailen A; Agrawal, Anurag A

    2008-06-01

    Little is known about the mechanisms by which plant genotype shapes arthropod community structure. In a field experiment, we measured the effects of milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) genotype and ants on milkweed arthropods. Populations of the ant-tended aphid Aphis asclepiadis and the untended aphid Myzocallis asclepiadis varied eight- to 18-fold among milkweed genotypes, depending on aphid species and whether ants were present. There was no milkweed effect on predatory arthropods. Ants increased Aphis abundance 59%, decreased Myzocallis abundance 52%, and decreased predator abundance 56%. Milkweed genotype indirectly influenced ants via direct effects on Aphis and Myzocallis abundance. Milkweed genotype also modified ant-aphid interactions, influencing the number of ants attracted per Aphis and Myzocallis. While ant effects on Myzocallis were consistently negative, effects on Aphis ranged from antagonistic to mutualistic among milkweed genotypes. As a consequence of milkweed effects on ant-aphid interactions, ant abundance varied 13-fold among milkweed genotypes, and monarch caterpillar survival was negatively correlated with genetic variation in ant abundance. We speculate that heritable variation in milkweed phloem sap drives these effects on aphids, ants, and caterpillars. In summary, milkweed exerts genetic control over the interactions between aphids and an ant that provides defense against foliage-feeding caterpillars.

  4. Impact of imidacloprid on new queens of imported fire ants, Solenopsis invicta (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neonicotinoid insecticides are commonly used in managing pest ants, including the imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta Buren. There is increasing evidence that neonicotinoid insecticides at sublethal concentrations have profound effects on social insects. However, the sublethal effect of neonicot...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yek, Sze Huei; Nash, David R; Jensen, Annette B; Boomsma, Jacobus J

    2012-10-22

    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, we show that the ants adjust the amount of MG secretion to the virulence of the fungus with which they are infected. We further applied fixed volumes of MG secretion of ants challenged with constant conidia doses to agar mats of the same fungal species. This showed that inhibition halos were significantly larger for ants challenged with virulent and mild pathogens/weeds than for controls and Escovopsis-challenged ants. We conclude that the MG defence system of leaf-cutting ants has characteristics reminiscent of an additional cuticular immune system, with specific and non-specific components, of which some are constitutive and others induced.

  6. Reduced biological control and enhanced chemical pest management in the evolution of fungus farming in ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fernández-Marín, Hermógenes; Zimmerman, Jess K; Nash, David R

    2009-01-01

    To combat disease, most fungus-growing ants (Attini) use antibiotics from mutualistic bacteria (Pseudonocardia) that are cultured on the ants' exoskeletons and chemical cocktails from exocrine glands, especially the metapleural glands (MG). Previous work has hypothesized that (i) Pseudonocardia...

  7. Coevolved crypts and exocrine glands support mutualistic bacteria in fungus-growing ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Currie, Cameron R; Poulsen, Michael; Mendenhall, John;

    2006-01-01

    Attine ants engage in a quadripartite symbiosis with fungi they cultivate for food, specialized garden parasites, and parasite-inhibiting bacteria. Molecular phylogenetic evidence supports an ancient host-pathogen association between the ant-cultivar mutualism and the garden parasite. Here we sho...... in other ant genera that do not grow fungus, indicate that the bacteria have an ancient and coevolved association with the ants, their fungal cultivar, and the garden parasite.......Attine ants engage in a quadripartite symbiosis with fungi they cultivate for food, specialized garden parasites, and parasite-inhibiting bacteria. Molecular phylogenetic evidence supports an ancient host-pathogen association between the ant-cultivar mutualism and the garden parasite. Here we show...... that ants rear the antibiotic-producing bacteria in elaborate cuticular crypts, supported by unique exocrine glands, and that these structures have been highly modified across the ants' evolutionary history. This specialized structural evolution, together with the absence of these bacteria and modifications...

