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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

    . Earlier correlative evidence indicated that, in the ant Pachycondyla inversa, the hydrocarbon 3,11-dimethylheptacosane (3,11-diMeC27) is more abundant on the surface of queen-laid eggs. Methodology We first tested the hypothesis that 3,11-diMeC27 functions as a queen egg-marking pheromone using laboratory...... that this compound by itself is not the natural queen egg-marking pheromone. We subsequently investigated the overall differences of entire chemical profiles of eggs, and found that queen-laid eggs in field colonies are more distinct from worker-laid eggs than in lab colonies, have more variation in profiles...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2009-01-01

    Background Experiments under controlled laboratory conditions can produce decisive evidence for testing biological hypotheses, provided they are representative of the more complex natural conditions. However, whether this requirement is fulfilled is seldom tested explicitly. Here we provide a lab....../field comparison to investigate the identity of an egg-marking signal of ant queens. Our study was based on ant workers resolving conflict over male production by destroying each other's eggs, but leaving queen eggs unharmed. For this, the workers need a proximate cue to discriminate between the two egg types...... that this compound by itself is not the natural queen egg-marking pheromone. We subsequently investigated the overall differences of entire chemical profiles of eggs, and found that queen-laid eggs in field colonies are more distinct from worker-laid eggs than in lab colonies, have more variation in profiles...

  3. Individual Recognition in Ant Queens

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    D'Ettorre, Patrizia; Heinze, Jürgen

    2005-01-01

    Personal relationships are the cornerstone of vertebrate societies, but insect societies are either too large for individual recognition, or their members were assumed to lack the necessary cognitive abilities 1 and 2 . This paradigm has been challenged by the recent discovery that paper wasps...... recognize each other's unique facial color patterns [3] . Individual recognition is advantageous when dominance hierarchies control the partitioning of work and reproduction 2 and 4 . Here, we show that unrelated founding queens of the ant Pachycondyla villosa use chemical cues to recognize each other...

  4. Ant parasite queens revert to mating singly

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    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...

  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...... reproductives. The data suggest that queen pheromones have a multifaceted role in colony organization, allowing queens and workers alike to modulate their behavior and physiology in response to changes in colony composition. © The Author 2012....

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

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    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 differe...

  7. Prudent sperm use by leaf-cutter ant queens

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

    2009-01-01

    In many species, females store sperm between copulation and egg fertilization, but the consequences of sperm storage and patterns of sperm use for female life history and reproductive success have not been investigated in great detail. In hymenopteran insect societies (ants, bees, wasps......), reproduction is usually monopolized by one or relatively few queens, who mate only during a brief period early in life and store sperm for later use. The queens of some ants are particularly long-lived and have the potential to produce millions of offspring during their life. To do so, queens store many sperm...

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

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    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.

  9. The evolution of queen pheromones in the ant genus Lasius.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holman, L; Lanfear, R; d'Ettorre, P

    2013-07-01

    Queen pheromones are among the most important chemical messages regulating insect societies yet they remain largely undiscovered, hindering research into interesting proximate and ultimate questions. Identifying queen pheromones in multiple species would give new insight into the selective pressures and evolutionary constraints acting on these ubiquitous signals. Here, we present experimental and comparative evidence that 3-methylalkanes, hydrocarbons present on the queen's cuticle, are a queen pheromone throughout the ant genus Lasius. Interspecific variation in the chemical profile is consistent with 3-methylalkanes evolving more slowly than other types of hydrocarbons, perhaps due to differential selection or evolutionary constraints. We argue that the sensory ecology of the worker response imposes strong stabilizing selection on queen pheromones relative to other hydrocarbons. 3-Methylalkanes are also strongly physiologically and genetically coupled with fecundity in at least one Lasius species, which may translate into evolutionary constraints. Our results highlight how honest signalling could minimize evolutionary conflict over reproduction, promoting the evolution and maintenance of eusociality.

  10. Sexual Cooperation: Mating Increases Longevity in Ant Queens

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schrempf, Alexandra; Heinze, Jürgen; Cremer, Sylvia

    2005-01-01

    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......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...... only be reared after a sterile worker force has been built up [5] . Therefore, the males should also profit from a long female lifespan. In the ant Cardiocondyla obscurior, mating indeed has a positive effect on the lifetime reproductive success of queens. Queens that mated to either one fertile or one...

  11. 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...

  12. Parentage, reproductive skew and queen turnover in a multiple-queen ant analysed with microsatellites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bourke, A F; Green, H A; Bruford, M W

    1997-02-22

    We investigated the fine genetic structure of colonies of the ant, Leptothorax acervorum, to examine how queens share parentage (skew) in a social insect with multiple queens (polygyny). Overall, 494 individuals from eight polygynous field colonies were typed at up to seven microsatellite loci each. The first main finding was that surprisingly many sexual progeny (60% of young queens and 49% of young males) were not the offspring of the extant queens within their colonies. This implies that a high turnover (brief reproductive lifespan) of queens within colonies could be an important feature of polygyny. The second main result was that in most colonies relatedness among sexual progeny fell significantly below that expected among full siblings, proving that these progeny were produced by more than one singly-mated queen, but that skew in two colonies where the data permitted its calculation was moderate to high. However, relative to a German population, the study population is characterized by low queen-queen relatedness and low skew in female production, which is in line with the predictions of skew theory.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Huszár, Dóra Borbála

    Ants, like other social insects, have evolved cooperative societies based on kinship. Colonies headed by a single breeding queen (monogyny) was the ancestral state but today ca. half of the ant species live in multi-queen societies (polygyny), which can sometimes reach extreme sizes (supercolony...... that only ants, not the other obligatorily social insects were able to decrease social and sexual conflicts sufficiently to make polygyny reach obligate form in some species. This can be explained by general ant biology, such as perennial lifehistories, foraging on foot instead of wings and having one...... nest types. High inbreeding also resulted in high genetic relatedness, which could imply substantial indirect fitness benefits since obviously negative fitness effects were not produced such as suboptimal body size, significant fluctuating asymmetry in reproductively relevant traits, or diploid male...

  14. 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...

  15. 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...... recognition does not occur when co-founding queens do not establish dominance hierarchies. Indeed, L. niger queens show a similar level of aggression towards both co-foundresses and intruders, indicating that they are unable of individual recognition, contrary to Pachycondyla. Additionally, the variation...... in chemical profiles of Lasius and Pachycondyla queens is comparable, thus informational constraints are unlikely to apply. We conclude that selection pressure from the social context is of crucial significance for the sophistication of recognition systems....

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

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    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.

  18. 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.

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

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    Emilio M Bruna

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

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

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    Christian Peeters

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

  1. Queen influence on workers behavior of the leaf-cutting ant Atta sexdens rubropilosa (Forel, 1908

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    L. Sousa-Souto

    Full Text Available In an ant colony, the queen is the single reproducer and can interact with her workers via pheromones and cuticular compounds. However, in most species queen importance is not restricted to reproduction: in the initial development of the colony, her presence might play a more important role. In this work, we studied the effects of queen absence on workers behavior displayed in the foraging arena. Ant’s mortality and refuse accumulation was also measured daily. The results showed that queen absence did not alter either workers behavior or foraging efficiency. However, we observed increased ant mortality accompanied by a decrease in refuse dumping outside the nest. These results corroborate the hypothesis that environmental factors are more important than intrinsical factors in the allocation of external tasks. Probably, the queen could only influence internal activities of the colony.

  2. No evidence of volatile chemicals regulating reproduction in a multiple queen ant

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    Coston, Duncan J.; Gill, Richard J.; Hammond, Robert L.

    2011-07-01

    Efficient cooperation in eusocial insect colonies requires effective communication, and there is abundant evidence of non-volatile chemicals playing a role in regulating reproduction within colonies. In contrast, there have been fewer studies investigating the role of volatile chemicals. This study investigated the potential role of volatile chemicals in regulating queen reproduction either by directly inhibiting queen reproduction or by honestly signalling queen fecundity to workers. We tested this using multiple queen colonies of the ant ( Leptothorax acervorum) from a functionally monogynous population where one queen monopolizes all reproduction. Nine colonies, each with an established laying queen, were split to produce two colony fragments—one containing the reproducing queen (group 1) and one containing only previously non-reproducing queens (group 2). Each group was separated by a fine wire mesh preventing physical contact, but allowing volatile chemical contact. In each group 2 fragment, we found that a single formerly non-reproductive queen commenced reproduction and that the rate of egg laying and maximum number of eggs recorded did not significantly differ between groups 1 and 2, results that do not support volatile chemicals as playing a role in regulating queen reproduction. Instead, our findings suggest that physical contact is necessary to maintain functional monogyny.

  3. 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...

  4. 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...

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

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    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.

  6. Ant queens adjust egg fertilization to benefit from both sexual and asexual reproduction.

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    Aron, S; Timmermans, I; Pearcy, M

    2011-08-23

    An enduring problem in evolutionary biology is the near ubiquity of sexual reproduction despite the inherent cost of transmitting only half the parent's genes to progeny. Queens of some ant species circumvent this cost by using selectively both sexual reproduction and parthenogenesis: workers arise from fertilized eggs, while new queens are produced by parthenogenesis. We show that queens of the ant Cataglyphis cursor maximize the transmission rate of their genes by regulating the proportion of fertilized and parthenogenetic eggs laid over time. Parthenogenetic offspring are produced in early spring, when workers raise the brood into sexuals. After the mating period, queens lay mostly fertilized eggs that will be reared as the non-reproductive caste.

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

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    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.

  8. 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...... 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...... growth (number of individuals) increased with increasing numbers of queens (pleometrosis) as well as with the transplantation of pupae. Transplanted pupae were accepted and developed into mature workers and not only added extra individuals to the receiver colonies but also increased the egg production...

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

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    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...

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

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

    2004-01-01

    , 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......-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...

  11. Winged queens replaced by reproductives smaller than workers in Mystrium ants

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    Molet, Mathieu; Peeters, Christian; Fisher, Brian L.

    2007-04-01

    In ants, winged queens that are specialized for independent colony foundation can be replaced by wingless reproductives better adapted for colony fission. We studied this shift in reproductive strategy by comparing two Mystrium species from Madagascar using morphometry, allometry and dissections. Mystrium rogeri has a single dealate queen in each colony with a larger thorax than workers and similar mandibles that allow these queens to hunt during non-claustral foundation. In contrast, Mystrium ‘red’ lacks winged queens and half of the female adults belong to a wingless ‘intermorph’ caste smaller and allometrically distinct from the workers. Intermorphs have functional ovaries and spermatheca while those of workers are degenerate. Intermorphs care for brood and a few mate and reproduce making them an all-purpose caste that takes charge of both work and reproduction. However, their mandibles are reduced and inappropriate for hunting centipedes, unlike the workers’ mandibles. This together with their small thorax disallow them to perform independent colony foundation, and colonies reproduce by fission. M. rogeri workers have mandibles polymorphic in size and shape, which allow for all tasks from brood care to hunting. In M. ‘red’, colonial investment in reproduction has shifted from producing expensive winged queens to more numerous helpers. M. ‘red’ intermorphs are the first case of reproductives smaller than workers in ants and illustrate their potential to diversify their caste system for better colonial economy.

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

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    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 c...... loss might be more widespread, especially in spatially structured populations of social insects where worker reproduction is not profitable....... their reproductive success. We show that worker chemical recognition profiles remain similar after queen loss, but rapidly change into a mixed colony Gestalt odour after fusion, consistent with indiscriminate acceptance of alien workers that are no longer aggressive. We hypothesize that colony fusion after queen...

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

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    Dijkstra, Michiel B.; Boomsma, Jacobus Jan

    2008-01-01

    with the theoretical queen and worker optima for a range of values of k, the correction factor for sex differences in metabolic rate and fat content. The results were consistent with either worker or queen control, but never with fungal control for any realistic value of k. We conclude that the fungal symbiont does......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...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2007-01-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Fighting for a harem of queens: physiology of reproduction in Cardiocondyla male ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heinze, J; Hölldobler, B

    1993-09-15

    Several species of the ant genus Cardiocondyla produce dimorphic males, which exhibit sharply different mating strategies. Winged males typically disperse to mate outside the nest, whereas wingless, ergatoid males stay in the nest and aggressively employ their mandibles against competing ergatoid males to monopolize the virgin queens eclosing in the nest. Such aggressive mating strategy would only be adaptive if the males had unlimited sperm supply. Histological studies showed that, contrary to the rule in the Hymenoptera order, the ergatoid Cardiocondyla males are indeed able to produce sperm during their entire adult life. Winged males, on the other hand, have only a limited sperm supply since spermatogenesis ceases in the late pupal stage.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

    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......, for the first time in a social insect, we confirmed the general life history prediction by Smith and Fretwell (Am Nat 108:499–506, 1974) that offspring number varies more than offspring size. Our findings document a high level of plasticity in energy allocation toward female castes and suggest that polygynous...

  4. 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...

  5. Similarity in venom alkaloid chemistry of alate queens of imported fire ants: implication for hybridization between Solenopsis richteri and S. invicta in the Southern United States.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Li; Lu, Yong-Yue; Hu, Qiong-Bo; Fadamiro, Henry Y

    2012-04-01

    Both cis- and trans-2-methyl-6-undecylpiperidines, MC11P, have been previously reported as the major components of the venom of alate queens of the imported fire ants, Solenopsis richteri (black) and S. invicta (red). To identify the minor components of venom alkaloids from alate queens and compare the venom alkaloid chemistry of alate queen of their hybrid (S. richteri×S. invicta) with that of the two parental fire ant species (S. richteri and S. invicta), silica-gel short-column chromatography was utilized for separating cis-stereoisomers of venom alkaloids from trans-stereoisomers. GC/MS Analyses of venom-alkaloid chemistry of alate queens demonstrated that fewer alkaloid peaks were detected in the chromatograms of the alate queens compared to those of workers. Three new compounds, 7, 12, and 13, were detected as minor components in the venom of alate queens of all three fire ant species. Alate queens of hybrid fire ants showed cis- and trans-alkaloid patterns similar to those of the parental species. Similarity in venom-alkaloid chemistry of alate queens of S. richteri and S. invicta, and their hybrid may indicate their reproductive compatibility in the hybrid zone in southern United States, where all three species occur sympatrically.

  6. 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.

  7. 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...... their reproductive output or produce dishonest, manipulative signals, providing a novel test of the evolutionary significance of queen pheromones. Queens produced fewer workers when their colony contained ample brood, but only in the presence of competitors, suggesting selfish conservation of resources. Several CHCs...... correlated with reproductive maturation, and to a lesser extent with productivity; the same hydrocarbons were more abundant on queens that were not killed, suggesting that workers select productive queens using these chemical cues. Our results highlight the role of honest signalling in the evolution...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  9. 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...

  10. 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.

  11. Queen regulates biogenic amine level and nestmate recognition in fire ant, Solenopsis invicta, workers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nestmate recognition is a critical element in social insect organization, providing a means to maintain territoriality and close the colony to parasites and predators. Ants detect the colony chemical label via their antennae and respond to the label mismatch of an intruder with aggressive behavior. ...

  12. 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.

  13. 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...

  14. 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

    Weaver ants (Oecophylla longinoda Latreille) are used commercially to control pest insects and for protein production. In this respect fast colony growth is desirable for managed colonies. Transplantation of non-nestmate pupae to incipient colonies has been shown to boost colony growth. Our objec...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2002-10-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Baer, Boris; Collins, Jason; Maalaps, Kristiina

    2016-01-01

    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-l...

  17. The Eight Queens Problem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olson, Alton T.

    1993-01-01

    Presents a series of solution methods to the Eight Queens Problem of placing eight queens on a chess board so that no one queen can capture another. Solution methods progress from empirical approaches to the use of computer algorithms. Geometric transformations are used to find other solutions. (MDH)

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Villesen, Palle; Boomsma, JJ

    2003-01-01

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

  19. Conserved class of queen pheromones stops social insect workers from reproducing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Oystaeyen, Annette; Oliveira, Ricardo Caliari; Holman, Luke; van Zweden, Jelle S; Romero, Carmen; Oi, Cintia A; d'Ettorre, Patrizia; Khalesi, Mohammadreza; Billen, Johan; Wäckers, Felix; Millar, Jocelyn G; Wenseleers, Tom

    2014-01-17

    A major evolutionary transition to eusociality with reproductive division of labor between queens and workers has arisen independently at least 10 times in the ants, bees, and wasps. Pheromones produced by queens are thought to play a key role in regulating this complex social system, but their evolutionary history remains unknown. Here, we identify the first sterility-inducing queen pheromones in a wasp, bumblebee, and desert ant and synthesize existing data on compounds that characterize female fecundity in 64 species of social insects. Our results show that queen pheromones are strikingly conserved across at least three independent origins of eusociality, with wasps, ants, and some bees all appearing to use nonvolatile, saturated hydrocarbons to advertise fecundity and/or suppress worker reproduction. These results suggest that queen pheromones evolved from conserved signals of solitary ancestors.

  20. Glandular Epithelium as a Possible Source of a Fertility Signal in Ectatomma tuberculatum (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) Queens

    OpenAIRE

    Riviane Rodigues da Hora; Jacques Hubert Charles Delabie; Carolina Gonçalves dos Santos; José Eduardo Serrão

    2010-01-01

    The wax layer covering the insect's cuticle plays an important protective role, as for example, uncontrolled water loss. In social insects, wax production is well-known in some bees that use it for nest building. Curiously, mated-fertile queens of the ant Ectatomma tuberculatum produce an uncommon extra-wax coat and, consequently queens (mated-fertile females) are matte due to such extra cuticular hydrocarbon (CHC) coat that covers the cuticle and masks the brightness of the queens' cuticle w...

  1. Insecticide transfer efficiency and lethal load in Argentine ants

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hooper-Bui, L.M. [Department of Environmental Science, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803 (United States); Department of Entomology, University of California, Riverside, CA 92521 (United States); Kwok, E.S.C. [Department of Cell Biology and Neuroscience, University of California, Riverside, CA 92521 (United States); Buchholz, B.A., E-mail: buchholz2@llnl.gov [Center for Accelerator Mass Spectrometry, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, CA 94551 (United States); Department of Environmental Toxicology, University of California, Davis, CA 95616 (United States); Rust, M.K. [Department of Entomology, University of California, Riverside, CA 92521 (United States); Eastmond, D.A. [Department of Cell Biology and Neuroscience, University of California, Riverside, CA 92521 (United States); Vogel, J.S. [Center for Accelerator Mass Spectrometry, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, CA 94551 (United States)

    2015-10-15

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    The cis and trans alkaloids from body extracts of workers and alate queens of the tropical fire ant, Solenopsis geminata (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), were successfully separated by silica gel chromatography, identified, and quantitated by GC-MS analysis. Both workers and alate queens produce primarily...

  3. The antipredatory behaviours of Neotropical ants towards army ant raids (Hymenoptera : Formicidae)

    OpenAIRE

    Dejean, A.; Corbara, B.; Roux, Olivier; Orivel, J.

    2014-01-01

    Group hunting, nomadism, wingless queens and colony fission characterize army ants, allowing them to have become the main tropical arthropod predators, mostly of other social insects. We studied the reactions of different ant species to the New World army ants Eciton burchellii (WESTWOOD, 1842) and E. hamatum (FABRICUS, 1782) (Ecitoninae). We compiled our results with those already known in a synthetic appendix. A wide range of ant species react to the approach of army ant raids by evacuating...

  4. 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...

  5. Reclaiming the crown: queen to worker conflict over reproduction in Aphaenogaster cockerelli

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Adrian A.; Hölldobler, Bert; Liebig, Jürgen

    2011-03-01

    In many social taxa, reproductively dominant individuals sometimes use aggression to secure and maintain reproductive status. In the social insects, queen aggression towards subordinate individuals or workers has been documented and is predicted to occur only in species with a small colony size and a low level of queen-worker dimorphism. We report queen aggression towards reproductive workers in the ant species Aphaenogaster cockerelli, a species with a relatively large colony size and a high level of reproductive dimorphism. Through analysis of cuticular hydrocarbon profiles, we show that queens are aggressive only to reproductively active workers. Non-reproductive workers treated with a hydrocarbon typical for reproductives are attacked by workers but not by queens, which suggests different ways of recognition. We provide possible explanations of why queen aggression is observed in this species.

  6. 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.

  7. '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.

  8. 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.

  9. Male parentage in army ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2006-01-01

    In most social insects workers do not mate, but have retained the ability to produce haploid eggs that can develop into viable male offspring. Under what circumstances this reproductive potential is realized and how the ensuing worker-queen conflict over male production is resolved, is an area...... 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...

  10. 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.

  11. Queen signaling in social wasps

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2014-01-01

    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...

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Cooperation, conflict, and the evolution of queen pheromones.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kocher, Sarah D; Grozinger, Christina M

    2011-11-01

    While chemical communication regulates individual behavior in a wide variety of species, these communication systems are most elaborated in insect societies. In these complex systems, pheromones produced by the reproductive individuals (queens) are critical in establishing and maintaining dominant reproductive status over hundreds to thousands of workers. The proximate and ultimate mechanisms by which these intricate pheromone communication systems evolved are largely unknown, though there has been much debate over whether queen pheromones function as a control mechanism or as an honest signal facilitating cooperation. Here, we summarize results from recent studies in honey bees, bumble bees, wasps, ants and termites. We further discuss evolutionary mechanisms by which queen pheromone communication systems may have evolved. Overall, these studies suggest that queen-worker pheromone communication is a multi-component, labile dialog between the castes, rather than a simple, fixed signal-response system. We also discuss future approaches that can shed light on the proximate and ultimate mechanisms that underlie these complex systems by focusing on the development of increasingly sophisticated genomic tools and their potential applications to examine the molecular mechanisms that regulate pheromone production and perception.

  15. Postmating changes in cuticular chemistry and visual appearance in Ectatomma tuberculatum queens (Formicidae: Ectatomminae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hora, Riviane R.; Ionescu-Hirsh, Armin; Simon, Tovit; Delabie, Jacques; Robert, Jacques; Fresneau, Dominique; Hefetz, Abraham

    2008-01-01

    In the ectatommine ant Ectatomma tuberculatum, the visual appearance of queens changes after mating and ovarian development in that their cuticle turns from shiny to matte. In this study, we have shown that this change seems to be caused by 15-fold accumulation of hydrocarbons, in particular heptacosane that covers the multiple grooves present on the cuticular surface creating a wax coat in mated fully fertile queens. Analyses of the scrapped wax revealed that it is composed largely of heptacosane. Peak-by-peak comparison of the cuticular hydrocarbon (CHC) composition of mated, virgin with developed ovaries and virgin with nondeveloped ovaries revealed significant differences between the queen groups. Although the total amount of the CHC of virgin queens with developed ovaries was not higher than virgin queens that did not have developed ovaries, the composition showed a shift toward the mated queen. While it is possible that the large accumulation of hydrocarbons may give extra physical and chemical protection to queens, we propose that the switch in the relative abundance of heptacosane and nonacosane and perhaps of other components is indicative of being a mating and fertility cue. This is the first report in social insects where external chemical changes are accompanied by changes in visual appearance.

  16. 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)

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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...... under severe pressure of pathogens. Advanced fungus-growing (leafcutter) ants have large numbers (104-106 workers) and long-lived colonies, whereas basal genera in the attine tribe have small (... 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...

  20. Range expansion drives the evolution of alternate reproductive strategies in invasive fire ants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jackson A. Helms IV

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Many species are expanding their ranges in response to climate changes or species introductions. Expansion-related selection likely drives the evolution of dispersal and reproductive traits, especially in invasive species introduced into novel habitats. We used an agent-based model to investigate these relationships in the red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta, by tracking simulated populations over 25 years. Most colonies of this invasive species produce two types of queens practicing alternate reproductive strategies. Claustral queens found new colonies in vacant habitats, while parasitic queens take over existing colonies whose queens have died. We investigated how relative investment in the two queen types affects population demography, habitat occupancy, and range expansion. We found that parasitic queens extend the ecological lifespan of colonies, thereby increasing a population’s overall habitat occupancy as well as average colony size (number of workers and territory size. At the same time, investment in parasitic queens slowed the rate of range expansion by diverting investment from claustral queens. Divergent selection regimes caused edge and interior populations to evolve different levels of reproductive investment, such that interior populations invested heavily in parasitic queens whereas those at the edge invested almost entirely in claustral queens. Our results highlight factors shaping ant life histories, including the evolution of social parasitism, and have implications for the response of species to range shifts.

  1. 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.

