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Sample records for ant queen egg-marking

  1. Ant queen egg-marking signals: matching deceptive laboratory simplicity with natural complexity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Zweden, Jelle S; Heinze, Jürgen; Boomsma, Jacobus J; d'Ettorre, Patrizia

    2009-01-01

    Experiments under controlled laboratory conditions can produce decisive evidence for testing biological hypotheses, provided they are representative of the more complex natural conditions. However, whether this requirement is fulfilled is seldom tested explicitly. Here we provide a lab/field comparison to investigate the identity of an egg-marking signal of ant queens. Our study was based on ant workers resolving conflict over male production by destroying each other's eggs, but leaving queen eggs unharmed. For this, the workers need a proximate cue to discriminate between the two egg types. Earlier correlative evidence indicated that, in the ant Pachycondyla inversa, the hydrocarbon 3,11-dimethylheptacosane (3,11-diMeC(27)) is more abundant on the surface of queen-laid eggs. We first tested the hypothesis that 3,11-diMeC(27) functions as a queen egg-marking pheromone using laboratory-maintained colonies. We treated worker-laid eggs with synthetic 3,11-diMeC(27) and found that they were significantly more accepted than sham-treated worker-laid eggs. However, we repeated the experiment with freshly collected field colonies and observed no effect of treating worker-laid eggs with 3,11-diMeC(27), showing 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, and have an excess of longer-chain hydrocarbons. Our results suggest that queen egg-marking signals are significantly affected by transfer to the laboratory, and that this change is possibly connected to reduced queen fertility as predicted by honest signaling theory. This change is reflected in the worker egg policing response under field and laboratory conditions.

  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

    , and have an excess of longer-chain hydrocarbons. Conclusions Our results suggest that queen egg-marking signals are significantly affected by transfer to the laboratory, and that this change is possibly connected to reduced queen fertility as predicted by honest signaling theory. This change is reflected...... in the worker egg policing response under field and laboratory conditions....

  3. Individual Recognition in Ant Queens

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    D'Ettorre, Patrizia; Heinze, Jürgen

    2005-01-01

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

  4. Ant parasite queens revert to mating singly

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2004-01-01

    A parasitic ant has abandoned the multiple mating habit of the queens of its related host. Multiple mating (polyandry) is widespread among animal groups, particularly insects 1 . But the factors that maintain it and underlie its evolution are hard to verify because benefits and costs are not easi...

  5. Immune priming and pathogen resistance in ant queens.

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    Gálvez, Dumas; Chapuisat, Michel

    2014-05-01

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

  6. Prudent sperm use by leaf-cutter ant queens

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2012-01-01

    Incipient ant colonies are often under fierce competition, making fast growth crucial for survival. To increase production, colonies can adopt multiple queens (pleometrosis), fuse with other colonies or rob brood from neighboring colonies. However, different adoption strategies might have different...

  8. Are queen ants inhibited by their own pheromone?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  9. Queen pheromones in Temnothorax ants: control or honest signal?

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    Kroiss Johannes

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The division of reproductive labor among group members in insect societies is regulated by "queen pheromones". However, it remains controversial whether these are manipulative, i.e., actively suppress worker reproduction, or honestly signal the fertility status of the queen to which workers react in their own interest by refraining from laying eggs. Manipulative queen control is thought to lead to an evolutionary arms race between queens and workers, resulting in complex queen bouquets that diverge strongly among different populations and species. In contrast, honest signals would evolve more slowly and might therefore differ less strongly within and among species. Results We aimed at determining the tempo of the evolution of queen signals in two ways. First, we investigated whether queens of Temnothorax ants are capable of controlling egg laying by workers of their own, closely, and distantly related species. Second, we compared the species- and caste-specific patterns of cuticular hydrocarbons, which are assumed to convey information on reproductive status. In mixed-species colonies, queens were not able to fully suppress egg-laying and male production by workers of unrelated species, while workers did not reproduce under the influence of a queen from their own species. Furthermore, the chemical profiles differed more strongly among queens of different species than among the respective workers. Conclusions Our results suggest that cuticular hydrocarbons associated with fecundity are not fully conserved in evolution and evolve slightly faster than worker-specific components in the blend of cuticular hydrocarbons. While this higher rate of evolution might reflect an arms race between queens and workers, the observation that workers still respond to the presence of a queen from another species support the honest signal hypothesis. Future studies need to examine alternative explanations for a higher rate of evolution of queen

  10. 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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Huszár, Dóra Borbála

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

  12. Social context predicts recognition systems in ant queens

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dreier, Stéphanie Agnès Jeanine; d'Ettorre, Patrizia

    2009-01-01

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

  13. Non-transferable signals on ant queen eggs

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2006-01-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. Non-transferable signals on ant queen eggs

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

    2006-03-01

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

  16. The importance of workers for queen hibernation survival in Camponotus ants.

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    Shiroto, Akiyoshi; Satoh, Toshiyuki; Hirota, Tadao

    2011-05-01

    The higher proportion of polygynous ant species in northern areas indicates that cold climates influence queen number per colony. It is unclear, however, what ecological and physiological factors facilitate the dominance of polygynous species in cold climates. This is the case in two common arboreal ants in Japan-Camponotus yamaokai and C. nawai-which are quite similar in morphology, but different in social structure and geographical distribution. Polygynous C. yamaokai inhabits colder areas, whereas monogynyous C. nawai inhabits warmer climates. We compared queen survival in both ants at low temperature to evaluate whether interspecific difference in cold tolerance can explain the geographical distribution. We examined the influence of cohabitation with other individuals, as well as individual cold tolerance. Experimental groups with different caste compositions were prepared and maintained under conditions simulating in the laboratory climates of the northern limit of C. nawai. Wintering experiments revealed that C. yamaokai queens survived longer than C. nawai queens under solitary conditions, although half of the queens died in less than a month, even in C. yamaokai. Queens hibernating with workers survived longer than solitary queens, but queen number did not affect queen survival. Cohabitation with workers allowed 80% of C. yamaokai queens to survive more than two months. Under field conditions, monogynous C. nawai foundresses overwinter without workers, whereas new queens of polygynous C. yamaokai always overwinter with many workers. Thus, the geographical distribution of these ants appears to depend on the overwintering behavior of new queens.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  18. 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

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

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

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

    2005-01-01

    In the ant Cardiocondyla obscurior, wingless males compete with nestmate males for access to female mating partners, leading to local mate competition (LMC). Queen number varies between colonies, resulting in variation in the strength of LMC. Cremer & Heinze (2002, Proceedings of the Royal Society...... 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...... sex ratio in response to LMC by ant queens....

  20. Pheromonal Control of Dealation and Oogenesis in Virgin Queen Fire Ants

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    Fletcher, David J. C.; Blum, Murray S.

    1981-04-01

    In the fire ant Solenopsis invicta, sexually mature virgin females are prevented from shedding their wings and becoming functional egg layers by the presence of the mated queen. Experimental data suggest that this inhibitory effect results from the action of a relatively nonvolatile primer pheromone (or pheromones) produced by the mated queen and distributed by the workers. Target ants are both virgin queens and workers.

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

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    Emilio M Bruna

    Full Text Available 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.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.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 of quantifying the dispersal of ant queens.

  2. Asymmetric Dispersal and Colonization Success of Amazonian Plant-Ants Queens

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    Bruna, Emilio M.; Izzo, Thiago J.; Inouye, Brian D.; Uriarte, Maria; Vasconcelos, Heraldo L.

    2011-01-01

    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 of quantifying the

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruna, Emilio M; Izzo, Thiago J; Inouye, Brian D; Uriarte, Maria; Vasconcelos, Heraldo L

    2011-01-01

    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. 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. 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 of quantifying the dispersal of ant queens.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2006-01-01

    The postpharyngeal gland (PPG) is unique to ants and is the largest exocrine gland in their head. In queens of the pharaoh's ant, Monomorium pharaonis, the gland contains approximately 15 finger-like epithelial extensions on each side and opens dorsolaterally in the posterior pharynx. In these ants...... nurses and foragers. We suggest the PPG serves different purposes in pharaoh's ants: it is likely that the PPG of workers and virgin queens is used to feed larvae. In mated queens the gland probably plays a role in providing the queen with nutritious oils for egg production. The PPG may also function...... their secretion into the gland lumen from an age of 7 days, whereas mated queens accumulate large amounts of secretion in their epithelium. The increasing epithelial thickness, together with the increasing lumen diameter, the presence of numerous inclusions in the epithelium and the release of secretion...

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

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

    2005-01-01

    In the ant Pachycondyla villosa, new colonies are usually started cooperatively by two or more young queens who establish a dominance order with a division of labour. Co-founding can lead to primary polygyny, where queens stay together after workers have emerged. Here we show that two queens...... associations are the most common (47%) and also the most stable in the field. When offered additional nest sites in the laboratory, two-queen associations did not split, whereas larger associations did so. We also show that solitary foundresses always accepted experimentally introduced alien queens, while...

  6. 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

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

  7. Social influence on age and reproduction: reduced lifespan and fecundity in multi-queen ant colonies.

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    Schrempf, A; Cremer, S; Heinze, J

    2011-07-01

    Evolutionary theories of ageing predict that life span increases with decreasing extrinsic mortality, and life span variation among queens in ant species seems to corroborate this prediction: queens, which are the only reproductive in a colony, live much longer than queens in multi-queen colonies. The latter often inhabit ephemeral nest sites and accordingly are assumed to experience a higher mortality risk. Yet, all prior studies compared queens from different single- and multi-queen species. Here, we demonstrate an effect of queen number on longevity and fecundity within a single, socially plastic species, where queens experience the similar level of extrinsic mortality. Queens from single- and two-queen colonies had significantly longer lifespan and higher fecundity than queens living in associations of eight queens. As queens also differ neither in morphology nor the mode of colony foundation, our study shows that the social environment itself strongly affects ageing rate. © 2011 The Authors. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2011 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

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

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    Hölldobler, Bert

    2016-01-01

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

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

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    Bert Hölldobler

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

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

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    Christian Peeters

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

  11. Thelytokous parthenogenesis by queens in the dacetine ant Pyramica membranifera (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

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    Ito, Fuminori; Touyama, Yoshifumi; Gotoh, Ayako; Kitahiro, Shungo; Billen, Johan

    2010-08-01

    Thelytokous parthenogenesis in which diploid females are produced from unfertilized eggs, was recently reported for some ant species. Here, we document thelytokous reproduction by queens in the polygynous species Pyramica membranifera. Queens that emerged in the laboratory were kept with or without workers under laboratory conditions. Independent colony founding was successful for a few queens if prey was provided. All artificial colonies, which started with a newly emerged queen and workers produced new workers and some of the colonies also produced female sexuals. Some of the female sexuals shed their wings in the laboratory and started formation of new polygynous colonies. Workers had no ovaries and thus, were obligatorily sterile.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  13. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  15. Sexual Cooperation: Mating Increases Longevity in Ant Queens

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schrempf, Alexandra; Heinze, Jürgen; Cremer, Sylvia

    2005-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-08-01

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

  17. Neither Worker, Nor Queen: An Ant Caste Specialized in the Production of Unfertilized Eggs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Heinze

    1995-01-01

    Full Text Available In addition to a queen and workers, colonies of the ant Crematogaster smithi Creighton from Chiricahua Mountains, Arizona, may contain one or several conspicuous “large workers” whose size, external morphology, and number of ovarioles are intermediate between that of queens on one side and that of workers on the other. According to laboratory observations, “large workers” are specialized for the production of unfertilized eggs, which are mainly eaten by the larvae and the queen but may develop into males in queenless colonies. We describe the morphology and the behavior of “large workers” and discuss their evolutionary significance.

  18. Small queens and big-headed workers in a monomorphic ponerine ant

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kikuchi, Tomonori; Miyazaki, Satoshi; Ohnishi, Hitoshi; Takahashi, Junichi; Nakajima, Yumiko; Tsuji, Kazuki

    2008-10-01

    Evolution of caste is a central issue in the biology of social insects. Comparative studies on their morphology so far suggest the following three patterns: (1) a positive correlation between queen worker size dimorphism and the divergence in reproductive ability between castes, (2) a negative correlation among workers between morphological diversity and reproductive ability, and (3) a positive correlation between queen worker body shape difference and the diversity in worker morphology. We conducted morphological comparisons between castes in Pachycondyla luteipes, workers of which are monomorphic and lack their reproductive ability. Although the size distribution broadly overlapped, mean head width, head length, and scape length were significantly different between queens and workers. Conversely, in eye length, petiole width, and Weber’s length, the size differences were reversed. The allometries (head length/head width, scape length/head width, and Weber’s length/head width) were also significantly different between queens and workers. Morphological examinations showed that the body shape was different between queens and workers, and the head part of workers was disproportionately larger than that of queens. This pattern of queen worker dimorphism is novel in ants with monomorphic workers and a clear exception to the last pattern. This study suggests that it is possible that the loss of individual-level selection, the lack of reproductive ability, influences morphological modification in ants.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2010-01-01

    Theory predicts that altruism is only evolutionarily stable if it is preferentially directed towards relatives, so that any such behaviour towards seemingly unrelated individuals requires scrutiny. Queenless army ant colonies, which have anecdotally been reported to fuse with queenright foreign...... colonies, are such an enigmatic case. Here we combine experimental queen removal with population genetics and cuticular chemistry analyses to show that colonies of the African army ant Dorylus molestus frequently merge with neighbouring colonies after queen loss. Merging colonies often have no direct co...

  1. 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

    affecting this variable remain scarcely studied. Maintaining polygynous pharaoh ant (Monomorium pharaonis) colonies in the laboratory has provided us with the opportunity to experimentally manipulate colony size, one of the key factors that can be expected to affect colony level queen–worker caste ratios......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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Lei; Zeng, Ling; Chen, Jian

    2015-12-08

    Neonicotinoid insecticides are commonly used in managing pest insects, including the imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta Buren. There is increasing evidence that neonicotinoid insecticides at sublethal concentrations have profound effects on social insects. However, the sublethal effect of neonicotinoids on S. invicta has never been investigated. In this study, the newly mated queens were fed with water containing 0.01 or 0.25 μg/ml imidacloprid. Imidacloprid at both concentrations did not cause any increase in queen mortality during the founding stage; however, it significantly reduced queens' brood tending ability. In the 0.25 μg/ml imidacloprid treatment, the time to larval emergence was significantly delayed and no pupae or adult workers were produced. This study provides clear evidence that imidacloprid at sublethal concentrations has a significant detrimental impact on S. invicta queens and the development of incipient colonies.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vander Meer, Robert K.; Preston, Catherine A.; Hefetz, Abraham

    2008-12-01

    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. In the fire ant, Solenopsis invicta, worker ability to recognize conspecific nonnestmates decreases if the colony queen is removed, such that they do not recognize conspecific nonnestmates as different. Here, we tested the hypothesis that the presence of the colony queen influences the concentration of octopamine, a neuromodulator, in worker ants, which in turn has an effect on nestmate recognition acuity in workers. We demonstrate that queenless workers exhibit reduced brain octopamine levels and reduced discriminatory acuteness; however, feeding queenless workers octopamine restored both. Dopamine levels are influenced by honeybee queen pheromones; however, levels of this biogenic amine were unchanged in our experiments. This is the first demonstration of a link between the presence of the colony queen, a worker biogenic amine, and conspecific nestmate recognition, a powerful expression of colony cohesion and territoriality.

  5. 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...

  6. Effect of Irradiation on Queen Survivorship and Reproduction in the Invasive Fire Ant Solenopsis invicta (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) and a Proposed Phytosanitary Irradiation Treatment for Ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Follett, Peter A; Porcel, Sol; Calcaterra, Luis A

    2016-12-01

    We studied radiation tolerance in queens of the red imported fire ant Solenopsis invicta Buren (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) to identify a dose that prevents reproduction. Virgin or fertile queens were collected from Santa Fe and Formosa provinces in Argentina and reared in the laboratory in microcolonies. Virgin queens were irradiated at 0 (control), 70, 90, 120, or 150 Gy, and fertile queens were irradiated at 0, 60, 125, and 190 Gy, and then followed for 11 wk in the microcolonies to evaluate survival and reproduction. Virgin queens lay trophic eggs that do not hatch, whereas fertile queens lay eggs that hatch and develop into brood. In general, queen oviposition and survival decreased with increasing irradiation dose. For virgin queens, no eggs were laid by irradiated queens after the third week, whereas the control queens continued laying eggs throughout the 11-wk experiment. For fertile queens, only one larva and no pupae was observed in the 60 Gy treatment and no larvae or pupae were observed in the 125 and 190 Gy treatments, whereas a total of 431 larvae and 83 pupae were produced by untreated control queens during 11 wks. Survivorship of virgin and fertile queens was similarly reduced by irradiation treatment. These results with S. invicta are consistent with previous findings for three other invasive ants, Wasmannia auropunctata (Roger), Pheidole megacephala (F.), and Linephithema humile (Mayr), that are hitchhiker pests on fresh horticultural commodities. A radiation dose of 150 Gy is proposed as a phytosanitary treatment to prevent reproduction in ants. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America 2016. This work is written by US Government employees and is in the public domain in the US.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2007-01-01

    reduction of the former. Aggression tests showed that hostility between ants from different nests was minimal. Nests frequently contained numbers of both queen types, with microgynes about twice as numerous as macrogynes. Nestmate workers, microgynes, and macrogynes, were significantly related to others...... within their caste, with macrogynes more highly related than the other castes. Relatedness values between these groups of nestmates were also significant. Pairwise relatedness values were consistent with both queen morphs producing workers. At the population level, microgynes from different nests were...... also significantly related and there was a weak inverse relationship between pairwise relatedness value between individuals and distance between nests.We conclude that this species is supercolonial and that the two queen morphs are part of the same population....

  8. Facultative use of thelytokous parthenogenesis for queen production in the polyandrous ant Cataglyphis cursor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doums, C; Cronin, A L; Ruel, C; Fédérici, P; Haussy, C; Tirard, C; Monnin, T

    2013-07-01

    The evolutionary paradox of sex remains one of the major debates in evolutionary biology. The study of species capable of both sexual and asexual reproduction can elucidate factors important in the evolution of sex. One such species is the ant Cataglyphis cursor, where the queen maximizes the transmission of her genes by producing new queens (gynes) asexually while simultaneously maintaining a genetically diverse workforce via the sexual production of workers. We show that the queen can also produce gynes sexually and may do so to offset the costs of asexual reproduction. We genotyped 235 gynes from 18 colonies and found that half were sexually produced. A few colonies contained both sexually and asexually produced gynes. Although workers in this species can also use thelytoky, we found no evidence of worker production of gynes based on genotypes of 471 workers from the six colonies producing sexual gynes. Gynes are thus mainly, and potentially exclusively, produced by the queen. Simulations of gynes inbreeding level following one to ten generations of automictic thelytoky suggest that the queen switches between or combines thelytoky and sex, which may reduce the costs of inbreeding. This is supported by the relatively small size of inbred gynes in one colony, although we found no relationship between the level of inbreeding and immune parameters. Such facultative use of sex and thelytoky by individual queens contrasts with other known forms of parthenogenesis in ants, which are typically characterized by distinct lineages specializing in one strategy or the other. © 2013 The Authors. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2013 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2002-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Huszár, Dóra Borbála

    production. Finally, we aimed to gain insights into how native supercolonies emerge and compare to other nests of the same population. We found that supercolony nests reached higher density, had very low relatedness and lower genetic differentiation compared to non-supercolony (monogynous, polygynous) nests...... on other ant species to better understand the social syndromes and how supercolonies function. Foremost, this would help to manage invasive supercolonies that harm humans and biodiversity, but could also provide contribution to our general understanding on how ecology, especially demography impacts upon...... social evolution....

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dijkstra, Michiel B.; Boomsma, Jacobus Jan

    2008-01-01

    The fungal cultivars of fungus-growing ants are vertically transmitted by queens but not males. Selection would therefore favor cultivars that bias the ants' sex ratio towards gynes, beyond the gyne bias that is optimal for workers and queens. We measured sex allocation in 190 colonies of six...... sympatric fungus-growing ant species. As predicted from relatedness, female bias was greater in four singly mated Sericomyrmex and Trachymyrmex species than in two multiply mated Acromyrmex species. Colonies tended to raise mainly a single sex, which could be partly explained by variation in queen number......, colony fecundity, and fungal garden volume for Acromyrmex and Sericomyrmex, but not for Trachymyrmex. Year of collection, worker number and mating frequency of Acromyrmex queens did not affect the colony sex ratios. We used a novel sensitivity analysis to compare the population sex allocation ratios...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-05-01

    The trade-off between reproduction and longevity is widespread among multicellular organisms. As an important exception, the reproductive females of perennial social insects (ants, honeybees, termites) are simultaneously highly fertile and very long-lived relative to their nonreproductive nestmates. The observation that increased fecundity is not coupled with decreased lifespan suggests that social insect queens do not have to reallocate resources between reproduction and self-maintenance. If queens have to compensate for the costs of reproduction on the level of the individual, the activation of other energy-demanding physiological processes might force them to reduce the production of eggs. To test this hypothesis in ant queens, we increased immunity costs by injury and measured the effect of this treatment on egg-laying rates and genomewide gene expression. Amputation of both middle legs led to a temporary decrease in egg-laying rates and affected the expression of 947 genes corresponding to 9% of the transcriptome. The changes comprised the upregulation of the immune and wound healing response on the one hand, and the downregulation of germ cell development, central nervous system development and learning ability on the other hand. Injury strongly influenced metabolism by inducing catabolism and repressing amino acid and nitrogen compound metabolism. By comparing our results to similar transcriptomic studies in insects, we found a highly consistent upregulation of immune genes due to sterile and septic wounding. The gene expression changes, complemented by the temporary decline of egg-laying rates, clearly reveal a trade-off between reproduction and the immune response in social insect queens. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  13. 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.

  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

    of offspring). Forty-five fertilized queens were divided into three treatments: 0 (control), 100 or 300 non-nestmate pupae transplanted to each colony. Pupae transplantation resulted in highly increased growth rates, as pupae were readily adopted by the queens and showed high proportions of surviving (mean...... pupae. The size of hatching pupae produced by the resident queen also increased with the number of pupae transplanted, leading to larger nanitic workers in colonies adopting pupae. In conclusion, pupae transplantation may be used to produce larger colonies with larger worker ants and may thus reduce...

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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...... donor colony was conducted in 2010 at Darwin, Australia. The survival rates of the imago workers from transplanted pupae ranged between 73 - 97%, suggesting that queens in incipient colonies accepted foreign pupae. Colony size was positively related to the number of founding queens. Compared...

  18. A queen pheromone induces workers to kill sexual larvae in colonies of the red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klobuchar, Emily A; Deslippe, Richard J

    2002-07-01

    We conducted five bioassays to study how queens control the execution of sexual larvae by workers in colonies of the red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta. In each assay, subset colonies were made from many large polygyne colonies, and the 20 sexual larvae they contained were monitored over time. Sexual larvae mostly survived in queenless colonies, but were mostly killed in colonies with a single dealated queen, regardless of whether or not the queen was fertilized. The larvae were also killed when fresh corpses of queens were added to queenless colonies. Whereas acetone extracts of queens did not produce a significant increase in killings, extracts in buffered saline induced workers to execute most sexual larvae, indicating successful extraction of an execution pheromone. We identified the probable storage location of the chemical as the poison sac, and found both fresh (1 day) and old (21 day) extracts of poison sacs to be equally effective in inducing executions. The pheromone is stable at room temperature, perhaps because venom alkaloids also present in the extracts keep the pheromone from degrading. It is apparently either proteinaceous or associated with a proteinaceous molecule, a novel finding, as no queen pheromone of a proteinaceous nature has been previously demonstrated in ants.

  19. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peeters, Christian; Adams, Rachelle M M

    2016-01-01

    Megalomyrmex Forel (Myrmicinae: Solenopsidini) consists of 44 species with diverse life history strategies. Most species are predatory and may also tend honeydew-producing insects. A morphologically derived group of species are social parasites that consume the brood and fungus garden within fungus-growing ant nests. The reproductive strategies of Megalomyrmex queens are somewhat aligned with these life-style patterns. Predatory species in the leoninus species group are large in body size and have ergatoid (i.e., permanently wingless) queens whereas the social parasitic species are smaller and typically have winged queens. We examined two ergatoid phenotypes of Megalomyrmex foreli Emery and Megalomyrmex wallacei Mann and compared them to winged species, one a social lestobiotic or "thief ant" parasite (Megalomyrmex mondabora Brandão) and the other a predator (Megalomyrmex modestus Emery). Megalomyrmex foreli colonies have a single queen with an enlarged gaster that is morphologically distinct from workers. Megalomyrmex wallacei colonies have several queens that are similar in body size to workers. Queens in both species showed a simplification of the thorax, but there was a dramatic difference in the number of ovarioles. Megalomyrmex foreli had 60-80 ovarioles compared to eight in M. wallacei and M. mondabora and M. modestus had 22-28. Along with flight loss in queens, there is an obligate shift to dependent colony founding (also called budding or fission) consequently influencing dispersal patterns. These constraints in life history traits may help explain the variation in nesting biology among Megalomyrmex species. © The Authors 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-05-01

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

  2. 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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  4. Sex allocation conflict between queens and workers in Formica pratensis wood ants predicts seasonal sex ratio variation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Helanterä, Heikki; Kulmuni, Jonna; Pamilo, Pekka

    2016-10-01

    Sex allocation theory predicts parents should adjust their investment in male and female offspring in a way that increases parental fitness. This has been shown in several species and selective contexts. Yet, seasonal sex ratio variation within species and its underlying causes are poorly understood. Here, we study sex allocation variation in the wood ant Formica pratensis. This species displays conflict over colony sex ratio as workers and queens prefer different investment in male and female offspring, owing to haplodiploidy and relatedness asymmetries. It is unique among Formica ants because it produces two separate sexual offspring cohorts per season. We predict sex ratios to be closer to queen optimum in the early cohort but more female-biased and closer to worker optimum in the later one. This is because the power of workers to manipulate colony sex ratio varies seasonally with the availability of diploid eggs. Consistently, more female-biased sex ratios in the later offspring cohort over a three-year sampling period from 93 colonies clearly support our prediction. The resulting seasonal alternation of sex ratios between queen and worker optima is a novel demonstration how understanding constraints of sex ratio adjustment increases our ability to predict sex ratio variation. © 2016 The Author(s). Evolution © 2016 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  5. Fecundity and longevity of Argentine ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) queens in response to irradiation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Irradiation is a postharvest quarantine treatment option to control ants and other hitchhiker pests on fresh horticultural products traded between countries. As little is known about irradiation effects on ants, radiotolerance of the Argentine ant, Linepithema humile (Mayr) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Devigne, Cédric; de Biseau, Jean-Christophe

    2012-11-01

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

  7. 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...

