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Sample records for ant queen egg-marking

  1. Ant Queen Egg-Marking Signals: Matching Deceptive Laboratory Simplicity with Natural Complexity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    van Zweden, Jelle Stijn; Heinze, Jürgen; Boomsma, Jacobus Jan;

    2009-01-01

    Background Experiments under controlled laboratory conditions can produce decisive evidence for testing biological hypotheses, provided they are representative of the more complex natural conditions. However, whether this requirement is fulfilled is seldom tested explicitly. Here we provide a lab....../field comparison to investigate the identity of an egg-marking signal of ant queens. Our study was based on ant workers resolving conflict over male production by destroying each other's eggs, but leaving queen eggs unharmed. For this, the workers need a proximate cue to discriminate between the two egg types....... Earlier correlative evidence indicated that, in the ant Pachycondyla inversa, the hydrocarbon 3,11-dimethylheptacosane (3,11-diMeC27) is more abundant on the surface of queen-laid eggs. Methodology We first tested the hypothesis that 3,11-diMeC27 functions as a queen egg-marking pheromone using laboratory...

  2. Individual Recognition in Ant Queens

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    D'Ettorre, Patrizia; Heinze, Jürgen

    2005-01-01

    recognize each other's unique facial color patterns [3] . Individual recognition is advantageous when dominance hierarchies control the partitioning of work and reproduction 2 and 4 . Here, we show that unrelated founding queens of the ant Pachycondyla villosa use chemical cues to recognize each other...... individually. Aggression was significantly lower in pairs of queens that had previously interacted than in pairs with similar social history but no experience with one another. Moreover, subordinates discriminated familiar and unfamiliar dominants in choice experiments in which physical contact, but not odor...... 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...

  3. Ant parasite queens revert to mating singly

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2004-01-01

    A parasitic ant has abandoned the multiple mating habit of the queens of its related host. Multiple mating (polyandry) is widespread among animal groups, particularly insects 1 . But the factors that maintain it and underlie its evolution are hard to verify because benefits and costs are not easily...... quantified and they tend to be similar in related species. Here we compare the mating strategies of the leaf-cutting ant Acromyrmex echinatior and its recently derived social parasite Acromyrmex insinuator, which is also its closest relative 2 (see Fig. 1 ). We find that although the host queens mate with up...... to a dozen different males, the social parasite mates only singly. This rapid and surprising reversion to single mating in a socially parasitic ant indicates that the costs of polyandry are probably specific to a free-living lifestyle....

  4. The effect of queen and worker adoption on weaver ant (Oecophylla smaragdina) queen fecundity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2012-01-01

    Incipient ant colonies are often under fierce competition, making fast growth crucial for survival. To increase production, colonies can adopt multiple queens (pleometrosis), fuse with other colonies or rob brood from neighboring colonies. However, different adoption strategies might have different...... impacts such as future queen fecundity or future colony size. O. smaragdina queen production was measured in incipient colonies with 2, 3 or 4 founding queens, following the transplantation of 0, 30 or 60 pupae from a donor colony. Pupae developed into mature workers, resulting in increased worker...... increased the colony’s future production, but not the production of individual queens....

  5. Mating triggers dynamic immune regulations in wood ant queens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castella, G; Christe, P; Chapuisat, M

    2009-03-01

    Mating can affect female immunity in multiple ways. On the one hand, the immune system may be activated by pathogens transmitted during mating, sperm and seminal proteins, or wounds inflicted by males. On the other hand, immune defences may also be down-regulated to reallocate resources to reproduction. Ants are interesting models to study post-mating immune regulation because queens mate early in life, store sperm for many years, and use it until their death many years later, while males typically die after mating. This long-term commitment between queens and their mates limits the opportunity for sexual conflict but raises the new constraint of long-term sperm survival. In this study, we examine experimentally the effect of mating on immunity in wood ant queens. Specifically, we compared the phenoloxidase and antibacterial activities of mated and virgin Formica paralugubris queens. Queens had reduced levels of active phenoloxidase after mating, but elevated antibacterial activity 7 days after mating. These results indicate that the process of mating, dealation and ovary activation triggers dynamic patterns of immune regulation in ant queens that probably reflect functional responses to mating and pathogen exposure that are independent of sexual conflict. PMID:19170815

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Huszár, Dóra Borbála

    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....... Both genetic (microsatellites, mtDNA) and behavioral studies indicate that supercolonies of M. rubra can maintain gene flow with other colonies in the same population and that they could emerge both by clonal growth and fusion of nests, latter being rarely reported. Ants in supercolonies and polygynous......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...

  7. Queen Specific Exocrine Glands in Legionary Ants and Their Possible Function in Sexual Selection

    OpenAIRE

    Hölldobler, Bert

    2016-01-01

    The colonies of army ants and some other legionary ant species have single, permanently wingless queens with massive post petioles and large gasters. Such highly modified queens are called dichthadiigynes. This paper presents the unusually rich exocrine gland endowment of dichthadiigynes, which is not found in queens of other ant species. It has been suggested these kinds of glands produce secretions that attract and maintain worker retinues around queens, especially during migration. However...

  8. Identification of an ant queen pheromone regulating worker sterility.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holman, Luke; Jørgensen, Charlotte G; Nielsen, John; d'Ettorre, Patrizia

    2010-12-22

    The selective forces that shape and maintain eusocial societies are an enduring puzzle in evolutionary biology. Ordinarily sterile workers can usually reproduce given the right conditions, so the factors regulating reproductive division of labour may provide insight into why eusociality has persisted over evolutionary time. Queen-produced pheromones that affect worker reproduction have been implicated in diverse taxa, including ants, termites, wasps and possibly mole rats, but to date have only been definitively identified in the honeybee. Using the black garden ant Lasius niger, we isolate the first sterility-regulating ant queen pheromone. The pheromone is a cuticular hydrocarbon that comprises the majority of the chemical profile of queens and their eggs, and also affects worker behaviour, by reducing aggression towards objects bearing the pheromone. We further show that the pheromone elicits a strong response in worker antennae and that its production by queens is selectively reduced following an immune challenge. These results suggest that the pheromone has a central role in colony organization and support the hypothesis that worker sterility represents altruistic self-restraint in response to an honest quality signal. PMID:20591861

  9. Non-transferable signals on ant queen eggs

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2006-01-01

    How biological systems resolve internal conflicts is a major evolutionary question. Social insect workers cooperate but also pursue individual interests, such as laying male eggs. The rewards of this individual selfishness can be reduced by policing, such as by killing worker-laid eggs. However......, selfish individuals may evade policing. What factors prevent individuals from being able to evade policing? In the ant Pachycondyla inversa, workers kill (police) worker-laid eggs. Because the colony keeps eggs in piles and worker-laid and queen-laid eggs are chemically distinct, worker-laid eggs might...... become more acceptable once placed in the egg pile by odour transfer from touching queen-laid eggs. Here, we show that such "cue scrambling" does not occur. Worker-laid eggs that were sandwiched between three queen-laid eggs for 45 min were not more acceptable in a policing bioassay than control worker...

  10. Mating with stressed males increases the fitness of ant queens.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexandra Schrempf

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: According to sexual conflict theory, males can increase their own fitness by transferring substances during copulation that increase the short-term fecundity of their mating partners at the cost of the future life expectancy and re-mating capability of the latter. In contrast, sexual cooperation is expected in social insects. Mating indeed positively affects life span and fecundity of young queens of the male-polymorphic ant Cardiocondyla obscurior, even though males neither provide nuptial gifts nor any other care but leave their mates immediately after copulation and die shortly thereafter. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Here, we show that mating with winged disperser males has a significantly stronger impact on life span and reproductive success of young queens of C. obscurior than mating with wingless fighter males. CONCLUSIONS: Winged males are reared mostly under stressful environmental conditions, which force young queens to disperse and found their own societies independently. In contrast, queens that mate with wingless males under favourable conditions usually start reproducing in the safety of the established maternal nest. Our study suggests that males of C. obscurior have evolved mechanisms to posthumously assist young queens during colony founding under adverse ecological conditions.

  11. Mating triggers dynamic immune regulations in wood ant queens.

    OpenAIRE

    Castella G.; Christe P.; Chapuisat M.

    2009-01-01

    Mating can affect female immunity in multiple ways. On the one hand, the immune system may be activated by pathogens transmitted during mating, sperm and seminal proteins, or wounds inflicted by males. On the other hand, immune defences may also be down-regulated to reallocate resources to reproduction. Ants are interesting models to study post-mating immune regulation because queens mate early in life, store sperm for many years, and use it until their death many years later, while males typ...

  12. Identification of an ant queen pheromone regulating worker sterility

    OpenAIRE

    Holman, Luke; Jørgensen, Charlotte G.; Nielsen, John; D'Ettorre, Patrizia

    2010-01-01

    The selective forces that shape and maintain eusocial societies are an enduring puzzle in evolutionary biology. Ordinarily sterile workers can usually reproduce given the right conditions, so the factors regulating reproductive division of labour may provide insight into why eusociality has persisted over evolutionary time. Queen-produced pheromones that affect worker reproduction have been implicated in diverse taxa, including ants, termites, wasps and possibly mole rats, but to date have on...

  13. Ant queens (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) are attracted to fungal pathogens during the initial stage of colony founding

    OpenAIRE

    Brütsch T.; Felden A.; Reber A.; Chapuisat M.

    2014-01-01

    Ant queens that attempt to disperse and found new colonies independently face high mortality risks. The exposure of queens to soil entomopathogens during claustral colony founding may be particularly harmful, as founding queens lack the protection conferred by mature colonies. Here, we tested the hypotheses that founding queens (I) detect and avoid nest sites that are contaminated by fungal pathogens, and (II) tend to associate with other queens to benefit from social immunity when nest sites...

  14. Non-transferable signals on ant queen eggs

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'Ettorre, Patrizia; Tofilski, Adam; Heinze, Jürgen; Ratnieks, Francis L. W.

    2006-03-01

    How biological systems resolve internal conflicts is a major evolutionary question. Social insect workers cooperate but also pursue individual interests, such as laying male eggs. The rewards of this individual selfishness can be reduced by policing, such as by killing worker-laid eggs. However, selfish individuals may evade policing. What factors prevent individuals from being able to evade policing? In the ant Pachycondyla inversa, workers kill (police) worker-laid eggs. Because the colony keeps eggs in piles and worker-laid and queen-laid eggs are chemically distinct, worker-laid eggs might become more acceptable once placed in the egg pile by odour transfer from touching queen-laid eggs. Here, we show that such “cue scrambling” does not occur. Worker-laid eggs that were sandwiched between three queen-laid eggs for 45 min were not more acceptable in a policing bioassay than control worker-laid eggs. Chemical analyses also showed that the surface hydrocarbon profile of these eggs was unchanged. Policing, therefore, is stable against this potential cheating mechanism probably because queen-laid eggs are made chemically distinct using chemicals, that are not easily transferred by physical contact.

  15. 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......Social organisms have evolved diverse and complex regulatory mechanisms that allow them to coordinate group-level functions. Signals and cues produced by other group members facilitate assessment of the group's current state, allowing the receiver to adjust its behavior and physiology accordingly...

  16. A genetic component to size in queens of the ant, Formica truncorum

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bargum, Katja; Boomsma, Jacobus Jan; Sundström, L.

    2004-01-01

    this study, we present the first evidence of an additive genetic component to queen size in ants, using maternal half sib analysis. We also compared intra-colony size variation in colonies with high (queen doubly mated) versus low (queen singly mated) genetic variability. We found a high and...

  17. Number of queens in founding associations of the ponerine ant Pachycondyla villosa

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    D'Ettorre, Patrizia; Kellner, K.; Delabie, J. H. C.;

    2005-01-01

    In the ant Pachycondyla villosa, new colonies are usually started cooperatively by two or more young queens who establish a dominance order with a division of labour. Co-founding can lead to primary polygyny, where queens stay together after workers have emerged. Here we show that two queens...

  18. Social context predicts recognition systems in ant queens

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dreier, Stéphanie Agnès Jeanine; d'Ettorre, Patrizia

    2009-01-01

    Recognition of group-members is a key feature of sociality. Ants use chemical communication to discriminate nestmates from intruders, enhancing kin cooperation and preventing parasitism. The recognition code is embedded in their cuticular chemical profile, which typically varies between colonies....... variation in chemical profiles of Lasius and Pachycondyla queens is comparable, thus informational constraints are unlikely to apply. We conclude that selection pressure from the social context is of crucial significance for the sophistication of recognition systems.......Recognition of group-members is a key feature of sociality. Ants use chemical communication to discriminate nestmates from intruders, enhancing kin cooperation and preventing parasitism. The recognition code is embedded in their cuticular chemical profile, which typically varies between colonies...

  19. Asymmetric dispersal and colonization success of Amazonian plant-ants queens.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emilio M Bruna

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The dispersal ability of queens is central to understanding ant life-history evolution, and plays a fundamental role in ant population and community dynamics, the maintenance of genetic diversity, and the spread of invasive ants. In tropical ecosystems, species from over 40 genera of ants establish colonies in the stems, hollow thorns, or leaf pouches of specialized plants. However, little is known about the relative dispersal ability of queens competing for access to the same host plants. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We used empirical data and inverse modeling--a technique developed by plant ecologists to model seed dispersal--to quantify and compare the dispersal kernels of queens from three Amazonian ant species that compete for access to host-plants. We found that the modal colonization distance of queens varied 8-fold, with the generalist ant species (Crematogaster laevis having a greater modal distance than two specialists (Pheidole minutula, Azteca sp. that use the same host-plants. However, our results also suggest that queens of Azteca sp. have maximal distances that are four-sixteen times greater than those of its competitors. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: We found large differences between ant species in both the modal and maximal distance ant queens disperse to find vacant seedlings used to found new colonies. These differences could result from interspecific differences in queen body size, and hence wing musculature, or because queens differ in their ability to identify potential host plants while in flight. Our results provide support for one of the necessary conditions underlying several of the hypothesized mechanisms promoting coexistence in tropical plant-ants. They also suggest that for some ant species limited dispersal capability could pose a significant barrier to the rescue of populations in isolated forest fragments. Finally, we demonstrate that inverse models parameterized with field data are an excellent means

  20. Evolution of specialized spermatheca morphology in ant queens: insight from comparative developmental biology between ants and polistine wasps.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gotoh, Ayako; Billen, Johan; Hashim, Rosli; Ito, Fuminori

    2009-11-01

    In many ant species, the queens can keep spermatozoa alive in their spermatheca for several years, which goes along with unique morphological characteristics of the queen's spermatheca. The relative spermatheca size in ant queens is prominently larger than that in social wasps. Furthermore, the epithelium lining the spermatheca reservoir of ants consists of columnar cells in the hilar region and squamous cells in the distal region, whereas it is formed by columnar cells only in social wasps. To study the evolution of the unique spermatheca morphology in ant queens, we compared the various processes during spermatheca development between two ponerine ant species of the genus Pachycondyla (=Brachyponera) and three polistine wasp species of the genus Polistes. From histological observations, we can define four developmental events in the ant queens: (1) invagination of the spermatheca primordium, (2) the reservoir wall thickness becomes unequal, (3) the reservoir diameter doubles as the lining epithelial cells become flattened except for the hilar region, and (4) the increase in thickness of the reservoir epithelium is limited to the hilar region which doubles in thickness. In polistine wasps, the second and the third developmental events are absent and the entire epithelium of the spermatheca wall becomes thick in the final step. We therefore conclude that for ant queens the second and third steps are crucial for the enlargement of the spermatheca size, and that the second to the fourth steps are crucial for the specialization of the reservoir wall structure. PMID:19720157

  1. Queen dominance and worker policing control reproduction in a threatened ant

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Buschinger Alfred

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Efficient division of reproductive labor is a crucial characteristic of social insects and underlies their ecological and evolutionary success. Despite of the harmonious appearance of insect societies, nestmates may have different interests concerning the partitioning of reproduction among group members. This may lead to conflict about reproductive rights. As yet, few studies have investigated the allocation of reproduction among queens in multi - queen societies ("reproductive skew". In the ant Leptothorax acervorum, reproductive skew varies considerably among populations. While reproduction is quite equally shared among nestmate queens in most populations from boreal Eurasia (low skew, colonies from populations at the edge of the species' range are characterized by "functional monogyny," i.e., high skew. The proximate mechanisms underlying high skew, in particular how workers influence which queen lays eggs, are not well understood. We investigated the behavior of queens and workers in functionally monogynous colonies of L. acervorum from two mountain ranges in central Spain. Results We provide evidence for both queen and worker influence on the outcome of conflict over reproduction in colonies of L. acervorum from Spain. The patterns of queen - queen aggression and worker - queen grooming and feeding after hibernation allowed predicting, which queen later began to lay eggs. In contrast, worker aggression towards queens was not clearly associated with a queen's future reproductive success. Queen - queen and worker - queen aggression differed in quality: queens typically engaged in ritualized dominance behavior, such as antennal boxing, while workers also attacked queens by biting and prolonged pulling on their legs and antennae. In several cases, overt worker aggression led to the expulsion of queens from the nest or their death. Conclusion We conclude that queens of L. acervorum from Spain establish rank orders by

  2. Queen Specific Exocrine Glands in Legionary Ants and Their Possible Function in Sexual Selection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hölldobler, Bert

    2016-01-01

    The colonies of army ants and some other legionary ant species have single, permanently wingless queens with massive post petioles and large gasters. Such highly modified queens are called dichthadiigynes. This paper presents the unusually rich exocrine gland endowment of dichthadiigynes, which is not found in queens of other ant species. It has been suggested these kinds of glands produce secretions that attract and maintain worker retinues around queens, especially during migration. However, large worker retinues also occur in non-legionary species whose queens do not have such an exuberance of exocrine glands. We argue and present evidence in support of our previously proposed hypothesis that the enormous outfit of exocrine glands found in dichthadiigynes is due to sexual selection mediated by workers as the main selecting agents. PMID:26986740

  3. COLONY INSULARITY THROUGH QUEEN CONTROL ON WORKER SOCIAL MOTIVATION IN ANTS

    Science.gov (United States)

    We investigated the relative contribution of the queen and workers to colony nestmate recognition cues and on colony territoriality in the ant Camponotus fellah. Workers were either individually isolated, preventing contact with both queen and workers (Colony Deprived, CD), kept in queenless groups,...

  4. Octopamine and cooperation: octopamine regulates the disappearance of cooperative behaviours between genetically unrelated founding queens in the ant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koyama, Satoshi; Matsui, Shingo; Satoh, Toshiyuki; Sasaki, Ken

    2015-06-01

    We investigated whether octopamine (OA) is associated with the disappearance of cooperation in Polyrhachis moesta ant queens. Queens of P. moesta facultatively found the colony with genetically unrelated queens. The founding queens perform frequent food exchange with these non-related queens and partake in cooperative brood rearing, whereas single colony queens exclude non-related queens via aggressive behaviour. Thus, aggression is a factor that reduces cooperation. Given that aggression is generally associated with brain OA in insects, we hypothesized that OA controls the behavioural change in cooperation in the ant queen, via an increase in aggression. To test this hypothesis, we compared the amounts of OA and related substances in the brain between founding and colony queens, and observed the interaction of founding queens following oral OA administration. The brain OA levels in colony queens were significantly higher than those in founding queens. Oral administration of OA to founding queens caused significantly less trophallaxis and allogrooming behaviour than in the control founding queens, but with no significant increase in aggression. These results suggest that OA promotes the disappearance of cooperation in founding queens of P. moesta. This is the first study to reveal the neuroendocrine mechanism of cooperation in ant queens. PMID:26085498

  5. Chemical recognition of partner plant species by foundress ant queens in Macaranga-Crematogaster myrmecophytism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Inui, Y; Itioka, T; Murase, K; Yamaoka, R; Itino, T

    2001-10-01

    The partnership in the Crematogaster-Macaranga ant-plant interaction is highly species-specific. Because a mutualistic relationship on a Macaranga plant starts with colonization by a foundress queen of a partner Crematogaster species, we hypothesized that the foundress queens select their partner plant species by chemical recognition. We tested this hypothesis with four sympatric Macaranga species and their Crematogaster plant-ant species. We demonstrated that foundress Crematogaster queens can recognize their partner Macaranga species by contact with the surface of the seedlings, that they can recognize compounds from the stem surface of seedlings of their partner plant species, and that the gas chromatographic profiles are characteristic of the plant species. These findings support the hypothesis that foundress queens of the Crematogaster plant-ant species select their partner Macaranga species by recognizing nonvolatile chemical characteristics of the stem surfaces of seedlings. PMID:11710609

  6. Avoid mistakes when choosing a new home: Nest choice and adoption of Leptothorax ant queens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bernadou, Abel; Ruther, Joachim; Heinze, Jürgen

    2015-08-01

    In ants, mating and colony founding are critical steps in the life of ant queens. Outside of their nests, young queens are exposed to intense predation. Therefore, they are expected to have evolved behavior to accurately and quickly locate a nesting place. However, data on the early life history of female reproductives are still lacking. Leptothorax gredleri is a suitable model organism to study the behavior of young queens. Reproductives can be reared under artificial conditions and readily mate in the laboratory. After mating, L. gredleri queens have the options to found solitarily, seek adoption into another colony, or return into their natal nest. In this study, we investigated the decision-making processes of female sexuals before and after mating. In particular, we tested whether female sexuals use chemical cues to find their way back to the nest, studied if they prefer their own nest over other nesting sites and followed the adoption dynamics of mated queens over 8 weeks (plus hibernation and spring). We showed that female sexuals and freshly mated queens spent more time on substrate previously used by workers from their own colony and from another colony than on a blank substrate. This discriminatory capability of queens appears to be lost in old, reproductive queens. Nest choice experiments showed that female sexuals and freshly mated queens can distinguish their own nest while old mated queens do not. When reintroduced in their maternal colony, young queens were readily adopted, but a few weeks later aggression against young queens led to their emigration from the maternal nest and eventually also death. PMID:26086676

  7. Identifying the Transition between Single and Multiple Mating of Queens in Fungus-Growing Ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Villesen, Palle; Murakami, Takahiro; Schultz, Ted R.; Boomsma, Jacobus Jan

    2002-01-01

    Obligate mating of females (queens) with multiple males has evolved only rarely in social Hymenoptera (ants, social bees, social wasps) and for reasons that are fundamentally different from those underlying multiple mating in other animals. The monophyletic tribe of ('attine') fungus-growing ants...

  8. Functional morphology of the postpharyngeal gland of queens and workers of the ant Monomorium pharaonis (L.)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Eelen, Dieter; Børgesen, Lisbeth W.; Billen, Johan

    2006-01-01

    The postpharyngeal gland (PPG) is unique to ants and is the largest exocrine gland in their head. In queens of the pharaoh's ant, Monomorium pharaonis, the gland contains approximately 15 finger-like epithelial extensions on each side and opens dorsolaterally in the posterior pharynx. In these ants...... between nurses and foragers. We suggest the PPG serves different purposes in pharaoh's ants: it is likely that the PPG of workers and virgin queens is used to feed larvae. In mated queens the gland probably plays a role in providing the queen with nutritious oils for egg production. The PPG may also...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  10. Influence of toxic bait type and starvation on worker and queen mortality in laboratory colonies of Argentine ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mathieson, Melissa; Toft, Richard; Lester, Philip J

    2012-08-01

    The efficacy of toxic baits should be judged by their ability to kill entire ant colonies, including the colony queen or queens. We studied the efficacy of four toxic baits to the Argentine ant, Linepithema humile (Mayr) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). These baits were Xstinguish that has the toxicant fipronil, Exterm-an-Ant that contains both boric acid and sodium borate, and Advion ant gel and Advion ant bait arena that both have indoxacarb. Experimental nests contained 300 workers and 10 queen ants that were starved for either 24 or 48 h before toxic bait exposure. The efficacy of the toxic baits was strongly influenced by starvation. In no treatment with 24-h starvation did we observe 100% worker death. After 24-h starvation three of the baits did not result in any queen deaths, with only Exterm-an-Ant producing an average of 25% mortality. In contrast, 100% queen and worker mortality was observed in colonies starved for 48 h and given Xstinguish or Exterm-an-Ant. The baits Advion ant gel and Advion ant bait arena were not effective against Argentine ants in these trials, resulting in bait uptake, control efficacy may be maximized by applying bait when ants are likely to be starved. Our results suggest queen mortality must be assessed in tests for toxic bait efficacy. Our data indicate that of these four baits, Xstinguish and Exterm-an-Ant are the best options for control of Argentine ants in New Zealand. PMID:22928290

  11. Sexual Cooperation: Mating Increases Longevity in Ant Queens

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schrempf, Alexandra; Heinze, Jürgen; Cremer, Sylvia

    2005-01-01

    sterilized male lived considerably longer and started laying eggs earlier than virgin queens. Only queens that received viable sperm from fertile males showed increased fecundity. The lack of a trade-off between fecundity and longevity is unexpected, given evolutionary theories of aging [6] . Our data...

  12. Transcriptomic Signatures Mirror the Lack of the Fecundity/Longevity Trade-Off in Ant Queens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    von Wyschetzki, Katharina; Rueppell, Olav; Oettler, Jan; Heinze, Jürgen

    2015-12-01

    Life-history theory predicts a trade-off between reproductive investment and self-maintenance. The negative association between fertility and longevity found throughout multicellular organisms supports this prediction. As an important exception, the reproductives of many eusocial insects (ants, bees, and termites) are simultaneously very long-lived and highly fertile. Here, we examine the proximate basis for this exceptional relationship by comparing whole-body transcriptomes of differently aged queens of the ant Cardiocondyla obscurior. We show that the sets of genes differentially expressed with age significantly overlap with age-related expression changes previously found in female Drosophila melanogaster. We identified several developmental processes, such as the generation of neurons, as common signatures of aging. More generally, however, gene expression in ant queens and flies changes with age mainly in opposite directions. In contrast to flies, reproduction-associated genes were upregulated and genes associated with metabolic processes and muscle contraction were downregulated in old relative to young ant queens. Furthermore, we searched for putative C. obscurior longevity candidates associated with the previously reported lifespan-prolonging effect of mating by comparing the transcriptomes of queens that differed in mating and reproductive status. We found 21 genes, including the putative aging candidate NLaz (an insect homolog of APOD), which were consistently more highly expressed in short-lived, unmated queens than in long-lived, mated queens. Our study provides clear evidence that the alternative regulation of conserved molecular pathways that mediate the interplay among mating, egg laying, and aging underlies the lack of the fecundity/longevity trade-off in ant queens. PMID:26341296

  13. Queen pheromones modulate DNA methyltransferase activity in bee and ant workers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holman, Luke; Trontti, Kalevi; Helanterä, Heikki

    2016-01-01

    DNA methylation is emerging as an important regulator of polyphenism in the social insects. Research has concentrated on differences in methylation between queens and workers, though we hypothesized that methylation is involved in mediating other flexible phenotypes, including pheromone-dependent changes in worker behaviour and physiology. Here, we find that exposure to queen pheromone affects the expression of two DNA methyltransferase genes in Apis mellifera honeybees and in two species of Lasius ants, but not in Bombus terrestris bumblebees. These results suggest that queen pheromones influence the worker methylome, pointing to a novel proximate mechanism for these key social signals. PMID:26814223

  14. Queens defense by workers in the highly polygynous ant Crematogaster pygmaea (Hymenoptera: Myrmicinae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martins Segundo, Glauco Bezerra; de Biseau, Jean-Christophe; Quinet, Yves

    2012-11-01

    Some aspects of the biology of Crematogaster pygmaea, a highly polydomous and polygynous ant, are more commonly found in monogynous species. One such characteristic is the high attractiveness of its queens. In this study, this attractiveness was assessed under varying experimental conditions to investigate the factors responsible for its expression and variation, and to identify the nature of queen attractiveness. It was shown (1) that C. pygmaea queens are highly attractive to the workers that cluster on and around them (retinue), (2) that the attractiveness of C. pygmaea queens is context-dependent, i.e., it increases with increasing degree of potential danger to the queen, (3) that the attractiveness signal of C. pygmaea queens is chemically based, and (4) that this signal is persistent and apparently not colony-specific. The proposed hypothesis is that the C. pygmaea queens constantly release an attractiveness signal that is "read" by the workers, in a dependent way linked to the context, and that the main function of this attractiveness is to protect queens. This protection would have a high adaptive value in the context of the social structure and the reproductive strategies in C. pygmaea. PMID:23026145

  15. Reduction of brain volume correlates with behavioral changes in queen ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Julian, Glennis E; Gronenberg, Wulfila

    2002-01-01

    The behavior of reproductive female ants distinctly changes during the transition from virgin to mature, egg-laying queen. A winged female ant flies only once during her lifetime when she engages in the nuptial flight. Once she is mated she sheds her wings, excavates a nest and starts laying eggs, the basis for her future colony. We show for two species of harvester ants that this transition is accompanied by changes in the performance of behavioral tests: flying virgins are positively phototactic and prefer open areas, whereas young queens prefer the dark, avoid open areas and, given the opportunity, dig into the soil. These behavioral changes coincide with morphological changes in the brain. The brains of mature queens are significantly smaller than those of virgin females at the time of their mating flight. A disproportionately large shrinkage occurs in the medulla and other parts of the visual system during the early adult life of the queen. The brain reduction appears to be adaptive as mature queens show reduced behavioral repertoires and live in the dark. In contrast to virgin females, they do not rely on vision and might increase their fitness by reducing metabolically costly neural tissue. PMID:12417820

  16. Chemical profiles of mated and virgin queens, egg-laying intermorphs and workers of the ant Crematogaster smithi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oettler, Jan; Schmitt, Thomas; Herzner, Gudrun; Heinze, Jürgen

    2008-04-01

    Many colonies of the North American ant Crematogaster smithi contain a "third female caste" in addition to queens and workers. These "intermorphs" are morphological intermediate of queens and workers and have well-developed ovaries but lack a spermatheca for the storage of sperm. They are specialised for laying large numbers of unfertilised, viable eggs, most of which serve as food for larvae and adults, though a few may eventually develop into males. Based on the assumption that cuticular hydrocarbons (CHCs) in social insects honestly signal the reproductive status of an individual we investigated the CHC of mated mature queens, virgin queens, intermorphs and workers. We expected intermorphs to show chemical profiles intermediate between those of mated queens and non-reproductive workers. A discriminant analysis of the chemical profiles reliably separated queens, virgin queens, and workers, but failed to distinguish between queens and intermorphs even though workers were apparently capable of doing so. PMID:18321526

  17. Biological activity of the enantiomers of 3-methylhentriacontane, a queen pheromone of the ant Lasius niger.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Motais de Narbonne, Marine; van Zweden, Jelle S; Bello, Jan E; Wenseleers, Tom; Millar, Jocelyn G; d'Ettorre, Patrizia

    2016-06-01

    Queen pheromones are essential for regulation of the reproductive division of labor in eusocial insect species. Although only the queen is able to lay fertilized eggs and produce females, in some cases workers may develop their ovaries and lay male-destined eggs, thus reducing the overall colony efficiency. As long as the queen is healthy, it is usually in the workers' collective interest to work for the colony and remain sterile. Queens signal their fertility via pheromones, which may have a primer effect, affecting the physiology of workers, or a releaser effect, influencing worker behavior. The queen pheromone of the ant Lasius niger was among the first queen pheromones of social insects to be identified. Its major component is 3-methylhentriacontane (3-MeC31), which is present in relatively large amounts on the queen's cuticle and on her eggs. 3-MeC31 regulates worker reproduction by inhibiting ovarian development. Most monomethyl-branched hydrocarbons can exist in two stereoisomeric forms. The correct stereochemistry is fundamental to the activity of most bioactive molecules, but this has rarely been investigated for methyl-branched hydrocarbons. Here, we tested the bioactivity of the (S)- and (R)-enantiomers of 3-MeC31, and found that whereas both enantiomers were effective in suppressing worker ovarian development, (S)-3-MeC31 appeared to be more effective at suppressing aggressive behavior by workers. This suggests that the natural pheromone may be a mixture of the two enantiomers. The enantiomeric ratio produced by queens remains unknown because of the small amounts of the compound available from each queen. PMID:26994182

  18. Prudent sperm use by leaf-cutter ant queens

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2009-01-01

    In many species, females store sperm between copulation and egg fertilization, but the consequences of sperm storage and patterns of sperm use for female life history and reproductive success have not been investigated in great detail. In hymenopteran insect societies (ants, bees, wasps), reprodu......In many species, females store sperm between copulation and egg fertilization, but the consequences of sperm storage and patterns of sperm use for female life history and reproductive success have not been investigated in great detail. In hymenopteran insect societies (ants, bees, wasps...

  19. 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...

  20. Colony fusion and worker reproduction after queen loss in army ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kronauer, Daniel J C; Schöning, Caspar; d'Ettorre, Patrizia;

    2010-01-01

    Theory predicts that altruism is only evolutionarily stable if it is preferentially directed towards relatives, so that any such behaviour towards seemingly unrelated individuals requires scrutiny. Queenless army ant colonies, which have anecdotally been reported to fuse with queenright foreign...... colonies, are such an enigmatic case. Here we combine experimental queen removal with population genetics and cuticular chemistry analyses to show that colonies of the African army ant Dorylus molestus frequently merge with neighbouring colonies after queen loss. Merging colonies often have no direct co......-ancestry, but are on average probably distantly related because of overall population viscosity. The alternative of male production by orphaned workers appears to be so inefficient that residual inclusive fitness of orphaned workers might be maximized by indiscriminately merging with neighbouring colonies to...

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

    OpenAIRE

    Lei Wang; Ling Zeng; Jian Chen

    2015-01-01

    Neonicotinoid insecticides are commonly used in managing pest insects, 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 neonicotinoids on S. invicta has never been investigated. In this study, the newly mated queens were fed with water containing 0.01 or 0.25 μg/ml imidacloprid. Imidacloprid at both concentrations did not ...

  2. Identifying the transition between single and multiple mating of queens in fungus-growing ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Villesen, Palle; Murakami, Takahiro; Schultz, Ted R;

    2002-01-01

    Obligate mating of females (queens) with multiple males has evolved only rarely in social Hymenoptera (ants, social bees, social wasps) and for reasons that are fundamentally different from those underlying multiple mating in other animals. The monophyletic tribe of ('attine') fungus-growing ants...... is known to include evolutionarily derived genera with obligate multiple mating (the Acromyrmex and Atta leafcutter ants) as well as phylogenetically basal genera with exclusively single mating (e.g. Apterostigma, Cyphomyrmex, Myrmicocrypta). All attine genera share the unique characteristic of...... obligate dependence on symbiotic fungus gardens for food, but the sophistication of this symbiosis differs considerably across genera. The lower attine genera generally have small, short-lived colonies and relatively non-specialized fungal symbionts (capable of living independently of their ant hosts...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dijkstra, Michiel B.; Boomsma, Jacobus Jan

    2008-01-01

    The fungal cultivars of fungus-growing ants are vertically transmitted by queens but not males. Selection would therefore favor cultivars that bias the ants' sex ratio towards gynes, beyond the gyne bias that is optimal for workers and queens. We measured sex allocation in 190 colonies of six......, colony fecundity, and fungal garden volume for Acromyrmex and Sericomyrmex, but not for Trachymyrmex. Year of collection, worker number and mating frequency of Acromyrmex queens did not affect the colony sex ratios. We used a novel sensitivity analysis to compare the population sex allocation ratios with...... the theoretical queen and worker optima for a range of values of k, the correction factor for sex differences in metabolic rate and fat content. The results were consistent with either worker or queen control, but never with fungal control for any realistic value of k. We conclude that the fungal...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  5. Transcriptomic response to injury sheds light on the physiological costs of reproduction in ant queens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    von Wyschetzki, Katharina; Lowack, Helena; Heinze, Jürgen

    2016-05-01

    The trade-off between reproduction and longevity is widespread among multicellular organisms. As an important exception, the reproductive females of perennial social insects (ants, honeybees, termites) are simultaneously highly fertile and very long-lived relative to their nonreproductive nestmates. The observation that increased fecundity is not coupled with decreased lifespan suggests that social insect queens do not have to reallocate resources between reproduction and self-maintenance. If queens have to compensate for the costs of reproduction on the level of the individual, the activation of other energy-demanding physiological processes might force them to reduce the production of eggs. To test this hypothesis in ant queens, we increased immunity costs by injury and measured the effect of this treatment on egg-laying rates and genomewide gene expression. Amputation of both middle legs led to a temporary decrease in egg-laying rates and affected the expression of 947 genes corresponding to 9% of the transcriptome. The changes comprised the upregulation of the immune and wound healing response on the one hand, and the downregulation of germ cell development, central nervous system development and learning ability on the other hand. Injury strongly influenced metabolism by inducing catabolism and repressing amino acid and nitrogen compound metabolism. By comparing our results to similar transcriptomic studies in insects, we found a highly consistent upregulation of immune genes due to sterile and septic wounding. The gene expression changes, complemented by the temporary decline of egg-laying rates, clearly reveal a trade-off between reproduction and the immune response in social insect queens. PMID:26880273

  6. Queen-worker caste ratio depends on colony size in the pharaoh ant (Monomorium pharaonis)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schmidt, Anna Mosegaard; Linksvayer, Timothy Arnold; Boomsma, Jacobus Jan;

    2011-01-01

    and body size of eclosing workers, gynes and males. We found that smaller colonies produced more new queens relative to workers, and that these queens and workers both tended to be larger. However, colony size had no effect on the size of males or on the sex ratio of the individuals reared......The success of an ant colony depends on the simultaneous presence of reproducing queens and nonreproducing workers in a ratio that will maximize colony growth and reproduction. Despite its presumably crucial role, queen–worker caste ratios (the ratio of adult queens to workers) and the factors...... affecting this variable remain scarcely studied. Maintaining polygynous pharaoh ant (Monomorium pharaonis) colonies in the laboratory has provided us with the opportunity to experimentally manipulate colony size, one of the key factors that can be expected to affect colony level queen–worker caste ratios...

  7. Social and genetic structure of a supercolonial weaver ant, Polyrhachis robsoni, with dimorphic queens

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Van Zweden, Jelle Stijn; Carew, Melissa E.; Henshaw, Michael T.;

    2007-01-01

    reduction of the former. Aggression tests showed that hostility between ants from different nests was minimal. Nests frequently contained numbers of both queen types, with microgynes about twice as numerous as macrogynes. Nestmate workers, microgynes, and macrogynes, were significantly related to others...... also significantly related and there was a weak inverse relationship between pairwise relatedness value between individuals and distance between nests.We conclude that this species is supercolonial and that the two queen morphs are part of the same population....

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Edypo Jacob Silva

    2014-12-01

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

  9. Uncoupling Flight and Reproduction in Ants: Evolution of Ergatoid Queens in Two Lineages of Megalomyrmex (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peeters, Christian; Adams, Rachelle M M

    2016-01-01

    Megalomyrmex Forel (Myrmicinae: Solenopsidini) consists of 44 species with diverse life history strategies. Most species are predatory and may also tend honeydew-producing insects. A morphologically derived group of species are social parasites that consume the brood and fungus garden within fungus-growing ant nests. The reproductive strategies of Megalomyrmex queens are somewhat aligned with these life-style patterns. Predatory species in the leoninus species group are large in body size and have ergatoid (i.e., permanently wingless) queens whereas the social parasitic species are smaller and typically have winged queens. We examined two ergatoid phenotypes of Megalomyrmex foreli Emery and Megalomyrmex wallacei Mann and compared them to winged species, one a social lestobiotic or "thief ant" parasite (Megalomyrmex mondabora Brandão) and the other a predator (Megalomyrmex modestus Emery). Megalomyrmex foreli colonies have a single queen with an enlarged gaster that is morphologically distinct from workers. Megalomyrmex wallacei colonies have several queens that are similar in body size to workers. Queens in both species showed a simplification of the thorax, but there was a dramatic difference in the number of ovarioles. Megalomyrmex foreli had 60-80 ovarioles compared to eight in M. wallacei and M. mondabora and M. modestus had 22-28. Along with flight loss in queens, there is an obligate shift to dependent colony founding (also called budding or fission) consequently influencing dispersal patterns. These constraints in life history traits may help explain the variation in nesting biology among Megalomyrmex species. PMID:27620557

  10. Queen Size Variation in the Ponerine Ant Ponera coarctata (Hymenoptera: Formicidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Liebig

    1995-01-01

    Full Text Available Queens of Ponera coarctata show a pronounced variation in size as measured by ommatidia number and Weber's alitrunk length. Isometric size variation and the normal distribution of size categories indicate that, despite these differences, only one queen morph exists. Queen size varies less within colonies than between colonies, and thus appears to be colony specific. Ovary length apparently varies with queen size. Similar size variations as in queens also occured in males, but not in workers.

  11. Primary sex ratio adjustment by ant queens in response to local mate competition

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    de Menten, Ludivine; Cremer, Sylvia; Heinze, Jürgen;

    2005-01-01

    restricted to adult sex ratios. With LMC, the primary sex ratio (proportion of haploid eggs laid by the queen) is expected to be female biased, which lowers the conflict between queens and workers over sex allocation. We compared the primary sex ratios laid by queens in monogynous and in polygynous...... of London, Series B, 269, 417-422) showed that colonies responded to increasing queen number by producing a less female-biased sex ratio, as predicted by LMC theory. However, the proximate mechanisms responsible for this variation in the sex ratio could not be determined because the study was...... experimental colonies of C. obscurior. The proportion of haploid eggs laid by queens was significantly lower in single-queen than in multiple-queen colonies. Furthermore, queens rapidly adjusted their primary sex ratios to changes in colony queen number. This is the first report of an adaptive adjustment of...

  12. Males are here to stay: fertilization enhances viable egg production by clonal queens of the little fire ant ( Wasmannia auropunctata)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miyakawa, Misato O.; Mikheyev, Alexander S.

    2015-04-01

    Evolution of reproduction strategies is affected by both phylogenetic and physiological constraints. Although clonality may benefit females, it may not be selected if a male contribution is necessary to start egg laying and embryo development. In little fire ant, Wasmannia auropunctata, sexual populations employ a typical Hymenopteran system of reproduction. In clonal populations, however, queens and males are produced with only maternal and paternal genomes, respectively, whereas sterile workers are produced sexually. Although this system requires both sexes for worker production, previous work has shown that workers may also be produced clonally by the queens. If so, why are males maintained in this species? Our data suggest that fertilization is necessary to increase the hatching rate of eggs. Although clonal queens can indeed produce both workers and queens without mating, the hatching rate is far below the level necessary to maintain functional colonies. On the other hand, virgin queens from populations exhibiting the original Hymenopteran reproduction system also show low hatching rates, but produce only haploid male eggs. Reasons for the existence of W. auropunctata males have been disputed. However, our data suggest that physiological constraints, such as the requirement for insemination, must be considered in regard to evolution of reproduction systems, in addition to ecological data and theoretical considerations of fitness.