  2. Glandular epithelium as a possible source of a fertility signal in Ectatomma tuberculatum (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) queens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    da Hora, Riviane Rodigues; Delabie, Jacques Hubert Charles; dos Santos, Carolina Gonçalves; Serrão, José Eduardo

    2010-04-19

    The wax layer covering the insect's cuticle plays an important protective role, as for example, uncontrolled water loss. In social insects, wax production is well-known in some bees that use it for nest building. Curiously, mated-fertile queens of the ant Ectatomma tuberculatum produce an uncommon extra-wax coat and, consequently queens (mated-fertile females) are matte due to such extra cuticular hydrocarbon (CHC) coat that covers the cuticle and masks the brightness of the queens' cuticle while gynes (virgin-infertile queens) are shiny. In this study, histological analysis showed differences in the epidermis between fertile (i.e., queens or gynes with highly ovarian activity) and infertile females (gynes or workers with non developed ovaries). In fertile females the epidermis is a single layer of cubic cells found in all body segments whereas in infertile females it is a thin layer of flattened cells. Ultrastructural features showed active secretory tissue from fertile females similar to the glandular epithelium of wax-producing bees (type I gland). Different hypotheses related to the functions of the glandular epithelium exclusive to the E. tuberculatum fertile queens are discussed.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea Di Giulio

    Full Text Available Ants use various communication channels to regulate their social organisation. The main channel that drives almost all the ants' activities and behaviours is the chemical one, but it is long acknowledged that the acoustic channel also plays an important role. However, very little is known regarding exploitation of the acoustical channel by myrmecophile parasites to infiltrate the ant society. Among social parasites, the ant nest beetles (Paussus are obligate myrmecophiles able to move throughout the colony at will and prey on the ants, surprisingly never eliciting aggression from the colonies. It has been recently postulated that stridulatory organs in Paussus might be evolved as an acoustic mechanism to interact with ants. Here, we survey the role of acoustic signals employed in the Paussus beetle-Pheidole ant system. Ants parasitised by Paussus beetles produce caste-specific stridulations. We found that Paussus can "speak" three different "languages", each similar to sounds produced by different ant castes (workers, soldiers, queen. Playback experiments were used to test how host ants respond to the sounds emitted by Paussus. Our data suggest that, by mimicking the stridulations of the queen, Paussus is able to dupe the workers of its host and to be treated as royalty. This is the first report of acoustic mimicry in a beetle parasite of ants.

  4. Neonicotinoid pesticides severely affect honey bee queens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Geoffrey R; Troxler, Aline; Retschnig, Gina; Roth, Kaspar; Yañez, Orlando; Shutler, Dave; Neumann, Peter; Gauthier, Laurent

    2015-10-13

    Queen health is crucial to colony survival of social bees. Recently, queen failure has been proposed to be a major driver of managed honey bee colony losses, yet few data exist concerning effects of environmental stressors on queens. Here we demonstrate for the first time that exposure to field-realistic concentrations of neonicotinoid pesticides during development can severely affect queens of western honey bees (Apis mellifera). In pesticide-exposed queens, reproductive anatomy (ovaries) and physiology (spermathecal-stored sperm quality and quantity), rather than flight behaviour, were compromised and likely corresponded to reduced queen success (alive and producing worker offspring). This study highlights the detriments of neonicotinoids to queens of environmentally and economically important social bees, and further strengthens the need for stringent risk assessments to safeguard biodiversity and ecosystem services that are vulnerable to these substances.

  5. 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

    2016-03-29

    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.

  6. Breeding system, colony and population structure in the weaver ant Oecophylla smaragdina.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schlüns, E A; Wegener, B J; Schlüns, H; Azuma, N; Robson, S K A; Crozier, R H

    2009-01-01

    Weaver ants (Oecophylla smaragdina) are dominant ants in open forests from India, Australia, China and Southeast Asia, whose leaf nests are held together with larval silk. The species, together with its sole congener O. longinoda, has been important in research on biological control, communication, territoriality and colony integration. Over most of the range, only one queen has been found per colony, but the occurrence of several queens per nest has been reported for the Australian Northern Territory. The number of males mating with each queen is little known. Here we report on the colony structure of O. smaragdina using published and new microsatellite markers. Worker genotype arrays reflect the occurrence of habitual polygyny (more than one queen per colony) in 18 colonies from Darwin, Northern Australia, with up to five queens inferred per colony. Monogyny (one queen per colony) with occasional polygyny was inferred for 14 colonies from Queensland, Australia, and 20 colonies from Java, Indonesia. Direct genotyping of the sperm carried by 77 Queensland queens and worker genotypic arrays of established colonies yielded similar results, indicating that less than half of the queens mate only once and some mate up to five times. Worker genotype arrays indicated that queens from Java and the Northern Territory also often mate with more than one male, but less often than those from Queensland. A strong isolation-by-distance effect was found for Queensland samples. The variation uncovered means that O. smaragdina is a more versatile study system than previously supposed.

  7. 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.

  8. Polygynous supercolonies of the acacia-ant Pseudomyrmex peperi, an inferior colony founder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kautz, S; Pauls, S U; Ballhorn, D J; Lumbsch, H T; Heil, M

    2009-12-01

    In ant-plant protection mutualisms, plants provide nesting space and nutrition to defending ants. Several plant-ants are polygynous. Possessing more than one queen per colony can reduce nestmate relatedness and consequently the inclusive fitness of workers. Here, we investigated the colony structure of the obligate acacia-ant Pseudomyrmex peperi, which competes for nesting space with several congeneric and sympatric species. Pseudomyrmex peperi had a lower colony founding success than its congeners and thus, appears to be competitively inferior during the early stages of colony development. Aggression assays showed that P. peperi establishes distinct, but highly polygynous supercolonies, which can inhabit large clusters of host trees. Analysing queens, workers, males and virgin queens from two supercolonies with eight polymorphic microsatellite markers revealed a maximum of three alleles per locus within a colony and, thus, high relatedness among nestmates. Colonies had probably been founded by one singly mated queen and supercolonies resulted from intranidal mating among colony-derived males and daughter queens. This strategy allows colonies to grow by budding and to occupy individual plant clusters for time spans that are longer than an individual queen's life. Ancestral states reconstruction indicated that polygyny represents the derived state within obligate acacia-ants. We suggest that the extreme polygyny of Pseudomyrmex peperi, which is achieved by intranidal mating and thereby maintains high nestmate relatedness, might play an important role for species coexistence in a dynamic and competitive habitat.

  9. 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 separatel...

  10. 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...

  11. 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

  12. 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....

  13. 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.

  14. Corruption of ant acoustical signals by mimetic social parasites

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  15. 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...

  16. Intrinsic worker mortality depends on behavioral caste and the queens' presence in a social insect.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohlmeier, Philip; Negroni, Matteo Antoine; Kever, Marion; Emmling, Stefanie; Stypa, Heike; Feldmeyer, Barbara; Foitzik, Susanne

    2017-04-01

    According to the classic life history theory, selection for longevity depends on age-dependant extrinsic mortality and fecundity. In social insects, the common life history trade-off between fecundity and longevity appears to be reversed, as the most fecund individual, the queen, often exceeds workers in lifespan several fold. But does fecundity directly affect intrinsic mortality also in social insect workers? And what is the effect of task on worker mortality? Here, we studied how social environment and behavioral caste affect intrinsic mortality of ant workers. We compared worker survival between queenless and queenright Temnothorax longispinosus nests and demonstrate that workers survive longer under the queens' absence. Temnothorax ant workers fight over reproduction when the queen is absent and dominant workers lay eggs. Worker fertility might therefore increase lifespan, possibly due to a positive physiological link between fecundity and longevity, or better care for fertile workers. In social insects, division of labor among workers is age-dependant with young workers caring for the brood and old ones going out to forage. We therefore expected nurses to survive longer than foragers, which is what we found. Surprisingly, inactive inside workers showed a lower survival than nurses but comparable to that of foragers. The reduced longevity of inactive workers could be due to them being older than the nurses, or due to a positive effect of activity on lifespan. Overall, our study points to behavioral caste-dependent intrinsic mortality rates and a positive association between fertility and longevity not only in queens but also in ant workers.

  17. 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...

  18. Stimulating natural supersedure of honeybee queens, Apis mellifera

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hendriksma, H.P.; Calis, J.N.M.; Boot, W.J.

    2004-01-01

    When a honeybee queen starts to fail, she is often superseded by a young queen that takes over reproduction inside the colony. Natural supersedure in winter leads to an unfertilised young queen and colony loss. To reduce these losses we tried to stimulate supersedure of queens earlier in the season.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. Queen's discovery lauded by top scientific journal

    CERN Multimedia

    McGrady, S

    2002-01-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. Sperm storage induces an immunity cost in ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2006-01-01

    Ant queens are among the most long-lived insects known. They mate early in adult life and maintain millions of viable sperm in their sperm storage organ until they die many years later. Because they never re-mate, the reproductive success of queens is ultimately sperm-limited, but it is not known......-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....

  4. Beyond ANT

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jansen, Till

    2016-01-01

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

  5. Ant Farm

    OpenAIRE

    2012-01-01

    Publié à l’occasion de l’exposition d’Ant Farm au Frac Centre du 12 au 23 décembre 2007, ce très beau catalogue, qui fait état des dix ans de création du collectif californien, propose un nombre important de documents iconographiques, de notices et de textes concernant leurs différents projets. Fondé en 1968 par Doug Michels et Chip Lord, rejoints par la suite par Curtis Schreier, Hudson Marquez, Douglas Hurr et d’autres encore, le collectif Ant Farm a marqué les esprits par quelques œuvres s...

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Queen Charlotte 2001 Earthquake Aftershock Sequence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mulder, T.; Rogers, G. C.

    2012-12-01

    On Oct 12, 2001, an Mw=6.3 earthquake occurred off the Queen Charlotte Islands, BC. It was felt throughout Haida Gwaii (Queen Charlotte Islands) and the adjoining mainland. It generated a small tsunami recorded on Vancouver Island tide gauges. Moment tensor solutions show almost pure thrust faulting. There was a significant aftershock sequence associated with this event. Relocation of the catalogue aftershock sequence with respect to a key calibration event with various subsets of common stations show significant movement in the event locations. The aftershocks define an ~30 degree dipping fault plane.

  9. Balancing acts: drag queens, gender and faith.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sullivan-Blum, Constance R

    2004-01-01

    While engaged in research on the same-sex marriage debate in mainline denominations, I interviewed 23 LGBT Christians, four of whom were drag queens. While it is not possible to generalize from such a small sample, the drag queens in this study insist on maintaining their identity as Christians despite the hegemonic discourse that renders faith and LGBT identities mutually exclusive. They developed innovative approaches to reconciling their gender and sexual identities with their spirituality. Their innovations are potentially liberating not just for them personally, but for LGBT people generally because they challenge Christianity's rigid dichotomies of gender and sexuality.

  10. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richard, Freddie-Jeanne; Tarpy, David R; Grozinger, Christina M

    2007-10-03

    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 colony.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. The Ants Have It!

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daugherty, Belinda

    2001-01-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. 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...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2012-01-01

    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...

  18. Fire Ant Bites

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  19. Pregnancy in a unilaterally ovariohysterectomised queen.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jurka, Piotr; Kacprzak, Kamil J; Degórska, Beata

    2015-04-01

    A 4-year-old female Russian Blue cat presented with signs of right-sided abdominal distension, anorexia and a mucoid vaginal discharge. On the basis of clinical and ultrasonographical findings a tentative diagnosis of uterine torsion was made. Exploratory coeliotomy revealed a 900º right uterine torsion along the longitudinal axis. Unilateral ovariohysterectomy was performed. Subsequently, the cat had two successful and uneventful pregnancies. To our knowledge this is the first case report of pregnancy in a unilaterally ovariohysterectomised queen.

  20. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharma, Kavita R; Enzmann, Brittany L; Schmidt, Yvonne; Moore, Dani; Jones, Graeme R; Parker, Jane; Berger, Shelley L; Reinberg, Danny; Zwiebel, Laurence J; Breit, Bernhard; Liebig, Jürgen; Ray, Anandasankar

    2015-08-25

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

  2. Opposable spines facilitate fine and gross object manipulation in fire ants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cassill, Deby; Greco, Anthony; Silwal, Rajesh; Wang, Xuefeng

    2007-04-01

    Ants inhabit diverse terrestrial biomes from the Sahara Desert to the Arctic tundra. One factor contributing to the ants’ successful colonization of diverse geographical regions is their ability to manipulate objects when excavating nests, capturing, transporting and rendering prey or grooming, feeding and transporting helpless brood. This paper is the first to report the form and function of opposable spines on the foretarsi of queens and workers used during fine motor and gross motor object manipulation in the fire ant, Solenopsis invicta. In conjunction with their mandibles, queens and workers used their foretarsi to grasp and rotate eggs, push or pull thread-like objects out of their way or push excavated soil pellets behind them for disposal by other workers. Opposable spines were found on the foretarsi of workers from seven of eight other ant species suggesting that they might be a common feature in the Formicidae.

  3. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Lei; Chen, Jian

    2015-08-01

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

  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. 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...... it is undermined by the fitness benefits of direct reproduction of workers at the individual level. A better explanation may be found in the idea that queen pheromones are difficult to produce for subordinate individuals, either because policing workers attack them, or because queen pheromones are intrinsically...

  7. Conservation of Queen Pheromones Across Two Species of Vespine Wasps.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oi, Cintia A; Millar, Jocelyn G; van Zweden, Jelle S; Wenseleers, Tom

    2016-11-01

    Social insects are known for their reproductive division of labor between queens and workers, whereby queens lay the majority of the colony's eggs, and workers engage mostly in non-reproductive tasks. Queens produce pheromones that signal their presence and fertility to workers, which in turn generally remain sterile. Recently, it has been discovered that specific queen-characteristic cuticular hydrocarbons (CHCs) function as queen pheromones across multiple lineages of social insects. In the common wasp, Vespula vulgaris, several long-chain linear alkanes and 3-methylalkanes were shown to act as queen signals. Here, we describe similar bioassays with a related species of highly eusocial vespine wasp, the Saxon wasp, Dolichovespula saxonica. We show that a blend of queen-characteristic hydrocarbons that are structurally related to those of the common wasp inhibit worker reproduction, suggesting conservation of queen pheromones across social wasps. Overall, our results highlight the central importance of CHCs in chemical communication among social insects in general, and as conserved queen pheromones in these social wasps in particular.

  8. Intraspecific support for the polygyny-vs.-polyandry hypothesis in the bulldog ant Myrmecia brevinoda.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qian, Zeng-Qiang; Schlüns, Helge; Schlick-Steiner, Birgit C; Steiner, Florian M; Robson, Simon K A; Schlüns, Ellen A; Crozier, Ross H

    2011-09-01

    The number of queens per colony and the number of matings per queen are the most important determinants of the genetic structure of ant colonies, and understanding their interrelationship is essential to the study of social evolution. The polygyny-vs.-polyandry hypothesis argues that polygyny and polyandry should be negatively associated because both can result in increased intracolonial genetic variability and have costs. However, evidence for this long-debated hypothesis has been lacking at the intraspecific level. Here, we investigated the colony genetic structure in the Australian bulldog ant Myrmecia brevinoda. The numbers of queens per colony varied from 1 to 6. Nestmate queens within polygynous colonies were on average related (r(qq) = 0.171 ± 0.019), but the overall relatedness between queens and their mates was indistinguishable from zero (r(qm) = 0.037 ± 0.030). Queens were inferred to mate with 1-10 males. A lack of genetic isolation by distance among nests indicated the prevalence of independent colony foundation. In accordance with the polygyny-vs.-polyandry hypothesis, the number of queens per colony was significantly negatively associated with the estimated number of matings (Spearman rank correlation R = -0.490, P = 0.028). This study thus provides the rare intraspecific evidence for the polygyny-vs.-polyandry hypothesis. We suggest that the high costs of multiple matings and the strong effect of multiple mating on intracolonial genetic diversity may be essential to the negative association between polygyny and polyandry and that any attempt to empirically test this hypothesis should place emphasis upon these two key underlying aspects.

  9. Evolution of Fungal enzymes in the attine ant symbiosis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    The attine ant symbiosis is characterized by ancient but varying degrees of diffuse co-evolution between the ants and their fungal cultivars. Domesticated fungi became dependent on vertical transmission by queens and the ant colonies came to rely on their symbiotic fungus for food and thus...... as garden substrate, whereas the more basal genera use leaf litter, insect feces and insect carcasses. We hypothesized that enzyme activity of fungal symbionts has co-evolved with substrate use and we measured enzyme activities of fungus gardens in the field to test this, focusing particularly on plant...... decomposing enzymes. We further obtained gene sequences coding for specific enzymes and used them to reconstruct the fungal symbiont phylogeny and to compare the trees obtained with those known from sequence information of genes that have no specific link to enzyme function. Differences in fungus garden...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buczkowski, Grzegorz; Roper, Elray; Chin, Darren

    2014-04-01

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

  11. Queen succession through asexual reproduction in termites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matsuura, Kenji; Vargo, Edward L; Kawatsu, Kazutaka; Labadie, Paul E; Nakano, Hiroko; Yashiro, Toshihisa; Tsuji, Kazuki

    2009-03-27

    The evolution and maintenance of sexual reproduction may involve important tradeoffs because asexual reproduction can double an individual's contribution to the gene pool but reduces diversity. Moreover, in social insects the maintenance of genetic diversity among workers may be important for colony growth and survival. We identified a previously unknown termite breeding system in which both parthenogenesis and sexual reproduction are conditionally used. Queens produce their replacements asexually but use normal sexual reproduction to produce other colony members. These findings show how eusociality can lead to extraordinary reproductive systems and provide important insights into the advantages and disadvantages of sex.

  12. 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...

  13. 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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2007-01-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Can't take the heat: high temperature depletes bacterial endosymbionts of ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fan, Yongliang; Wernegreen, Jennifer J

    2013-10-01

    Members of the ant tribe Camponotini have coevolved with Blochmannia, an obligate intracellular bacterial mutualist. This endosymbiont lives within host bacteriocyte cells that line the ant midgut, undergoes maternal transmission from host queens to offspring, and contributes to host nutrition via nitrogen recycling and nutrient biosynthesis. While elevated temperature has been shown to disrupt obligate bacterial mutualists of some insects, its impact on the ant-Blochmannia partnership is less clear. Here, we test the effect of heat on the density of Blochmannia in two related Camponotus species in the lab. Transcriptionally active Blochmannia were quantified using RT-qPCR as the ratio of Blochmannia 16S rRNA to ant host elongation factor 1-α transcripts. Our results showed that 4 weeks of heat treatment depleted active Blochmannia by >99 % in minor workers and unmated queens. However, complete elimination of Blochmannia transcripts rarely occurred, even after 16 weeks of heat treatment. Possible mechanisms of observed thermal sensitivity may include extreme AT-richness and related features of Blochmannia genomes, as well as host stress responses. Broadly, the observed depletion of an essential microbial mutualist in heat-treated ants is analogous to the loss of zooanthellae during coral bleaching. While the ecological relevance of Blochmannia's thermal sensitivity is uncertain, our results argue that symbiont dynamics should be part of models predicting how ants and other animals will respond and adapt to a warming climate.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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...

  2. Comparative analysis of fertility signals and sex-specific cuticular chemical profiles of Odontomachus trap-jaw ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Adrian A; Millar, Jocelyn G; Suarez, Andrew V

    2016-02-01

    The lipid mixture that coats the insect cuticle contains a number of chemical signals. Mate choice in solitary insects is mediated by sexually dimorphic cuticular chemistry, whereas in eusocial insects, these profiles provide information through which colony members are identified and the fertility status of individuals is assessed. Profiles of queens and workers have been described for a number of eusocial species, but there have been few comparisons of fertility signals among closely related species. Additionally, sexual dimorphism in cuticular lipid profiles has only been reported in two species of ants. This study describes the cuticular chemical profiles of queens, workers and males of three species of Odontomachus trap-jaw ants: O. ruginodis, O. relictus and O. haematodus. These are compared with fertility signals and sexually dimorphic profiles already described from O. brunneus. We report that fertility signals are not conserved within this genus: chemical compounds that distinguish queens from workers vary in number and type among the species. Furthermore, the compounds that were most abundant in cuticular extracts of O. ruginodis queens relative to workers were novel 2,5-dialkyltetrahydrofurans. Bioassays of extracts of O. ruginodis queens indicate that the dialkyltetrahydrofuran and hydrocarbon fractions of the profile are likely to work synergistically in eliciting behavioral responses from workers. In contrast, cuticular lipids that distinguish males from females are more conserved across species, with isomeric and relative abundance variations comprising the main differences among species. Our results provide new insights into how these contact chemical signals may have arisen and evolved within eusocial insects.

  3. Regulation of host workers' oviposition by the social parasite ant Polyergus samurai.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsuneoka, Yousuke

    2014-07-01

    Polyergus samurai, an obligatory social parasite ant, lacks the ability to perform usual colony tasks. It depends completely on host Formica japonica workers. In the mixed colony, arrhenotokous reproduction by host workers must be detrimental to the parasites. This study, conducted under artificial rearing conditions, investigated the behavioral influence by P. samurai worker on the production of host workers' male eggs. Host workers started laying eggs when the P. samurai queen was removed, but most eggs were destroyed by P. samurai workers. In a queenless condition, P. samurai workers showed frequent intraspecific dominance interactions, but few interspecific ones. After a short while the P. samurai worker started laying eggs, the F. japonica worker stopped laying eggs. The ovary had no mature oocyte. These results suggest that both the P. samurai queen and dominant workers can inhibit host workers' oviposition. A mesh experiment revealed that the dominant P. samurai workers were able to inhibit host workers' oviposition without contacts. The dominant workers and queens of P. samurai frequently received grooming and trophallaxis from host workers just as a host queen does, suggesting that the parasites secreted similar products to those of the host queen to inhibit the host workers' oviposition.

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laurent Gauthier

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

  8. 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...... in life, although they may live and produce fertilized eggs for several decades. The mating biology and life history of these ants therefore suggests that the major function of seminal fluid is to maximize sperm viability during copulation, sperm transfer, and initial sperm storage. We tested...

  9. Morphology of a novel glandular epithelium lining the infrabuccal cavity in the ant Monomorium pharaonis (Hymenoptera, Formicidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-10-01

    A novel glandular epithelium lining the infrabuccal cavity and anterior pharynx is described in both workers and queens of the pharaoh's ant Monomorium pharaonis. The infrabuccal cavity, connected with the buccal tube, forms a ventral outgrowth of the anterior pharynx, and as such displays the tegumental lining with a cuticle and an epithelial layer. In its dorsal region, the cavity's epithelium reaches a thickness of approx. 11-12mum in both workers and queens, which is considerably thicker than the epithelium lining the rest of the infrabuccal cavity. Also the possible role of the infrabuccal gland is discussed.

  10. Chaotic Red Queen coevolution in three-species food chains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dercole, Fabio; Ferriere, Regis; Rinaldi, Sergio

    2010-01-01

    Coevolution between two antagonistic species follows the so-called ‘Red Queen dynamics’ when reciprocal selection results in an endless series of adaptation by one species and counteradaptation by the other. Red Queen dynamics are ‘genetically driven’ when selective sweeps involving new beneficial mutations result in perpetual oscillations of the coevolving traits on the slow evolutionary time scale. Mathematical models have shown that a prey and a predator can coevolve along a genetically driven Red Queen cycle. We found that embedding the prey–predator interaction into a three-species food chain that includes a coevolving superpredator often turns the genetically driven Red Queen cycle into chaos. A key condition is that the prey evolves fast enough. Red Queen chaos implies that the direction and strength of selection are intrinsically unpredictable beyond a short evolutionary time, with greatest evolutionary unpredictability in the superpredator. We hypothesize that genetically driven Red Queen chaos could explain why many natural populations are poised at the edge of ecological chaos. Over space, genetically driven chaos is expected to cause the evolutionary divergence of local populations, even under homogenizing environmental fluctuations, and thus to promote genetic diversity among ecological communities over long evolutionary time. PMID:20356888

  11. 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.

  12. The evolution of invasiveness in garden ants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sylvia Cremer

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

  13. Riding with the ants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  14. Riding with the ants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2013-01-01

    Here we cover a wide range of methods currently in use and recommended in modern queen rearing, selection and breeding. The recommendations are meant to equally serve as standards for both scientific and practical beekeeping purposes. The basic conditions and different management techniques...... methods and data preconditions for the estimation of breeding values which integrate pedigree and performance data from as many colonies as possible are described as the most efficient selection method for large populations. Alternative breeding programmes for small populations or certain scientific...... 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...

