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Sample records for ant camponotus fellah

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. PMID:21943523

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. PMID:10637180

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  6. 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

    -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....

  7. Neuropeptidomics of the carpenter ant Camponotus floridanus.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-03-01

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

  8. Neuropeptidomics of the carpenter ant Camponotus floridanus.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-03-01

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

  9. Compared Morphology of the Immatures of Males of Two Urban Ant Species of Camponotus

    OpenAIRE

    Solis, Daniel Russ; Fox, Eduardo Gonçalves Paterson; Rossi, Mônica Lanzoni; Bueno, Odair Correa

    2012-01-01

    The immatures of males of two species of Camponotus ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) are described and compared by light and electron microscopy. The numbers of larval instars were determined: Camponotus rufipes Fabricius (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) have four instars; and Camponotus vittatus Forel have three. Male larvae of the two species are similar to previously described Camponotus larvae, sharing the following traits: basic shape of body and mandible, presence of ‘chiloscleres’, ‘praesaepium...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  11. Walking on inclines: energetics of locomotion in the ant Camponotus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lipp, Alexandra; Wolf, Harald; Lehmann, Fritz-Olaf

    2005-02-01

    To assess energetic costs during rest and locomotion in a small insect, we measured metabolic rate in freely moving ants Camponotus sp. (average body mass 11.9 mg). The animals ran in a straight respirometric chamber in which locomotor speed and CO2 release were monitored simultaneously using flow-through respirometry and conventional video analysis. In resting intact ants, standard metabolic rate was on average 0.32 ml CO2 g(-1) body mass h(-1). During walking, the ants breathed continuously and metabolic rate increased between 4.3 times (level walking at 0-5 mm s(-1)) and 6.9 times (30 degrees ascent at 85-95 mm s(-1)) over resting rates. Metabolic rate increased linearly with increasing walking speed but superficially leveled off beyond speeds of about 70 mm s(-1). Walking on incline (uphill) or decline slopes (downhill) of up to 60 degrees had only a small effect on energy consumption compared to level walking. During slope walking, total metabolic rate averaged over all running speeds ranged from a minimum of 1.55+/-0.4 (horizontal running) to a maximum of 1.89+/-0.7 ml CO2 h(-1) g(-1) body mass (30 degrees downhill). The mean cost of transport in Camponotus was approximately 130 J g(-1) km(-1). The metabolic requirements in the comparatively small insect Camponotus for walking were mostly in the range expected from data obtained from other insects and small poikilotherms, and from allometric scaling laws. PMID:15695763

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. PMID:8981768

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. PMID:7735528

  16. Social isolation causers mortality by disrupting energy homeostrasis in ants

    OpenAIRE

    Koto A.; Mersch D.; Hollis B.; Keller L

    2015-01-01

    Social deprivation can have negative effects on the lives of social animals, including humans, yet little is known about the mechanisms by which social withdrawal affects animal health. Here we show that in the carpenter ant Camponotus fellah, socially isolated workers have a greatly reduced life span relative to ants kept in groups of ten individuals. By using a new tracking system, we found that social isolation resulted in important behavioral changes and greatly increased locomotor activi...

  17. Compared morphology of the immatures of males of two urban ant species of Camponotus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Solis, Daniel Russ; Fox, Eduardo Gonçalves Paterson; Rossi, Mônica Lanzoni; Bueno, Odair Correa

    2012-01-01

    The immatures of males of two species of Camponotus ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) are described and compared by light and electron microscopy. The numbers of larval instars were determined: Camponotus rufipes Fabricius (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) have four instars; and Camponotus vittatus Forel have three. Male larvae of the two species are similar to previously described Camponotus larvae, sharing the following traits: basic shape of body and mandible, presence of 'chiloscleres', 'praesaepium' (some specimens), labial pseudopalps, and ten pairs of spiracles. However, larvae of the two species can be separated by bodily dimensions and based on their hair number and types. Worker larvae of C. vittatus previously described are extensively similar to male larvae, with only a few inconspicuous differences that may result from intraspecific variation or sexual differences. PMID:22934715

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. PMID:12090495

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  20. Intraspecific competition in the ant Camponotus cruentatus: should we expect the 'dear enemy' effect?

    OpenAIRE

    Boulay, Raphaël; CERDÁ, XIM; Simon, Tovit; Roldan, María; Hefetz, Abraham

    2007-01-01

    The mechanisms of competition and resource domination were analysed in the Mediterranean ant Camponotus cruentatus. In a plot located in southern Spain mature colonies are overdispersed, which is indicative of territoriality in other species. Unexpectedly, however, workers from neighbouring colonies commonly foraged in areas that overlapped by more than 44%. This suggests that while mature colonies possibly prevent the establishment of new colonies in the vicinity of their nests, they do not ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. PMID:21148849

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  3. 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

    methyltransferases and their genomes contain methylcytosine. To determine the relationship between DNA methylation and phenotypic plasticity in ants, we obtained and compared the genome-wide methylomes of different castes and developmental stages of Camponotus floridanus and Harpegnathos saltator.......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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. PMID:20591850

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. PMID:16405162

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. PMID:8866472

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. PMID:21877164

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. PMID:16082163

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    OpenAIRE

    William Mackay; Paola A. Barriga

    2012-01-01

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

    OpenAIRE

    Nishie, Hitonaru

    2011-01-01

    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 ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. PMID:17069844

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  19. 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. PMID:26722000

  20. 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.

  1. 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. PMID:23215970

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. PMID:18533751

  3. 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. PMID:17703321

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. PMID:23212948

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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. PMID:22102363

  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. 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 volume...... 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....

  12. 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. PMID:22912782

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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. PMID:20437523

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Immune response of the ant Camponotus floridanus against pathogens and its obligate mutualistic endosymbiont.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ratzka, Carolin; Liang, Chunguang; Dandekar, Thomas; Gross, Roy; Feldhaar, Heike

    2011-08-01

    Numerous insect species harbor mutualistic endosymbionts that play a role in nutrient cycling or confer other fitness benefits to their hosts. Insect hosts face the problem of having to maintain such mutualistic bacteria while staging an immune response towards pathogens upon infection. In addition, hosts may regulate the number of endosymbionts present in their tissues via the innate immune system. Camponotus floridanus ants harbor the obligate endosymbiont Blochmannia floridanus in specialized midgut cells and ovaries. We identified genes transcriptionally induced in response to septic injury by suppression subtractive hybridization (SSH). Among these were genes involved in pathogen recognition (e.g. GNBP), signal transduction (e.g. MAPK-kinase), antimicrobial activity (e.g. defensin and hymenoptaecin), or general stress response (e.g. heat shock protein). A quantitative analysis of immune-gene expression revealed different expression kinetics of individual factors and also characteristic expression profiles after injection of gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria. Likewise, B. floridanus injected into the hemocoel elicited a comparable immune response of its host C. floridanus. Thus, the host immune system may contribute to controlling the endosymbiont population. PMID:21440063

  19. 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. PMID:24748441

  20. 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

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:26310137

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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 ). PMID:22080731

  4. 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 ).

  5. Compound eye and ocellar structure for walking and flying modes of locomotion in the Australian ant, Camponotus consobrinus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Narendra, Ajay; Ramirez-Esquivel, Fiorella; Ribi, Willi A

    2016-01-01

    Ants are unusual among insects in that individuals of the same species within a single colony have different modes of locomotion and tasks. We know from walking ants that vision plays a significant role in guiding this behaviour, but we know surprisingly little about the potential contribution of visual sensory structures for a flying mode of locomotion. Here we investigate the structure of the compound eye and ocelli in pedestrian workers, alate females and alate males of an Australian ant, Camponotus consobrinus, and discuss the trade-offs involved in optical sensitivity and spatial resolution. Male ants have more but smaller ommatidia and the smallest interommatidial angles, which is most likely an adaptation to visually track individual flying females. Both walking and flying forms of ants have a similar proportion of specialized receptors sensitive to polarized skylight, but the absolute number of these receptors varies, being greatest in males. Ocelli are present only in the flying forms. Each ocellus consists of a bipartite retina with a horizon-facing dorsal retina, which contains retinula cells with long rhabdoms, and a sky-facing ventral retina with shorter rhabdoms. We discuss the implications of these and their potential for sensing the pattern of polarized skylight. PMID:26975481

  6. 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.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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

  7. 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. PMID:17639411

  8. 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.

  9. 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. PMID:18217492

  10. 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. PMID:18621145

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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. PMID:19763622

  14. 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.

  15. 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. PMID:18041786

  16. 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.

  17. 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. PMID:26388753

  18. 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.

  19. 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. PMID:12200264

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. New Host Record for Camponotophilus delvarei (Hymenoptera: Eurytomidae, a Parasitoid of Microdontine Larvae (Diptera: Syrphidae, Associated with the Ant Camponotus sp. aff. textor

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gabriela Pérez-Lachaud

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Microdontine syrphid flies are obligate social parasites of ants. Larvae prey on ant brood whereas adults live outside the nests. Knowledge of their interaction with their host is often scarce, as it is information about their natural enemies. Here we report the first case of parasitism of a species of microdontine fly by a myrmecophilous eurytomid wasp. This is also the first host record for Camponotophilus delvarei Gates, a recently described parasitic wasp discovered in Chiapas, Mexico, within the nests of the weaver ant, Camponotus sp. aff. textor Forel. Eleven pupal cases of a microdontine fly were found within a single nest of this ant, five of them being parasitized. Five adult C. delvarei females were reared from a puparium and 29 female and 2 male pupae were obtained from another one. The eurytomid is a gregarious, primary ectoparasitoid of larvae and pupae of Microdontinae, its immature stages developing within the protective puparium of the fly. The species is synovigenic. Adult females likely locate and parasitize their hosts within the ant nest. As some species of Microdontinae are considered endangered, their parasitoids are likewise threatened and in need of accurate and urgent surveys in the future.

  6. "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.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2015-01-01

    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 l...

  8. Carpenter Ants

    OpenAIRE

    Davis, Ryan S.

    2016-01-01

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

  9. Age-related and light-induced plasticity in opsin gene expression and in primary and secondary visual centers of the nectar-feeding ant Camponotus rufipes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yilmaz, Ayse; Lindenberg, Annekathrin; Albert, Stefan; Grübel, Kornelia; Spaethe, Johannes; Rössler, Wolfgang; Groh, Claudia

    2016-09-01

    Camponotus rufipes workers are characterized by an age-related polyethism. In the initial weeks of adult life, young workers perform tasks inside the nest before they switch to multimodal foraging tasks outside. We tested the hypothesis that this transition is accompanied by profound adaptations in the peripheral and central visual systems. Our results show that C. rufipes workers of all tested ages (between 1 and 42 days) express three genes encoding for ultraviolet (UV), blue (BL), and long-wavelength (LW1) sensitive opsins in their retina, which are likely to provide the substrate for trichromatic color vision. Expression levels of all three opsin genes increased significantly within the first two weeks of adulthood and following light exposure. Interestingly, the volumes of all three optic neuropils (lamina, medulla, and lobula) showed corresponding volume increases. Tracing of connections to higher visual centers in the mushroom bodies (MBs) revealed only one optic pathway, the anterior superior optic tract, emerging from the medulla and sending segregated input to the MB-calyx collar. The MB collar volumes and densities of synaptic complexes (microglomeruli, MGs) increased with age. Exposure to light for 4 days induced a decrease in MG densities followed by an increase after extended light exposure. This shows that plasticity in retinal opsin gene expression and structural neuroplasticity in primary and secondary visual centers comprise both "experience-independent" and "experience-dependent" elements. We conclude that both sources of plasticity in the visual system represent important components promoting optimal timing of the interior-forager transition and flexibility of age-related division of labor. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Develop Neurobiol 76: 1041-1057, 2016. PMID:26724470

  10. 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. PMID:12803913

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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...

