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Sample records for ant pogonomyrmex badius

  1. The nest architecture of the Florida harvester ant, Pogonomyrmex badius

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    Walter R. Tschinkel

    2004-07-01

    Full Text Available The architecture of the subterranean nests of the Florida harvester ant, Pogonomyrmex badius, was studied through excavation and casting. Nests are composed of two basic units: descending shafts and horizontal chambers. Shafts form helices with diameters of 4 to 6 cm, and descend at an angle of about 15-20° near the surface, increasing to about 70° below about 50 cm in depth. Superficial chambers (< 15 cm deep appear to be modified shafts with low angles of descent, and are distinct from deeper chambers. In larger nests, they have a looping, connected morphology. Chambers begin on the outside of the helix as horizontal-floored, circular indentations, becoming multi-lobed as they are enlarged. Chamber height is about 1 cm, and does not change with area. Chamber area is greatest in the upper reaches of the nest, and decreases with depth. Vertical spacing between chambers is least in the upper reaches and increases to a maximum at about 70 to 80% of the maximum depth of the nest. The distribution of chamber area is top-heavy, with about half the total area occurring in the top quarter of the nest. Each 10% depth increment of the nest contains 25 to 40% less area than the decile above it, no matter what the size of the nest.

  2. The Florida Harvester Ant, Pogonomyrmex badius, Relies on Germination to Consume Large Seeds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tschinkel, Walter R; Kwapich, Christina L

    2016-01-01

    The Florida harvester ant, Pogonomyrmex badius, is one of many ant species and genera that stores large numbers of seeds in damp, underground chambers for later consumption. A comparison of the sizes of seeds recovered from storage chambers with those of seed husks discarded following consumption revealed that the used seeds are far smaller than stored seeds. This difference in use-rate was confirmed in field and laboratory colonies by offering marked seeds of various sizes and monitoring the appearance of size-specific chaff. Because foragers collect a range of seed sizes but only open small seeds, large seeds accumulate, forming 70% or more of the weight of seed stores. Major workers increase the rates at which small and medium seeds are opened, but do not increase the size range of opened seeds. Experiments limiting ant access to portions of natural seed chambers showed that seeds germinate during storage, but that the ants rapidly remove them. When offered alongside non germinating seeds, germinating seeds were preferentially fed to larvae. The rate of germination during the annual cycle was determined by both burial in artificial chambers at various depths and under four laboratory temperatures. The germination rate depends upon the species of seed, the soil/laboratory temperature and/or the elapsed time. The seasonal soil temperature cycle generated germination patterns that vary with the mix of locally-available seeds. Taken together, exploitation of germination greatly increases the resources available to the ants in space and time. While the largest seeds may have the nutritional value of 15 small seeds, the inability of workers to open large seeds at will precludes them from rapid use during catastrophic events. The harvester ant's approach to seed harvesting is therefore two-pronged, with both immediate and delayed payoffs arising from the tendency to forage for a wide variety of seeds sizes.

  3. The Florida Harvester Ant, Pogonomyrmex badius, Relies on Germination to Consume Large Seeds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kwapich, Christina L.

    2016-01-01

    The Florida harvester ant, Pogonomyrmex badius, is one of many ant species and genera that stores large numbers of seeds in damp, underground chambers for later consumption. A comparison of the sizes of seeds recovered from storage chambers with those of seed husks discarded following consumption revealed that the used seeds are far smaller than stored seeds. This difference in use-rate was confirmed in field and laboratory colonies by offering marked seeds of various sizes and monitoring the appearance of size-specific chaff. Because foragers collect a range of seed sizes but only open small seeds, large seeds accumulate, forming 70% or more of the weight of seed stores. Major workers increase the rates at which small and medium seeds are opened, but do not increase the size range of opened seeds. Experiments limiting ant access to portions of natural seed chambers showed that seeds germinate during storage, but that the ants rapidly remove them. When offered alongside non germinating seeds, germinating seeds were preferentially fed to larvae. The rate of germination during the annual cycle was determined by both burial in artificial chambers at various depths and under four laboratory temperatures. The germination rate depends upon the species of seed, the soil/laboratory temperature and/or the elapsed time. The seasonal soil temperature cycle generated germination patterns that vary with the mix of locally-available seeds. Taken together, exploitation of germination greatly increases the resources available to the ants in space and time. While the largest seeds may have the nutritional value of 15 small seeds, the inability of workers to open large seeds at will precludes them from rapid use during catastrophic events. The harvester ant’s approach to seed harvesting is therefore two-pronged, with both immediate and delayed payoffs arising from the tendency to forage for a wide variety of seeds sizes. PMID:27893844

  4. Vertical organization of the division of labor within nests of the Florida harvester ant, Pogonomyrmex badius.

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    Walter R Tschinkel

    Full Text Available In the Florida harvester ant, Pogonomyrmex badius, foragers occur only in the top 15 cm of the nest, whereas brood and brood-care workers reside mostly in the deepest regions, yet the food and seeds foragers collect must be transported downward 30 to 80 cm to seed chambers and up to 2 m to brood chambers. Using mark-recapture techniques with fluorescent printer's ink, we identified a class of workers that ranges widely within the vertical structure of the nest, rapidly moving materials dropped by foragers in the upper regions downward, and excavated soil from deeper upward. Within the nest, only 5% of foragers were recovered below 20 cm depth, but about 30% of transfer workers and 82% of unmarked workers were found there. Below 70 cm depth, 90% of workers were unmarked, and were probably involved mostly in brood care. During the summer, the transfer workers comprise about a quarter of the nest population, while foragers make up about 40%. Workers marked as transfer workers later appear as foragers, while those marked as foragers die and disappear from the foraging population, suggesting that transfer workers are younger, and age into foraging. The importance of these findings for laboratory studies of division of labor are discussed. The efficient allocation of labor is a key component of superorganismal fitness.

  5. Nest relocation and excavation in the Florida harvester ant, Pogonomyrmex badius.

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    Walter R Tschinkel

    Full Text Available The Florida harvester ant (Pogonomyrmex badius excavates deep nests in the sandy soils of the Gulf and Atlantic coastal plains. Nest relocations of over 400 colonies in a north Florida coastal plains pine forest were tracked and mapped from 2010 to 2013. Individual colonies varied from one move in two years to four times a year, averaging about one per year. Almost all moves occurred between May and November peaking in July when more than 1% of the colonies moved per day. Move directions were random, and averaged 4 m, with few moves exceeding 10 m. Distance moved was not related to colony size. Over multiple moves, paths were random walks around the original nest location. Relocation is probably intrinsic to the life history of this species, and the causes of relocation remain obscure--the architecture of old and new nests was very similar, and neither the forest canopy nor the density or size of neighbors was correlated with relocation. Monitoring entire relocations (n = 20 showed that they were usually completed in 4 to 6 days. Moves were diurnal, peaking in the mornings and afternoons dipping during mid-day, and ceasing before sundown. Workers excavated the new nest continuously during the daytime throughout the move and beyond. A minority of workers carried seeds, charcoal and brood, with seeds being by far the most common burden. The proportion of burdened workers increased throughout the move. Measured from year to year, small colonies gained size and large ones lost it. Colonies moving more than once in two years lost more size than those moving less often, suggesting that moving may bear a fitness cost. Colony relocation is a dramatic and consistent feature of the life history of the Florida harvester ant, inviting inquiry into its proximal and ultimate causes.

  6. Sequential Subterranean Transport of Excavated Sand and Foraged Seeds in Nests of the Harvester Ant, Pogonomyrmex badius.

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    Walter R Tschinkel

    Full Text Available During their approximately annual nest relocations, Florida harvester ants (Pogonomyrmex badius excavate large and architecturally-distinct subterranean nests. Aspects of this process were studied by planting a harvester ant colony in the field in a soil column composed of layers of 12 different colors of sand. Quantifying the colors of excavated sand dumped on the surface by the ants revealed the progress of nest deepening to 2 m and enlargement to 8 L in volume. Most of the excavation was completed within about 2 weeks, but the nest was doubled in volume after a winter lull. After 7 months, we excavated the nest and mapped its structure, revealing colored sand deposited in non-host colored layers, especially in the upper 30 to 40 cm of the nest. In all, about 2.5% of the excavated sediment was deposited below ground, a fact of importance to sediment dating by optically-stimulated luminescence (OSL. Upward transport of excavated sand is carried out in stages, probably by different groups of ants, through deposition, re-transport, incorporation into the nest walls and floors and remobilization from these. This results in considerable mixing of sand from different depths, as indicated in the multiple sand colors even within single sand pellets brought to the surface. Just as sand is transported upward by stages, incoming seeds are transported downward to seed chambers. Foragers collect seeds and deposit them only in the topmost nest chambers from which a separate group of workers rapidly transports them downward in increments detectable as a "wave" of seeds that eventually ends in the seed chambers, 20 to 80 cm below the surface. The upward and downward transport is an example of task-partitioning in a series-parallel organization of work carried out by a highly redundant work force in which each worker usually completes only part of a multi-step process.

  7. Heavy metal distribution and bioaccumulation in Chihuahuan Desert Rough Harvester ant (Pogonomyrmex rugosus) populations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Del Toro, I.; Floyd, K.; Gardea-Torresdey, J.; Borrok, D.

    2010-01-01

    Heavy metal contamination can negatively impact arid ecosystems; however a thorough examination of bioaccumulation patterns has not been completed. We analyzed the distribution of As, Cd, Cu, Pb and Zn in soils, seeds and ant (Pogonomyrmex rugosus) populations of the Chihuahuan Desert near El Paso, TX, USA. Concentrations of As, Cd, Cu, and Pb in soils, seeds and ants declined as a function of distance from a now inactive Cu and Pb smelter and all five metals bioaccumulated in the granivorous ants. The average bioaccumulation factors for the metals from seeds to ants ranged from 1.04x (As) to 8.12x (Cd). The findings show bioaccumulation trends in linked trophic levels in an arid ecosystem and further investigation should focus on the impacts of heavy metal contamination at the community level. - Heavy metals bioaccumulate in desert ants.

  8. VARIABILITY IN SOILS AND VEGETATION ASSOCIATED WITH HARVESTER ANT (POGONOMYRMEX RUGOSUS) NESTS ON A CHIHUAHUAN DESERT WATERSHED

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    The effects of harvester ant (Pogonomyrmex rugosus) nests on the density and cover of spring annual plants and on soil characteristics were measured at three locations characterized by different soils and dominant vegetation on a desert watershed. There were few differences in ve...

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

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    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.

  10. Selection against aerial dispersal in ants: two non-flying queen phenotypes in Pogonomyrmex laticeps.

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    Christian Peeters

    Full Text Available The South American seed-harvester ant Pogonomyrmex laticeps has dimorphic queens: ergatoid (permanently wingless and brachypterous (short, non-functional wings. Surveys in western Argentina indicated that colonies near Chilecito, La Rioja Province, produced only ergatoid queens, while those near Punta Balasto, Catamarca Province (263 km away, produced only brachypterous queens. Brachypterous queens were significantly larger than ergatoid queens for 10 of 11 external characters, but both phenotypes had comparable reproductive potential, i.e., a spermatheca and a similar number of ovarioles. Using normal winged queens of the closely related P. uruguayensis for comparison, we determined that both queen phenotypes in P. laticeps had a full set of dorsal thoracic sclerites, albeit each sclerite was much reduced, whereas workers had a thorax without distinct dorsal sclerites. Sclerites were fused and immobile in ergatoid queens, while they were separable and fully articulated in brachypterous queens. Both phenotypes lacked the big indirect flight muscles, but brachypterous queens retained the tiny direct flight muscles. Overall, this dimorphism across populations indicates that there are alternative solutions to selective pressures against flying queens. We lack field data about colony founding strategy (independent or dependent for either queen phenotype, but colonies at both sites produced numerous gynes, and we infer that all foundresses initiate colonies independently and are obligate foragers.

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

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    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.

  12. Expression patterns of a circadian clock gene are associated with age-related polyethism in harvester ants, Pogonomyrmex occidentalis

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    Ingram Krista K

    2009-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Recent advances in sociogenomics allow for comparative analyses of molecular mechanisms regulating the development of social behavior. In eusocial insects, one key aspect of their sociality, the division of labor, has received the most attention. Age-related polyethism, a derived form of division of labor in ants and bees where colony tasks are allocated among distinct behavioral phenotypes, has traditionally been assumed to be a product of convergent evolution. Previous work has shown that the circadian clock is associated with the development of behavior and division of labor in honeybee societies. We cloned the ortholog of the clock gene, period, from a harvester ant (Pogonomyrmex occidentalis and examined circadian rhythms and daily activity patterns in a species that represents an evolutionary origin of eusociality independent of the honeybee. Results Using real time qPCR analyses, we determined that harvester ants have a daily cyclic expression of period and this rhythm is endogenous (free-running under dark-dark conditions. Cyclic expression of period is task-specific; foragers have strong daily fluctuations but nest workers inside the nest do not. These patterns correspond to differences in behavior as activity levels of foragers show a diurnal pattern while nest workers tend to exhibit continuous locomotor activity at lower levels. In addition, we found that foragers collected in the early fall (relative warm, long days exhibit a delay in the nightly peak of period expression relative to foragers collected in the early spring (relative cold, short days. Conclusion The association of period mRNA expression levels with harvester ant task behaviors suggests that the development of circadian rhythms is associated with the behavioral development of ants. Thus, the circadian clock pathway may represent a conserved 'genetic toolkit' that has facilitated the parallel evolution of age-related polyethism and task allocation in

  13. Tamaño y composición de la colonia de tres especies de hormigas del género Pogonomyrmex (Hymenoptera: Formicidae en la porción central del desierto del Monte, Argentina Colony size and composition in three Pogonomyrmex ant species (Hymenoptera: Formicidae in the central Monte desert, Argentina

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    Beatriz E. Nobua Behrmann

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available El tamaño de la colonia es un atributo fundamental en la biología de las hormigas ya que está asociado a características ecológicamente relevantes, como sus estrategias de alimentación. Mientras que el tamaño de la colonia de varias especies de hormigas granívoras del género Pogonomyrmex de América del Norte se ha estudiado en detalle, no existe tal información para las especies de América del Sur. En este trabajo, se determinó el tamaño y la composición de la colonia y se describió la estructura del nido de tres especies de Pogonomyrmex que habitan la porción central del desierto del Monte en Argentina: P. mendozanus Cuezzo & Claver, P. inermis Forel y P. rastratus Mayr. Para ello, se excavaron dos nidos de cada especie y se recolectaron todos los individuos encontrados. Las tres especies tienen colonias pequeñas, compuestas por 300-1.100 individuos, de los cuales aproximadamente el 70% son obreras adultas. La estructura de sus nidos es relativamente simple, similar a la de la mayoría de las especies norteamericanas estudiadas, pero con un menor desarrollo en profundidad y un número menor de cámaras; probablemente se deba al menor número de obreras que poseen. Estas características (colonias pequeñas y nidos poco desarrollados son consideradas típicas para las especies del género Pogonomyrmex de América del Sur, lo que las diferencia de la mayoría de sus congéneres estudiados en América del Norte.Colony size in ants is associated with important ecological characteristics such as foraging strategy. Though colony size has been studied with some detail for several North American species of Pogonomyrmex harvester ants, it remains unknown for South American species. We studied colony size, composition, and nest structure of three species of Pogonomyrmex harvester ants inhabiting the central Monte desert in Argentina: P. mendozanus Cuezzo & Claver, P. inermis Forel and P. rastratus Mayr. We excavated two nests of each

  14. 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....

  15. Landscape position moderates how ant nests affect hydrology and soil chemistry across a Chihuahuan Desert watershed

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    Ants moderate the supply of critical resources such as water and nutrients in desert environments by changing the physical arrangement of soils during nest construction. We measured water infiltration and soil physical and chemical properties on and off the nests of two ant species (Pogonomyrmex rug...

  16. Variations of arsenic species content in edible Boletus badius growing at polluted sites over four years.

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    Mleczek, Mirosław; Niedzielski, Przemysław; Rzymski, Piotr; Siwulski, Marek; Gąsecka, Monika; Kozak, Lidia

    2016-07-02

    The content of arsenic (As) in mushrooms can vary depending on the concentration level of this metalloid in the soil/substrate. The present study evaluated the content of arsenic in Boletus badius fruiting bodies collected from polluted and non-polluted sites in relation to the content of this element in overgrown substrate. It was found that mushrooms from the arsenic-polluted sites contained mean concentrations from 49 to 450 mg As kg(-1) dry matter (d.m.), with the greatest content found for specimens growing in close proximity of sludge deposits (490±20 mg As kg(-1)d.m.). The mean content of total arsenic in mushrooms from clean sites ranged from 0.03 to 0.37 mg kg(-1) It was found that B. badius could tolerate arsenic in soil substrate at concentrations of up to 2500 mg kg(-1), at least. In different years of investigation, shifts in particular arsenic forms, as well as a general increase in the accumulation of organic arsenic content, were observed. The results of this study clearly indicate that B. badius should not be collected for culinary purposes from any sites that may be affected by pollution.

  17. Biosorption of lead using Bacillus badius AK strain isolated from compost of green waste (water hyacinth).

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    Vishan, Isha; Sivaprakasam, Senthilkumar; Kalamdhad, Ajay

    2017-07-01

    The bacterial strain Bacillus badius AK isolated from water hyacinth compost was investigated for biosorption characteristics in Pb(II) removal. Batch mode experiments depicted the optimum conditions for biosorption as pH at 4, the temperature of 30°C, 150 rpm of the rotational speed at biomass concentration of 20 mL with 1.7 × 10 16  colony forming unit per milliliter (CFU/mL) value, at 100-150 mg/L concentration of Pb(II). The bacterial biomass was used in its native and non-pretreated state, unlike the dried, freeze-dried or chemically treated biomass. The biosorption followed pseudo-second-order kinetics and isotherm fitted well to the Langmuir model. Maximum Pb(II) biosorption was observed at 1.7 × 10 16  CFU/mL. Influence of Pb(II) on the growth of bacterial biomass was examined by fitting the monod's model. Specific growth rate and maximum specific growth rate of B. badius AK was observed as 0.05 and 2.54 h -1 , respectively; biomass yield coefficient was 11.81. The results indicated that bacterial biomass was efficient, robust and cheaper biosorbent for removal of Pb(II).

  18. Composition and antioxidant properties of wild mushrooms Boletus edulis and Xerocomus badius prepared for consumption.

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    Jaworska, Grażyna; Pogoń, Krystyna; Skrzypczak, Aleksandra; Bernaś, Emilia

    2015-12-01

    Wild edible mushrooms Boletus edulis and Xerocomus badius were prepared for consumption by braising with 10 % canola oil (half of the batch was blanched prior to braising). Fresh X.badius had comparable to B.edulis amounts of proximate components and higher levels of most B-group vitamins and antioxidants. Analyzed mushrooms prepared for consumption fulfilled 7-14 % RDA of vitamin B1 for healthy adults and 15-35, 18-37 and 1 % RDA of B2, B3 and B3 respectively. Prepared for consumption mushrooms were rich in antioxidants containing in 100 g dry weight 164,601 mg total polyphenols, 19-87 mg total flavonoids, 22.1-27.4 mg L-ascorbic acid, 0.531-1.031 mg β-carotene, 0.325-0.456 mg lycopene and 38.64-44.49 mg total tocopherols and presented high antioxidant activity against ABTS (4.9-36.5 mmol TE), against DPPH (7.8-21.3 mmol TE) and in FRAP assay (15.0-28.1 mmol Fe(2+)). Mushrooms prepared for consumption with blanching prior to culinary treatment showed lower antioxidant properties and vitamin content in comparison to mushrooms braised raw.

  19. Optimization of Cultural Conditions for Antioxidant Exopolysaccharides from Xerocomus badius Grown in Shrimp Byproduct

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    Xiujun Gao

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available To optimize the production conditions for exopolysaccharides with higher antioxidant activities from Xerocomus badius cultured in shrimp byproduct medium, Plackett-Burman design, path of steepest ascent, and response surface methodology were explored. Based on the results of Plackett-Burman design and path of steepest ascent, a Box-Behnken design was applied to optimization and the regression models. The optimal cultural condition for high yield and antioxidant activity of the exopolysaccharides was determined to be 10.347% of solid-to-liquid ratio, a 4.322% content of bran powder, and a 1.217% concentration of glacial acetic acid. Culturing with the optimal cultural conditions resulted in an exopolysaccharides yield of 4.588±0.346 g/L and a total antioxidant activity of 2.956±0.105 U/mg. These values are consistent with the values predicted by the corresponding regression models (RSD < 5%.

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

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    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. 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)

  2. Comparative study of metals accumulation in cultured in vitro mycelium and naturally grown fruiting bodies of Boletus badius and Cantharellus cibarius.

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    Reczyński, Witold; Muszyńska, Bożena; Opoka, Włodzimierz; Smalec, Agata; Sułkowska-Ziaja, Katarzyna; Malec, Mirosław

    2013-06-01

    Cantharellus cibarius Fr. (chanterelle) and Boletus badius Pers. (bay bolete) harvested from natural sites in Poland were used to derive in vitro cultures. The optimal medium composition for cultures was developed. Concentrations of the chosen elements (Zn, Cu, Fe, Mg, Ni, and Cd) in mycelium samples were measured by means of atomic absorption spectrometry. Fe concentration in the analyzed mushroom materials was in the range 215.4-680.3 μg/g dry weight. Mean values of Mg were respectively (in micrograms per gram dry weight) 541.8 for mycelium of C. cibarius cultured in vitro and 1,004.1 for C. cibarius fruiting bodies and 928.9 for the mycelium of B. badius cultured in vitro and 906.4 for B. badius fruiting bodies. The mean concentrations of Zn were 442.7 μg/g dry weight in mycelium from in vitro cultures of B. badius and 172.1 in B. badius fruiting bodies and 131.9 in the case of C. cibarius in mycelium from in vitro cultures and 95.5 for the C. cibarius fruiting bodies. Cu exhibited a reversal tendency, i.e., the element concentrations in naturally grown mushrooms were significantly higher (43.57 μg/g dry weight for C. cibarius and 43.54 μg/g for B. badius) than in cultured in vitro mycelium (12.47 μg/g for C. cibarius and 4.17 μg/g for B. badius). Ni was found in lowest concentrations ranging from 0.33 to 1.88 μg/g dry weight. Toxic metal Cd was found in relatively high concentrations in naturally grown species (0.79 μg/g dry weight-1.02). The lowest was the concentration of Cd in C. cibarius mycelium from in vitro culture-0.06 μg/g dry weight-a bit higher than it was in the B. badius mycelium (0.21 μg/g).

  3. Content of selected elements in Boletus badius fruiting bodies growing in extremely polluted wastes.

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    Mleczek, Mirosław; Siwulski, Marek; Mikołajczak, Patrycja; Gąsecka, Monika; Sobieralski, Krzysztof; Szymańczyk, Mateusz; Goliński, Piotr

    2015-01-01

    The aim of the study was to analyse levels of 17 trace elements and 5 major minerals in 11 Boletus badius fruiting bodies able to grow in extremely polluted waste (flotation tailings) and polluted soil in southern Poland. The presented data widen the limited literature data about the abilities of wild-growing mushroom species to grow on heavily contaminated substrates. Content of elements in waste, soil and mushrooms was analysed by flame atomic absorption spectrometry (FAAS) and cold vapour atomic absorption spectrometry (CVAAS - Hg). The industrial areas differed greatly as regards the content of elements in flotation tailings and soil; therefore differences in Ag, Ba, Cd, Co, Fe, Mo, Ni, Pb, Ca, K, Mg, Na and P accumulation in mushrooms were observed. The highest contents of elements in mushrooms were observed for: As, Al, Cu and Zn (86 ± 28, 549 ± 116, 341 ± 59 and 506 ± 40 mg kg(-1) dry matter, respectively). Calculated bioconcentration factor (BCF) values were higher than 1 for Al (15.1-16.9), Fe (10.6-24.4) and Hg (10.2-16.4) only. The main value of the presented results is the fact that one of the common wild-growing mushroom species was able to grow on flotation tailings containing over 22 g kg(-1) of As and, additionally, effective accumulation of other elements was observed. In view of the high content of the majority of analysed elements in fruiting bodies, edible mushrooms from such polluted areas are nonconsumable.

  4. Determination of P.sub.org./sub. species in fungus .i. Xerocomus badius./i. by .sup.31./sup.P NMR spectroscopy

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Novák, František; Koukol, Ondřej; Hrabal, R.; Bartošová, I.; Kalčík, Jiří

    2006-01-01

    Roč. 100, č. 8, (2006), s. 596-597 ISSN 0009-2770 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GA206/05/0269 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60660521; CEZ:AV0Z60050516 Keywords : determination * Xerocomus badius * 31 P NMR spectroscopy Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 0.431, year: 2006

  5. Chemical composition of metapleural gland secretions of fungus-growing and non-fungus-growing ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vieira, Alexsandro S; Morgan, E David; Drijfhout, Falko P; Camargo-Mathias, Maria I

    2012-10-01

    The metapleural gland is exclusive to ants, and unusual among exocrine glands in having no mechanism for closure and retention of secretion. As yet, no clear conclusion has been reached as to the function of metapleural gland secretion. Metapleural gland secretions were investigated for fungus-growing ants representing the derived attines Trachymyrmex fuscus, Atta laevigata, and Acromyrmex coronatus, the basal attines Apterostigma pilosum and Mycetarotes parallelus, and non-fungus-growing ants of the tribes Ectatommini (Ectatomma brunneum) and Myrmicini (Pogonomyrmex naegeli). Our results showed that the secretions of leaf-cutting ants (A. laevigata and A. coronatus) and the derived attine, T. fuscus, contain a greater variety and larger quantities of volatile compounds than those of myrmicine and ectatommine ants. The most abundant compounds found in the metapleural glands of A. laevigata and A. coronatus were hydroxyacids, and phenylacetic acid (only in A. laevigata). Indole was present in all groups examined, while skatole was found in large quantities only in attines. Ketones and aldehydes are present in the secretion of some attines. Esters are present in the metapleural gland secretion of all species examined, although mainly in A. laevigata, A. coronatus, and T. fuscus. Compared with basal attines and non-fungus-growing ants, the metapleural glands of leaf-cutting ants produce more acidic compounds that may have an antibiotic or antifungal function.

  6. Ant Foraging As an Indicator of Tropical Dry Forest Restoration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hernández-Flores, J; Osorio-Beristain, M; Martínez-Garza, C

    2016-08-01

    Variation in foraging behavior may indicate differences in food availability and allow assessment of restoration actions. Ants are prominent bioindicators used in assessing ecological responses to disturbance. However, behavioral data have been poorly incorporated as an index. The foraging performance of red harvester ants was quantified in order to evaluate the success of a restoration ecology experiment in the tropical dry forest of Sierra de Huautla, Morelos, in central Mexico. Foraging performance by granivorous, Pogonomyrmex barbatus, ants was diminished after 6 and 8 years of cattle grazing and wood harvest were excluded as part of a restoration experiment in a highly degraded biome. Despite investing more time in foraging, ant colonies in exclusion plots showed lower foraging success and acquired less seed biomass than colonies in control plots. In line with the predictions of optimal foraging theory, in restored plots where ant foraging performance was poor, ants harvested a higher diversity of seeds. Reduced foraging success and increased harvest of non-preferred foods in exclusion plots were likely due to the growth of herbaceous vegetation, which impedes travel by foragers. Moreover, by 8 years of exclusion, 37% of nests in exclusion plots had disappeared compared to 0% of nests in control plots. Ants' foraging success and behavior were sensitive to changes in habitat quality due to the plant successional process triggered by a restoration intervention. This study spotlights on the utility of animal foraging behavior in the evaluation of habitat restoration programs. © The Authors 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  7. Quantifying the effect of colony size and food distribution on harvester ant foraging.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tatiana P Flanagan

    Full Text Available Desert seed-harvester ants, genus Pogonomyrmex, are central place foragers that search for resources collectively. We quantify how seed harvesters exploit the spatial distribution of seeds to improve their rate of seed collection. We find that foraging rates are significantly influenced by the clumpiness of experimental seed baits. Colonies collected seeds from larger piles faster than randomly distributed seeds. We developed a method to compare foraging rates on clumped versus random seeds across three Pogonomyrmex species that differ substantially in forager population size. The increase in foraging rate when food was clumped in larger piles was indistinguishable across the three species, suggesting that species with larger colonies are no better than species with smaller colonies at collecting clumped seeds. These findings contradict the theoretical expectation that larger groups are more efficient at exploiting clumped resources, thus contributing to our understanding of the importance of the spatial distribution of food sources and colony size for communication and organization in social insects.