  8. The genomic impact of 100 million years of social evolution in seven ant species

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gadau, Jürgen; Helmkampf, Martin; Nygaard, Sanne;

    2012-01-01

    Ants (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) represent one of the most successful eusocial taxa in terms of both their geographic distribution and species number. The publication of seven ant genomes within the past year was a quantum leap for socio- and ant genomics. The diversity of social organization in ants...... makes them excellent model organisms to study the evolution of social systems. Comparing the ant genomes with those of the honeybee, a lineage that evolved eusociality independently from ants, and solitary insects suggests that there are significant differences in key aspects of genome organization...... between social and solitary insects, as well as among ant species. Altogether, these seven ant genomes open exciting new research avenues and opportunities for understanding the genetic basis and regulation of social species, and adaptive complex systems in general....

  9. Exon-primed intron-crossing (EPIC markers as a tool for ant phylogeography

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patrícia R. Ströher

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Exon-primed intron-crossing (EPIC markers as a tool for ant phylogeography. Due to their local abundance, diversity of adaptations and worldwide distribution, ants are a classic example of adaptive radiation. Despite this evolutionary and ecological importance, phylogeographical studies on ants have relied largely on mitochondrial markers. In this study we design and test exon-primed intron-crossing (EPIC markers, which can be widely used to uncover ant intraspecific variation. Candidate markers were obtained through screening the available ant genomes for unlinked conserved exonic regions interspersed with introns. A subset of 15 markers was tested in vitro and showed successful amplification in several phylogenetically distant ant species. These markers represent an important step forward in ant phylogeography and population genetics, allowing for more extensive characterization of variation in ant nuclear DNA without the need to develop species-specific markers.

  10. Ecology of microfungal communities in gardens of fungus-growing ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae): a year-long survey of three species of attine ants in Central Texas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodrigues, Andre; Mueller, Ulrich G; Ishak, Heather D; Bacci, Maurício; Pagnocca, Fernando C

    2011-11-01

    We profiled the microfungal communities in gardens of fungus-growing ants to evaluate possible species-specific ant-microfungal associations and to assess the potential dependencies of microfungal diversity on ant foraging behavior. In a 1-year survey, we isolated microfungi from nests of Cyphomyrmex wheeleri, Trachymyrmex septentrionalis and Atta texana in Central Texas. Microfungal prevalence was higher in gardens of C. wheeleri (57%) than in the gardens of T. septentrionalis (46%) and A. texana (35%). Culture-dependent methods coupled with a polyphasic approach of species identification revealed diverse and changing microfungal communities in all the sampling periods. Diversity analyses showed no obvious correlations between the number of observed microfungal species, ant species, or the ants' changing foraging behavior across the seasons. However, both correspondence analysis and 5.8S-rRNA gene unifrac analyses suggested structuring of microfungal communities by ant host. These host-specific differences may reflect in part the three different environments where ants were collected. Most interestingly, the specialized fungal parasite Escovopsis was not isolated from any attine garden in this study near the northernmost limit of the range of attine ants, contrasting with previous studies that indicated a significant incidence of this parasite in ant gardens from Central and South America. The observed differences of microfungal communities in attine gardens suggest that the ants are continuously in contact with a diverse microfungal species assemblage.

  11. Ant community change across a ground vegetation gradient in north Florida's longleaf pine flatwoods

    OpenAIRE

    David Lubertazzi; Walter Tschinkel

    2003-01-01

    Ant communities in longleaf pine habitats are poorly known and hence the naturally occurring ant assemblages of a large portion of southeastern North America are not well understood. This study examined the diverse ant community found in the longleaf pine flatwoods of north Florida and tested how ant diversity changes along a herbaceous ground cover gradient. Restoring the ground cover to its original floral composition is an important focus of longleaf pine conservation and hence it is impor...

  12. The introduction history of invasive garden ants in Europe: Integrating genetic, chemical and behavioural approaches

    OpenAIRE

    Boomsma Jacobus J; Kronauer Daniel JC; Drijfhout Falko P; Ugelvig Line V; Pedersen Jes S; Cremer Sylvia

    2008-01-01

    Abstract 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 populations with three complementary approaches: genetic microsatellite analysis, chemical analysis of cuticular hydrocarbon profiles and behavioural observations of aggression behaviour. We eva...