  14. Ants recognize foes and not friends

    OpenAIRE

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

    2009-01-01

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

  15. Nutritional upgrading for omnivorous carpenter ants by the endosymbiont Blochmannia

    OpenAIRE

    Mueller Martin J; Stoll Sascha; Berthold Kristina; Krischke Markus; Straka Josef; Feldhaar Heike; Gross Roy

    2007-01-01

    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 essent...

  16. Sick ants become unsociable.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-02-01

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

  17. Sick ants become unsociable

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  18. Sick ants become unsociable.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-02-01

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

  19. Neuronal representation and processing of chemosensory communication signals in the ant brain

    OpenAIRE

    Zube, Christina

    2008-01-01

    Ants heavily rely on olfaction for communication and orientation and ant societies are characterized by caste- and sex-specific division of labor. Olfaction plays a key role in mediating caste-specific behaviours. I investigated whether caste- and sex-specific differences in odor driven behavior are reflected in specific differences and/or adaptations in the ant olfactory system. In particular, I asked the question whether in the carpenter ant, Camponotus floridanus, the olfactory pathway exh...

  20. 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

  1. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Alexandre Wagner Silva Hilsdorf; Sara Lívia da Silva Fernandes da Matta; Maria Santina de Castro Morini

    2012-01-01

    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 sugg...

  3. Nest-moving by the polydomous ant Cataglyphis iberica

    OpenAIRE

    Dahbi, A.; Retana, Javier; Lenoir, Alain; CERDÁ, XIM

    2008-01-01

    In this paper we analyze emigration from nests by the polydomous ant Cataglyphis iberica. Social carrying of workers of this species between different nests of the colony is frequent. In Bellaterra (Barcelona, NE Spain), we monitored field emigration of C. iberica by noting for each nest the migratory behavior of C. iberica workers and, when the nests were attacked by another ant species, Camponotus foreli, we noted the number of C. foreli workers involved in the attacks. Emigration of C. ibe...

  4. 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.

  5. Discovery of Defense- and Neuropeptides in Social Ants by Genome-Mining

    OpenAIRE

    Gruber, Christian W.; Markus Muttenthaler

    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 regulato...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1996-03-01

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

  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. Urban ants and transportation of nosocomial bacteria.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-01-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. The Appearance and Spread of Ant Fishing among the Kasekela Chimpanzees of Gombe: A Possible Case of Intercommunity Cultural Transmission

    OpenAIRE

    O'Malley, Robert C.; Wallauer, William; Carson M Murray; Goodall, Jane

    2012-01-01

    Chimpanzees exhibit cultural variation, yet examples of successful cultural transmission between wild communities are lacking. Here we provide the first account of tool-assisted predation (“ant fishing”) on Camponotus ants by the Kasekela and Mitumba communities of Gombe National Park. We then consider three hypotheses for the appearance and spread of this behavior in Kasekela: (1) changes in prey availability or other environmental factors, (2) innovation, and (3) introduction. Ant fishing w...

  11. 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. PMID:22494010

  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. 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.

  14. 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. PMID:15947139

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

    OpenAIRE

    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 brow...

  16. 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.

  17. 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. PMID:17776248

  18. 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.

  19. 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. PMID:25195415

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-04-01

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

  3. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tom M Fayle

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

  5. 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)

  6. 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.

  7. The evolution of genome size in ants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Spagna Joseph C

    2008-02-01

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

  8. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

    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 letha...

  11. Streptomyces formicae sp. nov., a novel actinomycete isolated from the head of Camponotus japonicus Mayr.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bai, Lu; Liu, Chongxi; Guo, Lifeng; Piao, Chenyu; Li, Zhilei; Li, Jiansong; Jia, Feiyu; Wang, Xiangjing; Xiang, Wensheng

    2016-02-01

    During a screening for novel and biotechnologically useful actinobacteria in insects, a novel actinomycete with antifungal activity, designated strain 1H-GS9(T), was isolated from the head of a Camponotus japonicus Mayr ant, which were collected from Northeast Agricultural University (Harbin, Heilongjiang, China). Strain 1H-GS9(T) was characterised using a polyphasic approach. The organism was found to have morphological and chemotaxonomic characteristics typical of members of the genus Streptomyces. 16S rRNA gene sequence similarity studies showed that strain 1H-GS9(T) belongs to the genus Streptomyces with high sequence similarities to Streptomyces scopuliridis DSM 41917(T) (98.8 %) and Streptomyces mauvecolor JCM 5002(T) (98.6 %). However, phylogenetic analysis based on the 16S rRNA gene sequence indicated that it forms a monophyletic clade with Streptomyces kurssanovii JCM 4388(T) (98.6 %), Streptomyces xantholiticus JCM 4282(T) (98.6 %) and Streptomyces peucetius JCM 9920(T) (98.5 %). Thus, a combination of DNA-DNA hybridization experiments and phenotypic tests were carried out between strain 1H-GS9(T) and the above-mentioned five strains, which further clarified their relatedness and demonstrated that strain 1H-GS9(T) could be distinguished from these strains. Therefore, the strain is concluded to represent a novel species of the genus Streptomyces, for which the name Streptomyces formicae sp. nov. is proposed. The type strain is 1H-GS9(T) (=CGMCC 4.7277(T) = DSM 100524(T)). PMID:26608172

  12. Ants recognize foes and not friends.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-07-01

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

  13. Ants recognize foes and not friends.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-07-01

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

  14. The diversity of microorganisms associated with Acromyrmex leafcutter ants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  15. Ant diversity and distribution in Acadia National Park, Maine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ouellette, Gary D; Drummond, Francis A; Choate, Beth; Groden, Eleanor

    2010-10-01

    Exotic ant species are a primary threat to ant biological diversity, posing a negative impact to native ant communities. In this study, we examine species richness of ants (family Formicidae) in Acadia National Park, ME, as a fundamental step toward understanding the present impact of the exotic species Myrmica rubra on native ant species. Twelve habitat types were sampled, along six transects, with pitfall traps, visual searching, bait traps, and leaf litter extraction, and the aid of 34 volunteers. We report 42 species of ants in Acadia National Park, comprising five subfamilies (Amblyoponinae, Dolichoderinae, Formicinae, Myrmicinae, and Ponerinae) and 15 genera; the cataloged species represents 75% of the species originally recorded in the area by Procter (1946). Our findings suggest M. rubra is currently not a dominant species throughout the entire island. However, where this species has invaded locally, few competing native species coexist. The species Lasius alienus, Formica subsericea, Myrmica detritinodis, Camponotus herculeanus, Formica argentea, Formica aserva, and Tapinoma sessile occurred most often in our survey. We report the ant species Amblyopone pallipes and Dolichoderus mariae as two new records for the state of Maine. PMID:22546439

  16. Entedoninae wasps (Hymenoptera, Chalcidoidea, Eulophidae associated with ants (Hymenoptera, Formicidae in tropical America, with new species and notes on their biology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christer Hansson

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Three new species of Eulophidae associated, or presumed to be associated with ants are described: two species of Horismenus Walker and one species of Microdonophagus Schauff. Information on the biology is also included. The two Horismenus species are from Chiapas, Mexico. Horismenus myrmecophagus sp. n. is known only from females and is a gregarious endoparasitoid in larvae of the weaver ant Camponotus sp. ca. textor. The parasitoids pupate inside the host larva, and an average of 6.7 individuals develops per host. This is the second time a species of genus Horismenus is found parasitizing the brood of a formicine ant of genus Camponotus. Horismenus microdonophagus sp. n. is described from both males and females, and is a gregarious endoparasitoid attacking the larvae of Microdon sp. (Diptera: Syrphidae, a predator on ant brood found in nests of Camponotus sp. ca. textor. The new species of Microdonophagus, M. tertius, is from Costa Rica, and known only from the female. Nothing is known about its biology but since another species in same genus, M. woodleyi Schauff, is associated with ants through its host, Microdon larva (with same biology as H. microdonophagus, it is possible that also M. tertius has this association. A new distributional record for M. woodleyi is also reported, extending its distribution from Panama and Colombia to Brazil.

  17. The Appearance and Spread of Ant Fishing among the Kasekela Chimpanzees of Gombe: A Possible Case of Intercommunity Cultural Transmission.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Malley, Robert C; Wallauer, William; Murray, Carson M; Goodall, Jane

    2012-10-01

    Chimpanzees exhibit cultural variation, yet examples of successful cultural transmission between wild communities are lacking. Here we provide the first account of tool-assisted predation ("ant fishing") on Camponotus ants by the Kasekela and Mitumba communities of Gombe National Park. We then consider three hypotheses for the appearance and spread of this behavior in Kasekela: (1) changes in prey availability or other environmental factors, (2) innovation, and (3) introduction. Ant fishing was recognized as habitual in the Mitumba community by 1992, soon after their habituation began. Apart from one session in 1978, Camponotus predation (typically with tools) was documented in the Kasekela community beginning only in 1994, despite decades of prior observation. By February 2010, ant fishing was customary in Kasekela and with one exception was practiced exclusively by chimpanzees born after 1981 and immigrant females. We hypothesize that changes in insect prey availability over time and/or the characteristics of one popular ant-fishing site may have influenced the establishment of ant fishing. Though innovation cannot be completely ruled out, the circumstantial evidence suggests that a Mitumba immigrant introduced ant fishing to Kasekela. We submit that this report represents the first documented case of successful transmission of a novel cultural behavior between wild chimpanzee communities. PMID:25242820

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gibb, Heloise; Johansson, Therese

    2011-05-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana Z Gonçalves

    Full Text Available Predator activities may lead to the accumulation of nutrients in specific areas of terrestrial habitats where they dispose of prey carcasses. In their feeding sites, predators may increase nutrient availability in the soil and favor plant nutrition and growth. However, the translocation of nutrients from one habitat to another may depend on predator identity and diet, as well as on the amount of prey intake. Here we used isotopic (15N and physiological methods in greenhouse experiments to evaluate the effects of the identity of predatory ants (i.e., the consumption of prey and nest sites on the nutrition and growth of the bromeliad Quesnelia arvensis. We showed that predatory ants with protein-based nutrition (i.e., Odontomachus hastatus, Gnamptogenys moelleri improved the performance of their host bromeliads (i.e., increased foliar N, production of soluble proteins and growth. On the other hand, the contribution of Camponotus crassus for the nutritional status of bromeliads did not differ from bromeliads without ants, possibly because this ant does not have arthropod prey as a preferred food source. Our results show, for the first time, that predatory ants can translocate nutrients from one habitat to another within forests, accumulating nutrients in their feeding sites that become available to bromeliads. Additionally, we highlight that ant contribution to plant nutrition may depend on predator identity and its dietary requirements. Nest debris may be especially important for epiphytic and terrestrial bromeliads in nutrient-poor environments.

  20. 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.

