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Sample records for ants pogonomyrmex occidentalis

  1. Mating for variety increases foraging activity in the harvester ant, Pogonomyrmex occidentalis.

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    Wiernasz, Diane C; Hines, Jessica; Parker, Dara G; Cole, Blaine J

    2008-02-01

    Multiple mating by females characterizes most insect species, but is relatively uncommon in social insects. Females may mate with multiple mates because they experience the direct benefits of increased survival or fecundity, to acquire high quality mates, or to lower the risk of reduced fecundity by mating with incompatible males. We used the extensive natural variation in mating frequency in the western harvester ant, Pogonomyrmex occidentalis, to test the hypothesis that increased mating by the queen leads to an increase in colony performance. Colonies with greater genetic diversity began to forage earlier in the day and foraged for longer time periods. The workers which initiated foraging were a nonrandom subset of the genotypes present in the colony. We used a statistical approach to correctly predict the direction and magnitude of the correlation between genetic diversity and colony foraging activity.

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

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    Ingram Krista K

    2009-04-01

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

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

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

    2011-04-01

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

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

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    Johnson, Robert A; Cover, Stefan P

    2015-06-11

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

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

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    Here we present a phylogeographic study of at least six reproductively isolated lineages of new world harvester ants within the Pogonomyrmex barbatus and P. rugosus species group. The genetic and geographic relationships within this clade are complex: four of the identified lineages are divided into...

  6. Harvester ant bioassay for assessing hazardous chemical waste sites. [Pogonomyrmex owhyeei

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gano, K.A.; Carlile, D.W.; Rogers, L.E.

    1985-05-01

    A technique was developed for using harvester ants, Pogonomyrmex owhyeei, in terrestrial bioassays. Procedures were developed for maintaining stock populations, handling ants, and exposing ants to toxic materials. Relative toxicities were determined by exposing ants to 10 different materials. These materials included three insecticides, Endrin, Aldrin, and Dieldrin; one herbicide, 2,4-D; three complex industrial waste residuals, wood preservative sludge, drilling fluid, and slop oil; and three heavy metals, copper zinc, and cadium. Ants were exposed in petri dishes containing soil amended with a particular toxicant. Under these test conditions, ants showed no sensitivity to the metals or 2,4-D. Ants were sensitive to the insecticides and oils in repeated tests, and relative toxicity remained consistent throughout. Aldrin was the most toxic material followed by Dieldrin, Endrin, wood preservative sludge, drilling fluid, and slop oil. 12 refs., 2 figs., 2 tabs.

  7. Experimental modulation of external microbiome affects nestmate recognition in harvester ants (Pogonomyrmex barbatus).

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    Dosmann, Andy; Bahet, Nassim; Gordon, Deborah M

    2016-01-01

    Social insects use odors as cues for a variety of behavioral responses, including nestmate recognition. Past research on nestmate recognition indicates cuticular hydrocarbons are important nestmate discriminators for social insects, but other factors are likely to contribute to colony-specific odors. Here we experimentally tested whether external microbes contribute to nestmate recognition in red harvester ants (Pogonomyrmex barbatus). We changed the external microbiome of ants through topical application of either antibiotics or microbial cultures. We then observed behavior of nestmates when treated ants were returned to the nest. Ants whose external microbiome was augmented with microbial cultures were much more likely to be rejected than controls, but ants treated with antibiotics were not. This result is consistent with the possibility that external microbes are used for nestmate recognition.

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

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

  9. Biomantling and bioturbation by colonies of the Florida harvester ant, Pogonomyrmex badius.

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    Walter R Tschinkel

    Full Text Available In much of the world, soil-nesting ants are among the leading agents of biomantling and bioturbation, depositing excavated soil on the surface or in underground chambers. Colonies of the Florida harvester ant, Pogonomyrmex badius excavate a new nest once a year on average, depositing 0.1 to 12 L (3 L average of soil on the surface. Repeated surveys of a population of about 400 colonies yielded the frequency of moves (approximately once per year, the distance moved (mean 4 m, and the direction moved (random. The area of the soil disc correlated well with the volume and maximum depth of the nest, as determined by excavation and mapping of chambers. The population-wide frequency distribution of disc areas thus yielded the frequency distribution of nest volumes and maximum depths. For each surveyed colony, the volume of soil excavated from six specified depth ranges and deposited on the surface was estimated. These parameters were used in a simulation to estimate the amount of soil mantled over time by the observed population of P. badius colonies. Spread evenly, P. badius mantling would create a soil layer averaging 0.43 cm thick in a millennium, with 10-15% of the soil deriving from depths greater than 1 m. Biomantling by P. badius is discussed in the context of the ant community of which it is a part, and in relation to literature reports of ant biomantling.

  10. Biomantling and bioturbation by colonies of the Florida harvester ant, Pogonomyrmex badius.

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    Tschinkel, Walter R

    2015-01-01

    In much of the world, soil-nesting ants are among the leading agents of biomantling and bioturbation, depositing excavated soil on the surface or in underground chambers. Colonies of the Florida harvester ant, Pogonomyrmex badius excavate a new nest once a year on average, depositing 0.1 to 12 L (3 L average) of soil on the surface. Repeated surveys of a population of about 400 colonies yielded the frequency of moves (approximately once per year), the distance moved (mean 4 m), and the direction moved (random). The area of the soil disc correlated well with the volume and maximum depth of the nest, as determined by excavation and mapping of chambers. The population-wide frequency distribution of disc areas thus yielded the frequency distribution of nest volumes and maximum depths. For each surveyed colony, the volume of soil excavated from six specified depth ranges and deposited on the surface was estimated. These parameters were used in a simulation to estimate the amount of soil mantled over time by the observed population of P. badius colonies. Spread evenly, P. badius mantling would create a soil layer averaging 0.43 cm thick in a millennium, with 10-15% of the soil deriving from depths greater than 1 m. Biomantling by P. badius is discussed in the context of the ant community of which it is a part, and in relation to literature reports of ant biomantling.

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

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    Tschinkel, Walter R; Kwapich, Christina L

    2016-01-01

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

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

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

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    Miguel Corona

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

  14. Vitellogenin Underwent Subfunctionalization to Acquire Caste and Behavioral Specific Expression in the Harvester Ant Pogonomyrmex barbatus

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    Wurm, Yannick; Riba-Grognuz, Oksana; Studer, Romain A.; Keller, Laurent

    2013-01-01

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

  15. Origin and evolution of the dependent lineages in the genetic caste determination system of Pogonomyrmex ants.

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    Sirviö, Anu; Pamilo, Pekka; Johnson, Robert A; Page, Robert E; Gadau, Jürgen

    2011-03-01

    Hybridizing harvester ants of the Pogonomyrmex barbatus/rugosus complex have an exceptional genetic caste determination (GCD) mechanism. We combined computer simulations, population genomics, and linkage mapping using >1000 nuclear AFLP markers and a partial mtDNA sequence to explore the genetic architecture and origin of the dependent lineages. Our samples included two pairs of hybridizing lineages, and the mitochondrial and nuclear data showed contradicting affinities between them. Clustering of individual genotypes based on nuclear markers indicated some exceptions to the general GCD system, that is, interlineage hybrid genes as well as some pure-line workers. A genetic linkage map of P. rugosus showed one of the highest recombination rates ever measured in insects (14.0 cM/Mb), supporting the view that social insects are characterized by high recombination rates. The population data had 165 markers in which sibling pairs showed a significant genetic difference depending on the caste. The differences were scattered in the genome; 13 linkage groups had loci with F(ST)>0.9 between the hybridizing lineages J1 and J2.The mapping results and the population data indicate that the dependent lineages have been initially formed through hybridization at different points in time but the role of introgression has been insignificant in their later evolution.

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

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

    2016-08-01

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

  17. 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.

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

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

    2016-07-28

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

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

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    Tschinkel, Walter R

    2014-01-01

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

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

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    Walter R Tschinkel

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

  1. The Old Ladies of the Seed Harvester ant Pogonomyrmex Rugosus: Foraging Performed by Two Groups of Workers.

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    Oettler, Jan; Johnson, Robert A

    2009-05-01

    We examined temporal polyethism in Pogonomyrmex rugosus, predicting a pattern of decreasing age from foragers to nest maintenance workers to individuals that were recruited to harvest a temporary food source. Nest maintenance workers were younger than foragers, as indicated by their heavier mass and lower mandibular wear. In contrast, recruited foragers were similar in mass to foragers but they displayed higher mandibular wear, suggesting that they were at least as old as foragers. Longevity estimates for marked individuals of these two latter task groups showed mixed results. Higher mandibular wear of recruited foragers suggests that they did not follow the normal sequence for temporal polyethism, but rather that they functioned as seed-millers, which should more quickly abrade their dentition. This would be the first demonstration of specialist milling individuals in a monomorphic seed-harvester ant.

  2. Seed Selection by the Harvester Ant Pogonomyrmex rugosus (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in Coastal Sage Scrub: Interactions With Invasive Plant Species.

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    Briggs, C M; Redak, R A

    2016-08-01

    Harvester ants can be the dominant seed predators on plants by collecting and eating seeds and are known to influence plant communities. Harvester ants are abundant in coastal sage scrub (CSS), and CSS is frequently invaded by several exotic plant species. This study used observations of foraging and cafeteria-style experiments to test for seed species selection by the harvester ant Pogonomyrmex rugosus Emery (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in CSS. Analysis of foraging behavior showed that P. rugosus carried seeds of exotic Erodium cicutarium (L.) and exotic Brassica tournefortii (Gouan) on 85 and 15% of return trips to the nest (respectively), and only a very few ants carried the native seeds found within the study areas. When compared with the availability of seeds in the field, P. rugosus selected exotic E. cicutarium and avoided both native Encelia farinosa (Torrey & A. Gray) and exotic B. tournefortii. Foraging by P. rugosus had no major effect on the seed bank in the field. Cafeteria-style experiments confirmed that P. rugosus selected E. cicutarium over other available seeds. Native Eriogonum fasciculatum (Bentham) seeds were even less selected than E. farinosa and B. tournefortii.

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

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

    2013-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-11-01

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

  6. Foraging Activity and Trophic Spectrum of Red Ant Pogonomyrmex barbatus Smith, 1858, in Productivity-Contrasted Microenvironments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rafael Guzmán-Mendoza

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Foraging strategies can be influenced by many factors such as abundance, availability, and toxicity of the resources. In arid zones, the distribution and productivity of plants also act as additional factors that affect foraging strategies. Twenty colonies of Pogonomyrmex barbatus ants were studied in an arid zone of central Mexico to evaluate the trophic niche breadth in two sites with contrasting productivities in terms of their diversity and amount of resources during two seasons. The results suggest that when the resources are abundant as in the rainy season, the trophic niche breadth is reduced in sites with high productivity and, in the same sites, the trophic niche breadth increases when the resources are limited as in the dry season. In contrast, the trophic niche breadth is similar in both conditions of resource availability (i.e., rainy and dry seasons at sites with low productivity. During the dry season, populations of P. barbatus showed a similar foraging behavior in sites with high and low productivity. Thus, the particular characteristics of a site can significantly affect the foraging strategies of the ants in those environments.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tschinkel, Walter R; Rink, William J; Kwapich, Christina L

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Beatriz E. Nobua Behrmann

    2010-06-01

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

  9. Cell Component Identification for Dufour Glands of Harvester Ant Genus Pogonomyrmex by Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry%红收获蚁杜氏腺体细胞壁成分的气相色谱/质谱鉴定

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    刘颖; 刘跃

    2003-01-01

    用气相色谱/质谱联用技术对红收获蚁Pogonomyrmex barbatus和Pogonomyrmex maricopa的杜氏腺体(Dufour gland)细胞壁的化学成分进行了鉴定.结果表明:其杜氏腺体的主要成分是烃类化合物.根据红收获蚁Dufour腺体的气相色谱/质谱的谱图,讨论了生物种属的气相色谱/质谱化学分类的可能性.研究表明:同一物种的生物体给出的图谱有一一对应的直观样式,生物组织化学成分的鉴定是生物化学分类的关键,相对峰高或峰面积百分含量不易表征图谱样式.

  10. Determinants of intracolonial relatedness in Pogonomyrmex rugosus (Hymenoptera; Formicidae): mating frequency and brood raids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gadau, J; Strehl, C-P; Oettler, J; Hölldobler, B

    2003-07-01

    The genus Pogonomyrmex is one of three ant genera with an effective mating frequency (me) > 2.0. We developed microsatellites to determine me for P. rugosus because mating frequency of P. rugosus was known only from observational data which do not allow an estimate of me. We genotyped 474 workers from 20 colonies for two microsatellite loci. Observed mating frequencies ranged from 3 to 12 and me for P. rugosus was 4.71. Observed patriline frequencies were significantly different from the expected patriline frequencies generated with a simulated data set under the assumption of equal patriline representation. The available mating frequency data and phylogenetic information of the genus Pogonomyrmex suggest that multiple mating is the ancestral state in the North American Pogonomyrmex sensu stricto. Established P. rugosus colonies raid and destroy smaller conspecific colonies. During these raids ant workers were observed carrying pupae and larvae from the raided colony into the nest of the raiding colony. However, it was not clear whether raided brood emerged in the raiding colony and were subsequently recruited into the work force (intraspecific slavery) or were used as food (predation). Our analyses indicate 6 of 14 field colonies contained foreign P. rugosus workers (43%). The range of the intracolonial frequency of foreign workers collected directly from the nest entrance was between 4 and 28%.

  11. Transition of vegetation states positively affects harvester ants in the Great Basin, United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holbrook, Joseph D.; Pilliod, David; Arkle, Robert; Rachlow, Janet L.; Vierling, Kerri T.; Wiest, Michelle M.

    2016-01-01

    Invasions by non-native plants can alter ecosystems such that new ecological states are reached, but less is known about how these transitions influence animal populations. Sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata) ecosystems are experiencing state changes because of fire and invasion by exotic annual grasses. Our goal was to study the effects of these state changes on the Owyhee and western harvester ants (Pogonomyrmex salinusOlsen and P. occidentalis Cresson, respectively). We sampled 358 1-ha plots across the northern Great Basin, which captured unburned and burned conditions across 1 −≥31 years postfire. Our results indicated an immediate and consistent change in vegetation states from shrubland to grassland between 1 and 31 years postfire. Harvester ant occupancy was unrelated to time since fire, whereas we observed a positive effect of fire on nest density. Similarly, we discovered that fire and invasion by exotic annuals were weak predictors of harvester ant occupancy but strong predictors of nest density. Occupancy of harvester ants was more likely in areas with finer-textured soils, low precipitation, abundant native forbs, and low shrub cover. Nest density was higher in arid locations that recently burned and exhibited abundant exotic annual and perennial (exotic and native) grasses. Finally, we discovered that burned areas that received postfire restoration had minimal influence on harvester ant occupancy or nest density compared with burned and untreated areas. These results suggest that fire-induced state changes from native shrublands to grasslands dominated by non-native grasses have a positive effect on density of harvester ants (but not occupancy), and that postfire restoration does not appear to positively or negatively affect harvester ants. Although wildfire and invasion by exotic annual grasses may negatively affect other species, harvester ants may indeed be one of the few winners among a myriad of losers linked to vegetation state changes within

  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. Selective Foraging by Pogonomyrmex salinus (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in Semiarid Grassland: Implications for a Rare Plant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmasow, Matthew S; Robertson, Ian C

    2016-08-01

    Selective foraging by granivores can have important consequences for the structure and composition of plant communities, and potentially severe consequences for rare plant species. To understand how granivore foraging behavior affects common and rare plant species, diet selection should be viewed relative to the availability of alternative seed options, and with consideration of the individual attributes of those seeds (e.g., morphology, nutrient content). We examined the foraging decisions of Owyhee harvester ants, Pogonomyrmex salinus (Olsen), in semiarid grassland dominated by two species of grass, Poa secunda and Bromus tectorum, and two species of mustard, Sisymbrium altissimum and Lepidium papilliferum The latter is a rare plant endemic to southwestern Idaho, and its seeds are readily consumed by P. salinus We examined the diets of P. salinus colonies in June and July over three years and compared these values to the weekly availability of seeds on the ground in a 3-12 -m radius around individual ant colonies. Small-seeded species (P. secunda, S. altissimum, and L. papilliferum) were usually overrepresented in the diet of ants relative to their availability, whereas the large seeds of B. tectorum were largely avoided despite being abundant and nutritious. The reduced travel time associated with carrying small seeds may overshadow differences in nutritional content among seed types, except in times when small seeds are in short supply. Lepidium papilliferum appears particularly vulnerable to seed predation, likely in part because it grows in dense patches that are easily exploited by foragers.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ingram, Krista K; Kleeman, Lindsay; Peteru, Swetha

    2011-08-10

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kleeman Lindsay

    2011-08-01

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

  16. FCH_Strix_occidentalis_caurina_20121204

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This layer contains critical habitat polygons designated by the USFWS for the Northern Spotted Owl (Strix occidentalis caurina) in November 2012.

  17. Harvester Ant Colony Variation in Foraging Activity and Response to Humidity

    OpenAIRE

    Gordon, Deborah M.; Dektar, Katherine N.; Noa Pinter-Wollman

    2013-01-01

    Collective behavior is produced by interactions among individuals. Differences among groups in individual response to interactions can lead to ecologically important variation among groups in collective behavior. Here we examine variation among colonies in the foraging behavior of the harvester ant, Pogonomyrmex barbatus. Previous work shows how colonies regulate foraging in response to food availability and desiccation costs: the rate at which outgoing foragers leave the nest depends on the ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flanagan, Tatiana P; Letendre, Kenneth; Burnside, William R; Fricke, G Matthew; Moses, Melanie E

    2012-01-01

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

  19. The genome of black raspberry (Rubus occidentalis)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Black raspberry (Rubus occidentalis) is an important specialty fruit crop in the U.S. Pacific Northwest that can hybridize with the globally commercialized red raspberry (R. idaeus). Here we report a 243 Mb draft genome of black raspberry that will serve as a useful reference for the Rosaceae and Ru...

  20. The evolution of genome size in ants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Spagna Joseph C

    2008-02-01

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

  1. The toxicity of Cassia occidentalis to goats

    OpenAIRE

    Suliman, H.B.; Wasfi, I.A.; Adam, S. E. I.

    1982-01-01

    Metadata only record In 8 goats given the leaves or seeds of C. occidentalis , the main signs of poisoning were diarrhea, inappetence, dyspnoea, staggering, ataxia and recumbency. Lesions consisted of hemorrhages and congestion in the heart, lungs, abomasum and spleen, catarrhal enteritis, hepatic fatty change and necrosis, splenic haemosiderosis, pulmonary emphysema, necrosis and/or degeneration of the epithelial cells of the renal convoluted tubule, and packing of the glomeruli with endo...

  2. 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)

  3. A new name for Mabuya Polytropis occidentalis Hoogmoed, 1974

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hoogmoed, M.S.

    1978-01-01

    In a revision of West African Mabuya species in 1974, I described Mabuya polytropis occidentalis from Ghana and Liberia. Recently Dr. R. I. Crombie kindly drew my attention to the fact that by doing so, I had created a junior homonym of Euprepes occidentalis W. Peters, 1867, currently considered a v

  4. Insecticide Resistance in the Western Flower Thrips, Frankliniella occidentalis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Sten Erik

    The western flower thrips, Frankliniella occidentalis (Pergande) is a serious pest on a wide range of crops throughout the world. In Denmark F. occidentalis is a pest in greenhouses. F. occidentalis is difficult to control with insecticides because of its thigmokinetic behaviour and resistance...... to insecticides. Since F. occidentulis spread to become a worldwide pest in 1980’es, resistance to a number of different insecticides has been shown in many populations of F. occidentalis. This flower thrips has the potential of fast development of resistance owing to the short generation time, high fecundity......, and a haplodiploid breeding system. Although resistance in F. occidentalis is a common problem, the underlying mechanisms conferring resistance have only been studied on a few populations. A purpose of this study was to gain more knowledge about possible resistance mechanisms in F. occidentulis and, furthermore...

  5. PHYTOCHEMICAL ANALYSIS AND ANTIMICROBIAL ACTIVITY OF CASIA OCCIDENTALIS (L

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Venkanna Lunavath

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available The trend of using natural products has increased and the active plant extracts are frequently screened for new drug discoveries. The present study deals with the screening of Casia occidentalis leaves for their antimicrobial activity against various strains of bacteria. Plant Cassia occidentalis belongs to family Caesalpiniaceae, is a diffuse offensively odorous under shrub. Casia occidentalis were shade dried, powered and was extracted using solvents Methanol. The antimicrobial activity test performed by the disc diffusion method. Preliminary phytochemical analysis of the plant extracts fractions of HXF, CTF, CFF and AQF showed the presence of carbohydrates, amino acids, phytosterols, fixed oils and phenolic compounds. The AQF fraction of C. occidentalis showed high activity across pseudomonas aeuruginosa and staphylococcus aureus bacteria. The present study indicates the potential usefulness of Casia occidentalis leaves in the treatment of various diseases caused by micro-organisms.

  6. The regulation of ant colony foraging activity without spatial information.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prabhakar, Balaji; Dektar, Katherine N; Gordon, Deborah M

    2012-01-01

    Many dynamical networks, such as the ones that produce the collective behavior of social insects, operate without any central control, instead arising from local interactions among individuals. A well-studied example is the formation of recruitment trails in ant colonies, but many ant species do not use pheromone trails. We present a model of the regulation of foraging by harvester ant (Pogonomyrmex barbatus) colonies. This species forages for scattered seeds that one ant can retrieve on its own, so there is no need for spatial information such as pheromone trails that lead ants to specific locations. Previous work shows that colony foraging activity, the rate at which ants go out to search individually for seeds, is regulated in response to current food availability throughout the colony's foraging area. Ants use the rate of brief antennal contacts inside the nest between foragers returning with food and outgoing foragers available to leave the nest on the next foraging trip. Here we present a feedback-based algorithm that captures the main features of data from field experiments in which the rate of returning foragers was manipulated. The algorithm draws on our finding that the distribution of intervals between successive ants returning to the nest is a Poisson process. We fitted the parameter that estimates the effect of each returning forager on the rate at which outgoing foragers leave the nest. We found that correlations between observed rates of returning foragers and simulated rates of outgoing foragers, using our model, were similar to those in the data. Our simple stochastic model shows how the regulation of ant colony foraging can operate without spatial information, describing a process at the level of individual ants that predicts the overall foraging activity of the colony.

  7. Intoxicação por Senna occidentalis (Leg. Caesalpinoideae em bovinos em pastoreio Poisoning by Senna occidentalis (Leg. Caesalpinoideae in grazing cattle

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claudio S.L. Barros

    1999-04-01

    Full Text Available São descritos três surtos da intoxicação por Senna occidentalis em bovinos em criação extensiva, exclusivamente em pastoreio, durante o outono e início do inverno, em três estabelecimentos do estado do Rio Grande do Sul. Os bovinos afetados tinham acesso a antigas lavouras de soja ou restevas de lavouras de soja e milho altamente infestados por fedegoso (S. occidentalis. No estabelecimento 1, de um total de 34 novilhas (de aprox. 18 meses de idade, 10 morreram (29,1%; no estabelecimento 2, morreram 9 (4,2% de um total de 212 vacas prenhes e, no estabelecimento 3, morreram 6 (12,0% de um total de 50 animais. O curso clínico variou de 3 a 6 dias, e os sinais clínicos incluíam urina marrom-escura, fraqueza muscular, tremores, andar cambaleante, decúbito esternal e morte. Os animais, mesmo em decúbito, permaneciam alerta e com reflexos normais, alimentando-se e bebendo água até poucas horas antes da morte. No estabelecimento 2, os bovinos começaram a adoecer 7 dias após terem sido retirados do campo infestado pela planta. As principais alterações observadas na necropsia foram áreas claras na musculatura esquelética, principalmente nos músculos dos membros posteriores e estrias esbranquiçadas na musculatura cardíaca. A principal lesão microscópica era de degeneração e necrose nos músculos esqueléticos (miopatia degenerativa tóxica multifocal multifásica. Os dados epidemiológicos, clínicos, de necropsia e histopatológico permitiram concluir pelo diagnóstico de intoxicação por S. occidentalis, nesses três surtos.Three outbreaks of Senna occidentalis poisoning in cattle exclusively at pasture are described. The outbreaks occurred in the fall and early winter on three farms of the state of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. Affected cattle had access to pastures previously used as culture fields for soybean and corn, which were heavily infested by coffee senna (S. occidentalis. On farm 1, 10 (29,1% out of a total of 34

  8. Ant community composition across a gradient of disturbed military landscapes at Fort Benning, Georgia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graham, J.H.; Krzysik, A.J.; Kovacic, D.A.; Duda, J.J.; Freeman, D.C.; Emlen, J.M.; Zak, J.C.; Long, W.R.; Wallace, M.P.; Chamberlin-Graham, C.; Nutter, J.P.; Balbach, H.E.

    2008-01-01

    Military training, soil texture, and ground cover influence ant communities at Fort Benning, a military installation in west-central Georgia. We sampled 81,237 ground-dwelling ants (47 species in 20 genera) with pitfall traps at 40 sites on a continuum from nearly pristine forest to highly disturbed training areas. We also measured 15 environmental variables related to vegetation and soil. Sites disturbed by military training had fewer trees, less canopy cover, more bare ground, and more compact soils with shallower A-horizons than comparable undisturbed sites. Pheidole bicarinata, Dorymyrmex smithi, and Pogonomyrmex badius dominated the most highly disturbed sites. Competitively submissive myrmicines, such as Aphaenogaster and Crematogaster, and formicines, such as Camponotus and Formica, were abundant in the undisturbed sites. Solenopsis invicta occurred in all but the least disturbed sites. Ant community composition was a useful indicator of disturbance at Fort Benning.

  9. NEUROPHARMACOLOGICAL EXPLORATION OF THUJA OCCIDENTALIS LINN.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Deb Lokesh

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available In present study, oral administration of 100, 200 and 400 mg/kg doses of the aqueous extract of Thuja occidentalis Linn in rats and mice were evaluated for its anxiolytic, nootropic, anticonvulsant and motor coordination activity by using different animal models. The number of entries as well as the duration of stay in the open arms significantly increased (***p<0.001 in Elevated plus-maze test and in Open field test showed significant (*p<0.5, ***p<0.001 increase of open field Ambulation, Rearing, Self grooming activity at centre in dose dependent manner when comparison to vehicle treated rats, moreover, the open field faecal dropping was also decreased that indicate anxiolytic activity of extract. Significant retention and recovery as compare to control group has been recorded in scopolamine induced amnesia that support nootropic activity of extract. In Pentylenetetrazole (PTZ - induced seizures, extract dose dependently inhibited the incidence of convulsions and significantly (*p<0.5, **p<0.01, ***p<0.001 delayed the onset of spasm and clones in PTZ treated mice compare to vehicle treated mice. Significant (***p<0.001 motor in-coordination and increased in immobility time was recorded in case of Rota rod test and Tail suspension test respectively that indicate CNS depression activity of the extract. On the basis of these investigations, we may partially conclude that aqueous extract of Thuja occidentalis Linn aerial part can not recommend to patients in day time or before bed due to its CNS activity, but it could be a potent anxiolytic, nootropic, anticonvulsant and CNS depressant for next generation.

  10. Influence of crude extract of root of Telfairia occidentalis (fluted ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Influence of crude extract of root of Telfairia occidentalis (fluted pumpkin) on the cytoarchitecture of the rat kidney and body weight. ... The control group received distilled water throughout the duration of experiment. The administration lasted ...

