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Sample records for ant genus lasius

  1. A DNA and morphology based phylogenetic framework of the ant genus Lasius with hypotheses for the evolution of social parasitism and fungiculture

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    Stauffer Christian

    2008-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Ants of the genus Lasius are ecologically important and an important system for evolutionary research. Progress in evolutionary research has been hindered by the lack of a well-founded phylogeny of the subgenera, with three previous attempts disagreeing. Here we employed two mitochondrial genes (cytochrome c oxidase subunit I, 16S ribosomal RNA, comprising 1,265 bp, together with 64 morphological characters, to recover the phylogeny of Lasius by Bayesian and Maximum Parsimony inference after exploration of potential causes of phylogenetic distortion. We use the resulting framework to infer evolutionary pathways for social parasitism and fungiculture. Results We recovered two well supported major lineages. One includes Acanthomyops, Austrolasius, Chthonolasius, and Lasius pallitarsis, which we confirm to represent a seventh subgenus, the other clade contains Dendrolasius, and Lasius sensu stricto. The subgenus Cautolasius, displaying neither social parasitism nor fungiculture, probably belongs to the second clade, but its phylogenetic position is not resolved at the cutoff values of node support we apply. Possible causes for previous problems with reconstructing the Lasius phylogeny include use of other reconstruction techniques, possibly more prone to instabilities in some instances, and the inclusion of phylogenetically distorting characters. Conclusion By establishing an updated phylogenetic framework, our study provides the basis for a later formal taxonomic revision of subgenera and for studying the evolution of various ecologically and sociobiologically relevant traits of Lasius, although there is need for future studies to include nuclear genes and additional samples from the Nearctic. Both social parasitism and fungiculture evolved twice in Lasius, once in each major lineage, which opens up new opportunities for comparative analyses. The repeated evolution of social parasitism has been established for other groups of

  2. A DNA and morphology based phylogenetic framework of the ant genus Lasius with hypotheses for the evolution of social parasitism and fungiculture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maruyama, Munetoshi; Steiner, Florian M; Stauffer, Christian; Akino, Toshiharu; Crozier, Ross H; Schlick-Steiner, Birgit C

    2008-08-19

    Ants of the genus Lasius are ecologically important and an important system for evolutionary research. Progress in evolutionary research has been hindered by the lack of a well-founded phylogeny of the subgenera, with three previous attempts disagreeing. Here we employed two mitochondrial genes (cytochrome c oxidase subunit I, 16S ribosomal RNA), comprising 1,265 bp, together with 64 morphological characters, to recover the phylogeny of Lasius by Bayesian and Maximum Parsimony inference after exploration of potential causes of phylogenetic distortion. We use the resulting framework to infer evolutionary pathways for social parasitism and fungiculture. We recovered two well supported major lineages. One includes Acanthomyops, Austrolasius, Chthonolasius, and Lasius pallitarsis, which we confirm to represent a seventh subgenus, the other clade contains Dendrolasius, and Lasius sensu stricto. The subgenus Cautolasius, displaying neither social parasitism nor fungiculture, probably belongs to the second clade, but its phylogenetic position is not resolved at the cutoff values of node support we apply. Possible causes for previous problems with reconstructing the Lasius phylogeny include use of other reconstruction techniques, possibly more prone to instabilities in some instances, and the inclusion of phylogenetically distorting characters. By establishing an updated phylogenetic framework, our study provides the basis for a later formal taxonomic revision of subgenera and for studying the evolution of various ecologically and sociobiologically relevant traits of Lasius, although there is need for future studies to include nuclear genes and additional samples from the Nearctic. Both social parasitism and fungiculture evolved twice in Lasius, once in each major lineage, which opens up new opportunities for comparative analyses. The repeated evolution of social parasitism has been established for other groups of ants, though not for temporary social parasitism as found

  3. Mating, hybridisation and introgression in Lasius ants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Have, van der T.M.; Pedersen, J.S.; Boomsma, J.J.

    2011-01-01

    Recent reviews have shown that hybridisation among ant species is likely to be more common than previously appreciated. but that documented cases of introgression remain rare. After molecular phylogenetic work had shown that European Lasius niger (LINNAEUS, 1758) and L. psammophilus SEIFERT, 1992

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  5. The distribution and density of a lycaenid butterfly in relation to Lasius ants.

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    Jordano, D; Rodríguez, J; Thomas, C D; Fernández Haeger, J

    1992-09-01

    Larvae and pupae of lycaenid butteflies are often associated with ants: this is usually a mutualism in which ants guard the lycaenids from natural enemies, and the lycaenid larvae and pupae provide sugars and amino acids for the ants. A possible consequence of the interaction is spatially correlated ant and lycaenid distributions, but the phenomenon is poorly documented. We examined the lycaenid Plebejus argus, which is tended by Lasius ants. Within habitat patches, P. argus eggs, larvae and pupae were all spatially associated with Lasius. On a larger scale, the densities of butterflies in different habitat patches and populations, and whether the butterfly was present or not, were correlated with Lasius ant densities. The association of P. argus with Lasius ants is consistent among populations, and occurs at several spatial scales. Other aspects of the ecology of P. argus are more variable.

  6. Attack of the invasive garden ant: aggression behaviour of Lasius neglectus (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) against native Lasius species in Spain

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    Cremer, Sylvia; Ugelvig, Line Vej; Lommen, Suzanne T.E.

    2006-01-01

    Invasive species often dramatically change native species communities by directly and indirectly out-competing na-tive species. We studied the direct interference abilities of the invasive garden ant, Lasius neglectus VAN LOON, BOOMSMA & ANDRÁSFALVY, 1990, by performing one-to-one aggression test...

  7. The effect of two ant species Lasius niger and Lasius flavus on soil properties in two contrasting habitats

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    Holec, M.; Frouz, J. [Academy of Science Czech Republic, Ceske Budejovice (Czech Republic). Inst. of Soil Biology

    2006-11-15

    Ants significantly change the soil environment within the nest. The aim of this study is to contribute to ecology and thus the importance of two ant species Lasius niger and Lasius flavus in a post-mining landscape near the town of Sokolov in northwest Bohemia where both species are common. Chemical (total C, N, and available P) and microbiological parameters (respiration, cellulose decomposition and direct counts of bacteria) were investigated in both ant species in two different habitats: a tertiary clay heap after brown coal mining with a weakly developed organic layer and semi natural meadows with well developed organic horizons. Total C and N in the L. flavus mound was lower than in the surrounding soil in both stands, the same was true for total N in L. niger on the heaps. L. niger nests in both sites were significantly enriched by available P. A litter bag test with cellulose indicated lower decomposition in the ant nest in comparison with the surrounding soil. Respiration seems to be limited by lower soil moisture in the nest. However, microbial respiration, even in suitable moisture conditions, did not differ between the nest and soil (on heaps) or nest respiration was significantly lower (in L. flavus nests in the meadow). In meadow soil both species had a lower bacteria count than the surrounding soil, but the L. niger nest on the heap had higher bacterial numbers. Both species significantly alter soil conditions, although the effect on selected parameters is variable. Moreover, the result with lower nest moisture and lower decomposition rate in ant mounds indicates that soil moisture should be the next important factor limiting soil processes inside ant mounds.

  8. Amphotis marginata (Coleoptera: Nitidulidae a highwayman of the ant Lasius fuliginosus.

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    Bert Hölldobler

    Full Text Available The space occupied by evolutionarily advanced ant societies can be subdivided into functional sites, such as broodchambers; peripheral nest chambers; kitchen middens; and foraging routes. Many predators and social parasites are specially adapted to make their living inside specific niches created by ants. In particular, the foraging paths of certain ant species are frequented by predatory and kleptoparasitic arthropods, including one striking example, the nitidulid beetle, Amphotis marginata. Adults of this species obtain the majority of their nutrition by acting as a kind of "highwayman" on the foraging trails of the ant Lasius fuliginosus, where they solicit regurgitation from food laden ant-workers by mimicking the ant's food-begging signals. Employing food labeled with the radio isotope 32P, we assessed the quantities of food the beetles siphoned-off of food-laden ants, and we investigated the site preferences, behavioral mechanisms and possible morphological adaptations underlying the food kleptoparasitism of A. marginata.

  9. Does substrate coarseness matter for foraging ants? An experiment with Lasius niger (Hymenoptera; Formicidae).

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    Bernadou, Abel; Fourcassié, Vincent

    2008-03-01

    We investigated whether workers of the ant species Lasius niger are able to sense and discriminate the coarseness of the substrate on which they walk. First, we studied the way in which substrate coarseness affects the ants' locomotory behaviour. Second, we investigated the spontaneous preference of ants for substrates of different coarseness. And third, we tested with a differential conditioning procedure the ants' capacity to learn to associate a given coarseness with a food reward. The locomotory behaviour of ants differed according to substrate coarseness: ants moved significantly faster and had more sinuous trajectories on a fine than on a coarse substrate. No spontaneous preference for a substrate of a given coarseness was observed and, even after 20 successive conditioning trials, there was little evidence of the effect of experience on substrate coarseness discrimination. Overall however, ants trained on fine sand made significantly more correct choice than those trained on coarse sand. We discuss these results and argue that in L. niger substrate coarseness may be more important at the collective level, by interacting with the chemical properties of the pheromone trail used in mass recruitment to food source, than at the individual level.

  10. Impact of Interference Competition on Exploration and Food Exploitation in the Ant Lasius niger

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    Vincent Fourcassié

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Competition acts as a major force in shaping spatially and/or temporally the foraging activity of ant colonies. Interference competition between colonies in particular is widespread in ants where it can prevent the physical access of competitors to a resource, either directly by fighting or indirectly, by segregating the colony foraging areas. Although the consequences of interference competition on ant distribution have been well studied in the literature, the behavioral mechanisms underlying interference competition have been less explored. Little is known on how ants modify their exploration patterns or the choice of a feeding place after experiencing aggressive encounters. In this paper, we show that, at the individual level, the aphid-tending ant Lasius niger reacts to the presence of an alien conspecific through direct aggressive behavior and local recruitment in the vicinity of fights. At the colony level, however, no defensive recruitment is triggered and the “risky” area where aggressive encounters occur is not specifically avoided during further exploration or food exploitation. We discuss how between-species differences in sensitivity to interference competition could be related to the spatial and temporal predictability of food resources at stake.

  11. The influence of red light on the aggregation of two castes of the ant, Lasius niger.

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    Depickère, Stéphanie; Fresneau, Dominique; Deneubourg, Jean-Louis

    2004-07-01

    Insects are generally described as essentially blind to red wavelengths but sensitive to ultraviolet. Therefore, ants are generally reared in nests where "obscurity" is obtained by the use of a red filter. Yet, no study has been done in order to confirm this idea and to verify whether ants behave differently with or without red light. We performed aggregation experiments with the ant Lasius niger under red light and in total darkness to control the sensitivity of workers. Aggregation is a basic behavior associated with the origin of sociality and with the spatial organization of the colony. We demonstrate that L. niger is sensitive to red wavelengths. Moreover, we show that workers behave differently depending on their ethological caste: foragers aggregate well in total darkness but show low assembly under red light, whereas brood-tenders aggregate well in both conditions. For the first time, a link between vision, social organization and spatial patterns is revealed. The results are discussed relative to their adaptive value and relative to the physiology of the workers. Hypotheses are formulated concerning the acquisition of this change of behavior between castes.

  12. Combined effects of temperature and interspecific competition on the mortality of the invasive garden ant, Lasius neglectus: A laboratory study.

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    Frizzi, Filippo; Bartalesi, Viola; Santini, Giacomo

    2017-04-01

    The invasive garden ant, Lasius neglectus, is a dominant species due to its capacity to form large supercolonies. This species was assumed to possess a wide thermal niche since it is able to adapt to cold climates, which is a factor that boosted its rapid expansion from south to many central-northern European Countries. However, the effect of variations in environmental temperatures on its competitive ability against other species has still not been investigated. In this paper, we analyzed the change in survival ability of Lasius neglectus during encounters with two Mediterranean dominant ants (Crematogaster scutellaris and Tapinoma nigerrimum) at four different temperatures (15, 20, 25 and 30°C). Firstly, control tests were performed to provide the baseline survival ability of the three species at different temperatures. Secondly, competition tests were carried out at the same temperatures. Lasius neglectus survival was negatively affected by high temperature (30°C) in control tests, and this impairment was much more pronounced in competition tests. On the contrary, the two opponent species were only marginally affected by temperatures in control tests. Crematogaster scutellaris was a better competitor than L. neglectus, particularly at high temperatures. Tapinoma nigerrimum was a weaker competitor and was always outcompeted by L. neglectus, particularly at low temperatures. This result could suggest that L. neglectus is at a disadvantage during interspecific encounters when temperatures are high and that the predicted future increase in environmental temperatures may potentially enhance this handicap. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Aphid egg protection by ants: a novel aspect of the mutualism between the tree-feeding aphid Stomaphis hirukawai and its attendant ant Lasius productus

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    Matsuura, Kenji; Yashiro, Toshihisa

    2006-10-01

    Aphids often form mutualistic associations with ants, in which the aphids provide the ants with honeydew and the ants defend the aphids from predators. In this paper, we report aphid egg protection by ants as a novel aspect of the deeply interdependent relationship between a tree-feeding aphid and its attendant ant. The ant Lasius productus harbours oviparous females, males, and eggs of the hinoki cypress-feeding aphid Stomaphis hirukawai in its nests in winter. We investigated the behaviour of ants kept with aphid eggs in petri dishes to examine whether the ants recognise the aphid eggs and tend them or only provide a refuge for the aphids. Workers carried almost all of the aphid eggs into the nest within 24 h. The ants indiscriminately tended aphid eggs collected from their own colonies and those from other ant colonies. The ants cleaned the eggs and piled them up in the nest, and egg tending by ants dramatically increased aphid egg survival rates. Starving the ants showed no significant effect on aphid egg survivorship. Without ants, aphid eggs were rapidly killed by fungi. These results suggested that grooming by the ants protected the aphid eggs, at least, against pathogenic fungi. This hygienic service afforded by the ants seems indispensable for egg survival of these aphids in an environment rich in potentially pathogenic microorganisms.

  14. Specificity of an ant-lycaenid interaction.

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    Jordano, D; Thomas, C D

    1992-09-01

    Many lycaenid butterflies are believed to be mutualists of ants - the butterfly larvae secrete sugars and amino acids as rewards for the ants, and the ants protect the larvae from predation or parasitism. We examined the specificity of the relationship between the lycaenid Plebejus argus and ants in the genus Lasius. Eggs were not attractive to Lasius ants until the emerging larvae had broken through the chorion. First instar larvae were palpated and picked up by Lasius workers and taken to the nest. First instars were mostly ignored by Myrmica sabuleti ants and they were rarely detected by Formica fusca. Older larvae were more attractive to Lasius than to the other ant genera. Pupae were very attractive to Lasius, moderately so to Myrmica, and were ignored by Formica fusca. Teneral adults were palpated by Lasius, but were attacked by Myrmica and Formica workers. We conclude that P. argus is a specialist associate of Lasius ants. Two populations of Plebejus argus were compared: one is naturally associated with Lasius niger, and the other with Lasius alienus. In reciprocal trials, larvae were slightly more attractive to their natural host ant species. Since test larvae were reared on a single host plant species in captivity, this differentiation probably has a genetic basis.

  15. Association of the Root Aphid Parasitoids Aclitus sappaphis and Paralipsis eikoae (Hymenoptera, Aphidiidae) with the Aphid-attending Ants Pheidole fervida and Lasius niger (Hymenoptera, Formicidae)

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    Hajimu, TAKADA; Yoshiaki, HASHIMOTO; Laboratory of Entomology, Faculty of Agriculture, Kyoto Prefectural University; Laboratory of Entomology, Faculty of Agriculture, Kyoto Prefectural University:(Present address)Graduate School of Science and Technology, Kobe University

    1985-01-01

    The association of two aphidiid parasitoids of a root aphid (Sappaphis piri MATSUMURA) on wormwood, Aclitus sappaphis TAKADA & SHIGA and Paralipsis eikoae (YASUMATSU), with two aphid-attending ants, Pheidole fervida FR. SMITH and Lasius niger (LINNE), was examined experimentally. The oviposition behavior of A. sappaphis was also observed. A single female parasitoid of each species was released on an aphid colony attended by workers (and soldiers) of either of the two ants, and her behavior an...

  16. How do ants make sense of gravity? A Boltzmann Walker analysis of Lasius niger trajectories on various inclines.

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    Anaïs Khuong

    Full Text Available The goal of this study is to describe accurately how the directional information given by support inclinations affects the ant Lasius niger motion in terms of a behavioral decision. To this end, we have tracked the spontaneous motion of 345 ants walking on a 0.5×0.5 m plane canvas, which was tilted with 5 various inclinations by [Formula: see text] rad ([Formula: see text] data points. At the population scale, support inclination favors dispersal along uphill and downhill directions. An ant's decision making process is modeled using a version of the Boltzmann Walker model, which describes an ant's random walk as a series of straight segments separated by reorientation events, and was extended to take directional influence into account. From the data segmented accordingly ([Formula: see text] segments, this extension allows us to test separately how average speed, segments lengths and reorientation decisions are affected by support inclination and current walking direction of the ant. We found that support inclination had a major effect on average speed, which appeared approximately three times slower on the [Formula: see text] incline. However, we found no effect of the walking direction on speed. Contrastingly, we found that ants tend to walk longer in the same direction when they move uphill or downhill, and also that they preferentially adopt new uphill or downhill headings at turning points. We conclude that ants continuously adapt their decision making about where to go, and how long to persist in the same direction, depending on how they are aligned with the line of maximum declivity gradient. Hence, their behavioral decision process appears to combine klinokinesis with geomenotaxis. The extended Boltzmann Walker model parameterized by these effects gives a fair account of the directional dispersal of ants on inclines.

  17. The Effect of Trail Pheromone and Path Confinement on Learning of Complex Routes in the Ant Lasius niger.

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    Tomer J Czaczkes

    Full Text Available Route learning is key to the survival of many central place foragers, such as bees and many ants. For ants which lay pheromone trails, the presence of a trail may act as an important source of information about whether an error has been made. The presence of trail pheromone has been demonstrated to support route learning, and the effect of pheromones on route choice have been reported to persist even after the pheromones have been removed. This could be explained in two ways: the pheromone may constrain the ants onto the correct route, thus preventing errors and aiding learning. Alternatively, the pheromones may act as a 'reassurance', signalling that the learner is on the right path and that learning the path is worthwhile. Here, we disentangle pheromone presence from route confinement in order to test these hypotheses, using the ant Lasius niger as a model. Unexpectedly, we did not find any evidence that pheromones support route learning. Indeed, there was no evidence that ants confined to the correct route learned at all. Thus, while we cannot support the 'reassurance' hypothesis, we can rule out the 'confinement' hypothesis. Other findings, such as a reduction in pheromone deposition in the presence of trail pheromones, are remarkably consistent with previous experiments. As previously reported, ants which make errors on their outward journey upregulate pheromone deposition on their return. Surprisingly, ants which would go on to make an error down-regulate pheromone deposition on their outward journey, hinting at a capacity for ants to gauge the quality of their own memories.

  18. High temperature and temperature variation undermine future disease susceptibility in a population of the invasive garden ant Lasius neglectus

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    Pamminger, Tobias; Steier, Thomas; Tragust, Simon

    2016-06-01

    Environmental temperature and temperature variation can have strong effects on the outcome of host-parasite interactions. Whilst such effects have been reported for different host systems, long-term consequences of pre-infection temperatures on host susceptibility and immunity remain understudied. Here, we show that experiencing both a biologically relevant increase in temperature and temperature variation undermines future disease susceptibility of the invasive garden ant Lasius neglectus when challenged with a pathogen under a constant temperature regime. In light of the economic and ecological importance of many social insects, our results emphasise the necessity to take the hosts' temperature history into account when studying host-parasite interactions under both natural and laboratory conditions, especially in the face of global change.

  19. The effect of Lasius niger (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) ant nest on selected soil chemical properties

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Frouz, Jan; Holec, Michal; Kalčík, Jiří

    2003-01-01

    Roč. 47, - (2003), s. 205-212 ISSN 0031-4056 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA526/01/1055 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z6066911 Keywords : ants * phosphorus pH * carbon Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 0.711, year: 2003

  20. The effect of two ant species .i.Lasius niger./i. and .i.Lasius flavus./i. on soil properties in two contrasting habitats

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Holec, Michal; Frouz, Jan

    2006-01-01

    Roč. 42, Suppl. 1 (2006), S213-S217 ISSN 1164-5563. [International Colloquium on Soil Zoology /14./. Mont-Saint-Aignan, 30.08.2004-03.09.2004] R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GA526/01/1055; GA AV ČR 1QS600660505 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60660521 Keywords : ants * soil chemistry * soil microbiology Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 0.875, year: 2006

  1. INTRODUCTION The tailor or weaver ants of genus Oecophylla ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    INTRODUCTION. The tailor or weaver ants of genus Oecophylla. (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) are eusocial insects. They are obligately arboreal and are known for their unique nest building behaviour where workers construct nests by weaving together leaves using larval silk. Colonies can be extremely large with a mature ...

  2. Tolerating an infection: an indirect benefit of co-founding queen associations in the ant Lasius niger

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    Pull, Christopher D.; Hughes, William O. H.; Brown, Mark J. F.

    2013-12-01

    Pathogens exert a strong selection pressure on organisms to evolve effective immune defences. In addition to individual immunity, social organisms can act cooperatively to produce collective defences. In many ant species, queens have the option to found a colony alone or in groups with other, often unrelated, conspecifics. These associations are transient, usually lasting only as long as each queen benefits from the presence of others. In fact, once the first workers emerge, queens fight to the death for dominance. One potential advantage of co-founding may be that queens benefit from collective disease defences, such as mutual grooming, that act against common soil pathogens. We test this hypothesis by exposing single and co-founding queens to a fungal parasite, in order to assess whether queens in co-founding associations have improved survival. Surprisingly, co-foundresses exposed to the entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium did not engage in cooperative disease defences, and consequently, we find no direct benefit of multiple queens on survival. However, an indirect benefit was observed, with parasite-exposed queens producing more brood when they co-founded, than when they were alone. We suggest this is due to a trade-off between reproduction and immunity. Additionally, we report an extraordinary ability of the queens to tolerate an infection for long periods after parasite exposure. Our study suggests that there are no social immunity benefits for co-founding ant queens, but that in parasite-rich environments, the presence of additional queens may nevertheless improve the chances of colony founding success.

  3. Phylogeny of Lasius ants based on mitochondrial DNA and morphology, and the evolution of social parasitism in the Lasiini (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Janda, Milan; Folková, D.; Zrzavý, Jan

    2004-01-01

    Roč. 33, - (2004), s. 595-614 ISSN 1055-7903 R&D Projects: GA AV ČR(CZ) GD206/03/H034 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z5007907 Keywords : Lasius * Acanthomyops Subject RIV: EG - Zoology Impact factor: 4.213, year: 2004

  4. THE MYRMICINE ANT GENUS ALLOMERUS MAYR (HYMENOPTERA: FORMICIDAE

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    FERNÁNDEZ FERNANDO

    2007-06-01

    Full Text Available The Neotropical myrmicine ant genus Allomerus Mayr is revised. The genus isapparently monophyletic based on the antennal club confi guration. I recognize 8 species(4 described as new: Allomerus brevipilosus n. sp. (Brazil, A. decemarticulatusMayr (Brazil, French Guiana, A. dentatus n. sp. (Venezuela, A. maietae n. sp.(Brazil, A. octoarticulatus Mayr (=A. tuberculatus Forel n. syn. = A. octoarticulatusvar. demerarae W. M. Wheeler n. syn. = A. novemarticulatus Wheeler & Mann n.syn. [Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, French Guiana, Peru], A. septemarticulatus Mayrstatus rev. (Brazil, A. undecemarticulatus n. sp. (Venezuela and A. vogeli Kempf(Venezuela, Brazil. Better knowledge of the taxonomy of Allomerus is needed tounderstand the apparently sporadic differences in antennal fl agellomere number andspeciation processes that are probably linked to plant cavity colonization.

  5. The differential response of workers and queens of the ant Lasius niger to an environment marked by workers: ants dislike the unknown.

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    Devigne, Cédric; de Biseau, Jean-Christophe

    2012-11-01

    It is well known that ants can use cuticular hydrocarbons (CHCs) as a specific recognition cue. Most previous studies addressed the perception of CHCs occurring on the cuticle. However, the presence of CHCs in the environment (e.g., on the substrate) and the role of these compounds as a signal cue are less clear. In this study of the ant L. niger, CHCs were extracted from corpses of workers, from the legs of workers and from filter paper marked by workers. Behavioural choice tests were then performed to study the reactions of workers and queens to CHC passively deposited on the substrate by walking workers. A GC-MS analysis of the CHCs revealed a complex mixture of 28 peaks composed of linear alkanes, alkenes and mono-, di- or trimethylalkane. This mixture was consistently present in the three sources tested (corpses of workers, the tarsus of workers and paper marked by walking workers). Nevertheless, discriminant analyses distinguished clearly among the three types of profiles. The results of our behavioural experiments showed that the workers were able to distinguish between marked and unmarked papers but that they exhibited no preferences for different types of marked papers (papers marked by workers from their own colony or papers marked by workers from a different colony). In queens, the perception of marked papers depended on age or physiological state. Just-mated queens did not discriminate between unmarked papers and papers marked by an alien colony. In contrast, the egg-laying queens 3 days after mating significantly favoured the marked papers. We discuss the ecological relevance of the differences in decision-making between castes. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. The influence of different vegetation patches on the spatial distribution of nests and the epigeic activity of ants (Lasius niger) on a spoil dump after brown coal mining (Czech Republic)

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    Holec, M.; Frouz, J.; Pokorny, R. [Academy of Science Czech Republic, Ceske Budejovice (Czech Republic). Inst. of Soil Biology

    2006-07-15

    A study was carried out during 2001 on mine tailings in NW Bohemia aimed at describing the spatial patterns of nests distribution and epigeic activity of ants in relation to the vegetation mosaic. Lasius niger was the most abundant species of ant and its nest mounds were significantly more numerous in patches with sparse vegetation than inside dense Calamagrostis epigejos vegetation; this was particularly true for small and medium-sized nests. Small and medium nests also occurred more frequently near the edges of a given patch than in the center. Large and medium nests were randomly distributed in the area, whereas small nests had an aggregated distribution. Pitfall trapping reveal significantly higher activity of L. niger workers in tall and dense vegetation stands in comparison with low and sparse vegetation. This pattern was particularly pronounced during the peak of foraging activity in summer and was not so significant in spring or autumn. We expect that ants preferentially forage in shaded habitats during the summer months when bare soil may be too hot. The results indicated that nesting and foraging may differ in their microclimatic requirements and the formation of vegetation mosaics may be important to changes in the ant population during succession.

  7. Revision of the ant genus Melophorus (Hymenoptera, Formicidae)

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    Heterick, Brian E.; Castalanelli, Mark; Shattuck, Steve O.

    2017-01-01

    Abstract The fauna of the purely Australian formicine ant genus Melophorus (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) is revised. This project involved integrated morphological and molecular taxonomy using one mitochondrial gene (COI) and four nuclear genes (AA, H3, LR and Wg). Seven major clades were identified and are here designated as the M. aeneovirens, M. anderseni, M. biroi, M. fulvihirtus, M. ludius, M. majeri and M. potteri species-groups. Within these clades, smaller complexes of similar species were also identified and designated species-complexes. The M. ludius species-group was identified purely on molecular grounds, as the morphology of its members is indistinguishable from typical members of the M. biroi species-complex within the M. biroi species-group. Most species-complexes sampled were also found to be monophyletic. Sequencing generally supported monophyly in taxa sampled but some species of the M. fieldi complex and M. biroi were not monophyletic and the implications arising from this are discussed in this monograph. Based on morphology, ninety-three species are recognized, 73 described as new. A further new species (here called 'Species K' [TERC Collection]) is noted in the taxonomic list, but is not described in this work. One species is removed from Melophorus: M. scipio Forel is here placed provisionally in Prolasius. Six species and five subspecies pass into synonymy. Of the full species, M. constans Santschi, M. iridescens (Emery) and M. insularis Wheeler are synonymized under M. aeneovirens (Lowne), M. pillipes Santschi is synonymized under M. turneri Forel, M. marius Forel is synonymized under M. biroi Forel, and M. omniparens Forel is synonymized under M. wheeleri Forel. Of the subspecies, M. iridescens fraudatrix and M. iridescens froggatti Forel are synonymized under M. aeneovirens (Lowne), M. turneri aesopus Forel and M. turneri candidus Santschi are synonymized under M. turneri Forel and M. fieldi propinqua Viehmeyer is synonymized under M. biroi

  8. Effects of the ants Formica sanguinea, Lasius niger, and Tetramorium cf. caespitum on soil properties in an ore-washery sedimentation basin

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Jílková, Veronika; Pech, P.; Mihaljevič, M.; Frouz, Jan

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 17, č. 8 (2017), s. 2127-2135 ISSN 1439-0108 R&D Projects: GA MŠk(CZ) LM2015075 Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : ant nest * basic cations * heavy metals * microbial activity * nitrogen * sedimentation basin Subject RIV: DF - Soil Science OBOR OECD: Soil science Impact factor: 2.522, year: 2016

  9. Three new species and reassessment of the rare Neotropical ant genus Leptanilloides (Hymenoptera, Formicidae, Leptanilloidinae)

    OpenAIRE

    Borowiec, Marek; Longino, John

    2011-01-01

    Abstract We describe three new species of the Neotropical ant genus Leptanilloides : Leptanilloides gracilis sp. n. based on workers from Mexico and Guatemala, Leptanilloides erinys sp. n. based on workers and a gyne from Ecuador, and Leptanilloides femoralis sp. n. based on workers from Venezuela. The description of Leptanilloides gracilis is a northern extension of the known range of the genus, now numbering eleven described species. We also describe and discuss three unassociated male morp...

  10. Poneromorph Ants Associated with Parasitoid Wasps of the Genus Kapala Cameron (Hymenoptera: Eucharitidae in French Guiana

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jean-Paul Lachaud

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Eucharitid wasps are specific, specialized parasitoids of ants. The genus Kapala Cameron is the most common in the Neotropics but few species are described, and information dealing with their biology, behavior and host associations is scarce. Numerous poneromorph ant colonies were inspected over 4 collection surveys in French Guiana. A diverse fauna of parasites and parasitoids was found, including mermithid nematodes, flies, eucharitids, and another gregarious endoparasitoid wasp. Five new host associations for Kapala are reported, all of them involving medium- to large-size poneromorph ant species from 4 genera: Ectatomma brunneum Fr. Smith, Gnamptogenys tortuolosa (Fr. Smith, Odontomachus haematodus (L., O. mayi Mann, and Pachycondyla verenae (Forel. Three other associations involving O. hastatus (Fabr., P. apicalis (Latreille, and P. stigma (Fabr., already reported for other countries but new for French Guiana, are confirmed. The data extend the number of hosts for Kapala to 24 ant species from 7 genera. The high diversity of the ant host genera associated with Kapala, combined with the fact that these ant genera are the most widely distributed among Neotropical poneromorph ants, could account for the dominant status of the genus Kapala among the eucharitine wasps of Central and South America.

  11. Karyotype instability in the ponerine ant genus Diacamma

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    The queenless ponerine ant Diacamma ceylonense and a population of Diacamma from the Nilgiri hills which we refer to as 'nilgiri', exhibit interesting similarities as well as dissimilarities. Molecular phylogenetic study of these morphologically almost similar taxa has shown that D. ceylonense is closely related to 'nilgiri' and ...

  12. Giant ants and their shape: revealing relationships in the genus Titanomyrma with geometric morphometrics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dehon, Manuel

    2018-01-01

    Shape is a natural phenomenon inherent to many different lifeforms. A modern technique to analyse shape is geometric morphometrics (GM), which offers a whole range of methods concerning the pure shape of an object. The results from these methods have provided new insights into biological problems and have become especially useful in the fields of entomology and palaeontology. Despite the conspicuous successes in other hymenopteran groups, GM analysis of wings and fossil wings of Formicidae has been neglected. Here we tested if landmarks defining the wing shape of fossil ants that belong to the genus Titanomyrma are reliable and if this technique is able to expose relationships among different groups of the largest Hymenoptera that ever lived. This study comprises 402 wings from 362 ants that were analysed and assigned with the GM methods linear discriminant function analysis, principal component analysis, canonical variate analysis, and regression. The giant ant genus Titanomyrma and the parataxon Formicium have different representatives that are all very similar but these modern methods were able to distinguish giant ant types even to the level of the sex. Thirty-five giant ant specimens from the Eckfeld Maar were significantly differentiable from a collection of Messel specimens that consisted of 187 Titanomyrma gigantea females and 42 T. gigantea males, and from 74 Titanomyrma simillima females and 21 T. simillima males. Out of the 324 Messel ants, 127 are newly assigned to a species and 223 giant ants are newly assigned to sex with GM analysis. All specimens from Messel fit to the two species. Moreover, shape affinities of these groups and the species Formicium brodiei, Formicium mirabile, and Formicium berryi, which are known only from wings, were investigated. T. gigantea stands out with a possible female relative in one of the Eckfeld specimens whereas the other groups show similar shape patterns that are possibly plesiomorphic. Formicidae are one of the

  13. Giant ants and their shape: revealing relationships in the genus Titanomyrma with geometric morphometrics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julian Katzke

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Shape is a natural phenomenon inherent to many different lifeforms. A modern technique to analyse shape is geometric morphometrics (GM, which offers a whole range of methods concerning the pure shape of an object. The results from these methods have provided new insights into biological problems and have become especially useful in the fields of entomology and palaeontology. Despite the conspicuous successes in other hymenopteran groups, GM analysis of wings and fossil wings of Formicidae has been neglected. Here we tested if landmarks defining the wing shape of fossil ants that belong to the genus Titanomyrma are reliable and if this technique is able to expose relationships among different groups of the largest Hymenoptera that ever lived. This study comprises 402 wings from 362 ants that were analysed and assigned with the GM methods linear discriminant function analysis, principal component analysis, canonical variate analysis, and regression. The giant ant genus Titanomyrma and the parataxon Formicium have different representatives that are all very similar but these modern methods were able to distinguish giant ant types even to the level of the sex. Thirty-five giant ant specimens from the Eckfeld Maar were significantly differentiable from a collection of Messel specimens that consisted of 187 Titanomyrma gigantea females and 42 T. gigantea males, and from 74 Titanomyrma simillima females and 21 T. simillima males. Out of the 324 Messel ants, 127 are newly assigned to a species and 223 giant ants are newly assigned to sex with GM analysis. All specimens from Messel fit to the two species. Moreover, shape affinities of these groups and the species Formicium brodiei, Formicium mirabile, and Formicium berryi, which are known only from wings, were investigated. T. gigantea stands out with a possible female relative in one of the Eckfeld specimens whereas the other groups show similar shape patterns that are possibly plesiomorphic. Formicidae

  14. Studies on California ants: a review of the genus Temnothorax (Hymenoptera, Formicidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roy Snelling

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The following ten new species of the ant genus Temnothorax are described and illustrated: T. anaphalantus (California, Baja California, T. arboreus (California, T. caguatan (Oregon, California, Baja California, T.morongo (California, Baja California, T. myrmiciformis (California, Baja California, T. nuwuvi (Nevada, T. paiute (California, Nevada, T. pseudandrei (Arizona, California, T. quasimodo (California and T. wardi (California. A key to workers of the twenty-two Temnothorax species known or expected to occur in California is provided.

  15. Three new species and reassessment of the rare Neotropical ant genus Leptanilloides (Hymenoptera, Formicidae, Leptanilloidinae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marek Borowiec

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available We describe three new species of the Neotropical ant genus Leptanilloides: L. gracilis sp. n. based on workers from Mexico and Guatemala, L. erinys sp. n. based on workers and a gyne from Ecuador, and L. femoralis sp. n. based on workers from Venezuela. The description of L. gracilis is a northern extension of the known range of the genus, now numbering eleven described species. We also describe and discuss three unassociated male morphotypes from Central America. We report the occurrence of a metatibial gland in Leptanilloides and a fused promesonotal connection (suture in some species. We provide a modified, detailed diagnosis of the genus and a revised key to the worker caste of the known species.

  16. A new genus of highly specialized ants in Cretaceous Burmese amber (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barden, Phillip; Grimaldi, David

    2013-01-01

    A new genus of ants, Zigrasimecia Barden and Grimaldi, is described for a new and uniquely specialized species, Z. tonsora Barden and Grimaldi n.sp., preserved in Cretaceous amber from Myanmar. The amber is radiometrically dated at 99 myo. Zigrasimecia is closely related to another basal genus of ants known only in Burmese and French Cretaceous amber, Sphecomyrmodes Engel and Grimaldi, based in part on the shared possession of a comb of pegs on the clypeal margin, as well as mandible structure. Highly specialized features of Zigrasimecia include extensive development of the clypeal comb, a thick brush of setae on the oral surface of the mandibles and on the labrum, and a head that is broad, flattened, and which bears a crown of blackened, rugose cuticle. Mouthparts are hypothesized to have functioned in a unique manner, showing no clear signs of dentition representative of "chewing" or otherwise processing solid food. Although all ants in Burmese amber are basal, stem-group taxa, there is an unexpected diversity of mouthpart morphologies and probable feeding modes.

  17. Nesting habits shape feeding preferences and predatory behavior in an ant genus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dejean, Alain; Labrière, Nicolas; Touchard, Axel; Petitclerc, Frédéric; Roux, Olivier

    2014-04-01

    We tested if nesting habits influence ant feeding preferences and predatory behavior in the monophyletic genus Pseudomyrmex (Pseudomyrmecinae) which comprises terrestrial and arboreal species, and, among the latter, plant-ants which are obligate inhabitants of myrmecophytes (i.e., plants sheltering so-called plant-ants in hollow structures). A cafeteria experiment revealed that the diet of ground-nesting Pseudomyrmex consists mostly of prey and that of arboreal species consists mostly of sugary substances, whereas the plant-ants discarded all the food we provided. Workers forage solitarily, detecting prey from a distance thanks to their hypertrophied eyes. Approach is followed by antennal contact, seizure, and the manipulation of the prey to sting it under its thorax (next to the ventral nerve cord). Arboreal species were not more efficient at capturing prey than were ground-nesting species. A large worker size favors prey capture. Workers from ground- and arboreal-nesting species show several uncommon behavioral traits, each known in different ant genera from different subfamilies: leaping abilities, the use of surface tension strengths to transport liquids, short-range recruitment followed by conflicts between nestmates, the consumption of the prey's hemolymph, and the retrieval of entire prey or pieces of prey after having cut it up. Yet, we never noted group ambushing. We also confirmed that Pseudomyrmex plant-ants live in a kind of food autarky as they feed only on rewards produced by their host myrmecophyte, or on honeydew produced by the hemipterans they attend and possibly on the fungi they cultivate.

  18. Genetic evidence for intra- and interspecific slavery in honey ants (genus Myrmecocystus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kronauer, D J C; Gadau, J; Hölldobler, B

    2003-04-22

    The New World honey ant species Myrmecocystus mimicus is well known for its highly stereotyped territorial tournaments, and for the raids on conspecific nests that can lead to intraspecific slavery. Our results from mitochondrial and nuclear markers show that the raided brood emerges in the raiding colony and is subsequently incorporated into the colony's worker force. We also found enslaved conspecifics in a second honey ant species, M. depilis, the sister taxon of M. mimicus, which occurs in sympatry with M. mimicus at the study site. Colonies of this species furthermore contained raided M. mimicus workers. Both species have an effective mating frequency that is not significantly different from 1. This study provides genetic evidence for facultative intra- and interspecific slavery in the genus Myrmecocystus. Slavery in ants has evolved repeatedly and supposedly by different means. We propose that, in honey ants, secondary contact between two closely related species that both exhibit intraspecific slavery gave rise to an early form of facultative interspecific slavery.

  19. Revision of the ant genus Proceratium Roger (Hymenoptera, Proceratiinae in Fiji

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francisco Hita Garcia

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The Fiji archipelago harbours a surprisingly diverse and endemic ant fauna, despite its isolated and remote location in the South Pacific. The ant genus Proceratium is present on Fiji with three endemic species, of which P. oceanicum De Andrade, 2003 and P. relictum Mann, 1921 were previously known. In this study we describe the third species: P. vinaka sp. n. All three species are members of the widespread and species-rich P. silaceum clade. In order to integrate the new species into the current taxonomic system, we present an illustrated identification key to the worker caste of the three Fijian species. In addition, we provide a detailed description of P. vinaka, as well as species accounts for the other two species, which include diagnoses, taxonomic discussions, specimen photographs, and a distribution map.

  20. Acrobat ants go global--origin, evolution and systematics of the genus Crematogaster (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blaimer, Bonnie B

    2012-11-01

    This study unravels the evolution and biogeographic history of the globally distributed ant genus Crematogaster on the basis of a molecular phylogeny, reconstructed from five nuclear protein-coding genes and a total of 3384 bp of sequence data. A particular emphasis is placed on the evolutionary history of these ants in the Malagasy region. Bayesian and likelihood analyses performed on a dataset of 124 Crematogaster ingroup taxa lend strong support for three deeply diverging phylogenetic lineages within the genus: the Orthocrema clade, the Global Crematogaster clade and the Australo-Asian Crematogaster clade. The 15 previous subgenera within Crematogaster are mostly not monophyletic. Divergence dating analyses and ancestral range reconstructions suggest that Crematogaster evolved in South-East Asia in the mid-Eocene (40-45 ma). The three major lineages also originated in this region in the late Oligocene/early Miocene (~24-30 ma). A first dispersal out of S-E Asia by an Orthocrema lineage is supported for 22-30 ma to the Afrotropical region. Successive dispersal events out of S-E Asia began in the early, and continued throughout the late Miocene. The global distribution of Crematogaster was achieved by subsequent colonizations of all major biogeographic regions by the Orthocrema and the Global Crematogaster clade. Molecular dating estimates and ancestral range evolution are discussed in the light of palaeogeographic changes in the S-E Asian region and an evolving ocean circulation system throughout the Eocene, Oligocene and Miocene. Eight dispersal events to/from Madagascar by Crematogaster are supported, with most events occurring in the late Miocene to Pliocene (5.0-9.5 ma). These results suggest that Crematogaster ants possess exceptional dispersal and colonization abilities, and emphasize the need for detailed investigations of traits that have contributed to the global evolutionary success of these ants. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Taxonomic review of the ant genus Paratrechina, with a description of a new species from Africa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John LaPolla

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available With the recent finding of Paratrechina (broad sense paraphyly, only Paratrechina longicornis remained in a redefined genus. As one of the most widely distributed ant species due to human transfer around the world, there is much interest in the biology of P. longicornis. One issue concerning P. longicornis has been as to where exactly the species is native, with both African and Asian native ranges being invoked in the literature. Here we report the discovery of a second species within Paratrechina. This species, P. zanjensis, is native to Africa (known from Angola, Mozambique and Tanzania, where it appears to be a dry miombo woodland species. Given the discovery of this new species, a reevaluation of the morphological definition of Paratrechina is provided; also provided is an updated generic level identification key. Given the available distribution information on P. longicornis, we conclude that P. longicornis remains most likely native to southeastern Asia, and that the discovery of a new species native to Africa makes Paratrechina yet another example of an ant genus that possesses an Afro-Asian distribution.

  2. Predation and aggressiveness in host plant protection: a generalization using ants from the genus Azteca

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dejean, Alain; Grangier, Julien; Leroy, Céline; Orivel, Jerôme

    2009-01-01

    In studying the ant genus Azteca, a Neotropical group of arboreal species, we aimed to determine the extent to which the ants use predation and/or aggressiveness to protect their host plants from defoliating insects. We compared a territorially dominant, carton-nester, Azteca chartifex, and three plant-ant species. Azteca alfari and Azteca ovaticeps are associated with the myrmecophyte Cecropia (Cecropiaceae) and their colonies shelter in its hollow branches; whereas Azteca bequaerti is associated with Tococa guianensis (Melastomataceae) and its colonies shelter in leaf pouches situated at the base of the laminas. Whereas A. bequaerti workers react to the vibrations transmitted by the lamina when an alien insect lands on a leaf making it unnecessary for them to patrol their plant, the workers of the three other species rather discover prey by contact. The workers of all four species use a predatory behaviour involving spread-eagling alien insects after recruiting nestmates at short range, and, in some cases, at long range. Because A. alfari and A. ovaticeps discard part of the insects they kill, we deduced that the workers’ predatory behaviour and territorial aggressiveness combine in the biotic defence of their host tree.

  3. How ants find each other; temporal and spatial patterns in nuptial flights

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Noordijk, J.; Morssinkhof, R.; Boer, P.; Schaffers, A.P.; Heijerman, Th.; Sykora, K.V.

    2008-01-01

    Reproduction is a key factor in understanding population ecology and therefore species occurrence. However, patterns in reproductive behaviour for distinct ant species remain insufficiently known. In this paper strategies in mate finding are studied for six ant species (Lasius niger, Lasius

  4. Tradeoffs in the evolution of caste and body size in the hyperdiverse ant genus Pheidole.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Terrence P McGlynn

    Full Text Available The efficient investment of resources is often the route to ecological success, and the adaptability of resource investment may play a critical role in promoting biodiversity. The ants of the "hyperdiverse" genus Pheidole produce two discrete sterile castes, soldiers and minor workers. Within Pheidole, there is tremendous interspecific variation in proportion of soldiers. The causes and correlates of caste ratio variation among species of Pheidole remain enigmatic. Here we test whether a body size threshold model accounts for interspecific variation in caste ratio in Pheidole, such that species with larger body sizes produce relatively fewer soldiers within their colonies. We evaluated the caste ratio of 26 species of Pheidole and found that the body size of workers accounts for interspecific variation in the production of soldiers as we predicted. Twelve species sampled from one forest in Costa Rica yielded the same relationship as found in previously published data from many localities. We conclude that production of soldiers in the most species-rich group of ants is regulated by a body size threshold mechanism, and that the great variation in body size and caste ratio in Pheidole plays a role in niche divergence in this rapidly evolving taxon.

  5. Biogeography of Timor and Surrounding Wallacean Islands: Endemism in Ants of the Genus Polyrhachis Fr. Smith

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Colin R. Trainor

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available The Wallacean island of Timor is of particular biological interest due to its relatively large size and transitional location between the Indo-Malayan and Australasian biogeographic realms. However, the origins and levels of endemism of its invertebrate fauna are poorly known. A recent study of Timorese ants revealed a diverse fauna with predominantly Indo-Malayan affinities, but species-level taxonomy was considered to be too poorly understood for an analysis of levels of endemism. The highly diverse Old World tropical genus Polyrhachis represents a notable exception, and here we analyse levels of endemism in the Polyrhachis fauna of Timor and surrounding islands. We supplement the species listed in the previous study with additional collections to record a total of 35 species of Polyrhachis from Timor and surrounding islands. Only 14 (40% of the 35 species could be named (P. constricta, P. costulata, P. gab, P. sokolova, P. hera, P. illaudata, P. rixosa, P. acantha chrysophanes, P. saevissima, P. bicolor, P. cryptoceroides, P. dives, P. longipes and P. olybria, and the large majority of the remaining species have not previously been collected. These are very likely to be endemic to Timor and surrounding islands, and point to remarkably high levels (>50% of endemism in the regional ant fauna.

  6. Multiple Convergent Origins of Workerlessness and Inbreeding in the Socially Parasitic Ant Genus Myrmoxenus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jürgen Heinze

    Full Text Available The socially parasitic ant genus Myrmoxenus varies strongly in fundamental life history traits, such as queen-worker ratio, the timing of sexual production, and mating behavior. Myrmoxenus queens generally take over nests of Temnothorax ants, kill the resident queen by throttling, and force the workers to take care of the social parasite's brood. Young queens of M. ravouxi and other species produce large numbers of workers, which during "slave-raids" pillage host pupae from neighboring Temnothorax colonies to increase the workforce in their own nests. Other species, such as M. corsicus, have lost caste polyphenism and rear only male and female sexual offspring. Using sequences of the genes CO I/CO II and wingless we reconstruct the phylogeny of Myrmoxenus and document that the worker caste was lost convergently at least three times. Furthermore, mating in the nest and inbreeding obviously also evolved in parallel from ancestors whose sexuals presumably mated during nuptial flights. Myrmoxenus might thus provide a suitable model to investigate caste differentiation and the plasticity of mating behavior in Hymenoptera.