  1. Ants interacting with fruits of Melocactus conoideus Buining & Brederoo (Cactaceae in southwestern Bahia, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katielle Silva Brito-Kateivas

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this study was to determine which ant species interact with the fruits of Melocactus conoideus and if there is removal. The study was carried out at Parque Municipal Serra do Periperi, in the town of Vitoria da Conquista, Bahia, Brazil, an area where the species occur. Fruits from 30 individuals were marked and observed during day for identification of the ants behavior. Seven species from five ant subfamilies were observed interacting with the fruits and the genera mostly involved in interactions were Camponotus and Pheidole. Three removal events were observed, performed by Pheidole sp. 2. Although M. conoideus is not a myrmecochorous species, ants were registered as opportunistic dispersing agents, an activity which may have important consequences for the population dynamics of the species.

  2. 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

  3. Nutritional upgrading for omnivorous carpenter ants by the endosymbiont Blochmannia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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

  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. 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. PMID:21735888

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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. PMID:11057723

  9. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  11. Funktionelle Analyse von Blochmannia floridanus, dem primären Endosymbionten der Rossameise Camponotus floridanus

    OpenAIRE

    Stoll, Sascha

    2009-01-01

    Ameisen der Gattung Camponotus beherbergen bakterielle Symbionten der Gattung Blochmannia in spezialisierten Zellen des Mitteldarms (Blochmann, 1882; Buchner, 1965; Sauer, 2000; Schröder et al., 1996). Die Genomsequenzierung dieser Symbionten zeigte, dass Blochmannia, ähnlich den Symbionten von Blattläusen, hauptsächlich Gene der Aminosäurebiosynthese beibehalten hat (Degnan et al., 2005; Gil et al., 2003). Die Relevanz dieser nahrungsaufwertenden Funktion konnte experimentell bestätigt werde...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mathias Scharmann

    Full Text Available 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 (15N/(14N stable isotope abundance ratio (δ(15N 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 (15N pulse-chase experiment. As C. schmitzi ants only feed on nectar and pitcher contents of their host, the elevated foliar δ(15N 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.

  13. Fire Ant Bites

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  14. 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.'. PMID:11034499

  15. 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.'.

  16. 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

  17. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  19. 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. PMID:18459112

  20. 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.

  1. 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. PMID:23786084

  2. 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.

  3. 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. PMID:25346797

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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. PMID:12975624

  7. Ant colony for TSP

    OpenAIRE

    Feng, Yinda

    2010-01-01

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

  8. 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. PMID:17695031

  9. 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.

  10. Rapid inventory of the ant assemblage in a temperate hardwood forest: species composition and assessment of sampling methods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ellison, Aaron M; Record, Sydne; Arguello, Alexander; Gotelli, Nicholas J

    2007-08-01

    Ants are key indicators of ecological change, but few studies have investigated how ant assemblages respond to dramatic changes in vegetation structure in temperate forests. Pests and pathogens are causing widespread loss of dominant canopy tree species; ant species composition and abundance may be very sensitive to such losses. Before the experimental removal of red oak trees to simulate effects of sudden oak death and examine the long-term impact of oak loss at the Black Rock Forest (Cornwall, NY), we carried out a rapid assessment of the ant assemblage in a 10-ha experimental area. We also determined the efficacy in a northern temperate forest of five different collecting methods--pitfall traps, litter samples, tuna fish and cookie baits, and hand collection--routinely used to sample ants in tropical systems. A total of 33 species in 14 genera were collected and identified; the myrmecines, Aphaenogaster rudis and Myrmica punctiventris, and the formicine Formica neogagates were the most common and abundant species encountered. Ninety-four percent (31 of 33) of the species were collected by litter sampling and structured hand sampling together, and we conclude that, in combination, these two methods are sufficient to assess species richness and composition of ant assemblages in northern temperate forests. Using new, unbiased estimators, we project that 38-58 ant species are likely to occur at Black Rock Forest. Loss of oak from these forests may favor Camponotus species that nest in decomposing wood and open habitat specialists in the genus Lasius. PMID:17716467

  11. 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. PMID:14694534

  12. 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. PMID:22448224

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Geographic mosaic of plant evolution: extrafloral nectary variation mediated by ant and herbivore assemblages.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anselmo Nogueira

    Full Text Available Herbivory is an ecological process that is known to generate different patterns of selection on defensive plant traits across populations. Studies on this topic could greatly benefit from the general framework of the Geographic Mosaic Theory of Coevolution (GMT. Here, we hypothesize that herbivory represents a strong pressure for extrafloral nectary (EFN bearing plants, with differences in herbivore and ant visitor assemblages leading to different evolutionary pressures among localities and ultimately to differences in EFN abundance and function. In this study, we investigate this hypothesis by analyzing 10 populations of Anemopaegma album (30 individuals per population distributed through ca. 600 km of Neotropical savanna and covering most of the geographic range of this plant species. A common garden experiment revealed a phenotypic differentiation in EFN abundance, in which field and experimental plants showed a similar pattern of EFN variation among populations. We also did not find significant correlations between EFN traits and ant abundance, herbivory and plant performance across localities. Instead, a more complex pattern of ant-EFN variation, a geographic mosaic, emerged throughout the geographical range of A. album. We modeled the functional relationship between EFNs and ant traits across ant species and extended this phenotypic interface to characterize local situations of phenotypic matching and mismatching at the population level. Two distinct types of phenotypic matching emerged throughout populations: (1 a population with smaller ants (Crematogaster crinosa matched with low abundance of EFNs; and (2 seven populations with bigger ants (Camponotus species matched with higher EFN abundances. Three matched populations showed the highest plant performance and narrower variance of EFN abundance, representing potential plant evolutionary hotspots. Cases of mismatched and matched populations with the lowest performance were associated

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Costa-Milanez, C B; Lourenço-Silva, G; Castro, P T A; Majer, J D; Ribeiro, S P

    2014-02-01

    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.

  18. ACO - Ant Colony Optimization

    OpenAIRE

    Žumer, Viljem; Brest, Janez; Pešl, Ivan

    2015-01-01

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

  19. 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. PMID:16957225

  20. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greenfield, Gary; Machado, Penousal

    2015-01-01

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

  3. Ant Colony Optimization

    OpenAIRE

    Zahálka, Jaroslav

    2007-01-01

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

  4. 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. PMID:18320196

  5. Morphological and Chemical Characterization of the Invasive Ants in Hives of Apis mellifera scutellata Lepeletier (Hymenoptera: Apidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simoes, M R; Giannotti, E; Tofolo, V C; Pizano, M A; Firmino, E L B; Antonialli-Junior, W F; Andrade, L H C; Lima, S M

    2016-02-01

    Apiculture in Brazil is quite profitable and has great potential for expansion because of the favorable climate and abundancy of plant diversity. However, the occurrence of pests, diseases, and parasites hinders the growth and profitability of beekeeping. In the interior of the state of São Paulo, apiaries are attacked by ants, especially the species Camponotus atriceps (Smith) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), which use the substances produced by Apis mellifera scutellata (Lepeletier) (Hymenoptera: Apidae), like honey, wax, pollen, and offspring as a source of nourishment for the adult and immature ants, and kill or expel the adult bees during the invasion. This study aimed to understand the invasion of C. atriceps in hives of A. m. scutellata. The individuals were classified into castes and subcastes according to morphometric analyses, and their cuticular chemical compounds were identified using Photoacoustic Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR-PAS). The morphometric analyses were able to classify the individuals into reproductive castes (queen and gynes), workers (minor and small ants), and the soldier subcaste (medium and major ants). Identification of cuticular hydrocarbons of these individuals revealed that the eight beehives were invaded by only three colonies of C. atriceps; one of the colonies invaded only one beehive, and the other two colonies underwent a process called sociotomy and were responsible for the invasion of the other seven beehives. The lack of preventive measures and the nocturnal behavior of the ants favored the invasion and attack on the bees. PMID:26563402

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bragança, Marcos A L; Lima, Jefferson D

    2010-01-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. 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. PMID:11607136

  9. 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.

  10. Ant Ballet: Phase I

    OpenAIRE

    Ollie Palmer

    2014-01-01

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

  11. 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. PMID:21849606

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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

  15. 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. PMID:24567405

  16. Recognition in a social symbiosis: chemical phenotypes and nestmate recognition behaviors of neotropical parabiotic ants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Virginia J Emery

    Full Text Available Social organisms rank among the most abundant and ecologically dominant species on Earth, in part due to exclusive recognition systems that allow cooperators to be distinguished from exploiters. Exploiters, such as social parasites, manipulate their hosts' recognition systems, whereas cooperators are expected to minimize interference with their partner's recognition abilities. Despite our wealth of knowledge about recognition in single-species social nests, less is known of the recognition systems in multi-species nests, particularly involving cooperators. One uncommon type of nesting symbiosis, called parabiosis, involves two species of ants sharing a nest and foraging trails in ostensible cooperation. Here, we investigated recognition cues (cuticular hydrocarbons and recognition behaviors in the parabiotic mixed-species ant nests of Camponotus femoratus and Crematogaster levior in North-Eastern Amazonia. We found two sympatric, cryptic Cr. levior chemotypes in the population, with one type in each parabiotic colony. Although they share a nest, very few hydrocarbons were shared between Ca. femoratus and either Cr. levior chemotype. The Ca. femoratus hydrocarbons were also unusually long-chained branched alkenes and dienes, compounds not commonly found amongst ants. Despite minimal overlap in hydrocarbon profile, there was evidence of potential interspecific nestmate recognition -Cr. levior ants were more aggressive toward Ca. femoratus non-nestmates than Ca. femoratus nestmates. In contrast to the prediction that sharing a nest could weaken conspecific recognition, each parabiotic species also maintains its own aggressive recognition behaviors to exclude conspecific non-nestmates. This suggests that, despite cohabitation, parabiotic ants maintain their own species-specific colony odors and recognition mechanisms. It is possible that such social symbioses are enabled by the two species each using their own separate recognition cues, and that

  17. 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.

  18. Alarm pheromone processing in the ant brain: an evolutionary perspective

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Makoto Mizunami

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Social insects exhibit sophisticated communication by means of pheromones, one example of which is the use of alarm pheromones to alert nestmates for colony defense. We review recent advances in the understanding of the processing of alarm pheromone information in the ant brain. We found that information about formic acid and n-undecane, alarm pheromone components, is processed in a set of specific glomeruli in the antennal lobe of the ant Camponotus obscuripes. Alarm pheromone information is then transmitted, via projection neurons, to the lateral horn and the calyces of the mushroom body of the protocerebrum. In the lateral horn, we found a specific area where terminal boutons of alarm pheromone-sensitive projection neurons are more densely distributed than in the rest of the lateral horn. Some neurons in the protocerebrum responded specifically to formic acid or n-undecane and they may participate in the control of behavioral responses to each pheromone component. Other neurons, especially those originating from the mushroom body lobe, responded also to non-pheromonal odors and may play roles in integration of pheromonal and non-pheromonal signals. We found that a class of neurons receive inputs in the lateral horn and the mushroom body lobe and terminate in a variety of premotor areas. These neurons may participate in the control of aggressive behavior, which is sensitized by alarm pheromones and is triggered by non-pheromonal sensory stimuli associated with a potential enemy. We propose that the alarm pheromone processing system has evolved by differentiation of a part of general odor processing system.

