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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

    /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......-maintained colonies. We treated worker-laid eggs with synthetic 3,11-diMeC27 and found that they were significantly more accepted than sham-treated worker-laid eggs. However, we repeated the experiment with freshly collected field colonies and observed no effect of treating worker-laid eggs with 3,11-diMeC27, showing......, and have an excess of longer-chain hydrocarbons. Conclusions Our results suggest that queen egg-marking signals are significantly affected by transfer to the laboratory, and that this change is possibly connected to reduced queen fertility as predicted by honest signaling theory. This change is reflected...

  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...

  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 easi...

  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...

  5. Are queen ants inhibited by their own pheromone?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jürgen Heinze

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

  7. 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

  8. 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....... We predicted that ants might be capable of accurate recognition in unusual situations when few individuals interact repeatedly, as new colonies started by two to three queens. Individual recognition would be favoured by selection when queens establish dominance hierarchies, because repeated fights...... for dominance are costly; but it would not evolve in absence of hierarchies. We previously showed that Pachycondyla co-founding queens, which form dominance hierarchies, have accurate individual recognition based on chemical cues. Here, we used the ant Lasius niger to test the null hypothesis that individual...

  9. Prudent sperm use by leaf-cutter ant queens

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  10. 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

    of familiar or unfamiliar queens over time. We show that unrelated founding queens of P. villosa and Pachycondyla inversa store information on the individual identity of other queens and can retrieve it from memory after 24h of separation. Thus, we have documented for the first time that long-term memory......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...... of individual identity is present and functional in ants. This novel finding represents an advance in our understanding of the mechanism determining the evolution of cooperation among unrelated individuals....

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Huszár, Dóra Borbála

    Ants, like other social insects, have evolved cooperative societies based on kinship. Colonies headed by a single breeding queen (monogyny) was the ancestral state but today ca. half of the ant species live in multi-queen societies (polygyny), which can sometimes reach extreme sizes (supercolony...... could make one social nest type favorable over another. This thesis takes on this challenge by identifying social syndromes (genetic and life-history traits) that consistently differ between monogynous, polygynous and supercolony social nest types. First, by reviewing existing literature we argue...... suggest that polygynous and supercolony nests have very limited dispersal while virgin queens reared in monogynous nests engage in population-wide dispersal. This likely influences the frequency at which mating among related individuals occurs, as it created inbreeding differences across the three social...

  12. Non-transferable signals on ant queen eggs

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2006-01-01

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

  13. Sexual Cooperation: Mating Increases Longevity in Ant Queens

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schrempf, Alexandra; Heinze, Jürgen; Cremer, Sylvia

    2005-01-01

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

  14. 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...

  15. 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

  16. Surface lipids of queen-laid eggs do not regulate queen production in a fission-performing ant

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruel, Camille; Lenoir, Alain; Cerdá, Xim; Boulay, Raphaël

    2013-01-01

    In animal societies, most collective and individual decision making depends on the presence of reproductive individuals. The efficient transmission of information among reproductive and non-reproductive individuals is therefore a determinant of colony organization. In social insects, the presence of a queen modulates multiple colonial activities. In many species, it negatively affects worker reproduction and the development of diploid larvae into future queens. The queen mostly signals her presence through pheromone emission, but the means by which these chemicals are distributed in the colony are still unclear. In several ant species, queen-laid eggs are the vehicle of the queen signal. The aim of this study was to investigate whether queen-laid eggs of the ant Aphaenogaster senilis possess queen-specific cuticular hydrocarbons and/or Dufour or poison gland compounds, and whether the presence of eggs inhibited larval development into queens. Our results show that the queen- and worker-laid eggs shared cuticular and Dufour hydrocarbons with the adults; however, their poison gland compounds were not similar. Queen-laid eggs had more dimethylalkanes and possessed a queen-specific mixture of cuticular hydrocarbons composed of 3,11 + 3,9 + 3,7-dimethylnonacosane, in higher proportions than did worker-laid eggs. Even though the queen-laid eggs were biochemically similar to the queen, their addition to experimentally queenless groups did not prevent the development of new queens. More studies are needed on the means by which queen ant pheromones are transmitted in the colony, and how these mechanisms correlates with life history traits.

  17. 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...

  18. 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...

  19. 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.

  20. 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...

  1. 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.

  2. 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...

  3. Queen movement during colony emigration in the facultatively polygynous ant Pachycondyla obscuricornis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pezon, Antoine; Denis, Damien; Cerdan, Philippe; Valenzuela, Jorge; Fresneau, Dominique

    2005-01-01

    In ants, nest relocations are frequent but nevertheless perilous, especially for the reproductive caste. During emigrations, queens are exposed to predation and face the risk of becoming lost. Therefore the optimal strategy should be to move the queen(s) swiftly to a better location, while maintaining maximum worker protection at all times in the new and old nests. The timing of that event is a crucial strategic issue for the colony and may depend on queen number. In monogynous colonies, the queen is vital for colony survival, whereas in polygynous colonies a queen is less essential, if not dispensable. We tested the null hypothesis that queen movement occurs at random within the sequence of emigration events in both monogynous and polygynous colonies of the ponerine ant Pachycondyla obscuricornis. Our study, based on 16 monogynous and 16 polygynous colony emigrations, demonstrates for the first time that regardless of the number of queens per colony, the emigration serial number of a queen occurs in the middle of all emigration events and adult ant emigration events, but not during brood transport events. It therefore appears that the number of workers in both nests plays an essential role in the timing of queen movement. Our results correspond to a robust colony-level strategy since queen emigration is related neither to colony size nor to queen number. Such an optimal strategy is characteristic of ant societies working as highly integrated units and represents a new instance of group-level adaptive behaviors in social insect colonies.

  4. 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

  5. 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

    The genetic basis of morphological traits in social insects remains largely unexplored. This is even true for individual body size, a key life-history trait. In the social insects, the size of reproductive individuals affects dispersal decisions, so that small size in queens is often associated....... In 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 significant...... heritability (h2=0.51) for queen size in one of the two study years, but not in the other. Size variation among queens was greater in colonies headed by a doubly mated queen in one of the study years, but not in the other. This indicates that genetic factors can influence queen size, but that environmental...

  6. 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

    Army ants have long been suspected to represent an independent origin of multiple queen-mating in the social Hymenoptera. Using microsatellite markers, we show that queens of the African army ant Dorylus (Anomma) molestus have the highest absolute (17.3) and effective (17.5) queen......-mating frequencies reported so far for ants. This confirms that obligate multiple queen-mating in social insects is associated with large colony size and advanced social organization, but also raises several novel questions. First, these high estimates place army ants in the range of mating frequencies of honeybees......, which have so far been regarded as odd exceptions within the social Hymenoptera. Army ants and honeybees are fundamentally different in morphology and life history, but are the only social insects known that combine obligate multiple mating with reproduction by colony fission and extremely male...

  7. 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

  8. 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...

  9. 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...

  10. 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

  11. 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...

  12. 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...

  13. Gene expression and variation in social aggression by queens of the harvester ant Pogonomyrmex californicus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Helmkampf, Martin; Mikheyev, Alexander S; Kang, Yun; Fewell, Jennifer; Gadau, Jürgen

    2016-08-01

    A key requirement for social cooperation is the mitigation and/or social regulation of aggression towards other group members. Populations of the harvester ant Pogonomyrmex californicus show the alternate social phenotypes of queens founding nests alone (haplometrosis) or in groups of unrelated yet cooperative individuals (pleometrosis). Pleometrotic queens display an associated reduction in aggression. To understand the proximate drivers behind this variation, we placed foundresses of the two populations into social environments with queens from the same or the alternate population, and measured their behaviour and head gene expression profiles. A proportion of queens from both populations behaved aggressively, but haplometrotic queens were significantly more likely to perform aggressive acts, and conflict escalated more frequently in pairs of haplometrotic queens. Whole-head RNA sequencing revealed variation in gene expression patterns, with the two populations showing moderate differentiation in overall transcriptional profile, suggesting that genetic differences underlie the two founding strategies. The largest detected difference, however, was associated with aggression, regardless of queen founding type. Several modules of coregulated genes, involved in metabolism, immune system and neuronal function, were found to be upregulated in highly aggressive queens. Conversely, nonaggressive queens exhibited a striking pattern of upregulation in chemosensory genes. Our results highlight that the social phenotypes of cooperative vs. solitary nest founding tap into a set of gene regulatory networks that seem to govern aggression level. We also present a number of highly connected hub genes associated with aggression, providing opportunity to further study the genetic underpinnings of social conflict and tolerance.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nonacs, P; Carlin, N F

    1990-12-15

    The stage in preimaginal ontogeny at which the sexes can first be distinguished has important implications for queen-worker conflict in social insects. If workers are unable to sex larvae at an early instar, their opportunity to control colony reproductive strategies may be limited. In addition, by concealing the sex of her sons for some portion of development, the queen could protect them from the workers' attempts to substitute their own sons or to skew the numerical sex ratio. In a series of choice experiments, workers of the carpenter ant, Camponotus floridanus, failed to discriminate the sex of several stages of larvae but did retrieve female pupae significantly more rapidly than male pupae. Our results suggest that in this species, sex may not become detectable until pupation, which is consistent with sexual deception as an aspect of queen control. PMID:11607136

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nonacs, P; Carlin, N F

    1990-12-15

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

  20. 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 ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2003-05-01

    We investigated the relative contribution of the queen and workers to colony nestmate recognition cues and on colony insularity in the Carpenter ant Camponotus fellah. Workers were either individually isolated, preventing contact with both queen and workers (colonial deprived, CD), kept in queenless groups, allowing only worker-worker interactions (queen deprived, QD) or in queenright (QR) groups. Two weeks post-separation QD and QR workers were amicable towards each other but both rejected their CD nestmates, which suggests that the queen does not measurably influence the colony recognition cues. By contrast, aggression between QD and QR workers from the same original colony was apparent only after six months of separation. This clearly demonstrates the power of the Gestalt and indicates that the queen is not a dominant contributor to the nestmate recognition cues in this species. Aggression between nestmates was correlated with a greater hydrocarbon (HC) profile divergence for CD than for QD and QR workers, supporting the importance of worker-worker interactions in maintaining the colony Gestalt odour. While the queen does not significantly influence nestmate recognition cues, she does influence colony insularity since within 3 days QD (queenless for six months) workers from different colony origins merged to form a single queenless colony. By contrast, the corresponding QR colonies maintained their territoriality and did not merge. The originally divergent cuticular and postpharyngeal gland HC profiles became congruent following the merger. Therefore, while workers supply and blend the recognition signal, the queen affects worker-worker interaction by reducing social motivation and tolerance of alien conspecifics. PMID:12803913

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2003-05-01

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

  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...... sympatric fungus-growing ant species. As predicted from relatedness, female bias was greater in four singly mated Sericomyrmex and Trachymyrmex species than in two multiply mated Acromyrmex species. Colonies tended to raise mainly a single sex, which could be partly explained by variation in queen number......, 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...

  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. 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...

  6. 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....

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. The foundress's dilemma: group selection for cooperation among queens of the harvester ant, Pogonomyrmex californicus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shaffer, Zachary; Sasaki, Takao; Haney, Brian; Janssen, Marco; Pratt, Stephen C; Fewell, Jennifer H

    2016-07-28

    The evolution of cooperation is a fundamental problem in biology, especially for non-relatives, where indirect fitness benefits cannot counter within-group inequalities. Multilevel selection models show how cooperation can evolve if it generates a group-level advantage, even when cooperators are disadvantaged within their group. This allows the possibility of group selection, but few examples have been described in nature. Here we show that group selection can explain the evolution of cooperative nest founding in the harvester ant Pogonomyrmex californicus. Through most of this species' range, colonies are founded by single queens, but in some populations nests are instead founded by cooperative groups of unrelated queens. In mixed groups of cooperative and single-founding queens, we found that aggressive individuals had a survival advantage within their nest, but foundress groups with such non-cooperators died out more often than those with only cooperative members. An agent-based model shows that the between-group advantage of the cooperative phenotype drives it to fixation, despite its within-group disadvantage, but only when population density is high enough to make between-group competition intense. Field data show higher nest density in a population where cooperative founding is common, consistent with greater density driving the evolution of cooperative foundation through group selection.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mankowski, Mark E; Morrell, J J

    2011-06-01

    Conditions necessary for optimal colony foundation in two carpenter ant species, Camponotus modoc Wheeler and Camponotus vicinus Mayr, were studied. Camponotus modoc and C. vicinus queens were placed in Douglas-fir, Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirb. Franco) and Styrofoam blocks conditioned in sealed chambers at 70, 80, or 100% RH. Nanitic workers produced after 12 wk were used to assess the effects of substrate and moisture content on colony initiation. Queens of C. vicinus in Douglas-fir and Styrofoam produced worker numbers that did not differ significantly with moisture content; however, the number of colonies initiated by C. modoc differed significantly with moisture content. The results indicate that colony founding in C. vicinus is less sensitive to moisture content than C. modoc for Douglas-fir and Styrofoam. In another test, groups of queens of each species were exposed to 20, 50, 70, and 100% RH and the time until 50% mortality occurred was recorded for each species. C. vicinus lived significantly longer at each of the test humidities than C. modoc, suggesting that the former species is adapted to better survive under xeric conditions. PMID:21735888

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mankowski, Mark E; Morrell, J J

    2011-06-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

    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 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 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 the primary...

  14. Workers select mates for queens: a possible mechanism of gene flow restriction between supercolonies of the invasive Argentine ant

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sunamura, Eiriki; Hoshizaki, Sugihiko; Sakamoto, Hironori; Fujii, Takeshi; Nishisue, Koji; Suzuki, Shun; Terayama, Mamoru; Ishikawa, Yukio; Tatsuki, Sadahiro

    2011-05-01

    Some invasive ants form large networks of mutually non-aggressive nests, i.e., supercolonies. The Argentine ant Linepithema humile forms much larger supercolonies in introduced ranges than in its native range. In both cases, it has been shown that little gene flow occurs between supercolonies of this species, though the mechanism of gene flow restriction is unknown. In this species, queens do not undertake nuptial flight, and males have to travel to foreign nests and cope with workers before gaining access to alien queens. In this study, we hypothesized that male Argentine ants receive interference from workers of alien supercolonies. To test this hypothesis, we conducted behavioral and chemical experiments using ants from two supercolonies in Japan. Workers attacked males from alien supercolonies but not those from their own supercolonies. The level of aggression against alien males was similar to that against alien workers. The frequency of severe aggression against alien males increased as the number of recipient workers increased. Cuticular hydrocarbon profiles, which serve as cues for nestmate recognition, of workers and males from the same supercolony were very similar. Workers are likely to distinguish alien males from males of their own supercolony using the profiles. It is predicted that males are subject to considerable aggression from workers when they intrude into the nests of alien supercolonies. This may be a mechanism underlying the restricted gene flow between supercolonies of Argentine ants. The Argentine ant may possess a distinctive reproductive system, where workers participate in selecting mates for their queens. We argue that the aggression of workers against alien males is a novel form of reproductive interference.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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...... of cooperation: whenever cheaters can be reliably identified, they may incur sanctions that reduce the incentive to be selfish....