  11. Effects of Senna occidentalis on chick bursa of Fabricius.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silva, Tereza C; Gorniak, Silvana L; Oloris, Silvia C S; Raspantini, Paulo C; Haraguchi, Mitsue; Dagli, Maria L Z

    2003-12-01

    Senna occidentalis (L) Link (formerly called Cassia occidentalis) is a toxic leguminous plant found ubiquitously as a contaminant of crops. All parts of the plant are toxic, but most of the S. occidentalis toxicity is found in the seeds. S. occidentalis has been shown to be toxic to several animal species, causing degenerative lesions mainly in muscles. This is the first report describing alterations in chick lymphoid organs caused by S. occidentalis seeds. The objectives of this study were to describe the effects of the treatment with seeds and its fraction external tegument (TE) on the development of chicks and their lymphoid organs bursa of Fabricius and spleen. Chicks that received a commercial ration with 1% TE had reduced body and lymphoid organ weights. The bursa of Fabricius presented reduction in the diameters of the follicles, and in the thickness of the cortical and medullary regions. The spleen presented depleted lymphoid tissue in the white pulp. These results indicate that the active principle of S. occidentalis is more concentrated on its TE fraction, and that it can cause weight loss as well as alterations in the lymphoid organs in chicks. The consequences of these alterations should be further investigated.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-08-01

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

  14. The genome of black raspberry (Rubus occidentalis).

    Science.gov (United States)

    VanBuren, Robert; Bryant, Doug; Bushakra, Jill M; Vining, Kelly J; Edger, Patrick P; Rowley, Erik R; Priest, Henry D; Michael, Todd P; Lyons, Eric; Filichkin, Sergei A; Dossett, Michael; Finn, Chad E; Bassil, Nahla V; Mockler, Todd C

    2016-09-01

    Black raspberry (Rubus occidentalis) is an important specialty fruit crop in the US Pacific Northwest that can hybridize with the globally commercialized red raspberry (R. idaeus). Here we report a 243 Mb draft genome of black raspberry that will serve as a useful reference for the Rosaceae and Rubus fruit crops (raspberry, blackberry, and their hybrids). The black raspberry genome is largely collinear to the diploid woodland strawberry (Fragaria vesca) with a conserved karyotype and few notable structural rearrangements. Centromeric satellite repeats are widely dispersed across the black raspberry genome, in contrast to the tight association with the centromere observed in most plants. Among the 28 005 predicted protein-coding genes, we identified 290 very recent small-scale gene duplicates enriched for sugar metabolism, fruit development, and anthocyanin related genes which may be related to key agronomic traits during black raspberry domestication. This contrasts patterns of recent duplications in the wild woodland strawberry F. vesca, which show no patterns of enrichment, suggesting gene duplications contributed to domestication traits. Expression profiles from a fruit ripening series and roots exposed to Verticillium dahliae shed insight into fruit development and disease response, respectively. The resources presented here will expedite the development of improved black and red raspberry, blackberry and other Rubus cultivars.

  15. California Spotted Owl (Strix occidentalis occidentalis) habitat use patterns in a burned landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eyes, Stephanie; Roberts, Susan L.; Johnson, Matthew D.

    2017-01-01

    Fire is a dynamic ecosystem process of mixed-conifer forests of the Sierra Nevada, but there is limited scientific information addressing wildlife habitat use in burned landscapes. Recent studies have presented contradictory information regarding the effects of stand-replacing wildfires on Spotted Owls (Strix occidentalis) and their habitat. While fire promotes heterogeneous forest landscapes shown to be favored by owls, high severity fire may create large canopy gaps that can fragment the closed-canopy habitat preferred by Spotted Owls. We used radio-telemetry to determine whether foraging California Spotted Owls (S. o. occidentalis) in Yosemite National Park, California, USA, showed selection for particular fire severity patch types within their home ranges. Our results suggested that Spotted Owls exhibited strong habitat selection within their home ranges for locations near the roost and edge habitats, and weak selection for lower fire severity patch types. Although owls selected high contrast edges with greater relative probabilities than low contrast edges, we did not detect a statistical difference between these probabilities. Protecting forests from stand-replacing fires via mechanical thinning or prescribed fire is a priority for management agencies, and our results suggest that fires of low to moderate severity can create habitat conditions within California Spotted Owls' home ranges that are favored for foraging.

  16. 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....

  17. Struggling Ants

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2009-01-01

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

  18. Ecosystem engineering of harvester ants: effects on vegetation in a sagebrush-steppe ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gosselin, Elyce N; Holbrook, Joseph D.; Huggler, Katey; Brown, Emily; Vierling, Kerri T.; Arkle, Robert; Pilliod, David

    2016-01-01

    Harvester ants are influential in many ecosystems because they distribute and consume seeds, remove vegetation, and redistribute soil particles and nutrients. Understanding the interaction between harvester ants and plant communities is important for management and restoration efforts, particularly in systems altered by fire and invasive species such as the sagebrush-steppe. Our objective was to evaluate how vegetation cover changed as a function of distance from Owyhee harvester ant (Pogonomyrmex salinus) nests within a sagebrush-steppe ecosystem. We sampled 105 harvester ant nests within southern Idaho, USA, that occurred in different habitats: annual grassland, perennial grassland, and native shrubland. The influence of Owyhee harvester ants on vegetation was larger at the edge of ant nests, but the relationship was inconsistent among plant species. Percent cover was positively associated with distance from harvester ant nests for plant species that were considered undesirable food sources and were densely distributed. However, percent cover was negatively associated with distance-from-nests for patchily distributed and desirable plant species. For some plant species, there was no change in cover associated with distance-from-nests. Total vegetation cover was associated with distance-from-nests in the shrubland habitat but not in the 2 grasslands. The dominant plant species in the shrubland habitat was a densely distributed shrub (winterfat, Krascheninnikovia lanata) that was defoliated by harvester ants. Our results suggest that Owyhee harvester ants increase spatial heterogeneity in plant communities through plant clearing, but the direction and magnitude of effect will likely be contingent on the dominant vegetation groups. This information may inform future management and plant restoration efforts in sagebrush-steppe by directly considering the islands of influence associated with harvester ant engineering.

  19. Eland browsing of Grewia occidentalis in semi-arid shrubland: the influence of bush clumps

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L.H. Watson

    1999-01-01

    Full Text Available Grewia occidentalis plants in the study area generally occurred in bush clumps with other shrub species. Grewia occidentalis commonly occurred with Diospyros austro-africana, Rhus longispina and Rhus pollens (nurse shrubs, but seldom with Acacia kar-roo and Lycium cinereum (non-nurse shrubs. Eland browsed G. occidentalis plants at higher levels than other shrub species, but browsing was not evenly spread across all plants. Grewia occidentalis plants associated with nurse shrubs had lower levels of browsing than those growing alone and those growing with non-nurse shrubs, while G. occidentalis plants in the centre of nurse shrubs experienced the lowest levels of browsing. The latter group of plants also produced the most fruit. Eland browsing is consid-ered an important factor determining the distribution of G. occidentalis plants in the study area, while the presence of nurse shrubs is considered essential for the establishment and maintenance of the G. occidentalis population in the study area.

  20. Cardiotoxicity of Senna occidentalis in sheep (Ovis aries

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D.I.S. Lopes

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available The cardiotoxicity of Coffee senna (Senna occidentalis was investigated in sheep that were fed diets containing its seeds, which are recognized as the most poisonous part of such weed. Dianthrone, the main toxic component of S. occidentalis, is known to impair mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation, leading to myofiber degeneration. In this study, fifteen ewes were fed 0%, 2% or 4% of seeds of S. occidentalis for 63 days. Non-specific markers of myocyte injury and electrocardiograms were undertaken at baseline, and at 14, 35, and 63 days after the animals were first fed the diets, while histopathology of heart samples was performed at the very end of the study. Our results showed an increase in serum AST and LDH over time, while CK-MB did not change significantly. Changes that could be ascribed to myocardial damage were not documented in the electrocardiograms. Cardiac histopathology demonstrated only mild-to-moderate vacuolar degeneration, myofiber edema and disarray, structural disorganization, and cellular necrosis. In conclusion, S. occidentalis caused myocardial fiber degeneration in a dose-dependent fashion, but the electrocardiogram was not able to identify these lesions non-invasively. Because the markers of myofiber injury used in this study lack specificity, they may not be used to support cardiac impairment objectively, despite some of them did change over time.

  1. Effects of Telfairia Occidentalis Seed Oil on Female Reproductive ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    S.T Shittu

    occidentalis seed oil when compared with the control group (p < 0.05). The results of this study ... where ugu is not consumed in daily meal due to its ..... Conservation studies of. Telfairia .... reducing fat mass: a meta-analysis in humans. Am.

  2. Food items and general condition of Hyperopisus bebe occidentalis ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    GREG

    Key words: Food items, Hyperopisus bebe occidentalis, Warri River, condition factor. INTRODUCTION ... as supplement in aquaculture (Malami et al., 2004). Sufficient ... length; hence, the formula was logarithmically transformed for the purpose of ..... River, Nigeria part 11: Seasonal trend in physiochemical limnology. Trop.

  3. New glycosides of acetophenone derivatives and phenylpropanoids from Juniperus occidentalis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Inatomi, Yuka; Murata, Hiroko; Inada, Akira; Nakanishi, Tsutomu; Lang, Frank A; Murata, Jin; Iinuma, Munekazu

    2013-04-01

    New glycosides of seven acetophenone derivatives (1-7) and two phenylpropanoids (8, 9), named juniperosides III-XI, have been isolated from the MeOH extract of the leaves and stems of Juniperus occidentalis Hook. (Cupressaceae), together with eleven other known compounds. The structures of these compounds have been successfully elucidated using a variety of spectroscopic techniques.

  4. effect of oral administration of aqueous extract of cassia occidentalis ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    DR. AMINU

    Bayero Journal of Pure and Applied Sciences, 3(1): 183 - 187 ... Department of Biochemistry, Bayero University, P.M.B. 3011, Kano, Nigeria. .... Indiscriminate usage of C. occidentalis seeds in treatment ... rats were allowed free access to normal feed and drinking ... in the flame, thus moving to a higher energy state and.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tatiana P Flanagan

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

  6. Ant Farm

    OpenAIRE

    2012-01-01

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

  7. Occurrence and abundance of ants, reptiles, and mammals: Chapter 7

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-01-01

    Sagebrush (Artemisia spp.)- associated wildlife are threatened by habitat loss and fragmentation and by impacts associated with anthropogenic disturbances, including energy development. Understanding how species of concern as well as other wildlife including insects, reptiles, and mammals respond to type and spatial scale of disturbance is critical to managing future land uses and identifying sites that are important for conservation. We developed statistical models to describe species occurrence or abundance, based on area searches in 7.29-ha survey blocks, across the Wyoming Basins Ecoregional Assessment (WBEA) area for six shrub steppe-associated species: harvester ant (Pogonomyrmex spp.), thatch ant (Formica spp.), short-horned lizard (Phrynosoma hernandesi), white-tailed jackrabbit (Lepus townsendii), cottontail (Sylvilagus spp.) and least chipmunk (Tamius minimus). We modeled patterns in occupancy or abundance relative to multi-scale measures of vegetation type and pattern, abiotic site characteristics, and anthropogenic disturbance factors. Sagebrush habitat was a strong predictor of occurrence for shorthorned lizards and white-tailed jackrabbits, but weak for the other four species. Vegetation and abiotic characteristics were strong determinants of species occurrence, although the scale of response was not consistent among species. All species, with the exception of the short-horned lizard, responded to anthropogenic disturbance, although responses again varied as a function of scale and direction (negative and positive influences). Our results improve our understanding of how environmental and anthropogenic factors affect species distributions across the WBEA area and facilitate a multi-species approach to management of this sagebrush ecosystem.

  8. Phytotoxic potential of Senna occidentalis and Senna obtusifolia = Potencial fitotóxico de Senna occidentalis e Senna obtusifolia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marize Terezinha Lopes Pereira Peres

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available This work aimed to investigate the phytotoxic potential of the aerial and underground parts of Senna occidentalis and S. obtusifolia on the germination and initial growth of lettuce and onion. Four concentrations were used of each ethanol extract (0, 250, 500 and 1000 mg L-1, with four replications of 50 seeds. From the investigated species, the aerial part of S. occidentalis interfered in onion germination and the aerial part of S. obtusifolia interfered in the germinations of lettuce and onion. The ethanol extract from the aerial and underground parts of the studied species inhibited the root growth of lettuce and onion. The hypocotyl/coleoptile growth in lettuce and onion was inhibited by the extract of S. obtusifolia aerial part and the underground part of S. occidentalis and S. obtusifolia. The results obtained make it possible to infer that the studied species contain substances that influence the germination and growth of the target seedlings.O objetivo do presente trabalho foi investigar o potencial fitotóxico das partes aérea e subterrânea de Senna occidentalis e S. obtusifolia sobre a germinação e o crescimento inicial de alface e cebola.Utilizaram-se quatro concentrações de cada extrato etanólico (0, 250, 500 e 1000 mg L-1, com quatro repetições de 50 sementes. Das espécies investigadas, a parte aérea de S. occidentalis interferiu na germinação de cebola e a parte aérea de S. obtusifolia, na germinação de alface e cebola. O extrato etanólico da parte aérea e subterrânea, das espécies em estudo, inibiu o crescimento da raiz de alface e de cebola. O crescimento do hipocótilo/coleóptilo de alface e cebola foi inibido pelo extrato da parte aérea de S. obtusifolia e da subterrânea de S. occidentalis e S. obtusifolia. Os resultados obtidos permitem inferir que as espécies em estudo contêm substâncias que influenciam a germinação e o crescimento das plântulas-alvo.

  9. Analysis of the salivary gland transcriptome of Frankliniella occidentalis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Candice A Stafford-Banks

    Full Text Available Saliva is known to play a crucial role in insect feeding behavior and virus transmission. Currently, little is known about the salivary glands and saliva of thrips, despite the fact that Frankliniella occidentalis (Pergande (the western flower thrips is a serious pest due to its destructive feeding, wide host range, and transmission of tospoviruses. As a first step towards characterizing thrips salivary gland functions, we sequenced the transcriptome of the primary salivary glands of F. occidentalis using short read sequencing (Illumina technology. A de novo-assembled transcriptome revealed 31,392 high quality contigs with an average size of 605 bp. A total of 12,166 contigs had significant BLASTx or tBLASTx hits (E≤1.0E-6 to known proteins, whereas a high percentage (61.24% of contigs had no apparent protein or nucleotide hits. Comparison of the F. occidentalis salivary gland transcriptome (sialotranscriptome against a published F. occidentalis full body transcriptome assembled from Roche-454 reads revealed several contigs with putative annotations associated with salivary gland functions. KEGG pathway analysis of the sialotranscriptome revealed that the majority (18 out of the top 20 predicted KEGG pathways of the salivary gland contig sequences match proteins involved in metabolism. We identified several genes likely to be involved in detoxification and inhibition of plant defense responses including aldehyde dehydrogenase, metalloprotease, glucose oxidase, glucose dehydrogenase, and regucalcin. We also identified several genes that may play a role in the extra-oral digestion of plant structural tissues including β-glucosidase and pectin lyase; and the extra-oral digestion of sugars, including α-amylase, maltase, sucrase, and α-glucosidase. This is the first analysis of a sialotranscriptome for any Thysanopteran species and it provides a foundational tool to further our understanding of how thrips interact with their plant hosts and the

  10. Mitochondrial myopathy in Senna occidentalis-seed-fed chicken.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cavaliere, M J; Calore, E E; Haraguchi, M; Górniak, S L; Dagli, M L; Raspantini, P C; Calore, N M; Weg, R

    1997-07-01

    Plants of the genus Senna (formerly Cassia) have been recognized as the cause of a natural and experimental syndrome of muscle degeneration frequently leading to death in animals. Histologically, it demonstrated skeletal and cardiac muscle necrosis, with floccular degeneration and proliferation of sarcolemmal nuclei. Recently, it was described as an experimental model of mitochondrial myopathy in hens chronically treated with Senna occidentalis. Currently, skeletal muscles of chicks intoxicated with seeds of the poisonous plant S. occidentalis were studied by histochemistry and electron microscopy. Since birth, the birds were fed ground dried seeds of this plant with a regular chicken ration at a dose of 4% for 11 days. Microscopic examination revealed, besides muscle-fiber atrophy, lipid storage in most fibers and a moderate amount of cytochrome oxidase-negative fibers. By electron microscopy, enlarged mitochondria with disrupted or excessively branched cristae were seen. This picture was characteristic of mitochondrial myopathy. These findings have hitherto remained unnoticed in skeletal muscle of young birds treated with S. occidentalis.

  11. Susceptibility of Biomphalaria amazonica and Biomphalaria occidentalis from Manso Dam, Mato Grosso, Brazil to infection with three strains of Schistosoma mansoni

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Monica Ammon Fernandez

    2006-10-01

    Full Text Available As well as malaria and yellow fever, schistosomiasis is one of the main endemic diseases associated to environments which suffered some impact related to the development of great economic projects, as for example the construction of hydroelectric power stations. Aiming to investigate the occurrence and distribution of freshwater snails of medical and veterinary importance in the area which suffered impact from the Manso hydroelectric power station a survey was performed during the period of 2002 to 2003 and revealed the occurrence of populations of Biomphalaria amazonica and Biomphalaria occidentalis. Studies on parasite-mollusc compatibility were undertaken using five B. amazonica colonies (Barão de Melgaço, Poconé, Santo Antônio do Leverger, and Chapada dos Guimarães, in the Manso and Casca rivers, and four B. occidentalis colonies (Cuiabá, Santo Antônio do Leverger, and Chapada dos Guimarães, in the Água Fria district and Casca river were exposed to miracidia of Schistosoma mansoni. Of 257 snails of B. amazonica used, 17 became infected (infection index of 6.61% and all specimens of B. occidentalis proved unsusceptible. According to the strains used, of the 158 snails exposed to BH miracidia, 6 became infected (3.79%; of the 44 exposed to SJ miracidia, 6 became infected (13.63%; and of the 55 snails of B. amazonica exposed to EC miracidia, 5 became infected (9.09%. These results point out the low possibility of introduction of schistosomiasis in those areas, but we believe it can not be discarded as due the presence of B. amazonica.

  12. Harvester ant colony variation in foraging activity and response to humidity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gordon, Deborah M; Dektar, Katherine N; Pinter-Wollman, Noa

    2013-01-01

    Collective behavior is produced by interactions among individuals. Differences among groups in individual response to interactions can lead to ecologically important variation among groups in collective behavior. Here we examine variation among colonies in the foraging behavior of the harvester ant, Pogonomyrmex barbatus. Previous work shows how colonies regulate foraging in response to food availability and desiccation costs: the rate at which outgoing foragers leave the nest depends on the rate at which foragers return with food. To examine how colonies vary in response to humidity and in foraging rate, we performed field experiments that manipulated forager return rate in 94 trials with 17 colonies over 3 years. We found that the effect of returning foragers on the rate of outgoing foragers increases with humidity. There are consistent differences among colonies in foraging activity that persist from year to year.

  13. Harvester ant colony variation in foraging activity and response to humidity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Deborah M Gordon

    Full Text Available Collective behavior is produced by interactions among individuals. Differences among groups in individual response to interactions can lead to ecologically important variation among groups in collective behavior. Here we examine variation among colonies in the foraging behavior of the harvester ant, Pogonomyrmex barbatus. Previous work shows how colonies regulate foraging in response to food availability and desiccation costs: the rate at which outgoing foragers leave the nest depends on the rate at which foragers return with food. To examine how colonies vary in response to humidity and in foraging rate, we performed field experiments that manipulated forager return rate in 94 trials with 17 colonies over 3 years. We found that the effect of returning foragers on the rate of outgoing foragers increases with humidity. There are consistent differences among colonies in foraging activity that persist from year to year.

  14. Colony variation in the collective regulation of foraging by harvester ants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guetz, Adam; Greene, Michael J.; Holmes, Susan

    2011-01-01

    This study investigates variation in collective behavior in a natural population of colonies of the harvester ant, Pogonomyrmex barbatus. Harvester ant colonies regulate foraging activity to adjust to current food availability; the rate at which inactive foragers leave the nest on the next trip depends on the rate at which successful foragers return with food. This study investigates differences among colonies in foraging activity and how these differences are associated with variation among colonies in the regulation of foraging. Colonies differ in the baseline rate at which patrollers leave the nest, without stimulation from returning ants. This baseline rate predicts a colony's foraging activity, suggesting there is a colony-specific activity level that influences how quickly any ant leaves the nest. When a colony's foraging activity is high, the colony is more likely to regulate foraging. Moreover, colonies differ in the propensity to adjust the rate of outgoing foragers to the rate of forager return. Naturally occurring variation in the regulation of foraging may lead to variation in colony survival and reproductive success. PMID:22479133

  15. Colony variation in the collective regulation of foraging by harvester ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gordon, Deborah M; Guetz, Adam; Greene, Michael J; Holmes, Susan

    2011-03-01

    This study investigates variation in collective behavior in a natural population of colonies of the harvester ant, Pogonomyrmex barbatus. Harvester ant colonies regulate foraging activity to adjust to current food availability; the rate at which inactive foragers leave the nest on the next trip depends on the rate at which successful foragers return with food. This study investigates differences among colonies in foraging activity and how these differences are associated with variation among colonies in the regulation of foraging. Colonies differ in the baseline rate at which patrollers leave the nest, without stimulation from returning ants. This baseline rate predicts a colony's foraging activity, suggesting there is a colony-specific activity level that influences how quickly any ant leaves the nest. When a colony's foraging activity is high, the colony is more likely to regulate foraging. Moreover, colonies differ in the propensity to adjust the rate of outgoing foragers to the rate of forager return. Naturally occurring variation in the regulation of foraging may lead to variation in colony survival and reproductive success.

  16. The Ants Have It!

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daugherty, Belinda

    2001-01-01

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

  17. The Ants Have It!

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daugherty, Belinda

    2001-01-01

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

  18. Population dynamics of the California Spotted Owl (Strix occidentalis occidentalis): a meta-analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Franklin, A.B.; Gutierrez, R.J.; Nichols, J.D.; Seamans, M.E.; White, Gary C.; Zimmerman, G.S.; Hines, J.E.; Munton, T.E.; LaHaye, W.S.; Blakesley, J.A.; Steger, G.N.; Noon, B.R.; Shaw, D.W.H.; Keane, J.J.; McDonald, T.L.; Britting, S.

    2004-01-01

    We conducted a meta-analysis to provide a current assessment of the population characteristics of California Spotted Owls (Strix occidentalis occidentalis) resident on four study areas in the Sierra Nevada and one study area in southern California. Our meta-analysis followed rigorous a priori analysis protocols, which we derived through extensive discussion during a week-long analysis workshop. Because there is great interest in the owl?s population status, we used state-of-the-art analytical methods to obtain results as precise as possible. Our meta-analysis included data from five California study areas located on the Lassen National Forest (1990-2000), Eldorado National Forest (1986-2000), Sierra National Forest (1990-2000), Sequoia and Kings Canyon national parks (1990-2000), and San Bernardino National Forest (1987-1998). Four of the five study areas spanned the length of the Sierra Nevada, whereas the fifth study area encompassed the San Bernardino Mountains in southern California. Study areas ranged in size from 343 km2 (Sequoia and Kings Canyon) to 2,200 km (Lassen). All studies were designed to use capture-recapture methods and analysis. We used survival in a meta-analysis because field methods were very similar among studies. However, we did not use reproduction in a meta-analysis because it was not clear if variation among individual study-area protocols used to assess reproductive output of owls would confound results. Thus, we analyzed fecundity only by individual study area. We examined population trend using the reparameterized Jolly-Seber capture-recapture estimator (8t) We did not estimate juvenile survival rates because of estimation problems and potential bias because of juvenile emigration from study areas. We used mark-recapture estimators under an information theoretic framework to assess apparent survival rates of adult owls. The pooled estimate for adult apparent survival for the five study areas was 0.833, which was lower than pooled adult

  19. Fire Ant Allergy

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Treatments ▸ Library ▸ Allergy Library ▸ Fire ant allergy Share | Fire Ant Allergy This article has been reviewed by Thanai Pongdee, MD, FAAAAI Fire ants are a stinging insect typically found in ...

  20. 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 ...

  1. Comparison and examination of Bombus occidentalis and Bombus impatiens (Hymenoptera: Apidae) in tomato greenhouses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whittington, Robin; Winston, Mark L

    2004-08-01

    Experiments were conducted in commercial tomato, Lycopersicon esculentum Miller (Solanaceae), greenhouses to compare the relative foraging effort of two bumble bee species, Bombus occidentalis Greene and Bombus impatiens Cresson, to examine interspecific competition between B. occidentalis and B. impatiens, and to determine whether bumble bee colonies grew to their full population potential in commercial tomato greenhouses. B. impatiens colonies had more brood and workers and made more foraging trips per hour than B. occidentalis colonies. However, B. impatiens returned to the colony without pollen loads and left their colonies without dropping off their pollen loads more frequently than B. occidentalis greenhouse colonies. Our data also suggest that the presence of B. impatiens had a detrimental effect on B. occidentalis populations. Furthermore, B. occidentalis colonies did not grow to their full population potential in tomato greenhouses, with fewer workers in greenhouse colonies than in colonies placed outside in a natural environment, or in colonies that were physically enclosed and protected from external mortality. Together, this study suggests that B. impatiens is a better pollinator than B. occidentalis. It also shows that unknown factors are limiting the size of B. occidentalis colonies in tomato greenhouses.

  2. RNA interference tools for the western flower thrips, Frankliniella occidentalis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Badillo-Vargas, Ismael E; Rotenberg, Dorith; Schneweis, Brandi A; Whitfield, Anna E

    2015-05-01

    The insect order Thysanoptera is exclusively comprised of small insects commonly known as thrips. The western flower thrips, Frankliniella occidentalis, is an economically important pest amongst thysanopterans due to extensive feeding damage and tospovirus transmission to hundreds of plant species worldwide. Geographically-distinct populations of F. occidentalis have developed resistance against many types of traditional chemical insecticides, and as such, management of thrips and tospoviruses are a persistent challenge in agriculture. Molecular methods for defining the role(s) of specific genes in thrips-tospovirus interactions and for assessing their potential as gene targets in thrips management strategies is currently lacking. The goal of this work was to develop an RNA interference (RNAi) tool that enables functional genomic assays and to evaluate RNAi for its potential as a biologically-based approach for controlling F. occidentalis. Using a microinjection system, we delivered double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) directly to the hemocoel of female thrips to target the vacuolar ATP synthase subunit B (V-ATPase-B) gene of F. occidentalis. Gene expression analysis using real-time quantitative reverse transcriptase-PCR (qRT-PCR) revealed significant reductions of V-ATPase-B transcripts at 2 and 3 days post-injection (dpi) with dsRNA of V-ATPase-B compared to injection with dsRNA of GFP. Furthermore, the effect of knockdown of the V-ATPase-B gene in females at these two time points was mirrored by the decreased abundance of V-ATPase-B protein as determined by quantitative analysis of Western blots. Reduction in V-ATPase-B expression in thrips resulted in increased female mortality and reduced fertility, i.e., number of viable offspring produced. Survivorship decreased significantly by six dpi compared to the dsRNA-GFP control group, which continued decreasing significantly until the end of the bioassay. Surviving female thrips injected with dsRNA-V-ATPase-B produced

  3. New fossil ants in French Cretaceous amber (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perrichot, Vincent; Nel, André; Néraudeau, Didier; Lacau, Sébastien; Guyot, Thierry

    2008-02-01

    Recent studies on the ant phylogeny are mainly based on the molecular analyses of extant subfamilies and do not include the extinct, only Cretaceous subfamily Sphecomyrminae. However, the latter is of major importance for ant relationships, as it is considered the most basal subfamily. Therefore, each new discovery of a Mesozoic ant is of high interest for improving our understanding of their early history and basal relationships. In this paper, a new sphecomyrmine ant, allied to the Burmese amber genus Haidomyrmex, is described from mid-Cretaceous amber of France as Haidomyrmodes mammuthus gen. and sp. n. The diagnosis of the tribe Haidomyrmecini is emended based on the new type material, which includes a gyne (alate female) and two incomplete workers. The genus Sphecomyrmodes, hitherto known by a single species from Burmese amber, is also reported and a new species described as S. occidentalis sp. n. after two workers remarkably preserved in a single piece of Early Cenomanian French amber. The new fossils provide additional information on early ant diversity and relationships and demonstrate that the monophyly of the Sphecomyrminae, as currently defined, is still weakly supported.