  19. Ant traffic rules.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-07-15

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Laura E; Wernegreen, Jennifer J

    2015-01-01

    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 coresident symbionts

  2. Alate susceptibility in ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ho, Eddie K H; Frederickson, Megan E

    2014-11-01

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

  3. Ants and their effects on an insect herbivore community associated with the inflorescences of Byrsonima crassifolia (Linnaeus H.B.K. (Malpighiaceae Formigas e seus efeitos em uma comunidade de insetos herbívoros associada com as inflorescências de Byrsonima crassifolia (Linnaeus H.B.K. (Malpighiaceae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. Wilson Fernandes

    2005-06-01

    Full Text Available The effects of ants on the insect community on inflorescences of Byrsonima crassifolia (Malpighiaceae were tested in an ant exclusion experiment in a cerrado vegetation in southeastern Brazil. Forty-four species of insects (23 families and nine species of ants (6 genera and 3 subfamilies were found on the inflorescences of B. crassifolia. The exclusion of ants, primarily Camponotus sericeiventris and Camponotus spp., reduced the treehopper population to 20% of the original abundance. Ant exclusion and time influenced the abundance of chewing (Exclusion, POs efeitos de formigas na comunidade de insetos em inflorescências de Byrsonima crassifolia (Malpighiaceae foram testados em um experimento de exclusão em uma vegetação de cerrado no Sudeste do Brasil. Quarenta e quatro espécies de insetos (23 famílias e nove espécies de formigas (seis gêneros e três subfamílias foram encontradas nas inflorescências de B. crassifolia. A exclusão das formigas, principalmente de Camponotus sericeiventris e de Camponotus spp. reduziu a população de membracídeos para 20% da abundância original. Exclusão das formigas e o tempo influenciaram a abundância de insetos mastigadores (exclusão, P<0,001; tempo, P<0,002 e sugadores (exclusão, P<0,02; tempo, P<0,01. Insetos mastigadores e sugadores foram encontrados duas vezes mais em inflorescências com formigas excluídas quando comparados com inflorescências controle (P<0,001. Insetos sugadores foram encontrados 1,5 vezes mais em inflorescências com formigas excluídas do que no controle. Apenas o tempo influenciou significativamente a riqueza de insetos mastigadores e sugadores associados com as inflorescências de B. crassifolia. Inflorescências em ramos controle foram significativamente menos atacadas por herbívoros do que inflorescências em ramos com formigas excluídas (P<0,001. Portanto, estes resultados sugerem que a presença das formigas influencia a estrutura da comunidade de insetos herb

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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. PMID:24108675

  10. 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. PMID:19041322

  11. 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

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:25758336

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vivek Mohan AGARWAL, Neelkamal RASTOGI

    2009-10-01

    Full Text Available Prey diversity and temporal foraging patterns of six abundant, predatory ant species were investigated seasonally in an agroecosystem 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 Pheidole sp. is active. In the sponge gourd agroecosystem, the ants captured predominantly hymenopteran, orthopteran and coleopteran insects. While Pheidole sp. hunted mainly the large orthopteran prey, other ant species captured worker ants in the sponge gourd agroecosystem. In the cauliflower agroecosystem, while other species captured prey chiefly belonging to six orders, i.e., Lepidoptera, Hymenoptera, Coleoptera, Hemiptera, Isoptera and Diptera, Pheidole sp. was the only species to also hunt orthopteran prey

  17. 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

  18. Ant Colony Optimization: A Review and Comparison

    OpenAIRE

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

    2014-01-01

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

  19. Antártida

    OpenAIRE

    Ricardo Felicio

    2007-01-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. Alate susceptibility in ants

    OpenAIRE

    Ho, Eddie K H; Frederickson, Megan E

    2014-01-01

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

  2. 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...

  3. Artificial Ant Species on Solving Optimization Problems

    OpenAIRE

    Pintea, Camelia-M.

    2013-01-01

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

  4. Further travels with my ant

    OpenAIRE

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

    1995-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fabio Villani

    2008-10-01

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

  6. Chemically armed mercenary ants protect fungus-farming societies

    OpenAIRE

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

    2013-01-01

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

  7. 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

  8. Ex Ante Allusions

    OpenAIRE

    Holt, Jason

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paula Fernandes dos Santos

    2009-10-01

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

  10. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-08-15

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

  12. 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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  14. Le cybercommerçant

    OpenAIRE

    Lauboué, Adongon Sylvain

    2015-01-01

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

  15. 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...

  16. Pest repelling properties of ant pheromones

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Offenberg, Joachim

    2014-01-01

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

  17. Pest repelling properties of ant pheromones

    OpenAIRE

    Offenberg, Joachim

    2014-01-01

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

  18. Termites, hemimetabolous diploid white ants?

    OpenAIRE

    Korb Judith

    2008-01-01

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

  19. Neuroretinitis following bull ant sting

    OpenAIRE

    Ullrich, Katja; Saha, Niladri; Lake, Stewart

    2012-01-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. Ophiocordyceps halabalaensis: a new species of Ophiocordyceps pathogenic to Camponotus gigas in Hala Bala Wildlife Sanctuary, Southern Thailand.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luangsa-Ard, J Jennifer; Ridkaew, Rungpet; Tasanathai, Kanoksri; Thanakitpipattana, Donnaya; Hywel-Jones, Nigel

    2011-07-01

    Several fungal pathogens of ants have been reported as members of the family Ophiocordycipitaceae in the order Hypocreales. Surveys in the south of Thailand have shown specimens showing characteristics that are morphologically similar to Ophiocordyceps unilateralis, a very common ant pathogen, by producing a lateral pad on one side of the stroma and producing whole ascospores. Phylogenetic analyses of the partial elongation factor tef1-α and the internal transcribed spacer regions ITS1-5.8S-ITS2 rDNA have shown that this is a distinct species from O. unilateralis. The morphological characters of Ophiocordyceps halabalaensis differs from O. unilateralis in the possession of bigger perithecia and ascospores, and molecular analyses have shown that this ant-specific fungus is sufficiently different from O. unilateralis, deserving the naming of a new species. Aspects of morphology, host association/host-specificity, and taxonomic position are discussed. PMID:21724166

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alan Andersen

    1997-06-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Ballantyne, Gavin

    2011-01-01

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

  7. Myrmecotrophy: Plants fed by ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beattie, A

    1989-06-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. Hey! A Fire Ant Stung Me!

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  10. Ants as Fluids: Physics-Inspired Biology

    CERN Document Server

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

    2010-01-01

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

  11. The biochemical toxin arsenal from ant venoms

    OpenAIRE

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

    2016-01-01

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

  12. Ants defend coffee from berry borer colonization

    OpenAIRE

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

    2013-01-01

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

  13. The Biochemical Toxin Arsenal from Ant Venoms

    OpenAIRE

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2008-01-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. Individual Recognition in Ant Queens

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    D'Ettorre, Patrizia; Heinze, Jürgen

    2005-01-01

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

  17. Male parentage in army ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2006-01-01

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

  18. 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....

  19. 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....

  20. 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.

  1. Team swimming in ant spermatozoa.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-06-01

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

  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. PMID:16927231

  3. 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.

  4. Revolutionizing Remote Exploration with ANTS

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2002-05-01

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

  5. Chemical discrimination and aggressiveness via cuticular hydrocarbons in a supercolony-forming ant, Formica yessensis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Midori Kidokoro-Kobayashi

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Territorial boundaries between conspecific social insect colonies are maintained through nestmate recognition systems. However, in supercolony-forming ants, which have developed an extraordinary social organization style known as unicoloniality, a single supercolony extends across large geographic distance. The underlying mechanism is considered to involve less frequent occurrence of intraspecific aggressive behaviors, while maintaining interspecific competition. Thus, we examined whether the supercolony-forming species, Formica yessensis has a nestmate recognition system similar to that of the multicolonial species, Camponotus japonicus with respect to the cuticular hydrocarbon-sensitive sensillum (CHC sensillum, which responds only to non-nestmate CHCs. We further investigated whether the sensory system reflects on the apparent reduced aggression between non-nestmates typical to unicolonial species. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: F. yessensis constructs supercolonies comprising numerous nests and constitutes the largest supercolonies in Japan. We compared the within-colony or between-colonies' (1 similarity in CHC profiles, the nestmate recognition cues, (2 levels of the CHC sensillar response, (3 levels of aggression between workers, as correlated with geographic distances between nests, and (4 their genetic relatedness. Workers from nests within the supercolony revealed a greater similarity of CHC profiles compared to workers from colonies outside it. Total response of the active CHC sensilla stimulated with conspecific alien CHCs did not increase as much as in case of C. japonicus, suggesting that discrimination of conspecific workers at the peripheral system is limited. It was particularly limited among workers within a supercolony, but was fully expressed for allospecific workers. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: We demonstrate that chemical discrimination between nestmates and non-nestmates in F. yessensis was not clear cut

  6. Ecosystem services delivered by weaver ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Offenberg, Joachim

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

  7. Discrimination Behavior in the Supercolonial Pharaoh Ant

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pontieri, Luigi

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

  8. Pest repellent properties of ant pheromones

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Offenberg, Joachim

    2012-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Offenberg, Hans Joachim

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mueller, Ulrich G

    2012-06-01

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

  11. Towards a multilevel ant colony optimization

    OpenAIRE

    Lian, Thomas Andreé; Llave, Marilex Rea

    2014-01-01

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

  12. GRID SCHEDULING USING ENHANCED ANT COLONY ALGORITHM

    OpenAIRE

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

    2010-01-01

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

  13. Leaf-Cutter Ant Parasitoids: Current Knowledge

    OpenAIRE

    Patricia J. Folgarait

    2013-01-01

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

  14. The agricultural pathology of ant fungus gardens

    OpenAIRE

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

    1999-01-01

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

  15. Ant cuticular response to phthalate pollution

    OpenAIRE

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

    2014-01-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. Daily thermal fluctuations experienced by pupae via rhythmic nursing behavior increase numbers of mushroom body microglomeruli in the adult ant brain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Agustina eFalibene

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  18. 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. PMID:27147994

  19. 日本弓背蚁颊下囊内含物中细菌的组成研究%Bacterial composition of the infrabuccal pocket of Camponotus japonicusMayr

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    张君; 南小宁; 魏琮; 王云果; 贺虹

    2016-01-01

    颊下囊中分离到的部分细菌并没有在相应的蚁巢土壤样品中分离到。%Objectives] The infrabuccal pocket is a special pouch-like filtration device located in the preoral cavity of ants. During feeding, solid food particles and other solid materials are filtered and compacted in the infrabuccal pocket before entering the alimentary tract. Any waste is later ejected from the preoral cavity thereby helping prevent the alimentary tract from blocking. In this paper we explore the bacterial groups in the contents of the infrabuccal pocket and their potential roles in digestion, cleaning and other aspects of ant biology.[Methods] The location of the infrabuccal pocket in the head of Camponotus japonicus was identified with scanning microscopy, and the bacteria in the infrabuccal pocket investigated using a culture-dependent method and 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis.[Results] (1) The infrabuccal pocket is a pouch-like structure located in the posterior oral cavity containing a large number of solid particles. (2) The cfu/g of bacteria in the infrabuccal pockets of ants from three colonies varied significantly, but all were greater than in their respective nest soil. (3) Eleven bacterial genera were isolated from the infrabuccal pockets of ants from three colonies. These belonged to the Firmicutes, Actinobacteria andγ-Proteobacteria respectively. Actinobacteria was the dominant bacterial group. At the generic level,Microbacteriumwas the most dominant bacterial group in the 1st and 2nd colonies, accounting for 47.83% and 49.73% respectively of the total.Acinetobacter andMicrobacterium were the two dominant bacterial groups in the 3rd colony, accounting for 37.27% and 30% of the total, respectively. However,Bacillus was the dominant bacteria in all three nest soil samples, accounting for 49.69%、56.22% and 44.79% respectively. (4) All bacteria isolated from nest soil can be found in the infrabuccal pocket but the bacterial composition of the infrabuccal

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Liqiang Liu; Yuntao Dai; Jinyu Gao

    2014-01-01

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

  2. From Ant Trails to Pedestrian Dynamics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andreas Schadschneider

    2003-01-01

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

  3. Ilmub suurmeister Evald Okase monograafia / Ants Juske

    Index Scriptorium Estoniae

    Juske, Ants, 1956-

    2009-01-01

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

  4. Enhanced ants system and its application

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2005-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. The Biochemical Toxin Arsenal from Ant Venoms.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. The Complexity of Fire Ant Nestmate Recognition

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Lubis, Dini Anggraini

    2011-01-01

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

  12. 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.