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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...

  2. 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.

  3. 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...

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goodisman, Michael A D; Hahn, Daniel A

    2005-10-01

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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. Queen of Children Teacher Gives Heart to Students

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    1995-01-01

    WANG Huiqin, 48, is an English teacher at the Beijing Yanjingli High School. She started her career as "queen of children" at 20. After so many years of teaching, she has acquired unique skills that enable her to effectively educate and redeem students who lag behind the rest of the class. No matter how naughty or mischievous the

  11. 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.

  12. Ross Ice Shelf and the Queen Maude Mounains, Antarctica

    Science.gov (United States)

    1991-01-01

    Part of the Ross Ice Shelf and the Queen Maude Mounains of Antarctica (55.5N, 178.0W) are in the background of this scene, oriented toward the south. Low stratocumulus clouds are predominant throughout most of the scene.

  13. 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…

  14. "Air Queen" Boeing 747’s Anniversary

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2004-01-01

    <正>The world’s well-known Boeing 747 aircraft completed its maiden flight on February 9, 1969, rewriting the history of the world’s civil aviation.Since 1970 when it was put into operation, Boeing 747s,dubbed as "air queen," have carried 3.6 billion passengers by flying for 64.8

  15. 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…

  16. 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 ).

  17. Record dynamics in ants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas O Richardson

    Full Text Available The success of social animals (including ourselves can be attributed to efficiencies that arise from a division of labour. Many animal societies have a communal nest which certain individuals must leave to perform external tasks, for example foraging or patrolling. Staying at home to care for young or leaving to find food is one of the most fundamental divisions of labour. It is also often a choice between safety and danger. Here we explore the regulation of departures from ant nests. We consider the extreme situation in which no one returns and show experimentally that exiting decisions seem to be governed by fluctuating record signals and ant-ant interactions. A record signal is a new 'high water mark' in the history of a system. An ant exiting the nest only when the record signal reaches a level it has never perceived before could be a very effective mechanism to postpone, until the last possible moment, a potentially fatal decision. We also show that record dynamics may be involved in first exits by individually tagged ants even when their nest mates are allowed to re-enter the nest. So record dynamics may play a role in allocating individuals to tasks, both in emergencies and in everyday life. The dynamics of several complex but purely physical systems are also based on record signals but this is the first time they have been experimentally shown in a biological system.

  18. 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...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2016-01-01

    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...

  20. 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...

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  4. SOLVING THE SHUGART QUEEN SAND PENASCO UNIT DECLINING PRODUCTION PROBLEM

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lowell Deckert

    2000-08-25

    The Penasco Shugart Queen Sand Unit located in sections 8, 9, 16 & 17, T18S, 31E Eddy County New Mexico is operated by MNA Enterprises Ltd. Co. Hobbs, NM. The first well in the Unit was drilled in 1939 and since that time the Unit produced 535,000 bbl of oil on primary recovery and 375,000 bbl of oil during secondary recovery operations that commenced in 1973. The Unit secondary to primary ratio is 0.7, but other Queen waterfloods in the area had considerably larger S/P ratios. On June 25 1999 MNA was awarded a grant under the Department of Energy's ''Technology Development with Independents'' program. The grant was used to fund a reservoir study to determine if additional waterflood reserves could be developed. A total of 14 well bores that penetrate the Queen at 3150 ft are within the Unit boundaries. Eleven of these wells produced oil during the past 60 years. Production records were pieced together from various sources including the very early state production records. One very early well had a resistivity log, but nine of the wells had no logs, and four wells had gamma ray-neutron count-rate perforating logs. Fortunately, recent offset deep drilling in the area provided a source of modern logs through the Queen. The logs from these wells were used to analyze the four old gamma ray-neutron logs within the Unit. Additionally the offset well log database was sufficient to construct maps through the unit based on geostatistical interpolation methods. The maps were used to define the input parameters required to simulate the primary and secondary producing history. The history-matched simulator was then used to evaluate four production scenarios. The best scenario produces 51,000 bbl of additional oil over a 10-year period. If the injection rate is held to 300 BWPD the oil rate declines to a constant 15 BOPD after the first year. The projections are reasonable when viewed in the context of the historical performance ({approx}30 BOPD with a

  5. 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.

  6. 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...

  7. Tiny, Powerful, Awesome Ants!

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tate, Kathleen

    2007-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gloria DeGrandi-Hoffman

    2013-01-01

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

  9. 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

  10. Social life: the paradox of multiple-queen colonies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keller, L

    1995-09-01

    The evolution of animal societies in which some individuals forego their own reproductive opportunities to help others to reproduce poses an evolutionary paradox that can be traced to Darwin. Altruism may evolve through kin selection when the donor and recipient of altruistic acts are related to each other, as generally is the case in social birds and mammals. Similarly, social insect workers are highly related to the brood they rear when colonies are headed by a single queen. However, recent studies have shown that insect colonies frequently contain several queens, with the effect of decreasing relatedness among colony members. How can one account for the origin and maintenance of such colonies? This evolutionary enigma presents many of the same theoretical challenges as does the evolution of cooperative breeding and eusociality.

  11. Expanding the horizon: the Red Queen and potential alternatives

    OpenAIRE

    Tobler, M.; Schlupp, I

    2008-01-01

    The Red Queen hypothesis (RQH) is one of the most widely accepted hypotheses explaining the persistence of sexual reproduction despite its costs. It posits that sexual species, compared with asexuals, are more adept at countering parasites, because their per-generation recombination rate is higher. Despite theroretical support, current empirical studies have failed to provide unanimous support. Here, we suggest that future tests of the RQH should more thoroughly elucidate its underlying assum...

  12. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kautz, Stefanie; Ballhorn, Daniel J; Kroiss, Johannes; Pauls, Steffen U; Moreau, Corrie S; Eilmus, Sascha; Strohm, Erhard; Heil, Martin

    2012-01-01

    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefanie Kautz

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

  15. Urea in Weaver Ant Feces

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vidkjaer, Nanna H.; Wollenweber, Bernd; Jensen, Karl-Martin V.;

    2016-01-01

    investigate the interactions of weaver ants with the host plants with respect to plant nutrition. Here, we report the identification and quantification of urea, a highly effective foliar nutrient present in the fecal depositions of O. smaragdina. Feces samples obtained from six O. smaragdina colonies were......Weaver ants are tropical insects that nest in tree canopies, and for centuries these ants have been used for pest control in tropical orchards. Trees hosting weaver ants might benefit not only from the pest protective properties of these insects but also an additional supply of nutrients from ant...

  16. 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.

  17. The origin and evolution of social insect queen pheromones: Novel hypotheses and outstanding problems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oi, Cintia A; van Zweden, Jelle S; Oliveira, Ricardo C; Van Oystaeyen, Annette; Nascimento, Fabio S; Wenseleers, Tom

    2015-07-01

    Queen pheromones, which signal the presence of a fertile queen and induce daughter workers to remain sterile, are considered to play a key role in regulating the reproductive division of labor of insect societies. Although queen pheromones were long thought to be highly taxon-specific, recent studies have shown that structurally related long-chain hydrocarbons act as conserved queen signals across several independently evolved lineages of social insects. These results imply that social insect queen pheromones are very ancient and likely derived from an ancestral signalling system that was already present in their common solitary ancestors. Based on these new insights, we here review the literature and speculate on what signal precursors social insect queen pheromones may have evolved from. Furthermore, we provide compelling evidence that these pheromones should best be seen as honest signals of fertility as opposed to suppressive agents that chemically sterilize the workers against their own best interests.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-07-01

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

  19. "Ant-egg" cataract revisited

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Clemmensen, Kåre; Enghild, Jan J; Ivarsen, Anders;

    2017-01-01

    PURPOSE: Hereditary congenital cataract varies immensely concerning location and form of the lens opacities. A specific and very rare phenotype is called "ant-egg" cataract first described in 1900. "Ant-eggs" have previously been examined using light microscopy, backscattered electron imaging and X......-ray scans and electron microscopy. The purpose of this study was to further characterize "ant-egg" cataract using modern technology and display the history of the "ant-eggs" after cataract extraction. METHODS: "Ant-eggs" were examined using Heidelberg SPECTRALIS Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT......-egg" structures in "ant-egg" cataract. Eighteen of these proteins are not natively found in the human lens. Moreover, "ant-eggs" do not vary over time, after cataract extraction, regarding size and location....

  20. 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.

  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. Natural transmission of feline immunodeficiency virus from infected queen to kitten

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Medeiros Sheila de

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV is a naturally occurring lentivirus that infects cats. The primary mode of transmission occurs through bite wounds, and other routes are difficult to observe in nature. Findings The purpose of this study was to evaluate FIV transmission from queen to kitten in a colony of naturally infected stray cats. With this aim, a queen was monitored over a period of three years. A blood sample was taken to amplify and sequence gag, pol and env regions of the virus from the queen, two kittens and other cats from the colony. Conclusion Phylogenetic analysis showed evidence of queen to kitten transmission.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F. Barbero

    2012-01-01

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

  4. Distributed nestmate recognition in ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Esponda, Fernando; Gordon, Deborah M

    2015-05-07

    We propose a distributed model of nestmate recognition, analogous to the one used by the vertebrate immune system, in which colony response results from the diverse reactions of many ants. The model describes how individual behaviour produces colony response to non-nestmates. No single ant knows the odour identity of the colony. Instead, colony identity is defined collectively by all the ants in the colony. Each ant responds to the odour of other ants by reference to its own unique decision boundary, which is a result of its experience of encounters with other ants. Each ant thus recognizes a particular set of chemical profiles as being those of non-nestmates. This model predicts, as experimental results have shown, that the outcome of behavioural assays is likely to be variable, that it depends on the number of ants tested, that response to non-nestmates changes over time and that it changes in response to the experience of individual ants. A distributed system allows a colony to identify non-nestmates without requiring that all individuals have the same complete information and helps to facilitate the tracking of changes in cuticular hydrocarbon profiles, because only a subset of ants must respond to provide an adequate response.

  5. 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...

  6. 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.

  7. 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

    in life, although they may live and produce fertilized eggs for several decades. The mating biology and life history of these ants therefore suggests that the major function of seminal fluid is to maximize sperm viability during copulation, sperm transfer, and initial sperm storage. We tested......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...... this hypothesis by comparing the viability of testis sperm and ejaculated sperm (mixed with seminal fluid) and found a significant positive effect of seminal fluid on sperm viability. We further quantified this positive effect by adding accessory gland secretion (a major component of seminal fluid) in a dilution...

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. The facial reconstruction of an Ancient Egyptian Queen.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manley, Bill; Eremin, Katherine; Shortland, Andrew; Wilkinson, Caroline

    2002-12-01

    The National Museums of Scotland Mummy Project has provided important new information about a burial excavated in Egypt. This has resulted in the facial reconstruction of a woman who was probably a queen at Thebes ca. 1570-1520 BCE. There are strong suggestions from the grave goods and her diet that this woman may have been ethnically Nubian rather than Egyptian. However, it is not yet possible to establish her ethnic identity for sure, so a definitive reconstruction of her appearance in life remains elusive.

  11. Queen Cleopatra and the other 'Cleopatras': their medical legacy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsoucalas, Gregory; Kousoulis, Antonis A; Poulakou-Rebelakou, Effie; Karamanou, Marianna; Papagrigoriou-Theodoridou, Maria; Androutsos, George

    2014-05-01

    Cleopatra is a female figure widespread in Greece (especially in Macedonian territory), Egypt and Syria during the Hellenistic era. Ancient women doctors bearing the name Cleopatra have been identified by a systematic search through the ancient Greek, Latin and Egyptian bibliography, including original resources from the first century BC. Fictional and non-fictional figures have been distinguished and their works identified. Queen Cleopatra of Egypt, Galen's physician assistant, the outcast Metrodora, Cleopatra the Alchemist and Cleopatra the Gynaecologist deliver a story of medicine and name-giving that confuses researchers of the past and intrigues those of the present.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  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.

  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. 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).

  18. Evolution and hydrocarbon potential of Queen Charlotte basin, Canada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    McWhae, J.R.

    1988-02-01

    The structural and depositional history of the Queen Charlotte basin, a complex Tertiary rift basin with extensive coeval volcanics, involves regional geology from the Pacific plate west of the Queen Charlotte transform fault to east of the Alexander-Wrangellia terrane, based on geophysics (including newly released seismic lines), revised stratigraphy, and well data. Eight offshore wells were drilled prior to 1970 and nine shallow onshore wells were drilled in or beyond the northwestern margin of the basin. The wells provide data on porosity, seal, maturation (geothermal and vitrinite reflectance data), and oil stains in sidewall cores of the Sockeye B-10 well in the Skonun formation, here 4500 m thick. The Skonun ranges from early Miocene (17 Ma) to latest Pliocene (2 Ma) in age and the lower part is regarded as the primary hydrocarbon objective, especially in the more southern part of the basin where more favorable depositional porosities occur in paralic and shelf sandstones. Higher-than-average geothermal temperatures, locally in the southwest corner of the basin related to oblique subduction of very young oceanic crust, may reach the hydrocarbon-generating threshold in the lower Skonun marine shales. The middle Cretaceous Haida subarkose appears to be a secondary reservoir - the thickest and cleanest of the post-collision volcaniclastics. Highly organic Lower Jurassic shales provide a second, probably oil-prone, source.

  19. Genetic reincarnation of workers as queens in the Eastern honeybee Apis cerana.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holmes, M J; Tan, K; Wang, Z; Oldroyd, B P; Beekman, M

    2015-01-01

    Thelytokous parthenogenesis, or the asexual production of female offspring, is rare in the animal kingdom, but relatively common in social Hymenoptera. However, in honeybees, it is only known to be ubiquitous in one subspecies of Apis mellifera, the Cape honeybee, A. mellifera capensis. Here we report the appearance of queen cells in two colonies of the Eastern honeybee Apis cerana that no longer contained a queen or queen-produced brood to rear queens from. A combination of microsatellite genotyping and the timing of the appearance of these individuals excluded the possibility that they had been laid by the original queen. Based on the genotypes of these individuals, thelytokous production by natal workers is the most parsimonious explanation for their existence. Thus, we present the first example of thelytoky in a honeybee outside A. mellifera. We discuss the evolutionary and ecological consequences of thelytoky in A. cerana, in particular the role thelytoky may play in the recent invasions by populations of this species.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sirviö, A; Gadau, J; Rueppell, O; Lamatsch, D; Boomsma, J J; Pamilo, P; Page, R E

    2006-09-01

    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 groups yielded a total recombinational size of 2076 cM and an inferred recombination rate of 161 kb cM(-1) (or 6.2 cM Mb(-1)). This estimate is lower than in the honeybee but, as far as the mapping criteria can be compared, higher than in any other insect mapped so far. Earlier studies on A. echinatior have 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 for an increased recombination rate through effects on genotypic diversity and colony performance.

  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.

  2. An Efficient Antioxidant System in a Long-Lived Termite Queen

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tasaki, Eisuke; Kobayashi, Kazuya; Matsuura, Kenji; Iuchi, Yoshihito

    2017-01-01

    The trade-off between reproduction and longevity is known in wide variety of animals. Social insect queens are rare organisms that can achieve a long lifespan without sacrificing fecundity. The extended longevity of social insect queens, which contradicts the trade-off, has attracted much attention because it implies the existence of an extraordinary anti-aging mechanism. Here, we show that queens of the termite Reticulitermes speratus incur significantly lower oxidative damage to DNA, protein and lipid and have higher activity of antioxidant enzymes than non-reproductive individuals (workers and soldiers). The levels of 8-hydroxy-2’-deoxyguanosine (oxidative damage marker of DNA) were lower in queens than in workers after UV irradiation. Queens also showed lower levels of protein carbonyls and malondialdehyde (oxidative damage markers of protein and lipid, respectively). The antioxidant enzymes of insects are generally composed of catalase (CAT) and peroxiredoxin (Prx). Queens showed more than two times higher CAT activity and more than seven times higher expression levels of the CAT gene RsCAT1 than workers. The CAT activity of termite queens was also markedly higher in comparison with other solitary insects and the queens of eusocial Hymenoptera. In addition, queens showed higher expression levels of the Prx gene RsPRX6. These results suggested that this efficient antioxidant system can partly explain why termite queens achieve long life. This study provides important insights into the evolutionary linkage of reproductive division of labor and the development of queens’ oxidative stress resistance in social insects. PMID:28076409

  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. The metapleural gland of ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yek, Sze Huei; Mueller, Ulrich G

    2011-11-01

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

  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.

  6. 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

    2012-01-04

    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.

  7. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonathan Griffin

    2013-07-01

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

  9. How the Red Queen drives terrestrial mammals to extinction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quental, Tiago B; Marshall, Charles R

    2013-07-19

    Most species disappear by the processes of background extinction, yet those processes are poorly understood. We analyzed the evolutionary dynamics of 19 Cenozoic terrestrial mammalian clades with rich fossil records that are now fully extinct or in diversity decline. We find their diversity loss was not just a consequence of "gamblers ruin" but resulted from the evolutionary loss to the Red Queen, a failure to keep pace with a deteriorating environment. Diversity loss is driven equally by both depressed origination rates and elevated extinction rates. Although we find diversity-dependent origination and extinction rates, the diversity of each clade only transiently equaled the implied equilibrium diversity. Thus, the processes that drove diversity loss in terrestrial mammal clades were fundamentally nonequilibrial and overwhelmed diversity-dependent processes.

  10. 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.

  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. Self-restraint and sterility in workers of Acromyrmex and Atta leafcutter ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dijkstra, Michiel Bendert; Nash, David Richard; Boomsma, Jacobus Jan

    2005-01-01

    Queens of leafcutter ants (Acromyrmex and Atta) are highly multiply mated, resulting in a potential queenworker and worker-worker conflict over who should produce the males in the colony. We studied whether this conflict is expressed, by determining the amount of reproductive egg-laying by workers....... octospinosus workers (n = 552), had ready-to-lay reproductive eggs. Old workers in all four species are incapable of laying eggs due to ovary resorption. We conclude that Atta workers are sterile, while Acromyrmex workers display reproductive self-restraint, possibly representing an earlier stage...

  13. Isolation and characterization of Nylanderia fulva virus 1, a positive-sense, single-stranded RNA virus infecting the tawny crazy ant, Nylanderia fulva

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Valles, Steven M., E-mail: steven.valles@ars.usda.gov [Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology, USDA-ARS, 1600 SW 23rd Drive, Gainesville, FL 32608 (United States); Oi, David H.; Becnel, James J. [Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology, USDA-ARS, 1600 SW 23rd Drive, Gainesville, FL 32608 (United States); Wetterer, James K. [Wilkes Honors College, Florida Atlantic University, 5353 Parkside Drive, Jupiter, FL 33458 (United States); LaPolla, John S. [Department of Biological Sciences, Towson University, 8000 York Road, Towson, MD 21252 (United States); Firth, Andrew E. [Department of Pathology, University of Cambridge, Cambridge CB2 1QP (United Kingdom)

    2016-09-15

    We report the discovery of Nylanderia fulva virus 1 (NfV-1), the first virus identified and characterized from the ant, Nylanderia fulva. The NfV-1 genome (GenBank accession KX024775) is 10,881 nucleotides in length, encoding one large open reading frame (ORF). Helicase, protease, RNA-dependent RNA polymerase, and jelly-roll capsid protein domains were recognized within the polyprotein. Phylogenetic analysis placed NfV-1 in an unclassified clade of viruses. Electron microscopic examination of negatively stained samples revealed particles with icosahedral symmetry with a diameter of 28.7±1.1 nm. The virus was detected by RT-PCR in larval, pupal, worker and queen developmental stages. However, the replicative strand of NfV-1 was only detected in larvae. Vertical transmission did not appear to occur, but horizontal transmission was facile. The inter-colonial field prevalence of NfV-1 was 52±35% with some local infections reaching 100%. NfV-1 was not detected in limited samples of other Nylanderia species or closely related ant species. - Highlights: • A new positive-strand RNA virus was discovered in the ant, Nylanderia fulva. • The Nylanderia fulva virus 1 genome was comprised of 10,881 nucleotides. • NfV-1 was detected in larval, pupal, queen and worker ants, but not eggs. • Replication of NfV-1 appeared to be limited to the larval stage.

  14. No Evidence for Wolbachia Phenotypic Effects in Newly Mated Queens of the Fire Ant Solenopsis invicta (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolbachia are intracellular bacteria that commonly infect many arthropods and some nematodes. In arthropods, these bacteria often induce phenotypic effects that enhance their own spread within host populations, despite sometimes also having deleterious effects on host fecundity and viability. Wolbac...

  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. Pest repelling properties of ant pheromones

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Offenberg, Joachim

    2014-01-01

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

  17. 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. Ants Orase kultuurisõnum

    Index Scriptorium Estoniae

    2007-01-01

    26. jaanuaril toimub Tallinna Ülikooli Akadeemilises Raamatukogus seminar silmapaistvast Eesti teadlasest ja tõlkijast Ants Orasest. Esinevad kirjandusteadlased Tallinna Ülikoolist, Tartu Ülikoolist ja Eesti Kirjandusmuuseumist. Avaettekandeks on sõna Oklahoma Ülikooli professoril Vincent B. Leitchil, kes oli Ants Orase viimaseks juhendatavaks doktorandiks. Seminari korraldavad Tallinna Ülikool ja Eesti Kirjandusmuuseum. Vt ka Postimees, 26, jaan., lk. 18

  19. 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...

  20. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2002-10-01

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

  2. Vertical transmission of honey bee viruses in a Belgian queen breeding program

    OpenAIRE

    Ravoet, Jorgen; De Smet, Lina; Wenseleers, Tom; de Graaf, Dirk

    2015-01-01

    Background The Member States of European Union are encouraged to improve the general conditions for the production and marketing of apicultural products. In Belgium, programmes on the restocking of honey bee hives have run for many years. Overall, the success ratio of this queen breeding programme has been only around 50%. To tackle this low efficacy, we organized sanitary controls of the breeding queens in 2012 and 2014. Results We found a high quantity of viruses, with more than 75% of the ...

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Termite queens close the sperm gates of eggs to switch from sexual to asexual reproduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yashiro, Toshihisa; Matsuura, Kenji

    2014-12-02

    Males and females are in conflict over genetic transmission in the evolution of parthenogenesis, because it enhances female reproductive output but deprives the males' genetic contribution. For males, any trait that coerces females into sexual reproduction should increase their fitness. However, in the termite Reticulitermes speratus, queens produce their replacements (neotenic queens) parthenogenetically while using normal sexual reproduction to produce other colony members. Here, we show that termite queens produce parthenogenetic offspring in the presence of kings by closing the micropyles (sperm gates; i.e., openings for sperm entry) of their eggs. Our field survey showed that termite eggs show large variation in numbers of micropyles, with some having none. Microsatellite analysis showed that embryos of micropyleless eggs develop parthenogenetically, whereas those of eggs with micropyles are fertilized and develop sexually. Surveys of eggs among queens of different age groups showed that queens begin to lay micropyleless eggs when they are older and thus, need to produce their replacements parthenogenetically. In addition, we found clear seasonality in new neotenic queen differentiation and micropyleless egg production. This micropyle-dependent parthenogenesis is the first identification, to our knowledge, of the mechanism through which females control egg fertilization over time in diploid animals, implying a novel route of the evolution of parthenogenesis in favor of female interests without interference from males.

  9. Thelytokous parthenogenesis, male clonality and genetic caste determination in the little fire ant: new evidence and insights from the lab.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foucaud, J; Estoup, A; Loiseau, A; Rey, O; Orivel, J

    2010-08-01

    Previous studies indicate that some populations of the little fire ant, Wasmannia auropunctata, display an unusual reproduction system polymorphism. Although some populations have a classical haplodiploid reproduction system, in other populations queens are produced by thelytokous parthenogenesis, males are produced by a male clonality system and workers are produced sexually. An atypical genetic caste determination system was also suggested. However, these conclusions were indirectly inferred from genetic studies on field population samples. Here we set up experimental laboratory nests that allow the control of the parental relationships between individuals. The queens heading those nests originated from either putatively clonal or sexual populations. We characterized the male, queen and worker offspring they produced at 12 microsatellite loci. Our results unambiguously confirm the unique reproduction system polymorphism mentioned above and that male clonality is strictly associated with thelytokous parthenogenesis. We also observed direct evidence of the rare production of sexual gynes and arrhenotokous males in clonal populations. Finally, we obtained evidence of a genetic basis for caste determination. The evolutionary significance of the reproduction system polymorphism and genetic caste determination as well as future research opportunities are discussed.