  13. Ant Colony Optimization for Capacitated Vehicle Routing Problem

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H. V. Seow

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Problem statement: The Capacitated Vehicle Routing Problem (CVRP is a well-known combinatorial optimization problem which is concerned with the distribution of goods between the depot and customers. It is of economic importance to businesses as approximately 10-20% of the final cost of the goods is contributed by the transportation process. Approach: This problem was tackled using an Ant Colony Optimization (ACO combined with heuristic approaches that act as the route improvement strategies. The proposed ACO utilized a pheromone evaporation procedure of standard ant algorithm in order to introduce an evaporation rate that depends on the solutions found by the artificial ants. Results: Computational experiments were conducted on benchmark data set and the results obtained from the proposed algorithms shown that the application of combination of two different heuristics in the ACO had the capability to improve the ants’ solutions better than ACO embedded with only one heuristic. Conclusion: ACO with swap and 3-opt heuristic has the capability to tackle the CVRP with satisfactory solution quality and run time. It is a viable alternative for solving the CVRP.

  14. Urban physiology: city ants possess high heat tolerance.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael J Angilletta

    Full Text Available Urbanization has caused regional increases in temperature that exceed those measured on a global scale, leading to urban heat islands as much as 12 degrees C hotter than their surroundings. Optimality models predict ectotherms in urban areas should tolerate heat better and cold worse than ectotherms in rural areas. We tested these predications by measuring heat and cold tolerances of leaf-cutter ants from South America's largest city (São Paulo, Brazil. Specifically, we compared thermal tolerances of ants from inside and outside of the city. Knock-down resistance and chill-coma recovery were used as indicators of heat and cold tolerances, respectively. Ants from within the city took 20% longer to lose mobility at 42 degrees C than ants from outside the city. Interestingly, greater heat tolerance came at no obvious expense of cold tolerance; hence, our observations only partially support current theory. Our results indicate that thermal tolerances of some organisms can respond to rapid changes in climate. Predictive models should account for acclimatory and evolutionary responses during climate change.

  15. Kaval-Ants ja Vanapagan : [luuletused] / Eno Raud

    Index Scriptorium Estoniae

    Raud, Eno, 1928-1996

    2001-01-01

    Sisu : Kaval-Ants ja Vanapagan ; Aida ust valvamas ; Vanapaar ; Pada ja katel ; Voki laul karule ; Laisk laiskloom ; Soovitus ; Käbi käbinäbi ; Mitmesugused lapsed ; Päevavaras ; Vaba rabakana ; Vetesell ; Padakonna konnavada ; Mis saiast sai? ; Siili nohu; Lõunatuul õunapuul ; Käo kukkumine ; Vankrisõit

  16. Testing attention: comparing the ANT with TVA-based assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Habekost, Thomas; Petersen, Anders; Vangkilde, Signe

    2014-03-01

    Posner's attention network model and Bundesen's theory of visual attention (TVA) are two influential accounts of attention. Each model has led to the development of a test method: the attention network test (ANT) and TVA-based assessment, respectively. Both tests have been widely used to investigate attentional function in normal and clinical populations. Here we report on the first direct comparison of the ANT to TVA-based assessment. A group of 68 young healthy participants were tested in three consecutive sessions that each contained standard versions of the two tests. The parameters derived from TVA-based assessment had better internal reliability and retest reliability than did those of the standard version of the ANT, where only the executive network score reached comparable levels. However, when corrected for differences in test length, the retest reliability of the orienting network score equaled the least reliable TVA parameters. Both tests were susceptible to practice effects, which improved performance for some parameters while leaving others constant. All pairwise correlations between the eight attention parameters measured by the two tests were small and nonsignificant, with one exception: A strong correlation (r = 0.72) was found between two parameters of TVA-based assessment, visual processing speed and the capacity of visual short-term memory. We conclude that TVA-based assessment and the ANT measure complementary aspects of attention, but the scores derived from TVA-based assessment are more reliable.