  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

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

  15. Cryptococcus neoformans carried by Odontomachus bauri ants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mariana Santos de Jesus

    2012-06-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. How to be an ant on figs

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-05-01

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

  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. 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.

  20. Data classification by Fuzzy Ant-Miner

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohamed Hamlich

    2012-03-01

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

  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. 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...

  3. 9 CFR 381.71 - Condemnation on ante mortem inspection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-06-01

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

  7. The distribution of weaver ant pheromones on host trees

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Offenberg, Joachim

    2007-01-01

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

  8. Ants as tools in sustainable agriculture

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Offenberg, Joachim

    2015-01-01

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

  9. Thomas Stearns Elioti neoklassitsistlik luuleteooria / Ants Oras

    Index Scriptorium Estoniae

    Oras, Ants

    2003-01-01

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

  10. 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...

  11. Automatic Programming with Ant Colony Optimization

    OpenAIRE

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

    2004-01-01

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

  12. Covenant idea in ante-Nicene theology

    OpenAIRE

    Duncan, Jennings Ligon

    1995-01-01

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

  13. HERBAL PLANTS AS AN ANT REPELLENT

    OpenAIRE

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

    2013-01-01

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

  14. On Ants, Bacteria and Dynamic Environments

    OpenAIRE

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

    2005-01-01

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

  15. Worker Longevity in Harvester Ants (Pogonomyrmex)

    OpenAIRE

    Gordon, D M; Hölldobler, B.

    1987-01-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. Structure and formation of ant transportation networks

    OpenAIRE

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

    2011-01-01

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

  18. Statistical Approach for Selecting Elite Ants

    CERN Document Server

    S., Raghavendra G

    2012-01-01

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

  19. Optic disc detection using ant colony optimization

    OpenAIRE

    Dias, Marcy; Monteiro, Fernando C.

    2012-01-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Exploration adjustment by ant colonies.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  4. 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.

  5. Ecology of a fig ant-plant

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harrison, Rhett D.

    2014-05-01

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

  6. Formigas (Hymenoptera: Formicidae urbanas em um hospital no município de Luz, Estado de Minas Gerais = Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae in a hospital in the city of Luz, Minas Gerais, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alysson Rodrigo Fonseca

    2010-01-01

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Liqiang; Dai, Yuntao; Gao, Jinyu

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-05-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. Improving the cAnt-MinerPB Classification Algorithm

    OpenAIRE

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

    2012-01-01

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

  11. Swarm controlled emergence for ant clustering

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Scheidler, Alexander; Merkle, Daniel; Middendorf, Martin

    2013-01-01

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

  12. Moribund Ants Do Not Call for Help.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miler, Krzysztof

    2016-01-01

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

  13. 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.

  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...... 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...

  15. Recognition of social identity in ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bos, Nick; d'Ettorre, Patrizia

    2012-01-01

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

  16. Kin-informative recognition cues in ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  17. Desert ants learn vibration and magnetic landmarks.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cornelia Buehlmann

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

  18. Recruitment strategies and colony size in ants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert Planqué

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

  19. Sobre: Julio Ortega Bobadilla, Foucault ante Freud

    OpenAIRE

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

    2014-01-01

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

  20. The ejaculatory biology of leafcutter ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2011-01-01

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

  2. Optimized Ant Colony Algorithm by Local Pheromone Update

    OpenAIRE

    Hui Yu

    2013-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Leguizamón, Guillermo

    2003-01-01

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

  4. 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....

  5. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Hsun-Yi Hsieh; Ivette Perfecto

    2012-01-01

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

  7. Liquid baits control Argentine ants sustainably in coastal vineyards

    OpenAIRE

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

    2008-01-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. Dynamics of an ant-plant-pollinator model

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-03-01

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

  10. Model Specification Searches Using Ant Colony Optimization Algorithms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marcoulides, George A.; Drezner, Zvi

    2003-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-04-01

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

  13. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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...

  20. 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.

  1. 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...

  2. Fungal enzymes in the attine ant symbiosis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

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

  3. Water surface locomotion in tropical canopy ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yanoviak, S P; Frederick, D N

    2014-06-15

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

  4. 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...

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2011-01-01

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

  6. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mathis, Kaitlyn A; Tsutsui, Neil D

    2016-08-17

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Veen, G.F.; Olff, H.

    2011-01-01

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

  9. 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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Offenberg, Hans Joachim

    2011-01-01

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

  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. Behind every great ant, there is a great gut

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Poulsen, Michael; Sapountzis, Panagiotis

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cameron, G.; Williams, L.

    2001-12-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2004-01-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. 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 ...

  17. Optic disc detection using ant colony optimization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dias, Marcy A.; Monteiro, Fernando C.

    2012-09-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. Road Traffic System: Optimization Using Ant Systems

    OpenAIRE

    Yeong, Kim Ming

    2003-01-01

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

  20. Ants and sustainable agriculture. A review

    OpenAIRE

    Benckiser, Gero

    2010-01-01

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

  1. 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

  2. Ant-Man and the quantum realm

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michalakis, Spiros

    2015-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paknia, Omid; Bergmann, Tjard; Hadrys, Heike

    2015-11-01

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

  4. Recognition of social identity in ants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nick eBos

    2012-03-01

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

  5. Polydomy in the ant Ectatomma opaciventre.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  6. Polygyny and polyandry in small ant societies.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

  8. Image feature extraction based multiple ant colonies cooperation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Zhilong; Yang, Weiping; Li, Jicheng

    2015-05-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. Tuning PID Controller Using Multiobjective Ant Colony Optimization

    OpenAIRE

    Pierre Borne; Noureddine Liouane; Ibtissem Chiha

    2012-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Xin Zhang; Zhanwen Wu

    2014-01-01

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

  12. Improved Ant Colony Clustering Algorithm and Its Performance Study

    OpenAIRE

    Wei Gao

    2015-01-01

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

  13. An Improved Ant Colony Routing Algorithm for WSNs

    OpenAIRE

    Tan Zhi; Zhang Hui

    2015-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Xianmin Wei

    2013-01-01

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

  15. The Molecular Clockwork of the Fire Ant Solenopsis invicta

    OpenAIRE

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Yucui Ren; Lirong Shen; Fengqin Feng; Duo Li

    2006-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Mehdiabadi, Natasha J; Gilbert, Lawrence E

    2002-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2012-01-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. Insecticide transfer efficiency and lethal load in Argentine ants

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gao, Wei

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Philpott, Stacy M.

    2006-08-01

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

  9. Disease dynamics in a specialized parasite of ant societies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  10. 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).

  11. [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

  12. 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.

  13. The evolution of invasiveness in garden ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-01-01

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

  14. 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

  15. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gavin Ballantyne

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

  17. 秦岭楼观台油松林地3种土栖性蚂蚁巢内真菌多样性研究%The Fungal Diversity in Nests of Three Soil-nesting Ant Species(Hymenoptera:Formicidae)in Pine Forests of Louguantai National Forest Park,China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    贺虹; 魏琮; 王云果; 高智辉

    2011-01-01

    研究比较了秦岭楼观台油松林地日本弓背蚁(Camponotusjaponicus)、铺道蚁(Tetramorium caespitum)及日本黑褐(Formica japonica)3种蚂蚁蚁巢内外土壤真菌多样性的差异.研究结果表明:(1)从3种蚂蚁蚁巢及无蚂蚁栖居的土壤样品中共分离到15种真菌,无蚂蚁栖居土壤中真菌种类是3种蚂蚁巢内真菌种类的2.0~3.5倍;日本弓背蚁巢内平均cfu·g-1最低,明显低于无蚂蚁栖居的土壤(P0.05).(2)3种蚂蚁蚁巢内的真菌多样性指数(H')均显著低于无蚂蚁栖居的土壤(P0.05).(3)3种蚂蚁巢内真菌种类组成明显不同,形成各自特殊的真菌群落;蚁巢中分布的真菌种类几乎都可发现于无蚂蚁栖居的土壤,但其在蚁巢内的分布均大于无蚂蚁栖居的土壤.不同蚂蚁蚁巢内及无蚂蚁栖居的土壤中真菌组成及其多样性的差异与土壤微环境以及不同蚂蚁种群、筑巢习性及其对真菌的防卫机制密切相关.%The abundance and diversity of fungi in nest soil of three ant species,Camponotus japonicus,Formica japonica and Tetramorium caespitum in Louguantai National Forest Park,Qinling Mountains,Shaanxi Prov.,China,were studied to determine the fungal biodiversity and biomass in different ant nests and their surrounding ant-unoccupied soil.The results showed that:(1)Fifteen fungal species were isola-ted from soil samplings in nests of these ants and the surrounding ant-unoccupied soil in total,and the number of fungal species in ant-unoccupied soil was 2.0~3.5 times respectively those in nests of the corre-cupied soil(P0.05).(3)All the three ants had special nest fungal communities,but the fungi isolated from their nests had high colony frequency and nearly all could be found in ant-unoccupied soil.The differences of fungal community among the three ants"nests and ant-unoccupied soil might be a result of variations in soil microenvironment and be related to the population,nesting habit and antifungal activities of

  18. Enhanced ant colony optimization for multiscale problems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Nan; Fish, Jacob

    2016-03-01

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

  19. Diversidade de formigas epigéicas (Hymenoptera, Formicidae em três ambientes no Parque Estadual Mata dos Godoy, Londrina, Paraná Epigeic ants diversity (Hymenoptera, Formicidae in three environments in Mata dos Godoy State Park, Londrina, State of Paraná, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Danielle T. Lopes