  7. Revision of the fungus-farming ant genus Sericomyrmex Mayr (Hymenoptera, Formicidae, Myrmicinae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana Ješovnik

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available The genus Sericomyrmex Mayr (Formicidae: Myrmicinae: Attini is a Neotropical group of fungus-farming ants known for its problematic taxonomy, caused by low morphological variability across the species, vague and old species descriptions, and an outdated and incomplete key published in 1916. Recent molecular studies revealed that Sericomyrmex is the product of a rapid recent radiation, with a divergence date of 4.3 million years ago. Here we present a comprehensive taxonomic revision of the genus Sericomyrmex based on morphology and a recently published molecular phylogeny. We discuss and illustrate morphological characters for Sericomyrmex workers, males, queens, and larvae. We report 18 standard morphological measurements and 5 indices for 529 workers, 50 queens, and 39 males, which we employ in morphometric analyses. The revised genus Sericomyrmex comprises eleven species, including three new species, here described as S. maravalhas sp. n., S. radioheadi sp. n., and S. saramama sp. n. We also redescribe S. amabilis Wheeler, S. bondari Borgmeier, S. lutzi Wheeler, S. mayri Forel, S. opacus Mayr, S. parvulus Forel, S. saussurei Emery, and S. scrobifer Forel. The number of recognized species (11 is lower than the previously recognized 19 species and 3 subspecies. The following species and subspecies are synonymized: under S. opacus [=S. aztecus Forel syn. n., S. zacapanus Wheeler syn. n., and S. diego Forel syn. n.]; under S. bondari [=S. beniensis Weber syn. n.]; under S. mayri [=S. luederwaldti Santschi syn. n., S. moreirai Santschi syn. n., S. harekulli Weber syn. n., S. harekulli arawakensis Weber syn. n., S. urichi Forel syn. n.]; under S. saussurei [=S. burchelli Forel syn. n., S. impexus Wheeler syn. n., S. urichi maracas Weber syn. n.]; and under S. parvulus [=S. myersi Weber syn. n.]. We provide a key to Sericomyrmex species for the worker caste and information on the geographic distributions of all species.

  8. Cyatta abscondita: taxonomy, evolution, and natural history of a new fungus-farming ant genus from Brazil.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeffrey Sosa-Calvo

    Full Text Available Cyatta abscondita, a new genus and species of fungus-farming ant from Brazil, is described based on morphological study of more than 20 workers, two dealate gynes, one male, and two larvae. Ecological field data are summarized, including natural history, nest architecture, and foraging behavior. Phylogenetic analyses of DNA sequence data from four nuclear genes indicate that Cyatta abscondita is the distant sister taxon of the genus Kalathomyrmex, and that together they comprise the sister group of the remaining neoattine ants, an informal clade that includes the conspicuous and well-known leaf-cutter ants. Morphologically, Cyatta abscondita shares very few obvious character states with Kalathomyrmex. It does, however, possess a number of striking morphological features unique within the fungus-farming tribe Attini. It also shares morphological character states with taxa that span the ancestral node of the Attini. The morphology, behavior, and other biological characters of Cyatta abscondita are potentially informative about plesiomorphic character states within the fungus-farming ants and about the early evolution of ant agriculture.

  9. Comparative analysis of the macronutrient content of Central European ants (Formicidae): implications for ant-eating predators.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pekár, S; Mayntz, D

    2014-03-01

    Prey nutrient quality determines predator performance. Polyphagous predators can address nutritional challenges by targeting prey with specific nutrient composition, but prey-specialised predators (e.g., ant-eaters), must obtain all nutrients from limited array of prey. Analysis of published data on prey specificity of European ant-eating spiders showed that some feed only on one ant genus, while others feed on several genera. Spiders feeding on several ant genera can possibly balance nutrient intake by selecting different ant prey. But monophagous species must extract all prey from a single prey species and can only vary nutrient intake by feeding on specific body parts. Most ant-eating spider species are catching Formica, Lasius and Messor ants, suggesting that these are most profitable ant species. We evaluated the nutritional content of a variety of 16 Central European ant species belonging to 11 genera and four subfamilies. We found that the nutritional composition, namely the amount of carbon, nitrogen and lipids, of European ants is heterogeneous. The largest variation in the amount of carbon and lipids was among ant subfamilies and species, while the largest variation in nitrogen was among ant genera. The largest amount of carbon and nitrogen was typical for Myrmicinae and the largest amount of lipids were typical for Formicinae. Within ants, the relative amounts of lipids were significantly higher in the gaster while the contents of carbon and nitrogen were highest in foreparts. Ant species did not cluster in the ordination space according to their taxonomic relationship or trophic strategy. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. ANT

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2017-01-01

    Ten years ago actor-network theory (ANT) entered this journal. To illustrate how the relational ontology and sensibilities of ANT lend themselves to particular kinds of research, we first interrogate the main controversies as a way to open up and discuss the main premises of ANT. These debates...... concern the status and agency of objects and non-humans, ANT’s denial of the explanatory power of social structures, and the political implications of ANT. Second we present ANT’s relevance for tourism studies and discuss what ANT ‘does’ in practice. After summarizing a decade of relations between ANT...... and tourism, we conclude by tracing three future trajectories of how we have ‘moved away with’ ANT into new areas of discovery....

  11. Distribution and Diversity of the Cryptic Ant Genus Oxyepoecus (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Myrmicinae in Paraguay with Descriptions of Two New Species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. Delsinne

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available We discuss the diversity and distribution of the ant genus Oxyepoecus in Paraguay. Oxyepoecus inquilinus is recorded for the first time, and new distribution data are given for O. rastratus and O. vezenyii. Published data for O. bruchi, O. rastratus, O. reticulatus, and O. vezenyii are summarized. Two new species are described (O. bidentatus n. sp. and O. striatus n. sp., and a key to the workers of the seven Paraguayan Oxyepoecus species is provided. At Teniente Enciso National Park, four species cooccur. This locality appears as a promising site for studies documenting the biology of this poorly known ant genus, and because of the IUCN “vulnerable“ Red List classification of O. inquilinus, the importance of the Teniente Enciso National Park for biological conservation is clearly established.

  12. Colony kin structure and breeding system in the ant genus Plagiolepis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thurin, N; Sery, N; Guimbretiere, R; Aron, S

    2011-08-01

    Relatedness is a central parameter in the evolution of sociality, because kin selection theory assumes that individuals involved in altruistic interactions are related. At least three reproductive characteristics are known to profoundly affect colony kin structure in social insects: the number of reproductive queens per colony, the relatedness among breeding queens and queen mating frequency. Both the occurrence of multiple queens (polygyny) and multiple mating (polyandry) decrease within-colony relatedness, while mating among sibs increases relatedness between the workers and the brood they rear. Using DNA microsatellites, we performed a detailed genetic analysis of the colony kin structure and breeding system in three ant species belonging to the genus Plagiolepis: P. schmitzii, P. taurica and P. maura. Our data show that queens of the three species mate multiply: queens of P. maura mate with 1-2 males, queens of P. taurica with 3-11 males and queens of P. schmitzii may have 1-14 different mates. Moreover, colonies are headed by multiple queens: P. taurica and P. maura are facultatively polygynous, while P. schmitzii is obligately polygynous. Despite polyandry and polygyny, relatedness within colonies remains high because all species are characterized by sib-mating, with a fixation index F(it) = 0.25 in P. taurica, 0.24 in P. schmitzii and 0.26 in P. maura, and because the male mates of a queen are on average closely related. © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  13. The influence of different vegetation patches on the spatial distribution of nests and the epigeic activity of ants (.i.Lasius niger./i.) on a spoil dump after brown coal mining (Czech Republic)

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Holec, Michal; Frouz, Jan; Pokorný, R.

    2006-01-01

    Roč. 42, č. 3 (2006), s. 158-165 ISSN 1164-5563 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GA526/01/1055; GA AV ČR(CZ) 1QS600660505 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60660521 Keywords : ants * dumps * tailings Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 0.875, year: 2006

  14. Revision of the Middle American clade of the ant genus Stenamma Westwood (Hymenoptera, Formicidae, Myrmicinae

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    Michael Branstetter

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Stenamma is a cryptic “leaf-litter” ant genus that occurs in mesic forest habitats throughout the Holarctic region, Central America, and part of northwestern South America (Colombia and Ecuador. The genus was thought to be restricted primarily to the temperate zone, but recent collecting efforts have uncovered a large radiation of Neotropical forms, which rival the Holarctic species in terms of morphological and behavioral diversity. By inferring a broad-scale molecular phylogeny of Stenamma, Branstetter (2012 showed that all Neotropical species belong to a diverse Middle American clade (MAC, and that this clade is sister to an almost completely geographically separated Holarctic clade (HOC. Here, the Middle American clade of Stenamma is revised to recognize 40 species, of which 33 are described as new. Included in the revision are a key to species based on the worker caste, and for each species where possible, descriptions and images of workers and queens, images of males, information on geographic distribution, descriptions of intraspecific variation, and notes on natural history. Several species groups are defined, but the majority of species remain unassigned due to a lack of diagnostic morphological character states for most molecular clades. The following species are redescribed: S. alas Longino, S. diversum Mann, S. expolitum Smith, S. felixi Mann, S. huachucanum Smith, S. manni Wheeler, and S. schmidti Menozzi. The following are described as new: S. andersoni sp. n., S. atribellum sp. n., S. brujita sp. n., S. callipygium sp. n., S. catracho sp. n., S. connectum sp. n., S. crypticum sp. n., S. cusuco sp. n., S. excisum sp. n., S. expolitico sp. n., S. hojarasca sp. n., S. ignotum sp. n., S. lagunum sp. n., S. llama sp. n., S. leptospinum sp. n., S. lobinodus sp. n., S. longinoi sp. n., S. maximon sp. n., S. megamanni sp. n., S. monstrosum sp. n., S. muralla sp. n., S. nanozoi sp. n., S. nonotch sp. n., S. ochrocnemis sp. n., S

  15. Risicoanalyse van de plaagmier Lasius neglectus.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Loon, van A.J.

    2009-01-01

    De plaagmier Lasius neglectus Van Loon, Boomsma & Andrásfalvy, 1990 werd in de vroege jaren 1970 ontdekt en beschreven van Boedapest (Hongarije). De mier is inmiddels op een groot aantal plekken in Europa en Voor-Azië gevonden en gedraagt zich soms invasief. Het oorspronkelijke verspreidingsgebied

  16. 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

  17. Revision of the Malagasy ponerine ants of the genus Leptogenys Roger (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rakotonirina, Jean Claude; Fisher, Brian L

    2014-07-15

    Leptogenys is the most diverse ponerine ant genus in the world; it is widespread throughout tropical and subtropical regions and there are over 200 extant species described. Most species have ergatoid queens, and many have falcate, bowed mandibles and are specialists on isopod prey. Here, the Malagasy Leptogenys are revised with 60 species recognized, of which 40 are newly described, 18 redescribed, and two subspecies raised to species rank and redescribed. Included in the revision are a key to species based on the worker caste, geographic distributions, descriptions of intraspecific variation, and notes on natural history. The following species are redescribed: L. acutirostris Santschi, L. alluaudi Emery, L. angusta (Forel), L. antongilensis Emery, L. arcirostris Santschi, L. coerulescens Emery, L. falcigera Roger, L. gracilis Emery, L. grandidieri Forel, L. incisa Forel, L. maxillosa (F. Smith), L. oswaldi Forel, L. pavesii Emery, L. ridens Forel, L. saussurei (Forel), L. stuhlmanni Mayr, L. truncatirostris Forel, and L. voeltzkowi Forel. The following are raised to species and redescribed: L. imerinensis Forel stat. rev., stat. n.; and L. suarensis Emery stat. rev., stat. n. The following are described as new: L. alamando sp. n., L. alatapia sp. n., L. ambo sp. n., L. andritantely sp. n., L. anjara sp. n., L. avaratra sp. n., L. avo sp. n., L. barimaso sp. n., L. bezanozano sp. n., L. borivava sp. n., L. chrislaini sp. n., L. comajojo sp. n., L. diana sp. n., L. edsoni sp. n., L. fasika sp. n., L. fiandry sp. n., L. fotsivava sp. n., L. johary sp. n., L. lavavava sp. n., L. lohahela sp. n., L. lucida sp. n., L. malama sp. n., L. mangabe sp. n., L. manja sp. n., L. manongarivo sp. n., L. mayotte sp. n., L. namana sp. n., L. namoroka sp. n., L. pilaka sp. n., L. rabebe sp. n., L. rabesoni sp. n., L. ralipra sp. n., L. sahamalaza sp. n., L. tatsimo sp. n., L. toeraniva sp. n., L. tsingy sp. n., L. variabilis sp. n., L.vatovavy sp. n., L. vitsy sp. n., and L. zohy

  18. Insights into the evolution, biogeography and natural history of the acorn ants, genus Temnothorax Mayr (hymenoptera: Formicidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prebus, Matthew

    2017-12-13

    Temnothorax (Formicidae: Myrmicinae) is a diverse genus of ants found in a broad spectrum of ecosystems across the northern hemisphere. These diminutive ants have long served as models for social insect behavior, leading to discoveries about social learning and inspiring hypotheses about the process of speciation and the evolution of social parasitism. This genus is highly morphologically and behaviorally diverse, and this has caused a great deal of taxonomic confusion in recent years. Past efforts to estimate the phylogeny of this genus have been limited in taxonomic scope, leaving the broader evolutionary patterns in Temnothorax unclear. To establish the monophyly of Temnothorax, resolve the evolutionary relationships, reconstruct the historical biogeography and investigate trends in the evolution of key traits, I generated, assembled, and analyzed two molecular datasets: a traditional multi-locus Sanger sequencing dataset, and an ultra-conserved element (UCE) dataset. Using maximum likelihood, Bayesian, and summary-coalescent based approaches, I analyzed 22 data subsets consisting of 103 ingroup taxa and a maximum of 1.8 million base pairs in 2485 loci. The results of this study suggest an origin of Temnothorax at the Eocene-Oligocene transition, concerted transitions to arboreal nesting habits in several clades during the Oligocene, coinciding with ancient global cooling, and several convergent origins of social parasitism in the Miocene and Pliocene. As with other Holarctic taxa, Temnothorax has a history of migration across Beringia during the Miocene. Temnothorax is corroborated as a natural group, and the notion that many of the historical subgeneric and species group concepts are artificial is reinforced. The strict form of Emery's Rule, in which a socially parasitic species is sister to its host species, is not well supported in Temnothorax.

  19. Breaking out of biogeographical modules: range expansion and taxon cycles in the hyperdiverse ant genus Pheidole

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Economo, E. P.; Sarnat, E. M.; Janda, Milan; Clouse, R.; Klimov, P. B.; Fischer, G.; Blanchard, B. D.; Ramirez, L. N.; Andersen, A. N.; Berman, M.; Guénard, B.; Lucky, A.; Rabeling, C.; Wilson, E. O.; Knowles, L. L.

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 42, č. 12 (2015), s. 2289-2301 ISSN 0305-0270 R&D Projects: GA ČR GAP505/12/2467 Grant - others:Marie Curie Felloswhip(CZ) PIOFGA2009-25448 Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : ants * colonization * dispersal Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 3.997, year: 2015 http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jbi.12592/epdf

  20. A new genus and species of Macrochelidae (Acari:Mesostigmata) associated with the Texas leaf cutting ant, Atta texana (Buckley) in Louisiana, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gerald W. Krantz; John Moser

    2012-01-01

    Adults and nymphs of a new genus and species of the family Macrochelidae are described from detritus cavities of the leaf-cutting ant, Atta texana. This new species is notable in having peritremes with no posterior loop, a series of small subterminal teeth on the fixed cheliceral digit rather than the single large tooth typical of other macrochelids...

  1. Central American ants of the genus Megalomyrmex Forel (Hymenoptera: Formicidae): six new species and keys to workers and males.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boudinot, Brendon E; Sumnicht, Theodore P; Adams, Rachelle M M

    2013-11-04

    Megalomyrmex Forel is a distinctive lineage of Neotropical ants, some of which are specialized parasites or predators of the fungus-growing ants Attini. Here we review and key the Central American fauna. Six new species are described from both female castes: M. brandaoi sp. n., M. fungiraptor sp. n., M. longinoi sp. n., M. milenae sp. n., M. megadrifti sp. n. and M. osadrifti sp. n. A worker-based key to all Central American species is presented, and all species are illustrated. Megalomyrmex drifti Kempf is redescribed and the first descriptions of queens for M. miri Brandão and M. foreli Emery are provided. New biological information, several new geographic records, and a discussion of the species-group schema of Brandão (1990) are presented. The male sex of Megalomyrmex is diagnosed at the genus-level and keyed to species for the Central American fauna, where known. The male of each species treated in the key is diagnosed, described, or redescribed. Males are known for fourteen out of twenty total Central American Megalomyrmex species. A distinct but unassociated male is described and keyed (M. male 01). The males of M. miri Brandão and M. wettereri Brandão are described for the first time, and the distinctness of these two species is confirmed. One potential synapomorphy of Megalomyrmex present in males and workers is the presence of a carina which posteriorly delimits the basalmost region of the petiolar dorsum. 

  2. Antimicrobial activities of components of the glandular secretions of leaf cutting ants of the genus Atta.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mendonça, Adriana de Lima; da Silva, Carlos Eduardo; de Mesquita, Fernando Lucas Torres; Campos, Rousseau da Silva; Do Nascimento, Ruth R; Ximenes, Eulália Camelo Pessoa de Azevedo; Sant'Ana, Antônio Euzébio G

    2009-05-01

    The secretions of the mandibular and metapleural glands of leaf cutting ants contain antimicrobial substances that protect the mutualistic fungal colony within the nest from attack by parasitic micro-organisms. The major constituents of these secretions (citral, 4-methyl-3-heptanol, 2-heptanone, 3-octanone, 4-methyl-2-heptanone, beta-citronellol, geraniol, phenylacetic, indolacetic, hexanoic and octanoic acids were tested against resistant strains of the human pathogens, Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus and Candida albicans. Assays were carried out using filter paper discs impregnated with either hexane or water solutions of the analytes in the concentration range 250-6,000 ng/microl. Although most of the tested compounds presented strong antibacterial and antifungal activities, citral, geraniol, 4-methyl-3-heptanol, hexanoic and octanoic acids were the most effective, particularly against C. albicans. The results suggest that these compounds may be of potential value as antibiotics in the treatment of human candidiasis.

  3. The role of fusion in ant chromosome evolution: insights from cytogenetic analysis using a molecular phylogenetic approach in the genus mycetophylax.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cardoso, Danon Clemes; das Graças Pompolo, Silvia; Cristiano, Maykon Passos; Tavares, Mara Garcia

    2014-01-01

    Among insect taxa, ants exhibit one of the most variable chromosome numbers ranging from n = 1 to n = 60. This high karyotype diversity is suggested to be correlated to ants diversification. The karyotype evolution of ants is usually understood in terms of Robertsonian rearrangements towards an increase in chromosome numbers. The ant genus Mycetophylax is a small monogynous basal Attini ant (Formicidae: Myrmicinae), endemic to sand dunes along the Brazilian coastlines. A recent taxonomic revision validates three species, Mycetophylax morschi, M. conformis and M. simplex. In this paper, we cytogenetically characterized all species that belongs to the genus and analyzed the karyotypic evolution of Mycetophylax in the context of a molecular phylogeny and ancestral character state reconstruction. M. morschi showed a polymorphic number of chromosomes, with colonies showing 2n = 26 and 2n = 30 chromosomes. M. conformis presented a diploid chromosome number of 30 chromosomes, while M. simplex showed 36 chromosomes. The probabilistic models suggest that the ancestral haploid chromosome number of Mycetophylax was 17 (Likelihood framework) or 18 (Bayesian framework). The analysis also suggested that fusions were responsible for the evolutionary reduction in chromosome numbers of M. conformis and M. morschi karyotypes whereas fission may determines the M. simplex karyotype. These results obtained show the importance of fusions in chromosome changes towards a chromosome number reduction in Formicidae and how a phylogenetic background can be used to reconstruct hypotheses about chromosomes evolution.

  4. A new species of the ant genus Bothriomyrmex Emery, 1869 (Hymenoptera: Formicidae from the Caribbean region

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew Prebus

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Bothriomyrmex enigmaticus sp. nov. is described from the island of Hispañola based on one nest collection. This is the first collection of the genus Bothriomyrmex (Emery, 1869 from the Caribbean region, and the second species to be described from the Americas. While sharing several characters with B. paradoxus (Dubovikoff & Longino, 2004 from Costa Rica and Honduras, B. enigmaticus sp. nov. diverges in several key characters, including palp formula. However, a morphometric comparison to Palearctic species of the tribe Bothriomyrmecini suggests affinities to B. paradoxus, Chronoxenus wroughtoni (Forel, 1895 of the eastern Palearctic, and to a lesser extent an undescribed species of Arnoldius (Dubovikoff, 2005 from Australia and B. corsicus (Santschi,1923 of the western Palearctic.

  5. Phylogeography in Response to Reproductive Strategies and Ecogeographic Isolation in Ant Species on Madagascar: Genus Mystrium (Formicidae: Amblyoponinae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graham, Natalie R; Fisher, Brian L; Girman, Derek J

    2016-01-01

    The bulk of models used to understand the species diversification on Madagascar have been constructed using vertebrate taxa. It is not clear how these models affect less vagile species that may interact at a variety of spatial scales. Several studies on vertebrates have divided Madagascar into east-west bioclimatic regions, suggesting there is a fundamental division between eastern wet-adapted and western dry-adapted taxa. An alternative model of ecogeographic constraints shows a north-south division. We test whether the diversification in a small arthropod with variable degrees of dispersal conform to either model of ecogeographic constraints proposed for vertebrate taxa. We employ a molecular taxonomic dataset using ~2 kilobases nuDNA (Wg, LW Rh, Abd-A, 28s) and 790 basepairs mtDNA (CO1), along with geographic and habitat data, to examine the diversification patterns of the ant genus Mystrium Roger, 1862, (Subfamily Amblyoponinae) from Madagascar. The nuclear and mitochondrial phylogenies were both congruent with morphospecies as indicated in a recent revision of the genus. Species of Mystrium practice different colony reproductive strategies (winged queens vs non-winged queens). Alternate reproductive strategies led to inequalities in female dispersal ability among species, providing an additional layer for examination of the impacts of vagility on divergence, especially when measured using a maternally inherited locus. Mystrium species distribution patterns support these models of ecogeographic constraints. Reproductive strategy effected how Mystrium mtDNA lineages were associated with large-scale habitat distinctions and various topographical features. Furthermore, in some cases we find microgeographic population structure which appears to have been impacted by localized habitat differences (tsingy limestone formations, littoral forest) on a scale much smaller than that found in vertebrates. The current system offers a finer scale look at species

  6. Phylogeography in Response to Reproductive Strategies and Ecogeographic Isolation in Ant Species on Madagascar: Genus Mystrium (Formicidae: Amblyoponinae.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Natalie R Graham

    Full Text Available The bulk of models used to understand the species diversification on Madagascar have been constructed using vertebrate taxa. It is not clear how these models affect less vagile species that may interact at a variety of spatial scales. Several studies on vertebrates have divided Madagascar into east-west bioclimatic regions, suggesting there is a fundamental division between eastern wet-adapted and western dry-adapted taxa. An alternative model of ecogeographic constraints shows a north-south division. We test whether the diversification in a small arthropod with variable degrees of dispersal conform to either model of ecogeographic constraints proposed for vertebrate taxa. We employ a molecular taxonomic dataset using ~2 kilobases nuDNA (Wg, LW Rh, Abd-A, 28s and 790 basepairs mtDNA (CO1, along with geographic and habitat data, to examine the diversification patterns of the ant genus Mystrium Roger, 1862, (Subfamily Amblyoponinae from Madagascar. The nuclear and mitochondrial phylogenies were both congruent with morphospecies as indicated in a recent revision of the genus. Species of Mystrium practice different colony reproductive strategies (winged queens vs non-winged queens. Alternate reproductive strategies led to inequalities in female dispersal ability among species, providing an additional layer for examination of the impacts of vagility on divergence, especially when measured using a maternally inherited locus. Mystrium species distribution patterns support these models of ecogeographic constraints. Reproductive strategy effected how Mystrium mtDNA lineages were associated with large-scale habitat distinctions and various topographical features. Furthermore, in some cases we find microgeographic population structure which appears to have been impacted by localized habitat differences (tsingy limestone formations, littoral forest on a scale much smaller than that found in vertebrates. The current system offers a finer scale look at

  7. The effects of juvenile hormone on Lasius niger reproduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pamminger, T; Buttstedt, A; Norman, V; Schierhorn, A; Botías, C; Jones, J C; Basley, K; Hughes, W O H

    2016-12-01

    Reproduction has been shown to be costly for survival in a wide diversity of taxa. The resulting trade-off, termed the reproduction-survival trade-off, is thought to be one of the most fundamental forces of life-history evolution. In insects the pleiotropic effect of juvenile hormone (JH), antagonistically regulating reproduction and pathogen resistance, is suggested to underlie this phenomenon. In contrast to the majority of insects, reproductive individuals in many eusocial insects defy this trade-off and live both long and prosper. By remodelling the gonadotropic effects of JH in reproductive regulation, the queens of the long-lived black garden ant Lasius niger (living up to 27 years), have circumvented the reproduction-survival trade off enabling them to maximize both reproduction and pathogen resistance simultaneously. In this study we measure fertility, vitellogenin gene expression and protein levels after experimental manipulation of hormone levels. We use these measurements to investigate the mechanistic basis of endocrinological role remodelling in reproduction and determine how JH suppresses reproduction in this species, rather then stimulating it, like in the majority of insects. We find that JH likely inhibits three key aspects of reproduction both during vitellogenesis and oogenesis, including two previously unknown mechanisms. In addition, we document that juvenile hormone, as in the majority of insects, has retained some stimulatory function in regulating vitellogenin expression. We discuss the evolutionary consequences of this complex regulatory architecture of reproduction in L. niger, which might enable the evolution of similar reproductive phenotypes by alternate regulatory pathways, and the surprising flexibility regulatory role of juvenile hormone in this process. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. First cytogenetic characterization of a species of the arboreal ant genus Azteca Forel, 1978 (Dolichoderinae, Formicidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Danon Cardoso

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available In this paper we present, for the first time, a detailed karyotype characterization of a species of the genus Azteca (Dolichoderinae, Formicidae. Cerebral ganglia from Azteca trigona Emery, 1893 were excised and submitted to colchicine hypotonic solution and chromosomal preparations were analyzed through conventional staining with Giemsa, C-banding, silver nitrate staining (AgNO3 and sequential base-specific fluorochromes. The analysis shows that A. trigona has a diploid number of 28 chromosomes. The karyotype consists of five metacentric pairs, seven acrocentric pairs and two pseudo-acrocentric pairs, which represents a karyotype formula 2K= 10M + 14A + 4AM and a diploid number of the arms 2AN = 38. The analysis of heterochromatin distribution revealed a positive block on distal region of the short arm of fourth metacentric pair, which was coincident with Ag-NOR band and CMA3 fluorochrome staining, meaning that rDNA sequences are interspaced by GC-rich base pairs sequences. The C-banding also marked short arms of other chromosomes, indicating centric fissions followed by heterochromatin growth. The karyotype analysis of A. trigona allowed the identification of cytogenetic markers that will be helpful in a difficult taxonomic group as Azteca and discussion about evolutionary aspects of the genome organization.

  9. A taxonomic revision of South American species of the seed-harvester ant genus Pogonomyrmex (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Part I.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Robert A

    2015-10-13

    South American species in the seed-harvester ant genus Pogonomyrmex (subfamily Myrmicinae) are interesting biologically because of their numerous queen phenotypes and life histories. This paper provides a taxonomic revision and reviews the natural history for 21 South American species of Pogonomyrmex so that we can better study their rich and interesting ecology, life history, and evolution. Species treated herein comprise all South American species-groups except for the brevibarbis and rastratus-groups. The following taxa are raised to species: pencosensis Forel 1914 and serpens Santschi 1922. The following new synonomies are proposed: bruchi Forel 1913 is synonomized under coarctatus Mayr 1868 and cunicularius carnivora Santschi 1925 under serpens Santschi 1922. The following new species is described: tinogasta. This paper redescribes workers of all species, and I describe queens and diagnose males for the following species: bispinosus (ergatoid queen, male), inermis (queen, male), laticeps (male), lobatus (queen, male), micans (queen), naegelii (ergatoid queen), pencosensis (ergatoid queen), serpens (ergatoid queen), tinogasta (brachypterous queen), and uruguayensis (queen, male). A neotype was designated for the untraceable or possibly lost type of P. bispinosus, and a holotype or lectotype was designated from syntypes for all other previously described taxa in order to provide a single name-bearing specimen and to facilitate future taxonomic studies. Of the 21 species treated herein, five species have ergatoid (wingless) queens (bispinosus, cunicularius, pencosensis, serpens, mayri), two have brachypterous (short-winged) queens (mendozanus, tinogasta), and two have dimorphic queens (winged and ergatoid in naegelii, brachypterous and ergatoid in laticeps). I also provide keys for workers and queens (in English and Spanish), photographs of all castes, distribution maps, and a summary of known biology.

  10. Ants of the genus Solenopsis Westwood 1840 (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in the Arabian Peninsula with description of a new species, Solenopsis elhawagryi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharaf, Mostafa R; Aldawood, Abdulrahman S

    2012-01-01

    Ants of the genus Solenopsis Westwood in the Arabian Peninsula are revised. Six species are treated: Solenopsis elhawagryi Sharaf & Aldawood sp. n., S. geminata (Fabricius, 1804), S. omana Collingwood & Agosti, 1996, S. saudiensis Sharaf & Aldawood, 2011, S. sumara Collingwood & Agosti, 1996, and S. zingibara Collingwood & Agosti, 1996. Solenopsis elhawagryi is described from Beljorashi Governorate, Al Baha Province, Saudi Arabia, based on worker castes and the queen with notes on this species biology and ecology. Solenopsis sumara workers are redescribed and illustrated for the first time and a lectotype is designated. An identification key to the Arabian and Egyptian species is provided with scanning electron micrographs to facilitate species recognition.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  12. Community Sampling and Integrative Taxonomy Reveal New Species and Host Specificity in the Army Ant-Associated Beetle Genus Tetradonia (Coleoptera, Staphylinidae, Aleocharinae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    von Beeren, Christoph; Maruyama, Munetoshi; Kronauer, Daniel J. C.

    2016-01-01

    Army ant colonies host a diverse community of arthropod symbionts. Among the best-studied symbiont communities are those of Neotropical army ants of the genus Eciton. It is clear, however, that even in these comparatively well studied systems, a large proportion of symbiont biodiversity remains unknown. Even more striking is our lack of knowledge regarding the nature and specificity of these host-symbiont interactions. Here we surveyed the diversity and host specificity of rove beetles of the genus Tetradonia Wasmann, 1894 (Staphylinidae: Aleocharinae). Systematic community sampling of 58 colonies of the six local Eciton species at La Selva Biological Station, Costa Rica, combined with an integrative taxonomic approach, allowed us to uncover species diversity, host specificity, and co-occurrence patterns of symbionts in unprecedented detail. We used an integrative taxonomic approach combining morphological and genetic analyses, to delineate species boundaries. Mitochondrial DNA barcodes were analyzed for 362 Tetradonia specimens, and additional nuclear markers for a subset of 88 specimens. All analyses supported the presence of five Tetradonia species, including two species new to science. Host specificity is highly variable across species, ranging from generalists such as T. laticeps, which parasitizes all six local Eciton species, to specialists such as T. lizonae, which primarily parasitizes a single species, E. hamatum. Here we provide a dichotomous key along with diagnostic molecular characters for identification of Tetradonia species at La Selva Biological Station. By reliably assessing biodiversity and providing tools for species identification, we hope to set the baseline for future studies of the ecological and evolutionary dynamics in these species-rich host-symbiont networks. PMID:27829037

  13. New exocrine glands in ants: the hypostomal gland and basitarsal gland in the genus Melissotarsus (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hölldobler, Bert; Obermayer, Malu; Plowes, Nicola J. R.; Fisher, Brian L.

    2014-07-01

    Fisher and Robertson (Insect Soc 46: 78-83, 1999) discovered the production of silk-like secretions emerging from slit-shaped openings along the anterior margin of the ventral hypostoma of Melissotarsus ant workers. The current histological study describes a hitherto unknown hypostomal gland from which this silk-like substance originates. In addition, this study describes a new basitarsal gland in the three pairs of legs of Melissotarsus workers.

  14. First description of the worker caste of Lasius viehmeyeri Emery (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Boer, P.

    2003-01-01

    Up till now the worker caste of Lasius viehmeyeri was unknown. In the Stärcke Collection present in the Nationaal Natuurhistorisch Museum at Leiden, a worker of L. viehmeyeri was discovered under Lasius umbratus var. affinis Schenck. This specimen from Dalmatia is described and figured.

  15. Ants of the Peloponnese, Greece (Hymenoptera: Formicidae

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    Borowiec Lech

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available This paper relates to material obtained during two field trips to the Peloponnese in 2013 and 2016. With the inclusion of some hitherto unpublished ant material, it gives new records from a total of 92 sampling localities. 129 species (including morphospecies not attributed to any known taxon of ants have been recorded from the Peloponnese (southern Greece, 27 of which have been recorded from this region for the first time. Lasius reginae and 5 other morphospecies attributed only to species complexes are new to Greece.

  16. Selfish strategies and honest signalling: reproductive conflicts in ant queen associations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Holman, Luke; Dreier, Stephanie; d'Ettorre, Patrizia

    2010-01-01

    . Here, we use a brood transfer experiment to test whether cofounding queens of the ant Lasius niger 'selfishly' adjust their productivity when sharing the nest with future competitors. We simultaneously analysed queen cuticular hydrocarbon (CHC) profiles to investigate whether queens honestly signal...

  17. Ant Larval Demand Reduces Aphid Colony Growth Rates in an Ant-Aphid Interaction

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    James M. Cook

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available 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 experiment, we tested whether the presence of larvae in Lasius niger ant colonies affected the growth rate of Aphis fabae colonies. Other explanatory variables tested were the origin of ant colonies (two separate colonies were used and previous diet (sugar only or sugar and protein. We found that the presence of larvae in the ant colony significantly reduced the growth rate of aphid colonies. Previous diet and colony origin did not affect aphid colony growth rates. Our results suggest that ant colonies balance the flow of two separate resources from aphid colonies- renewable sugars or a protein-rich meal, depending on demand from ant larvae within the nest. Aphid payoffs from the ant-aphid interaction may change on a seasonal basis, as the demand from larvae within the ant colony waxes and wanes.

  18. Revisionary notes on the fungus-growing ant genus Mycetarotes Emery (Hymenoptera, Formicidae Notas sobre as formigas cultivadoras de fungos do gênero Mycetarotes Emery (Hymenoptera, Formicidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antonio José Mayhé-Nunes

    2006-12-01

    Full Text Available Mycetarotes is a small genus of the exclusively Neotropical fungus-growing ants, that includes M. parallelus (Emery, M. senticosus Kempf, M. acutus Mayhé-Nunes and M. carinatus Mayhé-Nunes. We hereby revise historical and recent information regarding Mycetarotes species for the first time, providing an identification key to workers, diagnoses, synoptic illustrated redescriptions of the species, including those of sexuals when known, updates of distributional records, and nest pictures of M. carinatus and M. parallelus. We comment the taxonomy and phylogenetic relationships among Mycetarotes and related genera, and on their geographical distribution. The available biological information on the genus is summarized.O gênero Mycetarotes inclui quatro espécies de formigas cultivadoras de fungos, exclusivamente encontradas na região Neotropical: M. parallelus (Emery, M. senticosus Kempf, M. acutus Mayhé-Nunes and M. carinatus Mayhé-Nunes. Apresentamos pela primeira vez um resumo sobre as informações disponíveis para as espécies do gênero, fornecendo uma chave para a identificação das operárias, diagnoses e redescrições sinópticas ilustradas das espécies, incluindo as dos alados, quando conhecidos, atualização dos registros de distribuição e fotografias dos ninhos de M. carinatus e M. parallelus. Comentamos a taxonomia e as relações de parentesco entre Mycetarotes e gêneros cognatos, e sobre sua distribuição geográfica. As informações biológicas disponíveis sobre o gênero também foram resumidas.

  19. Phylogenetic analysis and systematic position of two new species of the ant genus Crematogaster (Hymenoptera, Formicidae from Southeast Asia

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    Shingo Hosoishi

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Two distinct new species of the ant genus Crematogaster, C. khmerensis sp. nov. and C. pfeifferi sp. nov., are described from Cambodia and Malaysia, respectively. The two species are unique among Asian Crematogaster in that they have vertically directed propodeal spines, but their systematic positions have not been determined based on morphological characters alone. Molecular phylogenetic analysis of 89 Crematogaster taxon matrices previously published plus C. khmerensis sp. nov., using nuclear genes, reveals that C. khmerensis sp. nov. is nested within the Australo-Asian Crematogaster clade. Morphological assignment of the developed pronotal shoulders implies a close relationship between C. khmerensis sp. nov. and the C. tetracantha-group. Based on molecular and morphological evidence, we erect a new species group, C. khmerensis-group, to contain C. khmerensis sp. nov. and C. pfeifferi sp. nov. Divergence time estimates using MCMCTree shows that the root node of the C. khmerensis sp. nov. terminal is estimated to be of middle Miocene age at 15 million years old. The position of the C. khmerensis-group well supports the Oriental- to Australian-region dispersal history that has been proposed for the Australo-Asian Crematogaster clade.

  20. Riding with the ants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

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

  1. Interactions between extrafloral nectaries, aphids and ants: are there competition effects between plant and homopteran sugar sources?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Engel, V.; Fischer, M.D.; Wäckers, F.L.; Volkl, W.

    2001-01-01

    Broad bean (Vicia faba), an annual plant bearing extrafloral nectaries (EFN) at the base of the upper leaves, is regularly infested by two aphid species, Aphis fabae and Acyrthosiphon pisum. EFN and A. fabae are commonly attended by the ant, Lasius niger, while Ac. pisum usually remains uninfested.

  2. 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...

  3. Are queen ants inhibited by their own pheromone?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Holman, L.; Leroy, C.; Jørgensen, Charlotte

    2013-01-01

    . Communication in social insects is predominantly chemical, and the mechanisms regulating processes such as reproductive division of labor are becoming increasingly well understood. Recently, a queen cuticular hydrocarbon (3-MeC31) that inhibits worker reproduction and aggression was isolated in the ant Lasius...... niger. Here, we find that this pheromone also has a weak negative effect on queen productivity and oogenesis. Because 3-MeC31 is present on both queens and their brood, we suggest that it is used by ants of both castes to adjust their fecundity to the amount of developing brood and the presence of other...

  4. Social context predicts recognition systems in ant queens

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dreier, Stéphanie Agnès Jeanine; d'Ettorre, Patrizia

    2009-01-01

    for dominance are costly; but it would not evolve in absence of hierarchies. We previously showed that Pachycondyla co-founding queens, which form dominance hierarchies, have accurate individual recognition based on chemical cues. Here, we used the ant Lasius niger to test the null hypothesis that individual...... recognition does not occur when co-founding queens do not establish dominance hierarchies. Indeed, L. niger queens show a similar level of aggression towards both co-foundresses and intruders, indicating that they are unable of individual recognition, contrary to Pachycondyla. Additionally, the variation...... in chemical profiles of Lasius and Pachycondyla queens is comparable, thus informational constraints are unlikely to apply. We conclude that selection pressure from the social context is of crucial significance for the sophistication of recognition systems....

  5. Taxonomy of the hyper-diverse ant genus Tetramorium Mayr in the Malagasy region (Hymenoptera, Formicidae, Myrmicinae – first record of the T. setigerum species group and additions to the Malagasy species groups with an updated illustrated identification key

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francisco Hita Garcia

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available In this study we provide an update to the taxonomy of the ant genus Tetramorium Mayr in Madagascar. We report the first record of the T. setigerum species group in Madagascar and describe the only Malagasy representative as T. cavernicola sp. n., which is known only from a cave in Ankarana. In addition, we provide an overview of the 19 proposed Malagasy species groups, and discuss their zoogeography and relationships to other groups and larger lineages within the hyper-diverse genus Tetramorium. At present, we recognise a highly unique Malagasy Tetramorium fauna with 113 species endemic to the island of Madagascar out of a total of 125 translating into an endemism rate of 93%. We hypothesise that this fauna is based on one or a few colonisation events from the Afrotropical region, with subsequent adaptive radiation in Madagascar. Furthermore, we present an updated and illustrated identification key to the Tetramorium species groups in the Malagasy region.

  6. 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.

  7. Diaspore trait preferences of dispersing ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reifenrath, Kerstin; Becker, Christine; Poethke, Hans Joachim

    2012-09-01

    Elaiosomes of myrmecochorous plant seeds are known to enhance the attraction of diaspore-dispersing ants by serving as a nutritional reward. However, it remained unclear which (nutritional) compounds affect diaspore preferences of ants. We hypothesized that apart from elaiosome/seed-size ratio, volume, and physical surface of diaspores, the quantity and the composition of fatty acids, amino acids, and sugars strongly influence the diaspore preferences of different species. Chemical (nutritional) profiles as well as structural properties of seeds with and without elaiosomes were analyzed and correlated with observed seed choice behavior of ants. Cafeteria experiments in the field confirmed the enhanced attractiveness of elaiosome-bearing seeds for all three ant species tested (Lasius fuliginosus, Myrmica ruginodis, and Temnothorax nylanderi), although seeds lacking elaiosomes also were transported. In multiple-choice cafeteria experiments with simultaneously offered diaspores of 16 plant species with and without elaiosome and with highly varying structural and chemical properties, all three ant species showed distinct preferences for certain diaspore species. Correlation analyses confirmed that the presence of an elaiosome represents the crucial factor that favors ant diaspore dispersal. In addition, the composition and the content of free amino acids, and to varying degrees fatty acids, were found to significantly affect preferences of each ant species, whereas the effect of single fatty acids acting as chemical triggers for diaspore transport by ants, as supposed by several studies, was not confirmed. In conclusion, although at least some diaspore species lacking elaiosomes attract ants for diaspore removal services by presenting nutritional seed coats, the production of elaiosomes seems to provide a worthwhile investment. Elaiosomes ensure rapid diaspore detection and removal due to chemical cue compounds and by offering a highly nutritional food supply, probably

  8. 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...... between populations could be predicted from their genetic and chemical distance, and two major clusters of non-aggressive groups of populations were found. However, populations of L. neglectus did not separate into clear supercolonial associations, as is typical for other invasive ants. CONCLUSIONS...... started through introductions from other invasive populations. This indicates that existing introduced populations have a very high invasive potential when the ants are inadvertently spread by human transport....

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert B. Pape

    2016-09-01

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

  10. 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)

  11. The ants (Hymenoptera:formicidae) of Rawdhat Khorim Nature Preserve, Saudi Arabia, with description of a new species of the genus Tetramorium Mayr.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharaf, Mostafa R; Abdel-Dayem, Mahmoud S; Al Dhafer, Hathal M; Aldawood, Abdulrahman S

    2013-01-01

    Rawdhat Khorim, a densely vegetated alluvial basin supporting a distinctive floral community in the hyper-arid desert of central Saudi Arabia, is one of the most important protected nature sanctuaries of the country. The ant fauna (Formicidae) of Rawdhat Khorim was sampled and 14 species, including one new species were collected using a variety of sampling methods. The new species, Tetramorium saudicum sp. n., a member of the T. caespitum-group, is described based on the worker caste. Cataglyphis viaticoides (André) is recorded for the first time from Saudi Arabia. The information in this paper will allow natural resource managers to establish long-term ecological studies, using sentinel taxa such as ants to evaluate present and future impacts on Rawdhats.

  12. Effect of Mediterranean ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) on California red scale (Hemiptera: Diaspididae) populations in citrus orchards.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pekas, A; Tena, A; Aguilar, A; Garcia-Marí, F

    2010-06-01

    We conducted an ant-exclusion experiment in a citrus orchard to evaluate the overall impact of three ant species native in the Mediterranean, Pheidole pallidula (Nylander), Plagiolepis schmitzii Forel, and Lasius grandis (Forel), on populations of Aonidiella aurantii Maskell (California red scale). The ant-exclusion was carried out in four experimental plots from March 2007 to November 2008. Another subset of four plots, adjacent to the ant-excluded plots, was used as control. We measured scale densities and percent parasitism on fruits at harvest in 2007 and 2008. Additionally, we sampled the seasonal trend of the scale on twigs and fruits in both treatments during 2008. California red scale densities in the ant-excluded treatment began to be significantly lower than in the ant-allowed control in May (1 mo after ant activity began), and this difference increased until November. Thus, the effect of the ants on California red scale density seems to be accumulative. At harvest, scale densities on fruits were significantly lower in the ant-excluded treatment. However, percent parasitism on fruits was similar between treatments. Finally, scale densities on the fruits of the ant-allowed plots were positively correlated with the number of ants that climbed to the citrus canopy. These results suggest that increases of scale densities induced by Mediterranean ants depend on the intensity of the ant-activity on citrus canopies.

  13. Transgenerational effects and the cost of ant tending in aphids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tegelaar, Karolina; Glinwood, Robert; Pettersson, Jan; Leimar, Olof

    2013-11-01

    In mutualistic interactions, partners obtain a net benefit, but there may also be costs associated with the provision of benefits for a partner. The question of whether aphids suffer such costs when attended by ants has been raised in previous work. Transgenerational effects, where offspring phenotypes are adjusted based on maternal influences, could be important in the mutualistic interaction between aphids and ants, in particular because aphids have telescoping generations where two offspring generations can be present in a mature aphid. We investigated the immediate and transgenerational influence of ant tending on aphid life history and reproduction by observing the interaction between the facultative myrmecophile Aphis fabae and the ant Lasius niger over 13 aphid generations in the laboratory. We found that the effect of ant tending changes dynamically over successive aphid generations after the start of tending. Initially, total aphid colony weight, aphid adult weight and aphid embryo size decreased compared with untended aphids, consistent with a cost of ant association, but these differences disappeared within four generations of interaction. We conclude that transgenerational effects are important in the aphid-ant interactions and that the costs for aphids of being tended by ants can vary over generations.

  14. Pre-adaptive cadmium tolerance in the black garden ant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grześ, Irena M; Okrutniak, Mateusz

    2016-04-01

    The black garden ant Lasius niger is a common component of habitats subjected to anthropological stress. The species can develop very abundant populations in metal-polluted areas. In this study, we raised the question of its tolerance to Cd pollution. Workers of L. niger were collected from 54 colonies, originating from 19 sites located along an increasing gradient of Cd pollution in Poland. Ants were exposed to a range of dietary Cd concentrations in a controlled 14-day laboratory experiment in order to test Cd-sensitivity in the investigated ants. The level of ant mortality was recorded as the endpoint of the experiment. We used much higher concentrations of dietary Cd than those the ants are most likely exposed to in field conditions. The investigated ants were highly Cd-tolerant; even a very high dietary Cd concentration of approx. 1300 mg/kg did not affect mortality of workers when compared to the control. Mortality was unrelated to Cd-pollution along the pollution gradient, meaning that high Cd-tolerance can be found even in ants from unpolluted areas. The results stress the importance of pre-adaptive mechanisms in the development of metal tolerance in ants. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Taxonomy of the ant genus Proceratium Roger (Hymenoptera, Formicidae in the Afrotropical region with a revision of the P. arnoldi clade and description of four new species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francisco Hita Garcia

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available The taxonomy of the genus Proceratium Roger is updated for the Afrotropical region. We give an overview of the genus in the region, provide an illustrated identification key to the three clades (P. arnoldi, P. stictum and P. toschii clades and revise the P. arnoldi clade. Four new species from the P. arnoldi clade are described as new: P. sokoke sp. n. from Kenya, P. carri sp. n. from Mozambique, and P. nilo sp. n. and P. sali sp. n. from Tanzania. In order to integrate the new species into the existing taxonomic system we present an illustrated identification key to distinguish the seven Afrotropical species of the P. arnoldi clade. In addition, we provide accounts for all members of the P. arnoldi clade including detailed descriptions, diagnoses, taxonomic discussions, distribution data and high quality montage images.

  16. A new ant species of Oxyepoecus (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Myrmicinae, with the description of Oxyepoecus browni gyne and new records for the genus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mônica A. Ulysséa

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available We describe a new species of Oxyepoecus Santschi, 1926, Oxyepoecus regularis sp. nov., based on workers and a gyne collected in "Caatinga Arbórea" (Arboreal Shrubland in Milagres and "Mata Seca" (Dry Forest in Boa Vista do Tupim, both in the state of Bahia, Brazil. The gyne of Oxyepoecus browni Albuquerque & Brandão, 2004, collected in the same leaf litter ant survey, is also described. In addition, we present new records for Oxyepoecus species in Northeastern Brazil.

  17. Two new phragmotic ant species from Africa: morphology and next-generation sequencing solve a caste association problem in the genus Carebara Westwood.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fischer, Georg; Azorsa, Frank; Garcia, Francisco Hita; Mikheyev, Alexander S; Economo, Evan P

    2015-01-01

    Phragmotic or "door head" ants have evolved independently in several ant genera across the world, but in Africa only one case has been documented until now. Carebara elmenteitae (Patrizi) is known from only a single phragmotic major worker collected from sifted leaf-litter near Lake Elmenteita in Kenya, but here the worker castes of two species collected from Kakamega Forest, a small rainforest in Western Kenya, are studied. Phragmotic major workers were previously identified as Carebara elmenteitae and non-phragmotic major and minor workers were assigned to Carebara thoracica (Weber). Using evidence of both morphological and next-generation sequencing analysis, it is shown that phragmotic and non-phragmotic workers of the two different species are actually the same and that neither name - Carebara elmenteitae or Carebara thoracica - correctly applies to them. Instead, this and another closey related species from Ivory Coast are both morphologically different from Carebara elmenteitae, and thus they are described as the new species Carebara phragmotica sp. n. and Carebara lilith sp. n.