  4. Mercury in Pelecanus occidentalis of the Cispata bay, Colombia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Saudith Burgos N.

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Objective. Assessment the total concentration of mercury in the liver and feathers of Pelecanus occidentalis of the Cispata bay, Colombia. Materials and methods. Mercury concentrations in liver and feather of Pelecanus occidentalis residents in the Cispata bay – Colombia were evaluated by digestion with an acidic mixture of H2SO4–HNO3 and KMnO4 to eliminate organic matter. The concentration of mercury was determined by the Atomic Absorption - Cold Vapor method (CVAAS. Results. Total mercury levels found in this study were higher in feathers (0.31-9.17 mgHg/kg than in the liver (0.63–6.29 mgHg/kg, being higher than those reported in other seabirds studies. Conclusions. The high levels of total mercury in feathers and liver can be explained by the feeding habits of the organisms under study, showing the utility of feathers as a potential non-invasive tool for the monitoring of the ecosystem and thereby preventing the sacrifice of specimens.

  5. Contamination and browning in tissue culture of Platanus occidentalis L.

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Tao Feng-jie; Zhang Zhi-yi; Zhou Jun; Yao Na; Wang Dong-mei

    2007-01-01

    Twigs of 2-3-year-old Platanus occidentalis L. were used as experimental material to find the causes for the contamination and browning in the initial stages of tissue cultures. To compare the degree of browning of explants picked off from different growing seasons,the experimental material was excised from trees on each of the first ten days in January, March,May and July,2006. The results indicated that the contamination and browning rates of the material cut off in January (14. 2% and 30. 6%. respectively)and March were somewhat lower than those in July. The pretreatment of soaking the explants in different anti-oxidants and absorbents at the same time could diminish some side effects. The pretreatment of using 10 g·L-1 vitamin C reduced the contamination and browning rate effectively. An orthogonal experiment showed that the optimal factor and level arrangement is 0. 5 mg·L-1 BA,2. 0 g·L-1 active carbon and 1. 5 g·L-1 PVP which resulted in a browning rate of only 16. 5%. In general,sampling period,physical properties and pretreatment of explants are the main factors responsible for the contamination and browning of material in the initial stages of P. occidentalis tissue cultures.

  6. Effects of inorganic lead on Western fence lizards (Sceloporus occidentalis)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Salice, Christopher J., E-mail: chris.salice@ttu.ed [US Army Center for Health Promotion and Preventive Medicine, Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD 21010 (United States); Suski, Jamie G., E-mail: jamie.suski@ttu.ed [US Army Center for Health Promotion and Preventive Medicine, Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD 21010 (United States); Bazar, Matthew A., E-mail: matthew.bazar@us.army.mi [US Army Center for Health Promotion and Preventive Medicine, Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD 21010 (United States); Talent, Larry G., E-mail: larry.talent@okstate.ed [Oklahoma State University, Department of Natural Resource Ecology and Management, Stillwater, OK 74078 (United States)

    2009-12-15

    Although anthropogenic pollutants are thought to threaten reptilian species, there are few toxicity studies on reptiles. We evaluated the toxicity of Pb as lead acetate to the Western fence lizard (Sceloporus occidentalis). The acute lethal dose and sub-acute (14-day) toxicity studies were used to narrow exposure concentrations for a sub-chronic (60-day) study. In the sub-chronic study, adult and juvenile male lizards were dosed via gavage with 0, 1, 10 and 20 mg Pb/kg-bw/day. Mortality was limited and occurred only at the highest dose (20 mg Pb/kg-bw/d). There were statistically significant sub-lethal effects of 10 and 20 mg Pb/kg-bw/d on body weight, cricket consumption, organ weight, hematological parameters and post-dose behaviors. Of these, Pb-induced changes in body weight are most useful for ecological risk assessment because it is linked to fitness in wild lizard populations. The Western fence lizard is a useful model for reptilian toxicity studies. - The Western fence lizard, Sceloporus occidentalis, is sensitive to Pb and is a useful laboratory model for ecotoxicological testing of reptiles.

  7. Positive interactions between desert granivores: localized facilitation of harvester ants by kangaroo rats.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew J Edelman

    Full Text Available Facilitation, when one species enhances the environment or performance of another species, can be highly localized in space. While facilitation in plant communities has been intensely studied, the role of facilitation in shaping animal communities is less well understood. In the Chihuahuan Desert, both kangaroo rats and harvester ants depend on the abundant seeds of annual plants. Kangaroo rats, however, are hypothesized to facilitate harvester ants through soil disturbance and selective seed predation rather than competing with them. I used a spatially explicit approach to examine whether a positive or negative interaction exists between banner-tailed kangaroo rat (Dipodomys spectabilis mounds and rough harvester ant (Pogonomyrmex rugosus colonies. The presence of a scale-dependent interaction between mounds and colonies was tested by comparing fitted spatial point process models with and without interspecific effects. Also, the effect of proximity to a mound on colony mortality and spatial patterns of surviving colonies was examined. The spatial pattern of kangaroo rat mounds and harvester ant colonies was consistent with a positive interspecific interaction at small scales (<10 m. Mortality risk of vulnerable, recently founded harvester ant colonies was lower when located close to a kangaroo rat mound and proximity to a mound partly predicted the spatial pattern of surviving colonies. My findings support localized facilitation of harvester ants by kangaroo rats, likely mediated through ecosystem engineering and foraging effects on plant cover and composition. The scale-dependent effect of kangaroo rats on abiotic and biotic factors appears to result in greater founding and survivorship of young colonies near mounds. These results suggest that soil disturbance and foraging by rodents can have subtle impacts on the distribution and demography of other species.

  8. Positive interactions between desert granivores: localized facilitation of harvester ants by kangaroo rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edelman, Andrew J

    2012-01-01

    Facilitation, when one species enhances the environment or performance of another species, can be highly localized in space. While facilitation in plant communities has been intensely studied, the role of facilitation in shaping animal communities is less well understood. In the Chihuahuan Desert, both kangaroo rats and harvester ants depend on the abundant seeds of annual plants. Kangaroo rats, however, are hypothesized to facilitate harvester ants through soil disturbance and selective seed predation rather than competing with them. I used a spatially explicit approach to examine whether a positive or negative interaction exists between banner-tailed kangaroo rat (Dipodomys spectabilis) mounds and rough harvester ant (Pogonomyrmex rugosus) colonies. The presence of a scale-dependent interaction between mounds and colonies was tested by comparing fitted spatial point process models with and without interspecific effects. Also, the effect of proximity to a mound on colony mortality and spatial patterns of surviving colonies was examined. The spatial pattern of kangaroo rat mounds and harvester ant colonies was consistent with a positive interspecific interaction at small scales (ant colonies was lower when located close to a kangaroo rat mound and proximity to a mound partly predicted the spatial pattern of surviving colonies. My findings support localized facilitation of harvester ants by kangaroo rats, likely mediated through ecosystem engineering and foraging effects on plant cover and composition. The scale-dependent effect of kangaroo rats on abiotic and biotic factors appears to result in greater founding and survivorship of young colonies near mounds. These results suggest that soil disturbance and foraging by rodents can have subtle impacts on the distribution and demography of other species.

  9. Diversification of the ant odorant receptor gene family and positive selection on candidate cuticular hydrocarbon receptors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Engsontia, Patamarerk; Sangket, Unitsa; Robertson, Hugh M; Satasook, Chutamas

    2015-08-27

    Chemical communication plays important roles in the social behavior of ants making them one of the most successful groups of animals on earth. However, the molecular evolutionary process responsible for their chemosensory adaptation is still elusive. Recent advances in genomic studies have led to the identification of large odorant receptor (Or) gene repertoires from ant genomes providing fruitful materials for molecular evolution analysis. The aim of this study was to test the hypothesis that diversification of this gene family is involved in olfactory adaptation of each species. We annotated the Or genes from the genome sequences of two leaf-cutter ants, Acromyrmex echinatior and Atta cephalotes (385 and 376 putative functional genes, respectively). These were used, together with Or genes from Camponotus floridanus, Harpegnathos saltator, Pogonomyrmex barbatus, Linepithema humile, Cerapachys biroi, Solenopsis invicta and Apis mellifera, in molecular evolution analysis. Like the Or family in other insects, ant Or genes evolve by the birth-and-death model of gene family evolution. Large gene family expansions involving tandem gene duplications, and gene gains outnumbering losses, are observed. Codon analysis of genes in lineage-specific expansion clades revealed signatures of positive selection on the candidate cuticular hydrocarbon receptor genes (9-exon subfamily) of Cerapachys biroi, Camponotus floridanus, Acromyrmex echinatior and Atta cephalotes. Positively selected amino acid positions are primarily in transmembrane domains 3 and 6, which are hypothesized to contribute to the odor-binding pocket, presumably mediating changing ligand specificity. This study provides support for the hypothesis that some ant lineage-specific Or genes have evolved under positive selection. Newly duplicated genes particularly in the candidate cuticular hydrocarbon receptor clade that have evolved under positive selection may contribute to the highly sophisticated lineage

  10. The rewards of restraint in the collective regulation of foraging by harvester ant colonies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gordon, Deborah M

    2013-06-06

    Collective behaviour, arising from local interactions, allows groups to respond to changing conditions. Long-term studies have shown that the traits of individual mammals and birds are associated with their reproductive success, but little is known about the evolutionary ecology of collective behaviour in natural populations. An ant colony operates without central control, regulating its activity through a network of local interactions. This work shows that variation among harvester ant (Pogonomyrmex barbatus) colonies in collective response to changing conditions is related to variation in colony lifetime reproductive success in the production of offspring colonies. Desiccation costs are high for harvester ants foraging in the desert. More successful colonies tend to forage less when conditions are dry, and show relatively stable foraging activity when conditions are more humid. Restraint from foraging does not compromise a colony's long-term survival; colonies that fail to forage at all on many days survive as long, over the colony's 20-30-year lifespan, as those that forage more regularly. Sensitivity to conditions in which to reduce foraging activity may be transmissible from parent to offspring colony. These results indicate that natural selection is shaping the collective behaviour that regulates foraging activity, and that the selection pressure, related to climate, may grow stronger if the current drought in their habitat persists.

  11. Some seasonal carbohydrate fluctuations in coppiced rootstocks of Platanus occidentalis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Blum, M.R.; Steinbeck, K.

    Carbohydrate concentrations were determined in 11-year-old rootstocks of American sycamore (Platanus occidentalis) which had been coppiced on one- or two-year rotations for the preceding eight years. Sixty rootstocks were destructively sampled periodically between September 1976 and April 1977. Root starch concentrations declined erratically from 21 percent of dry weight in autumn to 14 percent by late April. Sugar levels rose from 1.5 percent in autumn to 5 percent in winter and declined to 3 percent in spring. Considerable variation in root starch levels from tree to tree was observed, and differences in starch and sugar concentrations between rootstocks coppiced on an annual or biannual basis were unimportant. These data suggest that while differences in above-ground biomass yields encountered in short rotation coppice forestry are not due to differences in rootstocks carbohydrate concentrations, the total quantity of reserve carbohydrate stored in a root system is probably a controlling factor for sprout regrowth potential.

  12. Lipids Characterization and Industrial Potentials of Pumpkin Seeds (Telfairia occidentalis and Cashew Nuts (Anacardium occidentale

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. O. Eddy

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Oil from Telfaria occidentalis and Anarcardium occidentale has been extracted and characterized. The lipid content of the Telfaria occidentalis and Anarcardium occidentalis were 58.41% and 42.15% respectively. The physicochemical parameters of Telfaria occidentalis and Anarcardium occidentale seeds were; boiling point; (58.90, 62.60 °C, melting point; (18.50, 21.80 °C, refractive index; (1.462, 1.498, specific gravity; (0.87, 0.69 saponification value; (91.16, 92.57 iodine value; (51.52, 47.20, acid value; (0.76, 3.74 ester value; (90.40, 88.87, % free fatty acid; (.38, 1.88 and peroxide value; (11.75, 15.23 respectively. Oils from these seeds were found to exhibit the needed potentials for utilization in paint and food industries and as biofuel.

  13. 红收获蚁信息素的鉴定%Identification of Recruitment Pheromones in the Harvester Ant Genus Pogonomyrmex

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    刘跃; 刘颖

    2002-01-01

    利用色谱-质谱联机技术,在红收获蚁P. barbatus和P.maricopa的毒腺体样品中检测到召引信息素甲基吡嗪(MP)、2,5-二甲基吡嗪(DMP)、3-乙基-2,5-二甲基吡嗪(EDMP)、和三甲基吡嗪(TMP).利用特征离子色谱技术,在P.barbatus样品中还检测到了含6个碳原子侧链烃基的吡嗪X.根据吡嗪X的质谱图推测其结构为3-仲丁基-2,5-二甲基吡嗪(BDMP).P.barbatus中DMP,TMP和EDMP的平均相对百分比分别为60.71、26.49、12.80;标准偏差分别为6.91、4.92、5.11;P.maricopa 中平均相对百分比和标准偏差分别为47.48、20.35、32.17和15.05、4.05、15.44.

  14. Histomorphometric studies of the effects of Telfairia occidentalis on alcohol-induced gonado-toxicity in male rats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E.N. Akang

    2015-01-01

    Conclusion: T. occidentalis attenuated the deleterious effects of alcohol to the cyto-architecture of the testis, protected the seminiferous epithelium, reduced oxidative stress and promoted spermatogenesis.

  15. Identifying robustness in the regulation of collective foraging of ant colonies using an interaction-based model with backward bifurcation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Udiani, Oyita; Pinter-Wollman, Noa; Kang, Yun

    2015-02-21

    Collective behaviors in social insect societies often emerge from simple local rules. However, little is known about how these behaviors are dynamically regulated in response to environmental changes. Here, we use a compartmental modeling approach to identify factors that allow harvester ant colonies to regulate collective foraging activity in response to their environment. We propose a set of differential equations describing the dynamics of: (1) available foragers inside the nest, (2) active foragers outside the nest, and (3) successful returning foragers, to understand how colony-specific parameters, such as baseline number of foragers, interactions among foragers, food discovery rates, successful forager return rates, and foraging duration might influence collective foraging dynamics, while maintaining functional robustness to perturbations. Our analysis indicates that the model can undergo a forward (transcritical) bifurcation or a backward bifurcation depending on colony-specific parameters. In the former case, foraging activity persists when the average number of recruits per successful returning forager is larger than one. In the latter case, the backward bifurcation creates a region of bistability in which the size and fate of foraging activity depends on the distribution of the foraging workforce among the model's compartments. We validate the model with experimental data from harvester ants (Pogonomyrmex barbatus) and perform sensitivity analysis. Our model provides insights on how simple, local interactions can achieve an emergent and robust regulatory system of collective foraging activity in ant colonies. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Larvicidal Activity of Cassia occidentalis (Linn. against the Larvae of Bancroftian Filariasis Vector Mosquito Culex quinquefasciatus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Deepak Kumar

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Background & Objectives. The plan of this work was to study the larvicidal activity of Cassia occidentalis (Linn. against the larvae of Culex quinquefasciatus. These larvae are the most significant vectors. They transmit the parasites and pathogens which cause a deadly disease like filariasis, dengue, yellow fever, malaria, Japanese encephalitis, chikungunya, and so forth, which are considered harmful towards the population in tropic and subtropical regions. Methods. The preliminary laboratory trail was undertaken to determine the efficacy of petroleum ether and N-butanol extract of dried whole plant of Cassia occidentalis (Linn. belonging to the family Caesalpiniaceae at various concentrations against the late third instar larvae of Culex quinquefasciatus by following the WHO guidelines. Results. The results suggest that 100% mortality effect of petroleum ether and N-butanol extract of Cassia occidentalis (Linn. was observed at 200 and 300 ppm (parts per million. The results obviously showed use of plants in insect control as an alternative method for minimizing the noxious effect of some pesticide compounds on the environment. Thus the extract of Cassia occidentalis (Linn. is claimed as more selective and biodegradable agent. Conclusion. This study justified that plant Cassia occidentalis (Linn. has a realistic mortality result for larvae of filarial vector. This is safe to individual and communities against mosquitoes. It is a natural weapon for mosquito control.

  17. Larvicidal Activity of Cassia occidentalis (Linn.) against the Larvae of Bancroftian Filariasis Vector Mosquito Culex quinquefasciatus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, Deepak; Chawla, Rakesh; Dhamodaram, P.; Balakrishnan, N.

    2014-01-01

    Background & Objectives. The plan of this work was to study the larvicidal activity of Cassia occidentalis (Linn.) against the larvae of Culex quinquefasciatus. These larvae are the most significant vectors. They transmit the parasites and pathogens which cause a deadly disease like filariasis, dengue, yellow fever, malaria, Japanese encephalitis, chikungunya, and so forth, which are considered harmful towards the population in tropic and subtropical regions. Methods. The preliminary laboratory trail was undertaken to determine the efficacy of petroleum ether and N-butanol extract of dried whole plant of Cassia occidentalis (Linn.) belonging to the family Caesalpiniaceae at various concentrations against the late third instar larvae of Culex quinquefasciatus by following the WHO guidelines. Results. The results suggest that 100% mortality effect of petroleum ether and N-butanol extract of Cassia occidentalis (Linn.) was observed at 200 and 300 ppm (parts per million). The results obviously showed use of plants in insect control as an alternative method for minimizing the noxious effect of some pesticide compounds on the environment. Thus the extract of Cassia occidentalis (Linn.) is claimed as more selective and biodegradable agent. Conclusion. This study justified that plant Cassia occidentalis (Linn.) has a realistic mortality result for larvae of filarial vector. This is safe to individual and communities against mosquitoes. It is a natural weapon for mosquito control. PMID:24688786

  18. Effects of Telfairia occidentalis (fluted pumpkin; Cucurbitaceae) in mouse models of convulsion, muscle relaxation, and depression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Akindele, Abidemi J; Ajao, Mutiu Y; Aigbe, Flora R; Enumah, Uchenna S

    2013-09-01

    Telfairia occidentalis (Cucurbitaceae) is a leafy vegetable used in soup and folk medicine in southern Nigeria. Ethnobotanical survey revealed that preparations of the plant are used in the treatment of central nervous system-related disorders including convulsion. This study was conducted to investigate the effect of the hydroethanolic leaf extract of T. occidentalis in mouse models of convulsion, muscle relaxation, and depression. The strychnine and isoniazid convulsion, traction and climbing muscle relaxation, and forced swim and tail suspension depression tests were used in this study. The extract was administered orally (p.o.) at dose range of 25-800 mg/kg while distilled water (10 mL/kg p.o.) served as negative control. Diazepam (5 mg/kg p.o.) was used as positive control in the convulsion and muscle relaxation models while imipramine (64 mg/kg p.o.) served the same purpose in the depression tests. T. occidentalis significantly increased the onset (Pconvulsion (P<.05, .01) in the strychnine test and increased the time to death (P<.05, .01, .001) in the isoniazid model. The extract insignificantly increased the reaction time in the traction test while it significantly increased the time in the climbing test (P<.001). In the forced swim and tail suspension models, T. occidentalis significantly (P<.001) and dose-dependently increased the duration of immobility. The results obtained in this study suggest that the hydroethanolic leaf extract of T. occidentalis possesses anticonvulsant and muscle relaxant properties, thus justifying its folkloric use.

  19. Enhanced fumigant toxicity of p-cymene against Frankliniella occidentalis by simultaneous application of elevated levels of carbon dioxide

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Janmaat, A.F.; Kogel, de W.J.; Woltering, E.J.

    2002-01-01

    The fumigant toxicity of the essential oil component p-cymene was assessed against Western Flower Thrips, Frankliniella occidentalis. F occidentalis adult females, first- and second-instar larvae and eggs were exposed for 2, 24 and 48h to combinations of three p-cymene doses and two carbon dioxide

  20. Enhanced fumigant toxicity of p-cymene against Frankliniella occidentalis by simultaneous application of elevated levels of carbon dioxide

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Janmaat, A.F.; Kogel, de W.J.; Woltering, E.J.

    2002-01-01

    The fumigant toxicity of the essential oil component p-cymene was assessed against Western Flower Thrips, Frankliniella occidentalis. F occidentalis adult females, first- and second-instar larvae and eggs were exposed for 2, 24 and 48h to combinations of three p-cymene doses and two carbon dioxide l

  1. Development of Near-Isogenic Lines in a Parthenogenetically Reproduced Thrips Species, Frankliniella occidentalis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yuan, Guangdi; Wan, Yanran; Li, Xiaoyu; He, Bingqing; Zhang, Youjun; Xu, Baoyun; Wang, Shaoli; Xie, Wen; Zhou, Xuguo; Wu, Qingjun

    2017-01-01

    Although near-isogenic lines (NILs) can standardize genetic backgrounds among individuals, it has never been applied in parthenogenetically reproduced animals. Here, through multiple rounds of backcrossing and spinosad screening, we generated spinosad resistant NILs in the western flower thrips, Frankliniella occidentalis (Pergande) (Thysanoptera: Thripidae), with a haplo-diploid reproduction system. The resultant F. occidentalis NIL-R strain maintained a resistance ratio over 30,000-fold, which was comparable to its parental resistant strain, Spin-R. More importantly, F. occidentalis NIL-R shared 98.90% genetic similarity with its susceptible parental strain Ivf03. By developing this toolset, we are able to segregate individual resistance and facilitate the mechanistic study of insecticide resistances in phloem-feeding arthropods, a group of devastating pest species reproducing sexually as well as asexually. PMID:28348528

  2. Fermentation of grain sorghum starch by co-cultivation of Schwanniomyces occidentalis and Saccharomyces cerevisiae

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Horn, C.H.; Preez, J.C. du; Kilian, S.G. (Orange Free State Univ., Bloemfontein (ZA). Dept. of Microbiology and Biochemistry)

    1992-01-01

    The amylases of a Schwanniomyces occidentalis mutant hydrolysed grain sorghum starch completely. Heat pretreatment to effect gelatinization was essential for total starch hydrolysis. Ethanol fermentations were conducted by using a stationary-phase culture of S. occidentalis in conjunction with Saccharomyces cerevisiae to ferment the sugars liberated from the grain sorghum starch by the amylases of S. occidentalis. Increasing the grain sorghum concentration from 8 to 28% (m/v) did not affect the final ethanol yield of 0.45 g ethanol/g glucose equivalents, although the fermentation rate decreased considerably at the higher slurry concentration, requiring 8 days for completion of the fermentation. A 28% grain sorghum slurry yielded 12.5% (w/v) ethanol, indicating that nearly 390 1 of ethanol could be produced per tonne grain sorghum, with about 430 kg residual biomass containing 43% crude protein. (Author).

  3. Comparative Antioxidant Activity of Water Extract of ,em>Azadiractha indica Stem Bark and Telfairia occidentalis Leaf

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C.P. Anokwuru

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available The antioxidant activity of Azadirachta indica stem bark and Telfairia occidentalis leaf aqueous extract was studied. The Total Phenolic Content (TPC was determined using folin Ciocalteu method while the Total Flavonoid Content (TFC was determined using aluminum chloride method. Antioxidant activity was determined using 2, 2-diphenyl-1-picryl hydrazine (DPPH inhibition. Telfairia occidentalis extracted more phenols (11.32g GAE/ 100g than Azadirachta indica stem bark (10.74g GAE/100g but not significantly different (p<0.05. Azadirachta indica stem bark extracted more flavonoid content (5.21g QE/100g than Telfairia occidentalis leaf (0.96g QE/100g. Azadirachta indica stem bark inhibited more free radicals (83% than Telfairia occidentalis leaf (65%. This study showed that Azadirachta indica stem bark had higher antioxidant activity compared to Telfairia occidentalis leaf.

  4. Harvester ants use interactions to regulate forager activation and availability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pinter-Wollman, Noa; Bala, Ashwin; Merrell, Andrew; Queirolo, Jovel; Stumpe, Martin C; Holmes, Susan; Gordon, Deborah M

    2013-07-01

    Social groups balance flexibility and robustness in their collective response to environmental changes using feedback between behavioural processes that operate at different timescales. Here we examine how behavioural processes operating at two timescales regulate the foraging activity of colonies of the harvester ant, Pogonomyrmex barbatus, allowing them to balance their response to food availability and predation. Previous work showed that the rate at which foragers return to the nest with food influences the rate at which foragers leave the nest. To investigate how interactions inside the nest link the rates of returning and outgoing foragers, we observed outgoing foragers inside the nest in field colonies using a novel observation method. We found that the interaction rate experienced by outgoing foragers inside the nest corresponded to forager return rate, and that the interactions of outgoing foragers were spatially clustered. Activation of a forager occurred on the timescale of seconds: a forager left the nest 3-8 s after a substantial increase in interactions with returning foragers. The availability of outgoing foragers to become activated was adjusted on the timescale of minutes: when forager return was interrupted for more than 4-5 min, available foragers waiting near the nest entrance went deeper into the nest. Thus, forager activation and forager availability both increased with the rate at which foragers returned to the nest. This process was checked by negative feedback between forager activation and forager availability. Regulation of foraging activation on the timescale of seconds provides flexibility in response to fluctuations in food abundance, whereas regulation of forager availability on the timescale of minutes provides robustness in response to sustained disturbance such as predation.

  5. Ant-nest ichnofossils in honeycomb calcretes, Neogene Ogallala Formation, High Plains region of western Kansas, U.S.A.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, J.J.; Platt, B.F.; Ludvigson, Greg A.; Thomasson, J.R.

    2011-01-01

    Two new ant-nest trace fossils are described from calcic sandy paleosols of the Neogene Ogallala Formation in western Kansas. The ichnofossils are preserved within and below calcrete beds weathering in positive relief as carbonate-filled casts or as cavities in negative relief. Daimoniobarax ichnogenus nov. is established for burrow systems composed of vertically tiered, horizontally oriented pancake-shaped chambers connected by predominantly vertical and cylindrical shafts ~. 0.8. cm in diameter. Ichnospecies of Daimoniobarax are differentiated based on differences in the plan view outline of chambers, shaft orientation, and junctions between chambers and shafts.Daimoniobarax nephroides ichnospecies nov. is composed of an ~. 24-76. cm long vertical sequence of distinctly lobed chambers (~. 2-20. cm wide and ~. 1. cm high) arranged along sinuous to helical shafts. Chamber shape in plan view ranges from small teardrops to larger kidney- and U-shaped forms. Shafts intersect at chamber edges such that chambers appear to bud from the central shafts. Daimoniobarax nephroides is most similar to the nests of extant seed-harvester ants of the New World genus Pogonomyrmex. Such ants are specialized granivores and prefer sandy soils in arid to semi-arid grassland and desert regions.Daimoniobarax tschinkeli ichnospecies nov. is ~. 30-80. cm in vertical extent. Chambers (~. 2-30. cm wide and ~. 1. cm high) are circular to elongate or pseudopodial in plan view. Vertical shafts are straight to slightly sinuous and intersect most often toward the center of the chambers. The generalized architecture of D. tschinkeli is similar to that of the nests or nest portions of several extant ant genera, though it does not closely resemble any known modern nest.Ant ichnofossils provide valuable information on hidden biodiversity, paleohydrologic regimes, paleopedogenic processes, and paleoclimate during the time of nest occupation. Depth-related changes in chamber size and vertical spacing

  6. Leptophis santamartensis (Serpentes, Colubridae), a junior synonym of Leptophis ahaetulla occidentalis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Albuquerque, Nelson R.; de Passos, Paulo; Gotte, Steve W.