  8. 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. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1982-01-01

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

  10. Immunolocalization of the short neuropeptide F receptor in queen brains and ovaries of the red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta Buren).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Hsiao-Ling; Pietrantonio, Patricia V

    2011-06-14

    Insect neuropeptides are involved in diverse physiological functions and can be released as neurotransmitters or neuromodulators acting within the central nervous system, and as circulating neurohormones in insect hemolymph. The insect short neuropeptide F (sNPF) peptides, related to the vertebrate neuropeptide Y (NPY) peptides, have been implicated in the regulation of food intake and body size, and play a gonadotropic role in the ovaries of some insect species. Recently the sNPF peptides were localized in the brain of larval and adult Drosophila. However, the location of the sNPF receptor, a G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR), has not yet been investigated in brains of any adult insect. To elucidate the sites of action of the sNPF peptide(s), the sNPF receptor tissue expression and cellular localization were analyzed in queens of the red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta Buren (Hymenoptera), an invasive social insect. In the queen brains and subesophageal ganglion about 164 cells distributed in distinctive cell clusters (C1-C9 and C12) or as individual cells (C10, C11) were immuno-positive for the sNPF receptor. Most of these neurons are located in or near important sensory neuropils including the mushroom bodies, the antennal lobes, the central complex, and in different parts of the protocerebrum, as well as in the subesophageal ganglion. The localization of the sNPF receptor broadly links the receptor signaling pathway with circuits regulating learning and feeding behaviors. In ovaries from mated queens, the detection of sNPF receptor signal at the posterior end of oocytes in mid-oogenesis stage suggests that the sNPF signaling pathway may regulate processes at the oocyte pole. The analysis of sNPF receptor immunolocalization shows that the sNPF signaling cascade may be involved in diverse functions, and the sNPF peptide(s) may act in the brain as neurotransmitter(s) or neuromodulator(s), and in the ovaries as neurohormone(s). To our knowledge, this is the

  11. Immunolocalization of the short neuropeptide F receptor in queen brains and ovaries of the red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta Buren

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pietrantonio Patricia V

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Insect neuropeptides are involved in diverse physiological functions and can be released as neurotransmitters or neuromodulators acting within the central nervous system, and as circulating neurohormones in insect hemolymph. The insect short neuropeptide F (sNPF peptides, related to the vertebrate neuropeptide Y (NPY peptides, have been implicated in the regulation of food intake and body size, and play a gonadotropic role in the ovaries of some insect species. Recently the sNPF peptides were localized in the brain of larval and adult Drosophila. However, the location of the sNPF receptor, a G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR, has not yet been investigated in brains of any adult insect. To elucidate the sites of action of the sNPF peptide(s, the sNPF receptor tissue expression and cellular localization were analyzed in queens of the red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta Buren (Hymenoptera, an invasive social insect. Results In the queen brains and subesophageal ganglion about 164 cells distributed in distinctive cell clusters (C1-C9 and C12 or as individual cells (C10, C11 were immuno-positive for the sNPF receptor. Most of these neurons are located in or near important sensory neuropils including the mushroom bodies, the antennal lobes, the central complex, and in different parts of the protocerebrum, as well as in the subesophageal ganglion. The localization of the sNPF receptor broadly links the receptor signaling pathway with circuits regulating learning and feeding behaviors. In ovaries from mated queens, the detection of sNPF receptor signal at the posterior end of oocytes in mid-oogenesis stage suggests that the sNPF signaling pathway may regulate processes at the oocyte pole. Conclusions The analysis of sNPF receptor immunolocalization shows that the sNPF signaling cascade may be involved in diverse functions, and the sNPF peptide(s may act in the brain as neurotransmitter(s or neuromodulator(s, and in the ovaries

  12. ANT

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  13. THE QUEEN

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    of being devastated. Maybe this is dependant on which 'camp' the viewer finds him- / herself supporting. The film portrays his means of coping with this 'loss' as lashing out towards his mother, Queen. Elizabeth, and the mother-son relationship highlighted by the film is one characterised by distance and emotional frigidity.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  15. Colony Composition of Two Malaysian Ponerine Ants, Platythyrea Tricuspidata and P. Quadridenta: Sexual Reproduction by Workers and Production of Queens (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

    OpenAIRE

    Ito, Fuminori

    1994-01-01

    Colonies of ponerine ants Platythyrea quadridenta and P. tricuspidata were collected in the rainforest of West Malaysia. Two colonies of P. tricuspidata were composed only of workers, and three and eight workers were inseminated per colony, respectively. However, active ovaries were found in one of the three, and two of the eight mated workers. P. quadridenta also exhibited sexual reproduction by workers, and there were many sterile mated workers. The two largest colonie...

  16. Dispersal Polymorphisms in Invasive Fire Ants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jackson A Helms

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

  17. 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...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Holman, Luke

    2010-01-01

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

  19. Insecticide transfer efficiency and lethal load in Argentine ants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  20. Insecticide transfer efficiency and lethal load in Argentine ants

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-10-01

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

  1. Insecticide transfer efficiency and lethal load in Argentine ants

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2015-10-15

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

  2. 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. 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...

  4. 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...... Factors affecting relatedness among nest members in ant colonies with high queen number are still poorly understood. In order to identify the major determinants of nest kin structure, we conducted a detailed analysis of the breeding system of the ant Formica exsecta. We estimated the number...

  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. Chemical profiles, division of labor and social status in Pachycondyla queens (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tentschert, J.; Kolmer, K.; Hölldobler, B.; Bestmann, H.-J.; Delabie, J. H. C.; Heinze, J.

    2001-03-01

    Queens of the neotropical ponerine ant Pachycondyla cf. 'inversa' may co-operate during colony founding. One of several co-founding queens specializes in foraging, whereas the others remain in the nest and guard the brood. Division of labor is achieved by aggressive interactions, which result in the formation of dominance hierarchies. Gas chromatography and mass spectrometry of cuticular hydrocarbons obtained from live queens by SPME revealed consistent differences between the patterns of cuticular hydrocarbons of queens with high versus low rank: only high-ranking queens showed considerable amounts of cuticular pentadecane (n-C15) and heptadecene (n-C17:1). These two substances presumably originate from the queens' Dufour glands.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  8. Queen signaling in social wasps

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2014-01-01

    , thereby arguing against fast evolution of signals as a result of a queen-worker arms race ensuing from queen control. Lastly, levels of worker reproduction in these species correspond well with their average colony kin structures, as predicted by the queen signaling hypothesis but not the queen control...... hypothesis. Altogether, this correlative yet comprehensive analysis provides compelling evidence that honest signaling explains levels of reproductive division of labor in social wasps....

  9. Queen Mary Two Step

    OpenAIRE

    Melin, Mats H.

    2007-01-01

    n/a Dance devised by Mats Melin in October 2007 whilst teaching Ceilidh dancing on board the cruise ship Queen Mary 2 crossing the Atlantic from Southampton to New York and back with the Ian Muir Sound from Prestwick. The segment of music featured is from Ian Muir Scottish Dance Band's recording of an Eva Three step.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. The ejaculatory biology of leafcutter ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2015-01-01

    The eusocial ants are unique in that females (queens) acquire and store sperm on a single mating flight early in adult life. This event largely determines the size (possibly millions of workers), longevity (possibly decades) and genetic variation of the colonies that queens found, but our...... understanding of the fundamental biology of ejaculate production, transfer and physiological function remains extremely limited. We studied the ejaculation process in the leafcutter ant Atta colombica and found that it starts with the appearance of a clear pre-ejaculatory fluid (PEF) at the tip...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-02-01

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

  14. Bumblebee size polymorphism and worker response to queen pheromone

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luke Holman

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Queen pheromones are chemical signals produced by reproductive individuals in social insect colonies. In many species they are key to the maintenance of reproductive division of labor, with workers beginning to reproduce individually once the queen pheromone disappears. Recently, a queen pheromone that negatively affects worker fecundity was discovered in the bumblebee Bombus terrestris, presenting an exciting opportunity for comparisons with analogous queen pheromones in independently-evolved eusocial lineages such as honey bees, ants, wasps and termites. I set out to replicate this discovery and verify its reproducibility. Using blind, controlled experiments, I found that n-pentacosane (C25 does indeed negatively affect worker ovary development. Moreover, the pheromone affects both large and small workers, and applies to workers from large, mature colonies as well as young colonies. Given that C25 is readily available and that bumblebees are popular study organisms, I hope that this replication will encourage other researchers to tackle the many research questions enabled by the discovery of a queen pheromone.

  15. 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.

  16. A contribution to queens graphs

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Barat, Janos

    A graph $G$ is a queens graph if the vertices of $G$ can be mapped to queens on the chessboard such that two vertices are adjacent if and only if the corresponding queens attack each other, i.e. they are in horizontal, vertical or diagonal position. We prove a conjecture of Beineke, Broere...... and Henning that the Cartesian product of an odd cycle and a path is a queens graph. We show that the same does not hold for two odd cycles. % is not representable in the same way. The representation of the Cartesian product of an odd cycle and an even cycle remains an open problem. We also prove...... constructively that any finite subgraph of the grid or the hexagonal grid is a queens graph....

  17. Thelytokous parthenogenesis and its consequences on inbreeding in an ant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pearcy, M; Hardy, O; Aron, S

    2006-05-01

    Thelytokous parthenogenesis, that is, the production of diploid daughters from unfertilized eggs, may involve various cytological mechanisms, each having a different impact on the genetic structure of populations. Here, we determined the cytological mechanism of thelytokous parthenogenesis and its impact on inbreeding in the ant Cataglyphis cursor, a species where queens use both sexual and asexual reproduction to produce, respectively, workers and new queens. It has been suggested that thelytokous parthenogenesis in C. cursor might have been selected for to face high queen mortality and, originally, to allow workers to replace the queen when she passes away. We first determined the mode of thelytokous parthenogenesis by comparing the rate of transition to homozygosity at four highly polymorphic loci to expectations under the different modes of parthenogenesis. Our data show that thelytoky is achieved through automictic parthenogenesis with central fusion. We then estimated the proportion of colonies headed by worker-produced queens in a natural population. We designed a model linking the observed homozygosity in queens to the proportion of queens produced by workers, based on the assumption that (i) parthenogenesis is automictic with central fusion and (ii) queen lineage is asexually produced, resulting in an increase of the inbreeding over generations, whereas workers are sexually produced and therefore not inbred. Our results indicate that more than 60% of the colonies should be headed by a worker-produced queen, suggesting that queen's lifespan is low in this species.

  18. 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)

  19. 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.

  20. Gigantism in honeybees: Apis cerana queens reared in mixed-species colonies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tan, Ken; Hepburn, H. R.; He, Shaoyu; Radloff, S. E.; Neumann, P.; Fang, Xiang

    2006-07-01

    The development of animals depends on both genetic and environmental effects to a varying extent. Their relative influences can be evaluated in the social insects by raising the intracolonial diversity to an extreme in nests consisting of workers from more than one species. In this study, we studied the effects of mixed honeybee colonies of Apis mellifera and Apis cerana on the rearing of grafted queen larvae of A. cerana. A. mellifera sealed worker brood was introduced into A. cerana colonies and on emergence, the adults were accepted. Then, A. cerana larvae were grafted for queen rearing into two of these mixed-species colonies. Similarly, A. cerana larvae and A. mellifera larvae were also grafted conspecifically as controls. The success rate of A. cerana queen rearing in the test colonies was 64.5%, surpassing all previous attempts at interspecific queen rearing. After emergence, all virgin queens obtained from the three groups ( N=90) were measured morphometrically. The A. cerana queens from the mixed-species colonies differed significantly in size and pigmentation from the A. cerana control queens and closely approximated the A. mellifera queens. It is inferred that these changes in the A. cerana queens reared in the mixed-species colonies can be attributed to feeding by heterospecific nurse bees and/or chemical differences in royal jelly. Our data show a strong impact of environment on the development of queens. The results further suggest that in honeybees the cues for brood recognition can be learned by heterospecific workers after eclosion, thereby providing a novel analogy to slave making in ants.

  1. Monoculture of leafcutter ant gardens.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ulrich G Mueller

    2010-09-01

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

  2. 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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Villesen, Poul; Gertsch, P J; Frydenberg, J

    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...

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Heinze Jürgen

    2009-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frohschammer, Sabine; Heinze, Jürgen

    2009-10-28

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

  9. Long-Lived Termite Queens Exhibit High Cu/Zn-Superoxide Dismutase Activity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eisuke Tasaki

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available In most organisms, superoxide dismutases (SODs are among the most effective antioxidant enzymes that regulate the reactive oxygen species (ROS generated by oxidative energy metabolism. ROS are considered main proximate causes of aging. However, it remains unclear if SOD activities are associated with organismal longevity. The queens of eusocial insects, such as termites, ants, and honeybees, exhibit extraordinary longevity in comparison with the nonreproductive castes, such as workers. Therefore, the queens are promising candidates to study the underlying mechanisms of aging. Here, we found that queens have higher Cu/Zn-SOD activity than nonreproductive individuals of the termite Reticulitermes speratus. We identified three Cu/Zn-SOD sequences and one Mn-SOD sequence by RNA sequencing in R. speratus. Although the queens showed higher Cu/Zn-SOD activity than the nonreproductive individuals, there were no differences in their expression levels of the Cu/Zn-SOD genes RsSOD1 and RsSOD3A. Copper (Cu2+ and Cu+ is an essential cofactor for Cu/Zn-SOD enzyme activity, and the queens had higher concentrations of copper than the workers. These results suggest that the high Cu/Zn-SOD activity of termite queens is related to their high levels of the cofactor rather than gene expression. This study highlights that Cu/Zn-SOD activity contributes to extraordinary longevity in termites.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

    The central trade-off between reproduction and longevity dominates most species' life history. However, no mortality cost of reproduction is apparent in eusocial species, particularly social insects in the order Hymenoptera: one or a few individuals (typically referred to as queens) in a group specialize on reproduction and are generally longer lived than all other group members (typically referred to as workers), despite having the same genome. However, it is unclear whether this survival advantage is due to social facilitation by the group or an intrinsic, individual property. Furthermore, it is unknown whether the correlation between reproduction and longevity is due to a direct mechanistic link or an indirect consequence of the social role of the reproductives. To begin addressing these questions, we performed a comparison of queen and worker longevity in the ant Cardiocondyla obscurior under social isolation conditions. Survival of single queens and workers was compared under laboratory conditions, monitoring and controlling for brood production. Our results indicate that there is no intrinsic survival advantage of queens relative to workers unless individuals are becoming reproductively active. This interactive effect of caste and reproduction on life expectancy outside of the normal social context suggests that the positive correlation between reproduction and longevity in social insect queens is due to a direct link that can activate intrinsic survival mechanisms to ensure queen longevity. © 2015 European Society For Evolutionary Biology. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2015 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  11. Reproductive sharing among queens in the ant Formica fusca

    OpenAIRE

    Minttumaaria Hannonen; Liselotte Sundstro¨m

    2003-01-01

    Reproductive sharing among cobreeders, in which reproductive shares may vary from equal contribution (low reproductive skew) to reproductive dominance by one individual (high reproductive skew), is a fundamental feature of animal societies. Recent theoretical work, the reproductive skew models, has focused on factors affecting the degree to which reproduction is skewed within a society. We used the parameters provided by skew models as a guideline to study determinants of reproductive sharing...

  12. Clocks for sex: loss of circadian rhythms in ants after mating?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharma, Vijay Kumar; Lone, Shahnaz Rahman; Goel, Anubhuthi

    This paper describes experiments on the locomotor activity rhythm of queens of the ant species Camponotus compressus, which were performed to investigate the consequences of mating on circadian clocks. Locomotor activity rhythm of virgin and mated queens was monitored individually under constant conditions of the laboratory. The locomotor activity rhythm of virgin queens entrained to a 24 h (12:12 h) laboratory light/dark (LD) cycle and free-ran under constant dim red light (RR) with a free-running period (τ) of approximately 24 h. The locomotor activity of the mated queens on the other hand was arrhythmic during the period when they were laying eggs, and robust rhythmicity appeared soon after the egg-laying phase was over. The τ of the locomotor activity rhythm of mated queens was significantly greater than that of virgin queens. These results are contrary to the commonly held belief that the role of circadian clocks in ant queens ceases after mating flights, thus suggesting that circadian clocks of ant queens are adaptively plastic and display activity patterns, perhaps depending on their physiological state and tasks in the colony.

  13. Histiostoma Blomquisti N. SP. (Acari: Histiostomatidae) A phoretic mite of the red imported ant, Solenopsis Invicta Buren (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stefan Wirth; John Moser

    2010-01-01

    The new species Histiostoma bJol1lquisti n. sp., associated with the Red Imported Fire Ant, Solenopsis invicta, is described by its deutonymph. A putative adult female is depicted. The deutonymphs only attach to female alates, dealates and queens of S. invicta. While queens may be covered by more than 200 deutonymphs over their entire bodies, the numbers of deutonymphs...

  14. Thelytokous Parthenogenesis in the Ant Myrmecina nipponica (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Masuko, Keiichi

    2014-09-01

    Myrmecina nipponica Wheeler is a terrestrial ant nesting chiefly in the soil in forest. It is a specialized predator of oribatid mites, but also scavenges on a broad spectrum of other arthropods. In the studied population at Cape Manazuru in central Japan, M. nipponica colonies are typically monogynous, and previous dissections of queens suggested that these individuals were not inseminated, thus suggesting these ants can reproduce via thelytokous parthenogenesis. To test for thelytokous parthenogenesis in M. nipponica the spermathecae of queens (dealate gynes) from worker-containing colonies were histologically examined in detail. All specimens examined (n=5) had no spermatozoa in the spermatheca. In addition, a total of four colony-founding queens were reared in isolation in the laboratory to test whether non-inseminated females were capable of egg laying and to test whether female offspring emerged from this brood. In all of four culture replicates, only new workers were produced from the eggs those queens had laid and male offspring was absent. After the breeding experiment, the queens' spermathecae were histologically examined and no sperm were detected in their spermathecae. These results reveal that M. nipponica queens of the Manazuru population are capable of producing female offspring thelytokously. Sexual reproduction by typical gynes and also by intermorphs has been known from other local populations of M. nipponica; therefore, this species shows geographical polymorphism in sexuality.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-02-01

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

  16. Recognition in ants: social origin matters.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joël Meunier

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hughes, William O H; Pagliarini, Roberta; Madsen, Henning Bang

    2008-01-01

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

  18. 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....

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-08-01

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

  20. The origin and evolution of queen and fertility signals in Corbiculate bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caliari Oliveira, Ricardo; Oi, Cintia Akemi; do Nascimento, Mauricio Meirelles Castro; Vollet-Neto, Ayrton; Alves, Denise Araujo; Campos, Maria Claudia; Nascimento, Fabio; Wenseleers, Tom

    2015-11-16

    In social Hymenoptera (ants, bees and wasps), various chemical compounds present on the cuticle have been shown to act as fertility signals. In addition, specific queen-characteristic hydrocarbons have been implicated as sterility-inducing queen signals in ants, wasps and bumblebees. In Corbiculate bees, however, the chemical nature of queen-characteristic and fertility-linked compounds appears to be more diverse than in ants and wasps. Moreover, it remains unknown how queen signals evolved across this group and how they might have been co-opted from fertility signals in solitary ancestors. Here, we perform a phylogenetic analysis of fertility-linked compounds across 16 species of solitary and eusocial bee species, comprising both literature data as well as new primary data from a key solitary outgroup species, the oil-collecting bee Centris analis, and the highly eusocial stingless bee Scaptotrigona depilis. Our results demonstrate the presence of fertility-linked compounds belonging to 12 different chemical classes. In addition, we find that some classes of compounds (linear and branched alkanes, alkenes, esters and fatty acids) were already present as fertility-linked signals in the solitary ancestors of Corbiculate bees, while others appear to be specific to certain species. Overall, our results suggest that queen signals in Corbiculate bees are likely derived from ancestral fertility-linked compounds present in solitary bees that lacked reproductive castes. These original fertility-linked cues or signals could have been produced either as a by-product of ovarian activation or could have served other communicative purposes, such as in mate recognition or the regulation of egg-laying.

  1. Chronic Bee Paralysis Virus in Honeybee Queens

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Amiri, Esmaeil; Meixner, Marina; Büchler, Ralph

    2014-01-01

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

  2. Sperm storage induces an immunity cost in ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2006-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trible, Waring; Kronauer, Daniel J C

    2017-01-01

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

  4. Beyond ANT

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jansen, Till

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Robert A

    2015-10-13

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

  6. Evolution of Fungal enzymes in the attine ant symbiosis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    The attine ant symbiosis is characterized by ancient but varying degrees of diffuse co-evolution between the ants and their fungal cultivars. Domesticated fungi became dependent on vertical transmission by queens and the ant colonies came to rely on their symbiotic fungus for food and thus......, indirectly, on fungal enzymes to break down the plant material brought in by the ants as fungal substrate. The more than 210 extant fungus-growing ant species differ considerably in colony size, social complexity and substrate-use. Only the derived leaf-cutting ants are specialized on using fresh leaves...... as garden substrate, whereas the more basal genera use leaf litter, insect feces and insect carcasses. We hypothesized that enzyme activity of fungal symbionts has co-evolved with substrate use and we measured enzyme activities of fungus gardens in the field to test this, focusing particularly on plant...

  7. Fire ants

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  8. Patterns of reproduction in slave-making ants

    OpenAIRE

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

    1998-01-01

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

  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...... essential for the symbiosis in general, but have contributed specifically to the evolution of the symbiosis....

  10. Sperm length evolution in the fungus-growing ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  11. Dispersal behavior of yellowjacket (Vespula germanica) queens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Masciocchi, Maité; Martinez, Andrés S; Pereira, Ana J; Villacide, José M; Corley, Juan C

    2018-02-01

    Understanding the factors that affect animal dispersal behavior is important from both fundamental and applied perspectives. Dispersal can have clear evolutionary and ecological consequences, but for nonnative insect pests, dispersal capacity can also help to explain invasion success. Vespula germanica is a social wasp that, in the last century, has successfully invaded several regions of the world, showing one of the highest spread rates reported for a nonnative insect. In contrast with nonsocial wasps, in social species, queens are responsible for population redistribution and spread, as workers are sterile. For V. germanica, it has been observed that queen flight is limited to 2 distinct periods: early autumn, when new queens leave the nest to mate and find sheltered places in which to hibernate, and spring when new colonies are founded. Our aim was to study the flight behavior of V. germanica queens by focusing on the different periods in which dispersal occurs, characterizing as well the potential contribution of queen flight (i.e., distance) to the observed geographical spread. Our results suggest that the distances flown by nonoverwintered queens is greater than that flown by overwintered individuals, suggesting that the main queen dispersal events would occur before queens enter hibernation. This could relate to a behavioral trait of the queens to avoid the inbreeding with related drones. Additionally, given the short distances flown and remarkable geographical spread observed, we provide evidence showing that queen dispersal by flight is likely to contribute proportionately less to population spread than human-aided factors. © 2016 Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

  12. 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.

  13. Phenotypic plasticity in an ant with strong caste-genotype association.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuhn, Alexandre; Darras, Hugo; Aron, Serge

    2018-01-01

    Caste determination in social Hymenoptera (whether a female egg develops into a reproductive queen or a sterile worker) is a remarkable example of phenotypic plasticity where females with highly similar genomes exhibit striking differences in morphology and behaviour. This phenotypic dichotomy is typically influenced by environmental factors. However, recent studies have revealed a strong caste-genotype association in hybridogenetic ants: workers are all interlineage hybrids while queens are all purebred, suggesting that female caste fate is genetically determined. Using the hybridogenetic ant Cataglyphis mauritanica , we show that under laboratory conditions, purebred offspring develop into reproductive queens but occasionally give rise to workers. Moreover, while hybrids typically become workers, juvenile hormone treatment can switch their developmental pathway to the reproductive caste. These results indicate that phenotypic plasticity has been retained in an ant with a strong caste-genotype association, despite its lack of expression in natural conditions. © 2018 The Author(s).

  14. 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...

  15. 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.

  16. 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).

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Honey Bee (Apis mellifera Queen Reproductive Potential Affects Queen Mandibular Gland Pheromone Composition and Worker Retinue Response.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juliana Rangel

    Full Text Available Reproductive division of labor is one of the defining traits of honey bees (Apis mellifera, with non-reproductive tasks being performed by workers while a single queen normally monopolizes reproduction. The decentralized organization of a honey bee colony is maintained in large part by a bouquet of queen-produced pheromones, the distribution of which is facilitated by contact among workers throughout the hive. Previous studies have shown that the developmental fate of honey bee queens is highly plastic, with queens raised from younger worker larvae exhibiting higher measures of reproductive potential compared to queens raised from older worker larvae. We investigated differences in the chemical composition of the mandibular glands and attractiveness to workers of "high-quality" queens (i.e., raised from first instar worker larvae; more queen-like and "low-quality" queens (i.e., raised from third instar worker larvae; more worker-like. We characterized the chemical profiles of the mandibular glands of high-quality queens and low-quality queens using GC-MS and used the worker retinue response as a measure of the attractiveness to workers of high-quality queens vs. low-quality queens. We found that queen quality affected the chemical profiles of mandibular gland contents differently across years, showing significant differences in the production of the queen mandibular pheromone ("QMP" components HVA and 9-HDA in 2010, but no significant differences of any glandular compound in 2012. We also found that workers were significantly more attracted to high-quality queens than to low-quality queens in 2012, possibly because of increased attractiveness of their mandibular gland chemical profiles. Our results indicate that the age at which honey bee larvae enter the "queen-specific" developmental pathway influences the chemical composition of queen mandibular glands and worker behavior. However, these changes are not consistent across years, suggesting

  1. Honey Bee (Apis mellifera) Queen Reproductive Potential Affects Queen Mandibular Gland Pheromone Composition and Worker Retinue Response.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rangel, Juliana; Böröczky, Katalin; Schal, Coby; Tarpy, David R

    2016-01-01

    Reproductive division of labor is one of the defining traits of honey bees (Apis mellifera), with non-reproductive tasks being performed by workers while a single queen normally monopolizes reproduction. The decentralized organization of a honey bee colony is maintained in large part by a bouquet of queen-produced pheromones, the distribution of which is facilitated by contact among workers throughout the hive. Previous studies have shown that the developmental fate of honey bee queens is highly plastic, with queens raised from younger worker larvae exhibiting higher measures of reproductive potential compared to queens raised from older worker larvae. We investigated differences in the chemical composition of the mandibular glands and attractiveness to workers of "high-quality" queens (i.e., raised from first instar worker larvae; more queen-like) and "low-quality" queens (i.e., raised from third instar worker larvae; more worker-like). We characterized the chemical profiles of the mandibular glands of high-quality queens and low-quality queens using GC-MS and used the worker retinue response as a measure of the attractiveness to workers of high-quality queens vs. low-quality queens. We found that queen quality affected the chemical profiles of mandibular gland contents differently across years, showing significant differences in the production of the queen mandibular pheromone ("QMP") components HVA and 9-HDA in 2010, but no significant differences of any glandular compound in 2012. We also found that workers were significantly more attracted to high-quality queens than to low-quality queens in 2012, possibly because of increased attractiveness of their mandibular gland chemical profiles. Our results indicate that the age at which honey bee larvae enter the "queen-specific" developmental pathway influences the chemical composition of queen mandibular glands and worker behavior. However, these changes are not consistent across years, suggesting that other external

  2. Gamergates in the Australian ant subfamily Myrmeciinae

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dietemann, Vincent; Peeters, Christian; Hölldobler, Bert

    2004-09-01

    Ant workers can mate and reproduce in a few hundreds of species belonging to the phylogenetically basal poneromorph subfamilies (sensu Bolton 2003). We report the first occurrence of gamergates (i.e. mated reproductive workers) in a myrmeciomorph subfamily. In a colony of Myrmecia pyriformis that was collected without a queen, workers continued to be produced over a period of 3 years in the laboratory. Behavioural observations and ovarian dissections indicated that three workers were mated and produced the diploid offspring. The Myrmeciinae are thus another taxon in which the selective benefits of sexual reproduction by workers can be investigated.

  3. 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 (workers) colonies with probably substantially shorter lifespans. Basal attines are therefore expected...... and highly productive social structure of the higher attine ants, which is fully dependent on the rearing of an ancient clonal fungus, may have necessitated high genetic diversity among nestmate workers. This is not the case in the lower attines, which rear fungi that were more recently derived from free...

  4. 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...... eggs, but a few (mostly small and medium workers that form a retinue around the queen) lay many trophic eggs for consumption by the queen. These eggs are large, flaccid, and lacking in yolk compared to queen-laid eggs, and appear to be always inviable. In Acromyrmex, many workers (especially young...... large workers) lay eggs that are similar in size to queen-laid eggs, but mostly with a reduced amount of yolk. Trophic eggs appear to be an important source of food for larvae in Acromyrmex (especially in Ac. echinatior), but not in Atta. Five (0.8) of 616 dissected Ac. echinatior workers but no Ac...