  13. Pleiotropic effects of juvenile hormone in ant queens and the escape from the reproduction-immunocompetence trade-off.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pamminger, Tobias; Treanor, David; Hughes, William O H

    2016-01-13

    The ubiquitous trade-off between survival and costly reproduction is one of the most fundamental constraints governing life-history evolution. In numerous animals, gonadotropic hormones antagonistically suppressing immunocompetence cause this trade-off. The queens of many social insects defy the reproduction-survival trade-off, achieving both an extraordinarily long life and high reproductive output, but how they achieve this is unknown. Here we show experimentally, by integrating quantification of gene expression, physiology and behaviour, that the long-lived queens of the ant Lasius niger have escaped the reproduction-immunocompetence trade-off by decoupling the effects of a key endocrine regulator of fertility and immunocompetence in solitary insects, juvenile hormone (JH). This modification of the regulatory architecture enables queens to sustain a high reproductive output without elevated JH titres and suppressed immunocompetence, providing an escape from the reproduction-immunocompetence trade-off that may contribute to the extraordinary lifespan of many social insect queens. PMID:26763704

  14. Extreme queen-mating frequency and colony fission in African army ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kronauer, Daniel J C; Schoning, Caspar; Pedersen, Jes S;

    2004-01-01

    -biased sex ratios. This implies that the very high numbers of matings in both groups may be due partly to the relatively low costs of additional matings. Second, we were able to trace recent events of colony fission in four of the investigated colonies, where the genotypes of the two queens were only...... compatible with a mother-daughter relationship. A direct comparison of male production between colonies with offspring from one and two queens, respectively, suggested strongly that new queens do not produce a sexual brood until all workers of the old queen have died, which is consistent with kin selection...

  15. Dynamic changes in host-virus interactions associated with colony founding and social environment in fire ant queens (Solenopsis invicta).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manfredini, Fabio; Shoemaker, DeWayne; Grozinger, Christina M

    2016-01-01

    The dynamics of host-parasite interactions can change dramatically over the course of a chronic infection as the internal (physiological) and external (environmental) conditions of the host change. When queens of social insects found a colony, they experience changes in both their physiological state (they develop their ovaries and begin laying eggs) and the social environment (they suddenly stop interacting with the other members of the mother colony), making this an excellent model system for examining how these factors interact with chronic infections. We investigated the dynamics of host-viral interactions in queens of Solenopsis invicta (fire ant) as they transition from mating to colony founding/brood rearing to the emergence of the first workers. We examined these dynamics in naturally infected queens in two different social environments, where queens either founded colonies as individuals or as pairs. We hypothesized that stress associated with colony founding plays an important role in the dynamics of host-parasite interactions. We also hypothesized that different viruses have different modalities of interaction with the host that can be quantified by physiological measures and genomic analysis of gene expression in the host. We found that the two most prevalent viruses, SINV-1 and SINV-2, are associated with different fitness costs that are mirrored by different patterns of gene expression in the host. In fact SINV-2, the virus that imposes the significant reduction of a queen's reproductive output is also associated with larger changes of global gene expression in the host. These results show the complexity of interactions between S. invicta and two viral parasites. Our findings also show that chronic infections by viral parasites in insects are dynamic processes that may pose different challenges in the host, laying the groundwork for interesting ecological and evolutionary considerations. PMID:26811788

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2010-01-01

    Social insects offer unique opportunities to test predictions regarding the evolution of cooperation, life histories and communication. Colony founding by groups of unrelated queens, some of which are later killed, may select for selfish reproductive strategies, honest signalling and punishment. ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-09-01

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

  18. Utilisation of multiple queens and pupae transplantation to boost early colony growth of weaver ants Oecophylla smaragdina

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2013-01-01

    Weaver ants (Oecophylla smaragdina Fabricius) have been increasingly used as biocontrol agents of insect pests and as insect protein for human food and animals. For either of these purposes, mature ant colonies are essential. However, for a newly established colony to develop to a suitable mature...

  19. A histochemical and X-ray microanalysis study of calcium changes in insect flight muscle degeneration in Solenopsis, the queen fire ant

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jones, R.G.; Davis, W.L.; Vinson, S.B.

    1982-04-01

    Potassium pyroantimonate histochemistry, coupled with ethyleneglycoltetraacetic acid (EGTA)-chelation and X-ray microprobe analysis, was employed to localize intracellular calcium binding sites in the normal and degenerating flight musculature in queens of Solenopsis, the fire ant. In normal animals, calcium distribution was light to moderate within myofibrils and mitochondria. In the early contracture stages of the insemination-induced degeneration, both myofilament and mitochondrial calcium loading was markedly increased. In the terminal stages of myofibril breakdown, only Z-lines (isolated or in clusters) with an associated filamentous residue persisted. These complexes were also intensely calcium positive. This study further documents the presence of increased sarcoplasmic calcium during muscle necrosis. Surface membrane defects, mitochondrial calcium overload, and calcium-activated proteases may all be involved in this ''normal'' breakdown process.

  20. A histochemical and X-ray microanalysis study of calcium changes in insect flight muscle degeneration in Solenopsis, the queen fire ant

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Potassium pyroantimonate histochemistry, coupled with ethyleneglycoltetraacetic acid (EGTA)-chelation and X-ray microprobe analysis, was employed to localize intracellular calcium binding sites in the normal and degenerating flight musculature in queens of Solenopsis, the fire ant. In normal animals, calcium distribution was light to moderate within myofibrils and mitochondria. In the early contracture stages of the insemination-induced degeneration, both myofilament and mitochondrial calcium loading was markedly increased. In the terminal stages of myofibril breakdown, only Z-lines (isolated or in clusters) with an associated filamentous residue persisted. These complexes were also intensely calcium positive. This study further documents the presence of increased sarcoplasmic calcium during muscle necrosis. Surface membrane defects, mitochondrial calcium overload, and calcium-activated proteases may all be involved in this ''normal'' breakdown process

  1. Reassessing the role of the honeybee (Apis mellifera) Dufour's gland in egg marking

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Stephen; Jones, Graeme; Châline, Nicolas; Middleton, Helen; Ratnieks, Francis

    2002-10-01

    Dufour's gland secretion may allow worker honeybees to discriminate between queen-laid and worker-laid eggs. To investigate this, we combined the chemical analysis of individually treated eggs with an egg removal bioassay. We partitioned queen Dufour's gland into hydrocarbon and ester fractions. The bioassay showed that worker-laid eggs treated with either whole gland extract, ester fraction or synthetic gland esters were removed more slowly than untreated worker-laid eggs. However, the effect only lasted up to 20 h. Worker-laid eggs treated with the hydrocarbon fraction were removed at the same rate as untreated eggs. The amount of ester which reduced the egg removal rate was far higher than that naturally found on queen-laid or worker-laid eggs, and at natural ester levels no effect was found. Our results indicate that esters or hydrocarbons probably do not function as the signal by which eggs can be discriminated.

  2. Drama queens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, J

    1998-01-01

    Abstract Why is it that many 'lesbian playwrights' are unwilling to define themselves as such? "Drama Queens: Ruling with a Rod of Irony" attempts to answer this question and to discover what the term 'lesbian playwright' means within contemporary culture. It dissects the dominant homophobic and misogynist mythologies that have outlawed 'queer' girl writers to the underskirts of British theatre, and ultimately denied them either artistic or commercial currency. It examines the history of the label in the context of feminism, gay liberation and positive representation, and queries its aesthetic and economic viability in a climate where the 'lesbian playwright' is not even supported by her own community. Finally, it is an exploration into radical forms, working methodologies and new genres stimulated by being neither semantic Man nor Woman. It is a piece about cultural terrorism-and how to avoid capture. PMID:24785519

  3. Absence of nepotism in the harassment of duelling queens by honeybee workers.

    OpenAIRE

    Gilley, David C

    2003-01-01

    Nepotism shapes interactions among the members of almost every animal society. However, clear evidence of nepotism within highly cooperative insect societies, such as ant, wasp and honeybee colonies, is rare. Recent empirical findings suggest that nepotism occurs within honeybee colonies where kin-selection theory most strongly predicts its existence: during the lethal queen-queen duels that determine which of several young queens will become the colony's next queen. In this study, I test whe...

  4. Sperm use economy of honeybee (Apis mellifera) queens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baer, Boris; Collins, Jason; Maalaps, Kristiina; den Boer, Susanne P A

    2016-05-01

    The queens of eusocial ants, bees, and wasps only mate during a very brief period early in life to acquire and store a lifetime supply of sperm. As sperm cannot be replenished, queens have to be highly economic when using stored sperm to fertilize eggs, especially in species with large and long-lived colonies. However, queen fertility has not been studied in detail, so that we have little understanding of how economic sperm use is in different species, and whether queens are able to influence their sperm use. This is surprising given that sperm use is a key factor of eusocial life, as it determines the fecundity and longevity of queens and therefore colony fitness. We quantified the number of sperm that honeybee (Apis mellifera) queens use to fertilize eggs. We examined sperm use in naturally mated queens of different ages and in queens artificially inseminated with different volumes of semen. We found that queens are remarkably efficient and only use a median of 2 sperm per egg fertilization, with decreasing sperm use in older queens. The number of sperm in storage was always a significant predictor for the number of sperm used per fertilization, indicating that queens use a constant ratio of spermathecal fluid relative to total spermathecal volume of 2.364 × 10(-6) to fertilize eggs. This allowed us to calculate a lifetime fecundity for honeybee queens of around 1,500,000 fertilized eggs. Our data provide the first empirical evidence that honeybee queens do not manipulate sperm use, and fertilization failures in worker-destined eggs are therefore honest signals that workers can use to time queen replacement, which is crucial for colony performance and fitness. PMID:27217944

  5. 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.

  6. Absence of nepotism in the harassment of duelling queens by honeybee workers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilley, David C

    2003-10-01

    Nepotism shapes interactions among the members of almost every animal society. However, clear evidence of nepotism within highly cooperative insect societies, such as ant, wasp and honeybee colonies, is rare. Recent empirical findings suggest that nepotism occurs within honeybee colonies where kin-selection theory most strongly predicts its existence: during the lethal queen-queen duels that determine which of several young queens will become the colony's next queen. In this study, I test whether worker bees act nepotistically by hindering duelling queens that are distantly related to themselves. I accomplished this by observing labelled workers harassing duelling queen bees in observation hives and subsequently by determining worker-queen relatedness using DNA microsatellites. I show that the workers that harassed duelling queens were neither more-closely nor more-distantly related to them than were workers selected randomly from the colony. Thus, workers did not behave nepotistically by hindering half-sister queens more than full-sister queens. These results demonstrate that under certain conditions, natural selection limits the evolution of nepotism within animal societies despite strong theoretical predictions for its existence. PMID:14561293

  7. Breeding system and reproductive skew in a highly polygynous ant population

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Haag-Liautard, C.; Pedersen, Jes Søe; Ovaskainen, O.;

    2008-01-01

     Factors affecting relatedness among nest members in ant colonies with high queen number are still poorly understood. In order to identify the major determinants of nest kin structure, we conducted a detailed analysis of the breeding system of the ant Formica exsecta. We estimated the number of...... individuals were significantly related to each other. Interestingly, the number of resident queens was a poor predictor of kin structure at the nest level, consistent with the observation that new queens are produced in bursts leading to highly fluctuating queen number across years. Queen number also varied...

  8. Queen pheromones: The chemical crown governing insect social life

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Holman, Luke

    2010-01-01

    Group-living species produce signals that alter the behavior and even the physiology of their social partners. Social insects possess especially sophisticated chemical communication systems that govern every aspect of colony life, including the defining feature of eusociality: reproductive division...... of labor. Current evidence hints at the central importance of queen pheromones, but progress has been hindered by the fact that such pheromones have only been isolated in honeybees. In a pair of papers on the ant Lasius niger, we identified and investigated a queen pheromone regulating worker sterility...

  9. Larval regulation of worker reproduction in the polydomous ant Novomessor cockerelli

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ebie, Jessica D.; Hölldobler, Bert; Liebig, Jürgen

    2015-12-01

    Although workers in many ant species are capable of producing their own offspring, they generally rear the queen's offspring instead. There are various mechanisms that regulate worker reproduction including inhibitory effects of ant brood. Colonies of the ant Novomessor cockerelli are monogynous and polydomous resulting in a large portion of nest workers being physically isolated from the queen for extended periods of time. Some workers experimentally isolated from the queen in laboratory nests lay viable eggs, which develop into males. We investigate the mechanism that regulates worker fertility in subnests separated from the queen by giving queenless worker groups queen-produced larvae, queen-produced eggs, or no brood. Our findings show that larvae delay the time to worker egg-laying, but eggs have no effect. Larval inhibition is a likely mechanism that contributes to the regulation of worker reproduction in N. cockerellli because larvae are easily transported to subnests that do not contain a queen.

  10. Queen signaling in social wasps

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    van Zweden, Jelle Stijn; Bonckaert, Wim; Wenseleers, Tom;

    2014-01-01

    sterile (queen control), or if instead queens honestly signal their fertility and workers reproduce according to their own evolutionary incentives (queen signaling). Here, we test these competing hypotheses using data from Vespine wasps. We show that in natural colonies of the Saxon wasp, Dolichovespula...... saxonica, queens emit reliable chemical cues of their true fertility and that these putative queen signals decrease as the colony develops and worker reproduction increases. Moreover, these putative pheromones of D. saxonica show significant conservation with those of Vespula vulgaris and other Vespinae...

  11. 'Snow Queen' Animation

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-01-01

    This animation consists of two close-up images of 'Snow Queen,' taken several days apart, by the Robotic Arm Camera (RAC) aboard NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander. Snow Queen is the informal name for a patch of bright-toned material underneath the lander. Thruster exhaust blew away surface soil covering Snow Queen when Phoenix landed on May 25, 2008, exposing this hard layer comprising several smooth rounded cavities beneath the lander. The RAC images show how Snow Queen visibly changed between June 15, 2008, the 21st Martian day, or sol, of the mission and July 9, 2008, the 44th sol. Cracks as long as 10 centimeters (about four inches) appeared. One such crack is visible at the left third and the upper third of the Sol 44 image. A seven millimeter (one-third inch) pebble or clod appears just above and slightly to the right of the crack in the Sol 44 image. Cracks also appear in the lower part of the left third of the image. Other pieces noticeably shift, and some smooth texture has subtly roughened. The Phoenix team carefully positioned and focused RAC the same way in both images. Each image is about 60 centimeters, or about two feet, wide. The object protruding in from the top on the right half of the images is Phoenix's thermal and electrical conductivity probe. Snow Queen and other ice exposed by Phoenix landing and trenching operations on northern polar Mars is the first time scientists have been able to monitor Martian ice at a place where temperatures are cold enough that the ice doesn't immediately sublimate, or vaporize, away. The Phoenix Mission is led by the University of Arizona, Tucson, on behalf of NASA. Project management of the mission is by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. Spacecraft development is by Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver.

  12. Bee Queen Breeding Methods - Review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Silvia Patruica

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available The biological potential of a bee family is mainly generated by the biological value of the queen. Whether we grow queens widely or just for our own apiaries, we must consider the acquisition of high-quality biological material, and also the creation of optimal feeding and caring conditions, in order to obtain high genetic value queens. Queen breeding technology starts with the setting of hoeing families, nurse families, drone-breeding families – necessary for the pairing of young queens, and also of the families which will provide the bees used to populate the nuclei where the next queens will hatch. The complex of requirements for the breeding of good, high-production queens is sometimes hard to met, under the application of artificial methods. The selection of breeding method must rely on all these requirements and on the beekeeper’s level of training.

  13. Male parentage in army ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2006-01-01

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

  14. Workers and alate queens of Solenopsis geminata share qualitatively similar but quantitatively different venom alkaloid chemistry

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qun-Hui eShi

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Solenopsis geminata group (Hymenoptera: Formicidae encompasses ant species commonly called fire ants because of their painful sting. The many physiological effects of the venom are caused by 2-methyl-6-alkyl and/or alkenylpiperidine alkaloids. The variation in piperidine alkaloid structures has useful taxonomic characters. The most well studied Solenopsis species is S. invicta, which was accidentally imported into the USA in the 1930s from South America. It quickly spread throughout the southern USA and is now a major invasive pest ant in the USA and in other parts of the world. Interestingly, the invasive S. invicta has largely displaced a native USA fire ant, S. geminata, from the southern USA. We explore the possibility that differences in venom chemistry could be correlated with this displacement. The cis and trans alkaloids from body extracts of workers and alate queens of S. geminata were separated by silica gel chromatography, identified, and quantitated by GC-MS analysis. Both workers and alate queens produce primarily cis- and trans-2-methyl-6-n-undecyl-piperidines, as well as other minor alkaloid components. Imported fire ant, S. invicta, alate queens produce the same alkaloids as S. geminata alate queens, but in contrast S. invicta workers produce piperidine alkaloids with longer side chains, which are purported to be physiologically more effective. These results are discussed in relation to the evolutionary progression of fire ant venom alkaloids and displacement of S. geminata by S. invicta in the USA.

  15. Polygyny and polyandry in small ant societies.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-06-01

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

  16. A reassessment of the mating system characteristics of the army ant Eciton burchellii

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kronauer, Daniel Jan Christoph; Berghoff, Stefanie M.; Powell, Scott;

    2006-01-01

    In a recent study, Denny et al. (2004a) showed that queens of the army ant, Eciton burchellii, mate with multiple males and presented estimates suggesting that they mate with more males than queens of any other ant species so far investigated. They also inferred that data were consistent with...

  17. 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 of the...

  18. 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. This is...... because, all other things being equal, relatedness incentives should favour traits expressed in both workers and the queen to monopolise the production of the colony's male offspring. Microsatellite genotyping of males from these attine species shows that workers in queenless colonies are able to produce...... males, but that no worker-produced males were found in queenright colonies. Our results suggest that worker reproduction is rare or even absent in colonies with a fertile queen. This indicates that either the queen directly prevents the workers from raising their own sons, or that worker reproduction is...

  19. Social coercion of larval development in an ant species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Villalta, Irene; Amor, Fernando; Cerdá, Xim; Boulay, Raphaël

    2016-04-01

    Ants provide one of the best examples of the division of labor in animal societies. While the queens reproduce, workers generally refrain from laying eggs and dedicate themselves exclusively to domestic tasks. In many species, the small diploid larvae are bipotent and can develop either into workers or queens depending mostly on environmental cues. This generates a conflicting situation between the adults that tend to rear a majority of larvae into workers and the larvae whose individual interest may be to develop into reproductive queens. We tested the social regulation of larval caste fate in the fission-performing ant Aphaenogaster senilis. We first observed interactions between resident workers and queen- and worker-destined larvae in presence/absence of the queen. The results show that workers tend to specifically eliminate queen-destined larvae when the queen is present but not when she is absent or imprisoned in a small cage allowing for volatile pheromone exchanges. In addition, we found that the presence of already developed queen-destined larvae does not inhibit the development of younger still bipotent larvae into queens. Finally, we analyzed the cuticular hydrocarbon profiles of queen- and worker-destined larvae and found no significant quantitative or qualitative difference. Interestingly, the total amount of hydrocarbons on both larval castes is extremely low, which lends credence on the chemical insignificance hypothesis of larval ants. Overall, our results suggest that workers control larval development and police larvae that would develop into queens instead of workers. Such policing behavior is similar in many aspects to what is known of worker policing among adults.

  20. Alex McQueen : power

    Index Scriptorium Estoniae

    1998-01-01

    A. McQueeni moevälisest tegevusest. 'American Express' tellis temalt krediitkaardi kujunduse. 1998. a. suvest ajakirja 'Dazed & Confused' abitoimetaja. A. McQueen on lubanud olla Björki (Island) video kunstiline juht.

  1. Insemination of Honey Bee Queens

    OpenAIRE

    SOJKOVÁ, Lada

    2013-01-01

    Instrumental insemination honey bee queen is in Czech Republic only possibility, how make controlled mating bees. Main significance lies in expanding desirable feature in the bee colony. Instrumental inseminations are thus obtained the required feature, that are the mildness of bees, sitting on the comb, or resistance to disease. Insemination must precede controlled breeding drones and controlled breeding queens. That drones were sexually mature at the time of insemination must be breeding dr...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Min Xiang

    2012-10-01

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

  3. Effect of irradiation on the longevity and reproduction of Pheidole megacepala (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) queens

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Irradiation is a quarantine treatment option to control ants and other hitchhiker pests on fresh horticultural products exported from Hawaii. The radiotolerance of the big-headed ant, Pheidole megacephala (F.), was studied to determine a dose sufficient for its control. This ant was chosen as a representative species because it is a common hitchhiker and rearing methods in the laboratory have been developed. The desired response with irradiation treatment of ants is sterility of reproductive females. Queens from micro-colonies were irradiated at 60, 90, 120, or 150 Gy or left untreated as controls, then followed for 19 weeks to observe colony growth. In general, queen longevity, and the number of eggs, larvae, and pupae observed in the micro-colonies decreased with increasing irradiation dose. In the 60 Gy treatment, the number of eggs observed was reduced by 89.6% compared with the untreated controls. In the 120 Gy and 150 Gy treatments, the number of eggs observed was reduced by 99.5% and 98.5%, respectively, and no eggs were found after the first observation date at 7 days after treatment. No larvae or pupae were observed in the 90, 120 or 150 Gy treatments, suggesting these irradiation doses sterilized queens. This study suggests the USDA-APHIS-approved generic irradiation dose of 400 Gy is more than sufficient for the Formicidae. Information is needed on the radiotolerance of additional species of ants to confirm our findings. (author)

  4. Evolutionary transition from single to multiple mating in fungus-growing ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Villesen, Palle; Gertsch, P J; Frydenberg, Jane;

    1999-01-01

    have lower queen mating frequencies, similar to those found in most other ants. We tested this prediction by analysing queen mating frequency and colony kin structure in three basal attine species: Myrmicocrypta ednaella, Apterostigma collare and Cyphomyrmex longiscapus. Microsatellite marker analyses......Queens of leafcutter ants exhibit the highest known levels of multiple mating (up to 10 mates per queen) among ants. Multiple mating may have been selected to increase genetic diversity among nestmate workers, which is hypothesized to be critical in social systems with large, long-lived colonies...... under severe pressure of pathogens. Advanced fungus-growing (leafcutter) ants have large numbers (104-106 workers) and long-lived colonies, whereas basal genera in the attine tribe have small (< 200 workers) colonies with probably substantially shorter lifespans. Basal attines are therefore expected to...

  5. Monoculture of leafcutter ant gardens.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ulrich G Mueller

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cameron, G.; Williams, L.

    2001-12-01

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

  7. Intrinsic survival advantage of social insect queens depends on reproductive activation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rueppell, O; Königseder, F; Heinze, J; Schrempf, A

    2015-12-01

    The central trade-off between reproduction and longevity dominates most species' life history. However, no mortality cost of reproduction is apparent in eusocial species, particularly social insects in the order Hymenoptera: one or a few individuals (typically referred to as queens) in a group specialize on reproduction and are generally longer lived than all other group members (typically referred to as workers), despite having the same genome. However, it is unclear whether this survival advantage is due to social facilitation by the group or an intrinsic, individual property. Furthermore, it is unknown whether the correlation between reproduction and longevity is due to a direct mechanistic link or an indirect consequence of the social role of the reproductives. To begin addressing these questions, we performed a comparison of queen and worker longevity in the ant Cardiocondyla obscurior under social isolation conditions. Survival of single queens and workers was compared under laboratory conditions, monitoring and controlling for brood production. Our results indicate that there is no intrinsic survival advantage of queens relative to workers unless individuals are becoming reproductively active. This interactive effect of caste and reproduction on life expectancy outside of the normal social context suggests that the positive correlation between reproduction and longevity in social insect queens is due to a direct link that can activate intrinsic survival mechanisms to ensure queen longevity. PMID:26348543

  8. 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.

  9. A heritable component in sex ratio and caste determination in a Cardiocondyla ant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frohschammer, Sabine; Heinze, Jürgen

    2009-01-01

    Studies on sex ratios in social insects provide among the most compelling evidence for the importance of kin selection in social evolution. The elegant synthesis of Fisher's sex ratio principle and Hamilton's inclusive fitness theory predicts that colony-level sex ratios vary with the colonies' social and genetic structures. Numerous empirical studies in ants, bees, and wasps have corroborated these predictions. However, the evolutionary optimization of sex ratios requires genetic variation, but one fundamental determinant of sex ratios - the propensity of female larvae to develop into young queens or workers ("queen bias") - is thought to be largely controlled by the environment. Evidence for a genetic influence on sex ratio and queen bias is as yet restricted to a few taxa, in particular hybrids.Because of the very short lifetime of their queens, ants of the genus Cardiocondyla are ideal model systems for the study of complete lifetime reproductive success, queen bias, and sex ratios. We found that lifetime sex ratios of the ant Cardiocondyla kagutsuchi have a heritable component. In experimental single-queen colonies, 22 queens from a genetic lineage with a highly female-biased sex ratio produced significantly more female-biased offspring sex ratios than 16 queens from a lineage with a more male-biased sex ratio (median 91.5% vs. 58.5% female sexuals). Sex ratio variation resulted from different likelihood of female larvae developing into sexuals (median 50% vs. 22.6% female sexuals) even when uniformly nursed by workers from another colony.Consistent differences in lifetime sex ratios and queen bias among queens of C. kagutsuchi suggest that heritable, genetic or maternal effects strongly affect caste determination. Such variation might provide the basis for adaptive evolution of queen and worker strategies, though it momentarily constrains the power of workers and queens to optimize caste ratios. PMID:19863794

  10. A heritable component in sex ratio and caste determination in a Cardiocondyla ant

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Heinze Jürgen

    2009-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Studies on sex ratios in social insects provide among the most compelling evidence for the importance of kin selection in social evolution. The elegant synthesis of Fisher's sex ratio principle and Hamilton's inclusive fitness theory predicts that colony-level sex ratios vary with the colonies' social and genetic structures. Numerous empirical studies in ants, bees, and wasps have corroborated these predictions. However, the evolutionary optimization of sex ratios requires genetic variation, but one fundamental determinant of sex ratios - the propensity of female larvae to develop into young queens or workers ("queen bias" - is thought to be largely controlled by the environment. Evidence for a genetic influence on sex ratio and queen bias is as yet restricted to a few taxa, in particular hybrids. Because of the very short lifetime of their queens, ants of the genus Cardiocondyla are ideal model systems for the study of complete lifetime reproductive success, queen bias, and sex ratios. We found that lifetime sex ratios of the ant Cardiocondyla kagutsuchi have a heritable component. In experimental single-queen colonies, 22 queens from a genetic lineage with a highly female-biased sex ratio produced significantly more female-biased offspring sex ratios than 16 queens from a lineage with a more male-biased sex ratio (median 91.5% vs. 58.5% female sexuals. Sex ratio variation resulted from different likelihood of female larvae developing into sexuals (median 50% vs. 22.6% female sexuals even when uniformly nursed by workers from another colony. Consistent differences in lifetime sex ratios and queen bias among queens of C. kagutsuchi suggest that heritable, genetic or maternal effects strongly affect caste determination. Such variation might provide the basis for adaptive evolution of queen and worker strategies, though it momentarily constrains the power of workers and queens to optimize caste ratios.

  11. Sexual selection in the ant Leptothorax gredleri

    OpenAIRE

    Oppelt, Angelika

    2010-01-01

    L. gredleri is an ant species that is mating by female calling. Virgin queens attract males with a droplet of a sexual pheromone in the vicinity of their maternal nest. Both sexes are expected to be choosy because females store the semen in their spermatheca throughout their whole lives and do not remate after this initial mating period. Males are short-lived and survive only as sperm in the spermathecae of queens. Furthermore, males possess only a fixed amount of sperm, since their testes de...

  12. A cuckoo-like parasitic moth leads African weaver ant colonies to their ruin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dejean, Alain; Orivel, Jérôme; Azémar, Frédéric; Hérault, Bruno; Corbara, Bruno

    2016-01-01

    In myrmecophilous Lepidoptera, mostly lycaenids and riodinids, caterpillars trick ants into transporting them to the ant nest where they feed on the brood or, in the more derived "cuckoo strategy", trigger regurgitations (trophallaxis) from the ants and obtain trophic eggs. We show for the first time that the caterpillars of a moth (Eublemma albifascia; Noctuidae; Acontiinae) also use this strategy to obtain regurgitations and trophic eggs from ants (Oecophylla longinoda). Females short-circuit the adoption process by laying eggs directly on the ant nests, and workers carry just-hatched caterpillars inside. Parasitized colonies sheltered 44 to 359 caterpillars, each receiving more trophallaxis and trophic eggs than control queens. The thus-starved queens lose weight, stop laying eggs (which transport the pheromones that induce infertility in the workers) and die. Consequently, the workers lay male-destined eggs before and after the queen's death, allowing the colony to invest its remaining resources in male production before it vanishes. PMID:27021621

  13. 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...... estimate that approximately half of these nuclei were represented by different genomes, giving the fungus a ploidy level of 5n-6n. In mutualistic symbioses it is important the partners stay true to each other. In fungus-growing ants, new founding queens bring a piece of fungus to build up their new colony...

  14. Behavioural development, fat reserves and their association with productivity in Lasius flavus founding queens

    Science.gov (United States)

    Norman, V. C.; Pamminger, T.; Hughes, W. O. H.

    2016-04-01

    Reproduction-related behaviours are key components determining individual fitness. Many behavioural traits are linked, and such trait associations often affect fitness. Here, we combine behavioural and physiological data during two critical time points of founding queens (early and late nest-founding stage) in the claustral ant Lasius flavus to assess how these factors affect their initial productivity. We show that most behavioural traits, except brood care behaviour, are plastic during queen development and demonstrate that there are alternative behavioural pathways to achieve high productivity under standardised conditions. These results indicate that queens can utilise multiple behavioural trait combinations to maximise reproductive output at the earliest, and arguably most critical, time of colony foundation.

  15. Patterns of viral infection in honey bee queens

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Francis, Roy Mathew; Kryger, Per; Nielsen, Steen Lykke

    2013-01-01

    The well-being of a colony and replenishment of the workers depends on a healthy queen. Diseases in queens are seldom reported, and our knowledge on viral infection in queens is limited. In this study, 86 honey bee queens were collected from beekeepers in Denmark. All queens were tested separately...

  16. Chronic Bee Paralysis Virus in Honeybee Queens

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Amiri, Esmaeil; Meixner, Marina; Büchler, Ralph;

    2014-01-01

    Chronic bee paralysis virus (CBPV) is known as a disease of worker honey bees. To investigate pathogenesis of the CBPV on the queen, the sole reproductive individual in a colony, we conducted experiments regarding the susceptibility of queens to CBPV. Results from susceptibility experiment showed a...... similar disease progress in the queens compared to worker bees after infection. Infected queens exhibit symptoms by Day 6 post infection and virus levels reach 1011 copies per head. In a transmission experiment we showed that social interactions may affect the disease progression. Queens with forced...... contact to symptomatic worker bees acquired an overt infection with up to 1011 virus copies per head in six days. In contrast, queens in contact with symptomatic worker bees, but with a chance to receive food from healthy bees outside the cage appeared healthy. The virus loads did not exceed 107 in the...

  17. Antimicrobial defense shows an abrupt evolutionary transition in the fungus-growing ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hughes, William O H; Pagliarini, Roberta; Madsen, Henning Bang; Dijkstra, Michiel B; Boomsma, Jacobus J

    2008-01-01

    exception to this rule because they are a key first-line defense that are fixed in size in adults. Here we conduct a comparative analysis of the size of the gland reservoir across the fungus-growing ants (tribe Attini). Most attines have singly mated queens, but in two derived genera, the leaf-cutting ants...

  18. An Extensive Survey of the Phytochemistry and Therapeutic Potency of Ocimum sanctum (Queen of Herbs)

    OpenAIRE

    *S. K. Bariyah

    2013-01-01

    Ocimum sanctum, known as Queen of Herbs, is an important member of the family Lamiaceae due to its use in herbal medication centuries back, especially, in India and other parts of the sub-continent. It is still a subject of immense importance in modern medical research and it is due to the chemical constituents present in it like flavonoids, terpenoids, alkaloids, saponins, vitamins, minerals, proteins, carbohydrates and many others. It has shown a wide range of therapeutic potencies like ant...

  19. Experimental evidence that dispersal drives ant community assembly in human-altered ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    King, Joshua R; Tschinkel, Walter R

    2016-01-01

    A key shortcoming in our understanding of exotic species' success is that it is not known how post-introduction dispersal contributes to the success of exotic species and the reassembly of invaded communities. Exotic and native species face poorly understood competition-colonization trade-offs in heterogeneous landscapes of natural and anthropogenic habitats. We conducted three experiments that tested how ant queen behavior during dispersal affects community composition. Using experimental plots, we tested whether (1) different types of habitat disturbance and (2) different sizes of habitat disturbance affected the abundance of newly mated queens landing in the plots. The three most abundant species captured were the exotic fire ant Solenopsis invicta, and the native species Brachymyrmex depilis, and S. pergandei, respectively. When queens were considered collectively, more queens landed in plowed, sand-added, and roadside plots than in control or mow plots, in other words, in the more heavily disturbed plots. We also tested (3) the effect of habitat manipulations on the survival of newly mated fire ant queens (Solenopsis invicta). Soil disturbance (tilling), lack of shade, and removal (poisoning) of the ant community resulted in the greatest fire ant colony survivorship. Collectively, experiments revealed that both exotic and native newly mated ant queens select open, human-altered ecosystems for founding new colonies. The selection of such habitats by fire ant queens leads to their successful colony founding and ultimately to their dominance in those habitats. Selection of disturbed habitats is therefore advantageous for exotic species but is an ecological trap for native species because they do not often succeed in founding colonies in these habitats. PMID:27008792

  20. No sex in fungus-farming ants or their crops

    OpenAIRE

    Himler, Anna G.; Caldera, Eric J.; Baer, Boris C.; Fernández-Marín, Hermógenes; Mueller, Ulrich G.

    2009-01-01

    Asexual reproduction imposes evolutionary handicaps on asexual species, rendering them prone to extinction, because asexual reproduction generates novel genotypes and purges deleterious mutations at lower rates than sexual reproduction. Here, we report the first case of complete asexuality in ants, the fungus-growing ant Mycocepurus smithii, where queens reproduce asexually but workers are sterile, which is doubly enigmatic because the clonal colonies of M. smithii also depend on clonal fungi...

  1. Are invasive fire ants kept in check by native aerial insectivores?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Helms, Jackson A; Godfrey, Aaron P; Ames, Tayna; Bridge, Eli S

    2016-05-01

    Aerial predator-prey interactions may impact populations of many terrestrial species. Here, we use altitude loggers to study aerial foraging in a native insectivore, the purple martin (Progne subis), in the southern USA. Purple martins fed primarily on mating queens and males of the invasive red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta), and doubled their foraging efficiency by doing so. Across the USA, purple martins likely eat billions of fire ant queens each year, potentially impacting the spread of this species. Alternatively, predation on fire ants may help sustain populations of purple martins and other aerial insectivores. PMID:27194285

  2. Sperm storage induces an immunity cost in ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2006-01-01

    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...

  3. Corruption of ant acoustical signals by mimetic social parasites

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  4. 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...

  5. General Dissection of Female Ant Reproductive System and Brain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dissection of the reproductive system of ant workers and queens can be useful for answering many questions. Observations of ovarian status in both female castes can be used to identify relationships between other factors and the ovaries, determine whether an individual has laid eggs, and, with more ...

  6. Fire ant baits and biocontrol with pathogens update

    Science.gov (United States)

    The insect growth regulator (IGR) methoprene (isopropyl-(2E,4E,7R,S)-11-methoxy-3,7,11-trimethyldodeca-2,4-dienoate) has been shown to have deleterious effects on red imported fire ants, Solenopsis invicta. It interferes with normal development of worker caste brood and reduces queen egg production...

  7. 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...

  8. Graphical Simulation of N Queens Problem

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. Murali

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available Graphical simulation is an attempt of predicting the aspects of behavior of some system by developing an approximate model of it. Simulations have great impact on education and in training. Simulation based learning is a practical way of learning of practices that involves building connections: connections among what is being learned and what is important to the actor and the situations in which it is applied. N-Queens problem refers to the problem in which one has to place N-Queens on an n*n chess board such that no queen is attacking the other, i.e. no two queens occupy the same row, column or diagonal. Here we use graphical simulation to view various solutions to N-Queens problem. The n-queens problem is implemented by using core java. The packages used in these implementations are java.awt, java.lang, java.applet. The graphical simulation is used because n-queens problem is more complicated. It is easy for any system user or normal user to understand this problem by observing simulations. With the help of simulation the problem is explained very clearly and effectively. This will help in generating interest among perceivers because it has real time applications and will make learning better

  9. Sperm use economy of honeybee (Apis mellifera) queens

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Baer, Boris; Collins, Jason; Maalaps, Kristiina;

    2016-01-01

    the fecundity and longevity of queens and therefore colony fitness. We quantified the number of sperm that honeybee (Apis mellifera) queens use to fertilize eggs. We examined sperm use in naturally mated queens of different ages and in queens artificially inseminated with different volumes of semen. We found...

  10. Characterization of queen-specific components of the fluid released by fighting honey bee queens

    OpenAIRE

    Bernasconi, Giorgina; Bigler, Laurent; Hesse, Manfred; Ratnieks, Francis L. W.

    2009-01-01

    Swarming honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) colonies rear supernumerary young queens that compete for the limited resources (workers) necessary for founding a new colony. Young queens often fight to death. During fights, queens often release rectal fluid with a strong smell of grapes, after which they temporarily stop fighting. This potentially reduces the risk of deadly injury. The fluid and one of its components, ortho-aminoacetophenone, were previously found to have a pheromonal effect on worke...

  11. The reproductive phenology of an Amazonian ant species reflects the seasonal availability of its nest sites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frederickson, Megan E

    2006-09-01

    In saturated tropical ant assemblages, reproductive success depends on queens locating and competing for scarce nest sites. Little is known about how this process shapes the life histories of tropical ants. Here I investigate the relationship between nest site availability and an important life history trait, reproductive phenology, in the common Amazonian ant species Allomerus octoarticulatus. A. octoarticulatus is a plant-ant that nests in the hollow, swollen stem domatia on Cordia nodosa. I provide evidence that nest sites are limiting for A. octoarticulatus. Most queens produced by A. octoarticulatus colonies died before locating suitable host plants, and most queens that located hosts died before founding colonies, probably from intraspecific competition among queens for control of host plants. I further show that the reproductive phenology of A. octoarticulatus closely matches the seasonal availability of its nest sites, domatia-bearing C. nodosa saplings. Both the production and flight of A. octoarticulatus reproductives, and the number of C. nodosa saplings available for colonization by ants, peaked from March to May. There was correlative evidence that A. octoarticulatus colonies use temperature as a cue to synchronize their reproduction to the availability of C. nodosa saplings: both the production of reproductives by ant colonies and the number of C. nodosa saplings available for colonization were correlated with temperature, and not with rainfall. All of these results suggest that nest site limitation constrains the reproductive phenology of A. octoarticulatus. PMID:16758217

  12. Queen's discovery lauded by top scientific journal

    CERN Multimedia

    McGrady, S

    2002-01-01

    A scientific breakthrough at Queen's University's Sudbury Neutrino Observatory has received major international recognition. The journal Science ranked the discovery that cracked the "neutrino problem" second, in the journal's top 10 scientific achievements of 2002 (1/2 page).

  13. Natal Dispersal, Mating Patterns, and Inbreeding in the Ant Formica exsecta.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vitikainen, Emma I K; Haag-Liautard, Cathy; Sundström, Liselotte

    2015-12-01

    Sex-biased dispersal and multiple mating may prevent or alleviate inbreeding and its outcome, inbreeding depression, but studies demonstrating this in the wild are scarce. Perennial ant colonies offer a unique system to investigate the relationships between natal dispersal behavior and inbreeding. Due to the sedentary life of ant colonies and lifetime sperm storage by queens, measures of dispersal distance and mating strategy are easier to obtain than in most taxa. We used a suite of molecular markers to infer the natal colonies of queens and males in a wild population of the ant Formica exsecta. Dispersal was male biased, with median male dispersal distances (∼140 m) twice those of queens (∼60 m). The results also showed that the population was inbred and that inbreeding avoidance behaviors--sex-biased dispersal, queen dispersal distance, and multiple mating--were all ineffective in reducing homozygosity among colony workers. Queen homozygosity did not affect dispersal behavior, but more homozygous queens had lower colony-founding success and were more incestuously mated themselves, with potentially accumulating effects on colony fitness. We also provide independent evidence that dispersal is sex biased and show that our estimate corresponds well with dispersal estimates derived from population-genetic estimates. PMID:26655979

  14. ECONOMIC EFFICIENCY OF VARIOUS QUEEN BEES MAINTENANCE SYSTEMS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A POPESCU

    2003-10-01

    Full Text Available The modern queens maintenance systems are based on the use of artificial insemination, queens’ maintenance in the so called „queens bank” , in this way assuring an increased economic efficiency in beekeeping. This study aimed to compare the economic efficiency of the implementation of A.I. to various queen bees maintenance systems. Three alternatives have been taken into account: V1-a queen bee in a cage together with her bees, V2- a queen bank system and V3 – a queen bee in a nucleus. For each queen bee maintenance alternative have been evaluated the most important indicators such as: expenses, incomes, profit, number of marketable inseminated and selected queen bees, honey production, cost/queen, revenue/queen, profit/queen, profit rate. The most effective alternative was the queen bank system assuring 2,400 marketable queen bees and 20 kg honey delivered yearly, USD 12,442 incomes, USD 3,400 expenses, USD 9,042 profit, that is USD 3.77/queen bee and 265.72 % profit rate under the condition as A.I. costs are just USD 1,058, representing 31.1 % of total queen bees maintenance costs.

  15. Occurrence of antennal glands in ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Renthal, Robert; Velasquez, Daniel; Olmos, David; Vinson, S Bradleigh

    2008-11-01

    A previous report of the discovery of exocrine glands in the antennal club of queens and workers of Solenopsis invicta Buren, 1972 left open the question of the extent to which similar glands occur in the Formicidae family. We wanted to know if these antennal glands are unique to Solenopsis, or they are found in a wider taxonomic group. Using scanning electron microscopy, we examined the antennae of 41 ant species. Presence of the antennal glands was indicated by a characteristic circumferential ring of pores in a distal antennal segment of workers. Pores were found in the 9th antennal segment of all 26 species of Solenopsis examined. Pores were absent in the following: Monomorium minimum, M. pharaonis, Pheidole sp., Crematogaster sp., Linepithema humile, Forelius sp., Dorymyrmex sp., Paratrechina sp., Oecophylla smaragdina, Campanotus sp., Ectatomma ruidum, E. tuberlatum, and Pseudomyrmex ferruginea. However, pores were found in the antennal club of Tetramorium bicarinatum workers and queens. After KOH digestion of T. bicarinatum antennae, internal canals were observed in both workers and queens, and the canals are connected to spherical reservoirs in queens. T. bicarinatum was the only non-Solenopsis species examined, which showed evidence for antennal glands in the distal funiculus. PMID:18655135

  16. ECONOMIC EFFICIENCY OF VARIOUS QUEEN BEES MAINTENANCE SYSTEMS

    OpenAIRE

    Popescu, A.; A. SICEANU

    2003-01-01

    The modern queens maintenance systems are based on the use of artificial insemination, queens’ maintenance in the so called „queens bank” , in this way assuring an increased economic efficiency in beekeeping. This study aimed to compare the economic efficiency of the implementation of A.I. to various queen bees maintenance systems. Three alternatives have been taken into account: V1-a queen bee in a cage together with her bees, V2- a queen bank system and V3 – a queen bee in a nucleus. For ea...