    2012-01-01

    Leptophis santamartensis, known only from Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Colombia, is one of the more poorly known species of the genus Leptophis. The characters used for its diagnosis largely overlap with those of other Leptophis, mainly with Leptophis ahaetulla occidentalis, the only other Leptophis known to occur in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. A detailed comparison of L. a. occidentalis with the two known specimens of L. santamartensis leads to the conclusion that the latter should be relegated to the synonymy of the former.

  7. PHYSICO-CHEMICAL AND PRELIMINARY PHYTOCHEMICAL INVESTIGATION OF THUJA OCCIDENTALIS LINN. (CUPRESSACEAE DRIED LEAVES

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    Bhan Meenu

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available Thuja occidentalis is a monoecious coniferous plant having a wide variety of medicinal value. It has hepatoprotective, anti-oxidant, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-cancer, anti-diabetic activity etc. In the present paper, T. occidentalis leaves has been standardized on the basis of organoleptic, physical and physico-chemical characteristics. Methanolic and hydro-alcoholic extracts have been prepared by microwave assisted extraction technique and subjected to preliminary phytochemical screening and thin layer chromatography (TLC. TLC fingerprinting profile has been obtained using different solvent systems.

  8. AN APPRAISAL ON PHARMACOGNOSY, PHYTOCHEMISTRY AND BIOACTIVITY OF THUJA OCCIDENTALIS LINN. (CUPRESSACEAE

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    Anju Dhiman

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Thuja occidentalis Linn. (Cupressaceae has been widely used for many ailments in the traditional system like hepatoprotection, anti-oxidant, anti-diabetic, anti-arthritic, anti-microbial, anti-cancer etc. because of its medicinal properties. In the nineteenth century, Thuja was commonly used as an externally applied tincture or ointment for the treatment of warts, ringworm and thrush, and a local injection of the tincture was used for treating venereal warts. The present paper summarizes a concise detail about pharmacognostic, phytohemistry and bioactivities of T. occidentalis Linn.

  9. Successful treatment of verruca vulgaris with Thuja occidentalis in a renal allograft recipient

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    R Joseph

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Human papillomavirus-driven verruca vulgaris infection is common in solid organ transplant recipients and increases the risk for squamous cell carcinoma. The available treatment modalities have limited response. We report a renal allograft recipient who presented with multiple warts not responding to cryotherapy and radiosurgery with one turning malignant, needing amputation of the finger. An extract from Thuja occidentalis (White cedar tree cured the resistant warts on the other fingers, leaving only superficial scars and without affecting allograft function. We have reviewed the pharmacological and clinical properties of T. occidentalis.

  10. 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

  11. Riding with the ants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  12. Riding with the ants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-11-01

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

  14. Florida harvester ant nest architecture, nest relocation and soil carbon dioxide gradients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tschinkel, Walter R

    2013-01-01

    Colonies of the Florida harvester ant, Pogonomyrmex badius, excavate species-typical subterranean nests up the 3 m deep with characteristic vertical distribution of chamber area/shape, spacing between levels and vertical arrangement of the ants by age and brood stage. Colonies excavate and occupy a new nest about once a year, and doing so requires that they have information about the depth below ground. Careful excavation and mapping of vacated and new nests revealed that there was no significant difference between the old and new nests in any measure of nest size, shape or arrangement. Colonies essentially built a replicate of the just-vacated nest (although details differed), and they did so in less than a week. The reason for nest relocation is not apparent. Tschinkel noted that the vertical distribution of chamber area, worker age and brood type was strongly correlated to the soil carbon dioxide gradient, and proposed that this gradient serves as a template for nest excavation and vertical distribution. To test this hypothesis, the carbon dioxide gradient of colonies that were just beginning to excavate a new nest was eliminated by boring 6 vent holes around the forming nest, allowing the soil CO2 to diffuse into the atmosphere and eliminating the gradient. Sadly, neither the nest architecture nor the vertical ant distribution of vented nests differed from either unvented control or from their own vacated nest. In a stronger test, workers excavated a new nest under a reversed carbon dioxide gradient (high concentration near the surface, low below). Even under these conditions, the new and old nests did not differ significantly, showing that the soil carbon dioxide gradient does not serve as a template for nest construction or vertical worker distribution. The possible importance of soil CO2 gradients for soil-dwelling animals is discussed.

  15. Structure of salvioccidentalin, a diterpenoid with a rearranged neo-clerodane skeleton from Salvia occidentalis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jaime-Vasconcelos, Miguel Ángel; Frontana-Uribe, Bernardo Antonio; Morales-Serna, José Antonio; Salmón, Manuel; Cárdenas, Jorge

    2011-10-31

    From the aerial parts of Salvia occidentalis (Labiatae) a new diterpenoid with a rearranged neo-clerodane skeleton was isolated. This new compound was named salvioccidentalin and its structure was established by spectroscopic means. A probable biogenetic relationship with salvigenolide from S. fulgens and salvileucalin A and spiroleucantholide from Salvia leucantha is proposed.

  16. Structure of Salvioccidentalin, a Diterpenoid with a Rearranged neo-Clerodane Skeleton from Salvia occidentalis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jorge Cárdenas

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available From the aerial parts of Salvia occidentalis (Labiatae a new diterpenoid with a rearranged neo-clerodane skeleton was isolated. This new compound was named salvioccidentalin and its structure was established by spectroscopic means. A probable biogenetic relationship with salvigenolide from S. fulgens and salvileucalin A and spiroleucantholide from Salvia leucantha is proposed.

  17. Structure of Salvioccidentalin, a Diterpenoid with a Rearranged neo-Clerodane Skeleton from Salvia occidentalis

    OpenAIRE

    Jorge Cárdenas; José Antonio Morales-Serna; Bernardo Antonio Frontana-Uribe; Manuel Salmón; Miguel Ángel Jaime-Vasconcelos

    2011-01-01

    From the aerial parts of Salvia occidentalis (Labiatae) a new diterpenoid with a rearranged neo-clerodane skeleton was isolated. This new compound was named salvioccidentalin and its structure was established by spectroscopic means. A probable biogenetic relationship with salvigenolide from S. fulgens and salvileucalin A and spiroleucantholide from Salvia leucantha is proposed.

  18. Effects of cysteine protease inhibitors on oviposition rate of the western flower thrips, Frankliniella occidentalis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Annadana, S.; Peters, J.; Jongsma, M.A.

    2002-01-01

    Proteolytic activity in whole insect extracts of the western flower thrips, Frankliniella occidentalis, was found to belong predominantly to the class of cysteine proteases. The pH optimum of the general proteolytic activity was determined to be 3.5, which is low when compared to other insects using

  19. Biological control potential of Colletotrichum gloeosporioides for coffee senna (Cassia occidentalis)

    Science.gov (United States)

    A fungal pathogen, Colletotrichum gloeosporioides was isolated from a greenhouse-grown seedling of coffee senna (Cassia occidentalis) and evaluated as a mycoherbicide for that weed. Host range tests revealed that coffee senna, wild senna (C. pilosa),and sicklepod (C. obtusifolia) were also affected...

  20. The effects of Ostertagia occidentalis somatic antigens on ovine TLR2 and TLR4 expression

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    Hassan BORJI

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Background: Recognition of helminth-derived pathogen associated molecular patterns (PAMPs by pattern recognition receptors (PRRs, including toll like recep­tors (TLRs is the first step towards initiating anti–helminth immune re­sponses.Methods: Using somatic antigens of Ostertagia occidentalis, an important abomasal parasite of ruminants, the expression of ovine TLR2 and TLR4 in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs was analyzed by real-time quatitative reverse-transcrip­tion polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR. Somatic antigens of O. occidentalis were prepared to stimulate ovine PBMCs in a time and dose dependent manner.Results: A high expression of TLR2 and TLR4 was observed in PBMCs cultured with somatic antigens of the parasites specially when PBMCs were cultured with 100 µg/ml of somatic antigens and incubated for 2h. Up-regulation of TLR2 expres­sion was more pronounced and evident in our study.Conclsusion: Somatic antigens of O. occidentalis have immunostimulatory and domi­nant role on peripheral immune cells. This study provide for the first time evidence of induction of TLRs in ovine PBMCs by somatic antigen of O. occidentalis

  1. Study of Calamus occidentalis J.R. Witono & J. Dransf. Species Commercial Values and Possible Utilization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    JASNI

    2004-07-01

    Full Text Available The selection of appropriate rattan for a certain use must be based on adequate information about its potency, anatomical structure, and chemical properties. Standards methods of inventory development by Curtis method was used to obtain data on its density and frequency. To know the anatomical structure of preparation were made according to Schultze method and microtome preparation according to Staining Paraffin Section with Safranin. While to know the chemical component of rattan stem the analyzed by Standard Industry Indonesia procedures. Calamus occidentalis is one among other Java rattan species which its distribution is limited in the area of Ujung Kulon National Park, West Java. C. occidentalis may be utilized for various purposes based on the following characteristics: species density of 21 cane/ha; and anatomical structure: fiber length of 2204 m, fiber-wall thickness of 4.26 m, vascular bundle diameter of 812.5 m, metaxylem diameter of 293.75 m, proxylem diameter of 43.5 m, and phloem diameter of 37.5 m. Its chemical components are cellulose (49.95%, lignin (22.39%, and air-dry moisture (12.27%. Based on the above information, C. occidentalis rattan species possibly can be used as an alternative substitute of Calamus manan, an endangered rattan species, because several properties of C. occidentalis has similar with that of C. manan.

  2. Fitness Trade-Off Associated With Spinosad Resistance in Frankliniella occidentalis (Thysanoptera: Thripidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Xiaoyu; Wan, Yanran; Yuan, Guangdi; Hussain, Sabir; Xu, Baoyun; Xie, Wen; Wang, Shaoli; Zhang, Youjun; Wu, Qingjun

    2017-08-01

    Frankliniella occidentalis (Pergande) is an economically important pest of agricultural crops. High resistance has been detected in field populations of F. occidentalis against the insecticide spinosad. In this study, we compared life history traits, body sizes, and feeding behaviors (recorded via an electrical penetration graph) of spinosad-susceptible (Ivf03) and spinosad-resistant (NIL-R) near-isogenic lines of F. occidentalis. Life table analysis showed that NIL-R had reduced female longevity and reduced fecundity. The relative fitness of NIL-R (0.43) was less than half that of Ivf03. NIL-R individuals were smaller than Ivf03 individuals, both in body length and body width at every stage. The number and duration of feeding activities were significantly reduced in NIL-R, with the exception of total duration of long-ingestion probes. These results suggest that there is a fitness trade-off associated with spinosad resistance in F. occidentalis, and that the development of resistance in this pest species may be reduced by rotating spinosad with other pesticides lacking cross-resistance. © The Authors 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  3. Performance and phenology of wild black raspberry (Rubus occidentalis L.) germplasm in a common garden

    Science.gov (United States)

    A lack of genetic diversity in cultivated black raspberry (Rubus occidentalis L.) germplasm has been widely recognized as a major factor limiting progress towards breeding improved cultivars. Despite this, little effort has been made since the early twentieth century to systematically collect and ev...

  4. De invasieve Noord-Amerikaanse wants Leptoglossus occidentalis bereikt ook Nederland (Heteroptera: Coreidae).

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Aukema, B.

    2008-01-01

    The North American bug Leptoglossus occidentalis Heidemann, 1910 is recorded from the Netherlands for the first time. All specimens were observed in or near potential overwintering sites far away from suitable breeding sites and mainly in coastal areas, suggesting large distance dispersal.

  5. Irrigation and nitrogen use efficiency of Thuja occidentalis grown on sandy soils

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pronk, A.A.

    2004-01-01

    A combined conifer growth - soil water and nitrogen balance model was calibrated to simulate dry mass production and partitioning, water and nitrogen demand and nitrogen losses for Thuja occidentalis grown for two years on a sandy soil. Light interception was successfully described by the row-of-cub

  6. Growth and Transmission of Gut Bacteria in the Western Flower Thrips Frankliniella occidentalis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Vries, E.J.; Jacobs, G.; Breeuwer, J.A.J.

    2001-01-01

    The Western flower thrips (Frankliniella occidentalis), a polyphagous insect with global distribution, has a permanent association with a near Erwinia species TAC bacterium in its hindgut. Since this bacterium is able to grow outside the thrips, it is a facultative symbiont that is not completely

  7. The first mesozoic ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1967-09-01

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

  8. Effect of heat shock on the susceptibility ofFrankliniella occidentalis (Thysanoptera:Thripidae) to insecticides

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ZHANG Bin; ZUO Tai-qiang; LI Hong-gang; SUN Li-juan; WANG Si-fang; ZHENG Chang-ying; WAN Fang-hao

    2016-01-01

    Currently, insecticides are considered as the primary approach for controling western lfower thrips,Frankliniela occidentalis (Pergande) (Thysanoptera: Thripidae). However, the heavy use of insecticides resulted in high insect resistance and serious environmental polution. Given its characteristics of ease of operation and environmental friendliness, insect control using high temperature is receiving considerable renewed research interest. However, although the combination of insecticides and high temperature to controlF. occidentalis has been studied before, few studies have focused on the short-term effect of such treatment. In a laboratory study,F. occidentalis adults and second-instar nymphs were exposed to 45°C for 2 h. Then, their susceptibility to acetamiprid, spinosad, methomyl, and beta-cypermethrin was tested after different periods of recovery time (2–36 h). Additionaly, the speciifc activity of three detoxiifcation enzymes (esterase, glutathioneS-trans-ferase, and cytochrome p450 (CYP) monooxygenase) of the treated insects was determined. The results indicated that the lfuctuation of susceptibility to insecticides and detoxiifcation enzyme activity duringF. occidentalis recovery from heat shock are related. Furthermore, several recovery time points (2, 30, and 36 h) of signiifcant susceptibility to four tested insecticides compared with the control were found during the treatment of adults that were heat-shocked. Recovery time points of higher susceptibility compared with the control depended on different insecticides during the second-instar nymph recovery from heat shock. Interestingly, the lfuctuation of CYP monooxygenase activity exhibited a trend that was similar to the lfuctuation of susceptibility to insecticides (especialy spinosad) during the recovery from heat shock of adults. In addition, the glutathioneS-transferase and CYP monooxygenase activity trend was similar to the trend of susceptibility to spinosad during the recovery from heat

  9. Field techniques for sampling ants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ants occur in most environments and ecologists ask a diverse array of questions involving ants. Thus, a key consideration in ant studies is to match the environment and question (and associated environmental variables) to the ant sampling technique. Since each technique has distinct limitations, usi...

  10. Sick ants become unsociable.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-02-01

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

  11. Development of an Aerial Breeding Pair Survey of Dusky Canada Geese (Branta canadensis occidentalis) on the Copper River Delta, Alaska

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — The dusky Canada goose (Branta canadensis occidentalis) population has declined for several years (Cornely and Jarvis 1984 Cornely et al. 1985; Campbell 1984, 1988;...

  12. Hypoglycemic potential of alcoholic root extract of Cassia occidentalis Linn. in streptozotocin induced diabetes in albino mice

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    Surbhi Sharma

    2014-12-01

    Conclusion: The results suggest that ethanolic roots extract of C. occidentalis Linn. possesses hypoglycemic potential for the NIDDM and support the traditional use of the roots of plant as hypoglycemic agent.

  13. Comparative Antioxidant Activity of Water Extract of ,em>Azadiractha indica Stem Bark and Telfairia occidentalis Leaf

    OpenAIRE

    C.P. Anokwuru; O. Ajibaye; A. Adesuyi

    2011-01-01

    The antioxidant activity of Azadirachta indica stem bark and Telfairia occidentalis leaf aqueous extract was studied. The Total Phenolic Content (TPC) was determined using folin Ciocalteu method while the Total Flavonoid Content (TFC) was determined using aluminum chloride method. Antioxidant activity was determined using 2, 2-diphenyl-1-picryl hydrazine (DPPH) inhibition. Telfairia occidentalis extracted more phenols (11.32g GAE/ 100g) than Azadirachta indica stem bark (10.74g GAE/100g) but ...

  14. Aspectos étnicos, biológicos e químicos de Senna occidentalis (Fabaceae

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    T. M. KANEKO

    2009-08-01

    Full Text Available Senna occidentalis (sin. Cassia occidentalis é um arbusto perene nativo da América do Sul e distribuída em regiões tropicais ao redor do mundo, frequentemente contaminando pastos e culturas de cereais. Inúmeros estudos demonstraram que esta planta é tóxica para animais. Na medicina popular, tribos americanas, africanas e indianas usam preparações da S. occidentalis como tônico, estomáquico, febrífugo, laxante e antimicrobiano. Diversas propriedades biológicas da espécie já foram comprovadas, tais como a antibacteriana, antifúngica, antimalárica, antitumoral e hepatoprotetora. As análises fitoquímicas evidenciaram que as antraquinonas, os flavonóides e outros derivados fenólicos são os seus principais constituintes. Esta revisão apresenta dados etnofarmacológicos, químicos e biológicos publicados na literatura sobre S. occidentalis. Palavras-chave: Senna occidentalis. Cassia occidentalis. Fabaceae. Leguminosae. Caesalpinioideae. Fedegoso.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Beatriz E. NOBUA BEHRMANN

    2010-01-01

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

  16. Record dynamics in ants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas O Richardson

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

  17. Evaluation of in vitro biological properties of Senna occidentalis (L. Link

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    Márcia Lombardo

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Senna species have been widely used by American, African and Indian ethic groups mainly in the treatment of feebleness, constipation, liver disorders and skin infections. Senna occidentalis (L. Link is a perennial shrub native to South America and indigenous to tropical regions throughout the world. Current study evaluated the antimicrobial activity of aqueous and hydroalcoholic extracts from S. occidentalis prepared from different parts of the plant. Antimicrobial activity was assessed against standard pharmaceutical microorganisms by spectrophotometry and microdilution technique. Escherichia coli was sensitive only to compounds extracted from seeds which may be proteinaceous. A broader antimicrobial spectrum was demonstrated by the hydroalcoholic extract of seeds, mostly against Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The in vitro toxicity using mouse fibroblasts indicated that the extract might be a biocompatible ingredient for topical formulations, while the hydroalcoholic extract of aerial parts demonstrated to be potentially cytotoxic.

  18. Senna leaf curl virus: a novel begomovirus identified in Senna occidentalis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, Jitesh; Alok, Anshu; Kumar, Jitendra; Tuli, Rakesh

    2016-09-01

    Begomoviruses are whitefly-transmitted, single-stranded DNA viruses that infect a variety of cultivated (crop) and non-cultivated (weed) plants. The present study identified a novel begomovirus and satellites (alpha- and betasatellite) in Senna occidentalis (syn. Cassia occidentalis) showing leaf curl symptoms. The begomovirus shared a maximum sequence identity of 88.6 % with french bean leaf curl virus (JQ866297), whereas the alphasatellite and the betasatellite shared identities of 98 % and 90 % with ageratum yellow vein India alphasatellite (LK054802) and papaya leaf curl betasatellite (HM143906), respectively. No other begomovirus or satellites were detected in the suspected plants. We propose to name the virus "senna leaf curl virus" (SenLCuV).

  19. Phagocytosis of sperm by follicle cells of the carnivorous sponge Asbestopluma occidentalis (Porifera, Demospongiae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riesgo, Ana

    2010-06-01

    During spermatogenesis of the carnivorous sponge Asbestopluma occidentalis, follicle cells that lined the spermatocysts phagocytosed unreleased mature sperm. Such follicle cells are part of the complex envelope that limits spermatocysts of A. occidentalis, which is also comprised of a collagen layer, a thick layer of intertwined cells, and spicules. Follicle cells showed vesicles containing single phagocytosed spermatozoa within their cytoplasm. Additionally, lipids and other inclusions were observed within the cytoplasm of follicle cells. It is likely that follicle cells recapture nutrients by phagocytosing spermatozoa and use them to form lipids and other inclusions. Such sperm phagocytosis is usually performed in higher invertebrates and vertebrates by Sertoli cells that are located in the testis wall. While Sertoli cells develop a wide range of functions such as creating a blood-testis barrier, providing crucial factors to ensure correct progression of spermatogenesis, and phagocytosis of aberrant, degenerating, and unreleased sperm cells, sponge follicle cells may only display phagocytotic activity on spermatogenic cells.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  1. Nicotiana Occidentalis Chloroplast Ultrastructure imaged with Transmission Electron Microscopes Working at Different Accelerating Voltages

    OpenAIRE

    SVIDENSKÁ, Silvie

    2010-01-01

    The main goal of this thesis is to study and compare electron microscopy images of Nicotiana Occidentalis chloroplasts, obtained from two types of transmission electron microscopes,which work with different accelerating voltage of 80kV and 5kV. The two instruments, TEM JEOL 1010 and low voltage electron microscope LVEM5 are employed for experiments. In the first theoretical part, principle of electron microscopy and chloroplast morphology is described. In experimental part, electron microscop...

  2. Germination of Senna Occidentalis link: seed at different osmotic potential levels

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    Delachiave Maria Elena Aparecida

    2003-01-01

    Full Text Available The objective of this research was to study the effect of osmotic potential and salinity on the germination of seeds of Senna occidentalis, with and without a change of solutions. The percentage and rates of germination decreased according to decrease of potential, being more drastic when the substitutions of solutions were not made. The largest reductions were observed with the PEG solutions, with and without substitutions.

  3. Constrained body shape among highly genetically divergent allopatric lineages of the supralittoral isopod Ligia occidentalis (Oniscidea).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santamaria, Carlos A; Mateos, Mariana; DeWitt, Thomas J; Hurtado, Luis A

    2016-03-01

    Multiple highly divergent lineages have been identified within Ligia occidentalis sensu lato, a rocky supralittoral isopod distributed along a ~3000 km latitudinal gradient that encompasses several proposed marine biogeographic provinces and ecoregions in the eastern Pacific. Highly divergent lineages have nonoverlapping geographic distributions, with distributional limits that generally correspond with sharp environmental changes. Crossbreeding experiments suggest postmating reproductive barriers exist among some of them, and surveys of mitochondrial and nuclear gene markers do not show evidence of hybridization. Populations are highly isolated, some of which appear to be very small; thus, the effects of drift are expected to reduce the efficiency of selection. Large genetic divergences among lineages, marked environmental differences in their ranges, reproductive isolation, and/or high isolation of populations may have resulted in morphological differences in L. occidentalis, not detected yet by traditional taxonomy. We used landmark-based geometric morphometric analyses to test for differences in body shape among highly divergent lineages of L. occidentalis, and among populations within these lineages. We analyzed a total of 492 individuals from 53 coastal localities from the southern California Bight to Central Mexico, including the Gulf of California. We conducted discriminant function analyses (DFAs) on body shape morphometrics to assess morphological variation among genetically differentiated lineages and their populations. We also tested for associations between phylogeny and morphological variation, and whether genetic divergence is correlated to multivariate morphological divergence. We detected significant differences in body shape among highly divergent lineages, and among populations within these lineages. Nonetheless, neither lineages nor populations can be discriminated on the basis of body shape, because correct classification rates of cross

  4. Evaluation of Cassia occidentalis for in vitro cytotoxicity against human cancer cell lines and antibacterial activity

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    Bhagat Madhulika

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Objective : To evaluate the in vitro cytotoxicity and antibacterial properties of Cassia occidentalis (whole plant via alcoholic, hydro-alcoholic, and aqueous extracts against eight human cancer cell lines from six different tissues and four bacterial strains. Material and Methods : In vitro cytotoxicity against the human cancer cells, cultured for 48h in presence of different concentrations C. occidentalis extracts and percentage of cell viability, was evaluated using the sulforhodamine-B (SRB assay. The antibacterial activity was performed using the standard protocol against bacterial strains. Results : It was observed that aqueous extract of C. occidentalis (whole plant had more potential than hydro-alcoholic and alcoholic extracts against HCT-15, SW-620, PC-3, MCF-7, SiHa, and OVCAR-5 human cancer cell lines at 100, 30, and 10 μg/ml in a dose-dependent manner. The hydro-alcoholic extract showed potential against Bacillus subtillis. Conclusion : The plant can be explored for the possible development of lead molecules for drug discovery.

  5. Blood parasites in Owls with conservation implications for the Spotted Owl (Strix occidentalis)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ishak, H.D.; Dumbacher, J.P.; Anderson, N.L.; Keane, J.J.; Valkiunas, G.; Haig, S.M.; Tell, L.A.; Sehgal, R.N.M.

    2008-01-01

    The three subspecies of Spotted Owl (Northern, Strix occidentalis courina; California, S. o. occidentalis; and Mexican, S. o. lucida) are all threatened by habitat loss and range expansion of the Barred Owl (S. varia). An unaddressed threat is whether Barred Owls could be a source of novel strains of disease such as avian malaria (Plasmodium spp.) or other blood parasites potentially harmful for Spotted Owls. Although Barred Owls commonly harbor Plasmodium infections, these parasites have not been documented in the Spotted Owl. We screened 111 Spotted Owls, 44 Barred Owls, and 387 owls of nine other species for haemosporidian parasites (Leucocytozoon, Plasmodium, and Haemoproteus spp.). California Spotted Owls had the greatest number of simultaneous multi-species infections (44%). Additionally, sequencing results revealed that the Northern and California Spotted Owl subspecies together had the highest number of Leucocytozoon parasite lineages (n=17) and unique lineages (n=12). This high level of sequence diversity is significant because only one leucocytozoon species (L. danilewskyi) has been accepted as valid among all owls, suggesting that L. danilewskyi is a cryptic species. Furthermore, a Plasmodium parasite was documented in a Northern Spotted Owl for the first time. West Coast Barred Owls had a lower prevalence of infection (15%) when compared to sympatric Spotted Owls (S. o. caurina 52%, S. o. occidentalis 79%) and Barred Owls from the historic range (61%). Consequently, Barred Owls on the West Coast may have a competitive advantage over the potentially immune compromised Spotted Owls. ?? 2008 Ishak et al.

  6. Pro-inflammatory cytokines and nitric oxide inhibitory constituents from Cassia occidentalis roots.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patel, Neeraj K; Pulipaka, Sravani; Dubey, Shashi P; Bhutani, Kamlesh K

    2014-05-01

    The anti-inflammatory and cytotoxic activity of thirty-six extracts of nine Indian medicinal plants were determined by measuring the inhibition of production of nitric oxide (NO), interleukin 1beta (IL-1beta) and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha) in lipopolysaccharide (LPS) stimulated RAW 264.7 cells. Their cytotoxic activity against macrophages was determined by MTT assay. The ethyl acetate (EtOAc) extract of Cassia occidentalis L. (roots) (IC50 = 21.3 to 43.1 microg/mL) and Mimosa pudica (whole plant) (1C50= 31.7 to 47.2 microg/mL) and the dichloromethane (DCM) extract of Leucas cephalotes (whole plant) (IC50 = 46.8 to 49.3 microg/mL) exhibited significant anti-inflammatory activity by in vitro inhibition of the production of TNF-alpha, IL-1beta and NO in LPS stimulated RAW 264.7 cells. Furthermore, the five compounds isolated from the ethyl acetate extract of Cassia occidentalis roots were found to suppress LPS-induced IL-1beta, TNF-alpha and NO production in a concentration-dependent manner in these cells at 1C50 values ranging from 22.5 to 97.4 microM. Emodin and chrysophanol were also found active in inhibiting pro-inflammatory cytokines in vivo. These findings justify an ethnopharmacological use of C occidentalis roots as an effective herbal remedy for the treatment and prevention of inflammation and associated ailments.