  18. Primer registro de Dasypsyllus (Avesopsylla lasius lasius (Siphonaptera: Ceratophyllidae en nidos de golondrina chilena, Tachycineta meyeni (Passeriformes: Hirundinidae, en Ushuaia (Tierra del Fuego, Argentina

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rosana ARAMBURÚ

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available La golondrina chilena, Tachycineta meyeni (Cabanis, nidifica en el centro de Chile y suroeste de Argentina. En invierno migra a Bolivia, Paraguay y al sureste de Brasil. Estas golondrinas ocuparon una serie de cajas-nido en Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego. Luego de la temporada de cría, tratamos los nidos con acetato de etilo y los revisamos en búsqueda de artrópodos hematófagos. Encontramos pulgas adultas, que fueron fijadas, aclaradas, deshidratadas, diafanizadas y montadas en un derivado de clavo de olor para su observación al microsocopio óptico. Identificamos machos y hembras de Dasypsyllus (Avesopsylla lasius lasius (Rothschild. En Argentina, esta pulga es conocida solamente en Sierra de la Ventana (Buenos Aires, donde se la halló parasitando la golondrina barranquera, Notiochelidon cyanoleuca patagonica (Vieillot. La información disponible debería complementarse con prospecciones en localidades intermedias. Otras aves relacionadas con ambas golondrinas por la ocupación de nidos, como el rayadito (Aphrastura spinicauda (Gmelin, ratona común (Troglodytes aedon Vieillot, caminera común (Geositta cunicularia (Vieillot, hornero (Furnarius rufus (Gmelin, podrían contribuir a la dispersión de la pulga entre las dos localidades registradas.

  19. Seven species new to science and one newly recorded species of the ant genus Myrmica Latreille, 1804 from China, with proposal of a new synonym (Hymenoptera, Formicidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Zhilin; Zhou, Shanyi; Huang, Jianhua

    2016-01-01

    Seven new species of the genus Myrmica Latreille, 1804 are described from China: Myrmica dongi sp. n., Myrmica huaii sp. n., Myrmica liui sp. n., Myrmica mifui sp. n., Myrmica oui sp. n., Myrmica wangi sp. n. and Myrmica yani sp. n. Myrmica forcipata Karawaiew, 1931 is recorded from China for the first time, while Myrmica zhengi Ma & Xu, 2011 is synonymized with Myrmica luteola Kupyanskaya, 1990. Identification keys based on worker caste are provided to the Myrmica species of China and the pachei-group species of the Old World, respectively.

  20. A revision of the ant genus Mystrium in the Malagasy region with description of six new species and remarks on Amblyopone and Stigmatomma (Hymenoptera, Formicidae, Amblyoponinae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Masashi Yoshimura

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available The genus Mystrium is revised for the Malagasy region. Six species, Mystrium barrybressleri sp. n., M. labyrinth sp. n., M. eques sp. n., M. mirror sp. n., M. shadow sp. n., and M. janovitzi sp. n. are described as new. Two existing names, Mystrium fallax Forel and M. stadelmanni Forel, are synonymized with M. voeltzkowi Forel and M. mysticum Roger, respectively. All recognized species, including species outside of the Malagasy region, are assigned to one of the three newly proposed species groups. The associations between existing names and males are reexamined, and males of eight of the ten Malagasy species are described or redescribed. The taxonomic history of Mystrium highlights the importance of using unique identifiers when designating type specimens and the use of deposited vouchers in phylogenetic and ecological studies. Keys to species for workers, queens, and males are provided. Furthermore, a neotype for M. mysticum is designated, as well as lectotypes for M. camillae Emery, M. rogeri Forel, M. fallax Forel, M. oberthueri Forel, M. stadelmanni Forel, and M. voeltzkowi Forel. Stigmatomma gingivale (Brown is reassigned to Amblyopone as comb. rev. and Amblyopone awa Xu & Chu, A. kangba Xu & Chu, A. meiliana Xu & Chu, and A. zomae Xu & Chu are transferred to the genus Stigmatomma as comb. n.

  1. Chemically armed mercenary ants protect fungus-farming societies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Adams, Rachelle Martha Marie; Liberti, Joanito; Illum, Anders A.

    2013-01-01

    The ants are extraordinary in having evolved many lineages that exploit closely related ant societies as social parasites, but social parasitism by distantly related ants is rare. Here we document the interaction dynamics among a Sericomyrmex fungus-growing ant host, a permanently associated...... parasitic guest ant of the genus Megalomyrmex, and a raiding agro-predator of the genus Gnamptogenys. We show experimentally that the guest ants protect their host colonies against agro-predator raids using alkaloid venom that is much more potent than the biting defenses of the host ants. Relatively few...... guest ants are sufficient to kill raiders that invariably exterminate host nests without a cohabiting guest ant colony. We also show that the odor of guest ants discourages raider scouts from recruiting nestmates to host colonies. Our results imply that Sericomyrmex fungus-growers obtain a net benefit...

  2. Next-generation morphological character discovery and evaluation: an X-ray micro-CT enhanced revision of the ant genus Zasphinctus Wheeler (Hymenoptera, Formicidae, Dorylinae in the Afrotropics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francisco Hita Garcia

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available New technologies for imaging and analysis of morphological characters offer opportunities to enhance revisionary taxonomy and better integrate it with the rest of biology. In this study, we revise the Afrotropical fauna of the ant genus Zasphinctus Wheeler, and use high-resolution X-ray microtomography (micro-CT to analyse a number of morphological characters of taxonomic and biological interest. We recognise and describe three new species: Z. obamai sp. n., Z. sarowiwai sp. n., and Z. wilsoni sp. n. The species delimitations are based on the morphological examination of all physical specimens in combination with 3D scans and volume reconstructions. Based on this approach, we present a new taxonomic discrimination system for the regional fauna that consists of a combination of easily observable morphological characters visible at magnifications of around 80–100 ×, less observable characters that require higher magnifications, as well as characters made visible through virtual dissections that would otherwise require destructive treatment. Zasphinctus are rarely collected ants and the material available to us is comparatively scarce. Consequently, we explore the use of micro-CT as a non-invasive tool for the virtual examination, manipulation, and dissection of such rare material. Furthermore, we delineate the treated species by providing a diagnostic character matrix illustrated by numerous images and supplement that with additional evidence in the form of stacked montage images, 3D PDFs and 3D rotation videos of scans of major body parts and full body (in total we provide 16 stacked montage photographs, 116 images of 3D reconstructions, 15 3D rotation videos, and 13 3D PDFs. In addition to the comparative morphology analyses used for species delimitations, we also apply micro-CT data to examine certain traits, such as mouthparts, cuticle thickness, and thoracic and abdominal muscles in order to assess their taxonomic usefulness or gain

  3. The Müller-Lyer illusion in ant foraging.

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    Tomoko Sakiyama

    Full Text Available The Müller-Lyer illusion is a classical geometric illusion in which the apparent (perceived length of a line depends on whether the line terminates in an arrow tail or arrowhead. This effect may be caused by economic compensation for the gap between the physical stimulus and visual fields. Here, we show that the Müller-Lyer illusion can also be produced by the foraging patterns of garden ants (Lasius niger and that the pattern obtained can be explained by a simple, asynchronously updated foraging ant model. Our results suggest that the geometric illusion may be a byproduct of the foraging process, in which local interactions underlying efficient exploitation can also give rise to global exploration, and that visual information processing in human could implement similar modulation between local efficient processing and widespread computation.

  4. Primer registro de Dasypsyllus (Avesopsylla lasius lasius (Siphonaptera: Ceratophyllidae en nidos de golondrina chilena, Tachycineta meyeni (Passeriformes: Hirundinidae, en Ushuaia (Tierra del Fuego, Argentina First record of Dasypsyllus (Avesopsylla lasius lasius (Siphonaptera: Ceratophyllidae in Chilean swallow nests Tachycineta meyeni (Passeriformes: Hirundinidae in Ushuaia (Tierra del Fuego, Argentina

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rosana Aramburú

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available La golondrina chilena, Tachycineta meyeni (Cabanis, nidifica en el centro de Chile y suroeste de Argentina. En invierno migra a Bolivia, Paraguay y al sureste de Brasil. Estas golondrinas ocuparon una serie de cajas-nido en Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego. Luego de la temporada de cría, tratamos los nidos con acetato de etilo y los revisamos en búsqueda de artrópodos hematófagos. Encontramos pulgas adultas, que fueron fijadas, aclaradas, deshidratadas, diafanizadas y montadas en un derivado de clavo de olor para su observación al microsocopio óptico. Identificamos machos y hembras de Dasypsyllus (Avesopsylla lasius lasius (Rothschild. En Argentina, esta pulga es conocida solamente en Sierra de la Ventana (Buenos Aires, donde se la halló parasitando la golondrina barranquera, Notiochelidon cyanoleuca patagonica (Vieillot. La información disponible debería complementarse con prospecciones en localidades intermedias. Otras aves relacionadas con ambas golondrinas por la ocupación de nidos, como el rayadito (Aphrastura spinicauda (Gmelin, ratona común (Troglodytes aedon Vieillot, caminera común (Geositta cunicularia (Vieillot, hornero (Furnarius rufus (Gmelin, podrían contribuir a la dispersión de la pulga entre las dos localidades registradas.Chilean swallows Tachycineta meyeni (Cabanis nest in the central area in Chile and Southwest in Argentina. In winter, they migrate to Bolivia, Paraguay and Southeast of Brazil. A nest box population of Chilean swallows was established in Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego. After the breeding season, we collected all nests, treated them with ethyl acetate, and inspected all the nest material for hematophagous arthropods. We found adult fleas, which were fixed, cleared, diaphanized, dehydrated, and mounted in a clove derivative for observation under a microscope. We identified males and females of Dasypsyllus (Avesopsylla lasius lasius (Rothschild. In Argentina, this flea is only known for Sierra de la Ventana

  5. Population biology of Rhytidoponera ants (Hymenoptera:Formicidae)

    OpenAIRE

    BIZOS, Jiří

    2009-01-01

    Ants from the genus Rhytidoponera are known for specific type of social organization in which some workers can reproduce. Species of this ants are commonly occuring in lowland rainforests of New Guinea but their biology is unknown to great extent. This thesis reviews available molecular methods suitable for study of population structure and phylogeography of Rhytidpoponera ants in rainforest environment.

  6. Bacteria may contribute to distant species recognition in ant-aphid mutualistic relationships.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fischer, Christophe Y; Detrain, Claire; Thonart, Philippe; Haubruge, Eric; Francis, Frédéric; Verheggen, François J; Lognay, Georges C

    2017-04-01

    Mutualistic interactions between ant and aphid species have been the subject of considerable historical and contemporary investigations, the primary benefits being cleaning and protection for the aphids and carbohydrate-rich honeydew for the ants. Questions remained, however, as to the volatile semiochemical factor influencing this relationship. A recent study highlighted the role of bacterial honeydew volatile compounds in ant attraction. Here, ant's ability to distantly discriminate 2 aphid species was investigated based on bacterial honeydew semiochemicals emissions using a two-way olfactometer. Both the mutualistic aphid Aphis fabae L. and the nonmyrmecophilous aphid Acyrthosiphon pisum Harris were found to be attractive for the ant Lasius niger L. The level of attraction was similar in both assays (control vs. one of the aphid species). However, when given a choice between these 2 aphid species, ants showed a significant preference for Aphis fabae. Honeydew volatiles, mostly from bacterial origins, are known to be a key element in ant attraction. Using the same olfactometry protocol, the relative attractiveness of volatiles emitted by honeydews collected from each aphid species and by bacteria isolated from each honeydew was investigated. Again, ants significantly preferred volatiles released by Aphis fabae honeydew and bacteria. This information suggests that microbial honeydew volatiles enable ants to distantly discriminate aphid species. These results strengthen the interest of studying the occurrence and potential impact of microorganisms in insect symbioses. © 2015 Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

  7. Immune priming and pathogen resistance in ant queens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gálvez, Dumas; Chapuisat, Michel

    2014-05-01

    Growing empirical evidence indicates that invertebrates become more resistant to a pathogen following initial exposure to a nonlethal dose; yet the generality, mechanisms, and adaptive value of such immune priming are still under debate. Because life-history theory predicts that immune priming and large investment in immunity should be more frequent in long-lived species, we here tested for immune priming and pathogen resistance in ant queens, which have extraordinarily long life span. We exposed virgin and mated queens of Lasius niger and Formica selysi to a low dose of the entomopathogenic fungus Beauveria bassiana, before challenging them with a high dose of the same pathogen. We found evidence for immune priming in naturally mated queens of L. niger. In contrast, we found no sign of priming in virgin queens of L. niger, nor in virgin or experimentally mated queens of F. selysi, which indicates that immune priming in ant queens varies according to mating status and mating conditions or species. In both ant species, mated queens showed higher pathogen resistance than virgin queens, which suggests that mating triggers an up-regulation of the immune system. Overall, mated ant queens combine high reproductive output, very long life span, and elevated investment in immune defense. Hence, ant queens are able to invest heavily in both reproduction and maintenance, which can be explained by the fact that mature queens will be protected and nourished by their worker offspring.

  8. Beyond ANT

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jansen, Till

    2017-01-01

    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......, 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.......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...

  9. Characterisation and cross-amplification of polymorphic microsatellite loci in ant-associated root-aphids

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ivens, A.B.F.; Kronauer, Daniel Jan Christoph; Boomsma, J.J.

    2011-01-01

    Twenty-six polymorphic microsatellite loci were developed for four species of ant-associated root-aphids: Geoica utricularia, Forda marginata, Tetraneura ulmi and Anoecia corni. We found up to 9 alleles per locus, with an average of 4.8. We also report polymorphic cross-amplification of eleven...... of these markers between different pairs of study species. Furthermore, we tested previously published aphid microsatellites and found one locus developed for Pemphigus bursarius to be polymorphic in G. utricularia. These microsatellite markers will be useful to study the population structure of aphids associated...... with the ant Lasius flavus and possibly other ants. Such studies are relevant because: 1. L. flavus mounds and their associated flora and fauna are often key components in protected temperate grasslands, and 2. L. flavus and its diverse community of root-aphids provide an interesting model system for studying...

  10. Biodiversity on Broadway--enigmatic diversity of the societies of ants (Formicidae on the streets of New York City.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marko Pećarević

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available Each year, a larger proportion of the Earth's surface is urbanized, and a larger proportion of the people on Earth lives in those urban areas. The everyday nature, however, that humans encounter in cities remains poorly understood. Here, we consider perhaps the most urban green habitat, street medians. We sampled ants from forty-four medians along three boulevards in New York City and examined how median properties affect the abundance and species richness of native and introduced ants found on them. Ant species richness varied among streets and increased with area but was independent of the other median attributes measured. Ant assemblages were highly nested, with three numerically dominant species present at all medians and additional species present at a subset of medians. The most common ant species were the introduced Pavement ant (Tetramorium caespitum and the native Thief ant (Solenopsis molesta and Cornfield ant (Lasius neoniger. The common introduced species on the medians responded differently to natural and disturbed elements of medians. Tetramorium caespitum was most abundant in small medians, with the greatest edge/area ratio, particularly if those medians had few trees, whereas Nylanderia flavipes was most abundant in the largest medians, particularly if they had more trees. Many of the species encountered in Manhattan were similar to those found in other large North American cities, such that a relatively small subset of ant species probably represent most of the encounters humans have with ants in North America.

  11. Biodiversity on Broadway--enigmatic diversity of the societies of ants (Formicidae) on the streets of New York City.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pećarević, Marko; Danoff-Burg, James; Dunn, Robert R

    2010-10-05

    Each year, a larger proportion of the Earth's surface is urbanized, and a larger proportion of the people on Earth lives in those urban areas. The everyday nature, however, that humans encounter in cities remains poorly understood. Here, we consider perhaps the most urban green habitat, street medians. We sampled ants from forty-four medians along three boulevards in New York City and examined how median properties affect the abundance and species richness of native and introduced ants found on them. Ant species richness varied among streets and increased with area but was independent of the other median attributes measured. Ant assemblages were highly nested, with three numerically dominant species present at all medians and additional species present at a subset of medians. The most common ant species were the introduced Pavement ant (Tetramorium caespitum) and the native Thief ant (Solenopsis molesta) and Cornfield ant (Lasius neoniger). The common introduced species on the medians responded differently to natural and disturbed elements of medians. Tetramorium caespitum was most abundant in small medians, with the greatest edge/area ratio, particularly if those medians had few trees, whereas Nylanderia flavipes was most abundant in the largest medians, particularly if they had more trees. Many of the species encountered in Manhattan were similar to those found in other large North American cities, such that a relatively small subset of ant species probably represent most of the encounters humans have with ants in North America.

  12. Fire ants

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... 222-1222) from anywhere in the United States. Poisonous Ingredient Fire ant venom contains a chemical called ... Elsevier Saunders; 2013:chap 140. Otten EJ. Venomous animal injuries. In: Walls RM, Hockberger RS, Gausche-Hill ...

  13. Eight new species of Batrisodes Reitter from China (Coleoptera, Staphylinidae, Pselaphinae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ri-Xin Jiang

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Eight new species of the genus Batrisodes Reitter are described from continental China, seven of which were found in association with ants: B. abdominalis sp. n. and B. tianmuensis sp. n. with an Ectomomyrmex ant from Zhejiang; B. grossus sp. n. with an Odontomachus ant from Guangxi; B. simianshanus sp. n. with an Aphaenogaster ant from Chongqing; B. qiului sp. n. with a Pheidole ant, B. xuhaoi sp. n. with a Lasius ant, and B. zhouchaoi sp. n. with Lasius and Nylanderia ants from Sichuan. Batrisodes zethus sp. n. was collected from a leaf litter sample.

  14. Worker lifespan is an adaptive trait during colony establishment in the long-lived ant Lasius niger

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kramer, Boris H.; Schaible, Ralf; Scheuerlein, Alexander

    2016-01-01

    Eusociality has been recognized as a strong driver of lifespan evolution. While queens show extraordinary lifespans of 20 years and more, worker lifespan is short and variable. A recent comparative study found that in eusocial species with larger average colony sizes the disparities in the lifespans

  15. The evolution of invasiveness in garden ants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sylvia Cremer

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

  16. 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

  17. A new species of ant-loving cricket from Mallorca, Balearic Islands, Spain (Orthoptera, Myrmecophilidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stalling, T.

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available A new species of ant-loving cricket, Myrmecophilus fuscus sp. n., is described and illustrated, based on individuals collected on the Balearic island of Mallorca, Spain. Lasius lasioides (Emery, 1869 was the host ant species. The habitat was evergreen oak forest. The holotype specimen was deposited in the collection of the Muséum d’Histoire Naturelle de Genève. The species is closely related to Myrmecophilus acervorum (Panzer, [1799] and belongs to the subgenus Myrmecophilus Berthold, 1827.Se describe e ilustra una nueva especie de grillo mirmecófilo, Myrmecophilus fuscus sp. n., procedente de la isla de Mallorca (islas Baleares, España. Lasius lasioides (Emery, 1869 es la especie hospedadora y su hábitat es el bosque perenne de roble. El holotipo se ha depositado en la colección del Muséum d’Histoire Naturelle de Ginebra. La nueva especie está estrechamente relacionada con Myrmecophilus acervorum (Panzer, [1799] y pertenece al subgénero Myrmecophilus Berthold, 1827.

  18. A new species of the fungus-farming ant genus Mycetagroicus Brandão & Mayhé-Nunes (Hymenoptera, Formicidae, Attini Uma nova espécie de formiga cultivadora de fungo, do gênero Mycetagroicus Brandão & Mayhé-Nunes (Hymenoptera, Formicidae, Attini

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carlos Roberto Ferreira Brandão

    2008-09-01

    Full Text Available The fungus-farming ant genus Mycetagroicus Brandão & Mayhé-Nunes was proposed based on three species from the Brazilian "Cerrado": M. cerradensis, M. triangularis and M. urbanus. Here we describe a new species of Attini ant of the genus Mycetagroicus, M. inflatus n. sp., based on two workers collected in eastern Pará State, Brazil. A new key for species identification, comments on differences among species and new geographical distribution data are furnished.O gênero de formigas cultivadoras de fungos, Mycetagroicus Brandão & Mayhé-Nunes, foi proposto com base em três espécies do Cerrado: M. cerradensis, M. triangularis e M. urbanus. Neste trabalho descrevemos uma nova espécie de Attini do gênero Mycetagroicus, M. inflatus n. sp., baseada em duas operárias coletadas no leste do Pará, Brasil. Apresentamos uma nova chave para a identificação das espécies, comentários sobre as diferenças entre as espécies e novos dados sobre a distribuição geográfica.

  19. Nest etiquette--where ants go when nature calls.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tomer J Czaczkes

    Full Text Available Sanitary behaviour is an important, but seldom studied, aspect of social living. Social insects have developed several strategies for dealing with waste and faecal matter, including dumping waste outside the nest and forming specialised waste-storage chambers. In some cases waste material and faeces are put to use, either as a construction material or as a long-lasting signal, suggesting that faeces and waste may not always be dangerous. Here we examine a previously undescribed behaviour in ants - the formation of well-defined faecal patches. Lasius niger ants were housed in plaster nests and provided with coloured sucrose solution. After two months, 1-4 well defined dark patches, the colour of the sucrose solution, formed within each of the plaster nests. These patches never contained other waste material such as uneaten food items, or nestmate corpses. Such waste was collected in waste piles outside the nest. The coloured patches were thus distinct from previously described 'kitchen middens' in ants, and are best described as 'toilets'. Why faeces is not removed with other waste materials is unclear. The presence of the toilets inside the nest suggests that they may not be an important source of pathogens, and may have a beneficial role.

  20. Nest etiquette--where ants go when nature calls.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Czaczkes, Tomer J; Heinze, Jürgen; Ruther, Joachim

    2015-01-01

    Sanitary behaviour is an important, but seldom studied, aspect of social living. Social insects have developed several strategies for dealing with waste and faecal matter, including dumping waste outside the nest and forming specialised waste-storage chambers. In some cases waste material and faeces are put to use, either as a construction material or as a long-lasting signal, suggesting that faeces and waste may not always be dangerous. Here we examine a previously undescribed behaviour in ants - the formation of well-defined faecal patches. Lasius niger ants were housed in plaster nests and provided with coloured sucrose solution. After two months, 1-4 well defined dark patches, the colour of the sucrose solution, formed within each of the plaster nests. These patches never contained other waste material such as uneaten food items, or nestmate corpses. Such waste was collected in waste piles outside the nest. The coloured patches were thus distinct from previously described 'kitchen middens' in ants, and are best described as 'toilets'. Why faeces is not removed with other waste materials is unclear. The presence of the toilets inside the nest suggests that they may not be an important source of pathogens, and may have a beneficial role.

  1. 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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2009-01-01

    . To investigate this hypothesis, we studied the effect of sex and life history stage on the frequency of kleptoparasitism in ant-eating spiders of the genus Zodarion in the field. These spiders use a special capture technique involving a quick attack on an ant that is left unguarded by spiders for several minutes...

  4. Studies of laboulbeniales (Fungi, Ascomycota) on myrmica ants (II)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Haelewaters, Danny; Boer, Peter; Gort, Gerrit; Noordijk, Jinze

    2015-01-01

    One group of important insect parasites are the Laboulbeniales (Ascomycota), microscopic fungi that live attached to the exterior of their hosts, mainly beetles, but also mites, millipedes, earwigs, and ants. Rickia wasmannii is a common fungus in Europe and is limited to the ant genus Myrmica

  5. Unadapted behaviour of native, dominant ant species during the colonization of an aggressive, invasive ant

    OpenAIRE

    Le Breton, Julien; Orivel, J.; Chazeau, Jean; Dejean, A.

    2007-01-01

    Among the factors driving the invasive success of non-indigenous species, the "escape opportunity" or "enemy release" hypothesis argues that an invader's success may result partly from less resistance from the new competitors found in its introduced range. In this study, we examined competitive interactions between the little fire ant Wasmannia auropunctata (Roger) and ant species of the genus Pheidole in places where both are native (French Guiana) and in places where only species of Pheidol...

  6. Nine novel microsatellite markers for the army ant Simopelta pergandei (subfamily Ponerinae)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kronauer, D.J.C.; Boomsma, J.J.; Pierce, N.E.

    2011-01-01

    Simopelta (subfamily Ponerinae) army ants are specialized predators of other ants in New World tropical forests. Although they show a striking convergence in overall life-history with the well known army ants of the subfamilies Aenictinae, Dorylinae, and Ecitoninae, the genus has been little stud...

  7. Ant nebula

    Science.gov (United States)

    1999-01-01

    A new Hubble Space Telescope image of a celestial object called the Ant Nebula may shed new light on the future demise of our Sun. The image is available at http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/pictures/wfpc . The nebula, imaged on July 20, 1997, and June 30, 1998, by Hubble's Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2, was observed by Drs. Raghvendra Sahai and John Trauger of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.; Bruce Balick of the University of Washington in Seattle; and Vincent Icke of Leiden University in the Netherlands. JPL designed and built the camera. The Ant Nebula, whose technical name is Mz3, resembles the head and thorax of an ant when observed with ground-based telescopes. The new Hubble image, with 10 times the resolution revealing 100 times more detail, shows the 'ant's' body as a pair of fiery lobes protruding from a dying, Sun- like star. The Ant Nebula is located between 3,000 and 6,000 light years from Earth in the southern constellation Norma. The image challenges old ideas about what happens to dying stars. This observation, along with other pictures of various remnants of dying stars called planetary nebulae, shows that our Sun's fate will probably be much more interesting, complex and dramatic than astronomers previously believed. Although the ejection of gas from the dying star in the Ant Nebula is violent, it does not show the chaos one might expect from an ordinary explosion, but instead shows symmetrical patterns. One possibility is that the central star has a closely orbiting companion whose gravitational tidal forces shape the outflowing gas. A second possibility is that as the dying star spins, its strong magnetic fields are wound up into complex shapes like spaghetti in an eggbeater. Electrically charged winds, much like those in our Sun's solar wind but millions of times denser and moving at speeds up to 1,000 kilometers per second (more than 600 miles per second) from the star, follow the twisted field lines on their way out into space

  8. A preliminary checklist of the ants (Hymenoptera, Formicidae of Andorra

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Abel Bernadou

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available Within the last decade, checklists of the ant fauna of several European countries have been published or updated. Nevertheless, no ant checklists have hitherto been published for the principality of Andorra, a small landlocked country located in the eastern part of the Pyrenees. This work presents a critical list of the ant species of Andorra based on a review of the literature and on the biological material we collected during several field campaigns conducted in Andorra since the year 2005. Seventy-five species belonging to 21 genera of Formicidae were recorded. Nine species were recorded for the first time in Andorra: Aphaenogaster gibbosa (Latreille, 1798, Camponotus lateralis (Olivier, 1792, Camponotus piceus (Leach, 1825, Formica exsecta Nylander, 1846, Lasius piliferus Seifert, 1992, Tapinoma madeirense Forel, 1895, Temnothorax lichtensteini (Bondroit, 1918, Temnothorax niger (Forel, 1894, Temnothorax nigriceps (Mayr, 1855. The most speciose genera were Formica Linnaeus, 1758 and Temnothorax Forel, 1890 with 14 and 12 species, respectively. The ant fauna of Andorra is mostly dominated by Central European species (some are typical cold climate specialists; however species belonging to the Mediterranean ant fauna were also found. This can be explained by the particular geographic situation of Andorra which is characterized by a high mountain Mediterranean climate.

  9. Aphid alarm pheromone as a cue for ants to locate aphid partners.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    François J Verheggen

    Full Text Available The mutualistic relationships that occur between myrmecophilous aphids and ants are based on the rich food supply that honeydew represents for ants and on the protection they provide against aphid natural enemies. While aphid predators and parasitoids actively forage for oviposition sites by using aphid semiochemicals, scouts of aphid-tending ant species would also benefit from locating honeydew resources by orienting toward aphid pheromone sources. The present study aims to provide additional information on the use of Aphis fabae alarm pheromone, i.e. (E-β-farnesene (EβF, by ant scouts. The perception and behavioral impact of EβF on Lasius niger were investigated using electroantennography and two bio-assays measuring their attraction and orientation towards aphid semiochemicals. Pronounced electrical depolarizations were observed from L. niger scout antennae to stimulations of A. fabae alarm pheromone, while other sesquiterpenes elicited weak or no responses. L. niger scouts were significantly attracted toward EβF in a four-arm olfactometer, as well as in an two-choice bioassay. These laboratory results suggest for the first time that low amounts of aphid alarm pheromone can be used by L. niger scouts as a cue indicating the presence of aphid colonies and could therefore mediate the aphid-ant partnership in the field.

  10. Differential ant exclusion from canopies shows contrasting top-down effects on community structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mestre, Laia; Piñol, J; Barrientos, J A; Espadaler, X

    2016-01-01

    Predators have far-reaching effects on communities by triggering top-down trophic cascades that influence ecosystem functioning. Omnivory and intraguild interactions between predators give rise to reticulate food webs and may either strengthen or dampen trophic cascades depending on context. Disentangling the effects of multiple predator species is therefore crucial for predicting the influence of predators on community structure. We focused on ants as dominant generalist predators in arthropod communities and set up a differential ant exclusion from canopies to examine its effects on assemblage species composition and densities of five arthropod groups (psocopterans, aphids, spiders, heteropterans and beetles). We coupled a glue band with tubes allowing only the ant Lasius grandis to reach the canopies to isolate its effect from the rest of crawling predators (ants, earwigs) and compared it against a full exclusion and a control. L. grandis alone had widespread effects on assemblage species composition, with contrasting species-specific responses within groups, where some species affected by L. grandis presence were not further affected by the presence of the whole crawling predator assemblage, and vice versa. Overall, L. grandis caused two- to threefold decreases of generalist predators and a threefold increase of aphids. However, it lacked further top-down effects on primary consumers, which only emerged when all crawling predators were present. This differential exclusion demonstrates the distinctive and widespread intraguild effects on community structure of a single ant species that contrast with the top-down effects exerted by the whole crawling predator assemblage.

  11. 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 ...

  12. Association between ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) and the vine mealybug (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae) in table-grape vineyards in Eastern Spain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beltrà, Aleixandre; Navarro-Campos, Cristina; Calabuig, Altea; Estopà, Luis; Wäckers, Felix L; Pekas, Apostolos; Soto, Antonia

    2017-12-01

    The vine mealybug, Planococcus ficus (Signoret) (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae) is a key pest of grapevine in the Mediterranean Basin. Some honeydew collecting ant species are known to increase mealybug populations in other grape-growing regions. However, there is scarce information on either the ant species present in Mediterranean vineyards or their impact on mealybugs. We conducted a study in four commercial vineyards in Eastern Spain in order to i) identify the ant species foraging on the vine canopies, ii) study the association among ant activity, vine mealybug abundance and fruit damage, and iii) test a novel method for ant management, distracting ants from guarding vine mealybugs by providing sugar dispensers. We recorded three ant species native to the Mediterranean foraging on the vine canopies: Lasius grandis (Forel), Pheidole pallidula (Nylander) and Plagiolepis schmitzii (Forel). The mean percentage of damaged fruits per vine was positively correlated with the number of vine mealybugs captured in traps placed at the trunk. We detected a positive but weak relationship between ant activity, vine mealybug abundance and fruit damage. The provisioning of sugar dispensers reduced the number of ants foraging on the vines by 23.4% although this reduction was not statistically significant. Vine mealybug abundance was significantly reduced (72%) after sugar provisioning. Our results suggest that the ant species native to vineyards in eastern Spain induce population increases of the vine mealybug. Moreover, the provisioning of sugars can be a valuable tool for ant management and mealybug control. © 2017 Society of Chemical Industry. © 2017 Society of Chemical Industry.

  13. Phylogenetic placement of an unusual coral mushroom challenges the classic hypothesis of strict coevolution in the Apterostigma pilosum group ant-fungus mutualism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bryn T.M. Dentinger; D.Jean Lodge; Andrew B. Munkacsi; Dennis E. Desjardin; David J. McLaughlin

    2009-01-01

    The ~50 million-year-old fungus-farming ant mutualism is a classic example of coevolution, involving ants that subsist on asexual, fungal biomass, in turn propagating the fungus clonally through nest-to-nest transmission. Most mutualistic ants cultivate two closely related groups of gilled mushrooms, whereas one small group of ants in the genus ...

  14. Discovery-dominance trade-off among widespread invasive ant species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bertelsmeier, Cleo; Avril, Amaury; Blight, Olivier; Jourdan, Hervé; Courchamp, Franck

    2015-07-01

    Ants are among the most problematic invasive species. They displace numerous native species, alter ecosystem processes, and can have negative impacts on agriculture and human health. In part, their success might stem from a departure from the discovery-dominance trade-off that can promote co-existence in native ant communities, that is, invasive ants are thought to be at the same time behaviorally dominant and faster discoverers of resources, compared to native species. However, it has not yet been tested whether similar asymmetries in behavioral dominance, exploration, and recruitment abilities also exist among invasive species. Here, we establish a dominance hierarchy among four of the most problematic invasive ants (Linepithema humile, Lasius neglectus, Wasmannia auropunctata, Pheidole megacephala) that may be able to arrive and establish in the same areas in the future. To assess behavioral dominance, we used confrontation experiments, testing the aggressiveness in individual and group interactions between all species pairs. In addition, to compare discovery efficiency, we tested the species' capacity to locate a food resource in a maze, and the capacity to recruit nestmates to exploit a food resource. The four species differed greatly in their capacity to discover resources and to recruit nestmates and to dominate the other species. Our results are consistent with a discovery-dominance trade-off. The species that showed the highest level of interspecific aggressiveness and dominance during dyadic interactions.

  15. Monomorphic ants undergo within-colony morphological changes along the metal-pollution gradient.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grześ, Irena M; Okrutniak, Mateusz; Woch, Marcin W

    2015-04-01

    In ants, intra and inter-colony variation in body size can be considerable, even in monomorphic species. It has been previously shown that size-related parameters can be environmentally sensitive. The shape of the body size distribution curve is, however, rarely investigated. In this study, we measured head widthes of the black garden ant Lasius niger workers using digital methods. The ants were sampled from 51 colonies originating from 19 sites located along a metal pollution gradient, established in a former mining area in Poland. Total zinc concentrations in random samples of small invertebrates were used as a measure of site pollution levels. We found that the skewness of head size distribution grows significantly in line with the pollution level of the site, ranging from values slightly below zero (about -0.5) in the least polluted site up to a positive value (about 1.5) in the most polluted site. This result indicates that the frequency of small ants grows as pollution levels increase. The coefficient of variation, as well as the measures of central tendency, was not related to the pollution level. Four hypotheses explaining the obtained results are proposed. The bias towards the higher frequency of small workers may result from energy limitation and/or metal toxicity, but may also have an adaptive function.

  16. The Stable Concordance Genus

    OpenAIRE

    Kearney, M. Kate

    2013-01-01

    The concordance genus of a knot is the least genus of any knot in its concordance class. Although difficult to compute, it is a useful invariant that highlights the distinction between the three-genus and four-genus. In this paper we define and discuss the stable concordance genus of a knot, which describes the behavior of the concordance genus under connected sum.

  17. The hyper-diverse ant genus Tetramorium Mayr (Hymenoptera, Formicidae in the Malagasy region ‑ taxonomic revision of the T. naganum, T. plesiarum, T. schaufussii, and T. severini species groups

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francisco Hita Garcia

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available The taxonomy of the Tetramorium naganum, T. plesiarum, T. schaufussii, and T. severini species groups are revised for the Malagasy region. A total of 31 species are treated, of which 22 are newly described and nine redescribed. This increases the richness of the hyper-diverse genus Tetramorium in the Malagasy region to 106 species, which makes it the most species-rich genus in the region. Twenty-nine of the treated species are endemic to Madagascar, one is endemic to the Comoros, and one species is found predominantly in Madagascar but also on the island of Reunion. The T. naganum species group contains five species, which are mainly distributed in the rainforests and montane rainforests of eastern and northern Madagascar: T. alperti sp. n., T. dalek sp. n., T. enkidu sp. n., T. gilgamesh sp. n., and T. naganum Bolton, 1979. The T.plesiarum species group holds five species: T. bressleri sp. n., T. hobbit sp. n., T. gollum sp. n., T. mars sp.n., and T. plesiarum Bolton, 1979. All five are arid-adapted species occurring in the southwest and west of Madagascar. The second-most species-rich group in the region is the T. schaufussii species group with 20 species, most of which inhabit rainforests or montane rainforests of eastern and northern Madagascar. This group includes two species complexes each containing ten species: the T. cognatum complex with the species T. aspis sp. n., T. camelliae sp. n., T. cognatum Bolton, 1979, T. freya sp. n., T. gladius sp. n., T.karthala sp. n., T. myrmidon sp. n., T. proximum Bolton, 1979, T. rumo sp. n., and T. tenuinode sp. n.; and the T. schaufussii complex with the species T. merina sp. n., T. monticola sp. n., T. nassonowii Forel, 1892 stat. n., T. obiwan sp. n., T. pseudogladius sp. n., T. rala sp. n., T. schaufussii Forel, 1891, T. sikorae Forel, 1892 (=T. latior (Santschi, 1926, T. scutum sp. n., T. xanthogaster Santschi, 1911. The last group treated in this study is the T. severini species group, which

  18. The hyper-diverse ant genus Tetramorium Mayr (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) in the Malagasy region taxonomic revision of the T. naganum, T. plesiarum, T. schaufussii, and T. severini species groups.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hita Garcia, Francisco; Fisher, Brian L

    2014-01-01

    The taxonomy of the Tetramorium naganum, T. plesiarum, T. schaufussii, and T. severini species groups are revised for the Malagasy region. A total of 31 species are treated, of which 22 are newly described and nine redescribed. This increases the richness of the hyper-diverse genus Tetramorium in the Malagasy region to 106 species, which makes it the most species-rich genus in the region. Twenty-nine of the treated species are endemic to Madagascar, one is endemic to the Comoros, and one species is found predominantly in Madagascar but also on the island of Reunion. The T. naganum species group contains five species, which are mainly distributed in the rainforests and montane rainforests of eastern and northern Madagascar: T. alperti sp. n., T. dalek sp. n., T. enkidu sp. n., T. gilgamesh sp. n., and T. naganum Bolton, 1979. The T. plesiarum species group holds five species: T. bressleri sp. n., T. hobbit sp. n., T. gollum sp. n., T. mars sp. n., and T. plesiarum Bolton, 1979. All five are arid-adapted species occurring in the southwest and west of Madagascar. The second-most species-rich group in the region is the T. schaufussii species group with 20 species, most of which inhabit rainforests or montane rainforests of eastern and northern Madagascar. This group includes two species complexes each containing ten species: the T. cognatum complex with the species T. aspis sp. n., T. camelliae sp. n., T. cognatum Bolton, 1979, T. freya sp. n., T. gladius sp. n., T. karthala sp. n., T. myrmidon sp. n., T. proximum Bolton, 1979, T. rumo sp. n., and T. tenuinode sp. n.; and the T. schaufussii complex with the species T. merina sp. n., T. monticola sp. n., T. nassonowii Forel, 1892 stat. n., T. obiwan sp. n., T. pseudogladius sp. n., T. rala sp. n., T. schaufussii Forel, 1891, T. sikorae Forel, 1892 (= T. latior (Santschi, 1926)), T. scutum sp. n., T. xanthogaster Santschi, 1911. The last group treated in this study is the T. severini species group, which contains only

  19. Evolution and ecology of directed aerial descent in arboreal ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yanoviak, Stephen P; Munk, Yonatan; Dudley, Robert

    2011-12-01

    Directed aerial descent (DAD) is used by a variety of arboreal animals to escape predators, to remain in the canopy, and to access resources. Here, we build upon the discovery of DAD in ants of tropical canopies by summarizing its known phylogenetic distribution among ant genera, and within both the subfamily Pseudomyrmecinae and the genus Cephalotes. DAD has multiple evolutionary origins in ants, occurring independently in numerous genera in the subfamilies Myrmicinae, Formicinae, and Pseudomyrmecinae. Ablation experiments and video recordings of ants in a vertical wind tunnel showed that DAD in Cephalotes atratus is achieved via postural changes, specifically orientation of the legs and gaster. The occurrence of DAD in Formicinae indicates that the presence of a postpetiole is not essential for the behavior. Evidence to date indicates that gliding behavior is accomplished by visual targeting mediated by the compound eyes, and is restricted to diurnally active ants that nest in trees. Occlusion of ocelli in Pseudomyrmex gracilis workers had no effect on their success or performance in gliding. Experimental assessment of the fate of ants that fall to the understory showed that ants landing in water are 15 times more likely to suffer lethal attacks than are ants landing in leaf litter. Variation in both the aerodynamic mechanisms and selective advantages of DAD merits further study given the broad taxonomic diversity of arboreal ants that engage in this intriguing form of flight.

  20. 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.

  1. First record of the tramp ant Cardiocondyla obscurior (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) for Mississippi

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cardiocondyla (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Myrmicinae) is an old world genus of omnivorous ants native to Africa and Asia. The genus Cardiocondyla includes several common tramp species that have spread globally with human commerce. A single alate female C. obscurior Wheeler was collected by J. M. Stro...

  2. Aphaenogaster ants as bioturbators: Impacts on soil and slope processes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richards, Paul J.

    2009-09-01

    Australian ants belonging to the genus Aphaenogaster excavate dense and frequently relocated nest systems in topsoil and deposit ephemeral, highly erodible ( type-I) mounds at their funnel-shaped nest entrances. Rates of mounding are generally higher for this genus than for other Australian ant species, and are amongst the highest rates recorded for ant mounding anywhere in the world. Furthermore, tentative analysis of subsurface mixing suggests that overall rates of Aphaenogaster bioturbation are higher than indicated by mounding alone. This bioturbation has pronounced implications for soil and landscape processes, particularly in modifying soil fabric and texture and in impacting on soil hydrology and erosion. Aphaenogaster bioturbation may also be viewed as a form of ecosystem engineering, and affects the distribution of soil nutrients and the dispersal of seeds. This can lead to localized increases in soil fertility, although Aphaenogaster are notorious as a nuisance in agricultural landscapes.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2013-01-01

    Fungus-growing ants associate with multiple symbiotic microbes, including Actinobacteria for production of antibiotics. The best studied of these bacteria are within the genus Pseudonocardia, which in most fungus-growing ants are conspicuously visible on the external cuticle of workers. However......, given that fungus-growing ants in the genus Atta do not carry visible Actinobacteria on their cuticle, it is unclear if this genus engages in the symbiosis with Pseudonocardia. Here we explore whether improving culturing techniques can allow for successful isolation of Pseudonocardia from Atta...... cephalotes leaf-cutting ants. We obtained Pseudonocardia from 9 of 11 isolation method/colony component combinations from all 5 colonies intensively sampled. The most efficient technique was bead-beating workers in phosphate buffer solution, then plating the suspension on carboxymethylcellulose medium...

  4. The gastropod-symbiotic sea anemone genus Isosicyonis Carlgren, 1927 (Actiniaria: Actiniidae: a new species from the Weddell Sea (Antarctica that clarifies the taxonomic position of the genus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Estefanía Rodríguez

    2008-03-01

    Full Text Available A second species of the sea anemone genus Isosicyonis is described and illustrated from 16 specimens collected in the Weddell Sea (Antarctica on the Polarstern cruises ANT XVII/3, ANT XXI/2 and ANT XXIII/8. Isosicyonis striata n. sp. is easily distinguishable externally from the other species of the genus Isosicyonis alba by its pattern: white longitudinal stripes on the column, oral disc, and tentacles. It is also distinguished by internal features including the retractor muscles, parietobasilar muscles, marginal sphincter muscles, number of mesenteries, and cnidae. The genus Isosycionis is currently only known from the Southern Ocean. Both species of Isosicyonis live in association with a gastropod, with a single sea anemone occupying almost the whole shell of its gastropod host. The description of this new species, and our re-examination of Isosicyonis alba, resolves the controversial higher taxonomic position of the genus, confirming its placement within the Endomyaria.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marsh, Sarah E; Poulsen, Michael; Gorosito, Norma B; Pinto-Tomás, Adrián; Masiulionis, Virginia E; Currie, Cameron R

    2013-03-01

    Fungus-growing ants associate with multiple symbiotic microbes, including Actinobacteria for production of antibiotics. The best studied of these bacteria are within the genus Pseudonocardia, which in most fungus-growing ants are conspicuously visible on the external cuticle of workers. However, given that fungus-growing ants in the genus Atta do not carry visible Actinobacteria on their cuticle, it is unclear if this genus engages in the symbiosis with Pseudonocardia. Here we explore whether improving culturing techniques can allow for successful isolation of Pseudonocardia from Atta cephalotes leaf-cutting ants. We obtained Pseudonocardia from 9 of 11 isolation method/colony component combinations from all 5 colonies intensively sampled. The most efficient technique was bead-beating workers in phosphate buffer solution, then plating the suspension on carboxymethylcellulose medium. Placing these strains in a fungus-growing ant-associated Pseudonocardia phylogeny revealed that while some strains grouped with clades of Pseudonocardia associated with other genera of fungus-growing ants, a large portion of the isolates fell into two novel phylogenetic clades previously not identified from this ant-microbe symbiosis. Our findings suggest that Pseudonocardia may be associated with Atta fungus-growing ants, potentially internalized, and that localizing the symbiont and exploring its role is necessary to shed further light on the association.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    Introduction: Fungus-growing ants cultivate specialized fungi in the tribe Leucocoprineae (Lepiotaceae: Basidiomycota) inside their nests. The conspicuous leaf-cutting ants in the genus Atta build huge nests displacing several cubic meters of soil, whereas lower attine genera such as Cyphomyrmex...... have small nests with a fungus garden the size of a table-tennis ball. Only the leaf-cutting ants are specialized on using fresh leaves as substrate for their fungus gardens, whereas the more basal attine genera use substrates such as dry plant material (leaf litter and small twigs) and also insect...... of substrate use in all extant fungus-growing ant genera to know the range of substrates used for any particular ant genus. (2.) Field assays of enzyme activity in fungus gardens of five candidate enzymes (Amylase, proteinase, pectinase, cellulose and xylanase) to indicate differences in enzyme activity...

  7. Negative feedback enables fast and flexible collective decision-making in ants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christoph Grüter

    Full Text Available Positive feedback plays a major role in the emergence of many collective animal behaviours. In many ants pheromone trails recruit and direct nestmate foragers to food sources. The strong positive feedback caused by trail pheromones allows fast collective responses but can compromise flexibility. Previous laboratory experiments have shown that when the environment changes, colonies are often unable to reallocate their foragers to a more rewarding food source. Here we show both experimentally, using colonies of Lasius niger, and with an agent-based simulation model, that negative feedback caused by crowding at feeding sites allows ant colonies to maintain foraging flexibility even with strong recruitment to food sources. In a constant environment, negative feedback prevents the frequently found bias towards one feeder (symmetry breaking and leads to equal distribution of foragers. In a changing environment, negative feedback allows a colony to quickly reallocate the majority of its foragers to a superior food patch that becomes available when foraging at an inferior patch is already well underway. The model confirms these experimental findings and shows that the ability of colonies to switch to a superior food source does not require the decay of trail pheromones. Our results help to resolve inconsistencies between collective foraging patterns seen in laboratory studies and observations in the wild, and show that the simultaneous action of negative and positive feedback is important for efficient foraging in mass-recruiting insect colonies.

  8. Pseudoanaplectinia yumotoi, A New Ovoviviparous Myrmecophilous Cockroach Genus and Species from Sarawak (Blattaria: Blattellidae; Blattellinae)

    OpenAIRE

    Roth, Louis M.

    1995-01-01

    Pseudoanaplectinia yumotoi, a new myrmecophilous cockroach genus and species, is described from Sarawak. Based on the male genital phallomeres, it is placed in the Blattellidae: Blattellinae. The genus is ovoviviparous and probably arose from an anaplectinoid-like ancestor. This is the third case of ovoviviparity arising in the Blattellidae. The cockroach has a symbiotic relationship with an ant Crematogaster sp.

  9. Pseudoanaplectinia yumotoi, A New Ovoviviparous Myrmecophilous Cockroach Genus and Species from Sarawak (Blattaria: Blattellidae; Blattellinae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Louis M. Roth

    1995-01-01

    Full Text Available Pseudoanaplectinia yumotoi, a new myrmecophilous cockroach genus and species, is described from Sarawak. Based on the male genital phallomeres, it is placed in the Blattellidae: Blattellinae. The genus is ovoviviparous and probably arose from an anaplectinoid-like ancestor. This is the third case of ovoviviparity arising in the Blattellidae. The cockroach has a symbiotic relationship with an ant Crematogaster sp.

  10. 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.