  10. 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

    of mature queens by mark-release-recapture in 29 nests and dissected a sub-sample of queens to assess their reproductive status. We also used microsatellites to estimate relatedness within and between all classes of nestmates (queens, their mates, worker brood, queen brood and male brood). Queen number...... was very high, with an arithmetic mean of 253 per nest. Most queens (90%) were reproductively active, consistent with the genetic analyses revealing that there was only a minimal reproductive skew among nestmate queens. Despite the high queen number and low reproductive skew, almost all classes...

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Acetylcholinesterase characteristics of termite queen exposed to anticholinesterase compounds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhattacharya, S; Ghosh, P; Ghosh, S; Ghosh, N; Bhattacharya, B; Halder, P

    1992-06-01

    A regional profile of AChE activity was noted in the Indian termite queen Odontotermes redemanni with the head recording the higher and body the lower range of activity. The enzyme characteristics such as substrate and temperature optima were more or less similar while pH requirement for optimum AChE activity varied from 7.0 to 7.6 In vitro inhibition of head and body AChE was studied using pure and commercial anticholinesterase compounds. Interestingly, the commercial formulations like Metacid-50 and Carbaryl are potent enough at 1 x 10(-8) M to produce 50% in vitro inhibition of AChE of head and body regions within 15 min of preincubation. A 20 min of preincubation (t0.5) was necessary to record 50% in vitro inhibition of AChE with known and pure anticholinesterase compounds such as DFP (3.5 x 10(-10) M) and physostigmine (3.6 x 10(-10) M). It is surmised that (a) the response of the head and body AChE to the commercial formulations of the insecticides may be used as a reliable and sensitive bioindicator of pesticidal contamination of the terrestrial environment and (b) termite control may be successfully done with the application of organophosphate or carbamate compounds.

  18. Swan Queen, shipping, and boundary regulation in fandom

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Victoria M. Gonzalez

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available There are a number of fan activities and practices that are subject to regulation. The mechanisms of regulation in shipping, however, are not always clear. Shipping, the fan activity of romantically pairing two fictional characters, has become a popular and contentious facet of fan interaction. The case that will be examined in this article is that of the Swan Queen ship, which pairs two female characters from Once Upon a Time (2011–. The lengths that fans have gone to support and promote this ship led to rather intense discussion and infighting among members of the Once Upon a Time fandom. I utilize comments and posts made on Tumblr to examine the mechanisms that dictate inclusion and exclusion in shipper communities. In doing so, I hope to identify the kinds of shipper activities that are subject to regulation and the kinds of boundaries that this regulation establishes. Shipping is dictated not only by fans' imaginations but also by boundaries that are performed and regulated on digital forums.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-10-22

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

  20. 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.

  1. Ants medicate to fight disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bos, Nick; Sundström, Liselotte; Fuchs, Siiri; Freitak, Dalial

    2015-11-01

    Parasites are ubiquitous, and the ability to defend against these is of paramount importance. One way to fight diseases is self-medication, which occurs when an organism consumes biologically active compounds to clear, inhibit, or alleviate disease symptoms. Here, we show for the first time that ants selectively consume harmful substances (reactive oxygen species, ROS) upon exposure to a fungal pathogen, yet avoid these in the absence of infection. This increased intake of ROS, while harmful to healthy ants, leads to higher survival of exposed ants. The fact that ingestion of this substance carries a fitness cost in the absence of pathogens rules out compensatory diet choice as the mechanism, and provides evidence that social insects medicate themselves against fungal infection, using a substance that carries a fitness cost to uninfected individuals.

  2. The fire ant social chromosome supergene variant Sb shows low diversity but high divergence from SB.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pracana, Rodrigo; Priyam, Anurag; Levantis, Ilya; Nichols, Richard A; Wurm, Yannick

    2017-02-21

    Variation in social behavior is common yet little is known about the genetic architectures underpinning its evolution. A rare exception is in the fire ant Solenopsis invicta: Alternative variants of a supergene region determine whether a colony will have exactly one or up to dozens of queens. The two variants of this region are carried by a pair of "social chromosomes", SB and Sb, which resemble a pair of sex chromosomes. Recombination is suppressed between the two chromosomes in the supergene region. While the X-like SB can recombine with itself in SB/SB queens, recombination is effectively absent in the Y-like Sb because Sb/Sb queens die before reproducing. Here, we analyze whole genome sequences of eight haploid SB males and eight haploid Sb males. We find extensive SB-Sb di↵erentiation throughout the >19Mb long supergene region. We find no evidence of "evolutionary strata" with different levels of divergence comparable to those reported in several sex chromosomes. A high proportion of substitutions between the SB and Sb haplotypes are nonsynonymous, suggesting inefficacy of purifying selection in Sb sequences, similar to that for Y-linked sequences in XY systems. Finally, we show that the Sb haplotype of the supergene region has 635-fold less nucleotide diversity than the rest of the genome. We discuss how this reduction could be due to a recent selective sweep affecting Sb specifically or associated with a population bottleneck during the invasion of North America by the sampled population. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. A distinct role of the queen in coordinated workload and soil distribution in eusocial naked mole-rats.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nobuyuki Kutsukake

    Full Text Available We investigated how group members achieve collective decision-making, by considering individual intrinsic behavioural rules and behavioural mechanisms for maintaining social integration. Using a simulated burrow environment, we investigated the behavioural rules of coordinated workload for soil distribution in a eusocial mammal, the naked mole-rat (Heterocephalus glaber. We tested two predictions regarding a distinct role of the queen, a socially dominant individual in the caste system: the presence of a queen would increase the workload of other caste individuals, and the cues by a queen would affect the soil distribution. In experiment 1, we placed four individuals of various castes from the same colony into an experimental burrow. Workers exhibited the highest frequency of workload compared to other castes. The presence of a queen activated the workload by other individuals. Individuals showed a consistent workload in a particular direction so as to bias the soil distribution. These results suggest that individuals have a consensus on soil distribution and that the queen plays a distinct role. In experiment 2, we placed the odour of a queen in one of four cells and observed its effect on other individuals' workload and soil distribution. Relative to other cells, individuals frequently dug in the queen cell so the amount of soil in the queen cell decreased. These results suggest that queen odour is an important cue in coordinated workload and soil distribution in this species.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1996-03-01

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

  8. A cellular automata model for ant trails

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Sibel Gokce; Ozhan Kayacan

    2013-05-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. Organic maturation and thermal history of Queen Charlotte Islands

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bustin, R.M.; Vellutini, D. (Univ. of British Columbia, Vancouver (Canada))

    1989-09-01

    The level of organic maturation and thermal history of Mesozoic and Tertiary strata of the Queen Charlotte Islands have been determined with vitrinite reflectance (R{sub 0}), numerical modeling (modified Arrhenius model), and Rock-Eval Pyrolysis. The level of organic maturation increases from northern Graham to southern Moresby Island, which primarily reflects high heat flow resulting from Middle to Late Jurassic and Eocene to Oligocene plutonism and cospatial dyking. Upper Triassic-Lower Jurassic and most Cretaceous strata are overmature on Moresby Island, with R{sub 0} values ranging from 2.40 to 5.80%. Jurassic, Cretaceous, and Tertiary strata are immature to overmature on Graham Island, with R{sub 0} values ranging from 0.15% (Skonun Formation) to 2.4% (Haida Formation). Locally, R{sub 0} values up to 3.2% on Graham Island and 8.3% on Moresby Island occur adjacent to igneous intrusives. Modeling measured levels of organic maturation suggests that elevated geothermal gradients ranging from 83{degree} to 150{degree}C/km existed during Yakoun (183-178 Ma) and Masset (35-10 Ma) volcanism on Graham Island. Numerical modeling further suggests that Triassic strata on Fredrick Island and Kennecott Point (Graham Island) entered the oil window during the early Miocene, whereas Jurassic strata at Rennell Junction and Cumshewa Inlet entered the oil window during the Bajocian. Cretaceous strata on north and south Graham Island entered the oil window during the early Miocene and are currently within the oil window. The Tertiary Skonun Formation is generally immature except for strata on west and northeast Graham Island, which entered the oil window in the late Miocene.

  11. Workers of Acromyrmex echinatior leafcutter ants police worker-laid eggs, but not reproductive workers

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dijkstra, Michiel B.; van Zweden, Jelle Stijn; Dirchsen, Maria

    2010-01-01

    Nonreproductive workers of many eusocial Hymenoptera 'police' the colony, that is, they attack reproductive sister workers or destroy their eggs (unfertilized; developing into haploid males). Several ultimate causes of policing have been proposed, including (1) an increase in colony productivity......, applicable if reproductive workers work less, or (2) an increase in worker-to-male relatedness, applicable if within-colony relatedness is low. To explain the distribution of policing across taxa, the explanatory power of these and other potential ultimate causes should be assessed separately. One of the few...... peculiar to leafcutter ants, we introduced reproductive versus nonreproductive workers and batches of queen-laid versus worker-laid eggs into experimental colony fragments and observed their fate. Our main finding was that workers policed by selectively destroying worker-laid eggs, but without attacking...

  12. 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...

  13. Ephemeral windows of opportunity for horizontal transmission of fungal symbionts in leaf-cutting ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Poulsen, Michael; Fernández-Marín, Hermógenes; Currie, Cameron R.

    2009-01-01

    Evolutionary theory predicts that hosts are selected to prevent mixing of genetically different symbionts when competition among lineages reduces the productivity of a mutualism. The symbionts themselves may also defend their interests: recent studies of Acromyrmex leaf-cutting ants showed...... that somatic incompatibility enforces single-clone gardens within mature colonies, thereby constraining horizontal transmission of fungal symbionts. However, phylogenetic analyses indicate that symbiont switches occur frequently enough to remove most signs of host-symbiont cocladogenesis. Here we resolve...... this paradox by showing that transmission among newly founded Acromyrmex colonies is not constrained. All tested queens of sympatric A. octospinosus and A. echinatior offered a novel fragment of fungus garden accepted the new symbiont. The outcome was unaffected by genetic distance between the novel...

  14. Optimal cue integration in ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wystrach, Antoine; Mangan, Michael; Webb, Barbara

    2015-10-07

    In situations with redundant or competing sensory information, humans have been shown to perform cue integration, weighting different cues according to their certainty in a quantifiably optimal manner. Ants have been shown to merge the directional information available from their path integration (PI) and visual memory, but as yet it is not clear that they do so in a way that reflects the relative certainty of the cues. In this study, we manipulate the variance of the PI home vector by allowing ants (Cataglyphis velox) to run different distances and testing their directional choice when the PI vector direction is put in competition with visual memory. Ants show progressively stronger weighting of their PI direction as PI length increases. The weighting is quantitatively predicted by modelling the expected directional variance of home vectors of different lengths and assuming optimal cue integration. However, a subsequent experiment suggests ants may not actually compute an internal estimate of the PI certainty, but are using the PI home vector length as a proxy.

  15. Wintering Reserve Queens in Mini-Plus and 3-Comb Nuclei

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Siuda Maciej

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this study was to develop an effective method of overwintering reserve honey bee queens in two-storey mini-plus mating nuclei and in 3-comb nuclei (frames 36 x 26 cm, Wielkopolski hive. The assay was performed during three wintering seasons (2005 - 2008 parallel at two centers in Poland: the Division of Apiculture at the University of Life Sciences (SGGW in Warsaw, and the Apiculture Division at the University of Warmia and Mazury (UWM in Olsztyn. The results showed that 59% of queens overwintered in mini-plus nuclei and 77% in 3-comb nuclei. Among queens in mini-plus nuclei 63% overwintered in bee yard and only 55% in cellar. Within queens in 3-comb nuclei, 62% overwintered in Olsztyn and 91% in Warsaw. The highest survival rate of 93% was observed in Warsaw during the first season. Due to low survival rate, it is not recommended to overwinter the queens in miniplus nuclei.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Using Ants to Investigate the Environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hagevik, Rita A.

    2005-01-01

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

  19. Pest repellent properties of ant pheromones

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Offenberg, Joachim

    2012-01-01

    ant species (iii) Azteca instabilis and (iv) Camponotus textor reduce herbivory by flea beetles (Margaridisa sp.), whereas (v) deposits from Solenopsis geminata, did not lead to reduced herbivory. Further evidence for the impact of ant pheromones comes from studies showing that non-herbivorous ant...

  20. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bigio, Gianluigi; Grüter, Christoph; Ratnieks, Francis L W

    2012-01-01

    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.

  2. 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

    2006-03-28

    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Colin Marc

    2006-03-01

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

  4. Microsatellite Primers for Fungus-Growing Ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2002-01-01

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

  5. Microsatellite primers for fungus-growing ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2002-01-01

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

  6. Evolutional Ant Colony Method Using PSO

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morii, Nobuto; Aiyoshi, Eitarou

    The ant colony method is one of heuristic methods capable of solving the traveling salesman problem (TSP), in which a good tour is generated by the artificial ant's probabilistic behavior. However, the generated tour length depends on the parameter describing the ant's behavior, and the best parameters corresponding to the problem to be solved is unknown. In this technical note, the evolutional strategy is presented to find the best parameter of the ant colony by using Particle Swarm Optimization (PSO) in the parameter space. Numerical simulations for benchmarks demonstrate effectiveness of the evolutional ant colony method.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2011-01-01

    Altruism in social insects has evolved between closely related full-siblings. It is therefore of considerable interest why some groups have secondarily evolved low within-colony relatedness, which in turn affects the relatedness incentives of within-colony cooperation and conflict. The highest...... 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...

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 76 FR 82413 - Amendments to the Reef Fish, Spiny Lobster, Queen Conch and Coral and Reef Associated Plants and...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-12-30

    ... Part 622 Amendments to the Reef Fish, Spiny Lobster, Queen Conch and Coral and Reef Associated Plants... Amendments to the Reef Fish, Spiny Lobster, Queen Conch and Coral and Reef Associated Plants and... the FMP for the Spiny Lobster Fishery of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands (Spiny Lobster...

  11. 76 FR 59377 - Amendments to the Reef Fish, Spiny Lobster, Queen Conch and Coral and Reef Associated Plants and...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-09-26

    ..., Spiny Lobster, Queen Conch and Coral and Reef Associated Plants and Invertebrates Fishery Management... Fishery Management Plans (FMPs) for Reef Fish Resources, Spiny Lobster, Queen Conch, and Coral and Reef... (AMs) if ACLs should be exceeded for selected reef fish, spiny lobster, and aquarium trade...

  12. 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.

  13. 77 FR 51763 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife; 90-Day Finding on a Petition To List the Queen Conch as...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-08-27

    ... scale poaching by foreigners (CITES, 2003, 2005). The review also found that intensive fishing pressure.... The petition cites several peer-reviewed publications and research studies that show queen conch in... only to the status of the queen conch throughout its range. Peer Review On July 1, 1994, NMFS,...

  14. 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...

  15. 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.

  16. Counting solutions for the N -queens and Latin-square problems by Monte Carlo simulations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Cheng; Ma, Jianpeng

    2009-01-01

    We apply Monte Carlo simulations to count the numbers of solutions of two well-known combinatorial problems: the N -queens problem and Latin-square problem. The original system is first converted to a general thermodynamic system, from which the number of solutions of the original system is obtained by using the method of computing the partition function. Collective moves are used to further accelerate sampling: swap moves are used in the N -queens problem and a cluster algorithm is developed for the Latin squares. The method can handle systems of 10;{4}degrees of freedom with more than 10;{10,000} solutions.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-05-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Evolution of the asexual queen succession system and its underlying mechanisms in termites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matsuura, Kenji

    2017-01-01

    One major advantage of sexual reproduction over asexual reproduction is its promotion of genetic variation, although it reduces the genetic contribution to offspring. Queens of social insects double their contribution to the gene pool, while overuse of asexual reproduction may reduce the ability of the colony to adapt to environmental stress because of the loss of genetic diversity. Recent studies have revealed that queens of some termite species can solve this tradeoff by using parthenogenesis to produce the next generation of queens and sexual reproduction to produce other colony members. This reproductive system, known as asexual queen succession (AQS), has been identified in the subterranean termites Reticulitermes speratus, Reticulitermes virginicus and Reticulitermes lucifugus and in the Neotropical higher termites Embiratermes neotenicus and Cavitermes tuberosus The studies presented here have uncovered the unusual modes of reproduction in termites and have aimed to identify their underlying mechanisms. The study of AQS, the mixed use of sexual and asexual reproduction, is of fundamental importance as it may provide a key to solve the evolutionary paradox of sex.

  7. Morphometric Identification of Queens, Workers and Intermediates in In Vitro Reared Honey Bees (Apis mellifera)

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    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 classification of female honey bees reared in vitro, based on weight at emergence, ovariole number, spermatheca size and size and shape, and features of the head, mandible and basitarsus. Morphological measurements were made with both traditional morphometric and geometric morphometrics techniques. The classifications were performed by principal component analysis, using naturally developed queens and workers as controls. First, the analysis included all the characters. Subsequently, a new analysis was made without the information about ovariole number and spermatheca size. Geometric morphometrics was less dependent on ovariole number and spermatheca information for caste and intercaste identification. This is useful, since acquiring information concerning these reproductive structures requires time-consuming dissection and they are not accessible when abdomens have been removed for molecular assays or in dried specimens. Additionally, geometric morphometrics divided intercastes into more discrete phenotype subsets. We conclude that morphometric geometrics are superior to traditional morphometrics techniques for identification and classification of honey bee castes and intermediates. PMID:25894528

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelly, Ursula; McNicoll, Iain; White, James

    2015-01-01

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

  9. Ecosystem services delivered by weaver ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Offenberg, Joachim

    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......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...... they convert pest insects into accessible and edible protein. In short, this review show that weaver ants in agriculture can increase crop yields, improve fruit quality, chemically deter pests, fertilize crops, reduce diseases, and produce protein for human and livestock consumption....

  10. Bio-inspired Ant Algorithms: A review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sangita Roy

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Ant Algorithms are techniques for optimizing which were coined in the early 1990’s by M. Dorigo. The techniques were inspired by the foraging behavior of real ants in the nature. The focus of ant algorithms is to find approximate optimized problem solutions using artificial ants and their indirect decentralized communications using synthetic pheromones. In this paper, at first ant algorithms are described in details, then transforms to computational optimization techniques: the ACO metaheuristics and developed ACO algorithms. A comparative study of ant algorithms also carried out, followed by past and present trends in AAs applications. Future prospect in AAs also covered in this paper. Finally a comparison between AAs with well-established machine learning techniques were focused, so that combining with machine learning techniques hybrid, robust, novel algorithms could be produces for outstanding result in future.

  11. 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

  12. GRID SCHEDULING USING ENHANCED ANT COLONY ALGORITHM

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. Mathiyalagan

    2010-10-01

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

  13. From Ant Trails to Pedestrian Dynamics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andreas Schadschneider

    2003-01-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. The distribution of weaver ant pheromones on host trees

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Offenberg, Joachim

    2007-01-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. Conflict resolution in an ant-plant interaction: Acacia constricta traits reduce ant costs to reproduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nicklen, E Fleur; Wagner, Diane

    2006-05-01

    Many plant species attract ants onto their foliage with food rewards or nesting space. However, ants can interfere with plant reproduction when they visit flowers. This study tests whether Acacia constricta separates visiting ant species temporally or spatially from newly opened inflorescences and pollinators. The diurnal activity patterns of ants and A. constricta pollinators peaked at different times of day, and the activity of pollinators followed the daily dehiscence of A. constricta inflorescences. In addition to being largely temporally separated, ants rarely visited open inflorescences. A floral ant repellent contributes to the spatial separation of ants and inflorescences. In a field experiment, ants of four species were given equal access to inflorescences in different developmental stages. On average, the frequency with which ants made initial, antennal contact with the floral stages did not differ, but ants significantly avoided secondary contact with newly opened inflorescences relative to buds and old inflorescences, and old inflorescences relative to buds. Ants also avoided contact with pollen alone, indicating that pollen is at least one source of the repellent. The results suggest A. constricta has effectively resolved the potential conflict between visiting ants and plant reproduction.

  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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. Bioecology and chemical diversity of abdominal glands in the iranian samsum ant Pachycondyla sennaarensis (Formicidae: Ponerinae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    MR Nikbakhtzadeh

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available The genus Pachycondyla is a large group of ants in the Ponerini tribe, known mostly from tropical and subtropical regions. Pachycondyla sennaarensis, the so-called Samsum ant in the Middle East, is distributed throughout the African tropics, Arabian Peninsula and Iran, where it is responsible for many cases of insect-induced dermal lesions and systemic reactions in humans. Populations of P. sennaarensis were studied in two regions of Iran and some aspects of their biology, ecology and medical importance are herein presented. Colonies of P. sennaarensis contain less than 850 workers that live in complicated underground galleries approximately one meter deep. Because of the harsh weather conditions of southern Iran, they can survive only in human disturbed habitats with higher humidity. Neither a real queen (without reproductive division of labor nor a caste system is found in a P. sennaarensis colony. Observations indicated that P. sennaarensis is omnivorous, feeding on seeds of various plants, dead ants of other species, the larvae of dipterans and a few other invertebrates. The effect of the P. sennaarensis sting is usually mild, resulting in papule formation, erythema and dermal itching. The abdominal gland secretion of P. sennaarensis is a complex mixture of saturated and unsaturated hydrocarbons and small amounts of terpenoids, ketones, pyrazines and phenolic compounds that are accompanied by straight-chain hydrocarbons. So far, no case of anaphylaxis has been reported in Iran, a fact probably due to the lack of proteins in P. sennaarensis venom. It appears that P. sennaarensis populations vary considerably in their toxin composition according to their geographic range, which may ultimately explain symptoms of different severity among local residents.

  5. Sublimation of Exposed Snow Queen Surface Water Ice as Observed by the Phoenix Mars Lander

    Science.gov (United States)

    Markiewicz, W. J.; Keller, H. U.; Kossacki, K. J.; Mellon, M. T.; Stubbe, H. F.; Bos, B. J.; Woida, R.; Drube, L.; Leer, K.; Madsen, M. B.; Goetz, W.; El Maarry, M. R.; Smith, P.

    2008-12-01

    One of the first images obtained by the Robotic Arm Camera on the Mars Phoenix Lander was that of the surface beneath the spacecraft. This image, taken on sol 4 (Martian day) of the mission, was intended to check the stability of the footpads of the lander and to document the effect the retro-rockets had on the Martian surface. Not completely unexpected the image revealed an oval shaped, relatively bright and apparently smooth object, later named Snow Queen, surrounded by the regolith similar to that already seen throughout the landscape of the landing site. The object was suspected to be the surface of the ice table uncovered by the blast of the retro-rockets during touchdown. High resolution HiRISE images of the landing site from orbit, show a roughly circular dark region of about 40 m diameter with the lander in the center. A plausible explanation for this region being darker than the rest of the visible Martian Northern Planes (here polygonal patterns) is that a thin layer of the material ejected by the retro-rockets covered the original surface. Alternatively the thrusters may have removed the fine surface dust during the last stages of the descent. A simple estimate requires that about 10 cm of the surface material underneath the lander is needed to be ejected and redistributed to create the observed dark circular region. 10 cm is comparable to 4-5 cm predicted depth at which the ice table was expected to be found at the latitude of the Phoenix landing site. The models also predicted that exposed water ice should sublimate at a rate not faster but probably close to 1 mm per sol. Snow Queen was further documented on sols 5, 6 and 21 with no obvious changes detected. The following time it was imaged was on sol 45, 24 sols after the previous observation. This time some clear changes were obvious. Several small cracks, most likely due to thermal cycling and sublimation of water ice appeared. Nevertheless, the bulk of Snow Queen surface remained smooth. The next

  6. 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.

  7. Open Problem: Analyzing Ant Robot Coverage

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    Efficient and inefficient ant coverage methods. Annals of Mathematics and Artificial Intelligence, 31, 41–76. The proofs can be found in the technical...Wagner, I., & Bruckstein, A. (2001). Special issue on ant robotics. Annals of Mathematics and Artificial Intelligence, 31. Wagner, I., Lindenbaum, M

  8. The Biochemical Toxin Arsenal from Ant Venoms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Axel Touchard

    2016-01-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. The Biochemical Toxin Arsenal from Ant Venoms.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-20

    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.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Edwin O. Willis

    1984-01-01

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

  12. 76 FR 59375 - Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Amendments to the Queen Conch and...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-09-26

    ..., Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Amendments to the Queen Conch and Reef Fish Fishery Management.... In contrast, the wenchman is presently included as a member of Snapper Unit 2 but clusters...