  19. The cost of being queen: investment across Pogonomyrmex harvester ant gynes that differ in degree of claustrality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Enzmann, Brittany L; Gibbs, Allen G; Nonacs, Peter

    2014-11-01

    The role of the ant colony largely consists of non-reproductive tasks, such as foraging, tending brood, and defense. However, workers are vitally linked to reproduction through their provisioning of sexual offspring, which are produced annually to mate and initiate new colonies. Gynes (future queens) have size-associated variation in colony founding strategy (claustrality), with each strategy requiring different energetic investments from their natal colony. We compared the per capita production cost required for semi-claustral, facultative, and claustral gynes across four species of Pogonomyrmex harvester ants. We found that the claustral founding strategy is markedly expensive, costing approximately 70% more energy than that of the semi-claustral strategy. Relative to males, claustral gynes also had the largest differential investment and smallest size variation. We applied these investment costs to a model by Brown and Bonhoeffer (2003) that predicts founding strategy based on investment cost and foraging survivorship. The model predicts that non-claustral foundresses must survive the foraging period with a probability of 30-36% in order for a foraging strategy to be selectively favored. These results highlight the importance of incorporating resource investment at the colony level when investigating the evolution of colony founding strategies in ants.

  20. Gene expression patterns associated with caste and reproductive status in ants: worker-specific genes are more derived than queen-specific ones.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feldmeyer, B; Elsner, D; Foitzik, S

    2014-01-01

    Variation in gene expression leads to phenotypic diversity and plays a central role in caste differentiation of eusocial insect species. In social Hymenoptera, females with the same genetic background can develop into queens or workers, which are characterized by divergent morphologies, behaviours and lifespan. Moreover, many social insects exhibit behaviourally distinct worker castes, such as brood-tenders and foragers. Researchers have just started to explore which genes are differentially expressed to achieve this remarkable phenotypic plasticity. Although the queen is normally the only reproductive individual in the nest, following her removal, young brood-tending workers often develop ovaries and start to reproduce. Here, we make use of this ability in the ant Temnothorax longispinosus and compare gene expression patterns in the queens and three worker castes along a reproductive gradient. We found the largest expression differences between the queen and the worker castes (~2500 genes) and the smallest differences between infertile brood-tenders and foragers (~300 genes). The expression profile of fertile workers is more worker-like, but to a certain extent intermediate between the queen and the infertile worker castes. In contrast to the queen, a high number of differentially expressed genes in the worker castes are of unknown function, pointing to the derived status of hymenopteran workers within insects. PMID:24118315

  1. Identification, expression, and immuno-reactivity of Sol i 2 & Sol i 4 venom proteins of queen red imported fire ants, Solenopsis invicta Buren (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lockwood, Stephanie A; Haghipour-Peasley, Jilla; Hoffman, Donald R; Deslippe, Richard J

    2012-10-01

    We report on two low-molecular weight proteins that are stored in the venom of queen red imported fire ants (Solenopsis invicta). Translated amino acid sequences identified one protein to have 74.8% identity with the Sol i 2w worker allergen, and the other protein was found to have 96/97% identity with Sol i 4.01w/4.02w worker allergens. Both Sol i 2 and Sol i 4 queen and worker proteins were expressed using pEXP1-DEST vector in SHuffle™ T7 Express lysY Escherichia coli. Proteins were expressed at significant concentrations, as opposed to the μg/ml amounts by our previous expression methods, enabling further study of these proteins. Sol i 2q protein bound weakly to human IgE, sera pooled from allergic patients, whereas Sol i 2w, Sol i 4.01w, and Sol i 4q proteins bound strongly. Despite Sol i 2w and Sol i 2q proteins having 74.8% identity, the queen protein is less immuno-reactive than the worker allergen. This finding is consistent with allergic individuals being less sensitive to queen than worker venom.

  2. 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

  3. Founding weaver ant queens (Oecophylla longinoda) increase production and nanitic worker size when adopting non-nestmate pupae

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2015-01-01

    of offspring). Forty-five fertilized queens were divided into three treatments: 0 (control), 100 or 300 non-nestmate pupae transplanted to each colony. Pupae transplantation resulted in highly increased growth rates, as pupae were readily adopted by the queens and showed high proportions of surviving (mean...... = 76%). However, survival was significantly higher when 100 pupae were transplanted compared to transplantation of 300 pupae, indicating that queens were unable to handle 300 pupae adequately and that pupae require some amount of nursing. Nevertheless, within the 60-day experiment the transplantation...

  4. 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...

  5. 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

  6. 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...

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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 que......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...

  10. 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

  11. 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...

  12. 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.

  13. Team swimming in ant spermatozoa.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-06-01

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

  14. Team swimming in ant spermatozoa.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-06-01

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

  15. 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...

  16. '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.

  17. Male parentage in army ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2006-01-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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

    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...... revealed that queens in all three species were single mated, and that worker-to-worker relatedness in these basal attine species is very close to 0.75, the value expected under exclusively single mating. Fungus growing per se has therefore not selected for multiple queen mating. Instead, the advanced...... to 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...

  2. 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...

  3. 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...

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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...

  7. 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.

  8. Honey Ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conway, John R.

    1984-01-01

    Provides background information on honey ants. These ants are found in dry or desert regions of North America, Africa, and Australia. Also provides a list of activities using local species of ants. (JN)

  9. 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.

  10. 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)

  11. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carlin, N F; Hölldobler, B

    1983-12-01

    Recognition of nestmates and discrimination against aliens is the rule in the social insects. The principal mechanism of nestmate recognition in carpenter ants (Camponotus) appears to be odor labels or "discriminators" that originate from the queen and are distributed among, and learned by, all adult colony members. The acquired odor labels are sufficiently powerful to produce indiscriminate acceptance among workers of different species raised together in artificially mixed colonies and rejection of genetic sisters reared by different heterospecific queens. PMID:17776248

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carlin, N F; Hölldobler, B

    1983-12-01

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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 'Queen of Hearts' Oakleaf Hydrangea

    Science.gov (United States)

    A late-blooming oakleaf hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia) cultivar was released by the U.S. National Arboretum. ‘Queen of Hearts’ has grown 6.5 feet high and 11 feet wide in 11 years. In early summer, it is covered with 11-inch-long inflorescences that are held upright above the foliage. Flowers ...

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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...

  2. Raiders from the sky: slavemaker founding queens select for aggressive host colonies

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 study the influence of host aggression and demography on founding decisions and success. We discovered that parasite queens avoided colony foundation in parasitized areas and were able to capture more brood from less aggressive host colonies. Host colony aggression remained consistent over the two-month experiment, but did not respond to our manipulation. However, as one-fifth of all host colonies were successfully invaded by parasite queens, slavemaker nest foundation acts as a strong selection event selecting for high aggression in host colonies. PMID:22809720

  3. 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...

  4. 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...

  5. Hybridization in East African swarm-raiding army ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Sperm storage induces an immunity cost in ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2006-01-01

    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......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......-term reproductive success. The immune response was lower when more males contributed to the stored sperm, indicating that there might be an additional cost of mating or storing genetically different ejaculates....

  9. Carpenter Ants

    OpenAIRE

    Davis, Ryan S.

    2016-01-01

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

  10. 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

  11. 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...

  12. 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...... by two real-time PCRs: one for the presence of deformed wing virus (DWV), and one that would detect sequences of acute bee-paralysis virus, Kashmir bee virus and Israeli acute paralysis virus (AKI complex). Worker bees accompanying the queen were also analysed. The queens could be divided into three...

  13. A taxonomic revision of the seed-harvester ant genus Pogonomyrmex (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) on Hispaniola.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Robert A; Cover, Stefan P

    2015-06-11

    We revise species of seed-harvester ants in the genus Pogonomyrmex (subfamily Myrmicinae) that occur on the Caribbean island of Hispaniola. Three species are recognized: P. aterrimus Wheeler (new status), P. saucius Wheeler and Mann, and P. schmitti Forel. Pogonomyrmex schmitti sublaevigatus Wheeler (= schmitti) and P. schmitti darlingtoni Wheeler (= aterrimus) are synonomized. We also describe the queen of P. aterrimus and P. saucius, and provide information on biology, distribution maps, and a key to workers and queens.

  14. 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 sharp contrast to other army ants. We hypothesize that differences in mature colony size and social complexity may explain these striking discrepancies....

  15. 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...

  16. Struggling Ants

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2009-01-01

    Some of China’s college graduates are barely scraping by The village of Tangjialing, 20 km north of down town Beijing, was thrust into the public consciousness in November. Publishers that month released a book titled Ants

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. The invasion biology and sociogenetics of pharaoh ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schmidt, Anna Mosegaard

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

  20. 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....

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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...

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Sperm length evolution in the fungus-growing ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2009-01-01

    Eusocial insects offer special opportunities for the comparative study of sperm traits because sperm competition is absent (in species with obligatory monandry) or constrained (in lineages where queens mate multiply but never remate later in life). We measured sperm length in 19 species of fungus...... affected sperm length to a minor extent, and only in interaction with other predictor variables, suggesting that sperm competition has not been a major selective force for sperm length evolution in these ants....

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1996-12-01

    The colony and population structure of the carpenter ant, Camponotus floridanus, were investigated by multilocus DNA fingerprinting using simple repeat motifs as probes [e.g. (GATA)4]. The mating frequency of 15 queens was determined by comparing the fingerprint patterns of the queen and 17-33 of her progeny workers. C. floridanus queens are most probably singly mated, i.e. this species is monandrous and monogynous (one queen per colony). C. floridanus occurs in all counties of mainland Florida and also inhabits most of the Key islands in the southern part of Florida. We tested whether the two mainland populations and the island populations are genetically isolated. Wright's FST and Nei's D-value of genetic distance were calculated from intercolonial bandsharing-coefficients. The population of C. floridanus is substructured (FST = 0.19 +/- 0.09) and the highest degree of genetic distance was found between one of the mainland populations and the island populations (D = 0.35). Our fingerprinting technique could successfully be transferred to 12 other Camponotus species and here also revealed sufficient variability to analyse the genetic structure. In three of these species (C. ligniperdus, C. herculeanus and C. gigas) we could determine the mating frequency of the queen in one or two colonies, respectively. PMID:8981768

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1996-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Friedman, D A; Gordon, D M

    2016-07-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. Seminal fluid enhances sperm viability in the leafcutter ant Atta colombica

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Den Boer, Susanne Petronella A; Boomsma, Jacobus Jan; Baer, Boris

    2008-01-01

    The seminal fluid that accompanies sperm in ejaculates has been shown or suggested to affect sperm competition and paternity success of insects by preventing female remating, inducing oviposition, and forming mating plugs. In Atta leafcutter ants, queens have multiple mates but never remate later...

  14. 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...

  15. 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.

  16. Queen volatiles as a modulator of Tetragonisca angustula drone behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fierro, Macario M; Cruz-López, Leopoldo; Sánchez, Daniel; Villanueva-Gutiérrez, Rogel; Vandame, Remy

    2011-11-01

    Tetragonisca angustula mating occurs during the virgin queen nuptial flight, usually in the presence of a drone congregation area (DCA). The presence of virgin queen pheromone is considered the trigger for DCA establishment, although this has not been demonstrated experimentally. We established meliponaries, in different habitats, with T. angustula virgin queens during the main drone reproduction period. Eight DCAs were observed in urban areas, and all established outside or near colonies containing at least one virgin queen. The accumulation of drones in the DCAs occurred from 08:00 to 18:00 h and over 3-35 days. The number of drones in DCAs ranged from 60 to 2,000. In field trials, drones were attracted to virgin queens and also, unexpectedly, to physogastric queens. Volatiles collected from both virgin and physogastric queens elicited strong electoantennogram (EAG) responses from drones. Virgin and physogastric queen volatiles were qualitatively similar, but quantitatively different, in chemical composition. The queen's abdomen was the principal source of these compounds. Isopropyl hexanoate (IPH), the most abundant compound in virgin queen volatiles and one of the most abundant in physogastric queen volatiles, was identified as one of the compounds that elicited EAG responses and was demonstrated to attract drones in a field test.

  17. Queen volatiles as a modulator of Tetragonisca angustula drone behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fierro, Macario M; Cruz-López, Leopoldo; Sánchez, Daniel; Villanueva-Gutiérrez, Rogel; Vandame, Remy

    2011-11-01

    Tetragonisca angustula mating occurs during the virgin queen nuptial flight, usually in the presence of a drone congregation area (DCA). The presence of virgin queen pheromone is considered the trigger for DCA establishment, although this has not been demonstrated experimentally. We established meliponaries, in different habitats, with T. angustula virgin queens during the main drone reproduction period. Eight DCAs were observed in urban areas, and all established outside or near colonies containing at least one virgin queen. The accumulation of drones in the DCAs occurred from 08:00 to 18:00 h and over 3-35 days. The number of drones in DCAs ranged from 60 to 2,000. In field trials, drones were attracted to virgin queens and also, unexpectedly, to physogastric queens. Volatiles collected from both virgin and physogastric queens elicited strong electoantennogram (EAG) responses from drones. Virgin and physogastric queen volatiles were qualitatively similar, but quantitatively different, in chemical composition. The queen's abdomen was the principal source of these compounds. Isopropyl hexanoate (IPH), the most abundant compound in virgin queen volatiles and one of the most abundant in physogastric queen volatiles, was identified as one of the compounds that elicited EAG responses and was demonstrated to attract drones in a field test. PMID:22081302

  18. 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 ...

  19. 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

  20. 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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2007-01-01

    by an actinomycete bacterial mutualist (genus Pseudonocardia). Despite the potential of being infected by phylogenetically diverse strains of parasites, each ant colony maintains only a single Pseudonocardia symbiont strain, which is primarily vertically transmitted between colonies by the founding queens....... In this study, we show that Acromyrmex leaf-cutter ants are able to differentiate between their native actinomycete strain and a variety of foreign strains isolated from sympatric and allopatric Acromyrmex species, in addition to strains originating from other fungus-growing ant genera. The recognition...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poinar, George

    2003-09-01

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

  3. The genome of the fire ant Solenopsis invicta.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-04-01

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

  4. Cloning and sequencing of wsp encoding gene fragments reveals a diversity of co-infecting Wolbachia strains in Acromyrmex leafcutter ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    van Borm, S.; Wenseleers, T.; Billen, J.;

    2003-01-01

    By sequencing part of the wsp gene of a series of clones, we detected an unusually high diversity of nine Wolbachia strains in queens of three species of leafcutter ants. Up to four strains co-occurred in a single ant. Most strains occurred in two clusters (InvA and InvB), but the social parasite...