  7. Muscle atrophy induced in broiler chicks by parts of Senna occidentalis seeds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haraguchi, M; Calore, E E; Dagli, M L; Cavaliere, M J; Calore, N M; Weg, R; Raspantini, P C; Górniak, S L

    1998-06-01

    Senna occidentalis (formerly Cassia occidentalis) is a common contaminant of agricultural commodities. It is toxic to cattle and poultry, reportedly being responsible for skeletal myodegeneration in these animals. All parts of the plant present toxicity, but the seeds are the most toxic. The toxin(s) responsible for the myodegeneration have not been definitively identified, nor is it known which part of the seeds is most toxic. Intoxication by this plant leads to weight loss with considerable economic repercussions. The effects of the whole seed and of parts of S. occidentalis seeds (1% in commercial feed) were compared on the pectoralis major muscle of broiler chicks intoxicated from birth until 22 days of life. There were severe clinical signals and reduced body weight in birds that received the external tegment of the seed, whereas no adverse effects were observed in birds that received the whole seed or other parts of the seed. Histological and morphometric studies showed an intense muscle fibre atrophy (both type 1 and type 2 fibres were affected) in the group that received 1% external tegment. This study may be the first step to identifying the substance(s) involved in this pathological process.

  8. NOVEL INVESTIGATIONS ON THUJA OCCIDENTALIS EXTRACT ON RABBIT HEMATOLOGICAL AND BIOCHEMICAL PARAMETERS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mansoor Ahmad

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available Thuja occidentalis (family: Cupressaceae has been used as antiseptic, expectorant, diuretic and in the treatment of cancer and removal of kidney stones in different systems of medicine. The present studies were carried out on T. occidentalis leaves extract to evaluate the hematological and biochemical effects on rabbits. The animals were divided in to control (A and B and treated (C and D male and female groups (n=5. There was a slight decrease in Hemoglobin, Red blood cell count and Hematocrit/Packed cell volume values, while a significant increase in platelet count was observed in male and female treated groups. However, slight increase in total leukocyte count value in male treated group and decrease count with female treated group was also observed. Urea, Creatine phospho kinase, Creatine phospho kinase iso-enzyme, Direct Bilirubin, Gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase, Cholesterol and Albumin/Globulin ratio values were elevated in male treated group. While Phosphorus, Uric acid, Lactate dehydrogenase, Serum glutamic oxaloacetic transaminase, serum glutamic-pyruvic transaminase, Alkaline Phosphatase, Cholesterol, Triglycerides, High density lipoprotein, Low density lipoprotein, Very-low-density lipoprotein, Globulin and Blood Glucose values were found low. In female treated group almost same results were observed like male treated group except that hypoglycemic effect was more pronounced in female treated group. These findings suggested that when results of hematological and biochemical parameters of test groups (C & D were compared with their respective controls (A & B, significant changes were observed which contributes towards the diversified therapeutic effect of T. occidentalis.

  9. Resistance of Biomphalaria occidentalis from Varzea das Flores dam, Minas Gerais, to Schistosoma mansoni infection detected by low stringency polymerase chain reaction

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    Cecilia Pereira de Souza

    2001-04-01

    Full Text Available Biomphalaria occidentalis Paraense, 1981 from Varzea das Flores dam, MG, Brazil, was exposed to infection with Schistosoma mansoni. Individual infection was performed with 140 B. occidentalis and 100 B. glabrata snails using LE and SJ strains. Two groups of B. occidentalis were killed after seven day-miracidia exposure to detect S. mansoni DNA, through the low stringency polymerase chain reaction (LS-PCR, and were negative. The infection rates were 69.2% (LE strain and 96.7% (SJ strain for B. glabrata and 0% for B. occidentalis. LS-PCR enabled early resistance diagnosis.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. Sick ants become unsociable

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bos, Nicky Peter Maria; Lefevre, T.; Jensen, A.B.

    2012-01-01

    Parasites represent a severe threat to social insects, which form high-density colonies of related individuals, and selection should favour host traits that reduce infection risk. Here, using a carpenter ant (Camponotus aethiops) and a generalist insect pathogenic fungus (Metarhizium brunneum), w...

  13. ANT i arbejdslivsforskningen

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    2012-01-01

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

  14. Tiny, Powerful, Awesome Ants!

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tate, Kathleen

    2007-01-01

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

  15. The Dynamics of Foraging Ants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baxter, G. William

    2009-03-01

    We experimentally study the foraging of small black ants, Formicinae lasius flavus, in order to describe their foraging behavior mathematically. Individual ants are allowed to forage on a two-dimensional surface in the absence of any food sources. The position of the ant as a function of time is determined using a high-resolution digital camera. Analysis of the average square displacements of many ants suggests that the foraging strategy is a non-reversing random walk. Moreover, the ants do not retrace their steps to return home but instead continue the random walk until it brings them back near their starting point.

  16. Ineficiência da Thuja occidentalis no tratamento dos poxvirus aviários Thuja occidentalis ineficiency in avian poxviruses treatment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thaís Castelo Branco Chaves

    2006-08-01

    Full Text Available Medicações à base de Tuia (Thuja occidentalis são comuns em tratamentos homeopáticos e fitoterápicos, na medicina humana e veterinária. Suas propriedades imunoestimulantes e antivirais são descritas e sua utilização empírica no tratamento das poxviroses aviárias é recomendada por criadores e veterinários. Para avaliar o potencial terapêutico da Tuia sobre estas infecções, dois grupos (controle e teste de dez aves jovens foram inoculados por escarificação, com uma amostra de campo de poxvírus aviário. As aves inoculadas foram examinadas diariamente, quanto ao início e evolução das lesões, registrando-se o número e tamanho destas, até a cicatrização. Após o surgimento das lesões, o grupo teste recebeu a tintura alcoólica diluída na água de consumo. A análise experimental indicou que, nas condições empregadas, a utilização da Tuia não favoreceu a regressão ou restrição no desenvolvimento das lesões de pele promovidas pela infecção experimental.Arbor Vitae (Thuja occidentalis is widely used in homoeopathic and phytotherapic treatments,either for human or for animals. Its immunestimulating and antiviral properties have been described and its empiric use in the treatment of the avian poxvirosis is recommended by animal breeders and veterinarians. To evaluate the therapeutic potential of Arbor Vitae in these infections, two groups (control and test of 10 young birds were inoculated by scarification with a field sample of avian poxvirus. When lesions were first observed the test group received the Arbor Vitae alcoholic extract diluted in the drinking water. The birds were examined daily, from the beginning and evolution of the lesions to the healing. The results indicated that, in our experimental conditions, the use of T. occidentalis did not favor the regression or restriction in the development of the skin lesions promoted by the experimental infection.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ethel Fernandes de Oliveira Peternelli

    2004-10-01

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

  18. "Ant-egg" cataract revisited

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  19. Comparative biology and pesticide susceptibility of Amblydromella caudiglans and Galendromus occidentalis as spider mite predators in apple orchards.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmidt-Jeffris, Rebecca A; Beers, Elizabeth H

    2015-09-01

    The successful integrated mite management program for Washington apples was based on conservation of the mite predator Galendromus occidentalis (Nesbitt). In the 1960s, this mite was assumed to be the only phytoseiid in Washington commercial apple orchards, due to its preference for the most common mite pest of that period, Tetranychus mcdanieli McGregor, as well as its resistance to organophosphate pesticides. A recent survey of phytoseiids in Washington apple found that another phytoseiid, Amblydromella caudiglans (Schuster) has become common. It is a more generalized predator than G. occidentalis (it is not a Tetranychus spp. specialist) and is not known to be organophosphate-resistant. A series of experiments was conducted to compare the life history, prey consumption, and pesticide tolerance of these two species. Galendromus occidentalis developed more quickly than A. caudiglans, but had slightly lower egg survival. Although A. caudiglans attacked more Tetranychus urticae Koch eggs than G. occidentalis, it could not reproduce on this diet. Both predators performed equally well on a diet of T. urticae protonymphs. Unlike G. occidentalis, A. caudiglans experienced significant mortality when exposed to carbaryl, azinphosmethyl, and bifenazate. Both predators experienced significant mortality due to imidacloprid and spinetoram. These results highlight the key differences between these two predators; the shift away from organophosphate use as well as the change in dominant mite pest to Panonychus ulmi (Koch) may be driving factors for the observed increased abundance of A. caudiglans in Washington apple.

  20. Genetic differentiation and inferred dynamics of a hybrid zone between Northern Spotted Owls (Strix occidentalis caurina) and California Spotted Owls (S. o. occidentalis) in northern California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Mark P.; Mullins, Tom; Forsman, Eric D.; Haig, Susan M.

    2017-01-01

    Genetic differentiation among Spotted Owl (Strix occidentalis) subspecies has been established in prior studies. These investigations also provided evidence for introgression and hybridization among taxa but were limited by a lack of samples from geographic regions where subspecies came into close contact. We analyzed new sets of samples from Northern Spotted Owls (NSO: S. o. caurina) and California Spotted Owls (CSO: S. o. occidentalis) in northern California using mitochondrial DNA sequences (mtDNA) and 10 nuclear microsatellite loci to obtain a clearer depiction of genetic differentiation and hybridization in the region. Our analyses revealed that a NSO population close to the northern edge of the CSO range in northern California (the NSO Contact Zone population) is highly differentiated relative to other NSO populations throughout the remainder of their range. Phylogenetic analyses identified a unique lineage of mtDNA in the NSO Contact Zone, and Bayesian clustering analyses of the microsatellite data identified the Contact Zone as a third distinct population that is differentiated from CSO and NSO found in the remainder of the subspecies' range. Hybridization between NSO and CSO was readily detected in the NSO Contact Zone, with over 50% of individuals showing evidence of hybrid ancestry. Hybridization was also identified among 14% of CSO samples, which were dispersed across the subspecies' range in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The asymmetry of hybridization suggested that the hybrid zone may be dynamic and moving. Although evidence of hybridization existed, we identified no F1 generation hybrid individuals. We instead found evidence for F2 or backcrossed individuals among our samples. The absence of F1 hybrids may indicate that (1) our 10 microsatellites were unable to distinguish hybrid types, (2) primary interactions between subspecies are occurring elsewhere on the landscape, or (3) dispersal between the subspecies' ranges is reduced relative to

  1. Ante la ley

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kafka Franz

    1999-12-01

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

  2. Distributed nestmate recognition in ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Esponda, Fernando; Gordon, Deborah M

    2015-05-07

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

  3. Genetic structure, introgression, and a narrow hybrid zone between northern and California spotted owls (Strix occidentalis).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barrowclough, G F; Groth, J G; Mertz, L A; Gutiérrez, R J

    2005-04-01

    The northern spotted owl (Strix occidentalis caurina) is a threatened subspecies and the California spotted owl (Strix occidentalis occidentalis) is a subspecies of special concern in the western United States. Concern for their continued viability has arisen because of habitat loss caused by timber harvesting. The taxonomic status of the northern subspecies has been the subject of continuing controversy. We investigated the phylogeographical and population genetic structure of northern and California spotted owls with special reference to their region of contact. Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) control region sequences confirmed the existence of two well-differentiated lineages connected by a narrow hybrid zone in a region of low population density in north central California. Maximum-likelihood estimates indicated bidirectional gene flow between the lineages but limited introgression outside the region of contact. The lengths of both the mtDNA hybrid zone and the reduced density patch were similar and slightly exceeded estimates of natal dispersal distances. This suggests that the two subspecies were in secondary contact in a hybrid zone trapped by a population density trough. Consequently, the zone of interaction is expected to be geographically stable. We discovered a third, rare clade of haplotypes, which we interpreted to be a result of incomplete lineage sorting; those haplotypes result in a paraphyletic northern spotted owl with respect to the California spotted owl. A congeneric species, the barred owl (Strix varia), occasionally hybridizes with spotted owls; our results indicated an upper bound for the frequency of barred owl mtDNA haplotypes in northern spotted owl populations of 3%.

  4. Sublethal Effects of Beauveria bassiana (Ascomycota: Hypocreales) on Life Table Parameters of Frankliniella occidentalis (Thysanoptera: Thripidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Tao; Reitz, Stuart R; Wang, Haihong; Lei, Zhongren

    2015-06-01

    We assessed effects of parental exposure to Beauveria bassiana on life history traits of subsequent generations of western flower thrips, Frankliniella occidentalis (Pergande) (Thysanoptera: Thripidae). Progeny from individuals that survived fungal exposure as second instars had significantly shorter egg stages, but longer prepupal development times than corresponding untreated controls. However, survivorship to adulthood of these progeny groups did not differ. Although fecundities of the parental types did not differ, the sex ratio of progeny from fungal-treated parents was male-biased, whereas sex ratio of progeny from untreated control parents was even. We calculated life table parameters for the progeny and found that all parameters, except for generation time, were significantly less for the progeny of fungal-treated parents than for progeny of untreated parents. The intrinsic rate of increase, finite rate of increase, net reproductive rate, mean generation time, and gross reproductive rate were 0.199 d(-1), 1.229 d(-1), 21.84, 15.48 d, and 27.273, respectively, for progeny of treated thrips, and 0.266 d(-1), 1.316 d(-1), 52.540, 14.92 d, and 70.64, respectively, for progeny of control thrips. Consequently, population projections demonstrated that offspring of parents exposed to B. bassiana would increase their population more slowly than those from untreated parents. These results demonstrate that B. bassiana has sublethal effects that reduce the reproductive success of F. occidentalis and these effects should be taken into account when evaluating its use in management programs for F. occidentalis.

  5. "Ant-egg" cataract revisited.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clemmensen, Kåre; Enghild, Jan J; Ivarsen, Anders; Riise, Ruth; Vorum, Henrik; Heegaard, Steffen

    2017-01-01

    Hereditary congenital cataract varies immensely concerning location and form of the lens opacities. A specific and very rare phenotype is called "ant-egg" cataract first described in 1900. "Ant-eggs" have previously been examined using light microscopy, backscattered electron imaging and X-ray scans and electron microscopy. The purpose of this study was to further characterize "ant-egg" cataract using modern technology and display the history of the "ant-eggs" after cataract extraction. "Ant-eggs" were examined using Heidelberg SPECTRALIS Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT)(Heidelberg Engineering, Heidelberg, Germany). Ten "ant-eggs" were extracted; four of these as well as control tissue were analyzed by mass spectrometry (AB Sciex). Proteins were identified and their approximate abundances were determined. Immunohistochemical staining was carried out on the remaining "ant-eggs" for cytokeratin and S100. In anterior OCT-images, the "ant-egg" structures are localized on the iris. Comparative pictures showed that they stayed in the same location for more than 45 years. Mass spectrometry of "ant-eggs" yielded a proteome of 56 different proteins. Eighteen of the 56 "ant-egg" proteins (32 %) were neither present in our controls nor in a known fetal lens proteome. Among these were cytokeratin and Matrix-Gla protein. Immunohistochemical reactions were positive for cytokeratin and S100. This study demonstrates the previously unknown protein composition of the "ant-egg" structures in "ant-egg" cataract. Eighteen of these proteins are not natively found in the human lens. Moreover, "ant-eggs" do not vary over time, after cataract extraction, regarding size and location.

  6. Phytochemical screening and acute toxicity evaluation of Telfairia occidentalis aqueous extracts on rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anthony, Ogbonnaya Enyinnaya; Ojeifo, Uadia Patrick

    2016-05-01

    The phytochemical composition and acute toxicity of Telfairia occidentalis aqueous extracts were investigated in this study. Phytochemical screening was carried out on the pulverized leaf, root, pod and stem samples. Proximate analysis was also conducted for the root to ascertain the effect of drying procedures on its composition. Fifty-six (56) Wister albino rats, male and female were divided into two broad groups of 28 animals per group. The first group was randomly separated into seven (7) groups of four (4) animals per group. The control group received distilled water alone while the other groups received varied doses (1500mg/kg, 2250mg/kg and 3000mg/kg) of the Soluble and Insoluble Tefairia occidentalis root fraction. The second group of 28 animals was also distributed into 7 groups of 4 animals per group. Six test groups received varied doses (1500mg/kg, 2250mg/kg and 3000mg/kg) of Telfairia occidentalis fruit and stem extracts. The animals were observed for the first 12hr for any toxic symptoms and for 48 hr for mortality rate. Surviving animals were sacrificed after 48 hours. Phytochemical screening results reveal the presence of tannins, flavonoid, steroid, terpenoids, saponin, alkaloid, glycosides, proteins and carbohydrates. Flavonoid and saponin was not detected in stem sample; alkaloid is present in all samples except pod; and cyanogenic glycoside was found in both root and pod samples. Except for the fibre content, the method of preparation of the root had no significant effect on the proximate composition of the sample. The root extracts cause insignificant reduction in Alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and Aspartate aminotransferase (AST) activities, except for the significant reduction in ALT activity at highest dose. The pod extract significantly increased the ALT and AST activities, which is dose dependent, while the stem extract only caused increased activity of ALT, but not AST. None of the extracts administered had any significant effect on the

  7. Rubus occidentalis: The black raspberry--its potential in the prevention of cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kula, Marta; Krauze-Baranowska, Mirosława

    2016-01-01

    Rubus occidentalis is a black-fruited raspberry originating from North America. Its popularity and demand has been growing over the years, as studies outline its high anthocyanin and ellagitannin content and significance for human health. Interaction between chemical composition and pharmacological activity, mechanisms of action at cellular and molecular levels are all active areas of study. The vast majority of research concerning black raspberries is focused on chemoprevention and anticancer effects. This review summarizes the data on chemical composition and anticancer activity of black raspberry fruits throughout the years.

  8. Botanical and genetic characteristics of Celtis australis L. and Celtis occidentalis L. grown in Egypt

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    Taha Shahat M.A. El-Alfy

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Celtis australis L. and Celtis occidentalis L. are deciduous ornamental trees, grown in Egypt. This study presents a comparative investigation of the botanical features of the stems, stem barks and leaves of both plants. Furthermore, the DNA of both plants was extracted from leaf samples and analyzed using 10 decamer random primers. A total of 159 random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD markers were identified. Seed protein profiling was also performed and revealed low variation in both plants’ SDS–PAGE profiles.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-05-01

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

  10. Notes on the breeding ecology and conservation of snowy plovers Charadrius nivosus occidentalis in Paracas, Peru

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    Clemens Küpper

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available The snowy plover is a shorebird endemic to the Americas. It consists of three subspecies. In South America the subspecies occidentalis is found along the coast of the Pacific ocean. Although breeding behaviour,population demography and reproductive success are well established in North America, little is known about these ecological parameters for occidentalis snowy plovers. In October 2008 we studied breeding ecology of snowy plovers in the National Reserve Paracas, Ica, Peru. Snowy plovers were found at all nine sandy beaches and coastal wetlands visited. Based on counts we estimate the population in Paracas to consist of a minimum of 500 snowy plovers. Evidence for breeding activity was found at six of nine sites. Most breeding activity was observed at Playón/Mendieta, surrounding a temporal salt lagoon. Two nests and ten families were found in the entire reserve. In total 24 chicks, eight males and seven females were captured and marked. Families were tended by both parents. Twenty-one of the chicks had perished by the end of the study. During the intense study period none of the marked chicks reached the fledgling age of 25 days and only one chick was confirmed to have fledged during a subsequent visit. Our observations highlight threads during the snowy plover reproduc- tive period that need to be addressed through conservation management and we suggest direct actions to counter the threads identified.

  11. Cloning, sequencing and expression of the Schwanniomyces occidentalis NADP-dependent glutamate dehydrogenase gene.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Zoysa, P A; Connerton, I F; Watson, D C; Johnston, J R

    1991-08-01

    The cloned NADP-specific glutamate dehydrogenase (GDH) genes of Aspergillus nidulans (gdhA) and Neurospora crassa (am) have been shown to hybridize under reduced stringency conditions to genomic sequences of the yeast Schwanniomyces occidentalis. Using 5' and 3' gene-specific probes, a unique 5.1 kb BclI restriction fragment that encompasses the entire Schwanniomyces sequence has been identified. A recombinant clone bearing the unique BclI fragment has been isolated from a pool of enriched clones in the yeast/E. coli shuttle vector pWH5 by colony hybridization. The identity of the plasmid clone was confirmed by functional complementation of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae gdh-1 mutation. The nucleotide sequence of the Schw. occidentalis GDH gene, which consists of 1380 nucleotides in a continuous reading frame of 459 amino acids, has been determined. The predicted amino acid sequence shows considerable homology with GDH proteins from other fungi and significant homology with all other available GDH sequences.

  12. Anti-allergic, anti-inflammatory and anti-lipidperoxidant effects of Cassia occidentalis Linn.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sreejith, G; Latha, P G; Shine, V J; Anuja, G I; Suja, S R; Sini, S; Shyama, S; Pradeep, S; Shikha, P; Rajasekharan, S

    2010-05-01

    Cassia occidentalis Linn. mast cell degranulation at a dose of 250 mg/kg, showed dose dependent stabilizing activity towards human RBC, with is widely used in traditional medicine of India to treat a number of clinical conditions including allergy and inflammatory manifestations. In the present study anti-allergic, anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties of C. occidentalis whole plant ethanolic extract (CO) was investigated. Effects of CO on rat mast cell degranulation inhibition and human red blood cell (HRBC) membrane stabilization were studied in vitro following standard methods. The anti lipidperoxidant effects of CO were also studied in vitro. Effect of CO on carrageenan-induced mouse paw oedema inhibition was also assessed. CO significantly decreased maximum protection of 80.8% at 15 microg/ml. The extract also caused significant reduction in malondialdehyde (MDA) levels of murine hepatic microsomes at 100 microg/ml (56%) and significantly reduced carrageenan induced inflammation in mice at a dose of 250 mg/kg. Results of the present study indicated that CO inhibited mast cell degranulation, stabilized HRBC membrane thereby alleviating immediate hypersensitivity besides showing anti oxidant activity.

  13. Cloning and characterization of cinnamate-4-hydroxylase gene from Rubus occidentalis L

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lee, Eun Mi; Lee, Seung Sik; An, Byung Chull; Barampuram, Shyamkuma; Kim, Jae Sung; Chung, Byung Yeoup [Advanced Radiation Technology Institute, Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute, Jeongeup (Korea, Republic of); Cho, Jae Young [Dept. of Applied Life Sciences, Chonbuk National University, Jeonju (Korea, Republic of); Lee, In Chul [Senior Industry Cluster Agency, Youngdong University, Youngdong (Korea, Republic of)

    2008-08-15

    Cinnamate-4-hydroxylase (C4H) is a key enzyme of phenylpropanoid pathway, which leads a variety of secondary metabolites to participate in differentiation and protection of plant against environmental stresses. In this study, we isolated a full-length cDNA of the C4H gene from a black raspberry (Rubus occidentalis L.), using a reverse transcriptase-PCR and rapid amplification of the cDNA ends (RACE)-PCR. The full-length cDNA of the RocC4H gene contained a 1,515 bp open reading frame (ORF) encoding a 504 amino acid protein with a calculated molecular weight of about 57.9 kDa and an isoelectric point (pI) value of 9.1. The genomic DNA analysis revealed that RocC4H gene had three exons and two introns. By multiple sequence alignment, RocC4H protein was highly homologous with other plant C4Hs, and the cytochrome P450-featured motifs, such as the heme-binding domain, the T-containing binding pocket motif (AAIETT), the ERR triad, and the tetrapeptide (PPGP) hinge motif, were highly conserved. Southern blot analysis revealed that RocC4H is a single copy gene in R. occidentalis.

  14. Avian trichomonosis in spotted owls (Strix occidentalis): Indication of opportunistic spillover from prey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rogers, Krysta H; Girard, Yvette A; Woods, Leslie; Johnson, Christine K

    2016-12-01

    Avian trichomonosis, caused by the flagellated protozoan parasite Trichomonas gallinae, has variable pathogenicity among bird species ranging from asymptomatic infections to severe disease periodically manifesting in epidemic mortality. Traditionally, columbids are identified as highly susceptible to infection with occasional spillover into raptors that prey on infected birds. We identified avian trichomonosis in two dead California spotted owls (Strix occidentalis occidentalis) and three dead northern spotted owls (S. o. caurina) in California during 2011-2015; infection was confirmed in four owls by PCR. Pathologic lesions associated with trichomonosis in the owls included caseonecrotic lesions of the upper palate accompanied by oropharyngitis, cellulitis, myositis, and/or sinusitis. Spotted owls are known to mainly feed on small mammals; therefore, the source of infection as well as the significance of the disease in spotted owls is unclear. These owl trichomonosis cases coincided temporally and spatially with three trichomonosis epidemics in band-tailed pigeons (Patagioenas fasciata monilis). The same parasite, T. gallinae subtype A2, was isolated from the spotted owls and band-tailed pigeons, suggesting the owls became infected when opportunistically feeding on pigeons during mortality events. Avian trichomonosis is an important factor in the decline of the Pacific Coast band-tailed pigeon population with near-annual mortality events during the last 10 years and could have conservation implications for raptor species at risk, particularly those that are facing multiple threats.

  15. Avian trichomonosis in spotted owls (Strix occidentalis: Indication of opportunistic spillover from prey

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Krysta H. Rogers

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Avian trichomonosis, caused by the flagellated protozoan parasite Trichomonas gallinae, has variable pathogenicity among bird species ranging from asymptomatic infections to severe disease periodically manifesting in epidemic mortality. Traditionally, columbids are identified as highly susceptible to infection with occasional spillover into raptors that prey on infected birds. We identified avian trichomonosis in two dead California spotted owls (Strix occidentalis occidentalis and three dead northern spotted owls (S. o. caurina in California during 2011–2015; infection was confirmed in four owls by PCR. Pathologic lesions associated with trichomonosis in the owls included caseonecrotic lesions of the upper palate accompanied by oropharyngitis, cellulitis, myositis, and/or sinusitis. Spotted owls are known to mainly feed on small mammals; therefore, the source of infection as well as the significance of the disease in spotted owls is unclear. These owl trichomonosis cases coincided temporally and spatially with three trichomonosis epidemics in band-tailed pigeons (Patagioenas fasciata monilis. The same parasite, T. gallinae subtype A2, was isolated from the spotted owls and band-tailed pigeons, suggesting the owls became infected when opportunistically feeding on pigeons during mortality events. Avian trichomonosis is an important factor in the decline of the Pacific Coast band-tailed pigeon population with near-annual mortality events during the last 10 years and could have conservation implications for raptor species at risk, particularly those that are facing multiple threats.

  16. Spatial and seasonal trends of a natural population of Biomphalaria occidentalis in northeastern Argentina

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alejandra Rumi

    1992-06-01

    Full Text Available This study aims to analyze the age of a population of Biomphalaria occidentalis on a pound of Riachuelo river basin, wich is one of the three most important Middle Paraná river affluents in Corrientes province. Samples were drawn from three stations, were spatial and temporal numerical variations of the snail, as well as its relation with different environmental parameters, mainly temperature, rainfall, pH and conductivity, were analyzed. Snail abundance is given in number of individuals/hour. The differences between the three sampling stations, estimated by nonparametric tests, was nonsignificant. A relative scale to the greatest shell diameter was employed to build the age pyramids. Temporal fluctuations of snail abundance correlated negatively with the highest monthly accumulated temperatures (P < 0.05. Although different floristic compositions were observed at the three stations, no significant numerical variations were detected in B. occidentalis spatial distribution. Reproductive activity took place between March-April and November with overlapping cohort system. During summer (December-Febuary mortality increased along with temperature and reproductive activity was not evident.