  13. 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...

  14. 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.

  15. Microclimatic conditions of Lasius flavus ant mounds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Véle, Adam; Holuša, Jaroslav

    2016-11-01

    Like other organisms, ants require suitable microclimatic conditions for their development. Thus, ant species inhabiting colder climates build nest mounds that rise above the soil surface, presumably to obtain heating from solar radiation. Although some ant species construct mounds of organic materials, which generate substantial heat due to microbial metabolism, Lasius flavus mounds consists mostly of soil, not organic material. The use of artificial shading in the current study demonstrated that L. flavus depends on direct solar radiation to regulate the temperature in its mound-like nests. Temperatures were much lower in shaded mounds than in unshaded mounds and were likely low enough in shaded mounds to reduce ant development and reproduction. In areas where L. flavus and similar ants are undesirable, they might be managed by shading.

  16. 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.

  17. Fungal Adaptations to Mutualistic Life with Ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kooij, Pepijn Wilhelmus

    . However, in rare occasions fungal symbionts might come into contact with symbionts from other colonies. I showed that in both leaf-cutting ant genera incompatibility reactions between fungal strains can avoid intermixing of different strains, and that these reactions strengthen when genetic distance...... successful. To understand the evolutionary development of domestication of the fungus over the phylogeny of the Attine ants, I compared the average number of nuclei per cell for the fungal symbionts, for each of the different groups of fungus-growing ants. I found that the fungal symbionts of the paleo...... is increased. This pattern, however, becomes distorted when fungal symbionts are contested across ant genera. The most important mechanism in the succession of this mutualism of leaf-cutting ants is the controlled degradation of plant material. I show that in the area of Gamboa, Panama, the two leaf...

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

    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......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...

  1. Persistence of pollination mutualisms in the presence of ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yuanshi; Wang, Shikun

    2015-01-01

    This paper considers plant-pollinator-ant systems in which the plant-pollinator interaction is mutualistic but ants have both positive and negative effects on plants. The ants also interfere with pollinators by preventing them from accessing plants. While a Beddington-DeAngelis (BD) formula can describe the plant-pollinator interaction, the formula is extended in this paper to characterize the pollination mutualism under the ant interference. Then, a plant-pollinator-ant system with the extended BD functional response is discussed, and global dynamics of the model demonstrate the mechanisms by which pollination mutualism can persist in the presence of ants. When the ant interference is strong, it can result in extinction of pollinators. Moreover, if the ants depend on pollination mutualism for survival, the strong interference could drive pollinators into extinction, which consequently lead to extinction of the ants themselves. When the ant interference is weak, a cooperation between plant-ant and plant-pollinator mutualisms could occur, which promotes survival of both ants and pollinators, especially in the case that ants (respectively, pollinators) cannot survive in the absence of pollinators (respectively, ants). Even when the level of ant interference remains invariant, varying ants' negative effect on plants can result in survival/extinction of both ants and pollinators. Therefore, our results provide an explanation for the persistence of pollination mutualism when there exist ants.

  2. [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.

  3. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tarpy, David R.; Seeley, Thomas D.

    2006-04-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Olfactory attraction of Scaptotrigona mexicana drones to their virgin queen volatiles

    OpenAIRE

    2011-01-01

    International audience; Drone congregations are a ubiquitous phenomenon described in several species of stingless bees and extensively studied in the honeybee, Apis mellifera. In meliponaries of Scaptotrigona mexicana, it is usual to observe drones forming such congregations close to the nests, apparently waiting for a virgin queen for mating. We hypothesize that drones of this species, similarly to those of A. mellifera and the stingless bee Scaptotrigona postica, use olfactory signals to de...

  9. 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

  10. Port Isabel (GIWW) Channel Improvements at the Queen Isabella Causeway. Laguna Madre, Texas, Navigation Improvement Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-09-01

    ER D C/ CH L TR -0 9 -1 3 Port Isabel (GIWW) Channel Improvements at the Queen Isabella Causeway Laguna Madre , Texas, Navigation...Causeway Laguna Madre , Texas, Navigation Improvement Project Timothy W. Shelton, P.E. and Dennis Webb, P.E. Coastal and Hydraulics Laboratory U.S...distribution is unlimited. Prepared for U.S. Army Corps of Engineer District, Galveston Galveston, TX 77550 ERDC/CHL TR-09-13 ii Abstract: Laguna Madre is

  11. Genetic Analysis and Phylogenetic Comparison of Black Queen Cell Virus Genotypes

    OpenAIRE

    2009-01-01

    Abstract Phylogenetic analysis of 22 Black queen cell virus (BQCV) genotypes collected from honeybee colonies in Poland, Austria and Hungary was performed on a partial helicase enzyme coding region (ORF1) and on a partial structural polypeptide coding region (ORF2). While the phylogeny based on the ORF2 region showed ? with the exception of one strain from Poland ? clustering of the genotypes corresponding to their geographic origin, the ORF1-based tree exhibited a completely diffe...

  12. 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.

  13. Some enzymic activities of two Australian ant venoms: a jumper ant Myrmecia pilosula and a bulldog ant Myrmecia pyriformis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matuszek, M A; Hodgson, W C; King, R G; Sutherland, S K

    1994-12-01

    Venoms from two related Australian ants, a jumper ant (Myrmecia pilosula) and a bulldog ant (Myrmecia pyriformis), were quantitatively analysed for the following enzymic activities: phospholipase A2, phospholipase B, phospholipase C, hyaluronidase, esterase, acid phosphatase, alkaline phosphatase and phosphodiesterase. Both venoms contained phospholipase A2, phospholipase B, hyaluronidase, acid phosphatase and alkaline phosphatase activities. Myrmecia pyriformis venom had significantly greater phospholipase B, acid phosphatase and alkaline phosphatase activities than Myrmecia pilosula venom. No detectable quantities of phospholipase C, esterase or phosphodiesterase activities were found in either venom.

  14. Does the Red Queen reign in the kingdom of digital organisms?

    CERN Document Server

    Wilke, C O

    2003-01-01

    In competition experiments between two RNA viruses of equal or almost equal fitness, often both strains gain in fitness before one eventually excludes the other. This observation has been linked to the Red Queen effect, which describes a situation in which organisms have to constantly adapt just to keep their status quo. I carried out experiments with digital organisms (self-replicating computer programs) in order to clarify how the competing strains' location in fitness space influences the Red-Queen effect. I found that gains in fitness during competition were prevalent for organisms that were taken from the base of a fitness peak, but absent or rare for organisms that were taken from the top of a peak or from a considerable distance away from the nearest peak. In the latter two cases, either neutral drift and loss of the fittest mutants or the waiting time to the first beneficial mutation were more important factors. Moreover, I found that the Red-Queen dynamic in general led to faster exclusion than the o...

  15. 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.

  16. Quantum chemical study on the stability of honeybee queen pheromone against atmospheric factors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shi, Rongwei; Liu, Fanglin

    2016-06-01

    The managed honeybee, Apis mellifera, has been experienced a puzzling event, termed as colony collapse disorder (CCD), in which worker bees abruptly disappear from their hives. Potential factors include parasites, pesticides, malnutrition, and environmental stresses. However, so far, no definitive relationship has been established between specific causal factors and CCD events. Here we theoretically test whether atmospheric environment could disturb the chemical communication between the queen and their workers in a colony. A quantum chemistry method has been used to investigate for the stability of the component of A. mellifera queen mandibular pheromone (QMP), (E)-9-keto-2-decenoic acid (9-ODA), against atmospheric water and free radicals. The results show that 9-ODA is less likely to react with water due to the high barrier heights (~36.5 kcal · mol(-1)) and very low reaction rates. However, it can easily react with triplet oxygen and hydroxyl radicals because of low or negative energy barriers. Thus, the atmospheric free radicals may disturb the chemical communication between the queen and their daughters in a colony. Our pilot study provides new insight for the cause of CCD, which has been reported throughout the world.

  17. 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}.

  18. Collective search by ants in microgravity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefanie M. Countryman

    2015-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  20. Ant-lepidopteran associations along African forest edges

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dejean, Alain; Azémar, Frédéric; Libert, Michel; Compin, Arthur; Hérault, Bruno; Orivel, Jérôme; Bouyer, Thierry; Corbara, Bruno

    2017-02-01

    Working along forest edges, we aimed to determine how some caterpillars can co-exist with territorially dominant arboreal ants (TDAAs) in tropical Africa. We recorded caterpillars from 22 lepidopteran species living in the presence of five TDAA species. Among the defoliator and/or nectarivorous caterpillars that live on tree foliage, the Pyralidae and Nymphalidae use their silk to protect themselves from ant attacks. The Notodontidae and lycaenid Polyommatinae and Theclinae live in direct contact with ants; the Theclinae even reward ants with abundant secretions from their Newcomer gland. Lichen feeders (lycaenid; Poritiinae), protected by long bristles, also live among ants. Some lycaenid Miletinae caterpillars feed on ant-attended membracids, including in the shelters where the ants attend them; Lachnocnema caterpillars use their forelegs to obtain trophallaxis from their host ants. Caterpillars from other species live inside weaver ant nests. Those of the genus Euliphyra (Miletinae) feed on ant prey and brood and can obtain trophallaxis, while those from an Eberidae species only prey on host ant eggs. Eublemma albifascia (Erebidae) caterpillars use their thoracic legs to obtain trophallaxis and trophic eggs from ants. Through transfer bioassays of last instars, we noted that herbivorous caterpillars living in contact with ants were always accepted by alien conspecific ants; this is likely due to an intrinsic appeasing odor. Yet, caterpillars living in ant shelters or ant nests probably acquire cues from their host colonies because they were considered aliens and killed. We conclude that co-evolution with ants occurred similarly in the Heterocera and Rhopalocera.

  1. Pheromone disruption of Argentine ant trail integrity

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-01-01

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

  2. Immune defense in leaf-cutting ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  3. Ant colonies for the travelling salesman problem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dorigo, M; Gambardella, L M

    1997-01-01

    We describe an artificial ant colony capable of solving the travelling 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. Computer simulations demonstrate that the artificial ant colony is capable of generating good solutions to both symmetric and asymmetric instances of the TSP. The method is an example, like simulated annealing, neural networks and evolutionary computation, of the successful use of a natural metaphor to design an optimization algorithm.

  4. Faster-is-slower effect in escaping ants revisited: Ants do not behave like humans

    CERN Document Server

    Parisi, Daniel R; Josens, Roxana

    2014-01-01

    In this work we studied the trajectories, velocities and densities of ants when egressing under controlled levels of stress produced by a chemical repellent at different concentrations. We found that, unlike other animals escaping under life-and-death conditions and pedestrian simulations, ants do not produce a higher density zone near the exit door. Instead, ants are uniformly distributed over the available space allowing for efficient evacuations. Consequently, the faster-is-slower effect observed in ants (Soria et al., 2012) is clearly of a different nature to that predicted by de social force model. In the case of ants, the minimum evacuation time is correlated with the lower probability of taking backward steps. Thus, as biological model ants have important differences that make their use inadvisable for the design of human facilities.

  5. 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.

  6. 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...

  7. Stealthy invaders: the biology of Cardiocondyla tramp ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2006-01-01

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

  8. Chemical profiles of two pheromone glands are differentially regulated by distinct mating factors in honey bee queens (Apis mellifera L..

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elina L Niño

    Full Text Available Pheromones mediate social interactions among individuals in a wide variety of species, from yeast to mammals. In social insects such as honey bees, pheromone communication systems can be extraordinarily complex and serve to coordinate behaviors among many individuals. One of the primary mediators of social behavior and organization in honey bee colonies is queen pheromone, which is produced by multiple glands. The types and quantities of chemicals produced differ significantly between virgin and mated queens, and recent studies have suggested that, in newly mated queens, insemination volume or quantity can affect pheromone production. Here, we examine the long-term impact of different factors involved during queen insemination on the chemical composition of the mandibular and Dufour's glands, two of the major sources of queen pheromone. Our results demonstrate that carbon dioxide (an anesthetic used in instrumental insemination, physical manipulation of genital tract (presumably mimicking the act of copulation, insemination substance (saline vs. semen, and insemination volume (1 vs. 8 µl all have long-term effects on mandibular gland chemical profiles. In contrast, Dufour's gland chemical profiles were changed only upon insemination and were not influenced by exposure to carbon dioxide, manipulation, insemination substance or volume. These results suggest that the chemical contents of these two glands are regulated by different neuro-physiological mechanisms. Furthermore, workers responded differently to the different mandibular gland extracts in a choice assay. Although these studies must be validated in naturally mated queens of varying mating quality, our results suggest that while the chemical composition of Dufour's gland is associated with mating status, that of the mandibular glands is associated with both mating status and insemination success. Thus, the queen appears to be signaling both status and reproductive quality to the workers

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Fungal enzymes in the attine ant symbiosis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    the more basal attine genera use substrates such as flowers, plant debris, small twigs, insect feces and insect carcasses. This diverse array of fungal substrates across the attine lineage implies that the symbiotic fungus needs different enzymes to break down the plant material that the ants provide...... or different efficiencies of enzyme function. Fungal enzymes that degrade plant cell walls may have functionally co-evolved with the ants in this scenario. We explore this hypothesis with direct measurements of enzyme activity in fungus gardens in 12 species across 8 genera spanning the entire phylogeny...... and diversity of life-styles within the attine clade. We find significant differences in enzyme activity between different genera and life-styles of the ants. How these findings relate to attine ant coevolution and crop optimization are discussed....

  13. 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...

  14. KohonAnts: A Self-Organizing Ant Algorithm for Clustering and Pattern Classification

    CERN Document Server

    Fernandes, C; Merelo, J J; Ramos, V; Laredo, J L J

    2008-01-01

    In this paper we introduce a new ant-based method that takes advantage of the cooperative self-organization of Ant Colony Systems to create a naturally inspired clustering and pattern recognition method. The approach considers each data item as an ant, which moves inside a grid changing the cells it goes through, in a fashion similar to Kohonen's Self-Organizing Maps. The resulting algorithm is conceptually more simple, takes less free parameters than other ant-based clustering algorithms, and, after some parameter tuning, yields very good results on some benchmark problems.

  15. 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.

  16. An Improved Heuristic Ant-Clustering Algorithm

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Yunfei Chen; Yushu Liu; Jihai Zhao

    2004-01-01

    An improved heuristic ant-clustering algorithm(HAC)is presented in this paper. A device of 'memory bank' is proposed,which can bring forth heuristic knowledge guiding ant to move in the bi-dimension grid space.The device experiments on real data sets and synthetic data sets.The results demonstrate that HAC has superiority in misclassification error rate and runtime over the classical algorithm.

  17. 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.

  18. Congestion and communication in confined ant traffic

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-03-01

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

  19. Entangled active matter: From cells to ants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, D. L.; Phonekeo, S.; Altshuler, E.; Brochard-Wyart, F.

    2016-07-01

    Both cells and ants belong to the broad field of active matter, a novel class of non-equilibrium materials composed of many interacting units that individually consume energy and collectively generate motion or mechanical stresses. However cells and ants differ from fish and birds in that they can support static loads. This is because cells and ants can be entangled, so that individual units are bound by transient links. Entanglement gives cells and ants a set of remarkable properties usually not found together, such as the ability to flow like a fluid, spring back like an elastic solid, and self-heal. In this review, we present the biology, mechanics and dynamics of both entangled cells and ants. We apply concepts from soft matter physics and wetting to characterize these systems as well as to point out their differences, which arise from their differences in size. We hope that our viewpoints will spur further investigations into cells and ants as active materials, and inspire the fabrication of synthetic active matter.

  20. Bacterial associates of arboreal ants and their putative functions in an obligate ant-plant mutualism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eilmus, Sascha; Heil, Martin

    2009-07-01

    Bacterial communities are highly diverse and have great ecological importance. In the present study, we used an in silico analysis of terminal restriction fragments (tRF) to characterize the bacterial community of the plant ant Pseudomyrmex ferrugineus. This species is an obligate inhabitant of Acacia myrmecophytes and feeds exclusively on plant-derived food sources. Ants are the dominant insect group in tropical rain forests. Associations of ants with microbes, which contribute particularly to the ants' nitrogen nutrition, could allow these insects to live on mostly or entirely plant-based diets and could thus contribute to the explanation of the high abundances that are reached by tropical ants. We found tRF patterns representing at least 30 prokaryotic taxa, of which the Acidobacteria, Actinobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Firmicutes, Planctomycetes, Proteobacteria, and Spirochaetes comprised 93%. Because most bacterial taxa were found in all ant-derived samples studied and because the bacteria detected on the ants' host plant revealed little overlap with this community, we regard our results as reliably representing the bacterial community that is associated with P. ferrugineus. Genera with a likely function as ant symbionts were Burkholderia, Pantoea, Weissella, and several members of the Enterobacteriaceae. The presence of these and various other groups was confirmed via independent PCR and cultivation approaches. Many of the bacteria that we detected belong to purportedly N-fixing taxa. Bacteria may represent important further partners in ant-plant mutualisms, and their influences on ant nutrition can contribute to the extraordinary abundance and evolutionary success of tropical arboreal ants.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

    2016-08-01

    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.

  3. 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

    2016-08-26

    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.

  4. 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.

  5. New mapping and structural constraints on the Queen Charlotte-Fairweather Fault system, southeast Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levoir, M. A.; Roland, E. C.; Gulick, S. P.; Haeussler, P. J.; Christeson, G. L.; Van Avendonk, H. J.

    2013-12-01

    The dextral Queen Charlotte-Fairweather Fault lies along the western margin of Canada and southeastern Alaska, a transform plate boundary accommodating motion between the North American and Pacific Plates. The Fairweather Fault is the northern extension of the Queen Charlotte Fault and has numerous and complex splays, including the Chichagof-Baranof Fault, the Peril Strait Fault, the Chatham Strait Fault, and the Icy Point-Lituya Bay Fault. Except for a few small areas, these fault systems have not been mapped in detail. We present updated geometries and fault maps of the entirety of the strike-slip system using seismic reflection and bathymetric data, including a 2004 seismic reflection survey (EW0408), 2005 United Nations Commission on Law of the Sea multibeam bathymetry, and legacy data from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the National Geophysical Data Center. This work is highly relevant for earthquake hazard research and mitigation in southeast Alaska. Several large (> Mw 7.0) earthquakes have occurred along this margin in the last century, impacting communities of southeastern Alaska and western Canada. Two large, recent events include 1) a Mw 7.7 earthquake that took place on 28 October 2012 near the Haida Gwaii Islands offshore of western Canada, and 2) a Mw 7.5 event which occurred on 05 January 2013, 330 km to the northwest and offshore of Craig, Alaska. Interestingly, the Haida Gwaii earthquake ruptured as a thrust event and the Craig earthquake ruptured with a near-vertical dextral strike-slip mechanism. Since a change in Pacific Plate motion around 4 million years ago, the southern Queen Charlotte Fault system has been obliquely converging at a rate of 20 mm/year, with the boundary accommodating about 80 km of perpendicular motion over that time. This convergence explains the Haida Gwaii thrust earthquake, but leaves questions about the along-strike fault structure. Two opposing end-member theories suggest convergence is accommodated by either: 1

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Virion Structure of Black Queen Cell Virus, a Common Honeybee Pathogen

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spurny, Radovan; Přidal, Antonín; Pálková, Lenka; Kiem, Hoa Khanh Tran; de Miranda, Joachim R.

    2017-01-01

    ABSTRACT Viral diseases are a major threat to honeybee (Apis mellifera) populations worldwide and therefore an important factor in reliable crop pollination and food security. Black queen cell virus (BQCV) is the etiological agent of a fatal disease of honeybee queen larvae and pupae. The virus belongs to the genus Triatovirus from the family Dicistroviridae, which is part of the order Picornavirales. Here we present a crystal structure of BQCV determined to a resolution of 3.4 Å. The virion is formed by 60 copies of each of the major capsid proteins VP1, VP2, and VP3; however, there is no density corresponding to a 75-residue-long minor capsid protein VP4 encoded by the BQCV genome. We show that the VP4 subunits are present in the crystallized virions that are infectious. This aspect of the BQCV virion is similar to that of the previously characterized triatoma virus and supports the recent establishment of the separate genus Triatovirus within the family Dicistroviridae. The C terminus of VP1 and CD loops of capsid proteins VP1 and VP3 of BQCV form 34-Å-tall finger-like protrusions at the virion surface. The protrusions are larger than those of related dicistroviruses. IMPORTANCE The western honeybee is the most important pollinator of all, and it is required to sustain the agricultural production and biodiversity of wild flowering plants. However, honeybee populations worldwide are suffering from virus infections that cause colony losses. One of the most common, and least known, honeybee pathogens is black queen cell virus (BQCV), which at high titers causes queen larvae and pupae to turn black and die. Here we present the three-dimensional virion structure of BQCV, determined by X-ray crystallography. The structure of BQCV reveals large protrusions on the virion surface. Capsid protein VP1 of BQCV does not contain a hydrophobic pocket. Therefore, the BQCV virion structure provides evidence that capsid-binding antiviral compounds that can prevent the

  13. 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

  14. 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. 

  15. 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.

  16. Ants as shell collectors: notes on land snail shells found around ant nests

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Barna Páll-Gergely

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available We investigated the shell collecting activities of harvester ants (Messor spp. in semi-arid grasslands and shrubs in Turkey. We found eleven species of snails in the area, two of them were not collected by ants. Eight – mainly small sized – snail species were found on ant nests in a habitat characterized by shrubs, three in rocky grassland and four in a grassland habitat. Some shells (e.g. Chondrus zebrula tantalus, Multidentula ovularis might be taken into the nests, and we hypothesise that some of these snail species are consumed by ants (Monacha spp.. From a fauna inventory perspective, shell collecting activities of harvester ant may help malacologists to find snail species which are normally hidden for a specialist (e.g. Oxychilus hydatinus, Cecilioides spp. due to their special habits.

  17. 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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Offenberg, Hans Joachim

    2011-01-01

    Oecophylla ants are sold at high prices on several commercial markets as a human delicacy, as pet food or as traditional medicine. Currently markets are supplied by ants collected from the wild; however, an increasing interest in ant farming exists as all harvest is easily sold and as ant farming...... can be combined with the use of the ants in biological control programmes in tropical plantations where pest insects are converted into ant biomass. To assess the cost-benefits of ant farming based on artificial feeding, food consumption and food conversion efficiency (ECI) of Oecophylla smaragdina...... (Fabricius) was tested under laboratory conditions. Of the two types of food offered, the ants ingested 76% pure sucrose and 24% insect prey (dry weights) leading to ECI’s of 29% and 39% including brood only or brood plus imago gain, respectively. Based on Thai sugar and protein food costs and ant brood...

  19. 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.

  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. 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.

  2. Ant-egg cataract. An electron microscopic study

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schrøder, H D; Nissen, S H

    1979-01-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. Correlates of Queen Pineapple (AnanascomosusLinn Farming Practices in Camarines Norte, Philippines

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sonia S. Carbonell

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available This study aimed to provide valuable information about the realities of the Queen pineapple (QP farmers in Camarines Norte, highlighting their farming practices and worldview about sustainable development. Most of the respondents are owner-operator having a mean farm size of 1.33 hectares devoted to queen pineapple farming and crop diversification with two to seven crops combined to augment income. Cropping pattern employed by most of the respondents is multiple cropping, specifically intercropping, rotational cropping, and fallowing. Soil nutrient and weed management of most respondents is conventional: inorganic fertilizers and chemical based, respectively. However, pest control management by most of the respondents is of the alternative method. Overall, QP farmer respondents were found to be practicing alternative farming methods. The problems cited by the respondents were mainly production, marketing and communication-related. The respondents showed that they have moved towards alternative farming. However, more attention should be given to soil nutrient and weed management practices. Strengthening communication-related activities, improved technology, and ensured availability of resources is necessary to have good avenue for change. These findings should make agencies concerned to promote alternative farming and sustainable agriculture. The significant attributes of the QP farmer respondents can be used as entry point for any development program to fully advocate alternative farming among the local people as a social movement.

  6. 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

    2016-08-23

    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.