  17. 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.

  18. Polydomy in the ant Ectatomma opaciventre.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  19. The evolution of extreme polyandry in social insects: insights from army ants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthias Benjamin Barth

    Full Text Available The unique nomadic life-history pattern of army ants (army ant adaptive syndrome, including obligate colony fission and strongly male-biased sex-ratios, makes army ants prone to heavily reduced effective population sizes (Ne. Excessive multiple mating by queens (polyandry has been suggested to compensate these negative effects by increasing genetic variance in colonies and populations. However, the combined effects and evolutionary consequences of polyandry and army ant life history on genetic colony and population structure have only been studied in a few selected species. Here we provide new genetic data on paternity frequencies, colony structure and paternity skew for the five Neotropical army ants Eciton mexicanum, E. vagans, Labidus coecus, L. praedator and Nomamyrmex esenbeckii; and compare those data among a total of nine army ant species (including literature data. The number of effective matings per queen ranged from about 6 up to 25 in our tested species, and we show that such extreme polyandry is in two ways highly adaptive. First, given the detected low intracolonial relatedness and population differentiation extreme polyandry may counteract inbreeding and low Ne. Second, as indicated by a negative correlation of paternity frequency and paternity skew, queens maximize intracolonial genotypic variance by increasingly equalizing paternity shares with higher numbers of sires. Thus, extreme polyandry is not only an integral part of the army ant syndrome, but generally adaptive in social insects by improving genetic variance, even at the high end spectrum of mating frequencies.

  20. The evolution of extreme polyandry in social insects: insights from army ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barth, Matthias Benjamin; Moritz, Robin Frederik Alexander; Kraus, Frank Bernhard

    2014-01-01

    The unique nomadic life-history pattern of army ants (army ant adaptive syndrome), including obligate colony fission and strongly male-biased sex-ratios, makes army ants prone to heavily reduced effective population sizes (Ne). Excessive multiple mating by queens (polyandry) has been suggested to compensate these negative effects by increasing genetic variance in colonies and populations. However, the combined effects and evolutionary consequences of polyandry and army ant life history on genetic colony and population structure have only been studied in a few selected species. Here we provide new genetic data on paternity frequencies, colony structure and paternity skew for the five Neotropical army ants Eciton mexicanum, E. vagans, Labidus coecus, L. praedator and Nomamyrmex esenbeckii; and compare those data among a total of nine army ant species (including literature data). The number of effective matings per queen ranged from about 6 up to 25 in our tested species, and we show that such extreme polyandry is in two ways highly adaptive. First, given the detected low intracolonial relatedness and population differentiation extreme polyandry may counteract inbreeding and low Ne. Second, as indicated by a negative correlation of paternity frequency and paternity skew, queens maximize intracolonial genotypic variance by increasingly equalizing paternity shares with higher numbers of sires. Thus, extreme polyandry is not only an integral part of the army ant syndrome, but generally adaptive in social insects by improving genetic variance, even at the high end spectrum of mating frequencies. PMID:25144731

  1. Pupae transplantation to boost early colony growth in the weaver ant Oecophylla longinoda Latreille (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ouagoussounon, Issa; Sinzogan, Antonio; Offenberg, Joachim;

    2013-01-01

    Oecophylla ants are currently used for biological control in fruit plantations in Australia, Asia and Africa and for protein production in Asia. To further improve the technology and implement it on a large scale, effective and fast production of live colonies is desirable. Early colony development...... capita brood production by the resident queen, triggered by the adopted pupae. Thus pupae transplantation may be used to shorten the time it takes to produce weaver ant colonies in ant nurseries, and may in this way facilitate the implementation of weaver ant biocontrol in West Africa....

  2. Beyond ANT

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jansen, Till

    2016-01-01

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

  3. Graphical Simulation of N Queens Problem

    OpenAIRE

    G. MURALI; Sadia Naureen; Y.Abhigna Reddy; M.Swetha Reddy

    2011-01-01

    Graphical simulation is an attempt of predicting the aspects of behavior of some system by developing an approximate model of it. Simulations have great impact on education and in training. Simulation based learning is a practical way of learning of practices that involves building connections: connections among what is being learned and what is important to the actor and the situations in which it is applied. N-Queens problem refers to the problem in which one has to place N-Queens on...

  4. Effects of insemination quantity on honey bee queen physiology.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Freddie-Jeanne Richard

    Full Text Available Mating has profound effects on the physiology and behavior of female insects, and in honey bee (Apis mellifera queens, these changes are permanent. Queens mate with multiple males during a brief period in their early adult lives, and shortly thereafter they initiate egg-laying. Furthermore, the pheromone profiles of mated queens differ from those of virgins, and these pheromones regulate many different aspects of worker behavior and colony organization. While it is clear that mating causes dramatic changes in queens, it is unclear if mating number has more subtle effects on queen physiology or queen-worker interactions; indeed, the effect of multiple matings on female insect physiology has not been broadly addressed. Because it is not possible to control the natural mating behavior of queens, we used instrumental insemination and compared queens inseminated with semen from either a single drone (single-drone inseminated, or SDI or 10 drones (multi-drone inseminated, or MDI. We used observation hives to monitor attraction of workers to SDI or MDI queens in colonies, and cage studies to monitor the attraction of workers to virgin, SDI, and MDI queen mandibular gland extracts (the main source of queen pheromone. The chemical profiles of the mandibular glands of virgin, SDI, and MDI queens were characterized using GC-MS. Finally, we measured brain expression levels in SDI and MDI queens of a gene associated with phototaxis in worker honey bees (Amfor. Here, we demonstrate for the first time that insemination quantity significantly affects mandibular gland chemical profiles, queen-worker interactions, and brain gene expression. Further research will be necessary to elucidate the mechanistic bases for these effects: insemination volume, sperm and seminal protein quantity, and genetic diversity of the sperm may all be important factors contributing to this profound change in honey bee queen physiology, queen behavior, and social interactions in the

  5. Convergent development of low-relatedness supercolonies in Myrmica ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van der Hammen, T; Pedersen, J S; Boomsma, J J

    2002-08-01

    Many ant species have independently evolved colony structures with multiple queens and very low relatedness among nestmate workers, but it has remained unclear whether low-relatedness kin structures can repeatedly arise in populations of the same species. Here we report a study of Danish island populations of the red ant Myrmica sulcinodis and show that it is likely that such repeated developments occur. Two microsatellite loci were used to estimate genetic differentiation (F(ST)) among three populations and nestmate relatedness within these populations. The F(ST) values were highly significant due to very different allele frequencies among the three populations with relatively few common alleles and relatively many rare alleles, possibly caused by single queen foundation and rare subsequent immigration. Given the isolation of the islands and the low investment in reproduction, we infer that each of the populations was most likely established by a single queen, even though all three extant populations now have within-colony relatedness 95%), and the genetic differentiation of nests showed a significantly positive correlation with the distance between them. Both male-biased sex-ratio and genetic viscosity are expected characteristics of populations where queens have very local dispersal and where new colonies are initiated through nest-budding. Based on a comparison with other M. sulcinodis populations we hypothesise a distinct succession of population types and suggest that this may be a possible pathway to unicoloniality, ie, development towards a complete lack of colony kin structure and unrelated nestmate workers. PMID:12136409

  6. Bait distribution among multiple colonies of Pharaoh ants (hymenoptera: Formicidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oi, D H; Vail, K M; Williams, D F

    2000-08-01

    Pharaoh ant, Monomorium pharaonis (L.), infestations often consist of several colonies located at different nest sites. To achieve control, it is desirable to suppress or eliminate the populations of a majority of these colonies. We compared the trophallactic distribution and efficacy of two ant baits, with different modes of action, among groups of four colonies of Pharaoh ants. Baits contained either the metabolic-inhibiting active ingredient hydramethylnon or the insect growth regulator (IGR) pyriproxyfen. Within 3 wk, the hydramethylnon bait reduced worker and brood populations by at least 80%, and queen reductions ranged between 73 and 100%, when nests were in proximity (within 132 cm) to the bait source. However, these nest sites were reoccupied by ants from other colonies located further from the bait source. The pyriproxyfen bait was distributed more thoroughly to all nest locations with worker populations gradually declining by 73% at all nest sites after 8 wk. Average queen reductions ranged from 31 to 49% for all nest sites throughout the study. Even though some queens survived, brood reductions were rapid in the pyriproxyfen treatment, with reductions of 95% at all locations by week 3. Unlike the metabolic inhibitor, the IGR did not kill adult worker ants quickly, thus, more surviving worker ants were available to distribute the bait to all colonies located at different nest sites. Thus, from a single bait source, the slow-acting bait toxicant provided gradual, but long-term control, whereas the fast-acting bait toxicant provided rapid, localized control for a shorter duration. PMID:10985038

  7. Strict monandry in the ponerine army ant genus Simopelta suggests that colony size and complexity drive mating system evolution in social insects

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kronauer, Daniel J C; O'Donnell, Sean; Boomsma, Jacobus J;

    2011-01-01

    queen mating frequencies, and therefore among the lowest degrees of colony relatedness, occur in Apis honeybees and army ants of the subfamilies Aenictinae, Ecitoninae, and Dorylinae, suggesting that common life history features such as reproduction by colony fission and male biased numerical sex......-ratios have convergently shaped these mating systems. Here we show that ponerine army ants of the genus Simopelta, which are distantly related but similar in general biology to other army ants, have strictly monandrous queens. Preliminary data suggest that workers reproduce in queenright colonies, which is in...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Friedman, D A; Gordon, D M

    2016-07-01

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

  9. Sperm length evolution in the fungus-growing ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2009-01-01

    -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 predictor in this analysis, we conclude that sperm production trade-offs in males have been the major selective force affecting sperm length across the fungus-growing ants, rather than storage constraints in females. The relationship between sperm length and sexual dimorphism remained robust in...

  10. Viral diseases in honey bee queens

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Francis, Roy Mathew

    was developed to diagnose three viruses in honey bees. Quantitative PCR was used to investigate the distribution of two popular viruses in five different tissues of 86 honey bee queens. Seasonal variation of viral infection in honey bee workers and varroa mites were determined by sampling 23 colonies...

  11. Pharaoh ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) colony development after consumption of pyriproxyfen baits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vail, K M; Williams, D F

    1995-12-01

    Pharaoh ant, Monomorium pharaonis (L.), colonies were effectively controlled following ingestion of pyriproxyfen formulated in peanut butter oil. Pyriproxyfen, a juvenile hormone analog, reduced egg production in the queens, decreased the amount of brood due to delayed death in the eggs and larvae, caused death of pupae about 3 wk after treatment, and decreased the number of workers due to attrition and toxic effects. Queens, which continued to produce a small amount of eggs, eventually died. Queen death may have been caused by lack of workers required to tend them, old age or toxic effects. At concentrations of 0.25, 0.5 and 1%, pyriproxyfen was more effective than the once commercially available bait, Pharorid (methoprene) for the control of the Pharaoh ant. PMID:8537545

  12. [Evaluation of mirex for the control of pharaoh's ants].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berndt, K P

    1976-11-01

    The paper analyses the mode of action of the organic chlorine compound Mirex in laboratory colonies of the pharaoh's ant Monomorium pharaonis under the special view of practical use in control measures in comparison with the related insecticide Chlordecone (Kepone). Similar to Chlordecone the queens are very susceptible towards the action of Mirex. According to the regression lines of the mortality the best concentrations for practical control measures are in the range of 0.1 to 1%, respectively. Under laboratory conditions a reliable eradication is effected by an application of 0.001% Mirex over a period of three weeks. Such a treatment lead to the loss of reproductive capacity of the remaining living queens. These queens do not recover after transmission to normal colonies. The larvae were influenced in the same manner as the adults. At the recommended level of Mirex all of the larvae disappear within the first five days of application of the poison bait. Also a short termed use lead to a long lasting damage of the ant societies. Between different baits no significant difference could be demonstrated even when one bait obviously was better accepted than another. Because of the strong effect on intact colonies Mirex should be recommended for the control of this ant pest. PMID:1008292

  13. Evolution of gene expression in fire ants: the effects of developmental stage, caste, and species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ants provide remarkable examples of equivalent genotypes developing into divergent and discrete phenotypes. Diploid eggs can develop either into queens, which specialize in reproduction, or workers, which participate in cooperative tasks such as building the nest, collecting food, and rearing the yo...

  14. Predatory Behavior of Canthon virens (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae: A Predator of Leafcutter Ants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luiz Carlos Forti

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available We present a detailed description of the predatory behavior of the beetle Canthon virens Mannerheim, 1829, on the leafcutter ant Atta sp. We observed 51 acts of predation, which were also recorded on film and subjected to behavioral analysis. Canthon virens exhibited 28 behaviors while predating upon Atta sp. queens. Adult beetles search for queens while flying in a zigzag pattern, 15 to 20 cm above the ground. After catching a queen, the predator stands on its back and starts cutting the queen cervix. Once the prey is decapitated, the predator rolls it until an insurmountable obstacle is reached. The distance from the site of predation to the obstacle can vary widely and is unpredictable. The beetle rolling the queen also buries it in a very peculiar way: first, it digs a small hole and pulls the queen inside, while another beetle is attached to the prey. The burial process takes many hours (up to 12 and may depend on the hardness of the soil and the presence of obstacles. In general, one or two beetles are found in a chamber with the queen after it is buried. They make the brood balls, which serve as food for the offspring. This study contributes to the knowledge of the predatory behavior of Canthon virens, a predator poorly studied in Brazil and widespread in the country.

  15. The Ants Have It!

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daugherty, Belinda

    2001-01-01

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

  16. 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 ...

  17. Multiple endosymbionts in populations of the ant Formica cinerea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pamilo Pekka

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Many insects, including ants, are infected by maternally inherited Wolbachia endosymbiotic bacteria though other secondary endosymbionts have not been reported in ants. It has been suggested that the ability of Wolbachia to invade and remain in an ant population depends on the number of coexisting queens in a colony. We study the genetic and social structure of populations in the ant Formica cinerea which is known to have populations with either monogynous or polygynous colonies. We screen populations for several endosymbiotic bacteria to evaluate the presence of different endosymbionts, possible association between their prevalence and the social structure, and the association between endosymbiont prevalence and genetic differentiation of ant populations. Results We found three endosymbiotic bacteria; 19% of the nests were infected by Wolbachia, 3.8% by Cardinium and 33% by Serratia. There was significant variation among the populations regarding the proportion of nests infected by Serratia, Wolbachia and the pooled set of all the endosymbionts. Some individuals and colonies carried two of the bacteria, the frequency of double infections agreeing with the random expectation. The proportion of infected ants (individuals or colonies did not correlate significantly with the population level relatedness values. The difference in the prevalence of Wolbachia between population pairs correlated significantly with the genetic distance (microsatellites of the populations. Conclusions The discovery of several endosymbionts and co-infections by Wolbachia and Cardinium demonstrate the importance of screening several endosymbionts when evaluating their possible effects on social life and queen-worker conflicts over sex allocation. The low prevalence of Wolbachia in F. cinerea departs from the pattern observed in many other Formica ants in which all workers have been infected. It is likely that the strain of Wolbachia in F. cinerea

  18. Recruitment strategies and colony size in ants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert Planqué

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kavita R. Sharma

    2015-08-01

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

  20. Matricide and queen sex allocation in a yellowjacket wasp

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loope, Kevin J.

    2016-08-01

    In many colonies of social insects, the workers compete with each other and with the queen over the production of the colony's males. In some species of social bees and wasps with annual societies, this intra-colony conflict even results in matricide—the killing of the colony's irreplaceable queen by a daughter worker. In colonies with low effective paternity and high worker-worker relatedness, workers value worker-laid males more than queen-laid males, and thus may benefit from queen killing. Workers gain by eliminating the queen because she is a competing source of male eggs and actively inhibits worker reproduction through policing. However, matricide may be costly to workers if it reduces the production of valuable new queens and workers. Here, I test a theoretical prediction regarding the timing of matricide in a wasp, Dolichovespula arenaria, recently shown to have facultative matricide based on intra-colony relatedness. Using analyses of collected, mature colonies and a surgical manipulation preventing queens from laying female eggs, I show that workers do not preferentially kill queens who are only producing male eggs. Instead, workers sometimes kill queens laying valuable females, suggesting a high cost of matricide. Although matricide is common and typically occurs only in low-paternity colonies, it seems that workers sometimes pay substantial costs in this expression of conflict over male parentage.

  1. Matricide and queen sex allocation in a yellowjacket wasp.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loope, Kevin J

    2016-08-01

    In many colonies of social insects, the workers compete with each other and with the queen over the production of the colony's males. In some species of social bees and wasps with annual societies, this intra-colony conflict even results in matricide-the killing of the colony's irreplaceable queen by a daughter worker. In colonies with low effective paternity and high worker-worker relatedness, workers value worker-laid males more than queen-laid males, and thus may benefit from queen killing. Workers gain by eliminating the queen because she is a competing source of male eggs and actively inhibits worker reproduction through policing. However, matricide may be costly to workers if it reduces the production of valuable new queens and workers. Here, I test a theoretical prediction regarding the timing of matricide in a wasp, Dolichovespula arenaria, recently shown to have facultative matricide based on intra-colony relatedness. Using analyses of collected, mature colonies and a surgical manipulation preventing queens from laying female eggs, I show that workers do not preferentially kill queens who are only producing male eggs. Instead, workers sometimes kill queens laying valuable females, suggesting a high cost of matricide. Although matricide is common and typically occurs only in low-paternity colonies, it seems that workers sometimes pay substantial costs in this expression of conflict over male parentage. PMID:27350328

  2. The evolution of honest queen pheromones in insect societies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    van Zweden, Jelle Stijn

    2010-01-01

    Social insect workers are often capable of reproduction, but will not do so in the presence of a fertile queen. In large societies, queens are expected to produce a pheromone that honestly signals her dominance and/or fertility, to which workers respond by suppressing the development of their...... it is undermined by the fitness benefits of direct reproduction of workers at the individual level. A better explanation may be found in the idea that queen pheromones are difficult to produce for subordinate individuals, either because policing workers attack them, or because queen pheromones are...

  3. Polyacrylamide hydrogels: an effective tool for delivering liquid baits to pest ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buczkowski, Grzegorz; Roper, Elray; Chin, Darren

    2014-04-01

    Ant management in urban and natural areas often relies on toxic baits. Liquid baits are highly attractive to pest ants because they mimic natural food sources such as honeydew and nectar, the principal dietary components of many ants. However, liquid bait use has been limited owing to the lack of bait dispensers that are effective, inexpensive, and easy to service. The current study evaluated the potential of water-storing crystals (polyacrylamide spheres) to effectively deliver liquid thiamethoxam baits to laboratory colonies of Argentine ants, Linepithema humile Mayr. Results of laboratory trials show that bait crystals saturated in 25% sucrose solution containing 0.007% thiamethoxam are highly attractive to Argentine ants and highly effective against all castes and life stages, including workers, queens, and brood. Fresh bait crystals were highly effective and required approximately 2 d to kill all workers and approximately 6 d to achieve complete mortality in queens and brood. Results of bait aging tests show that the crystals lose approximately 70% of moisture in 8 h and the duration of outdoor exposure has a significant effect on moisture loss and subsequently bait acceptance and bait efficacy. A gradual decrease in mortality was observed for all castes and life stages as bait age increased. In general, fresh baits and those aged for Baits aged longer than 8 h were substantially less attractive and less effective. Horizontal transfer tests examined the transfer of thiamethoxam from live treated donors to live untreated recipients. The results show that donor ants that obtain thiamethoxam by feeding on bait crystals effectively transfer it to untreated recipient ants. The level of secondary mortality depended on the donor:recipient ratio, with approximately 40% recipient worker mortality with the 1:5 ratio and 15% recipient worker mortality with 1:10 or 1:20 ratios. However, no queens died in any transfer tests, suggesting that multiple feedings from multiple

  4. Ant colony for TSP

    OpenAIRE

    Feng, Yinda

    2010-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2007-01-01

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

  6. No sex in fungus-farming ants or their crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Himler, Anna G; Caldera, Eric J; Baer, Boris C; Fernández-Marín, Hermógenes; Mueller, Ulrich G

    2009-07-22

    Asexual reproduction imposes evolutionary handicaps on asexual species, rendering them prone to extinction, because asexual reproduction generates novel genotypes and purges deleterious mutations at lower rates than sexual reproduction. Here, we report the first case of complete asexuality in ants, the fungus-growing ant Mycocepurus smithii, where queens reproduce asexually but workers are sterile, which is doubly enigmatic because the clonal colonies of M. smithii also depend on clonal fungi for food. Degenerate female mating anatomy, extensive field and laboratory surveys, and DNA fingerprinting implicate complete asexuality in this widespread ant species. Maternally inherited bacteria (e.g. Wolbachia, Cardinium) and the fungal cultivars can be ruled out as agents inducing asexuality. M. smithii societies of clonal females provide a unique system to test theories of parent-offspring conflict and reproductive policing in social insects. Asexuality of both ant farmer and fungal crop challenges traditional views proposing that sexual farmer ants outpace coevolving sexual crop pathogens, and thus compensate for vulnerabilities of their asexual crops. Either the double asexuality of both farmer and crop may permit the host to fully exploit advantages of asexuality for unknown reasons or frequent switching between crops (symbiont reassociation) generates novel ant-fungus combinations, which may compensate for any evolutionary handicaps of asexuality in M. smithii. PMID:19369264

  7. Comparative ultrastructure of ant spermatozoa (Formicidae: Hymenoptera).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wheeler, D E; Crichton, E G; Krutzsch, P H

    1990-12-01

    Mature spermatozoa from spermathecae of founding queens were obtained from 5 species of ants, representing the major subfamilies Myrmicinae (Acromyrmex versicolor, Crematogaster sp.) and Dolichoderinae (Tapinoma sessile, Conomyrma insana, Conomyrma wheeleri). The ultrastructure of ant spermatozoa has many features in common with that of higher insects and is similar to that of other Hymenoptera. Structural similarities to spermatozoa of other Hymenoptera include an acrosome containing an internal rod that extends into the nucleus, two elongate mitochondrial derivatives, a centriolar adjunct, and an axonemal arrangement of 9 + 9 + 2 that includes well-developed coarse, or accessory, tubules. Spermatozoa obtained from A. versicolor, a species that is known to store and utilize viable sperm from this supply for over 10 years, show greater development of the mitochondrial derivatives than do the other species. The most distinctive feature of ant spermatozoa in comparison to other Hymenoptera is the large size of the centriolar adjunct relative to the other organelles. The centriolar adjunct is located posterior to the nucleus, anterior to the mitochondrial derivatives, and opposite the axoneme. PMID:2280410

  8. Trail pheromone disruption of red imported fire ant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suckling, David M; Stringer, Lloyd D; Bunn, Barry; El-Sayed, Ashraf M; Vander Meer, Robert K

    2010-07-01

    The fire ant, Solenopsis invicta (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), is considered one of the most aggressive and invasive species in the world. Toxic bait systems are used widely for control, but they also affect non-target ant species and cannot be used in sensitive ecosystems such as organic farms and national parks. The fire ant uses recruitment pheromones to organize the retrieval of large food resources back to the colony, with Z,E-alpha-farnesene responsible for the orientation of workers along trails. We prepared Z,E-alpha-farnesene, (91% purity) from extracted E,E-alpha-farnesene and demonstrated disruption of worker trail orientation after presentation of an oversupply of this compound from filter paper point sources (30 microg). Trails were established between queen-right colony cells and food sources in plastic tubs. Trail-following behavior was recorded by overhead webcam, and ants were digitized before and after presentation of the treatment, using two software approaches. The linear regression statistic, r(2) was calculated. Ants initially showed high linear trail integrity (r(2) = 0.75). Within seconds of presentation of the Z,E-alpha-farnesene treatment, the trailing ants showed little or no further evidence of trail following behavior in the vicinity of the pheromone source. These results show that trailing fire ants become disorientated in the presence of large amounts of Z,E-alpha-farnesene. Disrupting fire ant recruitment to resources may have a negative effect on colony size or other effects yet to be determined. This phenomenon was demonstrated recently for the Argentine ant, where trails were disrupted for two weeks by using their formulated trail pheromone, Z-9-hexadecenal. Further research is needed to establish the long term effects and control potential for trail disruption in S. invicta. PMID:20549330

  9. [The effect of chlordecone (Kepone) on the laboratory colonies of the Pharaoh's ant Monomorium pharanois].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berndt, K P; Nitschmann, J

    1976-03-01

    The control of the Pharaoh's ant Monomorium pharaonis is very difficult because of the social way of life in this insect pest. In regard to the reported good suppressing results of Chlordecone we analyzed the mode of action in this compound at laboratory colonies of the pharaoh's ant. Commercial gel and granular formulations as well as selfmade baits have been tested. The best results showed the granular bait on the basis of ground nut butter, while the effects of all of the others was much weaker. The pure gel, developed for cockroach control, was like the application in drinking water without success. The treatment of the colonies after a starvation period of 60 hours improved all of the effects. Sterility (fertility, fecundity) in the surviving queens was not measurable. For practical control measures the often recommended prebaiting is not at all desirable. The action on the worker ants is good, but the special mode of action based on the selective mortality in the queens and its detailed effects are unknown. Through the early absence of queens in the colonies will be induced in many cases a production of new sexuals, which compensate the success of the poison and allow the colonies to recover. The treatment leads faster to an eradiction if the ET90 to workers mortality reached earlier than that in the queens. Successful control of pharaoh's ant will Chlordecone should be considered with reserve. Nethertheless Chlordecone is in the present situation of pharaoh's ant control one of the best so far known organic-synthetically insecticides. PMID:1267219

  10. Selenium exposure results in reduced reproduction in an invasive ant species and altered competitive behavior for a native ant species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De La Riva, Deborah G; Trumble, John T

    2016-06-01

    Competitive ability and numerical dominance are important factors contributing to the ability of invasive ant species to establish and expand their ranges in new habitats. However, few studies have investigated the impact of environmental contamination on competitive behavior in ants as a potential factor influencing dynamics between invasive and native ant species. Here we investigated the widespread contaminant selenium to investigate its potential influence on invasion by the exotic Argentine ant, Linepithema humile, through effects on reproduction and competitive behavior. For the fecundity experiment, treatments were provided to Argentine ant colonies via to sugar water solutions containing one of three concentrations of selenium (0, 5 and 10 μg Se mL(-1)) that fall within the range found in soil and plants growing in contaminated areas. Competition experiments included both the Argentine ant and the native Dorymyrmex bicolor to determine the impact of selenium exposure (0 or 15 μg Se mL(-1)) on exploitation- and interference-competition between ant species. The results of the fecundity experiment revealed that selenium negatively impacted queen survival and brood production of Argentine ants. Viability of the developing brood was also affected in that offspring reached adulthood only in colonies that were not given selenium, whereas those in treated colonies died in their larval stages. Selenium exposure did not alter direct competitive behaviors for either species, but selenium exposure contributed to an increased bait discovery time for D. bicolor. Our results suggest that environmental toxins may not only pose problems for native ant species, but may also serve as a potential obstacle for establishment among exotic species. PMID:27038576

  11. Ant Colonies Do Not Trade-Off Reproduction against Maintenance.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Boris H Kramer

    Full Text Available The question on how individuals allocate resources into maintenance and reproduction is one of the central questions in life history theory. Yet, resource allocation into maintenance on the organismic level can only be measured indirectly. This is different in a social insect colony, a "superorganism" where workers represent the soma and the queen the germ line of the colony. Here, we investigate whether trade-offs exist between maintenance and reproduction on two levels of biological organization, queens and colonies, by following single-queen colonies of the ant Cardiocondyla obscurior throughout the entire lifespan of the queen. Our results show that maintenance and reproduction are positively correlated on the colony level, and we confirm results of an earlier study that found no trade-off on the individual (queen level. We attribute this unexpected outcome to the existence of a positive feedback loop where investment into maintenance (workers increases the rate of resource acquisition under laboratory conditions. Even though food was provided ad libitum, variation in productivity among the colonies suggests that resources can only be utilized and invested into additional maintenance and reproduction by the colony if enough workers are available. The resulting relationship between per-capita and colony productivity in our study fits well with other studies conducted in the field, where decreasing per-capita productivity and the leveling off of colony productivity have been linked to density dependent effects due to competition among colonies. This suggests that the absence of trade-offs in our laboratory study might also be prevalent under natural conditions, leading to a positive association of maintenance, (= growth and reproduction. In this respect, insect colonies resemble indeterminate growing organisms.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tschinkel, Walter R

    2002-01-01

    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 cm(2) in area, a relatively rare chamber size. In natural pine forests, this does not seem to limit the ant's populations. Founding queens contain about 50% fat and lose about half of their dry weight during the claustral period, converting approximately half of this lost weight into progeny. The claustral period is about 40 to 50 days at 27 degrees C. Mature colonies contain several tens of thousands of workers (est. up to 80,000), and have a life expectancy of 10 to 15 years. Each colony occupies an entire tree, and sometimes two trees if they are close together. Within a colony, there is a single queen capable of

  13. Genomic organization and transcription of satellite DNA in the ant Aphaenogaster subterranea (Hymenoptera, Formicidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lorite, P; Renault, S; Rouleux-Bonnin, F; Bigot, S; Periquet, G; Palomeque, T

    2002-08-01

    A satellite DNA family (APSU) was isolated and characterized in the ant Aphaenogaster subterranea. This satellite DNA is organized in tandem repeats of 162 bp and is relatively AT rich (51.9%). Sequence analysis showed a high level of homogeneity between monomers. Loss of satellite DNA has been detected in queens in relation to workers, because the amount of satellite DNA in queens is about 25% of the amount found in workers. Restriction analysis of the total DNA with methylation-sensitive enzymes suggests that this DNA is not methylated. Analysis of the electrophoretic mobility of satellite DNA on non-denaturing polyacrylamide showed that this satellite DNA is only very lightly curved. Their possible transcription was analyzed using reverse transcription and polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). The satellite DNA is transcribed on the two DNA strands at the same level in worker and queen pupae, as well as in worker adults. PMID:12175063

  14. Velvet Ants: Hymenoptera: Mutillidae

    OpenAIRE

    Dellinger, Theresa A.; Day, Eric R.

    2012-01-01

    Describes Velvet Ants, their life cycle, habitats, and discusses control if necessary, although they are generally not regarded as pests. Caution is noted in handling velvet ants, since their stings are very painful.

  15. ACO - Ant Colony Optimization

    OpenAIRE

    Žumer, Viljem; Brest, Janez; Pešl, Ivan

    2015-01-01

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

  16. Nonattacking Queens in a Rectangular Strip

    CERN Document Server

    Chaiken, Seth; Zaslavsky, Thomas; 10.1007/s00026-011-0068-7

    2011-01-01

    The function that counts the number of ways to place nonattacking identical chess or fairy chess pieces in a rectangular strip of fixed height and variable width, as a function of the width, is a piecewise polynomial which is eventually a polynomial and whose behavior can be described in some detail. We deduce this by converting the problem to one of counting lattice points outside an affinographic hyperplane arrangement, which Forge and Zaslavsky solved by means of weighted integral gain graphs. We extend their work by developing both generating functions and a detailed analysis of deletion and contraction for weighted integral gain graphs. For chess pieces we find the asymptotic probability that a random configuration is nonattacking, and we obtain exact counts of nonattacking configurations of small numbers of queens, bishops, knights, and nightriders.

  17. Edge Effects on Community and Social Structure of Northern Temperate Deciduous Forest Ants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Valerie S. Banschbach

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Determining how ant communities are impacted by challenges from habitat fragmentation, such as edge effects, will help us understand how ants may be used as a bioindicator taxon. To assess the impacts of edge effects upon the ant community in a northern temperate deciduous forest, we studied edge and interior sites in Jericho, VT, USA. The edges we focused upon were created by recreational trails. We censused the ants at these sites for two consecutive growing seasons using pitfall traps and litter plot excavations. We also collected nests of the most common ant species at our study sites, Aphaenogaster rudis, for study of colony demography. Significantly greater total numbers of ants and ant nests were found in the edge sites compared to the interior sites but rarefaction analysis showed no significant difference in species richness. Aphaenogaster rudis was the numerically dominant ant in the habitats sampled but had a greater relative abundance in the interior sites than in the edge sites both in pitfall and litter plot data. Queen number of A. rudis significantly differed between the nests collected in the edge versus the interior sites. Habitat-dependent changes in social structure of ants represent another possible indicator of ecosystem health.

  18. The coevolutionary dynamics of obligate ant social parasite systems--between prudence and antagonism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brandt, Miriam; Foitzik, Susanne; Fischer-Blass, Birgit; Heinze, Jürgen

    2005-05-01

    In this synthesis we apply coevolutionary models to the interactions between socially parasitic ants and their hosts. Obligate social parasite systems are ideal models for coevolution, because the close phylogenetic relationship between these parasites and their hosts results in similar evolutionary potentials, thus making mutual adaptations in a stepwise fashion especially likely to occur. The evolutionary dynamics of host-parasite interactions are influenced by a number of parameters, for example the parasite's transmission mode and rate, the genetic structure of host and parasite populations, the antagonists' migration rates, and the degree of mutual specialisation. For the three types of obligate ant social parasites, queen-tolerant and queen-intolerant inquilines and slavemakers, several of these parameters, and thus the evolutionary trajectory, are likely to differ. Because of the fundamental differences in lifestyle between these social parasite systems, coevolution should further select for different traits in the parasites and their hosts. Queen-tolerant inquilines are true parasites that exert a low selection pressure on their host, because of their rarity and the fact that they do not conduct slave raids to replenish their labour force. Due to their high degree of specialisation and the potential for vertical transmission, coevolutionary theory would predict interactions between these workerless parasites and their hosts to become even more benign over time. Queen-intolerant inquilines that kill the host queen during colony take-over are best described as parasitoids, and their reproductive success is limited by the existing worker force of the invaded host nest. These parasites should therefore evolve strategies to best exploit this fixed resource. Slavemaking ants, by contrast, act as parasites only during colony foundation, while their frequent slave raids follow a predator prey dynamic. They often exploit a number of host species at a given site, and

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2009-01-01

    diagnostic power between colonies. The presence of a queen had little influence on nestmate discrimination abilities. Our results suggest that heritable cues of workers are the dominant factor influencing nestmate discrimination in these carpenter ants and highlight the importance of colony kin structure for...... variation in cuticular hydrocarbons, which can include heritable cues from the workers, as well as acquired cues from the environment or queen-derived cues. We tracked the profile of six colonies of the ant Camponotus aethiops for a year under homogeneous laboratory conditions. We performed chemical and...... behavioral analyses. We show that nestmate recognition was not impaired by constant environment, even though cuticular hydrocarbon profiles changed over time and were slightly converging among colonies. Linear hydrocarbons increased over time, especially in queenless colonies, but appeared to have weak...

  20. Wasp who would be queen: A comparative study of two primitively eusocial species

    OpenAIRE

    Deshpande, Sujata A.; Sumana, A; Surbeck, Martin; Gadagkar, Raghavendra

    2006-01-01

    Ropalidia marginata and Ropalidia cyathiformis are two Old World, primitively eusocial, tropical polistine wasps that exhibit perennial, aseasonal, indeterminate nesting cycles. Queens are periodically ousted and replaced by one of the workers, whom we refer to as the potential queen. Here we identify the characters of the potential queens by experimentally removing queens from several colonies of both species. Potential queens in R. marginata are specialized, worker-like individuals, not uni...

  1. Alternative reproductive tactics and their consequences in the ant genus Cardiocondyla

    OpenAIRE

    Schrempf, Alexandra

    2006-01-01

    The ant genus Cardiocondyla is characterised by the occurrence of �workerlike�, ergatoid males that mate inside the nest. In many species of this genus, �normal�, winged males occur in addition, and a dimorphism of wingless and winged males is exhibited. The two male morphs represent alternative reproductive tactics with aggressive territorial males and peaceful disperser males. The latter mate inside the colony and then leave after several days to establish further matings with alien queens....

  2. Ant sperm storage organs do not have phenoloxidase constitutive immune activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dávila, Francisco; Chérasse, Sarah; Boomsma, Jacobus J; Aron, Serge

    2015-07-01

    The prophenoloxidase system (proPO-AS) is a primordial constituent of insect innate immunity. Its broad action spectrum, rapid response time, and cytotoxic by-products induced by phenoloxidase (PO) production contribute to the effective clearing of invading pathogens. However, such immune reactions may not be optimal for insect organs that evolved to have mutualistic interactions with non-self-cells. Ant queens are long-lived, but only mate early in adult life and store the sperm in a specialized organ, the spermatheca. They never re-mate so their life-time reproductive success is ultimately sperm-limited, which maintains strong selection for high sperm viability before and after storage. The proPO-AS may therefore be inappropriate for the selective clearing of sexually transmitted infections, as it might also target sperm cells that cannot be replaced. We measured PO enzymatic activity in the sperm storage organs of three ant species before and after mating. Our data show that no PO is produced in the sperm storage organs, relative to other somatic tissues as controls, and that these negative results are not due to non-detection in small volumes as non-immune-relevant catalase activity in single spermatheca fluid samples of both virgin and mated queens was significant. The lack of PO activity in sperm storage organs across three different ant species may represent an evolutionarily conserved adaptation to life-long sperm storage by ant queens. We expect that PO activity will be similarly suppressed in queen spermathecae of other eusocial Hymenoptera (bees and wasps) and, more generally, of insect females that store sperm for long periods. PMID:25911976

  3. Dispersal and population structure of a New World predator, the army ant Eciton burchellii

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Berghoff, S M; Kronauer, D J C; Edwards, K J;

    2008-01-01

    The army ant Eciton burchellii is probably the most important arthropod predator in the Neotropics, and many animal species depend upon it. Sex-biased dispersal with winged males and permanently wingless queens may render this species especially sensitive to habitat fragmentation and natural...... barriers, which might have severe impacts on population structure and lead to population decline. Using nuclear microsatellite markers and mitochondrial sequences, we investigated genetic differentiation in a fragmented population in the Panama Canal area. While nuclear markers showed little...

  4. Queens become workers: pesticides alter caste differentiation in bees

    Science.gov (United States)

    dos Santos, Charles F.; Acosta, André L.; Dorneles, Andressa L.; dos Santos, Patrick D. S.; Blochtein, Betina

    2016-01-01

    Bees are important for the world biodiversity and economy because they provide key pollination services in forests and crops. However, pesticide use in crops has adversely affected (decreased) queen production because of increased mortality among larvae. Here, we demonstrated that in vitro-reared queens of a neotropical social bee species (Plebeia droryana) also showed high larval mortality after exposure to an organophosphate pesticide (chlorpyrifos) via larval food. Moreover, most of the surviving larvae that were destined to develop into queens became workers more likely because they ate less food than expected without pesticide skewing thus caste differentiation in this bee species. This adverse effect has not been previously reported for any other social insects, such as honeybees or bumblebees. Queens are essential for breeding and colony growth. Therefore, if our data are applicable to other pantropical social bee species across the globe, it is likely that these bees are at a serious risk of failure to form new colonies. PMID:27530246

  5. Queens become workers: pesticides alter caste differentiation in bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dos Santos, Charles F; Acosta, André L; Dorneles, Andressa L; Dos Santos, Patrick D S; Blochtein, Betina

    2016-01-01

    Bees are important for the world biodiversity and economy because they provide key pollination services in forests and crops. However, pesticide use in crops has adversely affected (decreased) queen production because of increased mortality among larvae. Here, we demonstrated that in vitro-reared queens of a neotropical social bee species (Plebeia droryana) also showed high larval mortality after exposure to an organophosphate pesticide (chlorpyrifos) via larval food. Moreover, most of the surviving larvae that were destined to develop into queens became workers more likely because they ate less food than expected without pesticide skewing thus caste differentiation in this bee species. This adverse effect has not been previously reported for any other social insects, such as honeybees or bumblebees. Queens are essential for breeding and colony growth. Therefore, if our data are applicable to other pantropical social bee species across the globe, it is likely that these bees are at a serious risk of failure to form new colonies. PMID:27530246

  6. Recovery of Queen Conch in the U. S. Virgin Islands

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The queen conch is an important cultural component and an extremely valuable coral reef fishery resource throughout the Caribbean, historically second only to the...

  7. Viruses associated with ovarian degeneration in Apis mellifera L. queens.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laurent Gauthier

    Full Text Available Queen fecundity is a critical issue for the health of honeybee (Apis mellifera L. colonies, as she is the only reproductive female in the colony and responsible for the constant renewal of the worker bee population. Any factor affecting the queen's fecundity will stagnate colony development, increasing its susceptibility to opportunistic pathogens. We discovered a pathology affecting the ovaries, characterized by a yellow discoloration concentrated in the apex of the ovaries resulting from degenerative lesions in the follicles. In extreme cases, marked by intense discoloration, the majority of the ovarioles were affected and these cases were universally associated with egg-laying deficiencies in the queens. Microscopic examination of the degenerated follicles showed extensive paracrystal lattices of 30 nm icosahedral viral particles. A cDNA library from degenerated ovaries contained a high frequency of deformed wing virus (DWV and Varroa destructor virus 1 (VDV-1 sequences, two common and closely related honeybee Iflaviruses. These could also be identified by in situ hybridization in various parts of the ovary. A large-scale survey for 10 distinct honeybee viruses showed that DWV and VDV-1 were by far the most prevalent honeybee viruses in queen populations, with distinctly higher prevalence in mated queens (100% and 67%, respectively for DWV and VDV-1 than in virgin queens (37% and 0%, respectively. Since very high viral titres could be recorded in the ovaries and abdomens of both functional and deficient queens, no significant correlation could be made between viral titre and ovarian degeneration or egg-laying deficiency among the wider population of queens. Although our data suggest that DWV and VDV-1 have a role in extreme cases of ovarian degeneration, infection of the ovaries by these viruses does not necessarily result in ovarian degeneration, even at high titres, and additional factors are likely to be involved in this pathology.