  17. Non-transferable signals on ant queen eggs

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    D'Ettorre, Patrizia; Tofilski, Adam; Heinze, Jürgen;

    2006-01-01

    , selfish individuals may evade policing. What factors prevent individuals from being able to evade policing? In the ant Pachycondyla inversa, workers kill (police) worker-laid eggs. Because the colony keeps eggs in piles and worker-laid and queen-laid eggs are chemically distinct, worker-laid eggs might...

  18. Prudent sperm use by leaf-cutter ant queens

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Den Boer, Susanne Petronella A; Baer, Boris; Dreier, Stéphanie Agnès Jeanine;

    2009-01-01

    In many species, females store sperm between copulation and egg fertilization, but the consequences of sperm storage and patterns of sperm use for female life history and reproductive success have not been investigated in great detail. In hymenopteran insect societies (ants, bees, wasps), reprodu......In many species, females store sperm between copulation and egg fertilization, but the consequences of sperm storage and patterns of sperm use for female life history and reproductive success have not been investigated in great detail. In hymenopteran insect societies (ants, bees, wasps......), reproduction is usually monopolized by one or relatively few queens, who mate only during a brief period early in life and store sperm for later use. The queens of some ants are particularly long-lived and have the potential to produce millions of offspring during their life. To do so, queens store many sperm...... cells, and this sperm must remain viable throughout the years of storage. Queens should also be under strong selection to use stored sperm prudently when fertilizing eggs. We used the leaf-cutter ant Atta colombica to investigate the dynamics of sperm use during egg fertilization. We show that queens...

  19. 9 CFR 381.71 - Condemnation on ante mortem inspection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    ... disposed of as provided in § 381.95. (b) Dead-on-arrival ratites and ratites condemned on ante mortem... signs of drug or chemical poisoning shall be withheld from slaughter. (e) Ratites identified as “U.S... condemned. Ratites that are sick, dying, or that have been treated with a drug or chemical and presented...

  20. Fast food in ant communities: how competing species find resources.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pearce-Duvet, Jessica M C; Moyano, Martin; Adler, Frederick R; Feener, Donald H

    2011-09-01

    An understanding of foraging behavior is crucial to understanding higher level community dynamics; in particular, there is a lack of information about how different species discover food resources. We examined the effect of forager number and forager discovery capacity on food discovery in two disparate temperate ant communities, located in Texas and Arizona. We defined forager discovery capacity as the per capita rate of resource discovery, or how quickly individual ants arrived at resources. In general, resources were discovered more quickly when more foragers were present; this was true both within communities, where species identity was ignored, as well as within species. This pattern suggests that resource discovery is a matter of random processes, with ants essentially bumping into resources at a rate mediated by their abundance. In contrast, species that were better discoverers, as defined by the proportion of resources discovered first, did not have higher numbers of mean foragers. Instead, both mean forager number and mean forager discovery capacity determined discovery success. The Texas species used both forager number and capacity, whereas the Arizona species used only forager capacity. There was a negative correlation between a species' prevalence in the environment and the discovery capacity of its foragers, suggesting that a given species cannot exploit both high numbers and high discovery capacity as a strategy. These results highlight that while forager number is crucial to determining time to discovery at the community level and within species, individual forager characteristics influence the outcome of exploitative competition in ant communities.

  1. Kool peab õpetama elus hakkamasaamist / Ants Sild ; intervjueerinud Laura Vetik

    Index Scriptorium Estoniae

    Sild, Ants, 1958-

    2015-01-01

    Elus olulised oskused, isemõtlemine, loomingulisus on märksõnad, mida õppurid peaksid koolist saama, et vastata tööandjate ning ühiskonna ootustele ja vajadustele. Kuidas koolid seda toetada saavad ning IKT võimalusi kasutada, uuriti Baltic Computer Systems juhatajalt Ants Sillalt