  11. Phylogenomics and Divergence Dating of Fungus-Farming Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of the Genera Sericomyrmex and Apterostigma.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ješovnik, Ana; González, Vanessa L; Schultz, Ted R

    2016-01-01

    Fungus-farming ("attine") ants are model systems for studies of symbiosis, coevolution, and advanced eusociality. A New World clade of nearly 300 species in 15 genera, all attine ants cultivate fungal symbionts for food. In order to better understand the evolution of ant agriculture, we sequenced, assembled, and analyzed transcriptomes of four different attine ant species in two genera: three species in the higher-attine genus Sericomyrmex and a single lower-attine ant species, Apterostigma megacephala, representing the first genomic data for either genus. These data were combined with published genomes of nine other ant species and the honey bee Apis mellifera for phylogenomic and divergence-dating analyses. The resulting phylogeny confirms relationships inferred in previous studies of fungus-farming ants. Divergence-dating analyses recovered slightly older dates than most prior analyses, estimating that attine ants originated 53.6-66.7 million of years ago, and recovered a very long branch subtending a very recent, rapid radiation of the genus Sericomyrmex. This result is further confirmed by a separate analysis of the three Sericomyrmex species, which reveals that 92.71% of orthologs have 99% - 100% pairwise-identical nucleotide sequences. We searched the transcriptomes for genes of interest, most importantly argininosuccinate synthase and argininosuccinate lyase, which are functional in other ants but which are known to have been lost in seven previously studied attine ant species. Loss of the ability to produce the amino acid arginine has been hypothesized to contribute to the obligate dependence of attine ants upon their cultivated fungi, but the point in fungus-farming ant evolution at which these losses occurred has remained unknown. We did not find these genes in any of the sequenced transcriptomes. Although expected for Sericomyrmex species, the absence of arginine anabolic genes in the lower-attine ant Apterostigma megacephala strongly suggests that the

  12. Karyotype instability in the ponerine ant genus Diacamma

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    2010-08-06

    Aug 6, 2010 ... displays no such intra-individual or inter-individual variability whatsoever under identical experimental conditions, these re- sults are unlikely to be .... Species studied colonies males of males females of females eggs of eggs. D. ceylonense IISc. 3. 7 n = 4–7 (17). 16. 2n = 6–31 (28). 2. 9–12 (4). Jakkur. 3. 4.

  13. Karyotype instability in the ponerine ant genus Diacamma

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    2010-08-06

    Aug 6, 2010 ... 1990 Male germ line polysomy in the grasshopper Chorthippus binotatus: extra chromosomes are not transmitted. Genome 33,. 384–388. Tanuja M. T., Ramachandra N. B. and Ranganath H. A. 1999 Evo- lution of a new chromosomal lineage in a laboratory population of Drosophila through centric fission.

  14. Karyotype instability in the ponerine ant genus Diacamma

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    The observed numerical variability, both at intra-individual and inter-individual levels, does not appear to have hampered the sustainability of the chromosomal diversity in each population under study. Since the related D. indicum displays no such intra-individual or inter-individual variability whatsoever under identical ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Lei; Chen, Jian

    2015-08-01

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

  16. New fossil ants in French Cretaceous amber (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perrichot, Vincent; Nel, André; Néraudeau, Didier; Lacau, Sébastien; Guyot, Thierry

    2008-02-01

    Recent studies on the ant phylogeny are mainly based on the molecular analyses of extant subfamilies and do not include the extinct, only Cretaceous subfamily Sphecomyrminae. However, the latter is of major importance for ant relationships, as it is considered the most basal subfamily. Therefore, each new discovery of a Mesozoic ant is of high interest for improving our understanding of their early history and basal relationships. In this paper, a new sphecomyrmine ant, allied to the Burmese amber genus Haidomyrmex, is described from mid-Cretaceous amber of France as Haidomyrmodes mammuthus gen. and sp. n. The diagnosis of the tribe Haidomyrmecini is emended based on the new type material, which includes a gyne (alate female) and two incomplete workers. The genus Sphecomyrmodes, hitherto known by a single species from Burmese amber, is also reported and a new species described as S. occidentalis sp. n. after two workers remarkably preserved in a single piece of Early Cenomanian French amber. The new fossils provide additional information on early ant diversity and relationships and demonstrate that the monophyly of the Sphecomyrminae, as currently defined, is still weakly supported.

  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. Ants and ant scent reduce bumblebee pollination of artificial flowers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cembrowski, Adam R; Tan, Marcus G; Thomson, James D; Frederickson, Megan E

    2014-01-01

    Ants on flowers can disrupt pollination by consuming rewards or harassing pollinators, but it is difficult to disentangle the effects of these exploitative and interference forms of competition on pollinator behavior. Using highly rewarding and quickly replenishing artificial flowers that simulate male or female function, we allowed bumblebees (Bombus impatiens) to forage (1) on flowers with or without ants (Myrmica rubra) and (2) on flowers with or without ant scent cues. Bumblebees transferred significantly more pollen analogue both to and from ant-free flowers, demonstrating that interference competition with ants is sufficient to modify pollinator foraging behavior. Bees also removed significantly less pollen analogue from ant-scented flowers than from controls, making this the first study to show that bees can use ant scent to avoid harassment at flowers. Ant effects on pollinator behavior, possibly in addition to their effects on pollen viability, may contribute to the evolution of floral traits minimizing ant visitation.

  19. Effect of broadcast baiting on abundance patterns of red imported fire ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) and key local ant genera at long-term monitoring sites in Brisbane, Australia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McNaught, Melinda K; Wylie, F Ross; Harris, Evan J; Alston, Clair L; Burwell, Chris J; Jennings, Craig

    2014-08-01

    In 2001, the red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta Buren) was identified in Brisbane, Australia. An eradication program involving broadcast bait treatment with two insect growth regulators and a metabolic inhibitor began in September of that year and is currently ongoing. To gauge the impacts of these treatments on local ant populations, we examined long-term monitoring data and quantified abundance patterns of S. invicta and common local ant genera using a linear mixed-effects model. For S. invicta, presence in pitfalls reduced over time to zero on every site. Significantly higher numbers of S. invicta workers were collected on high-density polygyne sites, which took longer to disinfest compared with monogyne and low-density polygyne sites. For local ants, nine genus groups of the 10 most common genera analyzed either increased in abundance or showed no significant trend. Five of these genus groups were significantly less abundant at the start of monitoring on high-density polygyne sites compared with monogyne and low-density polygyne sites. The genus Pheidole significantly reduced in abundance over time, suggesting that it was affected by treatment efforts. These results demonstrate that the treatment regime used at the time successfully removed S. invicta from these sites in Brisbane, and that most local ant genera were not seriously impacted by the treatment. These results have important implications for current and future prophylactic treatment efforts, and suggest that native ants remain in treated areas to provide some biological resistance to S. invicta.

  20. The genus Bipolaris

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Manamgoda, D.S.; Rossman, A.Y.; Castlebury, L.A.; Crous, P.W.; Madrid, H.; Chukeatirote, E.; Hyde, K.D.

    2014-01-01

    The genus Bipolaris includes important plant pathogens with worldwide distribution. Species recognition in the genus has been uncertain due to the lack of molecular data from ex-type cultures as well as overlapping morphological characteristics. In this study, we revise the genus Bipolaris based on

  1. The origin of the attine ant-fungus mutualism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mueller, U G; Schultz, T R; Currie, C R; Adams, R M; Malloch, D

    2001-06-01

    Cultivation of fungus for food originated about 45-65 million years ago in the ancestor of fungus-growing ants (Formicidae, tribe Attini), representing an evolutionary transition from the life of a hunter-gatherer of arthropod prey, nectar, and other plant juices, to the life of a farmer subsisting on cultivated fungi. Seven hypotheses have been suggested for the origin of attine fungiculture, each differing with respect to the substrate used by the ancestral attine ants for fungal cultivation. Phylogenetic information on the cultivated fungi, in conjunction with information on the nesting biology of extant attine ants and their presumed closest relatives, reveal that the attine ancestors probably did not encounter their cultivars-to-be in seed stores (von Ihering 1894), in rotting wood (Forel 1902), as mycorrhizae (Garling 1979), on arthropod corpses (von Ihering 1894) or ant faeces in nest middens (Wheeler 1907). Rather, the attine ant-fungus mutualism probably arose from adventitious interactions with fungi that grew on walls of nests built in leaf litter (Emery 1899), or from a system of fungal myrmecochory in which specialized fungi relied on ants for dispersal (Bailey 1920) and in which the ants fortuitously vectored these fungi from parent to offspring nests prior to a true fungicultural stage. Reliance on fungi as a dominant food source has evolved only twice in ants: first in the attine ants, and second in some ant species in the solenopsidine genus Megalomyrmex that either coexist as trophic parasites in gardens of attine hosts or aggressively usurp gardens from them. All other known ant-fungus associations are either adventitious or have nonnutritional functions (e.g., strengthening of carton-walls in ant nests). There exist no unambiguous reports of facultative mycophagy in ants, but such trophic ant-fungus interactions would most likely occur underground or in leaf litter and thus escape easy observation. Indirect evidence of fungivory can be deduced

  2. Genus four superstring measures

    OpenAIRE

    Cacciatori, Sergio L.; Piazza, Francesco Dalla; van Geemen, Bert

    2008-01-01

    A main issue in superstring theory are the superstring measures. D'Hoker and Phong showed that for genus two these reduce to measures on the moduli space of curves which are determined by modular forms of weight eight and the bosonic measure. They also suggested a generalisation to higher genus. We showed that their approach works, with a minor modification, in genus three and we announced a positive result also in genus four. Here we give the modular form in genus four explicitly. Recently S...

  3. Multi-locus phylogenies of the genus Barteria (Passifloraceae) protray complex patterns in the evolution of myrmecophytism.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Peccoud, J.; Piatscheck, F.; Yockteng, R.; Garcia, M.; Sauve, M.; Djieto-Lordon, C.; Harris, D.J.; Wieringa, J.J.; Breteler, F.J.; Born, C.; McKey, D.; Blatrix, R.

    2013-01-01

    The four species of the central African genus Barteria show variation in habitat and in degree of association with ants. Whereas B. solida, restricted to submontane forests, attracts opportunistic ants to extrafloral nectar, the three other species, found in lowland rainforests (B. fistulosa, B.

  4. The mandible opening response: quantifying aggression elicited by chemical cues in ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Guerrieri, Fernando J; d'Ettorre, Patrizia

    2008-01-01

    Social insects have evolved efficient recognition systems guaranteeing social cohesion and protection from enemies. To defend their territories and threaten non-nestmate intruders, ants open their mandibles as a first aggressive display. Albeit chemical cues play a major role in discrimination...... chemical perception from other cues. We studied four ant species: Camponotus herculeanus, C. vagus, Formica rufibarbis and F. cunicularia. Chemical analyses of cuticular extracts of workers of these four species showed that they varied in the number and identity of compounds and that species of the same...... genus have more similar profiles. The antennae of harnessed ants were touched with a glass rod coated with the cuticular extract of (a) nestmates, (b) non-nestmates of the same species, (c) another species of the same genus and (d) a species of a different genus. The mandible opening response (MOR...

  5. Social transfer of pathogenic fungus promotes active immunisation in ant colonies.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthias Konrad

    Full Text Available Due to the omnipresent risk of epidemics, insect societies have evolved sophisticated disease defences at the individual and colony level. An intriguing yet little understood phenomenon is that social contact to pathogen-exposed individuals reduces susceptibility of previously naive nestmates to this pathogen. We tested whether such social immunisation in Lasius ants against the entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium anisopliae is based on active upregulation of the immune system of nestmates following contact to an infectious individual or passive protection via transfer of immune effectors among group members--that is, active versus passive immunisation. We found no evidence for involvement of passive immunisation via transfer of antimicrobials among colony members. Instead, intensive allogrooming behaviour between naive and pathogen-exposed ants before fungal conidia firmly attached to their cuticle suggested passage of the pathogen from the exposed individuals to their nestmates. By tracing fluorescence-labelled conidia we indeed detected frequent pathogen transfer to the nestmates, where they caused low-level infections as revealed by growth of small numbers of fungal colony forming units from their dissected body content. These infections rarely led to death, but instead promoted an enhanced ability to inhibit fungal growth and an active upregulation of immune genes involved in antifungal defences (defensin and prophenoloxidase, PPO. Contrarily, there was no upregulation of the gene cathepsin L, which is associated with antibacterial and antiviral defences, and we found no increased antibacterial activity of nestmates of fungus-exposed ants. This indicates that social immunisation after fungal exposure is specific, similar to recent findings for individual-level immune priming in invertebrates. Epidemiological modeling further suggests that active social immunisation is adaptive, as it leads to faster elimination of the disease and lower

  6. [Pathogenic bacteria dissemination by ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in two hospitals in northeast Brazil].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fontana, Renato; Wetler, Rita M da C; Aquino, Renata S S; Andrioli, João L; Queiroz, Guilherme R G; Ferreira, Sônia L; Nascimento, Ivan C do; Delabie, Jacques H C

    2010-01-01

    Nosocomial infections bring a high risk to the health of hospital patients and employees. Ants are common organisms in Brazilian hospitals, where they can act as dispersers of opportunistic microorganisms in places they forage. The occurrence of multi-resistant bacteria carried by ants was analyzed in two public hospitals (HA and HB) in southeastern Bahia, Brazil. In these two hospitals 132 workers belonging to three ant species were collected. The bacteria associated to these ants were identified and their susceptibility to antibiotics was evaluated. More than half (57.3%) of ants collected in HA were associated with some kind of bacteria, with 26.7% of them being opportunist bacteria, while 84,2% of the ants from HB presented associated bacteria growth, with 61.4% of them being opportunist bacteria. Twenty four species of bacteria were isolated. The Gram-positive bacilli of the genus Bacillus were the most frequent, followed by the Gram-positive cocci, Gram-negative bacilli (family Enterobacteriaceae) and Gram-negative non-fermenters bacilli. The profile of sensitivity of the bacterial isolates to drugs pointed out the existence of multi-resistant isolates carried by ants. For the first time, are reported cases of the same bacterial resistant isolates taken form homospecific ant workers that point out the importance of ants to bacteria dissemination and proliferation in a hospital. Our results suggest that the risk of contamination presented by these ants is similar to the one of any other mechanical vector of bacterial dissemination.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eduardo Gonçalves Paterson Fox

    2012-01-01

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

  8. Commentary: Warring ants

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Home; Journals; Journal of Biosciences; Volume 27; Issue 2. Commentary: Warring ants: Lessons from Lanchester's laws of combat? Renee M Borges. Volume 27 Issue 2 March 2002 pp 75-78. Fulltext. Click here to view fulltext PDF. Permanent link: https://www.ias.ac.in/article/fulltext/jbsc/027/02/0075-0078 ...

  9. Fire Ant Allergy

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... venom in a fire ant sting will kill bacteria and some of your skin cells. This results in the formation of a blister that fills with a cloudy white material in about 24 hours. While this looks like a pus-filled lesion that should be drained, ...

  10. 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

  11. Symbiont-Mediated Host-Parasite Dynamics in a Fungus-Gardening Ant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kellner, Katrin; Kardish, M R; Seal, J N; Linksvayer, T A; Mueller, U G

    2017-12-28

    Group-living can promote the evolution of adaptive strategies to prevent and control disease. Fungus-gardening ants must cope with two sets of pathogens, those that afflict the ants themselves and those of their symbiotic fungal gardens. While much research has demonstrated the impact of specialized fungal pathogens that infect ant fungus gardens, most of these studies focused on the so-called higher attine ants, which are thought to coevolve diffusely with two clades of leucocoprinaceous fungi. Relatively few studies have addressed disease ecology of lower Attini, which are thought to occasionally recruit (domesticate) novel leucocoprinaceous fungi from free-living populations; coevolution between lower-attine ants and their fungi is therefore likely weaker (or even absent) than in the higher Attini, which generally have many derived modifications. Toward understanding the disease ecology of lower-attine ants, this study (a) describes the diversity in the microfungal genus Escovopsis that naturally infect fungus gardens of the lower-attine ant Mycocepurus smithii and (b) experimentally determines the relative contributions of Escovopsis strain (a possible garden disease), M. smithii ant genotype, and fungal cultivar lineage to disease susceptibility and colony fitness. In controlled in-vivo infection laboratory experiments, we demonstrate that the susceptibility to Escovopsis infection was an outcome of ant-cultivar-Escovopsis interaction, rather than solely due to ant genotype or fungal cultivar lineage. The role of complex ant-cultivar-Escovopsis interactions suggests that switching M. smithii farmers onto novel fungus types might be a strategy to generate novel ant-fungus combinations resistant to most, but perhaps not all, Escovopsis strains circulating in a local population of this and other lower-attine ants.

  12. Effects of redispersal of seeds by ants on the vegetation patternin a deciduous forest: A case study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gorb, Stanislav N.; Gorb, Elena V.; Punttila, Pekka

    2000-07-01

    The floristic composition and distribution of mature plants, seedlings, and soil-seed material in both ant territories and territory borders between colonies of two ant species, Lasius fuliginosus and Formica polyctena, were compared in a deciduous forest in central Ukraine. Additional seed samples were taken from ant nests. Workers of both species collect seeds of myrmecochores, but only individuals of F. polyctena relocate seeds to territory borders after the removal of elaiosomes. Borders of F. polyctena territories are thus 'garbage dumps' of waste organic material and probably also nutrient-enriched microsites. The floristic composition of L. fuliginosus' territory differed from that of the territory borders and F. polyctena territory owing to a lower abundance of myrmecochores in the former. There were no great differences in the abundance or in the number of species (altogether fourteen species) in mature myrmecochores or non-myrmecochores among the sampling sites. However, the abundance and to some extent the number of species (altogether 21 species) of seedlings of myrmecochores (but not of non-myrmecochores) were lower in L. fuliginosus territory than in the other sampling sites. In particular, seedlings of two large-seeded myrmecochores, Asarum europaeum and Viola odorata, were more abundant in territory borders than in the territories. With a small-seeded myrmecochore, Ballota nigra, no such differences were found. Seeds of large-seeded myrmecochores, small-seeded myrmecochores and non-myrmecochores were more abundant than expected in the territory borders, in the nest of L. fuliginosus, in the nest of F. polyctena, respectively. It is suggested that seed flow from F. polyctena nests to the territory borders results in an increase in the seed-dispersal distances from the parent plant and among seeds dispersed in both small- and large-seeded myrmecochores. In large-seeded myrmecochores, this also results in a higher likelihood of reaching 'garbage dumps

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2014-01-01

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

  14. Towards a better understanding of the evolution of specialized parasites of fungus-growing ant crops

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Yek, Sze Huei; Boomsma, Jacobus Jan; Poulsen, Michael

    2012-01-01

    Fungus-growing ants have interacted and partly coevolved with specialised microfungal parasites of the genus Escovopsis since the origin of ant fungiculture about 50 million years ago. Here, we review the recent progress in understanding the patterns of specificity of this ant-parasite association......, covering both the colony/population level and comparisons between phylogenetic clades. We use a modified version of Tinbergen’s four categories of evolutionary questions to structure our review in complementary approaches addressing both proximate questions of development and mechanism, and ultimate...

  15. Nesting Associations without Interdependence: A Preliminary Review on Plesiobiosis in Ants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Orsolya Kanizsai

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Plesiobiosis, the most basic form of interspecific associations in ants, denotes occasional or regular nesting of heterospecific colonies of certain species pairs in close proximity to each other without biological interdependence. Plesiobionts differ from each other both in morphology and in behaviour (e.g., in their foraging strategies, and at least one of the plesiobiotic pair is a submissive species. Recent studies on plesiobiosis have revealed that Formica fusca and Lasius flavus are two of the most frequent plesiobionts. To date, at least 48 different plesiobiotic species pairs have been recorded from various habitat types of the Holarctic region. Two main habitat properties may play a role in the forming of plesiobiosis: the scarcity of suitable nesting sites as a forcing factor and the sufficient amount of food sources available, influencing the abundance of colonies. Thus, high colony density may contribute to the formation of such associations, resulting in (1 frequent nesting in each other's neighbourhood and (2 stronger intraspecific competition, which forces colonies into the vicinity of heterospecific nests. Plesiobiotic associations formed this way may promote persistent coexistence, leading to the formation of other types of interspecific associations (e.g., clepto- or lestobiosis.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2007-01-01

    Symbiont choice has been proposed to play an important role in shaping many symbiotic relationships, including the fungus-growing ant-microbe mutualism. Over millions of years, fungus-growing ants have defended their fungus gardens from specialized parasites with antibiotics produced...... by an actinomycete bacterial mutualist (genus Pseudonocardia). Despite the potential of being infected by phylogenetically diverse strains of parasites, each ant colony maintains only a single Pseudonocardia symbiont strain, which is primarily vertically transmitted between colonies by the founding queens....... In this study, we show that Acromyrmex leaf-cutter ants are able to differentiate between their native actinomycete strain and a variety of foreign strains isolated from sympatric and allopatric Acromyrmex species, in addition to strains originating from other fungus-growing ant genera. The recognition...

  17. Foraging of Psilocybe basidiocarps by the leaf-cutting ant Acromyrmex lobicornis in Santa Fé, Argentina.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Masiulionis, Virginia E; Weber, Roland Ws; Pagnocca, Fernando C

    2013-12-01

    It is generally accepted that material collected by leaf-cutting ants of the genus Acromyrmex consists solely of plant matter, which is used in the nest as substrate for a symbiotic fungus providing nutrition to the ants. There is only one previous report of any leaf-cutting ant foraging directly on fungal basidiocarps. Basidiocarps of Psilocybe coprophila growing on cow dung were actively collected by workers of Acromyrmex lobicornis in Santa Fé province, Argentina. During this behaviour the ants displayed typical signals of recognition and continuously recruited other foragers to the task. Basidiocarps of different stages of maturity were being transported into the nest by particular groups of workers, while other workers collected plant material. The collection of mature basidiocarps with viable spores by leaf-cutting ants in nature adds substance to theories relating to the origin of fungiculture in these highly specialized social insects.

  18. Bacterial Infections across the Ants: Frequency and Prevalence of Wolbachia, Spiroplasma, and Asaia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefanie Kautz

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Bacterial endosymbionts are common across insects, but we often lack a deeper knowledge of their prevalence across most organisms. Next-generation sequencing approaches can characterize bacterial diversity associated with a host and at the same time facilitate the fast and simultaneous screening of infectious bacteria. In this study, we used 16S rRNA tag encoded amplicon pyrosequencing to survey bacterial communities of 310 samples representing 221 individuals, 176 colonies and 95 species of ants. We found three distinct endosymbiont groups—Wolbachia (Alphaproteobacteria: Rickettsiales, Spiroplasma (Firmicutes: Entomoplasmatales, and relatives of Asaia (Alphaproteobacteria: Rhodospirillales—at different infection frequencies (at the ant species level: 22.1%, 28.4%, and 14.7%, resp. and relative abundances within bacterial communities (1.0%–99.9%. Spiroplasma was particularly enriched in the ant genus Polyrhachis, while Asaia relatives were most prevalent in arboreal ants of the genus Pseudomyrmex. While Wolbachia and Spiroplasma have been surveyed in ants before, Asaia, an acetic acid bacterium capable of fixing atmospheric nitrogen, has received much less attention. Due to sporadic prevalence across all ant taxa investigated, we hypothesize facultative associations for all three bacterial genera. Infection patterns are discussed in relation to potential adaptation of specific bacteria in certain ant groups.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-02-25

    The obligate mutualism between fungus-growing ants and microbial symbionts offers excellent opportunities to study the specificity and stability of multi-species interactions. In addition to cultivating fungus gardens, these ants have domesticated actinomycete bacteria to defend gardens against the fungal parasite Escovopsis and possibly other pathogens. Panamanian Acromyrmex echinatior leaf-cutting ants primarily associate with actinomycetes of the genus Pseudonocardia. Colonies are inoculated with one of two vertically transmitted phylotypes (Ps1 or Ps2), and maintain the same phylotype over their lifetime. We performed a cross-fostering experiment to test whether co-adaptations between ants and bacterial phylotypes have evolved, and how this affects bacterial growth and ant prophylactic behavior after infection with Escovopsis. We show that Pseudonocardia readily colonized ants irrespective of their colony of origin, but that the Ps2 phylotype, which was previously shown to be better able to maintain its monocultural integrity after workers became foragers than Ps1, reached a higher final cover when grown on its native host than on alternative hosts. The frequencies of major grooming and weeding behaviors co-varied with symbiont/host combinations, showing that ant behavior also was affected when cuticular actinomycete phylotypes were swapped. These results show that the interactions between leaf-cutting ants and Pseudonocardia bear signatures of mutual co-adaptation within a single ant population.

  20. The genus Bipolaris.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manamgoda, D S; Rossman, A Y; Castlebury, L A; Crous, P W; Madrid, H; Chukeatirote, E; Hyde, K D

    2014-09-01

    The genus Bipolaris includes important plant pathogens with worldwide distribution. Species recognition in the genus has been uncertain due to the lack of molecular data from ex-type cultures as well as overlapping morphological characteristics. In this study, we revise the genus Bipolaris based on DNA sequence data derived from living cultures of fresh isolates, available ex-type cultures from worldwide collections and observation of type and additional specimens. Combined analyses of ITS, GPDH and TEF gene sequences were used to reconstruct the molecular phylogeny of the genus Bipolaris for species with living cultures. The GPDH gene is determined to be the best single marker for species of Bipolaris. Generic boundaries between Bipolaris and Curvularia are revised and presented in an updated combined ITS and GPDH phylogenetic tree. We accept 47 species in the genus Bipolaris and clarify the taxonomy, host associations, geographic distributions and species' synonymies. Modern descriptions and illustrations are provided for 38 species in the genus with notes provided for the other taxa when recent descriptions are available. Bipolaris cynodontis, B. oryzae, B. victoriae, B. yamadae and B. zeicola are epi- or neotypified and a lectotype is designated for B. stenospila. Excluded and doubtful species are listed with notes on taxonomy and phylogeny. Seven new combinations are introduced in the genus Curvularia to accomodate the species of Bipolaris transferred based on the phylogenetic analysis. A taxonomic key is provided for the morphological identification of species within the genus.

  1. Adaptive Radiation in Socially Advanced Stem-Group Ants from the Cretaceous.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barden, Phillip; Grimaldi, David A

    2016-02-22

    Across terrestrial ecosystems, modern ants are ubiquitous. As many as 94 out of every 100 individual arthropods in rainforests are ants, and they constitute up to 15% of animal biomass in the Amazon. Moreover, ants are pervasive agents of natural selection as over 10,000 arthropod species are specialized inquilines or myrmecomorphs living among ants or defending themselves through mimicry. Such impact is traditionally explained by sociality: ants are the first major group of ground-dwelling predatory insects to become eusocial, increasing efficiency of tasks and establishing competitive superiority over solitary species. A wealth of specimens from rich deposits of 99 million-year-old Burmese amber resolves ambiguity regarding sociality and diversity in the earliest ants. The stem-group genus Gerontoformica maintained distinct reproductive castes including morphotypes unknown in solitary aculeate (stinging) wasps, providing insight into early behavior. We present rare aggregations of workers, indicating group recruitment as well as an instance of interspecific combat; such aggression is a social feature of modern ants. Two species and an unusual new genus are described, further expanding the remarkable diversity of early ants. Stem-group ants are recovered as a paraphyletic assemblage at the base of modern lineages varying greatly in size, form, and mouthpart structure, interpreted here as an adaptive radiation. Though Cretaceous stem-group ants were eusocial and adaptively diverse, we hypothesize that their extinction resulted from the rise of competitively superior crown-group taxa that today form massive colonies, consistent with Wilson and Hölldobler's concept of "dynastic succession." Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. Dispersal mechanisms in some representatives of the genus Moehringia L. (Caryophyllaceae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Casazza, Gabriele; Borghesi, Barbara; Roccotiello, Enrica; Minuto, Luigi

    2008-03-01

    The function of diaspores in Moehringia genus was investigated and field observations pointed out the elaiosome role in seed predation and dispersal by ants. Histochemical stainings underlined the presence of lipid in the strophiole. Our results are congruent with the hypothesis that some representatives of the genus Moehringia adopt myrmecochory, especially those species that prefer rocky habitats. Strophiole dimensions and oil content volume seem to influence seed predation in plants by ants. However, the interaction of further abiotic dispersal agents (wind, water) may increase and make more efficient the dissemination strategies.

  5. Minimal genus one curves

    OpenAIRE

    Sadek, Mohammad

    2012-01-01

    In this paper we consider genus one equations of degree $n$, namely a (generalised) binary quartic when $n=2$, a ternary cubic when $n=3$, and a pair of quaternary quadrics when $n=4$. A new definition for the minimality of genus one equations of degree $n$ over local fields is introduced. The advantage of this definition is that it does not depend on invariant theory of genus one curves. We prove that this definition coincides with the classical definition of minimality for all $n\\le4$. As a...

  6. 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...

  7. Mating behaviour in a slave-making ant, Rossomyrmex minuchae (Hymenoptera, Formicidae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruano, Francisca; Tinaut, Alberto

    2005-07-01

    The mating behaviour of the ant Rossomyrmex minuchae, a rare, protected slave-making species in Spain, seems to be significantly affected by its particular life history and patchy habitat. The mating behaviour of the entire genus Rossomyrmex is virtually unknown. We present here the results of a 3-year study of mating behaviour in R. minuchae.

  8. ANT, tourism and situated globality

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2015-01-01

    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...... 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...

  9. The genus Baijiania (Cucurbitaceae)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wilde, de W.J.J.O.; Duyfjes, B.E.E.

    2003-01-01

    The genus Baijiania, originally thought to be indigenous in China and Borneo, appears to be restricted to Borneo. The only species is Baijiania borneensis, with two varieties, the type variety and var. paludicola Duyfjes, var. nov.

  10. A mutualism without honeydew: what benefits for Melissotarsus emeryi ants and armored scale insects (Diaspididae?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christian Peeters

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Mutualisms between ants and sap-sucking insects generally involve clear benefits for both partners: the ants provide protection in exchange for honeydew. However, a single ant genus associates with armoured scale insects (Diaspididae that do not excrete honeydew. We studied three colonies of Melissotarsus emeryi ants from two localities in Mozambique. Vast numbers of the diaspidid Morganella conspicua occupied galleries dug by the ants under the bark of living trees. Unlike free-living M. conspicua and other diaspidids, M. conspicua living with ants are known to lack shields, likely because they gain protection against enemies and desiccation. Nevertheless, we documented the occurrence of rare individuals with shields inside ant galleries, indicating that their glands continue to secrete wax and proteins as building material. This is likely to constitute a significant portion of the ants’ diet, in addition to diaspidid exuviae and excretions from the Malpighian tubules. Indeed, Melissotarsus workers cannot walk outside the galleries due to modified middle legs, forcing them to obtain all nourishment within the tree. Melissotarsus founding queens, however, must locate a suitable host tree while flying, and acquire diaspidid crawlers. This mutualism involves ants that are highly specialised to chew through living wood, and diaspidids that can also live freely outside the bark. It is extremely widespread in Africa and Madagascar, recorded from 20 tree families, and harmful effects on plant hosts require rapid study.

  11. The assembly of ant-farmed gardens: mutualism specialization following host broadening.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chomicki, Guillaume; Janda, Milan; Renner, Susanne S

    2017-03-15

    Ant-gardens (AGs) are ant/plant mutualisms in which ants farm epiphytes in return for nest space and food rewards. They occur in the Neotropics and Australasia, but not in Africa, and their evolutionary assembly remains unclear. We here use phylogenetic frameworks for important AG lineages in Australasia, namely the ant genus Philidris and domatium-bearing ferns ( Lecanopteris ) and flowering plants in the Apocynaceae ( Hoya and Dischidia ) and Rubiaceae ( Myrmecodia , Hydnophytum , Anthorrhiza , Myrmephytum and Squamellaria ). Our analyses revealed that in these clades, diaspore dispersal by ants evolved at least 13 times, five times in the Late Miocene and Pliocene in Australasia and seven times during the Pliocene in Southeast Asia, after Philidris ants had arrived there, with subsequent dispersal between these two areas. A uniquely specialized AG system evolved in Fiji at the onset of the Quaternary. The farming in the same AG of epiphytes that do not offer nest spaces suggests that a broadening of the ants' plant host spectrum drove the evolution of additional domatium-bearing AG-epiphytes by selecting on pre-adapted morphological traits. Consistent with this, we found a statistical correlation between the evolution of diaspore dispersal by ants and domatia in all three lineages. Our study highlights how host broadening by a symbiont has led to new farming mutualisms. © 2017 The Author(s).

  12. Thermoregulation strategies in ants in comparison to other social insects, with a focus on red wood ants ( Formica rufa group).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kadochová, Stěpánka; Frouz, Jan

    2013-01-01

    Temperature influences every aspect of ant biology, especially metabolic rate, growth and development. Maintenance of high inner nest temperature increases the rate of sexual brood development and thereby increases the colony fitness. Insect societies can achieve better thermoregulation than solitary insects due to the former's ability to build large and elaborated nests and display complex behaviour. In ants and termites the upper part of the nest, the mound, often works as a solar collector and can also have an efficient ventilation system. Two thermoregulatory strategies could be applied. Firstly the ants use an increased thermal gradient available in the mound for brood relocation. Nurse workers move the brood according to the thermal gradients to ensure the ideal conditions for development. A precise perception of temperature and evolution of temperature preferences are needed to make the correct choices. A second thermoregulatory strategy used by mound nesting ants is keeping a high temperature inside large nests. The unique thermal and insulation properties of the nest material help to maintain stable conditions, which is the case of the Wood ant genus Formica. Ants can regulate thermal loss by moving nest aggregation and alternating nest ventilation. Metabolic heat produced by ant workers or associated micro organisms is an important additional source of heat which helps to maintain thermal homeostasis in the nest.

  13. Ants, rodents and seed predation in Proteaceae

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    . Saasveld Forestry Research Centre, George. Many species of Cape Proteaceae have seeds dispersed by ants. Ants may reduce seed predation by rapidly transporting and burying seeds in their nests. Three field experiments using ant and ...

  14. The metapleural gland of ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yek, Sze Huei; Mueller, Ulrich G

    2011-11-01

    The metapleural gland (MG) is a complex glandular structure unique to ants, suggesting a critical role in their origin and ecological success. We synthesize the current understanding of the adaptive function, morphology, evolutionary history, and chemical properties of the MG. Two functions of the MG, sanitation and chemical defence, have received the strongest empirical support; two additional possible functions, recognition odour and territorial marking, are less well supported. The design of the MG is unusual for insects; glandular secretions are stored in a rigid, non-compressible invagination of the integument and the secretion is thought to ooze out passively through the non-closable opening of the MG or is groomed off by the legs and applied to target surfaces. MG loss has occurred repeatedly among the ants, particularly in the subfamilies Formicinae and Myrmicinae, and the MG is more commonly absent in males than in workers. MG chemistry has been characterized mostly in derived ant lineages with unique biologies (e.g. leafcutter ants, fire ants), currently precluding any inferences about MG chemistry at the origin of the ants. A synthetic approach integrating functional morphology, phylogenetic transitions and chemical ecology of the MGs of both the derived and the unstudied early-branching (basal) ant lineages is needed to elucidate the evolutionary origin and diversification of the MG of ants. © 2010 The Authors. Biological Reviews © 2010 Cambridge Philosophical Society.

  15. mtDNA phylogeny of Japanese ant crickets (Orthoptera : Myrmecophilidae): Diversification in host specificity and habitat use

    OpenAIRE

    Komatsu, Takashi; Maruyama, Munetoshi; Ueda, Shouhei; Itino, Takao

    2008-01-01

    Ant crickets (Myrmecophilidae, Orthoptera) are typical ant guests. Although ten species (all belonging to genus Myrmecophilus) have recently been described from Japan, their phylogeny and the extent of host specificity are not known. Here, we reconstruct mtDNA phylogeny of 48 individuals from six species to examine their host specificity, habitat use, and congruence of mtDNA lineages with the morphological species. The cytb phylogeny reveals seven well-supported lineages that in part do not c...

  16. Revision and Microtomography of the Pheidole knowlesi Group, an Endemic Ant Radiation in Fiji (Hymenoptera, Formicidae, Myrmicinae)

    OpenAIRE

    Fischer, Georg; Sarnat, Eli M.; Economo, Evan P.

    2016-01-01

    The Fijian islands, a remote archipelago in the southwestern Pacific, are home to a number of spectacular endemic radiations of plants and animals. Unlike most Pacific archipelagos, these evolutionary radiations extend to social insects, including ants. One of the most dramatic examples of ant radiation in Fiji has occurred in the hyperdiverse genus Pheidole. Most of the 17 native Fijian Pheidole belong to one of two species groups that descended from a single colonization, yet have evolved d...

  17. Population dynamics of annuals in perennial grassland controlled by ants and environmental stochasticity

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Dostál, Petr

    2007-01-01

    Roč. 18, - (2007), s. 91-102 ISSN 1100-9233 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60050516 Keywords : Lasius flavus * disturbance * megamatrix Subject RIV: EF - Botanics Impact factor: 2.251, year: 2007

  18. Mitochondrial genome evolution in fire ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gotzek, Dietrich; Clarke, Jessica; Shoemaker, DeWayne

    2010-10-07

    Complete mitochondrial genome sequences have become important tools for the study of genome architecture, phylogeny, and molecular evolution. Despite the rapid increase in available mitogenomes, the taxonomic sampling often poorly reflects phylogenetic diversity and is often also biased to represent deeper (family-level) evolutionary relationships. We present the first fully sequenced ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) mitochondrial genomes. We sampled four mitogenomes from three species of fire ants, genus Solenopsis, which represent various evolutionary depths. Overall, ant mitogenomes appear to be typical of hymenopteran mitogenomes, displaying a general A+T-bias. The Solenopsis mitogenomes are slightly more compact than other hymentoperan mitogenomes (~15.5 kb), retaining all protein coding genes, ribosomal, and transfer RNAs. We also present evidence of recombination between the mitogenomes of the two conspecific Solenopsis mitogenomes. Finally, we discuss potential ways to improve the estimation of phylogenies using complete mitochondrial genome sequences. The ant mitogenome presents an important addition to the continued efforts in studying hymenopteran mitogenome architecture, evolution, and phylogenetics. We provide further evidence that the sampling across many taxonomic levels (including conspecifics and congeners) is useful and important to gain detailed insights into mitogenome evolution. We also discuss ways that may help improve the use of mitogenomes in phylogenetic analyses by accounting for non-stationary and non-homogeneous evolution among branches.

  19. Hospitales seguros ante desastres

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Celso Vladimir Bambaren Alatrista

    2007-07-01

    Full Text Available Entre 1982 a 2005 se registraron daños en 1 143 establecimientos de salud en el Perú, generalmente debido a sismos, lluvias e inundaciones. Los daños en los servicios de salud producen la interrupción de la atención de la población y de los programas de salud, así como generan un gran gasto para la rehabilitación y reconstrucción. Por ello, se requiere proteger a los establecimientos de salud y desarrollar una política de hospitales seguros ante desastres que incluya medidas para prevenir o reducción de la vulnerabilidad estructural, no estructural y funcional en los nuevos establecimientos y en los existentes.(Rev Med Hered 2007;18:149-154.

  20. Ant-fungus species combinations engineer physiological activity of fungus gardens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seal, J N; Schiøtt, M; Mueller, U G

    2014-07-15

    Fungus-gardening insects are among the most complex organisms because of their extensive co-evolutionary histories with obligate fungal symbionts and other microbes. Some fungus-gardening insect lineages share fungal symbionts with other members of their lineage and thus exhibit diffuse co-evolutionary relationships, while others exhibit little or no symbiont sharing, resulting in host-fungus fidelity. The mechanisms that maintain this symbiont fidelity are currently unknown. Prior work suggested that derived leaf-cutting ants in the genus Atta interact synergistically with leaf-cutter fungi (Attamyces) by exhibiting higher fungal growth rates and enzymatic activities than when growing a fungus from the sister-clade to Attamyces (so-called 'Trachymyces'), grown primarily by the non-leaf cutting Trachymyrmex ants that form, correspondingly, the sister-clade to leaf-cutting ants. To elucidate the enzymatic bases of host-fungus specialization in leaf-cutting ants, we conducted a reciprocal fungus-switch experiment between the ant Atta texana and the ant Trachymyrmex arizonensis and report measured enzymatic activities of switched and sham-switched fungus gardens to digest starch, pectin, xylan, cellulose and casein. Gardens exhibited higher amylase and pectinase activities when A. texana ants cultivated Attamyces compared with Trachymyces fungi, consistent with enzymatic specialization. In contrast, gardens showed comparable amylase and pectinase activities when T. arizonensis cultivated either fungal species. Although gardens of leaf-cutting ants are not known to be significant metabolizers of cellulose, T. arizonensis were able to maintain gardens with significant cellulase activity when growing either fungal species. In contrast to carbohydrate metabolism, protease activity was significantly higher in Attamyces than in Trachymyces, regardless of the ant host. Activity of some enzymes employed by this symbiosis therefore arises from complex interactions between the

  1. Infection of army ant pupae by two new parasitoid mites (Mesostigmata: Uropodina

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adrian Brückner

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available A great variety of parasites and parasitoids exploit ant societies. Among them are the Mesostigmata mites, a particularly common and diverse group of ant-associated arthropods. While parasitism is ubiquitous in Mesostigmata, parasitoidism has only been described in the genus Macrodinychus. Yet information about the basic biology of most Macrodinychus species is lacking. Out of 24 formally described species, information about basic life-history traits is only available for three species. Here we formally describe two new Macrodinychus species, i.e. Macrodinychus hilpertae and Macrodinychus derbyensis. In both species, immature stages developed as ecto-parasitoids on ant pupae of the South-East Asian army ant Leptogenys distinguenda. By piercing the developing ant with their chelicera, the mites apparently suck ant hemolymph, ultimately killing host individuals. We compare infection rates among all studied Macrodinychus species and discuss possible host countermeasures against parasitoidism. The cryptic lifestyle of living inside ant nests has certainly hampered the scientific discovery of Macrodinychus mites and we expect that many more macrodinychid species await scientific discovery and description.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Doerr, Benjamin; Neumann, Frank; Sudholt, Dirk

    2011-01-01

    are investigated. The influence of the evaporation factor in the pheromone update mechanism and the robustness of this parameter w.r.t. the runtime behavior have been determined for the example function OneMax.This work puts forward the rigorous runtime analysis of the 1-ANT on the example functions Leading......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......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...

  3. The cyanobacterial genus Macrospermum

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Komárek, Jiří

    2008-01-01

    Roč. 8, č. 1 (2008), s. 79-86 ISSN 1802-5439 R&D Projects: GA AV ČR IAA600050704 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60050516 Keywords : cyanobacteria * taxonomy * pantropical genus Subject RIV: EF - Botanics

  4. Genus I. Leptospira

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leptospira comprise a diverse group of bacteria. Some species cause serious infections in animals and humans. These bacteria are aerobes that consume long-chain fatty acids and alcohols as carbon and energy sources. This genus is distinguished from Leptonema or Turneriella by lack of similarity u...

  5. The genus Lagenophora (Compositae)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cabrera, Angel L.

    1966-01-01

    The genus Lagenophora was first described by Cassini under the name Lagenifera (in Bull. Soc. Philomat. 12, 1816, 199) with the following diagnosis: ‘Ce genre, de la tribus des astérées, comprend le calendula magellanicá, Willd. et le bellis stipitata, Labill. Son principal caractère reside dans la

  6. The amphipod genus Acidostoma

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dahl, E.

    1964-01-01

    The genus Acidostoma was established by Lilljeborg (1865, p. 24) to receive Anonyx obesus Sp. Bate (1862, p. 74). Afterwards two further species have been added, viz. A. laticorne G. O. Sars (1879, p. 440) and A. nodiferum Stephensen (1923, p. 40). In the present paper it will be shown that A.

  7. A new species of Smicromorpha (Hymenoptera, Chalcididae from Vietnam, with notes on the host association of the genus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chris Darling

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available Smicromorpha masneri Darling, sp. n. is described from Bach Ma National Park, Thua Thien-Hue Province, Vietnam. This is the first confirmed record for the genus on mainland southeast Asia. It is generally accepted that species of Smicromorpha are parasitoids of green tree or weaver ants, Oecophylla smaragdina (Fabricius but this is first rearing record of these parasitoids from the nests of weaver ants.

  8. 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...

  9. 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...... prey and competing ant species are also deterred by ant deposits, whereas ant symbionts may be attracted to them. Based on these promising initial findings, it seems advisable to further elucidate the signaling properties of ant pheromones and to test and develop their use in future pest management....

  10. Trap-mulching Argentine ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silverman, Jules; Sorenson, Clyde E; Waldvogel, Michael G

    2006-10-01

    Argentine ant, Linepithema humile (Mayr), management is constrained, in large part, by polydomy where nestmates are distributed extensively across urban landscapes, particularly within mulch. Management with trap-mulching is a novel approach derived from trap-cropping where ants are repelled from a broad domain of nest sites to smaller defined areas, which are subsequently treated with insecticide. This concept was field-tested with mulch surrounding ornamental trees replaced with a narrow band of pine (Pinus spp.) needle mulch (trap) within a much larger patch of repellent aromatic cedar (Juniperus spp.) mulch. After ants reestablished around the trees, the pine needle mulch band was treated with 0.06% fipronil (Termidor). Poor results were obtained when the trap extended from the tree trunk to the edge of the mulched area. When the trap was applied as a circular band around the tree trunk reductions in the number of foraging ants were recorded through 14 d compared with an untreated mulch control, but not for longer periods. Reductions in the number of ant nests within mulch were no different between the trap mulch and any of the other treatments. We conclude that trap-mulching offers limited benefits, and that successful management of Argentine ants will require implementation of complementary or perhaps alternative strategies.

  11. Measuring activity in ant colonies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noda, C.; Fernández, J.; Pérez-Penichet, C.; Altshuler, E.

    2006-12-01

    Ants, as paradigm of social insects, have become a recurrent example of efficient problem solvers via self-organization. In spite of the simple behavior of each individual, the colony as a whole displays "swarm intelligence:" the organization of ant trails for foraging is a typical output of it. But conventional techniques of observation can hardly record the amount of data needed to get a detailed understanding of self-organization of ant swarms in the wild. Here we are presenting a measurement system intended to monitor ant activity in the field comprising massive data acquisition and high sensitivity. A central role is played by an infrared sensor devised specifically to monitor relevant parameters to the activity of ants through the exits of the nest, although other sensors detecting temperature and luminosity are added to the system. We study the characteristics of the activity sensor and its performance in the field. Finally, we present massive data measured at one exit of a nest of Atta insularis, an ant endemic to Cuba, to illustrate the potential of our system.

  12. Genus g temperature string theory

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Murphy, P.; Sen, S.

    1989-01-01

    The geometric approach to bosonic temperature string theory for genus g is formulated in the operator approach of Vafa. It is shown that the Hagedorn temperature exists for all genus g and a conjectured genus g expression for superstring theories with temperature is constructed. (orig.)

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2015-01-01

    against the fungal parasite Escovopsis and possibly other pathogens. Panamanian Acromyrmex echinatior leaf-cutting ants primarily associate with actinomycetes of the genus Pseudonocardia. Colonies are inoculated with one of two vertically transmitted phylotypes (Ps1 or Ps2), and maintain the same...... colonized ants irrespective of their colony of origin, but that the Ps2 phylotype, which was previously shown to be better able to maintain its monocultural integrity after workers became foragers than Ps1, reached a higher final cover when grown on its native host than on alternative hosts. The frequencies...

  14. What is the genus?

    CERN Document Server

    Popescu-Pampu, Patrick

    2016-01-01

    Exploring several of the evolutionary branches of the mathematical notion of genus, this book traces the idea from its prehistory in problems of integration, through algebraic curves and their associated Riemann surfaces, into algebraic surfaces, and finally into higher dimensions. Its importance in analysis, algebraic geometry, number theory and topology is emphasized through many theorems. Almost every chapter is organized around excerpts from a research paper in which a new perspective was brought on the genus or on one of the objects to which this notion applies. The author was motivated by the belief that a subject may best be understood and communicated by studying its broad lines of development, feeling the way one arrives at the definitions of its fundamental notions, and appreciating the amount of effort spent in order to explore its phenomena.

  15. Spiky higher genus strings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ambjoern, J.; Bellini, A.; Johnston, D.

    1990-10-01

    It is clear from both the non-perturbative and perturbative approaches to two-dimensional quantum gravity that a new strong coupling regime is setting in at d=1, independent of the genus of the worldsheet being considered. It has been suggested that a Kosterlitz-Thouless (KT) phase transition in the Liouville theory is the cause of this behaviour. However, it has recently been pointed out that the XY model, which displays a KT transition on the plane and the sphere, is always in the strong coupling, disordered phase on a surface of constant negative curvature. A higher genus worldsheet can be represented as a fundamental region on just such a surface, which might seem to suggest that the KT picture predicts a strong coupling region for arbitrary d, contradicting the known results. We resolve the apparent paradox. (orig.)

  16. Spiky higher genus strings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ambjorn, J.; Bellini, A.; Johnston, D.