  8. Asexual queen succession in the higher termite Embiratermes neotenicus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fougeyrollas, Romain; Dolejšová, Klára; Sillam-Dussès, David; Roy, Virginie; Poteaux, Chantal; Hanus, Robert; Roisin, Yves

    2015-01-01

    Asexual queen succession (AQS), in which workers, soldiers and dispersing reproductives are produced sexually while numerous non-dispersing queens arise through thelytokous parthenogenesis, has recently been described in three species of lower termites of the genus Reticulitermes. Here, we show that AQS is not an oddity restricted to a single genus of lower termites, but a more widespread strategy occurring also in the most advanced termite group, the higher termites (Termitidae). We analysed the genetic structure in 10 colonies of the Neotropical higher termite Embiratermes neotenicus (Syntermitinae) using five newly developed polymorphic microsatellite loci. The colonies contained one primary king accompanied either by a single primary queen or by up to almost 200 neotenic queens. While the workers, the soldiers and most future dispersing reproductives were produced sexually, the non-dispersing neotenic queens originated through thelytokous parthenogenesis of the founding primary queen. Surprisingly, the mode of thelytoky observed in E. neotenicus is most probably automixis with central fusion, contrasting with the automixis with terminal fusion documented in Reticulitermes. The occurrence of AQS based on different mechanisms of ploidy restoration raises the hypothesis of an independent evolutionary origin of this unique reproductive strategy in individual lineages of lower and higher termites. PMID:26019158

  9. Unequal subfamily proportions among honey bee queen and worker brood

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tilley; Oldroyd

    1997-12-01

    Queens from three colonies of feral honey bees, Apis mellifera were removed and placed in separate nucleus colonies. For each colony, eggs and larvae were taken from the nucleus and placed in the main hive on each of 3-4 consecutive weeks. Workers in the queenless parts selected young larvae to rear as queens. Queen pupae, together with the surrounding worker pupae, were removed from each colony and analysed at two to three microsatellite loci to determine their paternity. In all three colonies, the paternity of larvae chosen by the bees to rear as queens was not a random sample of the paternities in the worker brood, with certain subfamilies being over-represented in queens. These results support an important prediction of kin selection theory: when colonies are queenless, unequal relatedness within colonies could lead to the evolution of reproductive competition, that is some subfamilies achieving greater reproductive success than others. The mechanism by which such dominance is achieved could be through a system of kin recognition and nepotism, but we conclude that genetically based differential attractiveness of larvae for rearing as queens is more likely.Copyright 1997 The Association for the Study of Animal BehaviourCopyright 1997The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour. PMID:9521799

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greenfield, Gary; Machado, Penousal

    2015-01-01

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

  11. Area-wide suppression of invasive fire ant populations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  12. Ant Colony Optimization

    OpenAIRE

    Zahálka, Jaroslav

    2007-01-01

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

  13. Survey of the Health Status of Some Honey Bee Queens in Italy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Porporato Marco

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available While observing: non-acceptance, frequent replacements, and reduced performance in honey bee (Apis mellifera ligustica queens, we were induced to analyse a certain number of queens to detect the causes. For this purpose, 99 newly mated queens were bought from 20 Italian queen breeders. In addition, 109 older or at-the-end-of-their-career queens, that showed poor productivity, were collected from honey production hives throughout Italy. All the queens were dissected to check the status of their reproductive system and/or the presence of various anomalies and diseases.

  14. 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.

  15. Presence of Nosema ceranae associated with honeybee queen introductions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muñoz, Irene; Cepero, Almudena; Pinto, Maria Alice; Martín-Hernández, Raquel; Higes, Mariano; De la Rúa, Pilar

    2014-04-01

    Microsporidiosis caused by Nosema species is one of the factors threatening the health of the honeybee (Apis mellifera), which is an essential element in agriculture mainly due to its pollination function. The dispersion of this pathogen may be influenced by many factors, including various aspects of beekeeping management such as introduction of queens with different origin. Herein we study the relation of the presence and distribution of Nosema spp. and the replacement of queens in honeybee populations settled on the Atlantic Canary Islands. While Nosema apis has not been detected, an increase of the presence and distribution of Nosema ceranae during the last decade has been observed in parallel with a higher frequency of foreign queens. On the other hand, a reduction of the number of N. ceranae positive colonies was observed on those islands with continued replacement of queens. We suggest that such replacement could help maintaining low rates of Nosema infection, but healthy queens native to these islands should be used in order to conserve local honeybee diversity. PMID:24568841

  16. The role of queens in colonies of the swarm-founding wasp Parachartergus colobopterus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herman; Queller; Strassmann

    2000-04-01

    Social insect queens reproduce while workers generally do not. Queens may also have other behavioural roles in the colony. In small, independent-founding colonies of social wasps, the dominant queen physically enforces her interests over those of the workers and serves as a pacemaker of the colony, stimulating workers to forage and engage in other tasks. By contrast, in large-colony, swarm-founding wasps, the collective interests of the workers are fulfilled in sex allocation and production of males, whether or not they coincide with the interests of the queens. The behavioural role of the queens in such species has not been extensively studied. We investigated the role of the queens both in regulating worker activity and in reducing the numbers of reproductively active queens in the swarm-founding epiponine wasp Parachartergus colobopterus. We found no evidence that queens regulate worker activity, as they were rarely involved in any interactions. Worker activity may be self-organized, without centralized active control by anyone. Furthermore, we found no evidence that the reduction in queen number characteristic of this tribe of wasps occurs in response to aggression among queens. The reduction in queen number may be a result of worker treatment of queens, although worker discrimination against some queens was not obvious in our data. i Copyright 2000 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour. PMID:10792939

  17. Ant Ballet: Phase I

    OpenAIRE

    Ollie Palmer

    2014-01-01

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

  18. Quantifying Quantumness and the Quest for Queens of Quantum

    CERN Document Server

    Giraud, Olivier; Braun, Daniel

    2010-01-01

    We introduce a measure of ''quantumness'' for any quantum state in a finite dimensional Hilbert space, based on the distance between the state and the convex set of classical states. The latter are defined as states that can be written as a convex sum of projectors onto coherent states. We derive general properties of this measure of non-classicality, and use it to identify for a given dimension of Hilbert space what are the "Queen of Quantum" states, i.e. the most non-classical quantum states. In three dimensions we obtain the Queen of Quantum state analytically and show that it is unique up to rotations. In up to 11-dimensional Hilbert spaces, we find the Queen of Quantum states numerically, and show that in terms of their Majorana representation they are highly symmetric bodies, which for dimensions 5 and 7 correspond to Platonic bodies.

  19. Testing the adjustable threshold model for intruder recognition on Myrmica ants in the context of a social parasite

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fürst, Matthias Alois; Durey, Maëlle; Nash, David Richard

    2012-01-01

    Social insect colonies are like fortresses, well protected and rich in shared stored resources. This makes them ideal targets for exploitation by predators, parasites and competitors. Colonies of Myrmica rubra ants are sometimes exploited by the parasitic butterfly Maculinea alcon. Maculinea alcon...... gains access to the ants' nests by mimicking their cuticular hydrocarbon recognition cues, which allows the parasites to blend in with their host ants. Myrmica rubra may be particularly susceptible to exploitation in this fashion as it has large, polydomous colonies with many queens and a very viscous...... population structure. We studied the mutual aggressive behaviour of My. rubra colonies based on predictions for recognition effectiveness. Three hypotheses were tested: first, that aggression increases with distance (geographical, genetic and chemical); second, that the more queens present in a colony and...

  20. Characteristics of Honey Bee (Apis Mellifera Carnica, Pollman 1879 Queens Reared in Slovenian Commercial Breeding Stations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gregorc Aleš

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available In this three-year-trial study, we examined the quality of mated queens based on morphological and physiology traits. At each location, sister queen bees were reared each year from one Apis mellifera carnica breeder queen. Queens were also reared and mated in different locations. Altogether, we sampled and analysed 324 queens from 27 apiaries in 2006, 288 queens from 24 apiaries in 2008, and 276 queens from 23 apiaries in 2010. Nine queens from each apiary were sampled and dissected for morphological analyses and Nosema ceranae (N. ceranae spores, if present, were quantified. Three queens from each apiary were prepared and tested for four viruses: acute bee paralysis virus (ABPV, black queen cell virus (BQCV, deformed wing virus (DWV, and sacbrood virus (SBV. The highest average queen weight of 209.49 ± 9.82 mg was detected in 2008. The highest average ovary weight of 78.67 ± 11.86 mg was detected in 2010, and the highest number of ovarioles was 161.59 ± 8.70 in 2006. The average number of spermatozoa in queens ranged from 3.30 x 106 in 2006 to 5.23 x 106 in 2010. Nosema ceranae spores were found in queens sampled in 2008 and 2010. Viruses were discovered sporadically during the queen testing periods from 2006 - 2010. This study importantly demonstrates that queens from rearing stations require regular evaluation for morphological and physiological changes as well as for infection from harmful pathogens. These results could also be used in establishing relevant commercial standards for rearing quality queens.

  1. Effects of a juvenile hormone analogue pyriproxyfen on monogynous and polygynous colonies of the Pharaoh ant Monomorium pharaonis (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tay, J W; Lee, C Y

    2015-09-01

    To evaluate the effects of the juvenile hormone analogue pyriproxyfen on colonies of the Pharaoh ant Monomorium pharaonis (L.), peanut oil containing different concentrations (0.3, 0.6, or 0.9%) of pyriproxyfen was fed to monogynous (1 queen, 500 workers, and 0.1 g of brood) and polygynous (8 queens, 50 workers, and 0.1 g of brood) laboratory colonies of M. pharaonis. Due to its delayed activity, pyriproxyfen at all concentrations resulted in colony elimination. Significant reductions in brood volume were recorded at weeks 3 - 6, and complete brood mortality was observed at week 8 in all treated colonies. Brood mortality was attributed to the disruption of brood development and cessation of egg production by queens. All polygynous colonies exhibited significant reduction in the number of queens present at week 10 compared to week 1. Number of workers was significantly lower in all treated colonies compared to control colonies at week 8 due to old-age attrition of the workers without replacement. At least 98.67 ± 1.33% of workers were dead at week 10 in all treated colonies. Thus, treatment with slow acting pyriproxyfen at concentrations of 0.3 - 0.9% is an effective strategy for eliminating Pharaoh ant colonies. PMID:26695205

  2. Gender-bias primes elicit queen-bee responses among senior Policewomen

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Derks, B.; Laar, C. van; Ellemers, N.; Groot, K. de

    2011-01-01

    Queen bees are senior women in male-dominated organizations who have achieved success by emphasizing how they differ from other women. Although the behavior of queen bees tends to be seen as contributing to gender disparities in career outcomes, we argue that queen-bee behavior is actually a result

  3. The effects of pesticides on queen rearing and virus titers in honey bees (Apis mellifera L.)

    Science.gov (United States)

    The effects of sublethal pesticide exposure on queen emergence and virus titers were examined. Queen rearing colonies were fed pollen with chlorpyrifos (CPF) alone (pollen-1) and with CPF and the fungicide Pristine® (pollen-2). Fewer queens emerged when larvae from open foraging (i.e., outside) colo...

  4. Deformed wing virus can be transmitted during natural mating in honey bees and infect the queens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amiri, Esmaeil; Meixner, Marina D; Kryger, Per

    2016-01-01

    Deformed wing virus is an important contributor to honey bee colony losses. Frequently queen failure is reported as a cause for colony loss. Here we examine whether sexual transmission during multiple matings of queens is a possible way of virus infection in queens. In an environment with high prevalence of deformed wing virus, queens (n = 30) were trapped upon their return from natural mating flights. The last drone's endophallus (n = 29), if present, was removed from the mated queens for deformed wing virus quantification, leading to the detection of high-level infection in 3 endophalli. After oviposition, viral quantification revealed that seven of the 30 queens had high-level deformed wing virus infections, in all tissues, including the semen stored in the spermathecae. Two groups of either unmated queens (n = 8) with induced egg laying, or queens (n = 12) mated in isolation with drones showing comparatively low deformed wing virus infections served as control. None of the control queens exhibited high-level viral infections. Our results demonstrate that deformed wing virus infected drones are competitive to mate and able to transmit the virus along with semen, which occasionally leads to queen infections. Virus transmission to queens during mating may be common and can contribute noticeably to queen failure. PMID:27608961

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liebig Jürgen

    2010-10-01

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

  6. ACOustic: A Nature-Inspired Exploration Indicator for Ant Colony Optimization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sagban, Rafid; Ku-Mahamud, Ku Ruhana; Abu Bakar, Muhamad Shahbani

    2015-01-01

    A statistical machine learning indicator, ACOustic, is proposed to evaluate the exploration behavior in the iterations of ant colony optimization algorithms. This idea is inspired by the behavior of some parasites in their mimicry to the queens' acoustics of their ant hosts. The parasites' reaction results from their ability to indicate the state of penetration. The proposed indicator solves the problem of robustness that results from the difference of magnitudes in the distance's matrix, especially when combinatorial optimization problems with rugged fitness landscape are applied. The performance of the proposed indicator is evaluated against the existing indicators in six variants of ant colony optimization algorithms. Instances for travelling salesman problem and quadratic assignment problem are used in the experimental evaluation. The analytical results showed that the proposed indicator is more informative and more robust. PMID:25954768

  7. Clonal structure affects the assembling behavior in the Japanese queenless ant Pristomyrmex punctatus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nishide, Yudai; Satoh, Toshiyuki; Hiraoka, Tuyosi; Obara, Yoshiaki; Iwabuchi, Kikuo

    2007-10-01

    The queenless ant Pristomyrmex punctatus (Hymenoptera: Myrmicinae) has a unique society that differs from those of other typical ants. This species does not have a queen, and the workers lay eggs and produce their clones parthenogenetically. However, a colony of these ants does not always comprise members derived from a single clonal line. In this study, we examined whether P. punctatus changes its “assembling behavior” based on colony genetic structure. We prepared two subcolonies—a larger one comprising 200 individuals and a smaller one comprising 100 individuals; these subcolonies were established from a single stock colony. We investigated whether these subcolonies assemble into a single nest. The genetically monomorphic subcolonies (single clonal line) always fused into a single nest; however, the genetically polymorphic subcolonies (multiple clonal lines) did not tend to form a single colony. The present study is the first to demonstrate that the colony genetic structure significantly affects social viscosity in social insects.

  8. Genetic clusters and sex-biased gene flow in a unicolonial Formica ant

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chapuisat Michel

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Animal societies are diverse, ranging from small family-based groups to extraordinarily large social networks in which many unrelated individuals interact. At the extreme of this continuum, some ant species form unicolonial populations in which workers and queens can move among multiple interconnected nests without eliciting aggression. Although unicoloniality has been mostly studied in invasive ants, it also occurs in some native non-invasive species. Unicoloniality is commonly associated with very high queen number, which may result in levels of relatedness among nestmates being so low as to raise the question of the maintenance of altruism by kin selection in such systems. However, the actual relatedness among cooperating individuals critically depends on effective dispersal and the ensuing pattern of genetic structuring. In order to better understand the evolution of unicoloniality in native non-invasive ants, we investigated the fine-scale population genetic structure and gene flow in three unicolonial populations of the wood ant F. paralugubris. Results The analysis of geo-referenced microsatellite genotypes and mitochondrial haplotypes revealed the presence of cryptic clusters of genetically-differentiated nests in the three populations of F. paralugubris. Because of this spatial genetic heterogeneity, members of the same clusters were moderately but significantly related. The comparison of nuclear (microsatellite and mitochondrial differentiation indicated that effective gene flow was male-biased in all populations. Conclusion The three unicolonial populations exhibited male-biased and mostly local gene flow. The high number of queens per nest, exchanges among neighbouring nests and restricted long-distance gene flow resulted in large clusters of genetically similar nests. The positive relatedness among clustermates suggests that kin selection may still contribute to the maintenance of altruism in unicolonial

  9. Egg-laying "intermorphs" in the ant Crematogaster smithi neither affect sexual production nor male parentage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oettler, Jan; Dijkstra, Michiel B; Heinze, Jürgen

    2013-01-01

    We study male parentage and between-colony variation in sex allocation and sexual production in the desert ant Crematogaster smithi, which usually has only one singly-mated queen per nest. Colonies of this species are known to temporarily store nutrients in the large fat body of intermorphs, a specialized female caste intermediate in morphology between queens and workers. Intermorphs repackage at least part of this fat into consumable but viable male-destined eggs. If these eggs sometimes develop instead of being eaten, intermorphs will be reproductive competitors of the queen but--due to relatedness asymmetries--allies of their sister worker. Using genetic markers we found a considerable proportion of non-queen sons in some, but not all, colonies. Even though intermorphs produce ∼1.7× more eggs than workers, their share in the parentage of adult males is estimated to be negligible due to their small number compared to workers. Furthermore, neither colony-level sex allocation nor overall sexual production was correlated with intermorph occurrence or number. We conclude that intermorph-laid eggs typically do not survive and that the storage of nutrients and their redistribution as eggs by intermorphs is effectively altruistic. PMID:24130699

  10. Aggressions and size-related fecundity of queenless workers in the ant Cataglyphis cursor

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clémencet, Johanna; Rome, Quentin; Fédérici, Pierre; Doums, Claudie

    2008-02-01

    In social hymenoptera, the reproductive division of labor is often linked to differences in individual body size with the reproductive caste (the queen) being larger than the workers. Likewise, the reproductive potential may vary with size within the worker caste and could affect the evolution of worker size in social insects. Here, we tested the relationship between worker size and reproductive potential in the facultative parthenogenetic ant Cataglyphis cursor. Colonies are headed by a multiply mated queen, but workers can produce gynes (virgin queens) and workers by thelytokous parthenogenesis after the queen’s death. We observed the behaviour of workers ( n = 357) until the production of gynes (212 h over 3 months) in an orphaned colony (mated queen not present). The size of workers was measured, and their paternal lineage determined using six microsatellite markers, to control for an effect of patriline. Larger workers were more likely to reproduce and lay more eggs indicating that individual level selection could take place. However, paternal lineage had no effect on the reproductive potential and worker size. From the behavioural and genetic data, we also show for the first time in this species, evidence of aggressive interactions among workers and a potential for nepotism to occur in orphaned colonies, as the five gynes produced belonged to a single paternal lineage.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2006-01-01

    demonstrated that variation in division of labour and pathogen resistance has a genetic component and that genotypic diversity among workers may thus give colonies of this leaf-cutting ant a functional advantage. The present result is therefore consistent with the hypothesis that complex social life can select...... tested in other social insects. Here, we present a linkage map and an estimate of the recombination rate for Acromyrmex echinatior, a leaf-cutting ant that resembles the honeybee in having multiple mating of queens and colonies of approximately the same size. A map of 145 AFLP markers in 22 linkage...

  12. The influence of social structure on brood survival and development in a socially polymorphic ant: insights from a cross-fostering experiment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Purcell, Jessica; Chapuisat, M

    2012-11-01

    Animal societies vary in the number of breeders per group, which affects many socially and ecologically relevant traits. In several social insect species, including our study species Formica selysi, the presence of either one or multiple reproducing females per colony is generally associated with differences in a suite of traits such as the body size of individuals. However, the proximate mechanisms and ontogenetic processes generating such differences between social structures are poorly known. Here, we cross-fostered eggs originating from single-queen (= monogynous) or multiple-queen (= polygynous) colonies into experimental groups of workers from each social structure to investigate whether differences in offspring survival, development time and body size are shaped by the genotype and/or prefoster maternal effects present in the eggs, or by the social origin of the rearing workers. Eggs produced by polygynous queens were more likely to survive to adulthood than eggs from monogynous queens, regardless of the social origin of the rearing workers. However, brood from monogynous queens grew faster than brood from polygynous queens. The social origin of the rearing workers influenced the probability of brood survival, with workers from monogynous colonies rearing more brood to adulthood than workers from polygynous colonies. The social origin of eggs or rearing workers had no significant effect on the head size of the resulting workers in our standardized laboratory conditions. Overall, the social backgrounds of the parents and of the rearing workers appear to shape distinct survival and developmental traits of ant brood. PMID:22998635

  13. Standard methods for rearing and selection of Apis mellifera queens

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Büchler, Ralph; Andonov, Sreten; Bienefeld, Kaspar;

    2013-01-01

    Here we cover a wide range of methods currently in use and recommended in modern queen rearing, selection and breeding. The recommendations are meant to equally serve as standards for both scientific and practical beekeeping purposes. The basic conditions and different management techniques for q...

  14. Artificial diets for juvenile queen conch: Studies examine algae content

    Science.gov (United States)

    Researchers at Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute at Florida Atlantic University found juvenile queen conch fed diets containing added macroalgae had higher survival than a control given catfish feed only, but saw no significant difference in overall growth rates among the treatments. In a secon...

  15. Queens Tri-School Confederation, 1991-92 Evaluation Report.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hannah, Susan; Dworkowitz, Barbara

    An evaluation was done of the Queens Tri-School Confederation, three high schools in the New York City Public Schools funded by a federal grant from the Magnet Schools Assistance Program. The grant provided Hillcrest, Jamaica, and Thomas A. Edison High Schools with funds to develop or expand emergency technician programs at Hillcrest; a law…

  16. 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...

  17. The Cocktail ant count

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    A better understanding of Cocktail ant populations (Crematogaster) is engendered by the use of 32P labelling to measure the population density of the colonies, once the biology of the species is known

  18. Ant traffic rules.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-07-15

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

  19. Interaction and behavior of virgin and physogastric queens in three Meliponini species (Hymenoptera, Apidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nogueira-Ferreira, F H; Silva-Matos, E V; Zucchi, R

    2009-01-01

    We studied the behavior of virgin queens of the stingless bee species Schwarziana quadripunctata, Paratrigona lineata and Tetragona clavipes, investigating internal nest activities, including the cell provisioning and oviposition process. We made direct observation of queen behavior, with the aid of video filming. Forty-four virgin queens of S. quadripunctata were observed; one was larger and more attractive than the others. Miniature queens were more abundant than normal-size queens; both were found in prison chambers. Agonistic behavior between virgin and physogastric queens of P. lineata was observed during attempts at queen supersedure. After the disappearance of the physogastric queen and the appearance of a virgin queen in T. clavipes nests, the brood cells were sealed with pollen alone, but no egg. In all three species, the presence of one or more virgin queens appeared to make the colonies nervous, even though constant production of virgin queens is vital to the survival of the colony and is part of the colony cycle in these bees. PMID:19554769

  20. Does the queen win it all? Queen-worker conflict over male production in the bumblebee, Bombus terrestris

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alaux, Cédric; Savarit, Fabrice; Jaisson, Pierre; Hefetz, Abraham

    Social insects provide a useful model for studying the evolutionary balance between cooperation and conflict linked to genetic structure. We investigated the outcome of this conflict in the bumblebee, Bombus terrestris, whose annual colony life cycle is characterized by overt competition over male production. We established artificial colonies composed of a queen and unrelated workers by daily exchange of callow workers between colony pairs of distinct genetic make-up. Using microsatellite analysis, this procedure allowed an exact calculation of the proportion of worker-derived males. The development and social behavior of these artificial colonies were similar to those of normal colonies. Despite a high worker reproduction attempt (63.8% of workers had developed ovaries and 38.4% were egg-layers), we found that on average 95% of the males produced during the competition phase (CPh) were queen-derived. However, in four colonies, queen death resulted in a considerable amount of worker-derived male production. The different putative ultimate causes of this efficient control by the queen are discussed, and we suggest a possible scenario of an evolutionary arms race that may occur between these two female castes.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2003-06-01

    To elucidate the evolution of one of the most species-rich ant-plant symbiotic systems, the association between Crematogaster (Myrmicinae) and Macaranga (Euphorbiaceae) in South-East Asia, we conducted a phylogenetic analysis of the ant partners. For the phylogenetic analysis partial mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase I and II were sequenced and Maximum Parsimony analysis was performed. The analyzed Crematogaster of the subgenus Decacrema fell into three distinct clades which are also characterized by specific morphological and ecological traits (queen morphology, host-plants, and colony structure). Our results supported the validity of our currently used morphospecies concept for Peninsula Malaysia. However, on a wider geographic range (including North and North-East Borneo) some morphospecies turned out to be species complexes with genetically quite distinct taxa. Our phylogenetic analysis and host association studies do not indicate strict cocladogenesis between the subgenus Decacrema and their Macaranga host-plants because multiple ant taxa occur on quite distinct host-plants belonging to different clades within in the genus Macaranga. These results support the view that host-shifting or host-expansion is common in the ants colonizing Macaranga. Additionally, the considerable geographic substructuring found in the phylogenetic trees of the ants suggests that allopatric speciation has also played a role in the diversification and the current distribution of the Decacrema ants. PMID:12742749

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dijkstra, Michiel Bendert; Boomsma, Jacobus Jan

    2006-01-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. Location and external characteristics of the Oecophylla smaragdina queen nest

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Itterbeeck, Van J.; Sivongxay, N.; Praxaysombath, B.; Huis, van A.

    2015-01-01

    The Asian weaver ant Oecophylla smaragdina is of importance to Southeast Asian livelihoods as a source of human food and animal feed and as biological control agent in tree crops including mango and citrus. The introduction of weaver ants in plantations requires the inclusion of the reproductive que

  5. Alate susceptibility in ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ho, Eddie K H; Frederickson, Megan E

    2014-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  7. Effects of juvenile hormone analogs on new reproductives and colony growth of Pharaoh ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lim, S P; Lee, C Y

    2005-12-01

    Two juvenile hormone analogs (JHAs), pyriproxyfen and S-methoprene, were impregnated into dried tuna fish and fed to colonies of Monomorium pharaonis (L.) at very low concentrations (1.0, 2.0, 3.0, 4.0, and 5.0 microg/ml). Its effects on the production of sexuals and colonial growth were observed. Colonies treated with pyriproxyfen yielded sexuals with physical abnormalities. Both female and male sexuals developed bulbous wings, decreased melanization, and died shortly after emergence. Sexuals emerged from colonies treated with S-methoprene did not possess anomalous characteristics. Both pyriproxyfen and S-methoprene did not have significant effects on colonial growth because of the low concentrations of the baits. A commercial bait containing 0.3% S-methoprene (Bioprene-BM) also was evaluated for its efficacy on Pharaoh's ant colonies. Results showed that Pharaoh's ant colonies succumbed to the lethal effects of S-methoprene. Colony members were reduced significantly. Production of queens also decreased significantly in treated colonies and treated queens were unable to lay eggs. JHAs are slow acting and eliminate ant colonies at a relatively slow rate. At low concentrations, pyriproxyfen recorded baffling results, i.e., bulbous wings and demelanized exoskeleton, and it is vital that further studies are initiated to solidify these findings. PMID:16539147

  8. The Effects of Pesticides on Queen Rearing and Virus Titers in Honey Bees (Apis mellifera L.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gloria DeGrandi-Hoffman

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The effects of sublethal pesticide exposure on queen emergence and virus titers were examined. Queen rearing colonies were fed pollen with chlorpyrifos (CPF alone (pollen-1 and with CPF and the fungicide Pristine® (pollen-2. Fewer queens emerged when larvae from open foraging (i.e., outside colonies were reared in colonies fed pollen-1 or 2 compared with when those larvae were reared in outside colonies. Larvae grafted from and reared in colonies fed pollen-2 had lower rates of queen emergence than pollen-1 or outside colonies. Deformed wing virus (DWV and black queen cell virus were found in nurse bees from colonies fed pollen-1 or 2 and in outside colonies. The viruses also were detected in queen larvae. However, we did not detect virus in emerged queens grafted from and reared in outside colonies. In contrast, DWV was found in all emerged queens grafted from colonies fed pollen-1 or 2 either reared in outside hives or those fed pollen-1 or 2. The results suggest that sublethal exposure of CPF alone but especially when Pristine® is added reduces queen emergence possibly due to compromised immunity in developing queens.

  9. The Ants Go Marching Millions by Millions: Invasive Ant Research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Invasive ants are a worldwide problem that is expanding both geographically and in intensity. Population explosions of invasive ants can overrun landscapes and inundate structures. Pest management professionals are often the first responders to complaints about invading ants. This session will fo...

  10. Dynamic Red Queen explains patterns in fatal insurgent attacks

    CERN Document Server

    Johnson, Neil; Botner, Joel; Fontaine, Kyle; Laxague, Nathan; Nuetzel, Philip; Turnley, Jessica; Tivnan, Brian

    2011-01-01

    The Red Queen's notion "It takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place" has been applied within evolutionary biology, politics and economics. We find that a generalized version in which an adaptive Red Queen (e.g. insurgency) sporadically edges ahead of a Blue King (e.g. military), explains the progress curves for fatal insurgent attacks against the coalition military within individual provinces in Afghanistan and Iraq. Remarkably regular mathematical relations emerge which suggest a prediction formula for the timing of the n'th future fatal day, and provide a common framework for understanding how insurgents fight in different regions. Our findings are consistent with a Darwinian selection hypothesis which favors a weak species which can adapt rapidly, and establish an unexpected conceptual connection to the physics of quasi-random walks.

  11. Genetic royal cheats in leaf-cutting ant societies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hughes, William O H; Boomsma, Jacobus J

    2008-01-01

    Social groups are vulnerable to cheating because the reproductive interests of group members are rarely identical. All cooperative systems are therefore predicted to involve a mix of cooperative and cheating genotypes, with the frequency of the latter being constrained by the suppressive abilities...... by becoming queens whereas their nestmates will generally maximize fitness by forcing larvae to become workers. However, evolutionary constraints are thought to prevent cheating by removing genetic variation in caste propensity. Here, we show that one-fifth of leaf-cutting ant patrilines cheat their...... theory predicts, these "royal" genotypes are rare both in the population and within individual colonies. The rarity of royal cheats is best explained as an evolutionary strategy to avoid suppression by cooperative genotypes, the efficiency of which is frequency-dependent. The results demonstrate that...

  12. The red queen reigns in the kingdom of RNA viruses.

    OpenAIRE

    Clarke, D. K.; Duarte, E A; Elena, S F; Moya, A.; Domingo, E; Holland, J

    1994-01-01

    Two clonal populations of vesicular stomatitis virus of approximately equal relative fitness were mixed together and allowed to compete during many transfers in vitro as large virus populations. Eventually, one or the other population suddenly excluded its competitor population, yet both the winners and losers exhibited absolute gains in fitness. Our results agree with the predictions of two major theories of classical population biology; the Competitive Exclusion Principle and the Red Queen'...

  13. Questionnaire-based survey of parturition in the queen.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Musters, J; de Gier, J; Kooistra, H S; Okkens, A C

    2011-06-01

    The lack of scientific data concerning whether parturition in the queen proceeds normally or not may prevent veterinarians and cat owners from recognizing parturition problems in time. A questionnaire-based study of parturition in 197 queens was performed to determine several parameters of parturition and their influence on its progress. The mean length of gestation was 65.3 days (range 57 to 72 days) and it decreased with increasing litter size (P = 0.02). The median litter size was 4.5 kittens (range 1 to 9), with more males (53%) than females (46%) (P = 0.05). Sixty-nine percent of the kittens were born in anterior presentation and 31% in posterior presentation, indicating that either can be considered normal in the cat. Males were born in posterior position (34%) more often than females (26%) (P = 0.03). The mean birth weight was 98 g (range of 35 to 167 g) and decreased with increasing litter size (P < 0.01). Mean birth weight was higher in males and kittens born in posterior presentation (P < 0.01). Forty-four (5%) of the 887 kittens were stillborn. This was not correlated with the presentation at expulsion but stillborn kittens were more often female (P = 0.02) and weighed less than those born alive (P = 0.04). The median interkitten time was 30 min (range 2 to 343 min) and 95% were born within 100 min after expulsion of the preceding kitten. The interkitten time as a measure of the progress of parturition was not influenced by the kitten's gender, presentation at expulsion, birth weight, or stillbirth, or by the parity of the queen. The results of this study can be used to develop reference values for parturition parameters in the queen, both to determine whether a given parturition is abnormal and as the basis for a parturition protocol. PMID:21295830

  14. Host plant use by competing acacia-ants: mutualists monopolize while parasites share hosts.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefanie Kautz

    Full Text Available Protective ant-plant mutualisms that are exploited by non-defending parasitic ants represent prominent model systems for ecology and evolutionary biology. The mutualist Pseudomyrmex ferrugineus is an obligate plant-ant and fully depends on acacias for nesting space and food. The parasite Pseudomyrmex gracilis facultatively nests on acacias and uses host-derived food rewards but also external food sources. Integrative analyses of genetic microsatellite data, cuticular hydrocarbons and behavioral assays showed that an individual acacia might be inhabited by the workers of several P. gracilis queens, whereas one P. ferrugineus colony monopolizes one or more host trees. Despite these differences in social organization, neither of the species exhibited aggressive behavior among conspecific workers sharing a tree regardless of their relatedness. This lack of aggression corresponds to the high similarity of cuticular hydrocarbon profiles among ants living on the same tree. Host sharing by unrelated colonies, or the presence of several queens in a single colony are discussed as strategies by which parasite colonies could achieve the observed social organization. We argue that in ecological terms, the non-aggressive behavior of non-sibling P. gracilis workers--regardless of the route to achieve this social structure--enables this species to efficiently occupy and exploit a host plant. By contrast, single large and long-lived colonies of the mutualist P. ferrugineus monopolize individual host plants and defend them aggressively against invaders from other trees. Our findings highlight the necessity for using several methods in combination to fully understand how differing life history strategies affect social organization in ants.

  15. Thelytokous parthenogenesis in the fungus-gardening ant Mycocepurus smithii (Hymenoptera: Formicidae.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christian Rabeling

    Full Text Available The general prevalence of sexual reproduction over asexual reproduction among organisms testifies to the evolutionary benefits of recombination, such as accelerated adaptation to changing environments and elimination of deleterious mutations. Documented instances of asexual reproduction in groups otherwise dominated by sexual reproduction challenge evolutionary biologists to understand the special circumstances that might confer an advantage to asexual reproductive strategies. Here we report one such instance of asexual reproduction in the ants. We present evidence for obligate thelytoky in the asexual fungus-gardening ant, Mycocepurus smithii, in which queens produce female offspring from unfertilized eggs, workers are sterile, and males appear to be completely absent. Obligate thelytoky is implicated by reproductive physiology of queens, lack of males, absence of mating behavior, and natural history observations. An obligate thelytoky hypothesis is further supported by the absence of evidence indicating sexual reproduction or genetic recombination across the species' extensive distribution range (Mexico-Argentina. Potential conflicting evidence for sexual reproduction in this species derives from three Mycocepurus males reported in the literature, previously regarded as possible males of M. smithii. However, we show here that these specimens represent males of the congeneric species M. obsoletus, and not males of M. smithii. Mycocepurus smithii is unique among ants and among eusocial Hymenoptera, in that males seem to be completely absent and only queens (and not workers produce diploid offspring via thelytoky. Because colonies consisting only of females can be propagated consecutively in the laboratory, M. smithii could be an adequate study organism a to test hypotheses of the population-genetic advantages and disadvantages of asexual reproduction in a social organism and b inform kin conflict theory.For a Portuguese translation of the

  16. 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

  17. How much variation can one ant species hold? Species delimitation in the Crematogaster kelleri-group in Madagascar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blaimer, Bonnie B; Fisher, Brian L

    2013-01-01

    We investigated the species-level taxonomy of the Malagasy Crematogaster (Crematogaster) kelleri-group and an additional more distantly related species of the same subgenus. Morphological data from worker, queen and male ants, as well as genetic data from three nuclear genes (long wavelength rhodopsin, arginine kinase and carbomoylphosphate synthase) and one mitochondrial marker (cytochrome oxidase I) led to the recognition of six species. Within the C. kelleri-group, three new species are described: C. hazolava Blaimer sp. n., C. hafahafa Blaimer sp. n. and C. tavaratra Blaimer sp. n. The previously described taxa C. kelleri Forel and C. madagascariensis André are validated by our analysis. Conversely, our data suggests synonymy of C. adrepens Forel (with C. kelleri) and C. gibba Emery (with C. madagascariensis). A more distantly related and phylogenetically isolated species, C. tsisitsilo Blaimer sp. n., is further described. We report high levels of morphological and molecular variation in C. kelleri and illustrate that this variation can be explained partly by geography. Species descriptions, images, distribution maps and identification keys based on worker ants, as well as on queen and male ants where available, are presented for all six species. Our work highlights the elevated species richness of Crematogaster ants throughout Madagascar's humid forests, especially in the far northern tip of the island, and the need to use multiple data sources to ensure clear demarcation of this diversity. PMID:23874503

  18. Depression of brain dopamine and its metabolite after mating in European honeybee (Apis mellifera) queens

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harano, Ken-Ichi; Sasaki, Ken; Nagao, Takashi

    2005-07-01

    To explore neuro-endocrinal changes in the brain of European honeybee (Apis mellifera) queens before and after mating, we measured the amount of several biogenic amines, including dopamine and its metabolite in the brain of 6- and 12-day-old virgins and 12-day-old mated queens. Twelve-day-old mated queens showed significantly lower amounts of dopamine and its metabolite (N-acetyldopamine) than both 6- and 12-day-old virgin queens, whereas significant differences in the amounts of these amines were not detected between 6- and 12-day-old virgin queens. These results are explained by down-regulation of both synthesis and secretion of brain dopamine after mating. It is speculated that higher amounts of brain dopamine in virgin queens might be involved in activation of ovarian follicles arrested in previtellogenic stages, as well as regulation of their characteristic behaviors.

  19. ANT i arbejdslivsforskningen

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    2012-01-01

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

  20. Tiny, Powerful, Awesome Ants!

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tate, Kathleen

    2007-01-01

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

  1. Morphometric identification of queens, workers, intermediates in in vitro reared honey bees (Apis mellifera)

    OpenAIRE

    De Souza, Daiana A.; Ying Wang; Osman Kaftanoglu; David De Jong; Amdam, Gro V.; Lionel S. Gonçalves; Francoy, Tiago M.

    2015-01-01

    In vitro rearing is an important and useful tool for honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) studies. However, it often results in intercastes between queens and workers, which are normally are not seen in hive-reared bees, except when larvae older than three days are grafted for queen rearing. Morphological classification (queen versus worker or intercastes) of bees produced by this method can be subjective and generally depends on size differences. Here, we propose an alternative method for caste cla...

  2. Ropalidia marginata – a primitively eusocial wasp society headed by behaviourally non-dominant queens

    OpenAIRE

    Sumana, A; Gadagkar, Raghavendra

    2003-01-01

    Ropalidia marginata is a primitively eusocial polistine wasp widely distributed in peninsular India. As in most other primitively eusocial insects studied so far, colonies are headed by a single queen who monopolizes reproduction while the remaining female wasps in the colony function as sterile workers. Unlike in other species however, R. marginata queens are strikingly docile individuals who show little or no physical dominance. When such a behaviourally docile queen is removed from a colon...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F. Barbero

    2012-01-01

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

  4. 76 FR 2438 - Culturally Significant Objects Imported for Exhibition Determinations: “Kings, Queens, and...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-01-13

    ... Early Renaissance France'' SUMMARY: Notice is hereby given of the following determinations: Pursuant to... the exhibition ``Kings, Queens, and Courtiers: Art in Early Renaissance France'' imported from...

  5. A honey bee odorant receptor for the queen substance 9-oxo-2-decenoic acid

    OpenAIRE

    Kevin W Wanner; Nichols, Andrew S.; Walden, Kimberly K. O.; Brockmann, Axel; Luetje, Charles W.; Robertson, Hugh M

    2007-01-01

    By using a functional genomics approach, we have identified a honey bee [Apis mellifera (Am)] odorant receptor (Or) for the queen substance 9-oxo-2-decenoic acid (9-ODA). Honey bees live in large eusocial colonies in which a single queen is responsible for reproduction, several thousand sterile female worker bees complete a myriad of tasks to maintain the colony, and several hundred male drones exist only to mate. The “queen substance” [also termed the queen retinue pheromone (QRP)] is an eig...

  6. Colony Failure Linked to Low Sperm Viability in Honey Bee (Apis mellifera) Queens and an Exploration of Potential Causative Factors

    OpenAIRE

    Pettis, Jeffery S.; Rice, Nathan; Joselow, Katie; vanEngelsdorp, Dennis; Chaimanee, Veeranan

    2016-01-01

    Queen health is closely linked to colony performance in honey bees as a single queen is normally responsible for all egg laying and brood production within the colony. In the U. S. in recent years, queens have been failing at a high rate; with 50% or greater of queens replaced in colonies within 6 months when historically a queen might live one to two years. This high rate of queen failure coincides with the high mortality rates of colonies in the US, some years with >50% of colonies dying. I...

  7. The genome of the leaf-cutting ant Acromyrmex echinatior suggests key adaptations to advanced social life and fungus farming

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nygaard, Sanne; Zhang, Guojie; Schiøtt, Morten; Li, Cai; Wurm, Yannick; Hu, Haofu; Zhou, Jiajian; Ji, Lu; Qiu, Feng; Rasmussen, Morten; Pan, Hailin; Hauser, Frank; Krogh, Anders; Grimmelikhuijzen, Cornelis J P; Wang, Jun; Boomsma, Jacobus J

    2011-01-01

    . The third is sex determination, where we could identify only a single homolog of the feminizer gene. As other ants and the honeybee have duplications of this gene, we hypothesize that this may partly explain the frequent production of diploid male larvae in A. echinatior. The fourth is the evolution...... agricultural food production 50 million years ago, and the transition from single to multiple queen mating 10 million years ago....