  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. 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 ...

  10. Metallic elements (Ca, Hg, Fe, K, Mg, Mn, Na, Zn) in the fruiting bodies of Boletus badius.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kojta, Anna K; Falandysz, Jerzy

    2016-06-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate and compare the levels of eight metallic elements in the fruiting bodies of Bay Bolete (Boletus badius; current name Imleria badia) collected from ten sites in Poland to understand better the value of this popular mushroom as an organic food. Bay Bolete fruiting bodies were collected from the forest area near the towns and villages of Kętrzyn, Poniatowa, Bydgoszcz, Pelplin, Włocławek, Żuromin, Chełmno, Ełk and Wilków communities, as well as in the Augustów Primeval Forest. Elements such as Ca, Fe, K, Mg, Mn, Na and Zn were analyzed by inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectroscopy (ICP-OES), and mercury by cold vapor atomic absorption spectrometry (CV-AAS). This made it possible to assess the nutritional value of the mushroom, as well as possible toxicological risks associated with its consumption. The results were subjected to statistical analysis (Kruskal-Wallis test, cluster analysis, principal component analysis). Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Content of selected elements and low-molecular-weight organic acids in fruiting bodies of edible mushroom Boletus badius (Fr.) Fr. from unpolluted and polluted areas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mleczek, Mirosław; Magdziak, Zuzanna; Gąsecka, Monika; Niedzielski, Przemysław; Kalač, Pavel; Siwulski, Marek; Rzymski, Piotr; Zalicka, Sylwia; Sobieralski, Krzysztof

    2016-10-01

    The aim of the study was to (i) investigate the potential of edible mushroom Boletus badius (Fr.) Fr. to accumulate 53 elements from unpolluted acidic sandy soil and polluted alkaline flotation tailing sites in Poland, (ii) to estimate the low-molecular-weight organic acid (LMWOA) profile and contents in fruit bodies, and finally (iii) to explore the possible relationship between elements and LMWOA content in mushrooms. The content of most elements in fruiting bodies collected from the flotation tailings was significantly higher than in mushrooms from the unpolluted soils. The occurrence of elements determined in fruiting bodies of B. badius has been varied (from 0.01 mg kg -1 for Eu, Lu, and Te up to 18,932 mg kg -1 for K). The results established the high importance of element contents in substrate. Among ten organic acids, nine have been found in wide range: from below 0.01 mg kg -1 for fumaric acid to 14.8 mg g -1 for lactic acid. Lactic and succinic acids were dominant in both areas, and citric acid was also in high content in polluted area. The correlation between element contents and the individual and total content of LMWOAs was confirmed.

  12. 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

  13. Fire Ant Bites

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  14. 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

  15. Tamaño y composición de la colonia de tres especies de hormigas del género Pogonomyrmex (Hymenoptera: Formicidae en la porción central del desierto del Monte, Argentina

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Beatriz E. NOBUA BEHRMANN

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available El tamaño de la colonia es un atributo fundamental de la biología de las hormigas ya que está asociado a características ecológicamente relevantes, como sus estrategias de alimentación. Mientras que el tamaño de la colonia de varias especies de hormigas granívoras del género Pogonomyrmex de América del Norte se ha estudiado en detalle, no existe tal información para las especies de América del Sur. En este trabajo, se determinó el tamaño y la composición de la colonia y se describió la estructura del nido de tres especies de Pogonomyrmex que habitan la porción central del desierto del Monte en Argentina: P. mendozanus Cuezzo & Claver, P. inermis Forel y P. rastratus Mayr. Para ello, se excavaron dos nidos de cada especie y se recolectaron todos los individuos encontrados. Las tres especies tienen colonias pequeñas, compuestas por 300-1.100 individuos, de los cuales aproximadamente el 70% son obreras adultas. La estructura de sus nidos es relativamente simple, similar a la de la mayoría de las especies norteamericanas estudiadas, pero con un menor desarrollo en profundidad y un número menor de cámaras; probablemente se deba al menor número de obreras que poseen. Estas características (colonias pequeñas y nidos poco desarrollados son consideradas típicas para las especies del género Pogonomyrmex de América del Sur, lo que las diferencia de la mayoría de sus congéneres estudiados en América del Norte.

  16. THE CONTENT OF ZINC, LEAD AND CADMIUM IN BAY BOLETE (XEROCOMUS BADIUS (FR. E. COLLECTED FROM A STRONGLY POLLUTED FOREST COMPLEX

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marek Pająk

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available The research was carried out in the Świerklaniec Forest District, the Brynica sub-district, which is located in the immediate vicinity of a metallurgical plant, a zinc mine named Huta Cynku "Miasteczko Śląskie" (HCMŚ. In autumn 2008, in the area in question, 31 permanent trial plots were established, aligned within a regular net of squares, with dimensions of 1500×1500 m. The trial plots were located to the north-east and to the east of the emitter (the HCMŚ zinc mine, accordingly with the direction of prevailing winds. In September 2013, and September and October 2014, sporocarps of bay bolete (Xerocomus badius (Fr. E. were collected from the trial plots. The analyses performed for the material gathered covered a determination of heavy metal content in mushrooms (Zn, Pb and Cd, using a method of inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectroscopy ICP-AES. This paper aimed to establish the accumulation levels of selected heavy metals (Zn, Pb and Cd in bay bolete growing in forests of the Brynica sub-district, in the Świerklaniec Forest District, and the correlation between their content in soil and in the mushrooms under scrutiny. The analyses revealed that the contamination degree in the investigated species was extremely high. The content of toxic elements in bay bolete significantly exceeded the acceptable standards referring to the maximum content of heavy metals in mushrooms, which was particularly true for cadmium.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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...

  20. 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.

  1. Differential regulation of the foraging gene associated with task behaviors in harvester ants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kleeman Lindsay

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The division of labor in social insect colonies involves transitions by workers from one task to another and is critical to the organization and ecological success of colonies. The differential regulation of genetic pathways is likely to be a key mechanism involved in plasticity of social insect task behavior. One of the few pathways implicated in social organization involves the cGMP-activated protein kinase gene, foraging, a gene associated with foraging behavior in social insect species. The association of the foraging gene with behavior is conserved across diverse species, but the observed expression patterns and proposed functions of this gene vary across taxa. We compared the protein sequence of foraging across social insects and explored whether the differential regulation of this gene is associated with task behaviors in the harvester ant, Pogonomyrmex occidentalis. Results Phylogenetic analysis of the coding region of the foraging gene reveals considerable conservation in protein sequence across insects, particularly among hymenopteran species. The absence of amino acid variation in key active and binding sites suggests that differences in behaviors associated with this gene among species may be the result of changes in gene expression rather than gene divergence. Using real time qPCR analyses with a harvester ant ortholog to foraging (Pofor, we found that the brains of harvester ant foragers have a daily fluctuation in expression of foraging with mRNA levels peaking at midday. In contrast, young workers inside the nest have low levels of Pofor mRNA with no evidence of daily fluctuations in expression. As a result, the association of foraging expression with task behavior within a species changes depending on the time of day the individuals are sampled. Conclusions The amino acid protein sequence of foraging is highly conserved across social insects. Differences in foraging behaviors associated with this gene among

  2. Espécies de formigas que interagem com as sementes de Mabea fistulifera Mart. (Euphorbiaceae Interaction between ant species and seeds of Mabea fistulifera Mart. (Euphorbiaceae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ethel Fernandes de Oliveira Peternelli

    2004-10-01

    Full Text Available As formigas, quando atraídas por um apêndice nutritivo, produzido na semente de certas plantas, podem exercer o papel de agente predador ou dispersor das sementes. No processo de dispersão, grande número desses insetos pode interagir com sementes de determinada planta. O objetivo deste trabalho foi identificar as espécies de formigas em contato com sementes de Mabea fistulifera Mart. - uma espécie arbórea e colonizadora em áreas antrópicas no Brasil - e o tipo de interação desses insetos com as sementes, bem como determinar as espécies dispersoras. Foram realizadas coletas manuais de formigas em fragmentos de vegetação com alta densidade de M. fistulifera, no município de Viçosa, MG, no momento de sua visitação às sementes. As formigas capturadas foram triadas e identificadas por espécie. Além disso, durante as coletas foram feitas observações quanto ao tipo de comportamento das formigas que se associaram às sementes e ao cálculo da taxa de remoção destas, verificando-se que 16 espécies tiveram contato com estas. Acromyrmex subterraneus subterraneus, Atta sexdens rubropilosa, Ectatomma edentatum, Pachycondyla sp.1 e Pheidole sp. 2 foram, de fato, dispersoras, já que transportaram efetivamente as sementes. Ac. subterraneus subterraneus, Camponotus rufipes, Ectatomma permagnum, Megalomyrmex sp.1, Pachycondyla sp. 1, Pachycondyla sp. 2, Pheidole sp. 4, Pheidole sp. 5 e Pogonomyrmex sp. são, pela primeira vez, relatadas interagindo com sementes. A taxa de remoção das sementes de M. fistulifera pelas formigas foi de 85 a 97%.Ants, when attracted by nutritious corpuscles produced by seeds of certain plant species, can act as predators or dispersing agents. During seed dispersal, a great number of ant species can interact with seeds of a particular plant species. The purpose of this study was to identify the ant species that interact with seeds of Mabea fistulifera Mart., a pioneer tree species in anthropic disturbed

  3. 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 ...

  4. 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, ...

  5. 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

  6. Interactions with combined chemical cues inform harvester ant foragers' decisions to leave the nest in search of food.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael J Greene

    Full Text Available Social insect colonies operate without central control or any global assessment of what needs to be done by workers. Colony organization arises from the responses of individuals to local cues. Red harvester ants (Pogonomyrmex barbatus regulate foraging using interactions between returning and outgoing foragers. The rate at which foragers return with seeds, a measure of food availability, sets the rate at which outgoing foragers leave the nest on foraging trips. We used mimics to test whether outgoing foragers inside the nest respond to the odor of food, oleic acid, the odor of the forager itself, cuticular hydrocarbons, or a combination of both with increased foraging activity. We compared foraging activity, the rate at which foragers passed a line on a trail, before and after the addition of mimics. The combination of both odors, those of food and of foragers, is required to stimulate foraging. The addition of blank mimics, mimics coated with food odor alone, or mimics coated with forager odor alone did not increase foraging activity. We compared the rates at which foragers inside the nest interacted with other ants, blank mimics, and mimics coated with a combination of food and forager odor. Foragers inside the nest interacted more with mimics coated with combined forager/seed odors than with blank mimics, and these interactions had the same effect as those with other foragers. Outgoing foragers inside the nest entrance are stimulated to leave the nest in search of food by interacting with foragers returning with seeds. By using the combined odors of forager cuticular hydrocarbons and of seeds, the colony captures precise information, on the timescale of seconds, about the current availability of food.

  7. Ante la ley

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kafka Franz

    1999-12-01

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

  8. 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...

  9. 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...

  10. 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 ...

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Patterns of DNA methylation in development, division of labor and hybridization in an ant with genetic caste determination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Chris R; Mutti, Navdeep S; Jasper, W Cameron; Naidu, Agni; Smith, Christopher D; Gadau, Jürgen

    2012-01-01

    DNA methylation is a common regulator of gene expression, including acting as a regulator of developmental events and behavioral changes in adults. Using the unique system of genetic caste determination in Pogonomyrmex barbatus, we were able to document changes in DNA methylation during development, and also across both ancient and contemporary hybridization events. Sodium bisulfite sequencing demonstrated in vivo methylation of symmetric CG dinucleotides in P. barbatus. We also found methylation of non-CpG sequences. This validated two bioinformatics methods for predicting gene methylation, the bias in observed to expected ratio of CpG dinucleotides and the density of CpG/TpG single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP). Frequencies of genomic DNA methylation were determined for different developmental stages and castes using ms-AFLP assays. The genetic caste determination system (GCD) is probably the product of an ancestral hybridization event between P. barbatus and P. rugosus. Two lineages obligately co-occur within a GCD population, and queens are derived from intra-lineage matings whereas workers are produced from inter-lineage matings. Relative DNA methylation levels of queens and workers from GCD lineages (contemporary hybrids) were not significantly different until adulthood. Virgin queens had significantly higher relative levels of DNA methylation compared to workers. Worker DNA methylation did not vary among developmental stages within each lineage, but was significantly different between the currently hybridizing lineages. Finally, workers of the two genetic caste determination lineages had half as many methylated cytosines as workers from the putative parental species, which have environmental caste determination. These results suggest that DNA methylation may be a conserved regulatory mechanism moderating division of labor in both bees and ants. Current and historic hybridization appear to have altered genomic methylation levels suggesting a possible link

  14. Patterns of DNA methylation in development, division of labor and hybridization in an ant with genetic caste determination.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chris R Smith

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: DNA methylation is a common regulator of gene expression, including acting as a regulator of developmental events and behavioral changes in adults. Using the unique system of genetic caste determination in Pogonomyrmex barbatus, we were able to document changes in DNA methylation during development, and also across both ancient and contemporary hybridization events. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Sodium bisulfite sequencing demonstrated in vivo methylation of symmetric CG dinucleotides in P. barbatus. We also found methylation of non-CpG sequences. This validated two bioinformatics methods for predicting gene methylation, the bias in observed to expected ratio of CpG dinucleotides and the density of CpG/TpG single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP. Frequencies of genomic DNA methylation were determined for different developmental stages and castes using ms-AFLP assays. The genetic caste determination system (GCD is probably the product of an ancestral hybridization event between P. barbatus and P. rugosus. Two lineages obligately co-occur within a GCD population, and queens are derived from intra-lineage matings whereas workers are produced from inter-lineage matings. Relative DNA methylation levels of queens and workers from GCD lineages (contemporary hybrids were not significantly different until adulthood. Virgin queens had significantly higher relative levels of DNA methylation compared to workers. Worker DNA methylation did not vary among developmental stages within each lineage, but was significantly different between the currently hybridizing lineages. Finally, workers of the two genetic caste determination lineages had half as many methylated cytosines as workers from the putative parental species, which have environmental caste determination. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: These results suggest that DNA methylation may be a conserved regulatory mechanism moderating division of labor in both bees and ants. Current and historic

  15. 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...

  16. Pest repelling properties of ant pheromones

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Offenberg, Joachim

    2014-01-01

    Ants control pests via predation and physical deterrence; however, ant communication is based on chemical cues which may serve as warning signals to potential prey and other intruders. The presence of ant pheromones may, thus, be sufficient to repel pests from ant territories. This mini...

  17. 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....

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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...

  4. 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 ...

  5. 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

  6. 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...

  7. 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 ...

  8. 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....

  9. 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....

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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...

  13. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  15. 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...

  16. 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.

  17. Specificity of an ant-lycaenid interaction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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 ...

  1. 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...

  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. 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.

  4. 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 ...

  5. 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 ...

  6. 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.

  7. 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...

  8. The Biochemical Toxin Arsenal from Ant Venoms

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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...

  13. 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.

  14. 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...

  15. 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

  16. 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...

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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...

  3. 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.

  4. 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 ...

  5. 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...

  6. 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...

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2011-01-01

    Weaver ants (Oecophylla spp.) are increasingly being used for biocontrol and are targeted for future production of insect protein in ant farms. An efficient production of live ant colonies may facilitate the utilization of these ants but the production of mature colonies is hampered by the long t...

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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...

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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...

  7. 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...

  8. 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...

  9. 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...

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  13. 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...

  14. 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

  15. 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...

  16. 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.

  17. 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....

  18. 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...

  19. 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 ...

  20. 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

  1. 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...

  2. 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....

  3. 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 ...

  4. 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 ...

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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 ...

  10. 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.

  11. 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...

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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...

  16. 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 ...

  17. 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...

  18. 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.

  19. 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...

  20. 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

  1. 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 ...

  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. 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.

  4. 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...

  5. 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

  6. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mathis, Kaitlyn A; Tsutsui, Neil D

    2016-08-17

    Myrmecophiles (i.e. organisms that associate with ants) use a variety of ecological niches and employ different strategies to survive encounters with ants. Because ants are typically excellent defenders, myrmecophiles may choose moments of weakness to take advantage of their ant associates. This hypothesis was studied in the rove beetle, Myrmedonota xipe, which associates with Azteca sericeasur ants in the presence of parasitoid flies. A combination of laboratory and field experiments show that M. xipe beetles selectively locate and prey upon parasitized ants. These parasitized ants are less aggressive towards beetles than healthy ants, allowing beetles to eat the parasitized ants alive without interruption. Moreover, behavioural assays and chemical analysis reveal that M. xipe are attracted to the ant's alarm pheromone, the same secretion used by the phorid fly parasitoids in host location. This strategy allows beetles access to an abundant but otherwise inaccessible resource, as A. sericeasur ants are typically highly aggressive. These results are the first, to our knowledge, to demonstrate a predator sharing cues with a parasitoid to gain access to an otherwise unavailable prey item. Furthermore, this work highlights the importance of studying ant-myrmecophile interactions beyond just their pairwise context. © 2016 The Author(s).

  8. 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.

  9. 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).

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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...

  18. 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

  19. 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...

  20. 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

  1. 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...

  2. 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...

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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...

  15. 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....

  16. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jim Underwood

    2002-11-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. 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...

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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...

  3. 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

  4. Insecticide transfer efficiency and lethal load in Argentine ants

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-10-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Philpott, Stacy M.

    2006-08-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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).

  12. 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....

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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...

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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)

  19. 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)

  20. 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

  1. 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).

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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)

  6. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  8. 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

  9. 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...

  10. 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...

  11. 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 ...

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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 ...

  17. 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 ...

  18. 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 ...

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Ants, rodents and seed predation in Proteaceae | Bond | African ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Results showed that seed prédation could be as high as 100%, but that ants usually discover and remove seeds before vertebrates. Significantly fewer seeds were dispersed by ants when elaiosomes were removed. Vertebrate removal rates also declined. Laboratory experiments with caged small mammals showed that ...

  2. Do ants need to be old and experienced to teach?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Franklin, Elizabeth L; Robinson, Elva J H; Marshall, James A R; Sendova-Franks, Ana B; Franks, Nigel R

    2012-04-15

    Learning is widespread in invertebrates. However, whether social insects improve their recruitment skills with experience is only beginning to be investigated. Tandem running is a one-to-one form of recruitment used by certain species of ant. It is a remarkable communication system that meets widely accepted criteria for teaching in non-human animals. Here, we determined experimentally to what extent participation in, and efficient execution of, tandem running depends on either the age or the experience of worker ants. To investigate these issues, we constructed colonies of the ant Temnothorax albipennis with different compositions of inexperienced and experienced workers from different age cohorts and then examined which ants participated in tandem runs when they emigrated. Our results show that the ability to participate actively in recruitment by tandem running is present in all worker age groups but the propensity to participate varies with experience rather than age per se. Experienced individuals were more likely to engage in tandem runs, either as leaders or as followers, than young inexperienced individuals, and older experienced ants were more likely to lead tandems than older inexperienced ants. Young inexperienced ants led faster, more rapidly dispersing and less accurately orientated tandem runs than the older experienced ants. Our study suggests that experience (rather than age per se) coupled to stimulus threshold responses might interact to promote a division of labour so that a suitable number of workers actively participate in tandem runs.

  3. Thermal constraints on foraging of tropical canopy ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spicer, Michelle Elise; Stark, Alyssa Y; Adams, Benjamin J; Kneale, Riley; Kaspari, Michael; Yanoviak, Stephen P

    2017-04-01

    Small cursorial ectotherms risk overheating when foraging in the tropical forest canopy, where the surfaces of unshaded tree branches commonly exceed 50 °C. We quantified the heating and subsequent cooling rates of 11 common canopy ant species from Panama and tested the hypothesis that ant workers stop foraging at temperatures consistent with the prevention of overheating. We created hot experimental "sunflecks" on existing foraging trails of four ant species from different clades and spanning a broad range of body size, heating rate, and critical thermal maxima (CT max ). Different ant species exhibited very different heating rates in the lab, and these differences did not follow trends predicted by body size alone. Experiments with ant models showed that heating rates are strongly affected by color in addition to body size. Foraging workers of all species showed strong responses to heating and consistently abandoned focal sites between 36 and 44 °C. Atta colombica and Azteca trigona workers resumed foraging shortly after heat was removed, but Cephalotes atratus and Dolichoderus bispinosus workers continued to avoid the heated patch even after >5 min of cooling. Large foraging ants (C. atratus) responded slowly to developing thermal extremes, whereas small ants (A. trigona) evacuated sunflecks relatively quickly, and at lower estimated body temperatures than when revisiting previously heated patches. The results of this study provide the first field-based insight into how foraging ants respond behaviorally to the heterogeneous thermal landscape of the tropical forest canopy.

  4. The role of foraging (harvester) ants, Messor cephalotes, in land ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The harvester ants of species Messor cephalotes, Emmery were identified as the main insects that were foraging herbaceous vegetation cover thus creating bare lands in some of the locations in the study area. Areas with high intensity of human activities in terms of framing and grazing had more bare lands created by ants ...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea Lucky

    Full Text Available The evolution of ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae is increasingly well-understood due to recent phylogenetic analyses, along with estimates of divergence times and diversification rates. Yet, leading hypotheses regarding the ancestral habitat of ants conflict with new findings that early ant lineages are cryptic and subterranean. Where the ants evolved, in respect to habitat, and how habitat shifts took place over time have not been formally tested. Here, we reconstruct the habitat transitions of crown-group ants through time, focusing on where they nest and forage (in the canopy, litter, or soil. Based on ancestral character reconstructions, we show that in contrast to the current consensus based on verbal arguments that ants evolved in tropical leaf litter, the soil is supported as the ancestral stratum of all ants. We also find subsequent movements up into the litter and, in some cases, into the canopy. Given the global importance of ants, because of their diversity, ecological influence and status as the most successful eusocial lineage on Earth, understanding the early evolution of this lineage provides insight into the factors that made this group so successful today.

  6. 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

  7. ADAPTIVE ANT COLONY OPTIMIZATION BASED GRADIENT FOR EDGE DETECTION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Febri Liantoni

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Ant Colony Optimization (ACO is a nature-inspired optimization algorithm which is motivated by ants foraging behavior. Due to its favorable advantages, ACO has been widely used to solve several NP-hard problems, including edge detection. Since ACO initially distributes ants at random, it may cause imbalance ant distribution which later affects path discovery process. In this paper an adaptive ACO is proposed to optimize edge detection by adaptively distributing ant according to gradient analysis. Ants are adaptively distributed according to gradient ratio of each image regions. Region which has bigger gradient ratio, will have bigger number of ant distribution. Experiments are conducted using images from various datasets. Precision and recall are used to quantitatively evaluate performance of the proposed algorithm. Precision and recall of adaptive ACO reaches 76.98 % and 96.8 %. Whereas highest precision and recall for standard ACO are 69.74 % and 74.85 %. Experimental results show that the adaptive ACO outperforms standard ACO which randomly distributes ants.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Villesen, Palle; Boomsma, JJ

    2003-01-01

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

  9. Reciprocal genomic evolution in the ant-fungus agricultural symbiosis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nygaard, Sanne; Hu, Haofu; Li, Cai

    2016-01-01

    The attine ant-fungus agricultural symbiosis evolved over tens of millions of years, producing complex societies with industrial-scale farming analogous to that of humans. Here we document reciprocal shifts in the genomes and transcriptomes of seven fungus-farming ant species and their fungal...

  10. Odorous house ants (Tapinoma sessile) as back-seat drivers of localized ant decline in urban habitats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salyer, Adam; Bennett, Gary W; Buczkowski, Grzegorz A

    2014-01-01

    Invasive species and habitat disturbance threaten biodiversity worldwide by modifying ecosystem performance and displacing native organisms. Similar homogenization impacts manifest locally when urbanization forces native species to relocate or reinvade perpetually altered habitat. This study investigated correlations between ant richness and abundance in response to urbanization and the nearby presence of invasive ant species, odorous house ants (Tapinoma sessile), within its native region. Surveying localized ant composition within natural, semi-natural, and urban habitat supported efforts to determine whether T. sessile appear to be primary (drivers) threats as instigators or secondary (passengers) threats as inheritors of indigenous ant decline. Sampling 180 sites, evenly split between all habitats with and without T. sessile present, yielded 45 total species. Although urbanization and T. sessile presence factors were significantly linked to ant decline, their interaction correlated to the greatest reduction of total ant richness (74%) and abundance (81%). Total richness appeared to decrease from 27 species to 18 when natural habitat is urbanized and from 18 species to 7 with T. sessile present in urban plots. Odorous house ant presence minimally influenced ant communities within natural and semi-natural habitat, highlighting the importance of habitat alteration and T. sessile presence interactions. Results suggest urbanization releases T. sessile from unknown constraints by decreasing ant richness and competition. Within urban environment, T. sessile are pre-adapted to quickly exploit new resources and grow to supercolony strength wherein T. sessile drive adjacent biodiversity loss. Odorous house ants act as passengers and drivers of ecological change throughout different phases of urban 'invasion'. This progression through surviving habitat alteration, exploiting new resources, thriving, and further reducing interspecific competition supports a "back

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Huszár, Dóra Borbála

    Ants, like other social insects, have evolved cooperative societies based on kinship. Colonies headed by a single breeding queen (monogyny) was the ancestral state but today ca. half of the ant species live in multi-queen societies (polygyny), which can sometimes reach extreme sizes (supercolony...... that only ants, not the other obligatorily social insects were able to decrease social and sexual conflicts sufficiently to make polygyny reach obligate form in some species. This can be explained by general ant biology, such as perennial lifehistories, foraging on foot instead of wings and having one...... mating event in life instead of ongoing events between pairs. Second, by empirical studies on the native ant species Myrmica rubra we were able to demonstrate that the three social syndromes can co-exist within populations, but with possible overlap in certain traits. Genetic and morphology results...

  12. 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

  13. Preliminary survey of ants at Tarutao National Park, Southern Thailand

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nawee Noon-anant

    2003-01-01

    Full Text Available Tarutao National Park is the first national marine park of Thailand. It consists of 51 islands. Though flora and fauna are very rich, there is no record of ant fauna. Thus, this study is a pioneer ant report on this marine park. Six sites were randomly chosen in the largest island of the archipelago, namely Tarutao. Two sampling methods, hand collecting and litter sifting, were applied to ant collecting within a time limit of 30 minutes for each method. There were 3 replications of each sampling method in each study site. This study was conducted during 10-17 March 2001. Five subfamilies of ants, comprising 61 species were found. The results also showed that sites had no effect on species number of ants but sampling methods differed significantly in species number of the subfamily Formicinae (P<0.05.

  14. Improved ant algorithms for software testing cases generation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Shunkun; Man, Tianlong; Xu, Jiaqi

    2014-01-01

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

  15. ANT International chemistry update and best practices

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nordmann, F.; Odar, S.; Venz, H.; Kysela, J.; Ruehle, W.; Riess, R.