    1991-01-01

    This paper reports that it is clear from both the non-perturbative and perturbative approaches to two-dimensional quantum gravity that a new strong coupling regime is setting in at d = 1, independent of the genus of the worldsheet being considered. It has been suggested that a Kosterlitz-Thouless (KT) phase transition in the Liouville theory is the cause of this behavior. However, it has recently been pointed out that the XY-model, which displays a KT transition on the plane and the sphere, is always in the strong coupling, disordered phase on a surface of constant negative curvature. A higher genus worldsheet can be represented as a fundamental region on just such a surface, which might seem to suggest that the KT picture predicts a strong coupling region for arbitrary d, contradicting the known results. The authors resolve the apparent paradox

  17. Keystone mutualism strengthens top-down effects by recruiting large-bodied ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, Robert E; Singer, Michael S

    2018-03-01

    Determining the impacts of mutualistic interactions and predator diversity on food webs are two important goals in community ecology. In this study, we examined how predator community variation mediates the strength of top-down effects in the presence and absence of mutualistic interactions. We examined the impacts of predatory ant species that simultaneously prey on leaf-chewing herbivores (Lepidoptera) and engage in food-for-protection mutualisms with sap-feeding herbivores (Hemiptera) in the lower canopy of Connecticut forests. In this 2-year study, we examined three hypothetical mechanisms by which mutualisms can alter the top-down effects of ants: (1) sap feeders increase ant abundance, thus strengthening predatory effects; (2) sap feeders increase the relative abundance of a species that has stronger predatory effects; and (3) changes to predator diversity (species richness) are caused by sap feeders mediating top-down effects of the ant community. Experiments revealed that host plants occupied by sap feeders favored large-bodied ant species in the genus Camponotus, but there were no changes to community-wide ant abundance or ant species richness. Fitting predictions of predation strength based on the functional trait of body size, large-bodied Camponotus suppressed caterpillars and reduced leaf herbivory. This work shows that the ant-hemipteran mutualism, which has been characterized as a keystone interaction, can generate strong top-down effects on leaf-chewing herbivores and herbivory via increasing the relative abundance of species with functional traits relevant to predation, such as body size. Therefore, the emergence of specific ants as keystone predators in a community can be contingent upon their mutualism with sap-feeding Hemiptera.

  18. 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.

  19. Monoculture of leafcutter ant gardens.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ulrich G Mueller

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available 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.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.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.

  20. Taxonomy of the African army ant Dorylus gribodoi Emery, 1892 (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) - new insights from DNA sequence data and morphology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schöning, Caspar; Gotwald, William H.; Kronauer, Daniel Jan Christoph

    2008-01-01

    Numerous species in the Old World army ant genus Dorylus have been described based on a single sex or caste. Our analysis of mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase II gene sequences of specimens from the same population reveals that D. gribodoi Emery males are conspecific with D. gerstaeckeri Emery wor...

  1. Genus Ranges of Chord Diagrams.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burns, Jonathan; Jonoska, Nataša; Saito, Masahico

    2015-04-01

    A chord diagram consists of a circle, called the backbone, with line segments, called chords, whose endpoints are attached to distinct points on the circle. The genus of a chord diagram is the genus of the orientable surface obtained by thickening the backbone to an annulus and attaching bands to the inner boundary circle at the ends of each chord. Variations of this construction are considered here, where bands are possibly attached to the outer boundary circle of the annulus. The genus range of a chord diagram is the genus values over all such variations of surfaces thus obtained from a given chord diagram. Genus ranges of chord diagrams for a fixed number of chords are studied. Integer intervals that can be, and those that cannot be, realized as genus ranges are investigated. Computer calculations are presented, and play a key role in discovering and proving the properties of genus ranges.

  2. Species-Specific Cuticular Hydrocarbon Stability within European Myrmica Ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guillem, Rhian M; Drijfhout, Falko P; Martin, Stephen J

    2016-10-01

    Recognition is a fundamental process on which all subsequent behaviors are based at every organizational level, from the gene up to the super-organism. At the whole organism level, visual recognition is the best understood. However, chemical communication is far more widespread than visual communication, but despite its importance is much less understood. Ants provide an excellent model system for chemical ecology studies as it is well established that compounds known as cuticular hydrocarbons (CHCs) are used as recognition cues in ants. Therefore, stable species-specific odors should exist, irrespective of geographic locality. We tested this hypothesis by comparing the CHC profiles of workers of twelve species of Myrmica ants from four countries across Europe, from Iberia to the Balkans and from the Mediterranean to Fennoscandia. CHCs remained qualitatively stable within each species, right down to the isomer level. Despite the morphological similarity that occurs within the genus Myrmica, their CHCs were highly diverse but remarkably species-specific and stable across wide geographical areas. This indicates a genetic mechanism under strong selection that produces these species-specific chemical profiles, despite each species encountering different environmental conditions across its range.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Douglas Daniel Grutzmacher

    2007-08-01

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

  4. Diversity and ecology of ground dwelling ants at Khao Nan National Park, southern Thailand

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Suparoek Watanasit

    2008-10-01

    Full Text Available Khao Nan National Park (KNNP is located in the southern part of Thailand. Its flora and fauna are diverse, however there is little information about the diversity of ants. The aim of this study was to determine species diversity and ecology of ants at KNNP. Three study sites (Baucheak Trail, Pra Forest and Sunantha Trail were chosen and at each three permanent plots of 30x30 m were selected at least 500 m apart. The ant sampling was extracted from leaf litter by the Winkler bag method. Physical factors of precipitation, humidity, air temperature, and soil temperature were recorded during the collection of ants every two months between January 2006 and January 2007. A total number of 172 species and 43 genera belonging to 9 subfamilies were identified. The top five dominant genera of ants were Pheidole (27 species following by Tetramorium (14 species, Camponotus (13 species, Pachycondyla (12 species, and Crematogaster (9 species. The influence of the study sites on the species number of ants in this study indicated that the study sites had an affect on the species number. Regarding the environmental factors, the results showed that the individual numbers of Pheidole was significantly negatively correlated to precipitation, whereas Pachycondyla was significantly negatively correlated to humidity, while both genera were significantly positively correlated to air temperature and soil temperature. Moreover, Camponotus was the only genus significantly positively correlated to the air temperature.

  5. Molecular phylogeny of Crematogaster subgenus Decacrema ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) and the colonization of Macaranga (Euphorbiaceae) trees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feldhaar, Heike; Fiala, Brigitte; Gadau, Jürgen; Mohamed, Maryati; Maschwitz, Ulrich

    2003-06-01

    To elucidate the evolution of one of the most species-rich ant-plant symbiotic systems, the association between Crematogaster (Myrmicinae) and Macaranga (Euphorbiaceae) in South-East Asia, we conducted a phylogenetic analysis of the ant partners. For the phylogenetic analysis partial mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase I and II were sequenced and Maximum Parsimony analysis was performed. The analyzed Crematogaster of the subgenus Decacrema fell into three distinct clades which are also characterized by specific morphological and ecological traits (queen morphology, host-plants, and colony structure). Our results supported the validity of our currently used morphospecies concept for Peninsula Malaysia. However, on a wider geographic range (including North and North-East Borneo) some morphospecies turned out to be species complexes with genetically quite distinct taxa. Our phylogenetic analysis and host association studies do not indicate strict cocladogenesis between the subgenus Decacrema and their Macaranga host-plants because multiple ant taxa occur on quite distinct host-plants belonging to different clades within in the genus Macaranga. These results support the view that host-shifting or host-expansion is common in the ants colonizing Macaranga. Additionally, the considerable geographic substructuring found in the phylogenetic trees of the ants suggests that allopatric speciation has also played a role in the diversification and the current distribution of the Decacrema ants.

  6. Walking on inclines: how do desert ants monitor slope and step length

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Seidl Tobias

    2008-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background During long-distance foraging in almost featureless habitats desert ants of the genus Cataglyphis employ path-integrating mechanisms (vector navigation. This navigational strategy requires an egocentric monitoring of the foraging path by incrementally integrating direction, distance, and inclination of the path. Monitoring the latter two parameters involves idiothetic cues and hence is tightly coupled to the ant's locomotor behavior. Results In a kinematic study of desert ant locomotion performed on differently inclined surfaces we aimed at pinpointing the relevant mechanisms of estimating step length and inclination. In a behavioral experiment with ants foraging on slippery surfaces we broke the otherwise tightly coupled relationship between stepping frequency and step length and examined the animals' ability to monitor distances covered even under those adverse conditions. We show that the ants' locomotor system is not influenced by inclined paths. After removing the effect of speed, slope had only marginal influence on kinematic parameters. Conclusion From the obtained data we infer that the previously proposed monitoring of angles of the thorax-coxa joint is not involved in inclinometry. Due to the tiny variations in cycle period, we also argue that an efference copy of the central pattern generator coding the step length in its output frequency will most likely not suffice for estimating step length and complementing the pedometer. Finally we propose that sensing forces acting on the ant's legs could provide the desired neuronal correlate employed in monitoring inclination and step length.

  7. Roadside Survey of Ants on Oahu, Hawaii.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tong, Reina L; Grace, J Kenneth; Krushelnycky, Paul D; Spafford, Helen

    2018-02-11

    Hawaii is home to over 60 ant species, including five of the six most damaging invasive ants. Although there have been many surveys of ants in Hawaii, the last island-wide hand-collection survey of ants on Oahu was conducted in 1988-1994. In 2012, a timed hand-collection of ants was made at 44 sites in a systematic, roadside survey throughout Oahu. Ants were identified and species distribution in relation to elevation, precipitation and soil type was analyzed. To assess possible convenience sampling bias, 15 additional sites were sampled further from roads to compare with the samples near roads. Twenty-four species of ants were found and mapped; Pheidole megacephala (F.), Ochetellus glaber (Mayr), and Technomyrmex difficilis Forel were the most frequently encountered ants. For six ant species, a logistic regression was performed with elevation, average annual precipitation, and soil order as explanatory variables. O. glaber was found in areas with lower precipitation around Oahu. Paratrechina longicornis (Latrielle) and Tetramorium simillimum (Smith, F.) were found more often in lower elevations and in areas with the Mollisol soil order. Elevation, precipitation, and soil type were not significant sources of variation for P. megacephala, Plagiolepis alluaudi Emery, and T. difficilis . P. megacephala was associated with fewer mean numbers of ants where it occurred. Ant assemblages near and far from roads did not significantly differ. Many species of ants remain established on Oahu, and recent invaders are spreading throughout the island. Mapping ant distributions contributes to continued documentation and understanding of these pests.

  8. Seed cleaning of Strychnos ramentifera (Loganiaceae) by ants inMaracá island, Brazilian Amazonia.

    OpenAIRE

    Antonio Rossano Mendes Pontes

    2005-01-01

    Thousands of plant species rely on ants to disperse their seeds, including many South American epiphytes and vines, which, apart from minimizing competition among seedlings, may also reduce competition among different plant species (Handel & Beattie, 1990). The lianas of the Genus Strychnos (Loganiaceae) are recognized as having fruits with highly poisonous seeds containing strychnine in the integuments, which are, nevertheless, dispersed endozoochorously by highly-specialized frugivores (i.e...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    feces and insect carcasses. This diverse array of fungal substrates across the attine lineage implies that the symbiotic fungus needs different enzymes to break down the plant material that the ants provide or different efficiencies of enzyme function. Methods: (1.) We made a literature survey...... of substrate use in all extant fungus-growing ant genera to know the range of substrates used for any particular ant genus. (2.) Field assays of enzyme activity in fungus gardens of five candidate enzymes (Amylase, proteinase, pectinase, cellulose and xylanase) to indicate differences in enzyme activity...... the fresh leaf feeding species had a higher activity of amylase. The group of higher attines had a higher activity of proteinase and pectinase. In contrast the lower genera had a non-significant trend towards a higher activity of xylanase compared to the higher attine genera. Cellulase activity was uniform...

  10. Ants as tools in sustainable agriculture

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Offenberg, Joachim

    2015-01-01

    . Being predatory and organized as superorganisms, ants possess traits making them suitable agents in IPM. Recent works on weaver ants Oecophylla spp. showcase ants as highly efficient pest controllers. A synthesis shows that weaver ants can reduce pest numbers and their damage and increase yields...... 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...... in their properties as control agents. A synthesis of applied work on other ant species illustrates potentials for control of arthropod pests, weeds and plant diseases in orchards, forestry and arable crops. 4. Synthesis and applications. By showing that ant biocontrol can match synthetic pesticides in a wide setting...

  11. Effect of three mound-building ant species on the formation of soil seed bank in mountain grassland

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Dostál, Petr

    2005-01-01

    Roč. 200, - (2005), s. 148-158 ISSN 0367-2530 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60050516 Keywords : myrmecochory * Lasius * soil seed bank Subject RIV: EF - Botanics Impact factor: 1.086, year: 2005

  12. Chemistry of the Genus Plectranthus

    OpenAIRE

    S. M. Batterjee; H. A. Albar; M. Abdel-Mogib

    2002-01-01

    This review presents the phytochemical constituents of the genus Plectranthus reported up to 1999. Only a tetrameric derivative of caffeic acid was isolated from P. japonicus, but a group of long-chain alkylphenols, of possible taxonomic significance in the genus, was also isolated. As a genus of the subfamily Nepetoideae, Plectranthus is free from iridoid glycosides and rich in essential oil (i.e. > 0.5% volatile oil on a dry weight basis). Diterpenoids are the more common secondary metaboli...

  13. Variation in Butterfly Larval Acoustics as a Strategy to Infiltrate and Exploit Host Ant Colony Resources

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sala, Marco; Casacci, Luca Pietro; Balletto, Emilio; Bonelli, Simona; Barbero, Francesca

    2014-01-01

    About 10,000 arthropods live as ants' social parasites and have evolved a number of mechanisms allowing them to penetrate and survive inside the ant nests. Many of them can intercept and manipulate their host communication systems. This is particularly important for butterflies of the genus Maculinea, which spend the majority of their lifecycle inside Myrmica ant nests. Once in the colony, caterpillars of Maculinea “predatory species” directly feed on the ant larvae, while those of “cuckoo species” are fed primarily by attendance workers, by trophallaxis. It has been shown that Maculinea cuckoo larvae are able to reach a higher social status within the colony's hierarchy by mimicking the acoustic signals of their host queen ants. In this research we tested if, when and how myrmecophilous butterflies may change sound emissions depending on their integration level and on stages of their life cycle. We studied how a Maculinea predatory species (M. teleius) can acoustically interact with their host ants and highlighted differences with respect to a cuckoo species (M. alcon). We recorded sounds emitted by Maculinea larvae as well as by their Myrmica hosts, and performed playback experiments to assess the parasites' capacity to interfere with the host acoustic communication system. We found that, although varying between and within butterfly species, the larval acoustic emissions are more similar to queens' than to workers' stridulations. Nevertheless playback experiments showed that ant workers responded most strongly to the sounds emitted by the integrated (i.e. post-adoption) larvae of the cuckoo species, as well as by those of predatory species recorded before any contact with the host ants (i.e. in pre-adoption), thereby revealing the role of acoustic signals both in parasite integration and in adoption rituals. We discuss our findings in the broader context of parasite adaptations, comparing effects of acoustical and chemical mimicry. PMID:24718496

  14. A cellular automata model for ant trails

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    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 ...

  15. ANT: A decade of interfering with tourism

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Duim, van der V.R.; Ren, C.; Johannesson, G.T.

    2017-01-01

    Ten years ago actor-network theory (ANT) entered this journal. To illustrate how the relational ontology and sensibilities of ANT lend themselves to particular kinds of research, we first interrogate the main controversies as a way to open up and discuss the main premises of ANT. These debates

  16. Adaptive multimodal continuous ant colony optimization

    OpenAIRE

    Yang, Qiang; Chen, Wei-Neng; Yu, Zhengtao; Gu, Tianlong; Li, Yun; Zhang, Huaxiang; Zhang, Jun

    2017-01-01

    Seeking multiple optima simultaneously, which multimodal optimization aims at, has attracted increasing attention but remains challenging. Taking advantage of ant colony optimization algorithms in preserving high diversity, this paper intends to extend ant colony optimization algorithms to deal with multimodal optimization. First, combined with current niching methods, an adaptive multimodal continuous ant colony optimization algorithm is introduced. In this algorithm, an adaptive parameter a...

  17. A cellular automata model for ant trails

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Abstract. In this study, the unidirectional ant traffic flow with U-turn in an ant trail was inves- tigated 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 ...

  18. Nest architecture, fungus gardens, queen, males and larvae of the fungus-growing ant Mycetagroicus inflatus Brandão & Mayhé-Nunes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jesovnik, A; Sosa-Calvo, J; Lopes, C T; Vasconcelos, H L; Schultz, T R

    2013-01-01

    All known fungus-growing ants (tribe Attini) are obligately symbiotic with their cultivated fungi. The fungal cultivars of "lower" attine ants are facultative symbionts, capable of living apart from ants, whereas the fungal cultivars of "higher" attine ants, including leaf-cutting genera Atta and Acromyrmex , are highly specialized, obligate symbionts. Since higher attine ants and fungi are derived from lower attine ants and fungi, understanding the evolutionary transition from lower to higher attine agriculture requires understanding the historical sequence of change in both ants and fungi. The biology of the poorly known ant genus Mycetagroicus is of special interest in this regard because it occupies a phylogenetic position intermediate between lower and higher ant agriculture. Here, based on the excavations of four nests in Pará, Brazil, we report the first biological data for the recently described species Mycetagroicus inflatus , including the first descriptions of Mycetagroicus males and larvae. Like M. cerradensis , the only other species in the genus for which nesting biology is known, the garden chambers of M. inflatus are unusually deep and the garden is most likely relocated vertically in rainy and dry seasons. Due to the proximity of nests to the Araguaia River, it is likely that even the uppermost chambers and nest entrances of M. inflatus are submerged during the rainy season. Most remarkably, all three examined colonies of M. inflatus cultivate the same fungal species as their congener, M. cerradensis , over 1,000 km away, raising the possibility of long-term symbiont fidelity spanning speciation events within the genus.

  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.

  20. A revision of the genus Kaszabister Mazur (Histeridae, Histerinae, Exosternini

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicolas Degallier

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available We revise the four species of Kaszabister Mazur, 1972, one of which, Kaszabister barrigai sp. n., is described as new. The other species in the genus are K. rubellus (Erichson, 1834, K. ferrugineus (Kirsch, 1873 and K. carinatus (Lewis, 1888. The species are principally known from the subtropics of South America, with one in Central America. Lectotypes are designated for K. rubellus and K. ferrugineus, and a key is provided for all the species. Ants of the genus Solenopsis Westwood, mainly S. invicta Buren and S. saevissima (Smith, are documented as hosts of three of the four species.

  1. Thermoregulation strategies in ants in comparison to other social insects, with a focus on red wood ants (Formica rufa group [v2; ref status: indexed, http://f1000r.es/35p

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Štěpánka Kadochová

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Temperature influences every aspect of ant biology, especially metabolic rate, growth and development. Maintenance of high inner nest temperature increases the rate of sexual brood development and thereby increases the colony fitness. Insect societies can achieve better thermoregulation than solitary insects due to the former’s ability to build large and elaborated nests and display complex behaviour. In ants and termites the upper part of the nest, the mound, often works as a solar collector and can also have an efficient ventilation system. Two thermoregulatory strategies could be applied. Firstly the ants use an increased thermal gradient available in the mound for brood relocation. Nurse workers move the brood according to the thermal gradients to ensure the ideal conditions for development. A precise perception of temperature and evolution of temperature preferences are needed to make the correct choices. A second thermoregulatory strategy used by mound nesting ants is keeping a high temperature inside large nests. The unique thermal and insulation properties of the nest material help to maintain stable conditions, which is the case of the Wood ant genus Formica. Ants can regulate thermal loss by moving nest aggregation and alternating nest ventilation. Metabolic heat produced by ant workers or associated micro organisms is an important additional source of heat which helps to maintain thermal homeostasis in the nest.

  2. Notes on spider (Theridiidae, Salticidae) predation of the harvester ant, Pogonomyrmex salinus Olsen (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Myrmicinae), and a possible parasitoid fly (Chloropidae)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Clark, W.H. (Albertson College of Idaho, Caldwell (United States) Univ. of Idaho, Moscow (United States)); Blom, P.E. (Univ. of Idaho, Moscow (United States))

    1992-12-01

    Spiders are known predators of ants. Pressure exerted by consistent spider predation can alter the behavior of ant colonies (MacKay 1982) and may be a selective pressure contributing to the seed-harvesting behavior of Pogonomyrmex (MacKay and MacKay 1984). The authors observed the spider Euryopis formosa Banks (Araneae: Theridiidae) capture and transport workers of the harvester ant (Pogonomyrmex salinus Olsen [Hymenoptera: Formicidae, Myrmicinae]) in southeastern Idaho. Additional observations revealed a crab spider of the genus Xysticus preying on P. salinus and the presence of a chloropid fly (Incertella) that may have been parasitizing the moribund prey subdued by the spider.

  3. Molecular phylogenetics of ponerine ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Ponerinae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmidt, Chris

    2013-01-01

    Recent molecular phylogenetic studies of ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) have revolutionized our understanding of how these ecologically dominant organisms diversified, but detailed phylogenies are lacking for most major ant subfamilies. I report the results of the first detailed phylogenetic study of the ant subfamily Ponerinae, a diverse cosmopolitan lineage whose properties make it an attractive model system for investigating social and ecological evolution in ants. Molecular sequence data were obtained from four nuclear genes (wingless, long-wavelength rhodopsin, rudimentary [CAD], 28S rDNA; total of ~3.3 kb) for 86 ponerine taxa, representing all three ponerine tribes, 22 of the 28 currently recognized genera, and 14 of the 18 informal subgenera of Pachycondyla, a heterogeneous grouping whose monophyly is doubtful on morphological grounds. Phylogenetic reconstructions using maximum likelihood and Bayesian inference support the monophyly of Ponerinae and tribe Platythyreini, but fail to support the monophyly of the large tribe Ponerini due to its inclusion of the unusual genus Thaumatomyrmex. Pachycondyla is inferred to be broadly non-monophyletic. Numerous novel generic and suprageneric relationships are inferred within Ponerini, which was found to consist of four major multi-generic clades (the Ponera, Pachycondyla, Plectroctena and Odontomachus genus groups) plus the single genera Hypoponera and Harpegnathos. Uncertainty remains in some regions of the phylogeny, including at the base of Ponerini, possibly reflecting rapid radiation. Divergence dating using a Bayesian relaxed clock method estimates an origin for stem Ponerinae in the upper Cretaceous, a major burst of diversification near the K/T boundary, and a rich and continual history of diversification during the Cenozoic. These results fail to support the predictions of the "dynastic-succession hypothesis" previously developed to explain the high species diversity of Ponerinae. Though model

  4. 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....

  5. 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....

  6. Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) as carriers of fungi in hospital environments: an emphasis on the genera Tapinoma and Pheidole.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pantoja, L D M; Moreira Filho, R E; Brito, E H S; Aragão, T B; Brilhante, R S N; Cordeiro, R A; Rocha, M F G; Monteiro, A J; Quinet, Y P; Sidrim, J J C

    2009-07-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate the presence of filamentous fungi and yeasts on the external surface of ants at hospitals. From March 2007 to February 2008, 2,899 ants were evaluated in two public hospitals in the city of Fortaleza, Ceará, in northeastern Brazil. The ants were attracted by nontoxic baits, distributed within critical and semicritical hospital areas. The fungi were identified through macro- and micromorphological analysis, biochemical profile, and growth in chromogenic medium. From this study, 5 genera and 13 species of ants were identified, from critical (8% of the collected ants) and semicritical (92%) areas, during the daytime (48%) and nighttime (52%) periods. In the mycological analysis, 75% of the ants were fungi carriers, with the species Tapinoma melanocephalum and species from the genus Pheidole having the most potential as carriers of airborne fungi (75 and 18%, respectively) and yeasts (6 and 1%, respectively). In summary, ants act as carriers of airborne fungi and yeasts, including some pathogenic species.

  7. Review: Fitokimia genus Baccaurea spp.

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    Gunawan Gunawan

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Genus BaccaureaLour. adalah salah satu anggota dari famili Phyllanthaceae, merupakan genus yang cukup besar dengan anggota mencapai 43 spesies. Pada pengobatan tradisional genus Baccaurea telah dimanfaatkan masyarakat untuk mengobati  sembelit, pembengkakan pada mata, radang sendi, abses, sakit perut, memperlancar haid serta buang air kecil. Beberapa anggota genus Baccaureamemiliki potensi sebagai tumbuhan obat karena mengandung metabolit sekunder seperti alkaloid, flavonoid, karotenoid, antosianin, tanin, asam rosmarinik dan fenolik. Kandungan metabolit sekunder tersebut berpotensi sebagai antioksidan, antikanker, antimikroba, antidiabetes, antiinflamasi, antitripanosoma. B. ramiflora, B. lanceolata, B. macrocarpa, B. angulata, B. motleyana, B. brevipes, B. hookeri, B.recemosa, B. sapida, B. polyneura, B.parviflora dan B.dulcis adalah anggota genus Baccaurea yang berpotensi sebagai tumbuhan obat.

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

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    Depoix Delphine

    2009-02-01

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

  9. The morphometry of solenopsis fire ants.

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    Walter R Tschinkel

    Full Text Available Size-related changes of body shape were explored in 15 polymorphic species of Solenopsis fire ants by analyzing body weight along with linear measurements of 24 body parts. Log regression slopes were used to detect changes of shape with increasing size. Within species, the largest workers weighed from about 5 to 30-fold as much as the smallest. The range of within-species body lengths varied from 1.6 mm to 4 mm. As worker size increased, the gaster tended to make up a larger proportion of body length, usually at the cost of the petiole, and rarely at the cost of head length or mesosoma length. In most, the relative volume of the gaster increased and that of the head and mesosoma decreased. Most also showed an increasingly "humped" mesosoma. For all species, head shape changed from barrel-shaped to heart-shaped as worker size increased. Antennae became relatively shorter as the relative size of the club decreased. Shape changes of the legs were more variable. S. geminata was exceptional in the extreme nature of its head shape change, and was the only species in which relative head volume increased and gaster volume decreased with increasing body size. With the exception of S. geminata, the allometric rules governing shape are remarkably similar across species, suggesting a genus-level developmental scheme that is not easily modified by evolution. It also suggests that the evolution of shape is highly constrained by these conserved growth rules, and that it acts primarily (perhaps only through allometric growth. The results are discussed in light of the growth of imaginal discs in a resource-limited body (the pupa. The substantial variation of allometries within species and across localities is also discussed in relation to using allometric patterns to identify species or to construct phylogenies.

  10. Myrmica Ants and Their Butterfly Parasites with Special Focus on the Acoustic Communication

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F. Barbero

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available About 10,000 arthropod species live as ants' social parasites and have evolved a number of mechanisms allowing them to penetrate and survive inside the ant nests. Myrmica colonies, in particular, are exploited by numerous social parasites, and the presence of their overwintering brood, as well as of their polygyny, contributes to make them more vulnerable to infestation. Butterflies of the genus Maculinea are among the most investigated Myrmica inquilines. These lycaenids are known for their very complex biological cycles. Maculinea species are obligated parasites that depend on a particular food plant and on a specific Myrmica species for their survival. Maculinea larvae are adopted by Myrmica ants, which are induced to take them into their nests by chemical mimicry. Then the parasite spends the following 11–23 months inside the ants' nest. Mimicking the acoustic emission of the queen ants, Maculinea parasites not only manage to become integrated, but attain highest rank within the colony. Here we review the biology of Maculinea/Myrmica system with a special focus on some recent breakthrough concerning their acoustical patterns.

  11. Venom toxicity and composition in three Pseudomyrmex ant species having different nesting modes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Touchard, Axel; Labrière, Nicolas; Roux, Olivier; Petitclerc, Frédéric; Orivel, Jérôme; Escoubas, Pierre; Koh, Jennifer M S; Nicholson, Graham M; Dejean, Alain

    2014-09-01

    We aimed to determine whether the nesting habits of ants have influenced their venom toxicity and composition. We focused on the genus Pseudomyrmex (Pseudomyrmecinae) comprising terrestrial and arboreal species, and, among the latter, plant-ants that are obligate inhabitants of myrmecophytes (i.e., plants sheltering ants in hollow structures). Contrary to our hypothesis, the venom of the ground-dwelling species, Pseudomyrmex termitarius, was as efficacious in paralyzing prey as the venoms of the arboreal and the plant-ant species, Pseudomyrmex penetrator and Pseudomyrmex gracilis. The lethal potency of P. termitarius venom was equipotent with that of P. gracilis whereas the venom of P. penetrator was less potent. The MALDI-TOF MS analysis of each HPLC fraction of the venoms showed that P. termitarius venom is composed of 87 linear peptides, while both P. gracilis and P. penetrator venoms (23 and 26 peptides, respectively) possess peptides with disulfide bonds. Furthermore, P. penetrator venom contains three hetero- and homodimeric peptides consisting of two short peptidic chains linked together by two interchain disulfide bonds. The large number of peptides in P. termitarius venom is likely related to the large diversity of potential prey plus the antibacterial peptides required for nesting in the ground. Whereas predation involves only the prey and predator, P. penetrator venom has evolved in an environment where trees, defoliating insects, browsing mammals and ants live in equilibrium, likely explaining the diversity of the peptide structures. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Actinomycetes inhibit filamentous fungi from the cuticle of Acromyrmex leafcutter ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dângelo, Rômulo Augusto Cotta; de Souza, Danival José; Mendes, Thais Demarchi; Couceiro, Joel da Cruz; Lucia, Terezinha Maria Castro Della

    2016-03-01

    Actinomycetes bacteria associated with leafcutter ants produce secondary metabolites with antimicrobial properties against Escovopsis, a fungus specialized in attacking the gardens of fungus-growing ants, which denies the ants their food source. Because previous studies have used fungi isolated from fungus gardens but not from ant integument, the aims of the present study were to isolate actinomycetes associated with the cuticle of the Acromyrmex spp. and to quantify their inhibition abilities against the filamentous fungal species carried by these ants. The results demonstrated that actinomycetes had varied strain-dependent effects on several filamentous fungal species in addition to antagonistic activity against Escovopsis. The strain isolated from Acromyrmex balzani was identified as a Streptomyces species, whereas the remaining isolates were identified as different strains belonging to the genus Pseudonocardia. These findings corroborate the hypothesis that actinomycetes do not act specifically against Escovopsis mycoparasites and may have the ability to inhibit other species of pathogenic fungi. © 2016 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  13. New species and records of Awas Löbl (Coleoptera: Staphylinidae: Pselaphinae) from China, with notes on the biology of the genus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yin, Zi-Wei

    2017-10-24

    A new species of the arnylliine ant-loving beetle genus Awas Löbl, A. helii Yin, sp. n., collected with Ectomomyrmex ants in Sichuan, SW China, is described and illustrated. The new taxon externally resembles A. kayan Yin & Li from Hunan, central China, but can be readily separated by the different forms of the pronotum and elytra, and details of the aedeagal structures. New collecting data for Awas loebli Yin & Li in eastern China, as well as some notes on the biology of the genus are provided.

  14. Rediscovery of the enigmatic fungus-farming ant "Mycetosoritis" asper Mayr (Hymenoptera: Formicidae): Implications for taxonomy, phylogeny, and the evolution of agriculture in ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sosa-Calvo, Jeffrey; Ješovnik, Ana; Vasconcelos, Heraldo L; Bacci, Mauricio; Schultz, Ted R

    2017-01-01

    We report the rediscovery of the exceedingly rarely collected and enigmatic fungus-farming ant species Mycetosoritis asper. Since the description of the type specimen in 1887, only four additional specimens are known to have been added to the world's insect collections. Its biology is entirely unknown and its phylogenetic position within the fungus-farming ants has remained puzzling due to its aberrant morphology. In 2014 we excavated and collected twenty-one colonies of M. asper in the Floresta Nacional de Chapecó in Santa Catarina, Brazil. We describe here for the first time the male and larva of the species and complement the previous descriptions of both the queen and the worker. We describe, also for the first time, M. asper biology, nest architecture, and colony demographics, and identify its fungal cultivar. Molecular phylogenetic analyses indicate that both M. asper and M. clorindae are members of the genus Cyphomyrmex, which we show to be paraphyletic as currently defined. More precisely, M. asper is a member of the Cyphomyrmex strigatus group, which we also show to be paraphyletic with respect to the genus Mycetophylax. Based on these results, and in the interest of taxonomic stability, we transfer the species M. asper, M. clorindae, and all members of the C. strigatus group to the genus Mycetophylax, the oldest available name for this clade. Based on ITS sequence data, Mycetophylax asper practices lower agriculture, cultivating a fungal species that belongs to lower-attine fungal Clade 2, subclade F.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-05-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. Species-specific ant brain manipulation by a specialized fungal parasite.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Bekker, Charissa; Quevillon, Lauren E; Smith, Philip B; Fleming, Kimberly R; Ghosh, Debashis; Patterson, Andrew D; Hughes, David P

    2014-08-29

    A compelling demonstration of adaptation by natural selection is the ability of parasites to manipulate host behavior. One dramatic example involves fungal species from the genus Ophiocordyceps that control their ant hosts by inducing a biting behavior. Intensive sampling across the globe of ants that died after being manipulated by Ophiocordyceps suggests that this phenomenon is highly species-specific. We advance our understanding of this system by reconstructing host manipulation by Ophiocordyceps parasites under controlled laboratory conditions and combining this with field observations of infection rates and a metabolomics survey. We report on a newly discovered species of Ophiocordyceps unilateralis sensu lato from North America that we use to address the species-specificity of Ophiocordyceps-induced manipulation of ant behavior. We show that the fungus can kill all ant species tested, but only manipulates the behavior of those it infects in nature. To investigate if this could be explained at the molecular level, we used ex vivo culturing assays to measure the metabolites that are secreted by the fungus to mediate fungus-ant tissue interactions. We show the fungus reacts heterogeneously to brains of different ant species by secreting a different array of metabolites. By determining which ion peaks are significantly enriched when the fungus is grown alongside brains of its naturally occurring host, we discovered candidate compounds that could be involved in behavioral manipulation by O. unilateralis s.l.. Two of these candidates are known to be involved in neurological diseases and cancer. The integrative work presented here shows that ant brain manipulation by O. unilateralis s.l. is species-specific seemingly because the fungus produces a specific array of compounds as a reaction to the presence of the host brain it has evolved to manipulate. These studies have resulted in the discovery of candidate compounds involved in establishing behavioral manipulation

  18. Cryptic diversity, high host specificity and reproductive synchronization in army ant-associated Vatesus beetles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    von Beeren, Christoph; Maruyama, Munetoshi; Kronauer, Daniel J C

    2016-02-01

    Army ants and their arthropod symbionts represent one of the most species-rich animal associations on Earth, and constitute a fascinating example of diverse host-symbiont interaction networks. However, despite decades of research, our knowledge of army ant symbionts remains fragmentary due to taxonomic ambiguity and the inability to study army ants in the laboratory. Here, we present an integrative approach that allows us to reliably determine species boundaries, assess biodiversity, match different developmental stages and sexes, and to study the life cycles of army ant symbionts. This approach is based on a combination of community sampling, DNA barcoding, morphology and physiology. As a test case, we applied this approach to the staphylinid beetle genus Vatesus and its different Eciton army ant host species at La Selva Biological Station, Costa Rica. DNA barcoding led to the discovery of cryptic biodiversity and, in combination with extensive community sampling, revealed strict host partitioning with no overlap in host range. Using DNA barcoding, we were also able to match the larval stages of all focal Vatesus species. In combination with studies of female reproductive physiology, this allowed us to reconstruct almost the complete life cycles of the different beetle species. We show that Vatesus beetles are highly adapted to the symbiosis with army ants, in that their reproduction and larval development are synchronized with the stereotypical reproductive and behavioural cycles of their host colonies. Our approach can now be used to study army ant-symbiont communities more broadly, and to obtain novel insights into co-evolutionary and ecological dynamics in species-rich host-symbiont systems. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  19. 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...

  20. THE GENUS DERMATOPHILUS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gordon, Morris A.

    1964-01-01

    Gordon, M. A. (New York State Department of Health, Albany). The genus Dermatophilus. J. Bacteriol. 88:509–522. 1964.—Seventeen strains of Dermatophilus originating in skin lesions of cattle, sheep, horses, deer, and man were compared as to conditions for growth, colonial characteristics under varying conditions, microscopic morphology, and biochemical reactions. All grew well aerobically at 37 C and were facultatively anaerobic. They were morphologically similar in both gross and microscopic appearance, and most produced motile spores. Stable gray variants often appeared among the orange-yellow “wild-type” colonies. Acid without gas was produced consistently from glucose and fructose, and transitorily from galactose, but was produced from none of eight other carbohydrates except belatedly by some strains from maltose. Almost all strains hydrolyzed casein, most of them digested BCP milk with varying rapidity, and the majority liquefied gelatin, but there was considerable variation in this last property. Differences crossed both host and geographic lines. It is concluded that all isolates can be accommodated in the species D. congolensis Van Saceghem 1915, emend. 1916, 1934, with D. dermatonomus and D. pedis falling into synonymy. Images PMID:14203370

  1. THE GENUS DERMATOPHILUS.

    Science.gov (United States)

    GORDON, M A

    1964-08-01

    Gordon, M. A. (New York State Department of Health, Albany). The genus Dermatophilus. J. Bacteriol. 88:509-522. 1964.-Seventeen strains of Dermatophilus originating in skin lesions of cattle, sheep, horses, deer, and man were compared as to conditions for growth, colonial characteristics under varying conditions, microscopic morphology, and biochemical reactions. All grew well aerobically at 37 C and were facultatively anaerobic. They were morphologically similar in both gross and microscopic appearance, and most produced motile spores. Stable gray variants often appeared among the orange-yellow "wild-type" colonies. Acid without gas was produced consistently from glucose and fructose, and transitorily from galactose, but was produced from none of eight other carbohydrates except belatedly by some strains from maltose. Almost all strains hydrolyzed casein, most of them digested BCP milk with varying rapidity, and the majority liquefied gelatin, but there was considerable variation in this last property. Differences crossed both host and geographic lines. It is concluded that all isolates can be accommodated in the species D. congolensis Van Saceghem 1915, emend. 1916, 1934, with D. dermatonomus and D. pedis falling into synonymy.

  2. Has substrate-dependent co-evolution of enzyme function occured in the attine ant-fungus symbiosis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    The conspicuous leaf-cutter ants in the genus Atta build huge nests displacing several cubic meters of soil, whereas lower attine genera such as Cyphomyrmex 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 the more basal attine genera use substrates such as flowers, plant debris, small twigs, insect feces and insect carcasses. This diverse array of fungal substrates across the attine lineage implies that the symbiotic fungus needs different enzymes to break down...

  3. Cardiocondyla pirata sp. n. – a new Philippine ant with enigmatic pigmentation pattern (Hymenoptera, Formicidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bernhard Seifert

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available A new species of the ant genus Cardiocondyla Emery, 1869 – Cardiocondyla pirata sp. n. – is described from the Philippines. The species belongs to an Indo-Malayan group of six species that is characterized by workersa strongly bilobate postpetiolar sternite and a thickset mesosoma with strongly convex dorsal profile as well as wingless, ergatoid males with sickle-shaped mandibles. The female castes show a pigmentation pattern not known from any ant worldwide. Ifany adaptive value, a possible function of this structure is supposed to be visual dissolution of body shape in order to irritate predators.

  4. Roadside Survey of Ants on Oahu, Hawaii

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Reina L. Tong

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Hawaii is home to over 60 ant species, including five of the six most damaging invasive ants. Although there have been many surveys of ants in Hawaii, the last island-wide hand-collection survey of ants on Oahu was conducted in 1988–1994. In 2012, a timed hand-collection of ants was made at 44 sites in a systematic, roadside survey throughout Oahu. Ants were identified and species distribution in relation to elevation, precipitation and soil type was analyzed. To assess possible convenience sampling bias, 15 additional sites were sampled further from roads to compare with the samples near roads. Twenty-four species of ants were found and mapped; Pheidole megacephala (F., Ochetellus glaber (Mayr, and Technomyrmex difficilis Forel were the most frequently encountered ants. For six ant species, a logistic regression was performed with elevation, average annual precipitation, and soil order as explanatory variables. O. glaber was found in areas with lower precipitation around Oahu. Paratrechina longicornis (Latrielle and Tetramorium simillimum (Smith, F. were found more often in lower elevations and in areas with the Mollisol soil order. Elevation, precipitation, and soil type were not significant sources of variation for P. megacephala, Plagiolepis alluaudi Emery, and T. difficilis. P. megacephala was associated with fewer mean numbers of ants where it occurred. Ant assemblages near and far from roads did not significantly differ. Many species of ants remain established on Oahu, and recent invaders are spreading throughout the island. Mapping ant distributions contributes to continued documentation and understanding of these pests.

  5. Chemodiversity in the genus Aspergillus

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Frisvad, Jens Christian; Larsen, Thomas Ostenfeld

    2015-01-01

    to be characterized. The genus Aspergillus is cladistically holophyletic but phenotypically polythetic and very diverse and is associated to quite different sexual states. Following the one fungus one name system, the genus Aspergillus is restricted to a holophyletic clade that include the morphologically different...... biosynthetic family isoextrolites. However, it appears that secondary metabolites from one Aspergillus section have analogous metabolites in other sections (here also called heteroisoextrolites). In this review, we give a genus-wide overview of secondary metabolite production in Aspergillus species. Extrolites...

  6. Yet more "weeds" in the garden: fungal novelties from nests of leaf-cutting ants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juliana O Augustin

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Symbiotic relationships modulate the evolution of living organisms in all levels of biological organization. A notable example of symbiosis is that of attine ants (Attini; Formicidae: Hymenoptera and their fungal cultivars (Lepiotaceae and Pterulaceae; Agaricales: Basidiomycota. In recent years, this mutualism has emerged as a model system for studying coevolution, speciation, and multitrophic interactions. Ubiquitous in this ant-fungal symbiosis is the "weedy" fungus Escovopsis (Hypocreales: Ascomycota, known only as a mycoparasite of attine fungal gardens. Despite interest in its biology, ecology and molecular phylogeny--noting, especially, the high genetic diversity encountered--which has led to a steady flow of publications over the past decade, only two species of Escovopsis have formally been described. METHODS AND RESULTS: We sampled from fungal gardens and garden waste (middens of nests of the leaf-cutting ant genus Acromyrmex in a remnant of subtropical Atlantic rainforest in Minas Gerais, Brazil. In culture, distinct morphotypes of Escovopsis sensu lato were recognized. Using both morphological and molecular analyses, three new species of Escovopsis were identified. These are described and illustrated herein--E. lentecrescens, E. microspora, and E. moelleri--together with a re-description of the genus and the type species, E. weberi. The new genus Escovopsioides is erected for a fourth morphotype. We identify, for the first time, a mechanism for horizontal transmission via middens. CONCLUSIONS: The present study makes a start at assigning names and formal descriptions to these specific fungal parasites of attine nests. Based on the results of this exploratory and geographically-restricted survey, we expect there to be many more species of the genus Escovopsis and its relatives associated with nests of both the lower and higher Attini throughout their neotropical range, as suggested in previous studies.

  7. Convergent evolution of social hybridogenesis in Messor harvester ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Romiguier, Jonathan; Fournier, Axel; Yek, Sze Huei; Keller, Laurent

    2017-02-01

    Sexual reproduction generally requires no more than two partners. Here, we show convergent evolution of social hybridogenesis, a reproductive system requiring three reproductive partners in harvester ants. In this unorthodox reproductive system, two distinct genetic lineages live in sympatry and queens have to mate with males of their own lineage to produce queens along with males of the alternative lineage to produce workers. Using a large transcriptomic data set of nine species, we show that social hybridogenesis evolved at least three times independently in the genus Messor. Moreover, a study of 13 populations of Messor barbarus revealed that this mode of reproduction is fixed in the whole range of this ecologically dominant species. Finally, we show that workers can produce males carrying genes of the two genetic lineages, raising the possibility of rare gene flow between lineages contributing to the long-term maintenance of pairs of interdependent lineages. These results emphasize the evolutionary importance of social hybridogenesis, a major transition possibly linked to the peculiar ecology of harvester ants. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  8. Nestmate recognition in ants is possible without tactile interaction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brandstaetter, Andreas Simon; Endler, Annett; Kleineidam, Christoph Johannes

    2008-07-01

    Ants of the genus Camponotus are able to discriminate recognition cues of colony members (nestmates) from recognition cues of workers of a different colony (non-nestmates) from a distance of 1 cm. Free moving, individual Camponotus floridanus workers encountered differently treated dummies on a T-bar and their behavior was recorded. Aggressive behavior was scored as mandibular threat towards dummies. Dummies were treated with hexane extracts of postpharyngeal glands (PPGs) from nestmates or non-nestmates which contain long-chain hydrocarbons in ratios comparable to what is found on the cuticle. The cuticular hydrocarbon profile bears cues which are essential for nestmate recognition. Although workers were prevented from antennating the dummies, they showed significantly less aggressive behavior towards dummies treated with nestmate PPG extracts than towards dummies treated with non-nestmate PPG extracts. In an additional experiment, we show that cis-9-tricosene, an alkene naturally not found in C. floridanus’ cuticular profile, is behaviorally active and can interfere with nestmate recognition when presented together with a nestmate PPG extract. Our study demonstrates for the first time that the complex multi-component recognition cues can be perceived and discriminated by ants at close range. We conclude that contact chemosensilla are not crucial for nestmate recognition since tactile interaction is not necessary.

  9. Hybridogenesis through thelytokous parthenogenesis in two Cataglyphis desert ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eyer, P A; Leniaud, L; Darras, H; Aron, S

    2013-02-01

    Hybridogenesis is a sexual reproductive system, whereby parents from different genetic origin hybridize. Both the maternal and paternal genomes are expressed in somatic tissues, but the paternal genome is systematically excluded from the germ line, which is therefore purely maternal. Recently, a unique case of hybridogenesis at a social level was reported in the desert ant Cataglyphis hispanica. All workers are sexually produced hybridogens, whereas sexual forms (new queens and males) are produced by queens through parthenogenesis. Thus, only maternal genes are perpetuated across generations. Here, we show that such an unusual reproductive strategy also evolved in two other species of Cataglyphis belonging to the same phylogenetic group, Cataglyphis velox and Cataglyphis mauritanica. In both species, queens mate exclusively with males originating from a different genetic lineage than their own to produce hybrid workers, while they use parthenogenesis to produce the male and female reproductive castes. In contrast to single-queen colonies of C. hispanica, colonies of C. velox and C. mauritanica are headed by several queens. Most queens within colonies share the same multilocus genotype and never transmit their mates' alleles to the reproductive castes. Social hybridogenesis in the desert ants has direct consequences on the genetic variability of populations and on caste determination. We also discuss the maintenance of this reproductive strategy within the genus Cataglyphis. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  10. The genus Vitex: A review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rani, Anita; Sharma, Anupam

    2013-07-01

    The review includes 161 references on the genus Vitex, and comprises ethnopharmacology, morphology and microscopy, phytoconstituents, pharmacological reports, clinical studies, and toxicology of the prominent species of Vitex. Essential oils, flavonoids, iridoid glycosides, diterpenoides and ligans constitute major classes of phytoconstituents of the genus. A few species of this genus have medicinal value, among these, leaves and fruits of V. agnus-castus Linn. (Verbenaceae) has been traditionally used in treatment of women complaints. V. agnus-castus has also been included in herbal remedies, which are in clinical use to regulate the menstrual cycle, reduce premenstrual symptom tension and anxiety, treat some menopausal symptoms as well as to treat hormonally induced acne. Despite a long tradition of use of some species, the genus has not been explored properly. In the concluding part, the future scope of Vitex species has been emphasized with a view to establish their multifarious biological activities and mode of action.

  11. Riemann surfaces of infinite genus

    CERN Document Server

    Feldman, Joel S; Trubowitz, Eugene

    2003-01-01

    In this book, Riemann surfaces of infinite genus are constructed geometrically by pasting together plane domains and handles. To achieve a meaningful generalization of the classical theory of Riemann surfaces to the case of infinite genus, one must impose restrictions on the asymptotic behavior of the Riemann surface. In the construction carried out here, these restrictions are formulated in terms of the sizes and locations of the handles and in terms of the gluing maps. The approach used in this book has two main attractions. The first is that much of the classical theory of Riemann surfaces, including the Torelli theorem, can be generalized to this class. The second is that solutions of Kadomcev-Petviashvilli equations can be expressed in terms of theta functions associated with Riemann surfaces of infinite genus constructed in the book. Both of these are developed here. The authors also present in detail a number of important examples of Riemann surfaces of infinite genus (hyperelliptic surfaces of infinit...

  12. The distribution and diversity of insular ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Roura-Pascual, Núria; Sanders, Nate; Hui, Cang

    2016-01-01

    Aim: To examine the relationship between island characteristics (area, distance to the nearest continent, climate and human population size) and ant species richness, as well as the factors underlying global geographical clustering of native and exotic ant composition on islands. Location: One...... hundred and two islands from 20 island groups around the world. Methods: We used spatial linear models that consider the spatial structure of islands to examine patterns of ant species richness. We also performed modularity analyses to identify clusters of islands hosting a similar suite of species...... and constructed conditional inference trees to assess the characteristics of islands that explain the formation of these island-ant groups. Results: Island area was the best predictor of ant species richness. However, distance to the nearest continent was an important predictor of native ant species richness...

  13. 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.

  14. Major evolutionary transitions in ant agriculture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schultz, Ted R; Brady, Seán G

    2008-04-08

    Agriculture is a specialized form of symbiosis that is known to have evolved in only four animal groups: humans, bark beetles, termites, and ants. Here, we reconstruct the major evolutionary transitions that produced the five distinct agricultural systems of the fungus-growing ants, the most well studied of the nonhuman agriculturalists. We do so with reference to the first fossil-calibrated, multiple-gene, molecular phylogeny that incorporates the full range of taxonomic diversity within the fungus-growing ant tribe Attini. Our analyses indicate that the original form of ant agriculture, the cultivation of a diverse subset of fungal species in the tribe Leucocoprineae, evolved approximately 50 million years ago in the Neotropics, coincident with the early Eocene climatic optimum. During the past 30 million years, three known ant agricultural systems, each involving a phylogenetically distinct set of derived fungal cultivars, have separately arisen from the original agricultural system. One of these derived systems subsequently gave rise to the fifth known system of agriculture, in which a single fungal species is cultivated by leaf-cutter ants. Leaf-cutter ants evolved remarkably recently ( approximately 8-12 million years ago) to become the dominant herbivores of the New World tropics. Our analyses identify relict, extant attine ant species that occupy phylogenetic positions that are transitional between the agricultural systems. Intensive study of those species holds particular promise for clarifying the sequential accretion of ecological and behavioral characters that produced each of the major ant agricultural systems.