  17. Host egg age of Leptoglossus occidentalis (Heteroptera, Coreidae) and parasitism by Gryon pennsylvanicum (Hymenoptera, Platygastridae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peverieri, Giuseppino Sabbatini; Furlan, Paola; Benassai, Daniele; Caradonna, Sarah; Strong, Ward B; Roversi, Pio Federico

    2013-04-01

    Leptoglossus occidentalis Heidemann (Heteroptera, Coreidae) is native to Western North America and is a serious pest for seed production of conifers. The pest was accidentally introduced into Europe in the 1990s. Since then, seed loss has been recorded in Pinus pinea (L.) forests, with a negative impact on the commercial production of pine nuts. Classical biological control of this pest in P. pinea stands is an attractive proposition. Previous work showed that the egg-parasitoid Gryon pennsylvanicum (Ashmead) (Hymenoptera, Platygastridae) had promising life history traits in laboratory studies using L. occidentalis eggs as host. In the present work, the effect of host egg age on parasitization rate was evaluated in the laboratory, using choice and no-choice tests. Host eggs ranged in age from < 24 h to within a day of hatching. Results showed that parasitization rate, juvenile survival rate, sex ratio, and longevity of female G. pennsylvanicum were not significantly affected by the age of the host eggs. However, egg-parasitoid development time was longer in older host eggs, and females were smaller than those that developed in younger host eggs. Parasitization behaviors (drumming, oviposition, and marking) were not affected by the age of the host. G. pennsylvanicum females tended to parasitize all available host eggs within a cluster before moving to a new cluster, without displaying a preferences for host egg age. The ability to exploit host eggs of any age class improves the prospect of successful classical biological control using this egg-parasitoid.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greene, Michael J; Pinter-Wollman, Noa; Gordon, Deborah M

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael J Greene

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herrmann, Michael; Cahan, Sara Helms

    2014-12-22

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

  1. Phytochemical screening and GC-MS determination of bioactive constituents from methanol leaf extract of Senna occidentalis

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    Aisha Mohammad Ibrahim

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Objective: To identify the active ingredients presented in methanol extract of Senna occidentalis (S. occidentalis. Methods: Dried powdered leaves of S. occidentalis were extracted with methanol by Soxhlet extraction and the extract was subjected to preliminary phytochemical screening by using standard procedure and methods. Gas chromatography-mass spectrometer (GC-MS analysis was performed by comprising a GC-MS (model: QP2010 Plus Shimadzu, Japan comprising an AOC-20i auto-sampler and gas-chromatograph interfaced to a mass spectrometer. Results: The phytochemical study revealed the presence of tannins, alkaloids, glycoside, flavonoids, steroids, saponins, anthraquinones and phlobatannins while cardiac glycoside was not detected. GC-MS chromatogram showed nine peaks. A total of 31 compounds were identified when the mass spectra of the constituents was compared with the National Institute Standard and Technology library. The first compounds identified with less retention time (15.929 s were n-hexadecanoic acid, octadecanoic acid and pentadecanoic acid while decanoic acid, decyl ester, ether, octadecyl vinyl, oleic acid, hexyl ester, stearic acid, octadecyl ester and decyl fluoride took the longest retention time (20.600 s for identification. Conclusions: The presence of these compounds in the plant extract may at least be responsible for one of the pharmacological properties of S. occidentalis and thus could be of considerable interest to the development of new drugs.

  2. Isolation and molecular characterization of cathepsin L-like cysteine protease cDNAs from Western flower thrips (Frankliniella occidentalis)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kuipers, A.G.J.; Jongsma, M.A.

    2004-01-01

    Cysteine proteases are predominant in thrips guts (TGs) and, therefore, a suitable target for selecting effective protease inhibitors against western flower thrips (Frankliniella occidentalis). We report the isolation of four full-length cysteine protease cDNA clones from thrips in a two-step PCR ap

  3. Specific cysteine protease inhibitors act as deterrents of Western flower thrips Frankliniella occidentalis (Pergande) in transgenic potato

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Outchkourov, N.S.; Kogel, de J.; Bruin, de A.; Abrahamson, M.; Jongsma, M.A.

    2004-01-01

    In this study, the effects of the accumulation of cysteine protease inhibitors on the food preferences of adult female western flower thrips, Frankliniella occidentalis (Pergande), were investigated. Representative members of the cystatin and thyropin gene families (stefin A, cystatin C, kininogen d

  4. Phytochemical screening and GC-MS determination of bioactive constituents from methanol leaf extract ofSenna occidentalis

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Aisha Mohammad Ibrahim; Bashir Lawal; Ndababru Amos Tsado; Abubakar Awwal Yusuf; Adisa Mohammed Jimoh

    2015-01-01

    Objective:To identify the active ingredients presented in methanol extract ofSenna occidentalis(S. occidentalis). Methods: Dried powdered leaves ofS. occidentalis were extracted with methanol by Soxhlet extraction and the extract was subjected to preliminary phytochemical screening by using standard procedure and methods. Gas chromatography-mass spectrometer (GC-MS) analysis was performed by comprising aGC-MS (model: QP2010 Plus Shimadzu, Japan) comprising an AOC-20i auto-sampler and gas-chromatograph interfaced to a mass spectrometer. Results: The phytochemical study revealed the presence of tannins, alkaloids, glycoside, flavonoids, steroids, saponins, anthraquinones and phlobatannins while cardiac glycoside was not detected.GC-MS chromatogram showed nine peaks. A total of 31 compounds were identified when the mass spectra of the constituents was compared with the National Institute Standard and Technology library. The first compounds identified with less retention time (15.929 s) were n-hexadecanoic acid, octadecanoic acid and pentadecanoic acid while decanoic acid, decyl ester, ether, octadecyl vinyl, oleic acid, hexyl ester, stearic acid, octadecyl ester and decyl fluoride took the longest retention time (20.600 s) for identification. Conclusions:The presence of these compounds in the plant extract may at least be responsible for one of the pharmacological properties ofS. occidentalis and thus could be of considerable interest to the development of new drugs.

  5. Tropical soda apple (Solanum viarum) mediated competition via induced resistance: Interaction between Gratiana boliviana, Spodoptera exigua and Frankliniella occidentalis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Survival assays were conducted with beet armyworm (BAW) Spodoptera exigua (Hübner), a tortoise beetle Gratiana bolivana Spaeth and western flower thrips (WFT) Frankliniella occidentalis (Pergande) on tropical soda apple (TSA) Solanum viarum Dunal, a relative of tomato. Both S. exigua and G. bolivia...

  6. Symbiotic bacteria (Erwinia sp.) in the gut of Frankliniella occidentalis (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) do not affect its ability to transmit tospovirus

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Vries, E.J.; van de Wetering, F.; van der Hoek, M.M.; Jacobs, G.; Breeuwer, J.A.J.

    2012-01-01

    Tomato spotted wilt virus (TSWV) is one of the most harmful plant viruses and one of its most important vectors is the western flower thrips [Frankliniella occidentalis Pergande (Thysanoptera: Thripidae)]. Recently, we reported the close association of Erwinia sp. gut bacteria with this species of

  7. Mitochondrial genome analysis of the predatory mite Phytoseiulus persimilis and a revisit of the Metaseiulus occidentalis mitochondrial genome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dermauw, Wannes; Vanholme, Bartel; Tirry, Luc; Van Leeuwen, Thomas

    2010-04-01

    In this study we sequenced and analysed the complete mitochondrial (mt) genome of the Chilean predatory mite Phytoseiulus persimilis Athias-Henriot (Chelicerata: Acari: Mesostigmata: Phytoseiidae: Amblyseiinae). The 16 199 bp genome (79.8% AT) contains the standard set of 13 protein-coding and 24 RNA genes. Compared with the ancestral arthropod mtDNA pattern, the gene order is extremely reshuffled (35 genes changed position) and represents a novel arrangement within the arthropods. This is probably related to the presence of several large noncoding regions in the genome. In contrast with the mt genome of the closely related species Metaseiulus occidentalis (Phytoseiidae: Typhlodrominae) - which was reported to be unusually large (24 961 bp), to lack nad6 and nad3 protein-coding genes, and to contain 22 tRNAs without T-arms - the genome of P. persimilis has all the features of a standard metazoan mt genome. Consequently, we performed additional experiments on the M. occidentalis mt genome. Our preliminary restriction digests and Southern hybridization data revealed that this genome is smaller than previously reported. In addition, we cloned nad3 in M. occidentalis and positioned this gene between nad4L and 12S-rRNA on the mt genome. Finally, we report that at least 15 of the 22 tRNAs in the M. occidentalis mt genome can be folded into canonical cloverleaf structures similar to their counterparts in P. persimilis.

  8. Temperature: Human Regulating, Ants Conforming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clopton, Joe R.

    2007-01-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. Temperature: Human Regulating, Ants Conforming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clopton, Joe R.

    2007-01-01

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

  11. Invasive ants of Bermuda revisited

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James K. Wetterer

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available For 60+ years, two of the world’s most widespread and destructive invasive ant species, the African big-headed ant (Pheidole megacephala from tropical Africa and the Argentine ant (Linepithema humile from subtropical South America, have been engaged in an epic battle on the islands of Bermuda. Both species are completely intolerant of the other and are also well-known for killing off native invertebrates, particularly other ants. Here I surveyed sites across Bermuda in 2016, including resurveys of the locations previously surveyed in 1963, 1966, 1973, 1986, and 2002, to provide an update on this conflict. The status of all other ant species present in the islands, including previous records from literature, is also provided. In addition, I surveyed ants nesting in red mangrove (Rhizophora mangle trees to evaluate whether this arboreal habitat may serve as a refuge for previously overlooked ant species. In 2016, L. humile occurred at most surveyed sites in Bermuda, including all ten resurveyed sites. Pheidole megacephala was present at only two resurveyed sites, a lower proportion of sites than any of the five earlier surveys. Still, P. megacephala occupied substantial areas, particularly in and around Hamilton, the capital of Bermuda. This survey increased the number of ant species with verified records from Bermuda to 25, including four exotic species recorded for the first time: Cardiocondyla minutior, Pheidole navigans, Strumigenys emmae, and Strumigenys membranifera. I found five ant species nesting in mangroves: L. humile plus four Old World exotics, C. minutior, Cardiocondyla obscurior, Monomorium floricola, and Plagiolepis alluaudi. It appears that L. humile may be better suited to the subtropical climate of Bermuda than P. megacephala, except perhaps in warmer and sunnier habitats, such as plantings along urban streets and in open parks, where P. megacephala may hold the advantage. The dataset on the new ant records from 2016 is

  12. Hospitales seguros ante desastres

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Celso Vladimir Bambaren Alatrista

    2007-07-01

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

  13. Rootstock mass of coppiced Platanus occidentalis as affected by spacing and rotation length

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Steinbeck, K.; Nwoboshi, L.C.

    1980-01-01

    The root mass per unit land area for Platanus occidentalis was determined 9 years after planting 1-0 seedlings. Trees had been planted at 0.3 X 1.2, 0.6 X 1.2 and 1.2 X 1.2 m spacings and coppiced after two growing seasons in the field. Rotations of 1, 2, and 7 years were then imposed. Rootstocks coppiced annually had significantly less rootstock mass (16.0 tons/ha) than those harvested on longer cycles. No significant difference was found between the 2- and 7-year rotations, which averaged 22.8 and 25.2 tons of dry rootstock mass per hectare, respectively. Spacing did not affect rootstock mass per unit land area. Rotations of 2 years or longer and relatively wide spacings are recommended for short rotation forestry.

  14. Mechanisms of resistance to spinosad in the western flower thrip, Frankliniella occidentalis (Pergande) (Thysanoptera:Thripidae)

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Shu-Yun Zhang; Satoshi Kono; Tamotsu Murai; Tadashi Miyata

    2008-01-01

    Cross-resistance, resistance mechanisms, and mode of inheritance of spinosad resistance were studied in the western flower thrip, Frankliniella occidentalis (Pergande).Spinosad (naturalyte insecticide) showed low cross-resistance to prothiophos (organophosphorus insecticide) and chlorphenapyr (respiratory inhibitor) showed some cross-resistance to thiocyclam (nereistoxin). The synergists PBO (piperonyl butoxide),DEM (diethyl maleate), and DEF (s,s,s-tributyl phosphorotrithioate) did not show any synergism on the toxicity of spinosad in the resistant strain (ICS), indicating that metabolicmediated detoxification was not responsible for the spinosad resistance, suggesting that spinosad may reduce sensitivity of the target site: the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor and GABA receptor. Following reciprocal crosses, dose-response lines and dominance ratios indicated that spinosad resistance was incompletely dominant and there were no maternal effects. The results of backcross showed that spinosad resistance did not fit a single-gene hypothesis, suggesting that resistance was influenced by several genes.

  15. Effects of cysteine protease inhibitors on oviposition rate of the western flower thrips, Frankliniella occidentalis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Annadana, S; Peters, J; Gruden, K; Schipper, A; Outchkourov, N S; Beekwilder, M J.; Udayakumar, M; Jongsma, M A.

    2002-07-01

    Proteolytic activity in whole insect extracts of the western flower thrips, Frankliniella occidentalis, was found to belong predominantly to the class of cysteine proteases. The pH optimum of the general proteolytic activity was determined to be 3.5, which is low when compared to other insects using cysteine proteases for protein digestion. The proteinaceous cysteine protease inhibitors chicken cystatin, potato cystatin and sea anemone equistatin inhibited in vitro more than 90% of the protease activity. To test in vivo the biological effect of such inhibitors on the oviposition rate of western flower thrips, recombinant potato cystatin and equistatin were fed to adult females. A gradual reduction in oviposition rate to about 45% of control was observed when reared on these PIs for a period of 5 days, with no increase in mortality. These results are discussed in the light of the application of protease inhibitors in transgenic plants to control this insect pest.

  16. Complete genome sequence of a new bipartite begomovirus infecting fluted pumpkin (Telfairia occidentalis) plants in Cameroon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leke, Walter N; Khatabi, Behnam; Fondong, Vincent N; Brown, Judith K

    2016-08-01

    The complete genome sequence was determined and characterized for a previously unreported bipartite begomovirus from fluted pumpkin (Telfairia occidentalis, family Cucurbitaceae) plants displaying mosaic symptoms in Cameroon. The DNA-A and DNA-B components were ~2.7 kb and ~2.6 kb in size, and the arrangement of viral coding regions on the genomic components was like those characteristic of other known bipartite begomoviruses originating in the Old World. While the DNA-A component was more closely related to that of chayote yellow mosaic virus (ChaYMV), at 78 %, the DNA-B component was more closely related to that of soybean chlorotic blotch virus (SbCBV), at 64 %. This newly discovered bipartite Old World virus is herein named telfairia mosaic virus (TelMV).

  17. Occurrence, Parasitism, and Pathogenicity of Nematodes Associated with Sycamore (Platanus occidentalis L.).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Churchill, R C; Ruehle, J L

    1971-04-01

    Ten species of stylet-bearing nematodes were recovered in a survey of sycamore (Platanus occidentalis L. ) stands in Georgia. Helicotylenchus, Xiphinema, and Criconemoides were the genera found most frequently. Populations of Hoplolaimus galeatus, Scutellonema brachyurum, Helicotylenchus dihystera and H. pseudorobustus increased on greenhouse-grown sycamore, but Trichodorus christiei, Xiphinema americanum, Meloidogyne hapla, M. arenaria and M. incognita did not. Hoplolaimus galeatus and S. brachyurum are semi-endoparasites; H. dihystera and H. pseudorobustus are migratory endoparasites. Hoplolaimus galeatus caused extensive root necrosis and marked decrease of fresh weights of seedling roots and tops. Helicotylenchus dihystera and S. brachyurum produced only qualitatively different sparse and unhealthy root growth. Helicotylenchus pseudorobustus caused only a reduction in root surface area.

  18. FORMIDABEL: The Belgian Ants Database.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brosens, Dimitri; Vankerkhoven, François; Ignace, David; Wegnez, Philippe; Noé, Nicolas; Heughebaert, André; Bortels, Jeannine; Dekoninck, Wouter

    2013-01-01

    FORMIDABEL is a database of Belgian Ants containing more than 27.000 occurrence records. These records originate from collections, field sampling and literature. The database gives information on 76 native and 9 introduced ant species found in Belgium. The collection records originated mainly from the ants collection in Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences (RBINS), the 'Gaspar' Ants collection in Gembloux and the zoological collection of the University of Liège (ULG). The oldest occurrences date back from May 1866, the most recent refer to August 2012. FORMIDABEL is a work in progress and the database is updated twice a year. THE LATEST VERSION OF THE DATASET IS PUBLICLY AND FREELY ACCESSIBLE THROUGH THIS URL: http://ipt.biodiversity.be/resource.do?r=formidabel. The dataset is also retrievable via the GBIF data portal through this link: http://data.gbif.org/datasets/resource/14697 A dedicated geo-portal, developed by the Belgian Biodiversity Platform is accessible at: http://www.formicidae-atlas.be FORMIDABEL is a joint cooperation of the Flemish ants working group "Polyergus" (http://formicidae.be) and the Wallonian ants working group "FourmisWalBru" (http://fourmiswalbru.be). The original database was created in 2002 in the context of the preliminary red data book of Flemish Ants (Dekoninck et al. 2003). Later, in 2005, data from the Southern part of Belgium; Wallonia and Brussels were added. In 2012 this dataset was again updated for the creation of the first Belgian Ants Atlas (Figure 1) (Dekoninck et al. 2012). The main purpose of this atlas was to generate maps for all outdoor-living ant species in Belgium using an overlay of the standard Belgian ecoregions. By using this overlay for most species, we can discern a clear and often restricted distribution pattern in Belgium, mainly based on vegetation and soil types.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Doerr, Benjamin; Neumann, Frank; Sudholt, Dirk

    2011-01-01

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

  20. 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...

  1. Low temperature phosphine fumigation of pre-chilled iceberg lettuce under insulation cover for postharvest control of western flower thrips, Frankliniella occidentalis (Thysanoptera: Thripidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fumigation of chilled iceberg lettuce under an insulation cover was studied to develop economical alternatives to conduct low temperature phosphine fumigation for control of western flower thrips, Frankliniella occidentalis (Pergande), on exported lettuce. Vacuum cooled commercial iceberg lettuce o...

  2. Interaction of Phytophagous Insects with Salmonella enterica on Plants and Enhanced Persistence of the Pathogen with Macrosteles quadrilineatus Infestation or Frankliniella occidentalis Feeding: e79404

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    José Pablo Soto-Arias; Russell Groves; Jeri D Barak

    2013-01-01

    ... S. enterica populations were found on leaves infested with Macrosteles quadrilineatus. In contrast, pathogen populations among plants exposed to Frankliniella occidentalis or Myzus persicae were similar to those without insects...

  3. Potential use of the fungus Beauveria bassiana against the western flower thrips Frankliniella occidentalis without reducing the effectiveness of its natural predator Orius sauteri (Hemiptera: Anthocoridae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orius sauteri (Poppius) (Hemiptera: Anthocoridae) is an important predator of western flower thrips, Frankliniella occidentalis (Pergande) (Thysanoptera: Thripidae). Orius sauteri would be directly exposed to the entomopathogenic fungus Beauveria bassiana (Bals.) Vuillemin in the field should the fu...

  4. Detecção e monitoramento da resistência do tripes Frankliniella occidentalis ao inseticida espinosade Detection and monitoring of resistance to the insecticide spinosad in the thrips Frankliniella occidentalis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Débora Soller Rais

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available O tripes Frankliniella occidentalis (Pergande (Thysanoptera: Thripidae é uma das pragas mais importantes em cultivos protegidos, principalmente de plantas ornamentais e hortícolas. Entre os problemas enfrentados pelos agricultores estão a dificuldade de seu controle com o uso de inseticidas devido à sua preferência pelas partes internas das flores e a evolução de resistência aos agroquímicos. O objetivo da pesquisa foi caracterizar a resistência de F. occidentalis a espinosade e avaliar a frequência de insetos resistentes ao inseticida, em áreas comerciais de crisântemo de diversos municípios do Estado de São Paulo. Seleções para resistência a espinosade foram realizadas em laboratório, utilizando-se uma população de F. occidentalis, coletada em 2007 de um cultivo comercial de crisântemo em Campinas (SP. No decorrer de sete seleções para resistência, a CL50 de espinosade passou de 8,41 mg i.a. L-1 para 1111 mg i.a. L-1. Comparando-se a linhagem resistente (R (selecionada e a suscetível (S, a razão de resistência (CL50 R/CL50 S atingiu valores de ≈280 vezes. Estabeleceu-se uma concentração discriminatória de 98 mg i.a. L-1 para o monitoramento da resistência de F. occidentalis a espinosade. O monitoramento foi realizado coletando-se 19 populações do tripes em áreas comerciais de crisântemo no Estado de São Paulo. Os bioensaios foram realizados com ninfas de segundo ínstar de F. occidentalis, colocadas em arenas de folha de feijão. As aplicações de espinosade, na sua concentração discriminatória, foram realizadas sobre as ninfas em torre de Potter. Os resultados indicaram alta variabilidade entre as populações com relação à suscetibilidade a espinosade. Foram observadas populações com até 40,7% de insetos resistentes. Este é o primeiro relato de resistência de F. occidentalis a espinosade no Brasil.The thrips Frankliniella occidentalis (Pergande (Thysanoptera: Thripidae is one of the major

  5. Detecção e monitoramento da resistência do tripes Frankliniella occidentalis ao inseticida espinosade Detection and monitoring of resistance to the insecticide spinosad in the thrips Frankliniella occidentalis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Débora Soller Rais

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available O tripes Frankliniella occidentalis (Pergande (Thysanoptera: Thripidae é uma das pragas mais importantes em cultivos protegidos, principalmente de plantas ornamentais e hortícolas. Entre os problemas enfrentados pelos agricultores estão a dificuldade de seu controle com o uso de inseticidas devido à sua preferência pelas partes internas das flores e a evolução de resistência aos agroquímicos. O objetivo da pesquisa foi caracterizar a resistência de F. occidentalis a espinosade e avaliar a frequência de insetos resistentes ao inseticida, em áreas comerciais de crisântemo de diversos municípios do Estado de São Paulo. Seleções para resistência a espinosade foram realizadas em laboratório, utilizando-se uma população de F. occidentalis, coletada em 2007 de um cultivo comercial de crisântemo em Campinas (SP. No decorrer de sete seleções para resistência, a CL50 de espinosade passou de 8,41 mg i.a. L-1 para 1111 mg i.a. L-1. Comparando-se a linhagem resistente (R (selecionada e a suscetível (S, a razão de resistência (CL50 R/CL50 S atingiu valores de ≈280 vezes. Estabeleceu-se uma concentração discriminatória de 98 mg i.a. L-1 para o monitoramento da resistência de F. occidentalis a espinosade. O monitoramento foi realizado coletando-se 19 populações do tripes em áreas comerciais de crisântemo no Estado de São Paulo. Os bioensaios foram realizados com ninfas de segundo ínstar de F. occidentalis, colocadas em arenas de folha de feijão. As aplicações de espinosade, na sua concentração discriminatória, foram realizadas sobre as ninfas em torre de Potter. Os resultados indicaram alta variabilidade entre as populações com relação à suscetibilidade a espinosade. Foram observadas populações com até 40,7% de insetos resistentes. Este é o primeiro relato de resistência de F. occidentalis a espinosade no Brasil.The thrips Frankliniella occidentalis (Pergande (Thysanoptera: Thripidae is one of the major

  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. ANT, tourism and situated globality

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  8. Ants Orase kultuurisõnum

    Index Scriptorium Estoniae

    2007-01-01

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

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    NEIL COLLIER

    2007-01-01

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

  10. Role of the Insect Supervectors Bemisia tabaci and Frankliniella occidentalis in the Emergence and Global Spread of Plant Viruses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilbertson, Robert L; Batuman, Ozgur; Webster, Craig G; Adkins, Scott

    2015-11-01

    Emergence of insect-transmitted plant viruses over the past 10-20 years has been disproportionately driven by two so-called supervectors: the whitefly, Bemisia tabaci, and the Western flower thrips, Frankliniella occidentalis. High rates of reproduction and dispersal, extreme polyphagy, and development of insecticide resistance, together with human activities, have made these insects global pests. These supervectors transmit a diversity of plant viruses by different mechanisms and mediate virus emergence through local evolution, host shifts, mixed infections, and global spread. Associated virus evolution involves reassortment, recombination, and component capture. Emergence of B. tabaci-transmitted geminiviruses (begomoviruses), ipomoviruses, and torradoviruses has led to global disease outbreaks as well as multiple paradigm shifts. Similarly, F. occidentalis has mediated tospovirus host shifts and global dissemination and the emergence of pollen-transmitted ilarviruses. The plant virus-supervector interaction offers exciting opportunities for basic research and global implementation of generalized disease management strategies to reduce economic and environmental impacts.

  11. Distribution of tadpoles of Ollotis occidentalis (Amphibia: Anura: Bufonidae along the Río Salado, Puebla, México

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guillermo A. Woolrich-Piña

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available We examined monthly variation in the characteristics of river sections along the Río Salado (Puebla, Mexico and how these factors were associated with the dis- tribution of the tadpoles of the toad Ollotis occidentalis. Tadpoles were observed in the river in March 2007, and from November 2007 through February 2008 and were only found in the main river channel. Sections of the Río Salado with tadpoles were deeper, wider, and longer than sections without tadpoles. Dissolved oxygen levels were higher and salinity was lower in river sections with tadpoles compared to the sections without tadpoles. There was no difference in temperature between sections with and without tadpoles. Tadpoles were found in river sections that contained more vegeta- tion than river section without tadpoles. Our results suggest that the distribution of tadpoles of O. occidentalis is related to the permanence of water, the chemical nature of the water, and the presence of vegetation.

  12. Effect of Aqueous Extract of Telfairia occidentalis Leaf on the Performance and Haematological Indices of Starter Broilers

    Science.gov (United States)

    P. N., Onu

    2012-01-01

    This experiment was conducted to determine the effect of aqueous extract of Telfairia occidentalis (Fluted Pumpkin) leaf on the performance and haematological indices of starter broilers. A total of 200, 8-day-old broiler chicks were randomly allotted to five (5) treatments, each with 4 replicate groups containing 10 chicks and fed with standard starter broiler diets. Telfaria occidentalis leaves extract (FPLE) was added at 0, 40, 80, 120, and 160 mL/litre of drinking water. Growth performance and haematological indices were evaluated. Results showed that there was significant (P 0.05) variations in the feed and water intakes of the birds. Results also show no significant (P > 0.05) difference in haematological indices of birds among the treatments. The results of this study indicate that, for enhanced weight gain and feed conversion efficiency, birds should be fed 80 mL FPLE/litre of water. PMID:23738128

  13. Predictive Models for Tomato Spotted Wilt Virus Spread Dynamics, Considering Frankliniella occidentalis Specific Life Processes as Influenced by the Virus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ogada, Pamella Akoth; Moualeu, Dany Pascal; Poehling, Hans-Michael

    2016-01-01

    Several models have been studied on predictive epidemics of arthropod vectored plant viruses in an attempt to bring understanding to the complex but specific relationship between the three cornered pathosystem (virus, vector and host plant), as well as their interactions with the environment. A large body of studies mainly focuses on weather based models as management tool for monitoring pests and diseases, with very few incorporating the contribution of vector's life processes in the disease dynamics, which is an essential aspect when mitigating virus incidences in a crop stand. In this study, we hypothesized that the multiplication and spread of tomato spotted wilt virus (TSWV) in a crop stand is strongly related to its influences on Frankliniella occidentalis preferential behavior and life expectancy. Model dynamics of important aspects in disease development within TSWV-F. occidentalis-host plant interactions were developed, focusing on F. occidentalis' life processes as influenced by TSWV. The results show that the influence of TSWV on F. occidentalis preferential behaviour leads to an estimated increase in relative acquisition rate of the virus, and up to 33% increase in transmission rate to healthy plants. Also, increased life expectancy; which relates to improved fitness, is dependent on the virus induced preferential behaviour, consequently promoting multiplication and spread of the virus in a crop stand. The development of vector-based models could further help in elucidating the role of tri-trophic interactions in agricultural disease systems. Use of the model to examine the components of the disease process could also boost our understanding on how specific epidemiological characteristics interact to cause diseases in crops. With this level of understanding we can efficiently develop more precise control strategies for the virus and the vector.