    Full Text Available Considerando o escasso conhecimento sobre a mirmecofauna do estado do Paraná, o presente estudo objetivou comparar as assembleias de formigas encontradas em três ambientes (mata primária, área de reflorestamento e capoeira do Parque Estadual Mata dos Godoy, Londrina, Paraná. Para as coletas foram utilizadas iscas de sardinha e armadilhas pitfalls. Foram coletadas 102 espécies, pertencentes a 38 gêneros de nove subfamílias de formigas. Myrmicinae foi a subfamília com o maior número de espécies (58 spp., seguida por Formicinae (20 spp., Ponerinae (9 spp., Ectatomminae, Heteroponerinae, Ecitoninae e Pseudomyrmecinae (3 espécies cada, Dolichoderinae (2 spp. e Proceratiinae (1 espécie. Os gêneros mais ricos em espécies foram Pheidole Westwood, 1839 e Camponotus Mayr, 1861, respectivamente com 14 e 11 espécies. A mata primária apresentou os maiores valores de riqueza, número de espécies exclusivas e diversidade (92 spp., 20 spp. e H' = 3,51, respectivamente, seguida da área de reflorestamento (73 spp., 6 spp. e H' = 3,47 e capoeira (67 spp., 4 spp. e H' = 3,34. Os valores de similaridade entre os três ambientes foram próximos. A riqueza observada, em cada série de amostra, foi entre 33 e 53 espécies e a riqueza estimada foi entre 35 e 86 espécies. A ocorrência de sete guildas de formigas foi definida em espécies onívoras, predadoras especialistas, predadoras generalistas de serapilheira, formigas legionárias, arborícolas dominantes, dominantes de solo e cultivadoras de fungo.Considering the poor knowledge about the ant fauna of the state of Paraná, Brazil, this study aimed to compare the ant assemblages in three environments (primary forest, reforested area and secondary growth forest of Mata dos Godoy State Park, municipality of Londrina. This study was carried out between December 2004 and March 2005. Ant collections were made using sardine baits and pitfall traps. We collected 102 ant species belonging to 38 genera of

  20. Loading pattern optimization using ant colony algorithm

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  1. Loading pattern optimization using ant colony algorithm

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2008-07-01

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

  2. Enhanced ANT Colony algorithm for Grid Scheduling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D.Maruthanayagam

    2010-11-01

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

  3. 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

  4. What is important for ant assemblages in temperate forest soils?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tae-Sung Kwon

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Ant assemblages in the soil have been studied at eight forest sites (4 oak forest sites, and 4 pine forest sites in four study areas (1 seminatural area, and 3 industrialized areas in South Korea for 6 years from 2002 to 2010. Soil cores and Tullgren funnel were used for the ant survey. Ant surveys were carried out once per year in autumn (from late September to mid-October. The soil pH was lower in the industrialized than in the seminatural area, showing the acidified soils in the industrialized areas. However, the soil acidification did not influence the ant assemblages. The results from the nonmetric multidimensional scaling ordination and from the community temperature index values indicate that temperature is a key determinant for structures of the soil ant assemblages. The ant assemblages were not different according to the forest types (oak forests vs. pine forests. Occurrence of ant species varied greatly among years, indicating that more replicates and advanced sampling method are needed for the monitoring of the soil ant assemblages.

  5. Sucking pump activity in feeding behaviour regulation in carpenter ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-06-01

    Modulation of liquid feeding-rate would allow insects to ingest more food in the same time when this was required. Ants can vary nectar intake rate by increasing sucking pump frequency according to colony requirements. We analysed electrical signals generated by sucking pump activity of ants during drinking solutions of different sucrose concentrations and under different carbohydrate-deprivation levels. Our aim was to define parameters that characterize the recordings and analyse their relationship with feeding behaviour. Signals showed that the initial and final frequencies of sucking pump activity, as well as the difference between them were higher in sugar-deprived ants. However, these parameters were not influenced by sucrose solution concentration, which affected the number of pump contractions and the volume per contraction. Unexpectedly, we found two different responses in feeding behaviour of starved and non-starved ants depending on concentration. Starved ants drank dilute solutions for the same length of time as non-starved ants but ingested higher volumes. While drinking the concentrated solutions, starved ants drank the same volume, but did so in a shorter time than the non-starved ones. Despite these differences, for each analysed concentration the total number of pump contractions remained constant independently of sugar-deprivation level. These results are discussed in the frame of feeding regulation and decision making in ant foraging behaviour. PMID:19217950

  6. 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.

  7. Chaos-order transition in foraging behavior of ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Lixiang; Peng, Haipeng; Kurths, Jürgen; Yang, Yixian; Schellnhuber, Hans Joachim

    2014-06-10

    The study of the foraging behavior of group animals (especially ants) is of practical ecological importance, but it also contributes to the development of widely applicable optimization problem-solving techniques. Biologists have discovered that single ants exhibit low-dimensional deterministic-chaotic activities. However, the influences of the nest, ants' physical abilities, and ants' knowledge (or experience) on foraging behavior have received relatively little attention in studies of the collective behavior of ants. This paper provides new insights into basic mechanisms of effective foraging for social insects or group animals that have a home. We propose that the whole foraging process of ants is controlled by three successive strategies: hunting, homing, and path building. A mathematical model is developed to study this complex scheme. We show that the transition from chaotic to periodic regimes observed in our model results from an optimization scheme for group animals with a home. According to our investigation, the behavior of such insects is not represented by random but rather deterministic walks (as generated by deterministic dynamical systems, e.g., by maps) in a random environment: the animals use their intelligence and experience to guide them. The more knowledge an ant has, the higher its foraging efficiency is. When young insects join the collective to forage with old and middle-aged ants, it benefits the whole colony in the long run. The resulting strategy can even be optimal. PMID:24912159

  8. Life-Histories of Sub-Arctic Ants

    OpenAIRE

    Heinze, Jürgen

    1993-01-01

    Ant species belonging to seven genera occur in habitats near the tree line in the Northern Hemisphere. An analysis of colony founding strategies suggests that in addition to physiological cold resistance, behavioral and sociometric adaptations might be important for survival and propagation of ants in subarctic biomes.

  9. Diversity of peptide toxins from stinging ant venoms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aili, Samira R; Touchard, Axel; Escoubas, Pierre; Padula, Matthew P; Orivel, Jérôme; Dejean, Alain; Nicholson, Graham M

    2014-12-15

    Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) represent a taxonomically diverse group of arthropods comprising nearly 13,000 extant species. Sixteen ant subfamilies have individuals that possess a stinger and use their venom for purposes such as a defence against predators, competitors and microbial pathogens, for predation, as well as for social communication. They exhibit a range of activities including antimicrobial, haemolytic, cytolytic, paralytic, insecticidal and pain-producing pharmacologies. While ant venoms are known to be rich in alkaloids and hydrocarbons, ant venoms rich in peptides are becoming more common, yet remain understudied. Recent advances in mass spectrometry techniques have begun to reveal the true complexity of ant venom peptide composition. In the few venoms explored thus far, most peptide toxins appear to occur as small polycationic linear toxins, with antibacterial properties and insecticidal activity. Unlike other venomous animals, a number of ant venoms also contain a range of homodimeric and heterodimeric peptides with one or two interchain disulfide bonds possessing pore-forming, allergenic and paralytic actions. However, ant venoms seem to have only a small number of monomeric disulfide-linked peptides. The present review details the structure and pharmacology of known ant venom peptide toxins and their potential as a source of novel bioinsecticides and therapeutic agents. PMID:25448389

  10. 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....

  11. 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...

  12. The genome of the fire ant Solenopsis invicta

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ants have evolved very complex societies and are key ecosystem members. Some of them are also major pests, as exemplified by the fire ant Solenopsis invicta. We present here the draft genome of S. invicta, assembled from 454 and Illumina reads obtained from a focal haploid male and his brothers. In ...

  13. 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.

  14. Commercial agrochemical applications in vineyards do not influence ant communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chong, Chee Seng; Hoffmann, Ary A; Thomson, Linda J

    2007-12-01

    Ants have been widely used as bioindicators for various terrestrial monitoring and assessment programs but are seldom considered in evaluation of nontarget pesticide effect. Much chemical assessment has been biased toward laboratory and bioassay testing for control of specific pest ant species. Several field studies that did explore the nontarget impacts of pesticides on ants have reported contradictory findings. To address the impact of chemical applications on ants, we tested the response of epigeal ant assemblages and community structure to three pesticide gradients (cumulative International Organization for Biological and Integrated Control toxicity rating, chlorpyrifos use rate, and sulfur use rate) in 19 vineyards. Ordination analyses using nonmetric multidimensional scaling detected community structures at species and genus levels, but the structures were not explained by any pesticide variables. There was no consistent pattern in species and genus percentage complementarities and ant assemblages along pesticide gradients. In contrast, ant community structure was influenced by the presence of shelterbelts near the sampling area. Reasons for the resilience of ants to pesticides are given and assessment at the colony level instead of workers abundance is suggested. The presence of Linepithema humile (Mayr) is emphasized. PMID:18284765

  15. 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.

  16. 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 ...

  17. Improved ant algorithms for software testing cases generation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Shunkun; Man, Tianlong; Xu, Jiaqi

    2014-01-01

    Existing ant colony optimization (ACO) for software testing cases generation is a very popular domain in software testing engineering. However, the traditional ACO has flaws, as early search pheromone is relatively scarce, search efficiency is low, search model is too simple, positive feedback mechanism is easy to produce the phenomenon of stagnation and precocity. This paper introduces improved ACO for software testing cases generation: improved local pheromone update strategy for ant colony optimization, improved pheromone volatilization coefficient for ant colony optimization (IPVACO), and improved the global path pheromone update strategy for ant colony optimization (IGPACO). At last, we put forward a comprehensive improved ant colony optimization (ACIACO), which is based on all the above three methods. The proposed technique will be compared with random algorithm (RND) and genetic algorithm (GA) in terms of both efficiency and coverage. The results indicate that the improved method can effectively improve the search efficiency, restrain precocity, promote case coverage, and reduce the number of iterations. PMID:24883391

  18. 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...

  19. 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...

  20. The invasion biology and sociogenetics of pharaoh ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schmidt, Anna Mosegaard

    ? or ?tramps?, though often considered negative influences, can also be seen as natural experiments, generating a number of questions in the fields of ecology and evolution. Pharaoh ants (Monomorium pharaonis) are very successful invaders of human habitation in most parts of the world. Individual pharaoh ants...... are small, their colonies are polygynous (have multiple queens), and consist of multiple interconnected nests that can spread to cover large areas through so?called budding. Pharaoh ants appear to mate exclusively within their nests, indiscriminately inbreeding without a cost to colony performance....... Combining these traits, and adding to them that numerous introductions of the species have resulted in genetically highly differentiated, low diversity colonies, makes pharaoh ants an interesting model system. During my PhD I have thus investigated the potential of pharaoh ants as models for questions...

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Ecological consequences of traffic organisation in ant societies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burd, Martin

    2006-12-01

    Many species of ants engage in social foraging in which traffic develops over pathways defined by pheromones or physical roads cleared through debris. Worker ants from the same colony have a common underlying evolutionary interest in their collective performance. Thus, ant traffic makes an interesting comparison to other kinds of cellular or organismal traffic composed of elements with varying degrees of shared or disparate goals. Recent studies have revealed how small-scale interactions among ants amplify to create large-scale traffic structure, such as segregation of counterflows. However, much less is known about the ecological costs and benefits of different kinds of traffic organization. The common assumption that maximum traffic flux provides maximum ecological benefit needs closer scrutiny. Ant traffic provides a potentially useful model system for experimental study of crowd panics, and for assessing the role of transport networks in creating scaling relationships between the size and activity rates of the entities they serve.

  5. Using pleometrosis (multiple queens) and pupae transplantation to boost weaver ant (Oecophylla smaragdina) colony growth in ant nurseries

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Offenberg, Hans Joachim; Nielsen, Mogens Gissel; Peng, Renkang

    2011-01-01

    Weaver ants (Oecophylla spp.) are increasingly being used for biocontrol and are targeted for future production of insect protein in ant farms. An efficient production of live ant colonies may facilitate the utilization of these ants but the production of mature colonies is hampered by the long...... and no transplantation. Thus, in ant nurseries the use of multiple queens during nest founding as well as transplantation of pupae from foreign colonies may be utilised to decrease the time it takes to produce a colony ready for implementation....... time it takes for newly established colonies to grow to a suitable size. In this study we followed the growth of newly founded O. smaragdina colonies with 2, 3 or 4 founding queens during 12 days of development, following the transplantation of 0, 30 or 60 pupae from a mature donor colony. Colony...