  5. 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.

  6. 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...

  7. Viral diseases in honey bee queens

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Francis, Roy Mathew

    Honey bees are important insects for human welfare, due to pollination as well as honey production. Viral diseases strongly impact honey bee health, especially since the spread of varroa mites. This dissertation deals with the interactions between honey bees, viruses and varroa mites. A new tool...... 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 under...

  8. 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.

  9. 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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2013-01-01

    and quality control of queens complete the queen rearing section. The improvement of colony traits usually depends on a comparative testing of colonies. Standardized recommendations for the organization of performance tests and the measurement of the most common selection characters are presented. Statistical...

  11. Questionnaire-based survey of parturition in the queen

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2011-01-01

    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 parturiti

  12. 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 ova...

  13. 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.

  14. Ants exhibit asymmetric hybridization in a mosaic hybrid zone.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Purcell, Jessica; Zahnd, Sacha; Athanasiades, Anouk; Türler, Rebecca; Chapuisat, Michel; Brelsford, Alan

    2016-10-01

    Research on hybridization between species provides unparalleled insights into the pre- and postzygotic isolating mechanisms that drive speciation. In social organisms, colony-level incompatibilities may provide additional reproductive barriers not present in solitary species, and hybrid zones offer an opportunity to identify these barriers. Here, we use genotyping-by-sequencing to sequence hundreds of markers in a hybrid zone between two socially polymorphic ant species, Formica selysi and Formica cinerea. We characterize the zone, determine the frequency of hybrid workers, infer whether hybrid queens or males are produced and investigate whether hybridization is influenced by colony social organization. We also compare cuticular hydrocarbon profiles and aggression levels between the two species. The hybrid zone exhibits a mosaic structure. The asymmetric distribution of hybrids skewed towards F. cinerea suggests a pattern of unidirectional nuclear gene flow from F. selysi into F. cinerea. The occurrence of backcrossed individuals indicates that hybrid queens and/or males are fertile, and the presence of the F. cinerea mitochondrial haplotype in 97% of hybrids shows that successful F1 hybrids will generally have F. cinerea mothers and F. selysi fathers. We found no evidence that social organization contributes to speciation, because hybrids occur in both single-queen and multiple-queen colonies. Strongly differentiated cuticular hydrocarbon profiles and heightened interspecific aggression further reveal that species recognition cues are both present and perceived. The discovery of fertile hybrids and asymmetrical gene flow is unusual in ants, and this hybrid zone will therefore provide an ideal system with which to investigate speciation in social insects.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kramer, Boris H; Schrempf, Alexandra; Scheuerlein, Alexander; Heinze, Jürgen

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:26383861

  16. 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.

  17. 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...

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Sociogenomics of cooperation and conflict during colony founding in the fire ant Solenopsis invicta.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fabio Manfredini

    Full Text Available One of the fundamental questions in biology is how cooperative and altruistic behaviors evolved. The majority of studies seeking to identify the genes regulating these behaviors have been performed in systems where behavioral and physiological differences are relatively fixed, such as in the honey bee. During colony founding in the monogyne (one queen per colony social form of the fire ant Solenopsis invicta, newly-mated queens may start new colonies either individually (haplometrosis or in groups (pleometrosis. However, only one queen (the "winner" in pleometrotic associations survives and takes the lead of the young colony while the others (the "losers" are executed. Thus, colony founding in fire ants provides an excellent system in which to examine the genes underpinning cooperative behavior and how the social environment shapes the expression of these genes. We developed a new whole genome microarray platform for S. invicta to characterize the gene expression patterns associated with colony founding behavior. First, we compared haplometrotic queens, pleometrotic winners and pleometrotic losers. Second, we manipulated pleometrotic couples in order to switch or maintain the social ranks of the two cofoundresses. Haplometrotic and pleometrotic queens differed in the expression of genes involved in stress response, aging, immunity, reproduction and lipid biosynthesis. Smaller sets of genes were differentially expressed between winners and losers. In the second experiment, switching social rank had a much greater impact on gene expression patterns than the initial/final rank. Expression differences for several candidate genes involved in key biological processes were confirmed using qRT-PCR. Our findings indicate that, in S. invicta, social environment plays a major role in the determination of the patterns of gene expression, while the queen's physiological state is secondary. These results highlight the powerful influence of social environment

  1. 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

  2. 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....

  3. 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

  4. 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

  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. Radar detection of drones responding to honeybee queen pheromone.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loper, G M; Wolf, W W; Taylor, O R

    1993-09-01

    The response of honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) drones to queen pheromone(s) (either natural from a mated queen, or synthetic from a lure) was recorded using an X-band, ground-based radar. The distribution of drones (insect targets on the radar screen) changed from a scattered distribution to a line concentration (downwind) when the pheromone was released. Displacement within the line concentration was toward the pheromone. This response was seen as far as 800±15 m downwind from a lure with 10 mg of synthetic 9-oxodec-trans-2-enoic acid (9-ODA) and as far as 420±15 m from a mated queen. These studies demonstrate that queen pheromone can be detected by drones at much greater distances than previously believed and illustrate how X-band radar may be used to establish the distances at which insects of similar or larger size respond to pheromones.

  7. 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

  8. Apiology: royal secrets in the queen's fat body.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamanaka, Naoki; O'Connor, Michael B

    2011-07-12

    Royalactin, a component of royal jelly, induces queen differentiation in honeybees. Surprisingly, royalactin has a similar effect on growth in fruit flies, highlighting many unexpected features of growth regulation by the insect fat tissue.

  9. 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.

  10. The seasonal natural history of the ant, Dolichoderus mariae, in Northern Florida.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laskis, Kristina O; Tschinkel, Walter R

    2009-01-01

    Dolichoderus mariae Forel, (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) is an uncommon, monomorphic but locally abundant, reddish-brown ant of peculiar nesting habits, whose range includes most of the eastern USA. In north Florida the ant excavates soil under wiregrass clumps or other plants with fibrous roots to form a single, large, shallow, conical or ovoid chamber broadly open to the surface around the plant base. Colonies are highly polygyne and, during the warm season, inhabit multiple nests connected only by above ground trails, over which nests exchange workers. Although monomorphic, worker size may differ significantly between colonies. The colony cycle is dominated by strong seasonal polydomy. From one or two over-wintering nests, the colonies expanded to occupy up to 60 nests by late summer, then retract once more to one or two nests by mid-winter. The worker-to-queen ratio changed greatly during this cycle, with over two thousand workers per queen during fall and winter, dropping to a low of about 300 during midsummer. Most of these summer queens probably die during the fall. Colonies reoccupy roughly the same area year to year even though they contract down to one or two nests in winter. Observation of fights in the contact zone between colonies suggested that the colonies are territorial. The ants subsist by tending aphids and scale insects for honeydew and scavenging for dead insects within their territories.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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...

  14. 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

  15. The evolution of invasiveness in garden ants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sylvia Cremer

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

  16. The evolution of invasiveness in garden ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-01-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. The first mesozoic ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, E O; Carpenter, F M; Brown, W L

    1967-09-01

    Two worker ants preserved in amber of Upper Cretaceous age have been found in New Jersey. They are the first undisputed remains of social insects of Mesozoic age, extending the existence of social life in insects back to approximately 100 million years. They are also the earliest known fossils that can be assigned with certainty to aculeate Hymenoptera. The species, Sphecomyrma freyi, is considered to represent a new subfamily (Sphecomyrminae), more primitive than any previously known ant group. It forms a near-perfect link between certain nonsocial tiphiid wasps and the most primitive myrmecioid ants.

  3. 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

  4. 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

    Honeybees are known to have genetically diverse colonies because queens mate with many males and the recombination rate is extremely high. Genetic diversity among social insect workers has been hypothesized to improve general performance of large and complex colonies, but this idea has not been...... 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...... 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...

  5. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liebig Jürgen

    2010-10-01

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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 78 FR 36426 - Safety Zone; Queen's Cup; Lake Michigan; Milwaukee, WI

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-06-18

    ... DHS Department of Homeland Security FR Federal Register NPRM Notice of Proposed Rulemaking TFR... SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 RIN 1625-AA00 Safety Zone; Queen's Cup; Lake Michigan; Milwaukee, WI... Queen's Cup Regatta. The Queen's Cup Regatta is a race from Milwaukee, WI to Ludington, MI that...

  11. Sick ants become unsociable.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-02-01

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

  12. 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...

  13. Sick ants become unsociable.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-02-01

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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2002-09-01

    The distribution of endosymbiotic bacteria in different tissues of queens, males, and workers of the carpenter ant Camponotus floridanus was investigated by light and electron microscopy and by in situ hybridization. A large number of bacteria could be detected in bacteriocytes within the midguts of workers, young virgin queens, and males. Large amounts of bacteria were also found in the oocytes of workers and queens. In contrast, bacteria were not present in oocyte-associated cells or in the spermathecae of mature queens, although occasionally a small number of bacteria could be detected in the testis follicles of males. Interestingly, the number of bacteriocytes in mature queens was strongly reduced and the bacteriocytes contained only very few or no bacteria at all, although the endosymbionts were present in huge amounts in the ovaries of the same animals. During embryogenesis of the deposited egg, the bacteria were concentrated in a ring of endodermal tissue destined to become the midgut in later developmental stages. However, during larval development, bacteria could also be detected in other tissues although to a lesser extent. Only in the last-instar larvae were bacteria found exclusively in the midgut tissue within typical bacteriocytes. Tetracycline and rifampin efficiently cleansed C. floridanus workers of their symbionts and the bacteriocytes of these animals still remained empty several months after treatment had ceased. Despite the lack of their endosymbionts, these adult animals were able to survive without any obvious negative effect under normal cultivation conditions. PMID:12200264

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2002-09-01

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

  18. Vitellogenin underwent subfunctionalization to acquire caste and behavioral specific expression in the harvester ant Pogonomyrmex barbatus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corona, Miguel; Libbrecht, Romain; Wurm, Yannick; Riba-Grognuz, Oksana; Studer, Romain A; Keller, Laurent

    2013-01-01

    The reproductive ground plan hypothesis (RGPH) proposes that the physiological pathways regulating reproduction were co-opted to regulate worker division of labor. Support for this hypothesis in honeybees is provided by studies demonstrating that the reproductive potential of workers, assessed by the levels of vitellogenin (Vg), is linked to task performance. Interestingly, contrary to honeybees that have a single Vg ortholog and potentially fertile nurses, the genome of the harvester ant Pogonomyrmex barbatus harbors two Vg genes (Pb_Vg1 and Pb_Vg2) and nurses produce infertile trophic eggs. P. barbatus, thus, provides a unique model to investigate whether Vg duplication in ants was followed by subfunctionalization to acquire reproductive and non-reproductive functions and whether Vg reproductive function was co-opted to regulate behavior in sterile workers. To investigate these questions, we compared the expression patterns of P. barbatus Vg genes and analyzed the phylogenetic relationships and molecular evolution of Vg genes in ants. qRT-PCRs revealed that Pb_Vg1 is more highly expressed in queens compared to workers and in nurses compared to foragers. By contrast, the level of expression of Pb_Vg2 was higher in foragers than in nurses and queens. Phylogenetic analyses show that a first duplication of the ancestral Vg gene occurred after the divergence between the poneroid and formicoid clades and subsequent duplications occurred in the lineages leading to Solenopsis invicta, Linepithema humile and Acromyrmex echinatior. The initial duplication resulted in two Vg gene subfamilies preferentially expressed in queens and nurses (subfamily A) or in foraging workers (subfamily B). Finally, molecular evolution analyses show that the subfamily A experienced positive selection, while the subfamily B showed overall relaxation of purifying selection. Our results suggest that in P. barbatus the Vg gene underwent subfunctionalization after duplication to acquire caste- and

  19. Vitellogenin underwent subfunctionalization to acquire caste and behavioral specific expression in the harvester ant Pogonomyrmex barbatus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miguel Corona

    Full Text Available The reproductive ground plan hypothesis (RGPH proposes that the physiological pathways regulating reproduction were co-opted to regulate worker division of labor. Support for this hypothesis in honeybees is provided by studies demonstrating that the reproductive potential of workers, assessed by the levels of vitellogenin (Vg, is linked to task performance. Interestingly, contrary to honeybees that have a single Vg ortholog and potentially fertile nurses, the genome of the harvester ant Pogonomyrmex barbatus harbors two Vg genes (Pb_Vg1 and Pb_Vg2 and nurses produce infertile trophic eggs. P. barbatus, thus, provides a unique model to investigate whether Vg duplication in ants was followed by subfunctionalization to acquire reproductive and non-reproductive functions and whether Vg reproductive function was co-opted to regulate behavior in sterile workers. To investigate these questions, we compared the expression patterns of P. barbatus Vg genes and analyzed the phylogenetic relationships and molecular evolution of Vg genes in ants. qRT-PCRs revealed that Pb_Vg1 is more highly expressed in queens compared to workers and in nurses compared to foragers. By contrast, the level of expression of Pb_Vg2 was higher in foragers than in nurses and queens. Phylogenetic analyses show that a first duplication of the ancestral Vg gene occurred after the divergence between the poneroid and formicoid clades and subsequent duplications occurred in the lineages leading to Solenopsis invicta, Linepithema humile and Acromyrmex echinatior. The initial duplication resulted in two Vg gene subfamilies preferentially expressed in queens and nurses (subfamily A or in foraging workers (subfamily B. Finally, molecular evolution analyses show that the subfamily A experienced positive selection, while the subfamily B showed overall relaxation of purifying selection. Our results suggest that in P. barbatus the Vg gene underwent subfunctionalization after duplication to

  20. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goodisman, Michael A D; Hahn, Daniel A

    2005-10-01

    All social insects live in highly organized societies. However, different social insect species display striking variation in social structure. This variation can significantly affect the genetic structure within populations and, consequently, the divergence between species. The purpose of this study was to determine if variation in social structure was associated with species diversification in the Camponotus festinatus desert carpenter ant species complex. We used polymorphic DNA microsatellite markers to dissect the breeding system of these ants and to determine if distinct C. festinatus forms hybridized in their natural range. Our analysis of single-queen colonies established in the laboratory revealed that queens typically mated with only a single male. The genotypes of workers sampled from a field population suggested that multiple, related queens occasionally reproduced within colonies and that colonies inhabited multiple nests. Camponotus festinatus workers derived from colonies of the same form originating at different locales were strongly differentiated, suggesting that gene flow was geographically restricted. Overall, our data indicate that C. festinatus populations are highly structured. Distinct C. festinatus forms possess similar social systems but are genetically isolated. Consequently, our data suggest that diversification in the C. festinatus species complex is not necessarily associated with a shift in social structure. PMID:16405162

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goodisman, Michael A D; Hahn, Daniel A

    2005-10-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lone, Shahnaz Rahman; Sharma, Vijay Kumar

    2011-12-01

    In ant colonies a large proportion of individuals remain inside nests for most of their lives and come out only when necessary. It is not clear how, in a nest of several thousand individuals, information about local time is communicated among members of the colony. Central to this seem to be circadian clocks, which have an intrinsic ability to keep track of local time by entraining to environmental light-dark, temperature, and social cycles. Here, the authors report the results of their study aimed at understanding the role of cyclic social interactions in circadian timekeeping of a day-active species of carpenter ant Camponotus paria. The authors found that daily social interactions with visitors (worker ants) was able to synchronize the circadian locomotor activity rhythm of host worker ants and queens, in one-on-one (pair-wise) and multi-individual (group-wise) interactions. Interestingly, the outcome of cyclic social interactions was context specific; when visitor workers socially interacted with host workers one-on-one, host workers considered the time of interaction as subjective day, but when visitor workers interacted with a group of workers and queens, the hosts considered the time of interaction as subjective night. These results can be taken to suggest that members of the ant species C. paria keep track of local time by socially interacting with workers (foragers) who shuttle in and out of the colony in search of food. (Author correspondence: vsharma@jncasr.ac.in ). PMID:22080731

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lone, Shahnaz Rahman; Sharma, Vijay Kumar

    2011-12-01

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

  8. King Harald V and Queen Sonja of Norway visit CERN

    CERN Multimedia

    Maximilien Brice

    2006-01-01

    Norway's King Harald V and Queen Sonja take a tour of the ATLAS detector with CERN's Director-General Robert Aymar in April 2006. During their visit the royal party met with members of CERN's Norwegian community. A group of about 40 students greeted the royal motorcade with a belting rendition of 'The King's Song', Norway's royal anthem.