    2010-01-01

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

  16. Indirect defense in a highly specific ant-plant mutualism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grangier, Julien; Dejean, Alain; Malé, Pierre-Jean G.; Orivel, Jérôme

    2008-10-01

    Although associations between myrmecophytes and their plant ants are recognized as a particularly effective form of protective mutualism, their functioning remains incompletely understood. This field study examined the ant-plant Hirtella physophora and its obligate ant associate Allomerus decemarticulatus. We formulated two hypotheses on the highly specific nature of this association: (1) Ant presence should be correlated with a marked reduction in the amount of herbivory on the plant foliage; (2) ant activity should be consistent with the "optimal defense" theory predicting that the most vulnerable and valuable parts of the plant are the best defended. We validated the first hypothesis by demonstrating that for ant-excluded plants, expanding leaves, but also newly matured ones in the long term, suffered significantly more herbivore damage than ant-inhabited plants. We showed that A. decemarticulatus workers represent both constitutive and inducible defenses for their host, by patrolling its foliage and rapidly recruiting nestmates to foliar wounds. On examining how these activities change according to the leaves’ developmental stage, we found that the number of patrolling ants dramatically decreased as the leaves matured, while leaf wounds induced ant recruitment regardless of the leaf’s age. The resulting level of these indirect defenses was roughly proportional to leaf vulnerability and value during its development, thus validating our second hypothesis predicting optimal protection. This led us to discuss the factors influencing ant activity on the plant’s surface. Our study emphasizes the importance of studying both the constitutive and inducible components of indirect defense when evaluating its efficacy and optimality.

  17. Assessing ant seed predation in threatened plants: a case study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Albert, María José; Escudero, Adrián; Iriondo, José María

    2005-11-01

    Erodium paularense is a threatened plant species that is subject to seed predation by the granivorous ant Messor capitatus. In this paper we assessed the intensity and pattern of ant seed predation and looked for possible adaptive strategies at the seed and plant levels to cope with this predation. Seed predation was estimated in 1997 and 1998 at the population level by comparing total seed production and ant consumption, assessed by counting seed hulls in refuse piles. According to this method, ant seed predation ranged between 18% and 28%. A more detailed and direct assessment conducted in 1997 raised this estimate to 43%. In this assessment spatial and temporal patterns of seed predation by ants were studied by mapping all nest entrances in the studied area and marking the mature fruits of 109 reproductive plants with a specific colour code throughout the seed dispersal period. Intact fruit coats were later recovered from the refuse piles, and their mother plants and time of dispersal were identified. Seeds dispersed at the end of the dispersal period had a greater probability of escaping from ant seed predation. Similarly, in plants with late dispersal a greater percentage of seeds escaped from ant predation. Optimum dispersal time coincided with the maximum activity of granivorous ants because, at this time, ants focused their harvest on other plant species of the community. It was also observed that within-individual seed dispersal asynchrony minimised seed predation. From a conservation perspective, results show that the granivorous ant-plant interaction cannot be assessed in isolation and that the intensity of its effects basically depends on the seed dispersal pattern of the other members of the plant community. Furthermore, this threat must be assessed by considering the overall situation of the target population. Thus, in E. paularense, the strong limitation of safe-sites for seedling establishment reduces the importance of seed predation.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Escobar-Ramírez, Selene; Duque, Sebastián; Henao, Natalia; Hurtado-Giraldo, Alejandra; Armbrecht, Inge

    2012-01-01

    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 ...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Trevor R Sorrells

    2011-04-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lynegaard, Gina; Offenberg, Joachim; Fast, Thora

    2014-01-01

    production of ants. Malaise like traps placed in trees may catch flying insects without catching ants, as ants may use pheromone trails to navigate in and out of the traps. Thus, ants may increase their prey intake if they are able to extract insects caught in traps. In a mango plantation in Tanzania, we...... estimated the amount of insects caught by simple traps (cost per trap = 3.9 USD), and whether O. longinoda was able to collect insects from them. On average, a trap caught 110 insects per month without catching any weaver ants. The number of insects found in traps with ant access was 25% lower than...... in control traps (ants excluded), showing that ants were able to gather prey from the traps. Ant activity in traps increased over time, showing that prey extraction efficiency may increase as ants customize to the traps. The prey removed from traps by ants constituted 5% of the number of prey items collected...

  1. The diversity of microorganisms associated with Acromyrmex leafcutter ants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Boomsma Jacobus J

    2002-05-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liu Yunlong

    2006-08-01

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

  3. Wasps robbing food from ants: a frequent behavior?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lapierre, Louis; Hespenheide, Henry; Dejean, Alain

    2007-12-01

    Food robbing, or cleptobiosis, has been well documented throughout the animal kingdom. For insects, intrafamilial food robbing is known among ants, but social wasps (Vespidae; Polistinae) taking food from ants has, to the best of our knowledge, never been reported. In this paper, we present two cases involving social wasps robbing food from ants associated with myrmecophytes. (1) Polybioides tabida F. (Ropalidiini) rob pieces of prey from Tetraponera aethiops Smith (Formicidae; Pseudomyrmecinae) specifically associated with Barteria fistulosa Mast. (Passifloraceae). (2) Charterginus spp. (Epiponini) rob food bodies from myrmecophytic Cecropia (Cecropiaceae) exploited by their Azteca mutualists (Formicidae; Dolichoderinae) or by opportunistic ants (that also attack cleptobiotic wasps). We note here that wasps gather food bodies (1) when ants are not yet active; (2) when ants are active, but avoiding any contact with them by flying off when attacked; and (3) through the coordinated efforts of two to five wasps, wherein one of them prevents the ants from leaving their nest, while the other wasps freely gather the food bodies. We suggest that these interactions are more common than previously thought.

  4. Interactions Increase Forager Availability and Activity in Harvester Ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pless, Evlyn; Queirolo, Jovel; Pinter-Wollman, Noa; Crow, Sam; Allen, Kelsey; Mathur, Maya B; Gordon, Deborah M

    2015-01-01

    Social insect colonies use interactions among workers to regulate collective behavior. Harvester ant foragers interact in a chamber just inside the nest entrance, here called the 'entrance chamber'. Previous studies of the activation of foragers in red harvester ants show that an outgoing forager inside the nest experiences an increase in brief antennal contacts before it leaves the nest to forage. Here we compare the interaction rate experienced by foragers that left the nest and ants that did not. We found that ants in the entrance chamber that leave the nest to forage experienced more interactions than ants that descend to the deeper nest without foraging. Additionally, we found that the availability of foragers in the entrance chamber is associated with the rate of forager return. An increase in the rate of forager return leads to an increase in the rate at which ants descend to the deeper nest, which then stimulates more ants to ascend into the entrance chamber. Thus a higher rate of forager return leads to more available foragers in the entrance chamber. The highest density of interactions occurs near the nest entrance and the entrances of the tunnels from the entrance chamber to the deeper nest. Local interactions with returning foragers regulate both the activation of waiting foragers and the number of foragers available to be activated.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Fernanda Miori de Zarzuela

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Some ant species cause severe ecological and health impact in urban areas. Many attempts have been tested to control such species, although they do not always succeed. Biological control is an alternative to chemical control and has gained great prominence in research, and fungi and nematodes are among the successful organisms controlling insects. This study aimed to clarify some questions regarding the biological control of ants. Invasive ant species in Brazil had their nests evaluated for the presence of entomopathogens. Isolated entomopathogens were later applied in colonies of Monomorium floricola under laboratory conditions to evaluate their effectiveness and the behavior of the ant colonies after treatment. The entomopathogenic nematodes Heterorhabditis sp. and Steinernema sp. and the fungi Beauveria bassiana, Metarhizium anisopliae, and Paecilomyces sp. were isolated from the invasive ant nests. M. floricola colonies treated with Steinernema sp. and Heterorhabditis sp. showed a higher mortality of workers than control. The fungus Beauveria bassiana caused higher mortality of M. floricola workers. However, no colony reduction or elimination was observed in any treatment. The defensive behaviors of ants, such as grooming behavior and colony budding, must be considered when using fungi and nematodes for biological control of ants.

  6. 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.

  7. Interactions Increase Forager Availability and Activity in Harvester Ants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Evlyn Pless

    Full Text Available Social insect colonies use interactions among workers to regulate collective behavior. Harvester ant foragers interact in a chamber just inside the nest entrance, here called the 'entrance chamber'. Previous studies of the activation of foragers in red harvester ants show that an outgoing forager inside the nest experiences an increase in brief antennal contacts before it leaves the nest to forage. Here we compare the interaction rate experienced by foragers that left the nest and ants that did not. We found that ants in the entrance chamber that leave the nest to forage experienced more interactions than ants that descend to the deeper nest without foraging. Additionally, we found that the availability of foragers in the entrance chamber is associated with the rate of forager return. An increase in the rate of forager return leads to an increase in the rate at which ants descend to the deeper nest, which then stimulates more ants to ascend into the entrance chamber. Thus a higher rate of forager return leads to more available foragers in the entrance chamber. The highest density of interactions occurs near the nest entrance and the entrances of the tunnels from the entrance chamber to the deeper nest. Local interactions with returning foragers regulate both the activation of waiting foragers and the number of foragers available to be activated.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Krista K Ingram

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  11. Patterns of reproduction in slave-making ants

    OpenAIRE

    Herbers, J. M.; Stuart, R. J.

    1998-01-01

    Sex ratios in slave-making ants have been posed as important test cases for the hypothesis that eusociality evolved via kin selection in insects. Trivers and Hare proposed that sex ratios in slave-makers should reflect the queen's interests whereas sex ratios in free-living host ants should reflect the workers' interests. We analyse patterns of allocation to males versus females, as well as allocation to growth versus reproduction for slave-making ants in the tribe Formicoxenini. We find litt...

  12. Army ants (Formicidae: Ecitoninae) in productive systems of Caqueta (Colombia)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sanabria Blandon, Catalina; Achury, Rafael

    2011-01-01

    Five species of army ants (Labidus coecus, Labidus coecus, Neivamyrmex punctaticeps, Cheliomyrmex andicola y Eciton dulcium) are recorded from land under seven different use regimes in Caqueta Department. The ants were captured in agricultural areas of the Amazonian foothills using four sampling methods (TSBF, screening of litter, formalin soil wash, and direct search). We provide information about distribution and habits for each species and report the presence of C. andicola and E. dulcium in Caqueta for the first time. These records contribute to a better knowledge of the ant fauna in Colombia.

  13. An Improved Ant Colony Routing Algorithm for WSNs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tan Zhi

    2015-01-01

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

  14. Warehouse stocking optimization based on dynamic ant colony genetic algorithm

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiao, Xiaoxu

    2018-04-01

    In view of the various orders of FAW (First Automotive Works) International Logistics Co., Ltd., the SLP method is used to optimize the layout of the warehousing units in the enterprise, thus the warehouse logistics is optimized and the external processing speed of the order is improved. In addition, the relevant intelligent algorithms for optimizing the stocking route problem are analyzed. The ant colony algorithm and genetic algorithm which have good applicability are emphatically studied. The parameters of ant colony algorithm are optimized by genetic algorithm, which improves the performance of ant colony algorithm. A typical path optimization problem model is taken as an example to prove the effectiveness of parameter optimization.

  15. Evolution of Fungal enzymes in the attine ant symbiosis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    The attine ant symbiosis is characterized by ancient but varying degrees of diffuse co-evolution between the ants and their fungal cultivars. Domesticated fungi became dependent on vertical transmission by queens and the ant colonies came to rely on their symbiotic fungus for food and thus...... as garden substrate, whereas the more basal genera use leaf litter, insect feces and insect carcasses. We hypothesized that enzyme activity of fungal symbionts has co-evolved with substrate use and we measured enzyme activities of fungus gardens in the field to test this, focusing particularly on plant...... essential for the symbiosis in general, but have contributed specifically to the evolution of the symbiosis....

  16. Automating ActionScript Projects with Eclipse and Ant

    CERN Document Server

    Koning, Sidney

    2011-01-01

    Automating repetitive programming tasks is easier than many Flash/AS3 developers think. With the Ant build tool, the Eclipse IDE, and this concise guide, you can set up your own "ultimate development machine" to code, compile, debug, and deploy projects faster. You'll also get started with versioning systems, such as Subversion and Git. Create a consistent workflow for multiple machines, or even complete departments, with the help of extensive Ant code samples. If you want to work smarter and take your skills to a new level, this book will get you on the road to automation-with Ant. Set up y

  17. 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.

  18. Symbiotic mutualism with a community of opportunistic ants: protection, competition, and ant occupancy of the myrmecophyte Barteria nigritana (Passifloraceae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Djiéto-Lordon, Champlain; Dejean, Alain; Gibernau, Marc; Hossaert-McKey, Martine; McKey, Doyle

    2004-10-01

    Barteria nigritana is a myrmecophyte tree of Lower Guinea coastal vegetation. Unlike the more specialised B. fistulosa, which harbours a single host-specific mutualistic ant, B. nigritana is associated with several opportunistic ants. Such symbiotic, yet opportunistic, ant-plant associations have been little studied. On 113 clumps of B. nigritana, we censused ant associates and herbivores and compared herbivory on plants occupied by different ants. In addition to these correlative data, protection conferred by different ant species was compared by herbivore-placement experiments. Identity of ant associate changed predictably over plant ontogeny. Pheidole megacephala was restricted to very small plants; saplings were occupied by either Oecophylla longinoda or Crematogaster sp., and the latter species was the sole occupant of larger trees. Damage by caterpillars of the nymphalid butterfly Acraea zetes accounted for much of the herbivory to leaves. Ant species differed in the protection provided to hosts. While P. megacephala provided no significant protection, plants occupied by O. longinoda and Crematogaster sp. suffered less damage than did unoccupied plants or those occupied by P. megacephala. Furthermore, O. longinoda provided more effective protection than did Crematogaster sp. Herbivore-placement experiments confirmed these results. Workers of O. longinoda killed or removed all larval instars of A. zetes. Crematogaster preyed on only the two first larval instars, and P. megacephala preyed mainly on eggs, only rarely attacking the two first larval instars. Opportunistic ants provided significant protection to this relatively unspecialised myrmecophyte. The usual associate of mature trees was not the species that provided most protection.

  19. Disease dynamics in a specialized parasite of ant societies.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sandra B Andersen

    Full Text Available 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 and that hyperparasites often castrate Ophiocordyceps. However, once fruiting bodies become sexually mature they appear robust. Such parasite life-history traits are consistent with iteroparity--a reproductive strategy rarely considered in fungi. We discuss how tropical habitats with high biodiversity of hyperparasites and high spore mortality has likely been crucial for the evolution and maintenance of iteroparity in parasites with low dispersal potential.

  20. Efficient egress of escaping ants stressed with temperature.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Santiago Boari

    Full Text Available In the present work we investigate the egress times of a group of Argentine ants (Linepithema humile stressed with different heating speeds. We found that the higher the temperature ramp is, the faster ants evacuate showing, in this sense, a group-efficient evacuation strategy. It is important to note that even when the life of ants was in danger, jamming and clogging was not observed near the exit, in accordance with other experiments reported in the literature using citronella as aversive stimuli. Because of this clear difference between ants and humans, we recommend the use of some other animal models for studying competitive egress dynamics as a more accurate approach to understanding competitive egress in human systems.

  1. Myrmeciza and related antbirds (Aves, Formicariidae as army ant followers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Edwin O. Willis

    1984-01-01

    Full Text Available Antbirds of the genera Myrmeciza (including Sipia and Myrmoborus, Gymnocichla, and Sclateria hop near or on the ground in fairly dense vegetation, "pounding" their tails downward. Where dense understory vegetation is widespread and ants move in it for long distances, certain of these antbirds become regular ant followers: M. immaculata and M. fortis in cluttered moist foothill forest from Costa Rica to upper Amazonia; Gymnocichla nudiceps in moist cluttered second growth of Central America to Colombia. Where the forest understory is more open, Myrmeciza species follow ants mainly in cluttered patches: M. exsul in lowland forest west of the Andes, M. myotherina east of the Andes. Myrmeciza or relatives that specialize on water-edge or very dense zones rarely follow ants.

  2. Communal peeing: a new mode of flood control in ants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maschwitz, Ulrich; Moog, J.

    The behavioral response of the obligate bamboo-nesting ant Cataulacus muticus to nest flooding was studied in a perhumid tropical rainforest in Malaysia and in the laboratory. The hollow internodes of giant bamboo, in which C. muticus exclusively nests, are prone to flooding by heavy rains. The ants showed a two-graded response to flooding. During heavy rain workers block the nest entrances with their heads to reduce water influx. However, rainwater may still intrude into the nest chamber. The ants respond by drinking the water, leaving the nest and excreting water droplets on the outer stem surface. This cooperative 'peeing' behavior is a new survival mechanism adaptive to the ants' nesting ecology. Laboratory experiments conducted with two other Cataulacus species, C. catuvolcus colonizing small dead twigs and C. horridus inhabiting rotten wood, did not reveal any form of water-bailing behavior.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1998-01-01

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

  4. Melissotarsus ants are likely able to digest plant polysaccharides.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mony, Ruth; Dejean, Alain; Bilong, Charles Félix Bilong; Kenne, Martin; Rouland-Lefèvre, Corinne

    2013-10-01

    Melissotarsus ants have an extremely specialized set of behaviours. Both workers and gynes tunnel galleries in their host tree bark. Workers walk with their mesothoracic legs pointing upwards and tend Diaspididae hemiptera for their flesh. The ants use their forelegs to plug the galleries with silk that they secrete themselves. We hypothesised that the ants' energetic needs for nearly constant gallery digging could be satisfied through the absorption of host tree tissues; so, using basic techniques, we examined the digestive capacities of workers from two species. We show that workers are able to degrade oligosaccharides and heterosides as well as, to a lesser degree, polysaccharides. This is one of the rare reports on ants able to digest plant polysaccharides other than starch. Copyright © 2013 Académie des sciences. Published by Elsevier SAS. All rights reserved.

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

    Index Scriptorium Estoniae

    Sild, Ants, 1958-

    2015-01-01

    Elus olulised oskused, isemõtlemine, loomingulisus, mida õpilased peaksid koolist saama, et vastata tööandjate ning ühiskonna vajadustele. Kuidas koolid seda toetada saavad uuriti Baltic Computer Systems juhatajalt Ants Sillalt

  6. Tuning PID Controller Using Multiobjective Ant Colony Optimization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ibtissem Chiha

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper treats a tuning of PID controllers method using multiobjective ant colony optimization. The design objective was to apply the ant colony algorithm in the aim of tuning the optimum solution of the PID controllers (Kp, Ki, and Kd by minimizing the multiobjective function. The potential of using multiobjective ant algorithms is to identify the Pareto optimal solution. The other methods are applied to make comparisons between a classic approach based on the “Ziegler-Nichols” method and a metaheuristic approach based on the genetic algorithms. Simulation results demonstrate that the new tuning method using multiobjective ant colony optimization has a better control system performance compared with the classic approach and the genetic algorithms.

  7. Communal peeing: a new mode of flood control in ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maschwitz, U; Moog, J

    2000-12-01

    The behavioral response of the obligate bamboo-nesting ant Cataulacus muticus to nest flooding was studied in a perhumid tropical rainforest in Malaysia and in the laboratory. The hollow internodes of giant bamboo, in which C. muticus exclusively nests, are prone to flooding by heavy rains. The ants showed a two-graded response to flooding. During heavy rain workers block the nest entrances with their heads to reduce water influx. However, rainwater may still intrude into the nest chamber. The ants respond by drinking the water, leaving the nest and excreting water droplets on the outer stem surface. This cooperative 'peeing' behavior is a new survival mechanism adaptive to the ants' nesting ecology. Laboratory experiments conducted with two other Cataulacus species, C. catuvolcus colonizing small dead twigs and C. horridus inhabiting rotten wood, did not reveal any form of water-bailing behavior.

  8. Ant cuticles: a trap for atmospheric phthalate contaminants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lenoir, Alain; Cuvillier-Hot, Virginie; Devers, Séverine; Christidès, Jean-Philippe; Montigny, Frédéric

    2012-12-15

    Phthalates are universal contaminants. We show that they are trapped by the ant cuticles and maintained permanently at a low level, generally less than 1% of cuticular components. They are found throughout the interior of the insect, predominately in the fat body, which suggests that they are adsorbed by the cuticle. In open plastic boxes free of phthalates the ants became more contaminated with phthalates over a period of time, whereas in closed glass jars they did not. This finding suggests that the main source of pollutants is the atmosphere. Different ant species collected from multiple places showed similar levels of contamination. It appeared that in some pristine places the contamination was lower, but this needs to be confirmed. Ants can be considered as bio-indicators of phthalate pollution. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  9. Florida alternative NTCIP testing software (ANTS) for actuated signal controllers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-01-01

    The scope of this research project did include the development of a software tool to test devices for NTCIP compliance. Development of the Florida Alternative NTCIP Testing Software (ANTS) was developed by the research team due to limitations found w...

  10. Evolutionarily advanced ant farmers rear polyploid fungal crops

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2015-01-01

    the number of nuclei per fungal cell for 42 symbionts reared by 14 species of Panamanian fungus-growing ants. This showed that domesticated symbionts of higher attine ants are polykaryotic with 7-17 nuclei per cell, whereas nonspecialized crops of lower attines are dikaryotic similar to most free......Innovative evolutionary developments are often related to gene or genome duplications. The crop fungi of attine fungus-growing ants are suspected to have enhanced genetic variation reminiscent of polyploidy, but this has never been quantified with cytological data and genetic markers. We estimated...... of the basal higher attine genera Trachymyrmex and Sericomyrmex was only slightly enhanced, but the evolutionarily derived crop fungi of Atta and Acromyrmex leaf-cutting ants had much higher genetic variation. Our opposite ploidy models indicated that the symbionts of Trachymyrmex and Sericomyrmex are likely...

  11. Ant colony search algorithm for optimal reactive power optimization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lenin K.

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available The paper presents an (ACSA Ant colony search Algorithm for Optimal Reactive Power Optimization and voltage control of power systems. ACSA is a new co-operative agents’ approach, which is inspired by the observation of the behavior of real ant colonies on the topic of ant trial formation and foraging methods. Hence, in the ACSA a set of co-operative agents called "Ants" co-operates to find good solution for Reactive Power Optimization problem. The ACSA is applied for optimal reactive power optimization is evaluated on standard IEEE, 30, 57, 191 (practical test bus system. The proposed approach is tested and compared to genetic algorithm (GA, Adaptive Genetic Algorithm (AGA.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2013-01-01

    Oecophylla ants may protect tropical plantation crops against pests. Cost-benefit studies comparing ant-based protection with conventional methods are needed to assess whether it is economically viable. Here we contrast profits in ant and chemically protected plots in a Thai and a Vietnamese citrus...... measures to provide a viable alternative to chemical pest control....... clypealis, which destroyed the mango flowers in the weaver ant treatments, and a result of weaver ants protecting this leafhopper to obtain its honeydew. Thus, weaver ants alone may work effectively in some settings whereas in other cases ant control need to be supplemented with additional IPM control...

  13. Ant mimicry by an aphid parasitoid, Lysiphlebus fabarum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rasekh, Arash; Michaud, J P; Kharazi-Pakdel, Aziz; Allahyari, Hossein

    2010-01-01

    In Iran, Lysiphlebus fabarum (Marshall) (Hymenoptera: Braconidae: Aphidiinae) is a uniparental parasitoid of the black bean aphid, Aphis fabae Scopoli (Hemiptera: Aphididae), that possesses various highly evolved adaptations for foraging within ant-tended aphid colonies. Direct observations and video recordings were used to analyze the behavior of individual females foraging for A. fabae on bean leaf disks in open arenas in the laboratory. Females exploited aphids as hosts and as a source of food, allocating within-patch time as follows: resting - 10.4%, grooming - 8.2%, searching - 11.5%, antennation (host recognition) - 7.5%, antennation (honeydew solicitation mimicking ants) - 31.9%, abdominal bending (attack preparation) 19.7%, probing with the ovipositor (attack) - 10.8%. The mean handling time for each aphid encountered was 2.0 ± 0.5 min. Females encountered an average of 47.4 ± 6.4 aphids per hour, but laid only 1.2 eggs per hour. The ovipositor insertion time for parasitism ranged from 2 sec to longer than a minute, but most insertions did not result in an egg being laid. A. fabae defensive behaviors included kicking, raising and swiveling the body, and attempts to smear the attacker with cornicle secretions, sometimes with lethal results. Food deprivation for 4-6 h prior to testing increased the frequency of ant mimcry by L. fabarum. Females also used ant-like antennation to reduce A. fabae defensive behavior, e.g. the frequency of kicking. L. fabarum attacks primed A. fabae to be more responsive to subsequent honeydew solicitation, such that experienced females improved their feeding success by alternating between the roles of parasitoid and ant mimic. These results reveal the possibility for mutualisms to evolve between L. fabarum and the ant species that tend A. fabae, since L. fabarum receive ant protection for their progeny and may benefit the ants by improving A. fabae responsiveness to honeydew solicitation.

  14. Carbohydrate supply limits invasion of natural communities by Argentine ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rowles, Alexei D; Silverman, Jules

    2009-08-01

    The ability of species to invade new habitats is often limited by various biotic and physical factors or interactions between the two. Invasive ants, frequently associated with human activities, flourish in disturbed urban and agricultural environments. However, their ability to invade and establish in natural habitats is more variable. This is particularly so for the invasive Argentine ant (Linepithema humile). While biotic resistance and low soil moisture limits their invasion of natural habitats in some instances, the effect of food availability has been poorly explored. We conducted field experiments to determine if resource availability limits the spread and persistence of Argentine ants in remnant natural forest in North Carolina. Replicated transects paired with and without sucrose solution feeding stations were run from invaded urban edges into forest remnants and compared over time using baits and direct counts at feeding stations. Repeated under different timing regimes in 2006 and 2007, access to sucrose increased local Argentine ant abundances (1.6-2.5 fold) and facilitated their progression into the forest up to 73 +/- 21% of 50-m transects. Resource removal caused an expected decrease in Argentine ant densities in 2006, in conjunction with their retreat to the urban/forest boundary. However, in 2007, Argentine ant numbers unexpectedly continued to increase in the absence of sugar stations, possibly through access to alternative resources or conditions not available the previous year such as honeydew-excreting Hemiptera. Our results showed that supplementing carbohydrate supply facilitates invasion of natural habitat by Argentine ants. This is particularly evident where Argentine ants continued to thrive following sugar station removal.

  15. Dentigerumycin: a bacterial mediator of an ant-fungus symbiosis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Oh, Dong-Chan; Poulsen, Michael; Currie, Cameron R

    2009-01-01

    Fungus-growing ants engage in mutualistic associations with both the fungus they cultivate for food and actinobacteria (Pseudonocardia spp.) that produce selective antibiotics to defend that fungus from specialized fungal parasites. We have analyzed one such system at the molecular level and found...... that the bacterium associated with the ant Apterostigma dentigerum produces dentigerumycin, a cyclic depsipeptide with highly modified amino acids, to selectively inhibit the associated parasitic fungus (Escovopsis sp.)....

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

    OpenAIRE

    David Lubertazzi; Gary D. Alpert

    2014-01-01

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

  17. Hybridization in East African swarm-raiding army ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kronauer, Daniel Jc; Peters, Marcell K; Schöning, Caspar

    2011-01-01

    Hybridization can have complex effects on evolutionary dynamics in ants because of the combination of haplodiploid sex-determination and eusociality. While hybrid non-reproductive workers have been found in a range of species, examples of gene-flow via hybrid queens and males are rare. We studied...... hybridization in East African army ants (Dorylus subgenus Anomma) using morphology, mitochondrial DNA sequences, and nuclear microsatellites....

  18. Nasa's Ant-Inspired Swarmie Robots

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leucht, Kurt W.