  14. Predictive Models for Tomato Spotted Wilt Virus Spread Dynamics, Considering Frankliniella occidentalis Specific Life Processes as Influenced by the Virus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pamella Akoth Ogada

    Full Text Available Several models have been studied on predictive epidemics of arthropod vectored plant viruses in an attempt to bring understanding to the complex but specific relationship between the three cornered pathosystem (virus, vector and host plant, as well as their interactions with the environment. A large body of studies mainly focuses on weather based models as management tool for monitoring pests and diseases, with very few incorporating the contribution of vector's life processes in the disease dynamics, which is an essential aspect when mitigating virus incidences in a crop stand. In this study, we hypothesized that the multiplication and spread of tomato spotted wilt virus (TSWV in a crop stand is strongly related to its influences on Frankliniella occidentalis preferential behavior and life expectancy. Model dynamics of important aspects in disease development within TSWV-F. occidentalis-host plant interactions were developed, focusing on F. occidentalis' life processes as influenced by TSWV. The results show that the influence of TSWV on F. occidentalis preferential behaviour leads to an estimated increase in relative acquisition rate of the virus, and up to 33% increase in transmission rate to healthy plants. Also, increased life expectancy; which relates to improved fitness, is dependent on the virus induced preferential behaviour, consequently promoting multiplication and spread of the virus in a crop stand. The development of vector-based models could further help in elucidating the role of tri-trophic interactions in agricultural disease systems. Use of the model to examine the components of the disease process could also boost our understanding on how specific epidemiological characteristics interact to cause diseases in crops. With this level of understanding we can efficiently develop more precise control strategies for the virus and the vector.

  15. Endosymbiont interference and microbial diversity of the Pacific coast tick, Dermacentor occidentalis, in San Diego County, California.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gurfield, Nikos; Grewal, Saran; Cua, Lynnie S; Torres, Pedro J; Kelley, Scott T

    2017-01-01

    The Pacific coast tick, Dermacentor occidentalis Marx, is found throughout California and can harbor agents that cause human diseases such as anaplasmosis, ehrlichiosis, tularemia, Rocky Mountain spotted fever and rickettsiosis 364D. Previous studies have demonstrated that nonpathogenic endosymbiotic bacteria can interfere with Rickettsia co-infections in other tick species. We hypothesized that within D. occidentalis ticks, interference may exist between different nonpathogenic endosymbiotic or nonendosymbiotic bacteria and Spotted Fever group Rickettsia (SFGR). Using PCR amplification and sequencing of the rompA gene and intergenic region we identified a cohort of SFGR-infected and non-infected D. occidentalis ticks collected from San Diego County. We then amplified a partial segment of the 16S rRNA gene and used next-generation sequencing to elucidate the microbiomes and levels of co-infection in the ticks. The SFGR R. philipii str. 364D and R. rhipicephali were detected in 2.3% and 8.2% of the ticks, respectively, via rompA sequencing. Interestingly, next generation sequencing revealed an inverse relationship between the number of Francisella-like endosymbiont (FLE) 16S rRNA sequences and Rickettsia 16S rRNA sequences within individual ticks that is consistent with partial interference between FLE and SFGR infecting ticks. After excluding the Rickettsia and FLE endosymbionts from the analysis, there was a small but significant difference in microbial community diversity and a pattern of geographic isolation by distance between collection locales. In addition, male ticks had a greater diversity of bacteria than female ticks and ticks that weren't infected with SFGR had similar microbiomes to canine skin microbiomes. Although experimental studies are required for confirmation, our findings are consistent with the hypothesis that FLEs and, to a lesser extent, other bacteria, interfere with the ability of D. occidentalis to be infected with certain SFGR. The

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

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    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.

  17. Monoculture of leafcutter ant gardens.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ulrich G Mueller

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

  18. Toxic effects of oral 2-amino-4,6-dinitrotoluene in the Western fence lizard (Sceloporus occidentalis)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    McFarland, Craig A., E-mail: craig.a.mcfarland@us.army.mi [US Army Public Health Command (Prov), Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD 21010 (United States); Quinn, Michael J. [US Army Public Health Command (Prov), Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD 21010 (United States); Boyce, John [Biotechnics, LLC, Hillsborough, NC 27278 (United States); LaFiandra, Emily M.; Bazar, Matthew A. [US Army Public Health Command (Prov), Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD 21010 (United States); Talent, Larry G. [Oklahoma State University, Department of Natural Resource Ecology and Management, Stillwater, OK 74078 (United States); Johnson, Mark S. [US Army Public Health Command (Prov), Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD 21010 (United States)

    2011-02-15

    The compound 2-amino-4,6-dinitrotoluene (2A-DNT) was evaluated under laboratory conditions in the Western fence lizard (Sceloporus occidentalis) to assess the potential for reptile toxicity. Oral LD{sub 50} values were 1406 and 1867 mg/kg for male and female lizards, respectively. Based on responses from a 14-day subacute study, a 60-day subchronic experiment followed where lizards were orally dosed at 0, 5, 15, 20, 25, 30 mg/kg-d. At day 60, number of days and survivors, food consumption, and change in body weight were inversely related to dose. Signs of toxicity were characterized by anorexia and generalized cachexia. Significant adverse histopathology was observed in hepatic tissue at {>=}15 mg/kg-d, consistent with hepatocellular transdifferentiation. Based on survival, loss of body weight, diminished food intake, changes in liver, kidney, and testes, and increased blood urea nitrogen, these data suggest a LOAEL of 15 mg/kg-d and a NOAEL of 5 mg/kg-d in S. occidentalis. - Research highlights: Oral LD{sub 50} (mg/kg) values were 1406 for male and 1867 for female lizards. Dose-dependent hepatocellular transdifferentiation was observed at {>=}5 mg/kg-d. Chromaturia in 2A-DNT and the parent TNT suggest biomarkers of exposure and effect. Health effects of metabolites support comprehensive ecological risk assessments. - The Western fence lizard (Sceloporus occidentalis) is a suitable reptile model for assessing the toxicity of energetic compounds and their metabolites.

  19. Croissance de Auchenoglanis occidentalis (Pisces, Claroteidae dans le Delta Central du Niger (Mali, Afrique de l'ouest

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Niaré, T.

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Growth of Auchenoglanis occidentalis (Pisces, Claroteidae in the Central Delta of Niger River Flood Plain (Mali, West Africa. Growth biology of Auchenoglanis occidentalis (Valenciennes, 1840 is studied from individuals monthly sampled on two different annual cycles (1991 and 1997 in the fishing port of Mopti. Individual age of fishes was determined by squelettochronology. Chronological follow-up of relative margin diameter (dr of spine ray section was used for validation of the periodicity of annulus formation. Only one annulus is formed annually. Period of growth recovery shows an individual variability with an early starting up from the lowwater level, in May. The seasonal cycle of growth of this benthic fish, A. occidentalis, depends more on the availability of the trophic resources than of abiotic factors. However, the optimal period of growth always remains the high-water one in this river with flood plain. Fishes condition factor's varies between 1.97±0.27 à 2.57±0.41. Year x season interaction affects this parameter. Growth realized during the first year (189.17±4.57 and 261.25±12.19 mm as well as the later growths depend on hydrological conditions and are influenced by fishing pressure. Presence of 3+ age class fishes shows that demographic structure is not qualitatively modified despite changes arisen in the Delta.

  20. Modeling stem increment in individual Pinus occidentalis Sw. trees in La Sierra, Dominican Republic

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bueno, S.; Bevilacqua, E.

    2010-07-01

    One of the most common and important tree characteristics used in forest management decision-making is tree diameter-at-breast height (DBH). This paper presents results on an evaluation of two growth functions developed to model stem diameter increases in individual Pinus occidentalis Sw. trees in La Sierra, Dominican Republic. The first model was developed in order to predict future DBH (FDM) at different intervals of time and the other for predicting growth, that is, periodic annual diameter increment (PADIM). Each model employed two statistical techniques for fitting model parameters: stepwise ordinary least squares (OLS) regression, and mixed models. The two statistical approaches varied in how they accounted for the repeated measurements on individual trees over time, affecting standard error estimates and statistical inference of model parameters. Each approach was evaluated based on six goodness of- fit statistics, using both calibration and validation data sets. The objectives were 1) to determine the best model for predicting future tree DBH; 2) to determine the best model for predicting periodic annual diameter increment, both models using tree size, age, site index and different indices of competitive status; and 3) compare which of these two modeling approaches predicts better the future DBH. OLS provided a better fit for both of the growth functions, especially in regards to bias. Both models showed advantages and disadvantages when they were used to predict growth and future diameter. For the prediction of future diameter with FDM, accuracy of predictions were within one centimeter for a five-year projection interval. The PADIM presented negligible bias in estimating future diameter, although there was a small increase in bias as time of prediction increased. As expected, each model was the best in estimating the response variable it was developed for.. However, a closer examination of the distribution of errors showed a slight advantage of the FDM

  1. Comparative genome sequence analysis of Choristoneura occidentalis Freeman and C. rosaceana Harris (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae alphabaculoviruses.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David K Thumbi

    Full Text Available The complete genome sequences of Choristoneura occidentalis and C. rosaceana nucleopolyhedroviruses (ChocNPV and ChroNPV, respectively (Baculoviridae: Alphabaculovirus were determined and compared with each other and with those of other baculoviruses, including the genome of the closely related C. fumiferana NPV (CfMNPV. The ChocNPV genome was 128,446 bp in length (1147 bp smaller than that of CfMNPV, had a G+C content of 50.1%, and contained 148 open reading frames (ORFs. In comparison, the ChroNPV genome was 129,052 bp in length, had a G+C content of 48.6% and contained 149 ORFs. ChocNPV and ChroNPV shared 144 ORFs in common, and had a 77% sequence identity with each other and 96.5% and 77.8% sequence identity, respectively, with CfMNPV. Five homologous regions (hrs, with sequence similarities to those of CfMNPV, were identified in ChocNPV, whereas the ChroNPV genome contained three hrs featuring up to 14 repeats. Both genomes encoded three inhibitors of apoptosis (IAP-1, IAP-2, and IAP-3, as reported for CfMNPV, and the ChocNPV IAP-3 gene represented the most divergent functional region of this genome relative to CfMNPV. Two ORFs were unique to ChocNPV, and four were unique to ChroNPV. ChroNPV ORF chronpv38 is a eukaryotic initiation factor 5 (eIF-5 homolog that has also been identified in the C. occidentalis granulovirus (ChocGV and is believed to be the product of horizontal gene transfer from the host. Based on levels of sequence identity and phylogenetic analysis, both ChocNPV and ChroNPV fall within group I alphabaculoviruses, where ChocNPV appears to be more closely related to CfMNPV than does ChroNPV. Our analyses suggest that it may be appropriate to consider ChocNPV and CfMNPV as variants of the same virus species.

  2. Macroevolutionary assembly of ant/plant symbioses: Pseudomyrmex ants and their ant-housing plants in the Neotropics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chomicki, Guillaume; Ward, Philip S; Renner, Susanne S

    2015-11-22

    Symbioses include some of the clearest cases of coevolution, but their origin, loss or reassembly with different partners can rarely be inferred. Here we use ant/plant symbioses involving three plant clades to investigate the evolution of symbioses. We generated phylogenies for the big-eyed arboreal ants (Pseudomyrmecinae), including 72% of their 286 species, as well as for five of their plant host groups, in each case sampling more than 61% of the species. We show that the ant-housing Vachellia (Mimosoideae) clade and its ants co-diversified for the past 5 Ma, with some species additionally colonized by younger plant-nesting ant species, some parasitic. An apparent co-radiation of ants and Tachigali (Caesalpinioideae) was followed by waves of colonization by the same ant clade, and subsequent occupation by a younger ant group. Wide crown and stem age differences between the ant-housing genus Triplaris (Polygonaceae) and its obligate ant inhabitants, and stochastic trait mapping, indicate that its domatium evolved earlier than the ants now occupying it, suggesting previous symbioses that dissolved. Parasitic ant species evolved from generalists, not from mutualists, and are younger than the mutualistic systems they parasitize. Our study illuminates the macroevolutionary assembly of ant/plant symbioses, which has been highly dynamic, even in very specialized systems. © 2015 The Author(s).

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chris R Smith

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

  4. The metapleural gland of ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Yek, Sze Huei; Mueller, Ulrich G

    2011-01-01

    The metapleural gland (MG) is a complex glandular structure unique to ants, suggesting a critical role in their origin and ecological success. We synthesize the current understanding of the adaptive function, morphology, evolutionary history, and chemical properties of the MG. Two functions...... of 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...... morphology, phylogenetic transitions and chemical ecology of the MGs of both the derived and the unstudied early-branching (basal) ant lineages is needed to elucidate the evolutionary origin and diversification of the MG of ants....

  5. Ants medicate to fight disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-11-01

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

  6. Cymbidium mosaic virus coat protein gene in antisense confers resistance to transgenic Nicotiana occidentalis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lim, S H; Ko, M K; Lee, S J; La, Y J; Kim, B D

    1999-12-31

    The nucleotide sequence of the 3'-terminal region of the Korean isolate of cymbidium mosaic virus (CyMV-Ca) from a naturally infected cattleya was determined. The sequence contains an open reading frame (ORF) coding for the viral coat protein (CP) at the 3'-end and three other ORFs (triple gene block or movement protein) of CyMV. The CP gene encodes a polypeptide chain of 220 amino acids with a molecular mass of 23,760 Da. The deduced CP sequence showed a strong homology with those of two CyMVs reported. A construct of the CyMV-Ca CP gene in the antisense orientation in the plant expression vector pMBP1 was transferred via Agrobacterium tumefaciens-mediated transformation into Nicotiana occidentalis which is a propagation host of CyMV. The T1 progeny of the transgenic plants were inoculated with CyMV and found to be highly resistant to CyMV infection.

  7. Compatibility of Beauveria bassiana with Neoseiulus barkeri for Control of Frankliniella occidentalis

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    WU Sheng-yong; GAO Yu-lin; XU Xue-nong; Mark S Goettel; LEI Zhong-ren

    2015-01-01

    The entomopathogenic fungusBeauveriabassiana (Balsamo) Vuilemin and predatory miteNeoseiulusbarkeri Hughes are effective biological control agents ofFranklinielaoccidentalis Pergande (Thysanoptera: Thripidae), one of the most important pests of ornamentals and vegetables world-wide. Combined application of both may enhance control efifciency. The functional response forN.barkeri on the ifrst instar larvae of western lfower thrips which were infected byB.bassiana for 12 and 24 h in the laboratory ((25±1)°C, (70±5)% RH, L:D=16 h:8 h) was determined. The virulence ofB.bassiana against the second instar and pupae of the thrips attacked byN.barkeri were also tested. The results showed that N.barkeri exhibited a Holing type II functional response on treated thrips. After having been treated with the fungus for 12 h and then offered to the predator, thrips were more vulnerable to be kiled byN.barkeri. The second instar larvae and pupae of the thrips which had been attacked by predatory mites were markedly more susceptible toB.bassiana infection than normal thrips; the cumulative corrected mortality ofB.bassiana of the second instar and pupae which were attacked byN.barkeri were 57 and 94%, respectively, compared to 35 and 80% in controls on the day 8. These ifndings highlight the potential use ofB.bassiana in combination withN.barkeri to controlF. occidentalis.

  8. Post-release survival and movement of Western Grebes (Aechmophorus occidentalis) implanted with intracoelomic satellite transmitters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mills, Kyra L.; Gaydos, Joseph K.; Fiorello, Christine V.; Whitmer, Emily; De La Cruz, Susan; Mulcahy, Daniel M.; Vilchis, L. Ignacio; Ziccardi, Michael H.

    2016-01-01

    The main goal of this study was to gain knowledge on post-release survival and movement of Western Grebes (Aechmophorus occidentalis) using a modified technique for implanting satellite transmitters. This technique had improved post-surgical survival in an earlier study. Nine Western Grebes, implanted with intracoelomic (within the body cavity) satellite transmitters with percutaneous antennae, were released close to their capture site in San Francisco Bay, California, USA. Eight survived at least 25 days (average number of transmittal days was 140.8), while two had transmitters that provided data for greater than 1 year (436 and 454 days). The average cumulative distance recorded for all Western Grebes (n = 9) was 829 km with two round-trip movements documented. One individual Western Grebe traveled a cumulative round-trip distance of 2,144 km in July and November 2011, while another individual traveled a round-trip distance of 1,514 km between 8 and 14 December 2011. This study provides a step forward in testing implantable satellite transmitters in Western Grebes and highlights the need to further improve tracking methods, potentially improving our understanding of their population threats.

  9. Biogenic Nanoparticles from Schwanniomyces occidentalis NCIM 3459: Mechanistic Aspects and Catalytic Applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mohite, Pallavi; Apte, Mugdha; Kumar, Ameeta Ravi; Zinjarde, Smita

    2016-06-01

    When cells of Schwanniomyces occidentalis NCIM 3459 were incubated with 1 mM tetrachloroauric acid (HAuCl4) or silver nitrate (AgNO3), cell-associated nanoparticles were obtained. Their presence was confirmed by scanning electron microscope observations. The cell-free supernatant (CFS) of the yeast mediated the synthesis of gold nanoparticles. On account of the difficulties associated with the use of cell-bound nanoparticles, further work was restricted to extracellular nanoparticles. It was hypothesized that the CFS contained thermostable biomolecule(s) that mediated metal reduction reactions. Extraction of the CFS with chloroform/methanol (2:1) and subsequent separation by preparative thin layer chromatography led to the activity-guided purification of a glycolipid. The glycolipid was hydrolyzed and the glycone (glucose) and aglycone components (palmitic acid and oleic acid) were identified by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. The purified glycolipid mediated the synthesis of gold and silver nanoparticles that were characterized by using an X-ray diffractometer and transmission electron microscope (TEM). The extracellular nanoparticles displayed catalytic activities and reduced 4-nitroaniline to benzene-1,4-diamine. This paper thus highlights nanoparticle synthesis by a hitherto unreported yeast culture, identifies the biomolecules involved in the process, and describes a potential application of the nanostructures.

  10. Thuja occidentalis (Arbor vitae: A Review of its Pharmaceutical, Pharmacological and Clinical Properties

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Belal Naser

    2005-01-01

    Full Text Available Arbor vitae (Thuja occidentalis L. is a native European tree widely used in homeopathy and evidence-based phytotherapy. Many reviews and monographs have been published on the herbal substance's description, mode of action and clinical use. However, no comprehensive evidence-based review is available. Therefore, our aim was to search MEDLINE databases and survey manufacturers for further details or unpublished data. This review presents the botany, ethnobotany and phytochemistry, especially the different contents of essential oil (Thujone in relation to different extraction procedures of this medicinal plant. Thuja's antiviral action and immunopharmacological potential, such as stimulatory and co-stimulatory effects on cytokine and antibody production and activation of macrophages and other immunocompetent cells, have been evaluated in numerous in vitro and in vivo investigations. Although no controlled trials have been conducted on Thuja occ alone, many clinical studies have been performed with a herbal medicinal product containing a special extract of Thuja occ and other immunostimulants, demonstrating its therapeutic efficacy and safety in respiratory tract infections.

  11. Homology modeling and molecular dynamics study on Schwanniomyces occidentalis alpha-amylase.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sefidbakht, Yahya; Ranaei Siadat, Omid; Taheri, Fatemeh

    2017-02-01

    With consumers growing increasingly aware of environmental issues, industries find enzymes as a reasonable alternative over physical conditions and chemical catalysts. Amylases are important hydrolase enzymes, which have been widely used in variety of industrial process such as pharmaceutical, food, and fermentation industries. Among amylases α-Amylase is in maximum demand due to its wide range of applications. The homology modeling study on Schwanniomyces occidentalis amylase (AMY1, UniProt identifier number: P19269) was performed by Modeller using Aspergillus oryzae (6TAA) as the template. The resulting structure was analyzed for validity and subjected to 14 ns of molecular dynamics (MD) simulation trough GROMACS. The validity of obtained model may represent that utilized OPLS force field is suitable for calcium-containing enzymes. DSSP secondary structure and contact map analysis represent the conservation of domain A TIM barrel feature together with calcium ion coordination sphere. Investigating the covariance matrix followed by principle component analyses for the first five eigenvectors of both trajectories indicate a little more flexibility for AMY1 structure. The electrostatic calculation for the final structures shows similar isoelectric point and superimposed buffering zone in the 5-8 pH range.

  12. Cadmium hyperaccumulation protects Thlaspi caerulescens from leaf feeding damage by thrips (Frankliniella occidentalis).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, R F; Ma, D Y; Zhao, F J; McGrath, S P

    2005-09-01

    Metal hyperaccumulation has been proposed as a plant defensive strategy. Here, we investigated whether cadmium (Cd) hyperaccumulation protected Thlaspi caerulescens from leaf feeding damage by thrips (Frankliniella occidentalis). Two ecotypes differing in Cd accumulation, Ganges (high) and Prayon (low), were grown in compost amended with 0-1000 mg Cd kg(-1) in two experiments under glasshouse conditions. F2 and F3 plants from the Prayon x Ganges crosses were grown with 5 mg Cd kg(-1). Plants were naturally colonized by thrips and the leaf feeding damage index (LFDI) was assessed. The LFDI decreased significantly with increasing Cd in both ecotypes, and correlated with shoot Cd concentration in a log-linear fashion. Prayon was more attractive to thrips than Ganges, but the ecotypic difference in the LFDI was largely accounted for by the shoot Cd concentration. In the F2 and F3 plants, the LFDI correlated significantly and negatively with shoot Cd, but not with shoot zinc (Zn) or sulphur (S) concentrations. We conclude that Cd hyperaccumulation deters thrips from feeding on T. caerulescens leaves, which may offer an adaptive benefit to the plant.

  13. Geographic genetic differentiation of a malaria parasite, Plasmodium mexicanum, and its lizard host, Sceloporus occidentalis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fricke, Jennifer M; Vardo-Zalik, Anne M; Schall, Jos J

    2010-04-01

    Gene flow, and resulting degree of genetic differentiation among populations, will shape geographic genetic patterns and possibly local adaptation of parasites and their hosts. Some studies of Plasmodium falciparum in humans show substantial differentiation of the parasite in locations separated by only a few kilometers, a paradoxical finding for a parasite in a large, mobile host. We examined genetic differentiation of the malaria parasite Plasmodium mexicanum, and its lizard host, Sceloporus occidentalis, at 8 sites in northern California, with the use of variable microsatellite markers for both species. These lizards are small and highly territorial, so we expected local genetic differentiation of both parasite and lizard. Populations of P. mexicanum were found to be differentiated by analysis of 5 markers (F(st) values >0.05-0.10) over distances as short as 230-400 m, and greatly differentiated (F(st) values >0.25) for sites separated by approximately 10 km. In contrast, the lizard host had no, or very low, levels of differentiation for 3 markers, even for sites >40 km distant. Thus, gene flow for the lizard was great, but despite the mobility of the vertebrate host, the parasite was locally genetically distinct. This discrepancy could result if infected lizards move little, but their noninfected relatives were more mobile. Previous studies on the virulence of P. mexicanum for fence lizards support this hypothesis. However, changing prevalence of the parasite, without changes in density of the lizard, could also result in this pattern.

  14. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)-active metabolites from Platanus occidentalis (American Sycamore).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ibrahim, Mohamed A; Mansoor, Arsala A; Gross, Amanda; Ashfaq, M Khalid; Jacob, Melissa; Khan, Shabana I; Hamann, Mark T

    2009-12-01

    One known and three new potent, selective, and nontoxic anti-MRSA metabolites, kaempferol 3-O-alpha-l-(2'',3''-di-E-p-coumaroyl)rhamnoside (1) (IC(50) 2.0 microg/mL), kaempferol 3-O-alpha-l-(2''-E-p-coumaroyl-3''-Z-p-coumaroyl)rhamnoside (2) (IC(50) 0.8 microg/mL), kaempferol 3-O-alpha-l-(2''-Z-p-coumaroyl-3''-E-p-coumaroyl)rhamnoside (3) (IC(50) 0.7 microg/mL), and kaempferol 3-O-alpha-l-(2'',3''-di-Z-p-coumaroyl)rhamnoside (4) (IC(50) 0.4 microg/mL), were isolated from the leaves of the common American sycamore, Platanus occidentalis. Compounds 2-4 are new. Due to the unusual selectivity, potency, and safety of the pure compounds and the semipure glycoside mixture against MRSA, it is clear that this represents a viable class of inhibitors to prevent growth of MRSA on surfaces and systemically.

  15. A cellular automata model for ant trails

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Sibel Gokce; Ozhan Kayacan

    2013-05-01

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

  16. Antecedentes biológicos de hormigas presentes en Chile publicados en revistas científicas nacionales y extranjeras durante el siglo XX Biological background of ants found in Chile published in national and foreign scientific journals during the XX century

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    HUGO TORRES-CONTRERAS

    2001-09-01

    Full Text Available Se revisa la información sobre biología de hormigas presentes en Chile publicada en revistas científicas nacionales y extranjeras durante el período 1900-1999. Se evalúan estos antecedentes en términos de: (i la dinámica temporal de la producción de publicaciones, (ii las principales temáticas de estudio, y (iii los géneros de formícidos en los cuáles se ha concentrado la investigación. Los datos recolectados muestran que sólo a partir de la década del 60' se produce un marcado crecimiento del número de artículos sobre hormigas, lo cual alcanza su máxima expresión durante la década del 90'. Los principales tópicos de investigación han sido, en orden decreciente, aspectos sobre taxonomía, uso del hábitat, períodos de actividad, conductas tróficas y de reconocimiento entre individuos. Los géneros de formícidos en los que se han centrado estos estudios corresponden a Camponotus, Solenopsis, Pogonomyrmex, Brachymyrmex, Conomyrma y Linepithema. Estos resultados son discutidos a la luz de acontecimientos históricos que habrían determinado el curso de las investigaciones. Finalmente, se proponen líneas de investigación que en el futuro podrían desarrollar los estudios sobre hormigas en ChileInformation is reviewed on the biology of ants found in Chile published in national and foreign scientific journals during the period 1900-1999. The information is evaluated in terms of: (i temporal dynamics of publication production, (ii main themes of study, and (iii formicid groups in which the investigation has been concentrated. The collected data show that in the decade the 60's, the number of articles on ants grew, reaching a peack during the 90's. The main topics of investigation have been, in decreasing order, aspects of taxonomy, habitat use, periods of activity, trofic behavior and inter-individuals recognition. The formicid groups in which these studies have been focused correspond to Camponotus, Solenopsis, Pogonomyrmex

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1996-03-01

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

  18. Pest repellent properties of ant pheromones

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Offenberg, Joachim

    2012-01-01

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

  19. Ant colony optimization in continuous problem

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    YU Ling; LIU Kang; LI Kaishi

    2007-01-01

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

  20. Using Ants to Investigate the Environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hagevik, Rita A.

    2005-01-01

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

  1. Male parentage in army ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2006-01-01

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

  2. Optimal cue integration in ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wystrach, Antoine; Mangan, Michael; Webb, Barbara

    2015-10-07

    In situations with redundant or competing sensory information, humans have been shown to perform cue integration, weighting different cues according to their certainty in a quantifiably optimal manner. Ants have been shown to merge the directional information available from their path integration (PI) and visual memory, but as yet it is not clear that they do so in a way that reflects the relative certainty of the cues. In this study, we manipulate the variance of the PI home vector by allowing ants (Cataglyphis velox) to run different distances and testing their directional choice when the PI vector direction is put in competition with visual memory. Ants show progressively stronger weighting of their PI direction as PI length increases. The weighting is quantitatively predicted by modelling the expected directional variance of home vectors of different lengths and assuming optimal cue integration. However, a subsequent experiment suggests ants may not actually compute an internal estimate of the PI certainty, but are using the PI home vector length as a proxy. © 2015 The Author(s).