  5. Ant nebula

    Science.gov (United States)

    1999-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2003-01-01

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

  7. Dispersal strategies in the highly polygynous ant Crematogaster (Orthocrema) pygmaea Forel (Formicidae: Myrmicinae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamidi, Rachid; de Biseau, Jean-Christophe; Bourguignon, Thomas; Martins Segundo, Glauco Bezerra; Fontenelle, Matheus Torres Marinho Bezerril; Quinet, Yves

    2017-01-01

    In ants, dispersal strategies and morphology of female sexuals are generally linked to the mode of colony founding. In species using long-range dispersal tactics, queen/worker dimorphism is generally high and young queens are able to initiate new colonies by themselves, using their metabolic reserves. By contrast, in species using short-range dispersal strategies, queen/worker dimorphism is generally low and, due to their limited metabolic reserves, queens have lost the capacity to raise their brood alone and to found their colony independently. Moreover, polygyny is also often associated with short-range dispersal strategies, although the relationship between the number of queens and the dispersal strategy in ants is not clear-cut. Here, dispersal strategies were investigated in C. pygmaea, a highly polygynous and polydomous ant species from northeastern Brazil. Field observations and laboratory experiments show that this ant exhibits a suite of traits that are more commonly associated with long-range dispersal and independent colony foundation: functional wings in both males and females, high queen/worker dimorphism, strong weight loss in mature queens, nuptial flights and, in the lab, ability of young queens to found new colonies in haplometrotic conditions. On the other hand, this species shows a high degree of polygyny with a strong seasonal component, and, at least under laboratory conditions, mature queens seem able to develop propagules if they are accompanied by at least 10 workers. These features strongly suggest that (1) some of the gynes do not engage in a long-range dispersal but become new queens in their mother colony and (2) that budding events are possible in this species. We therefore speculate that C. pygmaea has a dual dispersal strategy probably related to environmental conditions: some gynes engage in long-range dispersal followed by independent colony foundation at the beginning of rainy season, while others mate in the parental colony and

  8. Queen introduction into the queenright honey bee colony

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antonín Přidal

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available One of the actual elementary biologic principles of the introduction of queen is that the recipient co­lo­ny has to be queenless. We accidentally found that a queen can be accepted also in queenright co­lo­ny with using of the queen excluder. Therefore, we conducted two experiments with the introduction of queen in queenright colony.Under defined conditions of the experiment and with application of the queen excluder as a separator of queens we successfully introduced queen in the queenright colony. This result is discussed in relation to the general principle that a queen should be introduced only in a queenless colony. It is possible that there are some exceptions advert to the existence of some unknown biologic patterns in the honey bee biology and pheromones.

  9. Aflatoxins produced by Aspergillus nomius ASR3, a pathogen isolated from the leaf-cutter ant Atta sexdens rubropilosa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eduardo Afonso da Silva-Junior

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT Aspergillus spp. cause economic impacts due to aflatoxins production. Although the toxicity of aflatoxins is already known, little information about their ecological roles is available. Here we investigated the compounds produced by Aspergillus nomius ASR3 directly from a dead leaf-cutter queen ant Atta sexdens rubropilosa and the fungal axenic culture. Chemical analyses were carried out by high-resolution mass spectrometry and tandem mass spectrometry techniques. Aflatoxins B1 and G1 were detected in both the axenic culture and in the dead leaf-cutter queen ant. The presence of these mycotoxins in the dead leaf-cutter queen ant suggests that these compounds can be related to the insect pathogenicity of A. nomius against A. sexdens rubropilosa.

  10. Fire Ant Bites

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Freddie-Jeanne Richard

    2007-10-01

    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

  12. Genetic regulation of colony social organization in fire ants: an integrative overview.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gotzek, Dietrich; Ross, Kenneth G

    2007-09-01

    Expression of colony social organization in fire ants appears to be under the control of a single Mendelian factor of large effect. Variation in colony queen number in Solenopsis invicta and its relatives is associated with allelic variation at the gene Gp-9, but not with variation at other unlinked genes; workers regulate queen identity and number on the basis of Gp-9 genotypic compatibility. Nongenetic factors, such as prior social experience, queen reproductive status, and local environment, have negligible effects on queen numbers which illustrates the nearly complete penetrance of Gp-9. As predicted, queen number can be manipulated experimentally by altering worker Gp-9 genotype frequencies. The Gp-9 allele lineage associated with polygyny in South American fire ants has been retained across multiple speciation events, which may signal the action of balancing selection to maintain social polymorphism in these species. Moreover, positive selection is implicated in driving the molecular evolution of Gp-9 in association with the origin of polygyny. The identity of the product of Gp-9 as an odorant-binding protein suggests plausible scenarios for its direct involvement in the regulation of queen number via a role in chemical communication. While these and other lines of evidence show that Gp-9 represents a legitimate candidate gene of major effect, studies aimed at determining (i) the biochemical pathways in which GP-9 functions; (ii) the phenotypic effects of molecular variation at Gp-9 and other pathway genes; and (iii) the potential involvement of genes in linkage disequilibrium with Gp-9 are needed to elucidate the genetic architecture underlying social organization in fire ants. Information that reveals the links between molecular variation, individual phenotype, and colony-level behaviors, combined with behavioral models that incorporate details of the chemical communication involved in regulating queen number, will yield a novel integrated view of the

  13. Effect of age of honeybee queens of Apis mellifera adansonii ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The effect of age of honeybee queens of Apis mellifera adansonii on rate of brood production was studied using Langstroth hives. Brood productivity of young queens (24 days old) and old queens (18 months old) was investigated and compared by extrapolating the brood areas covered as equivalent to the number of eggs ...

  14. Women in History--Queen Liliuokalani

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koeppe, Tina

    2007-01-01

    This article profiles Queen Liliuokalani, Hawaii's last monarch. Liliuokalani was born in Hawaii in 1838 into the family of a high chief. She attended the Royal School, run by American missionaries, and received a high quality education and learned to love music, writing and politics. Liliuokalani was given the Christian name "Lydia" as…

  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. Immunosuppression in Honeybee Queens by the Neonicotinoids Thiacloprid and Clothianidin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brandt, Annely; Grikscheit, Katharina; Siede, Reinhold; Grosse, Robert; Meixner, Marina Doris; Büchler, Ralph

    2017-07-05

    Queen health is crucial to colony survival of honeybees, since reproduction and colony growth rely solely on the queen. Queen failure is considered a relevant cause of 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 can severely affect the immunocompetence of queens of western honeybees (Apis mellifera L.). In young queens exposed to thiacloprid (200 µg/l or 2000 µg/l) or clothianidin (10 µg/l or 50 µg/l), the total hemocyte number and the proportion of active, differentiated hemocytes was significantly reduced. Moreover, functional aspects of the immune defence namely the wound healing/melanisation response, as well as the antimicrobial activity of the hemolymph were impaired. Our results demonstrate that neonicotinoid insecticides can negatively affect the immunocompetence of queens, possibly leading to an impaired disease resistance capacity.

  17. Hybridization in East African swarm-raiding army ants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peters Marcell K

    2011-08-01

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

  18. Circadian consequences of social organization in the ant species Camponotus compressus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharma, Vijay Kumar; Lone, Shahnaz Rahman; Goel, Anubhuthi; Chandrashekaran, M. K.

    The locomotor activity rhythm of different castes of the ant species Camponotus compressus was monitored individually under laboratory light/dark (LD) cycles, and under continuous darkness (DD). The colony of this ant species comprises two sexual castes, the queens and the males, and three worker castes, namely the major, media, and minor workers. The virgin males and virgin queens display rhythmic activity patterns, but the mated queens were arrhythmic while laying eggs, with the rhythmicity resuming soon after egg-laying. Under the LD regime, major workers showed nocturnal patterns, while about 75% of the media workers displayed nocturnal patterns and about 25% showed diurnal patterns. Under the DD regime, most major workers exhibited circadian rhythm of activity with a single steady state, whereas media workers displayed two types of activity patterns, with activity patterns changing after 6-9 days in DD (turn-arounds). The pre-turn-around τ of the ants that showed nocturnal activity patterns during LD entrainment was 24 h, after 6-9 days. On the other hand, the pre-turn-around τ of those ants that exhibited diurnal patterns during LD entrainment was first >24 h after release into DD, and then became ant species C. compressus are flexible, and may perhaps depend upon the tasks assigned to them in the colony.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kavita R. Sharma

    2015-08-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. Microbial Communities in Different Tissues of Atta sexdens rubropilosa Leaf-cutting Ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vieira, Alexsandro S; Ramalho, Manuela O; Martins, Cintia; Martins, Vanderlei G; Bueno, Odair C

    2017-10-01

    Bacterial endosymbionts are common in all insects, and symbiosis has played an integral role in ant evolution. Atta sexdens rubropilosa leaf-cutting ants cultivate their symbiotic fungus using fresh leaves. They need to defend themselves and their brood against diseases, but they also need to defend their obligate fungus gardens, their primary food source, from infection, parasitism, and usurpation by competitors. This study aimed to characterize the microbial communities in whole workers and different tissues of A. sexdens rubropilosa queens using Ion Torrent NGS. Our results showed that the microbial community in the midgut differs in abundance and diversity from the communities in the postpharyngeal gland of the queen and in whole workers. The main microbial orders in whole workers were Lactobacillales, Clostridiales, Enterobacteriales, Actinomycetales, Burkholderiales, and Bacillales. In the tissues of the queens, the main orders were Burkholderiales, Clostridiales, Syntrophobacterales, Lactobacillales, Bacillales, and Actinomycetales (midgut) and Entomoplasmatales, unclassified γ-proteobacteria, and Actinomycetales (postpharyngeal glands). The high abundance of Entomoplasmatales in the postpharyngeal glands (77%) of the queens was an unprecedented finding. We discuss the role of microbial communities in different tissues and castes. Bacteria are likely to play a role in nutrition and immune defense as well as helping antimicrobial defense in this ant species.

  2. Bigger helpers in the ant Cataglyphis bombycina: increased worker polymorphism or novel soldier caste?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mathieu Molet

    Full Text Available The mechanisms by which development favors or constrains the evolution of new phenotypes are incompletely understood. Polyphenic species may benefit from developmental plasticity not only regarding ecological advantages, but also potential for evolutionary diversification. For instance, the repeated evolution of novel castes in ants may have been facilitated by the existence of alternative queen and worker castes and their respective developmental programs.Cataglyphis bombycina is exceptional in its genus because winged queens and size-polymorphic workers occur together with bigger individuals having saber-shaped mandibles. We measured seven body parts in more than 150 individuals to perform a morphometric analysis and assess the developmental origin of this novel phenotype.Adults with saber-shaped mandibles differ from both workers and queens regarding the size of most body parts. Their relative growth rates are identical to workers for some pairs of body parts, and identical to queens for other pairs of body parts; critical sizes differ in all cases.Big individuals are a third caste, i.e. soldiers, not major workers. Novel traits such as elongated mandibles are combined with a mix of queen and worker growth rates. We also reveal the existence of a dimorphism in the queen caste (microgynes and macrogynes. We discuss how novel phenotypes can evolve more readily in the context of an existing polyphenism. Both morphological traits and growth rules from existing queen and worker castes can be recombined, hence mosaic phenotypes are more likely to be viable. In C. bombycina, such a mosaic phenotype appears to function both for defense (saber-shaped mandibles and fat storage (big abdomen. Recycling of developmental programs may have contributed to the morphological diversity and ecological success of ants.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buczkowski, Grzegorz; Roper, Elray; Chin, Darren

    2014-04-01

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

  4. The evolution of honest queen pheromones in insect societies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    van Zweden, Jelle Stijn

    2010-01-01

    of their ovaries and by preventing other workers from reproducing (worker policing). However, what maintains the honesty of such queen pheromones is still under discussion. The explanation that an honest queen signal evolves simply because it serves the interest of all colony members does not seem to hold, since...... 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...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2007-01-01

    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...

  6. 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. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  7. Degeneration patterns of the worker spermatheca during morphogenesis in ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

    Reproductive division of labor is one of the crucial features in social insects, however, the developmental mechanisms leading to modifications in the reproductive apparatus of workers are still not very clear. Ants show a remarkable diversity in the morphological specialization of the worker's reproductive apparatus, that allows to distinguish four types, type 1: workers that have ovaries and a functional spermatheca, and that reproduce like queens, type 2: workers have ovaries and a vestigial spermatheca, type 3: workers have ovaries but no spermatheca, and type 4: workers lost both ovaries and spermatheca. We investigated morphogenesis of the worker spermatheca in 28 ant species by histological examination. In workers of type 1, the morphogenesis of the spermatheca is very similar to that in ant queens. In type 2, the spermathecal disc also differentiates, however, the development is interrupted and remains vestigial. In types 3 and 4, the absence of the spermatheca in the adult phase is caused by a degeneration after initial formation of the spermathecal disc or by a complete lack of the spermathecal discs. The timing of these interruption and degeneration events varies among species. The species exhibiting an earlier interrupting point of spermatheca formation in workers have a larger queen-worker dimorphism, that seems to be independent from ant phylogeny. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  8. Rearing Drones in Queen Cells of Apis mellifera Honey Bees

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Goras Georgios

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available We investigated the rearing of drone larvae grafted in queen cells. From the 1200 drone larvae that were grafted during spring and autumn, 875 were accepted (72.9% and reared as queens. Drone larvae in false queen cells received royal jelly of the same composition and of the same amounts as queen larvae. Workers capped the queen cells as if they were drones, 9-10 days after the egg laying. Out of 60 accepted false queen cells, 21 (35% were capped. The shape of false queen cells with drone larvae is unusually long with a characteristically elongate tip which is probably due to the falling of larvae. Bees start the destruction of the cells when the larvae were 3 days old and maximised it before and after capping. Protecting false queen cells in the colony by wrapping, reversing them upside down, or placing in a horizontal position, did not help. The only adult drones that emerged from the false queen cells were those protected in an incubator and in push-in cages. Adult drones from false queen cells had smaller wings, legs, and proboscis than regular drones. The results of this study verify previous reports that the bees do not recognise the different sex of the larvae at least at the early stage of larval development. The late destruction of false queen cells, the similarity in quality and quantity of the produced royal jelly, and the bigger drone cells, allow for the use of drone larvae in cups for the production of royal jelly.

  9. 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...

  10. Mating system evolution and worker caste diversity in Pheidole ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Ming H; Wheeler, Diana E; Fjerdingstad, Else J

    2013-04-01

    The efficiency of social groups is generally optimized by a division of labour, achieved through behavioural or morphological diversity of members. In social insects, colonies may increase the morphological diversity of workers by recruiting standing genetic variance for size and shape via multiply mated queens (polyandry) or multiple-breeding queens (polygyny). However, greater worker diversity in multi-lineage species may also have evolved due to mutual worker policing if there is worker reproduction. Such policing reduces the pressure on workers to maintain reproductive morphologies, allowing the evolution of greater developmental plasticity and the maintenance of more genetic variance for worker size and shape in populations. Pheidole ants vary greatly in the diversity of worker castes. Also, their workers lack ovaries and are thus invariably sterile regardless of the queen mating frequency and numbers of queens per colony. This allowed us to perform an across-species study examining the genetic effects of recruiting more patrilines on the developmental diversity of workers in the absence of confounding effects from worker policing. Using highly variable microsatellite markers, we found that the effective mating frequency of the soldier-polymorphic P. rhea (avg. meN = 2.65) was significantly higher than that of the dimorphic P. spadonia (avg. meN = 1.06), despite a significant paternity skew in P. rhea (avg. B = 0.10). Our findings support the idea that mating strategies of queens may co-evolve with selection to increase the diversity of workers. We also detected patriline bias in the production of different worker sizes, which provides direct evidence for a genetic component to worker polymorphism. © 2013 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  11. Presentation of child sexual abuse cases to Queen Elizabeth ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Aims To review child sexual abuse cases and their management presenting to Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital (QECH), Blantyre, since the introduction of an HIV post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) programme. Methods Demographic and medical data was collected from all children presenting to Queen Elizabeth Central ...

  12. Patterns of viral infection in honey bee queens

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2013-01-01

    groups based on the level of infection in their head, thorax, ovary, intestines and spermatheca. Four queens exhibited egg-laying deficiency, but visually all queens appeared healthy. Viral infection was generally at a low level in terms of AKI copy numbers, with 134/430 tissues (31 %) showing...

  13. Are you my mother? Kin recognition in the ant Formica fusca

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    El-Showk, S; van Zweden, J S; d'Ettorre, P

    2010-01-01

    and nonkin regardless of colony affiliation. We investigated whether workers of the ant Formica fusca can identify their mother when fostered with their mother, their sisters, a hetero-colonial queen or hetero-colonial workers. We found that workers always displayed less aggression towards both their mother......In social insects, workers trade personal reproduction for indirect fitness returns from helping their mother rear collateral kin. Colony membership is generally used as a proxy for kin discrimination, but the question remains whether recognition allows workers to discriminate between kin...... and their foster queen, as compared to an unfamiliar hetero-colonial queen. In support of this finding, workers maintain their colony hydrocarbon profile regardless of foster regime, yet show modifications when exposed to different environments. This indicates that recognition entails environmental and genetic...

  14. Diploid males, diploid sperm production, and triploid females in the ant Tapinoma erraticum

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cournault, Laurent; Aron, Serge

    2009-12-01

    Under complementary sex determination (CSD), females of Hymenoptera arise from diploid, fertilized eggs and males from haploid, unfertilized eggs. Incidentally, fertilized eggs that inherit two identical alleles at the CSD locus will develop into diploid males. Diploid males are usually unviable or sterile. In a few species, however, they produce diploid sperm and father a triploid female progeny. Diploid males have been reported in a number of social Hymenoptera, but the occurrence of triploid females has hardly ever been documented. Here, we report the presence of triploid females, diploid males, and diploid sperm (produced by diploid males and stored in queen spermathecae) in the ant Tapinoma erraticum. Moreover, we show variations in the frequency of triploids among female castes: Triploid females are more frequent among workers than virgin queens; they are absent among mated, reproductive queens. The frequency of triploid workers also varies between populations and between nests within populations.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2002-08-01

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

  16. Current and potential ant impacts in the Pacific region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loope, Lloyd L.; Krushelnycky, Paul D.

    2007-01-01

    . They generally have multiple queens per colony, are unicolonial (lacking internest aggression), quickly recruit to food items, thrive in a variety of habitats including disturbed areas, and can be highly aggressive to other ant species (McGlynn 1999). Hawaii’s arthropod fauna evolved in the absence of ants and has been observed by many biologists to be highly vulnerable to displacement by non-native ants. Pacific island biotas have also very likely suffered greatly from displacement by ants. However, in contrast to Hawaii, virtually nothing has been published on effects of non-native ants on native arthropod fauna elsewhere on Pacific islands, with the exception of the Galapagos archipelago, which may have at least four species of endemic ants (Lubin 1984, Nishida and Evenhuis 2000) and New Caledonia (Jourdan et al. 2001, Le Breton et al. 2005). In addition, many ant species in the Pacific have long been a nuisance for humans, and significant agricultural impacts have occurred from ants tending hemipteran insects of crop plants.

  17. Diploid male production in a leaf-cutting ant

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Armitage, S.; Boomsma, J.; Baer, Boris

    2010-01-01

    assumed to have reduced fitness compared with their haploid brothers. 2. While studying the reproductive biology of a leaf-cutting ant, Atta sexdens, in Gamboa, Republic of Panama, we detected the presence of a larger male morph. Using microsatellite markers we were able to confirm that the large male...... would be reduced compared with haploid males if they were able to copulate. 5. We conclude that diploid male production is likely to affect the fitness of A. sexdens queens with a matched mating, as these males are produced at the cost of workers and, if the colony survives to reach mature size, also...

  18. Male parentage in army ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2006-01-01

    in the presence of the queen. Queens of D. (A.) molestus are known to be highly multiply mated. This implies that workers are on average more closely related to queen sons than to other workers' sons, so that our results are consistent with predictions from inclusive fitness theory. It remains unknown, however......, whether worker sterility is maintained by active worker policing or by self-restraint....

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Valerie S. Banschbach

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ometto, Lino; Shoemaker, DeWayne; Ross, Kenneth G; Keller, Laurent

    2011-04-01

    Ants provide remarkable examples of equivalent genotypes developing into divergent and discrete phenotypes. Diploid eggs can develop either into queens, which specialize in reproduction, or workers, which participate in cooperative tasks such as building the nest, collecting food, and rearing the young. In contrast, the differentiation between males and females generally depends upon whether eggs are fertilized, with fertilized (diploid) eggs giving rise to females and unfertilized (haploid) eggs giving rise to males. To obtain a comprehensive picture of the relative contributions of gender (sex), caste, developmental stage, and species divergence to gene expression evolution, we investigated gene expression patterns in pupal and adult queens, workers, and males of two species of fire ants, Solenopsis invicta and S. richteri. Microarray hybridizations revealed that variation in gene expression profiles is influenced more by developmental stage than by caste membership, sex, or species identity. The second major contributor to variation in gene expression was the combination of sex and caste. Although workers and queens share equivalent diploid nuclear genomes, they have highly distinctive patterns of gene expression in both the pupal and the adult stages, as might be expected given their extraordinary level of phenotypic differentiation. Overall, the difference in the proportion of differentially expressed genes was greater between workers and males than between workers and queens or queens and males, consistent with the fact that workers and males share neither gender nor reproductive capability. Moreover, between-species comparisons revealed that the greatest difference in gene expression patterns occurred in adult workers, a finding consistent with the fact that adult workers most directly experience the distinct external environments characterizing the different habitats occupied by the two species. Thus, much of the evolution of gene expression in ants may

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2012-01-01

    gains access to the ants' nests by mimicking their cuticular hydrocarbon recognition cues, which allows the parasites to blend in with their host ants. Myrmica rubra may be particularly susceptible to exploitation in this fashion as it has large, polydomous colonies with many queens and a very viscous...... population structure. We studied the mutual aggressive behaviour of My. rubra colonies based on predictions for recognition effectiveness. Three hypotheses were tested: first, that aggression increases with distance (geographical, genetic and chemical); second, that the more queens present in a colony...... and therefore the less-related workers within a colony, the less aggressively they will behave; and that colonies facing parasitism will be more aggressive than colonies experiencing less parasite pressure. Our results confirm all these predictions, supporting flexible aggression behaviour in Myrmica ants...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greenfield, Gary; Machado, Penousal

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jürgen Heinze

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

  4. 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

    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...

  5. Toxicity of formic acid to red imported fire ants, Solenopsis invicta Buren.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Jian; Rashid, Tahir; Feng, Guolei

    2012-10-01

    Ants often compete with other ants for resources. Although formic acid is a common defensive chemical of formicine ants, it does not occur in any other subfamilies in Formicidae. No information on toxicity of formic acid to red imported fire ants, Solenopsis invicta, is available. This study examined its contact and fumigation toxicity to S. invicta in the laboratory. In a contact toxicity bioassay, 24 h LD50 values of formic acid for workers ranged from 124.54 to 197.71 µg ant(-1) . Female alates and queens were much less sensitive to formic acid than workers. At a concentration of 271.72 µg ant(-1) , which killed 81.09 ± 16.04% of workers, the 24 h mortality was up to 39.64% for female alates and 38.89% for queens. In fumigation bioassays, 24 h LC50 values ranged from 0.26 to 0.50 µg mL(-1) for workers, 0.32 µg mL(-1) for male alates and 0.70 µg mL(-1) for female alates. Complete mortality (100%) in queens occurred 24 h after they had been exposed to 1.57 µg mL(-1) of formic acid. At a concentration of 2.09 µg mL(-1) , KT50 values ranged from 23.03 to 43.85 min for workers, from 37.84 to 58.37 min for male alates, from 86.06 to 121.05 min for female alates and from 68.00 to 85.92 min for queens. When applied topically, formic acid was significantly less toxic than bifenthrin to red imported fire ants. Although its fumigation toxicity was lower than that of dichlorvos, formic acid had about an order of magnitude higher toxicity to S. invicta than to other insects studied so far. It may be worth investigating the use of formic acid for managing imported fire ants. This article is a US Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-07-01

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

  7. An Engineered orco Mutation Produces Aberrant Social Behavior and Defective Neural Development in Ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yan, Hua; Opachaloemphan, Comzit; Mancini, Giacomo; Yang, Huan; Gallitto, Matthew; Mlejnek, Jakub; Leibholz, Alexandra; Haight, Kevin; Ghaninia, Majid; Huo, Lucy; Perry, Michael; Slone, Jesse; Zhou, Xiaofan; Traficante, Maria; Penick, Clint A; Dolezal, Kelly; Gokhale, Kaustubh; Stevens, Kelsey; Fetter-Pruneda, Ingrid; Bonasio, Roberto; Zwiebel, Laurence J; Berger, Shelley L; Liebig, Jürgen; Reinberg, Danny; Desplan, Claude

    2017-08-10

    Ants exhibit cooperative behaviors and advanced forms of sociality that depend on pheromone-mediated communication. Odorant receptor neurons (ORNs) express specific odorant receptors (ORs) encoded by a dramatically expanded gene family in ants. In most eusocial insects, only the queen can transmit genetic information, restricting genetic studies. In contrast, workers in Harpegnathos saltator ants can be converted into gamergates (pseudoqueens) that can found entire colonies. This feature facilitated CRISPR-Cas9 generation of germline mutations in orco, the gene that encodes the obligate co-receptor of all ORs. orco mutations should significantly impact olfaction. We demonstrate striking functions of Orco in odorant perception, reproductive physiology, and social behavior plasticity. Surprisingly, unlike in other insects, loss of OR functionality also dramatically impairs development of the antennal lobe to which ORNs project. Therefore, the development of genetics in Harpegnathos establishes this ant species as a model organism to study the complexity of eusociality. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. A contribution to queens graphs: A substitution method

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ambrus, G.; Barat, Janos

    2006-01-01

    that the Cartesian product of an odd cycle and a path is a queens graph. We show that the same does not hold for two odd cycles. The representation of the Cartesian product of an odd cycle and an even cycle remains an open problem. We also prove constructively that any finite subgraph of the rectangular grid...... or the hexagonal grid is a queens graph. Using a small computer search we solve another conjecture of the authors mentioned above, saying that K-3,K-4 minus an edge is a minimal non-queens graph....