  2. Kool peab õpetama elus hakkamasaamist / Ants Sild ; intervjueerinud Laura Vetik

    Index Scriptorium Estoniae

    Sild, Ants, 1958-

    2015-01-01

    Elus olulised oskused, isemõtlemine, loomingulisus on märksõnad, mida õppurid peaksid koolist saama, et vastata tööandjate ning ühiskonna ootustele ja vajadustele. Kuidas koolid seda toetada saavad ning IKT võimalusi kasutada, uuriti BCS juhatajalt Ants Sillalt

  3. Hybrid ant colony algorithm for traveling salesman problem

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2003-01-01

    A hybrid approach based on ant colony algorithm for the traveling salesman problem is proposed, which is an improved algorithm characterized by adding a local search mechanism, a cross-removing strategy and candidate lists. Experimental results show that it is competitive in terms of solution quality and computation time.

  4. Chemical structure of odorants and perceptual similarity in ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bos, Nick; d'Ettorre, Patrizia; Guerrieri, Fernando J

    2013-09-01

    Animals are often immersed in a chemical world consisting of mixtures of many compounds rather than of single substances, and they constantly face the challenge of extracting relevant information out of the chemical landscape. To this purpose, the ability to discriminate among different stimuli with different valence is essential, but it is also important to be able to generalise, i.e. to treat different but similar stimuli as equivalent, as natural variation does not necessarily affect stimulus valence. Animals can thus extract regularities in their environment and make predictions, for instance about distribution of food resources. We studied perceptual similarity of different plant odours by conditioning individual carpenter ants to one odour, and subsequently testing their response to another, structurally different odour. We found that asymmetry in generalisation, where ants generalise from odour A to B, but not from B to A, is dependent on both chain length and functional group. By conditioning ants to a binary mixture, and testing their reaction to the individual components of the mixture, we show that overshadowing, where parts of a mixture are learned better than others, is rare. Additionally, generalisation is dependent not only on the structural similarity of odorants, but also on their functional value, which might play a crucial role. Our results provide insight into how ants make sense of the complex chemical world around them, for example in a foraging context, and provide a basis with which to investigate the neural mechanisms behind perceptual similarity.

  5. ANTS: Exploring the Solar System with an Autonomous Nanotechnology Swarm

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2002-01-01

    ANTS (Autonomous Nano-Technology Swarm), a NASA advanced mission concept, calls for a large (1000 member) swarm of pico-class (1 kg) totally autonomous spacecraft to prospect the asteroid belt. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  6. Three spectrally distinct photoreceptors in diurnal and nocturnal Australian ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ogawa, Yuri; Falkowski, Marcin; Narendra, Ajay; Zeil, Jochen; Hemmi, Jan M

    2015-06-07

    Ants are thought to be special among Hymenopterans in having only dichromatic colour vision based on two spectrally distinct photoreceptors. Many ants are highly visual animals, however, and use vision extensively for navigation. We show here that two congeneric day- and night-active Australian ants have three spectrally distinct photoreceptor types, potentially supporting trichromatic colour vision. Electroretinogram recordings show the presence of three spectral sensitivities with peaks (λmax) at 370, 450 and 550 nm in the night-active Myrmecia vindex and peaks at 370, 470 and 510 nm in the day-active Myrmecia croslandi. Intracellular electrophysiology on individual photoreceptors confirmed that the night-active M. vindex has three spectral sensitivities with peaks (λmax) at 370, 430 and 550 nm. A large number of the intracellular recordings in the night-active M. vindex show unusually broad-band spectral sensitivities, suggesting that photoreceptors may be coupled. Spectral measurements at different temporal frequencies revealed that the ultraviolet receptors are comparatively slow. We discuss the adaptive significance and the probability of trichromacy in Myrmecia ants in the context of dim light vision and visual navigation.