  6. ANT International chemistry update and best practices

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    There is an increasing number of Nuclear Power Plants (NPP) in various countries. Their chemistry practices are different due to the variety of designs and experiences while in the past the view was more monolithic. This is allowing a very rich experience that is extremely difficult to fully be aware of. ANT International is now collecting and evaluating these data as well as related R and D Information. This allows interested parties to have an easier access to the various sources of information. The chemistry experts associated to ANT International have been gathering a comprehensive detailed view of: The numerous laboratory data gained all over the world during the past decades; The extensive plant operating experiences with various types of chemistry strategies, crosschecked for various types of reactors designs and materials; An experienced international knowledge able to give the comprehensive overview that young engineers now in charge of many other activities are unable to fully cover. This paper gives the core conclusions of the detailed ANT International reports and results that have recently been gathered in the area of chemistry. It particularly covers: The primary water chemistry and its relation with radionuclides, dose rates and fuel behaviour; The secondary water chemistry focusing on its rationale selection depending on materials, design and other constraints; The start up and shutdown chemistry with it large variety of practices hardly understandable even for some experts; and, The maintenance remedies such as decontamination, steam generator cleaning and its alternate options. Various types of Reactor designs (PWR, VVER, BWR, CANDU®) are considered. The different materials, for example the impact of steam generator tubing and its evolution on the secondary water chemistry rationale or on the radioactivity built-up in the primary coolant, are described. The ways to improve the plant operation with a long term reliability as well as the most

  7. Ant Colony Optimization for Capacity Problems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tad Gonsalves

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper deals with the optimization of the capac ity of a terminal railway station using the Ant Colony Optimization algorithm. The capacity of the terminal station is defined as the number of trains that depart from the station in un it interval of time. The railway capacity optimization problem is framed as a typical symmetr ical Travelling Salesman Problem (TSP, with the TSP nodes representing the train arrival / departure events and the TSP total cost representing the total time-interval of the schedul e. The application problem is then optimized using the ACO algorithm. The simulation experiments validate the formulation of the railway capacity problem as a TSP and the ACO algorithm pro duces optimal solutions superior to those produced by the domain experts.

  8. Antes del Diseño

    OpenAIRE

    Javier González Solas

    2014-01-01

    La práctica profesional del diseño está sometida a una dispersión que dificulta la reflexión sobre ella misma. Y la enseñanza universitaria se ha convertido en gran parte en una práctica más. De este modo la ausencia de una reflexión radical, anterior en el tiempo (revisión de la historia) y anterior en el método (pensar antes de hacer), puede convertirse en un colaboracionismo amoral con todo tipo de catástrofe intelectual y sociopolítica. La perspectiva aquí adoptada proviene de una toma de...

  9. Chimpanzees detect ant-inhabited dead branches and stems: a study of the utilization of plant-ant relationships in the Mahale Mountains, Tanzania.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fuse, Mieko

    2013-10-01

    Chimpanzees in the Mahale Mountains of Tanzania consume several species of stem- and branch-inhabiting ants throughout the year, without tools. Those ants are cryptic species, and it was unknown how to find them constantly. There has been little research on how the chimpanzees locate these ants. In this study, I use behavioral observations of the chimpanzee predators and surveys of the ant fauna and plants across different habitats to test the hypothesis that chimpanzees use plant species as a cue to efficiently locate ant colonies in litter units (dead parts of the plant). Ants were found to be associated with live plants and with spaces within litter units which provide nesting places. Such ant-plant litter relationships were not necessarily as strong as the mutualism often observed between live plants and ants. The proportion of available litter units inhabited by ants was 20 %, and litter units of three plant species (Vernonia subligera, Dracaena usambarensis, and Senna spectabilis) were well occupied by ants in the home range of the chimpanzees. The ant-inhabited ratio in chimpanzee-foraged litter units was higher than that in the available units in the home range. Chimpanzees fed more often on Crematogaster spp. than on other resident ants and at a higher rate than expected from their occurrence in the litter units. Above three plant species were well occupied by Crematogaster sp. 3 or C. sp. 18. It is concluded that chimpanzees locate ants by selecting litter units of plant species inhabited by ants. PMID:23842594

  10. Chemical defense by the native winter ant (Prenolepis imparis against the invasive Argentine ant (Linepithema humile.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Trevor R Sorrells

    Full Text Available The invasive Argentine ant (Linepithema humile is established worldwide and displaces native ant species. In northern California, however, the native winter ant (Prenolepis imparis persists in invaded areas. We found that in aggressive interactions between the two species, P. imparis employs a potent defensive secretion. Field observations were conducted at P. imparis nest sites both in the presence and absence of L. humile. These observations suggested and laboratory assays confirmed that P. imparis workers are more likely to secrete when outnumbered by L. humile. Workers of P. imparis were also more likely to secrete near their nest entrances than when foraging on trees. One-on-one laboratory trials showed that the P. imparis secretion is highly lethal to L. humile, causing 79% mortality. The nonpolar fraction of the secretion was chemically analyzed with gas chromatography/mass spectrometry, and found to be composed of long-chain and cyclic hydrocarbons. Chemical analysis of dissected P. imparis workers showed that the nonpolar fraction is derived from the Dufour's gland. Based on these conclusions, we hypothesize that this chemical defense may help P. imparis to resist displacement by L. humile.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Learning and perceptual similarity among cuticular hydrocarbons in ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bos, Nick; Dreier, Stephanie; Jørgensen, Charlotte G; Nielsen, John; Guerrieri, Fernando J; d'Ettorre, Patrizia

    2012-01-01

    Nestmate recognition in ants is based on perceived differences in a multi-component blend of hydrocarbons that are present on the insect cuticle. Although supplementation experiments have shown that some classes of hydrocarbons, such as methyl branched alkanes and alkenes, have a salient role in nestmate recognition, there was basically no information available on how ants detect and perceive these molecules. We used a new conditioning procedure to investigate whether individual carpenter ants could associate a given hydrocarbon (linear or methyl-branched alkane) to sugar reward. We then studied perceptual similarity between a hydrocarbon previously associated with sugar and a novel hydrocarbon. Ants learnt all hydrocarbon-reward associations rapidly and with the same efficiency, regardless of the structure of the molecules. Ants could discriminate among a large number of pairs of hydrocarbons, but also generalised. Generalisation depended both on the structure of the molecule and the animal's experience. For linear alkanes, generalisation was observed when the novel molecule was smaller than the conditioned one. Generalisation between pairs of methyl-alkanes was high, while generalisation between hydrocarbons that differed in the presence or absence of a methyl group was low, suggesting that chain length and functional group might be coded independently by the ant olfactory system. Understanding variations in perception of recognition cues in ants is necessary for the general understanding of the mechanisms involved in social recognition processes based on chemical cues. PMID:22067290

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Stridulations reveal cryptic speciation in neotropical sympatric ants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ronara Souza Ferreira

    Full Text Available The taxonomic challenge posed by cryptic species underlines the importance of using multiple criteria in species delimitation. In the current paper we tested the use of acoustic analysis as a tool to assess the real diversity in a cryptic species complex of Neotropical ants. In order to understand the potential of acoustics and to improve consistency in the conclusions by comparing different approaches, phylogenetic relationships of all the morphs considered were assessed by the analysis of a fragment of the mitochondrial DNA cytochrome b. We observed that each of the cryptic morph studied presents a morphologically distinct stridulatory organ and that all sympatric morphs produce distinctive stridulations. This is the first evidence of such a degree of specialization in the acoustic organ and signals in ants, which suggests that stridulations may be among the cues used by these ants during inter-specific interactions. Mitochondrial DNA variation corroborated the acoustic differences observed, confirming acoustics as a helpful tool to determine cryptic species in this group of ants, and possibly in stridulating ants in general. Congruent morphological, acoustic and genetic results constitute sufficient evidence to propose each morph studied here as a valid new species, suggesting that P. apicalis is a complex of at least 6 to 9 species, even if they present different levels of divergence. Finally, our results highlight that ant stridulations may be much more informative than hitherto thought, as much for ant communication as for integrative taxonomists.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. The molecular clockwork of the fire ant Solenopsis invicta.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Krista K Ingram

    Full Text Available The circadian clock is a core molecular mechanism that allows organisms to anticipate daily environmental changes and adapt the timing of behaviors to maximize efficiency. In social insects, the ability to maintain the appropriate temporal order is thought to improve colony efficiency and fitness. We used the newly sequenced fire ant (Solenopsis invicta genome to characterize the first ant circadian clock. Our results reveal that the fire ant clock is similar to the clock of the honeybee, a social insect with an independent evolutionary origin of sociality. Gene trees for the eight core clock genes, period, cycle, clock, cryptochrome-m, timeout, vrille, par domain protein 1 & clockwork orange, show ant species grouping closely with honeybees and Nasonia wasps as an outgroup to the social Hymenoptera. Expression patterns for these genes suggest that the ant clock functions similar to the honeybee clock, with period and cry-m mRNA levels increasing during the night and cycle and clockwork orange mRNAs cycling approximately anti-phase to period. Gene models for five of these genes also parallel honeybee models. In particular, the single ant cryptochrome is an ortholog of the mammalian-type (cry-m, rather than Drosophila-like protein (cry-d. Additionally, we find a conserved VPIFAL C-tail region in clockwork orange shared by insects but absent in vertebrates. Overall, our characterization of the ant clock demonstrates that two social insect lineages, ants and bees, share a similar, mammalian-like circadian clock. This study represents the first characterization of clock genes in an ant and is a key step towards understanding socially-regulated plasticity in circadian rhythms by facilitating comparative studies on the organization of circadian clockwork.

  2. The molecular clockwork of the fire ant Solenopsis invicta.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

    The circadian clock is a core molecular mechanism that allows organisms to anticipate daily environmental changes and adapt the timing of behaviors to maximize efficiency. In social insects, the ability to maintain the appropriate temporal order is thought to improve colony efficiency and fitness. We used the newly sequenced fire ant (Solenopsis invicta) genome to characterize the first ant circadian clock. Our results reveal that the fire ant clock is similar to the clock of the honeybee, a social insect with an independent evolutionary origin of sociality. Gene trees for the eight core clock genes, period, cycle, clock, cryptochrome-m, timeout, vrille, par domain protein 1 & clockwork orange, show ant species grouping closely with honeybees and Nasonia wasps as an outgroup to the social Hymenoptera. Expression patterns for these genes suggest that the ant clock functions similar to the honeybee clock, with period and cry-m mRNA levels increasing during the night and cycle and clockwork orange mRNAs cycling approximately anti-phase to period. Gene models for five of these genes also parallel honeybee models. In particular, the single ant cryptochrome is an ortholog of the mammalian-type (cry-m), rather than Drosophila-like protein (cry-d). Additionally, we find a conserved VPIFAL C-tail region in clockwork orange shared by insects but absent in vertebrates. Overall, our characterization of the ant clock demonstrates that two social insect lineages, ants and bees, share a similar, mammalian-like circadian clock. This study represents the first characterization of clock genes in an ant and is a key step towards understanding socially-regulated plasticity in circadian rhythms by facilitating comparative studies on the organization of circadian clockwork. PMID:23152747

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. What is important for ant assemblages in temperate forest soils?