  9. Morphology and ultrastructure of the mandibular gland in the ant Brachyponera sennaarensis (Hymenoptera, Formicidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Billen, Johan; Al-Khalifa, Mohammed

    2018-01-01

    The 'samsum ant' Brachyponera sennaarensis is an invasive species in Saudi Arabia, where it forms a serious threat because of its painful sting. As part of a morphological survey of the exocrine system of this species, we studied the mandibular gland of males, queens and workers of this species. The gland of males is similar to the common anatomical appearance the mandibular gland has in ants in general, but is considerably different in queens and workers. In both female castes, the secretory cells are grouped in one single cluster, that is surrounded by a thick sheath of connective tissue. The duct cells, that transport the secretion towards the wrinkled reservoir, appear considerably folded. Both the sheath of connective tissue and the folded ducts are considered as a mechanical reinforcement of the gland, although the reason for such reinforcement remains unclear as we are not aware of any peculiar movements of the mandibles in queens and workers. At the ultrastructural level, the secretory cells in all castes are characterized by a well-developed smooth endoplasmic reticulum, which is indicative for the elaboration of a non-proteinaceous and hence possibly pheromonal secretion. The clear structural differences between males and the two female castes, which so far had not been found in other ant species, show that the mandibular gland in B. sennaarensis most likely has a different caste-dependent function. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Myrmica rubra ants are more communicative when young: Do they need experience?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Atsarkina, Natalia V; Panteleeva, Sofia N; Reznikova, Zhanna I

    2017-05-01

    The role of experience in the development of communication in animals is a matter of special interest to many ethologists and psychologists. Ants are known to possess sophisticated and flexible communication systems based mainly on their antennal movements (Reznikova & Ryabko, 2011). However, it is still enigmatic whether young ants need stimulation performances by adults to develop their communication capacities. Experiments with pairwise interactions of Myrmica rubra ants revealed significant differences in individual behavior and the mode of communication in callow (newly emerged) and adult workers. Adult ants are much more mobile than callow ones, and they switch their behavior depending on what partner they interact with, whereas callows behave independently. Adults communicate with callows and queens much longer than with other adults. Both callows and queens seem to be rather attractive to adults, although in different ways. Adults pay close attention to callow ants and initiate prolonged antennal contacts with them, touching their bodies and not leaving them alone. Young (callow) ants appear to be more communicative than adults, and they are equally ready to communicate with each other and with adults. Antennal movements are slow and clumsy in young ants, and they often switch from communication to other activities. It is likely that patterns of antennal movements in callows change gradually. Peculiarities of the mode of communication enable us to speculate that young ants need prolonged contacts with adult nestmates to gain the experience of communication. Some parallels with the development of communication skills in vertebrate species are considered. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christian Peeters

    2017-07-01

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

  13. Serpentine soils affect heavy metal tolerance but not genetic diversity in a common Mediterranean ant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frizzi, Filippo; Masoni, Alberto; Çelikkol, Mine; Palchetti, Enrico; Ciofi, Claudio; Chelazzi, Guido; Santini, Giacomo

    2017-08-01

    Natural habitats with serpentine soils are rich in heavy metal ions, which may significantly affect ecological communities. Exposure to metal pollutants results, for instance, in a reduction of population genetic diversity and a diffused higher tolerance towards heavy metals. In this study, we investigated whether chronic exposure to metals in serpentine soils affect accumulation patterns, tolerance towards metal pollutants, and genetic diversity in ants. In particular, we studied colonies of the common Mediterranean ant, Crematogaster scutellaris, along a contamination gradient consisting of two differently contaminated forests and a reference soil with no geogenic contamination. We first evaluated the metal content in both soil and ants' body. Then, we tested for tolerance towards metal pollutants by evaluating the mortality of ants fed with nickel (Ni) solutions of increasing concentrations. Finally, differences in genetic diversity among ants from different areas were assessed using eight microsatellite loci. Interestingly, a higher tolerance to nickel solutions was found in ants sampled in sites with intermediate levels of heavy metals. This may occur, because ants inhabiting strongly contaminated areas tend to accumulate higher amounts of contaminants. Additional ingestion of toxicants beyond the saturation threshold would lead to death. There was no difference in the genetic diversity among ant colonies sampled in different sites. This was probably the result of queen mediated gene flow during nuptial flights across uncontaminated and contaminated areas of limited geographical extent. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  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.

    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

  15. Evolutionary genetics of immunological supertypes reveals two faces of the Red Queen

    OpenAIRE

    Lighten, Jackie; Papadopulos, Alexander S. T.; Mohammed, Ryan S.; Ward, Ben J.; G. Paterson, Ian; Baillie, Lyndsey; Bradbury, Ian R.; Hendry, Andrew P.; Bentzen, Paul; van Oosterhout, Cock

    2017-01-01

    Red Queen host-parasite co-evolution can drive adaptations of immune-genes by positive selection that erodes genetic variation (Red Queen Arms Race), or result in a balanced polymorphism (Red Queen Dynamics) and the long-term preservation of genetic variation (trans-species polymorphism). These two Red Queen processes are opposite extremes of the co-evolutionary spectrum. Here we show that both Red Queen processes can operate simultaneously, analyzing the Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nygaard, Sanne; Zhang, Guojie; Schiøtt, Morten

    2011-01-01

    on aspects of the genome likely to be associated with known evolutionary changes. The first is the specialized fungal diet of A. echinatior, where we find gene loss in the ant's arginine synthesis pathway, loss of detoxification genes, and expansion of a group of peptidase proteins. One of these is a unique......We present a high-quality (>100× depth) Illumina genome sequence of the leaf-cutting ant Acromyrmex echinatior, a model species for symbiosis and reproductive conflict studies. We compare this genome with three previously sequenced genomes of ants from different subfamilies and focus our analyses...... ant-derived contribution to the fecal fluid, which otherwise consists of "garden manuring" fungal enzymes that are unaffected by ant digestion. The second is multiple mating of queens and ejaculate competition, which may be associated with a greatly expanded nardilysin-like peptidase gene family...

  17. 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...

  18. 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.

  19. The Evolution of Invasiveness in Garden Ants

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-02-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Dercole, F.; Ferriere, R.; Rinaldi, S.

    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 dr...

  2. The honeybee queen influences the regulation of colony drone production

    OpenAIRE

    Katie E. Wharton; Fred C. Dyer; Zachary Y. Huang; Thomas Getty

    2007-01-01

    Social insect colonies invest in reproduction and growth, but how colonies achieve an adaptive allocation to these life-history characters remains an open question in social insect biology. Attempts to understand how a colony's investment in reproduction is shaped by the queen and the workers have proved complicated because of the potential for queen--worker conflict over the colony's investment in males versus females. Honeybees, in which this conflict is expected to be minimal or absent, pr...

  3. Do sexist organizational cultures create the queen bee?

    OpenAIRE

    Derks, Belle; Ellemers, Naomi; van Laar, Colette; De Groot, Kim

    2011-01-01

    Queen Bees’ are senior women in masculine organizational cultures who have fulfilled their career aspirations by dissociating themselves from their gender while simultaneously contributing to the gender stereotyping of other women. It is often assumed that this phenomenon contributes to gender discrimination in organizations, and is inherent to the personalities of successful career women. We argue for a social identity explanation and examine organizational conditions that foster the Queen ...

  4. Pelaksanaan Bauran Promosi Objek Wisata Queen Star Waterpark Kabupaten Siak

    OpenAIRE

    Wardana, Tutut Dwi; ", Musadad

    2017-01-01

    The purpose of this research is to know the implementation of promotion mix conducted by Queen Star Waterpark management and to know the factors that influence the implementation of promotion mix in Queen Star Waterpark. This research uses descriptive qualitative method to analyze the problem. Data collection techniques in this study using interviews, observation and documentation. While data analysis techniques in this study using data reduction, data presentation and conclusion. Based on th...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dercole, Fabio; Ferriere, Regis; Rinaldi, Sergio

    2010-08-07

    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.

  6. Parasite transmission among relatives halts Red Queen dynamics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greenspoon, Philip B; Mideo, Nicole

    2017-03-01

    The theory that coevolving hosts and parasites create a fluctuating selective environment for one another (i.e., produce Red Queen dynamics) has deep roots in evolutionary biology; yet empirical evidence for Red Queen dynamics remains scarce. Fluctuating coevolutionary dynamics underpin the Red Queen hypothesis for the evolution of sex, as well as hypotheses explaining the persistence of genetic variation under sexual selection, local parasite adaptation, the evolution of mutation rate, and the evolution of nonrandom mating. Coevolutionary models that exhibit Red Queen dynamics typically assume that hosts and parasites encounter one another randomly. However, if related individuals aggregate into family groups or are clustered spatially, related hosts will be more likely to encounter parasites transmitted by genetically similar individuals. Using a model that incorporates familial parasite transmission, we show that a slight degree of familial parasite transmission is sufficient to halt coevolutionary fluctuations. Our results predict that evidence for Red Queen dynamics, and its evolutionary consequences, are most likely to be found in biological systems in which hosts and parasites mix mainly at random, and are less likely to be found in systems with familial aggregation. This presents a challenge to the Red Queen hypothesis and other hypotheses that depend on coevolutionary cycling. © 2016 The Author(s). Evolution © 2016 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  7. How Honeybees Defy Gravity with Royal Jelly to Raise Queens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buttstedt, Anja; Mureşan, Carmen I; Lilie, Hauke; Hause, Gerd; Ihling, Christian H; Schulze, Stefan-H; Pietzsch, Markus; Moritz, Robin F A

    2018-03-02

    The female sex in honeybees (Apis spp.) comprises a reproductive queen and a sterile worker caste. Nurse bees feed all larvae progressively with a caste-specific food jelly until the prepupal stage. Only those larvae that are exclusively fed a large amount of royal jelly (RJ) develop into queens [1]. RJ is a composite secretion of two specialized head glands: the mandibular glands, which produce mainly fatty acids [2], and the hypopharyngeal glands, which contribute proteins, primarily belonging to the major royal jelly protein (MRJP) family [3]. Past research on RJ has focused on its nutritional function and overlooked its central role with regard to the orientation of the larva in the royal brood cell. Whereas workers are reared in the regular horizontal cells of the comb, the queen cells are specifically built outside of the normal comb area to accommodate for the larger queen [4, 5]. These cells hang freely along the bottom of the comb and are vertically oriented, opening downward [6]. Queen larvae are attached by their RJ diet to the cell ceiling. Thus, the physical properties of RJ are central to successful retention of larvae in the cell. Here, we show that the main protein of RJ (MRJP1) polymerizes in complex with another protein, apisimin, into long fibrous structures that build the basis for the high viscosity of RJ to hold queen larvae on the RJ surface. Copyright © 2018 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  8. O QUEEN, A QUEEN: Controvérsias sobre gêneros e performances

    OpenAIRE

    Amaral, Adriana; Monteiro, Camila; Soares, Thiago

    2017-01-01

    A partir da apresentação ao vivo do grupo Queen, na edição 2015 do Rock in Rio, quando a banda inglesa de rock contou com um ex-integrante de reality show musical como vocalista, traça-se uma observação de controvérsias para pensar de que maneira as questões de gênero, com foco nas masculinidades, podem ser importantes ferramentas para pensar a construção do valor na música pop. A problemática trata das diferentes performances do masculino dos dois vocalistas (Freddie Mercury, o cantor origin...

  9. The Red Queen theory of recombination hotspots.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ubeda, F; Wilkins, J F

    2011-03-01

    Recombination hotspots are small chromosomal regions, where meiotic crossover events happen with high frequency. Recombination is initiated by a double-strand break (DSB) that requires the intervention of the molecular repair mechanism. The DSB repair mechanism may result in the exchange of homologous chromosomes (crossover) and the conversion of the allelic sequence that breaks into the one that does not break (biased gene conversion). Biased gene conversion results in a transmission advantage for the allele that does not break, thus preventing recombination and rendering recombination hotspots transient. How is it possible that recombination hotspots persist over evolutionary time (maintaining the average chromosomal crossover rate) when they are self-destructive? This fundamental question is known as the recombination hotspot paradox and has attracted much attention in recent years. Yet, that attention has not translated into a fully satisfactory answer. No existing model adequately explains all aspects of the recombination hotspot paradox. Here, we formulate an intragenomic conflict model resulting in Red Queen dynamics that fully accounts for all empirical observations regarding the molecular mechanisms of recombination hotspots, the nonrandom targeting of the recombination machinery to hotspots and the evolutionary dynamics of hotspot turnover. © 2010 The Authors. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2010 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  10. 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...

  11. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  13. The Red Queen lives: Epistasis between linked resistance loci.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Metzger, César M J A; Luijckx, Pepijn; Bento, Gilberto; Mariadassou, Mahendra; Ebert, Dieter

    2016-02-01

    A popular theory explaining the maintenance of genetic recombination (sex) is the Red Queen Theory. This theory revolves around the idea that time-lagged negative frequency-dependent selection by parasites favors rare host genotypes generated through recombination. Although the Red Queen has been studied for decades, one of its key assumptions has remained unsupported. The signature host-parasite specificity underlying the Red Queen, where infection depends on a match between host and parasite genotypes, relies on epistasis between linked resistance loci for which no empirical evidence exists. We performed 13 genetic crosses and tested over 7000 Daphnia magna genotypes for resistance to two strains of the bacterial pathogen Pasteuria ramosa. Results reveal the presence of strong epistasis between three closely linked resistance loci. One locus masks the expression of the other two, while these two interact to produce a single resistance phenotype. Changing a single allele on one of these interacting loci can reverse resistance against the tested parasites. Such a genetic mechanism is consistent with host and parasite specificity assumed by the Red Queen Theory. These results thus provide evidence for a fundamental assumption of this theory and provide a genetic basis for understanding the Red Queen dynamics in the Daphnia-Pasteuria system. © 2016 The Author(s). Evolution © 2016 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  14. Do sexist organizational cultures create the Queen Bee?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Derks, Belle; Ellemers, Naomi; van Laar, Colette; de Groot, Kim

    2011-09-01

    'Queen Bees' are senior women in masculine organizational cultures who have fulfilled their career aspirations by dissociating themselves from their gender while simultaneously contributing to the gender stereotyping of other women. It is often assumed that this phenomenon contributes to gender discrimination in organizations, and is inherent to the personalities of successful career women. We argue for a social identity explanation and examine organizational conditions that foster the Queen Bee phenomenon. Participants were 94 women holding senior positions in diverse companies in The Netherlands who participated in an on-line survey. In line with predictions, indicators of the Queen Bee phenomenon (increased gender stereotyping and masculine self-descriptions) were found mostly among women who indicated they had started their career with low gender identification and who had subsequently experienced a high degree of gender discrimination on their way up. By contrast, the experience of gender discrimination was unrelated to signs of the Queen Bee phenomenon among women who indicated to be highly identified when they started their career. Results are discussed in light of social identity theory, interpreting the Queen Bee phenomenon as an individual mobility response of low gender identified women to the gender discrimination they encounter in their work. ©2010 The British Psychological Society.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tay, J W; Lee, C Y

    2015-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Dani; Liebig, Jürgen

    2010-10-27

    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. 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. 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 the response to fertility signals, change dramatically over

  17. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chapuisat Michel

    2009-03-01

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

  19. Degeneration of sperm reservoir and the loss of mating ability in worker ants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gobin, Bruno; Ito, Fuminori; Billen, Johan; Peeters, Christian

    2008-11-01

    Workers never mate in the large majority of ants, and they have usually lost the spermatheca, an organ specialized for long-term storage of sperm. Such ‘non-sexual’ workers are restricted to laying unfertilized eggs that give rise to males, and they cannot compete with the queens for the production of female offspring. In sharp contrast, workers in 200 300 species from phylogenetically basal subfamilies can reproduce sexually (‘gamergates’) because they retain a functional spermatheca like the queens. Importantly, ‘non-sexual’ workers in closely related species have a vestigial spermatheca. In this study, we compared the reservoir epithelium of ‘sexual’ workers to that of congeneric queens and ‘non-sexual’ workers using 21 species of Amblyoponinae, Ponerinae and Ectatomminae. We show that a pronounced thickening of the epithelium near the opening of the sperm duct is strictly associated with sexual reproduction in both castes. This is unlike ‘non-sexual’ workers in which this epithelium is always very thin, with few organelles; but all other structures remain intact. We discuss this evolutionary degeneration of the spermatheca and how it relates to behavioural or physiological modifications linked to mating. Our results help understand the loss of sexual reproduction by ant workers, a critical step in the extreme specialization of their phenotype.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jan Oettler

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-02-01

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

  2. Red Queen dynamics with non-standard fitness interactions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jan Engelstädter

    2009-08-01

    Full Text Available Antagonistic coevolution between hosts and parasites can involve rapid fluctuations of genotype frequencies that are known as Red Queen dynamics. Under such dynamics, recombination in the hosts may be advantageous because genetic shuffling can quickly produce disproportionately fit offspring (the Red Queen hypothesis. Previous models investigating these dynamics have assumed rather simple models of genetic interactions between hosts and parasites. Here, we assess the robustness of earlier theoretical predictions about the Red Queen with respect to the underlying host-parasite interactions. To this end, we created large numbers of random interaction matrices, analysed the resulting dynamics through simulation, and ascertained whether recombination was favoured or disfavoured. We observed Red Queen dynamics in many of our simulations provided the interaction matrices exhibited sufficient 'antagonicity'. In agreement with previous studies, strong selection on either hosts or parasites favours selection for increased recombination. However, fast changes in the sign of linkage disequilibrium or epistasis were only infrequently observed and do not appear to be a necessary condition for the Red Queen hypothesis to work. Indeed, recombination was often favoured even though the linkage disequilibrium remained of constant sign throughout the simulations. We conclude that Red Queen-type dynamics involving persistent fluctuations in host and parasite genotype frequencies appear to not be an artefact of specific assumptions about host-parasite fitness interactions, but emerge readily with the general interactions studied here. Our results also indicate that although recombination is often favoured, some of the factors previously thought to be important in this process such as linkage disequilibrium fluctuations need to be reassessed when fitness interactions between hosts and parasites are complex.

  3. Red Queen dynamics with non-standard fitness interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Engelstädter, Jan; Bonhoeffer, Sebastian

    2009-08-01

    Antagonistic coevolution between hosts and parasites can involve rapid fluctuations of genotype frequencies that are known as Red Queen dynamics. Under such dynamics, recombination in the hosts may be advantageous because genetic shuffling can quickly produce disproportionately fit offspring (the Red Queen hypothesis). Previous models investigating these dynamics have assumed rather simple models of genetic interactions between hosts and parasites. Here, we assess the robustness of earlier theoretical predictions about the Red Queen with respect to the underlying host-parasite interactions. To this end, we created large numbers of random interaction matrices, analysed the resulting dynamics through simulation, and ascertained whether recombination was favoured or disfavoured. We observed Red Queen dynamics in many of our simulations provided the interaction matrices exhibited sufficient 'antagonicity'. In agreement with previous studies, strong selection on either hosts or parasites favours selection for increased recombination. However, fast changes in the sign of linkage disequilibrium or epistasis were only infrequently observed and do not appear to be a necessary condition for the Red Queen hypothesis to work. Indeed, recombination was often favoured even though the linkage disequilibrium remained of constant sign throughout the simulations. We conclude that Red Queen-type dynamics involving persistent fluctuations in host and parasite genotype frequencies appear to not be an artefact of specific assumptions about host-parasite fitness interactions, but emerge readily with the general interactions studied here. Our results also indicate that although recombination is often favoured, some of the factors previously thought to be important in this process such as linkage disequilibrium fluctuations need to be reassessed when fitness interactions between hosts and parasites are complex.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

    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...

  8. Twigs of Albizia niopoides (Spruce ex Benth. Burkart as a nesting resource for ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Otávio Guilherme Morais da Silva

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT Ants can use twigs from fragments of tree branches as a nesting resource. The present study analyzed gatherings of ants in twigs of Albizia niopoides, a Fabaceae native to the Atlantic Forest that is used in landscaping in parks and squares in Brazil. Expeditions were performed in an urban park located in Atlantic Forest areas between February and June 2014. A total of 70 twigs with ants were collected and included 9357 workers, 2309 broods ants, 68 winged ants and 19 queens. Four subfamilies, 10 genera and 17 species/morphospecies were recorded. The species with the largest number of nests were Nylanderia sp.1, Hypoponera sp.4, and Wasmannia auropunctata. Ants of different species were found coexisting in the same twig, and Pheidole gr. tristis was the most common species found sharing a nest. Among the species recorded, only Pseudomyrmex gracilis and P. phyllophilus are arboreal; the others also live in litter. For some species, our results indicate that the twig occupation in the litter can be structured and not by chance. No correlation was found between the twig structure and the colony components.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rumsaïs Blatrix

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2003-06-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dijkstra, Michiel Bendert; Boomsma, Jacobus Jan

    2006-01-01

    ovaries. Workers of Atta leafcutter ants only lay trophic eggs in queenright colonies. Although Atta colonies are commonly kept at universities, museums, and zoos, no reports of worker sons in orphaned colonies exist, suggesting that Atta workers are infertile. To explicitly test this, we created eleven....... 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...... to adulthood, but that the importance of worker-laid trophic eggs for queen feeding has precluded the evolutionary loss of worker ovaries....

  12. Acute bacterial meningitis in children admitted to the Queen ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    In order to design appropriate interventioos, we collected clinical and demographic data prospectively on all children aged one day to 14 years admitted with a diagnosis of bacterial meningitis (BM) from April 1st 1996 to March 31st 1997 to the Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital (QECH), Blantyre Malawi. During the study ...

  13. Adult Education and Social Sustainability: Harnessing the "Red Queen Effect"

    Science.gov (United States)

    Easton, Peter

    2007-01-01

    In 1973, the evolutionary biologist Leigh Van Valen of the University of Chicago devised what he called the "Red Queen Effect" to describe the growth and development of species. It stipulated that an evolutionary system must continue to develop just to maintain its fitness relative to others evolving in its environment. The literary reference is…

  14. Taxi 'sugar daddies' and taxi queens: Male taxi driver attitudes ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Cheryl Potgieter, Anna Strebel, Tamara Shefer, and Claire Wagner

    2012-12-14

    Dec 14, 2012 ... have sex with the drivers in exchange for gifts and money. The extent to which such relationships might facilitate unsafe sexual practices and increased risks for both the men and the young women, often referred to as taxi queens, remains an important question in the light of the current challenges of ...

  15. Expanding the Canadian Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee ...

    International Development Research Centre (IDRC) Digital Library (Canada)

    This project will expand the reach and deepen the impact of the original Canadian Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Scholarships program (QES) through a new component supporting ... IDRC is now accepting applications for this year's Trees and People: Resilience in a changing climate John G. Bene Fellowship 2018.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Büchler, Ralph; Andonov, Sreten; Bienefeld, Kaspar

    2013-01-01

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

  17. Biochemical derangements prior to emergency laparotomy at Queen ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Background: The aim of this study was to examine biochemical investigations not routinely performed prior to emergency laparotomy in patients at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital, a low-resource public hospital in Blantyre, Malawi.. Methods: A prospective cross-sectional study of adults (N = 15) needing emergency ...

  18. An audit of deliveries and outcome at Queen Elizabeth Central ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    A one-year audit of deliveries at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital, Blantyre, was undertaken for 1999. The main objective of the audit was to obtain baseline data on forms of deliveries and pregnancy outcome. A total of 12,293 births occurred during the study period. Of these, 11,565 were singleton deliveries, 349 twin ...

  19. Determinants of Post-Partum Maternal Mortality at Queen Elizabeth ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The aim of this research is to identify the clinical, demographic and service-based determinants of postpartum maternal mortality within Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital, Blantyre, Malawi, during 2001 and 2002. The study uses a case-control design using all postpartum maternal deaths in 2001 and 2002 as cases, with ...

  20. Birth weights and gestational ages of Malawian newborns at Queen ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Objective: To determine the distributions of birth weight (BW) and gestational age (GA) and calculate rates of still birth (SB) of four years delivery in the Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital( QECH). Methods: Retrospective analysis was carried out on data of deliveries conducted between January 2000 and December 2003.

  1. The Red Queen: Sex and the Evolution of Human Nature

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Home; Journals; Resonance – Journal of Science Education; Volume 3; Issue 1. The Red Queen: Sex and the Evolution of Human Nature. Milind G Watve. Book Review Volume 3 Issue 1 January 1998 pp 79- ... Author Affiliations. Milind G Watve1. ME Society, Abasaheb Garware College, Karve Road, Pune 411 004, India.

  2. Setting up kangaroo mother care at Queen Elizabeth Central ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Setting up kangaroo mother care at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital, Blantyre - a practical approach. H Blencowe, EM Molyneux. Abstract. No Abstract. Malawi Medical Journal Vol. 17(2) 2005: 39-42. Full Text: EMAIL FREE FULL TEXT EMAIL FREE FULL TEXT · DOWNLOAD FULL TEXT DOWNLOAD FULL TEXT.

  3. 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…

  4. Queen leads tributes to nurses in wake of terrorist attacks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, Daniel

    2017-06-15

    The Queen and the prime minister led tributes to nurses and other NHS staff caring for people injured in the recent terrorist attacks in Manchester and London. Emergency services worked through the night to assist in the immediate aftermath of the explosion at the Manchester arena, which killed 22 people and left many more injured, who were treated at hospitals across the city.

  5. 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…

  6. 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.

  7. Commentary: Warring ants

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

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

  8. Fire Ant Allergy

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  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. Sex mosaics in a male dimorphic ant Cardiocondyla kagutsuchi

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoshizawa, Juri; Mimori, Kohei; Yamauchi, Katsusuke; Tsuchida, Koji

    2009-01-01

    Gynandromorphy, or the development of organisms with a combination of male and female morphological features, is common in Hymenoptera. The underlying mechanism is likely associated with the sex-determination system, and studying this phenomenon should lead to a deeper understanding of both embryonic development and sex determination. The reproductive capabilities of gynandromorphs (hereafter, sex mosaics) remain unclear. We studied gynandromorphy in the Malaysian ant Cardiocondyla kagutsuchi, which has sex mosaics of queens (gynandromorphs; mosaic of queens and winged male) and workers (ergatandromorphs; mosaic of worker and wingless ergatoid male). These sex mosaics were classified into seven morphological categories. Most individuals had more male than female body areas. Behavioral observations revealed that sex mosaics behave more in accordance with the “sex” of their brain than that of the reproductive organs (gaster). Relative DNA quantities showed that both female and male regions contained haploid and diploid nuclei, irrespective of their phenotypic appearance, indicating that external appearance did not reflect internal tissues. Nearly one third of the adults were sex mosaics and they were not infected with Wolbachia. Our results suggest that the production of sex mosaics in this species does not pose a substantial cost to colonies and that the underlying causes are therefore not strongly selected against.

  11. Genetic royal cheats in leaf-cutting ant societies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hughes, William O H; Boomsma, Jacobus J

    2008-01-01

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

  12. 75 FR 68397 - DeQueen and Eastern Railroad, LLC-Acquisition and Operation Exemption-DeQueen and Eastern...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-11-05

    ..., DeQueen and Eastern Railroad, LLC, Golden Triangle Railroad, LLC, Mississippi & Skuna Valley Railroad, LLC... & Cowlitz Railway Company; (2) Docket No. FD 35428, Golden Triangle Railroad, LLC--Acquisition and Operation Exemption--Golden Triangle Railroad Company; (3) Docket No. FD 35429, Mississippi & Skuna Valley Railroad...

  13. 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. © 2016. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  14. 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.

  15. Molecular and social regulation of worker division of labour in fire ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manfredini, Fabio; Lucas, Christophe; Nicolas, Michael; Keller, Laurent; Shoemaker, Dewayne; Grozinger, Christina M

    2014-02-01

    Reproductive and worker division of labour (DOL) is a hallmark of social insect societies. Despite a long-standing interest in worker DOL, the molecular mechanisms regulating this process have only been investigated in detail in honey bees, and little is known about the regulatory mechanisms operating in other social insects. In the fire ant Solenopsis invicta, one of the most studied ant species, workers are permanently sterile and the tasks performed are modulated by the worker's internal state (age and size) and the outside environment (social environment), which potentially includes the effect of the queen presence through chemical communication via pheromones. However, the molecular mechanisms underpinning these processes are unknown. Using a whole-genome microarray platform, we characterized the molecular basis for worker DOL and we explored how a drastic change in the social environment (i.e. the sudden loss of the queen) affects global gene expression patterns of worker ants. We identified numerous genes differentially expressed between foraging and nonforaging workers in queenright colonies. With a few exceptions, these genes appear to be distinct from those involved in DOL in bees and wasps. Interestingly, after the queen was removed, foraging workers were no longer distinct from nonforaging workers at the transcriptomic level. Furthermore, few expression differences were detected between queenright and queenless workers when we did not consider the task performed. Thus, the social condition of the colony (queenless vs. queenright) appears to impact the molecular pathways underlying worker task performance, providing strong evidence for social regulation of DOL in S. invicta. Published 2013. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the U.S.A.

  16. 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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Imperfect chemical female mimicry in males of the ant Cardiocondyla obscurior

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cremer, S.; D'Ettorre, P.; Drijfhout, F.P.

    2008-01-01

    and the tolerated males from several normal colonies revealed that normal old males are still performing some chemical mimicry to the virgin queens, though less perfect than in their young ages. The anomalous attacked winged males, on the other hand, had a very different odour to the females. Our study thus......Winged and wingless males coexist in the ant Cardiocondyla obscurior. Wingless ("ergatoid") males never leave their maternal colony and fight remorselessly among each other for the access to emerging females. The peaceful winged males disperse after about 10 days, but beforehand also mate...