  7. Tremors along the Queen Charlotte Margin triggered by large teleseismic earthquakes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aiken, Chastity; Peng, Zhigang; Chao, Kevin

    2013-03-01

    We conduct a systematic search of tectonic tremors along the Queen Charlotte Margin (QCM) in western Canada triggered by distant earthquakes. We identify triggered tremor as non-impulsive, high-frequency signals coherent among several stations and coincident with passing surface waves. So far, the 2002 Mw7.9 Denali Fault, the 2004 Mw9.2 Sumatra, and the 2011 Mw9.1 Tohoku-Oki earthquakes have triggered clear tremor in this region. The 2010 Mw8.8 Maule, Chile and the 2012 Mw8.6 Sumatra earthquakes may have triggered, but tremors in these two cases did not meet all of our criteria. The triggered tremors are mostly located east of the Queen Charlotte Fault in the southern portion of Haida Gwaii, near the epicenter of the 28 October 2012 Mw7.7 earthquake. Similar to the observations in other regions, the triggered tremors were initiated by the Love waves and continued during the subsequent Rayleigh waves. Tremor bursts correlate with both the particle velocity and displacement of the Love waves, indicating they are triggered at either low-angle thrust or vertical strike-slip faults. In addition, we find that the triggering potential for the QCM is controlled by a combination of amplitude, period, and incident angles.

  8. The Red Queen in mitochondria: cyto-nuclear co-evolution, hybrid breakdown and human disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jui-Yu eChou

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Cyto-nuclear incompatibility, a specific form of Dobzhansky-Muller incompatibility caused by incompatible alleles between mitochondrial and nuclear genomes, has been suggested to play a critical role during speciation. Several features of the mitochondrial genome (mtDNA, including high mutation rate, dynamic genomic structure, and uniparental inheritance, make mtDNA more likely to accumulate mutations in the population. Once mtDNA has changed, the nuclear genome needs to play catch-up due to the intimate interactions between these two genomes. In two populations, if cyto-nuclear co-evolution is driven in different directions, it may eventually lead to hybrid incompatibility. Although cyto-nuclear incompatibility has been observed in a wide range of organisms, it remains unclear what type of mutations drives the co-evolution. Currently, evidence supporting adaptive mutations in mtDNA remains limited. On the other hand, it has been known that some mutations allow mtDNA to propagate more efficiently but compromise the host fitness (described as selfish mtDNA. Arms races between such selfish mtDNA and host nuclear genomes can accelerate cyto-nuclear co-evolution and lead to a phenomenon called the Red Queen Effect. Here, we discuss how the Red Queen Effect may contribute to the frequent observation of cyto-nuclear incompatibility and be the underlying driving force of some human mitochondrial diseases.

  9. 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.

  10. Coexistence of evolving bacteria stabilized by a shared Black Queen function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morris, J Jeffrey; Papoulis, Spiridon E; Lenski, Richard E

    2014-10-01

    The Black Queen Hypothesis (BQH) was originally proposed to explain the dependence of some marine bacteria on helper organisms for protection from hydrogen peroxide (HOOH). The BQH predicts that selection for the evolutionary loss of leaky functions from individuals can produce commensal or mutualistic interactions. We demonstrated the leakiness of HOOH detoxification by complementing a HOOH-sensitive Escherichia coli mutant with a plasmid-encoded HOOH-detoxifying enzyme, KatG, and then evolving populations founded by this strain in two environments. When HOOH was absent, plasmid-carrying cells were outcompeted by plasmid-free segregants, reflecting the high cost of KatG expression. However, plasmid-carrying and plasmid-free cells coexisted for at least 1200 generations in three replicate populations evolved in the presence of HOOH, although their relative proportions fluctuated as beneficial mutations arose in one type or the other. Evolved plasmid-bearing cells reduced the cost of plasmid carriage even as they increased the rate of HOOH removal relative to the ancestor. Meanwhile, plasmid-free cells remained dependent on HOOH detoxification by the plasmid-bearing cells. These results demonstrate that partitioning of a Black Queen function can enable the stable coexistence of very similar organisms, even in this most restrictive case where the two types are competing for a single resource.

  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

    2016-08-01

    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.

  12. 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.

  13. The queen is not a pacemaker in the small-colony wasps Polistes instabilis and P. dominulus

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jha, Shalene; Casey-Ford, Rowan G.; Pedersen, Jes Søe

    2006-01-01

    that suggest that two species of paper wasps do not fit this pattern. Polistes wasps are traditionally classified as primitively eusocial wasps, showing characteristics of simple insect societies, such as small colony sizes, lack of queen-worker dimorphism, and queen control of both reproduction and worker......How work is organized varies in social insect colonies. Some investigators have argued that the queen plays an active role in regulating worker activity in species with small, simple colonies, but that work is self-organized in species with large, complex colonies. Here, we present data...... the queen was removed did not differ significantly from activity levels in colonies with queens. Polistes instabilis and P. dominulus colonies showed characteristics of primitively eusocial insect societies, but also showed worker initiation of colony activity, suggesting that these two species represent...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. Ground-water and geohydrologic conditions in Queens County, Long Island, New York

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soren, Julian

    1971-01-01

    Queens County is a heavily populated borough of New York City, at the western end of Long Island, N. Y., in which large amounts of ground water are used, mostly for public supply. Ground water, pumped from local aquifers, by privately owned water-supply companies, supplied the water needs of about 750,000 of the nearly 2 million residents of the county in 1967; the balance was supplied by New York City from surface sources outside the county in upstate New York. The county's aquifers consist of sand and gravel of Late Cretaceous and of Pleistocene ages, and the aquifers comprise a wedge-shaped ground-water reservoir lying on a southeastward-sloping floor of Precambrian(?) bedrock. Beds of clay and silt generally confine water in the deeper parts of the reservoir; water in the deeper aquifers ranges from poorly confined to well confined. Wisconsin-age glacial deposits in the uppermost part of the reservoir contain ground water under water-table conditions. Ground water pumpage averaged about 60 mgd (million gallons per day) in Queens County from about 1900 to 1967. Much of the water was used in adjacent Kings County, another borough of New York City, prior to 1950. The large ground-water withdrawal has resulted in a wide-spread and still-growing cone of depression in the water table, reflecting a loss of about 61 billion gallons of fresh water from storage. Significant drawdown of the water table probably began with rapid urbanization of Queens County in the 1920's. The county has been extensively paved, and storm and sanitary sewers divert water, which formerly entered the ground, to tidewater north and south of the county. Natural recharge to the aquifers has been reduced to about one half of the preurban rate and is below the withdrawal rate. Ground-water levels have declined more than 40. feet from the earliest-known levels, in 1903, to 1967, and the water table is below sea level in much of the county. The aquifers are being contaminated by the movement of

  17. 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...... 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...

  18. 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.

  19. Ant-plants and fungi: a new threeway symbiosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Defossez, Emmanuel; Selosse, Marc-André; Dubois, Marie-Pierre; Mondolot, Laurence; Faccio, Antonella; Djieto-Lordon, Champlain; McKey, Doyle; Blatrix, Rumsaïs

    2009-06-01

    Symbioses between plants and fungi, fungi and ants, and ants and plants all play important roles in ecosystems. Symbioses involving all three partners appear to be rare. Here, we describe a novel tripartite symbiosis in which ants and a fungus inhabit domatia of an ant-plant, and present evidence that such interactions are widespread. We investigated 139 individuals of the African ant-plant Leonardoxa africana for occurrence of fungus. Behaviour of mutualist ants toward the fungus within domatia was observed using a video camera fitted with an endoscope. Fungi were identified by sequencing a fragment of their ribosomal DNA. Fungi were always present in domatia occupied by mutualist ants but never in domatia occupied by opportunistic or parasitic ants. Ants appear to favour the propagation, removal and maintenance of the fungus. Similar fungi were associated with other ant-plants in Cameroon. All belong to the ascomycete order Chaetothyriales; those from L. africana formed a monophyletic clade. These new plant-ant-fungus associations seem to be specific, as demonstrated within Leonardoxa and as suggested by fungal phyletic identities. Such tripartite associations are widespread in African ant-plants but have long been overlooked. Taking fungal partners into account will greatly enhance our understanding of symbiotic ant-plant mutualisms.

  20. Dealing with water deficit in Atta ant colonies: large ants scout for water while small ants transport it

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antonio Carlos Da-Silva

    2012-07-01

    Leafcutter ants (Atta sexdens rubropilosa (Forel 1908 have an elaborate social organization, complete with caste divisions. Activities carried out by specialist groups contribute to the overall success and survival of the colony when it is confronted with environmental challenges such as dehydration. Ants detect variations in humidity inside the nest and react by activating several types of behavior that enhance water uptake and decrease water loss, but it is not clear whether or not a single caste collects water regardless of the cost of bringing this resource back to the colony. Accordingly, we investigated water collection activities in three colonies of Atta sexdens rubropilosa experimentally exposed to water stress. Specifically, we analyzed whether or not the same ant caste foraged for water, regardless of the absolute energetic cost (distance of transporting this resource back to the colony. Our experimental design offered water sources at 0 m, 1 m and 10 m from the nest. We studied the body size of ants near the water sources from the initial offer of water (time  =  0 to 120 min, and tested for specialization. We observed a reduction in the average size and variance of ants that corroborated the specialization hypothesis. Although the temporal course of specialization changed with distance, the final outcome was similar among distances. Thus, we conclude that, for this species, a specialist (our use of the word “specialist” does not mean exclusive task force is responsible for collecting water, regardless of the cost of transporting water back to the colony.

  1. Variation in Extrafloral Nectary Productivity Influences the Ant Foraging

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-01-01

    Extrafloral nectar is the main food source offered by plants to predatory ants in most land environments. Although many studies have demonstrated the importance of extrafloral nectaries (EFNs) to plant defense against herbivores, the influence of EFNs secretory activity pattern on predatory ants remains yet not fully understood. Here, we verified the relation between the extrafloral nectar production of a plant community in Cerrado in different times of the day, and its attractiveness to ants. The extrafloral nectaries (EFNs) of seven plant species showed higher productivity overnight. Ant abundance was higher in times of large extrafloral nectar production, however, there was no positive relation between ant richness on plants and EFNs productivity. There was temporal resource partitioning among ant species, and it indicates strong resource competition. The nectar productivity varied among plant species and time of the day, and it influenced the visitation patterns of ants. Therefore, EFNs are a key ant-plant interaction driver in the studied system. PMID:28046069

  2. Ser e estar drag queen: um estudo sobre a configuração da identidade queer Being a drag queen: a study on the characterization of the queer identity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Teresa Vargas Chidiac

    2004-12-01

    Full Text Available O principal objetivo deste estudo foi identificar o processo de formação da identidade queer das drag queens do circuito Balneário Camboriú e Florianópolis. Para atingir este propósito, foi investigado como se processa a relação de identificação das drag queens com o gênero feminino e masculino. Abordou-se também de que modo configura-se a relação entre o sujeito e a personagem drag queen, descrevendo a sua visão sobre a própria sexualidade. Estes dados foram obtidos através de pesquisa exploratória com três sujeitos através de entrevistas, sendo o roteiro semidirigido, além de terem sido realizadas visitas em suas moradias e em casas noturnas onde faziam apresentações artísticas. Os entrevistados relataram que a identidade das drags se diferencia de suas identidades pessoais em diversos aspectos. A drag possui características físicas e psicológicas, além de posturas e atitudes, que são próprias da personagem e que a distinguem do sujeito que a compõe. Mas houve relatos com freqüência que existem situações em que personagem e sujeito que a compõe se confundem. Através dos resultados, pode-se identificar como a configuração da identidade está relacionada com a socialização e com as transformações do corpo. Os sujeitos que interpretam as drag queens manifestam esse jogo de identidades, de ambos os gêneros, configurando o que pode se identificar com uma identidade queer.The main objective of this study was to identify the formation process of queer identity of some drag queens in the cities of Balneário Camboriú and Florianópolis, in the state of Santa Catarina, south of Brazil. In order to achieve this objective, we investigated how the drag queens identify themselves with the female and male genders. In addition, we investigated how the relation between the interviewed subjects and their drag queen character gets established through their description of their own sexuality. The data was collected

  3. Research on the Perceptual Law of Artificial Ants

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ZHENG Zhaobao

    2005-01-01

    Beginning with the analysis of the behavior of natural ants, this paper illuminates the principle and method that, by adopting image texture energy as pheromone and finding their way on the track of the pheromone, artificial ants have the ability to identify and remember through similar measurement of pheromone. Based on the quantity of experiments, this paper analyzes some factors that influence the ability of artificial ants and draws some conclusions about the law of ant perception.

  4. Extended phenotype: nematodes turn ants into bird-dispersed fruits

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hughes, D P; Kronauer, D J C; Boomsma, J J

    2008-01-01

    A recent study has discovered a novel extended phenotype of a nematode which alters its ant host to resemble ripe fruit. The infected ants are in turn eaten by frugivorous birds that disperse the nematode's eggs.......A recent study has discovered a novel extended phenotype of a nematode which alters its ant host to resemble ripe fruit. The infected ants are in turn eaten by frugivorous birds that disperse the nematode's eggs....

  5. Histrionicotoxin alkaloids finally detected in an ant

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jones, Tappey H.; Adams, Rachelle Martha Marie; Spande, Thomas F.

    2012-01-01

    Workers of the ant Carebarella bicolor collected in Panama were found to have two major poison-frog alkaloids, cis- and trans-fused decahydroquinolines (DHQs) of the 269AB type, four minor 269AB isomers, two minor 269B isomers, and three isomers of DHQ 271D. For the first time in an ant, however......, the DHQs were accompanied by six histrionicotoxins (HTXs), viz., 283A, 285A, 285B, 285C, 287A, and 287D. This co-occurrence of the HTX and DHQ alkaloids is the usual pattern seen in dendrobatid frogs. This finding contrasts with our earlier study, where workers of a Brazilian ant, Solenopsis (Diplorhoptrum......) sp., were found to have a very similar DHQ complex but failed to show HTXs. Several new DHQ alkaloids of MW 271 (named in the frog as 271G) are reported from the above ants that have both m/z 202 and 204 as major fragment ions, unlike the spectrum seen for the poison-frog alkaloid 271D, which has...

  6. A global database of ant species abundances

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  7. The worldwide expansion of the Argentine ant

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vogel, Valerie; Pedersen, Jes Søe; Giraud, Tatiana;

    2010-01-01

    ) and secondary introductions (from sites with established invasive supercolonies) were important in the global expansion of the Argentine ant. In combination with the similar social organization of colonies in the native and introduced range, this indicates that invasiveness did not evolve recently as a unique...

  8. Ant System Algorithm Research and Its Applications

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2002-01-01

    In this paper, systematic review on Ant System (AS) algorithm research and application is made, and the authors works of introducing As algorithm into continuous space application are summarized. Then the applicability characters of AS in continuous space optimization problems are also discussed.

  9. 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 ra...

  10. Ants recognize foes and not friends.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-07-01

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

  11. The ejaculatory biology of leafcutter ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2015-01-01

    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...

  12. Improving Emergency Management by Modeling Ant Colonies

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-03-01

    brood. The brood stages include the egg, the larval, and the pupa.27 The brood is dependent on the colony for nourishment and warmth until fully...night for rest and to relocate the colony. The bivouac is what is created when army ants huddle together in a ball instead of building a physical nest

  13. Enhanced Pest Ant Control with Hydrophobic Bait

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ants occupy every ecological niche in the world where they contribute to the ecosystem, e.g., as scavengers and aerators of the soil. However, when they are transported, usually through human activities, to new locations they have powerful negative impacts on their adopted homeland. Five of the 17 l...

  14. Non-Detriment Finding Regarding the Export of Queen conch (Lobatus gigas) from St Eustatius (Caribbean Netherlands)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Graaf, de M.; Meijer zu Schlochteren, M.; Boman, E.

    2014-01-01

    Queen conch (Lobatus gigas (Strombidae; Gastropoda) is a large, long-lived marine gastropod that is widely distributed throughout the coastal zones of the Wider Caribbean region. Because of concern for its future the species was listed in Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endan

  15. Parthenogenetic flatworms have more symbionts than their coexisting, sexual conspecifics, but does this support the Red Queen?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Michiels, N.K.; Beukeboom, L.W.; Pongratz, N.; Zeitlinger, J.

    2001-01-01

    The Red Queen hypothesis predicts that sexuality is favoured when virulent parasites adapt quickly to host genotypes. We studied a population of the flatworm Schmidtea polychroa in which obligate sexual and parthenogenetic individuals coexist. Infection rates by an amoeboid protozoan were consistent

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S.M. Kamel

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Recently, morphometric analysis is being a very good tool for identification of honey bee races and characterization of genetic materials. This fact has motivated the present work to investigate the effects of two grafting methods, three types of artificial queen wax cups and four periods of queen rearing on some morphological characters of newly emerged queens. The developed technique used in the present study depends on the integration between Scanner unit and Photoshop program, called Scan Photo Method (SPM. The measurements of 23 morphological characteristics of reared queens were estimated by using SPM. Results indicated significant differences between periods in the measurements of the studied characteristics on forewing such as cubital index, distance C, distance D, radial field, inner wing length, inner wing width, dumb bell index, distance I, II, III and IV, except cubital A and cubital B. Regarding the effects of cup types and grafting methods, data also revealed significant differences in all measurements of studied characteristics, except tibial length, hind wing length, cubital B, radial field and distance IV. Further works in this area were recommended to find out a relation between some morphometric characters and important of some quantitative characters.

  17. Queen survival and oxalic acid residues in sugar stores after summer application against Varroa destructor in honey bees (Apis mellifera)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cornelissen, B.; Donders, J.N.L.C.; Stratum, van P.; Blacquière, T.; Dooremalen, van C.

    2012-01-01

    Methods using oxalic acid (OA) to control Varroa destructor in honey bee (Apis mellifera) colonies are widely applied. In this study, the effects of an OA spray application in early summer on the survival of young and old queens, and on OA residues in sugar stores were investigated. A questionnaire

  18. Vitellogenin content in fat body and ovary homogenates of workers and queens of Melipona quadrifasciata anthidioides during vitellogenesis

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Vagner Tadeu Paes de Oliveira; Bruno Berger; Carminda da Cruz-Landim; Zilá Luz PaulinoSim(o)es

    2012-01-01

    Vitellogenin (Vg) is an egg yolk protein that is produced primarily in the fat body of most female insects.In the advanced social structure of eusocial honeybees,the presence of the queen inhibits egg maturation in the workers' ovaries.However in the stingless bee Melipona quadrifasciata,the workers always develop ovaries and lay a certain amount of eggs while provisioning the brood cells with larval food during what is known as the worker nurse phase.The present work is a comparative study of the presence of Vg in homogenates of the fat bodies and ovaries of the nurse workers,and the virgin and physogastric queens ofM.quadrifasciata.The presence of Vg was determined by sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and immunoblotting using Apis mellifera anti-egg antibody.Vg was not detected in the fat bodies or ovaries of the workers,but it was found in the ovaries of virgin and physogastric queens and in the fat body ofphysogastric queens.The results are discussed,taking into account the reproductive state of the individuals and the other possible roles of Vg,such as a storage protein for metoabolism of other organs.

  19. Vestlus päevapoliitikast Ants Vahtrasega / Ants Vahtras ; interv. Hillar Padu

    Index Scriptorium Estoniae

    Vahtras, Ants, 1953-

    2001-01-01

    Keskerakonna Hiiumaa osakonna esimees Ants Vahtras keskendub vestluses Keskerakonna kandidaatidele presidendi valimistele, arutleb presidendile vajalike isikuomaduste, haldusreformi, Hiiumaa Suurkogu, erastamiselt laekuva raha kasutamise üle ning annab hinnangu kultuuripoliitikale. Autor: Keskerakond

  20. Nõunik Ants Laansalu - rohkem talupoeg kui sulane / Ants Laansalu ; interv. Heiki Raudla

    Index Scriptorium Estoniae

    Laansalu, Ants, 1938-2011

    2008-01-01

    Intervjuu põllumajandusministeeriumi nõunikuga, kes vastab küsimustele, mis puudutavad Eesti põllumajandusministreid, põllumehe mainet, põllumajanduse tulevikku Eestis ja maailmas. Vt. samas: Ants Laansalu: CV

  1. Ants ja Jaak / Ants Juske, Jaak Juske ; intervjueerinud Margit Tõnson, Maris Sander

    Index Scriptorium Estoniae

    Juske, Ants, 1956-

    2011-01-01

    Kunstiteadlane Ants Juske ja tema poliitikust poeg Jaak Juske räägivad põlvkondade erinevustest ja konfliktidest, oma poliitilisest identiteedist, haridusest, eeskujudest, huvidest, eluviisidest. Nende eluloolisi andmeid

  2. Ants Veetõusme ja tema valikud / Ants Veetõusme ; interv. Imbi E. Kaljuste

    Index Scriptorium Estoniae

    Veetõusme, Ants, 1949-

    2002-01-01

    Eesti Maksumaksjate Liidu juhatuse esimehe Ants Veetõusme varasemast elust ning praegusest tegevusest EML-i juhi, spordijuhi ja FIE-na. Kommenteerivad Tõnu Anton ja Tiit Nuudi. Tartu linnapea 1991-1993

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Natalie R Graham

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

  5. Ants Orasest ja Anne Lange monograafiast / Jüri Talvet

    Index Scriptorium Estoniae

    Talvet, Jüri, 1945-

    2005-01-01

    Arvustus: Oras, Ants. Luulekool. I, Apoloogia / koostajad Hando Runnel ja Jaak Rähesoo. Tartu : Ilmamaa, 2003 ; Oras, Ants. Luulekool II, Meistriklass. Tartu : Ilmamaa, 2004 ; Lange, Anne. Ants Oras : [kirjandusteadlane, -kriitik ja tõlkija (1900-1982)]. Tartu : Ilmamaa, 2004

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-04-01

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

  7. Eavesdropping on cooperative communication within an ant-butterfly mutualism

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Elgar, Mark A.; Nash, David Richard; Pierce, Naomi E.

    2016-01-01

    of the Australian lycaenid butterfly, Jalmenus evagoras, form an obligate association with several species of attendant ants, including Iridomyrmex mayri. Ants protect the caterpillars and pupae, and in return are rewarded with nutritious secretions. Female and male adult butterflies use ants as signals...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gómez, Crisanto; Oliveras, Jordi

    2003-04-01

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

  9. Ants mediate the structure of phytotelm communities in an ant-garden bromeliad

    OpenAIRE

    Céréghino, Régis; Leroy, Céline; Dejean,Alain; Corbara, Bruno

    2010-01-01

    International audience; The main theories explaining the biological diversity of rain forests often confer a limited understanding of the contribution of interspecific interactions to the observed patterns. We show how two-species mutualisms can affect much larger segments of the invertebrate community in tropical rain forests. Aechmea mertensii (Bromeliaceae) is both a phytotelm (plant-held water) and an ant-garden epiphyte. We studied the influence of its associated ant species (Pachycondyl...

  10. Parameters of ante-mortem delirium

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Deksnyte, Aušra

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Objectives. The aim of this study was to investigate the parameters of ante-mortem delirium of the patients in a closed psychiatric institution and to compare them with the ante-mortem psychopathology of the medical patients. Methods. There were 139 medical records of the patients analyzed, who died during the period of 1997-2003 at the in-patient psychiatric institution. The diagnoses were recorded according to the International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision (ICD-10 criteria. Patients’ data included age, gender, previous psychiatric disorders, current somatic and psychiatric morbidity, and comorbidity. Results. The incidence of delirium was 83,7%. The delirium group included more elder, male persons who were more likely to have dementia and less inclined to depression. Surprisingly the incidence of delirium among non-dementia men was quite high – 76,9%, as compared to non-dementia women – 23,1% (P=0,008. The duration of delirium differed from 1 to 1335 days. Longer delirium was observed among elder than 75 years (87,7, SD 183,9 vs52,6, SD 121,4 days; P=0,019 and dementia (83,6, SD 173,6 vs 13,5, SD 11,6 days; P<0,001 patients, but did not differ in gender groups. Conclusions. Ante-mortem delirium occurred more commonly in more elder and demented patients The duration of ante-mortem delirium was shorter in younger and non-dementia patients. Patients of the psychiatric institution tend to have longer deliriums than medical patients. The patients with depression and the history of alcohol abuse were not likely to get ante-mortem delirium. Before death in many persons hyperactive and mixed delirium transformed into hypoactive.