    OpenAIRE

    Tae-Sung Kwon

    2016-01-01

    Ant assemblages in the soil have been studied at eight forest sites (4 oak forest sites, and 4 pine forest sites) in four study areas (1 seminatural area, and 3 industrialized areas) in South Korea for 6 years from 2002 to 2010. Soil cores and Tullgren funnel were used for the ant survey. Ant surveys were carried out once per year in autumn (from late September to mid-October). The soil pH was lower in the industrialized than in the seminatural area, showing the acidified soils in the industr...

  6. 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...

  7. 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.

  8. The cavity-nest ant Temnothorax crassispinus prefers larger nests

    OpenAIRE

    Mitrus, S.

    2014-01-01

    Colonies of the ant Temnothorax crassispinus inhabit mostly cavities in wood and hollow acorns. Typically in the field, nest sites that can be used by the ant are a limited resource. In a field experiment, it was investigated whether the ants prefer a specific size of nest, when different ones are available. In July 2011, a total of 160 artificial nests were placed in a beech-pine forest. Four artificial nests (pieces of wood with volume cavities, ca 415, 605, 730, and 980 mm3, respectively) ...

  9. Sexual Cooperation: Mating Increases Longevity in Ant Queens

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schrempf, Alexandra; Heinze, Jürgen; Cremer, Sylvia

    2005-01-01

    Divergent reproductive interests of males and females often cause sexual conflict [1] and [2] . Males of many species manipulate females by transferring seminal fluids that boost female short-term fecundity while decreasing their life expectancy and future reproductivity [3] and [4] . The life...... history of ants, however, is expected to reduce sexual conflict; whereas most insect females show repeated phases of mating and reproduction, ant queens mate only during a short period early in life and undergo a lifelong commitment to their mates by storing sperm [5] . Furthermore, sexual offspring can...... instead reveal the existence of sexual cooperation in ants....

  10. Ocelli: A Celestial Compass in the Desert Ant Cataglyphis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fent, Karl; Wehner, Rudiger

    1985-04-01

    In addition to multifaceted lateral compound eyes, most insects possess three frontal eyes called ocelli. Each ocellus has a single lens, as does the vertebrate eye. The ocelli of some flying insects, locusts and dragonflies, have been shown to function as horizon detectors involved in the visual stabilization of course. In a walking insect, the desert ant Cataglyphis, it is now shown that the ocelli can read compass information from the blue sky. When the ant's compound eyes are occluded and both sun and landmarks are obscured, the ocelli, using the pattern of polarized light in the sky as a compass cue, help in guiding the ant back home.

  11. An Improved Ant Colony Routing Algorithm for WSNs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tan Zhi

    2015-01-01

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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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...

  15. 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...

  16. 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,...

  17. 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...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ugelvig, Line; Drijfhout, Falko; Kronauer, Daniel;

    2008-01-01

    BACKGROUND: The invasive garden ant, Lasius neglectus, is the most recently detected pest ant and the first known invasive ant able to become established and thrive in the temperate regions of Eurasia. In this study, we aim to reconstruct the invasion history of this ant in Europe analysing 14...

  19. 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.

  20. Area-wide suppression of invasive fire ant populations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Full text: The fire ants, Solenopsis invicta and Solenopsis richteri, were inadvertently introduced into the United States in the early 1900s and currently inhabit over 150 million ha in Puerto Rico and twelve southern states from Texas to Virginia. Imported fire ants have also become established in isolated sites in California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Maryland. They have also widened their invasive character by accidental importation and establishment in Australia and Taiwan. Fire ant colonies (single queen) can contain up to 250,000 workers and reach infestation rates of over 130 mounds per hectare. More recently, multiple-queen colonies have proliferated in the southern states with even greater population densities. The fire ant's large numbers, resource requirements, aggressive behavior, and potent sting have resulted in many negative interactions with man and the ecosystem. Many ground inhabiting arthropods and other small animals are destroyed, yields of several agricultural crops are reduced, and ca. 1% of the population is at risk from hypersensitivity to fire ant venom. The population densities in the US are 5-10 times higher than in South America, most likely due to their escape from natural enemies. Chemical Control: Several commercial insecticide baits have been developed for fire ant control; however, they are costly, many are not registered for large acreage, and most have adverse environmental impact when used in environmentally sensitive locations. Biological Control: At least 22 species of parasitic Pseudacteon flies have been found attacking fire ants in South America. These flies have been shown to stop fire ant foraging and shift the local competitive balance to other ant species, thus limiting resources to the fire ant. There are also two Protozoan pathogens, Thelohania solenopsae, and Vairimorpha invictae that naturally infect S. invicta in South America. Both have been shown to cause reductions of field populations, and T. solenopsae

  1. Ant-32 Assembly Language Tutorial (for version 3.1.0b)

    OpenAIRE

    Ellard, Daniel J.; Ellard, Penelope A.

    2002-01-01

    This document contains a brief tutorial for Ant-32 assembly language programming, the assembly language utilities, and a description of the general Ant-32 instruction set architecture. A complete specification of the Ant-32 architecture, including the exception handling mechanisms, the MMU, and related issues, is given in the The Ant-32 Architecture (version Revision 3.1.0b), which is provided as part of the Ant distribution and is also available from the Ant web site (www.ant.harvard.edu). T...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Stuble, Katharine L.; Kirkman, L. Katherine; Carroll, C. Ronald;

    2011-01-01

    and cases in which non-native species become established in intact (lacking extensive anthropogenic soil disturbance) communities and subsequently diminish the abundance and richness of native species is challenging on the basis of observation alone. The red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta......), an invasive species that occurs throughout much of the southeastern United States, is such an example. Rather than competitively displacing native species, fire ants may become established only in disturbed areas in which native species richness and abundance are already reduced. We used insecticide to reduce...... and fire ants to disturbance can be comparable....

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Data transmission optimal routing in WSN using ant colony algorithm

    OpenAIRE

    Jun, Su; Yatskiv, Vasyl; Sachenko, Anatoly; Yatskiv, Nataliya

    2012-01-01

    Ant colony algorithm to search an optimal route of data transmission in Wireless Sensor Network was explored. Correspondent software was designed and the dynamics and the decision search time was investigated for the given network topology.

  6. SWARM INTELLIGENCE FROM NATURAL TO ARTIFICIAL SYSTEMS: ANT COLONY OPTIMIZATION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    O. Deepa

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Successful applications coming from biologically inspired algorithm like Ant Colony Optimization (ACO based on artificial swarm intelligence which is inspired by the collective behavior of social insects. ACO has been inspired from natural ants system, their behavior, team coordination, synchronization for the searching of optimal solution and also maintains information of each ant. At present, ACO has emerged as a leading metaheuristic technique for the solution of combinatorial optimization problems which can be used to find shortest path through construction graph. This paper describe about various behavior of ants, successfully used ACO algorithms, applications and current trends. In recent years, some researchers have also focused on the application of ACO algorithms to design of wireless communication network, bioinformatics problem, dynamic problem and multi-objective problem.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  8. 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

  9. 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...

  10. 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.

  11. Ant Genetics: Reproductive Physiology, Worker Morphology, and Behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Friedman, D A; Gordon, D M

    2016-07-01

    Many exciting studies have begun to elucidate the genetics of the morphological and physiological diversity of ants, but as yet few studies have investigated the genetics of ant behavior directly. Ant genomes are marked by extreme rates of gene turnover, especially in gene families related to olfactory communication, such as the synthesis of cuticular hydrocarbons and the perception of environmental semiochemicals. Transcriptomic and epigenetic differences are apparent between reproductive and sterile females, males and females, and workers that differ in body size. Quantitative genetic approaches suggest heritability of task performance, and population genetic studies indicate a genetic association with reproductive status in some species. Gene expression is associated with behavior including foraging, response to queens attempting to join a colony, circadian patterns of task performance, and age-related changes of task. Ant behavioral genetics needs further investigation of the feedback between individual-level physiological changes and socially mediated responses to environmental conditions. PMID:27050321

  12. Heavy metal pollution disturbs immune response in wild ant populations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Concern about the effects of environmental contaminants on immune function in both humans and wildlife is growing and practically nothing is known about this impact on terrestrial invertebrates, even though they are known to easily accumulate pollutants. We studied the effect of industrial heavy metal contamination on immune defense of a free-living wood ant (Formica aquilonia). To find out whether ants show an adapted immune function in a polluted environment, we compared encapsulation responses between local and translocated colonies. Local colonies showed higher heavy metal levels than the translocated ones but the encapsulation response was similar between the two groups, indicating that the immune system of local ants has not adapted to high contamination level. The encapsulation response was elevated in moderate whereas suppressed in high heavy metal levels suggesting higher risk for infections in heavily polluted areas. - Heavy metal pollution affects immune function in ants

  13. Ant Colony versus Genetic Algorithm based on Travelling Salesman Problem

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohammed Alhanjouri

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available The travelling salesman problem (TSP is a nondeterministic Polynomial hard problem in combinatorial optimization studied in operations research and theoretical computer science. And to solve this problem we used two popular meta-heuristics techniques that used for optimization tasks; the first one is Ant Colony Optimization (ACO, and the second is Genetic Algorithm (GA. In this work, we try to apply both techniques to solve TSP by using the same dataset and compare between them to determine the best one for travelling salesman problem. for Ant Colony Optimization, we studied the effect of some parameters on the produced results, these parameters as: number of used Ants, evaporation, and number of iterations. On the other hand, we studied the chromosome population, crossover probability, and mutation probability parameters that effect on the Genetic Algorithm results.The comparison between Genetic Algorithm and Ant Colony Optimization is accomplished to state the better one for travelling salesman problem.

  14. FARS: Fuzzy Ant based Recommender System for Web Users

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shiva Nadi

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Recommender systems are useful tools which provide an adaptive web environment for web users. Nowadays, having a user friendly website is a big challenge in e-commerce technology. In this paper, applying the benefits of both collaborative and content based filtering techniques is proposed by presenting a fuzzy recommender system based on collaborative behavior of ants (FARS. FARS works in two phases: modeling and recommendation. First, user's behaviors are modeled offline and the results are used in second phase for online recommendation. Fuzzy techniques provide the possibility of capturing uncertainty among user interests and ant based algorithms provides us with optimal solutions. The performance of FARS is evaluated using log files of "Information and Communication Technology Center" of Isfahan municipality in Iran and compared with ant based recommender system (ARS. The results shown are promising and proved that integrating fuzzy Ant approach provides us with more functional and robust recommendations.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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。

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. An ant colony approach for image texture classification

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ye, Zhiwei; Zheng, Zhaobao; Ning, Xiaogang; Yu, Xin

    2005-10-01

    Ant colonies, and more generally social insect societies, are distributed systems that show a highly structured social organization in spite of the simplicity of their individuals. As a result of this swarm intelligence, ant colonies can accomplish complex tasks that far exceed the individual capacities of a single ant. As is well known that aerial image texture classification is a long-term difficult problem, which hasn't been fully solved. This paper presents an ant colony optimization methodology for image texture classification, which assigns N images into K type of clusters as clustering is viewed as a combinatorial optimization problem in the article. The algorithm has been tested on some real images and performance of this algorithm is superior to k-means algorithm. Computational simulations reveal very encouraging results in terms of the quality of solution found.