  7. Irving Babbitti humanismi põhijooned / Ants Oras

    Index Scriptorium Estoniae

    Oras, Ants

    2003-01-01

    Varem ilmunud: rmt.: "Kultuuri ja teaduse teilt: mõtteid ja uurimusi Tartu Ülikooli 300-nda mälestusaasta puhuks". Tartu : Loodus, 1932, lk. 144-153 ; Ants Oras, "Irving Babbitt' i humanismi põhijooned: äratrükk koguteosest "Kultuuri ja teaduse teilt"". Tartu, 1932

  8. Ants Oras ja eesti Shakespeare'i-kultuur / Evelin Banhard

    Index Scriptorium Estoniae

    Banhard, Evelin

    2008-01-01

    Artikkel käsitleb Ants Orase rolli William Shakespeare'i pärandi tõlkija ja tutvustajana. Analüüsitakse Orase töid eesti kultuuriajakirjanduses 1920. ja 1930. aastatel ning tema hilisemaid, paguluses kirjutatud arvustusi

  9. Rethinking crop-disease management in fungus-growing ants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Boomsma, J.J.; Aanen, D.K.

    2009-01-01

    Ant fungus farming has become a prominent model for studying the evolution of mutualistic cooperation, with recent advances in reconstructing the evolutionary origin and elaborations of the symbiosis (1, 2), discovering additional partners and clarifying their interactions (3, 4), and analyzing host

  10. Evolutionary transitions in enzyme activity of ant fungus gardens.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-07-01

    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 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 toward partial degradation of plant cell walls, reflecting a plesiomorphic state of nondomesticated 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 breakdown of cell walls. The adaptive significance of the lower-attine symbiont shifts remains unclear. One of these shifts was obligate, but digestive advantages remained ambiguous, whereas the other remained facultative despite providing greater digestive efficiency.

  11. Corruption of ant acoustical signals by mimetic social parasites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schönrogge, Karsten; Bonelli, Simona; Barbero, Francesca; Balletto, Emilio

    2010-01-01

    Recent recordings of the stridulations of Myrmica ants revealed that their queens made distinctive sounds from their workers, although the acoustics of queens and workers, respectively, were the same in different species of Myrmica. Queen recordings induced enhanced protective behavior when played to workers in the one species tested. Larvae and pupae of the butterfly genus Maculinea inhabit Myrmica colonies as social parasites, and both stages generate sounds that mimic those of a Myrmica queen, inducing similar superior treatments from workers as their model. We discuss how initial penetration and acceptance as a colony member is achieved by Maculinea through mimicking the species-specific semio-chemicals of their hosts, and how acoustical mimicry is then employed to elevate the parasite’s membership of that society towards the highest attainable level in their host’s hierarchy. We postulate that, if acoustics is as well developed a means of communication in certain ants as these studies suggest, then others among an estimated 10,000 species of ant social parasite may supplement their well-known use of chemical and tactile mimicry to trick host ants with mimicry of host acoustical systems. PMID:20585513

  12. The genome of the fire ant Solenopsis invicta.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wurm, Yannick; Wang, John; Riba-Grognuz, Oksana; Corona, Miguel; Nygaard, Sanne; Hunt, Brendan G; Ingram, Krista K; Falquet, Laurent; Nipitwattanaphon, Mingkwan; Gotzek, Dietrich; Dijkstra, Michiel B; Oettler, Jan; Comtesse, Fabien; Shih, Cheng-Jen; Wu, Wen-Jer; Yang, Chin-Cheng; Thomas, Jerome; Beaudoing, Emmanuel; Pradervand, Sylvain; Flegel, Volker; Cook, Erin D; Fabbretti, Roberto; Stockinger, Heinz; Long, Li; Farmerie, William G; Oakey, Jane; Boomsma, Jacobus J; Pamilo, Pekka; Yi, Soojin V; Heinze, Jürgen; Goodisman, Michael A D; Farinelli, Laurent; Harshman, Keith; Hulo, Nicolas; Cerutti, Lorenzo; Xenarios, Ioannis; Shoemaker, Dewayne; Keller, Laurent