    2016-01-01

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

  19. Recognition in ants: social origin matters.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joël Meunier

    Full Text Available The ability of group members to discriminate against foreigners is a keystone in the evolution of sociality. In social insects, colony social structure (number of queens is generally thought to influence abilities of resident workers to discriminate between nestmates and non-nestmates. However, whether social origin of introduced individuals has an effect on their acceptance in conspecific colonies remains poorly explored. Using egg-acceptance bioassays, we tested the influence of social origin of queen-laid eggs on their acceptance by foreign workers in the ant Formica selysi. We showed that workers from both single- and multiple-queen colonies discriminated against foreign eggs from single-queen colonies, whereas they surprisingly accepted foreign eggs from multiple-queen colonies. Chemical analyses then demonstrated that social origins of eggs and workers could be discriminated on the basis of their chemical profiles, a signal generally involved in nestmate discrimination. These findings provide the first evidence in social insects that social origins of eggs interfere with nestmate discrimination and are encoded by chemical signatures.

  20. The natural history of the arboreal ant, Crematogaster ashmeadi

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Walter R. Tschinkel

    2002-07-01

    Full Text Available The arboreal ant, Crematogaster ashmeadi Emery (Hymenoptera: Formicidae, is the most dominant arboreal ant in the pine forests of the coastal plain of northern Florida. The majority of pine trees harbor a colony of these ants. The colonies inhabit multiple chambers abandoned by bark-mining caterpillars, especially those of the family Cossidae, in the outer bark of living pines. They also inhabit ground level termite galleries in the bark, often locating the queen in galleries. The density of chambers and ants is highest in the base of the tree and drops sharply with height on the trunk. Because chambers are formed in the inner layer of bark, they gradually move outward as more bark layers are laid down, eventually sloughing off the tree's outer surface. Chambers have a mean lifetime of about 25 yr. The abundant chambers in pine bark are excavated by a small population of caterpillars and accumulate over decades. Ant colonies also inhabit abandoned galleries of woodboring beetles in dead branches in the crowns of pines. Because newly mated queens found colonies in abandoned woodboring beetle galleries in the first dead branches that form on pine saplings, C. ashmeadi is dependent on cavities made by other insects throughout its life cycle, and does little if any excavation of its own. Mature colonies nest preferentially in chambers greater than 10 cm2 in area, a relatively rare chamber size. In natural pine forests, this does not seem to limit the ant's populations.

  1. The adaptive significance of phasic colony cycles in army ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garnier, Simon; Kronauer, Daniel J C

    2017-09-07

    Army ants are top arthropod predators in tropical forests around the world. The colonies of many army ant species undergo stereotypical behavioral and reproductive cycles, alternating between brood care and reproductive phases. In the brood care phase, colonies contain a cohort of larvae that are synchronized in their development and have to be fed. In the reproductive phase larvae are absent and oviposition takes place. Despite these colony cycles being a striking feature of army ant biology, their adaptive significance is unclear. Here we use a modeling approach to show that cyclic reproduction is favored under conditions where per capita foraging costs decrease with the number of larvae in a colony ("High Cost of Entry" scenario), while continuous reproduction is favored under conditions where per capita foraging costs increase with the number of larvae ("Resource Exhaustion" scenario). We argue that the former scenario specifically applies to army ants, because large raiding parties are required to overpower prey colonies. However, once raiding is successful it provides abundant food for a large cohort of larvae. The latter scenario, on the other hand, will apply to non-army ants, because in those species local resource depletion will force workers to forage over larger distances to feed large larval cohorts. Our model provides a quantitative framework for understanding the adaptive value of phasic colony cycles in ants. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Water stress strengthens mutualism among ants, trees, and scale insects.

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    Elizabeth G Pringle

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available Abiotic environmental variables strongly affect the outcomes of species interactions. For example, mutualistic interactions between species are often stronger when resources are limited. The effect might be indirect: water stress on plants can lead to carbon stress, which could alter carbon-mediated plant mutualisms. In mutualistic ant-plant symbioses, plants host ant colonies that defend them against herbivores. Here we show that the partners' investments in a widespread ant-plant symbiosis increase with water stress across 26 sites along a Mesoamerican precipitation gradient. At lower precipitation levels, Cordia alliodora trees invest more carbon in Azteca ants via phloem-feeding scale insects that provide the ants with sugars, and the ants provide better defense of the carbon-producing leaves. Under water stress, the trees have smaller carbon pools. A model of the carbon trade-offs for the mutualistic partners shows that the observed strategies can arise from the carbon costs of rare but extreme events of herbivory in the rainy season. Thus, water limitation, together with the risk of herbivory, increases the strength of a carbon-based mutualism.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-05-01

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

  4. Social prophylaxis through distant corpse removal in ants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diez, Lise; Deneubourg, Jean-Louis; Detrain, Claire

    2012-10-01

    Living in groups raises important issues concerning waste management and related sanitary risks. Social insects such as ants live at high densities with genetically related individuals within confined and humid nests, all these factors being highly favorable for the spread of pathogens. Therefore, in addition to individual immunity, a social prophylaxis takes place, namely, by the removal of risky items such as corpses and their rejection at a distance from the ant nest. In this study, we investigate how Myrmica rubra workers manage to reduce encounters between potentially hazardous corpses and nestmates. Using both field and laboratory experiments, we describe how the spatial distribution and the removal distance of waste items vary as a function of their associated sanitary risks (inert item vs. corpse). In the field, corpse-carrying ants walked in a rather linear way away from the nest entrance and had an equal probability of choosing any direction. Therefore, they did not aggregate corpses in dedicated areas but scattered them in the environment. In both field and laboratory experiments, ants carrying corpses dropped their load in more remote—and less frequented—areas than workers carrying inert items. However, for equidistant areas, ants did not avoid dropping corpses at a location where they perceived area marking as a cue of high occupancy level by nestmates. Our results suggest that ants use distance to the nest rather than other occupancy cues to limit sanitary risks associated with dead nestmates.

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

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    Ana Z Gonçalves

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

  6. Competence of Litter Ants for Rapid Biodiversity Assessments

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    T. H. Saumya E. Silva

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Rapid Biodiversity Assessment approaches associated with focusing taxa have overcome many of the problems related to large scale surveys. This study examined the suitability of litter ants as a focusing taxon by checking whether diversity and species assemblages of litter ants reflect the overall picture of arthropod diversity and assemblages in leaf litter in two vegetation types: secondary forest and pine plantation in Upper Hanthana forest reserve, Sri Lanka. In each vegetation type, arthropods were sampled using three sampling methods (Winkler extraction, hand collection, and pitfall traps along three 100 m line transects. From the two sites, 1887 litter ants (34 species and 3488 litter arthropods (52 species were collected. Species assemblages composition of both ants and other arthropods differed significantly between the two sites (ANOSIM, p=0.001 with both groups generating distinct clusters for the two sites (SIMPROF, p=0.001. But there was no significant correlation (p>0.05 between abundance and richness of litter ants and those of other arthropods in both vegetation types. The overall finding suggests that the litter ants do not reflect the holistic picture of arthropod diversity and assemblages in leaf litter, but the quality of the habitat for the survival of all litter arthropods.

  7. Colony Fusion in a Parthenogenetic Ant, Pristomyrmex punctatus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Satow, Show; Satoh, Toshiyuki; Hirota, Tadao

    2013-01-01

    In the ant Pristomyrmex punctatus Smith (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), all young workers lay a small number of eggs parthenogenetically. Some colonies consist of monoclonal individuals that provide high inclusive fitness, according to the kin selection theory. However, in some populations, a majority of the colonies contain multiple lineages. Intracolonial genetic variation of parthenogenetic ants cannot be explained by the multiple mating of single founderesses or by the foundation of a colony by multiple foundresses, which are the usual causes of genetically diverse colonies in social insects. Here, we hypothesized that the fusion of established colonies might facilitate the formation of multiclonal colonies. Colony fusion decreases indirect benefits because of the reduction in intracolonial relatedness. However, when suitable nesting places for overwintering are scarce, colony fusion provides a strategy for the survival of colonies. Here, ants derived from different colonies were allowed to encounter one another in a container with just one nesting place. Initially, high aggression was observed; however, after several days, no aggression was observed and the ants shared the nest. When the fused colonies were allowed to transfer to two alternative nests, ants from different colonies occupied the same nest. This study highlights the importance of limiting the number of nesting places in order to understand the genetic diversity of parthenogenetic ant colonies. PMID:23895053

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Currie, C R; Stuart, A E

    2001-05-22

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

  9. Tradeoffs, competition, and coexistence in eastern deciduous forest ant communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stuble, Katharine L; Rodriguez-Cabal, Mariano A; McCormick, Gail L; Jurić, Ivan; Dunn, Robert R; Sanders, Nathan J

    2013-04-01

    Ecologists have long sought to explain the coexistence of multiple potentially competing species in local assemblages. This is especially challenging in species-rich assemblages in which interspecific competition is intense, as it often is in ant assemblages. As a result, a suite of mechanisms has been proposed to explain coexistence among potentially competing ant species: the dominance-discovery tradeoff, the dominance-thermal tolerance tradeoff, spatial segregation, temperature-based niche partitioning, and temporal niche partitioning. Through a series of observations and experiments, we examined a deciduous forest ant assemblage in eastern North America for the signature of each of these coexistence mechanisms. We failed to detect evidence for any of the commonly suggested mechanisms of coexistence, with one notable exception: ant species appear to temporally partition foraging times such that behaviourally dominant species foraged more intensely at night, while foraging by subdominant species peaked during the day. Our work, though focused on a single assemblage, indicates that many of the commonly cited mechanisms of coexistence may not be general to all ant assemblages. However, temporal segregation may play a role in promoting coexistence among ant species in at least some ecosystems, as it does in many other organisms.

  10. CO2 efflux from subterranean nests of ant communities in a seasonal tropical forest, Thailand

    OpenAIRE

    Hasin, Sasitorn; Ohashi, Mizue; Yamada, Akinori; Hashimoto, Yoshiaki; Tasen, Wattanachai; Kume, Tomonori; Yamane, Seiki

    2014-01-01

    Many ant species construct subterranean nests. The presence of their nests may explain soil respiration “hot spots”, an important factor in the high CO2 efflux from tropical forests. However, no studies have directly measured CO2 efflux from ant nests. We established 61 experimental plots containing 13 subterranean ant species to evaluate the CO2 efflux from subterranean ant nests in a tropical seasonal forest, Thailand. We examined differences in nest CO2 efflux among ant species. We determi...

  11. 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

  12. Arboreal Ant Colonies as ‘Hot-Points’ of Cryptic Diversity for Myrmecophiles: The Weaver Ant Camponotus sp. aff. textor and Its Interaction Network with Its Associates

    OpenAIRE

    Pérez-Lachaud, Gabriela; Lachaud, Jean-Paul

    2014-01-01

    INTRODUCTION: Systematic surveys of macrofaunal diversity within ant colonies are lacking, particularly for ants nesting in microhabitats that are difficult to sample. Species associated with ants are generally small and rarely collected organisms, which makes them more likely to be unnoticed. We assumed that this tendency is greater for arthropod communities in microhabitats with low accessibility, such as those found in the nests of arboreal ants that may constitute a source of cryptic biod...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. Population Development of Several Species of Ants on the Cocoa Trees in South Sulawesi

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    Fatahuddin Fatahuddin

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available Several species of ants with different behavior have been found in cocoa plantations and their behavior is important to be considered because it might be correlated with the degree of protection of cocoa plant from cocoa pests. The aim of this research is to manipulate and to develop ants population in environment, so they are able to establish permanently in cocoa trees. This research was conducted in Papakaju Regions Luwu Regency in Juli to November 2009. In this study, 10 cocoa trees with ants were sampled (each species of ant in 10 cocoa trees. A control of 10 tree samples without ant was also taken. In order to assess the abundance of ant population, it was grouped based on scoring, which score 1 for less than 20 ants, score 2 for 21–50 ants, score 3 for 51–200 ants, score 4 for 201–1000 ants, and score 5 for more than 1000 per tree. The results indicated that average of population score of the three ants species reached the highest population for the Oecophylla. smaragdina with average score 4.85 (>1000 ants, Dolichoderus thoracicus, with average score 3.90 (> 200 ants and Crematogaster. difformis with average score 3.10 (>200 ants. This research indicated that three species of ants, Oecophylla smaragdina (weaver ant, Dolichoderus thoracicus (cocoa black ant and Crematogaster difformis (cracking ant. in farmer cocoa plantations in South Sulawesi giving better performance against major pests of cocoa in particular cocoa pod borer (CPB. Key words: Ant Population, Oecophylla smaragdina, Dolichoderus thoracicus, Crematogaster difformis, artificial nest, cocoa.

  17. A Systematic Review of Global Drivers of Ant Elevational Diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szewczyk, Tim; McCain, Christy M

    2016-01-01

    Ant diversity shows a variety of patterns across elevational gradients, though the patterns and drivers have not been evaluated comprehensively. In this systematic review and reanalysis, we use published data on ant elevational diversity to detail the observed patterns and to test the predictions and interactions of four major diversity hypotheses: thermal energy, the mid-domain effect, area, and the elevational climate model. Of sixty-seven published datasets from the literature, only those with standardized, comprehensive sampling were used. Datasets included both local and regional ant diversity and spanned 80° in latitude across six biogeographical provinces. We used a combination of simulations, linear regressions, and non-parametric statistics to test multiple quantitative predictions of each hypothesis. We used an environmentally and geometrically constrained model as well as multiple regression to test their interactions. Ant diversity showed three distinct patterns across elevations: most common were hump-shaped mid-elevation peaks in diversity, followed by low-elevation plateaus and monotonic decreases in the number of ant species. The elevational climate model, which proposes that temperature and precipitation jointly drive diversity, and area were partially supported as independent drivers. Thermal energy and the mid-domain effect were not supported as primary drivers of ant diversity globally. The interaction models supported the influence of multiple drivers, though not a consistent set. In contrast to many vertebrate taxa, global ant elevational diversity patterns appear more complex, with the best environmental model contingent on precipitation levels. Differences in ecology and natural history among taxa may be crucial to the processes influencing broad-scale diversity patterns.

  18. A Systematic Review of Global Drivers of Ant Elevational Diversity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tim Szewczyk

    Full Text Available Ant diversity shows a variety of patterns across elevational gradients, though the patterns and drivers have not been evaluated comprehensively. In this systematic review and reanalysis, we use published data on ant elevational diversity to detail the observed patterns and to test the predictions and interactions of four major diversity hypotheses: thermal energy, the mid-domain effect, area, and the elevational climate model. Of sixty-seven published datasets from the literature, only those with standardized, comprehensive sampling were used. Datasets included both local and regional ant diversity and spanned 80° in latitude across six biogeographical provinces. We used a combination of simulations, linear regressions, and non-parametric statistics to test multiple quantitative predictions of each hypothesis. We used an environmentally and geometrically constrained model as well as multiple regression to test their interactions. Ant diversity showed three distinct patterns across elevations: most common were hump-shaped mid-elevation peaks in diversity, followed by low-elevation plateaus and monotonic decreases in the number of ant species. The elevational climate model, which proposes that temperature and precipitation jointly drive diversity, and area were partially supported as independent drivers. Thermal energy and the mid-domain effect were not supported as primary drivers of ant diversity globally. The interaction models supported the influence of multiple drivers, though not a consistent set. In contrast to many vertebrate taxa, global ant elevational diversity patterns appear more complex, with the best environmental model contingent on precipitation levels. Differences in ecology and natural history among taxa may be crucial to the processes influencing broad-scale diversity patterns.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-10-01

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

  20. Review and Phylogenetic Evaluation of Associations between Microdontinae (Diptera: Syrphidae and Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae

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    Menno Reemer

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The immature stages of hoverflies of the subfamily Microdontinae (Diptera: Syrphidae develop in ant nests, as predators of the ant brood. The present paper reviews published and unpublished records of associations of Microdontinae with ants, in order to discuss the following questions. (1 Are all Microdontinae associated with ants? (2 Are Microdontinae associated with all ants? (3 Are particular clades of Microdontinae associated with particular clades of ants? (4 Are Microdontinae associated with other insects? A total number of 109 associations between the groups are evaluated, relating to 43 species of Microdontinae belonging to 14 genera, and to at least 69 species of ants belonging to 24 genera and five subfamilies. The taxa of Microdontinae found in association with ants occur scattered throughout their phylogenetic tree. One of the supposedly most basal taxa (Mixogaster is associated with ants, suggesting that associations with ants evolved early in the history of the subfamily and have remained a predominant feature of their lifestyle. Among ants, associations with Microdontinae are known from subfamilies Ponerinae, Dolichoderinae, Formicinae, Myrmicinae, and Pseudomyrmecinae. These subfamilies comprise more than 95% of all ant species. Interestingly, no associations are known with “dorylomorph” ants (army ants and relatives.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitrus, S

    Colonies of the ant Temnothorax crassispinus inhabit mostly cavities in wood and hollow acorns. Typically in the field, nest sites that can be used by the ant are a limited resource. In a field experiment, it was investigated whether the ants prefer a specific size of nest, when different ones are available. In July 2011, a total of 160 artificial nests were placed in a beech-pine forest. Four artificial nests (pieces of wood with volume cavities, ca 415, 605, 730, and 980 mm 3 , respectively) were located on each square meter of the experimental plot. One year later, shortly before the emergence of new sexuals, the nests were collected. In July 2012, colonies inhabited more frequently bigger nests. Among queenright colonies, the ones which inhabited bigger nests had more workers. However, there was no relationship between volume of nest and number of workers for queenless colonies. Queenright colonies from bigger nests produced more sexual individuals, but there was no correlation between number of workers and sex allocation ratio, or between volume of nest and sex allocation ratio. In a laboratory experiment where ant colonies were kept in 470 and 860 mm 3 nests, larger colonies allocated more energy to produce sexual individuals. The results of this study show the selectivity of T. crassispinus ants regarding the size of nest cavity, and that the nest volume has an impact on life history parameters.

  2. PARAMETER ESTIMATION OF VALVE STICTION USING ANT COLONY OPTIMIZATION

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    S. Kalaivani

    2012-07-01

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

  3. Ant-Mimicking Spiders: Strategies for Living with Social Insects

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fadia Sara Ceccarelli

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Mimicry is a fascinating topic, in particular when viewed in terms of selective forces and evolutionary strategies. Mimicry is a system involving a signaller, a signal receiver, and a model and has evolved independently many times in plants and animals. There are several ways of classifying mimicry based on the interactions and cost-benefit scenarios of the parties involved. In this review, I briefly outline the dynamics of the most common types of mimicry to then apply it to some of the spider-ant associative systems known to date. In addition, this review expands on the strategies that ant-associating (in particular ant-mimicking spiders have developed to minimise the costs of living close to colonies of potentially dangerous models. The main strategy that has been noted to date is either chemical mimicry or actively avoiding contact with ants. If these strategies warrant protection for the spider (living close to potentially dangerous models, then the benefits of ant associations would outweigh the costs, and the association will prevail.

  4. Neuromodulation of Nestmate Recognition Decisions by Pavement Ants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew N Bubak

    Full Text Available Ant colonies are distributed systems that are regulated in a non-hierarchical manner. Without a central authority, individuals inform their decisions by comparing information in local cues to a set of inherent behavioral rules. Individual behavioral decisions collectively change colony behavior and lead to self-organization capable of solving complex problems such as the decision to engage in aggressive societal conflicts with neighbors. Despite the relevance to colony fitness, the mechanisms that drive individual decisions leading to cooperative behavior are not well understood. Here we show how sensory information, both tactile and chemical, and social context-isolation, nestmate interaction, or fighting non-nestmates-affects brain monoamine levels in pavement ants (Tetramorium caespitum. Our results provide evidence that changes in octopamine and serotonin in the brains of individuals are sufficient to alter the decision by pavement ants to be aggressive towards non-nestmate ants whereas increased brain levels of dopamine correlate to physical fighting. We propose a model in which the changes in brain states of many workers collectively lead to the self-organization of societal aggression between neighboring colonies of pavement ants.

  5. Minimum Cost Multicast Routing Using Ant Colony Optimization Algorithm

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiao-Min Hu

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Multicast routing (MR is a technology for delivering network data from some source node(s to a group of destination nodes. The objective of the minimum cost MR (MCMR problem is to find an optimal multicast tree with the minimum cost for MR. This problem is NP complete. In order to tackle the problem, this paper proposes a novel algorithm termed the minimum cost multicast routing ant colony optimization (MCMRACO. Based on the ant colony optimization (ACO framework, the artificial ants in the proposed algorithm use a probabilistic greedy realization of Prim’s algorithm to construct multicast trees. Moving in a cost complete graph (CCG of the network topology, the ants build solutions according to the heuristic and pheromone information. The heuristic information represents problem-specific knowledge for the ants to construct solutions. The pheromone update mechanisms coordinate the ants’ activities by modulating the pheromones. The algorithm can quickly respond to the changes of multicast nodes in a dynamic MR environment. The performance of the proposed algorithm has been compared with published results available in the literature. Results show that the proposed algorithm performs well in both static and dynamic MCMR problems.

  6. Neuromodulation of Nestmate Recognition Decisions by Pavement Ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bubak, Andrew N; Yaeger, Jazmine D W; Renner, Kenneth J; Swallow, John G; Greene, Michael J

    2016-01-01

    Ant colonies are distributed systems that are regulated in a non-hierarchical manner. Without a central authority, individuals inform their decisions by comparing information in local cues to a set of inherent behavioral rules. Individual behavioral decisions collectively change colony behavior and lead to self-organization capable of solving complex problems such as the decision to engage in aggressive societal conflicts with neighbors. Despite the relevance to colony fitness, the mechanisms that drive individual decisions leading to cooperative behavior are not well understood. Here we show how sensory information, both tactile and chemical, and social context-isolation, nestmate interaction, or fighting non-nestmates-affects brain monoamine levels in pavement ants (Tetramorium caespitum). Our results provide evidence that changes in octopamine and serotonin in the brains of individuals are sufficient to alter the decision by pavement ants to be aggressive towards non-nestmate ants whereas increased brain levels of dopamine correlate to physical fighting. We propose a model in which the changes in brain states of many workers collectively lead to the self-organization of societal aggression between neighboring colonies of pavement ants.

  7. Assembly Ants Tropical Dry Forest, Cali Botanical Garden

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    María Cristina Gallego Ropero

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The ant assemblages of a fragment of secondary tropical dry forest located in the Botanical Garden of Cali are presented. Two habitats were chosen: a fragment of forest and a pasture matrix. Samples were taken monthly for six months, using a linear transect of 100 m, with 10 stations spaced 10 m. At each station pitfall traps, epigeal bait and arboreal, sifting and removal of 1 m2 of litter and manual capture survey techniques were applied. Richness, abundance and diversity of ant habitats were determined. Correlation coefficients and regression between temperature, relative humidity and richness of ants were calculated. A total of 13 170 ants representing 55 species, 35 genera and six subfamilies were collected. The forest had the highest species richness with 90.9%. This wealth of diversity indicates the conservation value of the Valle del Cauca myrmecofauna. Although the forest is in the process of regeneration, strongly disturbed by constant fire and human intervention, the ant species richness shows that it remains an invaluable source of biological resources for the conservation of species.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Spatiotemporal resource distribution and foraging strategies of ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lanan, Michele

    2014-01-01

    The distribution of food resources in space and time is likely to be an important factor governing the type of foraging strategy used by ants. However, no previous systematic attempt has been made to determine whether spatiotemporal resource distribution is in fact correlated with foraging strategy across the ants. In this analysis, I present data compiled from the literature on the foraging strategy and food resource use of 402 species of ants from across the phylogenetic tree. By categorizing the distribution of resources reported in these studies in terms of size relative to colony size, spatial distribution relative to colony foraging range, frequency of occurrence in time relative to worker life span, and depletability (i.e., whether the colony can cause a change in resource frequency), I demonstrate that different foraging strategies are indeed associated with specific spatiotemporal resource attributes. The general patterns I describe here can therefore be used as a framework to inform predictions in future studies of ant foraging behavior. No differences were found between resources collected via short-term recruitment strategies (group recruitment, short-term trails, and volatile recruitment), whereas different resource distributions were associated with solitary foraging, trunk trails, long-term trail networks, group raiding, and raiding. In many cases, ant species use a combination of different foraging strategies to collect diverse resources. It is useful to consider these foraging strategies not as separate options but as modular parts of the total foraging effort of a colony. PMID:25525497

  11. Natural selection drives the evolution of ant life cycles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, Edward O; Nowak, Martin A

    2014-09-02

    The genetic origin of advanced social organization has long been one of the outstanding problems of evolutionary biology. Here we present an analysis of the major steps in ant evolution, based for the first time, to our knowledge, on combined recent advances in paleontology, phylogeny, and the study of contemporary life histories. We provide evidence of the causal forces of natural selection shaping several key phenomena: (i) the relative lateness and rarity in geological time of the emergence of eusociality in ants and other animal phylads; (ii) the prevalence of monogamy at the time of evolutionary origin; and (iii) the female-biased sex allocation observed in many ant species. We argue that a clear understanding of the evolution of social insects can emerge if, in addition to relatedness-based arguments, we take into account key factors of natural history and study how natural selection acts on alleles that modify social behavior.

  12. 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...

  13. Ants at Ton Nga Chang Wildlife Sanctuary, Songkhla

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Watanasit, S.

    2005-03-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this study was to investigate diversity of ant at Ton Nga Chang Wildlife Sanctuary, Hat Yai, Songkhla. Three line transects (100 m each were randomly set up in 2 types of forest area, disturbed and undisturbed. Hand collecting (HC and leaf litter sampling (LL were applied for ant collection within a time limit of 30 minutes for each method. This study was carried out every month during Febuary 2002- Febuary 2003. The results showed that 206 species were placed under 8 subfamilies: Aenictinae, Cerapachyinae, Dolichoderinae, Formicinae, Leptanillinae, Myrmicinae, Ponerinae and Pseudomyrmecinae. Study sites and collection methods could divide ant species into 2 groups, whereas seasonal change could not distinguish the groups by DCA of multivariate analysis.

  14. Sperm length evolution in the fungus-growing ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2009-01-01

    Eusocial insects offer special opportunities for the comparative study of sperm traits because sperm competition is absent (in species with obligatory monandry) or constrained (in lineages where queens mate multiply but never remate later in life). We measured sperm length in 19 species of fungus......-growing ants, representing 9 of the 12 recognized genera, and mapped these onto the ant phylogeny. We show that average sperm length across species is highly variable and decreases with mature colony size in basal genera with singly mated queens, suggesting that sperm production or storage constraints affect...... the evolution of sperm length. Sperm length does not decrease further in multiply mating leaf-cutting ants, despite substantial further increases in colony size. In a combined analysis, sexual dimorphism explained 63.1% of the variance in sperm length between species. As colony size was not a significant...

  15. Prudent sperm use by leaf-cutter ant queens

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  16. EVOLUTIONARY TRANSITIONS IN ENZYME ACTIVITY OF ANT FUNGUS GARDENS

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Antígonas. Una visión intertextual

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elena Cano Turrión

    2011-04-01

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

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

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    N.J. Nithya Nandhini

    2013-12-01

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

  1. Predicting Flood in Perlis Using Ant Colony Optimization

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sabri, Syaidatul Nadia; Saian, Rizauddin

    2017-01-01

    Flood forecasting is widely being studied in order to reduce the effect of flood such as loss of property, loss of life and contamination of water supply. Usually flood occurs due to continuous heavy rainfall. This study used a variant of Ant Colony Optimization (ACO) algorithm named the Ant-Miner to develop the classification prediction model to predict flood. However, since Ant-Miner only accept discrete data, while rainfall data is a time series data, a pre-processing steps is needed to discretize the rainfall data initially. This study used a technique called the Symbolic Aggregate Approximation (SAX) to convert the rainfall time series data into discrete data. As an addition, Simple K-Means algorithm was used to cluster the data produced by SAX. The findings show that the predictive accuracy of the classification prediction model is more than 80%. (paper)

  2. Predicting Flood in Perlis Using Ant Colony Optimization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nadia Sabri, Syaidatul; Saian, Rizauddin

    2017-06-01

    Flood forecasting is widely being studied in order to reduce the effect of flood such as loss of property, loss of life and contamination of water supply. Usually flood occurs due to continuous heavy rainfall. This study used a variant of Ant Colony Optimization (ACO) algorithm named the Ant-Miner to develop the classification prediction model to predict flood. However, since Ant-Miner only accept discrete data, while rainfall data is a time series data, a pre-processing steps is needed to discretize the rainfall data initially. This study used a technique called the Symbolic Aggregate Approximation (SAX) to convert the rainfall time series data into discrete data. As an addition, Simple K-Means algorithm was used to cluster the data produced by SAX. The findings show that the predictive accuracy of the classification prediction model is more than 80%.