  8. Egg-Laying “Intermorphs” in the Ant Crematogaster smithi neither Affect Sexual Production nor Male Parentage

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oettler, Jan; Dijkstra, Michiel B.; Heinze, Jürgen

    2013-01-01

    We study male parentage and between-colony variation in sex allocation and sexual production in the desert ant Crematogaster smithi, which usually has only one singly-mated queen per nest. Colonies of this species are known to temporarily store nutrients in the large fat body of intermorphs, a specialized female caste intermediate in morphology between queens and workers. Intermorphs repackage at least part of this fat into consumable but viable male-destined eggs. If these eggs sometimes develop instead of being eaten, intermorphs will be reproductive competitors of the queen but—due to relatedness asymmetries—allies of their sister worker. Using genetic markers we found a considerable proportion of non-queen sons in some, but not all, colonies. Even though intermorphs produce ∼1.7× more eggs than workers, their share in the parentage of adult males is estimated to be negligible due to their small number compared to workers. Furthermore, neither colony-level sex allocation nor overall sexual production was correlated with intermorph occurrence or number. We conclude that intermorph-laid eggs typically do not survive and that the storage of nutrients and their redistribution as eggs by intermorphs is effectively altruistic. PMID:24130699

  9. Evolution of a soldier caste specialized to lay unfertilized eggs in the ant genus Crematogaster (subgenus Orthocrema).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peeters, Christian; Lin, Chung-Chi; Quinet, Yves; Martins Segundo, Glauco; Billen, Johan

    2013-05-01

    Among social Hymenoptera, only some ant genera have more than one morphological kind of non-reproductive adults. Individuals that are bigger than ordinary workers can function for defence and/or food storage. In Crematogaster (Orthocrema) smithi from Arizona, a third caste exists in addition to winged queens and workers; it is intermediate in size, weight and morphology, and individuals lay many unfertilized eggs that are mostly eaten by larvae (Heinze et al., 1995, 1999). We studied another three species belonging to the subgenus Orthocrema: Crematogaster pygmaea from Brazil, Crematogaster biroi and Crematogaster schimmeri from Taiwan. Using scanning electron microscopy and ovarian dissections, we show that 'intermediates' are a patchwork of queen-like and worker-like traits, just as in C. smithi; importantly the combinations differ across species. 'Intermediates' are numerically few in the colonies, and in C. pygmaea they are produced seasonally. Using histology we confirmed the lack of a spermatheca, thus they are not ergatoid queens. Based on the similarity of their mosaic phenotypes with those in other ant lineages, we suggest that Orthocrema 'intermediates' are a soldier caste with a specialized trophic function. This soldier caste has been reported in other Orthocrema species from Madagascar, Guinea and Costa Rica, suggesting that it is widespread in this subgenus. PMID:23459016

  10. Ant Colony Optimization: A Review and Comparison

    OpenAIRE

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

    2014-01-01

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

  11. Sham nepotism as a result of intrinsic differences in brood viability in ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holzer, Barbara; Kümmerli, Rolf; Keller, Laurent; Chapuisat, Michel

    2006-08-22

    In animal societies, cooperation for the common wealth and latent conflicts due to the selfish interests of individuals are in delicate balance. In many ant species, colonies contain multiple breeders and workers interact with nestmates of varying degrees of relatedness. Therefore, workers could increase their inclusive fitness by preferentially caring for their closest relatives, yet evidence for nepotism in insect societies remains scarce and controversial. We experimentally demonstrate that workers of the ant Formica exsecta do not discriminate between highly related and unrelated brood, but that brood viability differs between queens. We further show that differences in brood viability are sufficient to explain a relatedness pattern that has previously been interpreted as evidence for nepotism. Hence, our findings support the view that nepotism remains elusive in social insects and emphasize the need for further controlled experiments. PMID:16846912

  12. Antártida

    OpenAIRE

    Ricardo Felicio

    2007-01-01

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

  13. SENSORY CHARACTERISTICS OF NATIVE CHICKEN QUEEN PINEAPPLE-CURED HAM

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dr. Lilibeth A. Roxas

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The potential of Native Chicken to be processed into palatable ham was conducted making use of Queen Pineapple (QP crude extract as one of the curing ingredients. Primarily, the main goal is to develop a protocol in the manufacture of processed native chicken ham and determine the organoleptic quality of native chicken ham product. The age of the bird and maturity of the fruit were considered for the best organoleptic quality of chicken ham. In this study, the combine injection and dry cure (CIDC method of the conventional formula was adopted. The desired amount of QP crude extract was first determined for the pump pickle. Curing salt was used for the control while different volume of pineapple crude extract was used in two treatments. The protocols for processing native chicken were developed using slaughter native chicken, and QP crude extract as curing ingredient for ham making. Color, flavor, juiciness and tenderness were among the desirable characteristics considered in this study. The sensory evaluation by trained panelists on QP-cured ham samples demonstrated comparable results. All the cooked meat samples were apparently acceptable to the sensory panel. The mean scores for flavor, juiciness and tenderness of meat samples have slight differences; however, they are not statistically significant. Indeed, native chicken can be processed into palatable ham with queen pineapple (Formosa variety extract that served as curing ingredient, flavor enhancer and tenderizer. Native Chicken QP-Cured ham is a commendable value-added product for both native chicken and queen pineapple by-products (butterball size.

  14. 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.

  15. Alate susceptibility in ants

    OpenAIRE

    Ho, Eddie K H; Frederickson, Megan E

    2014-01-01

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

  16. Tradition and Imitation in Spenser’s The Faerie Queene

    OpenAIRE

    Jonathan Griffin

    2013-01-01

    The purpose of this paper is to discuss Spenser’s use of imitation as a literary device in his allegorical epic poem The Faerie Queene, originally published in 1590. The paper begins with a synopsis of Spenser’s general intent behind the poem, as well as his use of the theoretical models of literary excellence proposed by his contemporary Sir Phillip Sidney. The paper then follows Spenser’s reinterpretation of Ariosto, his treatment of Virgil and Ovid, and chronicles his attempts to parody th...

  17. Improving competitiveness of Daisy.Queen Beauty Salon

    OpenAIRE

    Li, Yan

    2012-01-01

    The purpose of this thesis was to conduct a case study through some surveys and recommendations. The aim of the study was to find competitor‟s advantages, then it could provide recommendations and ways to Daisy.Queen beauty salon to be more attractive and competitive. The theoretical part of thesis include the importance of service, the seven P‟s of service marketing, the importance of service marketing in beauty industry. The seven P‟s of service marketing was analyzed and supported to th...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Barke Jörg

    2010-08-01

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

  19. Dynamics of sperm transfer in the ant Leptothorax gredleri

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oppelt, Angelika; Heinze, Jürgen

    2007-09-01

    Mating tactics differ remarkably between and within species of social Hymenoptera (bees, wasps, ants) concerning, e.g., mating frequencies, sperm competition, and the degree of male sperm limitation. Although social Hymenoptera might, therefore, potentially be ideal model systems for testing sexual selection theory, the dynamics of mating and sperm transfer have rarely been studied in species other than social bees, and basic information needed to draw conclusions about possible sperm competition and female choice is lacking. We investigated sperm transfer in the ant Leptothorax gredleri, a species in which female sexuals attract males by “female calling.” The analysis of 38 female sexuals fixed immediately or up to 7 days after copulation with a single male each revealed that the sperm is transferred into the female bursa copulatrix embedded in a gelatinous mass, presumably a spermatophore. Sperm cells rapidly start to migrate from the tip of the spermatophore towards the spermatheca, but transfer is drastically slowed down by an extreme constriction of the spermathecal duct, through which sperm cells have to pass virtually one by one. This results in the spermatheca being filled only between one and several hours after mating. During this time, the posterior part of the spermatophore seals the junction between bursa copulatrix and spermathecal duct and prevents sperm loss. The prolonged duration of sperm transfer might allow female sexuals to chose between ejaculates and explain previously reported patterns of single paternity of the offspring of multiply mated queens.

  20. Are queen Bombus terrestris giant workers or are workers dwarf queens? Solving the 'chicken and egg' problem in a bumblebee species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cnaani, Jonathan; Hefetz, Abraham

    2001-01-01

    In the social bee, Bombus terrestris, the two castes differ in size and physiology, but not in any other morphological and anatomical aspects. The size differences between the castes are the result of longer instar duration in prospective queen larvae. It appears that queen larvae are programmed to have a higher molting weight at the end of the 2nd, 3rd and 4th instars. Calculation of the growth ratio, the ratio between the logarithm of molting weight at two successive instars, revealed that queen larvae have a linear growth ratio over the entire larval development as predicted by Dyar's rule. In the worker larvae, in contrast, linearity of the growth ratio breaks after the second instar, resulting in larval molting at lower weights than expected by Dyar's rule. We therefore suggest that workers' development is abnormally shortened, either by parental manipulation or by adopting a different growth plan in response to the queen's signal.

  1. Artificial Ant Species on Solving Optimization Problems

    OpenAIRE

    Pintea, Camelia-M.

    2013-01-01

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

  2. Mechanics of fire ant aggregations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tennenbaum, Michael; Liu, Zhongyang; Hu, David; Fernandez-Nieves, Alberto

    2016-01-01

    Fire ants link their bodies to form aggregations; these can adopt a variety of structures, they can drip and spread, or withstand applied loads. Here, by using oscillatory rheology, we show that fire ant aggregations are viscoelastic. We find that, at the lowest ant densities probed and in the linear regime, the elastic and viscous moduli are essentially identical over the spanned frequency range, which highlights the absence of a dominant mode of structural relaxation. As ant density increases, the elastic modulus rises, which we interpret by alluding to ant crowding and subsequent jamming. When deformed beyond the linear regime, the aggregation flows, exhibiting shear-thinning behaviour with a stress load that is comparable to the maximum load the aggregation can withstand before individual ants are torn apart. Our findings illustrate the rich, collective mechanical behaviour that can arise in aggregations of active, interacting building blocks.

  3. Political Attention in a Coalition System: Analysing Queen's Speeches in the Netherlands 1945–2007

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Breeman, G.E.; Lowery, D.; Poppelaars, C.; Resodihardjo, S.; Timmermans, A.; Vries, de J.

    2009-01-01

    At the beginning of each Parliamentary session, the Dutch Queen gives a speech (Troonrede) in which she presents the government's policy goals and legislative agenda for the year to come. The general assumption is that newly elected governments will use agenda-setting moments such as the Queen's spe

  4. Potential increase in mating frequency of queens in feral colonies of Bombus terrestris introduced into Japan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Inoue, Maki N.; Saito, Fuki; Tsuchida, Koji; Goka, Koichi

    2012-10-01

    With the exception of several species, bumblebees are monandrous. We examined mating frequency in feral colonies of the introduced bumblebee Bombus terrestris in Japan . Using microsatellite markers, genotyping of sperm DNA stored in the spermatheca of nine queens detected multiple insemination paternities in one queen; the others were singly mated. The average effective paternity frequency estimated from the genotypes of queens and workers was 1.23; that estimated from the workers' genotype alone was 2.12. These values were greater than those of laboratory-reared colonies in the native ranges of B. terrestris. The genotypes of one or two workers did not match those of their queens or showed paternities different from those of their nestmates; this may have arisen from either queen takeover or drifting of workers. These alien workers were responsible for the heterogeneous genotype distribution within each B. terrestris colony, resulting in higher estimates of paternity frequency than of insemination frequency. The high mating frequency of introduced B. terrestris may have occurred by artificial selection through mass breeding for commercialization. Moreover, polyandrous queens may be selectively advantageous, because reproduction by such queens is less likely to be disturbed by interspecific mating than that by monandrous queens.

  5. Queen's researchers make the grade: University boasts two of three finalists for million-dollar grant

    CERN Multimedia

    Armstrong, F E

    2003-01-01

    Two Queen's University researchers are among three Canadian finalists in a contest to win $1 million. Art McDonald, director of the Queen's-run Sudbury Neutrino Observatory Institute, and John Smol, Canada Research Chair in Environmental Change, have been nominated for the Gerhard Herzberg Canada Gold Medal for Science and Engineering (1 page).

  6. The exocrine glands of swarming females and physogastric queens of Cornitermes cumulans (Kollar (Isoptera, Termitidae, Nasutitermitinae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana Cristina Ignatti

    2001-12-01

    Full Text Available The histological study of the exocrine glands in the swarming females showed the presence of tergal glands, mandibular glands, salivary glands and sternal glands. Tergal and sternal glands are not developed in the physogastric queens, probably, because of a regression process. The development of mandibular glands is similar in swarming females and physogastric queens.

  7. Chronic Bee Paralysis Virus in Honeybee Queens: Evaluating Susceptibility and Infection Routes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Esmaeil Amiri

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Chronic bee paralysis virus (CBPV is known as a disease of worker honey bees. To investigate pathogenesis of the CBPV on the queen, the sole reproductive individual in a colony, we conducted experiments regarding the susceptibility of queens to CBPV. Results from susceptibility experiment showed a similar disease progress in the queens compared to worker bees after infection. Infected queens exhibit symptoms by Day 6 post infection and virus levels reach 1011 copies per head. In a transmission experiment we showed that social interactions may affect the disease progression. Queens with forced contact to symptomatic worker bees acquired an overt infection with up to 1011 virus copies per head in six days. In contrast, queens in contact with symptomatic worker bees, but with a chance to receive food from healthy bees outside the cage appeared healthy. The virus loads did not exceed 107 in the majority of these queens after nine days. Symptomatic worker bees may transmit sufficient active CBPV particles to the queen through trophallaxis, to cause an overt infection.

  8. The Queen Bee Phenomenon: Why Women Leaders Distance Themselves from Junior Women

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Derks, B.; Van Laar, C.; Ellemers, Naomi

    2016-01-01

    This contribution reviews work on the Queen Bee phenomenon whereby women leaders assimilate into masculine organizations, distance themselves from junior women and legitimize gender inequality in their organization. We propose that rather than being a source of gender inequality, the Queen Bee pheno

  9. Further travels with my ant

    OpenAIRE

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

    1995-01-01

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

  10. Chemically armed mercenary ants protect fungus-farming societies

    OpenAIRE

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

    2013-01-01

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

  11. Fire ant microsporidia acquired by parasitoid flies of fire ants

    Science.gov (United States)

    The microsporidium Kneallhazia (formerly Thelohania) solenopsae and parasitoid flies in the genus Pseudacteon are natural enemies of the invasive fire ant, Solenopsis invicta. Pseudacteon flies oviposit into adult fire ants, where maggots that eclose from eggs migrate to the ants’ head, pupate, and...

  12. Successful transmission of Solenopsis invicta virus 3 to Solenopsis invicta fire ant colonies in oil, sugar, and cricket bait formulations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valles, Steven M; Porter, Sanford D; Choi, Man-Yeon; Oi, David H

    2013-07-01

    Tests were conducted to evaluate whether Solenopsis invicta virus 3 (SINV-3) could be delivered in various bait formulations to fire ant colonies and measure the corresponding colony health changes associated with virus infection in Solenopsis invicta. Three bait formulations (10% sugar solution, cricket paste, and soybean oil adsorbed to defatted corn grit) effectively transmitted SINV-3 infections to S. invicta colonies. Correspondingly, viral infection was shown to be detrimental to colony health and productivity. By day 32, all ant colonies exposed to a single 24h pulse treatment of SINV-3 became infected with the virus regardless of the bait formulation. However, the SINV-3 sugar and cricket bait-treated colonies became infected more rapidly than the oil-treated colonies. Sugar and cricket-treated colonies exhibited significant declines in their brood ratings compared with the untreated control and oil bait-treated colonies. Measures of colony health and productivity evaluated at the end of the study (day 47) showed a number of differences among the bait treatments and the control group. Statistically significant and similar patterns were exhibited among treatments for the quantity of live workers (lower), live brood (lower), total colony weight (lower), worker mortality (higher), proportion larvae (lower), and queen weight (lower). Significant changes were also observed in the number of eggs laid by queens (lower) and the corresponding ovary rating in SINV-3-treated colonies. The study provides the first successful demonstration of SINV-3 as a potential biopesticide against fire ants. PMID:23602901

  13. Ex Ante Allusions

    OpenAIRE

    Holt, Jason

    2015-01-01

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

  14. Army Ants as Research and Collection Tools

    OpenAIRE

    Smith, Adrian A.; Haight, Kevin L.

    2008-01-01

    Ants that fall prey to the raids of army ants commonly respond by evacuating their nests. This documented behavior has been underexploited by researchers as an efficient research tool. This study focuses on the evacuation response of the southwestern desert ant Aphaenogaster cockerelli André (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) to the army ant Newamyrmex nigrescens Cresson. It is shown that army ants can be used to collect mature colonies of ants. The applicability of this tool to ecologically meaningfu...

  15. Temperature: Human Regulating, Ants Conforming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clopton, Joe R.

    2007-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-10-01

    The antennae are a critically important component of the ant's highly elaborated chemical communication systems. However, our understanding of the organization of the sensory systems on the antennae of ants, from peripheral receptors to central and output systems, is poorly understood. Consequently, we have used scanning electron and confocal laser microscopy to create virtually complete maps of the structure, numbers of sensory neurons, and distribution patterns of all types of external sensilla on the antennal flagellum of all types of colony members of the carpenter ant Camponotus japonicus. Based on the outer cuticular structures, the sensilla have been classified into seven types: coelocapitular, coeloconic, ampullaceal, basiconic, trichoid-I, trichoid-II, and chaetic sensilla. Retrograde staining of antennal nerves has enabled us to count the number of sensory neurons housed in the different types of sensilla: three in a coelocapitular sensillum, three in a coeloconic sensillum, one in an ampullaceal sensillum, over 130 in a basiconic sensillum, 50-60 in a trichoid-I sensillum, and 8-9 in a trichoid-II sensillum. The basiconic sensilla, which are cuticular hydrocarbon-receptive in the ant, are present in workers and unmated queens but absent in males. Coelocapitular sensilla (putatively hygro- and thermoreceptive) have been newly identified in this study. Coelocapitular, coeloconic, and ampullaceal sensilla form clusters and show biased distributions on flagellar segments of antennae in all colony members. The total numbers of sensilla per flagellum are about 9000 in unmated queens, 7500 in workers, and 6000 in males. This is the first report presenting comprehensive sensillar maps of antennae in ants. PMID:19763622

  17. 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 of th...... 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...... 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-08-15

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

  19. A conserved class of queen pheromones? Re-evaluating the evidence in bumblebees (Bombus impatiens).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amsalem, Etya; Orlova, Margarita; Grozinger, Christina M

    2015-10-22

    The regulation of reproductive division of labour is a key component in the evolution of social insects. Chemical signals are important mechanisms to regulate worker reproduction, either as queen-produced pheromones that coercively inhibit worker reproduction or as queen signals that honestly advertise her fecundity. A recent study suggested that a conserved class of hydrocarbons serve as queen pheromones across three independent origins of eusociality. In bumblebees (Bombus terrestris), pentacosane (C25) was suggested to serve as a queen pheromone. Here, we repeat these studies using a different species of bumblebee (Bombus impatiens) with a more controlled experimental design. Instead of dequeened colonies, we used same-aged, three-worker queenless groups comprising either experienced or naive workers (with/without adult exposure to queen pheromone). We quantified three hydrocarbons (C23, C25 and C27) on the cuticular surfaces of females and tested their effects on the two worker types. Our results indicate differences in responses of naive and experienced workers, genetic effects on worker reproduction, and general effects of hydrocarbons and duration of egg laying on ovary resorption rates. However, we found no evidence to support the theory that a conserved class of hydrocarbons serve as queen pheromones or queen signals in Bombus impatiens. PMID:26490791

  20. Differential antennal proteome comparison of adult honeybee drone, worker and queen (Apis mellifera L.).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fang, Yu; Song, Feifei; Zhang, Lan; Aleku, Dereje Woltedji; Han, Bin; Feng, Mao; Li, Jianke

    2012-01-01

    To understand the olfactory mechanism of honeybee antennae in detecting specific volatile compounds in the atmosphere, antennal proteome differences of drone, worker and queen were compared using 2-DE, mass spectrometry and bioinformatics. Therefore, 107 proteins were altered their expressions in the antennae of drone, worker and queen bees. There were 54, 21 and 32 up-regulated proteins in the antennae of drone, worker and queen, respectively. Proteins upregulated in the drone antennae were involved in fatty acid metabolism, antioxidation, carbohydrate metabolism and energy production, protein folding and cytoskeleton. Proteins upregulated in the antennae of worker and queen bees were related to carbohydrate metabolism and energy production while molecular transporters were upregulated in the queen antennae. Our results explain the role played by the antennae of drone is to aid in perceiving the queen sexual pheromones, in the worker antennae to assist for food search and social communication and in the queen antennae to help pheromone communication with the worker and the drone during the mating flight. This first proteomic study significantly extends our understanding of honeybee olfactory activities and the possible mechanisms played by the antennae in response to various environmental, social, biological and biochemical signals. PMID:21982827

  1. The recipe: the queen of pragmatics. An Italian case study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leopoldina FORTUNATI

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available The purpose of this study is to investigate the communicative status and the daily practices of use of the recipe in the broader context of cooking and eating inside the home. My thesis is that the recipe should be regarded as the queen of pragmatics of communication, as recipes are to be found in homes all over the world. I draw on two different research projects: the first study reports upon semi-structured interviews with 137 respondents living in the North East of Italy. The second study presents and discusses the most important categories of meaning that emerged from a content analysis of 398 messages posted on the online cooking forum of the site of Donna Moderna [Modern Woman], the most widely read women’s weekly magazine in Italy.

  2. Tradition and Imitation in Spenser’s The Faerie Queene

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonathan Griffin

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available The purpose of this paper is to discuss Spenser’s use of imitation as a literary device in his allegorical epic poem The Faerie Queene, originally published in 1590. The paper begins with a synopsis of Spenser’s general intent behind the poem, as well as his use of the theoretical models of literary excellence proposed by his contemporary Sir Phillip Sidney. The paper then follows Spenser’s reinterpretation of Ariosto, his treatment of Virgil and Ovid, and chronicles his attempts to parody these imperious influences to create an epic that would give synthesis to the poetic tradition to which he belonged with his religious ethic and fervent nationalism, while paying tribute to his monarch, Elizabeth I.

  3. Suspended sediment dynamics in Queen Inlet, Glacier Bay, Alaska

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hoskin, C.M.; Burrell, D.C.; Freitag, G.R.

    1976-01-01

    Suspended sediment input from the major melt-water stream of Carroll Glacier was measured to be 111 x 10/sup 6/ g/hr (dry wt). In the water column of Queen Inlet this sediment formed a surface plume and discrete turbid layers with suspended sediment loads exceeding 500 mg/l. Rate of sediment accumulation near the inlet floor head was measured by sediment trap to be 5 mg/cm/sup 2//hr (dry wt) in late June, and 70 mg/cm/sup 2//hr in late September. Average rate of accumulation for trapped sediment was 1.8 mm wet sediment/hr, equivalent to about 2.6 m/melt-water year. Diversity and abundance of the macrobenthos increased from one species, one individual (total blotted wet wt .003 g) at the head to ten species, seventy-six individuals (total blotted wet wt 1.216 g) 8 km away at the fjord mouth.

  4. New insights into honey bee (Apis mellifera pheromone communication. Is the queen mandibular pheromone alone in colony regulation?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Plettner Erika

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background In social insects, the queen is essential to the functioning and homeostasis of the colony. This influence has been demonstrated to be mediated through pheromone communication. However, the only social insect for which any queen pheromone has been identified is the honey bee (Apis mellifera with its well-known queen mandibular pheromone (QMP. Although pleiotropic effects on colony regulation are accredited to the QMP, this pheromone does not trigger the full behavioral and physiological response observed in the presence of the queen, suggesting the presence of additional compounds. We tested the hypothesis of a pheromone redundancy in honey bee queens by comparing the influence of queens with and without mandibular glands on worker behavior and physiology. Results Demandibulated queens had no detectable (E-9-oxodec-2-enoic acid (9-ODA, the major compound in QMP, yet they controlled worker behavior (cell construction and queen retinue and physiology (ovary inhibition as efficiently as intact queens. Conclusions We demonstrated that the queen uses other pheromones as powerful as QMP to control the colony. It follows that queens appear to have multiple active compounds with similar functions in the colony (pheromone redundancy. Our findings support two hypotheses in the biology of social insects: (1 that multiple semiochemicals with synonymous meaning exist in the honey bee, (2 that this extensive semiochemical vocabulary exists because it confers an evolutionary advantage to the colony.

  5. Development of the honey bee gut microbiome throughout the queen-rearing process.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tarpy, David R; Mattila, Heather R; Newton, Irene L G

    2015-05-01

    The European honey bee (Apis mellifera) is used extensively to produce hive products and for crop pollination, but pervasive concerns about colony health and population decline have sparked an interest in the microbial communities that are associated with these important insects. Currently, only the microbiome of workers has been characterized, while little to nothing is known about the bacterial communities that are associated with queens, even though their health and proper function are central to colony productivity. Here, we provide a large-scale analysis of the gut microbiome of honey bee queens during their developmental trajectory and through the multiple colonies that host them as part of modern queen-rearing practices. We found that queen microbiomes underwent a dramatic shift in size and composition as they aged and encountered different worker populations and colony environments. Queen microbiomes were dominated by enteric bacteria in early life but were comprised primarily of alphaproteobacteria at maturity. Furthermore, queen gut microbiomes did not reflect those of the workers who tended them and, indeed, they lacked many of the bacteria that are considered vital to workers. While worker gut microbiotas were consistent across the unrelated colony populations sampled, the microbiotas of the related queens were highly variable. Bacterial communities in mature queen guts were similar in size to those of mature workers and were characterized by dominant and specific alphaproteobacterial strains known to be associated with worker hypopharyngeal glands. Our results suggest a model in which queen guts are colonized by bacteria from workers' glands, in contrast to routes of maternal inoculation for other animal microbiomes. PMID:25724964

  6. Gene expression differences in relation to age and social environment in queen and worker bumble bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lockett, Gabrielle A; Almond, Edward J; Huggins, Timothy J; Parker, Joel D; Bourke, Andrew F G

    2016-05-01

    Eusocial insects provide special insights into the genetic pathways influencing aging because of their long-lived queens and flexible aging schedules. Using qRT-PCR in the primitively eusocial bumble bee Bombus terrestris (Linnaeus), we investigated expression levels of four candidate genes associated with taxonomically widespread age-related pathways (coenzyme Q biosynthesis protein 7, COQ7; DNA methyltransferase 3, Dnmt3; foraging, for; and vitellogenin, vg). In Experiment 1, we tested how expression changes with queen relative age and productivity. We found a significant age-related increase in COQ7 expression in queen ovary. In brain, all four genes showed higher expression with increasing female (queen plus worker) production, with this relationship strengthening as queen age increased, suggesting a link with the positive association of fecundity and longevity found in eusocial insect queens. In Experiment 2, we tested effects of relative age and social environment (worker removal) in foundress queens and effects of age and reproductive status in workers. In this experiment, workerless queens showed significantly higher for expression in brain, as predicted if downregulation of for is associated with the cessation of foraging by foundress queens following worker emergence. Workers showed a significant age-related increase in Dnmt3 expression in fat body, suggesting a novel association between aging and methylation in B. terrestris. Ovary activation was associated with significantly higher vg expression in fat body and, in younger workers, in brain, consistent with vitellogenin's ancestral role in regulating egg production. Overall, our findings reveal a mixture of novel and conserved features in age-related genetic pathways under primitive eusociality. PMID:26883339

  7. A STRATEGIC ANALYSIS FOR A MULTI-UNIT DAIRY QUEEN OPERATION IN CANADA

    OpenAIRE

    Mah, Tracy D.

    2009-01-01

    This paper is a strategic analysis for ABC Holdings, a family run multi-unit Dairy Queen in a small Northern Canadian city. An industry analysis of the fast food industry in Canada is conducted as well as an in-depth examination of International Dairy Queen. An external analysis in the form of Porter?s Five Forces are utilized to determine the key success factors to identify the threats and opportunities available to the Dairy Queen. An internal analysis of the DQ using the Diamond-E Framewor...

  8. Ants for Document Clustering

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Priya Vaijayanthi

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available The usage of computers for mass storage has become mandatory nowadays due to World Wide Web (WWW. This has placed many challenges to the Information Retrieval (IR system. Clustering of documents available improves the efficiency of IR system. The problem of clustering has become a combinatorial optimization problem in IR system due to the exponential growth in information over WWW. In this paper, a hybrid algorithm that combines the basic Ant Colony Optimization with Tabu search has been proposed. The feasibility of the proposed algorithm is tested over a few standard benchmark datasets. The experimental results reveal that the proposed algorithm yields promising quality clusters compared to other ones produced by K-means algorithm.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-02-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  11. Epidemiology of a Daphnia-multiparasite system and its implications for the red queen.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stuart K J R Auld

    Full Text Available The Red Queen hypothesis can explain the maintenance of host and parasite diversity. However, the Red Queen requires genetic specificity for infection risk (i.e., that infection depends on the exact combination of host and parasite genotypes and strongly virulent effects of infection on host fitness. A European crustacean (Daphnia magna--bacterium (Pasteuria ramosa system typifies such specificity and high virulence. We studied the North American host Daphnia dentifera and its natural parasite Pasteuria ramosa, and also found strong genetic specificity for infection success and high virulence. These results suggest that Pasteuria could promote Red Queen dynamics with D. dentifera populations as well. However, the Red Queen might be undermined in this system by selection from a more common yeast parasite (Metschnikowia bicuspidata. Resistance to the yeast did not correlate with resistance to Pasteuria among host genotypes, suggesting that selection by Metschnikowia should proceed relatively independently of selection by Pasteuria.

  12. Mimicry of queen Dufour's gland secretions by workers of Apis mellifera scutellata and A. m. capensis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sole, Catherine; Kryger, Per; Hefetz, Abraham; Katzav-Gozansky, Tamar; Crewe, Robin

    2002-10-01

    The development of the Dufour's gland of workers of the two honey bee races Apis mellifera scutellata and A. m. capensis was measured. The Dufour's glands of A. m. capensis workers were longer and increased in length more rapidly than the glands of workers of A. m. scutellata at comparable ages. Analysis of the Dufour's gland secretions of workers and queens of both races revealed that there were caste and racial differences. Secretions of queenright A. m. scutellata workers were dominated by a series of long-chain hydrocarbons. In contrast the secretions of the A. m. capensis workers both under queenright and queenless conditions were a mixture of hydrocarbons and wax-type esters, as were those of queens. Multivariate analysis of the secretion profiles indicated that laying workers of both races mimic queens. The secretions of the A. m. capensis laying workers mimicked queen secretions most closely, enabling them to act as successful social parasites.

  13. 2006 Maryland Department of Natural Resources Lidar: Caroline, Kent and Queen Anne Counties

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Maryland Department of Natural Resources requested the collection of LIDAR data over Kent, Queen Anne and Caroline Counties, MD. In response, EarthData acquired the...

  14. Fishery-independent Surveys of Queen Conch in St. Croix 2010-2011

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — We examined queen conch populations on the northeastern coast of St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, using a radial survey sampling technique with sample sites...

  15. Epidemiology of a Daphnia-Multiparasite System and Its Implications for the Red Queen

    OpenAIRE

    Auld, Stuart K. J. R.; Hall, Spencer R; Duffy, Meghan A.

    2012-01-01

    The Red Queen hypothesis can explain the maintenance of host and parasite diversity. However, the Red Queen requires genetic specificity for infection risk (i.e., that infection depends on the exact combination of host and parasite genotypes) and strongly virulent effects of infection on host fitness. A European crustacean (Daphnia magna) – bacterium (Pasteuria ramosa) system typifies such specificity and high virulence. We studied the North American host Daphnia dentifera and its natural par...

  16. Ovarian activation in Melipona quadrifasciata queens triggered by mating plug stimulation (Hymenoptera, Apidae)

    OpenAIRE

    Melo, Gabriel; Maria Luisa T. Buschini,; Campos, Lucio

    2001-01-01

    The effect of the detached male genital capsule on ovarian activation in queens of the stingless bee Melipona quadrifasciata, and the amount of time the genital capsule remains attached to the queen genital chamber after mating, were investigated. Twenty-four controlled matings were carried out and the male capsules were manually removed at preset time intervals. The results indicate that the experimental removal of the mating plug on the first three days after mating inhibits ovarian activat...

  17. Running with the Red Queen: Host-parasite coevolution selects for biparental sex

    OpenAIRE

    Morran, Levi T.; Schmidt, Olivia G.; Gelarden, Ian A.; Parrish, Raymond C.; Lively, Curtis M.

    2011-01-01

    Most organisms reproduce through outcrossing, even though it comes with significant costs. The Red Queen hypothesis proposes that selection from coevolving pathogens facilitates the persistence of outcrossing in spite of these costs. We utilized experimental coevolution to test the Red Queen hypothesis, and found that coevolution with a bacterial pathogen (Serratia marcescens) resulted in significantly more outcrossing in mixed mating experimental populations of the nematode Caenorhabditis el...

  18. The Queens' estates: fiscal properties and royal policy ( 9th -10th centuries

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tiziana Lazzari (a cura di

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available The special condition of the queens of italic Kingdom during the 9th and 10th centuries is exemplified by the title of consors regni and by the exceptionally copious dowers bestowed to them when compared to those entrusted to other European queens. Through the accurate reconstruction of these dowries, composed of royal fiscal assets, this anomaly is explained within the context of specific royal governmental strategies.

  19. Pest repelling properties of ant pheromones

    OpenAIRE

    Offenberg, Joachim

    2014-01-01

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

  20. Le cybercommerçant

    OpenAIRE

    Lauboué, Adongon Sylvain

    2015-01-01

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

  1. Termites, hemimetabolous diploid white ants?

    OpenAIRE

    Korb Judith

    2008-01-01

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

  2. Neuroretinitis following bull ant sting

    OpenAIRE

    Ullrich, Katja; Saha, Niladri; Lake, Stewart

    2012-01-01

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

  3. Performance of Africanized honeybee colonies settled by queens selected for different traits

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tânia Patrícia Schafaschek

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available We evaluated varroa infestation and the performance of Africanized honeybee colonies with queens selected for honey and royal jelly production, and also unselected queens, correlating with climatic variables. In Campo Alegre, Santa Catarina State, Brazil, the experiment I used 10 Langstroth hives and in Mafra, Santa Catarina State, Brazil, the experiment II was performed with 15 Schenk hives. A mapping in areas of sealed and unsealed brood, honey and pollen was carried out on days zero, 45 and 90 days after the introduction of the queen. In the experiment I, there was interaction between the type of queen selection and the evaluation period for areas of sealed brood, honey, and total stored food. The group selected for royal jelly production presented larger sealed brood area and smaller honey area at 90 days. Varroa infestation was lower (p < 0.05 at 90 days. The type of queen selection and the evaluation period influenced the sealed brood area, the total brood and the total area occupied in the colony. The high relative humidity caused greater honey storage for the local group. The different groups of queens presented different behavior according to the environment in which they are settled.

  4. Combined neonicotinoid pesticide and parasite stress alter honeybee queens' physiology and survival.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dussaubat, Claudia; Maisonnasse, Alban; Crauser, Didier; Tchamitchian, Sylvie; Bonnet, Marc; Cousin, Marianne; Kretzschmar, André; Brunet, Jean-Luc; Le Conte, Yves

    2016-01-01

    Honeybee colony survival strongly relies on the queen to overcome worker losses exposed to combined stressors like pesticides and parasites. Queen's capacity to withstand these stressors is however very little known. The effects of the common neonicotinoid pesticide imidacloprid in a chronic and sublethal exposure together with the wide distributed parasite Nosema ceranae have therefore been investigated on queen's physiology and survivorship in laboratory and field conditions. Early physiological changes were observed on queens, particularly the increase of enzyme activities (catalase [CAT] and glutathione-S-transferase [GST] in the heads) related to protective responses to xenobiotics and oxidative stress against pesticide and parasite alone or combined. Stressors also alter the activity of two other enzymes (carboxylesterase alpha [CaE α] and carboxylesterase para [CaE p] in the midguts) involved in metabolic and detoxification functions. Furthermore, single and combined effects of pesticide and parasite decrease survivorship of queens introduced into mating hives for three months. Because colony demographic regulation relies on queen's fertility, the compromise of its physiology and life can seriously menace colony survival under pressure of combined stressors. PMID:27578396

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    NEIL COLLIER

    2007-01-01

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

  6. A picorna-like virus from the red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta: initial discovery, genome sequence, and characterization

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    We report the first discovery and genome sequence of a virus infecting the red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta. The 8026 nucleotide, polyadenylated, RNA genome encoded two large open reading frames (ORF1 and ORF2), flanked and separated by 27, 223, and 171 nucleotide untranslated regions, respectively. The predicted amino acid sequence of the 5' proximal ORF1 (nucleotides 28 to 4218) exhibited significant identity and possessed consensus sequences characteristic of the helicase, cysteine protease, and RNA-dependent RNA polymerase sequence motifs from picornaviruses, picorna-like viruses, comoviruses, caliciviruses, and sequiviruses. The predicted amino acid sequence of the 3' proximal ORF2 (nucleotides 4390-7803) showed similarity to structural proteins in picorna-like viruses, especially the acute bee paralysis virus. Electron microscopic examination of negatively stained samples from virus-infected fire ants revealed isometric particles with a diameter of 31 nm, consistent with Picornaviridae. A survey for the fire ant virus from areas around Florida revealed a pattern of fairly widespread distribution. Among 168 nests surveyed, 22.9% were infected. The virus was found to infect all fire ant caste members and developmental stages, including eggs, early (1st-2nd) and late (3rd-4th) instars, worker pupae, workers, sexual pupae, alates ( male and female ), and queens. The virus, tentatively named S. invicta virus (SINV-1), appears to belong to the picorna-like viruses. We did not observe any perceptible symptoms among infected nests in the field. However, in every case where an SINV-1-infected colony was excavated from the field with an inseminated queen and held in the laboratory, all of the brood in these colonies died within 3 months

  7. Colony Failure Linked to Low Sperm Viability in Honey Bee (Apis mellifera Queens and an Exploration of Potential Causative Factors.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeffery S Pettis

    Full Text Available Queen health is closely linked to colony performance in honey bees as a single queen is normally responsible for all egg laying and brood production within the colony. In the U. S. in recent years, queens have been failing at a high rate; with 50% or greater of queens replaced in colonies within 6 months when historically a queen might live one to two years. This high rate of queen failure coincides with the high mortality rates of colonies in the US, some years with >50% of colonies dying. In the current study, surveys of sperm viability in US queens were made to determine if sperm viability plays a role in queen or colony failure. Wide variation was observed in sperm viability from four sets of queens removed from colonies that beekeepers rated as in good health (n = 12; average viability = 92%, were replacing as part of normal management (n = 28; 57%, or where rated as failing (n = 18 and 19; 54% and 55%. Two additional paired set of queens showed a statistically significant difference in viability between colonies rated by the beekeeper as failing or in good health from the same apiaries. Queens removed from colonies rated in good health averaged high viability (ca. 85% while those rated as failing or in poor health had significantly lower viability (ca. 50%. Thus low sperm viability was indicative of, or linked to, colony performance. To explore the source of low sperm viability, six commercial queen breeders were surveyed and wide variation in viability (range 60-90% was documented between breeders. This variability could originate from the drones the queens mate with or temperature extremes that queens are exposed to during shipment. The role of shipping temperature as a possible explanation for low sperm viability was explored. We documented that during shipment queens are exposed to temperature spikes ( 40°C and these spikes can kill 50% or more of the sperm stored in queen spermathecae in live queens. Clearly low sperm viability is

  8. Colony Failure Linked to Low Sperm Viability in Honey Bee (Apis mellifera) Queens and an Exploration of Potential Causative Factors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pettis, Jeffery S; Rice, Nathan; Joselow, Katie; vanEngelsdorp, Dennis; Chaimanee, Veeranan

    2016-01-01

    Queen health is closely linked to colony performance in honey bees as a single queen is normally responsible for all egg laying and brood production within the colony. In the U. S. in recent years, queens have been failing at a high rate; with 50% or greater of queens replaced in colonies within 6 months when historically a queen might live one to two years. This high rate of queen failure coincides with the high mortality rates of colonies in the US, some years with >50% of colonies dying. In the current study, surveys of sperm viability in US queens were made to determine if sperm viability plays a role in queen or colony failure. Wide variation was observed in sperm viability from four sets of queens removed from colonies that beekeepers rated as in good health (n = 12; average viability = 92%), were replacing as part of normal management (n = 28; 57%), or where rated as failing (n = 18 and 19; 54% and 55%). Two additional paired set of queens showed a statistically significant difference in viability between colonies rated by the beekeeper as failing or in good health from the same apiaries. Queens removed from colonies rated in good health averaged high viability (ca. 85%) while those rated as failing or in poor health had significantly lower viability (ca. 50%). Thus low sperm viability was indicative of, or linked to, colony performance. To explore the source of low sperm viability, six commercial queen breeders were surveyed and wide variation in viability (range 60-90%) was documented between breeders. This variability could originate from the drones the queens mate with or temperature extremes that queens are exposed to during shipment. The role of shipping temperature as a possible explanation for low sperm viability was explored. We documented that during shipment queens are exposed to temperature spikes ( 40°C) and these spikes can kill 50% or more of the sperm stored in queen spermathecae in live queens. Clearly low sperm viability is linked to

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2012-01-01

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

  10. [Research Progress in Black Queen Cell Virus Causing Disease].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Qian; Zhang, Jian; Song, Zhanyun; Zheng, Yan; Wang, Xianghui; Sui, Jiachen; Wang, Zhenguo; Mou, Jun

    2015-05-01

    In nature, honeybees are the most important pollinators. They play a vital role in both protecting the diversity of natural ecosystems, and maintaining the yield-improving effects of agroecosystems. But in recent years, epidemic disease in bees has caused huge losses. Black Queen Cell Virus (BQCV) is a bee pathogen that was first reported in 1955. It mainly infects bee larvae and pupae, making their bodies turn dark and black, and causing a massive decrease in the bee population. More specifically, the virus makes the exterior of the cell walls in the larvae and pupae turn black. BQCV is a seasonal epidemic, spread by means horizontal and vertical transmission, and is often unapparent. BQCV not only infects a variety of bee species, but also spiders, centipedes and other arthropods. It can also be coinfected with other honeybee viruses. In recent years, research has shown that the Nosema intestinal parasite plays an important role in BQCV transmission and bees carrying Nosema that become infected with BQCV have increased mortality. Here we summarize current research on the incidence, prevalence, geographical distribution and transmission of BQCV. PMID:26470541

  11. Enriching Chinese Cultural Heritage at the Queens Library

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gary E. Strong

    2001-10-01

    Full Text Available

    頁次:13-18

    The Queens Borough Public Library through its New Americans Program has been providing opportunities for the Chinese Community to experience quality library service for many years. By building collections, providing opportunities to learn English, providing job information, coping skills classes, cultural programs and electronic access to Chinese vernacular script, the Library provides a unique public library experience to its many immigrants. Through demographic analysis, the Library places its collections in the communities where immigrants live and provides programs of relevance to celebrate the cultures and traditions of the Chinese community.

  12. Pest repelling properties of ant pheromones

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Offenberg, Joachim

    2014-01-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. Morphometric study of newly emerged unmated queens of honey bee Apis mellifera L. in Ismailia Governorate, Egypt

    OpenAIRE

    Kamel, S M; M.A.M. Osman; M.F. Mahmoud, et al.

    2013-01-01

    Recently, morphometric analysis is being a very good tool for identification of honey bee races and characterization of genetic materials. This fact has motivated the present work to investigate the effects of two grafting methods, three types of artificial queen wax cups and four periods of queen rearing on some morphological characters of newly emerged queens. The developed technique used in the present study depends on the integration between Scanner unit and Photoshop program, called Scan...