  15. Pollination and facultative ant-association in the African leopard ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The role of extra-floral nectar appears to be recruitment of foraging ants to tend the flowers resulting in a facultative ant-association between the orchid and gregarious ants. Four different ant species were found to forage on A. africana's inflorescences. Ant-tended inflorescences suffered significantly less damage by insects.

  16. Ants (Formicidae) as food for birds in southern Africa: opportunism ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) are eaten by a number of bird species in southern Africa. Our database contained 545 species (excluding waterbirds and raptors), of which 179 species have been observed feeding on ants, or had ants in their stomachs. Ants are eaten by birds in all ecosystems, but the consumption of ants ...

  17. The distribution of weaver ant pheromones on host trees

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Offenberg, Joachim

    2007-01-01

    for correlations between spot density, ant activity and the likelihood of being detected by an ant. Spots were only found on trees with ants. On ant-trees, spots were distributed throughout the trees but with higher densities in areas with high ant activity and pheromone densities were higher on twigs compared...

  18. Multi-locus phylogenies of the genus Barteria (Passifloraceae) portray complex patterns in the evolution of myrmecophytism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peccoud, Jean; Piatscheck, Finn; Yockteng, Roxana; Garcia, Marjorie; Sauve, Mathieu; Djiéto-Lordon, Champlain; Harris, David J; Wieringa, Jan J; Breteler, Frans J; Born, Céline; McKey, Doyle; Blatrix, Rumsaïs

    2013-03-01

    The four species of the central African genus Barteria show variation in habitat and in degree of association with ants. Whereas B. solida, restricted to submontane forests, attracts opportunistic ants to extrafloral nectar, the three other species, found in lowland rainforests (B. fistulosa, B. dewevrei) and in littoral scrub (B. nigritana), possess stem domatia of varying shapes and degrees of specialisation, hosting either non-specific arboreal ants (B. nigritana, some B. dewevrei) or two large species of ants of the genus Tetraponera Smith, 1852 that are specific to some species of Barteria (B. fistulosa, some B. dewevrei). We aimed to investigate whether this variation represents an evolutionary trend toward increasing specialisation of mutualism or the reduction or loss of myrmecophytic traits. For this, we determined phylogenetic relationships within the genus using DNA sequences (primarily nuclear ITS) and microsatellite genotypes (11 loci) on a large sample of individuals, mostly from Cameroon and Gabon. The two types of markers support an initial dichotomy that groups B. dewevrei with B. nigritana and B. fistulosa with B. solida respectively. Within these pairs, species do not appear reciprocally monophyletic. At microsatellite loci, B. nigritana forms a clade embedded within B. dewevrei; and within both B. solida and B. fistulosa, geographical populations show levels of differentiation similar to that observed between populations of B. solida and B. fistulosa. Geographic distance alone does not account for genetic differentiation between species, which indicates reproductive isolation. Divergence in each of the two pairs implies evolutionary transitions in habitat and in myrmecophytism. Specialised mutualism with specific ant species of the genus Tetraponera has been lost in species found in more marginal habitats. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Revision of the genus Phaeanthus (Annonaceae)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mols, J.B.; Keßler, P.J.A.

    2000-01-01

    A revision of the genus Phaeanthus Hook.f. & Thomson (Annonaceae) is presented. The genus comprises 8 species. A key to the fruiting and/or flowering specimens of the genus is included. The genus consists of shrubs to small-sized trees from Malesia and Vietnam. It is characterised by sepals and

  20. Nature of the interactions between hypocrealean fungi and the mutualistic fungus of leaf-cutter ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Varanda-Haifig, Sadala Schmidt; Albarici, Tatiane Regina; Nunes, Pablo Henrique; Haifig, Ives; Vieira, Paulo Cezar; Rodrigues, Andre

    2017-04-01

    Leaf-cutter ants cultivate and feed on the mutualistic fungus, Leucoagaricus gongylophorus, which is threatened by parasitic fungi of the genus Escovopsis. The mechanism of Escovopsis parasitism is poorly understood. Here, we assessed the nature of the antagonism of different Escovopsis species against its host. We also evaluated the potential antagonism of Escovopsioides, a recently described fungal genus from the attine ant environment whose role in the colonies of these insects is unknown. We performed dual-culture assays to assess the interactions between L. gongylophorus and both fungi. We also evaluated the antifungal activity of compounds secreted by the latter on L. gongylophorus growth using crude extracts of Escovopsis spp. and Escovopsioides nivea obtained either in (1) absence or (2) presence of the mutualistic fungus. The physical interaction between these fungi and the mutualistic fungus was examined under scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Escovopsis spp. and E. nivea negatively affected the growth of L. gongylophorus, which was also significantly inhibited by both types of crude extract. These results indicate that Escovopsis spp. and E. nivea produce antifungal metabolites against the mutualistic fungus. SEM showed that Escovopsis spp. and E. nivea maintained physical contact with the mutualistic fungus, though no specialised structures related to mycoparasitism were observed. These results showed that Escovopsis is a destructive mycoparasite that needs physical contact for the death of the mutualistic fungus to occur. Also, our findings suggest that E. nivea is an antagonist of the ant fungal cultivar.

  1. Into the black and back: the ecology of brain investment in Neotropical army ants (Formicidae: Dorylinae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bulova, S.; Purce, K.; Khodak, P.; Sulger, E.; O'Donnell, S.

    2016-04-01

    Shifts to new ecological settings can drive evolutionary changes in animal sensory systems and in the brain structures that process sensory information. We took advantage of the diverse habitat ecology of Neotropical army ants to test whether evolutionary transitions from below- to above-ground activity were associated with changes in brain structure. Our estimates of genus-typical frequencies of above-ground activity suggested a high degree of evolutionary plasticity in habitat use among Neotropical army ants. Brain structure consistently corresponded to degree of above-ground activity among genera and among species within genera. The most above-ground genera (and species) invested relatively more in visual processing brain tissues; the most subterranean species invested relatively less in central processing higher-brain centers (mushroom body calyces). These patterns suggest a strong role of sensory ecology (e.g., light levels) in selecting for army ant brain investment evolution and further suggest that the subterranean environment poses reduced cognitive challenges to workers. The highly above-ground active genus Eciton was exceptional in having relatively large brains and particularly large and structurally complex optic lobes. These patterns suggest that the transition to above-ground activity from ancestors that were largely subterranean for approximately 60 million years was followed by re-emergence of enhanced visual function in workers.

  2. Foliar uptake of nitrogen from ant fecal droplets: an overlooked service to ant plants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pinkalski, Christian Alexander Stidsen; Jensen, Karl-Martin Vagn; Damgaard, Christian Frølund

    2018-01-01

    and subsequently deposited fecal droplets on the seedlings, coffee leaves showed increased levels of 15N and total N compared to control plants without ants. This was evident for both exposed leaves and leaves covered in plastic bags (i.e. not directly exposed to ants). Thus, N from ant excretions was absorbed...

  3. A descendent relation in genus 2

    OpenAIRE

    Belorousski, Pasha; Pandharipande, Rahul

    1998-01-01

    A new codimension 2 relation among descendent strata in the moduli space of stable, 3-pointed, genus 2 curves is found. The space of pointed admissible double covers is used in the calculation. The resulting differential equations satisfied by the genus 2 gravitational potentials of varieties in Gromov-Witten theory are described. These are analogous to the WDVV-equations in genus 0 and Getzler's equations in genus 1. As an application, genus 2 descendent invariants of the projective plane ar...

  4. Hybrid chaotic ant swarm optimization

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Li Yuying; Wen Qiaoyan; Li Lixiang; Peng Haipeng

    2009-01-01

    Chaotic ant swarm optimization (CASO) is a powerful chaos search algorithm that is used to find the global optimum solution in search space. However, the CASO algorithm has some disadvantages, such as lower solution precision and longer computational time, when solving complex optimization problems. To resolve these problems, an improved CASO, called hybrid chaotic swarm optimization (HCASO), is proposed in this paper. The new algorithm introduces preselection operator and discrete recombination operator into the CASO; meanwhile it replaces the best position found by own and its neighbors' ants with the best position found by preselection operator and discrete recombination operator in evolution equation. Through testing five benchmark functions with large dimensionality, the experimental results show the new method enhances the solution accuracy and stability greatly, as well as reduces the computational time and computer memory significantly when compared to the CASO. In addition, we observe the results can become better with swarm size increasing from the sensitivity study to swarm size. And we gain some relations between problem dimensions and swam size according to scalability study.

  5. Effects of trail gradient on leaf tissue transport and load size selection in leaf-cutter ants

    OpenAIRE

    O. T. Lewis; M. Martin; T. J. Czaczkes

    2008-01-01

    Leaf-cutter ants in the genus Atta are frequent model organisms in studies of central-place foraging. Workers carry leaf fragments from the foraging site to the nest. Larger workers carry heavier loads, but it has been noted repeatedly that workers typically carry fragments lower in mass than appropriate to maximize leaf tissue transport. Here, we suggest and test a previously unconsidered explanation for this discrepancy. Previous calculations of rate-maximizing load sizes have been based on...

  6. A cellular automata model for ant trails

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    It is easy to comprehend the population biology of social insect colonies [11] using the basic principles which affect the formation of the ant trails. ..... [19] M G Deborah, Ant encounters interaction networks and colony behavior (Princeton Univer- sity Press, Princeton, New Jersey, 2010). [20] K Nishinari, D Chowdhury and A ...

  7. Why is an Ant's Trail Straight?

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    This interesting question puzzled the emi- nent theoretical physicist Richard Feynman when he was young. As a boy he did many ingenious and interesting experiments. One of them concerned ants. One day while taking a bath he placed a lump of sugar at one end of the bath tub and waited for an ant to locate it. Feynman ...

  8. The Biochemical Toxin Arsenal from Ant Venoms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Axel Touchard

    2016-01-01

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

  9. Fungal Adaptations to Mutualistic Life with Ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kooij, Pepijn Wilhelmus

    that forage on crude substrates such as insect frass and dry plant material, to large colonies of the leaf-cutting ants with several thousands to several million workers that provide live plant material to their fungus gardens. Leaf-cutting ants are the dominant herbivores of the Neo-tropics, and have a major...

  10. The Biochemical Toxin Arsenal from Ant Venoms

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  11. Visual associative learning in wood ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernandes, A Sofia D; Buckley, Christopher L; Niven, Jeremy E

    2018-02-07

    Wood ants are a model system for studying visual learning and navigation. They can forage for food and navigate to their nests effectively by forming memories of visual features in their surrounding environment. Previous studies of freely behaving ants have revealed many of the behavioural strategies and environmental features necessary for successful navigation. However, little is known about the exact visual properties of the environment that animals learn or the neural mechanisms that allow them to achieve this. As a first step towards addressing this, we developed a classical conditioning paradigm for visual learning in harnessed wood ants that allows us to control precisely the learned visual cues. In this paradigm, ants are fixed and presented with a visual cue paired with an appetitive sugar reward. Using this paradigm, we found that visual cues learnt by wood ants through Pavlovian conditioning are retained for at least 1 h. Furthermore, we found that memory retention is dependent upon the ants' performance during training. Our study provides the first evidence that wood ants can form visual associative memories when restrained. This classical conditioning paradigm has the potential to permit detailed analysis of the dynamics of memory formation and retention, and the neural basis of learning in wood ants. © 2018. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  12. Can ant-eating Zodarion spiders (Araneae: Zodariidae) develop on a diet optimal for euryphagous arthropod predators?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pekar, Stano; Toft, Søren

    2009-01-01

    accept ants, more than one-third of 35 spiders refuse to consume fruit flies and starve. Furthermore, severe hunger does not induce these individuals to accept fruit flies. Starving spiders die before moulting to the second stadium. Spiders that eat fruit flies increase only little and slowly in weight......Abstract. Little attention is paid to the behavioural and physiological adaptations of ant-eating predators. It is expected that there should be a strong selection for traits related to prey handling, leading to the evolution of morphological, behavioural and nutritional adaptations....... Such adaptations may then entail trade-offs in handling and utilization of alternative prey. To investigate behavioural as well as nutritional adaptations and the occurrence of the corresponding trade-offs in two ant-eating spiders of the genus Zodarion [Zodarion atlanticum Pekár & Cardoso and Zodarion germanicum...

  13. 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.

  14. Recurrence analysis of ant activity patterns.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Felipe Marcel Neves

    Full Text Available In this study, we used recurrence quantification analysis (RQA and recurrence plots (RPs to compare the movement activity of individual workers of three ant species, as well as a gregarious beetle species. RQA and RPs quantify the number and duration of recurrences of a dynamical system, including a detailed quantification of signals that could be stochastic, deterministic, or both. First, we found substantial differences between the activity dynamics of beetles and ants, with the results suggesting that the beetles have quasi-periodic dynamics and the ants do not. Second, workers from different ant species varied with respect to their dynamics, presenting degrees of predictability as well as stochastic signals. Finally, differences were found among minor and major caste of the same (dimorphic ant species. Our results underscore the potential of RQA and RPs in the analysis of complex behavioral patterns, as well as in general inferences on animal behavior and other biological phenomena.

  15. Fungal Adaptations to Mutualistic Life with Ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kooij, Pepijn Wilhelmus

    Fungus-growing ants (Attini) feed off a fungus they cultivate in a mutualistic symbiosis in underground chambers by providing it substrate they collect outside the colony. The tribe of Attine ants ranges from small colonies of the paleo- and basal Attine species with a few hundred workers...... that forage on crude substrates such as insect frass and dry plant material, to large colonies of the leaf-cutting ants with several thousands to several million workers that provide live plant material to their fungus gardens. Leaf-cutting ants are the dominant herbivores of the Neo-tropics, and have a major...... contribution to cycling of nitrogen and phosphorus in their direct environment and are, furthermore, considered pest species as they have a large impact on human agriculture. These factors make leaf-cutting ants an ideal study subject to better understand the mechanisms that make this mutualistic symbiosis so...

  16. Discrimination Behavior in the Supercolonial Pharaoh Ant

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pontieri, Luigi

    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...... provides the unique opportunity to establish colonies of different genetic composition. These traits make this species a suitable study subject to set up behavioral experiments that aim to investigate which factors, and to which extent, might influence the inter- and intraspecific discrimination abilities...... other compounds. We also developed a new method for centroid calculation that increased the power of the analysis and can therefore be used in future studies that aim to identify nestmate recognition cues in other species. In the fourth chapter I investigated the nest site preference of pharaoh ant...

  17. Studies of Laboulbeniales on Myrmica ants (III: myrmecophilous arthropods as alternative hosts of Rickia wasmannii

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pfliegler Walter P.

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Myrmecophilous arthropods and their manifold relations to host ants are interesting from an evolutionary perspective. Rickia wasmannii is an ectoparasitic fungus belonging to the Laboulbeniales order. Here, we show that inquiline mites can become infected by R. wasmannii, which was thought to be restricted to the genus Myrmica (Hymenoptera: Formicidae. This is the first report of R. wasmannii from an alternative host in another subphylum (Chelicerata. We also found immature fruiting bodies on a larva of Microdon myrmicae (Diptera: Syrphidae, which represents the first report of any Rickia species on flies. This fungus is capable of infecting alternative, unrelated host species as they co-occur in the ant nest “microhabitat”. These observations provide direct evidence for ecological specificity in Laboulbeniales. The presence of R. wasmannii on inquilines in Myrmica ant nests suggests that the parasite may have adapted to the ant nest environment and is less dependent on acquiring specific nutrients from the hosts. However, the alternative cannot be excluded; these infections might also represent chance events if the fungus is incapable of fulfilling its life cycle.

  18. Metagenomic and metaproteomic insights into bacterial communities in leaf-cutter ant fungus gardens

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Aylward, Frank O.; Burnum, Kristin E.; Scott, Jarrod J.; Suen, Garret; Tringe, Susannah G.; Adams, Sandra M.; Barry, Kerrie W.; Nicora, Carrie D.; Piehowski, Paul D.; Purvine, Samuel O.; Starrett, Gabriel J.; Goodwin, Lynne A.; Smith, Richard D.; Lipton, Mary S.; Currie, Cameron R.

    2012-09-01

    Herbivores gain access to nutrients stored in plant biomass largely by harnessing the metabolic activities of microbes. Leaf-cutter ants of the genus Atta are a hallmark example; these dominant Neotropical herbivores cultivate symbiotic fungus gardens on massive quantities of fresh plant forage. As the external digestive system of the ants, fungus gardens facilitate the production and sustenance of millions of workers in mature Atta colonies. Here we use metagenomic, and metaproteomic techniques to characterize the bacterial diversity and overall physiological potential of fungus gardens from two species of Atta. Our analysis of over 1.2 Gbp of community metagenomic sequence and three 16S pyrotag libraries reveals that, in addition to harboring the dominant fungal crop, these ecosystems contain abundant populations of Enterobacteriaceae, including the genera Enterobacter, Pantoea, Klebsiella, Citrobacter, and Escherichia. We show that these bacterial communities possess genes commonly associated with lignocellulose degradation, and likely participate in the processing of plant biomass. Additionally, we demonstrate that bacteria in these environments encode a diverse suite of biosynthetic pathways, and that they may enrich the nitrogen-poor forage of the ants with B-vitamins, amino acids, and proteins. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that fungus gardens are highly-specialized fungus-bacteria communities that efficiently convert plant material into usable energy for their ant hosts. Together with recent investigations into the microbial symbionts of vertebrates, our work underscores the importance of microbial communities to the ecology and evolution of herbivorous metazoans.

  19. Does Diatomaceous Earth Control Leaf-Cutter Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in the Eucalyptus Plantations?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferreira-Filho, Pedro J; Wilcken, Carlos F; Neves, Daniela A; Pogetto, Mario H F A D; Carmo, Janaina B; Guerreiro, Julio C; Serrão, José E; Zanuncio, José C

    2015-06-01

    Genus Atta includes some of the most important Formicidae leaf cutter ants which cause extensive damage to the eucalyptus plantations. Atta sexdens rubropilosa Forel, one of the chief pests in Brazilian reforestation, can restrict and reduce forest productivity by its intense and constant leaf-cutting activities on plants at all stages. Therefore, the demand for new products to control A. sexdens rubropilosa indicates the study of the utilization of the dry powder formulation of diatomaceous earth (DE) against this pest in the eucalyptus cultivars. The study was conducted using 120 colonies of A. sexdens rubropilosa in Eucalyptus grandis Hill ex. Maiden x Eucalyptus urophylla Blake (Myrtaceae) (urograndis) stand. The randomized block experimental design was used with six treatments (1, 10, 25, and 50 g/m2 of DE, 6.0 g/m2 sulfluramid bait per square meter of loose soil, and the control) with five replications, each with four colonies of this ant. Diatomaceous earth was applied to the active A. sexdens rubropilosa ant holes, and the sulfluramid bait was applied in bulk in a localized manner. The control efficacy of A. sexdens rubropilosa with DE was low, showing values similar to that of the control, and, for this reason, it cannot be used to control this ant. The bait with sulfluramid showed higher efficacy than those of the other treatments. © The Authors 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  20. Paratrechina longicornis ants in a tropical dry forest harbor specific Actinobacteria diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reyes, Ruth D Hernández; Cafaro, Matías J

    2015-01-01

    The diversity of Actinobacteria associated with Paratrechina longicornis, an ant species that prefers a high protein diet, in a subtropical dry forest (Guánica, Puerto Rico) was determined by culture methods and by 16S rDNA clone libraries. The results of both methodologies were integrated to obtain a broader view of the diversity. Streptomyces, Actinomadura, Nocardia, Ornithinimicrobium, Tsukamurella, Brevibacterium, Saccharopolyspora, Nocardioides, Microbacterium, Leifsonia, Pseudonocardia, Corynebacterium, Geodermatophilus, Amycolatopsis, and Nonomuraea were found associated with the ants. The genera Streptomyces and Actinomadura were the most abundant. Also, the diversity of Actinobacteria associated with the soil surrounding the nest was determined using 16S rDNA clone libraries. In total, 27 genera of Actinobacteria were associated with the nest soils. A dominant genus was not observed in any of the soil samples. We compared statistically the Actinobacteria communities among P. longicornis nests and each nest with its surrounding soil using the clone libraries data. We established that the communities associated with the ants were consistent and significantly different from those found in the soil in which the ants live. © 2015 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  1. Chemistry of the Genus Plectranthus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. M. Batterjee

    2002-02-01

    Full Text Available This review presents the phytochemical constituents of the genus Plectranthus reported up to 1999. Only a tetrameric derivative of caffeic acid was isolated from P. japonicus, but a group of long-chain alkylphenols, of possible taxonomic significance in the genus, was also isolated. As a genus of the subfamily Nepetoideae, Plectranthus is free from iridoid glycosides and rich in essential oil (i.e. > 0.5% volatile oil on a dry weight basis. Diterpenoids are the more common secondary metabolites in Plectranthus. The majority of them are highly modified abietanoids. This seems to be similar to the pattern of diterpenoids observed for Salvia, but no clerodane diterpenoids were found in Plectranthus.

  2. Chemotaxonomy of the genus Stemphylium

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Olsen, Kresten Jon Kromphardt; Andersen, Birgitte

    2016-01-01

    The filamentous fungal genus Stemphylium (Anamophic Pleospora) is often found on various crops, and especially the common animal feed plant Medicago sativa (alfalfa) is often infected by this plant pathogen. With this in mind it is important to consider what consequences such a contamination can...... via HPLC-UV/VIS-MS analysis as a third method for identification and to investigate the chemical potential of the genus Stemphylium. A total of 253 unique compounds were used for chemotaxonomy and the majority of these were unknown compounds....

  3. Individual Recognition in Ant Queens

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    D'Ettorre, Patrizia; Heinze, Jürgen

    2005-01-01

    Personal relationships are the cornerstone of vertebrate societies, but insect societies are either too large for individual recognition, or their members were assumed to lack the necessary cognitive abilities 1 and 2 . This paradigm has been challenged by the recent discovery that paper wasps...... recognize each other's unique facial color patterns [3] . Individual recognition is advantageous when dominance hierarchies control the partitioning of work and reproduction 2 and 4 . Here, we show that unrelated founding queens of the ant Pachycondyla villosa use chemical cues to recognize each other...... perception, was prevented and in tests with anaesthetized queens. The cuticular chemical profiles of queens were neither associated with dominance nor fertility and, therefore, do not represent status badges 5 and 6 , and nestmate queens did not share a common odor. Personal recognition facilitates...

  4. Michael Jackson antes del caos

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juan Luciano Nieves

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Michael Jackson es un buen ejemplo de cómo utilizar las relaciones públicas para realizar o manipular la imagen de un producto a través de los medios de comunicación. Este ensayo pretende analizar los eventos que tuvieron lugar antes de que el cantante fuera acusado de abuso sexual contra un menor. Dichos eventos formaron parte de un plan muy bien delineado para disminuir los efectos de la inminente crisis que se acercaba. Este trabajo combina la crítica retórica de temas de fantasía con teoría de comunicación.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Additions to the genus Acoridium

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ames, Oakes

    1937-01-01

    The genus Acoridium is characterized by an extraordinary history. The original species, A. tenellum, a native of the Philippine Islands, was described at length from a fruiting specimen in 1843 by Nees von Esenbeck and referred to the Philydraceae. This treatment was prompted by the aspect of the

  9. The genus Babylonia (Prosobranchia, Buccinidae)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Regteren Altena, van C.O.; Gittenberger, E.

    1981-01-01

    INTRODUCTION The members of the Ivory Shell genus Babylonia Schlüter, 1838, belonging to the Buccinidae, are characterized by more or less slender buccinoid shells, mostly ornamented with a beautiful colour-pattern. Some species, e.g. the type species B. spirata, have a conspicuous sutural canal

  10. 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.

  11. Phylogeny and population genetic structure of ant genus Acropyga (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in Papua New Guinea

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Janda, Milan; Matos Maravi, Pavel F.; Borovanská, Michaela; Zima, Jan; Youngerman, E.; Pierce, N. E.

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 30, č. 1 (2016), s. 28-40 ISSN 1445-5226 R&D Projects: GA ČR GAP505/12/2467 Grant - others:Marie Curie Fellowship(CZ) PIOFGA2009-25448; Operational Program Research and Development for Innovations(CZ) CZ.1.05/3.2.00/08.0144 Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : Acropyga * Hymenoptera * Papua New Guinea Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology Impact factor: 2.172, year: 2016

  12. A revision of the giant Amazonian ants of the genus Dinoponera (Hymenoptera, Formicidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paul Lenhart

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available Dinoponera Roger 1861 has been revised several times. However, species limits remain questionable due to limited collection and undescribed males. We re-evaluate the species boundaries based on workers and known males. We describe the new species Dinoponera hispida from Tucuruí, Pará, Brazil and Dinoponera snellingi from Campo Grande, Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil and describe the male of Dinoponera longipes Emery 1901. Additionally, we report numerous range extensions with updated distribution maps and provide keys in English, Spanish and Portuguese for workers and known males of Dinoponera.

  13. 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...

  14. The development of the princial genus theorem

    OpenAIRE

    Lemmermeyer, Franz

    2002-01-01

    In this article we sketch the development of the principal genus theorem from its conception by Gauss in the case of binary quadratic forms to the cohomological formulation of the principal genus theorem of class field theory by Emmy Noether.

  15. Ant-nest soil and seedling growth in a neotropical ant-dispersed herb.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horvitz, Carol C; Schemske, Douglas W

    1986-09-01

    A major hypothesis concerning the benefits of myrmecochory, seed dispersal by ants, to plants is that ant nests are nutrient-enriched microsites that are beneficial to seedling growth. We experimentally test this hypothesis for a neotropical myrmecochore, Calathea ovandensis, asking two questions: 1) is soil of nests of a seed-dispersing ant chemically or structurally distinct from surrounding soils, and 2) do seedlings grow better in soil collected from ant nests than in randomly collected soil? We found that although ant-nest soil was significantly enriched in nitrate-nitrogen, magnesium, iron, manganese, cadmium and percent organic matter compared to randomly collected soil, seedling growth was not significantly improved by ant-nest soil.

  16. What do myrmecophagous geckos eat when ants are not available ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Like other Pristurus species, P. samhaensis on Samha and P. sokotranus on Socotra were highly myrmecophagous (76.7% and 38.6% ants, respectively). However, ants were absent from the diet of P. samhaensis on Darsa. In contrast to the rich native ant fauna of the other islands, only one ant species was reported for ...

  17. Stealthy invaders: the biology of Cardiocondyla tramp ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2006-01-01

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

  18. David and Goliath: potent venom of an ant-eating spider (Araneae) enables capture of a giant prey

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pekár, Stano; Šedo, Onřej; Líznarová, Eva; Korenko, Stanislav; Zdráhal, Zdeněk

    2014-07-01

    It is rare to find a true predator that repeatedly and routinely kills prey larger than itself. A solitary specialised ant-eating spider of the genus Zodarion can capture a relatively giant prey. We studied the trophic niche of this spider species and investigated its adaptations (behavioural and venomic) that are used to capture ants. We found that the spider captures mainly polymorphic Messor arenarius ants. Adult female spiders captured large morphs while tiny juveniles captured smaller morphs, yet in both cases ants were giant in comparison with spider size. All specimens used an effective prey capture strategy that protected them from ant retaliation. Juvenile and adult spiders were able to paralyse their prey using a single bite. The venom glands of adults were more than 50 times larger than those of juvenile spiders, but the paralysis latency of juveniles was 1.5 times longer. This suggests that this spider species possesses very potent venom already at the juvenile stage. Comparison of the venom composition between juvenile and adult spiders did not reveal significant differences. We discovered here that specialised capture combined with very effective venom enables the capture of giant prey.

  19. Symbiotic diversity in the cosmopolitan genus Acacia

    Science.gov (United States)

    James K. Leary; Paul W. Singleton; Paul G. Scowcroft; Dulal Borthakur

    2006-01-01

    Acacia is the second largest genus within the Leguminosae, with 1352 species identified. This genus is now known to be polyphyletic and the international scientific community will presumably split Acacia into five new genera. This review examines the diversity of biological nitrogen fixation symbiosis within Acacia as a single genus. Due to its global importance, an...

  20. Discrimination Behavior in the Supercolonial Pharaoh Ant

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pontieri, Luigi

    an increasing need to understand which factors promote the ecological dominance of these species, and particularly how the discrimination of both conspecifics and heterospecifics (including parasites) might influence structure and ecological success of invasive populations. In this PhD thesis I investigated...... 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...... provides the unique opportunity to establish colonies of different genetic composition. These traits make this species a suitable study subject to set up behavioral experiments that aim to investigate which factors, and to which extent, might influence the inter- and intraspecific discrimination abilities...

  1. Kunstikriitik Ants Juske sai doktoriks / Neeme Korv

    Index Scriptorium Estoniae

    Korv, Neeme, 1974-

    2003-01-01

    Tartu Kõrgema Kunstikooli rektor Ants Juske kaitses 7. veebruaril Tallinnas Kunstiakadeemias edukalt doktoriväitekirja, juhendajaks oli professor Boris Bernštein ning oponeerisid doktor Altti Kuusamo Soomest ja professor Peeter Tulviste

  2. Eosinophilic Fasciitis Induced by Fire Ant Bites

    OpenAIRE

    Mallepalli, Jyothi R.; Quinet, Robert J.; Sus, Rachana

    2008-01-01

    Purpose: To describe a case of eosinophilic fasciitis likely related to proximate fire ant bites and review the literature to summarize the etiology and clinical, laboratory, histopathological, and therapeutic aspects of eosinophilic fasciitis.

  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. 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 t...

  5. Antarctic Tephra Database (AntT)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kurbatov, A.; Dunbar, N. W.; Iverson, N. A.; Gerbi, C. C.; Yates, M. G.; Kalteyer, D.; McIntosh, W. C.

    2014-12-01

    Modern paleoclimate research is heavily dependent on establishing accurate timing related to rapid shifts in Earth's climate system. The ability to correlate these events at local, and ideally at the intercontinental scales, allows assessment, for example, of phasing or changes in atmospheric circulation. Tephra-producing volcanic eruptions are geologically instantaneous events that are largely independent of climate. We have developed a tephrochronological framework for paleoclimate research in Antarctic in a user friendly, freely accessible online Antarctic tephra (AntT) database (http://cci.um.maine.edu/AntT/). Information about volcanic events, including physical and geochemical characteristics of volcanic products collected from multiple data sources, are integrated into the AntT database.The AntT project establishes a new centralized data repository for Antarctic tephrochronology, which is needed for precise correlation of records between Antarctic ice cores (e.g. WAIS Divide, RICE, Talos Dome, ITASE) and global paleoclimate archives. The AntT will help climatologists, paleoclimatologists, atmospheric chemists, geochemists, climate modelers synchronize paleoclimate archives using volcanic products that establishing timing of climate events in different geographic areas, climate-forcing mechanisms, natural threshold levels in the climate system. All these disciplines will benefit from accurate reconstructions of the temporal and spatial distribution of past rapid climate change events in continental, atmospheric, marine and polar realms. Research is funded by NSF grants: ANT-1142007 and 1142069.

  6. Congestion and communication in confined ant traffic

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-03-01

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

  7. Fire ants perpetually rebuild sinking towers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phonekeo, Sulisay; Mlot, Nathan; Monaenkova, Daria; Hu, David L.; Tovey, Craig

    2017-07-01

    In the aftermath of a flood, fire ants, Solenopsis invicta, cluster into temporary encampments. The encampments can contain hundreds of thousands of ants and reach over 30 ants high. How do ants build such tall structures without being crushed? In this combined experimental and theoretical study, we investigate the shape and rate of construction of ant towers around a central support. The towers are bell shaped, consistent with towers of constant strength such as the Eiffel tower, where each element bears an equal load. However, unlike the Eiffel tower, the ant tower is built through a process of trial and error, whereby failed portions avalanche until the final shape emerges. High-speed and novel X-ray videography reveal that the tower constantly sinks and is rebuilt, reminiscent of large multicellular systems such as human skin. We combine the behavioural rules that produce rafts on water with measurements of adhesion and attachment strength to model the rate of growth of the tower. The model correctly predicts that the growth rate decreases as the support diameter increases. This work may inspire the design of synthetic swarms capable of building in vertical layers.

  8. Ants (Formicidae): models for social complexity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Chris R; Dolezal, Adam; Eliyahu, Dorit; Holbrook, C Tate; Gadau, Jürgen

    2009-07-01

    The family Formicidae (ants) is composed of more than 12,000 described species that vary greatly in size, morphology, behavior, life history, ecology, and social organization. Ants occur in most terrestrial habitats and are the dominant animals in many of them. They have been used as models to address fundamental questions in ecology, evolution, behavior, and development. The literature on ants is extensive, and the natural history of many species is known in detail. Phylogenetic relationships for the family, as well as within many subfamilies, are known, enabling comparative studies. Their ease of sampling and ecological variation makes them attractive for studying populations and questions relating to communities. Their sociality and variation in social organization have contributed greatly to an understanding of complex systems, division of labor, and chemical communication. Ants occur in colonies composed of tens to millions of individuals that vary greatly in morphology, physiology, and behavior; this variation has been used to address proximate and ultimate mechanisms generating phenotypic plasticity. Relatedness asymmetries within colonies have been fundamental to the formulation and empirical testing of kin and group selection theories. Genomic resources have been developed for some species, and a whole-genome sequence for several species is likely to follow in the near future; comparative genomics in ants should provide new insights into the evolution of complexity and sociogenomics. Future studies using ants should help establish a more comprehensive understanding of social life, from molecules to colonies.

  9. Bioaktivitas dan Kandungan Genus Callicarpa

    OpenAIRE

    -, Erwin

    2016-01-01

    Callicarpa L is one genus of the family Lamiaceae. Callicarpa consisting of approximately 150 species such as shrubs and trees. Various species of Callicarpa is widely used in traditional medicine and it was potentially as antinociceptive, antioxidant, antimicrobial and thrombolytic drugs. Based on various reports results of previous studies have found various types of secondary metabolites from plants Callicarpa such as terpenoids, steroids and flavonoids. Some of these compounds can be deve...

  10. On the concordance genus of topologically slice knots

    OpenAIRE

    Hom, Jennifer

    2012-01-01

    The concordance genus of a knot K is the minimum Seifert genus of all knots smoothly concordant to K. Concordance genus is bounded below by the 4-ball genus and above by the Seifert genus. We give a lower bound for the concordance genus of K coming from the knot Floer complex of K. As an application, we prove that there are topologically slice knots with 4-ball genus equal to one and arbitrarily large concordance genus.

  11. Natural medicine: the genus Angelica.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarker, S D; Nahar, L

    2004-06-01

    More than 60 species of medicinal plants belong to the genus Angelica (Family: Apiaceae). Many of these species have long been used in ancient traditional medicine systems, especially in the far-east. Various herbal preparations containing Angelica species are available over-the-counter, not only in the far-eastern countries, but also in the western countries like USA, UK, Germany, etc. For centuries, many species of this genus, e.g. A. acutiloba, A. archangelica, A. atropupurea, A. dahurica, A. japonica, A. glauca, A. gigas, A. koreana, A. sinensis, A. sylvestris, etc., have been used traditionally as anti-inflammatory, diuretic, expectorant and diaphoretic, and remedy for colds, flu, influenza, hepatitis, arthritis, indigestion, coughs, chronic bronchitis, pleurisy, typhoid, headaches, wind, fever, colic, travel sickness, rheumatism, bacterial and fungal infections and diseases of the urinary organs. Active principles isolated from these plants mainly include various types of coumarins, acetylenic compounds, chalcones, sesquiterpenes and polysaccharides. This review evaluates the importance of the genus Angelica in relation to its traditional medicinal uses, alternative medicinal uses in the modern society and potential for drug development, and summarises results of various scientific studies on Angelica species or Angelica-containing preparations for their bioactivities including, antimicrobial, anticancer, antitumour, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, hepatoprotective, nephroprotective, etc.

  12. Biodiversity of the genus Cladophialophora

    Science.gov (United States)

    Badali, H.; Gueidan, C.; Najafzadeh, M.J.; Bonifaz, A.; van den Ende, A.H.G. Gerrits; de Hoog, G.S.

    2008-01-01

    Cladophialophora is a genus of black yeast-like fungi comprising a number of clinically highly significant species in addition to environmental taxa. The genus has previously been characterized by branched chains of ellipsoidal to fusiform conidia. However, this character was shown to have evolved several times independently in the order Chaetothyriales. On the basis of a multigene phylogeny (nucLSU, nucSSU, RPB1), most of the species of Cladophialophora (including its generic type C. carrionii) belong to a monophyletic group comprising two main clades (carrionii- and bantiana-clades). The genus includes species causing chromoblastomycosis and other skin infections, as well as disseminated and cerebral infections, often in immunocompetent individuals. In the present study, multilocus phylogenetic analyses were combined to a morphological study to characterize phenetically similar Cladophialophora strains. Sequences of the ITS region, partial Translation Elongation Factor 1-α and β-Tubulin genes were analysed for a set of 48 strains. Four novel species were discovered, originating from soft drinks, alkylbenzene-polluted soil, and infected patients. Membership of the both carrionii and bantiana clades might be indicative of potential virulence to humans. PMID:19287540

  13. CYANOBACTERIA OF THE GENUS PROCHLOROTHRIX

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexander Vasilievich Pinevich

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Green cyanobacteria are distinguished from blue-green ones by the possession of a chlorophyll-containing light harvesting antenna. Three genera of green cyanobacteria, namely Acaryochloris, Prochlorococcus and Prochloron, are unicellular and of marine habitat; Prochlorococcus marinus attracts most attention due to its outstanding role in prime productivity. The fourth genus, Prochlorothrix, is represented by filamentous freshwater strains. Unlike the rest of green cyanobacteria, Prochlorothrix is paradoxically rare: it has been isolated from two European locations only. Taking into account fluctuating blooms, morphological resemblance with Planktothrix and Pseudanabaena, and unsuccessful enrichment of Prochlorothrix, the preferred strategy of search for this cyanobacterium is based on PCR with natural DNA and specific primers. This approach already demonstrates a broader distribution of Prochlorothrix: marker genes have been found in at least two additional locations. Despite the growing evidence for naturally occurring Prochlorothrix, there are only a few cultivated strains, and only one of them (PCC 9006 is claimed to be axenic. In multixenic cultures, Prochlorothrix is accompanied by heterotrophic bacteria, indicating a consortium-type association. The genus Prochlorothrix includes two species: P. hollandica and P. scandica based on distinctions in genomic DNA, cell size, temperature optimum, and fatty acid composition of membrane lipids. In this short review, the properties of cyanobacteria of the genus Prochlorothrix are described, and the evolutionary scenario of green cyanobacteria, especially taking into account their role in the origin of simple chloroplast is given.

  14. On genus expansion of superpolynomials

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mironov, Andrei; Morozov, Alexei; Sleptsov, Alexei; Smirnov, Andrey

    2014-12-01

    Recently it was shown that the (Ooguri-Vafa) generating function of HOMFLY polynomials is the Hurwitz partition function, i.e. that the dependence of the HOMFLY polynomials on representation R is naturally captured by symmetric group characters (cut-and-join eigenvalues). The genus expansion and expansion through Vassiliev invariants explicitly demonstrate this phenomenon. In the present paper we claim that the superpolynomials are not functions of such a type: symmetric group characters do not provide an adequate linear basis for their expansions. Deformation to superpolynomials is, however, straightforward in the multiplicative basis: the Casimir operators are β-deformed to Hamiltonians of the Calogero-Moser-Sutherland system. Applying this trick to the genus and Vassiliev expansions, we observe that the deformation is fully straightforward only for the thin knots. Beyond the family of thin knots additional algebraically independent terms appear in the Vassiliev and genus expansions. This can suggest that the superpolynomials do in fact contain more information about knots than the colored HOMFLY and Kauffman polynomials. However, even for the thin knots the beta-deformation is non-innocent: already in the simplest examples it seems inconsistent with the positivity of colored superpolynomials in non-(anti)symmetric representations, which also happens in I. Cherednik's (DAHA-based) approach to the torus knots.

  15. On genus expansion of superpolynomials

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mironov, Andrei; Morozov, Alexei; Sleptsov, Alexei; Smirnov, Andrey

    2014-01-01

    Recently it was shown that the (Ooguri–Vafa) generating function of HOMFLY polynomials is the Hurwitz partition function, i.e. that the dependence of the HOMFLY polynomials on representation R is naturally captured by symmetric group characters (cut-and-join eigenvalues). The genus expansion and expansion through Vassiliev invariants explicitly demonstrate this phenomenon. In the present paper we claim that the superpolynomials are not functions of such a type: symmetric group characters do not provide an adequate linear basis for their expansions. Deformation to superpolynomials is, however, straightforward in the multiplicative basis: the Casimir operators are β-deformed to Hamiltonians of the Calogero–Moser–Sutherland system. Applying this trick to the genus and Vassiliev expansions, we observe that the deformation is fully straightforward only for the thin knots. Beyond the family of thin knots additional algebraically independent terms appear in the Vassiliev and genus expansions. This can suggest that the superpolynomials do in fact contain more information about knots than the colored HOMFLY and Kauffman polynomials. However, even for the thin knots the beta-deformation is non-innocent: already in the simplest examples it seems inconsistent with the positivity of colored superpolynomials in non-(anti)symmetric representations, which also happens in I. Cherednik's (DAHA-based) approach to the torus knots

  16. A taxonomic revision of the genus Sinotrisus Yin & Li (Coleoptera, Staphylinidae, Pselaphinae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yin, Zi-Wei; Nomura, Shûhei; Li, Li-Zhen

    2012-01-01

    The genus Sinotrisus Yin & Li, comprising four species, is redefined and revised. Members of Sinotrisus are often found with ants of the subfamily Formicinae, or in humid forest habitats. The type speciesand three new species are (re-)described and illustrated: Sinotrisus kishimotoi Yin & Nomura, sp. n. (China: Sichuan), Sinotrisus nomurai Yin, Li & Zhao (type species) (China: Zhejing), Sinotrisus sinensis Yin & Nomura, sp. n. (China: Sichuan) and Sinotrisus vietnamensis Yin & Nomura, sp. n. (Vietnam: Lai Chau). A key is included as an aid to distinguishing these species.

  17. Removal of Nonmyrmecochorous Seeds by Ants: Role of Ants in Cattle Grasslands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Selene Escobar-Ramírez

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Livestock production models prevailing in Colombian Andes are simplified treeless pastures for extensive ranching, with the consequent reduction of environmental services, such as seed dispersal, due to lack of primary dispersers, scarcity of adequate sites for seedling establishment and competition with grasses. This study evaluated if, in these harsh environments, ants can promote the colonization of arboreal species through directed dispersion of seeds towards the nests. Ten seeds of each species were offered to ants in six grazing pastures. Ants removed 25% of the seeds (1827 in 48 hours. Preference for arillated and small-to-medium sized seeds, such as Pithecellobium dulce, and Guazuma ulmifolia, was observed. Cyphomyrmex major, Ectatomma ruidum, Solenopsis geminata and Atta cephalotes were the key ant species in seed removal. It was concluded that functional ant groups present in the pastures could contribute to secondary dispersion of seeds with potential for restoration.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Offenberg, Hans Joachim

    2011-01-01

    Canopy dwelling weaver ants are widely distributed throughout the Old World Tropics where they build up high densities on their host trees. If managed properly the high number of ants will control a range of pest insects and benefit crop production. Simultaneously the ant larvae production, fuelled...... by the consumed pest insects, can be harvested and utilised for nutrition as they are tasty and high in proteins, vitamins and minerals. Thus, plantations may function as ant farms and in addition to plant production also hosts the production of edible animal protein. In this setup harmful pest insects are turned...... 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...

  19. Worker caste determination in the army ant Eciton burchellii.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jaffé, Rodolfo; Kronauer, Daniel J C; Kraus, F Bernhard; Boomsma, Jacobus J; Moritz, Robin F A

    2007-10-22

    Elaborate division of labour has contributed significantly to the ecological success of social insects. Division of labour is achieved either by behavioural task specialization or by morphological specialization of colony members. In physical caste systems, the diet and rearing environment of developing larvae is known to determine the phenotype of adult individuals, but recent studies have shown that genetic components also contribute to the determination of worker caste. One of the most extreme cases of worker caste differentiation occurs in the army ant genus Eciton, where queens mate with many males and colonies are therefore composed of numerous full-sister subfamilies. This high intracolonial genetic diversity, in combination with the extreme caste polymorphism, provides an excellent test system for studying the extent to which caste determination is genetically controlled. Here we show that genetic effects contribute significantly to worker caste fate in Eciton burchellii. We conclude that the combination of polyandry and genetic variation for caste determination may have facilitated the evolution of worker caste diversity in some lineages of social insects.

  20. Complex foraging ecology of the red harvester ant and its effect on the soil seed bank

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luna, Pedro; García-Chávez, Juan Héctor; Dáttilo, Wesley

    2018-01-01

    Granivory is an important interaction in the arid and semi-arid zones of the world, since seeds form an abundant and nutritious resource in these areas. While species of the genus Pogonomyrmex have been studied in detail as seed predators, their impact on seed abundance in the soil has not yet been explored in sufficient depth. We studied the impact of the harvesting activities of the ant Pogonomyrmex barbatus on seed abundance in the soil of the Zapotitlán valley, Mexico. We found that P. barbatus activity significantly impacts the abundance of seeds in the soil, which is lower in the sites where P. barbatus forages than it is in sites with no recorded foraging. We also found that P. barbatus distributes intact seeds of three tree species, two of which are nurse plants, and could consequently be promoting the establishment of these species. Using tools derived from graph theory, we observed that the ant-seed interactions exhibit a nested pattern; where more depredated seed species seem to be the more spatially abundant in the environment. This study illustrates the complex foraging ecology of the harvester ant P. barbatus and elucidates its effect on the soil seed bank in a semi-arid environment.

  1. A new type of ant-decapitation in the Phoridae (Insecta: Diptera

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brian Brown

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The genus Dohrniphora is a hyperdiverse group of phorid flies, a family whose species are commonly characterized as generalized scavengers. The lifestyle of most species of Dohrniphora is unknown, although one cosmopolitan, synanthropic species, D. cornuta (Bigot fits the general scavenger mold. Here we show that flies of the D. longirostrata species group exhibit highly specific “headhunting” behavior in which injured Odontomachus ants are decapitated, the heads dragged away, and females either feed on their contents or lay an egg nearby. Since most females studied lacked eggs in their ovaries, we conclude that this bizarrely specialized feeding is necessary to provide nutrients for reproduction in these flies. Our study provides further evidence that injured ants are a common, stable resource in tropical ecosystems that support a wide array of phorid flies. Such narrowly constrained lifestyles, as exemplified by exclusively feeding on and breeding in the head contents of certain ponerine worker ants, could allow the co-existence of a huge community of saprophagous flies.

  2. Statistical Mechanics of Collective Transport by Ants

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    Collective decisions and cooperation within groups are essential for the survival of many species. Conflicts within the group must be suppressed but conformism may render the system unresponsive to new information. Collective transport by ants is therefore an ideal model system to study how animal groups optimize these opposing requirements. We combine experiments and theory to characterize the collective transport. The ants are modeled as binary Ising spins, representing the two roles ants can perform during transport. It turns out that the ants poise themselves collectively near a critical point where the response to a newly attached ant is maximized. We identify the size as being proportional to an inverse effective temperature and thus the system can exhibit a mesoscopic transition between order and disorder by manipulating the size. Constraining the cargo with a string makes the system behave as a strongly non-linear pendulum. Theoretically we predict that a Hopf bifurcation occurs at a critical size followed by a global bifurcation where full swings emerge. Remarkably, these theoretical predictions were verified experimentally.

  3. Early ant trajectories: spatial behaviour before behaviourism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wehner, Rüdiger

    2016-04-01

    In the beginning of the twentieth century, when Jacques Loeb's and John Watson's mechanistic view of life started to dominate animal physiology and behavioural biology, several scientists with different academic backgrounds got engaged in studying the wayfinding behaviour of ants. Largely unaffected by the scientific spirit of the time, they worked independently of each other in different countries: in Algeria, Tunisia, Spain, Switzerland and the United States of America. In the current literature on spatial cognition these early ant researchers--Victor Cornetz, Felix Santschi, Charles Turner and Rudolf Brun--are barely mentioned. Moreover, it is virtually unknown that the great neuroanatomist Santiago Ramón y Cajal had also worked on spatial orientation in ants. This general neglect is certainly due to the fact that nearly all these ant researchers were scientific loners, who did their idiosyncratic investigations outside the realm of comparative physiology, neurobiology and the behavioural sciences of the time, and published their results in French, German, and Spanish at rather inaccessible places. Even though one might argue that much of their work resulted in mainly anecdotal evidence, the conceptual approaches of these early ant researchers preempt much of the present-day discussions on spatial representation in animals.