  3. Ant colony optimization approach to estimate energy demand of Turkey

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Duran Toksari, M.

    2007-01-01

    This paper attempts to shed light on the determinants of energy demand in Turkey. Energy demand model is first proposed using the ant colony optimization (ACO) approach. It is multi-agent systems in which the behavior of each ant is inspired by the foraging behavior of real ants to solve optimization problem. ACO energy demand estimation (ACOEDE) model is developed using population, gross domestic product (GDP), import and export. All equations proposed here are linear and quadratic. Quadratic A COEDE provided better-fit solution due to fluctuations of the economic indicators. The ACOEDE model plans the energy demand of Turkey until 2025 according to three scenarios. The relative estimation errors of the ACOEDE model are the lowest when they are compared with the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources (MENR) projection

  4. Weaver Ants to Control Fruit Fly Damage to Tanzanian Mangoes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kirkegaard, Nina

    observation studies were made to verify the experiences expressed by the interviewees. Mango traders and consumers were also interviewed to better understand the impact of fruit fly infestation on the quality and quantity of fruits in the supply chain. Eighty percent of the farmers, and all pickers...... to approximately 40oC which has been reported to be sufficient to kill fruit fly eggs and larvae. Thus the traditional way of packing mangoes helped to kill fruit fly eggs and larvae at an early stage so visible damage was avoided. As fruit flies were not a major problem to the farmers, and weaver ants were...... identified, but none of the compounds seemed to be related to the presence of weaver ants as they were present in similar quantities in samples with and without weaver ants. However, three compounds, which attract fruit flies, trans-beta-ocimene, cis-beta-ocimene and 2-butanol, seemed to be related to weaver...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seid, Marc A.; Junge, Erich

    2016-06-01

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

  6. Nutrition modifies critical thermal maximum of a dominant canopy ant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bujan, Jelena; Kaspari, Michael

    2017-10-01

    While adaptive responses to climate gradients are increasingly documented, little is known about how individuals alter their upper thermal tolerances. Long-term increases in dietary carbohydrates can elevate upper thermal tolerances in insects. We explored how the nutritional state of a Neotropical canopy ant governs its CT max - the temperature at which individuals lose muscle control. We predicted that Azteca chartifex workers recently fed a carbohydrate-rich diet, such as honeydew and extrafloral nectar, would use that energy to increase their CT max . Moreover, if a carbohydrate-rich diet increases CT max , then we predicted that ants from colonies with high CT max s feed at a lower trophic level, and thus have a higher carbon:nitrogen ratio. We used A. chartifex colonies from a long-term fertilization experiment where phosphorus addition increased A. chartifex foraging activity with respect to controls. As foraging activity can be governed by resource availability, we first measured CT max of field collected colonies. In freshly collected field colonies, CT max was 2°C higher in control plots. This difference disappeared when ants were provided with only water for 10h. Ants were then provided with a 10% sucrose solution ad lib which increased CT max by 5°C. We thus support the hypothesis that enhanced carbohydrate nutrition enables higher thermal tolerance, but this does not appear to be linked to colony trophic status, higher carbon:nitrogen ratios, or higher total body phosphorus. This short-term thermal plasticity linked to carbohydrate nutrition demonstrates the importance of ant diet in shaping their physiological traits. It is especially relevant to ant species that maintain high abundance by feeding on plant exudates. In a rapidly warming world, carbohydrate availability and use may represent a new element for predicting population and community responses of herbivorous insects. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  7. Regulation of antimycin biosynthesis by the orphan ECF RNA polymerase sigma factor σAntA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ryan F. Seipke

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Antimycins are an extended family of depsipeptides that are made by filamentous actinomycete bacteria and were first isolated more than 60 years ago. Recently, antimycins have attracted renewed interest because of their activities against the anti-apoptotic machineries inside human cells which could make them promising anti-cancer compounds. The biosynthetic pathway for antimycins was recently characterised but very little is known about the organisation and regulation of the antimycin (ant gene cluster. Here we report that the ant gene cluster in Streptomyces albus is organized into four transcriptional units; the antBA, antCDE, antGF and antHIJKLMNO operons. Unusually for secondary metabolite clusters, the antG and antH promoters are regulated by an extracytoplasmic function (ECF RNA polymerase sigma factor named σAntA which represents a new sub-family of ECF σ factors that is only found in antimycin producing strains. We show that σAntA controls production of the unusual precursor 3-aminosalicylate which is absolutely required for the production of antimycins. σAntA is highly conserved in antimycin producing strains and the −10 and −35 elements at the σAntA regulated antG and antH promoters are also highly conserved suggesting a common mechanism of regulation. We also demonstrate that altering the C-terminal Ala-Ala residues found in all σAntA proteins to Asp-Asp increases expression of the antFG and antGHIJKLMNO operons and we speculate that this Ala-Ala motif may be a signal for the protease ClpXP.

  8. Distinctive fungal communities in an obligate African ant-plant mutualism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baker, Christopher C M; Martins, Dino J; Pelaez, Julianne N; Billen, Johan P J; Pringle, Anne; Frederickson, Megan E; Pierce, Naomi E

    2017-03-15

    Three ant species nest obligately in the swollen-thorn domatia of the African ant-plant Vachellia ( Acacia ) drepanolobium , a model system for the study of ant-defence mutualisms and species coexistence. Here we report on the characteristic fungal communities generated by these ant species in their domatia. First, we describe behavioural differences between the ant species when presented with a cultured fungal isolate in the laboratory. Second, we use DNA metabarcoding to show that each ant species has a distinctive fungal community in its domatia, and that these communities remain characteristic of the ant species over two Kenyan sampling locations separated by 190 km. Third, we find that DNA extracted from female alates of Tetraponera penzigi and Crematogaster nigriceps contained matches for most of the fungal metabarcodes from those ant species' domatia, respectively. Fungal hyphae and other debris are also visible in sections of these alates' infrabuccal pockets. Collectively, our results indicate that domatium fungal communities are associated with the ant species occupying the tree. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first record of such ant-specific fungal community-level differences on the same myrmecophytic host species. These differences may be shaped by ant behaviour in the domatia, and by ants vectoring fungi when they disperse to establish new colonies. The roles of the fungi with respect to the ants and their host plant remain to be determined. © 2017 The Author(s).

  9. Social transmission of information about a mutualist via trophallaxis in ant colonies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayashi, Masayuki; Hojo, Masaru K; Nomura, Masashi; Tsuji, Kazuki

    2017-08-30

    Partner discrimination is crucial in mutualistic interactions between organisms to counteract cheating by the partner. Trophobiosis between ants and aphids is a model system of such mutualistic interaction. To establish and maintain the mutualistic association, ants need to correctly discriminate mutualistic aphids. However, the mechanism by which ants recognize aphids as their partners is poorly understood, despite its ecological and evolutionary importance. Here, we show for the first time the evidence that interaction with nest-mates that have tended aphids ( Aphis craccivora ) allows ants ( Tetramorium tsushimae ) to learn to recognize the aphid species as their partner. When ants had previously tended aphids, they moderated their aggressiveness towards aphids. More importantly, ants that had interacted with aphid-experienced nest-mates also reduced their aggressiveness towards aphids, even though they had never directly experienced them, indicating that aphid information was transmitted from aphid-experienced ants to inexperienced ants. Furthermore, inhibition of mouth-to-mouth contact (trophallaxis) from aphid-experienced ants to inexperienced ants by providing the inexperienced ants with artificial honeydew solution caused the inexperienced ants to become aggressive towards aphids. These results, with further supporting data, strongly suggest that ants transfer information on their mutualists during trophallactic interactions. © 2017 The Author(s).

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mooney, Kailen A; Agrawal, Anurag A

    2008-06-01

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

  11. Intrapopulation differences in ant eating in the mountain gorillas of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ganas, Jessica; Robbins, Martha M

    2004-10-01

    Variability in ant eating has been observed in several populations of eastern and western gorillas. We investigated the occurrence of ant (Dorylus sp.) eating in two groups of mountain gorillas (Gorilla beringei beringei) with overlapping home ranges within Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda from September 2001 to August 2002. We calculated the frequency of ant eating by an indirect method of analyzing fecal samples from silverbacks, adult females, and juveniles. One group consumed ants significantly more often than the other (3.3 vs 17.6% of days sampled). Furthermore, the group that consumed ants more often also consumed them on a seasonal basis (September-February monthly range: 0-8%; March-August monthly range: 30-42.9%). Finally, females and juveniles of this group consumed ants significantly more often than did the silverback (total samples containing ants: silverback, 2.1%; adult female, 13.2%; juvenile, 11.2%). Differences in ant eating between groups are likely due to variability in use of habitats where ants occur (particularly secondary forests). Surveys of ant densities in differing habitats, nutritional analysis of ants, and quantification of the amount of ants in their diets are necessary to understand if ant consumption is due to availability, nutritional value, group traditions, or taste preference.

  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. Exploitation Strategies in Social Parasites of Fungus Growing Ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Clement, Janni Dolby

    . Inquilines are usually close relatives of their host and so share ancestral characteristics (Emery’s rule). They are dependent on being fully integrated into their host’s colony throughout their lives in order to reproduce. Most inquiline ants have completely lost their sterile worker caste. Exceptions...... to this are Acromyrmex insinuator and Acromyrmex ameliae, parasites of fungus-growing ants. By still producing a worker caste both species offers a rare opportunity to study adaptive features in parasite worker behaviour. Furthermore can closely related inquiline-host combinations give us an insight in the trade...

  14. 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...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Poulsen, Michael; Boomsma, Jacobus J

    2005-01-01

    Leaf-cutting ants rear clonal fungi for food and transmit the fungi from mother to daughter colonies so that symbiont mixing and conflict, which result from competition between genetically different clones, are avoided. Here we show that despite millions of years of predominantly vertical...... transmission, the domesticated fungi actively reject mycelial fragments from neighboring colonies, and that the strength of these reactions are in proportion to the overall genetic difference between these symbionts. Fungal incompatibility compounds remain intact during ant digestion, so that fecal droplets...

  16. Application of ant colony optimization in NPP classification fault location

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Xie Chunli; Liu Yongkuo; Xia Hong

    2009-01-01

    Nuclear Power Plant is a highly complex structural system with high safety requirements. Fault location appears to be particularly important to enhance its safety. Ant Colony Optimization is a new type of optimization algorithm, which is used in the fault location and classification of nuclear power plants in this paper. Taking the main coolant system of the first loop as the study object, using VB6.0 programming technology, the NPP fault location system is designed, and is tested against the related data in the literature. Test results show that the ant colony optimization can be used in the accurate classification fault location in the nuclear power plants. (authors)

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2007-01-01

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

  18. Model for social interaction, competition and dominance in ant colonies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anggriani, N.; Aryani, I.; Darmawati, Supriatna, A. K.

    2014-02-01

    It has been known that characteristic of social life within ant colonies includes efficient class division, harmonious appearance, but also competition within nestmates. Conflict between queens, male and female labors frequently occurs due to different interest among class members. A mathematical model for interaction between queens, male and female workers in ant colonies is discussed here. Interesting phenomena such as male-male competition and queen dominance are analyzed and stable coexistence is shown. It is also shown that heavy competition is even necessary to maintain a certain level of coexistence in the colonies.

  19. The invasion biology and sociogenetics of pharaoh ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schmidt, Anna Mosegaard

    been introduced multiple times from an as of yet unknown native range, but little is known about their local mode of spread and propagule pressure. To learn more, I investigated the population genetic structure and phylogeography of pharaoh ants on different geographical scales in Thailand and malaysia...... in the success of introduced species. To investigate the enemy release hypothesis in Pharaoh ants, I screened introduced populations from several localities around the world for the presence of the presumed detrimental intracellular bacterium Wolbachia. Wolbachia was frequently present in introduced colonies...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    de Fine Licht, Henrik Hjarvard

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

  1. Core Business Selection Based on Ant Colony Clustering Algorithm

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yu Lan

    2014-01-01

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

  2. Tracking Error: Ex-Ante versus Ex-Post Measures

    OpenAIRE

    Steve Satchell; Soosung Hwang

    2001-01-01

    In this paper we show that ex-ante and ex-post tracking errors must necessarily differ, since portfolio weights are ex-post stochastic in nature. In particular, ex-post tracking error is always larger than ex-ante tracking error. Our results imply that fund managers always have a higher ex-post tracking error than their planned tracking error, and thus unless our results are considered, any performance fee based on ex-post tracking error is unfavourable to fund managers.

  3. Five new records of ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) from Morocco.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taheri, Ahmed; Reyes-López, Joaquin L

    2015-01-01

    A recent catalogue of the rich ant fauna of Morocco included 214 species, with later studies adding an additional 12 species. Following recent fieldwork in the north of Morocco, we report five new records for the country (Plagiolepis pygmaea Latreille, 1798, Ponera testacea Emery, 1895, Strumigenys tenuipilis Emery, 1915, Temnothorax pardoi Tinaut, 1987, and Tetramorium parvioculum Guillem & Bensusan, 2009) and we present new data on the distribution and natural history of six additional species. This work brings the total number of ants known from Morocco to 233, taking into account two species which were omitted in the list of Cagniant. © Crown copyright 2015.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gadau, Jürgen; Helmkampf, Martin; Nygaard, Sanne

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-11-01

    We profiled the microfungal communities in gardens of fungus-growing ants to evaluate possible species-specific ant-microfungal associations and to assess the potential dependencies of microfungal diversity on ant foraging behavior. In a 1-year survey, we isolated microfungi from nests of Cyphomyrmex wheeleri, Trachymyrmex septentrionalis and Atta texana in Central Texas. Microfungal prevalence was higher in gardens of C. wheeleri (57%) than in the gardens of T. septentrionalis (46%) and A. texana (35%). Culture-dependent methods coupled with a polyphasic approach of species identification revealed diverse and changing microfungal communities in all the sampling periods. Diversity analyses showed no obvious correlations between the number of observed microfungal species, ant species, or the ants' changing foraging behavior across the seasons. However, both correspondence analysis and 5.8S-rRNA gene unifrac analyses suggested structuring of microfungal communities by ant host. These host-specific differences may reflect in part the three different environments where ants were collected. Most interestingly, the specialized fungal parasite Escovopsis was not isolated from any attine garden in this study near the northernmost limit of the range of attine ants, contrasting with previous studies that indicated a significant incidence of this parasite in ant gardens from Central and South America. The observed differences of microfungal communities in attine gardens suggest that the ants are continuously in contact with a diverse microfungal species assemblage. © 2011 Federation of European Microbiological Societies. Published by Blackwell Publishing Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Live and let die: why fighter males of the ant Cardiocondyla kill each other but tolerate their winged rivals

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Anderson, Carl; Cremer, Sylvia Maria; Heinze, Jürgen

    2003-01-01

    alternative dispersal tactics, ants, Cardiocondyla, ergatoid males, fighting, male dimorphism, toleration......alternative dispersal tactics, ants, Cardiocondyla, ergatoid males, fighting, male dimorphism, toleration...

  8. Nonintegrated Host Association of Myrmecophilus tetramorii, a Specialist Myrmecophilous Ant Cricket (Orthoptera: Myrmecophilidae)

    OpenAIRE

    Komatsu, Takashi; Maruyama, Munetoshi; Itino, Takao

    2013-01-01

    Myrmecophilus ant crickets (Orthoptera: Myrmecophilidae) are typical ant guests. In Japan, about 10 species are recognized on the basis of morphological and molecular phylogenetic frameworks. Some of these species have restricted host ranges and behave intimately toward their host ant species (i.e., they are host specialist). We focused on one species, M. tetramorii, which uses the myrmicine ant Tetramorium tsushimae as its main host. All but one M. tetramorii individuals were collected speci...

  9. Differential dispersal of Chamaesyce maculata seeds by two ant species in Japan

    OpenAIRE

    Ohnishi, Yoshihiro K.; Katayama, Noboru; Suzuki, Nobuhiko

    2013-01-01

    Seed dispersal by ants (myrmecochory) is a widely distributed plant-animal interaction in many ecosystems, and it has been regarded as a generalized (multiple species) interaction in which specialization on specific ant partners is uncommon. In this paper, we demonstrate species-specific seed dispersal of spotted spurge (Chamaesyce maculata) by ants in Japan. C. maculata produces seeds from summer to autumn in Japan. The seeds produced in autumn are carried by two ant species, Tetramorium tsu...

  10. Native supercolonies of unrelated individuals in the invasive Argentine ant

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pedersen, Jes Søe; Krieger, Michael J. B.; Vogel, Valérie

    2006-01-01

    Kinship among group members has long been recognized as a main factor promoting the evolution of sociality and reproductive altruism, yet some ants have an extraordinary social organization, called unicoloniality, whereby individuals mix freely among physically separated nests. This type of social...

  11. Taxonomy of ant species (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) collected by ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Taxonomy of ant species (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) collected by pitfall traps from Sinai and the Delta region, Egypt. Salwa Mohamed, Samy Zalat, Hassan Fadl, Sohair Gadalla, Moustafa Sharaf. Abstract. Egyptian Journal of Natural History Vol.1 1999: 40-61. Full Text: EMAIL FREE FULL TEXT EMAIL FREE FULL TEXT

  12. Ultrastructure of antennal sensillae of the samsum ant - African ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Jane

    2010-10-11

    Oct 11, 2010 ... Shields, 1991). A detailed scanning electron microscopy. (SEM) survey of the sensillae on the antennae of many ant species was previously reported by Hashimoto. (1990). ... were carefully excised from the antennal sockets with a fine forceps ... The central shaft can freely move in the socket in all direction ...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2010-01-01

    used as training odour in our experiments. This suggests that ants, like some, but not all other insects, show interactions between different modalities (i.e. olfactory and visual), and can treat complex chemical cues differently, according to the context in which they are perceived. This plasticity...

  14. Application of ant colony optimisation in distribution transformer sizing

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This study proposes an optimisation method for transformer sizing in power system using ant colony optimisation and a verification of the process by MATLAB software. The aim is to address the issue of transformer sizing which is a major challenge affecting its effective performance, longevity, huge capital cost and power ...

  15. Formulation des betons autopla~ants : Optimisation du squelette ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Formulation des betons autopla~ants : Optimisation du squelette granulaire par la methode graphique de Dreux - Gorisse. Fatiha Boumaza - Zeraoulia* & Mourad Behim. Laboratoire Materiaux, Geo - Materiaux et Environnement - Departement de Genie Civil. Universite Badji Mokhtar Annaba - BP 12, 23000 Annaba - ...

  16. application of ant colony optimisation in distribution transformer sizing

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    HP

    This study proposes an optimisation method for transformer sizing in power system using ant colony optimisation and a verification of the process by MATLAB software. The aim is to address the issue of transformer sizing which is a major challenge affecting its effective performance, longevity, huge capital cost and power ...

  17. Ant and rattan associations in forest of tropical Africa | Sunderland ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Recent fieldwork aimed at increasing our knowledge of the taxonomy and ecology of African rattans has indicated that there is a significant relationship between these climbing palms and a number of ant species. A closer investigation into this relationship has found that the morphology of rattan palms is particularly ...

  18. Dinucleotide microsatellite DNA loci from the ant Myrmica scabrinodis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zeisset, Inga; Ebsen, Jon R.; Boomsma, Jacobus Jan

    2005-01-01

    We describe the isolation and characterization of five dinucleotide microsatellite loci in the ant Myrmica scabrinodis, which were obtained using a magnetic bead hybridization selection protocol. The PCR primers were tested on nine to 11 individuals. The number of alleles ranged from two to 13...

  19. Diversity and distribution of ant communities in Puerto Rico

    Science.gov (United States)

    J.A. Torres

    1984-01-01

    I studied ants in upland tropical forest, grassland and agricultural land in San Lorenzo, Puerto Rico, to uncover factors responsible for the distribution and number of species in these communities. Observations, laboratory studies and field experiments were used. Microclimate influenced the distributions of Pheidole fallax, Solenopsis geminata and Monomorium ebeninum...

  20. Stabilities of ant nests and their adjacent soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Echezona, B. C.; Igwe, C. A.

    2012-10-01

    Nests habour ants and termites and protect them from harsh environmental conditions. The structural stabilities of nests were studied to ascertain their relative vulnerability to environmental stresses. Arboreal-ant nests were pried from different trees, while epigeous-termite nests were excavated from soil surface within the sample area. Soils without any visible sign of ant or termite activity were also sampled 6 m away from the nests as control. Laboratory analysis result showed that irrespective of the tree hosts, the aggregate stabilities of the ant nests were lower than those of the ground termite, with nests formed on Cola nitida significantly showing lower aggregate stability (19.7%) than other antnest structures. Clay dispersion ratio, moisture content, water stable aggregate class 2.00 mm but path analysis demonstrated that water stable aggregate class <0.25 mm contributed most to the higher aggregate stability of the termite nest than the other nest. Nest aggregates had greater structural stability compared to the control soil. The higher structural stability of termite nests over other nest and soil was considered a better adaptive mechanism against body desiccation.

  1. Occurrence of Killer Yeasts in Leaf-Cutting Ant Nests

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Carreiro, S.C.; Pagnocca, F.C.; Bacci Jr., M.; Bueno, O.C.; Hebling, M.J.A.; Middelhoven, W.J.

    2002-01-01

    Killer activity was screened in 99 yeast strains isolated from the nests of the leaf-cutting ant Atta sexdens against 6 standard sensitive strains, as well as against each other. Among this yeast community killer activity was widespread since 77 strains (78 %) were able to kill or inhibit the growth

  2. Variability in individual activity bursts improves ant foraging success.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campos, Daniel; Bartumeus, Frederic; Méndez, Vicenç; Andrade, José S; Espadaler, Xavier

    2016-12-01

    Using experimental and computational methods, we study the role of behavioural variability in activity bursts (or temporal activity patterns) for individual and collective regulation of foraging in A. senilis ants. First, foraging experiments were carried out under special conditions (low densities of ants and food and absence of external cues or stimuli) where individual-based strategies are most prevalent. By using marked individuals and recording all foraging trajectories, we were then able to precisely quantify behavioural variability among individuals. Our main conclusions are that (i) variability of ant trajectories (turning angles, speed, etc.) is low compared with variability of temporal activity profiles, and (ii) this variability seems to be driven by plasticity of individual behaviour through time, rather than the presence of fixed behavioural stereotypes or specialists within the group. The statistical measures obtained from these experimental foraging patterns are then used to build a general agent-based model (ABM) which includes the most relevant properties of ant foraging under natural conditions, including recruitment through pheromone communication. Using the ABM, we are able to provide computational evidence that the characteristics of individual variability observed in our experiments can provide a functional advantage (in terms of foraging success) to the group; thus, we propose the biological basis underpinning our observations. Altogether, our study reveals the potential utility of experiments under simplified (laboratory) conditions for understanding information-gathering in biological systems. © 2016 The Author(s).

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

    Index Scriptorium Estoniae

    Banhard, Evelin

    2008-01-01

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

  4. Ant-inspired density estimation via random walks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Musco, Cameron; Su, Hsin-Hao; Lynch, Nancy A

    2017-10-03

    Many ant species use distributed population density estimation in applications ranging from quorum sensing, to task allocation, to appraisal of enemy colony strength. It has been shown that ants estimate local population density by tracking encounter rates: The higher the density, the more often the ants bump into each other. We study distributed density estimation from a theoretical perspective. We prove that a group of anonymous agents randomly walking on a grid are able to estimate their density within a small multiplicative error in few steps by measuring their rates of encounter with other agents. Despite dependencies inherent in the fact that nearby agents may collide repeatedly (and, worse, cannot recognize when this happens), our bound nearly matches what would be required to estimate density by independently sampling grid locations. From a biological perspective, our work helps shed light on how ants and other social insects can obtain relatively accurate density estimates via encounter rates. From a technical perspective, our analysis provides tools for understanding complex dependencies in the collision probabilities of multiple random walks. We bound the strength of these dependencies using local mixing properties of the underlying graph. Our results extend beyond the grid to more general graphs, and we discuss applications to size estimation for social networks, density estimation for robot swarms, and random walk-based sampling for sensor networks.

  5. The cricket and the ant : organizational tradeoffs in changing environments

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Péli, G.

    2001-01-01

    Organizations face tradeoffs when they adopt strategies in changing resource environments. The type of tradeoff depends on the type of resource change. The paper gives an organizational tradeoff model for quantitative change. I call that the "Cricket and Ant" (CA), because the pertaining strategies

  6. Biogeography of Puerto Rican ants: a non-equilibrium case?

    Science.gov (United States)

    J.A. Torres; R.R. Snelling

    1997-01-01

    Ants were studied on Puerto Rico and 44 islands surrounding Puerto Rico. Habitat diversity was the best predictor of the number of species per island and the distributions of species followed a nested subset pattern. The number of extinctions per island was low, approximately 1 to 2 extinctions per island in a period of 18 years, and the rates of colonization seem to...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael J Angilletta

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

  8. Forager abundance and dietary relationships in a Namib Desert ant ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Thirteen ant species coexist on a barren gravel plain habitat in the central Namib Desert. Numerical density of foragers of all species fluctuated considerably over a 17-month period. Peaks in abundance correlated to rainfall events and hence primary production pulses. The majority of foragers were nocturnal in summer and ...

  9. Activity of the Namib Desert dune ant, Camponotus detritus | Curtis ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The activity of the ant Camponotus detritus was studied in the dunes of the central Namib Desert. Activity was divided into two components: transit activity and honeydew collection. Temperature governed both forms, but light controlled the initiation and termination of transit activity, which was bimodal in warm conditions and ...

  10. 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 ...

  11. Caste development and evolution in ants: it's all about size.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trible, Waring; Kronauer, Daniel J C

    2017-01-01

    Female ants display a wide variety of morphological castes, including workers, soldiers, ergatoid (worker-like) queens and queens. Alternative caste development within a species arises from a variable array of genetic and environmental factors. Castes themselves are also variable across species and have been repeatedly gained and lost throughout the evolutionary history of ants. Here, we propose a simple theory of caste development and evolution. We propose that female morphology varies as a function of size, such that larger individuals possess more queen-like traits. Thus, the diverse mechanisms that influence caste development are simply mechanisms that affect size in ants. Each caste-associated trait has a unique relationship with size, producing a phenotypic space that permits some combinations of worker- and queen-like traits, but not others. We propose that castes are gained and lost by modifying the regions of this phenotypic space that are realized within a species. These modifications can result from changing the size-frequency distribution of individuals within a species, or by changing the association of tissue growth and size. We hope this synthesis will help unify the literature on caste in ants, and facilitate the discovery of molecular mechanisms underlying caste development and evolution. © 2017. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  12. Worker senescence and the sociobiology of aging in ants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giraldo, Ysabel Milton; Traniello, James F. A.