  9. 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…

  10. The Queen's Two Bodies: Sor Juana and New Spain's Vicereines

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, George Anthony

    2009-01-01

    The work of Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz contains many examples of positive representations of the Queens of Spain and the Vicereines of New Spain. These poetic portraits serve to counter the primarily misogynistic portrayals of ruling women of the seventeenth century. Most importantly, Sor Juana increased the visibility of the vicereine in colonial…

  11. 75 FR 68397 - DeQueen and Eastern Railroad, LLC-Acquisition and Operation Exemption-DeQueen and Eastern...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-11-05

    ... border) and milepost 87.0 (Perkins, Ark.), including auxiliary, temporary storage, and spur tracks, in Howard and Sevier Counties, Ark.\\1\\ \\1\\ DQE states that it intends to interchange traffic at De Queen, Ark. with Kansas City Southern Railway Company, at Perkins with Union Pacific Railroad Company, and...

  12. 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.

  13. Repeated evolution of fungal cultivar specificity in independently evolved ant-plant-fungus symbioses.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rumsaïs Blatrix

    Full Text Available Some tropical plant species possess hollow structures (domatia occupied by ants that protect the plant and in some cases also provide it with nutrients. Most plant-ants tend patches of chaetothyrialean fungi within domatia. In a few systems it has been shown that the ants manure the fungal patches and use them as a food source, indicating agricultural practices. However, the identity of these fungi has been investigated only in a few samples. To examine the specificity and constancy of ant-plant-fungus interactions we characterised the content of fungal patches in an extensive sampling of three ant-plant symbioses (Petalomyrmex phylax/Leonardoxa africana subsp. africana, Aphomomyrmex afer/Leonardoxa africana subsp. letouzeyi and Tetraponera aethiops/Barteria fistulosa by sequencing the Internal Transcribed Spacers of ribosomal DNA. For each system the content of fungal patches was constant over individuals and populations. Each symbiosis was associated with a specific, dominant, primary fungal taxon, and to a lesser extent, with one or two specific secondary taxa, all of the order Chaetothyriales. A single fungal patch sometimes contained both a primary and a secondary taxon. In one system, two founding queens were found with the primary fungal taxon only, one that was shown in a previous study to be consumed preferentially. Because the different ant-plant symbioses studied have evolved independently, the high specificity and constancy we observed in the composition of the fungal patches have evolved repeatedly. Specificity and constancy also characterize other cases of agriculture by insects.

  14. Draft genome of the red harvester ant Pogonomyrmex barbatus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Chris R; Smith, Christopher D; Robertson, Hugh M; Helmkampf, Martin; Zimin, Aleksey; Yandell, Mark; Holt, Carson; Hu, Hao; Abouheif, Ehab; Benton, Richard; Cash, Elizabeth; Croset, Vincent; Currie, Cameron R; Elhaik, Eran; Elsik, Christine G; Favé, Marie-Julie; Fernandes, Vilaiwan; Gibson, Joshua D; Graur, Dan; Gronenberg, Wulfila; Grubbs, Kirk J; Hagen, Darren E; Viniegra, Ana Sofia Ibarraran; Johnson, Brian R; Johnson, Reed M; Khila, Abderrahman; Kim, Jay W; Mathis, Kaitlyn A; Munoz-Torres, Monica C; Murphy, Marguerite C; Mustard, Julie A; Nakamura, Rin; Niehuis, Oliver; Nigam, Surabhi; Overson, Rick P; Placek, Jennifer E; Rajakumar, Rajendhran; Reese, Justin T; Suen, Garret; Tao, Shu; Torres, Candice W; Tsutsui, Neil D; Viljakainen, Lumi; Wolschin, Florian; Gadau, Jürgen

    2011-04-01

    We report the draft genome sequence of the red harvester ant, Pogonomyrmex barbatus. The genome was sequenced using 454 pyrosequencing, and the current assembly and annotation were completed in less than 1 y. Analyses of conserved gene groups (more than 1,200 manually annotated genes to date) suggest a high-quality assembly and annotation comparable to recently sequenced insect genomes using Sanger sequencing. The red harvester ant is a model for studying reproductive division of labor, phenotypic plasticity, and sociogenomics. Although the genome of P. barbatus is similar to other sequenced hymenopterans (Apis mellifera and Nasonia vitripennis) in GC content and compositional organization, and possesses a complete CpG methylation toolkit, its predicted genomic CpG content differs markedly from the other hymenopterans. Gene networks involved in generating key differences between the queen and worker castes (e.g., wings and ovaries) show signatures of increased methylation and suggest that ants and bees may have independently co-opted the same gene regulatory mechanisms for reproductive division of labor. Gene family expansions (e.g., 344 functional odorant receptors) and pseudogene accumulation in chemoreception and P450 genes compared with A. mellifera and N. vitripennis are consistent with major life-history changes during the adaptive radiation of Pogonomyrmex spp., perhaps in parallel with the development of the North American deserts.

  15. 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.

  16. Colony failure linked to low sperm viability in honey bee (Apis mellifera) queens and an exploration of potential causative factors

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 m...

  17. 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...

  18. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poinar, George

    2003-09-01

    The first tylenchid parasite of ants, Formicitylenchus oregonensis n. g., n. sp., is described from a queen carpenter ant Camponotus vicinus Mayr in Western Oregon, USA. The new genus is characterised by the excretory pore anterior to the nerve-ring and rounded tails in the free-living adults, a stylet bearing basal thickenings in the free-living female, a smaller stylet lacking basal thickenings in the male and a short, crenulate leptoderan bursa. The mature parasitic female is light yellow and ovoviviparous. F. oregonensis n. sp. is closely related to members of Metaparasitylenchus Wachek, 1955, with species parasitising beetles living under bark or in rotten wood, a habitat similar to that of carpenter ants. However, males of Metaparasitylenchus are characterised by a fairly long tail with a broad peloderan bursa. It is suggested that this case of tylenchid parasitism in ants is an example of environmental host selection. A review of the described nematode parasites of ants is presented. PMID:12975624

  20. 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

  1. Introgression of mitochondrial DNA among lineages in a hybridogenetic ant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Darras, Hugo; Aron, Serge

    2015-02-01

    We report a remarkable pattern of incongruence between nuclear and mitochondrial variations in a social insect, the desert ant Cataglyphis hispanica. This species reproduces by social hybridogenesis. In all populations, two distinct genetic lineages coexist; non-reproductive workers develop from hybrid crosses between the lineages, whereas reproductive offspring (males and new queens) are typically produced asexually by parthenogenesis. Genetic analyses based on nuclear markers revealed that the two lineages remain highly differentiated despite constant hybridization for worker production. Here, we show that, in contrast with nuclear DNA, mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) does not recover the two lineages as monophyletic. Rather, mitochondrial haplotypes cluster according to their geographical origin. We argue that this cytonuclear incongruence stems from introgression of mtDNA among lineages, and review the mechanisms likely to explain this pattern under social hybridogenesis.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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'...

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

    OpenAIRE

    Dr. Lilibeth A. Roxas; Nikko A. Roxas

    2015-01-01

    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 injectio...

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. ANT i arbejdslivsforskningen

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    2012-01-01

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

  10. A QUEEN FOR ALL SEASONS: ZENOBIA OF PALMYRA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M.M. Breytenbach

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Throughout the centuries a number of truly remarkable women emerged to awe the world. One of these is a charismatic warrior queen of antiquity, Zenobia, last ruler of the once wealthy and exotic city-state of Palmyra in Syria, that flourished in the late Roman Empire of the third century AD. She rose to power upon the death of her husband Odenathus, a client-king of Rome, when she acted as regent for their son Vaballathus2 born in 260 AD. The queen was just and capable, a patron of artists and philosophers, learned, strong-willed and dynamic, and reputed to be one of the great beauties of history. She fought alongside her troops and astounded the ancient world by carving out a large territory beyond Palmyra, even subjugating Egypt, before being overthrown by the formidable Emperor Aurelian who came to power in 270 AD. At his triumph in Rome, Aurelian displayed the Palmyrene queen weighed down by gold chains and jewels, but so great was his respect for her that according to one tradition he settled her in Rome where she lived out the rest of her life.

  11. Division of labor is associated with age-independent changes in ovarian activity in Pogonomyrmex californicus harvester ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dolezal, Adam G; Johnson, Joshua; Hölldobler, Bert; Amdam, Gro V

    2013-04-01

    An age-independent division of labor can develop in both the reproductive (queen) and non-reproductive (worker) castes of Pogonomyrmex californicus harvester ants, and individuals develop biases for in-nest activities or external foraging. Additionally, ant ovaries normally atrophy in foragers compared to nest-biased workers (nurses). However, it is not clear whether these ovarian changes are due to changes in behavior or age, since foragers are typically older individuals. Here, we clarify this relationship in P. californicus queens and workers by comparing ovarian activity in same-aged ants that exhibit divergent behavioral biases. We found that foraging individuals had significantly reduced ovarian activity compared to their nest-biased counterparts, thereby linking changes in the ants' reproductive system to social task performance rather than to age. The general finding that ovarian physiology is associated with social insect behaviors is consistent with the hypothesis that reproductive physiology may have played an important role in the evolution of social insect behavior.

  12. Mites (Acari Associated with the Desert Seed Harvester Ant, Messor pergandei (Mayr

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kaitlin A. Uppstrom

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Mites (Acari associated with the seed harvester ant Messor pergandei were investigated in the Sonoran desert of Arizona. At least seven representatives of the mite genera Armacarus, Lemanniella, Petalomium, Forcellinia, Histiostoma, Unguidispus, and Cosmoglyphus are phoretically associated with M. pergandei. Most of these morphospecies show preference for specific phoretic attachment sites and primarily use female alates rather than male alates for dispersal. Five mite morphospecies were found in low numbers inhabiting the chaff piles: Tydeidae sp., Procaeculus sp., Anystidae sp., Bakerdania sp., and Tetranychidae sp. The phoretic Petalomium sp. was observed consuming fungus growing on a dead queen, but the roles of the other mite species remain mostly unresolved.

  13. Cuticular chemistry of males and females in the ant Formica fusca

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Chernenko, Anton; Holman, Luke; Helanterä, Heikki;

    2012-01-01

    Communication between organisms involves visual, auditory, and olfactory pathways. In solitary insects, chemical recognition cues are influenced mainly by selection regimes related to species recognition and sexual selection. In social insects, chemical recognition cues have an additional role...... in mediating recognition of society members and, thereby, allowing kin selection to operate. Here, we examined whether cuticular hydrocarbon profiles are sex-specific and whether males and young queens of the ant Formica fusca have colony-specific profiles. We also investigated whether there is a relationship...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Stürup, Marlene

    ’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......’, where paternity shares in offspring can be accurately predicted from relative number of sperm stored. Furthermore, sperm was completely mixed inside the spermatheca and sperm used is highly consistent over time in leaf-cutting ants, supporting expectations if polyandrous queens are to obtain the highest...

  15. 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.

  16. 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...

  17. 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...

  18. 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...

  19. 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...

  20. 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...

  1. 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.

  2. 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...

  3. 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

  4. Large-scale distribution of hybridogenetic lineages in a Spanish desert ant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Darras, Hugo; Leniaud, Laurianne; Aron, Serge

    2014-01-01

    Recently, a unique case of hybridogenesis at a social level was reported in local populations of the desert ants Cataglyphis. Queens mate with males originating from a different genetic lineage than their own to produce hybrid workers, but they use parthenogenesis for the production of reproductive offspring (males and females). As a result, non-reproductive workers are all inter-lineage hybrids, whereas the sexual line is purely maternal. Here, we show that this unorthodox reproductive system occurs in all populations of the ant Cataglyphis hispanica. Remarkably, workers are hybrids of the same two genetic lineages along a 400 km transect crossing the whole distribution range of the species. These results indicate that social hybridogenesis in C. hispanica allows their maintenance over time and across a large geographical scale of two highly divergent genetic lineages, despite their constant hybridization. The widespread distribution of social hybridogenesis in C. hispanica supports that this reproductive strategy has been evolutionarily conserved over a long period.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. The metapleural gland of ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Yek, Sze Huei; Mueller, Ulrich G

    2011-01-01

    The metapleural gland (MG) is a complex glandular structure unique to ants, suggesting a critical role in their origin and ecological success. We synthesize the current understanding of the adaptive function, morphology, evolutionary history, and chemical properties of the MG. Two functions......-compressible invagination of the integument and the secretion is thought to ooze out passively through the non-closable opening of the MG or is groomed off by the legs and applied to target surfaces. MG loss has occurred repeatedly among the ants, particularly in the subfamilies Formicinae and Myrmicinae, and the MG...... is more commonly absent in males than in workers. MG chemistry has been characterized mostly in derived ant lineages with unique biologies (e.g. leafcutter ants, fire ants), currently precluding any inferences about MG chemistry at the origin of the ants. A synthetic approach integrating functional...