  11. Chronic exposure of imidacloprid and clothianidin reduce queen survival, foraging, and nectar storing in colonies of Bombus impatiens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scholer, Jamison; Krischik, Vera

    2014-01-01

    In an 11-week greenhouse study, caged queenright colonies of Bombus impatiens Cresson, were fed treatments of 0 (0 ppb actual residue I, imidacloprid; C, clothianidin), 10 (14 I, 9 C), 20 (16 I, 17C), 50 (71 I, 39 C) and 100 (127 I, 76 C) ppb imidacloprid or clothianidin in sugar syrup (50%). These treatments overlapped the residue levels found in pollen and nectar of many crops and landscape plants, which have higher residue levels than seed-treated crops (less than 10 ppb, corn, canola and sunflower). At 6 weeks, queen mortality was significantly higher in 50 ppb and 100 ppb and by 11 weeks in 20 ppb-100 ppb neonicotinyl-treated colonies. The largest impact for both neonicotinyls starting at 20 (16 I, 17 C) ppb was the statistically significant reduction in queen survival (37% I, 56% C) ppb, worker movement, colony consumption, and colony weight compared to 0 ppb treatments. Bees at feeders flew back to the nest box so it appears that only a few workers were collecting syrup in the flight box and returning the syrup to the nest. The majority of the workers sat immobilized for weeks on the floor of the flight box without moving to fed at sugar syrup feeders. Neonicotinyl residues were lower in wax pots in the nest than in the sugar syrup that was provided. At 10 (14) ppb I and 50 (39) ppb C, fewer males were produced by the workers, but queens continued to invest in queen production which was similar among treatments. Feeding on imidacloprid and clothianidin can cause changes in behavior (reduced worker movement, consumption, wax pot production, and nectar storage) that result in detrimental effects on colonies (queen survival and colony weight). Wild bumblebees depending on foraging workers can be negatively impacted by chronic neonicotinyl exposure at 20 ppb.

  12. Chronic exposure of imidacloprid and clothianidin reduce queen survival, foraging, and nectar storing in colonies of Bombus impatiens.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jamison Scholer

    Full Text Available In an 11-week greenhouse study, caged queenright colonies of Bombus impatiens Cresson, were fed treatments of 0 (0 ppb actual residue I, imidacloprid; C, clothianidin, 10 (14 I, 9 C, 20 (16 I, 17C, 50 (71 I, 39 C and 100 (127 I, 76 C ppb imidacloprid or clothianidin in sugar syrup (50%. These treatments overlapped the residue levels found in pollen and nectar of many crops and landscape plants, which have higher residue levels than seed-treated crops (less than 10 ppb, corn, canola and sunflower. At 6 weeks, queen mortality was significantly higher in 50 ppb and 100 ppb and by 11 weeks in 20 ppb-100 ppb neonicotinyl-treated colonies. The largest impact for both neonicotinyls starting at 20 (16 I, 17 C ppb was the statistically significant reduction in queen survival (37% I, 56% C ppb, worker movement, colony consumption, and colony weight compared to 0 ppb treatments. Bees at feeders flew back to the nest box so it appears that only a few workers were collecting syrup in the flight box and returning the syrup to the nest. The majority of the workers sat immobilized for weeks on the floor of the flight box without moving to fed at sugar syrup feeders. Neonicotinyl residues were lower in wax pots in the nest than in the sugar syrup that was provided. At 10 (14 ppb I and 50 (39 ppb C, fewer males were produced by the workers, but queens continued to invest in queen production which was similar among treatments. Feeding on imidacloprid and clothianidin can cause changes in behavior (reduced worker movement, consumption, wax pot production, and nectar storage that result in detrimental effects on colonies (queen survival and colony weight. Wild bumblebees depending on foraging workers can be negatively impacted by chronic neonicotinyl exposure at 20 ppb.

  13. Natural Larval Diet Differently Influences the Pattern of Developmental Changes in DNA 5-Methylcytosine Levels in Apis mellifera Queens as Compared with Workers and Drones.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strachecka, A; Olszewski, K; Bajda, M; Demetraki-Paleolog, J

    2015-08-01

    The principal mechanism of gene activation/silencing is DNA 5-methylcytosine methylation. This study was aimed at determining global DNA methylation levels in larvae, prepupae, pupae, and 1-day-old adults of Apis mellifera queens, workers and drones. The Imprint Methylated DNA Quantification Kit MDQ1 was used. Percentages of DNA 5-methylcytosine were low and relatively similar in the larvae of all the castes until 4th day of larval development (3-5%). However, they were higher in the drone and worker larvae than in the queen larvae. Generally, the developmental patterns of changes in the DNA methylation levels were different in the queens in comparison with the drones and workers. While methylation increased in the queens, it decreased in the drones and workers. Methylated DNA methylcytosine percentages and weights in the queen prepupae (15%, 9.18 ng) and pupae (21%, 10.74 ng) were, respectively, three and four times higher than in the worker/drone brood of the same age (2.5-4%, 0.03-0.07 ng). Only in the queens, after a substantial increase, did DNA methylation decrease almost twice between the pupal stage and queen emergence (from 21% and 10.74 ng to 12% and 6.78 ng). This finding seems very interesting, particularly for experimental gerontology.

  14. Workers make the queens in melipona bees: identification of geraniol as a caste determining compound from labial glands of nurse bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jarau, Stefan; van Veen, Johan W; Twele, Robert; Reichle, Christian; Gonzales, Eduardo Herrera; Aguilar, Ingrid; Francke, Wittko; Ayasse, Manfred

    2010-06-01

    Reproductive division of labor in advanced eusocial honey bees and stingless bees is based on the ability of totipotent female larvae to develop into either workers or queens. In nearly all species, caste is determined by larval nutrition. However, the mechanism that triggers queen development in Melipona bees is still unresolved. Several hypotheses have been proposed, ranging from the proximate (a genetic determination of caste development) to the ultimate (a model in which larvae have complete control over their own caste fate). Here, we showed that the addition of geraniol, the main compound in labial gland secretions of nurse workers, to the larval food significantly increases the number of larvae that develop into queens. Interestingly, the proportion of queens in treated brood exactly matched the value (25%) predicted by the two-locus, two-allele model of genetic queen determination, in which only females that are heterozygous at both loci are capable of developing into queens. We conclude that labial gland secretions, added to the food of some cells by nurse bees, trigger queen development, provided that the larvae are genetically predisposed towards this developmental pathway. In Melipona beecheii, geraniol acts as a primer pheromone representing the first caste determination substance identified to date.

  15. Provenance Constraints on the Mesozoic-Cenozoic Tectonic Evolution of the Queen Charlotte Islands Region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahoney, J.; Haggart, J. W.; Kimbrough, D.; Grove, M.

    2007-05-01

    The medial Cretaceous magmatic arc system of western North America was flanked by a series of forearc basins extending from Mexico to Alaska. Cretaceous strata in the Queen Charlotte Islands of northwest British Columbia are unique in this series of basins, as these strata have been displaced from the arc system by formation of the extensional Queen Charlotte basin in Cenozoic time. This displacement complicates reconstruction of the forearc basin, and makes it difficult to evaluate the controls on basin evolution. Sedimentologic, paleontologic, and detrital zircon analyses of forearc strata represented by the Valanginian- Campanian Queen Charlotte Group (QCG) constrain basin evolution and provide a framework for an interpretation of the Mesozoic-Cenozoic tectonic evolution of the Queen Charlotte Islands region. Basin subsidence initiated in Valanginian time with a marine transgression over irregular topography consisting of extensional fault blocks of pre-Cretaceous strata. Locally derived conglomerates at the base of the Longarm Formation are overlain by shallow marine shelf deposits that represent a westward-deepening, fining-upward transgressive succession with an eastern depositional edge that migrated eastward during Valanginian to Aptian time. West-directed paleocurrents and a unimodal detrital zircon population of 120-175 Ma grains provide the first linkage between the Cretaceous QCG and unroofed Jura-Cretaceous plutons of the Coast Plutonic Complex to the east. This initial transgressive sequence is superseded by a second pulse of clastic detritus in early Albian time, characterized by an easterly-derived, fossiliferous shallow-shelf sandstone (Haida Formation), fine-grained, outer shelf to upper slope strata (Bearskin Bay Formation), and mass-sediment gravity flows (Skidegate Formation). The unimodal zircon population (ca 140-175 Ma) in the lower Haida Formation is interpreted to reflect renewed uplift of Jura-Cretaceous arc plutons by contractional

  16. Stress fields of the San Andreas and Queen Charlotte transform faults

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kilty, Kevin T.

    1981-08-01

    Analytic solutions to the stress fields resulting from the San Andreas and Queen Charlotte transform faults may be found by applying conformal mappings to the generalized plane stress solution of stresses in a half-plane. The mean stress fields (one-half the trace of the stress tensor) found in this manner show a similarity to the deformation found in western Canada and the western United States. The results refute the hypothesis that Alaska acts as a continental buttress against deformation of the Canadian Cordillera. Moreover, these results imply that the differences in the tectonics of major transform boundaries are caused primarily by differences in lithospheric structure and differences in stress distribution along the plate boundaries.

  17. Cyber against punk: Greg Bear’s Queen of Angels as metamorphosed cyberpunk

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. F. Blatchford

    1994-05-01

    Full Text Available Recent American science fiction (which commercially dominates world science fiction incorporates two schools of thought, ‘cyberpunk' and ‘hard SF’. which may be read to embody, respectively, radical/liberal and patriotic/ conservative propaganda. This article, after attempting to define aspects of these schools, examines Queen of Angels by Greg Bear (who before producing that text had been a proponent of hard SF. This text is shown to have strong elements of cyberpunk (possibly, to judge by one critical review, appealing to a cyberpunk audience but to have transformed and inverted the radical and liberal themes of cyberpunk into conservative themes. The text thus illuminates philosophical and technical differences between the schools. It is suggested that the imagery of cyberpunk, and perhaps that of science fiction in general, is liable to such reversals of ideological significance.

  18. Enhancing the Simulation of Membrane System on the GPU for the N-Queens Problem

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Ravie Chandren Muniyandi; Ali Maroosi

    2015-01-01

    Previous approaches using active mem-brane systems to solve the N-queens problem defined many membranes with just one rule inside them. This resulted in many communication rules utilised to communicate be-tween membranes, which made communications between the cores and the threads a very time-consuming process. The proposed approach reduces unnecessary membranes and communication rules by defining two membranes with many ob jects and rules inside each membrane. With this structure, ob jects and rules can evolve concurrently in par-allel, which makes the model suitable for implementation on a Graphics processing unit (GPU). The speedup using a GPU with global memory for N=10 is 10.6 times, but using tiling and shared memory, it is 33 times.

  19. Haida Gwaii / Queen Charlotte Islands demonstration tidal power plant feasibility study : summary results

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tu, A. [BC Hydro, Burnaby, BC (Canada)

    2008-07-01

    Remote communities may benefit from using tidal energy in terms of reduced diesel fuel consumption and the associated greenhouse gas emissions. A study was conducted to assess the feasibility for a tidal demonstration project on the Haida Gwaii, Queen Charlotte Islands. Candidate communities were scanned for resource potential, load profile, infrastructure distribution and community interest. This presentation focused on choosing an appropriate site for a given tidal power technology. Three hotspots in Masset Sound were identified as well as one hotspot at Juskatla Narrows. Technology providers were solicited for information on unit performance, cost, and trials to date. The presentation noted that demonstration or future commercial deployment is limited by resource and by the ability of the grid to accommodate tidal power. The presentation concluded with next steps which include publishing the study. tabs., figs.

  20. Proceedings of the Queen's-RMC Fuel Cell Research Centre fuel cell technology day

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    2007-07-01

    The Queen's-RMC Fuel Cell Research Centre was formed to conduct research on polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) and solid oxide (SOFC) fuel cells as well as fuel processing and hydrogen production and storage technologies. The centre focuses on the development of manufacturing methods, mathematical modelling, catalysis and reaction engineering, and computational thermodynamics. The fuel cell technology day provided a forum for research leaders from various institutions to discuss recent studies related to PEM and SOFC fuel cells. Issues related to materials and system degradation in fuel cells were discussed along with recent developments in the micro-engineering of SOFC cathodes. Commercialization plans for megawatt fuel cells were also discussed, and recent spectroscopy and voltammetry studies of PEM fuel cells were presented. A panel discussion was also held to determine research directions for the future. The technology day featured 7 presentations, of which 2 have been catalogued separately for inclusion in this database. tabs., figs.

  1. Society News: Queen honours Fellows; The Society and legacies; Thesis prizes; Lectures on laptops; Stonehenge story

    Science.gov (United States)

    2007-08-01

    The Queen's Birthday Honours list announced on 16 June contained some familiar names from astronomy. Prof. Mark Bailey (1) of Armagh Observatory, currently a Vice-President of the RAS, was awarded an MBE and Dr Heather Couper (2), former President of the British Astronomical Association, a CBE. Prof. Nigel Mason (3) of the Open University and inaugural Director of the Milton Keynes Science Festival received an OBE. Prof. Jocelyn Bell-Burnell (4), President of the RAS from 2002-2004, was awarded a DBE - and an Honorary Doctorate from Harvard University. In addition, Prof. Lord Rees (5), Astronomer Royal, president of the Royal Society and President of the RAS from 1992-1994, was appointed to the Order of Merit.

  2. Volunteering as Red Queen Mechanism for Cooperation in Public Goods Games

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hauert, Christoph; De Monte, Silvia; Hofbauer, Josef; Sigmund, Karl

    2002-05-01

    The evolution of cooperation among nonrelated individuals is one of the fundamental problems in biology and social sciences. Reciprocal altruism fails to provide a solution if interactions are not repeated often enough or groups are too large. Punishment and reward can be very effective but require that defectors can be traced and identified. Here we present a simple but effective mechanism operating under full anonymity. Optional participation can foil exploiters and overcome the social dilemma. In voluntary public goods interactions, cooperators and defectors will coexist. We show that this result holds under very diverse assumptions on population structure and adaptation mechanisms, leading usually not to an equilibrium but to an unending cycle of adjustments (a Red Queen type of evolution). Thus, voluntary participation offers an escape hatch out of some social traps. Cooperation can subsist in sizable groups even if interactions are not repeated, defectors remain anonymous, players have no memory, and assortment is purely random.

  3. Image and Role of the Queen Mother of the West in Han Grave Art

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nataša VAMPELJ SUHADOLNIK

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available The present article is a detailed study of the image of an ancient Chinese goddess, The Queen Mother of the West, called Xiwangmu 西王母 in Chinese. In the mythological tradition, Xiwangmu is a goddess who possesses the elixir of immortality and dwells in the western paradise, on the magic mountain Kunlun 崑崙. While her image can be found in mural paintings, and on lacquered objects and bronze mirrors, it appears primarily in the form of relief images on the stones and bricks of grave chambers and temples in the Han (206 BCE–220 CE grave complexes. The literary tradition reveals a multifunctional role of the mother, with her many attributes developing in accordance with the changing values of social and mythological concepts. The article concludes with a detailed discussion of her image and role within the wider cosmological context of Han grave art.

  4. Honey bee males and queens use glandular secretions to enhance sperm viability before and after storage

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2009-01-01

    Internal fertilization requires live sperm to be transferred from male to female before egg fertilization. Both males and females assist the insemination process by providing sperm with glandular secretions, which have been inferred to contain subsets of proteins that maintain sperm viability. Here...... we show that in the honeybee (Apis mellifera) secretions of the male accessory glands, the major contributors towards seminal fluid, enhance sperm survival. We further demonstrate that the protein fraction of the male accessory gland secretion is indeed important for achieving the maximal effect...... on sperm survival. After sperm storage, the queens also provide sperm with secretions from spermathecal glands and we show that these secretions have a comparable positive effect on sperm viability. SDS gels show that the proteomic profiles of accessory gland secretion and spermathecal fluid secretion...

  5. THE LEGEND ABOUT THE QUEEN OF KANIS:A HISTORlCAL SOURCE?

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    LiliaBayun

    1994-01-01

    In 1970, during the excavations in the area of the Great Temple of Boghazkǒy (the Lower City) a cuneiform tablet was found that at once attracted the attention of Hittitologists. This tablet (Bo 70/10, KBo XXII 2) is the Old Hittite original, written in the old ductus, of KBo III 38 (=2 BoTU 13). The latter, known from the autograph of M.H. Figulla (1918), is a New Hittite copy with a very characteristic ductus and a preference for Akkadian forms where the Old Hittite version uses Hittite words or, more seldom, Sumerograms. The text, known as The Legend about the Queen of Kanis and the City of Zalpa, was published in transliteration and with a commentary by H. Otten (1973).

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mathis, Kaitlyn A; Tsutsui, Neil D

    2016-08-17

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dijkstra, Michiel Bendert; Boomsma, Jacobus Jan

    2006-01-01

    . However, all males were tiny (3.5-9 mm long) compared to normal queen sons (16 mm long), and would almost certainly be unable to mate. We also found reproductive eggs, but most of these had no yolk and were thus inviable. We conclude that Atta workers are not completely infertile, but that worker...... 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...

  9. ‘All Touched my Hand’: Queenly Sentiment and Royal Prerogative

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rachel Bates

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available The Crimean War occurred during a formative period of ‘civic publicness’, a term used by John Plunkett to describe the press-mediated public duties undertaken by Victoria and Albert to affirm the monarchy’s popular constitution. The war triggered significant royal intervention into the condition of the army, one of the few sites of royal prerogative. At a time when aristocratic governance was being attacked and the privations of soldiers exposed to an unprecedented extent, the monarchy was keen both to legitimize its role as head of the army and to demonstrate its sensitivity to popular concern for the suffering of ordinary soldiers. This manifested in a highly publicized leaked letter from the Queen expressing her regard for ‘her troops’, the royal family’s visits to wounded soldiers, and the distribution of the Crimean Medal at a special ceremony, which portrayed the accessibility of the Queen through the use of touch. This article explores the symbolism and impetus of these occurrences and assesses the reception of royal intervention in the press. The few assessments of royal influence during the Crimean War have focused largely on Victoria’s personal fascination with the progress of the war and her soldiers. This article explores instead the wider, political significance of the army as extension of the royal family. The Liberal press and artists responded favourably to demonstrations of the Queen’s maternal sympathy for the troops, but my article will point to a hidden struggle to assert the Crown’s authority. Normal 0 false false false EN-GB X-NONE X-NONE

  10. Metal distribution in urban soil around steel industry beside Queen Alia Airport, Jordan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Al-Khashman, Omar A; Shawabkeh, Reyad A

    2009-12-01

    The objective of this study was to assess the extent and severity of metal contamination in urban soil around Queen Alia Airport, Jordan. Thirty-two soil samples were collected around steel manufacturing plants located in the Al-Jiza area, south Jordan, around the Queen Alia Airport. The samples were obtained at two depths, 0-10 and 10-20 cm, and were analyzed by atomic absorption spectrophotometry for lead (Pb), zinc (Zn), cadmium (Cd), iron (Fe), copper (Cu) and chromium (Cr) levels. The physicochemical factors believed to affect the mobility of metals in the soil of the study area were also examined, including pH, electrical conductivity, total organic matter, calcium carbonate (CaCO(3)) content and cation exchange capacity. The high concentrations of Pb, Zn and Cd in the soil samples were found to be related to anthropogenic sources, such as the steel manufacturing plants, agriculture and traffic emissions, with the highest concentrations of these metals close to the site of the steel plants; in contrast the concentration of Cr was low in the soil sampled close to the steel plants. The metals were concentrated in the surface soil, and concentrations decreased with increasing depth, reflecting the physical properties of the soil and its alkaline pH. The mineralogical composition of the topsoil, identified by X-ray diffraction, was predominantly quartz, calcite, dolomite and minor minerals, such as gypsum and clay minerals. Metal concentrations were compared using one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) to compute the statistical significance of the mean. The results of the ANOVA showed significant differences between sites for Pb, Cd and Cu, but no significant differences for the remaining metals tested. Factor analysis revealed that polluted soil occurs predominantly at sites around the steel plants and that there is no significant variation in the characteristics of the unpolluted soil, which are uniform in the study area.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graham, Paul; Mangan, Michael

    2015-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flanagan, Tatiana P; Pinter-Wollman, Noa M; Moses, Melanie E; Gordon, Deborah M

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tatiana P Flanagan

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Stürup, Marlene

    soon after, whereas queens can live for years without ever re-mating but only using the stored sperm they have received from one or several males. The number of live sperm received and stored during mating therefore ultimately limits queen lifetime reproductive success, and males are consequently under...... after storage. Queens are also expected to use all the sperm they receive and not bias sperm use away from certain males, yet sperm mixing and sperm use in eusocial insects is poorly investigated. Using molecular techniques, I quantified the relative ejaculate contributions from males to the queen...

  15. Kin-informative recognition cues in ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2011-01-01

    Although social groups are characterized by cooperation, they are also often the scene of conflict. In non-clonal systems, the reproductive interests of group members will differ and individuals may benefit by exploiting the cooperative efforts of other group members. However, such selfish...... 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...

  16. Ant Colony Optimization and Hypergraph Covering Problems

    CERN Document Server

    Pat, Ankit

    2011-01-01

    Ant Colony Optimization (ACO) is a very popular metaheuristic for solving computationally hard combinatorial optimization problems. Runtime analysis of ACO with respect to various pseudo-boolean functions and different graph based combinatorial optimization problems has been taken up in recent years. In this paper, we investigate the runtime behavior of an MMAS*(Max-Min Ant System) ACO algorithm on some well known hypergraph covering problems that are NP-Hard. In particular, we have addressed the Minimum Edge Cover problem, the Minimum Vertex Cover problem and the Maximum Weak- Independent Set problem. The influence of pheromone values and heuristic information on the running time is analysed. The results indicate that the heuristic information has greater impact towards improving the expected optimization time as compared to pheromone values. For certain instances of hypergraphs, we show that the MMAS* algorithm gives a constant order expected optimization time when the dominance of heuristic information is ...

  17. 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 o...... is formed, where in the nervous system it is localized, and the possible role of learning. We combine seemingly contradictory evidence in to a novel, parsimonious theory for the information processing of nestmate recognition cues.......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...

  18. Discrimination Behavior in the Supercolonial Pharaoh Ant

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pontieri, Luigi

    ones and that low genetically diverse colonies discriminated high diverse non-nestmates better than vice versa. In the second chapter I investigated whether the high genetic differentiation characterizing natural colonies of pharaoh ants is sufficient to prevent unrelated colonies to fuse and how...... compiled datasets of cuticular hydrocarbons (CHCs) and aggression between colonies of three species of ants (Formica exsecta, Camponotus aethiops and Monomorium pharaonis) and a simulated dataset. Then, using the available information about the exact cues used for nestmate recognition in F. exsecta, we...... evaluated the power of different combinations of data transformation and chemical distance calculation in differentiating between true nestmate recognition (NMR) cues and other compounds. We found that particular combinations of statistical procedures are more effective in differentiating NMR cues from...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stuble, Katharine L; Kirkman, L Katherine; Carroll, C Ronald; Sanders, Nathan J

    2011-06-01

    The degree to which changes in community composition mediate the probability of colonization and spread of non-native species is not well understood, especially in animal communities. High species richness may hinder the establishment of non-native species. Distinguishing between this scenario and cases in which non-native species become established in intact (lacking extensive anthropogenic soil disturbance) communities and subsequently diminish the abundance and richness of native species is challenging on the basis of observation alone. The red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta), an invasive species that occurs throughout much of the southeastern United States, is such an example. Rather than competitively displacing native species, fire ants may become established only in disturbed areas in which native species richness and abundance are already reduced. We used insecticide to reduce the abundance of native ants and fire ants in four experimental plots. We then observed the reassembly and reestablishment of the ants in these plots for 1 year after treatment. The abundance of fire ants in treated plots did not differ from abundance in control plots 1 year after treatment. Likewise, the abundance of native ants increased to levels comparable to those in control plots after 1 year. Our findings suggest that factors other than large reductions in ant abundance and species density (number of species per unit area) may affect the establishment of fire ants and that the response of native ants and fire ants to disturbance can be comparable.

  20. Ant colony optimization and constraint programming

    CERN Document Server

    Solnon, Christine

    2013-01-01

    Ant colony optimization is a metaheuristic which has been successfully applied to a wide range of combinatorial optimization problems. The author describes this metaheuristic and studies its efficiency for solving some hard combinatorial problems, with a specific focus on constraint programming. The text is organized into three parts. The first part introduces constraint programming, which provides high level features to declaratively model problems by means of constraints. It describes the main existing approaches for solving constraint satisfaction problems, including complete tree search

  1. Polyethism in a colony of artificial ants

    CERN Document Server

    Marriott, Chris

    2011-01-01

    We explore self-organizing strategies for role assignment in a foraging task carried out by a colony of artificial agents. Our strategies are inspired by various mechanisms of division of labor (polyethism) observed in eusocial insects like ants, termites, or bees. Specifically we instantiate models of caste polyethism and age or temporal polyethism to evaluated the benefits to foraging in a dynamic environment. Our experiment is directly related to the exploration/exploitation trade of in machine learning.