  1. 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...... series, to show that minute quantities of accessory gland secretion achieve significant increases in sperm viability. Sperm stored by queens for 1 year benefited in a similar way from being exposed to accessory gland compounds after dissection in control saline solution. Our results provide the first...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fürst, Matthias A; Durey, Maëlle; Nash, David R

    2012-02-07

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bonnie B Blaimer

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

  4. Performance of the species-typical alarm response in young workers of the ant Myrmica sabuleti (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) is induced by interactions with mature workers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cammaerts, Marie-Claire

    2014-01-01

    Young workers of the ant Myrmica sabuleti (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) Meinert 1861 perceived nestmate alarm pheromone but did not display normal alarm behavior (orientation toward the source of emission, increased running speed). They changed their initial behavior when in the presence of older nestmates exhibiting normal alarm behavior. Four days later, the young ants exhibited an imperfect version of normal alarm behavior. This change of behavior did not occur in young ants, which were not exposed to older ants reacting to alarm pheromone. Queen ants perceived the alarm pheromone and, after a few seconds, moved toward its source. Thus, the ants' ability to sense the alarm pheromone and to identify it as an alarm signal is native, while the adult alarm reaction is acquired over time (= age based polyethism) by young ants. It is possible that the change in behavior observed in young ants could be initiated and/or enhanced (via experience-induced developmental plasticity, learning, and/or other mechanisms) by older ants exhibiting alarm behavior. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Entomological Society of America.

  5. 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.

  6. Increased host aggression as an induced defense against slave-making ants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pennings, Pleuni S.; Foitzik, Susanne

    2011-01-01

    Slave-making ants reduce the fitness of surrounding host colonies through regular raids, causing the loss of brood and frequently queen and worker death. Consequently, hosts developed defenses against slave raids such as specific recognition and aggression toward social parasites, and indeed, we show that host ants react more aggressively toward slavemakers than toward nonparasitic competitors. Permanent behavioral defenses can be costly, and if social parasite impact varies in time and space, inducible defenses, which are only expressed after slavemaker detection, can be adaptive. We demonstrate for the first time an induced defense against slave-making ants: Cues from the slavemaker Protomognathus americanus caused an unspecific but long-lasting behavioral response in Temnothorax host ants. A 5-min within-nest encounter with a dead slavemaker raised the aggression level in T. longispinosus host colonies. Contrarily, encounters with nonparasitic competitors did not elicit aggressive responses toward non-nestmates. Increased aggression can be adaptive if a slavemaker encounter reliably indicates a forthcoming attack and if aggression increases postraid survival. Host aggression was elevated over 3 days, showing the ability of host ants to remember parasite encounters. The response disappeared after 2 weeks, possibly because by then the benefits of increased aggression counterbalance potential costs associated with it. PMID:22476194

  7. 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.

  8. Impact of Thiamethoxam on Honey Bee Queen (Apis mellifera carnica) Reproductive Morphology and Physiology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gajger, Ivana Tlak; Sakač, Martina; Gregorc, Aleš

    2017-09-01

    High honey bee losses around the world have been linked in part by the regular use of neonicotinoids in agriculture. In light of the current situation, the aim of this study was to investigate the effects of thiamethoxam on the development of the reproductive system and physiology in the honey bee queen. Two experimental groups of honey bee queen larvae were treated with thiamethoxam during artificial rearing, applied via artificial feed in two cycles. In the first rearing cycle, honey bee larvae received a single treatment dose (4.28 ng thiamethoxam/queen larva on the 4th day after larvae grafting in artificial queen cells), while the second honey bee queen rearing cycle received a double treatment dose (total of 8.56 ng thiamethoxam/queen larva on the 4th and 5th day after larvae grafting in artificial queen cells). After emerging, queens were anesthetized and weighed, and after mating with drones were anesthetized, weighed, and sectioned. Ovary mass and number of stored sperm were determined. Body weight differed between untreated and treated honey bee queens. The results also show a decrease in the number of sperm within honey bee queen spermathecae that received the double thiamethoxam dose.

  9. Risk of red queen dynamics in pneumococcal vaccine strategy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jefferies, Johanna M C; Clarke, Stuart C; Webb, Jeremy S; Kraaijeveld, Alex R

    2011-08-01

    Pathogens increasingly evade current vaccines, and new strategies to control them are needed. There is mounting evidence that replacement of vaccine serotypes of Streptococcus pneumoniae with non-vaccine serotypes has taken place following widespread use of limited-serotype conjugate vaccines. New strategies to control vaccine evasion are needed and understanding evolutionary theory is important for the development of such approaches. Hosts are under selection pressure to evolve resistance against pathogens whereas pathogens are under selection pressure to evolve counter-resistance against the resistance mechanism of their host. Evolutionary changes in both host and pathogen lead to a continuous turnover of host and pathogen genotypes; this is known as Red Queen dynamics. We argue that integrating evolutionary thinking into pneumococcal vaccine design will lead to the avoidance of Red Queen dynamics and improved interventions against pneumococci. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Genetic relatedness does not predict the queen's successors in the ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Saikat Chakraborty

    raa, rbb, rccetc., are all 1. Model 1: According to this model the successor is that individual who has the highest relatedness to the queen. The model is illustrated below. a b c (Q) d a raa rab rac rad b rba rbb rbc rbd c (Q) rca rcb rcc rcd d rda rdb rdc rdd a, b, c, d are nest mates. rij is the pair-wise genetic relatedness between ...

  11. Chaotic provinces in the kingdom of the Red Queen.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schenk, Hanna; Traulsen, Arne; Gokhale, Chaitanya S

    2017-10-27

    The interplay between parasites and their hosts is found in all kinds of species and plays an important role in understanding the principles of evolution and coevolution. Usually, the different genotypes of hosts and parasites oscillate in their abundances. The well-established theory of oscillatory Red Queen dynamics proposes an ongoing change in frequencies of the different types within each species. So far, it is unclear under what conditions Red Queen dynamics persists, especially when the number of types per species increases. Some models show that with many types of hosts and parasites or more species chaotic dynamics occur. In our analysis, an arbitrary number of types within two species are examined in a deterministic framework with constant or changing population size and very simple interactions. This general framework allows for analytical solutions for internal fixed points and their stability. The numerical analysis shows that for two species, once more than two types are considered per species, irregular dynamics in their frequencies can be observed in the long run. The nature of the dynamics depends strongly on the initial configuration of the system; the usual regular Red Queen oscillations are only observed when all types initially have similar abundance. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. 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...

  13. ANT, tourism and situated globality

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2015-01-01

    In recent years Actor-network theory (ANT) has increasingly been felt in the field of tourism studies (Van der Duim, Ren, & Jóhannesson, 2012). An important implication of the meeting between ANT and tourism studies is the notion of tourism being described as a heterogeneous assemblage of what we...... are used to define as the separate spheres of nature and culture. This paper explores and relates the central tenets of ANT in tourism with regard to the concept of the Anthropocene. It presents the ANT approach as a flat and object-oriented ontology and methodology and explores its potentials to carve out...

  14. 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.

  15. Eco-evolutionary Red Queen dynamics regulate biodiversity in a metabolite-driven microbial system

    OpenAIRE

    Bonachela, Juan A.; Wortel, Meike T.; Stenseth, Nils Chr.

    2017-01-01

    The Red Queen Hypothesis proposes that perpetual co-evolution among organisms can result from purely biotic drivers. After more than four decades, there is no satisfactory understanding as to which mechanisms trigger Red Queen dynamics or their implications for ecosystem features such as biodiversity. One reason for such a knowledge gap is that typical models are complicated theories where limit cycles represent an idealized Red Queen, and therefore cannot be used to devise experimental setup...

  16. Gender-bias primes elicit queen bee responses among senior policewomen

    OpenAIRE

    Derks, Belle; van Laar, Colette; Ellemers, Naomi; De Groot, Kim

    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 of the gender bias and social identity threat that produce gender disparities in career outcomes. In the experiment reported here, we asked separate groups of senior policewomen to recall the prese...

  17. Determination of the cost of worker reproduction via diminished life span in the ant Diacamma sp.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsuji, Kazuki; Kikuta, Noritsugu; Kikuchi, Tomonori

    2012-05-01

    Workers of social Hymenoptera can usually produce male offspring, but rarely do so in the presence of a queen despite the potential individual fitness benefit. Various mechanisms have been hypothesized to regulate worker reproduction, including avoiding the colony-level cost of worker reproduction. However, firm quantitative evidence is lacking to support that hypothesis. Here, we accurately quantified this cost by studying an ant species (Diacamma sp.) in which worker reproduction is rare in the presence of the gamergate (the functional queen). A series of experiments to manipulate worker-gamergate contact revealed that short-term brood-production efficiency is not changed by the presence of worker reproduction. However, when workers reproduce, their average life span is reduced to between 74% and 88% of that in the absence of reproduction, indicating a long-term cost to the colony. In theory, this cost can explain the policing of worker reproduction under a queen-single mating system, but the cost does not appear to be high enough to stop worker reproduction. When contact with the gamergate is lost, it is only the nonreproductive workers whose life span was reduced; the reproductive workers lived as long as nonorphaned workers. We suggest that an increased workload can account for the reduction in life span better than a trade-off between reproduction and longevity. © 2011 The Author(s). Evolution© 2011 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  18. The evolution of queen control over worker reproduction in the social Hymenoptera.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olejarz, Jason; Veller, Carl; Nowak, Martin A

    2017-10-01

    A trademark of eusocial insect species is reproductive division of labor, in which workers forego their own reproduction while the queen produces almost all offspring. The presence of the queen is key for maintaining social harmony, but the specific role of the queen in the evolution of eusociality remains unclear. A long-discussed scenario is that a queen either behaviorally or chemically sterilizes her workers. However, the demographic and ecological conditions that enable such manipulation are still debated. We study a simple model of evolutionary dynamics based on haplodiploid genetics. Our model is set in the commonly observed case where workers have lost the ability to lay female (diploid) eggs by mating, but retain the ability to lay male (haploid) eggs. We consider a mutation that acts in a queen, causing her to control the reproductive behavior of her workers. Our mathematical analysis yields precise conditions for the evolutionary emergence and stability of queen-induced worker sterility. These conditions do not depend on the queen's mating frequency. We find that queen control is always established if it increases colony reproductive efficiency, but can evolve even if it decreases colony efficiency. We further derive the conditions under which queen control is evolutionarily stable against invasion by mutant workers who have recovered the ability to lay male eggs.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Medeiros, Sheila de Oliveira; Martins, Angelica Nascimento; Dias, Carlos Gabriel Almeida; Tanuri, Amilcar; Brindeiro, Rodrigo de Moraes

    2012-05-25

    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. 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. Phylogenetic analysis showed evidence of queen to kitten transmission.

  20. 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.

  1. Ants, rodents and seed predation in Proteaceae

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

  2. Performance of the Species-Typical Alarm Response in Young Workers of the Ant Myrmica sabuleti (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) Is Induced by Interactions with Mature Workers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cammaerts, Marie-Claire

    2014-01-01

    Abstract Young workers of the ant Myrmica sabuleti (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) Meinert 1861 perceived nestmate alarm pheromone but did not display normal alarm behavior (orientation toward the source of emission, increased running speed). They changed their initial behavior when in the presence of older nestmates exhibiting normal alarm behavior. Four days later, the young ants exhibited an imperfect version of normal alarm behavior. This change of behavior did not occur in young ants, which were not exposed to older ants reacting to alarm pheromone. Queen ants perceived the alarm pheromone and, after a few seconds, moved toward its source. Thus, the ants’ ability to sense the alarm pheromone and to identify it as an alarm signal is native, while the adult alarm reaction is acquired over time (= age based polyethism) by young ants. It is possible that the change in behavior observed in young ants could be initiated and/or enhanced (via experience-induced developmental plasticity, learning, and/or other mechanisms) by older ants exhibiting alarm behavior. PMID:25525102

  3. The metapleural gland of ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yek, Sze Huei; Mueller, Ulrich G

    2011-11-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eisuke Tasaki

    Full Text Available 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.

  5. Hospitales seguros ante desastres

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Celso Vladimir Bambaren Alatrista

    2007-07-01

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

  6. Improving competitiveness of Daisy.Queen Beauty Salon

    OpenAIRE

    Li, Yan

    2012-01-01

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

  7. Efficacy of simulated barrier treatments against laboratory colonies of Pharaoh ant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buczkowski, Grzegorz; Scharf, Michael E; Ratliff, Catina R; Bennett, Gary W

    2005-04-01

    Five selected insecticides were applied to four substrates and evaluated in laboratory studies for repellency and toxicity against the Pharaoh ant, Monomorium pharaonis (L.). We tested both repellent and nonrepellent formulations on outdoor (concrete and mulch) and indoor (ceramic and vinyl) substrates. Repellency was evaluated using a behavioral bioassay in which colonies were given a choice to leave the treated zone and move into empty nests provided in the untreated zone. We used a novel experimental design whereby ants walked on a Slinky coil suspended from a metal support frame, thus permitting a long foraging distance with a minimum use of space and resources. Cypermethrin, a repellent pyrethroid insecticide, resulted in colony budding, although the response was delayed. Toxicity of insecticides was evaluated as worker, queen, and brood mortality. The most effective treatment was fipronil, which provided 100% reduction in pretreatment activity by 2 d posttreatment on both concrete and mulch. Chlorfenapyr was highly effective on both outdoor and indoor substrates. Significant substrate effects were observed with insecticides applied to nonabsorbent substrates (ceramic tile), which performed better than insecticides applied to absorbent substrates (vinyl tile). Other highly absorbent materials (mulch and concrete), however, did not reduce insecticide efficacy. This is because ants relocated nests into and/or under these attractive nesting materials, thus increasing their exposure to toxic insecticide residues. Our results demonstrate efficacy of nonrepellent liquid insecticides as indoor treatments for the control of Pharaoh ants and possibly as exterior perimeter treatments.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2003-01-01

    By sequencing part of the wsp gene of a series of clones, we detected an unusually high diversity of nine Wolbachia strains in queens of three species of leafcutter ants. Up to four strains co-occurred in a single ant. Most strains occurred in two clusters (InvA and InvB), but the social parasite...... of the social parasite A. insinuator were almost certainly acquired by horizontal transmission, but may have facilitated reproductive isolation from its closely related host.......By sequencing part of the wsp gene of a series of clones, we detected an unusually high diversity of nine Wolbachia strains in queens of three species of leafcutter ants. Up to four strains co-occurred in a single ant. Most strains occurred in two clusters (InvA and InvB), but the social parasite...... Acromyrmex insinuator hosted two additional infections. The multiple Wolbachia strains may influence the expression of reproductive conflicts in leafcutter ants, but the expected turnover of infections may make the cumulative effects on host ant reproduction complex. The additional Wolbachia infections...

  9. Modelling information exchange in worker-queen conflict over sex allocation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pen, I.R.; Taylor, P.D.

    2005-01-01

    We investigate the conflict between queen and worker over sex allocation, specifically the allocation of the queen's eggs between workers and reproductives and the allocation of the reproductive eggs between male and female. In contrast to previous models, we allow workers to observe and use

  10. 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).

  11. Evolutionary genetics of immunological supertypes reveals two faces of the Red Queen.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lighten, Jackie; Papadopulos, Alexander S T; Mohammed, Ryan S; Ward, Ben J; G Paterson, Ian; Baillie, Lyndsey; Bradbury, Ian R; Hendry, Andrew P; Bentzen, Paul; van Oosterhout, Cock

    2017-11-03

    Red Queen host-parasite co-evolution can drive adaptations of immune genes by positive selection that erodes genetic variation (Red Queen arms race) or results in a balanced polymorphism (Red Queen dynamics) and long-term preservation of genetic variation (trans-species polymorphism). These two Red Queen processes are opposite extremes of the co-evolutionary spectrum. Here we show that both Red Queen processes can operate simultaneously by analysing the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) in guppies (Poecilia reticulata and P. obscura) and swamp guppies (Micropoecilia picta). Sub-functionalisation of MHC alleles into 'supertypes' explains how polymorphisms persist during rapid host-parasite co-evolution. Simulations show the maintenance of supertypes as balanced polymorphisms, consistent with Red Queen dynamics, whereas alleles within supertypes are subject to positive selection in a Red Queen arms race. Building on the divergent allele advantage hypothesis, we show that functional aspects of allelic diversity help to elucidate the evolution of polymorphic genes involved in Red Queen co-evolution.

  12. Secondary queens in the parthenogenetic termite Cavitermes tuberosus develop through a transitional helper stage

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Hellemans, S.; Fournier, D.; Hanus, Robert; Roisin, Y.

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 19, č. 6 (2017), s. 253-262 ISSN 1520-541X Institutional support: RVO:61388963 Keywords : facultative parthenogenesis * replacement queens * termites * asexual queen succession * ontogeny * Cavitermes Subject RIV: EG - Zoology OBOR OECD: Developmental biology Impact factor: 2.243, year: 2016

  13. Effects of honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) queen insemination volume on worker behavior and physiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Honey bee colonies consist of tens of thousands of workers and a single reproductive queen that produces a pheromone blend which maintains colony organization. Previous studies indicated that the insemination quantity and volume alter queen mandibular pheromone profiles. In our 11-month long field s...

  14. Eco-evolutionary Red Queen dynamics regulate biodiversity in a metabolite-driven microbial system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonachela, Juan A; Wortel, Meike T; Stenseth, Nils Chr

    2017-12-15

    The Red Queen Hypothesis proposes that perpetual co-evolution among organisms can result from purely biotic drivers. After more than four decades, there is no satisfactory understanding as to which mechanisms trigger Red Queen dynamics or their implications for ecosystem features such as biodiversity. One reason for such a knowledge gap is that typical models are complicated theories where limit cycles represent an idealized Red Queen, and therefore cannot be used to devise experimental setups. Here, we bridge this gap by introducing a simple model for microbial systems able to show Red Queen dynamics. We explore diverse biotic sources that can drive the emergence of the Red Queen and that have the potential to be found in nature or to be replicated in the laboratory. Our model enables an analytical understanding of how Red Queen dynamics emerge in our setup, and the translation of model terms and phenomenology into general underlying mechanisms. We observe, for example, that in our system the Red Queen offers opportunities for the increase of biodiversity by facilitating challenging conditions for intraspecific dominance, whereas stasis tends to homogenize the system. Our results can be used to design and engineer experimental microbial systems showing Red Queen dynamics.

  15. case of natural queen succession in a captive colony of naked mole ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Naked mole-rats occur in large colonies where usually a single queen monopolizes reproduction. Queen succession occurs from within usually as a result of aggressive encounters with subordinate females that queue for reproductive succession following colony instability, which inevitably results in death of either the ...

  16. Dominance and queen succession in captive colonies of the eusocial naked mole-rat, Heterocephalus glaber.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clarke, F M; Faulkes, C G

    1997-07-22

    Naked mole-rat colonies exhibit a high reproductive skew, breeding being typically restricted to one female (the 'queen') and one to three males. Other colony members are reproductively suppressed, although this suppression can be reversed following the removal or death of the queen. We examined dominance and queen succession within captive colonies to investigate the relationship between urinary testosterone and cortisol, dominance rank and reproductive status; and to determine if behavioural and/or physiological parameters can be used as predictors of queen succession. Social structure was characterized by a linear dominance hierarchy before and after queen removal. Prior to queen removal, dominance rank was negatively correlated with body weight and urinary testosterone and cortisol titres in males and females. Queen removal results in social instability and aggression between high ranking individuals. Dominance rank appears to be a good predictor of reproductive status: queens are the highest ranking colony females and are succeeded by the next highest ranking females. The intense dominance-related aggression that accompanies reproductive succession in naked mole-rats provides empirical support for optimal skew theory.

  17. Grafický design gramofonových alb hudební skupiny Queen

    OpenAIRE

    Bílková, Alena

    2014-01-01

    Bachelor thesis will deal with graphic design of LP covers music group Queen. It will focus on visual studies and LP graphic design in general. The main part will concentrate on music group Queen and graphic design of its LP covers. Powered by TCPDF (www.tcpdf.org)

  18. 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.

  19. 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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Doerr, Benjamin; Neumann, Frank; Sudholt, Dirk

    2011-01-01

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

  1. The geographic mosaic of sex and the Red Queen.

    Science.gov (United States)

    King, Kayla C; Delph, Lynda F; Jokela, Jukka; Lively, Curtis M

    2009-09-15

    The maintenance of sexual reproduction in natural populations is a pressing question for evolutionary biologists. Under the "Red Queen" hypothesis, coevolving parasites reduce the reproductive advantage of asexual reproduction by adapting to infect clonal genotypes after they become locally common. In addition, the "geographic mosaic" theory of coevolution proposes that structured populations of interacting species can produce selection mosaics manifested as coevolutionary "hot spots" and "cold spots". Here, we tested whether a steep, habitat-specific cline in the frequency of sexual reproduction in a freshwater snail could be explained by the existence of hot spots and cold spots for coevolving parasites. We found that the shallow-water margins of lakes, where sexual reproduction is most common, are coevolutionary hot spots, and that deeper habitats are cold spots. These results are consistent with the geographic mosaic theory, in that the intensity of selection resulting from biological interactions can vary sharply in space. The results also support the Red Queen hypothesis, in that sex is associated with coevolutionary hot spots for virulent parasites.

  2. Fantasy under Duress: Connie Scozzaro’s Contrapposto Action Queen

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Edward Luker

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available This article explores how Connie Scozzaro’s 'Contrapposto Action Queen (2013' repeatedly takes up two mystifications of femininity from classical mythology, Venus and Lamia, so as to subject them to critique. It takes the images of Venus and Lamia from the writing of two poets, Charles Algernon Swinburne and John Keats. These examples are shown to be epitomes of male poetic fantasy. Within Scozzaro’s collection these fantasies are dissected, undermined, or taken apart through exaggeration, ironization, and the use of tone. The book makes explicit that within patriarchal society, male fantasies are part of a social condition of gendered violence. Contra Brandon Brown’s argument that 'Contrapposto Action Queen' articulates the dialectic of the possible and the actual, this article articulates that for Scozzaro the possible is always conditioned by fantasy. It finishes by looking at Theodor Adorno’s essay ‘Lyric Poetry and Society’. Where Adorno states the lyric subject manifests itself with masculine ‘unrestrained individuation’, this fails to grasp how the lyric poem can utilize strategies of concealment to stress the consequences of the lyric subject’s gendering.

  3. 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.

  4. 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...

  5. 78 FR 56171 - Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Queen Conch Fishery of Puerto...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-09-12

    ... through June 30. Over the 2009/2010 through 2011/2012 fishing years, an average of 40 fishermen (range of... regulations specifying the queen conch fishing season to correct an inadvertent change to the text that... inadvertent change to the text specifying the queen conch fishing season. Fishing for queen conch is only...

  6. Pest repellent properties of ant pheromones

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Offenberg, Joachim

    2012-01-01

    Many ant species are efficient control agents against a wide range of pest insects in many crops. They control pest insects via predation; however, ant communication is based on chemical cues which may be eavesdropped by potential prey and serve as chemical warning signals. Thus, the presence...... of ant pheromones may be sufficient to repel pest insects from ant territories. The study of ant semiochemicals is in its infancy, yet, evidence for their potential use in pest management is starting to build up. Pheromones from four of five tested ant species have been shown to deter herbivorous insect...... prey and competing ant species are also deterred by ant deposits, whereas ant symbionts may be attracted to them. Based on these promising initial findings, it seems advisable to further elucidate the signaling properties of ant pheromones and to test and develop their use in future pest management....

  7. 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

    molecular tools to uncover some of the mechanisms and consequences of sperm competition in the leaf-cutting ant Atta colombica, a species with extreme worker size polymorphism. Competitive PCR allowed quantification of the relative numbers of sperm stored by queens from different males, and offspring...... genotyping revealed how sperm number translated into paternity of eggs and adult workers. We demonstrate that fertilization success is directly related to sperm numbers, that stored sperm are well-mixed and that egg paternity is constant over time. Moreover, worker size was found to have a considerable...

  8. 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.

  9. Trap-mulching Argentine ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-10-01

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

  10. Measuring activity in ant colonies

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-02-01

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

  12. Using Ants as bioindicators: Multiscale Issues in Ant Community Ecology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alan Andersen

    1997-06-01

    Full Text Available Ecological patterns and processes are characteristically scale dependent, and research findings often cannot be translated easily from one scale to another. Conservation biology is challenged by a lack of congruence between the spatial scales of ecological research (typically involving small plots and land management (typically involving whole landscapes. Here, I discuss spatial scaling issues as they relate to an understanding of ant communities and, consequently, their use as bioindicators in land management. Our perceptions of fundamental patterns and processes in ant communities depend on scale: taxa that are behaviorally dominant at one scale are not necessarily so at others, functional groups recognized at one scale are often inappropriate for others, and the role of competition in community structure depends on the scale of analysis. Patterns of species richness and composition, and the ability of total richness to be estimated by surrogates, are all also scale dependent. Ant community ecology has a tradition of detailed studies in small plots, but the use of ants as bioindicators requires a predictive understanding of community structure and dynamics at a range of spatial scales. Such an appreciation of ant communities and their most effective use as bioindicators is best served by studies integrating results from plot-scale research with the broad-scale paradigms of biogeography, systematics, and evolutionary biology.

  13. 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. Crown Copyright © 2011. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. The interaction of drag queens and gay men in public and private spaces.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berkowitz, Dana; Belgrave, Linda; Halberstein, Robert A

    2007-01-01

    This study examines the issue of internal segregation within the gay community, focusing on the ways by which the drag queen subculture is distanced from larger mainstream gay society. Through the use of institutional ethnography, symbolic interactionism, and a naturalist approach to sociology, the researchers sought to understand the subjective experience of the drag queen, in particular how drag queens perceive their interactions with mainstream gay society. Data for this study were collected through a series of observations conducted in a variety of spatial contexts and interviews with 18 drag queens. Findings indicate that spatial distance between the drag queens and the mainstream gay men is dependent on both the social context and the level of professionalization of the drag queen. Although drag queens' perceptions of their status in the gay community are also dependent on the latter, discussions of relationship difficulties and the quest for a long-term romantic partner illustrate that discrimination within the gay community is both widespread and complex.

  15. Red Queen: from populations to taxa and communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liow, Lee Hsiang; Van Valen, Leigh; Stenseth, Nils Chr

    2011-07-01

    Biotic interactions via the struggle for control of energy and the interactive effects of biota with their physical environment characterize Van Valen's Red Queen (VRQ). Here, we review new evidence for and against a VRQ view of the world from studies of increasing temporal and spatial scales. Interactions among biota and with the physical environment are important for generating and maintaining diversity on diverse timescales, but detailed mechanisms remain poorly understood. We recommend directly estimating the effect of biota and the physical environment on ecological and evolutionary processes. Promising approaches for elucidating VRQ include using mathematical modelling, controlled experimental systems, sampling and processes-oriented approaches for analysing data from natural systems, while paying extra attention to biotic interactions discernable from the fossil record. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. 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.

  17. 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. © The Author(s) 2013 Reprints and permissions: sagepub.co.uk/journalsPermissions.nav.

  18. Quantifying quantumness and the quest for Queens of Quantum

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Giraud, Olivier; Braun, Daniel; Braun, Petr

    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 the general properties of this measure of non-classicality and use it to identify, for a given dimension of Hilbert space, the 'Queen of Quantum' (QQ) states, i.e. the most non-classical quantum states. In three dimensions, we obtain the QQ state analytically and show that it is unique up to rotations. In up to 11-dimensional Hilbert spaces, we find the QQ states numerically, and show that in terms of their Majorana representation they are highly symmetric bodies, which for dimensions 5 and 7 correspond to Platonic bodies.