  8. 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.

  9. 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...

  10. 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...

  11. 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.

  12. 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...

  13. 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.

  14. 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 ...

  15. Killing and replacing queen-laid eggs: low cost of worker policing in the honeybee.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kärcher, Martin H; Ratnieks, Francis L W

    2014-07-01

    Worker honeybees, Apis mellifera, police each other's reproduction by killing worker-laid eggs. Previous experiments demonstrated that worker policing is effective, killing most (∼98%) worker-laid eggs. However, many queen-laid eggs were also killed (∼50%) suggesting that effective policing may have high costs. In these previous experiments, eggs were transferred using forceps into test cells, mostly into unrelated discriminator colonies. We measured both the survival of unmanipulated queen-laid eggs and the proportion of removal errors that were rectified by the queen laying a new egg. Across 2 days of the 3-day egg stage, only 9.6% of the queen-laid eggs in drone cells and 4.1% in worker cells were removed in error. When queen-laid eggs were removed from cells, 85% from drone cells and 61% from worker cells were replaced within 3 days. Worker policing in the honeybee has a high benefit to policing workers because workers are more related to the queen's sons (brothers, r = 0.25) than sister workers' sons (0.15). This study shows that worker policing also has a low cost in terms of the killing of queen-laid eggs, as only a small proportion of queen-laid eggs are killed, most of which are rapidly replaced. PMID:24921604

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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).

  20. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-02-01

    Discriminating between group members and strangers is a key feature of social life. Nestmate recognition is very effective in social insects and is manifested by aggression and rejection of alien individuals, which are prohibited to enter the nest. Nestmate recognition is based on the quantitative variation in cuticular hydrocarbons, which can include heritable cues from the workers, as well as acquired cues from the environment or queen-derived cues. We tracked the profile of six colonies of the ant Camponotus aethiops for a year under homogeneous laboratory conditions. We performed chemical and behavioral analyses. We show that nestmate recognition was not impaired by constant environment, even though cuticular hydrocarbon profiles changed over time and were slightly converging among colonies. Linear hydrocarbons increased over time, especially in queenless colonies, but appeared to have weak diagnostic power between colonies. The presence of a queen had little influence on nestmate discrimination abilities. Our results suggest that heritable cues of workers are the dominant factor influencing nestmate discrimination in these carpenter ants and highlight the importance of colony kin structure for the evolution of eusociality. PMID:19041322

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-02-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-10-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  14. 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

  15. Does an ecological advantage produce the asymmetric lineage ratio in a harvester ant population?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gordon, Deborah M; Pilko, Anna; De Bortoli, Nicolas; Ingram, Krista K

    2013-11-01

    In dependent-lineage harvester ant populations, two lineages interbreed but are genetically distinct. The offspring of a male and queen of the same lineage are female reproductives; the offspring of a male and queen of different lineages are workers. Geographic surveys have shown asymmetries in the ratio of the two lineages in many harvester ant populations, which may be maintained by an ecological advantage to one of the lineages. Using census data from a long-term study of a dependent-lineage population of the red harvester ant, Pogonomyrmex barbatus, we identified the lineage of 130 colonies sampled in 1997-1999, ranging in age from 1 to 19 years when collected, and 268 colonies sampled in 2010, ranging in age from 1 to 28 years when collected. The ratio of lineages in the study population is similar across an 11-year interval, 0.59 J2 in 1999 and 0.66 J2 in 2010. The rare lineage, J1, had a slightly but significantly higher number of mates of the opposite lineage than the common lineage, J2, and, using data from previous work on reproductive output, higher male production. Mature colonies of the two lineages did not differ in nest mound size, foraging activity, or the propensity to relocate their nests. There were no strong differences in the relative recruitment or survivorship of the two lineages. Our results show no ecological advantage for either lineage, indicating that differences between the lineages in sex ratio allocation may be sufficient to maintain the current asymmetry of the lineage ratio in this population.

  16. 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...

  17. ANT, tourism and situated globality

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2015-01-01

    are used to define as the separate spheres of nature and culture. This paper explores and relates the central tenets of ANT in tourism with regard to the concept of the Anthropocene. It presents the ANT approach as a flat and object-oriented ontology and methodology and explores its potentials to carve out......In recent years Actor-network theory (ANT) has increasingly been felt in the field of tourism studies (Van der Duim, Ren, & Jóhannesson, 2012). An important implication of the meeting between ANT and tourism studies is the notion of tourism being described as a heterogeneous assemblage of what we...... viable descriptions of the collective condition of humans and more-than-humans in the Anthropocene. Also and moving past a merely descriptive approach, it discusses it as a useful tool to engage with the situated globalities which come into being through the socio-spatial coupling of tourism...

  18. Pest repelling properties of ant pheromones

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Offenberg, Joachim

    2014-01-01

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

  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. 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...

  1. 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...

  2. 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.

  3. 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...

  4. 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...

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Efforts to eradicate yellow crazy ants on Johnston Atoll: Results from Crazy Ant Strike Team IX, December 2014-June 2015

    Science.gov (United States)

    Banko, Paul C.; Peck, Robert W.; Donmoyer, Kevin; Kropidlowski, Stephan; Pollock, Amanda

    2015-01-01

    The ecologically destructive yellow crazy ant (YCA; Anoplolepis gracilipes) was first detected on Johnston Atoll in January 2010. Within eight months, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service had mobilized its first crazy ant strike team (CAST), a group of biologists dedicated to testing and identifying insecticidal baits to be used to eradicate the ant on the atoll. During December 2014‒May 2015 CAST IX focused on testing hydrogel crystals saturated with sucrose solution (25%) carrying the insecticides thiamethoxam and dinotefuran against YCA. A series of experiments, including artificial nest box trials, and field-based palatability trials and eradication tests on small (500 m2 or 0.05 ha) and large plots (2500 m2 or 0.25 ha), were conducted to test concentrations of thiamethoxam ranging from 0.0005% to 0.01%, and dinotefuran at 0.05%. Additionally, the cat food-based matrix containing dinotefuran (0.05%), the standard bait used to suppress YCA on Johnston since 2011, and textured vegetable protein (TVP) carrying dinotefuran at 0.1% and 0.05% were included in large plot tests. Nest box trials were inconclusive due to a consistent loss of queen and worker ants in control boxes, so they were discontinued. Palatability trials suggested higher dosages of thiamethoxam (0.005 and 0.01%) were less attractive than lower dosages (0.0005 and 0.001%) and controls (sucrose only), but small and large plot experiments failed to identify a thiamethoxam concentration that was consistently effective at killing YCA. In contrast, hydrogel containing dinotefuran was consistently effective, killing >95% of YCA on small and large plots. As expected, the cat food bait effectively reduced YCA abundances, but was slightly less effective than hydrogel containing dinotefuran over time. Three successive, approximately weekly treatments of large plots with hydrogel bait, or other baits followed by hydrogel bait, suggest an increasing overall effectiveness, with no aversion of YCA to the bait

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nishikawa, Michiko; Watanabe, Hidehiro; Yokohari, Fumio

    2012-05-01

    Ants, eusocial insects, have highly elaborate chemical communication systems using a wide variety of pheromones. In the carpenter ant, Camponotus japonicus, workers and queens have the female-specific basiconic sensilla on antennae. The antennal lobe, the primary processing center, in female carpenter ants contains about 480 glomeruli, which are divided into seven groups (T1–T7 glomeruli) based on sensory afferent tracts. The axons of sensory neurons in basiconic sensilla are thought to project to female-specific T6 glomeruli. Therefore, these sensilla and glomeruli are thought to relate to female-specific social tasks in the ants. By using dye filling into local neurons (LNs) and projection neurons (PNs) in the antennal lobe, we neuroanatomically revealed the existence of an isolated processing system for signals probably relating to social tasks in the worker ant. In the antennal lobe, two categories of glomeruli, T6 glomeruli and non-T6 glomeruli, are clearly segregated by LNs. Furthermore, axon terminals of uniglomerular PNs from the respective categories of glomeruli (T6 uni-PNs and non-T6 uni-PNs) are also segregated in the secondary olfactory centers, the calyces of the mushroom body and the lateral horn: T6 uni-PNs terminate in the outer layers of the basal ring and lip of mushroom body calyces and in the posterior region of the lateral horn, whereas non-T6 uni-PNs terminate in the middle and inner layers of the basal ring and lip and in the anterior region of the lateral horn. These findings suggest that information probably relating to social tasks might be isolated from other olfactory information and processed in a separate subsystem. PMID:22102363

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nishikawa, Michiko; Watanabe, Hidehiro; Yokohari, Fumio

    2012-05-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. Molecular variation at a candidate gene implicated in the regulation of fire ant social behavior.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dietrich Gotzek

    Full Text Available The fire ant Solenopsis invicta and its close relatives display an important social polymorphism involving differences in colony queen number. Colonies are headed by either a single reproductive queen (monogyne form or multiple queens (polygyne form. This variation in social organization is associated with variation at the gene Gp-9, with monogyne colonies harboring only B-like allelic variants and polygyne colonies always containing b-like variants as well. We describe naturally occurring variation at Gp-9 in fire ants based on 185 full-length sequences, 136 of which were obtained from S. invicta collected over much of its native range. While there is little overall differentiation between most of the numerous alleles observed, a surprising amount is found in the coding regions of the gene, with such substitutions usually causing amino acid replacements. This elevated coding-region variation may result from a lack of negative selection acting to constrain amino acid replacements over much of the protein, different mutation rates or biases in coding and non-coding sequences, negative selection acting with greater strength on non-coding than coding regions, and/or positive selection acting on the protein. Formal selection analyses provide evidence that the latter force played an important role in the basal b-like lineages coincident with the emergence of polygyny. While our data set reveals considerable paraphyly and polyphyly of S. invicta sequences with respect to those of other fire ant species, the b-like alleles of the socially polymorphic species are monophyletic. An expanded analysis of colonies containing alleles of this clade confirmed the invariant link between their presence and expression of polygyny. Finally, our discovery of several unique alleles bearing various combinations of b-like and B-like codons allows us to conclude that no single b-like residue is completely predictive of polygyne behavior and, thus, potentially causally

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. [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

  1. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-02-01

    The carpenter ant, a social hymenopteran, has a highly elaborated antennal chemosensory system that is used for chemical communication in social life. The glomeruli in the antennal lobe are the first relay stations where sensory neurons synapse onto interneurons. The system is functionally and structurally similar to the olfactory bulbs of vertebrates. Using three-dimensional reconstruction of glomeruli and subsequent morphometric analyses, we found sexual dimorphism of the antennal lobe glomeruli in carpenter ants, Camponotus japonicus. Female workers and unmated queens had about 430 glomeruli, the highest number reported so far in ants. Males had a sexually dimorphic macroglomerulus and about 215 ordinary glomeruli. This appeared to result from a greatly reduced number of glomeruli in the postero-medial region of the antennal lobe compared with that in females. On the other hand, sexually isomorphic glomeruli were identifiable in the dorsal region of the antennal lobe. For example, large, uniquely shaped glomeruli located at the dorso-central margin of the antennal lobe were detected in all society members. The great sexual dimorphism seen in the ordinary glomeruli of the antennal lobe may reflect gender-specific tasks in chemical communications rather than different reproductive roles. PMID:18533751

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-02-01

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

  4. How ants drop out: ant abundance on tropical mountains.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John T Longino

    Full Text Available In tropical wet forests, ants are a large proportion of the animal biomass, but the factors determining abundance are not well understood. We characterized ant abundance in the litter layer of 41 mature wet forest sites spread throughout Central America (Chiapas, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica and examined the impact of elevation (as a proxy for temperature and community species richness. Sites were intentionally chosen to minimize variation in precipitation and seasonality. From sea level to 1500 m ant abundance very gradually declined, community richness declined more rapidly than abundance, and the local frequency of the locally most common species increased. These results suggest that within this elevational zone, density compensation is acting, maintaining high ant abundance as richness declines. In contrast, in sites above 1500 m, ant abundance dropped abruptly to much lower levels. Among these high montane sites, community richness explained much more of the variation in abundance than elevation, and there was no evidence of density compensation. The relative stability of abundance below 1500 m may be caused by opposing effects of temperature on productivity and metabolism. Lower temperatures may decrease productivity and thus the amount of food available for consumers, but slower metabolisms of consumers may allow maintenance of higher biomass at lower resource supply rates. Ant communities at these lower elevations may be highly interactive, the result of continuous habitat presence over geological time. High montane sites may be ephemeral in geological time, resulting in non-interactive communities dominated by historical and stochastic processes. Abundance in these sites may be determined by the number of species that manage to colonize and/or avoid extinction on mountaintops.

  5. 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

  6. 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...

  7. 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. ...

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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...

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. Inter-genomic sexual conflict drives antagonistic coevolution in harvester ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herrmann, Michael; Cahan, Sara Helms

    2014-12-22

    The reproductive interests of males and females are not always aligned, leading to sexual conflict over parental investment, rate of reproduction and mate choice. Traits that increase the genetic interests of one sex often occur at the expense of the other, selecting for counter-adaptations leading to antagonistic coevolution. Reproductive conflict is not limited to intraspecific interactions; interspecific hybridization can produce pronounced sexual conflict between males and females of different species, but it is unclear whether such conflict can drive sexually antagonistic coevolution between reproductively isolated genomes. We tested for hybridization-driven sexually antagonistic adaptations in queens and males of the socially hybridogenetic 'J' lineages of Pogonomyrmex harvester ants, whose mating system promotes hybridization in queens but selects against it in males. We conducted no-choice mating assays to compare patterns of mating behaviour and sperm transfer between inter- and intra-lineage pairings. There was no evidence for mate discrimination on the basis of pair type, and the total quantity of sperm transferred did not differ between intra- and inter-lineage pairs; however, further dissection of the sperm transfer process into distinct mechanistic components revealed significant, and opposing, cryptic manipulation of copulatory investment by both sexes. Males of both lineages increased their rate of sperm transfer to high-fitness intra-lineage mates, with a stronger response in the rarer lineage for whom mating mistakes are the most likely. By contrast, the total duration of copulation for intra-lineage mating pairs was significantly shorter than for inter-lineage crosses, suggesting that queens respond to prevent excessive sperm loading by prematurely terminating copulation. These findings demonstrate that sexual conflict can lead to antagonistic coevolution in both intra-genomic and inter-genomic contexts. Indeed, the resolution of sexual conflict

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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 ...