  15. Foster carers influence brood pathogen resistance in ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Purcell, Jessica; Chapuisat, Michel

    2014-10-01

    Social organisms face a high risk of epidemics, and respond to this threat by combining efficient individual and collective defences against pathogens. An intriguing and little studied feature of social animals is that individual pathogen resistance may depend not only on genetic or maternal factors, but also on the social environment during development. Here, we used a cross-fostering experiment to investigate whether the pathogen resistance of individual ant workers was shaped by their own colony of origin or by the colony of origin of their carers. The origin of care-giving workers significantly influenced the ability of newly eclosed cross-fostered Formica selysi workers to resist the fungal entomopathogen Beauveria bassiana. In particular, carers that were more resistant to the fungal entomopathogen reared more resistant workers. This effect occurred in the absence of post-infection social interactions, such as trophallaxis and allogrooming. The colony of origin of eggs significantly influenced the survival of the resulting individuals in both control and pathogen treatments. There was no significant effect of the social organization (i.e. whether colonies contain a single or multiple queens) of the colony of origin of either carers or eggs. Our experiment reveals that social interactions during development play a central role in moulding the resistance of emerging workers. PMID:25143036

  16. Effect of a fungicide and spray adjuvant on queen-rearing success in honey bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Reed M; Percel, Eric G

    2013-10-01

    Commercial producers of honey bee queens (Apis mellifera L.) have reported unexplained loss of immature queens during the larval or pupal stage. Many affected queen-rearing operations are situated among the almond orchards of California and report these losses in weeks after almond trees bloom. Almond flowers are a rich foraging resource for bees, but are often treated with fungicides, insecticides, and spray adjuvants during bloom. Anecdotal reports by queen producers associate problems in queen development with application of the fungicide Pristine (boscalid and pyraclostrobin) and spray adjuvants that are tank-mixed with it. To test the effect of these compounds on queen development, a new bioassay was developed in which queens are reared in closed swarm boxes for 4 d, until capping, with nurse bees fed exclusively on artificially contaminated pollen. Pollen was treated with four concentrations of formulated Pristine (0.4, 4, 40, and 400 ppm), a spray adjuvant (Break-Thru, 200 ppm), the combination of Pristine and spray adjuvant (400:200 ppm), the insect growth regulator insecticide diflubenzuron (100 ppm) as a positive control, or water as negative control. Chemical analysis revealed that low concentrations of pyraclostrobin (50 ppb), but no boscalid, were detectable in royal jelly secreted by nurse bees feeding on treated pollen. No significant difference in queen development or survival was observed between any of the experimental treatments and the negative control. Only diflubenzuron, the positive control, caused a substantial reduction in survival of immature queens. PMID:24224234

  17. Isolation and characterization of proteases that hydrolyze royal jelly proteins from queen bee larvae of the honeybee, Apis mellifera

    OpenAIRE

    Matsuoka, Takuma; Kawashima, Takuji; Nakamura, Tadashi; Kanamaru, Yoshihiro; Yabe, Tomio

    2012-01-01

    International audience Royal jelly is a nutritious substance secreted from the hypopharyngeal and mandibular glands of worker bees that serves as the only food on which honeybee queen larvae and adults are fed and which causes them to develop into queen bees. Royal jelly is a protein-rich food and one of the most crucial factors for the growth of queen bees. In this study, we characterized the hydrolytic activity of enzymes from the homogenates of honeybee queen larvae on royal jelly prote...

  18. The effect of queen pheromone status on Varroa mite removal from honey bee colonies with different grooming ability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bahreini, Rassol; Currie, Robert W

    2015-07-01

    The objective of this study was to assess the effects of honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) with different grooming ability and queen pheromone status on mortality rates of Varroa mites (Varroa destructor Anderson and Trueman), mite damage, and mortality rates of honey bees. Twenty-four small queenless colonies containing either stock selected for high rates of mite removal (n = 12) or unselected stock (n = 12) were maintained under constant darkness at 5 °C. Colonies were randomly assigned to be treated with one of three queen pheromone status treatments: (1) caged, mated queen, (2) a synthetic queen mandibular pheromone lure (QMP), or (3) queenless with no queen substitute. The results showed overall mite mortality rate was greater in stock selected for grooming than in unselected stock. There was a short term transitory increase in bee mortality rates in selected stock when compared to unselected stock. The presence of queen pheromone from either caged, mated queens or QMP enhanced mite removal from clusters of bees relative to queenless colonies over short periods of time and increased the variation in mite mortality over time relative to colonies without queen pheromone, but did not affect the proportion of damaged mites. The effects of source of bees on mite damage varied with time but damage to mites was not reliably related to mite mortality. In conclusion, this study showed differential mite removal of different stocks was possible under low temperature. Queen status should be considered when designing experiments using bioassays for grooming response. PMID:25860860

  19. Current status of a model system: the gene Gp-9 and its association with social organization in fire ants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dietrich Gotzek

    Full Text Available The Gp-9 gene in fire ants represents an important model system for studying the evolution of social organization in insects as well as a rich source of information relevant to other major evolutionary topics. An important feature of this system is that polymorphism in social organization is completely associated with allelic variation at Gp-9, such that single-queen colonies (monogyne form include only inhabitants bearing B-like alleles while multiple-queen colonies (polygyne form additionally include inhabitants bearing b-like alleles. A recent study of this system by Leal and Ishida (2008 made two major claims, the validity and significance of which we examine here. After reviewing existing literature, analyzing the methods and results of Leal and Ishida (2008, and generating new data from one of their study sites, we conclude that their claim that polygyny can occur in Solenopsis invicta in the U.S.A. in the absence of expression of the b-like allele Gp-9(b is unfounded. Moreover, we argue that available information on insect OBPs (the family of proteins to which GP-9 belongs, on the evolutionary/population genetics of Gp-9, and on pheromonal/behavioral control of fire ant colony queen number fails to support their view that GP-9 plays no role in the chemosensory-mediated communication that underpins regulation of social organization. Our analyses lead us to conclude that there are no new reasons to question the existing consensus view of the Gp-9 system outlined in Gotzek and Ross (2007.

  20. Detrimental effects of highly efficient interference competition: invasive Argentine ants outcompete native ants at toxic baits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buczkowski, Grzegorz; Bennett, Gary W

    2008-06-01

    The Argentine ant (Linepithema humile) is an invasive species that disrupts the balance of natural ecosystems by displacing indigenous ant species throughout its introduced range. Previous studies that examined the mechanisms by which Argentine ants attain ecological dominance showed that superior interference and exploitation competition are key to the successful displacement of native ant species. The objective of this research was to test the hypothesis that effective interference competition by Argentine ants may also be detrimental to the survival of Argentine ant colonies where Argentine ants and native ants compete at toxic baits used to slow the spread of Argentine ants. To study this hypothesis, we examined the competitive interactions between Argentine ants and native odorous house ants, Tapinoma sessile, in the presence and absence of toxic baits. Results showed that Argentine ants aggressively outcompete T. sessile from toxic baits through efficient interference competition and monopolize bait resources. This has severe negative consequences for the survival of Argentine ants as colonies succumb to the toxic effects of the bait. In turn, T. sessile avoid areas occupied by Argentine ants, give up baits, and consequently suffer minimal mortality. Our results provide experimental evidence that highly efficient interference competition may have negative consequences for Argentine ants in areas where toxic baits are used and may provide a basis for designing innovative management programs for Argentine ants. Such programs would have the double benefit of selectively eliminating the invasive species while simultaneously protecting native ants from the toxic effects of baits. PMID:18559180

  1. Fundamental difference in life history traits of two species of Cataglyphis ants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Knaden Markus

    2006-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The two sympatric species of Tunisian desert ants, Cataglyphis bicolor and C. mauritanica, do not exhibit any differences in their foraging ecology, e.g. in food preferences and in their spatial and temporal activity patterns. Here we show that instead the two species markedly differ in their life histories. Results We analysed mtDNA of specimens that were collected along a 250-km transect. C. bicolor exhibited a genetically unstructured population (with the genetic and geographic distances among colonies not being correlated. On the contrary the populations of the polygynous C. mauritanica were clearly structured, i.e. exhibited a strong correlation between genetic and geographic distances. This difference is in accordance with large queen dispersal distances due to far-reaching mating flights in C. bicolor and small queen dispersal distances due to colony foundation by budding in C. mauritanica. Furthermore, wherever we found populations of both species to coexist within the same habitat, the habitat was used agriculturally. Mapping nest positions over periods of several years showed that plowing dramatically decreased the nest densities of either species. Conclusion We conclude that owing to its greater queen dispersal potential C. bicolor might be more successful in quickly re-colonizing disturbed areas, while the slowly dispersing C. mauritanica could later out-compete C. bicolor by adopting its effective nest-budding strategy. According to this scenario the observed sympatry of the two species might be an intermediate stage in which faster colonization by one species and more powerful exploitation of space by the other species have somehow balanced each other out. In conclusion, C. bicolor and C. mauritanica represent an example where environmental disturbances in combination with different life histories might beget sympatry in congeneric species with overlapping niches.

  2. Apoptotic wing degeneration and formation of an altruism-regulating glandular appendage (gemma) in the ponerine ant Diacamma sp. from Japan (Hymenoptera, Formicidae, Ponerinae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gotoh, A; Sameshima, S; Tsuji, K; Matsumoto, T; Miura, T

    2005-02-01

    We here show an example of morphological novelties, which have evolved from insect wings into the specific structures controlling social behaviour in an ant species. Most ant colonies consist of winged queen(s) and wingless workers. In the queenless ponerine ant Diacamma sp. from Japan, however, all female workers have a pair of small thoracic appendages, called "gemmae", which are homologous to the forewings and acts as an organ regulating altruism expression. Most workers, whose gemmae are clipped off by other colony members, become nonreproductive helpers, while only a single individual with complete gemmae becomes functionally reproductive. We examined histologically the development of gemmae, and compared it with that of functional wings in males. Female larvae had well-developed wing discs for both fore- and hindwings. At pupation, however, the wing discs started to evaginate and later degenerate. The hindwing discs completely degenerated, while the degeneration of forewing discs was incomplete, leading to the formation of gemmae. The degeneration process involved apoptotic cell death as confirmed by TUNEL assay. In addition, glandular cells differentiated from the epithelial cells of the forewing buds after completion of pupation. The mechanism of developmental transition from wing to gemma can be regarded as an evolutionary gain of new function, which can be seen in insect appendages and vertebrate limbs. PMID:15647944

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

    OpenAIRE

    Ballantyne, Gavin

    2011-01-01

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

  4. Myth and Memory in The Queen of Dreams

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gloria Montero

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Aristotle said that where the historian tells us wh at took place, the poet tells us how it came about. More recently, Gore Vidal def ined ‘memoir’ as how one remembers one’s own life as distinct from an autobi ography which is history, requiring research into dates and facts which must be double- checked. Memory and Myth play an important role in memoir, a llowing the writer to incorporate the real underpinnings of a story that has been liv ed through rather than simply the account of a sequence of actual events. It might a lso be argued that the patina of memory that coats the ‘memoir’, as distinct from au tobiography, might indeed add its own dimension, taking the account of something very real into a more surreal space. What I call my Rora stories published in Spanish un der the title Todas Esas Guerras -- All Those Wars – have never appeared as a collection in English b ut have been published separately in literary journals. These s tories, the very closest I think I will ever come to writing autobiography, grew out of a n eed to explore my own background – so fragmented in terms of geography, history and culture – at a time when, as a writer, I felt the desperate need to find out exact ly who this multicultural person with her mixed baggage might be. The Queen of Dreams , one of the stories in the collection, uses the me mory of the child Rora as she attempts to understand the drama and ma gic of sexuality and love in a grown-up, intolerant world at war. While the story explores the child’s personal history, it also reflects the psyche of Australia a t that particular moment.

  5. Myrmecotrophy: Plants fed by ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beattie, A

    1989-06-01

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

  6. The Effect of Open Brood and Colony Strength on the Onset of Oviposition by Queen Bees

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gąbka Jakub

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available In bee colonies without open brood, e.g., after swarming, there is no need for royal jelly, and nurse bees thus do not produce it. According to many beekeepers, adding combs with open brood restarts the production of royal jelly by nurse bees, and the virgin queens then are better fed and start earlier oviposition. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether the presence of open brood and the strength of the colonies affect the onset of oviposition by queen bees. Open brood in colonies with virgins before and during mating flights did not accelerate the initiation of oviposition by the queens. In addition, no differences were identified in starting oviposition by queens in strong colonies of more than 30,000 worker bees, or in weak colonies with up to 1,000 workers. Overall, the results showed that neither open brood in the nests, nor the strength of the colonies affects the onset of oviposition by queen bees.

  7. Red Queen Processes Drive Positive Selection on Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC Genes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maciej Jan Ejsmond

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC genes code for proteins involved in the incitation of the adaptive immune response in vertebrates, which is achieved through binding oligopeptides (antigens of pathogenic origin. Across vertebrate species, substitutions of amino acids at sites responsible for the specificity of antigen binding (ABS are positively selected. This is attributed to pathogen-driven balancing selection, which is also thought to maintain the high polymorphism of MHC genes, and to cause the sharing of allelic lineages between species. However, the nature of this selection remains controversial. We used individual-based computer simulations to investigate the roles of two phenomena capable of maintaining MHC polymorphism: heterozygote advantage and host-pathogen arms race (Red Queen process. Our simulations revealed that levels of MHC polymorphism were high and driven mostly by the Red Queen process at a high pathogen mutation rate, but were low and driven mostly by heterozygote advantage when the pathogen mutation rate was low. We found that novel mutations at ABSs are strongly favored by the Red Queen process, but not by heterozygote advantage, regardless of the pathogen mutation rate. However, while the strong advantage of novel alleles increased the allele turnover rate, under a high pathogen mutation rate, allelic lineages persisted for a comparable length of time under Red Queen and under heterozygote advantage. Thus, when pathogens evolve quickly, the Red Queen is capable of explaining both positive selection and long coalescence times, but the tension between the novel allele advantage and persistence of alleles deserves further investigation.

  8. Red Queen Processes Drive Positive Selection on Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC) Genes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ejsmond, Maciej Jan; Radwan, Jacek

    2015-01-01

    Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC) genes code for proteins involved in the incitation of the adaptive immune response in vertebrates, which is achieved through binding oligopeptides (antigens) of pathogenic origin. Across vertebrate species, substitutions of amino acids at sites responsible for the specificity of antigen binding (ABS) are positively selected. This is attributed to pathogen-driven balancing selection, which is also thought to maintain the high polymorphism of MHC genes, and to cause the sharing of allelic lineages between species. However, the nature of this selection remains controversial. We used individual-based computer simulations to investigate the roles of two phenomena capable of maintaining MHC polymorphism: heterozygote advantage and host-pathogen arms race (Red Queen process). Our simulations revealed that levels of MHC polymorphism were high and driven mostly by the Red Queen process at a high pathogen mutation rate, but were low and driven mostly by heterozygote advantage when the pathogen mutation rate was low. We found that novel mutations at ABSs are strongly favored by the Red Queen process, but not by heterozygote advantage, regardless of the pathogen mutation rate. However, while the strong advantage of novel alleles increased the allele turnover rate, under a high pathogen mutation rate, allelic lineages persisted for a comparable length of time under Red Queen and under heterozygote advantage. Thus, when pathogens evolve quickly, the Red Queen is capable of explaining both positive selection and long coalescence times, but the tension between the novel allele advantage and persistence of alleles deserves further investigation. PMID:26599213

  9. Sequential palynostratigraphy of the Queen City and Weches formations (Middle Eocene Claiborne Group), southeast central Texas

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Elsik, W.C. (MycoStrat Connection, Houston, TX (United States))

    1993-02-01

    Palynomorph sequences of several orders of magnitude were found in the Queen City and Weches formations respectively at Six Mile and Burleson bluffs on the Brazos River, Milam and Burleson counties, Texas. The long term development of the subtropical to tropical Claibornian palynoflora included Engelhardtia spp., Friedrichipollis claibornensis, Nudopollis terminalis, Pollenites laesius and Symplocoipollenites spp. Shorter term fluctuations in sea level were reflected by common herbaceous pollen in the Queen City, and common mangrove pollen in the Weches. Paleoenvironments were marginally to fully marine; dinocysts occurred throughout. The Wetzeliella group of dinocysts were present only in the Queen City at Six Mile Bluff. Late Paleocene to Early Eocene pollen, and Early Middle Eocene pollen with last effective occurrences near the Queen City and Weches boundary included Aesculiidites circumstriatus, Annona foveoreticulata and a new species of Platycarya. Five short term warmer-cooler couplet events were represented by successive abundance peaks of Juglandaceae followed by Ulmus; Alnus supports the three upper Ulmus peaks. One deep water event was recorded by an abundance of fresh water Pediastrum at the Queen City and Weches boundary. That boundary event was bracketed by two of the Alnus and Ulmus peaks.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Stürup, Marlene

    strong selection to produce high quality ejaculates. In multiply mated queens, ejaculates from different males arrive as discrete units, but genetic diversity among workers has been documented to provide several colony benefits and this diversity can only be maximized if sperm becomes completely mixed......’s sperm stores and compared this with paternity shares in offspring. I also examined whether patriline distributions in worker cohorts remain stable over time, which is expected to yield the highest colony benefits in terms of worker genetic variation. Selection for extreme sperm viability in males is...... likely costly and expected to trade off with investments into other traits. I tested this by measuring sperm viability in honeybee males after exposure to mild external stress factors. Additionally, I infected leaf-cutting ant males with a pathogenic fungus and measured their subsequent immune response...

  11. Ants as tools in sustainable agriculture

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Offenberg, Joachim

    2015-01-01

    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....... 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...... 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...

  12. A cellular automata model for ant trails

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Sibel Gokce; Ozhan Kayacan

    2013-05-01

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

  13. Hey! A Fire Ant Stung Me!

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  14. Comparing alternative methods for holding virgin honey bee queens for one week in mailing cages before mating.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gianluigi Bigio

    Full Text Available In beekeeping, queen honey bees are often temporarily kept alive in cages. We determined the survival of newly-emerged virgin honey bee queens every day for seven days in an experiment that simultaneously investigated three factors: queen cage type (wooden three-hole or plastic, attendant workers (present or absent and food type (sugar candy, honey, or both. Ten queens were tested in each of the 12 combinations. Queens were reared using standard beekeeping methods (Doolittle/grafting and emerged from their cells into vials held in an incubator at 34C. All 12 combinations gave high survival (90 or 100% for three days but only one method (wooden cage, with attendants, honey gave 100% survival to day seven. Factors affecting queen survival were analysed. Across all combinations, attendant bees significantly increased survival (18% vs. 53%, p<0.001. In addition, there was an interaction between food type and cage type (p<0.001 with the honey and plastic cage combination giving reduced survival. An additional group of queens was reared and held for seven days using the best method, and then directly introduced using smoke into queenless nucleus colonies that had been dequeened five days previously. Acceptance was high (80%, 8/10 showing that this combination is also suitable for preparing queens for introduction into colonies. Having a simple method for keeping newly-emerged virgin queens alive in cages for one week and acceptable for introduction into queenless colonies will be useful in honey bee breeding. In particular, it facilitates the screening of many queens for genetic or phenotypic characteristics when only a small proportion meets the desired criteria. These can then be introduced into queenless hives for natural mating or insemination, both of which take place when queens are one week old.

  15. Ants defend coffee from berry borer colonization

    OpenAIRE

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

    2013-01-01

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

  16. The Biochemical Toxin Arsenal from Ant Venoms

    OpenAIRE

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

    2016-01-01

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

  17. The biochemical toxin arsenal from ant venoms

    OpenAIRE

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

    2016-01-01

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

  18. Ants as Fluids: Physics-Inspired Biology

    CERN Document Server

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2008-01-01

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

  20. Using Ants to Investigate the Environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hagevik, Rita A.

    2005-01-01

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

  1. FIRE ANT, BIOLOGY, ECOLOGY, AND BIOCONTROL

    Science.gov (United States)

    The red fire ant Solenopsis invicta was accidentally introduced into the United States from South America sometime in the 1930s. These ants do best in open, disturbed habitats associated with human activities. Fire ants construct large earthen mounds which function as solar collecting devises. Fire...

  2. Ant colony optimization in continuous problem

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    YU Ling; LIU Kang; LI Kaishi

    2007-01-01

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

  3. Localization of deformed wing virus infection in queen and drone Apis mellifera L

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Colin Marc

    2006-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract The distribution of deformed wing virus infection within the honey bee reproductive castes (queens, drones was investigated by in situ hybridization and immunohistology from paraffin embedded sections. Digoxygenin or CY5.5 fluorochrome end-labelled nucleotide probes hybridizing to the 3' portion of the DWV genome were used to identify DWV RNA, while a monospecific antibody to the DWV-VP1 structural protein was used to identify viral proteins and particles. The histological data were confirmed by quantitative RT-PCR of dissected organs. Results showed that DWV infection is not restricted to the digestive tract of the bee but spread in the whole body, including queen ovaries, queen fat body and drone seminal vesicles.

  4. 76 FR 68711 - Amendments to the Reef Fish, Spiny Lobster, Queen Conch and Coral and Reef Associated Plants and...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-11-07

    ... star shell (Astrea tuber). After implementation of this rule, only the queen conch (Strombus gigas... Service. For the reasons set out in the preamble, 50 CFR part 622, as proposed to be amended at 76 FR... 622--Caribbean Conch Resources Queen conch, Strombus gigas. BILLING CODE 3510-22-P...

  5. Growth and survival of juvenile queen conch, Strombus gigas fed artificial diets containing varying levels of digestible protein and energy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aquaculture methods for queen conch, Strombus gigas, have been established for several decades. However, there is a need to improve husbandry techniques for the growout of juveniles. The purpose of this study was to determine growth and survival of juvenile queen conch fed artificial diets with incr...

  6. Albert Siepert Points Out Highlights of Apollo 10 Liftoff to Belgium King and Queen

    Science.gov (United States)

    1969-01-01

    Kennedy Space Center Deputy Director for Administration, Albert Siepert, seated at left on third row, points out highlights of Apollo 10 liftoff to Belgiums King Baudouin and Queen Fabiola. Next to the queen is Mrs. Siepert. Former Vice President Hubert Humphrey, in baseball cap at right, talks with Mr. And Mrs. Emil Mosbacher, seated next to him. Mr. Mosbacher is the Chief of U.S. Protocol. The Apollo 10 astronauts were launched by an Apollo/Saturn V space vehicle at 12:49 pm EDT, May 18, 1969, from KSC launch complex 39B.

  7. Patriline composition of worker populations in honeybee (Apis mellifera) colonies headed by queens inseminated with semen from African and European drones

    OpenAIRE

    Gloria DeGrandi-Hoffman,; David R.Tarpy,; Schneider, Stanley

    2003-01-01

    International audience Honeybee queens with either European or African maternity were mated to African and European drones to determine rates of sperm utilization. The first month after the queens were inseminated, they produced equal proportions of workers with African and European paternity. However, for the next 3-4 months, more than 70% of the workers produced by queens of either matriline had African paternity. Overall, the queens produced a majority of workers with African paternity ...

  8. Microsatellite primers for fungus-growing ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2002-01-01

    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.......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...

  9. Microsatellite Primers for Fungus-Growing Ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2002-01-01

    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.......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...

  10. INFLUENCE OF HONEYBEE QUEENS ORIGIN TO THE PRODUCTION CHARACTERISTICS OF CARNIOLAN BEES (APIS MELLIFERA CARNICA IN SLOVENIA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J POKLUKAR

    2002-05-01

    Full Text Available Total amount of 4.355 records of honeybee colonies production characteristics was estimated on the 251 bee yards in Slovenia from 1993 to 2001. Queens were produced on 29 queen producing yards. The average lsmeans of honey yields increased by 0,41 kg a year. The swarming behaviour and the defensive behaviour of bees increased as well by - 0,091 points, and –0,038 points respectively. According to the last two years records, the honey yields of bee colonies were significantly influenced by the drone gene pool at queen production yards. The swarming behaviour was in contrary more influenced by the queen mothers on queen production yards. The defensive behaviour of bee colonies and the daily varroa mite fall were not significantly influenced by parents.

  11. THE INFLUENCE OF SEASON AND VOLATILE COMPOUNDS ON ACCEPTANCE RATES OF INTRODUCED EUROPEAN HONEY BEE (APIS MELLIFERA L.) QUEENS INTO EUROPEAN AND AFRICANIZED COLONIES

    Science.gov (United States)

    We introduced mated European honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) queens into Africanized and European colonies during three different seasons to determine if there were differences in queen acceptance rates. We also sampled volatile compounds emitted by the queens prior to their introduction to determine...

  12. Discrimination Behavior in the Supercolonial Pharaoh Ant

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pontieri, Luigi

    The majority of eusocial insect species live in small, kin structured colonies that are mutually aggressive and rarely interact. By contrast, a restricted group of ant species show a peculiar social organization called unicoloniality, where colonies can grow to vast networks of geographically...... 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...... of invasive ants. In the first chapter I focused on the nestmate recognition system of pharaoh ants, investigating whether the cues used for discrimination had a genetic origin and how different level of within-colony genetic diversity and relatedness influenced the discrimination abilities of the...

  13. Reproductive conflicts and egg discrimination in a socially polymorphic ant

    OpenAIRE

    Meunier J.; Delaplace L.; Chapuisat M.

    2010-01-01

    The ability to discriminate against competitors shapes cooperation and conflicts in all forms of social life. In insect societies, workers may detect and destroy eggs laid by other workers or by foreign queens, which can contribute to regulate reproductive conflicts among workers and queens. Variation in colony kin structure affects the magnitude of these conflicts and the diversity of cues used for discrimination, but the impact of the number of queens per colony on the ability of workers to...

  14. Red Queen Takes White Knight: The Commercialisation of Accounting Education in Australia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Graham Bowrey

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available This paper investigates the adaptive and maladaptive consequences of changes resulting from the commercialisation of Australian universities, specifically their accounting schools, and aims to identify the organisational changes triggered by competition that affect the growth of universities over time. The paper synthesises organisational learning theory, benchmarking theory, mimetic isomorphism and institutional theories, which are presented as "the Red Queen", itself an evolutionary theory; this synthesis provides the theoretical underpinning. The Red Queen theory posits that competition triggers organisational learning, which in turn intensifies competition in rivals that ultimately triggers an adaptive response. This selfreinforcing process produces results that may be adaptive or maladaptive. There is evidence to support that “running fast” in terms of Red Queen evolution theory has allowed some universities to place competitive pressure on rivals and achieve elite levels of publications, international accreditation and improved international rankings. This search for improvement, driven by commercialisation, provided ways to improve performance, thus improving the university’s competitive strength. There is also evidence to support the belief that “running slow” provides maladaptive consequences that could affect growth rates, quality and staff performance. The use of the Red Queen hypothesis provides an evolutionary approach to the study of strategy, strategic change and organisations. This provides an opportunity to examine competition in universities as a force that continually disturbs equilibrium.

  15. Great day: H.M. Queen Elizabeth II at the Calder Hall opening

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The opening of the world's first nuclear power station, Calder Hall, was a major event in the history of post-war Britain. This film describes the construction and design of the station and its opening by the Queen. It is also an interesting historical document reflecting the beliefs and aspirations of the time. (author)

  16. Host Range Expansion of Honey Bee Black Queen Cell Virus in the Bumble Bee, Bombus huntii

    Science.gov (United States)

    Honey bee viruses display a host range that is not restricted to their original host, European honey bees, Apis mellifera. Here we provide the first evidence that Black Queen Cell Virus (BQCV), one of the most prevalent honey bee viruses, can cause an infection in both laboratory-reared and field-co...

  17. Host-parasite Red Queen dynamics with phase-locked rare genotypes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rabajante, Jomar F; Tubay, Jerrold M; Ito, Hiromu; Uehara, Takashi; Kakishima, Satoshi; Morita, Satoru; Yoshimura, Jin; Ebert, Dieter

    2016-03-01

    Interactions between hosts and parasites have been hypothesized to cause winnerless coevolution, called Red Queen dynamics. The canonical Red Queen dynamics assume that all interacting genotypes of hosts and parasites undergo cyclic changes in abundance through negative frequency-dependent selection, which means that any genotype could become frequent at some stage. However, this prediction cannot explain why many rare genotypes stay rare in natural host-parasite systems. To investigate this, we build a mathematical model involving multihost and multiparasite genotypes. In a deterministic and controlled environment, Red Queen dynamics occur between two genotypes undergoing cyclic dominance changes, whereas the rest of the genotypes remain subordinate for long periods of time in phase-locked synchronized dynamics with low amplitude. However, introduction of stochastic noise in the model might allow the subordinate cyclic host and parasite types to replace dominant cyclic types as new players in the Red Queen dynamics. The factors that influence such evolutionary switching are interhost competition, specificity of parasitism, and degree of stochastic noise. Our model can explain, for the first time, the persistence of rare, hardly cycling genotypes in populations (for example, marine microbial communities) undergoing host-parasite coevolution. PMID:26973878

  18. The Economic Impact of Queen's University Belfast on the Northern Ireland Economy. Higher Education in Focus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelly, Ursula; McNicoll, Iain; White, James

    2015-01-01

    This study provides an analysis of the economic impact of Queen's University Belfast and its students on the Northern Ireland economy. Based in the City of Belfast, the university has over 22,500 students. Its turnover of nearly £290 million makes it Northern Ireland's largest university in terms of its financial standing. With origins going back…

  19. GC-MS investigation of the chemical composition of honeybee drone and queen larvae homogenate

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Isidorov Valery A.

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Honeybee larva homogenate appears to be underrated and insufficiently explored but this homogenate is an exceptionally valuable honeybee product. Drone larva homogenate is very nutritional due to its high content of proteins, free amino acids, lipids, and carbohydrates. Moreover, the biological characteristics of honeybee larvae indicate the presence of chemical substances that may be pharmacologically active. In spite of the above, the chemical composition of honeybee larva has not gained as much attention as that of other bee products. In this study, the chemical composition of honeybee brood homogenate has been investigated using gas chromatography/mass spectrometry. As a result, it was possible to isolate as many as 115 extractive organic compounds from 6 samples of crude queen and 9 samples of drone homogenate. The main groups of substances extracted from either type of homogenate were composed of free amino acids and carbohydrates. The relative content of amino acids in queen homogenate as well as the share of essential amino acids were found to be higher than in the drone homogenate. Disaccharide trehalose was the dominant sugar in the queen larvae, whilst glucose prevailed in the drone larvae. Comparative chemical analyses of honeybee queen and drone larva homogenates have allowed us to make a preliminary inference about a higher overall value of the former.

  20. ANT, tourism and situated globality

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2015-01-01

    are used to define as the separate spheres of nature and culture. This paper explores and relates the central tenets of ANT in tourism with regard to the concept of the Anthropocene. It presents the ANT approach as a flat and object-oriented ontology and methodology and explores its potentials to...... carve out viable descriptions of the collective condition of humans and more-than-humans in the Anthropocene. Also and moving past a merely descriptive approach, it discusses it as a useful tool to engage with the situated globalities which come into being through the socio-spatial coupling of tourism...... and the Anthropocene through, as we propose improvisation, valuing and caring....

  1. Genomic analysis of post-mating changes in the honey bee queen (Apis mellifera

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard Freddie-Jeanne

    2008-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The molecular mechanisms underlying the post-mating behavioral and physiological transitions undergone by females have not been explored in great detail. Honey bees represent an excellent model system in which to address these questions because they exhibit a range of "mating states," with two extremes (virgins and egg-laying, mated queens that differ dramatically in their behavior, pheromone profiles, and physiology. We used an incompletely-mated mating-state to understand the molecular processes that underlie the transition from a virgin to a mated, egg-laying queen. We used same-aged virgins, queens that mated once but did not initiate egg-laying, and queens that mated once and initiated egg-laying. Results Differences in the behavior and physiology among groups correlated with the underlying variance observed in the top 50 predictive genes in the brains and the ovaries. These changes were correlated with either a behaviorally-associated pattern or a physiologically-associated pattern. Overall, these results suggest that the brains and the ovaries of queens are uncoupled or follow different timescales; the initiation of mating triggers immediate changes in the ovaries, while changes in the brain may require additional stimuli or take a longer time to complete. Comparison of our results to previous studies of post-mating changes in Drosophila melanogaster identified common biological processes affected by mating, including stress response and alternative-splicing pathways. Comparison with microarray data sets related to worker behavior revealed no obvious correlation between genes regulated by mating and genes regulated by behavior/physiology in workers. Conclusion Studying the underlying molecular mechanisms of post-mating changes in honey bee queens will not only give us insight into how molecular mechanisms regulate physiological and behavioral changes, but they may also lead to important insights into the evolution of

  2. 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.

  3. Fire ant-detecting canines: a complementary method in detecting red imported fire ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Hui-Min; Chi, Wei-Lien; Lin, Chung-Chi; Tseng, Yu-Ching; Chen, Wang-Ting; Kung, Yu-Ling; Lien, Yi-Yang; Chen, Yang-Yuan

    2011-02-01

    In this investigation, detection dogs are trained and used in identifying red imported fire ants, Solenopsis invicta Buren, and their nests. The methodology could assist in reducing the frequency and scope of chemical treatments for red imported fire ant management and thus reduce labor costs and chemical use as well as improve control and quarantine efficiency. Three dogs previously trained for customs quarantine were retrained to detect the scents of red imported fire ants. After passing tests involving different numbers of live red imported fire ants and three other ant species--Crematogaster rogenhoferi Mayr, Paratrechina longicornis Latreille, and Pheidole megacephala F.--placed in containers, ajoint field survey for red imported fire ant nests by detection dogs and bait traps was conducted to demonstrate their use as a supplement to conventional detection methods. The most significant findings in this report are (1) with 10 or more red imported fire ants in scent containers, the dogs had >98% chance in tracing the red imported fire ant. Upon the introduction of other ant species, the dogs still achieved on average, a 93% correct red imported fire ant indication rate. Moreover, the dogs demonstrated great competence in pinpointing emerging and smaller red imported fire ant nests in red imported fire ant-infested areas that had been previously confirmed by bait trap stations. (2) Along with the bait trap method, we also discovered that approximately 90% of red imported fire ants foraged within a distance of 14 m away from their nests. The results prove detection dogs to be most effective for red imported fire ant control in areas that have been previously treated with pesticides and therefore containing a low density of remaining red imported fire ant nests. Furthermore, as a complement to other red imported fire ant monitoring methods, this strategy will significantly increase the efficacy of red imported fire ant control in cases of individual mount treatment

  4. Honeybee Venom Proteome Profile of Queens and Winter Bees as Determined by a Mass Spectrometric Approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ellen L. Danneels

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Venoms of invertebrates contain an enormous diversity of proteins, peptides, and other classes of substances. Insect venoms are characterized by a large interspecific variation resulting in extended lists of venom compounds. The venom composition of several hymenopterans also shows different intraspecific variation. For instance, venom from different honeybee castes, more specifically queens and workers, shows quantitative and qualitative variation, while the environment, like seasonal changes, also proves to be an important factor. The present study aimed at an in-depth analysis of the intraspecific variation in the honeybee venom proteome. In summer workers, the recent list of venom proteins resulted from merging combinatorial peptide ligand library sample pretreatment and targeted tandem mass spectrometry realized with a Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometer (FT-ICR MS/MS. Now, the same technique was used to determine the venom proteome of queens and winter bees, enabling us to compare it with that of summer bees. In total, 34 putative venom toxins were found, of which two were never described in honeybee venoms before. Venom from winter workers did not contain toxins that were not present in queens or summer workers, while winter worker venom lacked the allergen Api m 12, also known as vitellogenin. Venom from queen bees, on the other hand, was lacking six of the 34 venom toxins compared to worker bees, while it contained two new venom toxins, in particularly serine proteinase stubble and antithrombin-III. Although people are hardly stung by honeybees during winter or by queen bees, these newly identified toxins should be taken into account in the characterization of a putative allergic response against Apis mellifera stings.

  5. Honeybee venom proteome profile of queens and winter bees as determined by a mass spectrometric approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Danneels, Ellen L; Van Vaerenbergh, Matthias; Debyser, Griet; Devreese, Bart; de Graaf, Dirk C

    2015-11-01

    Venoms of invertebrates contain an enormous diversity of proteins, peptides, and other classes of substances. Insect venoms are characterized by a large interspecific variation resulting in extended lists of venom compounds. The venom composition of several hymenopterans also shows different intraspecific variation. For instance, venom from different honeybee castes, more specifically queens and workers, shows quantitative and qualitative variation, while the environment, like seasonal changes, also proves to be an important factor. The present study aimed at an in-depth analysis of the intraspecific variation in the honeybee venom proteome. In summer workers, the recent list of venom proteins resulted from merging combinatorial peptide ligand library sample pretreatment and targeted tandem mass spectrometry realized with a Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometer (FT-ICR MS/MS). Now, the same technique was used to determine the venom proteome of queens and winter bees, enabling us to compare it with that of summer bees. In total, 34 putative venom toxins were found, of which two were never described in honeybee venoms before. Venom from winter workers did not contain toxins that were not present in queens or summer workers, while winter worker venom lacked the allergen Api m 12, also known as vitellogenin. Venom from queen bees, on the other hand, was lacking six of the 34 venom toxins compared to worker bees, while it contained two new venom toxins, in particularly serine proteinase stubble and antithrombin-III. Although people are hardly stung by honeybees during winter or by queen bees, these newly identified toxins should be taken into account in the characterization of a putative allergic response against Apis mellifera stings. PMID:26529016

  6. Seasonal Dynamics in the Chemistry and Structure of the Fat Bodies of Bumblebee Queens.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alena Votavová

    Full Text Available Insects' fat bodies are responsible for nutrient storage and for a significant part of intermediary metabolism. Thus, it can be expected that the structure and content of the fat body will adaptively change, if an insect is going through different life stages. Bumblebee queens belong to such insects as they dramatically change their physiology several times over their lives in relation to their solitary overwintering, independent colony foundation stage, and during the colony life-cycle ending in the senescent stage. Here, we report on changes in the ultrastructure and lipid composition of the peripheral fat body of Bombus terrestris queens in relation to seasonal changes in the queens' activity. Six life stages are defined and evaluated in particular: pharate, callow, before and after hibernation, egg-laying, and senescence. Transmission electron microscopy revealed that the fat body contained two main cell types-adipocytes and oenocytes. Only adipocytes reveal important changes related to the life phase, and mostly the ration between inclusion and cytoplasm volume varies among particular stages. Both electron microscopy and chemical analyses of lipids highlighted seasonal variability in the quantity of the stored lipids, which peaked prior to hibernation. Triacylglycerols appeared to be the main energy source during hibernation, while the amount of glycogen before and after hibernation remained unchanged. In addition, we observed that the representation of some fatty acids within the triacylglycerols change during the queen's life. Last but not least, we show that fat body cell membranes do not undergo substantial changes concerning phospholipid composition in relation to overwintering. This finding supports the hypothesis that the cold-adaptation strategy of bumblebee queens is more likely to be based on polyol accumulation than on the restructuring of lipid membranes.

  7. Host manipulation of bumble bee queens by Sphaerularia nematodes indirectly affects foraging of non-host workers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kadoya, Eri Z; Ishii, Hiroshi S

    2015-05-01

    Sphaerularia bombi Dufour is a major parasite of bumble bee queens that manipulates its host's behavior: parasitized queens do not breed and found nests but continue to fly into the early summer months. We examined the indirect consequences of this host manipulation on non-host workers in central Hokkaido Island, Japan. In this area, parasitism of Bombus terrestris by S. bombi is common but does not affect every queen; therefore, as summer begins, B. terrestris queens continue to dominate some flower patches and disappear from others. At sites dominated by parasitized queens, we found that the nectar standing crop of red clover was smaller, B. terrestris workers carried out fewer legitimate visits to red clover and more nectar robberies, and the workers were smaller than at other sites. Removing queens from a site increased the nectar standing crop of red clover, the frequency of worker visits to red clover, and the size of the workers. These results suggest that host manipulation by S. bombi increased competition for flower resources among host queens and non-host workers and altered the interaction between plants and non-host flower visitors. PMID:26236849

  8. Impact of ecological doses of the most widespread phthalate on a terrestrial species, the ant Lasius niger.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cuvillier-Hot, Virginie; Salin, Karine; Devers, Séverine; Tasiemski, Aurélie; Schaffner, Pauline; Boulay, Raphaël; Billiard, Sylvain; Lenoir, Alain

    2014-05-01

    Phthalates are synthetic contaminants released into the environment notably by plastic waste. Semi-volatile, they adsorb to atmospheric particles and get distributed in all ecosystems. Effects of this major anthropogenic pollution in economical species in aquatic habitats have attracted large interest. On the contrary, very few studies have focused on wild terrestrial species. Yet, these lipophilic molecules are easily trapped by insect cuticle; ants and other insects have been shown to permanently bear among their cuticular components a non-negligible proportion of phthalates, meaning that they suffer from chronic exposure to these pollutants. Oral route could also be an additional way of contamination, as phthalates tend to stick to any organic particle. We show here via a food choice experiment that Lasius niger workers can detect, and avoid feeding on, food contaminated with DEHP (DiEthyl Hexyl Phthalate), the most widespread phthalate found in nature. This suggests that the main source of contamination for ants is atmosphere and that doses measured on the cuticle correspond to the chronic exposure levels for these animals. Such an ecologically relevant dose of DEHP was used to contaminate ants in lab and to investigate their physiological impact. Over a chronic exposure (1 dose per week for 5 weeks), the egg-laying rate of queens was significantly reduced lending credence to endocrine disruptive properties of such a pollutant, as also described for aquatic invertebrates. On the contrary, short term exposure (24h) to a single dose of DEHP does not induce oxidative stress in ant workers as expected, but leads to activation of the immune system. Because of their very large distribution, their presence in virtually all terrestrial ecosystems and their representation at all trophic levels, ants could be useful indicators of contamination by phthalates, especially via monitoring the level of activation of their immune state. PMID:24713390

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mueller, Ulrich G

    2012-06-01

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

  10. Leaf-Cutter Ant Parasitoids: Current Knowledge

    OpenAIRE

    Patricia J. Folgarait

    2013-01-01

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

  11. The agricultural pathology of ant fungus gardens

    OpenAIRE

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

    1999-01-01

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

  12. Path integration in desert ants, Cataglyphis fortis

    OpenAIRE

    Müller, Martin; Wehner, Rüdiger

    1988-01-01

    Foraging desert ants, Cataglyphis fortis, continually keep track of their own posotions relative to home— i.e., integrate their tortuous outbound routes and return home along straight (inbound) routes. By experimentally manipulating the ants' outbound trajectories we show that the ants solve this path integration problem not by performing a true vector summation (as a human navigator does) but by employing a computationally simple approximation. This approximation is characterized by small, b...

  13. Towards a multilevel ant colony optimization

    OpenAIRE

    Lian, Thomas Andreé; Llave, Marilex Rea

    2014-01-01

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

  14. GRID SCHEDULING USING ENHANCED ANT COLONY ALGORITHM

    OpenAIRE

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

    2010-01-01

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

  15. Ant cuticular response to phthalate pollution

    OpenAIRE

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2015-01-01

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

  17. Multi-Phase Defense by the Big-Headed Ant, Pheidole obtusospinosa, Against Raiding Army Ants

    OpenAIRE

    Huang, Ming H.