  19. Quantifying quantumness and the quest for Queens of Quantum

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Giraud, Olivier; Braun, Daniel [Universite de Toulouse, UPS, Laboratoire de Physique Theorique (IRSAMC), F-31062 Toulouse (France); Braun, Petr, E-mail: olivier.giraud@lptms.u-psud.f [Fachbereich Physik, Universitaet Duisburg-Essen, 47048 Duisburg (Germany)

    2010-06-15

    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 the general properties of this measure of non-classicality and use it to identify, for a given dimension of Hilbert space, the 'Queen of Quantum' (QQ) states, i.e. the most non-classical quantum states. In three dimensions, we obtain the QQ state analytically and show that it is unique up to rotations. In up to 11-dimensional Hilbert spaces, we find the QQ 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Teaching geriatric medicine at the Queen's University of Belfast.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stout, R W

    1983-01-01

    Undergraduate teaching at the Queen's University, Belfast, takes place in the fourth year of a five year curriculum. It lasts three weeks and this is divided into two parts. First, held within the university department, is topic-based teaching including seminars, discussions, case histories and visits. The second phase of two weeks consists of attachment of two to four students to geriatric medical units both in and outside Belfast. The whole of this module is situated within a combined course involving community medicine, general practice, geriatric medicine and mental health lasting 12 weeks and involving one-third of the year of 150 students each time. In addition to the three weeks teaching in geriatrics, joint discussion groups are held.

  2. Phylogenies reveal new interpretation of speciation and the Red Queen.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Venditti, Chris; Meade, Andrew; Pagel, Mark

    2010-01-21

    The Red Queen describes a view of nature in which species continually evolve but do not become better adapted. It is one of the more distinctive metaphors of evolutionary biology, but no test of its claim that speciation occurs at a constant rate has ever been made against competing models that can predict virtually identical outcomes, nor has any mechanism been proposed that could cause the constant-rate phenomenon. Here we use 101 phylogenies of animal, plant and fungal taxa to test the constant-rate claim against four competing models. Phylogenetic branch lengths record the amount of time or evolutionary change between successive events of speciation. The models predict the distribution of these lengths by specifying how factors combine to bring about speciation, or by describing how rates of speciation vary throughout a tree. We find that the hypotheses that speciation follows the accumulation of many small events that act either multiplicatively or additively found support in 8% and none of the trees, respectively. A further 8% of trees hinted that the probability of speciation changes according to the amount of divergence from the ancestral species, and 6% suggested speciation rates vary among taxa. By comparison, 78% of the trees fit the simplest model in which new species emerge from single events, each rare but individually sufficient to cause speciation. This model predicts a constant rate of speciation, and provides a new interpretation of the Red Queen: the metaphor of species losing a race against a deteriorating environment is replaced by a view linking speciation to rare stochastic events that cause reproductive isolation. Attempts to understand species-radiations or why some groups have more or fewer species should look to the size of the catalogue of potential causes of speciation shared by a group of closely related organisms rather than to how those causes combine.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Plettner Erika

    2010-06-01

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

  4. 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

  5. Running with the Red Queen: host-parasite coevolution selects for biparental sex.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-07-08

    Most organisms reproduce through outcrossing, even though it comes with substantial costs. The Red Queen hypothesis proposes that selection from coevolving pathogens facilitates the persistence of outcrossing despite these costs. We used experimental coevolution to test the Red Queen hypothesis and found that coevolution with a bacterial pathogen (Serratia marcescens) resulted in significantly more outcrossing in mixed mating experimental populations of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Furthermore, we found that coevolution with the pathogen rapidly drove obligately selfing populations to extinction, whereas outcrossing populations persisted through reciprocal coevolution. Thus, consistent with the Red Queen hypothesis, coevolving pathogens can select for biparental sex.

  6. Quantification of supercolonial traits in the yellow crazy ant, Anoplolepis gracilipes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoffmann, Benjamin D; Hagedorn, Henry

    2014-02-16

    Supercoloniality is a social structure displayed by many invasive ant species, but there has been surprisingly little research quantifying the extent to which individual species display traits underlying such social organisation. This study quantifies three traits for the yellow crazy ant, Anoplolepis gracilipes Smith (Hymenoptera: Formicidae): little or no aggression between workers from different nests; the exchange of workers among nests; and resource exchange among nests, as well as supercolony structure arising from patterns of distribution and density of detections. Supercolonies displayed a structural continuum from being small ( 10,000 ha) and "diffuse" with little continuity among detections. Smaller supercolonies had greater ant densities than larger supercolonies. In laboratory trials, no aggression was observed between workers from different nests sourced from different supercolonies, and paired nests merged within 24 hours. Workers lacked nest fidelity by rapidly populating artificial nests containing alien queens. The daily worker turnover rate per nest was estimated to be below 20%. Resources were readily moved among nests, with a resource being detected up to 13 m away from a source within 24 hours, and as far as 32 m after four days. The rate and distance of resource movement increased with increasing worker and nest density. This research has demonstrated that A. gracilipes displays supercoloniality equivalent to that of the well-studied Argentine ant Linepithema humile. Quantification of these traits is required for other supercolonial species to improve our understanding of this social strategy, especially for invasive ants to aid in understanding factors that promote invasion success and to improve management. This is an open access paper. We use the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license that permits unrestricted use, provided that the paper is properly attributed.

  7. Targeted research to improve invasive species management: yellow crazy ant Anoplolepis gracilipes in Samoa.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benjamin D Hoffmann

    Full Text Available Lack of biological knowledge of invasive species is recognised as a major factor contributing to eradication failure. Management needs to be informed by a site-specific understanding of the invasion system. Here, we describe targeted research designed to inform the potential eradication of the invasive yellow crazy ant Anoplolepis gracilipes on Nu'utele island, Samoa. First, we assessed the ant's impacts on invertebrate biodiversity by comparing invertebrate communities between infested and uninfested sites. Second, we investigated the timing of production of sexuals and seasonal variation of worker abundance and nest density. Third, we investigated whether an association existed between A. gracilipes and carbohydrate sources. Within the infested area there were few other ants larger than A. gracilipes, as well as fewer spiders and crabs, indicating that A. gracilipes is indeed a significant conservation concern. The timing of male reproduction appears to be consistent with places elsewhere in the world, but queen reproduction was outside of the known reproductive period for this species in the region, indicating that the timing of treatment regimes used elsewhere are not appropriate for Samoa. Worker abundance and nest density were among the highest recorded in the world, being greater in May than in October. These abundance and nest density data form baselines for quantifying treatment efficacy and set sampling densities for post-treatment assessments. The number of plants and insects capable of providing a carbohydrate supply to ants were greatest where A. gracilipes was present, but it is not clear if this association is causal. Regardless, indirectly controlling ant abundance by controlling carbohydrate supply appears to be promising avenue for research. The type of targeted, site-specific research such as that described here should be an integral part of any eradication program for invasive species to design knowledge-based treatment

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dietrich Gotzek

    2007-11-01

    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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Valles, Steven M.; Strong, Charles A.; Dang, Phat M.; Hunter, Wayne B.; Pereira, Roberto M.; Oi, David H.; Shapiro, Alexandra M.; Williams, David F.

    2004-01-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. Foster carers influence brood pathogen resistance in ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Purcell, Jessica; Chapuisat, Michel

    2014-10-07

    Social organisms face a high risk of epidemics, and respond to this threat by combining efficient individual and collective defences against pathogens. An intriguing and little studied feature of social animals is that individual pathogen resistance may depend not only on genetic or maternal factors, but also on the social environment during development. Here, we used a cross-fostering experiment to investigate whether the pathogen resistance of individual ant workers was shaped by their own colony of origin or by the colony of origin of their carers. The origin of care-giving workers significantly influenced the ability of newly eclosed cross-fostered Formica selysi workers to resist the fungal entomopathogen Beauveria bassiana. In particular, carers that were more resistant to the fungal entomopathogen reared more resistant workers. This effect occurred in the absence of post-infection social interactions, such as trophallaxis and allogrooming. The colony of origin of eggs significantly influenced the survival of the resulting individuals in both control and pathogen treatments. There was no significant effect of the social organization (i.e. whether colonies contain a single or multiple queens) of the colony of origin of either carers or eggs. Our experiment reveals that social interactions during development play a central role in moulding the resistance of emerging workers. © 2014 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  13. Roadside Survey of Ants on Oahu, Hawaii.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-02-11

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

  14. Solenopsis invicta virus 3: pathogenesis and stage specificity in red imported fire ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valles, Steven M; Porter, Sanford D; Firth, Andrew E

    2014-07-01

    Solenopsis invicta colonies were exposed to purified preparations of Solenopsis invicta virus 3 (SINV-3) to investigate virus pathogenesis at the colony level. Time course experiments revealed an infection exhibiting specificity for the adult stage (workers). SINV-3 genome and a capsid protein were increasingly present in worker ants with time. Northern blot analysis revealed two bands in RNA preparations from worker ants infected with SINV-3 corresponding to the genomic and sub-genomic species. Conversely, larval RNA preparations from SINV-3-infected colonies showed a near-complete absence of SINV-3 genome or sub-genome. The data confirm that SINV-3 is the etiological agent causing mortality among S. invicta colonies in the laboratory. We propose that SINV-3 infection somehow alters worker ant behavior, which may prevent them from acquiring and/or distributing solid food to the larvae. Consequently, larval mortality and impaired queen health occur as a result of starvation or neglect by the worker caste. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  15. Prudent Protomognathus and despotic Leptothorax duloticus: Differential costs of ant slavery

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hare, James F.; Alloway, Thomas M.

    2001-01-01

    The concept of ant slavery rests on the untested assumption that slave-making ants impose fitness costs on colonies of the species they raid. We tested that assumption by comparing the summertime seasonal productivity of Leptothorax spp. colonies in field exclosures without slavemakers, with a colony of the obligatory slave-making ant Protomognathus americanus, or with a colony of the obligatory slavemaker Leptothorax duloticus. Leptothorax longispinosus colonies placed in exclosures with P. americanus colonies did not differ significantly in any demographic attribute from colonies in exclosures without slavemakers. By contrast, Leptothorax curvispinosus colonies exposed to L. duloticus experienced significant reductions in dealate queens, workers, and larvae relative to control colonies exclosed without slavemakers. The pronounced difference in the impact of these slavemakers on their host-species populations correlates with differences in the behavior of the slavemakers observed in the laboratory and likely explains why P. americanus is more abundant than L. duloticus in nature. It seems that more advanced social parasites, like anatomical parasites, evolve to minimize their impact on their hosts, and thus can be regarded as “prudent social parasites.” PMID:11572933

  16. Laboratory and Field Evaluations of Polyacrylamide Hydrogel Baits Against Argentine Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rust, Michael K; Soeprono, Andrew; Wright, Sarajean; Greenberg, Les; Choe, Dong-Hwan; Boser, Christina L; Cory, Coleen; Hanna, Cause

    2015-06-01

    The development of effective baits to control the Argentine ant, Linepithema humile (Mayr), has been problematic because foragers prefer sweet liquids, while many toxicants are insoluble in water and liquid baits are generally difficult to deliver. The incorporation of thiamethoxam and sucrose solutions into a water-absorbing polyacrylamide hydrogel provides a unique and novel carrier and method of application for liquid baits. Formulations of thiamethoxam affected the size of the hydrogels, and sucrose solutions containing 0.0003% technical thiamethoxam provided hydrogels as large as those made with 25% sucrose solution or deionized water. Concentrations of thiamethoxam as low as 0.000075% in the hydrogels provided 50% kill of workers within 3 d in a laboratory setting. In small colony studies, baiting with 0.00015 and 0.000075% thiamethoxam hydrogels provided 100% mortality of workers and queens within 8 d. An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay indicated that thiamethoxam was absorbed into the interior of the polyacrylamide matrix. The water loss rates of the hydrogels were dependent upon the relative humidity. Polyacrylamide hydrogels with >50% water loss were less attractive to ants. Field studies in highly infested areas indicated that concentrations of 0.0006 or 0.0018% thiamethoxam were more effective than 0.00015%. Hydrogels may provide a cost-effective alternative to providing aqueous baits to control Argentine ants. © The Authors 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  18. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stuart K J R Auld

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

  20. 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...

  1. Digest: The Red Queen hypothesis demonstrated by the Daphnia-Caullerya host-parasite system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martín-Peciña, María; Osuna-Macaró, Carolina

    2018-01-30

    The Red Queen hypothesis predicts that antagonistic interactions between species lead to coevolutionary change. Turko et al. (2017) used the Daphnia-Caullerya host-parasite system to empirically confirm that the clonal turnover of Daphnia hosts is higher during Caullerya parasite epidemics, as expected under the Red Queen hypothesis. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  2. Stillbirths and hospital early neonatal deaths at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital, Blantyre-Malawi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Metaferia, Aklilu M; Muula, Adamson S

    2009-08-31

    Much of the data on still births and early neonatal deaths from resource-limited settings are obtained via maternal recall from national or community level surveys. While this approach results in useful information to be obtained, often such data suffer from significant recall bias and misclassification. In order to determine the prevalence of stillbirths (SB), early hospital neonatal death (EHND) and associated factors in Blantyre, Malawi, a prospective study of pregnant and post-natal women was conducted at the Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital (QECH), Malawi. A prospective observational study was conducted between February 1, 2004 and October 30, 2005. Consecutive women attending the hospital for delivery were recruited. Data were collected on the health status of the fetus on admission to labor ward and immediately after delivery, whether alive or dead. Gestational age (GA) and birth weight (BW) and sex of the newborn were also noted. Similar data were also collected on the live births that died in the delivery room or nursery. Data were analyzed using SPSS (Statistical Package for the Social Sciences) statistical package. A total of 10,700 deliveries were conducted during the 12 months study period and of these deliveries, 845 (7.9%) were SB and EHND. Stillbirths comprised 3.4% of all deliveries; 20.2% of the ante-partum deaths occurred before the mother was admitted to the labor ward while a slightly higher proportion (22.7%) of fetal loss occurred during the process of labor and delivery. Fifty-sex percent of the perinatal deaths (PD) were EHND. The mean gestational age for the perinatal deaths was 34.7 weeks and mean birth weight was 2,155 g (standard deviation = 938 g). The majority, 468 (57.8%) of the perinatal deaths were males and 350 (43.2%) were females. Many of the perinatal deaths (57.9%) were deliveries between gestational ages of 20 and 37 weeks. Most (62.7%) of the mothers with a perinatal death had experienced a previous similar incident. About 3

  3. Ants as tools in sustainable agriculture

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Offenberg, Joachim

    2015-01-01

    . Being predatory and organized as superorganisms, ants possess traits making them suitable agents in IPM. Recent works on weaver ants Oecophylla spp. showcase ants as highly efficient pest controllers. A synthesis shows that weaver ants can reduce pest numbers and their damage and increase yields...... in multiple crops. Their efficiency is comparable to chemical pesticides or higher, while at lower costs. They provide a rare example of documented efficient conservation biological control. 3. Weaver ants share beneficial traits with almost 13 000 other ant species and are unlikely to be unique...... in their properties as control agents. A synthesis of applied work on other ant species illustrates potentials for control of arthropod pests, weeds and plant diseases in orchards, forestry and arable crops. 4. Synthesis and applications. By showing that ant biocontrol can match synthetic pesticides in a wide setting...

  4. Cellular degradation activity is maintained during aging in long-living queen bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hsu, Chin-Yuan; Qiu, Jiantai Timothy; Chan, Yu-Pei

    2016-11-01

    Queen honeybees (Apis mellifera) have a much longer lifespan than worker bees. Whether cellular degradation activity is involved in the longevity of queen bees is unknown. In the present study, cellular degradation activity was evaluated in the trophocytes and oenocytes of young and old queen bees. The results indicated that (i) 20S proteasome activity and the size of autophagic vacuoles decreased with aging, and (ii) there were no significant differences between young and old queen bees with regard to 20S proteasome expression or efficiency, polyubiquitin aggregate expression, microtubule-associated protein 1 light chain 3-II (LC3-II) expression, 70 kDa heat shock cognate protein (Hsc70) expression, the density of autophagic vacuoles, p62/SQSTM1 expression, the activity or density of lysosomes, or molecular target of rapamycin expression. These results indicate that cellular degradation activity maintains a youthful status in the trophocytes and oenocytes of queen bees during aging and that cellular degradation activity is involved in maintaining the longevity of queen bees.

  5. First deliveries after estrus induction using deslorelin and endoscopic transcervical insemination in the queen.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zambelli, Daniele; Bini, Costanza; Küster, Daniel Gerhard; Molari, Valeria; Cunto, Marco

    2015-09-15

    The present study consists of two distinct parts, experiment 1 and experiment 2. In experiment 1, 13 anestrous queens were treated with a 4.7-mg deslorelin subcutaneous implant to assess its effectiveness in inducing estrus in the domestic cat. Deslorelin is currently used for the reversible suppression of ovarian and testicular activity in dogs and cats and for estrus induction in the bitch. Estrus induction is also reported in the queen but never reported with a targeted study. All the queens showed a positive response to the induction protocol, and estrus was detected within an average of 5.0 ± 2.2 days after the implant placement in 13 out of 13 subjects (100%). Seven of 13 queens exhibited behavioral manifestations of estrus, and the mean number of follicles detected at ultrasound examination was 4.8 ± 1.6 per subject. In experiment 2, three of the queens previously treated with deslorelin for estrus induction were submitted to artificial insemination through endoscopic transcervical catheterization, a new nonsurgical technique for intrauterine sperm deposition. All of them (100%) were pregnant after insemination and they gave birth to healthy litters. The study, as a whole, proves the effectiveness of the 4.7-mg deslorelin subcutaneous implants in inducing estrus in the domestic cat and is, to our knowledge, the first study assessing fertility of the induced estruses. Moreover, it shows the effectiveness of endoscopic transcervical catheterization for artificial insemination in the queen. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  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. Gender-bias primes elicit queen-bee responses among senior policewomen.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Derks, Belle; Van Laar, Colette; Ellemers, Naomi; de Groot, Kim

    2011-10-01

    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 of the gender bias and social identity threat that produce gender disparities in career outcomes. In the experiment reported here, we asked separate groups of senior policewomen to recall the presence or absence of gender bias during their careers, and we measured queen-bee responses (i.e., masculine self-descriptions, in-group distancing, and denying of discrimination). Such gender-bias priming increased queen-bee responses among policewomen with low gender identification, but policewomen with high gender identification responded with increased motivation to improve opportunities for other women. These results suggest that gender-biased work environments shape women's behavior by stimulating women with low gender identification to dissociate with other women and to display queen-bee responses as a way to achieve individual mobility.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Knaden Markus

    2006-12-01

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

  9. A cellular automata model for ant trails

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    In this study, the unidirectional ant traffic flow with U-turn in an ant trail was investigated using one-dimensional cellular automata model. It is known that ants communicate with each other by dropping a chemical, called pheromone, on the substrate. Apart from the studies in the literature, it was considered in the model that ...

  10. ANT: A decade of interfering with tourism

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  11. Adaptive multimodal continuous ant colony optimization

    OpenAIRE

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

    2017-01-01

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

  12. A cellular automata model for ant trails

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Abstract. In this study, the unidirectional ant traffic flow with U-turn in an ant trail was inves- tigated using one-dimensional cellular automata model. It is known that ants communicate with each other by dropping a chemical, called pheromone, on the substrate. Apart from the studies in the literature, it was considered in the ...

  13. 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

  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. The Red Queen and King in finite populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Veller, Carl; Hayward, Laura K; Hilbe, Christian; Nowak, Martin A

    2017-07-03

    In antagonistic symbioses, such as host-parasite interactions, one population's success is the other's loss. In mutualistic symbioses, such as division of labor, both parties can gain, but they might have different preferences over the possible mutualistic arrangements. The rates of evolution of the two populations in a symbiosis are important determinants of which population will be more successful: Faster evolution is thought to be favored in antagonistic symbioses (the "Red Queen effect"), but disfavored in certain mutualistic symbioses (the "Red King effect"). However, it remains unclear which biological parameters drive these effects. Here, we analyze the effects of the various determinants of evolutionary rate: generation time, mutation rate, population size, and the intensity of natural selection. Our main results hold for the case where mutation is infrequent. Slower evolution causes a long-term advantage in an important class of mutualistic interactions. Surprisingly, less intense selection is the strongest driver of this Red King effect, whereas relative mutation rates and generation times have little effect. In antagonistic interactions, faster evolution by any means is beneficial. Our results provide insight into the demographic evolution of symbionts.

  16. Host-parasite 'Red Queen' dynamics archived in pond sediment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Decaestecker, Ellen; Gaba, Sabrina; Raeymaekers, Joost A M; Stoks, Robby; Van Kerckhoven, Liesbeth; Ebert, Dieter; De Meester, Luc

    2007-12-06

    Antagonistic interactions between hosts and parasites are a key structuring force in natural populations, driving coevolution. However, direct empirical evidence of long-term host-parasite coevolution, in particular 'Red Queen' dynamics--in which antagonistic biotic interactions such as host-parasite interactions can lead to reciprocal evolutionary dynamics--is rare, and current data, although consistent with theories of antagonistic coevolution, do not reveal the temporal dynamics of the process. Dormant stages of both the water flea Daphnia and its microparasites are conserved in lake sediments, providing an archive of past gene pools. Here we use this fact to reconstruct rapid coevolutionary dynamics in a natural setting and show that the parasite rapidly adapts to its host over a period of only a few years. A coevolutionary model based on negative frequency-dependent selection, and designed to mimic essential aspects of our host-parasite system, corroborated these experimental results. In line with the idea of continuing host-parasite coevolution, temporal variation in parasite infectivity changed little over time. In contrast, from the moment the parasite was first found in the sediments, we observed a steady increase in virulence over time, associated with higher fitness of the parasite.

  17. Nan Goldin: da Fotografia do Cotidiano à Visibilidade Drag Queen

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vivian Castro de Miranda

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Este trabalho tem como objetivo apresentar a biografia da fotógrafa americana Nan Goldin, a partir do recorte de sua produção datada entre as décadas de 1970 e 1990, em que ela fotografou a comunidade drag queen. A partir do cruzamento de informações vigentes em documentário (Série, 2004 e fontes relevantes (Guggenheim Museum, EUA; The Guardian, UK a quem a fotógrafa concedeu entrevistas ou foi notícia, procura-se explorar nesse texto a importância de uma produção que se insere no âmbito de questões caras ao contexto contemporâneo, que é a temática de gênero. Com a perspectiva teórica adotada, baseada principalmente nos apontamentos de Barthes (1984, é possível compreender o corpus analisado como resultante de um olhar sensível para o aspecto humano, com impacto para a discussão e aceitação do grupo social.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2006-01-01

    Honeybees are known to have genetically diverse colonies because queens mate with many males and the recombination rate is extremely high. Genetic diversity among social insect workers has been hypothesized to improve general performance of large and complex colonies, but this idea has not been...... tested in other social insects. Here, we present a linkage map and an estimate of the recombination rate for Acromyrmex echinatior, a leaf-cutting ant that resembles the honeybee in having multiple mating of queens and colonies of approximately the same size. A map of 145 AFLP markers in 22 linkage...... 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...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Stürup, Marlene

    and sperm viability. I hypothesise that male fertility is easily compromised but that male immune defences are not under selection to respond to challenges that they are unlikely to experience under natural conditions. I found that sperm use in a long-lived eusocial ant species follows a ‘fair raffle...... strong selection to produce high quality ejaculates. In multiply mated queens, ejaculates from different males arrive as discrete units, but genetic diversity among workers has been documented to provide several colony benefits and this diversity can only be maximized if sperm becomes completely mixed......’s sperm stores and compared this with paternity shares in offspring. I also examined whether patriline distributions in worker cohorts remain stable over time, which is expected to yield the highest colony benefits in terms of worker genetic variation. Selection for extreme sperm viability in males...

  20. Imperfect chemical female mimicry in males of the ant Cardiocondyla obscurior

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cremer, S.; D'Ettorre, P.; Drijfhout, F.P.

    2008-01-01

    in the nest. In the first 5 days of their life, winged males perform a chemical female mimicry that protects them against attack and even makes them sexually attractive to ergatoid males. When older, the chemical profile of winged males no longer matches that of virgin females; nevertheless, they are still......Winged and wingless males coexist in the ant Cardiocondyla obscurior. Wingless ("ergatoid") males never leave their maternal colony and fight remorselessly among each other for the access to emerging females. The peaceful winged males disperse after about 10 days, but beforehand also mate...... and the tolerated males from several normal colonies revealed that normal old males are still performing some chemical mimicry to the virgin queens, though less perfect than in their young ages. The anomalous attacked winged males, on the other hand, had a very different odour to the females. Our study thus...

  1. First evidence for slave rebellion: enslaved ant workers systematically kill the brood of their social parasite protomognathus americanus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Achenbach, Alexandra; Foitzik, Susanne

    2009-04-01

    During the process of coevolution, social parasites have evolved sophisticated strategies to exploit the brood care behavior of their social hosts. Slave-making ant queens invade host colonies and kill or eject all adult host ants. Host workers, which eclose from the remaining brood, are tricked into caring for the parasite brood. Due to their high prevalence and frequent raids, following which stolen host broods are similarly enslaved, slave-making ants exert substantial selection upon their hosts, leading to the evolution of antiparasite adaptations. However, all host defenses shown to date are active before host workers are parasitized, whereas selection was thought to be unable to act on traits of already enslaved hosts. Yet, here we demonstrate the rebellion of enslaved Temnothorax workers, which kill two-thirds of the female pupae of the slave-making ant Protomognathus americanus. Thereby, slaves decrease the long-term parasite impact on surrounding related host colonies. This novel antiparasite strategy of enslaved workers constitutes a new level in the coevolutionary battle after host colony defense has failed. Our discovery is analogous to recent findings in hosts of avian brood parasites where perfect mimicry of parasite eggs leads to the evolution of chick recognition as a second line of defense.

  2. 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....

  3. 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....

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-08-05

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

  6. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Reed M; Percel, Eric G

    2013-10-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. Transcriptome sequencing reveals high isoform diversity in the ant Formica exsecta

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kishor Dhaygude

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Transcriptome resources for social insects have the potential to provide new insight into polyphenism, i.e., how divergent phenotypes arise from the same genome. Here we present a transcriptome based on paired-end RNA sequencing data for the ant Formica exsecta (Formicidae, Hymenoptera. The RNA sequencing libraries were constructed from samples of several life stages of both sexes and female castes of queens and workers, in order to maximize representation of expressed genes. We first compare the performance of common assembly and scaffolding software (Trinity, Velvet-Oases, and SOAPdenovo-trans, in producing de novo assemblies. Second, we annotate the resulting expressed contigs to the currently published genomes of ants, and other insects, including the honeybee, to filter genes that have annotation evidence of being true genes. Our pipeline resulted in a final assembly of altogether 39,262 mRNA transcripts, with an average coverage of >300X, belonging to 17,496 unique genes with annotation in the related ant species. From these genes, 536 genes were unique to one caste or sex only, highlighting the importance of comprehensive sampling. Our final assembly also showed expression of several splice variants in 6,975 genes, and we show that accounting for splice variants affects the outcome of downstream analyses such as gene ontologies. Our transcriptome provides an outstanding resource for future genetic studies on F. exsecta and other ant species, and the presented transcriptome assembly can be adapted to any non-model species that has genomic resources available from a related taxon.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-05-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. Revolutionizing Remote Exploration with ANTS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, P. E.; Rilee, M. L.; Curtis, S.; Truszkowski, W.