  4. Fossil evidence for the early ant evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perrichot, Vincent; Lacau, Sébastien; Néraudeau, Didier; Nel, André

    2008-02-01

    Ants are one of the most studied insects in the world; and the literature devoted to their origin and evolution, systematics, ecology, or interactions with plants, fungi and other organisms is prolific. However, no consensus yet exists on the age estimate of the first Formicidae or on the origin of their eusociality. We review the fossil and biogeographical record of all known Cretaceous ants. We discuss the possible origin of the Formicidae with emphasis on the most primitive subfamily Sphecomyrminae according to its distribution and the Early Cretaceous palaeogeography. And we review the evidence of true castes and eusociality of the early ants regarding their morphological features and their manner of preservation in amber. The mid-Cretaceous amber forest from south-western France where some of the oldest known ants lived, corresponded to a moist tropical forest close to the shore with a dominance of gymnosperm trees but where angiosperms (flowering plants) were already diversified. This palaeoenvironmental reconstruction supports an initial radiation of ants in forest ground litter coincident with the rise of angiosperms, as recently proposed as an ecological explanation for their origin and successful evolution.

  5. Fuzzy Rules for Ant Based Clustering Algorithm

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amira Hamdi

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper provides a new intelligent technique for semisupervised data clustering problem that combines the Ant System (AS algorithm with the fuzzy c-means (FCM clustering algorithm. Our proposed approach, called F-ASClass algorithm, is a distributed algorithm inspired by foraging behavior observed in ant colonyT. The ability of ants to find the shortest path forms the basis of our proposed approach. In the first step, several colonies of cooperating entities, called artificial ants, are used to find shortest paths in a complete graph that we called graph-data. The number of colonies used in F-ASClass is equal to the number of clusters in dataset. Hence, the partition matrix of dataset founded by artificial ants is given in the second step, to the fuzzy c-means technique in order to assign unclassified objects generated in the first step. The proposed approach is tested on artificial and real datasets, and its performance is compared with those of K-means, K-medoid, and FCM algorithms. Experimental section shows that F-ASClass performs better according to the error rate classification, accuracy, and separation index.

  6. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  8. Moribund Ants Do Not Call for Help.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Krzysztof Miler

    Full Text Available 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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...

  11. 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...

  12. 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...

  13. 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.

  14. NSR superstring measures in genus 5

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dunin-Barkowski, Petr; Sleptsov, Alexey; Stern, Abel

    2013-01-01

    Currently there are two proposed ansätze for NSR superstring measures: the Grushevsky ansatz and the OPSMY ansatz, which for genera g⩽4 are known to coincide. However, neither the Grushevsky nor the OPSMY ansatz leads to a vanishing two-point function in genus four, which can be constructed from the genus five expressions for the respective ansätze. This is inconsistent with the known properties of superstring amplitudes. In the present paper we show that the Grushevsky and OPSMY ansätze do not coincide in genus five. Then, by combining these ansätze, we propose a new ansatz for genus five, which now leads to a vanishing two-point function in genus four. We also show that one cannot construct an ansatz from the currently known forms in genus 6 that satisfies all known requirements for superstring measures

  15. Ant-gardens of tropical Asian rainforests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaufmann, Eva; Maschwitz, Ulrich

    2006-05-01

    Ant-garden (AG) associations are systems of epiphytic plants and arboricolous (i.e., tree-living) ants, in which the ants build fragile carton nests containing organic material. They collect and incorporate seeds or fruits of epiphytes that then germinate and grow on the nest [sensu Corbara et al. (1999) 38:73-89]. The plant roots stabilize the nest carton. AGs have been well-known in the neotropics for more than 100 years. In contrast, reports on similar associations in the paleotropics are scarce so far. After discovering a first common AG system on giant bamboo [Kaufmann et al. (2001) 48:125-133], we started a large-scale survey for AGs in Peninsular Malaysia, Borneo, Java, and southern Thailand. A great variety of AG systems (altogether including 18 ant species and 51 plant species) was discovered and is described in the present paper. The high number of species participating in AG associations was reflected by a great variability in the specific appearances of the nest gardens. Frequently, further groups of organisms (e.g., hemipteran trophobionts, fungi) were also involved. Preference patterns of particular ant and epiphyte species for each other and for particular phorophytes (carrier trees) were detected. We integrate domatia-producing, so-called ant-house epiphytes in our study and compare their phases of establishment, as well as other characteristics, to “classical” AGs, coming to the conclusion that they should be regarded only as a special type of AG epiphyte and not as a separate ecological category.

  16. 2+1 gravity for genus >1

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nelson, J.E.; Regge, T.

    1991-01-01

    We analysed the algebra of observables for the simple case of a genus 1 initial data surface Σ 2 for 2+1 De Sitter gravity. Here we extend the analysis to higher genus. We construct for genus 2 the group of automorphisms H of the homotopy group π 1 induced by the mapping class group. The group H induces a group D of canonical transformations on the algebra of observables which is related to the braid group for 6 threads. (orig.)

  17. Integrable systems in the infinite genus limit

    OpenAIRE

    Gesztesy, Fritz

    2001-01-01

    We provide an elementary approach to integrable systems associated with hyperelliptic curves of infinite genus. In particular, we explore the extent to which the classical Burchnall-Chaundy theory generalizes in the infinite genus limit, and systematically study the effect of Darboux transformations for the KdV hierarchy on such infinite genus curves. Our approach applies to complex-valued periodic solutions of the KdV hierarchy and naturally identifies the Riemann surface familiar from stand...

  18. 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...

  19. Ant functional responses along environmental gradients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arnan, Xavier; Cerdá, Xim; Retana, Javier

    2014-11-01

    Understanding species distributions and diversity gradients is a central challenge in ecology and requires prior knowledge of the functional traits mediating species' survival under particular environmental conditions. While the functional ecology of plants has been reasonably well explored, much less is known about that of animals. Ants are among the most diverse, abundant and ecologically significant organisms on earth, and they perform a great variety of ecological functions. In this study, we analyse how the functional species traits present in ant communities vary along broad gradients in climate, productivity and vegetation type in the south-western Mediterranean. To this end, we compiled one of the largest animal databases to date: it contains information on 211 local ant communities (including eight climate variables, productivity, and vegetation type) and 124 ant species, for which 10 functional traits are described. We used traits that characterize different dimensions of the ant functional niche with respect to morphology, life history and behaviour at both individual and colony level. We calculated two complementary functional trait community indices ('trait average' and 'trait dissimilarity') for each trait, and we analysed how they varied along the three different gradients using generalized least squares models that accounted for spatial autocorrelation. Our results show that productivity, vegetation type and, to a lesser extent, each climate variable per se might play an important role in shaping the occurrence of functional species traits in ant communities. Among the climate variables, temperature and precipitation seasonality had a much higher influence on functional responses than their mean values, whose effects were almost lacking. Our results suggest that strong relationships might exist between the abiotic environment and the distribution of functional traits among south-western Mediterranean ant communities. This finding indicates that

  20. 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...... or different efficiencies of enzyme function. Fungal enzymes that degrade plant cell walls may have functionally co-evolved with the ants in this scenario. We explore this hypothesis with direct measurements of enzyme activity in fungus gardens in 12 species across 8 genera spanning the entire phylogeny...

  1. Chemical disguise of myrmecophilous cockroaches and its implications for understanding nestmate recognition mechanisms in leaf-cutting ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nehring, Volker; Dani, Francesca R; Calamai, Luca; Turillazzi, Stefano; Bohn, Horst; Klass, Klaus-Dieter; d'Ettorre, Patrizia

    2016-08-05

    Cockroaches of the genus Attaphila regularly occur in leaf-cutting ant colonies. The ants farm a fungus that the cockroaches also appear to feed on. Cockroaches disperse between colonies horizontally (via foraging trails) and vertically (attached to queens on their mating flights). We analysed the chemical strategies used by the cockroaches to integrate into colonies of Atta colombica and Acromyrmex octospinosus. Analysing cockroaches from nests of two host species further allowed us to test the hypothesis that nestmate recognition is based on an asymmetric mechanism. Specifically, we test the U-present nestmate recognition model, which assumes that detection of undesirable cues (non-nestmate specific substances) leads to strong rejection of the cue-bearers, while absence of desirable cues (nestmate-specific substances) does not necessarily trigger aggression. We found that nests of Atta and Acromyrmex contained cockroaches of two different and not yet described Attaphila species. The cockroaches share the cuticular chemical substances of their specific host species and copy their host nest's colony-specific cuticular profile. Indeed, the cockroaches are accepted by nestmate but attacked by non-nestmate ant workers. Cockroaches from Acromyrmex colonies bear a lower concentration of cuticular substances and are less likely to be attacked by non-nestmate ants than cockroaches from Atta colonies. Nest-specific recognition of Attaphila cockroaches by host workers in combination with nest-specific cuticular chemical profiles suggest that the cockroaches mimic their host's recognition labels, either by synthesizing nest-specific substances or by substance transfer from ants. Our finding that the cockroach species with lower concentration of cuticular substances receives less aggression by both host species fully supports the U-present nestmate recognition model. Leaf-cutting ant nestmate recognition is thus asymmetric, responding more strongly to differences than to

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2011-01-01

    Fungus-growing ants display symbiont preference in behavioral assays, both towards the fungus they cultivate for food and Actinobacteria they maintain on their cuticle for antibiotic production against parasites. These Actinobacteria, genus Pseudonocardia Henssen (Pseudonocardiacea: Actinomycetales......), help defend the ants’ fungal mutualist from specialized parasites. In Acromyrmex Mayr (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) leaf-cutting ants, individual colonies maintain either a single or a few strains of Pseudonocardia, and the symbiont is primarily vertically transmitted between generations by colony...... with two non-native strains, elucidating the role of genetic distance on preference between strains and Pseudonocardia origin. Our findings suggest that ants tend to prefer bacteria more closely related to their native bacterium and that genetic similarity is probably more important than whether symbionts...

  3. A new subclass of intrinsic aminoglycoside nucleotidyltransferases, ANT(3")-II, is horizontally transferred among Acinetobacter spp. by homologous recombination

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Gang; Leclercq, Sébastien Olivier; Tian, Jingjing; Wang, Chao; Ai, Guomin; Liu, Shuangjiang

    2017-01-01

    The emergence and spread of antibiotic resistance among Acinetobacter spp. have been investigated extensively. Most studies focused on the multiple antibiotic resistance genes located on plasmids or genomic resistance islands. On the other hand, the mechanisms controlling intrinsic resistance are still not well understood. In this study, we identified the novel subclass of aminoglycoside nucleotidyltransferase ANT(3")-II in Acinetobacter spp., which comprised numerous variants distributed among three main clades. All members of this subclass can inactivate streptomycin and spectinomycin. The three ant(3")-II genes, encoding for the three ANT(3")-II clades, are widely distributed in the genus Acinetobacter and always located in the same conserved genomic region. According to their prevalence, these genes are intrinsic in Acinetobacter baumannii, Acinetobacter pittii, and Acinetobacter gyllenbergii. We also demonstrated that the ant(3")-II genes are located in a homologous recombination hotspot and were recurrently transferred among Acinetobacter species. In conclusion, our findings demonstrated a novel mechanism of natural resistance in Acinetobacter spp., identified a novel subclass of aminoglycoside nucleotidyltransferase and provided new insight into the evolutionary history of intrinsic resistance genes. PMID:28152054

  4. 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.

  5. 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....

  6. The effect carbohydrate consumption on Argentine ants' nutritional ecology

    OpenAIRE

    Chou, Cheng T.

    2009-01-01

    As a result of accidental introduction, the invasive Argentine ant, Linepithema humile, has successfully invaded many parts of the world including the California coast. Argentine ants are extraordinarily effective in displacing native ants. This study aims to link animal behavior and growth to resource consumption. We examined how different diets affect Argentine ant behavior. We hypothesized that having a diet composed of both carbohydrate and protein may increase colony size and activity le...

  7. Size matters: Nest colonization patterns for twig-nesting ants

    OpenAIRE

    Jiménez-Soto, E; Philpott, SM

    2015-01-01

    © 2015 The Authors. Ecology and Evolution Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. Understanding the drivers of ant diversity and co-occurrence in agroecosystems is fundamental because ants participate in interactions that influence agroecosystem processes. Multiple local and regional factors influence ant community assembly. We examined local factors that influence the structure of a twig-nesting ant community in a coffee system in Mexico using an experimental approach. We investigated whether ...

  8. Ocurrence of the antibiotic producing bacterium Burkholderia sp. in colonies of the leaf-cutting ant Atta sexdens rubropilosa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santos, Adão Valmir; Dillon, Rod J; Dillon, Viv M; Reynolds, Stuart E; Samuels, Richard I

    2004-10-15

    Fungus garden material from recently established Atta sexdens rubropilosa colonies (6-12 months old) was sampled to detect antibiotic producing microorganisms that inhibited the growth of pathogens of insects and of the fungus gardens but did not affect their mutualistic fungus. A bacterium with activity against the entomopathogenic fungus Beauveria bassiana was isolated from 56% of the gardens tested (n=57) and identified from its biochemical profile and from 16S and 23S ribosomal DNA sequences as a member of the genus Burkholderia. The ant-associated Burkholderia isolates secreted a potent, anti-fungal agent that inhibited germination of conidia of the entomopathogenic fungi B. bassiana, Metarhizium anisopliae, of the saprophytic Verticillium lecanii, and also of a specialist fungus garden Escovopsis weberi. Growth of the ant's mutualist fungus was unaffected.

  9. 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...

  10. 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......) 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...... only an m/z 204 base peak. Found also for the first time in skin extracts from the comparison frog Oophaga granulifera of Costa Rica is a trace DHQ of MW 273. It is coded as 273F in the frog; a different isomer is found in the ant....

  11. Plasmodium parasitaemia among pregnant women attending ante ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    ... Ante-Natal Clinic at Military Hospital Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria using the Standard parasitological technique. Venous blood was collected from 200 pregnant women, both thick and thin blood films were made on clean greese-free glass slide and stained with 10% Giemsa stains diluted with 7.2 buffered water for ...

  12. Why is an Ant's Trail Straight?

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    demonstrate their sense of geometry did not work." Feynman had recognized the importance of this problem of one ant pursuing another. Historically, pursuit problems are pretty old, dating back even to Leonardo da Vinci. In recent times this question has become all the more relevant in robotics. This problem has now been ...

  13. 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. © 2014. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  14. 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

    2009-01-01

    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 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

  15. Operant conditioning in the ant Myrmica sabuleti.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cammaerts, M C

    2004-11-30

    Operant conditioning could be obtained in the ant Myrmica sabuleti by presenting to the workers, during a six-day period, an apparatus containing either sugared water or meat as a reward. The conditioning obtained using sugared water as a reward was short lasting. A reconditioning was more persistent and lasted four hours. The ants' response was very precise, since they exhibited it only in front of an apparatus identical to that used during the training phase. Operant conditioning obtained using meat as a reward was more pronounced than that obtained by using sugared water, probably because meat is more valuable as a reward than sugar for the species studied, which is essentially a carnivorous one. Such a conditioning was rather persistent. Indeed, a first operant conditioning obtained by using meat as a reward could still be detected after seven hours, and a reconditioning was still significant after eight hours. One day after this eight-hour period without rewarding the ants, the response was higher again and a further day later, it was still significant. Since the operant conditioning is easy to perform and quantify and since the ants' response is very precise, such a conditioning can be used for further studying M. sabuleti workers' visual perception.

  16. Serotonin depresses feeding behaviour in ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Falibene, Agustina; Rössler, Wolfgang; Josens, Roxana

    2012-01-01

    Feeding behaviour is a complex functional system that relies on external signals and the physiological state of the animal. This is also the case in ants as they vary their feeding behaviour according to food characteristics, environmental conditions and - as they are social insects - to the colony's requirements. The biogenic amine serotonin (5-HT) was shown to be involved in the control and modulation of many actions and processes related to feeding in both vertebrates and invertebrates. In this study, we investigated whether 5-HT affects nectar feeding in ants by analysing its effect on the sucking-pump activity. Furthermore, we studied 5-HT association with tissues and neuronal ganglia involved in feeding regulation. Our results show that 5-HT promotes a dose-dependent depression of sucrose feeding in Camponotus mus ants. Orally administered 5-HT diminished the intake rate by mainly decreasing the volume of solution taken per pump contraction, without modifying the sucrose acceptance threshold. Immunohistochemical studies all along the alimentary canal revealed 5-HT-like immunoreactive processes on the foregut (oesophagus, crop and proventriculus), while the midgut and hindgut lacked 5-HT innervation. Although the frontal and suboesophageal ganglia contained 5-HT immunoreactive cell bodies, serotonergic innervation in the sucking-pump muscles was absent. The results are discussed in the frame of a role of 5-HT in feeding control in ants. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Hey! A Fire Ant Stung Me!

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... together. Each sting will turn into an itchy white blister over the next day. What You Should Do If you ever think that you have been stung by a fire ant, tell an adult immediately . That's because the venom (poison) in the sting can cause the area around ...

  18. Ante Graovac – Life and Works

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nenad Raos

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Ivan Gutman, Biserka Pokrić, Damir Vukičević (Eds. Ante Graovac – Life and Works Mathematical Chemistry Monographs, Vol. 16 Faculty of Science, University of Kragujevac, Kragujevac (Serbia, 2014 306 + IV pages ◦ ISBN 978-86-6009-021-0 This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

  19. 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...

  20. A global database of ant species abundances

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  1. Dynamic Network Formation Using Ant Colony Optimization

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-03-01

    Problem (DVRP) ............................................ 36 2.7.2 Dynamic Traveling Salesman Problem (DTSP) ....................................... 41...47 2.8.3 Distributed Traveling Salesman Problem ................................................. 48 2.8.4 FIRE Ant...uses the fixed cost of the network in its calculation and commodities are not included in the problem formulation . Using a probabilistic undirected

  2. 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

  3. Biogeography of mutualistic fungi cultivated by leafcutter ants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leafcutter ants propagate co-evolving fungi for food. The nearly 50 species of leafcutter ants (Atta, Acromyrmex) range from Argentina to the USA, with the greatest species diversity in southern South America. We elucidate the biogeography of fungi cultivated by leafcutter ants using DNA-sequence an...

  4. Studies on the environmental implications of ants (Hymenoptera ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    A study of ants associated wh two synanthropcenvironments in Awka was carried out in 2008 using pitfall and bait traps. The study yelded a total of 561 ants wth 409 obtaned from the hemisynanthrophic environment while 192 ants were collected from the endophilic environment. The percentage occurrence, total dstribution ...

  5. Niches and coexistence of ant communities in Puerto Rico

    Science.gov (United States)

    J.A. Torres

    1984-01-01

    I studied ant coexistence in adjacent areas of upland tropical forest, grassland, and agricultural land in San Lorenzo, Puerto Rico. Data on food utilization, daily activity, nesting sites, microhabitat utilization and interspecific aggression were collected. Ants' tolerance to 45 degree C was determined in the laboratory. Agricultural and grassland ants eat grain...

  6. Ant-egg cataract. An electron microscopic study

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schrøder, H D; Nissen, S H

    1979-01-01

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

  7. 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

  8. Energy Efficient Routing in Wireless Sensor Networks based on Ant ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    PROF. O. E. OSUAGWU

    2013-09-01

    Sep 1, 2013 ... Ant Colony Optimization, a swarm intelligence based optimization technique, has been successfully used in network routing. In this paper, we introduce a heuristic way to reduce energy consumption in WSNs routing process using Ant Colony Optimization. We introduce three Ant Colony Optimization ...

  9. THE GENUS TEIJSMANNIODENDRON KOORDERS (VERBENACEAE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. J. G. H. KOSTERMANS

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available 1. The present notes on Teijsmanniodendron are based on a study of the spec- imens from Herbarium Bogoriense and the Herbarium of the Singapore Botanic Garden. 2. The taxonomic value of the principal characters and their variation are discussed. Each of the species recognized is annotated. 3. A delimitation and subdivision of the genus in two sections,  Plurifoliolatae Kosterm.  and 'Unifoliolatae Kosterm  is proposed. 4. A key to the 12 species and 1 variety distinguished, is included. 5. One new species is provisionally described (but not named, and one new variety, Teijsmanniodendron pteropodum var. auriculatum Kosterm, is published. 6. The following new combinations are made: Teijsmanniodendron coriaceum B. Clarke Kosterm,, T. hollrungii (Warb. Kosterm. T. holophyllum (Bak. Kos- term, T.novoguineense (Kan. & Hatus. Kosterm., T. sarawakanum (H. H. W. Pears. Kosterm., T. smilacifolium (H. H. W. Pears. Kosterm., and T. subspieatum (Hallier f. Kosterm. 7. The genus Xerocarpa H. 3. Lam (non Spach is rejected; its only species, X. avicenniaefoliola H. J. Lam, is referred to Teijsmanniodendron ahernianum (Merr. Bakh. In addition, the following reductions are made: Teijsmanniodendron mono- phyllum Kurata = T. hollrungii (Warb. Kosterm.; Vitex bankae H. J. Lam = T. ahernianum (Merr. Bakh., V. bogoriensis H. J. Lam = T. ahernianum (Merr. Bakh.; V. koordersii H. J. Lam t= T. pteropodum (Miq. Bakh.; V. tetragona Hallier f. = T. sarawakanum (H. H. W. Pears. Kosterm.; V. venosa H. J. Lam = T. coriaceum (C. B. Clarke Kosterm. Possible identity of T. longifolium (Merr. Merr. and T. bogoriense is suggested: the identity of T. simplicifolium Merr. and T. smilacifolium (H. H-, W. Pears. Kosterm. is indicated as probable. 8. Vitex subspicata Hallier f. and V. holophylla Bak. included by Lam in vitex hollrungii Warb. are reinstated as distinct species of Teijsmanniodendron.

  10. Evolution of the Genus Homo

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tattersall, Ian; Schwartz, Jeffrey H.

    2009-05-01

    Definition of the genus Homo is almost as fraught as the definition of Homo sapiens. We look at the evidence for “early Homo,” finding little morphological basis for extending our genus to any of the 2.5-1.6-myr-old fossil forms assigned to “early Homo” or Homo habilis/rudolfensis. We also point to heterogeneity among “early African Homo erectus,” and the lack of apomorphies linking these fossils to the Asian Homo erectus group, a cohesive regional clade that shows some internal variation, including brain size increase over time. The first truly cosmopolitan Homo species is Homo heidelbergensis, known from Africa, Europe, and China following 600 kyr ago. One species sympatric with it included the >500-kyr-old Sima de los Huesos fossils from Spain, clearly distinct from Homo heidelbergensis and the oldest hominids assignable to the clade additionally containing Homo neanderthalensis. This clade also shows evidence of brain size expansion with time; but although Homo neanderthalensis had a large brain, it left no unequivocal evidence of the symbolic consciousness that makes our species unique. Homo sapiens clearly originated in Africa, where it existed as a physical entity before it began (also in that continent) to show the first stirrings of symbolism. Most likely, the biological underpinnings of symbolic consciousness were exaptively acquired in the radical developmental reorganization that gave rise to the highly characteristic osteological structure of Homo sapiens, but lay fallow for tens of thousands of years before being “discovered” by a cultural stimulus, plausibly the invention of language.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gómez, Crisanto; Oliveras, Jordi

    2003-04-01

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

  12. Ant species identity mediates reproductive traits and allocation in an ant-garden bromeliad

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leroy, Céline; Corbara, Bruno; Pélozuelo, Laurent; Carrias, Jean-François; Dejean, Alain; Céréghino, Régis

    2012-01-01

    Background and Aims Determining the sources of variation in floral morphology is crucial to understanding the mechanisms underlying Angiosperm evolution. The selection of floral and reproductive traits is influenced by the plant's abiotic environment, florivores and pollinators. However, evidence that variations in floral traits result from mutualistic interactions with insects other than pollinators is lacking in the published literature and has rarely been investigated. We aimed to determine whether the association with either Camponotus femoratus or Pachycondyla goeldii (both involved in seed dispersal and plant protection) mediates the reproductive traits and allocation of Aechmea mertensii, an obligatory ant-garden tank-bromeliad, differently. Methods Floral and reproductive traits were compared between the two A. mertensii ant-gardens. The nitrogen flux from the ants to the bromeliads was investigated through experimental enrichments with stable isotopes (15N). Key Results Camponotus femoratus-associated bromeliads produced inflorescences up to four times longer than did P. goeldii-associated bromeliads. Also, the numbers of flowers and fruits were close to four times higher, and the number of seeds and their mass per fruit were close to 1·5 times higher in C. femoratus than in P. goeldii-associated bromeliads. Furthermore, the 15N-enrichment experiment showed that C. femoratus-associated bromeliads received more nitrogen from ants than did P. goeldii-associated bromeliads, with subsequent positive repercussions on floral development. Greater benefits were conferred to A. mertensii by the association with C. femoratus compared with P. goeldii ants. Conclusions We show for the first time that mutualistic associations with ants can result in an enhanced reproductive allocation for the bromeliad A. mertensii. Nevertheless, the strength and direction of the selection of floral and fruit traits change based on the ant species and were not related to light

  13. Revision of the African genus Annickia (Annonaceae)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Versteegh, C.P.C.; Sosef, M.S.M.

    2007-01-01

    complete revision, including a key to the species, drawings and distribution maps, of the tropical African Annonaceae genus Annickia (= Enantia Oliv., non Falc.) is presented. The exact phylogenetic position of this genus within the family has long been, and in fact still is, unclear. The status of

  14. Typification of the genus Macropsidium Bl. (Myrtaceae)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Steenis, van C.G.G.J.

    1971-01-01

    In revising Myrtaceae Blume correctly concluded in 1849 that Psidium rubrum Lour, from Indo-China could not belong to that neotropical genus. He erected a new genus Macropsidium Bl., to accommodate it, adding at the same time the description of a second new species from the Moluccas. It is desirable

  15. A revision of the genus Dillenia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hoogland, R.D.

    1952-01-01

    The present paper is an extension of my revision of the Malaysian species of the genus Dillenia L. (Wormia Rottb. included) inserted in the revision of the Dilleniaceae in the Flora Malesiana ser. I, vol. 4, part 3, pp. 141—174, published in December 1951. A critical revision of the whole genus has

  16. Phenetic relationships in the genus Myotis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Findley, James S.

    1970-01-01

    The genus Myotis is of interest to the evolutionist because of its diversity and because of its nearly cosmopolitan distribution. An understanding of the biology of this remarkable genus may provide insight into its success, as well as the success of other expansive groups of mammals. As part of an

  17. The elliptic genus and Hidden symmetry

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jaffe, A.

    2001-01-01

    We study the elliptic genus (a partition function) in certain interacting, twist quantum field theories. Without twists, these theories have N=2 supersymmetry. The twists provide a regularization, and also partially break the supersymmetry. In spite of the regularization, one can establish a homotopy of the elliptic genus in a coupling parameter. Our construction relies on a priori estimates and other methods from constructive quantum field theory; this mathematical underpinning allows us to justify evaluating the elliptic genus at one endpoint of the homotopy. We obtain a version of Witten's proposed formula for the elliptic genus in terms of classical theta functions. As a consequence, the elliptic genus has a hidden SL(2,Z) symmetry characteristic of conformal theory, even though the underlying theory is not conformal. (orig.)

  18. 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. © 2016 The Author(s).

  19. Edge detection in digital images using Ant Colony Optimization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marjan Kuchaki Rafsanjani

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Ant Colony Optimization (ACO is an optimization algorithm inspired by the behavior of real ant colonies to approximate the solutions of difficult optimization problems. In this paper, ACO is introduced to tackle the image edge detection problem. The proposed approach is based on the distribution of ants on an image; ants try to find possible edges by using a state transition function. Experimental results show that the proposed method compared to standard edge detectors is less sensitive to Gaussian noise and gives finer details and thinner edges when compared to earlier ant-based approaches.

  20. Higher rank BN-theory for curves of genus 4

    OpenAIRE

    Lange, H.; Newstead, P. E.

    2015-01-01

    Higher rank Brill-Noether theory is completely known for curves of genus $\\leq 3$. In this paper, we investigate the theory for curves of genus 4. Some of our results apply to curves of arbitrary genus.

  1. Thermoregulation strategies in ants in comparison to other social insects, with a focus on Formica rufa [v1; ref status: indexed, http://f1000r.es/2fv

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Štěpánka Kadochová

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Temperature influences every aspect of ant biology, especially metabolic rate, growth and development. Maintenance of high inner nest temperature increases the rate of sexual brood development and thereby increases the colony fitness. Insect societies can achieve better thermoregulation than solitary insects due to the former’s ability to build large and elaborated nests and display complex behaviour. In ants and termites the upper part of the nest, the mound, often works as a solar collector and can also have an efficient ventilation system. Two thermoregulatory strategies could be applied. Firstly the ants use an increased thermal gradient available in the mound for brood relocation. Nurse workers move the brood according to the thermal gradients to ensure the ideal conditions for development. A precise perception of temperature and evolution of temperature preferences are needed to make the correct choices. A second thermoregulatory strategy used by mound nesting ants is keeping a high temperature inside large nests. The unique thermal and insulation properties of the nest material help to maintain stable conditions, which is the case of the Wood ant genus Formica. Ants can regulate thermal loss by moving nest aggregation and alternating nest ventilation. Metabolic heat produced by ant workers or associated micro organisms is an important additional source of heat which helps to maintain thermal homeostasis in the nest.

  2. The interactions of ants with their biotic environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chomicki, Guillaume; Renner, Susanne S

    2017-03-15

    This s pecial feature results from the symposium 'Ants 2016: ant interactions with their biotic environments' held in Munich in May 2016 and deals with the interactions between ants and other insects, plants, microbes and fungi, studied at micro- and macroevolutionary levels with a wide range of approaches, from field ecology to next-generation sequencing, chemical ecology and molecular genetics. In this paper, we review key aspects of these biotic interactions to provide background information for the papers of this s pecial feature After listing the major types of biotic interactions that ants engage in, we present a brief overview of ant/ant communication, ant/plant interactions, ant/fungus symbioses, and recent insights about ants and their endosymbionts. Using a large molecular clock-dated Formicidae phylogeny, we map the evolutionary origins of different ant clades' interactions with plants, fungi and hemiptera. Ants' biotic interactions provide ideal systems to address fundamental ecological and evolutionary questions about mutualism, coevolution, adaptation and animal communication. © 2017 The Author(s).

  3. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Di Giulio, Andrea; Maurizi, Emanuela; Barbero, Francesca; Sala, Marco; Fattorini, Simone; Balletto, Emilio; Bonelli, Simona

    2015-01-01

    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.

  5. Effects of vegetation cover, presence of a native ant species, and human disturbance on colonization by Argentine ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fitzgerald, Katherine; Gordon, Deborah M

    2012-06-01

    The spread of non-native invasive species is affected by human activity, vegetation cover, weather, and interaction with native species. We analyzed data from a 17-year study of the distribution of the non-native Argentine ant (Linepithema humile) and the native winter ant (Prenolepis imparis) in a preserve in northern California (U.S.A.). We conducted logistic regressions and used model selection to determine whether the following variables were associated with changes in the distribution of each species: presence of conspecifics at neighboring sites, distance to development (e.g., roads, buildings, and landscaped areas), proportion of vegetation cover taller than 0.75 m, elevation, distance to water, presence of both species at a site, temperature, and rainfall. Argentine ants colonized unoccupied sites from neighboring sites, but the probability of appearance and persistence decreased as distance to development, vegetation cover, and elevation increased. Winter ants appeared and persisted in sites with relatively high vegetation cover (i.e., highly shaded sites). Presence of the 2 species was negatively associated in sites with high vegetation cover (more winter ants) and sites near development (more Argentine ants). Probability of colonization of Argentine ants decreased where winter ants were most persistent. At sites near development within the preserve, abundant Argentine ant populations may be excluding winter ants. The high abundance of Argentine ants at these sites may be due to immigration from suburban areas outside the preserve, which are high-quality habitat for Argentine ants. In the interior of the preserve, distance from development, low-quality habitat, and interaction with winter ants may in combination exclude Argentine ants. Interactions among the variables we examined were associated with low probabilities of Argentine ant colonization in the preserve. ©2012 Society for Conservation Biology.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tatiana P Flanagan

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

  7. Parasite-induced fruit mimicry in a tropical canopy ant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yanoviak, S P; Kaspari, M; Dudley, R; Poinar, G

    2008-04-01

    Some parasites modify characteristics of intermediate hosts to facilitate their consumption by subsequent hosts, but examples of parasite-mediated mimicry are rare. Here we report dramatic changes in the appearance and behavior of nematode-parasitized ants such that they resemble ripe fruits in the tropical rain forest canopy. Unlike healthy ants, which are completely black, infected ants have bright red, berry-like gasters full of parasite eggs. The infected gasters are held in a conspicuous elevated position as the ants are walking, and they are easily detached from living ants, which also exhibit reduced defensive responses. This combination of changes presumably makes the infected ants attractive to frugivorous birds, which ingest the red gasters and pass the parasite eggs in their feces. The feces are collected by ants and fed to the developing brood, thus completing the cycle. This is the first documentation of parasites causing apparent fruit mimicry in an animal host to complete their life cycle.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graham, Paul; Mangan, Michael

    2015-03-01

    Visual navigation is a critical behaviour for many animals, and it has been particularly well studied in ants. Decades of ant navigation research have uncovered many ways in which efficient navigation can be implemented in small brains. For example, ants show us how visual information can drive navigation via procedural rather than map-like instructions. Two recent behavioural observations highlight interesting adaptive ways in which ants implement visual guidance. Firstly, it has been shown that the systematic nest searches of ants can be biased by recent experience of familiar scenes. Secondly, ants have been observed to show temporary periods of confusion when asked to repeat a route segment, even if that route segment is very familiar. Taken together, these results indicate that the navigational decisions of ants take into account their recent experiences as well as the currently perceived environment. © 2015. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  9. Exploring with PAM: Prospecting ANTS Missions for Solar System Surveys

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, P. E.; Rilee, M. L.; Curtis, S. A.

    2003-01-01

    ANTS (Autonomous Nano-Technology Swarm), a large (1000 member) swarm of nano to picoclass (10 to 1 kg) totally autonomous spacecraft, are being developed as a NASA advanced mission concept. ANTS, based on a hierarchical insect social order, use an evolvable, self-similar, hierarchical neural system in which individual spacecraft represent the highest level nodes. ANTS uses swarm intelligence attained through collective, cooperative interactions of the nodes at all levels of the system. At the highest levels this can take the form of cooperative, collective behavior among the individual spacecraft in a very large constellation. The ANTS neural architecture is designed for totally autonomous operation of complex systems including spacecraft constellations. The ANTS (Autonomous Nano Technology Swarm) concept has a number of possible applications. A version of ANTS designed for surveying and determining the resource potential of the asteroid belt, called PAM (Prospecting ANTS Mission), is examined here.

  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......-ant-dependent oviposition in this and other Maculinea species have, however, shown equivocal results, leading to a long-term controversy over support for this hypothesis. We therefore conducted a controlled field experiment to study the egg-laying behaviour of M. alcon. Matched potted Gentiana plants were set out close...... to host-ant nests and non-host-ant nests, and the number and position of eggs attached were assessed. Our results show no evidence for host-ant-based oviposition in M. alcon, but support an oviposition strategy based on plant characteristics. This suggests that careful management of host-ant distribution...

  11. Size matters: nest colonization patterns for twig-nesting ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiménez-Soto, Estelí; Philpott, Stacy M

    2015-08-01

    Understanding the drivers of ant diversity and co-occurrence in agroecosystems is fundamental because ants participate in interactions that influence agroecosystem processes. Multiple local and regional factors influence ant community assembly.We examined local factors that influence the structure of a twig-nesting ant community in a coffee system in Mexico using an experimental approach. We investigated whether twig characteristics (nest entrance size and diversity of nest entrance sizes) and nest strata (canopy shade tree or coffee shrub) affected occupation, species richness, and community composition of twig-nesting ants and whether frequency of occupation of ant species varied with particular nest entrance sizes or strata.We conducted our study in a shaded coffee farm in Chiapas, Mexico, between March and June 2012. We studied ant nest colonization by placing artificial nests (bamboo twigs) on coffee shrubs and shade trees either in diverse or uniform treatments. We also examined whether differences in vegetation (no. of trees, canopy cover and coffee density) influenced nest colonization.We found 33 ant species occupying 73% of nests placed. Nest colonization did not differ with nest strata or size. Mean species richness of colonizing ants was significantly higher in the diverse nest size entrance treatment, but did not differ with nest strata. Community composition differed between strata and also between the diverse and uniform size treatments on coffee shrubs, but not on shade trees. Some individual ant species were more frequently found in certain nest strata and in nests with certain entrance sizes.Our results indicate that twig-nesting ants are nest-site limited, quickly occupy artificial nests of many sizes, and that trees or shrubs with twigs of a diversity of entrance sizes likely support higher ant species richness. Further, individual ant species more frequently occupy nests with different sized entrances promoting ant richness on individual coffee

  12. Generic revision of the ant subfamily Dorylinae (Hymenoptera, Formicidae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borowiec, Marek L.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract The generic classification of the ant subfamily Dorylinae is revised, with the aim of facilitating identification of easily-diagnosable monophyletic genera. The new classification is based on recent molecular phylogenetic evidence and a critical reappraisal of doryline morphology. New keys and diagnoses based on workers and males are provided, along with reviews of natural history and phylogenetic relationships, distribution maps, and a list of valid species for each lineage. Twenty-eight genera (27 extant and 1 extinct) are recognized within the subfamily, an increase from 20 in the previous classification scheme. Species classified in the polyphyletic Cerapachys and Sphinctomyrmex prior to this publication are here distributed among 9 and 3 different genera, respectively. Amyrmex and Asphinctanilloides are synonymized under Leptanilloides and the currently recognized subgenera are synonymized for Dorylus. No tribal classification is proposed for the subfamily, but several apparently monophyletic genus-groups are discussed. Valid generic names recognized here include: Acanthostichus (= Ctenopyga), Aenictogiton, Aenictus (= Paraenictus, Typhlatta), Cerapachys (= Ceratopachys), Cheliomyrmex, Chrysapace gen. rev., Cylindromyrmex (= Holcoponera, Hypocylindromyrmex, Metacylindromyrmex), Dorylus (= Alaopone syn. n., Anomma syn. n., Cosmaecetes, Dichthadia syn. n., Rhogmus syn. n., Shuckardia, Sphecomyrmex, Sphegomyrmex, Typhlopone syn. n.), Eburopone gen. n., Eciton (= Camptognatha, Holopone, Mayromyrmex), Eusphinctus gen. rev., Labidus (= Nycteresia, Pseudodichthadia), Leptanilloides (= Amyrmex syn. n., Asphinctanilloides syn. n.), Lioponera gen. rev. (= Neophyracaces syn. n., Phyracaces syn. n.), Lividopone, Neivamyrmex (= Acamatus, Woitkowskia), Neocerapachys gen. n., Nomamyrmex, Ooceraea gen. rev. (= Cysias syn. n.), Parasyscia gen. rev., †Procerapachys, Simopone, Sphinctomyrmex, Syscia gen. rev., Tanipone, Vicinopone, Yunodorylus gen. rev., Zasphinctus

  13. Ansiedad ante la muerte del sujeto anciano

    OpenAIRE

    Moya Faz, Francisco José

    2007-01-01

    El tema a tratar en esta Tesis Doctoral es la Ansiedad ante la muerte en el sujeto anciano. Objetivos. Los objetivos planteados en esta investigación han sido: Investigar mediante un análisis bibliométrico el estado actual de la cuestión del tema de la ansiedad ante la muerte para que estudiando así su producción científica se pueda conocer su relevancia así como las categorías temáticas más significativas en relación a éste. Estudiar la preocupación de la muerte respecto a variables como...

  14. Genomic Diversity in the Genus of Aspergillus

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rasmussen, Jane Lind Nybo

    Aspergillus is a highly important genus of saprotrophic filamentous fungi. It is a very diverse genus that is inextricably intertwined with human a↵airs on a daily basis, holding species relevant to plant and human pathology, enzyme and bulk chemistry production, food and beverage biotechnology......, and scientific model organisms. The phenotypic diversity in this genus is extraordinary and identifying the genetic basis for this diversity has great potential for academia and industry. When the genomic era began for Aspergillus in 2005 with the genome sequences of A. nidulans, A. oryzae and A. fumigatus...

  15. A global database of ant species abundances

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Gibb, H.; Dunn, R. R.; Sanders, N. J.; Grossman, B. F.; Photakis, M.; Abril, S.; Agosti, D.; Andersen, A. N.; Angulo, E.; Armbrecht, I.; Arnan, X.; Baccaro, F. B.; Bishop, T. R.; Boulay, R.; Brühl, C.; Castracani, C.; Cerdá, X.; Del Toro, I.; Delsinne, T.; Diaz, M.; Donoso, D. A.; Ellison, A. M.; Enríquez, M. L.; Fayle, Tom Maurice; Feener, D. H.; Fisher, B. L.; Fisher, R. N.; Fitzpatrick, M. C.; Gómez, C.; Gotelli, N. J.; Gove, A.; Grasso, D. A.; Groc, S.; Guenard, B.; Gunawardene, N.; Heterick, B.; Hoffmann, B.; Janda, Milan; Jenkins, C.; Kaspari, M.; Klimeš, Petr; Lach, L.; Laeger, T.; Lattke, J.; Leponce, M.; Lessard, J.-P.; Longino, J.; Lucky, A.; Luke, S. H.; Majer, J.; McGlynn, T. P.; Menke, S.; Mezger, D.; Mori, A.; Moses, Jimmy; Munyai, T. C.; Pacheco, R.; Paknia, O.; Pearce-Duvet, J.; Pfeiffer, M.; Philpott, S. M.; Resasco, J.; Retana, J.; Silva, R. R.; Sorger, M. D.; Souza, J.; Suarez, A.; Tista, M.; Vasconcelos, H. L.; Vonshak, M.; Weisser, M. D.; Yates, M.; Parr, C. L.

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 98, č. 3 (2017), s. 883-884 ISSN 0012-9658 R&D Projects: GA ČR GB14-36098G; GA ČR GAP505/12/2467; GA ČR GPP505/12/P875 Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : abundance * ants * database Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour OBOR OECD: Ecology Impact factor: 4.809, year: 2016 http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ecy.1682/abstract

  16. Alarm Pheromones of the Ant Atta Texana

    Science.gov (United States)

    John C. Moser; R. C. Brownlee; R. Silverstein

    1968-01-01

    Methyl-3-heptanone (0.59 μg/head) and 2-heptanone (0.14 μg/head) are the main volatile components of the mandibular glands of major workers. In the laboratory, worker ants detected and were attracted by 4-methyl-3-heptanone at a concentration of 5.7 x 10-13 g/cm3 (2.7 x 107 molecules...

  17. Public goods dilemma in asexual ant societies

    OpenAIRE

    Dobata, Shigeto; Tsuji, Kazuki

    2013-01-01

    This study reports experimental evidence for the “public goods dilemma” between cooperators and cheaters in an asexual ant society, in which cheating is always more rewarding for individuals but cooperation at the cost of individual fitness leads to better performance of groups. Although this dilemma provides the basic principle of social evolution, its experimental demonstration with underlying genetics and fitness evaluation for both cooperators and cheaters still lacks in societies other t...

  18. Ant fat extraction with a Soxhlet extractor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Chris R; Tschinkel, Walter R

    2009-07-01

    Stored fat can be informative about the relative age of an ant, its nutritional status, and the nutritional status of the colony. Several methods are available for the quantification of stored fat. Before starting a project involving fat extraction, investigators should weigh the advantages and disadvantages of different methods in order to choose the one that is best suited to the question being addressed. This protocol, although not as accurate as some alternatives, facilitates the rapid quantification of many individuals.

  19. 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

  20. Ant-nest ichnofossils in honeycomb calcretes, Neogene Ogallala Formation, High Plains region of western Kansas, U.S.A.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, J.J.; Platt, B.F.; Ludvigson, Greg A.; Thomasson, J.R.

    2011-01-01

    Two new ant-nest trace fossils are described from calcic sandy paleosols of the Neogene Ogallala Formation in western Kansas. The ichnofossils are preserved within and below calcrete beds weathering in positive relief as carbonate-filled casts or as cavities in negative relief. Daimoniobarax ichnogenus nov. is established for burrow systems composed of vertically tiered, horizontally oriented pancake-shaped chambers connected by predominantly vertical and cylindrical shafts ~. 0.8. cm in diameter. Ichnospecies of Daimoniobarax are differentiated based on differences in the plan view outline of chambers, shaft orientation, and junctions between chambers and shafts.Daimoniobarax nephroides ichnospecies nov. is composed of an ~. 24-76. cm long vertical sequence of distinctly lobed chambers (~. 2-20. cm wide and ~. 1. cm high) arranged along sinuous to helical shafts. Chamber shape in plan view ranges from small teardrops to larger kidney- and U-shaped forms. Shafts intersect at chamber edges such that chambers appear to bud from the central shafts. Daimoniobarax nephroides is most similar to the nests of extant seed-harvester ants of the New World genus Pogonomyrmex. Such ants are specialized granivores and prefer sandy soils in arid to semi-arid grassland and desert regions.Daimoniobarax tschinkeli ichnospecies nov. is ~. 30-80. cm in vertical extent. Chambers (~. 2-30. cm wide and ~. 1. cm high) are circular to elongate or pseudopodial in plan view. Vertical shafts are straight to slightly sinuous and intersect most often toward the center of the chambers. The generalized architecture of D. tschinkeli is similar to that of the nests or nest portions of several extant ant genera, though it does not closely resemble any known modern nest.Ant ichnofossils provide valuable information on hidden biodiversity, paleohydrologic regimes, paleopedogenic processes, and paleoclimate during the time of nest occupation. Depth-related changes in chamber size and vertical spacing

  1. Precision Rescue Behavior in North American Ants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katherine Taylor

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Altruistic behavior, in which one individual provides aid to another at some cost to itself, is well documented. However, some species engage in a form of altruism, called rescue, that places the altruist in immediate danger. Here we investigate one such example, namely rescuing victims captured by predators. In a field experiment with two North American ant species, Tetramorium sp. E and Prenolepis imparis, individuals were held in artificial snares simulating capture. T. sp. E, but not P. imparis, exhibited digging, pulling, and snare biting, the latter precisely targeted to the object binding the victim. These results are the first to document precision rescue in a North American ant species; moreover, unlike rescue in other ants, T. sp. E rescues conspecifics from different colonies, mirroring their atypical social behavior, namely the lack of aggression between non-nestmate (heterocolonial conspecifics. In a second, observational study designed to demonstrate rescue from an actual predator, T. sp. E victims were dropped into an antlion's pit and the behavior of a single rescuer was observed. Results showed that T. sp. E not only attempted to release the victim, but also risked attacking the predator, suggesting that precision rescue may play an important role in this species' antipredator behavior.

  2. Dispersal Polymorphisms in Invasive Fire Ants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jackson A Helms

    Full Text Available In the Found or Fly (FoF hypothesis ant queens experience reproduction-dispersal tradeoffs such that queens with heavier abdomens are better at founding colonies but are worse flyers. We tested predictions of FoF in two globally invasive fire ants, Solenopsis geminata (Fabricius, 1804 and S. invicta (Buren, 1972. Colonies of these species may produce two different monogyne queen types-claustral queens with heavy abdomens that found colonies independently, and parasitic queens with small abdomens that enter conspecific nests. Claustral and parasitic queens were similarly sized, but the abdomens of claustral queens weighed twice as much as those of their parasitic counterparts. Their heavier abdomens adversely impacted morphological predictors of flight ability, resulting in 32-38% lower flight muscle ratios, 55-63% higher wing loading, and 32-33% higher abdomen drag. In lab experiments maximum flight durations in claustral S. invicta queens decreased by about 18 minutes for every milligram of abdomen mass. Combining our results into a simple fitness tradeoff model, we calculated that an average parasitic S. invicta queen could produce only 1/3 as many worker offspring as a claustral queen, but could fly 4 times as long and have a 17- to 36-fold larger potential colonization area. Investigations of dispersal polymorphisms and their associated tradeoffs promises to shed light on range expansions in invasive species, the evolution of alternative reproductive strategies, and the selective forces driving the recurrent evolution of parasitism in ants.