    2014-01-01

    Senescence, the decline in physiological and behavioral function with increasing age, has been the focus of significant theoretical and empirical research in a broad array of animal taxa. Preeminent among invertebrate social models of aging are ants, a diverse and ecologically dominant clade of eusocial insects characterized by reproductive and sterile phenotypes. In this review, we critically examine selection for worker lifespan in ants and discuss the relationship between functional senescence, longevity, task performance, and colony fitness. We did not find strong or consistent support for the hypothesis that demographic senescence in ants is programmed, or its corollary prediction that workers that do not experience extrinsic mortality die at an age approximating their lifespan in nature. We present seven hypotheses concerning how selection could favor extended worker lifespan through its positive relationship to colony size and predict that large colony size, under some conditions, should confer multiple and significant fitness advantages. Fitness benefits derived from long worker lifespan could be mediated by increased resource acquisition, efficient division of labor, accuracy of collective decision-making, enhanced allomaternal care and colony defense, lower infection risk, and decreased energetic costs of workforce maintenance. We suggest future avenues of research to examine the evolution of worker lifespan and its relationship to colony fitness, and conclude that an innovative fusion of sociobiology, senescence theory, and mechanistic studies of aging can improve our understanding of the adaptive nature of worker lifespan in ants. PMID:25530660

  13. Hybridization in East African swarm-raiding army ants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peters Marcell K

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Hybridization can have complex effects on evolutionary dynamics in ants because of the combination of haplodiploid sex-determination and eusociality. While hybrid non-reproductive workers have been found in a range of species, examples of gene-flow via hybrid queens and males are rare. We studied hybridization in East African army ants (Dorylus subgenus Anomma using morphology, mitochondrial DNA sequences, and nuclear microsatellites. Results While the mitochondrial phylogeny had a strong geographic signal, different species were not recovered as monophyletic. At our main study site at Kakamega Forest, a mitochondrial haplotype was shared between a "Dorylus molestus-like" and a "Dorylus wilverthi-like" form. This pattern is best explained by introgression following hybridization between D. molestus and D. wilverthi. Microsatellite data from workers showed that the two morphological forms correspond to two distinct genetic clusters, with a significant proportion of individuals being classified as hybrids. Conclusions We conclude that hybridization and gene-flow between the two army ant species D. molestus and D. wilverthi has occurred, and that mating between the two forms continues to regularly produce hybrid workers. Hybridization is particularly surprising in army ants because workers have control over which males are allowed to mate with a young virgin queen inside the colony.

  14. 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 ...

  15. Irving Babbitti humanismi põhijooned / Ants Oras

    Index Scriptorium Estoniae

    Oras, Ants

    2003-01-01

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

  16. Ant Colony Optimization and the Minimum Cut Problem

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  17. Does the afrotropical army ant Dorylus (Anomma) molestus go ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Swarm-raiding army ants are extremely polyphagous nomadic predators inhabiting tropical forests. They are considered keystone species because their raids can regulate the population dynamics of their prey and because a plethora of both invertebrate and vertebrate species are obligatorily or facultatively associated with ...

  18. Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) associated with pig carcasses in Malaysia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heo, C C; Mohamad, A R; Rosli, H; Nurul Ashikin, A; Chen, C D; John, J; Hiromu, K; Baharudin, O

    2009-04-01

    An observational study was conducted in an oil palm plantation in Tanjung Sepat, Selangor, Malaysia on August until September 2007 to note the decomposition process of pigs and their related faunal succession. We collected six species of ants (Formicidae) from 3 subfamilies: Formicinae (Oecophylla smaragdina and Anoplolepis gracilipes), Myrmicinae (Tetramorium sp. and Pheidologeton sp.) and Ponerinae (Odontoponera sp. and Diacamma sp.) that were associated with pig carcasses placed on the ground. Oecophylla smaragdina, Pheidologeton sp. and Tetramorium sp. were found on a partially burnt pig carcass whereas the other species were recovered from unburned pig carcass. These ants predated on fly eggs, larvae, pupae and adults. Ants could be found at all stages of decomposition starting from fresh until dry stage. Predatory ants can reduce fly population and thus may affect the rate of carcass decomposition but this was not seen in our study. Even though O. smaragdina was seen at all stages of decomposition of the burnt pig, this did not alter much the decomposition process by fly larvae.

  19. 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.

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Wireless Sensor Networks (WSN's) have become an important and challenging research area in recent years. Wireless Sensor Networks consisting of nodes with limited power are deployed to gather useful information from the field. In WSNs it is critical to collect the information in an energy efficient manner. Ant Colony ...

  1. 9 CFR 354.123 - Segregation of suspects on ante-mortem inspection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    ... 9 Animals and Animal Products 2 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Segregation of suspects on ante-mortem inspection. 354.123 Section 354.123 Animals and Animal Products FOOD SAFETY AND INSPECTION SERVICE... Inspection Procedures; Ante-Mortem Inspections § 354.123 Segregation of suspects on ante-mortem inspection...

  2. 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...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hughes, David P; Andersen, Sandra B; Hywel-Jones, Nigel L

    2011-01-01

    the interaction between O. unilateralis s.l. and its host ant Camponotus leonardi in a Thai rainforest, where infected ants descend from their canopy nests down to understory vegetation to bite into abaxial leaf veins before dying. Host mortality is concentrated in patches (graveyards) where ants die on sapling...

  4. Some effects of predaceous birds and ants on the western spruce budworm on conifer seedlings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robert W. Campbell; Clinton E. Carlson; Leon J. Theroux; Thomas H. Egan

    1984-01-01

    Effects of predaceous birds and ants on the western spruce budworm, Choristoneura occidentalis, were studied on seedlings of western larch and Douglas-fir in western Montana. On western larch, both birds and ants reduced survival of larval budworm (instars IV-VI). On Douglas-fir, larval survival on one site was reduced by ants but not by birds. On a second site,...

  5. Ant-mediated effects on spruce litter decomposition, solution chemistry, and microbial activity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Stadler, B.; Schramm, Andreas; Kalbitz, K.

    2006-01-01

    and %N were not affected by ants or honeydew. Our results suggest that ants have a distinct and immediate effect on solution composition and microbial activity in the litter layer indicating accelerated litter decay whereas the effect of honeydew was insignificant. Keywords: Ants; Decomposition; Formica...

  6. ANTS AS BIOLOGICAL INDICATORS FOR MONITORING CHANGES IN ARID ENVIRONMENTS: LESSONS FOR MONITORING PROTECTED AREAS

    Science.gov (United States)

    The responses of ant communities to structural change (removal of an invasive were studied in a replicated experiment in a Chihuahuan Desert grassland. The results from sampling of ant communities by pit-fall trapping were validated by mapping ant colonies on the experimental plo...

  7. Advances in Research on the Venom Chemistry of Imported Fire Ants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Workers of the imported fire ants, including red imported fire ants, Solenopsis invicta Buren, black imported fire ants, S. richteri Forel, and their hybrid (S. invicta × S. richteri), are vicious stingers. Since the venomous sting is a significant medical problem to humans, the chemistry of import...

  8. Draft Genome Sequence of the Ant-associated Fungus Phialophora attae (CBS 131958)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Hoog, S.

    2015-01-01

    The black yeast Phialophora attae was isolated from the cuticle of tropical ant gynes. The ant-fungus association is sustained due to symbiotic evolutionary adaptations that allow fungal assimilation and tolerance of toxic compounds produced by the ant. The genome sequence of the first

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2012-01-01

    significantly larger for ants challenged with virulent and mild pathogens/weeds than for controls and Escovopsis-challenged ants. We conclude that the MG defence system of leaf-cutting ants has characteristics reminiscent of an additional cuticular immune system, with specific and non-specific components...

  10. Temperature limits trail following behaviour through pheromone decay in ants

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Oudenhove, Louise; Billoir, Elise; Boulay, Raphaël; Bernstein, Carlos; Cerdá, Xim

    2011-12-01

    In Mediterranean habitats, temperature affects both ant foraging behaviour and community structure. Many studies have shown that dominant species often forage at lower temperature than subordinates. Yet, the factors that constrain dominant species foraging activity in hot environments are still elusive. We used the dominant ant Tapinoma nigerrimum as a model species to test the hypothesis that high temperatures hinder trail following behaviour by accelerating pheromone degradation. First, field observations showed that high temperatures (> 30°C) reduce the foraging activity of T. nigerrimum independently of the daily and seasonal rhythms of this species. Second, we isolated the effect of high temperatures on pheromone trail efficacy from its effect on worker physiology. A marked substrate was heated during 10 min (five temperature treatments from 25°C to 60°C), cooled down to 25°C, and offered in a test choice to workers. At hot temperature treatments (>40°C), workers did not discriminate the previously marked substrate. High temperatures appeared therefore to accelerate pheromone degradation. Third, we assessed the pheromone decay dynamics by a mechanistic model fitted with Bayesian inference. The model predicted ant choice through the evolution of pheromone concentration on trails as a function of both temperature and time since pheromone deposition. Overall, our results highlighted that the effect of high temperatures on recruitment intensity was partly due to pheromone evaporation. In the Mediterranean ant communities, this might affect dominant species relying on chemical recruitment, more than subordinate ant species, less dependent on chemical communication and less sensitive to high temperatures.

  11. Assessing the distribution of the Argentine ant using physiological data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abril, Sílvia; Roura-Pascual, Núria; Oliveras, Jordi; Gómez, Crisanto

    2009-09-01

    To address the lack of physiological approaches in current models assessing the potential distribution of the Argentine ant, we used data on brood development from distinct sources to evaluate a series of degree-day models for Catalonia (NE Iberian Peninsula), and data on the brood survival and oviposition rates to develop a worker production model. The degree-day model generated using data from Newell and Barber (1913) and Benois (1973) indicated that the number of degree-days required for the complete development from egg to adult worker was 445.4 degree-days above a threshold of 15.9 °C, while the model calibrated using data from Abril et al. (2008, in press) suggested 599.5 degree-days above 18.4 °C. Comparisons between the degree-day model predictions and the currently known distribution of the Argentine ant suggested that the one generated using data from Newell and Barber (1913) and Benois (1973) overestimated the presence of the species, while the one calibrated using data from Abril et al. (2008; in press) underestimated it. On the other hand, the predicted daily net production of Argentine ant workers generated by the worker production model predicted more accurately the distribution of the Argentine ant than the degree-day models. Our results show the utility of incorporating physiological data in models to assess the distribution limits of the Argentine ant, which up to date have taken little account of the physiological needs of the species in terms of its establishment and dispersion in its introduced ranges.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pedro Leite Ribeiro

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

  13. Leaf volatile compounds and the distribution of ant patrollingin an ant-plant protection mutualism: Preliminary results on Leonardoxa (Fabaceae: Caesalpinioideae) and Petalomyrmex(Formicidae: Formicinae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brouat, Carine; McKey, Doyle; Bessière, Jean-Marie; Pascal, Laurence; Hossaert-McKey, Martine

    2000-12-01

    While observations suggest that plant chemicals could be important in maintaining the specificity and permitting the functioning of ant-plant symbioses, they have been little studied. We report here the strongest evidence yet for chemical signalling between ants and plants in a specific ant-plant protection symbiosis. In the mutualism between Leonardoxa africana subsp. africana and Petalomyrmex phylax, ants continuously patrol young leaves, which are vulnerable to attacks by phytophagous insects. We provide experimental evidence for chemical mediation of ant attraction to young leaves in this system. By a comparative analysis of the related non-myrmecophytic tree L. africana subsp. gracilicaulis, we identify likely candidates for attractant molecules, and suggest they may function not only as signals but also as resources. We also propose hypotheses on the evolutionary origin of these plant volatiles, and of the responses to them by mutualistic ants.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2011-01-01

    ), an invasive species that occurs throughout much of the southeastern United States, is such an example. Rather than competitively displacing native species, fire ants may become established only in disturbed areas in which native species richness and abundance are already reduced. We used insecticide to reduce...

  15. Defensive chemicals of tawny crazy ants, Nylanderia fulva and their toxicity to red imported fire ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nylanderia fulva (Mayr) has been reported as being able to displace Solenopsis invicta Buren, one of the most aggressive invasive ants in the world. Like S. invicta, N. fulva use chemical secretions in their defense/offense, which may contribute to their observed superior competition ability. In t...

  16. Benefits for plants in ant-plant protective mutualisms: a meta-analysis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew D Trager

    Full Text Available Costs and benefits for partners in mutualistic interactions can vary greatly, but surprisingly little is known about the factors that drive this variation across systems. We conducted a meta-analysis of ant-plant protective mutualisms to quantify the effects of ant defenders on plant reproductive output, to evaluate if reproductive effects were predicted from reductions in herbivory and to identify characteristics of the plants, ants and environment that explained variation in ant protection. We also compared our approach with two other recent meta-analyses on ant-plant mutualisms, emphasizing differences in our methodology (using a weighted linear mixed effects model and our focus on plant reproduction rather than herbivore damage. Based on 59 ant and plant species pairs, ant presence increased plant reproductive output by 49% and reduced herbivory by 62%. The effects on herbivory and reproduction within systems were positively correlated, but the slope of this relationship (0.75 indicated that tolerance to foliar herbivory may be a common plant response to absence of ant guards. Furthermore, the relationship between foliar damage and reproduction varied substantially among systems, suggesting that herbivore damage is not a reliable surrogate for fitness consequences of ant protection. Studies that experimentally excluded ants reported a smaller effect of ant protection on plant reproduction than studies that relied upon natural variation in ant presence, suggesting that study methods can affect results in these systems. Of the ecological variables included in our analysis, only plant life history (i.e., annual or perennial explained variation in the protective benefit of mutualistic ants: presence of ants benefitted reproduction of perennials significantly more than that of annuals. These results contrast with other quantitative reviews of these relationships that did not include plant life history as an explanatory factor and raise several

  17. Chimpanzees prey on army ants at Seringbara, Nimba Mountains, Guinea: predation patterns and tool use characteristics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koops, Kathelijne; Schöning, Caspar; McGrew, William C; Matsuzawa, Tetsuro

    2015-03-01

    Chimpanzees are renowned for their use of foraging tools in harvesting social insects and some populations use tools to prey on aggressive army ants (Dorylus spp.). Tool use in army ant predation varies across chimpanzee study sites with differences in tool length, harvesting technique, and army ant species targeted. However, surprisingly little is known about the detailed ecology of army ant predation. We studied army ant predation by chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes verus) at the Seringbara study site in the Nimba Mountains, Guinea (West Africa), over 10 years (2003-2013). We investigated chimpanzee selectivity with regards to army ant prey species. We assessed the temporal variation in army ant-feeding and examined whether army ant predation was related to rainfall or ripe fruit availability. Moreover, we examined whether chimpanzees showed selectivity regarding plant species used for tool manufacture, as well as the relationship between tool species preference and tool collection distance. Lastly, we measured tool properties and investigated the use of tool sets and composite tools in army ant predation. Seringbara chimpanzees preyed on one army ant species (D. nigricans) more often than expected based on encounter rates, which may be explained by the overlap in altitudinal distribution between chimpanzees and D. nigricans. Army ant predation was not related to rainfall or fruit availability. Chimpanzees were selective in their choice of tool materials and collected their preferred tool species (Alchornea hirtella) from greater distances than they did other species. Lastly, Seringbara chimpanzees used both tool sets and composite tools (tree perch) in army ant predation. Tool types (dig vs. dip) differed in width and strength, but not length. Tool composites were found at 40% of ant-feeding sites. Our study sheds new light on the ecology of army ant predation and provides novel insights into chimpanzee selection of army ant prey and tool species. © 2014 Wiley

  18. Specializations of birds that attend army ant raids: an ecological approach to cognitive and behavioral studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Donnell, Sean; Logan, Corina J; Clayton, Nicola S

    2012-11-01

    Tropical birds forage at army ant raids on several continents. Obligate foraging at army ant raids evolved several times in the Neotropical true antbird family (Thamnophilidae), and recent evidence suggests a diversity of bird species from other families specialize to varying degrees on army ant exploitation. Army ant raids offer access to high prey densities, but the ant colonies are mobile and widely spaced. Successful army ant exploitation requires solving a complex foraging problem because army ant raids are unpredictable in space and time. Birds can counteract the challenges posed by the ants by using strategies that raise their chances of detecting army ant raids, and birds can use additional strategies to track army ant colonies they have located. Some features of army ant biology, such as their conspicuous swarms and columns, above-ground activity, and regular cycles of behavior, provide opportunities for birds to increase their effectiveness at exploiting raids. Changes in sensory, cognitive and behavioral systems may all contribute to specialized army ant exploitation in a bird population. The combination of specializations that are employed may vary independently among bird species and populations. The degree of army ant exploitation by birds varies geographically with latitude and elevation, and with historical patterns such as centers of distribution of obligate thamnophilid antbirds. We predict the set of specializations a given bird population exhibits will depend on local ecology, as well as phylogenetic history. Comparative approaches that focus on these patterns may indicate ecological and evolutionary factors that have shaped the costs and benefits of this foraging strategy. The development of army ant exploitation in individual birds is poorly understood, and individual expression of these specializations may depend on a combination of genetic adaptation with cognitive plasticity, possibly including social and experiential learning. Future

  19. Targeted Removal of Ant Colonies in Ecological Experiments, Using Hot Water

    OpenAIRE

    Tschinkel, Walter R.; King, Joshua R.

    2007-01-01

    Ecological experiments on fire ants cannot, or should not, use poison baits to eliminate the fire ants because such baits are not specific to fire ants, or even to ants. Hot water is an extremely effective and specific killing agent for fire ant colonies, but producing large amounts of hot water in the field, and making the production apparatus mobile have been problematical. The construction and use of a charcoal-fired kiln made from a 55-gal. oil drum lined with a sand-fireclay mixture is d...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wanda Ramos dos Santos Lima

    2013-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lima, Wanda Ramos dos Santos; Marques, Sirlei Garcia; Rodrigues, Fernanda Souto; Rebêlo, José Manuel Macário

    2013-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2009-01-01

    Parasites are likely to play an important role in structuring host populations. Many adaptively manipulate host behaviour, so that the extended phenotypes of these parasites and their distributions in space and time are potentially important ecological variables. The fungus Ophiocordyceps...... of dead ants correlated with temperature, humidity and vegetation cover. Remarkably, having found 2243 dead ants inside graveyards we only found 2 live ants of the principal host, ant Camponotus leonardi, suggesting that foraging host ants actively avoid graveyards. We discovered that the principal host...

  3. Comparing different methods to assess weaver ant abundance in plantation trees

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wargui, Rosine; Offenberg, Joachim; Sinzogan, Antonio

    2015-01-01

    Weaver ants (Oecophylla spp.) are widely used as effective biological control agents. In order to optimize their use, ant abundance needs to be tracked. As several methods have been used to estimate ant abundance on plantation trees, abundances are not comparable between studies and no guideline...... is available on which method to apply in a particular study. This study compared four existing methods: three methods based on the number of ant trails on the main branches of a tree (called the Peng 1, Peng 2 and Offenberg index) and one method based on the number of ant nests per tree. Branch indices did...

  4. A synoptic review of the ant genera (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) of the Philippines

    Science.gov (United States)

    General, David M.; Alpert, Gary D.

    2012-01-01

    Abstract An overview of the history of myrmecology in the Philippine archipelago is presented. Keys are provided to the 11 ant subfamilies and the 92 ant genera known from the Philippines. Eleven ant genera (12%), including 3 undescribed genera, are recorded for the first time from the Philippines. The biology and ecology of the 92 genera, illustrated by full-face and profile photo-images, of Philippine ants are summarized in the form of brief generic accounts. A bibliography of significant taxonomic and behavioral papers on Philippine ants and a checklist of valid species and subspecies and their island distributions are provided. PMID:22767999

  5. Effects of urban development on ant communities: implications for ecosystem services and management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanford, Monte P; Manley, Patricia N; Murphy, Dennis D

    2009-02-01

    Research that connects the effects of urbanization on biodiversity and ecosystem services is lacking. Ants perform multifarious ecological functions that stabilize ecosystems and contribute to a number of ecosystem services. We studied responses of ant communities to urbanization in the Lake Tahoe basin by sampling sites along a gradient of urban land development. We sampled ant communities, measured vegetation characteristics, quantified human activities, and evaluated ant-community responses by grouping ants into service-providing units (SPUs), defined as a group of organisms and their populations that perform specific ecosystem services, to provide an understanding of urbanization impacts on biodiversity and their delivery of ecosystem services. Species richness and abundance peaked at intermediate levels of urban development, as did the richness of 3 types of ant SPUs (aerators, decomposers, and compilers). With increasing land development aerator and decomposer ants significantly declined in abundance, whereas compiler ants significantly increased in abundance. Competing models demonstrated that precipitation was frequently among the strongest influences on ant community structure; however, urban development and human activities also had a strong, negative influence on ants, appearing in most models with DeltaAIC(c) ecosystem services were maintained until development reached 30-40%. Our data provide evidence that ecosystem functions, such as water infiltration and soil productivity, may be diminished at sites subject to greater levels of urbanization and that conserving ant communities and the ecosystem services they provide could be an important target in land-use planning and conservation efforts.

  6. Tetramorium tsushimae Ants Use Methyl Branched Hydrocarbons of Aphids for Partner Recognition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sakata, Itaru; Hayashi, Masayuki; Nakamuta, Kiyoshi

    2017-10-01

    In mutualisms, partner discrimination is often the most important challenge for interacting organisms. The interaction between ants and aphids is a model system for studying mutualisms; ants are provided with honeydew by aphids and, in turn, the ants offer beneficial services to the aphids. To establish and maintain this system, ants must discriminate mutualistic aphid species correctly. Although recent studies have shown that ants recognize aphids as mutualistic partners based on their cuticular hydrocarbons (CHCs), it was unclear which CHCs are involved in recognition. Here, we tested whether the n-alkane or methylalkane fraction, or both, of aphid CHCs were utilized as partner recognition cues by measuring ant aggressiveness toward these fractions. When workers of Tetramorium tsushimae ants were presented with dummies coated with n-alkanes of their mutualistic aphid Aphis craccivora, ants displayed higher levels of aggression than to dummies treated with total CHCs or methyl alkanes of A. craccivora; responses to dummies treated with n-alkanes of A. craccivora were similar to those to control dummies or dummies treated with the CHCs of the non-mutualistic aphid Acyrthosiphon pisum. By contrast, ants exhibited lower aggression to dummies treated with either total CHCs or the methylalkane fraction of the mutualistic aphid than to control dummies or dummies treated with CHCs of the non-mutualistic aphid. These results suggest that T. tsushimae ants use methylalkanes of the mutualistic aphid's CHCs to recognize partners, and that these ants do not recognize aphids as partners on the basis of n-alkanes.

  7. The impact of coffee and pasture agriculture on predatory and omnivorous leaf-litter ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dias, Nivia da Silva; Zanetti, Ronald; Santos, Mônica Silva; Peñaflor, Maria Fernanda Gomes Villalba; Broglio, Sônia Maria Forti; Delabie, Jacques Hubert Charles

    2013-01-01

    Ants are known to function as reliable biological indicators for habitat impact assessment. They play a wide range of ecological roles depending on their feeding and nesting habits. By clustering ants in guilds, it is possible both to assess how agriculture and forest fragmentation can disturb ant communities and to predict the ecological impacts due to losses of a specific guild. This study aimed at determining the impact of non-shaded coffee and pasture agriculture on predatory and omnivorous guilds of leaf-litter ants of Atlantic Forest fragments in Minas Gerais, Brazil. Both coffee and pasture agriculture influenced leaf-litter ant community, although coffee was more disruptive than pasture. Coffee agriculture not only disturbed the diversity of predatory ants, but also negatively affected the number of predatory and omnivorous ants when compared to forest fragments. In contrast, pasture agriculture only disrupted the abundance of predatory ants. Fragment edges skirting crops were negatively affected in terms of leaf-litter ant abundance, but not diversity. Cluster analysis showed that forest fragments were similar irrespective of the cultivation, but the borders were similar to the crop. The study assessed agriculture impact by surveying ant guilds, and revealed that the predatory guild is more susceptible than omnivorous ants.

  8. Heat-induced symmetry breaking in ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) escape behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chung, Yuan-Kai; Lin, Chung-Chi

    2017-01-01

    The collective egress of social insects is important in dangerous situations such as natural disasters or enemy attacks. Some studies have described the phenomenon of symmetry breaking in ants, with two exits induced by a repellent. However, whether symmetry breaking occurs under high temperature conditions, which are a common abiotic stress, remains unknown. In our study, we deposited a group of Polyrhachis dives ants on a heated platform and counted the number of escaping ants with two identical exits. We discovered that ants asymmetrically escaped through two exits when the temperature of the heated platform was >32.75°C. The degree of asymmetry increased linearly with the temperature of the platform. Furthermore, the higher the temperature of heated platform was, the more ants escaped from the heated platform. However, the number of escaping ants decreased for 3 min when the temperature was higher than the critical thermal limit (39.46°C), which is the threshold for ants to endure high temperature without a loss of performance. Moreover, the ants tended to form small groups to escape from the thermal stress. A preparatory formation of ant grouping was observed before they reached the exit, indicating that the ants actively clustered rather than accidentally gathered at the exits to escape. We suggest that a combination of individual and grouping ants may help to optimize the likelihood of survival during evacuation.

  9. A phylogenetic perspective on the association between ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) and black yeasts (Ascomycota: Chaetothyriales).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vasse, Marie; Voglmayr, Hermann; Mayer, Veronika; Gueidan, Cécile; Nepel, Maximilian; Moreno, Leandro; de Hoog, Sybren; Selosse, Marc-André; McKey, Doyle; Blatrix, Rumsaïs

    2017-03-15

    The frequency and the geographical extent of symbiotic associations between ants and fungi of the order Chaetothyriales have been highlighted only recently. Using a phylogenetic approach based on seven molecular markers, we showed that ant-associated Chaetothyriales are scattered through the phylogeny of this order. There was no clustering according to geographical origin or to the taxonomy of the ant host. However, strains tended to be clustered according to the type of association with ants: strains from ant-made carton and strains from plant cavities occupied by ants ('domatia') rarely clustered together. Defining molecular operational taxonomic units (MOTUs) with an internal transcribed spacer sequence similarity cut-off of 99% revealed that a single MOTU could be composed of strains collected from various ant species and from several continents. Some ant-associated MOTUs also contained strains isolated from habitats other than ant-associated structures. Altogether, our results suggest that the degree of specialization of the interactions between ants and their fungal partners is highly variable. A better knowledge of the ecology of these interactions and a more comprehensive sampling of the fungal order are needed to elucidate the evolutionary history of mutualistic symbioses between ants and Chaetothyriales. © 2017 The Author(s).

  10. Heat-induced symmetry breaking in ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae escape behavior.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuan-Kai Chung

    Full Text Available The collective egress of social insects is important in dangerous situations such as natural disasters or enemy attacks. Some studies have described the phenomenon of symmetry breaking in ants, with two exits induced by a repellent. However, whether symmetry breaking occurs under high temperature conditions, which are a common abiotic stress, remains unknown. In our study, we deposited a group of Polyrhachis dives ants on a heated platform and counted the number of escaping ants with two identical exits. We discovered that ants asymmetrically escaped through two exits when the temperature of the heated platform was >32.75°C. The degree of asymmetry increased linearly with the temperature of the platform. Furthermore, the higher the temperature of heated platform was, the more ants escaped from the heated platform. However, the number of escaping ants decreased for 3 min when the temperature was higher than the critical thermal limit (39.46°C, which is the threshold for ants to endure high temperature without a loss of performance. Moreover, the ants tended to form small groups to escape from the thermal stress. A preparatory formation of ant grouping was observed before they reached the exit, indicating that the ants actively clustered rather than accidentally gathered at the exits to escape. We suggest that a combination of individual and grouping ants may help to optimize the likelihood of survival during evacuation.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    de Fine Licht, Henrik Hjarvard; Boomsma, Jacobus Jan

    2014-01-01

    ) ants produce carbohydrate active enzymes that degrade plant material collected by the ants and offer them food in exchange. The spectrum of these enzyme activities is an important symbiont service to the host but may vary among cultivar genotypes. The sympatric occurrence of several Trachymyrmex...... and Sericomyrmex higher attine ants in Gamboa, Panama provided the opportunity to do a quantitative study of species-level interaction-specificity. Results We genotyped the ants for Cytochrome Oxidase and their Leucoagaricus fungal cultivars for ITS rDNA. Combined with activity measurements for 12 carbohydrate...... active enzymes, these data allowed us to test whether garden enzyme activity was affected by fungal strain, farming ants or combinations of the two. We detected two cryptic ant species, raising ant species number from four to six, and we show that the 38 sampled colonies reared a total of seven fungal...