    2002-05-01

    We are developing the Autonomous Nano-Technology Swarm (ANTS) architecture based on an insect colony analogue for the cost-effective, efficient, systematic survey of remote or inaccessible areas with multiple object targets, including planetary surface, marine, airborne, and space environments. The mission context is the exploration in the 2020s of the most compelling remaining targets in the solar system: main belt asteroids. Main belt asteroids harbor important clues to Solar System origins and evolution which are central to NASA's goals in Space Science. Asteroids are smaller than planets, but their number is far greater, and their combined surface area likely dwarfs the Earth's. An asteroid survey will dramatically increase our understanding of the local resources available for the Human Exploration and Development of Space. During the mission composition, shape, gravity, and orbit parameters could be returned to Earth for perhaps several thousand asteroids. A survey of this area will rival the great explorations that encircled this globe, opened up the New World, and laid the groundwork for the progress and challenges of the last centuries. The ANTS architecture for a main belt survey consists of a swarm of as many as a thousand or more highly specialized pico-spacecraft that form teams to survey as many as one hundred asteroids a month. Multi-level autonomy is critical for ANTS and the objective of the proposed study is to work through the implications and constraints this entails. ANTS couples biologically inspired autonomic control for basic functions to higher level artificial intelligence that together enable individual spacecraft to operate as specialized, cooperative, social agents. This revolutionary approach postulates highly advanced, but familiar, components integrated and operated in a way that uniquely transcends any evolutionary extrapolation of existing trends and enables thousand-spacecraft missions.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharaf, Mostafa R; Aldawood, Abdulrahman S

    2012-01-01

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

  14. How Complex, Probable, and Predictable is Genetically Driven Red Queen Chaos?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duarte, Jorge; Rodrigues, Carla; Januário, Cristina; Martins, Nuno; Sardanyés, Josep

    2015-12-01

    Coevolution between two antagonistic species has been widely studied theoretically for both ecologically- and genetically-driven Red Queen dynamics. A typical outcome of these systems is an oscillatory behavior causing an endless series of one species adaptation and others counter-adaptation. More recently, a mathematical model combining a three-species food chain system with an adaptive dynamics approach revealed genetically driven chaotic Red Queen coevolution. In the present article, we analyze this mathematical model mainly focusing on the impact of species rates of evolution (mutation rates) in the dynamics. Firstly, we analytically proof the boundedness of the trajectories of the chaotic attractor. The complexity of the coupling between the dynamical variables is quantified using observability indices. By using symbolic dynamics theory, we quantify the complexity of genetically driven Red Queen chaos computing the topological entropy of existing one-dimensional iterated maps using Markov partitions. Co-dimensional two bifurcation diagrams are also built from the period ordering of the orbits of the maps. Then, we study the predictability of the Red Queen chaos, found in narrow regions of mutation rates. To extend the previous analyses, we also computed the likeliness of finding chaos in a given region of the parameter space varying other model parameters simultaneously. Such analyses allowed us to compute a mean predictability measure for the system in the explored region of the parameter space. We found that genetically driven Red Queen chaos, although being restricted to small regions of the analyzed parameter space, might be highly unpredictable.

  15. Red Queen dynamics in multi-host and multi-parasite interaction system.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-04-22

    In host-parasite systems, dominant host types are expected to be eventually replaced by other hosts due to the elevated potency of their specific parasites. This leads to changes in the abundance of both hosts and parasites exhibiting cycles of alternating dominance called Red Queen dynamics. Host-parasite models with less than three hosts and parasites have been demonstrated to exhibit Red Queen cycles, but natural host-parasite interactions typically involve many host and parasite types resulting in an intractable system with many parameters. Here we present numerical simulations of Red Queen dynamics with more than ten hosts and specialist parasites under the condition of no super-host nor super-parasite. The parameter region where the Red Queen cycles arise contracts as the number of interacting host and parasite types increases. The interplay between inter-host competition and parasite infectivity influences the condition for the Red Queen dynamics. Relatively large host carrying capacity and intermediate rates of parasite mortality result in never-ending cycles of dominant types.

  16. Running with the Red Queen: the role of biotic conflicts in evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brockhurst, Michael A; Chapman, Tracey; King, Kayla C; Mank, Judith E; Paterson, Steve; Hurst, Gregory D D

    2014-12-22

    What are the causes of natural selection? Over 40 years ago, Van Valen proposed the Red Queen hypothesis, which emphasized the primacy of biotic conflict over abiotic forces in driving selection. Species must continually evolve to survive in the face of their evolving enemies, yet on average their fitness remains unchanged. We define three modes of Red Queen coevolution to unify both fluctuating and directional selection within the Red Queen framework. Empirical evidence from natural interspecific antagonisms provides support for each of these modes of coevolution and suggests that they often operate simultaneously. We argue that understanding the evolutionary forces associated with interspecific interactions requires incorporation of a community framework, in which new interactions occur frequently. During their early phases, these newly established interactions are likely to drive fast evolution of both parties. We further argue that a more complete synthesis of Red Queen forces requires incorporation of the evolutionary conflicts within species that arise from sexual reproduction. Reciprocally, taking the Red Queen's perspective advances our understanding of the evolution of these intraspecific conflicts.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ejsmond, Maciej Jan; Radwan, Jacek

    2015-11-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1993-02-01

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

  19. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gąbka Jakub

    2014-06-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. Ecosystem services delivered by weaver ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Offenberg, Joachim

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

  3. Roadside Survey of Ants on Oahu, Hawaii

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Reina L. Tong

    2018-02-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James M. Cook

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available Ants often form mutualistic interactions with aphids, soliciting honeydew in return for protective services. Under certain circumstances, however, ants will prey upon aphids. In addition, in the presence of ants aphids may increase the quantity or quality of honeydew produced, which is costly. Through these mechanisms, ant attendance can reduce aphid colony growth rates. However, it is unknown whether demand from within the ant colony can affect the ant-aphid interaction. In a factorial experiment, we tested whether the presence of larvae in Lasius niger ant colonies affected the growth rate of Aphis fabae colonies. Other explanatory variables tested were the origin of ant colonies (two separate colonies were used and previous diet (sugar only or sugar and protein. We found that the presence of larvae in the ant colony significantly reduced the growth rate of aphid colonies. Previous diet and colony origin did not affect aphid colony growth rates. Our results suggest that ant colonies balance the flow of two separate resources from aphid colonies- renewable sugars or a protein-rich meal, depending on demand from ant larvae within the nest. Aphid payoffs from the ant-aphid interaction may change on a seasonal basis, as the demand from larvae within the ant colony waxes and wanes.

  7. Relic excavated in western India is probably of Georgian Queen Ketevan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rai, Niraj; Taher, Nizamuddin; Singh, Manvendra; Chaubey, Gyaneshwer; Jha, Aditya Nath; Singh, Lalji; Thangaraj, Kumarasamy

    2014-01-01

    History has well documented the execution of Queen Ketevan of Georgia by the Persian Emperor of modern day Iran. Based on historical records, in 1624 two Augustinian friars unearthed the queen's remains and one of them brought the relic to the St. Augustine convent in Goa, India. We carried out ancient DNA analysis on the human bone remains excavated from the St. Augustine convent by sequencing and genotyping of the mitochondrial DNA. The investigations of the remains revealed a unique mtDNA haplogroup U1b, which is absent in India, but present in Georgia and surrounding regions. Since our genetic analysis corroborates archaeological and literary evidence, it is likely that the excavated bone belongs to Queen Ketevan of Georgia. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. The distribution and diversity of insular ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  9. Maternal mortality at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital, 1989 to 1990.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiebenga, J E

    1992-04-01

    An obstetrician examined records of all maternal deaths that occurred in the Chatinkha Maternity Wing of Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Blantyre, Malawi, during 1989-1990. None of the deaths were caused by conditions unrelated to pregnancy. In 1989 there were 78 maternal deaths out of 14,272 live births (a maternal mortality ratio of 546/100,000 live births). In 1990 there were 73 maternal deaths out of 14,281 live births (a maternal mortality ratio of 511/100,000 live births). In each year, 37 women died directly from complications of pregnancy, delivery, or their management. In 1989, the leading cause of maternal death was postabortal sepsis (15 cases), followed by obstructed labor (8 cases) and puerperal sepsis (6 cases). In 1990, the leading causes were puerperal sepsis (13 cases) and postabortal sepsis (10 cases). The number of HIV-seropositive women among direct maternal deaths was 8 for both years. In 1990, the cesarean section rate was 6.5%. Women who had undergone a cesarean section faced a risk of puerperal sepsis-related death 8.5 times greater than that of women who had delivered vaginally. The 1990 mortality rate among induced abortion cases may have been as high as 8%. There were 41 and 36 indirect maternal deaths in 1989 and 1990, respectively. The leading causes of indirect maternal death were fever (8 cases) and bacterial meningitis (5 cases). The cause could not be determined in 15 cases. By 1990, the leading causes of indirect maternal death were bacterial meningitis (8 cases) and AIDS (6 cases). 5 of the 8 bacterial meningitis cases tested positive for HIV. The 4 patients with tuberculosis and 3 patients with septicemia were HIV positive. 41% and 56% of maternal deaths in 1989 and 1990, respectively, were avoidable. When one excluded uncertain avoidable factors, 21% and 45% of maternal deaths could not be avoided. The leading avoidable factors were deficient hospital care (18 cases), patient's delay (12 cases), and illegal abortion (10

  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

    ... Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 622 Amendments to the Reef Fish, Spiny Lobster, Queen Conch and Coral... Administration 50 CFR Part 622 [Docket No. 101217620-1788-03] RIN 0648-BA62 Amendments to the Reef Fish, Spiny Lobster, Queen Conch and Coral and Reef Associated Plants and Invertebrates Fishery Management Plans of...

  11. Report of species diagnosis of a tuna at Queens Products B.V. on 23 December 2009

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Couperus, A.S.

    2009-01-01

    According to a company in the same marketsegment as Queen Products B.V. part of the tuna filet sold by Queens Products B.V. does not consist of the species that is mentioned on the label. According to DNA analysis filets were not from the species on the label, Albacore (Thunnus alalunga), but from

  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. To and From the Queen: Modalities of Epistolography in the Correspondence of Elizabeth I

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giuliana Iannaccaro

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available The article analyses the connection between modalities of letter writing and the relation between writer and addressee. We take into consideration the case of Elizabeth I of England, situated in the overall panorama of early modern European historiography. The English Queen was a prolific and skilful letter writer, endowed with an uncommon talent for foreign languages; but she was also, thanks to her role, the willing or unwilling recipient of thousands of epistles. By selecting two different corpora of letters, from and to the Queen, it is possible to explore how personal relations, degree of acquaintance, respective status and purpose of the letter influence the very structure of the genre.

  14. 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.

  15. Specificity of an ant-lycaenid interaction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jordano, D; Thomas, C D

    1992-09-01

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

  16. Major evolutionary transitions in ant agriculture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schultz, Ted R; Brady, Seán G

    2008-04-08

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

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

  19. 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...

  20. 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.

  1. Nest Digging by Leaf-Cutting Ants: Effect of Group Size and Functional Structures

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roberto da Silva Camargo

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Leaf-cutting ant workers dig underground chambers, for housing their symbiotic fungus, interconnected by a vast quantity of tunnels whose function is to permit the entrance of food (leaves, gaseous exchanges, and movement of workers, offspring, and the queen. Digging is a task executed by a group of workers, but little is known about the group effect and group-constructed functional structures. Thus, we analyzed the structures formed by worker groups (5, 10, 20, and 40 individuals of the leaf-cutting ant, Atta sexdens rubropilosa, for 2 days of excavation. The digging arena was the same for the 4 groups, with each group corresponding to a different density. Our results verified a pattern of tunneling by the workers, but no chamber was constructed. The group effect is well known, since the 40-worker group dug significantly more than the groups of 5, 10, and 20. These groups did not differ statistically from each other. Analysis of load/worker verified that workers of the smallest group carried the greatest load. Our paper demonstrates the group effect on the digging of nests, namely, that excavation is proportional to group size, but without emergence of a functional structure such as a chamber.

  2. Imperfect chemical female mimicry in males of the ant Cardiocondyla obscurior

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cremer, Sylvia; D'Ettorre, Patrizia; Drijfhout, Falko P.; Sledge, Matthew F.; Turillazzi, Stefano; Heinze, Jürgen

    2008-11-01

    Winged and wingless males coexist in the ant Cardiocondyla obscurior. Wingless (“ergatoid”) males never leave their maternal colony and fight remorselessly among each other for the access to emerging females. The peaceful winged males disperse after about 10 days, but beforehand also mate in the nest. In the first 5 days of their life, winged males perform a chemical female mimicry that protects them against attack and even makes them sexually attractive to ergatoid males. When older, the chemical profile of winged males no longer matches that of virgin females; nevertheless, they are still tolerated, which so far has been puzzling. Contrasting this general pattern, we have identified a single aberrant colony in which all winged males were attacked and killed by the ergatoid males. A comparative analysis of the morphology and chemical profile of these untypical attacked winged males and the tolerated males from several normal colonies revealed that normal old males are still performing some chemical mimicry to the virgin queens, though less perfect than in their young ages. The anomalous attacked winged males, on the other hand, had a very different odour to the females. Our study thus exemplifies that the analysis of rare malfunctioning can add valuable insight on functioning under normal conditions and allows the conclusion that older winged males from normal colonies of the ant C. obscurior are guarded through an imperfect chemical female mimicry, still close enough to protect against attacks by the wingless fighters yet dissimilar enough not to elicit their sexual interest.

  3. Lock-picks: fungal infection facilitates the intrusion of strangers into ant colonies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Csata, Enikő; Timuş, Natalia; Witek, Magdalena; Casacci, Luca Pietro; Lucas, Christophe; Bagnères, Anne-Geneviève; Sztencel-Jabłonka, Anna; Barbero, Francesca; Bonelli, Simona; Rákosy, László; Markó, Bálint

    2017-01-01

    Studies investigating host-parasite systems rarely deal with multispecies interactions, and mostly explore impacts on hosts as individuals. Much less is known about the effects at colony level, when parasitism involves host organisms that form societies. We surveyed the effect of an ectoparasitic fungus, Rickia wasmannii, on kin-discrimination abilities of its host ant, Myrmica scabrinodis, identifying potential consequences at social level and subsequent changes in colony infiltration success of other organisms. Analyses of cuticular hydrocarbons (CHCs), known to be involved in insects’ discrimination processes, revealed variations in chemical profiles correlated with the infection status of the ants, that could not be explained by genetic variation tested by microsatellites. In behavioural assays, fungus-infected workers were less aggressive towards both non-nestmates and unrelated queens, enhancing the probability of polygyny. Likewise, parasitic larvae of Maculinea butterflies had a higher chance of adoption by infected colonies. Our study indicates that pathogens can modify host recognition abilities, making the society more prone to accept both conspecific and allospecific organisms. PMID:28402336

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  5. Stillbirths and hospital early neonatal deaths at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital, Blantyre-Malawi

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Metaferia Aklilu M

    2009-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Much of the data on still births and early neonatal deaths from resource-limited settings are obtained via maternal recall from national or community level surveys. While this approach results in useful information to be obtained, often such data suffer from significant recall bias and misclassification. In order to determine the prevalence of stillbirths (SB, early hospital neonatal death (EHND and associated factors in Blantyre, Malawi, a prospective study of pregnant and post-natal women was conducted at the Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital (QECH, Malawi. Methods A prospective observational study was conducted between February 1, 2004 and October 30, 2005. Consecutive women attending the hospital for delivery were recruited. Data were collected on the health status of the fetus on admission to labor ward and immediately after delivery, whether alive or dead. Gestational age (GA and birth weight (BW and sex of the newborn were also noted. Similar data were also collected on the live births that died in the delivery room or nursery. Data were analyzed using SPSS (Statistical Package for the Social Sciences statistical package. Results A total of 10,700 deliveries were conducted during the 12 months study period and of these deliveries, 845 (7.9% were SB and EHND. Stillbirths comprised 3.4% of all deliveries; 20.2% of the ante-partum deaths occurred before the mother was admitted to the labor ward while a slightly higher proportion (22.7% of fetal loss occurred during the process of labor and delivery. Fifty-sex percent of the perinatal deaths (PD were EHND. The mean gestational age for the perinatal deaths was 34.7 weeks and mean birth weight was 2,155 g (standard deviation = 938 g. The majority, 468 (57.8% of the perinatal deaths were males and 350 (43.2% were females. Many of the perinatal deaths (57.9% were deliveries between gestational ages of 20 and 37 weeks. Most (62.7% of the mothers with a perinatal death had

  6. Hybrid chaotic ant swarm optimization

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Li Yuying; Wen Qiaoyan; Li Lixiang; Peng Haipeng

    2009-01-01

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

  7. Colony foundation in the ponerine ant, Mesoponera caffraria (F ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    1989-05-19

    May 19, 1989 ... The quantity of each brood stage in each nest was recorded daily for. 90 days after the first egg was laid. Queens soon occupied the Lubbock nests. Initially they dug a single chamber adjacent to the entrance and laid their first eggs there. Four queens dug secondary tunnels deeper into the Lubbock nests.

  8. A cellular automata model for ant trails

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

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

  9. Why is an Ant's Trail Straight?

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

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

  10. 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.

  11. Fungal Adaptations to Mutualistic Life with Ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kooij, Pepijn Wilhelmus

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

  12. The Biochemical Toxin Arsenal from Ant Venoms

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  13. Visual associative learning in wood ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-02-07

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

  14. Volunteering as Red Queen mechanism for cooperation in public goods games

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hauert, C.; De Monte, Silvia; Hofbauer, J.

    2002-01-01

    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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-03-14

    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. We found a high quantity of viruses, with more than 75% of the egg samples being infected with at least one virus. The most abundant viruses were Deformed Wing Virus and Sacbrood Virus (≥40%), although Lake Sinai Virus and Acute Bee Paralysis Virus were also occasionally detected (between 10-30%). In addition, Aphid Lethal Paralysis Virus strain Brookings, Black Queen Cell Virus, Chronic Bee Paralysis Virus and Varroa destructor Macula-like Virus occurred at very low prevalences (≤5%). Remarkably, we found Apis mellifera carnica bees to be less infected with Deformed Wing Virus than Buckfast bees (p Colony Collapse Disorder. Moreover, negative-strand detection of Sacbrood Virus in eggs was demonstrated for the first time. High pathogen loads were observed in this sanitary control program. We documented for the first time vertical transmission of some viruses, as well as significant differences between two honey bee races in being affected by Deformed Wing Virus. Nevertheless, we could not demonstrate a correlation between the presence of viruses and queen breeding efficacies.

  17. The turning points in the solution of n-queens problem using ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    We also observed that, using a set of even and odd numbers, the odd number experience a turning point before the even numbers. The algorithm of the standard backtracking method was implemented in C programming language and, we used Microsoft Notepad as our output file to display the arrangement of the queens.

  18. 78 FR 67086 - Safety Zone, Submarine Cable Replacement Operations, Kent Island Narrows; Queen Anne's County, MD

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-11-08

    ... 1625-AA00 Safety Zone, Submarine Cable Replacement Operations, Kent Island Narrows; Queen Anne's County... vessels on navigable waters during submarine cable replacement operations at the Kent Island Narrows (MD... involves the installation of a submarine cable within a federal navigation channel requiring divers, a...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  20. Variability in size at maturity and reproductive season of queen conch Lobatus gigas (Gastropoda

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Boman, Erik Maitz; Graaf, de Martin; Nagelkerke, Leopold A.J.; Stoner, Allan W.; Bissada, Caroline E.; Avila-Poveda, Omar Hernando; Baqueiro-Cardenas, Erick Raul; Smaal, Aad C.

    2018-01-01

    Queen conch (Lobatus gigas), is an economically and culturally important marine gastropod. The species is subject to extensive exploitation throughout large parts of the Caribbean which has led to a decrease in population densities across much of the species’ distribution range. Hence, there is a

  1. A phylogenetic test of the Red Queen Hypothesis: outcrossing and parasitism in the Nematode phylum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gibson, Amanda Kyle; Fuentes, Jesualdo Arturo

    2015-02-01

    Sexual outcrossing is costly relative to selfing and asexuality, yet it is ubiquitous in nature, a paradox that has long puzzled evolutionary biologists. The Red Queen Hypothesis argues that outcrossing is maintained by antagonistic interactions between host and parasites. Most tests of this hypothesis focus on the maintenance of outcrossing in hosts. The Red Queen makes an additional prediction that parasitic taxa are more likely to be outcrossing than their free-living relatives. We test this prediction in the diverse Nematode phylum using phylogenetic comparative methods to evaluate trait correlations. In support of the Red Queen, we demonstrate a significant correlation between parasitism and outcrossing in this clade. We find that this correlation is driven by animal parasites, for which outcrossing is significantly enriched relative to both free-living and plant parasitic taxa. Finally, we test hypotheses for the evolutionary history underlying the correlation of outcrossing and animal parasitism. Our results demonstrate that selfing and asexuality are significantly less likely to arise on parasitic lineages than on free-living ones. The findings of this study are consistent with the Red Queen Hypothesis. Moreover, they suggest that the maintenance of genetic variation is an important factor in the persistence of parasitic lineages. © 2014 The Author(s). Evolution © 2014 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  2. Krobo Queen Mothers: Gender, Power, and Contemporary Female Traditional Authority in Ghana

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Steegstra, M.

    2009-01-01

    This article focuses on the emergence and performance of Krobo queen mothers in Southern Ghana. It seeks to highlight the significance of female traditional rulers in contemporary Ghana and fill gaps in knowledge about their position in patrilineal societies. Whereas it is often assumed that their

  3. The Red Queen hypothesis and geographical parthenogenesis in the alpine hawkweed Hieracium alpinum (Asteraceae)

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Hartmann, M.; Štefánek, M.; Zdvořák, P.; Heřman, P.; Chrtek, Jindřich; Mráz, P.

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 122, č. 4 (2017), s. 681-696 ISSN 0024-4066 Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : apomixis * polyploidy * Red Queen hypothesis Subject RIV: EF - Botanics OBOR OECD: Plant sciences, botany Impact factor: 2.288, year: 2016

  4. Queens University of Charlotte--Myers Park Traditional Elementary School Partnership

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horn, Suzanne E.; Wooten-Thornburg, Amy; Bonner, Paul; Boyd, Irma; Gerald, Jamie; Perkins, Shavonn; Mercer, Elizabeth; Hunter, Laura

    2010-01-01

    Great work can be accomplished with little budgets and big dreams and desires for increased student achievement. The focus of the Queens University of Charlotte and Myers Park Traditional School (MPTS) partnership was excellent teacher development that centered on learning as a community of teachers (both pre-service and in-service). What they…

  5. 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.

  6. The making of a queen: TOR pathway is a key player in diphenic caste development.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Avani Patel

    2007-06-01

    Full Text Available Honey bees (Apis mellifera provide a principal example of diphenic development. Excess feeding of female larvae results in queens (large reproductives. Moderate diet yields workers (small helpers. The signaling pathway that links provisioning to female developmental fate is not understood, yet we reasoned that it could include TOR (target of rapamycin, a nutrient- and energy-sensing kinase that controls organismal growth.Here, the role of Apis mellifera TOR (amTOR in caste determination is examined by rapamycin/FK506 pharmacology and RNA interference (RNAi gene knockdown. We show that in queen-destined larvae, the TOR inhibitor rapamycin induces the development of worker characters that are blocked by the antagonist FK506. Further, queen fate is associated with elevated activity of the Apis mellifera TOR encoding gene, amTOR, and amTOR gene knockdown blocks queen fate and results in individuals with worker morphology.A much-studied insect dimorphism, thereby, can be governed by the TOR pathway. Our results present the first evidence for a role of TOR in diphenic development, and suggest that adoption of this ancestral nutrient-sensing cascade is one evolutionary pathway for morphological caste differentiation in social insects.

  7. Age-dependent changes in the chemistry of exocrine glands of Bombus terrestris queens

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Urbanová, Klára; Cahlíková, L.; Hovorka, Oldřich; Ptáček, L.; Valterová, Irena

    2008-01-01

    Roč. 34, č. 4 (2008), s. 458-466 ISSN 0098-0331 R&D Projects: GA MŠk 2B06007; GA AV ČR IAA4055403 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z40550506 Keywords : Bombus terrestris * bumblebee queens * sex pheromone Subject RIV: CC - Organic Chemistry Impact factor: 2.327, year: 2008

  8. Exocrine gland secretions of virgin queens of five Bumblebee species (Hymenoptera: Apidae, Bombini)

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Cahlíková, L.; Hovorka, Oldřich; Ptáček, V.; Valterová, Irena

    2004-01-01

    Roč. 59, - (2004), s. 582-589 ISSN 0939-5075 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA203/02/0158 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z4055905 Keywords : bombus * virgin queens * sex pheromone Subject RIV: CC - Organic Chemistry Impact factor: 0.715, year: 2004

  9. Effect of Growth Media on Rooting of Queen of the Philippine ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Data generated were subjected to analysis of variance, significant of treatment means was tested using least significant difference at 5% level and correlation analysis was carried out. The result shows that, variety had significant (P< 0.05) effect on rooting characteristics of (Queen of the Philippines (Mussaenda philippica),

  10. 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.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2001-01-01

    Pianists who achieve high scores in the Queen Elizabeth musical competition are rewarded by subsequent success.It is not clear whether this is caused by the score itself or because those who have high scores are better pianists anyway. Since the timing and the order of appearance are good

  12. Worker laying in the absence of an ergatoid queen in the ponerine ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    1987-06-12

    Jun 12, 1987 ... orphaned groups of workers were kept in the laboratory for several months, during which time many eggs were laid. Some of these developed into males. Thus workers can lay haploid eggs in the absence of an ergatoid queen. This was confirmed by dissecting 60 workers from various nests: many of them ...

  13. Worker laying in the absence of an ergatoid queen in the ponerine ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Ergatoid queens (without wings and worker-like) occur in Plectroctena mandibularis and P. conjugata. Five nests of these species were incompletely excavated, and an ergatoid was collected in only one of them. The orphaned groups of workers were kept in the laboratory for several months, during which time many eggs ...

  14. Honey bee queens do not count mates to assess their mating success

    Science.gov (United States)

    The mating system of honey bees (genus Apis) is extremely polyandrous, where reproductive females (queens) typically mate with 12 or more males (drones) during their mating flight(s). The evolutionary implications for hyperpolyandry have been subject to considerable debate and empirical testing beca...

  15. Co-occurrence of mated workers and a mated queen in a colony of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    arnoldi (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Martin Villet *. Department of Zoology, University of the Witwatersrand, P.O.. Wits, 2050 Republic of South Africa. Received 23 March 1992; accepted 8 June 1992. A colony of Platythyrea arnold; was found to contain a functional queen and laying workers, both virgin and mated. This form ...

  16. Simplified Analytical Model for a Queen-Post Covered Timber Bridge

    Science.gov (United States)

    F Fanous; D. Rammer; T. Wipf

    2013-01-01

    During the 19th century, the economic material to build bridges was timber due to its abundant availability, cost, and ease of construction. Many of the well-known timber bridge types are the Burr arch, Town lattice, Howe, Queen and King type of trusses. This paper summarizes an investigation that was sponsored by the Federal Highway Administration and the USDA Forest...

  17. Sequential generations of honey bee (Apis mellifera) queens produced using cryopreserved semen.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hopkins, Brandon K; Herr, Charles; Sheppard, Walter S

    2012-01-01

    Much of the world's food production is dependent on honey bees for pollination, and expanding food production will further increase the demand for managed pollination services. Apiculturists outside the native range of the honey bee, in the Americas, Australia and eastern Asia, have used only a few of the 27 described subspecies of honey bees (Apis mellifera) for beekeeping purposes. Within the endemic ranges of a particular subspecies, hybridisation can threaten native subspecies when local beekeepers import and propagate non-native honey bees. For many threatened species, cryopreserved germplasm can provide a resource for the preservation of diversity and recovery of endangered populations. However, although instrumental insemination of queen honey bees is well established, the absence of an effective means to cryopreserve honey bee semen has limited the success of efforts to preserve genetic diversity within the species or to develop repositories of honey bee germplasm for breeding purposes. Herein we report that some queens inseminated with cryopreserved semen were capable of producing a substantial number of fertilised offspring. These diploid female larvae were used to produce two additional sequential generations of new queens, which were then back-crossed to the same stock of frozen semen. Our results demonstrate the ability to produce queens using cryopreserved honey bee spermatozoa and the potential for the establishment of a honey bee genetic repository.

  18. 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.