    2011-04-01

    Ants have evolved very complex societies and are key ecosystem members. Some ants, such as the fire ant Solenopsis invicta, are also major pests. Here, we present a draft genome of S. invicta, assembled from Roche 454 and Illumina sequencing reads obtained from a focal haploid male and his brothers. We used comparative genomic methods to obtain insight into the unique features of the S. invicta genome. For example, we found that this genome harbors four adjacent copies of vitellogenin. A phylogenetic analysis revealed that an ancestral vitellogenin gene first underwent a duplication that was followed by possibly independent duplications of each of the daughter vitellogenins. The vitellogenin genes have undergone subfunctionalization with queen- and worker-specific expression, possibly reflecting differential selection acting on the queen and worker castes. Additionally, we identified more than 400 putative olfactory receptors of which at least 297 are intact. This represents the largest repertoire reported so far in insects. S. invicta also harbors an expansion of a specific family of lipid-processing genes, two putative orthologs to the transformer/feminizer sex differentiation gene, a functional DNA methylation system, and a single putative telomerase ortholog. EST data indicate that this S. invicta telomerase ortholog has at least four spliceforms that differ in their use of two sets of mutually exclusive exons. Some of these and other unique aspects of the fire ant genome are likely linked to the complex social behavior of this species.

  13. A model of ant route navigation driven by scene familiarity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bart Baddeley

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available In this paper we propose a model of visually guided route navigation in ants that captures the known properties of real behaviour whilst retaining mechanistic simplicity and thus biological plausibility. For an ant, the coupling of movement and viewing direction means that a familiar view specifies a familiar direction of movement. Since the views experienced along a habitual route will be more familiar, route navigation can be re-cast as a search for familiar views. This search can be performed with a simple scanning routine, a behaviour that ants have been observed to perform. We test this proposed route navigation strategy in simulation, by learning a series of routes through visually cluttered environments consisting of objects that are only distinguishable as silhouettes against the sky. In the first instance we determine view familiarity by exhaustive comparison with the set of views experienced during training. In further experiments we train an artificial neural network to perform familiarity discrimination using the training views. Our results indicate that, not only is the approach successful, but also that the routes that are learnt show many of the characteristics of the routes of desert ants. As such, we believe the model represents the only detailed and complete model of insect route guidance to date. What is more, the model provides a general demonstration that visually guided routes can be produced with parsimonious mechanisms that do not specify when or what to learn, nor separate routes into sequences of waypoints.

  14. Ant Colony Optimization and the Minimum Cut Problem

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kötzing, Timo; Lehre, Per Kristian; Neumann, Frank

    2010-01-01

    Ant Colony Optimization (ACO) is a powerful metaheuristic for solving combinatorial optimization problems. With this paper we contribute to the theoretical understanding of this kind of algorithm by investigating the classical minimum cut problem. An ACO algorithm similar to the one that was prov...

  15. Mimetic host shifts in an endangered social parasite of ants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, Jeremy A.; Elmes, Graham W.; Sielezniew, Marcin; Stankiewicz-Fiedurek, Anna; Simcox, David J.; Settele, Josef; Schönrogge, Karsten

    2013-01-01

    An emerging problem in conservation is whether listed morpho-species with broad distributions, yet specialized lifestyles, consist of more than one cryptic species or functionally distinct forms that have different ecological requirements. We describe extreme regional divergence within an iconic endangered butterfly, whose socially parasitic young stages use non-visual, non-tactile cues to infiltrate and supplant the brood in ant societies. Although indistinguishable morphologically or when using current mitochondrial and nuclear sequence-, or microsatellite data, Maculinea rebeli from Spain and southeast Poland exploit different Myrmica ant species and experience 100 per cent mortality with each other's hosts. This reflects major differences in the hydrocarbons synthesized from each region by the larvae, which so closely mimic the recognition profiles of their respective hosts that nurse ants afford each parasite a social status above that of their own kin larvae. The two host ants occupy separate niches within grassland; thus, conservation management must differ in each region. Similar cryptic differentiation may be common, yet equally hard to detect, among the approximately 10 000 unstudied morpho-species of social parasite that are estimated to exist, many of which are Red Data Book listed. PMID:23193127