  12. Studying the Complex Communities of Ants and Their Symbionts Using Ecological Network Analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ivens, Aniek B F; von Beeren, Christoph; Blüthgen, Nico; Kronauer, Daniel J C

    2016-01-01

    Ant colonies provide well-protected and resource-rich environments for a plethora of symbionts. Historically, most studies of ants and their symbionts have had a narrow taxonomic scope, often focusing on a single ant or symbiont species. Here we discuss the prospects of studying these assemblies in a community ecology context using the framework of ecological network analysis. We introduce three basic network metrics that we consider particularly relevant for improving our knowledge of ant-symbiont communities: interaction specificity, network modularity, and phylogenetic signal. We then discuss army ant symbionts as examples of large and primarily parasitic communities, and symbiotic sternorrhynchans as examples of generally smaller and primarily mutualistic communities in the context of these network analyses. We argue that this approach will provide new and complementary insights into the evolutionary and ecological dynamics between ants and their many associates, and will facilitate comparisons across different ant-symbiont assemblages as well as across different types of ecological networks.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  15. Uni-directional trail sharing by two species of ants a Monte Carlo study

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kunduraci, T; Kayacan, O

    2015-01-01

    We study insect traffic, specifically ant traffic on a uni-directional trail which is shared by two species of ants, one of which is ‘good’ at smelling and the other ‘poor’. The two distinct species of ants are placed mixed on the same trail and individuals of both are permitted to make a U-turn when they encounter another ant in front of them. The theoretical scheme for the ant traffic is based on an asymmetric simple exclusion model. The ant traffic on the uni-directional trail is studied as a function of the number of ‘good-smelling’ ants and the evaporation probability of pheromones by keeping the number of ‘poor-smelling ants’ constant during Monte Carlo simulations. (paper)

  16. Comparing different methods to assess weaver ant abundance in plantation trees

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wargui, Rosine; Offenberg, Joachim; Sinzogan, Antonio

    2015-01-01

    showed fluctuations throughout the season. The numbers of nests showed high fluctuations unlikely to reflect ant abundance, but rather reflected nest building behavior influenced by tree phenology. In conclusion, nest counting is not recommended, whereas the Peng 1 index can track dynamics at low ant......Weaver ants (Oecophylla spp.) are widely used as effective biological control agents. In order to optimize their use, ant abundance needs to be tracked. As several methods have been used to estimate ant abundance on plantation trees, abundances are not comparable between studies and no guideline...... is available on which method to apply in a particular study. This study compared four existing methods: three methods based on the number of ant trails on the main branches of a tree (called the Peng 1, Peng 2 and Offenberg index) and one method based on the number of ant nests per tree. Branch indices did...

  17. Temporal Variation in the Abundance and Richness of Foliage-Dwelling Ants Mediated by Extrafloral Nectar.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ceres Belchior

    Full Text Available Plants bearing extrafloral nectaries (EFNs are common in the Brazilian cerrado savanna, where climatic conditions having marked seasonality influence arboreal ant fauna organization. These ant-plant interactions have rarely been studied at community level. Here, we tested whether: 1 EFN-bearing plants are more visited by ants than EFN-lacking plants; 2 ant visitation is higher in the rainy season than in dry season; 3 plants producing young leaves are more visited than those lacking young leaves in the rainy season; 4 during the dry season, plants with old leaves and flowers are more visited than plants with young leaves and bare of leaves or flowers; 5 the composition of visiting ant fauna differs between plants with and without EFNs. Field work was done in a cerrado reserve near Uberlândia, MG State, Brazil, along ten transects (total area 3,000 m2, in the rainy (October-January and dry seasons (April-July of 2010-2011. Plants (72 species; 762 individuals were checked three times per season for ant presence. Results showed that 21 species (29% and 266 individuals (35% possessed EFNs. These plants attracted 38 ant species (36 in rainy, 26 in dry season. In the rainy season, plants with EFNs had higher ant abundance/richness than plants without EFNs, but in the dry season, EFN presence did not influence ant visitation. Plant phenology affected ant richness and abundance in different ways: plants with young leaves possessed higher ant richness in the rainy season, but in the dry season ant abundance was higher on plants possessing old leaves or flowers. The species composition of plant-associated ant communities, however, did not differ between plants with and without EFNs in either season. These findings suggest that the effect of EFN presence on a community of plant-visiting ants is context dependent, being conditioned to seasonal variation.

  18. Species diversity and distribution patterns of the ants of Amazonian Ecuador.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kari T Ryder Wilkie

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available Ants are among the most diverse, abundant and ecologically significant organisms on earth. Although their species richness appears to be greatest in the New World tropics, global patterns of ant diversity and distribution are not well understood. We comprehensively surveyed ant diversity in a lowland primary rainforest in Western Amazonia, Ecuador using canopy fogging, pitfall traps, baits, hand collecting, mini-Winkler devices and subterranean probes to sample ants. A total of 489 ant species comprising 64 genera in nine subfamilies were identified from samples collected in only 0.16 square kilometers. The most species-rich genera were Camponotus, Pheidole, Pseudomyrmex, Pachycondyla, Brachymyrmex, and Crematogaster. Camponotus and Pseudomyrmex were most diverse in the canopy, while Pheidole was most diverse on the ground. The three most abundant ground-dwelling ant genera were Pheidole, Solenopsis and Pyramica. Crematogaster carinata was the most abundant ant species in the canopy; Wasmannia auropunctata was most abundant on the ground, and the army ant Labidus coecus was the most abundant subterranean species. Ant species composition among strata was significantly different: 80% of species were found in only one stratum, 17% in two strata, and 3% in all three strata. Elevation and the number of logs and twigs available as nest sites were significant predictors of ground-dwelling ant species richness. Canopy species richness was not correlated with any ecological variable measured. Subterranean species richness was negatively correlated with depth in the soil. When ant species were categorized using a functional group matrix based on diet, nest-site preference and foraging ecology, the greatest diversity was found in Omnivorous Canopy Nesters. Our study indicates ant species richness is exceptionally high at Tiputini. We project 647-736 ant species in this global hotspot of biodiversity. Considering the relatively small area surveyed, this

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gabriela Pérez-Lachaud

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

  20. The Müller-Lyer illusion in ant foraging.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  1. Actitudes europeos ante el envejecimiento y los personas mayores

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    ALAN WALKER

    1996-01-01

    Full Text Available n este artículo se realiza un análisis comparativo de las actitudes ante el envejecimiento y las personas mayores en los doce estados miembros de la unión europea. Está basado en datos originales de encuesta y se centra en la relación entre las personas mayores y los jovenes, la jubilación y las pensiones, los trabajadores de edad y el empleo, la atención social a las personas mayores y la política de la vejez. Por lo tanto, el artículo intenta proporcionar un resumen de las principales dimensiones de las actitudes publicas ante el envejecimiento en la union europea.

  2. Generating and prioritizing optimal paths using ant colony optimization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mukesh Mann

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available The assurance of software reliability partially depends on testing. Numbers of approaches for software testing are available with their proclaimed advantages and limitations, but accessibility of any one of them is a subject dependent. Time is a critical factor in deciding cost of any project. A deep insight has shown that executing test cases are time consuming and tedious activity. Thus stress has been given to develop algorithms which can suggest better pathways for testing. One such algorithm called Path Prioritization -Ant Colony Optimization (PP-ACO has been suggested in this paper which is inspired by real Ant's foraging behavior to generate optimal paths sequence of a decision to decision (DD path of a graph. The algorithm does full path coverage and suggests the best optimal sequences of path in path testing and prioritizes them according to path strength.

  3. The invasion biology and sociogenetics of pharaoh ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schmidt, Anna Mosegaard

    ? or ?tramps?, though often considered negative influences, can also be seen as natural experiments, generating a number of questions in the fields of ecology and evolution. Pharaoh ants (Monomorium pharaonis) are very successful invaders of human habitation in most parts of the world. Individual pharaoh ants...... of invasion biology and evolution in social insects. I have developed methods for establishing colonies of different genetic composition through controlled crossings of genetically different colonies, and established that measurable genetic as well as morphological variation exists between different......, a region where they are very common. Employing species?specific microsatellite markers, I found a structure of multiple introductions and isolation of colonies even on relatively small geographical scales. Enemy release is a central concept in invasion biology, frequently proposed to play an important part...

  4. Ant colonies prefer infected over uninfected nest sites

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pontieri, Luigi; Vojvodic, Svjetlana; Graham, Riley

    2014-01-01

    During colony relocation, the selection of a new nest involves exploration and assessment of potential sites followed by colony movement on the basis of a collective decision making process. Hygiene and pathogen load of the potential nest sites are factors worker scouts might evaluate, given...... the high risk of epidemics in group-living animals. Choosing nest sites free of pathogens is hypothesized to be highly efficient in invasive ants as each of their introduced populations is often an open network of nests exchanging individuals (unicolonial) with frequent relocation into new nest sites...... and low genetic diversity, likely making these species particularly vulnerable to parasites and diseases. We investigated the nest site preference of the invasive pharaoh ant, Monomorium pharaonis, through binary choice tests between three nest types: nests containing dead nestmates overgrown...

  5. Young fire ant workers feign death and survive aggressive neighbors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cassill, Deby L.; Vo, Kim; Becker, Brandie

    2008-07-01

    Feigning death is a method of self-defense employed among a wide range of prey species when threatened by predator species. This paper reports on death-feigning behavior by the fire ant, Solenopsis invicta, during intraspecific aggression among neighboring fire ant workers. Days-old workers responded to aggression by death feigning, weeks-old workers responded by fleeing and months-old workers responded by fighting back. By feigning death, days-old workers were four times more likely to survive aggression than older workers. From a proximate perspective, retaliation by young workers against aggressive older workers is certain to fail. With their relatively soft exoskeleton, young workers would be prone to injury and death and unable to execute an effective attack of biting or stinging older workers with harder exoskeletons. From an ultimate perspective, death feigning allows young workers to survive and contribute to brood care and colony growth, both of which are essential to queen survival and fitness.

  6. Sperm storage induces an immunity cost in ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2006-01-01

    Ant queens are among the most long-lived insects known. They mate early in adult life and maintain millions of viable sperm in their sperm storage organ until they die many years later. Because they never re-mate, the reproductive success of queens is ultimately sperm-limited, but it is not known...... what selective forces determine the upper limit to sperm storage. Here we show that sperm storage carries a significant cost of reduced immunity during colony founding. Newly mated queens of the leaf-cutting ant Atta colombica upregulate their immune response shortly after completing their nest burrow......, probably as an adaptive response to a greater exposure to pathogens in the absence of grooming workers. However, the immune response nine days after colony founding is negatively correlated with the amount of sperm in the sperm storage organ, indicating that short-term survival is traded off against long...

  7. Defense on the Move: Ant-Based Cyber Defense

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fink, Glenn A.; Haack, Jereme N.; McKinnon, Archibald D.; Fulp, Errin W.

    2014-04-15

    Many common cyber defenses (like firewalls and IDS) are as static as trench warfare allowing the attacker freedom to probe them at will. The concept of Moving Target Defense (MTD) adds dynamism to the defender side, but puts the systems to be defended themselves in motion, potentially at great cost to the defender. An alternative approach is a mobile resilient defense that removes attackers’ ability to rely on prior experience without requiring motion in the protected infrastructure itself. The defensive technology absorbs most of the cost of motion, is resilient to attack, and is unpredictable to attackers. The Ant-Based Cyber Defense (ABCD) is a mobile resilient defense providing a set of roaming, bio-inspired, digital-ant agents working with stationary agents in a hierarchy headed by a human supervisor. The ABCD approach provides a resilient, extensible, and flexible defense that can scale to large, multi-enterprise infrastructures like the smart electric grid.

  8. Multi-objective ant algorithm for wireless sensor network positioning

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fidanova, S.; Shindarov, M.; Marinov, P.

    2013-01-01

    It is impossible to imagine our modern life without telecommunications. Wireless networks are a part of telecommunications. Wireless sensor networks (WSN) consist of spatially distributed sensors, which communicate in wireless way. This network monitors physical or environmental conditions. The objective is the full coverage of the monitoring region and less energy consumption of the network. The most appropriate approach to solve the problem is metaheuristics. In this paper the full coverage of the area is treated as a constrain. The objectives which are optimized are a minimal number of sensors and energy (lifetime) of the network. We apply multi-objective Ant Colony Optimization to solve this important telecommunication problem. We chose MAX-MIN Ant System approach, because it is proven to converge to the global optima

  9. Study on bi-directional pedestrian movement using ant algorithms

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gokce, Sibel; Kayacan, Ozhan

    2016-01-01

    A cellular automata model is proposed to simulate bi-directional pedestrian flow. Pedestrian movement is investigated by using ant algorithms. Ants communicate with each other by dropping a chemical, called a pheromone, on the substrate while crawling forward. Similarly, it is considered that oppositely moving pedestrians drop ‘visual pheromones’ on their way and the visual pheromones might cause attractive or repulsive interactions. This pheromenon is introduced into modelling the pedestrians’ walking preference. In this way, the decision-making process of pedestrians will be based on ‘the instinct of following’. At some densities, the relationships of velocity–density and flux–density are analyzed for different evaporation rates of visual pheromones. Lane formation and phase transition are observed for certain evaporation rates of visual pheromones. (paper)

  10. Response Ant Colony Optimization of End Milling Surface Roughness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ahmed N. Abd Alla

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available Metal cutting processes are important due to increased consumer demands for quality metal cutting related products (more precise tolerances and better product surface roughness that has driven the metal cutting industry to continuously improve quality control of metal cutting processes. This paper presents optimum surface roughness by using milling mould aluminium alloys (AA6061-T6 with Response Ant Colony Optimization (RACO. The approach is based on Response Surface Method (RSM and Ant Colony Optimization (ACO. The main objectives to find the optimized parameters and the most dominant variables (cutting speed, feedrate, axial depth and radial depth. The first order model indicates that the feedrate is the most significant factor affecting surface roughness.

  11. Terminal investment: individual reproduction of ant queens increases with age.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jürgen Heinze

    Full Text Available The pattern of age-specific fecundity is a key component of the life history of organisms and shapes their ecology and evolution. In numerous animals, including humans, reproductive performance decreases with age. Here, we demonstrate that some social insect queens exhibit the opposite pattern. Egg laying rates of Cardiocondyla obscurior ant queens increased with age until death, even when the number of workers caring for them was kept constant. Cardiocondyla, and probably also other ants, therefore resemble the few select organisms with similar age-specific reproductive investment, such as corals, sturgeons, or box turtles (e.g., [1], but they differ in being more short-lived and lacking individual, though not social, indeterminate growth. Furthermore, in contrast to most other organisms, in which average life span declines with increasing reproductive effort, queens with high egg laying rates survived as long as less fecund queens.

  12. The search rate of the African weaver ant in cashew

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Henriksen, Signe; Axelsen, Jørgen Aagaard; Lemming, Katrine Hansen

    2015-01-01

    Oecophylla longinoda is a species of eusocial colony living ants that prey upon other insects to feed their larva. Many of these insects are considered pests. An ecosystem model of the interactions between an O. longinoda colony and its potential prey is under construction by the team behind...... this article, and it is unknown which functional response equations are useful for eusocial insect colonies. We investigated the search rate of O. longinoda using artificial feeding experiments in a Tanzanian cashew (Anacardium occidentale L.) orchard to determine the search efficiency of the ants......, and to assess which functional response equation can be used for eusocial insects. Artificial feeding experiments consisted of providing each of ten colonies 50 pieces of sardine (175 mg dry weight in average) in cashew trees at time 0 and counting the remaining food items at four intervals of 45 minutes during...

  13. Ants' learning of nest entrance characteristics (Hymenoptera, Formicidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cammaerts, M C

    2014-02-01

    Young workers, experimentally removed from their nest and set in front of it, are not very good at finding the nest entrance and entering the nest. I examined how young ants learn their nest entrance characteristics, dealing only with the entrance sensu stricto, not with its vicinity. I observed that young ants have the innate behavior of trying to exit and re-enter their nest. I found that they are imprinted with the nest entrance odor while they are still living inside their nest and that they learn the visual aspect of their nest entrances, thanks to operant conditioning, when they exit their nest and succeed in re-entering in the course of their first short trips outside.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bezděčková, Klára; Bezděčka, Pavel; Machar, Ivo

    2015-09-21

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

  15. Social prophylaxis: group interaction promotes collective immunity in ant colonies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ugelvig, Line V; Cremer, Sylvia

    2007-01-01

    , infection of the brood was prevented in our experiment by behavioral changes of treated and naive workers. Parasite-treated ants stayed away from the brood chamber, whereas their naive nestmates increased brood-care activities. Our findings reveal a direct benefit for individuals to perform hygienic......Life in a social group increases the risk of disease transmission. To counteract this threat, social insects have evolved manifold antiparasite defenses, ranging from social exclusion of infected group members to intensive care. It is generally assumed that individuals performing hygienic behaviors...... risk infecting themselves, suggesting a high direct cost of helping. Our work instead indicates the opposite for garden ants. Social contact with individual workers, which were experimentally exposed to a fungal parasite, provided a clear survival benefit to nontreated, naive group members upon later...

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

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Ellwood, M. D. F.; Blüthgen, N.; Fayle, Tom Maurice; Foster, W. A.; Menzel, F.

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 75, AUG 01 (2016), s. 24-34 ISSN 1146-609X R&D Projects: GA ČR GA14-32302S; GA ČR(CZ) GA16-09427S Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : ant mosaics * assembly rules * competitive exclusion Subject RIV: EH - Ecology , Behaviour Impact factor: 1.652, year: 2016 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1146609X16300832

  17. Subterranean ant nests: Trace fossils past and future?

    OpenAIRE

    Tschinkel, Walter R.

    2003-01-01

    Many species of ants excavate complex, species-typical nests in soil. The basic structural units of many nests are descending tunnels connecting flattened, generally horizontal chambers of oval to lobed outline. The species-typical structure of many nests results from variation in the size, shape, number and arrangement of these basic elements. Nest architecture can be rendered by filling subterranean nests with a thin slurry of orthodontal plaster, then excavating and reconstructing the hard...

  18. Multi-trait mimicry of ants by a parasitoid wasp

    OpenAIRE

    Malcicka, Miriama; Bezemer, T. Martijn; Visser, Bertanne; Bloemberg, Mark; Snart, Charles J. P.; Hardy, Ian C. W.; Harvey, Jeffrey A.

    2015-01-01

    Many animals avoid attack from predators through toxicity or the emission of repellent chemicals. Defensive mimicry has evolved in many species to deceive shared predators, for instance through colouration and other morphological adaptations, but mimicry hardly ever seems to involve multi-trait similarities. Here we report on a wingless parasitoid wasp that exhibits a full spectrum of traits mimicing ants and affording protection against ground-dwelling predators (wolf spiders). In body size,...

  19. Timing of dispersal: effect of ants on aphids

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Kindlmann, Pavel; Hullé, M.; Stadler, B.

    2007-01-01

    Roč. 152, č. 4 (2007), s. 625-631 ISSN 0029-8549 R&D Projects: GA AV ČR IAA6087301; GA MŠk LC06073; GA ČR(CZ) GEDIV/06/E013 Grant - others:-(DE) BMBF No. PT BEO 51-0339476D Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60870520 Keywords : Ant attendance * Dispersal * Mutualistic systems * Suction traps Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 2.973, year: 2007

  20. António Reis and Margarida Cordeiro, eccentric filmmakers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lucas Tavares Neves

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available The international symposium "António Reis and Margarida Cordeiro, eccentric filmmakers" took place in Paris between the 3rd and the 4th of June, 2015. Speakers exchanged on the political, social and poetical aspects of the duo's cinematography, as well as on the reverberations of titles such as Jaime (1974 and Trás-os-montes (1976 on the Portuguese filmic landscape of the decades that followed.

  1. How lost "passenger" ants find their way home.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Srinivasan, Mandyam V

    2018-03-01

    Animal navigation has fascinated biologists and engineers for centuries, and some of the most illuminating discoveries have come from the study of creatures with a brain no larger than a sesame seed. In an elegant recent study, Pfeiffer and Wittlinger (Science, 353, 1155-1157, 2016) have shown the means by which desert ants, carried from one nest to another by a relative, find their own way back home if they are accidentally dropped en route.

  2. Contrasting species and functional beta diversity in montane ant assemblages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bishop, Tom R; Robertson, Mark P; van Rensburg, Berndt J; Parr, Catherine L

    2015-09-01

    Beta diversity describes the variation in species composition between sites and can be used to infer why different species occupy different parts of the globe. It can be viewed in a number of ways. First, it can be partitioned into two distinct patterns: turnover and nestedness. Second, it can be investigated from either a species identity or a functional-trait point of view. We aim to document for the first time how these two aspects of beta diversity vary in response to a large environmental gradient. Maloti-Drakensberg Mountains, southern Africa. We sampled ant assemblages along an extensive elevational gradient (900-3000 m a.s.l.) twice yearly for 7 years, and collected functional-trait information related to the species' dietary and habitat-structure preferences. We used recently developed methods to partition species and functional beta diversity into their turnover and nestedness components. A series of null models were used to test whether the observed beta diversity patterns differed from random expectations. Species beta diversity was driven by turnover, but functional beta diversity was composed of both turnover and nestedness patterns at different parts of the gradient. Null models revealed that deterministic processes were likely to be responsible for the species patterns but that the functional changes were indistinguishable from stochasticity. Different ant species are found with increasing elevation, but they tend to represent an increasingly nested subset of the available functional strategies. This finding is unique and narrows down the list of possible factors that control ant existence across elevation. We conclude that diet and habitat preferences have little role in structuring ant assemblages in montane environments and that some other factor must be driving the non-random patterns of species turnover. This finding also highlights the importance of distinguishing between different kinds of beta diversity.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Himender Bharti

    2014-02-01

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

  4. Estimating the Ex Ante Expected Returns to College

    OpenAIRE

    Andrew J. Hussey; Omari H. Swinton

    2011-01-01

    Rather than estimating the returns to obtaining a college degree, this paper treats the college education decision as an uncertain investment involving varying likelihoods of successful graduation. We predict earnings conditional on both graduating and not graduating from both selective and non-selective institutions, and incorporate estimated individual-specific graduation rates in calculating the ex ante expected returns from college attendance for individuals across the ability distributio...

  5. ANTS/PAM: Future Exploration of the Asteroid Belt

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-05-01

    The Autonomous Nano-Technology Swarm (ANTS) is applied to the Prospecting Asteroid Mission (PAM) concept, as part of a NASA RASC study. The ANTS architecture is inspired by success of social insect colonies, based on the division of labor within the colonies: 1) within their specialties, individual specialists generally outperform general-ists, and 2) with sufficiently efficient social interaction and coordination, the group of specialists generally outper-forms the group of generalists. ANTS as applied to PAM involves a thousand individual specialist `sciencecraft', one subswarm per target, in an environment where detection and tracking of irregular, infrequent targets is a major chal-lenge. Workers, carry and operate eight to nine different scientific instruments, including spectrometers, ranging and radio science devices, imagers. The remaining specialists, Messenger/Rulers, provide communication and coordina-tion. The non-expendable propulsion system is based on autonomously deployable and configurable solar sails, a system suitable to a low gravity environment. The design of the neural basis function requires a minimum of 4 or 5 specialists for collective decision making. Allowing for ten instrument specialist teams and compensating for antici-pated high attrition, we calculate an initial minimum of 100 per subswarm should allow characterization of hundreds of asteroids. The difficulty in observing irregular, rapidly moving, poorly illuminated objects is largely overcome by the ANT sciencecraft capability to optimize conditions for each instrument. Components are composed of carbon nanotubules reversibly deployable from NEMS nodes, allowing 100 times decrease in packaging volume. 1000 smart 10 centimeter, 1 kg cubic boxes create a 1000 kg 1 meter cube.

  6. 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.

  7. Solenopsis ant magnetic material: statistical and seasonal studies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Abraçado, Leida G; Esquivel, Darci M S; Wajnberg, Eliane

    2009-01-01

    In this paper, we quantify the magnetic material amount in Solenopsis ants using ferromagnetic resonance (FMR) at room temperature. We sampled S. interrupta workers from several morphologically indistinguishable castes. Twenty-five oriented samples of each body part of S. interrupta (20 units each) showed that FMR line shapes are reproducible. The relative magnetic material amount was 31 ± 12% (mean ± SD) in the antennae, 27 ± 13% in the head, 21 ± 12% in the thorax and 20 ± 10% in the abdomen. In order to measure variation in the magnetic material from late summer to early winter, ants were collected each month between March and July. The amount of magnetic material was greatest in all four body parts in March and least in all four body parts in June. In addition, S. richteri majors presented more magnetic material than minor workers. Extending these findings to the genera Solenopsis, the reduction in magnetic material found in winter could be explained by our sampling fewer foraging major ants

  8. Improved Ant Colony Optimization for Seafood Product Delivery Routing Problem

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Baozhen Yao

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available This paper deals with a real-life vehicle delivery routing problem, which is a seafood product delivery routing problem. Considering the features of the seafood product delivery routing problem, this paper formulated this problem as a multi-depot open vehicle routing problem. Since the multi-depot open vehicle routing problem is a very complex problem, a method is used to reduce the complexity of the problem by changing the multi-depot open vehicle routing problem into an open vehicle routing problem with a dummy central depot in this paper. Then, ant colony optimization is used to solve the problem. To improve the performance of the algorithm, crossover operation and some adaptive strategies are used. Finally, the computational results for the benchmark problems of the multi-depot vehicle routing problem indicate that the proposed ant colony optimization is an effective method to solve the multi-depot vehicle routing problem. Furthermore, the computation results of the seafood product delivery problem from Dalian, China also suggest that the proposed ant colony optimization is feasible to solve the seafood product delivery routing problem.

  9. Network growth dynamics of fire ant (Solenopsis invicta) nests

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-02-01

    We study the construction dynamics and topology of fire ant (Solenopsis invicta) nests. Fire ants in colonies of hundreds to hundreds of thousands create subterranean tunnel networks through the excavation of soil. We observed the construction of nests in a laboratory experiment. Workers were isolated from focal colony and placed in a quasi 2D, vertically oriented arena with wetted soil. We monitored nest growth using time-lapse photography. We found that nests grew linearly in time through tunnel lengthening and branching. Tunnel path length followed an extended power law distribution, P (l - l0)^β. Average degree of tunnel nodes was k = 2.17 ±0.40 and networks were cyclical. In simulation we model the nest growth as a branching and annihilating levy-flight process. We study this as a function of dimensionality (2D and 3D space considered) and step length distribution function P(ls). We find that in two-dimensions path length distribution is exponential, independent of the functional form of P(ls) consistent with a poisson spatial process while in three-dimensions P(l) = P(ls). Comparing simulation and experiment we attribute the slower than exponential tail of P(l) in experiment as a result of a behavioral component to the ant digging program.