  19. Recurrence analysis of ant activity patterns.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Felipe Marcel Neves

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

  20. Fungal Adaptations to Mutualistic Life with Ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kooij, Pepijn Wilhelmus

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

  1. Cryptococcus neoformans carried by Odontomachus bauri ants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mariana Santos de Jesus

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Cryptococcus neoformans is the most common causative agent of cryptococcosis worldwide. Although this fungus has been isolated from a variety of organic substrates, several studies suggest that hollow trees constitute an important natural niche for C. neoformans. A previously surveyed hollow of a living pink shower tree (Cassia grandis positive for C. neoformans in the city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, was chosen for further investigation. Odontomachus bauri ants (trap-jaw ants found inside the hollow were collected for evaluation as possible carriers of Cryptococcus spp. Two out of 10 ants were found to carry phenoloxidase-positive colonies identified as C. neoformans molecular types VNI and VNII. The ants may have acted as a mechanical vector of C. neoformans and possibly contributed to the dispersal of the fungi from one substrate to another. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report on the association of C. neoformans with ants of the genus Odontomachus.

  2. Discrimination Behavior in the Supercolonial Pharaoh Ant

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pontieri, Luigi

    the discrimination behavior of the invasive pharaoh ant (Monomorium pharaonis) as a model for other invasive and supercolonial ant species. The pharaoh ant is one of the few ant species that can be reared in the laboratory for many generations. Furthermore, the possibility to do controlled crosses of colonies...... provides the unique opportunity to establish colonies of different genetic composition. These traits make this species a suitable study subject to set up behavioral experiments that aim to investigate which factors, and to which extent, might influence the inter- and intraspecific discrimination abilities...... other compounds. We also developed a new method for centroid calculation that increased the power of the analysis and can therefore be used in future studies that aim to identify nestmate recognition cues in other species. In the fourth chapter I investigated the nest site preference of pharaoh ant...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard Freddie-Jeanne

    2008-05-01

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

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

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    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. Diaspore trait preferences of dispersing ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-10-30

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alena Votavová

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  10. 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

  11. Michael Jackson antes del caos

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juan Luciano Nieves

    2015-01-01

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

  12. 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.

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

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    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.

  14. X-Ray microtomography for ant taxonomy: An exploration and case study with two new Terataner (Hymenoptera, Formicidae, Myrmicinae species from Madagascar.

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    Francisco Hita Garcia

    Full Text Available We explore the potential of x-ray micro computed tomography (μCT for the field of ant taxonomy by using it to enhance the descriptions of two remarkable new species of the ant genus Terataner: T. balrog sp. n. and T. nymeria sp. n.. We provide an illustrated worker-based species identification key for all species found on Madagascar, as well as detailed taxonomic descriptions, which include diagnoses, discussions, measurements, natural history data, high-quality montage images and distribution maps for both new species. In addition to conventional morphological examination, we have used virtual reconstructions based on volumetric μCT scanning data for the species descriptions. We also include 3D PDFs, still images of virtual reconstructions, and 3D rotation videos for both holotype workers and one paratype queen. The complete μCT datasets have been made available online (Dryad, https://datadryad.org and represent the first cybertypes in ants (and insects. We discuss the potential of μCT scanning and critically assess the usefulness of cybertypes for ant taxonomy.

  15. 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.

  16. How to be an ant on figs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bain, Anthony; Harrison, Rhett D.; Schatz, Bertrand

    2014-05-01

    Mutualistic interactions are open to exploitation by one or other of the partners and a diversity of other organisms, and hence are best understood as being embedded in a complex network of biotic interactions. Figs participate in an obligate mutualism in that figs are dependent on agaonid fig wasps for pollination and the wasps are dependent on fig ovules for brood sites. Ants are common insect predators and abundant in tropical forests. Ants have been recorded on approximately 11% of fig species, including all six subgenera, and often affect the fig-fig pollinator interaction through their predation of either pollinating and parasitic wasps. On monoecious figs, ants are often associated with hemipterans, whereas in dioecious figs ants predominantly prey on fig wasps. A few fig species are true myrmecophytes, with domatia or food rewards for ants, and in at least one species this is linked to predation of parasitic fig wasps. Ants also play a role in dispersal of fig seeds and may be particularly important for hemi-epiphytic species, which require high quality establishment microsites in the canopy. The intersection between the fig-fig pollinator and ant-plant systems promises to provide fertile ground for understanding mutualistic interactions within the context of complex interaction networks.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

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

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    Ana Ješovnik

    2017-04-01

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

  20. From endogenous to exogenous pattern formation: Invasive plant species changes the spatial distribution of a native ant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Kevin; He, Yifan; Campbell, Susanna K; Colborn, A Shawn; Jackson, Eliot L; Martin, Austin; Monagan, Ivan V; Ong, Theresa Wei Ying; Perfecto, Ivette

    2017-06-01

    Invasive species are a significant threat to global biodiversity, but our understanding of how invasive species impact native communities across space and time remains limited. Based on observations in an old field in Southeast Michigan spanning 35 years, our study documents significant impacts of habitat change, likely driven by the invasion of the shrub, Elaeagnus umbellata, on the nest distribution patterns and population demographics of a native ant species, Formica obscuripes. Landcover change in aerial photographs indicates that E. umbellata expanded aggressively, transforming a large proportion of the original open field into dense shrubland. By comparing the ant's landcover preferences before and after the invasion, we demonstrate that this species experienced a significant unfavorable change in its foraging areas. We also find that shrub landcover significantly moderates aggression between nests, suggesting nests are more related where there is more E. umbellata. This may represent a shift in reproductive strategy from queen flights, reported in the past, to asexual nest budding. Our results suggest that E. umbellata may affect the spatial distribution of F. obscuripes by shifting the drivers of nest pattern formation from an endogenous process (queen flights), which led to a uniform pattern, to a process that is both endogenous (nest budding) and exogenous (loss of preferred habitat), resulting in a significantly different clustered pattern. The number and sizes of F. obscuripes nests in our study site are projected to decrease in the next 40 years, although further study of this population's colony structures is needed to understand the extent of this decrease. Elaeagnus umbellata is a common invasive shrub, and similar impacts on native species might occur in its invasive range, or in areas with similar shrub invasions. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  1. 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...

  2. Propagule pressure and colony social organization are associated with the successful invasion and rapid range expansion of fire ants in China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Chin-Cheng; Ascunce, Marina S; Luo, Li-Zhi; Shao, Jing-Guo; Shih, Cheng-Jen; Shoemaker, DeWayne

    2012-02-01

    We characterized patterns of genetic variation in populations of the fire ant Solenopsis invicta in China using mitochondrial DNA sequences and nuclear microsatellite loci to test predictions as to how propagule pressure and subsequent dispersal following establishment jointly shape the invasion success of this ant in this recently invaded area. Fire ants in Wuchuan (Guangdong Province) are genetically differentiated from those found in other large infested areas of China. The immediate source of ants in Wuchuan appears to be somewhere near Texas, which ranks first among the southern USA infested states in the exportation of goods to China. Most colonies from spatially distant, outlying areas in China are genetically similar to one another and appear to share a common source (Wuchuan, Guangdong Province), suggesting that long-distance jump dispersal has been a prevalent means of recent spread of fire ants in China. Furthermore, most colonies at outlier sites are of the polygyne social form (featuring multiple egg-laying queens per nest), reinforcing the important role of this social form in the successful invasion of new areas and subsequent range expansion following invasion. Several analyses consistently revealed characteristic signatures of genetic bottlenecks for S. invicta populations in China. The results of this study highlight the invasive potential of this pest ant, suggest that the magnitude of international trade may serve as a predictor of propagule pressure and indicate that rates and patterns of subsequent range expansion are partly determined by the interplay between species traits and the trade and transportation networks. © Published 2011. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horvitz, Carol C; Schemske, Douglas W

    1986-09-01

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

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

  5. Stealthy invaders: the biology of Cardiocondyla tramp ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2006-01-01

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

  6. 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...

  7. Discrimination Behavior in the Supercolonial Pharaoh Ant

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pontieri, Luigi

    an increasing need to understand which factors promote the ecological dominance of these species, and particularly how the discrimination of both conspecifics and heterospecifics (including parasites) might influence structure and ecological success of invasive populations. In this PhD thesis I investigated...... the discrimination behavior of the invasive pharaoh ant (Monomorium pharaonis) as a model for other invasive and supercolonial ant species. The pharaoh ant is one of the few ant species that can be reared in the laboratory for many generations. Furthermore, the possibility to do controlled crosses of colonies...... provides the unique opportunity to establish colonies of different genetic composition. These traits make this species a suitable study subject to set up behavioral experiments that aim to investigate which factors, and to which extent, might influence the inter- and intraspecific discrimination abilities...

  8. Kunstikriitik Ants Juske sai doktoriks / Neeme Korv

    Index Scriptorium Estoniae

    Korv, Neeme, 1974-

    2003-01-01

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

  9. Eosinophilic Fasciitis Induced by Fire Ant Bites

    OpenAIRE

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

    2008-01-01

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

  10. Chemically armed mercenary ants protect fungus-farming societies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. On the track of the Red Queen: bark beetles, their nematodes, local climate and geographic parthenogenesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meirmans, S; Skorping, A; Løyning, M K; Kirkendall, L R

    2006-11-01

    Geographic parthenogenesis has been explained as resulting from parasite pressure (Red Queen hypothesis): several studies have found high degrees of sexuals where the prevalence of parasites is high. However, it is important to address whether prevalence of parasites mirrors risk of infection. We explored geographic parthenogenesis of Ips acuminatus bark beetles and their nematodes. Local climate is crucial for nematode stages outside the host, in spring and summer, and prevalence should thus be associated with those temperatures if prevalence reliably reflects exposure risk across populations. This was the case; however, high prevalence of a virulent nematode species was not associated with many sexuals, whereas highly sexual populations were characterized by high infection risk of benign nematodes. Low virulence of the latter makes Red Queen dynamics unlikely. Geographical patterns of parthenogenesis were instead associated with winter temperature and variance in temperature.

  13. Analysis for transient temperature distribution two phase flow using test section QUEEN-02

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ainur Rosidi; Joko Prasetio; Edy Sumarno; Kiswanta; Heru Bambang

    2013-01-01

    Experiments on the transient temperature distribution using a two-phase flow test facility QUEEN-02 and BETA test loop was conducted. Purpose of the experiment is to study temperature distribution during the transient cooling process. Experiments performed with the variation of the initial temperature of hot rod test section QUEEN-02 of 350 °C and 500 °C as well as the flow of cooling water temperature is 90 °C with the direction of flow from the bottom up from the BETA test loop. The analysis shows that temperature have the same downward trend in its every point thermocouple for the same initial temperature during cooling. Initial temperature of 350 °C hot rods produced when temperatures drop to 90 °C (the same as the temperature of the cooling water) for 78 seconds while the initial temperature of 500 °C produces hot rod drop time 190 seconds. (author)

  14. The Macalister archive: records from the Queen's Hospital, Sidcup, 1917-1921.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bamji, A N

    1993-04-01

    The Queen's Hospital opened in 1917 to care for soldiers receiving facial injuries in Western Front trenches, usually as a result of a gunshot wound. Some 8000 patients were treated by the medical teams of the UK, the Dominions and the USA. The wartime records were removed by their respective sections in 1921, but Queen Mary's Hospital has recently reacquired those of the New Zealand section, rescued from imminent destruction by Professor A.D. Macalister, late Dean of the Dental School at Dunedin, and kindly donated by him. There are 282 sets of case-notes containing typescript summaries, clinical photographs and radiographs, drawings, 77 watercolor paintings and a life-size wax model of head and upper torso illustrating some of the surgical techniques. The archive is a fine example of medical illustration 75 years ago, and provides invaluable detail on the plastic surgery and dental reconstructive methods that were developed at Sidcup.

  15. Antarctic Tephra Database (AntT)

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. Fire ants perpetually rebuild sinking towers

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-07-01

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

  18. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-07-01

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

  20. Community-led cancer action councils in Queens, New York: process evaluation of an innovative partnership with the Queens library system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Basu Roy, Upal; Michel, Tamara; Carpenter, Alison; Lounsbury, David W; Sabino, Eilleen; Stevenson, Alexis Jurow; Combs, Sarah; Jacobs, Jasmine; Padgett, Deborah; Rapkin, Bruce D

    2014-02-06

    Community-based participatory research (CBPR) has great potential to address cancer disparities, particularly in racially and ethnically diverse and underserved neighborhoods. The objective of this study was to conduct a process evaluation of an innovative academic-community partnership, Queens Library HealthLink, which aimed to reduce cancer disparities through neighborhood groups (Cancer Action Councils) that convened in public libraries in Queens, New York. We used a mixed-methods approach to conduct 69 telephone survey interviews and 4 focus groups (15 participants) with Cancer Action Council members. We used 4 performance criteria to inform data collection: action or attention to sustainability, library support for the council, social cohesion and group leadership, and activity level. Focus group transcripts were independently coded and cross-checked for consensus until saturation was achieved. Members reported benefits and barriers to participation. Thirty-three original focus group transcript codes were organized into 8 main themes related to member experiences: 1) library as a needed resource, 2) library as a reputable and nondenominational institution, 3) value of library staff, 4) need for a HealthLink specialist, 5) generation of ideas and coordination of tasks, 6) participation challenges, 7) use of community connections, and 8) collaboration for sustainability. In response to the process evaluation, Cancer Action Council members and HealthLink staff incorporated member suggestions to improve council sustainability. The councils merged to increase intercouncil collaboration, and institutional changes were made in funding to sustain a HealthLink specialist beyond the grant period.

  1. Legal syringe purchases by injection drug users, Brooklyn and Queens, New York City, 2000-2001.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Des Jarlais, Don C; McKnight, Courtney; Friedmann, Patricia

    2002-01-01

    To assess preliminary results of the Expanded Syringe Access Demonstration Program (ESAP) in New York City. Temporal trends of pharmacy use among injection drug users (IDUs) in Brooklyn and Queens were analyzed from December 2000 through December 2001. Brooklyn and Queens, New York City. PARTIPANTS: IDUs. Attempts to purchase syringes from pharmacies and success in doing so. Of the 1,072 IDUs interviewed from December 2000 through December 2001, the majority were daily heroin injectors, but there was also substantial speedball and cocaine injection. There was a clear increase over time in both the percentage of subjects who attempted to purchase syringes in pharmacies and in the percentage who successfully purchased syringes. Among IDUs interviewed 4 or more months after ESAP began, large majorities of those who attempted to purchase syringes were successful in doing so. No differences in use of ESAP by IDUs were identified in Brooklyn versus Queens: 27% of IDUs interviewed in Queens reported that they had attempted to purchase syringes in pharmacies versus 28% in Brooklyn. Persons who reported injecting on a daily or more frequent basis were more likely to have attempted pharmacy purchases than persons who reported injecting less frequently, 32% versus 21%. The ESAP program has led to an increase in the use of pharmacies as sources of sterile injection equipment among IDUs in New York City. The extent to which pharmacies become an important source of sterile injection equipment and the effect of legal pharmacy sales on risk behaviors for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection remain to be determined.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. A comparison of honeybee (Apis mellifera) queen, worker and drone larvae by RNA-Seq.

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Xu-Jiang; Jiang, Wu-Jun; Zhou, Mi; Barron, Andrew B; Zeng, Zhi-Jiang

    2017-11-06

    Honeybees (Apis mellifera) have haplodiploid sex determination: males develop from unfertilized eggs and females develop from fertilized ones. The differences in larval food also determine the development of females. Here we compared the total somatic gene expression profiles of 2-day and 4-day-old drone, queen and worker larvae by RNA-Seq. The results from a co-expression network analysis on all expressed genes showed that 2-day-old drone and worker larvae were closer in gene expression profiles than 2-day-old queen larvae. This indicated that for young larvae (2-day-old) environmental factors such as larval diet have a greater effect on gene expression profiles than ploidy or sex determination. Drones had the most distinct gene expression profiles at the 4-day larval stage, suggesting that haploidy, or sex dramatically affects the gene expression of honeybee larvae. Drone larvae showed fewer differences in gene expression profiles at the 2-day and 4-day time points than the worker and queen larval comparisons (598 against 1190 and 1181), suggesting a different pattern of gene expression regulation during the larval development of haploid males compared to diploid females. This study indicates that early in development the queen caste has the most distinct gene expression profile, perhaps reflecting the very rapid growth and morphological specialization of this caste compared to workers and drones. Later in development the haploid male drones have the most distinct gene expression profile, perhaps reflecting the influence of ploidy or sex determination on gene expression. © 2017 Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

  5. Asexual queen succession mediates an accelerated colony life cycle in the termite Silvestritermes minutus

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Fougeyrollas, R.; Křivánek, Jan; Roy, V.; Dolejšová, Klára; Frechault, S.; Roisin, Y.; Hanus, Robert; Sillam-Dusses, D.

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 26, č. 12 (2017), s. 3295-3308 ISSN 0962-1083 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GA14-12774S Institutional support: RVO:61388963 Keywords : asexual queen succession * breeding system * life history * parthenogenesis * Silvestritermes minutus * termites Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology OBOR OECD: Genetics and heredity (medical genetics to be 3) Impact factor: 6.086, year: 2016

  6. 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

    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...... hardly overlap, which suggests that males and females use different proteins to enhance sperm viability during, respectively, ejaculation and final sperm storage....

  7. Volunteering as Red Queen mechanism for cooperation in public goods games

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hauert, C.; De Monte, Silvia; Hofbauer, J.

    2002-01-01

    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....

  8. Techniques for the In Vitro Production of Queens in Stingless Bees (Apidae, Meliponini)

    OpenAIRE

    Baptistella, Ana Rita; Souza, Camila C. M.; Santana, Weyder Cristiano; Egea Soares, Ademilson Espencer

    2012-01-01

    Considering the ecological importance of stingless bees as caretakers and pollinators of a variety of native plants makes it necessary to improve techniques which increase of colonies' number in order to preserve these species and the biodiversity associated with them. Thus, our aim was to develop a methodology of in vitro production of stingless bee queens by offering a large quantity of food to the larvae. Our methodology consisted of determining the amount of larval food needed for the dev...

  9. The potential for arms race and Red Queen coevolution in a protist host-parasite system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Råberg, Lars; Alacid, Elisabet; Garces, Esther; Figueroa, Rosa

    2014-12-01

    The dynamics and consequences of host-parasite coevolution depend on the nature of host genotype-by-parasite genotype interactions (G × G) for host and parasite fitness. G × G with crossing reaction norms can yield cyclic dynamics of allele frequencies ("Red Queen" dynamics) while G × G where the variance among host genotypes differs between parasite genotypes results in selective sweeps ("arms race" dynamics). Here, we investigate the relative potential for arms race and Red Queen coevolution in a protist host-parasite system, the dinoflagellate Alexandrium minutum and its parasite Parvilucifera sinerae. We challenged nine different clones of A. minutum with 10 clones of P. sinerae in a fully factorial design and measured infection success and host and parasite fitness. Each host genotype was successfully infected by four to ten of the parasite genotypes. There were strong G × Gs for infection success, as well as both host and parasite fitness. About three quarters of the G × G variance components for host and parasite fitness were due to crossing reaction norms. There were no general costs of resistance or infectivity. We conclude that there is high potential for Red Queen dynamics in this host-parasite system.

  10. On the causes of selection for recombination underlying the red queen hypothesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salathé, Marcel; Kouyos, Roger D; Bonhoeffer, Sebastian

    2009-07-01

    The vast majority of plant and animal species reproduce sexually despite the costs associated with sexual reproduction. Genetic recombination might outweigh these costs if it helps the species escape parasite pressure by creating rare or novel genotypes, an idea known as the Red Queen hypothesis. Selection for recombination can be driven by short- and long-term effects, but the relative importance of these effects and their dependency on the parameters of an antagonistic species interaction remain unclear. We use computer simulations of a mathematical model of host-parasite coevolution to measure those effects under a wide range of parameters. We find that the real driving force underlying the Red Queen hypothesis is neither the immediate, next-generation, short-term effect nor the long-term effect but in fact a delayed short-term effect. Our results highlight the importance of differentiating clearly between immediate and delayed short-term effects when attempting to elucidate the mechanism underlying selection for recombination in the Red Queen hypothesis.

  11. Hill-Robertson interference maintained by Red Queen dynamics favours the evolution of sex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    da Silva, J; Galbraith, J D

    2017-05-01

    Although it is well established theoretically that selective interference among mutations (Hill-Robertson interference) favours meiotic recombination, genomewide mean rates of mutation and strengths of selection appear too low to support this as the mechanism favouring recombination in nature. A possible solution to this discrepancy between theory and observation is that selection is at least intermittently very strong due to the antagonistic coevolution between a host and its parasites. The Red Queen theory posits that such coevolution generates fitness epistasis among loci, which generates negative linkage disequilibrium among beneficial mutations, which in turn favours recombination. This theory has received only limited support. However, Red Queen dynamics without epistasis may provide the ecological conditions that maintain strong and frequent selective interference in finite populations that indirectly selects for recombination. This hypothesis is developed here through the simulation of Red Queen dynamics. This approach required the development of a method to calculate the exact frequencies of multilocus haplotypes after recombination. Simulations show that recombination is favoured by the moderately weak selection of many loci involved in the interaction between a host and its parasites, which results in substitution rates that are compatible with empirical estimates. The model also reproduces the previously reported rapid increase in the rate of outcrossing in Caenorhabditis elegans coevolving with a bacterial pathogen. © 2017 European Society For Evolutionary Biology. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2017 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  12. The shift between the Red Queen and the Red King effects in mutualisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gao, Lei; Li, Yao-Tang; Wang, Rui-Wu

    2015-02-04

    Interspecific mutualisms consist of partners trading services that yield common benefits to both species. Until now, understanding how the payoffs from mutualistic cooperation are allocated among the participants has been problematic. Two hypotheses have been proposed to resolve this problem. The Red Queen effect argues that faster-evolving species are favoured in co-evolutionary processes because they are able to obtain a larger share of benefits. Conversely, the Red King effect argues that the slower-evolving species gains a larger share of benefits. The model we propose shows that the allocations for a common benefit vary when the effect of a reward mechanism is included in the model. The outcome is a shift from the Red Queen effect to the Red King effect and vice versa. In addition, our model shows that either an asymmetry in payoff or an asymmetry in the number of cooperative partners causes a shift between the Red Queen effect and the Red King effect. Even in situations where the evolutionary rates are equal between the two species, asymmetries in rewards and in participant number lead to an uneven allocation of benefits among the partners.

  13. The Red Queen model of recombination hot-spot evolution: a theoretical investigation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Latrille, Thibault; Duret, Laurent; Lartillot, Nicolas

    2017-12-19

    In humans and many other species, recombination events cluster in narrow and short-lived hot spots distributed across the genome, whose location is determined by the Zn-finger protein PRDM9. To explain these fast evolutionary dynamics, an intra-genomic Red Queen model has been proposed, based on the interplay between two antagonistic forces: biased gene conversion, mediated by double-strand breaks, resulting in hot-spot extinction, followed by positive selection favouring new PRDM9 alleles recognizing new sequence motifs. Thus far, however, this Red Queen model has not been formalized as a quantitative population-genetic model, fully accounting for the intricate interplay between biased gene conversion, mutation, selection, demography and genetic diversity at the PRDM9 locus. Here, we explore the population genetics of the Red Queen model of recombination. A Wright-Fisher simulator was implemented, allowing exploration of the behaviour of the model (mean equilibrium recombination rate, diversity at the PRDM9 locus or turnover rate) as a function of the parameters (effective population size, mutation and erosion rates). In a second step, analytical results based on self-consistent mean-field approximations were derived, reproducing the scaling relations observed in the simulations. Empirical fit of the model to current data from the mouse suggests both a high mutation rate at PRDM9 and strong biased gene conversion on its targets.This article is part of the themed issue 'Evolutionary causes and consequences of recombination rate variation in sexual organisms'. © 2017 The Authors.

  14. 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}.

  15. 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.

  16. Structure of ovarioles in adult queens and workers of the common wasp, Vespula germanica (Hymenoptera: Vespidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jabłońska, A; Biliński, S M

    2001-01-01

    The ovaries of the common wasp, Vespula germanica are polytrophic-meroistic and consist of 2-3 (workers) or 7 (queens) ovarioles. The ovarioles are differentiated into three regions: a terminal filament, a germarium, and a vitellarium. The germaria of both castes consist of two zones: an anterior zone of germ-cell cluster formation and a posterior one of germ-cell cluster differentiation. The vitellaria comprise 4-6 (workers) or 7-10 (queens) ovarian follicles (egg chambers). Each chamber consists of an oocyte and about 60 isodiametric nurse cells (trophocytes). The egg chambers have been arbitrarily classified into four developmental categories: early and late previtellogenic, vitellogenic, and choriogenic. The process of oogenesis in workers proceeds only up to the onset of the late previtellogenesis. Neither vitellogenic nor choriogenic egg chambers were observed in this caste. During early and late previtellogenesis the envelope of the oocyte nucleus proliferates and becomes highly folded. This process leads to the formation of characteristic organelles, termed accessory nuclei (AN). Although AN arise in the oocytes of both queens and workers, their number in the latter caste is always considerably lower. At the onset of the late previtellogenesis AN start to migrate towards the periphery of the oocyte where they reside till the end of oogenesis. The physiological state of the worker ovaries is discussed in the light of the presented results.

  17. 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.

  18. Clinical and Epidemiological Evidence of the Red Queen Hypothesis in Pneumococcal Serotype Dynamics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stockmann, Chris; Ampofo, Krow; Pavia, Andrew T; Blaschke, Anne J; Mason, Edward O; Presson, Angela P; Forney, Larry J; Byington, Carrie L

    2016-09-01

    The Red Queen hypothesis is an evolutionary theory that describes the reciprocal coevolution of competing species. We sought to study whether introduction of the 7- and 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccines (PCV7 and PCV13, respectively) altered pneumococcal serotype dynamics among children with invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) as predicted by the Red Queen hypothesis. This study examined pneumococcal isolates (n = 641) obtained from children <18 years of age hospitalized with IPD from 1997 to 2014 in Utah. A review of the literature also identified several additional studies conducted in the United States and Europe that were used to test the external generalizability of our Utah findings. Simpson's index was used to quantify pneumococcal serotype diversity. In Utah, the introduction of PCV7 and PCV13 was associated with rapid increases in serotype diversity (P < .001). Serotypes rarely present before vaccine introduction emerged as common causes of IPD. Diversity then decreased (P < .001) as competition selected for the fittest serotypes and new evolutionary equilibriums were established. This pattern was also observed more broadly in the United States, the United Kingdom, Norway, and Spain. This vaccine-driven example of human/bacterial coevolution appears to confirm the Red Queen hypothesis, which reveals a limitation of serotype-specific vaccines and offers insights that may facilitate alternative strategies for the elimination of IPD. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press for the Infectious Diseases Society of America. All rights reserved. For permissions, e-mail journals.permissions@oup.com.

  19. Thelytokous Parthenogenesis in Unmated Queen Honeybees (Apis mellifera capensis): Central Fusion and High Recombination Rates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oldroyd, Benjamin P.; Allsopp, Michael H.; Gloag, Rosalyn S.; Lim, Julianne; Jordan, Lyndon A.; Beekman, Madeleine

    2008-01-01

    The subspecies of honeybee indigenous to the Cape region of South Africa, Apis mellifera capensis, is unique because a high proportion of unmated workers can lay eggs that develop into females via thelytokous parthenogenesis involving central fusion of meiotic products. This ability allows pseudoclonal lineages of workers to establish, which are presently widespread as reproductive parasites within the honeybee populations of South Africa. Successful long-term propagation of a parthenogen requires the maintenance of heterozygosity at the sex locus, which in honeybees must be heterozygous for the expression of female traits. Thus, in successful lineages of parasitic workers, recombination events are reduced by an order of magnitude relative to meiosis in queens of other honeybee subspecies. Here we show that in unmated A. m. capensis queens treated to induce oviposition, no such reduction in recombination occurs, indicating that thelytoky and reduced recombination are not controlled by the same gene. Our virgin queens were able to lay both arrhenotokous male-producing haploid eggs and thelytokous female-producing diploid eggs at the same time, with evidence that they have some voluntary control over which kind of egg was laid. If so, they are able to influence the kind of second-division meiosis that occurs in their eggs post partum. PMID:18716331

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Selene Escobar-Ramírez

    2012-01-01

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