    2010-01-01

    Army ants are well known for their destructive raids of other ant colonies. Some known defensive strategies include nest evacuation, modification of nest architecture, blockade of nest entrances using rocks or debris, and direct combat outside the nest. Since army ants highly prefer Pheidole ants as prey in desert habitats, there may be strong selective pressure on Pheidole to evolve defensive strategies to better survive raids. In the case of P. obtusospinosa Pergande (Hymenoptera: Formicida...

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

    OpenAIRE

    Liqiang Liu; Yuntao Dai; Jinyu Gao

    2014-01-01

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

  19. Pest repellent properties of ant pheromones

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Offenberg, Joachim

    2012-01-01

    of ant pheromones may be sufficient to repel pest insects from ant territories. The study of ant semiochemicals is in its infancy, yet, evidence for their potential use in pest management is starting to build up. Pheromones from four of five tested ant species have been shown to deter herbivorous insect...... from the ants’ host plants. (i) Oecophylla smaragdina deposits disrupt chrysomelid (Rhyparida wallacei) feeding on a Thai mangrove, and (ii) deposits from O. longinoda repel ovipositing fruit flies (Bactrosera invadens and Ceratitis cosyra) from mango fruits in Benin. Also, deposits from two New World...

  20. Ilmub suurmeister Evald Okase monograafia / Ants Juske

    Index Scriptorium Estoniae

    Juske, Ants, 1956-

    2009-01-01

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

  1. GRID SCHEDULING USING ENHANCED ANT COLONY ALGORITHM

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. Mathiyalagan

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available Grid computing is a high performance computing used to solve larger scale computational demands. Task scheduling is a major issue in grid computing systems. Scheduling of tasks is the NP hard problem. The heuristic approach provides optimal solution for NP hard problems .The ant colony algorithm provides optimal solution. The existing ant colony algorithm takes more time to schedule the tasks. In this paper ant colony algorithm improved by enhancing pheromone updating rule such that it schedules the tasks efficiently and better resource utilization. The simulation results prove that proposed method reduces the execution time of tasks compared to existing ant colony algorithm.

  2. Antígona y la muerte

    OpenAIRE

    Pérez Alcolea, Simona Micaela

    2012-01-01

    La ponencia analiza la muerte de Antígona en la obra de Sófocles. Se propone que su suicidio es un acto consciente de voluntad preanunciado a lo largo de toda la obra y no una medida desesperada. Con ese fin se exploran las posibles motivaciones de Antígona para poner fin a su vida. En el análisis se proponen tres respuestas (no necesariamente excluyentes): -Antígona responde a la ética homérica. Está en lucha con Creón, y su suicidio es su golpe de gracia al poder del rey. -Antígona...

  3. Enhanced ants system and its application

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2005-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  5. 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

  6. The evolution of genome size in ants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Spagna Joseph C

    2008-02-01

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

  7. Multichannel Seismic Reflection Data - SCAR - Queen Maud Land - 1985-1986, SDLS CD-ROM vol 22

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — These data are stacked multichannel marine seismic reflection data recorded during 1985-86 in the Queen Maud Land region, Antarctica, by the Japan National Oil...

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

    OpenAIRE

    Edwin O Willis

    1984-01-01

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

  9. Changes in composition of cuticular biochemicals of the facultatively polygynous ant Petalomyrmex phylax during range expansion in Cameroon with respect to social, spatial and genetic variation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dalecky, Ambroise; Renucci, Marielle; Tirard, Alain; Debout, Gabriel; Roux, Maurice; Kjellberg, Finn; Provost, Erick

    2007-09-01

    In social insects, biochemicals found at the surface of the cuticle are involved in the recognition process and in protection against desiccation and pathogens. However, the relative contribution of evolutionary forces in shaping diversity of these biochemicals remains largely unresolved in ants. We determined the composition of epicuticular biochemicals for workers sampled in 12 populations of the ant Petalomyrmex phylax from Cameroon. Genetic variation at 12 microsatellite markers was used to infer population history and to provide null expectations under the neutrality hypothesis. Genetic data suggest a recent southward range expansion of this ant species. Furthermore, there is a decline southward in the numbers of queens present in mature colonies. Here, we contrast the pattern of biochemical variation against genetic, social and spatial parameters. We thus provide the first estimates of the relative contribution of neutral and selective processes on variation of ant cuticular profile. Populations in migration-drift disequilibrium showed reduction of within-population variation for genetic markers as well as for cuticular profiles. In these populations, the cuticular profile became biased towards a limited number of high molecular weight molecules. Within- and among-population biochemical variation was explained by both genetic and social variation and by the spatial distribution of populations. We therefore propose that during range expansion of P. phylax, the composition of epicuticular compounds has been affected by a combination of neutral processes - genetic drift and spatially limited dispersal - and spatially varying selection, social organization and environmental effects. PMID:17850545

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jack eHowe

    2016-05-01

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

  11. The use of radioactive platinum-iridium (Ir-192) tags for locating honey bee queens in colonies (Hymenoptera: Apidae)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Platinum-iridium (192Ir) wires were flattened to form tags 1.5 x 0.5 mm and attached to queen bees. The specific activity of each tag was approximately 25 μCi. No effect on fecundity or hive behaviour was noted. A manifold saving in time is to be realized in using this technique to locate queen bees in large late summer hives. (E.C.B.)

  12. Does a third year of emergency medicine training make a difference? Historical cohort study of Queen's University graduates.

    OpenAIRE

    2001-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: To describe outcomes of a third-year residency (PGY-3) program in family medicine/emergency medicine in terms of its graduates' practice characteristics and their self-assessed preparedness for practising emergency medicine. DESIGN: A questionnaire was sent to graduates of Queen's University's family medicine residency programs. SETTING: Recent graduates' practices. PARTICIPANTS: All 30 graduates of Queen's University's Family Medicine/Emergency Medicine Program (PGY-3s) from 1988 ...

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

    OpenAIRE

    Lubis, Dini Anggraini

    2011-01-01

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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. The Complexity of Fire Ant Nestmate Recognition

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  17. Dynamical Equilibrium of Interacting Ant Societies

    CERN Document Server

    Leok, B T M

    1996-01-01

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

  18. Lower disease infections in honeybee (Apis mellifera) colonies headed by polyandrous vs monandrous queens

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tarpy, David R.; Seeley, Thomas D.

    2006-04-01

    We studied the relationship between genetic diversity and disease susceptibility in honeybee colonies living under natural conditions. To do so, we created colonies in which each queen was artificially inseminated with sperm from either one or ten drones. Of the 20 colonies studied, 80% showed at least one brood disease. We found strong differences between the two types of colonies in the infection intensity of chalkbrood and in the total intensity of all brood diseases (chalkbrood, sacbrood, American foulbrood, and European foulbrood) with both variables lower for the colonies with higher genetic diversity. Our findings demonstrate that disease can be an important factor in the ecology of honeybee colonies and they provide strong support for the disease hypothesis for the evolution of polyandry by social insect queens.

  19. Queen Christina’s esoteric interests as a background to her Platonic Academies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Susanna Åkerman

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available In 1681 the blind quietist, Francois Malaval, stated that Queen Christina of Sweden late in life had ‘given up’ [Hermes] Trismegistos and the Platonists, in favour of the Church fathers. The statement does not explain what role the Church fathers were to play in her last years, but it does show that Christina really had been interested in the rather elitist and esoteric doctrine of Hermetic Platonic Christianity. In this article the author looks at her library to show the depth of this Hermetic involvement. Her interest serves as a background to her life as ex-queen in Italy after her famous abdication from the Swedish throne in 1654, when she was 27 years old.

  20. [Symptomatic Black Queen Cell Virus infection of drone brood in Hessian apiaries].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siede, Reinhold; Büchler, Ralph

    2003-01-01

    The Black Queen Cell Virus (BQCV) can affect brood of the honey bee (Apis mellifera). In general queen cells are endangered showing dark coloured cell walls as typical symptoms. Worker- and dronebrood can be infected by BQCV but normally without clinical symptoms. This paper describes for the first time a symptomatic BQCV-infection of diseased drone brood found on two bee yards in Hessen/Germany in 2001. The drone larvae were seriously damaged and some of them were dead. Samples of the affected brood were tested for BQCV by the PCR detection method. A BQCV specific nucleic acid fragment was found. The PCR product were sequenced and aligned with the relevant GenBank entry. At the nucleic acid level as well as at the deduced protein level the isolate showed a high similarity with the south african isolate noted in GenBank. PMID:12680279

  1. 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.

  2. Hybrid chaotic ant swarm optimization

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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.

  3. Spectacular Batesian mimicry in ants

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-10-01

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

  4. Physiological profiles associated with ceasing growth of unfertilized eggs produced by unmated queens in the subterranean termite Reticulitermes chinensis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Ganghua; Liu, Long; Sun, Pengdong; Wu, Yao; Lei, Chaoliang; Chen, Xiongwen; Huang, Qiuying

    2016-01-01

    In Reticulitermes chinensis, a close relative of R. speratus with asexual queen succession, unfertilized eggs can be produced but do not hatch as larvae. To explain this phenomenon, we analyzed the physiological differences between unfertilized eggs/unmated queens and fertilized eggs/mated queens. Fertilized eggs had significantly lower quantities of five amino acids (Cys, Met, Ile, Leu and Tyr), Ca, protein and cholesterol during development. The higher levels of four trace elements (Na, K, Zn and Fe) in fertilized eggs and their lower levels in mated queens indicated that mated queens might transfer these trace elements to fertilized eggs to aid development. The higher levels of Mn, triglycerides and serotonin in mated queens and higher levels of Mn and glucose in fertilized eggs suggested that these substances are very important for normal ovarian and embryonic growth. The different expression of three reproductive genes (vtg 1, rab 11 and JHE 1) suggested that they might be involved in the regulation of ovarian and embryonic growth. Overall, changes in these physiological indices may substantially affect ovarian and embryonic growth and inhibit development of unfertilized eggs in R. chinensis. PMID:27215326

  5. The Haus of Frau: Radical Drag Queens Disrupting the Visual Fiction of Gendered Appearances

    OpenAIRE

    Jacob, John Bryan

    1999-01-01

    This research considers the connections between appearance and identity apparent in the social experience of five gay male drag queens. Appearing at variance with gender norms that underwrite male appearance in mainstream society and among gay men prompted social consequences that impacted their identities and world views. One aim is to apprehend the experiences of difference that drag appearance manifest and expressed. Another aim is to gain a new perspective on the social construction of g...

  6. Honeybee venom proteome profile of queens and winter bees as determined by a mass spectrometric approach

    OpenAIRE

    Danneels, Ellen L.; Matthias Van Vaerenbergh; Griet Debyser; Bart Devreese; Dirk C de Graaf

    2015-01-01

    Venoms of invertebrates contain an enormous diversity of proteins, peptides, and other classes of substances. Insect venoms are characterized by a large interspecific variation resulting in extended lists of venom compounds. The venom composition of several hymenopterans also shows different intraspecific variation. For instance, venom from different honeybee castes, more specifically queens and workers, shows quantitative and qualitative variation, while the environment, like seasonal change...

  7. Effects of mosquito control pesticides on competent queen conch (Strombus gigas) larvae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delgado, Gabriel A; Glazer, Robert A; Wetzel, Dana

    2013-10-01

    Pesticides are applied seasonally in the Florida Keys to control nuisance populations of mosquitoes that pose a health threat to humans. There is, however, a need to investigate the effects of these pesticides on non-target marine organisms. We tested naled and permethrin, two mosquito adulticides used in the Keys, on a critical early life-history stage of queen conch (Strombus gigas). We conducted 12-h exposure experiments on competent (i.e., capable of undergoing metamorphosis) queen conch larvae using environmentally relevant pesticide concentrations. We found that there was little to no mortality and that the pesticides did not induce or interfere with metamorphosis. However, after introduction of a natural metamorphic cue (extract of the red alga Laurencia potei), a significantly greater proportion of larvae underwent metamorphosis in the pesticide treatments than in those with the alga alone. In addition to the morphogenetic pathway that induces metamorphosis when stimulated, there thus appears to be a regulatory pathway that enhances the response to metamorphic triggers, as suggested by the increased sensitivity of the queen conch larvae to the algal cue after pesticide exposure (i.e., the pesticides stimulated the regulatory pathway). The regulatory pathway probably plays a role in the identification of high-quality habitat for metamorphosis, as the increased response to the algal cue suggests. Aerial drift and runoff can carry these pesticides into nearshore waters, where they may act as a false signal of favorable conditions and facilitate metamorphosis in suboptimal habitat, thus adversely affecting recruitment in nearshore queen conch populations. PMID:24243960

  8. Does it Pay to do Well in Competitions? The case of the Queen Elizabeth Piano Competition

    OpenAIRE

    Ginsburgh, V.; van Ours, J.C.

    2001-01-01

    Pianists who achieve high scores in the Queen Elizabeth musical competition are rewarded by subsequent success.It is not clear whether this is caused by the score itself or because those who have high scores are better pianists anyway. Since the timing and the order of appearance are good instrumental variables for the nal ranking, our data on eleven subsequent competitions make it possible to distinguish between the two alternative explanations.We find that high scores have an impact on late...

  9. Cassini ISS Astrometry by the Astronomy Unit at Queen Mary, University of London - An Overview

    OpenAIRE

    Cooper, Nicholas J; Murray, Carl D.; Evans, Michael W.; Beurle, Kevin; Williams, Gareth

    2012-01-01

    Program available at: http://www.imcce.fr/hosted_sites/naroo/program.html International audience The Cassini group within the Astronomy Unit at Queen Mary, University of London (QMUL) has been using the Imaging Science Subsystem (ISS) of the Cassini Spacecraft to make astrometric observations of the inner satellites and F ring of Saturn since 2004. Further observations are planned until the end of the mission in 2017. Here we summarize this work and describe how the astrometric data is ...

  10. Conservation and modification of genetic and physiological toolkits underpinning diapause in bumble bee queens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amsalem, Etya; Galbraith, David A; Cnaani, Jonathan; Teal, Peter E A; Grozinger, Christina M

    2015-11-01

    Diapause is the key adaptation allowing insects to survive unfavourable conditions and inhabit an array of environments. Physiological changes during diapause are largely conserved across species and are hypothesized to be regulated by a conserved suite of genes (a 'toolkit'). Furthermore, it is hypothesized that in social insects, this toolkit was co-opted to mediate caste differentiation between long-lived, reproductive, diapause-capable queens and short-lived, sterile workers. Using Bombus terrestris queens, we examined the physiological and transcriptomic changes associated with diapause and CO2 treatment, which causes queens to bypass diapause. We performed comparative analyses with genes previously identified to be associated with diapause in the Dipteran Sarcophaga crassipalpis and with caste differentiation in bumble bees. As in Diptera, diapause in bumble bees is associated with physiological and transcriptional changes related to nutrient storage, stress resistance and core metabolic pathways. There is a significant overlap, both at the level of transcript and gene ontology, between the genetic mechanisms mediating diapause in B. terrestris and S. crassipalpis, reaffirming the existence of a conserved insect diapause genetic toolkit. However, a substantial proportion (10%) of the differentially regulated transcripts in diapausing queens have no clear orthologs in other species, and key players regulating diapause in Diptera (juvenile hormone and vitellogenin) appear to have distinct functions in bumble bees. We also found a substantial overlap between genes related to caste determination and diapause in bumble bees. Thus, our studies demonstrate an intriguing interplay between pathways underpinning adaptation to environmental extremes and the evolution of sociality in insects. PMID:26453894

  11. An observation study on the effects of queen age on some characteristics of honey bee colonies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ibrahim Çakmak

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available This study was conducted to determine the effects of the queen’s age on performance of the honeybee (A. mellifera anatoliaca colonies at nomad beekeeping conditions. Performances of the colonies, which had 0, 1, 2 and 3 year-old queens, were compared. The number of combs, brood areas, wintering ability survival rate and honey yield were determined as performance criteria. The average number of combs with bees throughout the experiment in Group I, Group II, Group III and Group IV was 10.92±0.78, 14.68±0.55, 10.10±0.60, 7.88±0.45 number combs/colony; the average of brood areas was 3078±372.5 cm2, 3668±460.3 cm2, 2215±294.0 cm2, 1665.38±241.8 cm2; the average of wintering ability was 84.3±2.9%, 88.0±3.7%, 46.6±19.0%, 26.8±16.5%; the survival rate was 100%, 100%, 60%, 40%; and the average of honey yields was 31.4±1.89 kg, 41.5±1.05 kg, 20.4±2.62 kg and 12.0±1.41 kg per colony, respectively. A significant and negative correlation between queen age and brood production (r=-80.2, colony strength (r=-62.5, wintering ability (r=-66 and honey yield (r=-75.6 were calculated (P<0.01. The colonies headed by young queens had more brood areas, longer worker colony population, better wintering ability and greater honey yield in comparison to colonies headed by old queens.

  12. Rb-Sr ages of lamprophyre dykes from Schirmacher Oasis, Queen Maud Land, east Antarctica

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lamprophyre dykes intrude the late proterozoic metamorphic terrain of Schirmacher Oasis, Queen Maud Land, east Antarctica. Rb-Sr whole-rock/mineral isochron ages of two lamprophyre dykes are 455± 12 Ma (Sri=0.70886 ± 5) and 458±6 Ma (Sri=0.71388 ± 98). This lamprophyre dyke activity of Schirmacher Oasis, may be interpreted as a manifestation of post orogenic alkaline magmatism related to the Ross orogeny of the Transantarctic mountains. (author)

  13. Localization of deformed wing virus infection in queen and drone Apis mellifera L

    OpenAIRE

    Colin Marc; Cousserans François; de Miranda Joachim; Gauthier Laurent; Tentcheva Diana; Fievet Julie; Bergoin Max

    2006-01-01

    Abstract The distribution of deformed wing virus infection within the honey bee reproductive castes (queens, drones) was investigated by in situ hybridization and immunohistology from paraffin embedded sections. Digoxygenin or CY5.5 fluorochrome end-labelled nucleotide probes hybridizing to the 3' portion of the DWV genome were used to identify DWV RNA, while a monospecific antibody to the DWV-VP1 structural protein was used to identify viral proteins and particles. The histological data wer...

  14. New taxa to commemorate the opening of the Van Steenis building by Her Majesty Queen Beatrix

    OpenAIRE

    Baas, Pieter

    1996-01-01

    Systematic botany is about the discovery, description, naming, and understanding of plant diversity. Of these four aspects the naming and describing of new species belongs to the most traditional, yet exciting activities of the plant taxonomist. On the occasion of the official opening of the Van Steenis Building by Her Majesty Queen Beatrix, we indulge in presenting species and one genus, new to science, and named to commemorate this auspicious event. The Van Steenis Building provides the new...

  15. God Save the Red Queen! Competition in Co-Evolutionary Robotics

    OpenAIRE

    D. Floreano; Nolfi, S.

    1997-01-01

    In the simplest scenario of two co-evolving populations in competition with each other, fitness progress is achieved at disadvantage of the other population's fitness. The everchanging fitness landscape caused by the competing species (named the "Red Queen effect") makes the system dynamics more complex, but it also provides a set of advantages with respect to single-population evolution. Here we present results from an experiment with two mobile robots, a predator equipped with vision and a ...

  16. 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.

  17. Urban ants and transportation of nosocomial bacteria.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-01-01

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

  18. Social Structure and Genetic Distance Mediate Nestmate Recognition and Aggressiveness in the Facultative Polygynous Ant Pheidole pallidula

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Laet, Sophie; Lenoir, Alain; Passera, Luc; Aron, Serge

    2016-01-01

    In social insects, the evolutionary stability of cooperation depends on the privileged relationships between individuals of the social group, which is facilitated by the recognition of relatives. Nestmate recognition is based on genetically determined cues and/or environmentally derived chemical components present on the cuticle of individuals. Here, we studied nestmate recognition in the ant Pheidole pallidula, a species where both single-queen (monogyne) and multiple-queen (polygyne) colonies co-occur in the same population. We combined geographical, genetic and chemical analyses to disentangle the factors influencing the level of intraspecific aggressiveness. We show that encounters between workers from neighbouring colonies (i.e., nests less than 5 m away) are on average less aggressive than those between workers from more distant colonies. Aggressive behaviour is associated with the level of genetic difference: workers from monogyne colonies are more aggressive than workers from polygyne colonies, and the intensity of aggressiveness is positively associated with the genetic distance between colonies. Since the genetic distance is correlated with the spatial distance between pairs of colonies, the lower level of aggression toward neighbours may result from their higher relatedness. In contrast, the analysis of overall cuticular hydrocarbon profiles shows that aggressive behaviour is associated neither with the chemical diversity of colonies, nor with the chemical distances between them. When considering methyl-branched alkanes only, however, chemical distances differed between monogyne and polygyne colonies and were significantly associated with aggressiveness. Altogether, these results show that the social structure of colonies and the genetic distances between colonies are two major factors influencing the intensity of agonistic behaviours in the ant P. pallidula. PMID:27243627

  19. Genomewide analysis indicates that queen larvae have lower methylation levels in the honey bee ( Apis mellifera)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shi, Yuan Yuan; Yan, Wei Yu; Huang, Zachary Y.; Wang, Zi Long; Wu, Xiao Bo; Zeng, Zhi Jiang

    2013-02-01

    The honey bee is a social insect characterized by caste differentiation, by which a young larva can develop into either a queen or a worker. Despite possessing the same genome, queen and workers display marked differences in reproductive capacity, physiology, and behavior. Recent studies have shown that DNA methylation plays important roles in caste differentiation. To further explore the roles of DNA methylation in this process, we analyzed DNA methylome profiles of both queen larvae (QL) and worker larvae (WL) of different ages (2, 4, and 6 day old), by using methylated DNA immunoprecipitation-sequencing (meDIP-seq) technique. The global DNA methylation levels varied between the larvae of two castes. DNA methylation increased from 2-day- to 4-day-old QL and then decreased in 6-day-old larvae. In WL, methylation levels increased with age. The methylcytosines in both larvae were enriched in introns, followed by coding sequence (CDS) regions, CpG islands, 2 kbp downstream and upstream of genes, and 5' and 3' untranslated regions (UTRs). The number of differentially methylated genes (DMGs) in 2-, 4-, and 6-day-old QL and WL was 725, 3,013, and 5,049, respectively. Compared to 4- and 6-day-old WL, a large number of genes in QL were downmethylated, which were involved in many processes including development, reproduction, and metabolic regulation. In addition, some DMGs were concerned with caste differentiation.

  20. Effectiveness of deslorelin acetate subcutaneous implantation in a domestic queen with after-spaying urinary incontinence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pisu, Maria Carmela; Veronesi, Maria Cristina

    2014-04-01

    A 2-year-old female ovariectomised Norwegian Forest cat with a history of post-spaying urinary incontinence was diagnosed with acquired urinary sphincter mechanism incompetence (USMI) after complete clinical and laboratory examination. Although there is no literature regarding the treatment of post-spaying USMI in cats, deslorelin acetate is successful in the treatment of post-spaying USMI in dogs. Deslorelin acetate implants have been shown previously to be effective for contraception and oestrus suppression in queens, and suppression of reproductive function in tomcats. Therefore, deslorelin acetate implant treatment was chosen for treatment of post-spaying USMI in this queen. Follow-up examinations were performed on days 8, 15 and 30 after deslorelin implant insertion. Urinary continence was restored about 25 days after implantation and maintained for at least 15 months, without treatment-related negative effects. In the present case report, the post-spaying urinary incontinence related to the acquired USMI was successfully treated with a deslorelin acetate implant. In addition, safe implantation was easy in cats and the single injection resulted in long-lasting efficacy. Further studies are needed to confirm the usefulness of deslorelin acetate treatment for post-spaying USMI in queens and to better delineate the duration of efficacy. PMID:23873046

  1. Nosematose injuries to queen bees progeny - worker bees - following gamma irradiation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    A study is made of the effect of the queen bee exposure to Co60 gamma radiation of different doses on the resistance of the honeybees to nosematosis. The bioassay consists in a whole-body single irradiation of the queen bees at the GUBEH-800 gamma-irradiation plant with the dose rate 476 r/min (Co60). The scheme of the experiments is described. The investigations have demonstrated that under equal living conditions the bees of the same age incubated in the beehive exhibit different susceptibility to nosematosis. In the case of seven days old bees after the exposure of the queen bee to 1500 r dose the general nosematosis injury has dropped sharply as compared to the progeny of the bees produced prior to irradiation. The bees' organism at this age is actively resisting the disease and also compensating for the injured tissue functions caused by irradiation. The experiments have been conducted on determining the optimal radiation doses affecting the disease progress

  2. Quantum chemical study on the stability of honeybee queen pheromone against atmospheric factors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shi, Rongwei; Liu, Fanglin

    2016-06-01

    The managed honeybee, Apis mellifera, has been experienced a puzzling event, termed as colony collapse disorder (CCD), in which worker bees abruptly disappear from their hives. Potential factors include parasites, pesticides, malnutrition, and environmental stresses. However, so far, no definitive relationship has been established between specific causal factors and CCD events. Here we theoretically test whether atmospheric environment could disturb the chemical communication between the queen and their workers in a colony. A quantum chemistry method has been used to investigate for the stability of the component of A. mellifera queen mandibular pheromone (QMP), (E)-9-keto-2-decenoic acid (9-ODA), against atmospheric water and free radicals. The results show that 9-ODA is less likely to react with water due to the high barrier heights (~36.5 kcal · mol(-1)) and very low reaction rates. However, it can easily react with triplet oxygen and hydroxyl radicals because of low or negative energy barriers. Thus, the atmospheric free radicals may disturb the chemical communication between the queen and their daughters in a colony. Our pilot study provides new insight for the cause of CCD, which has been reported throughout the world. PMID:27207255

  3. West Pearl Queen CO2 sequestration pilot test and modeling project 2006-2008.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Engler, Bruce Phillip; Cooper, Scott Patrick; Symons, Neill Phillip; Bartel, Lewis Clark; Byrer, Charles (National Energy Laboratory, Morgantown, WV); Elbring, Gregory Jay; McNemar, Andrea (National Energy Laboratory, Morgantown, WV); Aldridge, David Franklin; Lorenz, John Clay

    2008-08-01

    The West Pearl Queen is a depleted oil reservoir that has produced approximately 250,000 bbl of oil since 1984. Production had slowed prior to CO{sub 2} injection, but no previous secondary or tertiary recovery methods had been applied. The initial project involved reservoir characterization and field response to injection of CO{sub 2}; the field experiment consisted of injection, soak, and venting. For fifty days (December 20, 2002, to February 11, 2003) 2090 tons of CO{sub 2} were injected into the Shattuck Sandstone Member of the Queen Formation at the West Pearl Queen site. This technical report highlights the test results of the numerous research participants and technical areas from 2006-2008. This work included determination of lateral extents of the permeability units using outcrop observations, core results, and well logs. Pre- and post-injection 3D seismic data were acquired. To aid in interpreting seismic data, we performed numerical simulations of the effects of CO{sub 2} replacement of brine where the reservoir model was based upon correlation lengths established by the permeability studies. These numerical simulations are not intended to replicate field data, but to provide insight of the effects of CO{sub 2}.

  4. Does the Red Queen reign in the kingdom of digital organisms?

    CERN Document Server

    Wilke, C O

    2003-01-01

    In competition experiments between two RNA viruses of equal or almost equal fitness, often both strains gain in fitness before one eventually excludes the other. This observation has been linked to the Red Queen effect, which describes a situation in which organisms have to constantly adapt just to keep their status quo. I carried out experiments with digital organisms (self-replicating computer programs) in order to clarify how the competing strains' location in fitness space influences the Red-Queen effect. I found that gains in fitness during competition were prevalent for organisms that were taken from the base of a fitness peak, but absent or rare for organisms that were taken from the top of a peak or from a considerable distance away from the nearest peak. In the latter two cases, either neutral drift and loss of the fittest mutants or the waiting time to the first beneficial mutation were more important factors. Moreover, I found that the Red-Queen dynamic in general led to faster exclusion than the o...

  5. Ant-Based Cyber Security

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Haack, Jereme N.; Fink, Glenn A.; Maiden, Wendy M.; McKinnon, Archibald D.; Templeton, Steven J.; Fulp, Errin W.

    2011-07-12

    We describe a swarming-agent-based, mixed-initiative approach to infrastructure defense where teams of humans and software agents defend cooperating organizations in tandem by sharing insights and solutions without violating proprietary boundaries. The system places human administrators at the appropriate level where they provide system guidance while lower-level agents carry out tasks humans are unable to perform quickly enough to mitigate today’s security threats. Cooperative Infrastructure Defense (CID) uses our ant-based approach to enable dialogue between humans and agents to foster a collaborative problem-solving environment, increase human situational awareness and influence using visualization and shared control. We discuss theoretical implementation characteristics along with results from recent proof-of-concept implementations.

  6. How to be an ant on figs

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-05-01

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

  7. Study of the seasonal variation in the exchanges of food labelled with 198Au from a worker bee to a queen (Apis mellifica ligustica S.)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Food exchanges from a worker giver to a queen receiver were quantified throughout the year. 4 days old workers distribute great amounts of food to queens, about 74% in average, but variations are low. On the other hand workers of unknown age distribute amounts that are less high and varying in terms of the season. A parallelism exists between percentage variations of food shared by workers of unknown age and the seasonal cycle of the 9-oxodec-2-enoic acid content of queens

  8. 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

    2008-12-01

    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/m(2)) to 1- and 4-m(2) 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. PMID:19034574

  9. Variation in honey yield per hive of Africanized bees depending on the introducing time of young queens

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vladson Carbonari

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT: The objective of this research was to evaluate the honey production per hive and the egg laying rates of queens produced in 2007, 2008 and 2010. Thirty colonies initiated with a queen per colony at each climatic season were used during the three years. The years, started on January (summer, April (autumn, July (winter and October (spring and ended 12 months later, at the same periods related to each season of the later years. Honey supply were weighed before and after centrifugation to evaluate the quantity of the stored honey. Colonies with queens introduced during autumn and winter in the three years produced 57.2±6.0kg and 60.7±7.5kg of honey, respectively. In the first year of production activity, after the introduction of queens in the initial colonies, values were significantly higher than those obtained in colonies with queens introduced in the summer (39.3±7.6kg and spring (41.8±3.7kg. Egg laying rates of queens were higher in spring (98.2±3.9% and summer (88.4±7%, indicating greater food flow (flowerings in these seasons compared to the averages in autumn (30.3±8.1% and winter (24.5±7.2%. Produce and introduce queens of Africanized Apis mellifera in colonies initiated during autumn and winter was found to be economically feasible. Honey production of colonies initiated in these periods were higher and they had greater population stability in times of scarcity of flowerings.

  10. Honey Bee Colonies Headed by Hyperpolyandrous Queens Have Improved Brood Rearing Efficiency and Lower Infestation Rates of Parasitic Varroa Mites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delaplane, Keith S; Pietravalle, Stéphane; Brown, Mike A; Budge, Giles E

    2015-01-01

    A honey bee queen mates on wing with an average of 12 males and stores their sperm to produce progeny of mixed paternity. The degree of a queen's polyandry is positively associated with measures of her colony's fitness, and observed distributions of mating number are evolutionary optima balancing risks of mating flights against benefits to the colony. Effective mating numbers as high as 40 have been documented, begging the question of the upper bounds of this behavior that can be expected to confer colony benefit. In this study we used instrumental insemination to create three classes of queens with exaggerated range of polyandry--15, 30, or 60 drones. Colonies headed by queens inseminated with 30 or 60 drones produced more brood per bee and had a lower proportion of samples positive for Varroa destructor mites than colonies whose queens were inseminated with 15 drones, suggesting benefits of polyandry at rates higher than those normally obtaining in nature. Our results are consistent with two hypotheses that posit conditions that reward such high expressions of polyandry: (1) a queen may mate with many males in order to promote beneficial non-additive genetic interactions among subfamilies, and (2) a queen may mate with many males in order to capture a large number of rare alleles that regulate resistance to pathogens and parasites in a breeding population. Our results are unique for identifying the highest levels of polyandry yet detected that confer colony-level benefit and for showing a benefit of polyandry in particular toward the parasitic mite V. destructor. PMID:26691845

  11. Honey Bee Colonies Headed by Hyperpolyandrous Queens Have Improved Brood Rearing Efficiency and Lower Infestation Rates of Parasitic Varroa Mites.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Keith S Delaplane

    Full Text Available A honey bee queen mates on wing with an average of 12 males and stores their sperm to produce progeny of mixed paternity. The degree of a queen's polyandry is positively associated with measures of her colony's fitness, and observed distributions of mating number are evolutionary optima balancing risks of mating flights against benefits to the colony. Effective mating numbers as high as 40 have been documented, begging the question of the upper bounds of this behavior that can be expected to confer colony benefit. In this study we used instrumental insemination to create three classes of queens with exaggerated range of polyandry--15, 30, or 60 drones. Colonies headed by queens inseminated with 30 or 60 drones produced more brood per bee and had a lower proportion of samples positive for Varroa destructor mites than colonies whose queens were inseminated with 15 drones, suggesting benefits of polyandry at rates higher than those normally obtaining in nature. Our results are consistent with two hypotheses that posit conditions that reward such high expressions of polyandry: (1 a queen may mate with many males in order to promote beneficial non-additive genetic interactions among subfamilies, and (2 a queen may mate with many males in order to capture a large number of rare alleles that regulate resistance to pathogens and parasites in a breeding population. Our results are unique for identifying the highest levels of polyandry yet detected that confer colony-level benefit and for showing a benefit of polyandry in particular toward the parasitic mite V. destructor.

  12. Effects of queen ages on Varroa (Varroa destructor infestation level in honey bee (Apis mellifera caucasica colonies and colony performance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Duran Özkök

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available This study was conducted to determine the effects of queen age on varroa population levels in hives and performance of honey bee (A. mellifera caucasica colonies. Levels of varroa infestation and performances of the colonies which had 0, 1- and 2-year-old queens were compared in mild climate conditions. Varroa numbers on adults and drone brood, number of frames covered with bees and brood areas were determined every month between 10 May and 10 October 2004. Overall average (± S.E. % infestation levels of varroa were found to be 5.96 ± 1.42, 11.58 ± 1.46 and 15.87 ± 1.39% on adult bees and 21.55 ± 1.43, 31.96 ± 1.44 and 37.55 ± 1.45% in drone brood cells for 0, 1- and 2-year-old queen colonies, respectively. The colonies which had 0, 1- and 2-year-old queens produced 2673.58 ± 39.69, 2711.75 ± 39.68, and 1815.08 ± 39.70 cm2 overall average (± S.E. sealed brood and 10.35 ± 0.24, 10.43 ± 0.26 and 7.51 ± 0.21 numbers of frame adult bees, respectively. Honey harvested from 0, 1- and 2-year-old queen colonies averaged 21.60 ± 5.25, 22.20 ± 6.55, and 14.70 ± 2.50 kg/colony, respectively. The colonies headed by young queens had a lower level of varroa infestation, a greater brood area, longer worker bee population and greater honey yield in comparison to colonies headed by old queens.

  13. Calibration of vector navigation in desert ants.

    OpenAIRE

    Collett, M; Collett, T. S.; Wehner, R

    1999-01-01

    Desert ants (Cataglyphis sp.) monitor their position relative to the nest using a form of dead reckoning [1] [2] [3] known as path integration (PI) [4]. They do this with a sun compass and an odometer to update an accumulator that records their current position [1]. Ants can use PI to return to the nest [2] [3]. Here, we report that desert ants, like honeybees [5] and hamsters [6], can also use PI to approach a previously visited food source. To navigate to a goal using only PI information, a...

  14. Data classification by Fuzzy Ant-Miner

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohamed Hamlich

    2012-03-01

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

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

    CERN Document Server

    Parisi, Daniel R; Josens, Roxana

    2014-01-01

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

  16. Raiders from the sky: slavemaker founding queens select for aggressive host colonies

    OpenAIRE

    Pamminger, Tobias; Modlmeier, Andreas P.; Suette, Stefan; Pennings, Pleuni S.; Foitzik, Susanne

    2012-01-01

    Reciprocal selection pressures in host–parasite systems drive coevolutionary arms races that lead to advanced adaptations in both opponents. In the interactions between social parasites and their hosts, aggression is one of the major behavioural traits under selection. In a field manipulation, we aimed to disentangle the impact of slavemaking ants and nest density on aggression of Temnothorax longispinosus ants. An early slavemaker mating flight provided us with the unique opportunity to stud...

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

    OpenAIRE

    Parisi, Daniel R.; Soria, Sabrina A; Josens, Roxana

    2014-01-01

    In this work we studied the trajectories, velocities and densities of ants when egressing under controlled levels of stress produced by a chemical repellent at different concentrations. We found that, unlike other animals escaping under life-and-death conditions and pedestrian simulations, ants do not produce a higher density zone near the exit door. Instead, ants are uniformly distributed over the available space allowing for efficient evacuations. Consequently, the faster-is-slower effect o...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-06-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2015-01-01

    Weaver ants (genus Oecophylla) are tropical carnivorous ant species living in high numbers in the canopies of trees. The ants excrete copious amounts of fecal matter on leaf surfaces, and these feces may provide nutrients to host trees. This hypothesis is supported by studies of ant-plant interac...

  20. Egocentric information helps desert ants to navigate around familiar obstacles.

    OpenAIRE

    Bisch-Knaden, S.; Wehner, R.

    2001-01-01

    Homing ants have been shown to associate directional information with familiar landmarks. The sight of these local cues might either directly guide the path of the ant or it might activate a landmark-based vector that points towards the goal position. In either case, the ants define their courses within allocentric systems of reference. Here, we show that desert ants, Cataglyphis fortis, forced to run along a devious path can use egocentric information as well. The ants were trained to deviat...

  1. Rose Atoll - Eradication of Invasive Ants

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  2. Thomas Stearns Elioti neoklassitsistlik luuleteooria / Ants Oras

    Index Scriptorium Estoniae

    Oras, Ants

    2003-01-01

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

  3. 'Older women', customary obligations and orphan foster caregiving: the case of queen mothers in Manya Klo, Ghana.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drah, Bright B

    2014-06-01

    Female orphan caregivers in countries heavily affected by HIV in sub-Saharan Africa are often presented as a homogenous group of vulnerable 'older women' that struggles to support orphans. There is a dearth of data on the different kinds of women and how their social characteristics impact their survival strategies and caregiving responsibilities. This study examines the link between the social characteristics of queen mothers in Manya Klo in Ghana and their roles as caregivers. The research findings suggest that queen mothers have become the primary caregivers of orphans, even though they do not have the wherewithal to provide for these orphans. The lack of kin support to queen mothers exacerbates their physical and economic vulnerabilities. They engage in less dignifying economic activities and pay less attention to their own needs in order to meet their customary obligations as orphan caregivers. The growing influence of queen mothers as caregivers for orphans, however, is a reflection of some of the changes that are occurring in customary foster care arrangements. Policy makers and interventionists require in depth understanding of queen mothers and their peculiar circumstances in order to strengthen their roles as leaders and caregivers. PMID:24737050

  4. Mating frequencies of honey bee queens (Apis mellifera L. in a population of feral colonies in the Northeastern United States.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David R Tarpy

    Full Text Available Across their introduced range in North America, populations of feral honey bee (Apis mellifera L. colonies have supposedly declined in recent decades as a result of exotic parasites, most notably the ectoparasitic mite Varroa destructor. Nonetheless, recent studies have documented several wild populations of colonies that have persisted. The extreme polyandry of honey bee queens-and the increased intracolony genetic diversity it confers-has been attributed, in part, to improved disease resistance and may be a factor in the survival of these populations of feral colonies. We estimated the mating frequencies of queens in feral colonies in the Arnot Forest in New York State to determine if the level of polyandry of these queens is especially high and so might contribute to their survival success. We genotyped the worker offspring from 10 feral colonies in the Arnot Forest of upstate New York, as well as those from 20 managed colonies closest to this forest. We found no significant differences in mean mating frequency between the feral and managed queens, suggesting that queens in the remote, low-density population of colonies in the Arnot Forest are neither mate-limited nor adapted to mate at an especially high frequency. These findings support the hypothesis that the hyperpolyandry of honey bees has been shaped on an evolutionary timescale rather than on an ecological one.

  5. Mating frequencies of honey bee queens (Apis mellifera L.) in a population of feral colonies in the Northeastern United States.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tarpy, David R; Delaney, Deborah A; Seeley, Thomas D

    2015-01-01

    Across their introduced range in North America, populations of feral honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) colonies have supposedly declined in recent decades as a result of exotic parasites, most notably the ectoparasitic mite Varroa destructor. Nonetheless, recent studies have documented several wild populations of colonies that have persisted. The extreme polyandry of honey bee queens-and the increased intracolony genetic diversity it confers-has been attributed, in part, to improved disease resistance and may be a factor in the survival of these populations of feral colonies. We estimated the mating frequencies of queens in feral colonies in the Arnot Forest in New York State to determine if the level of polyandry of these queens is especially high and so might contribute to their survival success. We genotyped the worker offspring from 10 feral colonies in the Arnot Forest of upstate New York, as well as those from 20 managed colonies closest to this forest. We found no significant differences in mean mating frequency between the feral and managed queens, suggesting that queens in the remote, low-density population of colonies in the Arnot Forest are neither mate-limited nor adapted to mate at an especially high frequency. These findings support the hypothesis that the hyperpolyandry of honey bees has been shaped on an evolutionary timescale rather than on an ecological one. PMID:25775410

  6. Review of samples of sediment, tailings, and waters adjacent to the Cactus Queen gold mine, Kern County, California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rytuba, James J.; Kim, Christopher S.; Goldstein, Daniel N.

    2011-01-01

    The Cactus Queen Mine is located in the western Mojave Desert in Kern County, California. The Cactus Queen gold-silver (Au-Ag) deposit is similar to other Au-Ag deposits hosted in Miocene volcanic rocks that consist of silicic domes and associated flows, pyroclastic rocks, and subvolcanic intrusions. The volcanic rocks were emplaced onto a basement of Mesozoic silicic intrusive rocks. A part of the Cactus Queen Mine is located on Federal land managed by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Staff from the BLM initially sampled the mine area and documented elevated concentrations of arsenic (As) in tailings and sediment. BLM then requested that the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in collaboration with Chapman University, measure and characterize As and other geochemical constituents in sediment, tailings, and waters on the part of the mine on Federal lands. This report is made in response to the request by the BLM, the lead agency mandated to conduct a Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) - Removal Site Investigation (RSI). The RSI applies to the potential removal of As-contaminated mine waste from the Cactus Queen Mine as a means of reducing As release and exposure to humans and biota. This report summarizes data obtained from field sampling of sediments, mine tailings, and surface waters at the Cactus Queen Mine on January 27, 2008. Our results provide a preliminary assessment of the sources of As and associated chemical constituents that could potentially impact humans and biota.