  19. Myth and memory in the “queen of dreams”

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gloria Montero

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available Aristotle said that where the historian tells us what took place, the poet tells us how it came about. More recently, Gore Vidal defined ‘memoir’ as how one remembers one’s own life as distinct from an autobiography which is history, requiring research into dates and facts which must be double-checked. Memory and Myth play an important role in memoir, allowing the writer to incorporate the real underpinnings of a story that has been lived through rather than simply the account of a sequence of actual events. It might also be argued that the patina of memory that coats the ‘memoir’, as distinct from autobiography, 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 under the title Todas Esas Guerras-- All Those Wars – have never appeared as a collection in English but have been published separately in literary journals. These stories, the very closest I think I will ever come to writing autobiography, grew out of a need 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 exactly who this multicultural person with her mixed baggage might be. The Queen of Dreams, one of the stories in the collection, uses the memory of the child Rora as she attempts to understand the drama and magic 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 at that particular moment.

  20. 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

    Discriminating between group members and strangers is a key feature of social life. Nestmate recognition is very effective in social insects and is manifested by aggression and rejection of alien individuals, which are prohibited to enter the nest. Nestmate recognition is based on the quantitative...... and behavioral analyses. We show that nestmate recognition was not impaired by constant environment, even though cuticular hydrocarbon profiles changed over time and were slightly converging among colonies. Linear hydrocarbons increased over time, especially in queenless colonies, but appeared to have weak...... diagnostic power between colonies. The presence of a queen had little influence on nestmate discrimination abilities. Our results suggest that heritable cues of workers are the dominant factor influencing nestmate discrimination in these carpenter ants and highlight the importance of colony kin structure...

  1. 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.

  2. 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...

  3. 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...

  4. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1996-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1996-03-01

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

  7. 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...

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-01-01

    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. PMID:16569216

  13. Microsatellite primers for fungus-growing ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2002-01-01

    We isolated five polymorphic microsatellite loci from a library of two thousand recombinant clones of two fungus-growing ant species, Cyphomyrmex longiscapus and Trachymyrmex cf. zeteki. Amplification and heterozygosity were tested in five species of higher attine ants using both the newly...... developed primers and earlier published primers that were developed for fungus-growing ants. A total of 20 variable microsatellite loci, developed for six different species of fungus-growing ants, are now available for studying the population genetics and colony kin-structure of these ants....

  14. Microsatellite Primers for Fungus-Growing Ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2002-01-01

    We isolated five polymorphic microsatellite loci from a library of two thousand recombinant clones of two fungus-growing ant species, Cyphomyrmex longiscapus and Trachymyrmex cf. zeteki. Amplification and heterozygosity were tested in five species of higher attine ants using both the newly...... developed primers and earlier published primers that were developed for fungus-growing ants. A total of 20 variable microsatellite loci, developed for six different species of fungus-growing ants, are now available for studying the population genetics and colony kin-structure of these ants....

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bacardit, R; Moreno-Mañas, M

    1983-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1996-08-01

    Intracellular endosymbiotic bacteria inherent to ants of the genus Camponotus were characterized. The bacteria were localized in bacteriocytes, which are specialized cells of both workers and queen ants; these cells are intercalated between epithelial cells of the midgut. The bacteriocytes show a different morphology from the normal epithelial cells and carry a large number of the rod-shaped Gram-negative bacteria free in the cytoplasm. The bacteria were never observed in the neighbouring epithelial cells, but they were found intracellularly in oocytes, strongly indicating a maternal transmission of the bacteria. The 16S DNA encoding rrs loci of the endosymbionts of four species of the genus Camponotus derived either from Germany (C. herculeanus and C. ligniperdus), North America (C. floridanus) or South America (C. rufipes) were cloned after polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification using oligonucleotides complementary to all so far known eubacterial rrs sequences. The DNA sequences of the rrs loci of the four endosymbionts were determined, and, using various genus- and species-specific oligonucleotides derived from variable regions in the rrs sequences, the identity of the bacteria present in the bacteriocytes and the ovarian cells was confirmed by PCR and in situ hybridization techniques. Comparison of the 16S DNA sequences with the available database showed the endosymbiotic bacteria to be members of the gamma-subclass of Proteobacteria. They formed a distinct taxonomic group, a sister taxon of the taxons defined by the tsetse fly and aphid endosymbionts. Within the gamma-subclass, the cluster of the ant, tsetse fly and aphid endosymbionts are placed adjacent to the family of Enterobacteriaceae. The evolutionary tree of the ant endosymbionts reflects the systematic classification and geographical distribution of their host insects, indicating an early co-evolution of the symbiotic partners and a vertical transmission of the bacteria. PMID:8866472

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1996-08-01

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

  18. Samuel Alexander Kinnier Wilson. Wilson's disease, Queen Square and neurology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Broussolle, E; Trocello, J-M; Woimant, F; Lachaux, A; Quinn, N

    2013-12-01

    This historical article describes the life and work of the British physician Samuel Alexander Kinnier Wilson (1878-1937), who was one of the world's greatest neurologists of the first half of the 20th century. Early in his career, Wilson spent one year in Paris in 1903 where he learned from Pierre-Marie at Bicêtre Hospital. He subsequently retained uninterrupted links with French neurology. He also visited in Leipzig the German anatomist Paul Flechsig. In 1904, Wilson returned to London, where he worked for the rest of his life at the National Hospital for the Paralysed and Epileptic (later the National Hospital for Nervous Diseases, and today the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery) in Queen Square, and also at Kings' College Hospital. He wrote on 'the old motor system and the new', on disorders of motility and muscle tone, on the epilepsies, on aphasia, apraxia, tics, and pathologic laughing and crying, and most importantly on Wilson's disease. The other objective of our paper is to commemorate the centenary of Wilson's most important work published in 1912 in Brain, and also in Revue Neurologique, on an illness newly recognized and characterized by him entitled "Progressive lenticular degeneration, a familial nervous disease associated with liver cirrhosis". He analyzed 12 clinical cases, four of whom he followed himself, but also four cases previously published by others and a further two that he considered in retrospect had the same disease as he was describing. The pathological profile combined necrotic damage in the lenticular nuclei of the brain and hepatic cirrhosis. This major original work is summarized and discussed in the present paper. Wilson not only delineated what was later called hepato-lenticular degeneration and Wilson's disease, but also introduced for the first time the terms extrapyramidal syndrome and extrapyramidal system, stressing the role of the basal ganglia in motility. The present historical work emphasizes the special

  19. 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...

  20. Behavioral Differentiation and Ovarian Development of Unmated Gynes, Queens, and Workers of Ectatomma vizottoi Almeida 1987 (Formicidae, Ectatomminae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexsandro Santana Vieira

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Behavioral differentiation and ovarian development of unmated gynes, queens, and workers of Ectatomma vizottoi were investigated in laboratory conditions. Forty-one behavioral acts were identified and quantified for workers, 19 for queens and 24 for unmated gynes, for an overall species repertoire of 42 different behavioral acts. Ovipositing reproductive eggs was an exclusive task of the queen, whereas workers showed 15 caste-specific behaviors. The most important (frequent behaviors for the queens were brood care, immobility, and reproduction, and for workers were immobility, grooming/interaction, brood care, and foraging. Unmated gynes (not winged primarily showed immobility, brood care, grooming/interaction, and foraging. Analysis of ovarian development showed that unmated gynes had little-developed ovarioles, in contrast to queens. Queens and unmated gynes showed a clear behavioral differentiation, in which queens played the role of reproducers and unmated gynes performed activities belonging to the worker repertoire. Despite the presence of several breeding queens in the colony, functional monogyny was the rule.

  1. 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...

  2. Mosaic male honey bees produced by queens inseminated with frozen spermatozoa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harbo, J R

    1980-01-01

    Mosaic male honey bees were found as the progeny of queens that had been inseminated with spermatozoa stored in liquid nitrogen. The origins of these mosaics and the genotype of their gametes were determined by using mutant markers. The mosaics probably developed from an egg pronucleus and a sperm pronucleus that did not unite after the latter had entered the egg. Instead, both pronuclei produced haploid tissue independently. The three mosaics that were mated to queens all had mosaic testes. Therefore, these were situations in which a male honey bee produced two types of spermatozoa.

  3. 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 ...

  4. Chemical communication in Ropalidia marginata: Dufour's gland contains queen signal that is perceived across colonies and does not contain colony signal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitra, Aniruddha; Saha, Paromita; Chaoulideer, Maximilian Elihu; Bhadra, Anindita; Gadagkar, Raghavendra

    2011-02-01

    Queens of the primitively eusocial wasp Ropalidia marginata appear to maintain reproductive monopoly through pheromone rather than through physical aggression. Upon queen removal, one of the workers (potential queen, PQ) becomes extremely aggressive but drops her aggression immediately upon returning the queen. If the queen is not returned, the PQ gradually drops her aggression and becomes the next queen of the colony. In a previous study, the Dufour's gland was found to be at least one source of the queen pheromone. Queen-worker classification could be done with 100% accuracy in a discriminant analysis, using the compositions of their respective Dufour's glands. In a bioassay, the PQ dropped her aggression in response to the queen's Dufour's gland macerate, suggesting that the queen's Dufour's gland contents mimicked the queen herself. In the present study, we found that the PQ also dropped her aggression in response to the macerate of a foreign queen's Dufour's gland. This suggests that the queen signal is perceived across colonies. This also suggests that the Dufour's gland in R. marginata does not contain information about nestmateship, because queens are attacked when introduced into foreign colonies, and hence PQ is not expected to reduce her aggression in response to a foreign queen's signal. The latter conclusion is especially significant because the Dufour's gland chemicals are adequate to classify individuals correctly not only on the basis of fertility status (queen versus worker) but also according to their colony membership, using discriminant analysis. This leads to the additional conclusion (and precaution) that the ability to statistically discriminate organisms using their chemical profiles does not necessarily imply that the organisms themselves can make such discrimination.

  5. 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.

  6. Larval and nurse worker control of developmental plasticity and the evolution of honey bee queen-worker dimorphism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linksvayer, T A; Kaftanoglu, O; Akyol, E; Blatch, S; Amdam, G V; Page, R E

    2011-09-01

    Social evolution in honey bees has produced strong queen-worker dimorphism for plastic traits that depend on larval nutrition. The honey bee developmental programme includes both larval components that determine plastic growth responses to larval nutrition and nurse components that regulate larval nutrition. We studied how these two components contribute to variation in worker and queen body size and ovary size for two pairs of honey bee lineages that show similar differences in worker body-ovary size allometry but have diverged over different evolutionary timescales. Our results indicate that the lineages have diverged for both nurse and larval developmental components, that rapid changes in worker body-ovary size allometry may disrupt queen development and that queen-worker dimorphism arises mainly from discrete nurse-provided nutritional environments, not from a developmental switch that converts variable nutritional environments into discrete phenotypes. Both larval and nurse components have likely contributed to the evolution of queen-worker dimorphism.

  7. 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...

  8. Exploitation Strategies in Social Parasites of Fungus Growing Ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Clement, Janni Dolby

    -offs occurring in natural selection. This thesis is based on research conducted on these two fascinating and rare inquilines species. I focus on elucidating aspects in parasite behaviour, recognition and queen competition. We describe the distribution and location of parasites inside the fungus garden...... system between the three distinctive castes of host workers and minor parasites workers and study the recognition abilities of the parasite. We elucidate infiltration strategies and chemical profile of parasite queens, gynes and workers as well as host queens and host workers in parasitized and non......-parasitized colonies. Finally we investigate the reproductive competition between polygynous parasite queens and discuss the potential for hyperparasitism...

  9. 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.

  10. Ecosystem services delivered by weaver ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Offenberg, Joachim

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

  11. Establishing Female Rule in Sixteenth Century England: A Tale of Two Queens

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    LinMeixiang; ZhuShida; DavidKelly

    2004-01-01

    When Mary I, the first queen of England (1553-1558) and Elizabeth I (1558-1603) were in power, they faced dual challenges: suspicion about the inheritance of the imperial power and general social anxiety about the rule of women. Mary I worked to make her rule legitimate by establishing a united rule through marriage.

  12. Asymmetric ecological conditions favor Red-Queen type of continued evolution over stasis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nordbotten, Jan Martin; Stenseth, Nils C

    2016-02-16

    Four decades ago, Leigh Van Valen presented the Red Queen's hypothesis to account for evolution of species within a multispecies ecological community [Van Valen L (1973) Evol Theory 1(1):1-30]. The overall conclusion of Van Valen's analysis was that evolution would continue even in the absence of abiotic perturbations. Stenseth and Maynard Smith presented in 1984 [Stenseth NC, Maynard Smith J (1984) Evolution 38(4):870-880] a model for the Red Queen's hypothesis showing that both Red-Queen type of continuous evolution and stasis could result from a model with biotically driven evolution. However, although that contribution demonstrated that both evolutionary outcomes were possible, it did not identify which ecological conditions would lead to each of these evolutionary outcomes. Here, we provide, using a simple, yet general population-biologically founded eco-evolutionary model, such analytically derived conditions: Stasis will predominantly emerge whenever the ecological system contains only symmetric ecological interactions, whereas both Red-Queen and stasis type of evolution may result if the ecological interactions are asymmetrical, and more likely so with increasing degree of asymmetry in the ecological system (i.e., the more trophic interactions, host-pathogen interactions, and the like there are [i.e., +/- type of ecological interactions as well as asymmetric competitive (-/-) and mutualistic (+/+) ecological interactions]). In the special case of no between-generational genetic variance, our results also predict dynamics within these types of purely ecological systems.

  13. A clinical report of entangled neonates' umbilical cord with queen's fur in Persian cat

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    O Azari; B Akhtardanesh

    2011-01-01

    A 3-year-old Persian queen was referred to Teaching Veterinary Hospital while 3 neonates' umbilical cords were entangled with the queen's tail hair. Close inspection of the cat showed that the umbilical cords of 3 kittens had twisted around together and entangled with the moms' hairs in the base of tail region. Also this complex has been warped around the left tarsus of one of the involved kittens and caused swelling and skin darkness in the involved limb. Operation was carried out urgently. After cutting the queen's involved hairs the kittens were released. Then the twisted umbilical cords and the hairs were isolated from the umbilical cord and the involved leg was released from the umbilical cords and the twisted umbilical cords were separated from each other. During one week follow up, dry gangrene occurred in the distal extremity of the injured limb and consequently, amputation was performed on the distal part of tibia. Our clinical findings suggest that long hair coats of queens could be a maternal life threatening factor for neonates' life.

  14. 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.

  15. 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...

  16. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Graham Bowrey; C. J. McNair-Connolly

    2015-01-01

    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 evolutio...