  2. Ant foraging on extrafloral nectaries of Qualea grandiflora (Vochysiaceae) in cerrado vegetation: ants as potential antiherbivore agents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oliveira, P S; da Silva, A F; Martins, A B

    1987-12-01

    Qualea grandiflora is a typical tree of Brazilian cerrados (savanna-like vegetation) that bears paired extrafloral nectaries (EFNs) along its stems. Results show that possession of EFNs increases ant density on Q. grandiflora shrubs over that of neighbouring non-nectariferous plants. Frequency of ant occupancy and mean number of ants per plant were much higher on Qualea than on plants lacking EFNs. These differences resulted in many more live termitebaits being attacked by foraging ants on Qualea than on neighbours without EFNs. Termites were attacked in equal numbers and with equal speeds on different-aged leaves of Qualea. The greatest potential for herbivore deterrence was presented by Camponotus ants (C. crassus, C. rufipes and C. aff. blandus), which together attacked significantly more termites than nine other ant species grouped. EFNs are regarded as important promoters of ant activity on cerado plants.

  3. A plant needs ants like a dog needs fleas: Myrmelachista schumanni ants gall many tree species to create housing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edwards, David P; Frederickson, Megan E; Shepard, Glenn H; Yu, Douglas W

    2009-11-01

    Hundreds of tropical plant species house ant colonies in specialized chambers called domatia. When, in 1873, Richard Spruce likened plant-ants to fleas and asserted that domatia are ant-created galls, he incited a debate that lasted almost a century. Although we now know that domatia are not galls and that most ant-plant interactions are mutualisms and not parasitisms, we revisit Spruce's suggestion that ants can gall in light of our observations of the plant-ant Myrmelachista schumanni, which creates clearings in the Amazonian rain forest called "supay-chakras," or "devil's gardens." We observed swollen scars on the trunks of nonmyrmecophytic canopy trees surrounding supay-chakras, and within these swellings, we found networks of cavities inhabited by M. schumanni. Here, we summarize the evidence supporting the hypothesis that M. schumanni ants make these galls, and we hypothesize that the adaptive benefit of galling is to increase the amount of nesting space available to M. schumanni colonies.

  4. El periodista, ante la espiral de silencio

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dr. Fermín Galindo Arranz

    1998-01-01

    Full Text Available La percepción de la profesión periodística y de su influencia cambia mucho a lo largo del tiempo, de las coyunturas históricas y de los diferentes países y sociedades en los que desempeñan su labor. En un contexto mundial, la gravedad de las situaciones de riesgo periodístico se encuadran en situaciones políticas, económicas o sociales también conflictivas; es entonces cuando se suele reproducir con facilidad en la opinión pública el fenómeno de la espiral del silencio, ante el que inevitablemente se sitúa el periodista. Por definición, el trabajo del periodista consiste en ser portavoz de las novedades que se producen, en dar informaciones y emitir opiniones en la esfera pública, se tiene que situar, por tanto, de forma individual y notoriamente pública ante los fenómenos de espiral de silencio que puedan producirse en la opinión pública. Antonio Tabucchi nos presenta en su novela "Sostiene Pereira" un ejemplo magnífico del dilema del periodista ante este tipo de situaciones.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karin Moll

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Foraging workers of grass-cutting ants (Atta vollenweideri regularly carry grass fragments larger than their own body. Fragment length has been shown to influence the ants' running speed and thereby the colony's food intake rate. We investigated whether and how grass-cutting ants maintain stability when carrying fragments of two different lengths but identical mass. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Ants carried all fragments in an upright, backwards-tilted position, but held long fragments more vertically than short ones. All carrying ants used an alternating tripod gait, where mechanical stability was increased by overlapping stance phases of consecutive steps. The overlap was greatest for ants carrying long fragments, resulting in more legs contacting the ground simultaneously. For all ants, the projection of the total centre of mass (ant and fragment was often outside the supporting tripod, i.e. the three feet that would be in stance for a non-overlapping tripod gait. Stability was only achieved through additional legs in ground contact. Tripod stability (quantified as the minimum distance of the centre of mass to the edge of the supporting tripod was significantly smaller for ants with long fragments. Here, tripod stability was lowest at the beginning of each step, when the center of mass was near the posterior margin of the supporting tripod. By contrast, tripod stability was lowest at the end of each step for ants carrying short fragments. Consistently, ants with long fragments mainly fell backwards, whereas ants carrying short fragments mainly fell forwards or to the side. Assuming that transporting ants adjust neither the fragment angle nor the gait, they would be less stable and more likely to fall over. CONCLUSIONS: In grass-cutting ants, the need to maintain static stability when carrying long grass fragments has led to multiple kinematic adjustments at the expense of a reduced material transport rate.

  6. Deformed wing virus in western honey bees (Apis mellifera) from Atlantic Canada and the first description of an overtly-infected emerging queen.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Geoffrey R; Rogers, Richard E L; Kalkstein, Abby L; Taylor, Benjamin A; Shutler, Dave; Ostiguy, Nancy

    2009-04-01

    Deformed wing virus (DWV) in western honey bees (Apis mellifera) often remains asymptomatic in workers and drones, and symptoms have never been described from queens. However, intense infections linked to parasitism by the mite Varroa destructor can cause worker wing deformity and death within 67 h of emergence. Ten workers (eight with deformed wings and two with normal wings) and three drones (two with deformed wings and one with normal wings) from two colonies infected with V. destructor from Nova Scotia, Canada, and two newly-emerged queens (one with deformed wings and one with normal wings) from two colonies infected with V. destructor from Prince Edward Island, Canada, were genetically analyzed for DWV. We detected DWV in all workers and drones, regardless of wing morphology, but only in the deformed-winged queen. This is the first report of DWV from Atlantic Canada and the first detection of a symptomatic queen with DWV from anywhere.

  7. Functional characterisation of semen in honeybee queen (A.m.ligustica S. spermatheca and efficiency of the diluted semen technique in instrumental insemination

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea Galli

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Differences over time in the quality of semen present in the honey bee (Apis mellifera ligustica queen spermatheca werestudied. An increase in the non-vital spermatozoa was shown to be evident (P>0.05 between the 12th and 24th month.The study of semen viability demonstrated that the passage of the semen to the spermatheca is due to sperm motility.In the queen inseminated with non-viable spermatozoa, no semen was detected in the spermatheca. Queens inseminatedtwice with a Hyes solution/semen mixture (1:1 stored as many spermatozoa in their spermatheca as those inseminatedonce with the classic technique. Queen replacement, oviposition and other functional characteristics were similarto those observed in the classic insemination procedure.

  8. Observation of the Mating Behavior of Honey Bee (Apis mellifera L.) Queens Using Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID): Factors Influencing the Duration and Frequency of Nuptial Flights.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heidinger, Ina Monika Margret; Meixner, Marina Doris; Berg, Stefan; Büchler, Ralph

    2014-07-01

    We used radio-frequency identification (RFID) to record the duration and frequency of nuptial flights of honey bee queens (Apis mellifera carnica) at two mainland mating apiaries. We investigated the effect of a number of factors on flight duration and frequency: mating apiary, number of drone colonies, queen's age and temperature. We found significant differences between the two locations concerning the number of flights on the first three days. We also observed an effect of the ambient temperature, with queens flying less often but longer at high temperatures compared to lower temperatures. Increasing the number of drone colonies from 33 to 80 colonies had no effect on the duration or on the frequency of nuptial flights. Since our results agree well with the results of previous studies, we suggest RFID as an appropriate tool to investigate the mating behavior of honey bee queens.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Offenberg, Hans Joachim

    2011-01-01

    Canopy dwelling weaver ants are widely distributed throughout the Old World Tropics where they build up high densities on their host trees. If managed properly the high number of ants will control a range of pest insects and benefit crop production. Simultaneously the ant larvae production, fuell...... be sustainable combined with their use in biocontrol, (ii) estimates of ant harvest yields from a mango plantation and (iii) how active feeding of ants may generate economic returns between 1.52 and 4.56 in a Thai market....... into a valuable and needed source of protein. Protein from conventional livestock production leave a high pressure on the environment as the food and farm area needed to produce each protein unit is high. For insect production these requirements are much lower and FAO has recently proposed research in insect...... farming as a way forward to solve an increasing future demand for protein. Weaver ant farming may build on natural food collected by the ants or alternatively be boosted by feeding the ant colonies actively with protein and sugar. In both cases, when ant biocontrol is combined with ant farming...

  10. Chemically armed mercenary ants protect fungus-farming societies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adams, Rachelle M M; Liberti, Joanito; Illum, Anders A; Jones, Tappey H; Nash, David R; Boomsma, Jacobus J

    2013-09-24

    The ants are extraordinary in having evolved many lineages that exploit closely related ant societies as social parasites, but social parasitism by distantly related ants is rare. Here we document the interaction dynamics among a Sericomyrmex fungus-growing ant host, a permanently associated parasitic guest ant of the genus Megalomyrmex, and a raiding agro-predator of the genus Gnamptogenys. We show experimentally that the guest ants protect their host colonies against agro-predator raids using alkaloid venom that is much more potent than the biting defenses of the host ants. Relatively few guest ants are sufficient to kill raiders that invariably exterminate host nests without a cohabiting guest ant colony. We also show that the odor of guest ants discourages raider scouts from recruiting nestmates to host colonies. Our results imply that Sericomyrmex fungus-growers obtain a net benefit from their costly guest ants behaving as a functional soldier caste to meet lethal threats from agro-predator raiders. The fundamentally different life histories of the agro-predators and guest ants appear to facilitate their coexistence in a negative frequency-dependent manner. Because a guest ant colony is committed for life to a single host colony, the guests would harm their own interests by not defending the host that they continue to exploit. This conditional mutualism is analogous to chronic sickle cell anemia enhancing the resistance to malaria and to episodes in human history when mercenary city defenders offered either net benefits or imposed net costs, depending on the level of threat from invading armies.

  11. Differences in mushroom bodies morphogenesis in workers, queens and drones of Apis mellifera: neuroblasts proliferation and death.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roat, Thaisa Cristina; da Cruz Landim, Carminda

    2010-06-01

    Apis mellifera is an interesting model to neurobiological studies. It has a relatively small brain that commands the complex learning and memory tasks demanded by the social organization. An A. mellifera colony is made up of a queen, thousands of workers and a varying number of drones. The latter are males, whereas the former are the two female castes. These three phenotypes differ in morphology, physiology and behavior, correlated with their respective functions in the society. Such differences include the morphology and architecture of their brains. To understand the processes generating such polymorphic brains we characterized the cell division and cell death dynamics which underlie the morphogenesis of the mushroom bodies, through several methods suitable for evidence the time and place of occurrence. Cell death was detected in mushroom bodies of last larval instar and mainly in black-eyed pupae. Cell division was observed in mushroom bodies, primarily at the start of metamorphosis, exhibiting temporal differences among workers, queens and males.

  12. Odour-evoked responses to queen pheromone components and to plant odours using optical imaging in the antennal lobe of the honey bee drone Apis mellifera L.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sandoz, Jean-Christophe

    2006-09-01

    The primordial functional role of honey bee males (drones) is to mate with virgin queens, a behaviour relying heavily on the olfactory detection of queen pheromone. In the present work I studied olfactory processing in the drone antennal lobe (AL), the primary olfactory centre of the insect brain. In drones, the AL consists of about 103 ordinary glomeruli and four enlarged glomeruli, the macroglomeruli (MG). Two macroglomeruli (MG1 and MG2) and approximately 20 ordinary glomeruli occupy the anterior surface of the antennal lobe and are thus accessible to optical recordings. Calcium imaging was used to measure odour-evoked responses to queen pheromonal components and plant odours. MG2 responded specifically to the main component of the queen mandibular pheromone, 9-ODA. The secondary components HOB and HVA each triggered activity in one, but not the same, ordinary glomerulus. MG1 did not respond to any of the tested stimuli. Plant odours induced signals only in ordinary glomeruli in a combinatorial manner, as in workers. This study thus shows that the major queen pheromonal component is processed in the most voluminous macroglomerulus of the drone antennal lobe, and that plant odours, as well as some queen pheromonal components, are processed in ordinary glomeruli.

  13. The role of the glucose-sensing transcription factor carbohydrate-responsive element-binding protein pathway in termite queen fertility

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sillam-Dussès, David; Hanus, Robert; Poulsen, Michael; Roy, Virginie; Favier, Maryline

    2016-01-01

    Termites are among the few animals that themselves can digest the most abundant organic polymer, cellulose, into glucose. In mice and Drosophila, glucose can activate genes via the transcription factor carbohydrate-responsive element-binding protein (ChREBP) to induce glucose utilization and de novo lipogenesis. Here, we identify a termite orthologue of ChREBP and its downstream lipogenic targets, including acetyl-CoA carboxylase and fatty acid synthase. We show that all of these genes, including ChREBP, are upregulated in mature queens compared with kings, sterile workers and soldiers in eight different termite species. ChREBP is expressed in several tissues, including ovaries and fat bodies, and increases in expression in totipotent workers during their differentiation into neotenic mature queens. We further show that ChREBP is regulated by a carbohydrate diet in termite queens. Suppression of the lipogenic pathway by a pharmacological agent in queens elicits the same behavioural alterations in sterile workers as observed in queenless colonies, supporting that the ChREBP pathway partakes in the biosynthesis of semiochemicals that convey the signal of the presence of a fertile queen. Our results highlight ChREBP as a likely key factor for the regulation and signalling of queen fertility. PMID:27249798

  14. ‘A token of their love’: Queen Victoria Memorials in New Zealand

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    Mark Stocker

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available This article provides an overview of the four metropolitan sculptural memorials to Queen Victoria in late-colonial New Zealand, which all immediately precede the colony’s Dominion status (1907. In chronological order, they were erected in Auckland, Christchurch, Wellington, and Dunedin. While the Auckland memorial was unveiled within the Queen’s lifetime, her death in 1901 catalysed the commission of more ambitious counterparts in Wellington and Dunedin, and a degree of intercity rivalry was consciously articulated in advocacy for them. The memorials reflect a Pākeha (European New Zealand sense of identity as a loyal, pro-monarchical, and imperial colony, but also as a ‘Better Britain’, with a proud sense of prosperity and achievement. Local content features prominently in two of them, notably the signing with Māori of the Treaty of Waitangi (1840 in one of the reliefs for the capital city memorial (Wellington, and an ambitious celebration of fifty years of provincial achievement in the pedestal sculpture for the Christchurch counterpart. Due to a dearth of home-grown talent, together with the belief in the artistic superiority of Britain (often known at the time as ‘Home’, British sculptors were invariably commissioned for these memorials. Cost-effectiveness, prestige, and the ability to render a realistic likeness were all criteria behind the choice of artists, with Francis John Williamson commissioned for two of them (Auckland and Christchurch. In researching this article, extensive use has been made of primary newspaper sources to document the political context of the memorials. In all of them, particularly that of Christchurch, New Zealand’s loyalty to Britain in the South African War (1899–1902 was a leading issue. Artistic and aesthetic issues and analysis were less prominent, although there was a widespread belief that the Queen should be honoured for purely symbolic and not utilitarian causes. While emphasis is given

  15. Lytton Strachey : l’historien intime de deux reines Lytton Strachey’s Intimate Biographies of Two Queens

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    Jeannine Hayat

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available The British writer Lytton Strachey (1880-1932 wrote biographies of the two most eminent Queens of England: Queen Victoria (1921 and Elizabeth and Essex (1928. The two books made him a very famous historian. However, he would personally have preferred to be admired for his poetry or his plays, for he was a very gifted literary author. Nevertheless many of Strachey’s readers have appreciated his conception of biography, as a means of personal confession while studying the destiny of a public figure. Indeed the Stracheyan way of life, free from Victorian moral standards and guided by the rules of the Bloomsbury group, inspired his story of Victoria and Elizabeth. Both Queens at the end of their lives and at the height of their power carried on strange love affairs: Victoria with her Scottish gillie and Elizabeth with the Earl of Essex, thirty years her younger. In fact, both romances subtly reflect Strachey’s own love affairs. He was himself engaged in a kind of common life with Dora Carrington— the painter, thirteen years younger than him, with whom he was not sexually involved— while he engaged in numerous homosexual love affairs.

  16. Societies drifting apart? Behavioural, genetic and chemical differentiation between supercolonies in the yellow crazy ant Anoplolepis gracilipes.

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    Jochen Drescher

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: In populations of most social insects, gene flow is maintained through mating between reproductive individuals from different colonies in periodic nuptial flights followed by dispersal of the fertilized foundresses. Some ant species, however, form large polygynous supercolonies, in which mating takes place within the maternal nest (intranidal mating and fertilized queens disperse within or along the boundary of the supercolony, leading to supercolony growth (colony budding. As a consequence, gene flow is largely confined within supercolonies. Over time, such supercolonies may diverge genetically and, thus, also in recognition cues (cuticular hydrocarbons, CHC's by a combination of genetic drift and accumulation of colony-specific, neutral mutations. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We tested this hypothesis for six supercolonies of the invasive ant Anoplolepis gracilipes in north-east Borneo. Within supercolonies, workers from different nests tolerated each other, were closely related and showed highly similar CHC profiles. Between supercolonies, aggression ranged from tolerance to mortal encounters and was negatively correlated with relatedness and CHC profile similarity. Supercolonies were genetically and chemically distinct, with mutually aggressive supercolony pairs sharing only 33.1%±17.5% (mean ± SD of their alleles across six microsatellite loci and 73.8%±11.6% of the compounds in their CHC profile. Moreover, the proportion of alleles that differed between supercolony pairs was positively correlated to the proportion of qualitatively different CHC compounds. These qualitatively differing CHC compounds were found across various substance classes including alkanes, alkenes and mono-, di- and trimethyl-branched alkanes. CONCLUSIONS: We conclude that positive feedback between genetic, chemical and behavioural traits may further enhance supercolony differentiation through genetic drift and neutral evolution, and may drive

  17. Phylogeography of Pogonomyrmex barbatus and P. rugosus harvester ants with genetic and environmental caste determination.

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    Mott, Brendon M; Gadau, Jürgen; Anderson, Kirk E

    2015-07-01

    We present a phylogeographic study of at least six reproductively isolated lineages of new world harvester ants within the Pogonomyrmex barbatus and P. rugosus species group. The genetic and geographic relationships within this clade are complex: Four of the identified lineages show genetic caste determination (GCD) and are divided into two pairs. Each pair has evolved under a mutualistic system that necessitates sympatry. These paired lineages are dependent upon one another because their GCD requires interlineage matings for the production of F1 hybrid workers, and intralineage matings are required to produce queens. This GCD system maintains genetic isolation among these interdependent lineages, while simultaneously requiring co-expansion and emigration as their distributions have changed over time. It has also been demonstrated that three of these four GCD lineages have undergone historical hybridization, but the narrower sampling range of previous studies has left questions on the hybrid parentage, breadth, and age of these groups. Thus, reconstructing the phylogenetic and geographic history of this group allows us to evaluate past insights and hypotheses and to plan future inquiries in a more complete historical biogeographic context. Using mitochondrial DNA sequences sampled across most of the morphospecies' ranges in the U.S.A. and Mexico, we conducted a detailed phylogeographic study. Remarkably, our results indicate that one of the GCD lineage pairs has experienced a dramatic range expansion, despite the genetic load and fitness costs of the GCD system. Our analyses also reveal a complex pattern of vicariance and dispersal in Pogonomyrmex harvester ants that is largely concordant with models of late Miocene, Pliocene, and Pleistocene range shifts among various arid-adapted taxa in North America.

  18. Cryptic sexual populations account for genetic diversity and ecological success in a widely distributed, asexual fungus-growing ant.

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    Rabeling, Christian; Gonzales, Omar; Schultz, Ted R; Bacci, Maurício; Garcia, Marcos V B; Verhaagh, Manfred; Ishak, Heather D; Mueller, Ulrich G

    2011-07-26

    Sex and recombination are central processes in life generating genetic diversity. Organisms that rely on asexual propagation risk extinction due to the loss of genetic diversity and the inability to adapt to changing environmental conditions. The fungus-growing ant species Mycocepurus smithii was thought to be obligately asexual because only parthenogenetic populations have been collected from widely separated geographic localities. Nonetheless, M. smithii is ecologically successful, with the most extensive distribution and the highest population densities of any fungus-growing ant. Here we report that M. smithii actually consists of a mosaic of asexual and sexual populations that are nonrandomly distributed geographically. The sexual populations cluster along the Rio Amazonas and the Rio Negro and appear to be the source of independently evolved and widely distributed asexual lineages, or clones. Either apomixis or automixis with central fusion and low recombination rates is inferred to be the cytogenetic mechanism underlying parthenogenesis in M. smithii. Males appear to be entirely absent from asexual populations, but their existence in sexual populations is indicated by the presence of sperm in the reproductive tracts of queens. A phylogenetic analysis of the genus suggests that M. smithii is monophyletic, rendering a hybrid origin of asexuality unlikely. Instead, a mitochondrial phylogeny of sexual and asexual populations suggests multiple independent origins of asexual reproduction, and a divergence-dating analysis indicates that M. smithii evolved 0.5-1.65 million years ago. Understanding the evolutionary origin and maintenance of asexual reproduction in this species contributes to a general understanding of the adaptive significance of sex.

  19. Two closely related species of desert carpenter ant differ in individual-level allocation to fat storage.

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    Hahn, Daniel A

    2006-01-01

    Comparison of closely related species that differ in their life histories is a powerful method for studying the underlying physiological mechanisms contributing to life-history variation. I investigated whether two closely related members of the Camponotus festinatus species complex of desert carpenter ants, C. nr. festinatus Desert Light and C. nr. festinatus Desert Dark, differed in their life-history tactics with respect to fat storage. Newly mated queens were collected in the field, and colonies were reared under common conditions in the laboratory for 2 yr before sampling. I show that the two species differ in fat storage at the individual level. While the basic scaling relationship between lean mass and fat content did not differ between the two species, Dark workers and soldiers stored significantly more fat per unit lean mass than Light workers or soldiers. There were no significant demographic differences in the proportions of workers or soldiers involved in fat storage between the two species, although there was a trend toward Light colonies having a greater proportion of soldiers storing large amounts of fat. There was also no significant difference in the total amount of fat stored by the two species at the colony level. The detection of strong individual-level effects but no colony-level effects was likely due to the low statistical power of colony-level analyses. Showing that these two closely related species differ in fat storage at the individual level in a common environment demonstrates their utility as a model for understanding the physiological and behavioral mechanisms regulating life-history variation in fat storage in ants.

  20. Do herbivores eavesdrop on ant chemical communication to avoid predation?

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    David J Gonthier

    Full Text Available Strong effects of predator chemical cues on prey are common in aquatic and marine ecosystems, but are thought to be rare in terrestrial systems and specifically for arthropods. For ants, herbivores are hypothesized to eavesdrop on ant chemical communication and thereby avoid predation or confrontation. Here I tested the effect of ant chemical cues on herbivore choice and herbivory. Using Margaridisa sp. flea beetles and leaves from the host tree (Conostegia xalapensis, I performed paired-leaf choice feeding experiments. Coating leaves with crushed ant liquids (Azteca instabilis, exposing leaves to ant patrolling prior to choice tests (A. instabilis and Camponotus textor and comparing leaves from trees with and without A. instabilis nests resulted in more herbivores and herbivory on control (no ant-treatment relative to ant-treatment leaves. In contrast to A. instabilis and C. textor, leaves previously patrolled by Solenopsis geminata had no difference in beetle number and damage compared to control leaves. Altering the time A. instabilis patrolled treatment leaves prior to choice tests (0-, 5-, 30-, 90-, 180-min. revealed treatment effects were only statistically significant after 90- and 180-min. of prior leaf exposure. This study suggests, for two ecologically important and taxonomically diverse genera (Azteca and Camponotus, ant chemical cues have important effects on herbivores and that these effects may be widespread across the ant family. It suggests that the effect of chemical cues on herbivores may only appear after substantial previous ant activity has occurred on plant tissues. Furthermore, it supports the hypothesis that herbivores use ant chemical communication to avoid predation or confrontation with ants.