  10. Foraging strategies of the ant Ectatomma vizottoi (Hymenoptera, Formicidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luan D. Lima

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Foraging strategies of the ant Ectatomma vizottoi (Hymenoptera, Formicidae. Foraging activity may be limited by temperature, humidity, radiation, wind, and other abiotic factors, all of which can affect energy costs during foraging. Ectatomma vizottoi's biology has only recently been studied, and no detailed information is available on its foraging patterns or diet in the field. For this reason, and because foraging activity is an important part of the ecological success of social insects, the present study aimed to investigate E. vizottoi's foraging strategies and dietary habits. First, we determined how abiotic factors constrained E. vizottoi's foraging patterns in the field by monitoring the foraging activity of 16 colonies on eight different days across two seasons. Second, we characterized E. vizottoi's diet by monitoring another set of 26 colonies during peak foraging activity. Our results show that E. vizottoi has foraging strategies that are similar to those of congeneric species. In spite of having a low efficiency index, colonies adopted strategies that allowed them to successfully obtain food resources while avoiding adverse conditions. These strategies included preying on other ant species, a foraging tactic that could arise if a wide variety of food items are not available in the environment or if E. vizottoi simply prefers, regardless of resource availability, to prey on other invertebrates and especially on other ant species.

  11. Rescue of newborn ants by older Cataglyphis cursor adult workers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nowbahari, Elise; Amirault, Céline; Hollis, Karen L

    2016-05-01

    Cataglyphis cursor worker ants are capable of highly sophisticated rescue behaviour in which individuals are able to identify what has trapped a nestmate and to direct their behaviour towards that obstacle. Nonetheless, rescue behaviour is constrained by workers' subcaste: whereas foragers, the oldest workers, are able both to give and to receive the most help, the youngest workers, inactives, neither give nor receive any help whatsoever; nurses give and receive intermediate levels of aid, reflecting their intermediate age. Such differences in rescue behaviour across subcastes suggest that age and experience play a critical role. In this species, as in many others in which a sensitive period for nestmate recognition exists, newly enclosed ants, called callows, are adopted by ants belonging not only to different colonies but also to different species; foreign callows receive nearly the same special care provided to resident newborns. Because callows are younger than inactives, which are incapable of soliciting rescue, we wondered whether entrapped callows would receive such aid. In the present study, we artificially ensnared individual callows from their own colony (homocolonial), from a different colony (heterocolonial), and from a different species (heterospecific), and tested each one with groups of five potential C. cursor rescuers, either all foragers or all nurses. Our results show that all three types of callows are able to elicit rescue behaviour from both foragers and nurses. Nonetheless, nurse rescuers are better able to discriminate between the three types of callow victims than are foragers.

  12. 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.

  13. Solenopsis ant magnetic material: statistical and seasonal studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abraçado, Leida G.; Esquivel, Darci M. S.; Wajnberg, Eliane

    2009-12-01

    In this paper, we quantify the magnetic material amount in Solenopsis ants using ferromagnetic resonance (FMR) at room temperature. We sampled S. interrupta workers from several morphologically indistinguishable castes. Twenty-five oriented samples of each body part of S. interrupta (20 units each) showed that FMR line shapes are reproducible. The relative magnetic material amount was 31 ± 12% (mean ± SD) in the antennae, 27 ± 13% in the head, 21 ± 12% in the thorax and 20 ± 10% in the abdomen. In order to measure variation in the magnetic material from late summer to early winter, ants were collected each month between March and July. The amount of magnetic material was greatest in all four body parts in March and least in all four body parts in June. In addition, S. richteri majors presented more magnetic material than minor workers. Extending these findings to the genera Solenopsis, the reduction in magnetic material found in winter could be explained by our sampling fewer foraging major ants.

  14. 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.

  15. Bioturbation by the Fungus-Gardening Ant, Trachymyrmex septentrionalis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Walter R Tschinkel

    Full Text Available Soil invertebrates such as ants are thought to be important manipulators of soils in temperate and tropical ecosystems. The fungus gardening ant, Trachymyrmex septentrionalis, is an important agent of biomantling, that is, of depositing soil excavated from below onto the surface, and has been suggested as an agent of bioturbation (moving soil below ground as well. The amount of bioturbation by this ant was quantified by planting queenright colonies in sand columns consisting of 5 layers of different colored sand. The amount of each color of sand deposited on the surface was determined from April to November 2015. In November, colonies were excavated and the color and amount of sand deposited below ground (mostly as backfill in chambers was determined. Extrapolated to one ha, T. septentrionalis deposited 800 kg of sand per annum on the surface, and an additional 200 kg (17% of the total excavated below ground. On average, this mixes 1.3% of the sand from other layers within the top meter of soil per millennium, but this mixing is unlikely to be homogeneous, and probably occurs as "hotspots" in both horizontal and vertical space. Such mixing is discussed as a challenge to sediment dating by optically stimulated luminescence (OSL.

  16. A seismic fault recognition method based on ant colony optimization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Lei; Xiao, Chuangbai; Li, Xueliang; Wang, Zhenli; Huo, Shoudong

    2018-05-01

    Fault recognition is an important section in seismic interpretation and there are many methods for this technology, but no one can recognize fault exactly enough. For this problem, we proposed a new fault recognition method based on ant colony optimization which can locate fault precisely and extract fault from the seismic section. Firstly, seismic horizons are extracted by the connected component labeling algorithm; secondly, the fault location are decided according to the horizontal endpoints of each horizon; thirdly, the whole seismic section is divided into several rectangular blocks and the top and bottom endpoints of each rectangular block are considered as the nest and food respectively for the ant colony optimization algorithm. Besides that, the positive section is taken as an actual three dimensional terrain by using the seismic amplitude as a height. After that, the optimal route from nest to food calculated by the ant colony in each block is judged as a fault. Finally, extensive comparative tests were performed on the real seismic data. Availability and advancement of the proposed method were validated by the experimental results.

  17. Ant brood function as life preservers during floods.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jessica Purcell

    Full Text Available Social organisms can surmount many ecological challenges by working collectively. An impressive example of such collective behavior occurs when ants physically link together into floating 'rafts' to escape from flooded habitat. However, raft formation may represent a social dilemma, with some positions posing greater individual risks than others. Here, we investigate the position and function of different colony members, and the costs and benefits of this functional geometry in rafts of the floodplain-dwelling ant Formica selysi. By causing groups of ants to raft in the laboratory, we observe that workers are distributed throughout the raft, queens are always in the center, and 100% of brood items are placed on the base. Through a series of experiments, we show that workers and brood are extremely resistant to submersion. Both workers and brood exhibit high survival rates after they have rafted, suggesting that occupying the base of the raft is not as costly as expected. The placement of all brood on the base of one cohesive raft confers several benefits: it preserves colony integrity, takes advantage of brood buoyancy, and increases the proportion of workers that immediately recover after rafting.

  18. Effect of irradiation on queen survivorship and reproduction in the invasive fire ant Solenopsis invicta,(Hymenoptera: Formicidae) and a generic phytosanitary irradiation treatment for ants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ants are common hitchhiker pests on traded agricultural commodities that could be controlled by postharvest irradiation treatment. We studied radiation tolerance in queens of the red imported fire ant Solenopsis invicta Buren to determine the dose sufficient for its control. Virgin or fertile queens...

  19. Ant-egg cataract. A study of a family with dominantly inherited congenital (ant-egg) cataract, including a histological examination of the formed elements

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nissen, Steffen; Schrøder, H D

    1979-01-01

    A family with "ant-egg" cataract in three generations is described. The cataract is congenital, probably of autosomal dominant inheritance. Light microscopy of the ant-eggs showed that they are made up of a peripheral zone of lens material and a large almost homogenous centre. Element analysis by X...

  20. The effects of ant nests on soil fertility and plant performance: a meta-analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farji-Brener, Alejandro G; Werenkraut, Victoria

    2017-07-01

    Ants are recognized as one of the major sources of soil disturbance world-wide. However, this view is largely based on isolated studies and qualitative reviews. Here, for the first time, we quantitatively determined whether ant nests affect soil fertility and plant performance, and identified the possible sources of variation of these effects. Using Bayesian mixed-models meta-analysis, we tested the hypotheses that ant effects on soil fertility and plant performance depend on the substrate sampled, ant feeding type, latitude, habitat and the plant response variable measured. Ant nests showed higher nutrient and cation content than adjacent non-nest soil samples, but similar pH. Nutrient content was higher in ant refuse materials than in nest soils. The fertilizer effect of ant nests was also higher in dry habitats than in grasslands or savannas. Cation content was higher in nests of plant-feeding ants than in nests of omnivorous species, and lower in nests from agro-ecosystems than in nests from any other habitat. Plants showed higher green/root biomass and fitness on ant nests soils than in adjacent, non-nest sites; but plant density and diversity were unaffected by the presence of ant nests. Root growth was particularly higher in refuse materials than in ant nest soils, in leaf-cutting ant nests and in deserts habitats. Our results confirm the major role of ant nests in influencing soil fertility and vegetation patterns and provide information about the factors that mediate these effects. First, ant nests improve soil fertility mainly through the accumulation of refuse materials. Thus, different refuse dump locations (external or in underground nest chambers) could benefit different vegetation life-forms. Second, ant nests could increase plant diversity at larger spatial scales only if the identity of favoured plants changes along environmental gradients (i.e. enhancing β-diversity). Third, ant species that feed on plants play a relevant role fertilizing soils

  1. Diversity of Species and Behavior of Hymenopteran Parasitoids of Ants: A Review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jean-Paul Lachaud

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Reports of hymenopterans associated with ants involve more than 500 species, but only a fraction unambiguously pertain to actual parasitoids. In this paper, we attempt to provide an overview of both the diversity of these parasitoid wasps and the diversity of the types of interactions they have formed with their ant hosts. The reliable list of parasitoid wasps using ants as primary hosts includes at least 138 species, reported between 1852 and 2011, distributed among 9 families from 3 superfamilies. These parasitoids exhibit a wide array of biologies and developmental strategies: ecto- or endoparasitism, solitary or gregarious, and idio- or koinobiosis. All castes of ants and all developmental stages, excepting eggs, are possible targets. Some species parasitize adult worker ants while foraging or performing other activities outside the nest; however, in most cases, parasitoids attack ant larvae either inside or outside their nests. Based on their abundance and success in attacking ants, some parasitoid wasps like diapriids and eucharitids seem excellent potential models to explore how parasitoids impact ant colony demography, population biology, and ant community structure. Despite a significant increase in our knowledge of hymenopteran parasitoids of ants, most of them remain to be discovered.

  2. Efficacy of Chemical Mimicry by Aphid Predators Depends on Aphid-Learning by Ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayashi, Masayuki; Nomura, Masashi; Nakamuta, Kiyoshi

    2016-03-01

    Chemical mimicry is an effective strategy when signal receivers recognize and discriminate models by relying on chemical cues. Some aphid enemies mimic the cuticular chemicals of aphids through various means thus avoiding detection and attack by aphid-tending ants. However, because ants have been reported to learn the chemical signatures of aphids in order to distinguish the aphids, the efficacy of chemical mimicry is predicted to depend on the experience of the ants that had tended aphids. The present study tested this hypothesis using two predator species: larvae of the green lacewing Mallada desjardinsi, and larvae of the ladybeetle Scymnus posticalis. Lacewing larvae carry the carcasses of aphids on which they have preyed upon their backs, and these function via chemical camouflage to reduce the aggressiveness of aphid-tending ants toward the larvae. Ladybeetle larvae reportedly produce a covering of wax structures, and their chemicals appear to attenuate ant aggression. We examined whether the behavior of the ant Tetramorium tsushimae toward these predators changed depending on their aphid-tending experience. Ants moderated their aggressiveness toward both predators when they had previously tended aphids, indicating that chemical mimicry by both aphid predators is dependent on previous experience of the ants in tending aphids. Chemical mimicry by the predators of ant-tended aphids is therefore considered to exploit learning-dependent aphid recognition systems of ants.

  3. Effects of an alien ant invasion on abundance, behavior, and reproductive success of endemic island birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, Naomi E; O'Dowd, Dennis J; Green, Peter T; Nally, Ralph Mac

    2008-10-01

    Biological invaders can reconfigure ecological networks in communities, which changes community structure, composition, and ecosystem function. We investigated whether impacts caused by the introduced yellow crazy ant (Anoplolepis gracilipes), a pantropical invader rapidly expanding its range, extend to higher-order consumers by comparing counts, behaviors, and nesting success of endemic forest birds in ant-invaded and uninvaded rainforest on Christmas Island (Indian Ocean). Point counts and direct behavioral observations showed that ant invasion altered abundances and behaviors of the bird species we examined: the Island Thrush (Turdus poliocephalus erythropleurus), Emerald Dove (Chalcophaps indica natalis), and Christmas Island White-eye (Zosterops natalis). The thrush, which frequents the forest floor, altered its foraging and reproductive behaviors in ant-invaded forest, where nest-site location changed, and nest success and juvenile counts were lower. Counts of the dove, which forages exclusively on the forest floor, were 9-14 times lower in ant-invaded forest. In contrast, counts and foraging success of the white-eye, a generalist feeder in the understory and canopy, were higher in ant-invaded forest, where mutualism between the ant and honeydew-secreting scale insects increased the abundance of scale-insect prey. These complex outcomes involved the interplay of direct interference by ants and altered resource availability and habitat structure caused indirectly by ant invasion. Ecological meltdown, rapidly unleashed by ant invasion, extended to these endemic forest birds and may affect key ecosystem processes, including seed dispersal.

  4. Red imported fire ant impacts on upland arthropods in Southern Mississippi

    Science.gov (United States)

    Epperson, D.M.; Allen, Craig R.

    2010-01-01

    Red imported fire ants (Solenopsis invicta) have negative impacts on a broad array of invertebrate species. We investigated the impacts of fire ants on the upland arthropod community on 20???40 ha study sites in southern Mississippi. Study sites were sampled from 19972000 before, during, and after fire ant bait treatments to reduce fire ant populations. Fire ant abundance was assessed with bait transects on all sites, and fire ant population indices were estimated on a subset of study sites. Species richness and diversity of other ant species was also assessed from bait transects. Insect biomass and diversity was determined from light trap samples. Following treatments, fire ant abundance and population indices were significantly reduced, and ant species diversity and richness were greater on treated sites. Arthropod biomass, species diversity and species richness estimated from light trap samples were negatively correlated with fire ant abundance, but there were no observable treatment effects. Solenopsis invicta has the potential to negatively impact native arthropod communities resulting in a potential loss of both species and function.

  5. [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.

  6. Filamentous fungi vectored by ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in a public hospital in North-Eastern Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aquino, R S S; Silveira, S S; Pessoa, W F B; Rodrigues, A; Andrioli, J L; Delabie, J H C; Fontana, R

    2013-03-01

    The increase in opportunistic fungal infections has led to the search for putative sources of contamination in hospital environments. Ants in a public hospital in Itabuna, north-eastern Brazil were examined for carriage of filamentous fungi. During a year-long survey, ants from different hospital areas were sampled. Preference was given to locations where it was possible to observe ants actively foraging. The fungi found on the ants' integument were cultured and identified. A total of 106 ant workers belonging to 12 species in 11 genera were collected. A total of 47 fungal strains was isolated from 40% of the ants (N = 42). We found 16 fungal species in 13 genera associated with the ant workers. The prevalent fungal genera were Aspergillus, Purpureocillium and Fusarium. The ants Tapinoma melanocephalum, Paratrechina longicornis and Pheidole megacephala were associated with six fungal genera; and four genera of fungi were associated with Solenopsis saevissima workers. Fungal diversity was higher in the following hospital areas: nursery, hospital beds, breastmilk bank and paediatrics. Ants act as carriers of soil and airborne fungal species, and ant control in hospital areas is necessary to prevent the dissemination of such micro-organisms. Copyright © 2012 The Healthcare Infection Society. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Application of an Image Tracking Algorithm in Fire Ant Motion Experiment

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    Lichuan Gui

    2009-04-01

    Full Text Available An image tracking algorithm, which was originally used with the particle image velocimetry (PIV to determine velocities of buoyant solid particles in water, is modified and applied in the presented work to detect motion of fire ant on a planar surface. A group of fire ant workers are put to the bottom of a tub and excited with vibration of selected frequency and intensity. The moving fire ants are captured with an image system that successively acquires image frames of high digital resolution. The background noise in the imaging recordings is extracted by averaging hundreds of frames and removed from each frame. The individual fire ant images are identified with a recursive digital filter, and then they are tracked between frames according to the size, brightness, shape, and orientation angle of the ant image. The speed of an individual ant is determined with the displacement of its images and the time interval between frames. The trail of the individual fire ant is determined with the image tracking results, and a statistical analysis is conducted for all the fire ants in the group. The purpose of the experiment is to investigate the response of fire ants to the substrate vibration. Test results indicate that the fire ants move faster after being excited, but the number of active ones are not increased even after a strong excitation.

  8. Individual-based ant-plant networks: diurnal-nocturnal structure and species-area relationship.

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    Wesley Dáttilo

    Full Text Available Despite the importance and increasing knowledge of ecological networks, sampling effort and intrapopulation variation has been widely overlooked. Using continuous daily sampling of ants visiting three plant species in the Brazilian Neotropical savanna, we evaluated for the first time the topological structure over 24 h and species-area relationships (based on the number of extrafloral nectaries available in individual-based ant-plant networks. We observed that diurnal and nocturnal ant-plant networks exhibited the same pattern of interactions: a nested and non-modular pattern and an average level of network specialization. Despite the high similarity in the ants' composition between the two collection periods, ant species found in the central core of highly interacting species totally changed between diurnal and nocturnal sampling for all plant species. In other words, this "night-turnover" suggests that the ecological dynamics of these ant-plant interactions can be temporally partitioned (day and night at a small spatial scale. Thus, it is possible that in some cases processes shaping mutualistic networks formed by protective ants and plants may be underestimated by diurnal sampling alone. Moreover, we did not observe any effect of the number of extrafloral nectaries on ant richness and their foraging on such plants in any of the studied ant-plant networks. We hypothesize that competitively superior ants could monopolize individual plants and allow the coexistence of only a few other ant species, however, other alternative hypotheses are also discussed. Thus, sampling period and species-area relationship produces basic information that increases our confidence in how individual-based ant-plant networks are structured, and the need to consider nocturnal records in ant-plant network sampling design so as to decrease inappropriate inferences.

  9. Ants Learn Aphid Species as Mutualistic Partners: Is the Learning Behavior Species-Specific?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayashi, Masayuki; Nakamuta, Kiyoshi; Nomura, Masashi

    2015-12-01

    In ant-aphid associations, many aphid species provide ants with honeydew and are tended by ants, whereas others are never tended and are frequently preyed upon by ants. In these relationships, ants must have the ability to discriminate among aphid species, with mutualistic aphids being accepted as partners rather than prey. Although ants reportedly use cuticular hydrocarbons (CHCs) of aphids to differentiate between mutualistic and non-mutualistic species, it is unclear whether the ability to recognize mutualistic aphid species as partners is innate or involves learning. Therefore, we tested whether aphid recognition by ants depends on learning, and whether the learning behavior is species-specific. When workers of the ant Tetramorium tsushimae had previously tended the cowpea aphid, Aphis craccivora, they were less aggressive toward this species. In addition, ants also reduced their aggressiveness toward another mutualistic aphid species, Aphis fabae, after tending A. craccivora, whereas ants remained aggressive toward the non-mutualistic aphid, Acyrthosiphon pisum, regardless of whether or not they had previous experience in tending A. craccivora. When ants were offered glass dummies treated with CHCs of these aphid species, ants that had tended A. craccivora displayed reduced aggression toward CHCs of A. craccivora and A. fabae. Chemical analyses showed the similarity of the CHC profiles between A. craccivora and A. fabae but not with A. pisum. These results suggest that aphid recognition of ants involves learning, and that the learning behavior may not be species-specific because of the similarity of CHCs between different aphid species with which they form mutualisms.

  10. 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.

  11. Ants have a negative rather than a positive effect on extrafloral nectaried Crotalaria pallida performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pereira, Marcela Fernandes; Trigo, José Roberto

    2013-08-01

    Crotalaria pallida (Fabaceae) is a pantropical plant with extrafloral nectaries (EFNs) near the reproductive structures. EFN-visiting ants attack and remove arctiid moth Utetheisa ornatrix larvae, the main pre-dispersal seed predator, but the impact of ants on C. pallida fitness is unknown. To assess this impact, we controlled ant presence on plants and evaluated the reproductive output of C. pallida with and without ants. Predatory wasps also visit EFNs, prey upon U. ornatrix larvae, and may be driven out by ants during EFN feeding. Does this agonistic interaction affect the multitrophic interaction outcome? We found it difficult to evaluate the effect of both visitors because cages excluding wasps affect plant growth and do not allow U. ornatrix oviposition. Therefore, we verified whether ant presence inhibited wasp EFN visitation and predicted that (1) if ants confer a benefit for C. pallida, any negative effect of ants on wasps would be negligible for the plant because ants would be the best guardians, and (2) if ants are poor guardians, they would negatively affect wasps and negatively impact the fitness of C. pallida. Surprisingly, we found that the number of seeds/pods significantly increased, ca. 4.7 times, after ant removal. Additionally, we unexpectedly verified that controls showed a higher percentage of herbivore bored pods than ant-excluded plants. We found that wasps spent less time visiting EFNs patrolled by ants (ca. 299 s less). These results support our second prediction and suggest that the outcome of multitrophic interactions may vary with natural enemy actors.

  12. A specialist herbivore uses chemical camouflage to overcome the defenses of an ant-plant mutualism.

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    Susan R Whitehead

    Full Text Available Many plants and ants engage in mutualisms where plants provide food and shelter to the ants in exchange for protection against herbivores and competitors. Although several species of herbivores thwart ant defenses and extract resources from the plants, the mechanisms that allow these herbivores to avoid attack are poorly understood. The specialist insect herbivore, Piezogaster reclusus (Hemiptera: Coreidae, feeds on Neotropical bull-horn acacias (Vachellia collinsii despite the presence of Pseudomyrmex spinicola ants that nest in and aggressively defend the trees. We tested three hypotheses for how P. reclusus feeds on V. collinsii while avoiding ant attack: (1 chemical camouflage via cuticular surface compounds, (2 chemical deterrence via metathoracic defense glands, and (3 behavioral traits that reduce ant detection or attack. Our results showed that compounds from both P. reclusus cuticles and metathoracic glands reduce the number of ant attacks, but only cuticular compounds appear to be essential in allowing P. reclusus to feed on bull-horn acacia trees undisturbed. In addition, we found that ant attack rates to P. reclusus increased significantly when individuals were transferred between P. spinicola ant colonies. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that chemical mimicry of colony-specific ant or host plant odors plays a key role in allowing P. reclusus to circumvent ant defenses and gain access to important resources, including food and possibly enemy-free space. This interaction between ants, acacias, and their herbivores provides an excellent example of the ability of herbivores to adapt to ant defenses of plants and suggests that herbivores may play an important role in the evolution and maintenance of mutualisms.

  13. The Organization of Foraging in the Fire Ant, Solenopsis invicta

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tschinkel, Walter R.

    2011-01-01

    Although natural selection in ants acts most strongly at the colony, or superorganismal level, foraging patterns have rarely been studied at that level, focusing instead on the behavior of individual foragers or groups of foragers. The experiments and observations in this paper reveal in broad strokes how colonies of the fire ant, Solenopsis invicta Buren (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), allocate their available labor to foraging, how they disperse that force within their territory, and how this force changes with colony size, season and worker age. Territory area is positively related to colony size and the number of foragers, more so during the spring than fall. Changes of colony size and territory area are driven by seasonal variation of sexual and worker production, which in turn drive seasonal variation of worker age-distribution. During spring sexual production, colonies shrink because worker production falls below replacement. This loss is proportional to colony size, causing forager density in the spring to be negatively related to colony and territory size. In the fall, colonies emphasize worker production, bringing colony size back up. However, because smaller colonies curtailed spring worker production less than larger ones, their fall forager populations are proportionally greater, causing them to gain territory at the expense of large colonies. Much variation of territory area remains unexplained and can probably be attributed to pressure from neighboring colonies. Boundaries between territories are characterized by “no ants' zones” mostly devoid of fire ants. The forager population can be divided into a younger group of recruitable workers that wait for scouts to activate them to help retrieve large food finds. About one-third of the recruits wait near openings in the foraging tunnels that underlie the entire territory, while two-thirds wait in the nest. Recruitment to food is initially very rapid and local from the foraging tunnels, while sustained

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-02-01

    The incorporation of fragments of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) in the nuclear genome, known as numts (nuclear mitochondrial pseudogenes), undermines general assumptions concerning the use of mtDNA in phylogenetic and phylogeographic studies. Accidental amplifications of these nuclear copies instead of the mitochondrial target can lead to crucial misinterpretations, thus the correct identification of numts and their differentiation from true mitochondrial sequences are important in preventing this kind of error. Our goal was to describe the existence of cytochrome b (cytb) numts in the leafcutter ant Acromyrmex striatus (Roger, 1863). PCR products were directly sequenced using a pair of universal primers designed to amplify the cytb gene of these insects. Other species of leafcutter ants were also sequenced. The sequences were analyzed and the numts were identified by the presence of double peaks, indels and premature stop codons. Only A. striatus clearly showed the presence of numts, while the other species displayed the expected amplification of the mtDNA cytb gene target using the same primer pair. We hope that our report will highlight the benefits and challenges of using mtDNA in the molecular phylogenetic reconstruction and phylogeographic studies of ants, while establishing the importance of numts reports for future studies. Copyright © 2013 Académie des sciences. Published by Elsevier SAS. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mathias Scharmann

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

  18. [Behavioral mechanisms of spatial competition between red wood ants (Formica aquilonia) and ground beetles (Carabidae)].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dorosheva, E A; Reznikova, Zh I

    2006-01-01

    Behavioral aspects of spatial competition between red wood ants (Formica aquilonia) and six mass species of Carabidae were studied in field and laboratory experiments. We showed that red wood ants essentially influence spatial distribution of ground beetles on their common territories. Transplantation experiments suggest that in newly established ants' settlements stronger forms of interrelations arise than in old stable colony. To examine the ability of beetles to avoid collisions with ants we used two experimental techniques. In laboratory, we tested carabids ability to avoid a clash in a Y-shaped labyrinth containing an active tethered ant in one section. In field experiments we compared quantitative characteristics of movements (such as crookedness of individual trajectories, speed of movement, the time spent on stops) for beetles placed close to ants foraging routes and on ant-free plots. All beetles studied displayed a clear tendency to learn, that is, to modity their behavior in order to avoid collisions with ants. Species that exhibited best parameters of learning were closer to ants by their size and characteristic movement, namely, Pterostichus oblogopunctatus and P. magus. Beetles' stereotyped behavioral tactics can be considered universal for avoiding collisions with any subject (for instance, with an ant) of a certain size and speed of movements. A set of tactics in the labyrinth included: (1) attempts to round the ant; (2) turns away after touching the ant with antennae; (3) turns away without a contact; (4) avoidances of a dangerous section; (5) stops near the ant with the antennae hidden. Comparing pairwise difference between four species shows that beetles use species-specific preference for definite combinations of tactics. Effective learning allows carabids to penetrate into ant foraging territory and partly avoide interference competition. It seems that red wood ants are not inclined to learn to avoid collisions with competing carabid species

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

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    G. Q. ROMERO

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

  20. The use of artificial nests by weaver ants: a preliminary field observation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Offenberg, Joachim

    2014-01-01

    Weaver ants (Oecophylla spp.) are managed in tropical plantations for their biocontrol of pests and to produce ant larvae as a food source. Main management objectives are to increase ant densities and colony longevity. As weaver ant nests are susceptible to harsh weather, rain storms may decimate...... populations or destroy colonies. The ants, however, show adaptive nesting behavior, which may mitigate storm impact. This study tested whether Oecophylla smaragdina was willing to use plastic bottles as safe artificial nesting sites, and whether adoption of artificial nests was seasonally related to harsh...... weather. Bottles were used for nesting throughout the stormy rainy season in a pomelo plantation with an open canopy, whereas in a mango plantation with a denser canopy the ants, after initial colonisation, left the bottles again at the end of the rainy season, especially in the calmer part...