  18. Discrimination Behavior in the Supercolonial Pharaoh Ant

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pontieri, Luigi

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

  19. Pest repellent properties of ant pheromones

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Offenberg, Joachim

    2012-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Offenberg, Hans Joachim

    2011-01-01

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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Gravity Study of the Queen Valley Pull-Apart Basin, Western Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Black, R. A.; Stockli, D. F.; Christie, M.; Desmond, J.; Kueker, A.; Hadley, M.; Tincher, C.; Casteel, J.

    2005-12-01

    Queen Valley is a pull-apart basin located at the northern end of the White Mountains in western Nevada. It is bounded to the south by the NE-trending Queen Valley fault (QVF) zone and to the north by the EW-trending Coaldale fault (CF) zone. The QVF is a curvilinear feature which transfers strain from the northern termination of the Owens Valley/White Mountain fault zone (OVWMFZ) to the western CF. This study presents new gravity data acquired in the Queen Valley and surrounding ranges in summer 2004 by undergraduates of the University of Kansas and Central Washington University as part of a larger regional tectonic study including detailed structural field mapping and geochronology. Almost 500 new gravity stations were acquired by two field crews as part of a two week field research experience. Standard field procedures were used to tie the station measurements to absolute base stations in Bishop, CA, and station locations and elevations were determined by dual frequency GPS. Data were processed through the traditional suite of latitude, free-air, Bouguer, terrain and isostatic corrections. The data will be processed through the new, standard corrections associated with the National Gravity Database in the near future. Previous regional datasets indicated that the northern Queen Valley had a very thin sediment fill. However, preliminary analyses of the new dataset show that the data resolve several previously unrecognized subsurface features, including paired half-grabens with apparently opposing orientation within the northern Queen Valley. These half-grabens appear to be significantly deeper than previously interpreted from the sparser gravity data. An accommodation structure may decouple these features in mid-basin. A potential transpressional feature at the bend in the valley near the south end of the QVF is also resolved in the data. Shallow seismic reflection and ground-penetrating radar experiments are now being planned to resolve the very near

  6. 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

  7. Ants recognize foes and not friends

    OpenAIRE

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

    2009-01-01

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

  8. 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....

  9. 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...

  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. 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...

  13. Colony life history and lifetime reproductive success of red harvester ant colonies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ingram, Krista K; Pilko, Anna; Heer, Jeffrey; Gordon, Deborah M

    2013-05-01

    1. We estimate colony reproductive success, in numbers of offspring colonies arising from a colony's daughter queens, of colonies of the red harvester ant, Pogonomyrmex barbatus. 2. A measure of lifetime reproductive success is essential to understand the relation of ecological factors, phenotype and fitness in a natural population. This was possible for the first time in a natural population of ant colonies using data from long-term study of a population of colonies in south-eastern Arizona, for which ages of all colonies are known from census data collected since 1985. 3. Parentage analyses of microsatellite data from 5 highly polymorphic loci were used to assign offspring colonies to maternal parent colonies in a population of about 265 colonies, ages 1-28 years, sampled in 2010. 4. The estimated population growth rate Ro was 1.69 and generation time was 7.8 years. There was considerable variation among colonies in reproductive success: of 199 possible parent colonies, only 49 (˜ 25%) had offspring colonies on the site. The mean number of offspring colonies per maternal parent colony was 2.94 and ranged from 1 to 8. A parent was identified for the queen of 146 of 247 offspring colonies. There was no evidence for reproductive senescence; fecundity was about the same throughout the 25-30 year lifespan of a colony. 5. There were no trends in the distance or direction of the dispersal of an offspring relative to its maternal parent colony. There was no relationship between the number of gynes produced by a colony in 1 year and the number of offspring colonies subsequently founded by its daughter reproductive females. The results provide the first estimate of a life table for a population of ant colonies and the first estimate of the female component of colony lifetime reproductive success. 6. The results suggest that commonly used measures of reproductive output may not be correlated with realized reproductive success. This is the starting point for future

  14. 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...

  15. 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...

  16. From Ant Trails to Pedestrian Dynamics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andreas Schadschneider

    2003-01-01

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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. Resistance to Varroa destructor (Mesostigmata: Varroidae) when mite-resistant queen honey bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae) were free-mated with unselected drones.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harbo, J R; Harris, J W

    2001-12-01

    This study demonstrated (1) that honey bees, Apis mellifera L, can express a high level of resistance to Varroa destructor Anderson & Trueman when bees were selected for only one resistant trait (suppression of mite reproduction); and (2) that a significant level of mite-resistance was retained when these queens were free-mated with unselected drones. The test compared the growth of mite populations in colonies of bees that each received one of the following queens: (1) resistant--queens selected for suppression of mite reproduction and artificially inseminated in Baton Rouge with drones from similarly selected stocks; (2) resistant x control--resistant queens, as above, produced and free-mated to unselected drones by one of four commercial queen producers; and (3) control--commercial queens chosen by the same four queen producers and free-mated as above. All colonies started the test with approximately 0.9 kg of bees that were naturally infested with approximately 650 mites. Colonies with resistant x control queens ended the 115-d test period with significantly fewer mites than did colonies with control queens. This suggests that beekeepers can derive immediate benefit from mite-resistant queens that have been free-mated to unselected drones. Moreover, the production and distribution of these free-mated queens from many commercial sources may be an effective way to insert beneficial genes into our commercial population of honey bees without losing the genetic diversity and the useful beekeeping characteristics of this population.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zube, Christina; Rössler, Wolfgang

    2008-11-01

    Olfaction plays a key role in mediating ant behavior, and ant societies are characterized by caste- and sex-specific division of labor. We propose that caste- and sex-specific adaptations in the olfactory pathway promote differences in olfactory behavior. This study compares olfactory centers in the brain of large (major) workers, small (minor) workers, virgin queens, and males of the carpenter ant Camponotus floridanus. The number of glomeruli in the antennal lobe was similar in the female castes, although the glomerular volumes differed. Males had approximately 45% fewer glomeruli compared to females (approximately 258 and approximately 434) and one antennal sensory tract was absent. A dual output pathway to the mushroom bodies was present in males. In contrast to females, however, the number of glomeruli connected to the medial antennocerebral tract was substantially smaller than those associated with the lateral tract. All glomeruli in the male antennal lobe contained serotonergic processes, whereas in the female castes glomeruli in the large tract six cluster lacked serotonergic innervations. We conclude that differences in general glomerular organization are subtle among the female castes, but sex-specific differences in the number, connectivity and neuromodulatory innervation of glomeruli are substantial and likely to underlie differences in olfactory processing and learning. PMID:18621145

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zube, Christina; Rössler, Wolfgang

    2008-11-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. Neuropeptidomics of the carpenter ant Camponotus floridanus.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-03-01

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

  7. Dynamical Equilibrium of Interacting Ant Societies

    CERN Document Server

    Leok, B T M

    1996-01-01

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

  8. The Biochemical Toxin Arsenal from Ant Venoms.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  9. The Biochemical Toxin Arsenal from Ant Venoms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Axel Touchard

    2016-01-01

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

  10. Neuropeptidomics of the carpenter ant Camponotus floridanus.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-03-01

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

  11. 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...

  12. 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...

  13. AntStar: Enhancing Optimization Problems by Integrating an Ant System and A⁎ Algorithm

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohammed Faisal

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Recently, nature-inspired techniques have become valuable to many intelligent systems in different fields of technology and science. Among these techniques, Ant Systems (AS have become a valuable technique for intelligent systems in different fields. AS is a computational system inspired by the foraging behavior of ants and intended to solve practical optimization problems. In this paper, we introduce the AntStar algorithm, which is swarm intelligence based. AntStar enhances the optimization and performance of an AS by integrating the AS and A⁎ algorithm. Applying the AntStar algorithm to the single-source shortest-path problem has been done to ensure the efficiency of the proposed AntStar algorithm. The experimental result of the proposed algorithm illustrated the robustness and accuracy of the AntStar algorithm.

  14. 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

  15. 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...

  16. 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.

  17. Modified chaotic ant swarm to function optimization

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    LI Yu-ying; WEN Qiao-yan; LI Li-xiang

    2009-01-01

    The chaotic ant swarm algorithm (CAS) is an optimization algorithm based on swarm intelligence theory, and it is inspired by the chaotic and self-organizing behavior of the ants in nature. Based on the analysis of the properties of the CAS, this article proposes a variation on the CAS called the modified chaotic ant swarm (MCAS), which employs two novel strategies to significantly improve the performance of the original algorithm. This is achieved by restricting the variables to search ranges and making the global best ant to learn from different ants' best information in the end. The simulation of the MCAS on five benchmark functions shows that the MCAS improves the precision of the solution.

  18. Fungal Adaptations to Mutualistic Life with Ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kooij, Pepijn Wilhelmus

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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. Optimal Load Dispatch Using Ant Lion Optimization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Menakshi Mahendru Nischal

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents Ant lion optimization (ALO technique to solve optimal load dispatch problem. Ant lion optimization (ALO is a novel nature inspired algorithm. The ALO algorithm mimics the hunting mechanism of ant lions in nature. Five main steps of hunting prey such as the random walk of ants, building traps, entrapment of ants in traps, catching preys, and re-building traps are implemented. Optimal load dispatch (OLD is a method of determining the most efficient, low-cost and reliable operation of a power system by dispatching available electricity generation resources to supply load on the system. The primary objective of OLD is to minimize total cost of generation while honoring operational constraints of available generation resources. The proposed technique is implemented on 3, 6 & 20 unit test system for solving the OLD. Numerical results shows that the proposed method has good convergence property and better in quality of solution than other algorithms reported in recent literature.

  2. Specificity of the mutualistic association between actinomycete bacteria and two sympatric species of Acromyrmex leaf-cutting ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Poulsen, M; Cafaro, M; Boomsma, J J;

    2005-01-01

    Acromyrmex leaf-cutting ants maintain two highly specialized, vertically transmitted mutualistic ectosymbionts: basidiomycete fungi that are cultivated for food in underground gardens and actinomycete Pseudonocardia bacteria that are reared on the cuticle to produce antibiotics that suppress...... the growth of Escovopsis parasites of the fungus garden. Mutualism stability has been hypothesized to benefit from genetic uniformity of symbionts, as multiple coexisting strains are expected to compete and, thus, reduce the benefit of the symbiosis. However, the Pseudonocardia symbionts are likely...... to be involved in Red-Queen-like antagonistic co-evolution with Escovopsis so that multiple strains per host might be favoured by selection provided the cost of competition between bacterial strains is low. We examined the genetic uniformity of the Pseudonocardia symbionts of two sympatric species of Acromyrmex...

  3. Random sperm use and genetic effects on worker caste fate in Atta colombica leaf-cutting ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Holman, Luke; Stürup, Marlene; Trontti, Kalevi;

    2011-01-01

    Sperm competition can produce fascinating adaptations with far-reaching evolutionary consequences. Social taxa make particularly interesting models, because the outcome of sexual selection determines the genetic composition of groups, with attendant sociobiological consequences. Here, we use...... molecular tools to uncover some of the mechanisms and consequences of sperm competition in the leaf-cutting ant Atta colombica, a species with extreme worker size polymorphism. Competitive PCR allowed quantification of the relative numbers of sperm stored by queens from different males, and offspring...... genotyping revealed how sperm number translated into paternity of eggs and adult workers. We demonstrate that fertilization success is directly related to sperm numbers, that stored sperm are well-mixed and that egg paternity is constant over time. Moreover, worker size was found to have a considerable...

  4. On the translation of culture-loaded words in The Oil-Peddler Wins the Queen of the Flowers

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    廖心坤

    2015-01-01

    The Oil-Peddler Wins the Queen of the Flowers,as a classic Chinese literary work,has many culture-loaded words which may be considered as the most difficult part in translation process.So this assay aims at analyzing the translation of cultureloaded words in The Oil-Peddler Wins the Queen of the Flowers and tries to figure out the trianslation strategies adopted to handle culture-loaded words.

  5. [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

  6. River Queen. La excavadora más grande del mundo

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Editorial, Equipo

    1958-09-01

    Full Text Available Para la explotación a cielo abierto de dos capas de carbón bituminoso en las pertenencias de la mina River Queen, situada en las proximidades de Central City, la Bucyrus-Erie Co. proyectó un tipo especial de excavadora. La pala, llamada River Queen en honor al nombre de la mina que la utiliza, es un modelo designado 1650-B por la casa Bucyrus-Erie; su peso es de unas 2.400 toneladas; está equipado con una cuchara de 42 m3 de capacidad; tiene una pluma de 24,4 m de longitud, y puede descargar a unos 90 m del frente de trabajo.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. Social Structure and Genetic Distance Mediate Nestmate Recognition and Aggressiveness in the Facultative Polygynous Ant Pheidole pallidula.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fournier, Denis; de Biseau, Jean-Christophe; 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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...

  13. 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

  14. 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 ...

  15. 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...

  16. Impact of chronic neonicotinoid exposure on honeybee colony performance and queen supersedure.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christoph Sandrock

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Honeybees provide economically and ecologically vital pollination services to crops and wild plants. During the last decade elevated colony losses have been documented in Europe and North America. Despite growing consensus on the involvement of multiple causal factors, the underlying interactions impacting on honeybee health and colony failure are not fully resolved. Parasites and pathogens are among the main candidates, but sublethal exposure to widespread agricultural pesticides may also affect bees. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: To investigate effects of sublethal dietary neonicotinoid exposure on honeybee colony performance, a fully crossed experimental design was implemented using 24 colonies, including sister-queens from two different strains, and experimental in-hive pollen feeding with or without environmentally relevant concentrations of thiamethoxam and clothianidin. Honeybee colonies chronically exposed to both neonicotinoids over two brood cycles exhibited decreased performance in the short-term resulting in declining numbers of adult bees (-28% and brood (-13%, as well as a reduction in honey production (-29% and pollen collections (-19%, but colonies recovered in the medium-term and overwintered successfully. However, significantly decelerated growth of neonicotinoid-exposed colonies during the following spring was associated with queen failure, revealing previously undocumented long-term impacts of neonicotinoids: queen supersedure was observed for 60% of the neonicotinoid-exposed colonies within a one year period, but not for control colonies. Linked to this, neonicotinoid exposure was significantly associated with a reduced propensity to swarm during the next spring. Both short-term and long-term effects of neonicotinoids on colony performance were significantly influenced by the honeybees' genetic background. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Sublethal neonicotinoid exposure did not provoke increased winter losses. Yet

  17. 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

  18. 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 ...

  19. 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...

  20. 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.