  3. Optimal construction of army ant living bridges.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graham, Jason M; Kao, Albert B; Wilhelm, Dylana A; Garnier, Simon

    2017-12-21

    Integrating the costs and benefits of collective behaviors is a fundamental challenge to understanding the evolution of group living. These costs and benefits can rarely be quantified simultaneously due to the complexity of the interactions within the group, or even compared to each other because of the absence of common metrics between them. The construction of 'living bridges' by New World army ants - which they use to shorten their foraging trails - is a unique example of a collective behavior where costs and benefits have been experimentally measured and related to each other. As a result, it is possible to make quantitative predictions about when and how the behavior will be observed. In this paper, we extend a previous mathematical model of these costs and benefits to much broader domain of applicability. Specifically, we exhibit a procedure for analyzing the optimal formation, and final configuration, of army ant living bridges given a means to express the geometrical configuration of foraging path obstructions. Using this procedure, we provide experimentally testable predictions of the final bridge position, as well as the optimal formation process for certain cases, for a wide range of scenarios, which more closely resemble common terrain obstacles that ants encounter in nature. As such, our framework offers a rare benchmark for determining the evolutionary pressures governing the evolution of a naturally occurring collective animal behavior. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Genus Bupleurum: a review of its phytochemistry, pharmacology and modes of action.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ashour, Mohamed L; Wink, Michael

    2011-03-01

    Radix Bupleuri represents one of the most successful and widely used herbal drugs in Asia for treatment of many diseases over the past 2000 years. Thorough studies have been carried out on many species of this genus and have generated immense data about the chemical composition and corresponding biological activity of extracts and isolated secondary metabolites. In this work, we review the chemistry and pharmacology of the genus Bupleurum and explore the relationships between the pharmacological effects and the chemical composition of these drugs. Early studies on the genus Bupleurum had focused only on the traditional uses of the plants in the treatment of inflammatory disorders and infectious diseases. After chemical profiling, several groups of secondary metabolites were characterized with relevant biological activity: triterpene saponins (saikosaponins), lignans, essential oils and polysaccharides. As a result, present interest is now focused on the bioactivity of the isolated triterpene saponins acting as immunomodulatory, anti-inflammatory and antiviral agents, as well as on the observed ant-iulcer activity of the polysaccharides and anti-proliferative activity of different lignans. Many saikosaponins exhibited very potent anti-inflammatory, hepatoprotective and immunomodulatory activities both in vivo and in vitro. Further investigations and screenings are required to explore other Bupleurum species, to evaluate the clinical safety and possible interactions with other drugs or herbs. Standardization of Bupleuri extracts is crucial for them being integrated into conventional medicine due to large chemical and biological variations between different species and varieties. © 2010 The Authors. JPP © 2010 Royal Pharmaceutical Society.

  5. 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 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.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.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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moll, Karin; Roces, Flavio; Federle, Walter

    2013-01-01

    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. 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. 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.

  7. The invasive ant, Solenopsis invicta, reduces herpetofauna richness and abundance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, Craig R.; Birge, Hannah E.; Slater, J.; Wiggers, E.

    2017-01-01

    Amphibians and reptiles are declining globally. One potential cause of this decline includes impacts resulting from co-occurrence with non-native red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta. Although a growing body of anecdotal and observational evidence from laboratory experiments supports this hypothesis, there remains a lack of field scale manipulations testing the effect of fire ants on reptile and amphibian communities. We addressed this gap by measuring reptile and amphibian (“herpetofauna”) community response to successful fire ant reductions over the course of 2 years following hydramethylnon application to five 100–200 ha plots in southeastern coastal South Carolina. By assessing changes in relative abundance and species richness of herpetofauna in response to fire ant reductions, we were able to assess whether some species were particularly vulnerable to fire ant presence, and whether this sensitivity manifested at the community level. We found that herpetofauna abundance and species richness responded positively to fire ant reductions. Our results document that even moderate populations of red imported fire ants decrease both the abundance and diversity of herpetofauna. Given global herpetofauna population declines and continued spread of fire ants, there is urgency to understand the impacts of fire ants beyond anecdotal and singles species studies. Our results provides the first community level investigation addressing these dynamics, by manipulating fire ant abundance to reveal a response in herpetofauna species abundance and richness.

  8. High competition between ant species at intermediate temperatures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kwon, Tae-Sung

    2018-02-01

    Living organisms have been moving rapidly toward their favorable thermal regions as climate warms. Their competitive interactions will change significantly as a result of changes in distribution, abundance, and species composition. This study examines the relationship of competition intensity (frequency of competitive interactions) with temperature and the influence of competition on the occurrence of ant species. Competition between ants was surveyed at six different temperature sites using baits and the abundance of ants was surveyed using pitfall traps. The intensity of interspecific competition (abundance-corrected bait species displacement) was high at intermediate temperature sites (unimodal). Ant species are hierarchically organized in behavioral dominance. Two low-temperature ant species had decreased in the rank of behavioral dominance at warmer temperature sites because of the abundance of dominant intermediate temperature ant species. Ant species co-occurred randomly at the local scale. However, they were segregated at regional scale because of environmental filtering (temperature). Ant competition did not influence the occurrence of ant species at local or regional scale. These results suggest that the influence of changes in interspecific competition because of climate warming might not be great for ants in temperate regions. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  9. Infinite genus surfaces and irrational polygonal billiards

    OpenAIRE

    Valdez, Ferrán

    2009-01-01

    We prove that the natural invariant surface associated with the billiard game on an irrational polygonal table is homeomorphic to the Loch Ness monster, that is, the only orientable infinite genus topological real surface with exactly one end.

  10. Genus Pouteria: chemistry and biological activity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cíntia A. M. Silva

    Full Text Available The genus Pouteria belongs to the family Sapotaceae and can be widely found around the World. These plants have been used as building material, as food, because the eatable fruits, as well as remedies in folk medicine. Some biological activities have been reported to species of this genus such as antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antifungal. However, the real potential of this genus as source of new drugs or phytomedicines remains unknown. Therefore, a review of the so far known chemical composition and biological activities of this genus is presented to stimulate new studies about the species already reported moreover that species have no reference about chemistry or biological activities could be found until now.

  11. Phylogeny and taxonomy of the genus Gliocephalotrichum

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lombard, L.; Serrato-Diaz, L. M.; Cheewangkoon, R.; French-Monar, R. D.; Decock, C.; Crous, P. W.

    Species in the genus Gliocephalotrichum (= Leuconectria) (Hypocreales, Nectriaceae) are soilborne fungi, associated with post-harvest fruit spoilage of several important tropical fruit crops. Contemporary taxonomic studies of these fungi have relied on morphology and DNA sequence comparisons of the

  12. Phylogeny and taxonomy of the genus Gliocephalotrichum

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lombard, L.; Serrato-Diaz, L.M.; Cheewangkoon, R.; French-Monar, R.D.; Decock, C.; Crous, P.W.

    2014-01-01

    Species in the genus Gliocephalotrichum (= Leuconectria) (Hypocreales, Nectriaceae) are soilborne fungi, associated with post-harvest fruit spoilage of several important tropical fruit crops. Contemporary taxonomic studies of these fungi have relied on morphology and DNA sequence comparisons of the

  13. Cladistic relationships within the genus Cinnamomum (Lauraceae ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Cladistic relationships within the genus Cinnamomum (Lauraceae) in Taiwan based on analysis of leaf morphology and inter-simple sequence repeat (ISSR) and internal transcribed spacer (ITS) molecular markers.

  14. Revision of the African genus Uvariastrum (Annonaceae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Couvreur, Thomas L P

    2014-01-01

    The genus Uvariastrum (Annonaceae) is restricted to continental Africa and is characterized by sepals with folded margins, few carpels and numerous stamens. The genus is mainly found in the tropical lowland rain forests of Africa, with one species growing in a drier woodland habitat. The species name Uvariastrum pynaertii De Wild is reduced into synonymy with Uvariastrum zenkeri Engl. & Diels. Uvaraistrum neglectum Paiva and Uvariastrum modestum Dielsare transferred to the genus Uvaria leading to two new combinations: Uvaria modesta (Diels) Couvreur, comb. nov. and Uvaria paivana Couvreur, nom. nov. Five species are currently recognized in Uvariastrum. The present revision, the first of the genus for over 100 years, provides an overview of previously published information and discussions on morphology, taxonomy and palynology. Preliminary conservation status assessments are provided for each species, as well as diagnostic keys for fruiting and flowering material as well as detailed species descriptions. Furthermore, all species are illustrated by line drawings and all species are mapped.

  15. Witten Genus and String Complete Intersections

    OpenAIRE

    Chen, Qingtao; Han, Fei

    2006-01-01

    In this note, we prove that the Witten genus of nonsingular string complete intersections in product of complex projective spaces vanishes. Our result generalizes a known result of Landweber and Stong (cf. [HBJ]).

  16. The genus Hafnia: from soup to nuts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Janda, J Michael; Abbott, Sharon L

    2006-01-01

    The genus Hafnia, a member of the family Enterobacteriaceae, consists of gram-negative bacteria that are occasionally implicated in both intestinal and extraintestinal infections in humans. Despite the fact that the genus currently contains only a single species (H. alvei), more extensive phylogenetic depth (two or more species) is apparent based upon DNA relatedness and 16S rRNA gene sequencing studies. Hafnia causes a variety of systemic infections, including septicemia and pneumonia; however, its role as a gastrointestinal pathogen is controversial. Many of the data supporting a role for hafniae as enteric pathogens were incorrectly attributed to this genus rather than to the actual pathogen, Escherichia albertii. There are numerous gaps in our understanding of this genus, including ecologic habitats and population genetics, disease-producing role in animals, phenetic and genetic methods useful in distinguishing genomospecies within the H. alvei complex, and bona fide pathogenicity factors.

  17. Leucosphaera, a new genus of the Pseudeurotiaceae

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Arx, von J.A.; Mukerji, K.G.; Singh, N.

    1978-01-01

    In the course of a study of herbivore dung collected in the Zoological Garden in Delhi, an ascomycete was observed and isolated which could not be accomodated in any known genus. It is therefore described below.

  18. A Brief Chronicle of the Genus Cordyceps Fr., the Oldest Valid Genus in Cordycipitaceae (Hypocreales, Ascomycota)

    OpenAIRE

    Shrestha, Bhushan; Tanaka, Eiji; Han, Jae-Gu; Oh, Junsang; Han, Sang-Kuk; Lee, Kang-Hyo; Sung, Gi-Ho

    2014-01-01

    The earliest pre-Linnaean fungal genera are briefly discussed here with special emphasis on the nomenclatural connection with the genus Cordyceps Fr. Since its valid publication under the basidiomycetous genus Clavaria Vaill. ex L. (Clavaria militaris L. Sp. Pl. 2:1182, 1753), the genus Cordyceps has undergone nomenclatural changes in the post-Linnaean era, but has stood firmly for approximately 200 years. Synonyms of Cordyceps were collected from different literature sources and analyzed bas...

  19. Kops genus - en værkstedsrapport

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gudiksen, Asgerd

    2008-01-01

     Inden for Ømålsområdet optræder ordet kop både i genus femininum, masku­linum og neutrum. På Sjælland, hvor trekønssystemet er under af­vikling, kan ordet desuden være genus commune. Der kan konstateres en vis dialektgeografisk fordeling af de tre (fire) genera, men især på Sjælland er...

  20. Remarks on superstring amplitudes in higher genus

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Salvati Manni, Riccardo

    2008-01-01

    Very recently, Grushevsky continued D'Hoker and Phong's program of finding the chiral superstring measure from first principles by constructing modular forms satisfying certain factorization constraints. He has proposed an ansatz in genus 4 and conjectured a possible formula for the superstring measure in any genus, subject to the condition that certain modular forms admit holomorphic roots. In this note we want to give some evidence that Grushevsky's approach seems to be very fruitful

  1. The Genus Hafnia: from Soup to Nuts

    OpenAIRE

    Janda, J. Michael; Abbott, Sharon L.

    2006-01-01

    The genus Hafnia, a member of the family Enterobacteriaceae, consists of gram-negative bacteria that are occasionally implicated in both intestinal and extraintestinal infections in humans. Despite the fact that the genus currently contains only a single species (H. alvei), more extensive phylogenetic depth (two or more species) is apparent based upon DNA relatedness and 16S rRNA gene sequencing studies. Hafnia causes a variety of systemic infections, including septicemia and pneumonia; howev...

  2. Food source quality and ant dominance hierarchy influence the outcomes of ant-plant interactions in an arid environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flores-Flores, Rocío Vianey; Aguirre, Armando; Anjos, Diego V.; Neves, Frederico S.; Campos, Ricardo I.; Dáttilo, Wesley

    2018-02-01

    In this study, we conducted a series of experiments in a population of Vachellia constricta (Fabaceae) in the arid Tehuacan-Cuicatláan valley, Mexico, in order to evaluate if the food source quality and ant dominance hierarchy influence the outcomes of ant-plant interactions. Using an experiment with artificial nectaries, we observed that ants foraging on food sources with higher concentration of sugar are quicker in finding and attacking potential herbivorous insects. More specifically, we found that the same ant species may increase their defence effectiveness according to the quality of food available. These findings indicate that ant effectiveness in plant protection is context-dependent and may vary according to specific individual characteristics of plants. In addition, we showed that competitively superior ant species tend to dominate plants in periods with high nectar activity, emphasizing the role of the dominance hierarchy structuring ant-plant interactions. However, when high sugar food sources were experimentally available ad libitum, the nocturnal and competitively superior ant species, Camponotus atriceps, did not dominate the artificial nectaries during the day possibly due to limitation of its thermal tolerance. Therefore, temporal niche partitioning may be allowing the coexistence of two dominant ant species (Camponotus rubritorax during the day and C. atriceps at night) on V. constricta. Our findings indicate that the quality of the food source, and temporal shifts in ant dominance are key factors which structure the biotic plant defences in an arid environment.

  3. Geographical Distribution Patterns and Niche Modeling of the Iconic Leafcutter Ant Acromyrmex striatus (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simões-Gomes, Flávia Carolina; Cardoso, Danon Clemes

    2017-01-01

    Abstract Ants are considered one of the most successful groups in the planet’s evolutionary history. Among them highlights the fungus-farming ants of the genera Atta and Acromyrmex that occur throughout most of the Americas. Within the Acromyrmex genus, the species A. striatus distinguishes from other Acromyrmex species as its morphology and karyotype differ from its congeners. This species is found in open environments of dry climate in the southern States of Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay; however, little is known about the current distribution of the species. This article aimed to investigate the current distribution of the species by compiling its known distribution and discussing its distributional range. To achieve this, published and unpublished data obtained through a literature search and active collections in various locations were compiled. Published and unpublished data revealed that 386 colonies were recorded, distributed across four countries where its occurrence is known. Environmental factors, such as temperature, humidity, soil type and vegetation, as well as historical geological and climate events that have modified Earth’s surface may have influenced species distribution patterns. In the Neotropics, the environmental factors that most impacted the distribution of species were the glaciation periods that occurred in the Quaternary, leading to a great migratory process. These factors may have contributed to the current geographical distribution of A. striatus. PMID:28355474

  4. Microbial composition of spiny ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Polyrhachis) across their geographic range.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramalho, Manuela Oliveira; Bueno, Odair Correa; Moreau, Corrie Saux

    2017-04-05

    Symbiotic relationships between insects and bacteria are found across almost all insect orders, including Hymenoptera. However there are still many remaining questions about these associations including what factors drive host-associated bacterial composition. To better understand the evolutionary significance of this association in nature, further studies addressing a diversity of hosts across locations and evolutionary history are necessary. Ants of the genus Polyrhachis (spiny ants) are distributed across the Old World and exhibit generalist diets and habits. Using Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) and bioinformatics tools, this study explores the microbial community of >80 species of Polyrhachis distributed across the Old World and compares the microbiota of samples and related hosts across different biogeographic locations and in the context of their phylogenetic history. The predominant bacteria across samples were Enterobacteriaceae (Blochmannia - with likely many new strains), followed by Wolbachia (with multiple strains), Lactobacillus, Thiotrichaceae, Acinetobacter, Nocardia, Sodalis, and others. We recovered some exclusive strains of Enterobacteriaceae as specific to some subgenera of Polyrhachis, corroborating the idea of coevolution between host and bacteria for this bacterial group. Our correlation results (partial mantel and mantel tests) found that host phylogeny can influence the overall bacterial community, but that geographic location had no effect. Our work is revealing important aspects of the biology of hosts in structuring the diversity and abundance of these host-associated bacterial communities including the role of host phylogeny and shared evolutionary history.

  5. Bioecology and chemical diversity of abdominal glands in the iranian samsum ant Pachycondyla sennaarensis (Formicidae: Ponerinae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    MR Nikbakhtzadeh

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available The genus Pachycondyla is a large group of ants in the Ponerini tribe, known mostly from tropical and subtropical regions. Pachycondyla sennaarensis, the so-called Samsum ant in the Middle East, is distributed throughout the African tropics, Arabian Peninsula and Iran, where it is responsible for many cases of insect-induced dermal lesions and systemic reactions in humans. Populations of P. sennaarensis were studied in two regions of Iran and some aspects of their biology, ecology and medical importance are herein presented. Colonies of P. sennaarensis contain less than 850 workers that live in complicated underground galleries approximately one meter deep. Because of the harsh weather conditions of southern Iran, they can survive only in human disturbed habitats with higher humidity. Neither a real queen (without reproductive division of labor nor a caste system is found in a P. sennaarensis colony. Observations indicated that P. sennaarensis is omnivorous, feeding on seeds of various plants, dead ants of other species, the larvae of dipterans and a few other invertebrates. The effect of the P. sennaarensis sting is usually mild, resulting in papule formation, erythema and dermal itching. The abdominal gland secretion of P. sennaarensis is a complex mixture of saturated and unsaturated hydrocarbons and small amounts of terpenoids, ketones, pyrazines and phenolic compounds that are accompanied by straight-chain hydrocarbons. So far, no case of anaphylaxis has been reported in Iran, a fact probably due to the lack of proteins in P. sennaarensis venom. It appears that P. sennaarensis populations vary considerably in their toxin composition according to their geographic range, which may ultimately explain symptoms of different severity among local residents.

  6. Leaf-cutting ants Acromyrmex niger Smith, 1858 (Hymenoptera; Formicidae) used as bioindicators of agrotoxics residues

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Liriana Belizi; Rio Cantagalli; Denise Alves Lopes; Ana Liscia Paz Barateiro Stuchi; Maria Claudia Colla Ruvolo Takasusuki

    2014-01-01

    Despite the condition of leaf-cutting ant pests in agroecosystems, it is undeniable the benefits they can bring in certain situations or environments. The leaf-cutting ants of the genus Acromyrmex attack mainly leaves of vegetables and fruit trees exposing not only to the agrochemicals used for their control as well as to those used for the control of other pests. Due to the bioindicator potential of environmental quality of the ants and their frequent exposure to agrochemicals such as organophosphates, neonicotinoids and growth regulators insecticide used for pest control, it is necessary to study the sublethal effects that these pesticides may cause. The electrophoresis technique was used to study the activity of esterase isozymes involved in the metabolism of xenobiotics of A. niger, combined with changes in the expression of isozymes after contamination by pesticides. A. niger showed eight regions of esterase activity, which were called EST-1, EST-2, EST-3, EST-4, EST-5, EST-6, EST-7 and EST-8 according to the electrophoretic mobility. As the specificity to α and β - naphthyl acetate substrates, the EST-7 and EST-8 may be classified as α esterase and the others as ± b esterases. EST-5 is considered an enzyme of the type cholinesterase ii and the others are of the type carboxylesterase. The electrophoretic analysis showed partial inhibition to all esterases subjected to the contact with Malathion organophosforate at the concentrations 1 x 10-3 % and 5 x 10-3 %, which may be considered as a biomarker for the presence of residues of this insecticide in the environment. The regression analysis for sublethal effects of the tested pesticides demonstrated correlation between dose and mortality only for Thiametoxam neonicotinoid pesticide.

  7. A heritable component in sex ratio and caste determination in a Cardiocondyla ant

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Heinze Jürgen

    2009-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Studies on sex ratios in social insects provide among the most compelling evidence for the importance of kin selection in social evolution. The elegant synthesis of Fisher's sex ratio principle and Hamilton's inclusive fitness theory predicts that colony-level sex ratios vary with the colonies' social and genetic structures. Numerous empirical studies in ants, bees, and wasps have corroborated these predictions. However, the evolutionary optimization of sex ratios requires genetic variation, but one fundamental determinant of sex ratios - the propensity of female larvae to develop into young queens or workers ("queen bias" - is thought to be largely controlled by the environment. Evidence for a genetic influence on sex ratio and queen bias is as yet restricted to a few taxa, in particular hybrids. Because of the very short lifetime of their queens, ants of the genus Cardiocondyla are ideal model systems for the study of complete lifetime reproductive success, queen bias, and sex ratios. We found that lifetime sex ratios of the ant Cardiocondyla kagutsuchi have a heritable component. In experimental single-queen colonies, 22 queens from a genetic lineage with a highly female-biased sex ratio produced significantly more female-biased offspring sex ratios than 16 queens from a lineage with a more male-biased sex ratio (median 91.5% vs. 58.5% female sexuals. Sex ratio variation resulted from different likelihood of female larvae developing into sexuals (median 50% vs. 22.6% female sexuals even when uniformly nursed by workers from another colony. Consistent differences in lifetime sex ratios and queen bias among queens of C. kagutsuchi suggest that heritable, genetic or maternal effects strongly affect caste determination. Such variation might provide the basis for adaptive evolution of queen and worker strategies, though it momentarily constrains the power of workers and queens to optimize caste ratios.

  8. A heritable component in sex ratio and caste determination in a Cardiocondyla ant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frohschammer, Sabine; Heinze, Jürgen

    2009-10-28

    Studies on sex ratios in social insects provide among the most compelling evidence for the importance of kin selection in social evolution. The elegant synthesis of Fisher's sex ratio principle and Hamilton's inclusive fitness theory predicts that colony-level sex ratios vary with the colonies' social and genetic structures. Numerous empirical studies in ants, bees, and wasps have corroborated these predictions. However, the evolutionary optimization of sex ratios requires genetic variation, but one fundamental determinant of sex ratios - the propensity of female larvae to develop into young queens or workers ("queen bias") - is thought to be largely controlled by the environment. Evidence for a genetic influence on sex ratio and queen bias is as yet restricted to a few taxa, in particular hybrids.Because of the very short lifetime of their queens, ants of the genus Cardiocondyla are ideal model systems for the study of complete lifetime reproductive success, queen bias, and sex ratios. We found that lifetime sex ratios of the ant Cardiocondyla kagutsuchi have a heritable component. In experimental single-queen colonies, 22 queens from a genetic lineage with a highly female-biased sex ratio produced significantly more female-biased offspring sex ratios than 16 queens from a lineage with a more male-biased sex ratio (median 91.5% vs. 58.5% female sexuals). Sex ratio variation resulted from different likelihood of female larvae developing into sexuals (median 50% vs. 22.6% female sexuals) even when uniformly nursed by workers from another colony.Consistent differences in lifetime sex ratios and queen bias among queens of C. kagutsuchi suggest that heritable, genetic or maternal effects strongly affect caste determination. Such variation might provide the basis for adaptive evolution of queen and worker strategies, though it momentarily constrains the power of workers and queens to optimize caste ratios.

  9. Cytogenetic analysis of three species of Pseudacteon (Diptera, Phoridae parasitoids of the fire ants using standard and molecular techniques

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mónica G. Chirino

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Pseudacteon flies, parasitoids of worker ants, are being intensively studied as potentially effective agents in the biological control of the invasive pest fire ant genus Solenopsis (Hymenoptera: Formicidae. This is the first attempt to describe the karyotype of P. curvatus Borgmeier, P. nocens Borgmeier and P. tricuspis Borgmeier. The three species possess 2n = 6; chromosomes I and II were metacentric in the three species, but chromosome pair III was subtelocentric in P. curvatus and P. tricuspis, and telocentric in P. nocens. All three species possess a C positive band in chromosome II, lack C positive heterochromatin on chromosome I, and are mostly differentiated with respect to chromosome III. P. curvatus and P. tricuspis possess a C positive band, but at different locations, whereas this band is absent in P. nocens. Heterochromatic bands are neither AT nor GC rich as revealed by fluorescent banding. In situ hybridization with an 18S rDNA probe revealed a signal on chromosome II in a similar location to the C positive band in the three species. The apparent lack of morphologically distinct sex chromosomes is consistent with proposals of environmental sex determination in the genus. Small differences detected in chromosome length and morphology suggests that chromosomes have been highly conserved during the evolutionary radiation of Pseudacteon. Possible mechanisms of karyotype evolution in the three species are suggested.

  10. Evolution of Fungal enzymes in the attine ant symbiosis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    The attine ant symbiosis is characterized by ancient but varying degrees of diffuse co-evolution between the ants and their fungal cultivars. Domesticated fungi became dependent on vertical transmission by queens and the ant colonies came to rely on their symbiotic fungus for food and thus......, indirectly, on fungal enzymes to break down the plant material brought in by the ants as fungal substrate. The more than 210 extant fungus-growing ant species differ considerably in colony size, social complexity and substrate-use. Only the derived leaf-cutting ants are specialized on using fresh leaves...... as garden substrate, whereas the more basal genera use leaf litter, insect feces and insect carcasses. We hypothesized that enzyme activity of fungal symbionts has co-evolved with substrate use and we measured enzyme activities of fungus gardens in the field to test this, focusing particularly on plant...

  11. 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

    and that switching from one host to another is possible. To test the likelihood of this hypothesis, host switching was experimentally induced, and successfully achieved, among five distinct genera of ants, one of which was in a different sub-family than the leaf-cutter ants. 5. Given the substantial differences...... events of Acromyrmex and Atta leaf-cutting ants by Ophiocordyceps fungi, agenus of entomopathogens that is normally highly specific in its host choice. 4. As leaf-cutting ants have been intensively studied, the absence of prior records of Ophiocordyceps suggests that these infections may be a novel event...... 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....

  12. Behavior of Ants Escaping from a Single-Exit Room.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shujie Wang

    Full Text Available To study the rules of ant behavior and group-formation phenomena, we examined the behaviors of Camponotus japonicus, a species of large ant, in a range of situations. For these experiments, ants were placed inside a rectangular chamber with a single exit that also contained a filter paper soaked in citronella oil, a powerful repellent. The ants formed several groups as they moved toward the exit to escape. We measured the time intervals between individual escapes in six versions of the experiment, each containing an exit of a different width, to quantify the movement of the groups. As the ants exited the chamber, the time intervals between individual escapes changed and the frequency distribution of the time intervals exhibited exponential decay. We also investigated the relationship between the number of ants in a group and the group flow rate.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Melissotarsus ants are likely able to digest plant polysaccharides

    OpenAIRE

    Mony, R.; Dejean, A.; Bilong Bilong, C. F.; Kenne, M.; Rouland Lefèvre, Corinne

    2013-01-01

    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 tech...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  17. Insecticide transfer efficiency and lethal load in Argentine ants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  18. 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...

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. Insecticide transfer efficiency and lethal load in Argentine ants

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2015-10-15

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Offenberg, Hans Joachim

    2011-01-01

    can be combined with the use of the ants in biological control programmes in tropical plantations where pest insects are converted into ant biomass. To assess the cost-benefits of ant farming based on artificial feeding, food consumption and food conversion efficiency (ECI) of Oecophylla smaragdina...... 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...

  3. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kyle M Turner

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

  5. Improved Ant Colony Clustering Algorithm and Its Performance Study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wei Gao

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  6. 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).

  7. The genome of the fire ant Solenopsis invicta

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wurm, Yannick; Wang, John; Riba-Grognuz, Oksana

    2011-01-01

    Ants have evolved very complex societies and are key ecosystem members. Some ants, such as the fire ant Solenopsis invicta, are also major pests. Here, we present a draft genome of S. invicta, assembled from Roche 454 and Illumina sequencing reads obtained from a focal haploid male and his brothers......, a functional DNA methylation system, and a single putative telomerase ortholog. EST data indicate that this S. invicta telomerase ortholog has at least four spliceforms that differ in their use of two sets of mutually exclusive exons. Some of these and other unique aspects of the fire ant genome are likely...... linked to the complex social behavior of this species....

  8. Genomic diversity within the haloalkaliphilic genus Thioalkalivibrio.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anne-Catherine Ahn

    Full Text Available Thioalkalivibrio is a genus of obligate chemolithoautotrophic haloalkaliphilic sulfur-oxidizing bacteria. Their habitat are soda lakes which are dual extreme environments with a pH range from 9.5 to 11 and salt concentrations up to saturation. More than 100 strains of this genus have been isolated from various soda lakes all over the world, but only ten species have been effectively described yet. Therefore, the assignment of the remaining strains to either existing or novel species is important and will further elucidate their genomic diversity as well as give a better general understanding of this genus. Recently, the genomes of 76 Thioalkalivibrio strains were sequenced. On these, we applied different methods including (i 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis, (ii Multilocus Sequence Analysis (MLSA based on eight housekeeping genes, (iii Average Nucleotide Identity based on BLAST (ANIb and MUMmer (ANIm, (iv Tetranucleotide frequency correlation coefficients (TETRA, (v digital DNA:DNA hybridization (dDDH as well as (vi nucleotide- and amino acid-based Genome BLAST Distance Phylogeny (GBDP analyses. We detected a high genomic diversity by revealing 15 new "genomic" species and 16 new "genomic" subspecies in addition to the ten already described species. Phylogenetic and phylogenomic analyses showed that the genus is not monophyletic, because four strains were clearly separated from the other Thioalkalivibrio by type strains from other genera. Therefore, it is recommended to classify the latter group as a novel genus. The biogeographic distribution of Thioalkalivibrio suggested that the different "genomic" species can be classified as candidate disjunct or candidate endemic species. This study is a detailed genome-based classification and identification of members within the genus Thioalkalivibrio. However, future phenotypical and chemotaxonomical studies will be needed for a full species description of this genus.

  9. Genomic diversity within the haloalkaliphilic genus Thioalkalivibrio

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahn, Anne-Catherine; Meier-Kolthoff, Jan P.; Overmars, Lex; Richter, Michael; Woyke, Tanja; Sorokin, Dimitry Y.

    2017-01-01

    Thioalkalivibrio is a genus of obligate chemolithoautotrophic haloalkaliphilic sulfur-oxidizing bacteria. Their habitat are soda lakes which are dual extreme environments with a pH range from 9.5 to 11 and salt concentrations up to saturation. More than 100 strains of this genus have been isolated from various soda lakes all over the world, but only ten species have been effectively described yet. Therefore, the assignment of the remaining strains to either existing or novel species is important and will further elucidate their genomic diversity as well as give a better general understanding of this genus. Recently, the genomes of 76 Thioalkalivibrio strains were sequenced. On these, we applied different methods including (i) 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis, (ii) Multilocus Sequence Analysis (MLSA) based on eight housekeeping genes, (iii) Average Nucleotide Identity based on BLAST (ANIb) and MUMmer (ANIm), (iv) Tetranucleotide frequency correlation coefficients (TETRA), (v) digital DNA:DNA hybridization (dDDH) as well as (vi) nucleotide- and amino acid-based Genome BLAST Distance Phylogeny (GBDP) analyses. We detected a high genomic diversity by revealing 15 new “genomic” species and 16 new “genomic” subspecies in addition to the ten already described species. Phylogenetic and phylogenomic analyses showed that the genus is not monophyletic, because four strains were clearly separated from the other Thioalkalivibrio by type strains from other genera. Therefore, it is recommended to classify the latter group as a novel genus. The biogeographic distribution of Thioalkalivibrio suggested that the different “genomic” species can be classified as candidate disjunct or candidate endemic species. This study is a detailed genome-based classification and identification of members within the genus Thioalkalivibrio. However, future phenotypical and chemotaxonomical studies will be needed for a full species description of this genus. PMID:28282461

  10. Genomic diversity within the haloalkaliphilic genus Thioalkalivibrio.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahn, Anne-Catherine; Meier-Kolthoff, Jan P; Overmars, Lex; Richter, Michael; Woyke, Tanja; Sorokin, Dimitry Y; Muyzer, Gerard

    2017-01-01

    Thioalkalivibrio is a genus of obligate chemolithoautotrophic haloalkaliphilic sulfur-oxidizing bacteria. Their habitat are soda lakes which are dual extreme environments with a pH range from 9.5 to 11 and salt concentrations up to saturation. More than 100 strains of this genus have been isolated from various soda lakes all over the world, but only ten species have been effectively described yet. Therefore, the assignment of the remaining strains to either existing or novel species is important and will further elucidate their genomic diversity as well as give a better general understanding of this genus. Recently, the genomes of 76 Thioalkalivibrio strains were sequenced. On these, we applied different methods including (i) 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis, (ii) Multilocus Sequence Analysis (MLSA) based on eight housekeeping genes, (iii) Average Nucleotide Identity based on BLAST (ANIb) and MUMmer (ANIm), (iv) Tetranucleotide frequency correlation coefficients (TETRA), (v) digital DNA:DNA hybridization (dDDH) as well as (vi) nucleotide- and amino acid-based Genome BLAST Distance Phylogeny (GBDP) analyses. We detected a high genomic diversity by revealing 15 new "genomic" species and 16 new "genomic" subspecies in addition to the ten already described species. Phylogenetic and phylogenomic analyses showed that the genus is not monophyletic, because four strains were clearly separated from the other Thioalkalivibrio by type strains from other genera. Therefore, it is recommended to classify the latter group as a novel genus. The biogeographic distribution of Thioalkalivibrio suggested that the different "genomic" species can be classified as candidate disjunct or candidate endemic species. This study is a detailed genome-based classification and identification of members within the genus Thioalkalivibrio. However, future phenotypical and chemotaxonomical studies will be needed for a full species description of this genus.

  11. The worldwide expansion of the Argentine ant

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2010-01-01

    supercolonies to assess the size of the propagules (i.e. the number of founding individuals) at the origin of the introduced supercolonies. Location Global. Methods We used mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) markers and microsatellite loci to study 39 supercolonies of the Argentine ant Linepithema humile covering both...... and historically contingent event (e.g. reduction of genetic diversity) in this species. Rather, native L. humile supercolonies have characteristics that make them pre-adapted to invade new – and in particular disturbed – habitats when given the opportunity. These results have important implications with regard...

  12. Improving Emergency Management by Modeling Ant Colonies

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-03-01

    neighboring cell than on the master plan, DNA .21 Johnson describes emergence as a means of self-organizing from the bottom-up. In emergent systems...carrying undesirable goods, such as bird poop, back to the nest. In the event poop makes it back to the nest, the poop is rejected near the entrance of the...by Army Ants,” 1124–5. 26 migrating to a colony raiding.98 A daily traffic jam is not indicative of organizational efficiency. Also, as the

  13. Gamergates in the Australian ant subfamily Myrmeciinae

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dietemann, Vincent; Peeters, Christian; Hölldobler, Bert

    2004-09-01

    Ant workers can mate and reproduce in a few hundreds of species belonging to the phylogenetically basal poneromorph subfamilies (sensu Bolton 2003). We report the first occurrence of gamergates (i.e. mated reproductive workers) in a myrmeciomorph subfamily. In a colony of Myrmecia pyriformis that was collected without a queen, workers continued to be produced over a period of 3 years in the laboratory. Behavioural observations and ovarian dissections indicated that three workers were mated and produced the diploid offspring. The Myrmeciinae are thus another taxon in which the selective benefits of sexual reproduction by workers can be investigated.

  14. Ante-natal ionising radiation and cancer

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anon.

    1988-01-01

    This editorial comments on the latest reports of the Oxford Survey of Childhood Cancer (now based on Birmingham). With 14759 pairs, the latest survey is over 10-fold larger than the 1958 report and the calculation of fatal childhood cancer rate at one case in 990 ante-natal radiographic examinations is rather larger than the early estimates, in spite of the fetal radiation dose having been halved and the cure rate for childhood leukemia being much improved. Comments are made on the comparisons with bomb survivors, and on the much increased fatal cancer incidence after first trimester radiography. (UK)

  15. La escritura como espada ante el machismo

    OpenAIRE

    Rottoli, Sofía

    2016-01-01

    Cuando se trata de expresar una postura que abarque una temática demasiado amplia o controversial, recurrir a la escritura puede ser una buena opción de abordaje. Sobre todo cuando son discusiones que llevan años de vigencia. Las luchas feministas ante la violencia de género no son una excepción. Sus discusiones siempre tuvieron presencia en diversos campos, uno de ellos es la ya mencionada escritura. Centro de Investigación en Lectura y Escritura (CILE)

  16. Ant Systems for a Dynamic TSP - Ants Caught in a Traffic Jam

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Eyckelhof, C.J.; Dorigo, M.; Caro Di, G.; Snoek, M.; Sampels, M.

    2002-01-01

    In this paper we present a new Ants System approach to a dynamic Travelling Salesman Problem. Here the travel times between the cities are subject to change. To handle this dynamism several ways of adapting the pheromone matrix both locally and globally are considered. We show that the strategy of

  17. The acacia ants revisited: convergent evolution and biogeographic context in an iconic ant/plant mutualism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ward, Philip S; Branstetter, Michael G

    2017-03-15

    Phylogenetic and biogeographic analyses can enhance our understanding of multispecies interactions by placing the origin and evolution of such interactions in a temporal and geographical context. We use a phylogenomic approach-ultraconserved element sequence capture-to investigate the evolutionary history of an iconic multispecies mutualism: Neotropical acacia ants ( Pseudomyrmex ferrugineus group) and their associated Vachellia hostplants. In this system, the ants receive shelter and food from the host plant, and they aggressively defend the plant against herbivores and competing plants. We confirm the existence of two separate lineages of obligate acacia ants that convergently occupied Vachellia and evolved plant-protecting behaviour, from timid ancestors inhabiting dead twigs in rainforest. The more diverse of the two clades is inferred to have arisen in the Late Miocene in northern Mesoamerica, and subsequently expanded its range throughout much of Central America. The other lineage is estimated to have originated in southern Mesoamerica about 3 Myr later, apparently piggy-backing on the pre-existing mutualism. Initiation of the Pseudomyrmex / Vachellia interaction involved a shift in the ants from closed to open habitats, into an environment with more intense plant herbivory. Comparative studies of the two lineages of mutualists should provide insight into the essential features binding this mutualism. © 2017 The Author(s).

  18. Leptogenopapus mirabilis, new genus and species of Lomechusini (Coleoptera: Staphylinidae, Aleocharinae) from Papua New Guinea associated with ants of the genus Leptogenys Roger

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Hlaváč, P.; Janda, Milan

    -, č. 2062 (2009), s. 57-64 ISSN 1175-5326 R&D Projects: GA MŠk LC06073; GA AV ČR KJB612230701 Grant - others:U.S. National Science Foundation(US) DEB-02-11591 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z50070508 Keywords : Staphylinidae * Aleocharinae * Lomechusini Subject RIV: EG - Zoology Impact factor: 0.891, year: 2009

  19. The genus Isodon (Schrad. ex Benth. Spach in Africa and a new genus Rabdosiella Codd (Lamiaceae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. E. Codd

    1984-12-01

    Full Text Available The typification of the genus Isodon (Schrad. ex Benth. Spach and its occurrence in Africa are discussed; an allied genus Rabdosiella Codd is described and the combinations R. calycina (Benth. Codd and R. ternifolia (D.Don Codd (the latter an Indian species are effected.

  20. Taxonomy and Chemotaxonomy of the Genus Hypericum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crockett, Sara L; Robson, Norman K B

    2011-01-01

    The genus Hypericum L. (St. John's Wort, Hypericaceae) includes, at the most recent count, 469 species that are either naturally occurring on, or which have been introduced to, every continent in the world, except Antarctica. These species occur as herbs, shrubs, and infrequently trees, and are found in a variety of habitats in temperate regions and in high mountains in the tropics, avoiding only zones of extreme aridity, temperature and/or salinity. Monographic work on the genus has resulted in the recognition and description of 36 taxonomic sections, delineated by specific combinations of morphological characteristics and biogeographic distribution ranges. Hypericum perforatum L. (Common St. John's wort, section Hypericum), one of the best-known members of the genus, is an important medicinal herb of which extracts are taken for their reported activity against mild to moderate depression. Many other species have been incorporated in traditional medicine systems in countries around the world, or are sold as ornamentals. Several classes of interesting bioactive secondary metabolites, including naphthodianthrones (e.g. hypericin and pseudohypericin), flavonol glycosides (e.g. isoquercitrin and hyperoside), biflavonoids (e.g. amentoflavone), phloroglucinol derivatives (e.g. hyperforin and adhyperforin) and xanthones have been identified from members of the genus. A general overview of the taxonomy of the genus and the distribution of relevant secondary metabolites is presented.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katherine C Horn

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  3. Loading pattern optimization using ant colony algorithm

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hoareau, Fabrice

    2008-01-01

    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)

  4. Ant Foraging Behavior for Job Shop Problem

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mahad Diyana Abdul

    2016-01-01

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

  5. Poor alkaloid sequestration by arrow poison frogs of the genus Phyllobates from Costa Rica.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mebs, Dietrich; Alvarez, Joseph Vargas; Pogoda, Werner; Toennes, Stefan W; Köhler, Gunther

    2014-03-01

    Frogs of the genus Phyllobates from Colombia are known to contain the highly toxic alkaloid batrachotoxin, but species from Central America exhibit only very low levels or are entirely free of this toxin. In the present study alcohol extracts from 101 specimens of Phyllobates lugubris and Phyllobates vittatus and 21 of three sympatric species (Dendrobates pumilio, Dendrobates auratus, Dendrobates granuliferus) from Costa Rica were analyzed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Whereas the extracts of the Dendrobates species exhibited typical profiles of toxic alkaloids, those of the two Phyllobates species contained low levels of few alkaloids only, batrachotoxin was not detected. Although the feeding pattern of the Dendrobates and Phyllobates species are similar as revealed by examination of their stomach content (mainly ants and mites), the Phyllobates species are poorly sequestering alkaloids from their food source in contrast to the Dendrobates frogs. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Current and potential ant impacts in the Pacific region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loope, Lloyd L.; Krushelnycky, Paul D.

    2007-01-01

    Worldwide, ants are a powerful ecological force, and they appear to be dominant components of animal communities of many tropical and temperate ecosystems in terms of biomass and numbers of individuals (Bluthgen et al. 2000). For example, ants comprise up to 94% of arthropod individuals in fogging samples taken from diverse lowland tropical rainforest canopies, and 86% of the biomass (Davidson et al. 2003). The majority of these ant species and individuals obtain carbohydrates either from extrafloral nectaries or from sap-feeding Hemiptera that pass carbohydrate-rich “honeydew” to attending ants while concentrating nitrogen (N) from N-poor plant sap (Davidson et al. 2003). Honeydew and nectar represent key resources for arboreal ant species, although most ant species are at least partly carnivorous or scavengers (Bluthgen et al. 2004). In contrast to most of the terrestrial world, the biotas of many Pacific islands evolved without ants. Whereas endemic ant species are found in New Zealand (ca. 10 spp.), Tonga (ca. 10 spp.), and Samoa (ca. 12 spp.), other islands of Polynesia and parts of Micronesia likely lack native ants (Wilson and Taylor 1967, Wetterer 2002, Wetterer and Vargo 2003). About 20 Indo-Australian and western Pacific ant species range to the east and north of Samoa, but it is unclear how many of these were transported there by humans at some time (Wilson and Taylor 1967). Most of the remainder of the ant species currently found on Pacific islands are widespread species that fall in the category of “tramp species,” dispersed by recent human commerce and generally closely tied to human activity and urban areas (Wilson and Taylor 1967, McGlynn 1999). In Pacific island situations, some of these tramp ant species are able to thrive beyond areas of human activity. Relatively few ant species have been successful invaders of native communities on continents, and these include most of the species that pose the greatest problems for Pacific islands

  7. The genus Gymnospermium (Berberidaceae) in the Balkans

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tan, Kit; Shuka, Lulezim; Siljak-Yakovlev, Sonja

    2011-01-01

    A revision of the genus Gymnospermium (Berberidaceae) in the Balkan Peninsula is carried out. Three species are recognised. Gymnospermium maloi is described as a new species from Mt. Picari in Gjirokastra district, southern Albania. It is compared with the closely related G. scipetarum which has...... has been reported for other members of the genus. The nuclear DNA content (2C-value) of all three species was determined. The genome size of G. maloi is 29.44 (± 0.47) pg, for G. scipetarum (chromosome number still unknown) 29.55 (± 1.35) pg, and for G. peloponnesiacum (2n = 2x = 16) 31.93 (± 2.38) pg....... These values are the first genome size measurements for the genus. All three species are mapped and fully illustrated. A key to the European species is also presented....

  8. Revision of monotypic genus Llavea (Cryptogrammoideae: Pteridaceae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mónica Palacios-Rios

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Llavea Lag. is a genus of Cryptogrammoideae (Pteridaceae, whose only species is distributed from southern United States and Mexico to Guatemala and Costa Rica, although it lives mainly in Mesoamerica, inhabiting preferably calcicolous habitats associated with forests and mountains. The genus is easily recognized by the presence of fertile leaves hemi-dimorphic, with the fertile apical portion with longer and narrower segments than the sterile ones, with strongly revolute margin, and rhizome scales bicolorous, shiny, and black. This paper presents a revision of the genus, nomenclatural issues are resolved, and and palynological morphological diversity are reviewed, as well as its distribution, phenology, ecology, and applications, based on field and herbarium specimens studies. In addition, two names related to Llavea, Allosorus karwinskii Kunze and Ceratodactylis osmundioides J. Sm., were lectotypified.

  9. The genus curve of the Abell clusters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rhoads, James E.; Gott, J. Richard, III; Postman, Marc

    1994-01-01

    We study the topology of large-scale structure through a genus curve measurement of the recent Abell catalog redshift survey of Postman, Huchra, and Geller (1992). The structure is found to be spongelike near median density and to exhibit isolated superclusters and voids at high and low densities, respectively. The genus curve shows a slight shift toward 'meatball' topology, but remains consistent with the hypothesis of Gaussian random phase initial conditions. The amplitude of the genus curve corresponds to a power-law spectrum with index n = 0.21(sub -0.47 sup +0.43) on scales of 48/h Mpc or to a cold dark matter power spectrum with omega h = 0.36(sub -0.17 sup +0.46).

  10. Identification and nomenclature of the genus Penicillium

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Visagie, C.M.; Houbraken, J.; Frisvad, Jens Christian

    2014-01-01

    Penicillium is a diverse genus occurring worldwide and its species play important roles as decomposers of organic materials and cause destructive rots in the food industry where they produce a wide range of mycotoxins. Other species are considered enzyme factories or are common indoor air allergens....... Although DNA sequences are essential for robust identification of Penicillium species, there is currently no comprehensive, verified reference database for the genus. To coincide with the move to one fungus one name in the International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi and plants, the generic concept...... of accepted species in Penicillium. The genus currently contains 354 accepted species, including new combinations for Aspergillus crystallinus, A. malodoratus and A. paradoxus, which belong to Penicillium section Paradoxa. To add to the taxonomic value of the list, we also provide information on each accepted...

  11. Therapeutic value of the genus Alpinia, Zingiberaceae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cristiane P. Victório

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available Plants containing bioactive substances have increasingly become the object of research studies, particularly those plants with therapeutic value. Many species of the genus Alpinia provide a variety of medicinal properties, such as, Alpinia zerumbet (Pers. Burtt et Smith and A. purpurata (Vieill K. Schum, which have a significant presence in Brazil. These species have been commercialized in the food and cosmetic industries. However, their greatest importance arises from the medicinal properties of their essential oils containing flavonoids, terpenoids and kavalactones which have been used in folk medicine to treat, for example, arterial hypertension and inflammatory processes. In addition, such species are also used in multidisciplinary studies, including phytochemistry, ethnobotany and biology, indicating the key pharmacological role of this genus in everyday life. Therefore, this work aims to present a bibliographic review of the genus Alpinia and its significance in therapeutic applications.

  12. Fecundity and longevity of Argentine ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) queens in response to irradiation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Irradiation is a postharvest quarantine treatment option to control ants and other hitchhiker pests on fresh horticultural products traded between countries. As little is known about irradiation effects on ants, radiotolerance of the Argentine ant, Linepithema humile (Mayr) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae...

  13. Volatile chemicals in glands of the carpenter ant, Camponotus ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Volatile chemicals in glands of the carpenter ant, Camponotus arminius. J.M. Brand, L.V. Mabinya, E.D. Morgan. Abstract. Camponotus arminius is a large black carpenter ant that occurs in tropical and sub-tropical Africa and has extensive foraging trails both in trees and on the ground. Analysis of excised mandibular glands ...

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  15. Ultrastructure of antennal sensillae of the samsum ant ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Black ant (Samsum), Pachycodyla sennarrensis, stings and injects venom and inflicts allergy (a rare clinical problem) due to its local and systemic reaction, which is considered as a health hazard amongst Saudi society. Thus, black ant is a source of serious concern for the government and experts as well.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2007-01-01

    To perform tasks, organisms often use multiple procedures. Explaining the breadth of such behavioural repertoires is not always straightforward. During house hunting, colonies of Temnothorax albipennis ants use a range of behaviours to organise their emigrations. In particular, the ants use tandem

  17. Development of a Bait System for the Pharaoh's Ant, Monomorium ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The infestation of the Pharaoh's ant, Monomorium pharaonis L. is widespread and, sometimes, very serious in homes, hospitals, restaurants, factories, etc. People are helpless because effective baited traps are not available locally, and little has been done locally to develop effective control strategies for these ants.

  18. A preliminary checklist of the ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    A preliminary species checklist of the ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of. Kakamega Forest, Western Kenya, is presented. The species list is based on specimens sampled from 1999 until 2009, which are deposited in the ant collection of the Zoological Research Museum Koenig, Bonn, Germany, and the Natural History ...

  19. Ant species richness of fynbos and forest ecosystems in the ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The ant fauna in fynbos and forest habitats in the southern Cape are compared. There is no significant difference in ant species richness between the two undisturbed habitat types, and the only two species common to both are Acantholepis capensis and Camponotus maculatus. The degree of Hakea sericea infestation in ...

  20. Forager abundance and dietary relationships Namib Desert ant ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    variation in diet through time and no consistent patterns were apparent. Diet niche breadth and overlap also exhibited considerable variation between species at anyone time and within a species through time. There was no consistent relationship between ant size and the size of food particle utilized. Namib Desert ants are ...