  7. An Improved Heuristic Ant-Clustering Algorithm

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Yunfei Chen; Yushu Liu; Jihai Zhao

    2004-01-01

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

  8. Structure and formation of ant transportation networks

    OpenAIRE

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

    2011-01-01

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

  9. Statistical Approach for Selecting Elite Ants

    CERN Document Server

    S., Raghavendra G

    2012-01-01

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

  10. On Ants, Bacteria and Dynamic Environments

    OpenAIRE

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

    2005-01-01

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

  11. Clustering outdoor soundscapes using fuzzy ants

    OpenAIRE

    De Coensel, Bert; Botteldooren, Dick; Debacq, K.; Nilsson, M.E.; Berglund, B

    2008-01-01

    A classification algorithm for environmental sound recordings or "soundscapes" is outlined. An ant clustering approach is proposed, in which the behavior of the ants is governed by fuzzy rules. These rules are optimized by a genetic algorithm specially designed in order to achieve the optimal set of homogeneous clusters. Soundscape similarity is expressed as fuzzy resemblance of the shape of the sound pressure level histogram, the frequency spectrum and the spectrum of temporal fluctuations. ...

  12. Covenant idea in ante-Nicene theology

    OpenAIRE

    Duncan, Jennings Ligon

    1995-01-01

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

  13. Worker Longevity in Harvester Ants (Pogonomyrmex)

    OpenAIRE

    Gordon, D M; Hölldobler, B.

    1987-01-01

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

  14. Data classification by Fuzzy Ant-Miner

    OpenAIRE

    Mohamed Hamlich; Mohammed Ramdani

    2012-01-01

    In this paper we propose an extension of classification algorithm based on ant colony algorithms to handle continuous valued attributes using the concepts of fuzzy logic. The ant colony algorithms transform continuous attributes into nominal attributes by creating clenched discrete intervals. This may lead to false predictions of the target attribute, especially if the attribute value history is close to the borders of discretization. Continuous attributes are discretized on the fly into fuzz...

  15. Optic disc detection using ant colony optimization

    OpenAIRE

    Dias, Marcy; Monteiro, Fernando C.

    2012-01-01

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

  16. Automatic Programming with Ant Colony Optimization

    OpenAIRE

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

    2004-01-01

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

  17. HERBAL PLANTS AS AN ANT REPELLENT

    OpenAIRE

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

    2013-01-01

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

  18. Lipid and energy contents in the bodies of queens of Atta sexdens rubropilosa Forel (Hymenoptera, Formicidae: pre-and post-nuptial flight

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ricardo Toshio Fujihara

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available The nuptial flight allows males and females to meet and copulate and both need energy to perform this activity. Before leaving the nest, males and females are well nourished and ready to mate. However, little is known about the lipid and energy contents in females before the nuptial flight (virgins and after it (mated females. In this work we measured lipid concentrations in relation to body weight in these individuals. Our results showed that 16.82% of the bodies of young virgin females one month before mating flight are composed of lipids, contrasting with the 32.62% lipid content in mated females who had not excavated their nest yet, and 32.88% in those who had. The energy content measured for virgin females was 2942.63 J, contrasting with 6110.01 J for queens before excavating the nest and 5677.51 J after excavation. Based on our results, we conclude that the body mass, and therefore the lipid and energy contents in the bodies of Atta sexdens rubropilosa queens double during the last month before the nuptial flight. This energy resource is fundamental to the activities required during the nuptial flight, digging the nest and the founding of the colony.O vôo nupcial permite que machos e fêmeas se encontrem e copulem. Para isso, tanto o macho quanto a fêmea precisam de energia para efetuar tal atividade. Antes de partir do ninho de origem, machos e fêmeas estão bem nutridos e prontos para o acasalamento. Mas pouco se conhece sobre o teor de lipídeos e conteúdo energético pré-vôo nupcial (fêmeas virgens e pós-vôo nupcial (fêmeas acasaladas. Nossos resultados indicam que as fêmeas virgens apresentaram 16,82% de lipídeos em seu corpo, enquanto as rainhas (fêmeas acasaladas que não escavaram 32,62%, e as que escavaram 32,88%. O conteúdo energético foi de 2942,63 J para as fêmeas virgens, 6110,01 J para rainhas sem escavação e 5677,51 J para aquelas que escavaram. Com base nos resultados obtidos, concluí-se que as rainhas de

  19. Entangled active matter: From cells to ants

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-07-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. When Power Seduces Women: Shakespeare’S Tragic (Mother Queens in Manga

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Şerban Andreea

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Power is seductive, and fantasies of power affect both men and women, who are sometimes willing to do anything in order to achieve or retain it. The paper looks at how such a modern transmediation as manga renders powerful femininity in two of Shakespeare’s great tragedies, namely Hamlet and Macbeth. The paper aims to discuss the ways in which the emotive behaviour of both female protagonists eventually makes them inappropriate for the power roles they assume as wives, queens and mothers.

  2. Synthesis of carrier-free tritium-labeled queen bee pheromone

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    A short synthesis of [4,5-3H2] (E)-9-oxo-2-decenoic acid (ODA), a high-specific-activity tritium-containing isotopomer of the queen bee pheromone, is described. Catalytic tritiation of the ketal of ethyl 9-oxo-4-decenoate introduces tritium into two positions, one of which is completely unactivated. Subsequent transformation by selenation, oxidation, and hydrolysis affords the labeled 9-ODA at >60 Ci/mmol. The material is suitable for biochemical studies of binding and catabolism in ovarian, antennal, and other target tissues

  3. Updated mapping and seismic reflection data processing along the Queen Charlotte fault system, southeast Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walton, M. A. L.; Gulick, S. P. S.; Haeussler, P. J.; Rohr, K.; Roland, E. C.; Trehu, A. M.

    2014-12-01

    The Queen Charlotte Fault (QCF) is an obliquely convergent strike-slip system that accommodates offset between the Pacific and North America plates in southeast Alaska and western Canada. Two recent earthquakes, including a M7.8 thrust event near Haida Gwaii on 28 October 2012, have sparked renewed interest in the margin and led to further study of how convergent stress is accommodated along the fault. Recent studies have looked in detail at offshore structure, concluding that a change in strike of the QCF at ~53.2 degrees north has led to significant differences in stress and the style of strain accommodation along-strike. We provide updated fault mapping and seismic images to supplement and support these results. One of the highest-quality seismic reflection surveys along the Queen Charlotte system to date, EW9412, was shot aboard the R/V Maurice Ewing in 1994. The survey was last processed to post-stack time migration for a 1999 publication. Due to heightened interest in high-quality imaging along the fault, we have completed updated processing of the EW9412 seismic reflection data and provide prestack migrations with water-bottom multiple reduction. Our new imaging better resolves fault and basement surfaces at depth, as well as the highly deformed sediments within the Queen Charlotte Terrace. In addition to re-processing the EW9412 seismic reflection data, we have compiled and re-analyzed a series of publicly available USGS seismic reflection data that obliquely cross the QCF. Using these data, we are able to provide updated maps of the Queen Charlotte fault system, adding considerable detail along the northernmost QCF where it links up with the Chatham Strait and Transition fault systems. Our results support conclusions that the changing geometry of the QCF leads to fundamentally different convergent stress accommodation north and south of ~53.2 degrees; namely, reactivated splay faults to the north vs. thickening of sediments and the upper crust to the south

  4. The Representation of the Queen of France: Marie Antoinette from the Eighteenth Century till Now

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    牛声爽

    2015-01-01

    As an iconic historical character, Marie Antoinette as the Queen was loved and hated by the French people. She experi-enced a period of great prosperity during a revolutionary time in France. In this paper, we are going to explore how Marie Antoi-nette was painted in the eighteenth century and study the power dynamic within her court life. However, the portrait art can only de-picts people on the outside, no matter how vivid the portrait painted. Sofia Coppola, the American film director, made a film which gives us a new impression of Marie Antoinette from the inside out.

  5. Honey bee males and queens use glandular secretions to enhance sperm viability before and after storage

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Den Boer, Susanne Petronella A; Boomsma, Jacobus Jan; Baer, Boris

    2009-01-01

    we show that in the honeybee (Apis mellifera) secretions of the male accessory glands, the major contributors towards seminal fluid, enhance sperm survival. We further demonstrate that the protein fraction of the male accessory gland secretion is indeed important for achieving the maximal effect on...... sperm survival. After sperm storage, the queens also provide sperm with secretions from spermathecal glands and we show that these secretions have a comparable positive effect on sperm viability. SDS gels show that the proteomic profiles of accessory gland secretion and spermathecal fluid secretion...

  6. Image and Role of the Queen Mother of the West in Han Grave Art

    OpenAIRE

    Nataša VAMPELJ SUHADOLNIK

    2015-01-01

    The present article is a detailed study of the image of an ancient Chinese goddess, The Queen Mother of the West, called Xiwangmu 西王母 in Chinese. In the mythological tradition, Xiwangmu is a goddess who possesses the elixir of immortality and dwells in the western paradise, on the magic mountain Kunlun 崑崙. While her image can be found in mural paintings, and on lacquered objects and bronze mirrors, it appears primarily in the form of relief images on the stones and bricks of grave chambers an...

  7. Being Blue in Hawai‘i: Politics, Affect, and the Last Queen of Hawai‘i

    OpenAIRE

    Bruce Harvey

    2011-01-01

    For Hawaiian self-rule activists, who retain ties to the land and forms of sociality emerging out of the land, the US is regarded as an occupier force, and nonnative ownership, whether white or Japanese, a blighting catastrophe justifying resentment and rage. The demise of the Kingdom of Hawai‘i, when an oligarchy of US white settler businessmen overthrew Queen Liliʻuokalani (1838–1917) in 1893, reduced aloha ‘āina (or land-cherishing) to a ghostly affect; to be blue in Hawai‘i, today, is to ...

  8. An Extensive Survey of the Phytochemistry and Therapeutic Potency of Ocimum sanctum (Queen of Herbs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    *S. K. Bariyah

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available Ocimum sanctum, known as Queen of Herbs, is an important member of the family Lamiaceae due to its use in herbal medication centuries back, especially, in India and other parts of the sub-continent. It is still a subject of immense importance in modern medical research and it is due to the chemical constituents present in it like flavonoids, terpenoids, alkaloids, saponins, vitamins, minerals, proteins, carbohydrates and many others. It has shown a wide range of therapeutic potencies like antimicrobial, anticataleptic, antitoxic, immunomodulatory, analgesic, antidiabetic and cardioprotective activities. The aim of the present review is to present an extensive survey on the phytochemistry and pharmacological applications of the herb.

  9. Exploration adjustment by ant colonies.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  10. Preference of food particle size among several urban ant species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hooper-Bùi, Linda M; Appel, Arthur G; Rust, Michael K

    2002-12-01

    Appropriate particle size may be a critical characteristic for effective granular ant baits. We examined the particle size preference of six species of pest ants to an anchovy-based bait. We also examined head capsule widths of Argentine ants, Linepithema humile (Mayr) (mean = 0.54 mm), California harvester ants, Pogonomyrmex californicus (Buckley) (mean = 1.63 mm), red imported fire ants, Solenopsis invicta Buren (mean = 0.9 mm), and southern fire ants, Solenopsis xyloni McCook (mean = 0.76 mm) and compared them with the first and second most preferred particle size. There were differences between particle size of which the most mass was removed and of which there were more particles removed by ants. California Argentine ants, southern fire ants, and Alabama Argentine ants removed more 840 to 1,000-microm particle mass of the anchovy diet but had more visits to dishes containing 420 to 590 microm particles. California harvester ants and Allegheny mound ants, Formica spp., removed more >2,000 microm particle mass but visited dishes containing 1,000 to 2,000 microm particles more often. Red imported fire ants also removed more >2,000 microm particle mass but visited dishes with 590 to 840-microm particles most often. Pharaoh ants, Monomorium pharaonis (L.), removed and visited 420 to 590-microm particles more than any other size. A linear regression model determined that particle size preferred by each ant species relates to forager head width. The majority of particles of commercial ant bait, including Amdro, Ascend, Award, Bushwhacker, Max Force with fipronil, and old and new formulations of Max Force with hydramethylnon, were 1,000 to 2,000 microm, but the majority of Niban particles were ant baits to fit the particle size preference of each pest ant species may increase the efficacy of ant baits. PMID:12539835

  11. Indigenous Knowledge of the Edible Weaver Ant Oecophylla smaragdina Fabricius Hymenoptera: Formicidae from the Vientiane Plain, Lao PDR

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joost Van Itterbeeck

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Of major importance in realizing the potential of edible insects as a core element in improving food security, sustainable food production, and biodiversity conservation, are developments in sustainable exploitation of wild edible insect populations and in (semi-cultivating and farming edible insects. Such developments can draw on both western science and indigenous knowledge. Oecophylla smaragdina Fabricius Hymenoptera: Formicidae, of which particularly the queen brood is commonly consumed in Thailand and the Lao PDR, is believed to have the potential to act as flagship/umbrella species in forest conservation and management, to be incorporated simultaneously as biological control agent and direct source of human food in agroforestry practices, and to be (semi-cultivated. We provide a detailed account of indigenous knowledge of O. smaragdina and ant brood collection practices from the Vientiane Plain, Lao PDR, through focus group discussions and participant observations, and then reflect on sustainability and conservation issues, and on semi-cultivating constraints and possibilities embedded in indigenous knowledge and ant brood collection practices. 

  12. The biological half life and distribution of 125Iodide and radioiodinated protein in the imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The radioisotope 125Iodide, a gamma emittor, was used in two different forms, as 125I mixed with egg yolk and as 125I covalently attached to egg albumin and mixed with egg yolk, to study food flow in the imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta Buren. The biological half life of 125I-albumin in egg yolk powder was determined to be 96 hr in isolated workers, 108 hr in individuals held with small groups of unlabelled workers, and 1,008 hr in workers held in colonies exposed to labelled food for 48 hr. In contrast, the biological half life of free 125I mixed with egg yolk powder was 22 hr, 20 hr, and 40 hr, respectively. The internal distribution of radioactivity was checked after 24, 48, and 380 hr. There was a significant difference in distribution of 125I in ants fed either free 125I or 125I-albumin. Most of the free 125I was rapidly excreted. A high percentage of 125I-albumin was assimilated, apparently through protein digestion pathways with eventual storage in or below the cuticle. There was no evidence of gland involvement in food flow to either larvae or queens with the radio-iodinated protein. (orig.)

  13. Estimation of the number of founders of an invasive pest insect population: the fire ant Solenopsis invicta in the USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ross, Kenneth G; Shoemaker, D. DeWayne

    2008-01-01

    Determination of the number of founders responsible for the establishment of invasive populations is important for developing biologically based management practices, predicting the invasive potential of species, and making inferences about ecological and evolutionary processes. The fire ant Solenopsis invicta is a major invasive pest insect first introduced into the USA from its native South American range in the mid-1930s. We use data from diverse genetic markers surveyed in the source population and the USA to estimate the number of founders of this introduced population. Data from different classes of nuclear markers (microsatellites, allozymes, sex-determination locus) and mitochondrial DNA are largely congruent in suggesting that 9–20 unrelated mated queens comprised the initial founder group to colonize the USA at Mobile, Alabama. Estimates of founder group size based on expanded samples from throughout the southern USA were marginally higher than this, consistent with the hypothesis of one or more secondary introductions of the ant into the USA. The rapid spread and massive population build-up of introduced S. invicta occurred despite the loss of substantial genetic variation associated with the relatively small invasive propagule size, a pattern especially surprising in light of the substantial genetic load imposed by the loss of variation at the sex-determination locus. PMID:18577505

  14. Bumble bee colony dynamics: quantifying the importance of land use and floral resources for colony growth and queen production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crone, Elizabeth E; Williams, Neal M

    2016-04-01

    Bumble bee (Bombus) species are ecologically and economically important pollinators, and many species are in decline. In this article, we develop a mechanistic model to analyse growth trajectories of Bombus vosnesenskii colonies in relation to floral resources and land use. Queen production increased with floral resources and was higher in semi-natural areas than on conventional farms. However, the most important parameter for queen production was the colony growth rate per flower, as opposed to the average number of available flowers. This result indicates the importance of understanding mechanisms of colony growth, in order to predict queen production and enhance bumble bee population viability. Our work highlights the importance of interpreting bumble bee conservation efforts in the context of overall population dynamics and provides a framework for doing so. PMID:26913696

  15. The ant nest of Crematogaster rogenhoferi (Mayr, 1879 (Hymenoptera: Formicidae at Tarutao National Park, Satun Province, Southern Thailand

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Suparoek Watanasit

    2006-07-01

    Full Text Available Nests of the ant Crematogaster rogenhoferi (Mayr, 1879 were investigated at Tarutao National Park, Satun Province. Fifteen ant nests were selected at random along Phante Malacca Bay between the 2-7 March 2004. They built their nests from leaf and stick debris on branches of trees, at between 248-469 cm above the ground level. The vegetation on which nests were built was composed of 5 species: Vitex pinnata L., Oleasalicifolia Wall, Syzygium gratum (Wight, Ardisia elliptica Thum and one unknown species. The physical features of each nest were recorded. The average dimensions of the nest width and length were 10.65±2.57 cm and 22.10±1.22 cm, respectively.Each nest was cut into small pieces for counting the numbers of each caste and developing stages. The results showed that the average number of queens, winged females, males and workers in each nest were 1.53±0.38, 1,753.33±506.55, 4,970.67±2,227.00, 15,577.93±2,637.84 respectively, while the developing stages of pupae, larvae, eggs were 1,589.93±480.37, 4,113.20±1,469.49 and 1,942.80±741.67 respectively. Thus the total number of ants in the population in each nest was 29,949.40±5,358.31.The relationships between the number of castes, developing stages and physical features of the nests were explored. The Spearman Rank Correlation indicated that the width of nest positively correlated with the number of queens (rs = 0.862, p = . 000, winged females (rs = 0.691, p = 0.004 and workers (rs = 0.667, p = 0.007. A comparison of the effects of vegetation types on the number of castes and development stages, showed that vegetation type did have an influence but only on the number of the worker caste (F = 7.712, P = 0.011, one-way ANOVA. Most workers were associated with nests from Vitex pinnata. No nests were found on the dominant tree species of the area probably due to its ability to produce an insect repellant oil.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ZHAO Jing; TONG Wei-ming

    2009-01-01

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

  18. 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......Oecophylla ants are sold at high prices on several commercial markets as a human delicacy, as pet food or as traditional medicine. Currently markets are supplied by ants collected from the wild; however, an increasing interest in ant farming exists as all harvest is easily sold and as ant farming...... (Fabricius) was tested under laboratory conditions. Of the two types of food offered, the ants ingested 76% pure sucrose and 24% insect prey (dry weights) leading to ECI’s of 29% and 39% including brood only or brood plus imago gain, respectively. Based on Thai sugar and protein food costs and ant brood...

  19. Effects of an insect growth regulator and a solvent on honeybee (Apis mellifera L.) brood development and queen viability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Milchreit, Kathrin; Ruhnke, Haike; Wegener, Jakob; Bienefeld, Kaspar

    2016-04-01

    Honeybee toxicology is complex because effects on individual bees are modulated by social interactions between colony members. In the present study, we applied high doses of the insect growth regulator fenoxycarb to honeybee colonies to elucidate a possible interplay of individually- and colony-mediated effects regarding honey bee toxicology. Additionally, possible effects of the solvent dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) were assessed. We conducted studies on egg hatching and brood development to assess brood care by nurse bees as well as queen viability. Egg hatching was determined by the eclosion rate of larvae from eggs originating from colonies (i) treated with sugar syrup only, (ii) treated with sugar syrup containing DMSO and (iii) treated with sugar syrup containing fenoxycarb (dissolved in DMSO). To evaluate brood development, combs with freshly laid eggs were reciprocally transferred between colonies, and development of brood was examined in the recipient hive. Brood reared inside DMSO- and fenoxycarb-treated colonies as well as brood from DMSO- and from fenoxycarb-exposed queens showed higher mortality than brood not exposed to the chemicals. No differences were found in egg hatching among the treatments, but there was a higher variability of eclosion rates after queens were exposed to fenoxycarb. We also observed queen loss and absconding of whole colonies. Based on our results we infer that fenoxycarb has queen- as well as nurse bee-mediated effects on brood quality and development which can lead to the queen's death. There also is an effect of DMSO on the nurse bees' performance that could disturb the colony's equilibrium, at least for a delimited timespan. PMID:26821233

  20. Honey Bee Colonies Headed by Hyperpolyandrous Queens Have Improved Brood Rearing Efficiency and Lower Infestation Rates of Parasitic Varroa Mites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delaplane, Keith S.; Pietravalle, Stéphane; Brown, Mike A.; Budge, Giles E.

    2015-01-01

    A honey bee queen mates on wing with an average of 12 males and stores their sperm to produce progeny of mixed paternity. The degree of a queen’s polyandry is positively associated with measures of her colony’s fitness, and observed distributions of mating number are evolutionary optima balancing risks of mating flights against benefits to the colony. Effective mating numbers as high as 40 have been documented, begging the question of the upper bounds of this behavior that can be expected to confer colony benefit. In this study we used instrumental insemination to create three classes of queens with exaggerated range of polyandry– 15, 30, or 60 drones. Colonies headed by queens inseminated with 30 or 60 drones produced more brood per bee and had a lower proportion of samples positive for Varroa destructor mites than colonies whose queens were inseminated with 15 drones, suggesting benefits of polyandry at rates higher than those normally obtaining in nature. Our results are consistent with two hypotheses that posit conditions that reward such high expressions of polyandry: (1) a queen may mate with many males in order to promote beneficial non-additive genetic interactions among subfamilies, and (2) a queen may mate with many males in order to capture a large number of rare alleles that regulate resistance to pathogens and parasites in a breeding population. Our results are unique for identifying the highest levels of polyandry yet detected that confer colony-level benefit and for showing a benefit of polyandry in particular toward the parasitic mite V. destructor. PMID:26691845

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-04-01

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

  2. The distribution of weaver ant pheromones on host trees

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Offenberg, Joachim

    2007-01-01

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

  3. Effects of host age on susceptibility to infection and immune-gene expression in honey bee queens (Apis mellifera) inoculated with Nosema ceranae

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nosema ceranae is a microsporidium parasite infecting honey bees worldwide. All colony members including workers, drones and queens can become infected. In this study, we inoculated queens of age 1, 6 and 12 days post adult emergence, with N. ceranae spores of different doses and allowed them to age...

  4. Ecology of a fig ant-plant

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harrison, Rhett D.

    2014-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Liqiang; Dai, Yuntao; Gao, Jinyu

    2014-01-01

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

  7. Effects of queen ages on Varroa (Varroa destructor) infestation level in honey bee (Apis mellifera caucasica) colonies and colony performance

    OpenAIRE

    Duran Özkök; Bilge Karatepe; Mustafa Karatepe; Halil Yeninar; Ethem Akyol

    2010-01-01

    This study was conducted to determine the effects of queen age on varroa population levels in hives and performance of honey bee (A. mellifera caucasica) colonies. Levels of varroa infestation and performances of the colonies which had 0, 1- and 2-year-old queens were compared in mild climate conditions. Varroa numbers on adults and drone brood, number of frames covered with bees and brood areas were determined every month between 10 May and 10 October 2004. Overall average (± S.E.) % ...

  8. INFLUENCE OF HONEYBEE QUEENS ORIGIN TO THE PRODUCTION CHARACTERISTICS OF CARNIOLAN BEES (APIS MELLIFERA CARNICA) IN SLOVENIA

    OpenAIRE

    Poklukar, J

    2002-01-01

    Total amount of 4.355 records of honeybee colonies production characteristics was estimated on the 251 bee yards in Slovenia from 1993 to 2001. Queens were produced on 29 queen producing yards. The average lsmeans of honey yields increased by 0,41 kg a year. The swarming behaviour and the defensive behaviour of bees increased as well by - 0,091 points, and –0,038 points respectively. According to the last two years records, the honey yields of bee colonies were significantly influ...

  9. Pollen foraging in colonies of Melipona bicolor (Apidae, Meliponini): effects of season, colony size and queen number.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hilário, S D; Imperatriz-Fonseca, V L

    2009-01-01

    We evaluated the ratio between the number of pollen foragers and the total number of bees entering colonies of Melipona bicolor, a facultative polygynous species of stingless bees. The variables considered in our analysis were: seasonality, colony size and the number of physogastric queens in each colony. The pollen forager ratios varied significantly between seasons; the ratio was higher in winter than in summer. However, colony size and number of queens per colony had no significant effect. We conclude that seasonal differences in pollen harvest are related to the production of sexuals and to the number of individuals and their body size. PMID:19554765

  10. Comparative flight morphology in queens of invasive and native Patagonian bumblebees (Hymenoptera: Bombus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Polidori, Carlo; Nieves-Aldrey, José Luis

    2015-02-01

    Since its introduction in Chile, the European Bombus terrestris L. (Hymenoptera: Apidae) has progressively reduced the abundance of the native Patagonian bumblebee, Bombus dahlbomii Guérin. Because an important cause of successful invasion of a species may depend on a potentially advantageous phenotype, we studied morphologies related to flight performance (flight muscle ratio (FMR), wing loading (WL), excess power index (EPI, which integrates FMR and WL) and wing aspect ratio (AR)) in the queens of the two species. Previous empirical studies showed that greater FMR, AR and EPI, and lower WL increase flight performance. In the Patagonian Chilean fjord where the study was carried out, B. dahlbomii was 40% heavier than B. terrestris, a difference theoretically allowing the queens of the native species to take off with heavier loads, despite the fact that the two species have virtually identical FMRs. However, FMR negatively depended on body mass at the intra-specific level. The total wing area was 35% greater in B. dahlbomii, but the difference in forewing length was only of 16%. Once taken into account the effect of body size, WL, was significantly lower in B. terrestris. AR increased with body mass and did not differ between species. EPI was weakly but significantly higher in B. terrestris. Experiments formally linking such parameters with flight performance may help to explain the observed quick and wide spread of this alien species in Patagonia in the last few years. PMID:25499798

  11. Correlates of Queen Pineapple (AnanascomosusLinn Farming Practices in Camarines Norte, Philippines

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sonia S. Carbonell

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available This study aimed to provide valuable information about the realities of the Queen pineapple (QP farmers in Camarines Norte, highlighting their farming practices and worldview about sustainable development. Most of the respondents are owner-operator having a mean farm size of 1.33 hectares devoted to queen pineapple farming and crop diversification with two to seven crops combined to augment income. Cropping pattern employed by most of the respondents is multiple cropping, specifically intercropping, rotational cropping, and fallowing. Soil nutrient and weed management of most respondents is conventional: inorganic fertilizers and chemical based, respectively. However, pest control management by most of the respondents is of the alternative method. Overall, QP farmer respondents were found to be practicing alternative farming methods. The problems cited by the respondents were mainly production, marketing and communication-related. The respondents showed that they have moved towards alternative farming. However, more attention should be given to soil nutrient and weed management practices. Strengthening communication-related activities, improved technology, and ensured availability of resources is necessary to have good avenue for change. These findings should make agencies concerned to promote alternative farming and sustainable agriculture. The significant attributes of the QP farmer respondents can be used as entry point for any development program to fully advocate alternative farming among the local people as a social movement.

  12. Drone exposure to the systemic insecticide Fipronil indirectly impairs queen reproductive potential.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kairo, Guillaume; Provost, Bertille; Tchamitchian, Sylvie; Ben Abdelkader, Faten; Bonnet, Marc; Cousin, Marianne; Sénéchal, Jacques; Benet, Pauline; Kretzschmar, André; Belzunces, Luc P; Brunet, Jean-Luc

    2016-01-01

    A species that requires sexual reproduction but cannot reproduce is doomed to extinction. The important increasing loss of species emphasizes the ecological significance of elucidating the effects of environmental stressors, such as pesticides, on reproduction. Despite its special reproductive behavior, the honey bee was selected as a relevant and integrative environmental model because of its constant and diverse exposure to many stressors due to foraging activity. The widely used insecticide Fipronil, the use of which is controversial because of its adverse effects on honey bees, was chosen to expose captive drones in hives via syrup contaminated at 0.1 μg/L and gathered by foragers. Such environmental exposure led to decreased spermatozoa concentration and sperm viability coupled with an increased sperm metabolic rate, resulting in drone fertility impairment. Subsequently, unexposed queens inseminated with such sperm exhibited fewer spermatozoa with lower viability in their spermatheca, leaving no doubt about the detrimental consequences for the reproductive potential of queens, which are key for colony sustainability. These findings suggest that pesticides could contribute to declining honey bee populations through fertility impairment, as exemplified by Fipronil. More broadly, reproductive disorders should be taken into consideration when investigating the decline of other species. PMID:27549030

  13. The queen is not a pacemaker in the small-colony wasps Polistes instabilis and P. dominulus

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jha, Shalene; Casey-Ford, Rowan G.; Pedersen, Jes Søe;

    2006-01-01

    suggest that two species of paper wasps do not fit this pattern. Polistes wasps are traditionally classified as primitively eusocial wasps, showing characteristics of simple insect societies, such as small colony sizes, lack of queen-worker dimorphism, and queen control of both reproduction and worker...... which the queen was removed did not differ significantly from activity levels in colonies with queens. Polistes instabilis and P. dominulus colonies showed characteristics of primitively eusocial insect societies, but also showed worker initiation of colony activity, suggesting that these two species......How work is organized varies in social insect colonies. Some investigators have argued that the queen plays an active role in regulating worker activity in species with small, simple colonies, but that work is self-organized in species with large, complex colonies. Here, we present data that...

  14. Polygyny and strong genetic structuring within an isolated population of the wood ant Formica rufa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wouter Dekoninck

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Social structuring of populations within some Formica species exhibits considerable variation going from monodomous and monogynous populations to polydomous, polygynous populations. The wood ant species Formica rufa appears to be mainly monodomous and monogynous throughout most of its distribution area in central and northern Europe. Only occasionally it was mentioned that F. rufa can have both polygynous and monogynous colonies in the same geographical region. We studied an isolated polydomous F. rufa population in a deciduous mixed forest in the north-west of Belgium. The level of polydomy within the colonies varied from monodomous to 11 nests per colony. Our genetic analysis of eight variable microsatellites suggest an oligo- to polygynous structure for at least the major part of the sampled nests. Relatedness amongst nest mate workers varies considerable within the population and colonies but confirms in general a polygynous structure. Additionally high genetic diversity (e.g. up to 8 out of 11 alleles per nest for the most variable locus and high within nest genetic variance (93% indicate that multiple queens contribute to the gene pool of workers of the same nest. Moreover significant genetic structuring among colonies indicates that gene flow between colonies is restricted and that exchange of workers between colonies is very limited. Finally we explain how possible factors as budding and the absence of Serviformica can explain the differences in genetic structure within this polygynous F. rufa population.

  15. Improving the cAnt-MinerPB Classification Algorithm

    OpenAIRE

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

    2012-01-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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. PMID:26898725

  19. GP-9s are ubiquitous proteins unlikely involved in olfactory mediation of social organization in the red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Walter S Leal

    Full Text Available The red imported fire ant (RIFA, Solenopsis invicta, is an invasive species, accidentally introduced in the United States that can cause painful (sometimes life-threatening stings to human, pets, and livestock. Their colonies have two social forms: monogyne and polygyne that have a single and multiple functional queens, respectively. A major gene (Gp-9, identified as a putative pheromone-binding protein on the basis of a modest amino acid sequence identity, has been suggested to influence the expression of colony social organization. Monogyne queens are reported to possess only the GP-9B alleles, whereas polygyne queens possess both GP-9B and GP-9b. Thus, both social forms are reported to express GP-9B, with GP-9b being a marker expressed in polygynes but it is absent in monogynes. Here, we report two types of polygyne colonies, one that does not express GP-9b (monogyne-like and the other expressing both proteins, GP-9B and GP-9b. Given their expression pattern, GP-9s are hemolymph proteins, which are more likely to be involved in the transport of lipids and small ligands within the homocoel. GP-9B existed in two forms, one of them is phosphorylated. The helical-rich content of the protein resembles the secondary structures of a beetle hemolymph protein and moth pheromone-binding proteins. An olfactory role is unlikely given the lack of specific expression in the sensillar lymph. In marked contrast to GP-9s, a chemosensory protein, SinvCSP, is demonstrated to be specifically expressed in the antennae. Within the antennae, expression of SinvCSP is restricted to the last two segments, which are known to house olfactory sensilla.

  20. GP-9s are ubiquitous proteins unlikely involved in olfactory mediation of social organization in the red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leal, Walter S; Ishida, Yuko

    2008-01-01

    The red imported fire ant (RIFA), Solenopsis invicta, is an invasive species, accidentally introduced in the United States that can cause painful (sometimes life-threatening) stings to human, pets, and livestock. Their colonies have two social forms: monogyne and polygyne that have a single and multiple functional queens, respectively. A major gene (Gp-9), identified as a putative pheromone-binding protein on the basis of a modest amino acid sequence identity, has been suggested to influence the expression of colony social organization. Monogyne queens are reported to possess only the GP-9B alleles, whereas polygyne queens possess both GP-9B and GP-9b. Thus, both social forms are reported to express GP-9B, with GP-9b being a marker expressed in polygynes but it is absent in monogynes. Here, we report two types of polygyne colonies, one that does not express GP-9b (monogyne-like) and the other expressing both proteins, GP-9B and GP-9b. Given their expression pattern, GP-9s are hemolymph proteins, which are more likely to be involved in the transport of lipids and small ligands within the homocoel. GP-9B existed in two forms, one of them is phosphorylated. The helical-rich content of the protein resembles the secondary structures of a beetle hemolymph protein and moth pheromone-binding proteins. An olfactory role is unlikely given the lack of specific expression in the sensillar lymph. In marked contrast to GP-9s, a chemosensory protein, SinvCSP, is demonstrated to be specifically expressed in the antennae. Within the antennae, expression of SinvCSP is restricted to the last two segments, which are known to house olfactory sensilla. PMID:19018280

  1. Ecosystem services delivered by weaver ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Offenberg, Joachim

    other species are more likely to form trophobioses with hompteran species that act as disease vectors. Lastly, weaver ants are edible and easy to harvest. They can be utilized for protein production and harvested in significant amounts at the same time as they are managing insect pests. In other words...... they convert pest insects into accessible and edible protein. In short, this review show that weaver ants in agriculture can increase crop yields, improve fruit quality, chemically deter pests, fertilize crops, reduce diseases, and produce protein for human and livestock consumption.......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...

  2. Swarm controlled emergence for ant clustering

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Scheidler, Alexander; Merkle, Daniel; Middendorf, Martin

    2013-01-01

    .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......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...

  3. 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.

  4. 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 is...

  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. PMID:26986741

  6. Hopfield neural network based on ant system

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    洪炳镕; 金飞虎; 郭琦

    2004-01-01

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

  7. An ant's-eye view of an ant-plant protection mutualism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lanan, M C; Bronstein, J L

    2013-07-01

    Ant protection of extrafloral nectar (EFN)-secreting plants is a common form of mutualism found in most habitats around the world. However, very few studies have considered these mutualisms from the ant, rather than the plant, perspective. In particular, a whole-colony perspective that takes into account the spatial structure and nest arrangement of the ant colonies that visit these plants has been lacking, obscuring when and how colony-level foraging decisions might affect tending rates on individual plants. Here, we experimentally demonstrate that recruitment of Crematogaster opuntiae (Buren) ant workers to the EFN-secreting cactus Ferocactus wislizeni (Englem) is not independent between plants up to 5 m apart. Colony territories of C. opuntiae are large, covering areas of up to 5,000 m(2), and workers visit between five and 34 EFN-secreting barrel cacti within the territories. These ants are highly polydomous, with up to 20 nest entrances dispersed throughout the territory and interconnected by trail networks. Our study demonstrates that worker recruitment is not independent within large polydomous ant colonies, highlighting the importance of considering colonies rather than individual workers as the relevant study unit within ant/plant protection mutualisms. PMID:23515612

  8. 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.

  9. Colony Structure and Nest Location of Two Species of Dacetine Ants: Pyramica ohioensis (Kennedy & Schramm and Pyramica rostrata (Emery in Maryland (Hymenoptera: Formicidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard M. Duffield

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available The discovery of numerous Pyramica ohioensis and P. rostrata colonies living in acorns, as well as the efficient recovery of colonies from artificial nests placed in suitable habitats, opens a new stage in the study of North American dacetine ants. Here we present detailed information, based on 42 nest collections, on the colony structure of these two species. P. ohioensis colonies are smaller than those of P. rostrata. Both species are polygynous, but nests of P. ohioensis contain fewer dealate queens than those of P. rostrata. This is the first report of multiple collections of Pyramica colonies nesting in fallen acorns, and of the use of artificial nesting cavities to sample for dacetines in the soil and leaf litter. We describe an artificial cavity nest design that may prove useful in future investigations.

  10. Fuzzy system identification via chaotic ant swarm

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    In this paper, we introduce a chaotic optimization method, called CAS (chaotic ant swarm), to solve the problem of designing a fuzzy system to identify dynamical systems. The position vector of each ant in the CAS algorithm corresponds to the parameter vector of the selected fuzzy system. At each learning time step, the CAS algorithm is iterated to give the optimal parameters of fuzzy systems based on the fitness theory. Then the corresponding CAS-designed fuzzy system is built and applied to the identification of the unknown nonlinear dynamical systems. Numerical simulation results are provided to show the effectiveness and feasibility of the developed CAS-designed fuzzy system.

  11. Bus Network Modeling Using Ant Algorithms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sepideh Eshragh

    2010-02-01

    Full Text Available Bus transit network modeling is a complex and combinatorial problem. The main purpose of this paper is to apply a contemporary method for designing a bus transit network with the objective of achieving optimum results. The method is called Ant Algorithms, a Meta Heuristic method, which has been applied to optimization problems in transportation with noticeable success. The description of the algorithm, as well as the main methodology and computations, is presented in this paper. Furthermore, a case study using Ant Algorithms applied to the city of Ghazvin, one of the most important suburbs of Tehran, Iran, is presented.

  12. Antes del analizante (Freud 1877-1888)

    OpenAIRE

    Pierre Bruno

    2011-01-01

    Freud antes del analizante, es decir, antes de encontrarse con Fliess. Durante ese periodo, de 1877 a 1888 (entre los 21 y los 32 años de edad), Freud mantiene una relación con cinco “campos del saber”: la histología, la cocaína, la histeria, la hipnosis y la afasia. La lectura de esos textos nos permite hacer el seguimiento de cómo Freud se separa de la neurología sin afiliarse a la psicología. Palabras clave: afasia, Freud, hipnosis, histeria, neurolog...

  13. Sobre: Julio Ortega Bobadilla, Foucault ante Freud

    OpenAIRE

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

    2014-01-01

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

  14. Lithiase géante sur enterocystoplastie

    OpenAIRE

    Elmortaji, Khalid; Elomri, Ghassane; Bennani, Saad; Rabii, Redouane; Aboutaib, Rachid; Meziane, Fethi

    2014-01-01

    La formation des lithiases est une complication fréquente des entérocystoplasties après cystectomie radicale pour tumeur de vessie infiltrante. Le délai d'apparition dépend des facteurs de risque favorisants notamment les infections urinaires. Néanmoins la survenue de lithiase géante sur néovessie reste exceptionnelle, seulement 5 cas ont été rapportés dans la littérature. Nous rapportons dans ce travail, le cas d'une lithiase géante compliquant une entérocystoplastie chez un malade suivi pou...

  15. Kin-informative recognition cues in ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2011-01-01

    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...

  16. Morphometric study of newly emerged unmated queens of honey bee Apis mellifera L. in Ismailia Governorate, Egypt

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S.M. Kamel

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Recently, morphometric analysis is being a very good tool for identification of honey bee races and characterization of genetic materials. This fact has motivated the present work to investigate the effects of two grafting methods, three types of artificial queen wax cups and four periods of queen rearing on some morphological characters of newly emerged queens. The developed technique used in the present study depends on the integration between Scanner unit and Photoshop program, called Scan Photo Method (SPM. The measurements of 23 morphological characteristics of reared queens were estimated by using SPM. Results indicated significant differences between periods in the measurements of the studied characteristics on forewing such as cubital index, distance C, distance D, radial field, inner wing length, inner wing width, dumb bell index, distance I, II, III and IV, except cubital A and cubital B. Regarding the effects of cup types and grafting methods, data also revealed significant differences in all measurements of studied characteristics, except tibial length, hind wing length, cubital B, radial field and distance IV. Further works in this area were recommended to find out a relation between some morphometric characters and important of some quantitative characters.

  17. Report from the 2nd Summer School in Computational Biology organized by the Queen's University of Belfast

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Frank Emmert-Streib

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available In this paper, we present a meeting report for the 2nd Summer School in Computational Biology organized by the Queen's University of Belfast. We describe the organization of the summer school, its underlying concept and student feedback we received after the completion of the summer school.

  18. Effect of protein origin in artificial diets on growth and survival of juvenile queen conch, Strombus gigas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aquaculture methods for queen conch have been established for several decades, however, there is a need to improve the husbandry techniques for the growout of juveniles. Previous studies have examined ideal stocking densities, substrates, and calcium needs, but the nutritional requirements are not ...

  19. Vitellogenin content in fat body and ovary homogenates of workers and queens of Melipona quadrifasciata anthidioides during vitellogenesis

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Vagner Tadeu Paes de Oliveira; Bruno Berger; Carminda da Cruz-Landim; Zilá Luz PaulinoSim(o)es

    2012-01-01

    Vitellogenin (Vg) is an egg yolk protein that is produced primarily in the fat body of most female insects.In the advanced social structure of eusocial honeybees,the presence of the queen inhibits egg maturation in the workers' ovaries.However in the stingless bee Melipona quadrifasciata,the workers always develop ovaries and lay a certain amount of eggs while provisioning the brood cells with larval food during what is known as the worker nurse phase.The present work is a comparative study of the presence of Vg in homogenates of the fat bodies and ovaries of the nurse workers,and the virgin and physogastric queens ofM.quadrifasciata.The presence of Vg was determined by sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and immunoblotting using Apis mellifera anti-egg antibody.Vg was not detected in the fat bodies or ovaries of the workers,but it was found in the ovaries of virgin and physogastric queens and in the fat body ofphysogastric queens.The results are discussed,taking into account the reproductive state of the individuals and the other possible roles of Vg,such as a storage protein for metoabolism of other organs.

  20. 76 FR 59375 - Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Amendments to the Queen Conch and...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-09-26

    ... complexes that are classified as undergoing overfishing or that contain sub-units which are classified as undergoing overfishing (i.e. snapper, grouper and parrotfish); allocate ACLs among island management areas... parrotfishes. The intended effects of Amendments 2 and 5 are to prevent overfishing of queen conch and...