  1. Combined hybridization and mitochondrial capture shape complex phylogeographic patterns in hybridogenetic Cataglyphis desert ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eyer, P A; Leniaud, L; Tinaut, A; Aron, S

    2016-12-01

    Some species of Cataglyphis desert ants have evolved a hybridogenetic mode of reproduction at the social scale. In hybridogenetic populations, two distinct genetic lineages coexist. Non-reproductive offspring (workers) are hybrids of the two lineages, whereas sexual offspring (males and new queens) are produced by parthenogenesis and belong to the mother queen lineage. How this unusual reproductive system affects phylogeographic patterns and speciation processes remains completely unknown to date. Using one mitochondrial and four nuclear genes, we examined the phylogenetic relationships between three species of Cataglyphis (C. hispanica, C. humeya and C. velox) where complex DNA inheritance through social hybridogenesis may challenge phylogenetic inference. Our results bring two important insights. First, our data confirm a hybridogenetic mode of reproduction across the whole distribution range of the species C. hispanica. In contrast, they do not provide support for hybridogenesis in the populations sampled of C. humeya and C. velox. This suggests that these populations are not hybridogenetic, or that hybridogenesis is too recent to result in reciprocally monophyletic lineages on nuclear genes. Second, due to mitochondrial introgression between lineages (Darras and Aron, 2015), the faster-evolving COI marker is not lineage specific, hence, unsuitable to further investigate the segregation of lineages in the species studied. Different mitochondrial haplotypes occur in each locality sampled, resulting in strongly structured populations. This micro-allopatric structure leads to over-splitting species delimitation on mitochondrial gene, as every locality could potentially be considered a putative species; haploweb analyses of nuclear markers, however, yield species delimitations that are consistent with morphology. Overall, this study highlights how social hybridogenesis varies across species and shapes complex phylogeographic patterns.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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}.

  5. 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.

  6. Collective search by ants in microgravity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefanie M. Countryman

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available The problem of collective search is a tradeoff between searching thoroughly and covering as much area as possible. This tradeoff depends on the density of searchers. Solutions to the problem of collective search are currently of much interest in robotics and in the study of distributed algorithms, for example to design ways that without central control robots can use local information to perform search and rescue operations. Ant colonies operate without central control. Because they can perceive only local, mostly chemical and tactile cues, they must search collectively to find resources and to monitor the colony's environment. Examining how ants in diverse environments solve the problem of collective search can elucidate how evolution has led to diverse forms of collective behavior. An experiment on the International Space Station in January 2014 examined how ants (Tetramorium caespitum perform collective search in microgravity. In the ISS experiment, the ants explored a small arena in which a barrier was lowered to increase the area and thus lower ant density. In microgravity, relative to ground controls, ants explored the area less thoroughly and took more convoluted paths. It appears that the difficulty of holding on to the surface interfered with the ants’ ability to search collectively. Ants frequently lost contact with the surface, but showed a remarkable ability to regain contact with the surface.

  7. Pheromone disruption of Argentine ant trail integrity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suckling, D.M.; Peck, R.W.; Manning, L.M.; Stringer, L.D.; Cappadonna, J.; El-Sayed, A. M.

    2008-01-01

    Disruption of Argentine ant trail following and reduced ability to forage (measured by bait location success) was achieved after presentation of an oversupply of trail pheromone, (Z)-9-hexadecenal. Experiments tested single pheromone point sources and dispersion of a formulation in small field plots. Ant walking behavior was recorded and digitized by using video tracking, before and after presentation of trail pheromone. Ants showed changes in three parameters within seconds of treatment: (1) Ants on trails normally showed a unimodal frequency distribution of walking track angles, but this pattern disappeared after presentation of the trail pheromone; (2) ants showed initial high trail integrity on a range of untreated substrates from painted walls to wooden or concrete floors, but this was significantly reduced following presentation of a point source of pheromone; (3) the number of ants in the pheromone-treated area increased over time, as recruitment apparently exceeded departures. To test trail disruption in small outdoor plots, the trail pheromone was formulated with carnuba wax-coated quartz laboratory sand (1 g quartz sand/0.2 g wax/1 mg pheromone). The pheromone formulation, with a half-life of 30 h, was applied by rotary spreader at four rates (0, 2.5, 7.5, and 25 mg pheromone/m2) to 1- and 4-m2 plots in Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii. Ant counts at bait cards in treated plots were significantly reduced compared to controls on the day of treatment, and there was a significant reduction in ant foraging for 2 days. These results show that trail pheromone disruption of Argentine ants is possible, but a much more durable formulation is needed before nest-level impacts can be expected. ?? 2008 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.

  8. 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.

  9. Immune defense in leaf-cutting ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Armitage, Sophie A O; Broch, Jens F; Marín, Hermogenes Fernández;

    2011-01-01

    -fostering experiment designed to address the influences of genotype and social rearing environment upon individual and social immune defenses. We used a multiply mating leaf-cutting ant, enabling us to test for patriline effects within a colony, as well as cross-colony matriline effects. The worker's father influenced...... social defense, a Pseudonocardia bacteria that helps to control pathogens in the ants' fungus garden, showed a significant colony of origin by rearing environment interaction, whereby ants that acquired the bacteria of a foster colony obtained a less abundant cover of bacteria: one explanation...

  10. 9 CFR 354.121 - Ante-mortem inspection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    ... 9 Animals and Animal Products 2 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Ante-mortem inspection. 354.121 Section 354.121 Animals and Animal Products FOOD SAFETY AND INSPECTION SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE... Procedures; Ante-Mortem Inspections § 354.121 Ante-mortem inspection. An ante-mortem inspection of...

  11. 9 CFR 381.71 - Condemnation on ante mortem inspection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. Deterministic ants in labirynth -- information gained by map sharing

    CERN Document Server

    Malinowski, Janusz

    2014-01-01

    A few of ant robots are dropped to a labirynth, formed by a square lattice with a small number of nodes removed. Ants move according to a deterministic algorithm designed to explore all corridors. Each ant remembers the shape of corridors which she has visited. Once two ants met, they share the information acquired. We evaluate how the time of getting a complete information by an ant depends on the number of ants, and how the length known by an ant depends on time. Numerical results are presented in the form of scaling relations.

  14. 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

  15. The distribution of weaver ant pheromones on host trees

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Offenberg, Joachim

    2007-01-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. Ants as tools in sustainable agriculture

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Offenberg, Joachim

    2015-01-01

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

  1. 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"

  2. 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...

  3. 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.

  4. 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...

  5. 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...

  6. 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...

  7. 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...

  8. 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.

  9. 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...

  10. 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.

  11. 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...

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. '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

  16. 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

  17. Sub-lethal effects of dietary neonicotinoid insecticide exposure on honey bee queen fecundity and colony development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu-Smart, Judy; Spivak, Marla

    2016-01-01

    Many factors can negatively affect honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) health including the pervasive use of systemic neonicotinoid insecticides. Through direct consumption of contaminated nectar and pollen from treated plants, neonicotinoids can affect foraging, learning, and memory in worker bees. Less well studied are the potential effects of neonicotinoids on queen bees, which may be exposed indirectly through trophallaxis, or food-sharing. To assess effects on queen productivity, small colonies of different sizes (1500, 3000, and 7000 bees) were fed imidacloprid (0, 10, 20, 50, and 100 ppb) in syrup for three weeks. We found adverse effects of imidacloprid on queens (egg-laying and locomotor activity), worker bees (foraging and hygienic activities), and colony development (brood production and pollen stores) in all treated colonies. Some effects were less evident as colony size increased, suggesting that larger colony populations may act as a buffer to pesticide exposure. This study is the first to show adverse effects of imidacloprid on queen bee fecundity and behavior and improves our understanding of how neonicotinoids may impair short-term colony functioning. These data indicate that risk-mitigation efforts should focus on reducing neonicotinoid exposure in the early spring when colonies are smallest and queens are most vulnerable to exposure. PMID:27562025

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Genetic royal cheats in leaf-cutting ant societies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hughes, William O H; Boomsma, Jacobus J

    2008-01-01

    by biasing their larval development toward becoming queens rather than workers. Two distinct mechanisms appear to be involved, one most probably involving a general tendency to become a larger adult and the other relating specifically to the queen-worker developmental switch. Just as evolutionary theory...... be widespread in even the most cooperative of societies and illustrate that identical principles govern social evolution in highly diverse systems....

  1. 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

  2. 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.)

  3. 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. 

  4. 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...

  5. 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.

  6. The development of neurosurgery at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, Queen Square, London, England.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Powell, Michael; Kitchen, Neil

    2007-11-01

    The National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, Queen Square, London is one of the oldest clinical neuroscience hospitals in the world. It was formed from the fusion of itself with the Maida Vale Hospital in 1948. More recently, in 1996, it was incorporated into the University College London Hospitals group. It has had many distinguished neurosurgeons on its staff, whose history from Sir Victor Horsley to the present is described with particular reference to the development of the specialty of neurosurgery. The current neurosurgical staff and future developments of neurosurgery at the hospital are also elucidated.

  7. Drag queens' use of language and the performance of blurred gendered and racial identities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mann, Stephen L

    2011-01-01

    Building on Barrett (1998), this study provides a sociolinguistic analysis of the language used by Suzanne, a European-American drag queen, during her on-stage performance in the southeastern United States. Suzanne uses wigs and costumes to portray a female character on stage, but never hides the fact that she is biologically male. She is also a member of a predominantly African-American cast. Through her creative use of linguistic features such as stylemixing (i.e., the use of linguistic features shared across multiple language varieties) and expletives, Suzanne is able to perform an identity that frequently blurs gender and racial lines.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Growth stimulating effect on queen bee larvae of histone deacetylase inhibitors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Chung-Yang; Chi, Li-Ling; Huang, Wei-Jan; Chen, Yue-Wen; Chen, Wei-Jung; Kuo, Yu-Cheng; Yuan, Cheng Mike; Chen, Chia-Nan

    2012-06-20

    Royal jelly (RJ) is a widely used natural food. It is also a major source of nutrition for queen bees and plays a key role in their development. RJ is secreted from the hypopharyngeal and mandibular glands of young adult worker bees. The regulation of gene expression in these two glands may influence the development of queen bees by affecting the content of RJ. This study investigated the epigenetic effects in these two glands in young adult worker bees treated with histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACis), a U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved drug, suberoylanilide hydroxamic acid (SAHA), and NBM-HD-1, a novel compound synthesized in this laboratory. Western blot analyses indicated that the levels of acetyl-histone 3 and p21 protein expression in MCF-7 cells increased markedly after treatment with NBM-HD-1. The data proved that NBM-HD-1 was a novel and potent HDACi. Furthermore, a method of affecting epigenetic regulation of the mrjp family gene in the hypopharyngeal and mandibular glands of young adult worker bees was developed by feeding young adult worker bees HDACi. Epigenetic regulation produced several important biological effects. A marked change in the protein composition of the RJ secreted from these treated bees was found. Only the ratio of specific major royal jelly protein 3 (MRJP3) was significantly altered in the treated bees versus the untreated controls. Other MRJP family proteins did not change. This alteration in the ratio of royal jelly proteins resulted in a significant increase in the body size of queen bee larvae. The data seem to suggest that HDACis may play an important role in the epigenetic regulation of the hypopharyngeal and mandibular glands of young adult worker bees. They appear to change mrjp3 gene expression and alter the ratio of MRJP3 protein in RJ. This study presents the first evidence that HDACis are capable of regulating the ratio of MRJP3 proteins in RJ, which has the potential to change the body size of queen bees

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-05-01

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

  19. 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

  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. 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

  2. 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...

  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. 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.

  5. 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.) % ...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tom M Fayle

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

  7. 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

    2016-08-01

    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.

  8. Glycogen in honeybee queens, workers and drones (Apis mellifera carnica Pollm.).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crailsheim, K; Panzenböck, U

    1997-02-21

    Honey bees (Apis mellifera carnica Pollm.) have low glycogen reserves in summer. Upon emergence drones have significantly larger amounts per unit weight when emerging, than workers; perhaps as adaption to the risk of not being fed as intensely as young workers. Maximum content was 0.23mg for workers (28d), and 0.59mg for drones (after emergence). Workers have relatively constant glycogen contents during their life, and very young drones have more glycogen than older ones. Young queens are similar to workers. In workers and queens in summer the greatest amounts of glycogen are found in the thorax. When the bees start flying (6th-8th day of life), drones have the highest amounts in the head (probably to supply their eyes), and upon maturity, drones have the least glycogen in the abdomen.Workers in winter show different glycogen values depending on whether they are active bees from the core area (0.23mg) or inactive ones from the outer surface of the winter cluster (0.37mg). They use glycogen from the thorax and the abdomen for their ongoing energy need.

  9. 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

  10. Knights, knaves, pawns and queens: attitudes to behaviour in postwar Britain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Welshman, John

    2007-02-01

    The choice agenda is currently one of the most prominent in public policy. One of its main architects, Julian Le Grand, has used the metaphors of knights, knaves, pawns and queens to characterise changing attitudes to questions of motivation and behaviour among public servants and service users. He has said, for example, that, in the immediate postwar period, public servants were perceived as public-spirited altruists (or knights), whereas service users were seen as passive (or pawns). It was only in the mid-1980s that public servants came to be seen as essentially self-interested (knaves) and service users came to be regarded as consumers (queens). However, this highly influential model has undergone remarkably little critical scrutiny to date. This article explores the debate over transmitted deprivation in the 1970s to provide a historically grounded piece of analysis to explore the accuracy and utility of these metaphors. It challenges Le Grand's arguments in three respects. Firstly, a concern with behaviour and agency went much broader than social security fraud. Secondly, the metaphor of pawns is inadequate for characterising attitudes towards the poor and service users. Finally, Le Grand's periodisation of the postwar era also has serious flaws.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. Swarm controlled emergence for ant clustering

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Scheidler, Alexander; Merkle, Daniel; Middendorf, Martin

    2013-01-01

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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. The evolution of invasiveness in garden ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cremer, Sylvia; Ugelvig, Line Vej; Drijfhout, Falko P;

    2008-01-01

    It is unclear why some species become successful invaders whilst others fail, and whether invasive success depends on pre-adaptations already present in the native range or on characters evolving de-novo after introduction. Ants are among the worst invasive pests, with Lasius neglectus and its...... rapid spread through Europe and Asia as the most recent example of a pest ant that may become a global problem. Here, we present the first integrated study on behavior, morphology, population genetics, chemical recognition and parasite load of L. neglectus and its non-invasive sister species L. turcicus....... We find that L. neglectus expresses the same supercolonial syndrome as other invasive ants, a social system that is characterized by mating without dispersal and large networks of cooperating nests rather than smaller mutually hostile colonies. We conclude that the invasive success of L. neglectus...

  17. 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...

  18. Kin-informative recognition cues in ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.