  16. A Novel Algorithm for Manets using Ant Colony

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Javad Pashaei Barbin

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Mobile Ad-hoc Networks have recently attracted a lot of attention in the research community as well as the industry. Quality of Service support for MANETs is an exigent task due to dynamic topology and limited resource. Routing, the act of moving information across network from a source to a destination. Conventional routing algorithms are difficult to be applied to a dynamic network topology, therefore modeling and design an efficient routing protocol in such dynamic networks is an important issue. It is important that MANETs should provide QoS support routing, such as acceptable delay, jitter and energy in the case of multimedia and real time applications. One of the meta-heuristic algorithms which are inspired by the behavior of real ants is called Ant Colony Optimization algorithm. In this paper we propose a new on demand QoS routing algorithm "Ant Routing for Mobile Ad Hoc Networks" based on ant colony. The proposed algorithm will be highly adaptive, efficient and scalable and mainly reduces end-to-end delay in high mobility cases.

  17. 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...

  18. Thermal ecology of the neotropical army ant Eciton burchellii.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meisel, Joe E

    2006-06-01

    I explored the thermal ecology of Eciton burchellii, a New World army ant, in primary forest and forest fragments in the Atlantic lowlands of Costa Rica in 2002 and 2003. My primary objective was to determine whether high surface temperatures in pastures surrounding forest fragments posed a thermal barrier to ant colonies within those fragments; secondarily, I assessed whether thermal gradients within continuous moist forest were sufficient to elicit avoidance reactions from foraging colonies. E. burchellii colonies in forest fragments avoided entering open pasture in full sun (51.3 degrees C) on 100% of all edge interactions; however, edges were readily crossed where artificial shaded areas had previously been installed. Ant raids in primary forest avoided artificially established temperatures >43 degrees C but tolerated 45.5 degrees C in the presence of prey baits. Captive ants held at 43 degrees C survived 18.5 min; at temperatures of 51.3 degrees C survival time was only 2.8 min. Ants running on established foraging trails increased running velocity by 18% when substrate temperature was raised from 28.4 degrees to 38.0 degrees C, and they abandoned trails at temperatures >43 degrees C. The standard deviation (s) of temperatures on active raid trails in continuous forest was 2.13 degrees C, while nearby systematic sampling revealed a greater background standard deviation of 4.13 degrees C. E. burchellii colonies in this region appear to be living surprisingly near their upper limits of thermal tolerance. The heat of open pastures alone is sufficient to prevent their exiting forest fragments, or entering similarly hot areas within continuous forest. Shaded vegetative corridors are sufficient to permit mobility between isolated fragments, and their preservation should be encouraged. Despite views that tropical lowland moist forests have an essentially homogenous microclimate, army ants appear to avoid local hot spots on the forest floor, steering daily foraging

  19. Dynamics and kinematics of ant locomotion: do wood ants climb on level surfaces?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reinhardt, Lars; Weihmann, Tom; Blickhan, Reinhard

    2009-08-01

    The biomechanics of running in small animals have remained poorly characterized because of the difficulty of recording three-dimensional ground reaction forces. Available techniques limit investigations to animals with a body mass above 1 g. Here we present, for the first time, single-leg ground reaction forces of ants (body mass 10 mg), measured with a custom-built miniature force plate. We investigated forces and high-speed kinematics for straight level runs (average speed: 8.4 cm s(-1)) of Formica polyctena workers. The major finding was that the time course of ground reaction forces strongly differed from previous observations of larger insects. Maximum vertical force was reached during the first third of the tripod contact phase. During this period the body was decelerated predominantly by the front legs. Subsequently, the front legs pulled and accelerated the body. This 'climbing' type of stride may be useful on the bumpy and unstable substrates that the animals face in their natural habitats, and may therefore also occur on level ground. Propulsive forces were generated predominantly by the front and hind legs. Dragging of the gaster on the substrate resulted in a breaking momentum, which was compensated by the legs. Future investigations will reveal, whether the identified pattern is due to specialization.

  20. 9 CFR 352.4 - Application for ante-mortem inspection service in the field.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    ... 9 Animals and Animal Products 2 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Application for ante-mortem inspection... Animals § 352.4 Application for ante-mortem inspection service in the field. Any exotic animal producer desiring field ante-mortem exotic animal inspection service must receive approval of the field...