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2014-01-01

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

  4. Comparación anatómica de Nitrophila australis var. australis y Nitrophila occidentalis (Chenopodiaceae: Su importancia taxonómica Anatomic comparison between Nitrophila australis var. australis and Nitrophila occidentalis (Chenopodiaceae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vanesa Pérez Cuadra

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available Nitrophila australis es una halófita endémica de la Argentina mientras que Nitrophila occidentalis es una halófita nativa de Norteamérica; ambas pertenecen a las Polycnemoideae (Chenopodiaceae. Su anatomía foliar es similar: epidermis uniestratificada, clorénquima homogéneo, tejido acuífero y un haz vascular central con un número variable de haces menores a cada lado del mismo; la principal diferencia reside en las estrías cuticulares y carenas marginales. El tallo de ambas especies posee una epidermis uniestratificada, colénquima angular subepidérmico y parénquima cortical aerenquimatoso. La estela de N. australis posee cuatro haces vasculares mientras que la de N. occidentalis tiene ocho; ambas especies presentan casquetes de colénquima asociados a los haces vasculares. En el rizoma de la especie argentina el felógeno es superficial mientras que el de la americana se diferencia más profundamente. En ambas especies se observa un número variable de haces vasculares en la estela. Si bien las características morfológicas y anatómicas generales son similares en estas especies, cada una presenta algunas variaciones específicas, por lo cual su estudio anatómico reviste valor taxonómico a nivel de especie.Its taxonomic importance. Nitrophila australis is an endemic halophyte species of Argentina while Nitrophila occidentalis is a native halophyte of North America, both belonging to Polycnemoideae (Chenopodiaceae. They are similar in foliar anatomy: one-layered epidermis, homogeneous chlorenchyma, acqueous tissue and one large central bundle with a variable number of smaller ones on each side of the latter; the main difference stands in the cuticular striae and marginal ribs on each side of the leaf. The stem of both species shows a one-layered epidermis, subepidermic angular collenchyma and a cortical aerenchymatous parenchyma. Four bundles occur in the stele of N. australis while in N. occidentalis there are eight; both show

  5. Evolutional Ant Colony Method Using PSO

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morii, Nobuto; Aiyoshi, Eitarou

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

  6. Microsatellite primers for fungus-growing ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2002-01-01

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

  7. Microsatellite Primers for Fungus-Growing Ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2002-01-01

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

  8. Microsatellite Primers for Fungus-Growing Ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2002-01-01

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

  9. Microsatellite primers for fungus-growing ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2002-01-01

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

  10. Arginine kinase from the Tardigrade, Macrobiotus occidentalis: molecular cloning, phylogenetic analysis and enzymatic properties.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uda, Kouji; Ishida, Mikako; Matsui, Tohru; Suzuki, Tomohiko

    2010-10-01

    Arginine kinase (AK), which catalyzes the reversible transfer of phosphate from ATP to arginine to yield phosphoarginine and ADP, is widely distributed throughout the invertebrates. We determined the cDNA sequence of AK from the tardigrade (water bear) Macrobiotus occidentalis, cloned the sequence into pET30b plasmid, and expressed it in Escherichia coli as a 6x His-tag—fused protein. The cDNA is 1377 bp, has an open reading frame of 1080 bp, and has 5′- and 3′-untranslated regions of 116 and 297 bp, respectively. The open reading frame encodes a 359-amino acid protein containing the 12 residues considered necessary for substrate binding in Limulus AK. This is the first AK sequence from a tardigrade. From fragmented and non-annotated sequences available from DNA databases, we assembled 46 complete AK sequences: 26 from arthropods (including 19 from Insecta), 11 from nematodes, 4 from mollusks, 2 from cnidarians and 2 from onychophorans. No onychophoran sequences have been reported previously. The phylogenetic trees of 104 AKs indicated clearly that Macrobiotus AK (from the phylum Tardigrada) shows close affinity with Epiperipatus and Euperipatoides AKs (from the phylum Onychophora), and therefore forms a sister group with the arthropod AKs. Recombinant 6x His-tagged Macrobiotus AK was successfully expressed as a soluble protein, and the kinetic constants (K(m), K(d), V(ma) and k(cat)) were determined for the forward reaction. Comparison of these kinetic constants with those of AKs from other sources (arthropods, mollusks and nematodes) indicated that Macrobiotus AK is unique in that it has the highest values for k(cat) and K(d)K(m) (indicative of synergistic substrate binding) of all characterized AKs.

  11. Yield and utilization of hardwood fiber grown on short rotations. [Platanus occidentalis, Liquidambar styraciflua, Liriodendron tulipifera

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Steinbeck, K.; Brown, C.L.

    1976-01-01

    Plantations of broad-leaved tree species harvested in cycles of less than 10 years can help meet man's increasing cellulose and energy needs. A system of growing hardwoods like an agricultural row crop, harvested with equipment equivalent to corn silage cutters and using the ensuing sprout growth as the next crop, was conceived by foresters in Georgia in 1965. Research has focused on the tree species, sites, and cultural practices suited for this concept as well as the biomass yields and the utility of the fiber that was produced. About 70 hectares of American sycamore (Platanus occidentalis L.), sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua L.), and yellow poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera L.) test plantings have been established in the Piedmont and Coastal Plain regions of Georgia. These species, when given proper care, can be grown successfully on many sites previously deemed unsuitable for hardwood growth. Stumps will resprout throughout the year, ensuring a continuous flow of raw material to the user. The biomass yields from hardwood fields vary with species, site, cultural practices, and rotation age. Fresh weight yields of unfoliated sycamore sprouts grown on an upland site varied from 14.3 tons/ha/yr when harvested annually to 21.8 tons/ha/yr with harvest at age four. When sprouts were harvested every two years, 46 kg/ha/2 yrs of nitrogen, 35 kg calcium, 22 kg potassium, and 6 kg phosphorus were removed in the harvested material. Juvenile American sycamore stump sprouts have been successfully converted into corrugating medium, particleboard, fiberboard, hardboard, and newsprint. It can be cooked by the Kraft and NSSC processes. One-, two-, and four-year-old sycamore sprouts presented no unusual problems in the Kraft process, and yields ranged from 45 to 57 percent with an average yield of 52 percent. Cooking times were relatively short.

  12. Molecular cloning and characterization of a flavanone-3-hydroxylase gene from rubus occidentalis L

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lee, Seung Sik; Lee, Eun Mi; An, Byung Chull; Barampuram, Shyamkumar; Kim, Jae Sung; Chung, Jae Sung [Advanced Radiation Technology Institute, Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute, Jeongeup (Korea, Republic of); Cho, Jae Young [Dept. of Applied Life Sciences, Chonbuk National University, Jeonju (Korea, Republic of); Lee, In Chul [Senior Industry Cluster Agency, Youngdong University, Youngdong (Korea, Republic of)

    2008-08-15

    Flavanone-3-hydroxylase (F3H) is one of the key enzymes for the biosynthesis of flavonals, anthocyanins, catechins and proanthocyanins. F3H catalyzes the 3β-hydroxylation of (2S)-flavonones to form (2R, 3R)-dihydroflavonols. In this report, we isolated a full-length cDNA of RocF3H from black raspberry (Rubus occidentalis L.) using a reverse transcriptase-PCR and rapid amplification of the cDNA ends (RACE)-PCR. The full-length cDNA of RocF3H contains a 1,098 bp open reading frame (ORF) encoding a 365 amino acid protein with a calculated molecular weight of about 41.1 kDa and isoelectric point (pI) of 5.45. The genomic DNA analysis revealed that the RocF3H gene had three exons and two introns. Comparison of the deduced amino acid sequence of the RocF3H with other F3Hs revealed that the protein is highly homologous with various plant species. The conserved amino acids ligating the ferrous iron and the residues participating in the 2-oxoglutarate binding (R-X-S) were found in RocF3H at the similar positions to other F3Hs. Southern blot analysis indicated that RocF3H exist a multi-gene family. The isolation of RocF3H gene will be helpful to further study the role of F3H gene in the biosynthesis of flavonoids in R. occidnetalis.

  13. Roost habitat of Mexican Spotted Owls (Strix occidentalis lucida) in the canyonlands of Utah

    Science.gov (United States)

    Willey, David W.; Van Riper, Charles

    2015-01-01

    In large portions of their geographic range, Mexican Spotted Owls (Strix occidentalis lucida) roost in forest-dominated environments, but in some areas the owls use relatively arid rocky canyonlands. We measured habitat characteristics at 133 male roosts (n = 20 males) during 1992-95, and 56 female roosts (n = 13 females) during 1994-95. Across all years and study areas, 44% of Mexican Spotted Owl roosts occurred in mixed-conifer forest patches, 30% in desert scrub habitat, 16% in pinyon-juniper woodlands, and 10% of roosts occurred in riparian vegetation. Two basic substrates were used as perches by owls, including rock ledges or various trees, where roost height averaged 9 m (0.54 SD), and average height of cliffs above perched owls was 50 m (58 SD). For both males and females, trees types used most frequently included various firs (51%), followed by pinyon pine (18%), Utah juniper (15%), and big-tooth maple or box elder combined (15%). Roost sites were located in canyons composed of cliff-forming geologic formations, primarily oriented north-west to south-east. The width of canyons measured at roosts averaged 68 m (105 SD), but ranged from 1-500 m. Canopy cover at roosts used by owls ranged from 44% to 71%, mean tree height of all trees present was 9.5 m and mean diameter of trees was 25.4 cm. Non-roost habitat was warmer, not as steep, and possessed fewer caves and ledges than roost habitat. Trees present in roost plots were taller, and thus showed greater average diameter than trees present in non-roost habitat.

  14. Antibacterial Activities of Metabolites from Platanus occidentalis (American sycamore) against Fish Pathogenic Bacteria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schrader, Kevin K; Hamann, Mark T; McChesney, James D; Rodenburg, Douglas L; Ibrahim, Mohamed A

    2016-01-01

    One approach to the management of common fish diseases in aquaculture is the use of antibiotic-laden feed. However, there are public concerns about the use of antibiotics in agriculture and the potential development of antibiotic resistant bacteria. Therefore, the discovery of other environmentally safe natural compounds as alternatives to antibiotics would benefit the aquaculture industries. Four natural compounds, commonly called platanosides, [kaempferol 3-O-α-L-(2″,3″-di-E-p-coumaroyl)rhamnoside (1), kaempferol 3-O-α-L-(2″-E-p-coumaroyl-3″-Z-p-coumaroyl)rhamnoside (2), kaempferol 3-O-α-L-(2″-Z-p-coumaroyl-3″-E-p-coumaroyl)rhamnoside (3), and kaempferol 3-O-α-L-(2″,3″-di-Z-p-coumaroyl)rhamnoside (4)] isolated from the leaves of the American sycamore (Platanus occidentalis) tree were evaluated using a rapid bioassay for their antibacterial activities against common fish pathogenic bacteria including Flavobacterium columnare, Edwardsiella ictaluri, Aeromonas hydrophila, and Streptococcus iniae. The four isomers and a mixture of all four isomers were strongly antibacterial against isolates of F. columnare and S. iniae. Against F. columnare ALM-00-173, 3 and 4 showed the strongest antibacterial activities, with 24-h 50% inhibition concentration (IC50) values of 2.13 ± 0.11 and 2.62 ± 0.23 mg/L, respectively. Against S. iniae LA94-426, 4 had the strongest antibacterial activity, with 24-h IC50 of 1.87 ± 0.23 mg/L. Neither a mixture of the isomers nor any of the individual isomers were antibacterial against isolates of E. ictaluri and A. hydrophila at the test concentrations used in the study. Several of the isomers appear promising for the potential management of columnaris disease and streptococcosis in fish.

  15. 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.

  16. Team swimming in ant spermatozoa.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-06-01

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

  17. 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...

  18. Buticulotrema stenauchenus n. gen., n. sp. (Digenea: Opecoelidae) from Malacocephalus occidentalis and Nezumia aequalis (Macrouridae) from the Gulf of Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blend, C K; Dronen, N O; McEachran, J D

    1993-10-01

    Buticulotrema stenauchenus n. gen., n. sp. (Opecoelidae: Opecoelinae) is described from the macrourid fishes Malacocephalus occidentalis Goode and Bean, 1885, and Nezumia aequalis Günther, 1878, collected in June 1971 from the DeSoto Canyon area of the Gulf of Mexico at a depth of 495 m. Eight of 25 (32%) M. occidentalis and 1 of 8 (13%) N. aequalis examined were infected with the new opecoelid. Specimens of Bathygadus macrops Goode and Bean, 1886, and Coelorhynchus coelorhynchus Risso, 1810, collected at the same time were not infected with B. stenauchenus. The new genus most closely resembles Genitocotyle Park, 1937, but differs in that it lacks an accessory sucker behind the genital pore, contains a blind rather than canalicular seminal receptacle, and has a slightly pedunculate acetabulum, a pharynx that is longer than wide, and a distinctive, long-necked, bottle-shaped body. Buticulotrema stenauchenus is also similar to Pseudopecoelus von Wicklen, 1946, but the latter lacks a blind seminal receptacle.

  19. Differentiation of the sibling species Biomphalaria occidentalis and Biomphalaria tenagophila by the electrophoretic patterns of their hemoglobin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James B. Bailey

    1986-09-01

    Full Text Available A simple and rapid method for differentialing the sibling species Biomphalaria tenagophila and Biomphalaria occidentalis by agarose gel electrophoresis (AGE is described. Snail hemolymph is used as the test sample and the red colaration of the hemoglobin fraction permits visualization of the migration patterns without resorting to specific stains. Moreover, hemolymph samples may be obtained without killing the snail, thus permitting its use for other studies for breeding.É descrito um método simples e rápido para distinguir as espécies crípticas Biomphalaria tenagophila e B. occidentalis por eletroforese em gel de agarose. A prova é feita com hemolinfa do molusco, permitindo a cor vermelha da fração hemoglobina visualizar os padrões de migração sem necessidade de recorrer a colorações específicas. Além disso, as amostras de hemolinfa podem ser obtidas sem sacrificar o molusco, que poderá ser usado para outros estudos ou para criação.

  20. 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...

  1. 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...... 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...

  2. Bio-inspired Ant Algorithms: A review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sangita Roy

    2013-05-01

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

  3. Ants as tools in sustainable agriculture

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Offenberg, Joachim

    2015-01-01

    1. With an expanding human population placing increasing pressure on the environment, agriculture needs sustainable production that can match conventional methods. Integrated pest management (IPM) is more sustainable, but not necessarily as efficient as conventional non-sustainable measures. 2....... 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...

  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

    2017-01-01

    facultative relationships, where ants forage on plants. 2. In a laboratory setupexperiment, weaver ants (Oecophylla smaragdina) were confined to the canopies of coffee (Coffea arabica) seedlings, excluding any ant-to-plant transfer of nutrients via the soil strata. When ants were fed 15N-labelled glycine......-recognised but probably more fluctuating benefit from herbivore protection. Given the worldwide abundance of plant canopies foraged by ants, this nutrient pathway may be of high ecological significance.......1. Nutrient supplies to plants from ants are well known from specialised myrmecophytic symbioses and from plants growing in soil close to ant nests. However, above ground nutrient pathways may play a hitherto largely unrecognised role also in less specialised ant-plant interactions – the numerous...

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

    OpenAIRE

    Liqiang Liu; Yuntao Dai; Jinyu Gao

    2014-01-01

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

  6. Microorganisms transported by ants induce changes in floral nectar composition of an ant-pollinated plant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Vega, Clara; Herrera, Carlos M

    2013-04-01

    Interactions between plants and ants abound in nature and have significant consequences for ecosystem functioning. Recently, it has been suggested that nectar-foraging ants transport microorganisms to flowers; more specifically, they transport yeasts, which can potentially consume sugars and alter nectar composition. Therefore, ants could indirectly change nectar sugar profile, an important floral feature involved in the plant-pollinator mutualism. But this novel role for ants has never been tested. We here investigate the effects of nectarivorous ants and their associated yeasts on the floral nectar sugar composition of an ant-pollinated plant. Differences in the nectar sugar composition of ant-excluded and ant-visited flowers were examined in 278 samples by using high-performance liquid-chromatography. The importance of the genetic identity and density of ant-transported basidiomycetous and ascomycetous yeasts on the variation of nectar traits was also evaluated. Ant visitation had significant effects on nectar sugar composition. The nectar of ant-visited flowers contained significantly more fructose, more glucose, and less sucrose than the nectar of ant-excluded flowers, but these effects were context dependent. Nectar changes were correlated with the density of yeast cells in nectar. The magnitude of the effects of ant-transported ascomycetes was much higher than that of basiodiomycetes. Ants and their associated yeasts induce changes in nectar sugar traits, reducing the chemical control of the plant over this important floral trait. The potential relevance of this new role for ants as indirect nectar modifiers is a rich topic for future research into the ecology of ant-flower interactions.

  7. Fungal Adaptations to Mutualistic Life with Ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kooij, Pepijn Wilhelmus

    that forage on crude substrates such as insect frass and dry plant material, to large colonies of the leaf-cutting ants with several thousands to several million workers that provide live plant material to their fungus gardens. Leaf-cutting ants are the dominant herbivores of the Neo-tropics, and have a major...... on specific enzyme groups and Acromyrmex having an overall high enzyme activity. Finally, I show that the fungal symbiont of the leaf-cutting ant Acromyrmex echinatior produces large amounts of biodegrading enzymes in special structures called gongylidia. The ants eat these structures, but enzymes pass...

  8. GRID SCHEDULING USING ENHANCED ANT COLONY ALGORITHM

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. Mathiyalagan

    2010-10-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. Ilmub suurmeister Evald Okase monograafia / Ants Juske

    Index Scriptorium Estoniae

    Juske, Ants, 1956-

    2009-01-01

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

  11. Enhanced ants system and its application

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2005-01-01

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

  12. Advances of classification and identification in Frankliniella occidentalis (Pergande)%西花蓟马分类鉴定方法的研究进展

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    高燕; 齐国君; 钟锋; 赵成银; 吕利华

    2011-01-01

    西花蓟马FranklinieUa occidentalis(Pergande)是一种危险性外来人侵害虫,虫体小,鉴定困难.本文总结了国内外西花蓟马分类鉴定方法的研究进展,包括形态学鉴别、分子生物学方法以及基于表皮碳氢化合物分析的生化分类方法,并讨论了各种分类方法的优势和弊端,最后对西花蓟马的分类研究前景进行了展望.%It is difficult to identify the western flower thrips, Frankliniella occidentalis (Pergande), which is a dangerous invasive species because of its minute body. In this review, we analyzed the research progress of classification and identification in F. Occidentalis, including morphological characters, molecular biotechnology and cuticular hydrocarbon analysis. The advantages and disadvantages of three classified technology were also discussed. Finally, we looked into the future of classification in F. Occidentalis.

  13. Back-transmission of a virus associated with apple stem pitting and pear vein yellows from Nicotiana occidentalis to apple and pear indicators

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Leone, G.; Lindner, J.L.; Jongedijk, G.; Meer, van der F.

    1995-01-01

    The successful back-transmission of the mechanically transmissible virus associated with apple stem pitting and pear vein yellows, from Nicotiana occidentalis to apple seedlings "Golden Delicious" under greenhouse conditions is reported. This result enabled a field experiment where isolates of apple

  14. Symptoms on apple and pear indicators after back-transmission from Nicotiana occidentalis confirm the identity of apple stem pitting virus with pear vein yellows virus

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Leone, G.; Lindner, J.L.; Meer, van der F.A.; Schoen, C.D.; Jongedijk, G.

    1998-01-01

    Isolates of apple stem pitting virus (ASPV) from diseased apple trees were maintained in Nicotiana occidentalis then back-transmitted mechanically from the herbaceous host to apple seedlings and indexed by double budding on apple and pear indicators for the following syndromes: apple stem pitting,

  15. Symptoms on apple and pear indicators after back-transmission from Nicotiana occidentalis confirm the identity of apple stem pitting virus with pear vein yellows virus

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Leone, G.; Lindner, J.L.; Meer, van der F.A.; Schoen, C.D.; Jongedijk, G.

    1998-01-01

    Isolates of apple stem pitting virus (ASPV) from diseased apple trees were maintained in Nicotiana occidentalis then back-transmitted mechanically from the herbaceous host to apple seedlings and indexed by double budding on apple and pear indicators for the following syndromes: apple stem pitting, p

  16. Mosquitocidal and antiplasmodial activity of Senna occidentalis (Cassiae) and Ocimum basilicum (Lamiaceae) from Maruthamalai hills against Anopheles stephensi and Plasmodium falciparum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murugan, Kadarkarai; Aarthi, Narayanan; Kovendan, Kalimuthu; Panneerselvam, Chellasamy; Chandramohan, Balamurugan; Kumar, Palanisamy Mahesh; Amerasan, Duraisamy; Paulpandi, Manickam; Chandirasekar, Ramachandran; Dinesh, Devakumar; Suresh, Udaiyan; Subramaniam, Jayapal; Higuchi, Akon; Alarfaj, Abdullah A; Nicoletti, Marcello; Mehlhorn, Heinz; Benelli, Giovanni

    2015-10-01

    Each year, mosquito-borne diseases infect nearly 700 million people, resulting to more than 1 million deaths. In this study, we evaluated the larvicidal, pupicidal, and smoke toxicity of Senna occidentalis and Ocimum basilicum leaf extracts against the malaria vector Anopheles stephensi. Furthermore, the antiplasmodial activity of plant extracts was evaluated against chloroquine (CQ)-resistant (CQ-r) and CQ-sensitive (CQ-s) strains of Plasmodium falciparum. In larvicidal and pupicidal experiments, S. occidentalis LC50 ranged from 31.05 (I instar larvae) to 75.15 ppm (pupae), and O. basilicum LC50 ranged from 29.69 (I instar larvae) to 69 ppm (pupae). Smoke toxicity experiments conducted against adults showed that S. occidentalis and O. basilicum coils evoked mortality rates comparable to the pyrethrin-based positive control (38, 52, and 42%, respectively). In antiplasmodial assays, Senna occidentalis 50% inhibitory concentration (IC50) were 48.80 μg/ml (CQ-s) and 54.28 μg/ml (CQ-r), while O. basilicum IC50 were 68.14 μg/ml (CQ-s) and 67.27 μg/ml (CQ-r). Overall, these botanicals could be considered as potential sources of metabolites to build newer and safer malaria control tools.

  17. A genetic linkage map of black raspberry (Rubus occidentalis) and the mapping of Ag4 conferring resistance to the aphid Amphorophora agathonica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Black raspberry (Rubus occidentalis L.) is a high-value crop in the Pacific Northwest of North America with an international marketplace. Few genetic resources are readily available and little improvement has been achieved through breeding efforts to address production challenges involved in growing...

  18. Onion thrips, Thrips tabaci, have gut bacteria that are closely related to the symbionts of the western flower thrips, Frankliniella occidentalis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vries, de E.J.; Wurff, van der A.W.G.; Jacobs, G.; Breeuwer, J.A.J.

    2008-01-01

    It has been shown that many insects have Enterobacteriaceae bacteria in their gut system. The western flower thrips, Frankliniella occidentalis Pergande [Thysanoptera: Thripidae], has a symbiotic relation with Erwinia species gut bacteria. To determine if other Thripidae species have similar bacteri

  19. Back-transmission of a virus associated with apple stem pitting and pear vein yellows from Nicotiana occidentalis to apple and pear indicators

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Leone, G.; Lindner, J.L.; Jongedijk, G.; Meer, van der F.

    1995-01-01

    The successful back-transmission of the mechanically transmissible virus associated with apple stem pitting and pear vein yellows, from Nicotiana occidentalis to apple seedlings "Golden Delicious" under greenhouse conditions is reported. This result enabled a field experiment where isolates of apple

  20. Cuticles of Mariopteris occidentalis White nov. emend. from the Middle Pennsylvanian of Oklahoma (USA), and a new type of climber hook for mariopteroid pteridosperms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krings, M; Taylor, T N.; Taylor, E L.; Axsmith, B J.; Kerp, H

    2001-04-01

    Cuticles of Mariopteris occidentalis are described from the Desmoinesian (Middle Pennsylvanian) of Oklahoma (USA). This species, like other mariopteroids, had a vine- to liana-like growth habit and climbed with specialized climber hooks. However, M. occidentalis is different from other mariopteroids in having small recurved hooks on the abaxial surfaces of the pinna axes. The diagnosis for M. occidentalis White 1899 is emended based on additional macroscopical observations and data on the epidermal anatomy; a lectotype is designated. M. occidentalis is compared with Pseudomariopteris cordato-ovata from the Stephanian and Autunian of Europe and North America, a taxon which is considered very similar and may be related. Although the two taxa indeed display similarities, significant evidence for a closer relationship could not be found. Finally, some features, e.g. marginal water pits and the stomatal structure, are considered with regard to their palaeoautecological significance where they are interpreted as adaptations to special physiological requirements of a vine- to liana-like life form.

  1. No transmission of Potato spindle tuber viroid shown in experiments with thrips (Frankliniella occidentalis, Thrips tabaci), honey bees (Apis mellifera) and bumblebees (Bombus terrestris)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Steen Lykke; Enkegaard, Annie; Nicolaisen, Mogens;

    2012-01-01

    and Thrips tabaci by leaf sucking. The F. occidentalis experiments also included feeding on pollen prior to feeding on PSTVd-infected leaf. No thrips-mediated transmission of PSTVd was recorded. The possibility of PSTVd transmission by Apis mellifera and Bombus terrestris during their feeding...

  2. An entomopathogenic strain of Beauveria bassiana against Frankliniella occidentalis with no detrimental effect on the predatory mite Neoseiulus barkeri: evidence from laboratory bioassay and scanning electron microscopic observation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shengyong Wu

    Full Text Available Among 28 isolates of Beauveria bassiana tested for virulence against F. occidentalis in laboratory bioassays, we found strain SZ-26 as the most potent, causing 96% mortality in adults at 1×10(7 mL(-1conidia after 4 days. The effect of the strain SZ-26 on survival, longevity and fecundity of the predatory mite Neoseiulus (Amblyseius barkeri Hughes were studied under laboratory conditions. The bioassay results showed that the corrected mortalities were less than 4 and 8% at 10 days following inoculation of the adult and the larvae of the predator, respectively, with 1×10(7 conidia mL(-1 of SZ-26. Furthermore, no fungal hyphae were found in dead predators. The oviposition and postoviposition durations, longevity, and fecundity displayed no significant differences after inoculation with SZ-26 using first-instar larvae of F. occidentalis as prey in comparison with untreated predator. In contrast, the preoviposition durations were significantly longer. Observations with a scanning electron microscope, revealed that many conidia were attached to the cuticles of F. occidentalis at 2 h after treatment with germ tubes oriented toward cuticle at 24 h, penetration of the insect cuticle at 36 h, and finally, fungal colonization of the whole insect body at 60 h. In contrast, we never observed penetration of the predator's cuticle and conidia were shed gradually from the body, further demonstrating that B. bassiana strain SZ-26 show high toxicity against F. occidentalis but no pathogenicity to predatory mite.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nicklen, E Fleur; Wagner, Diane

    2006-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  6. Rinnovazione agamica e produttività degli eucalitteti di E. occidentalis e di E. x trabutii della fascia ionica crotonese nei primi quattro cicli colturali

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Silvano Avolio

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available Agamic regeneration and wood productivity in the E. occidentalis and E. x trabutii plantation of the ionian area of Crotone at the first four cultivation cycles. Here are explained the results of clear cutting without the release of standards trials conducted in stands of E. occidentalis and E. x trabutii of the ionian area of Crotone (Calabria at the end of the first four cultivation cycles: gamic (April 1974 and agamic (April 1984, 1993, 2001. The plantations, even if partially expressing their productive potentialities for the environment, objectively difficult where there have been plantings, have guaranteed, in the first three agamic cycles, a low mortality of the stumps, a discrete ability of regeneration, a good shooting faculty. The mortality in the E. x trabutii is higher than the one in the E. occidentalis, both in the gamic phase and in the group of the agamic cycles. The ability of agamic regeneration and the shooting faculty in the E. occidentalis are higher than in the E. x trabutii . As regards the bearing of the coppice shoots, the first class (vertical stems are a prerogative of the E. x trabutii. The average diameter and height in the E. x trabutii coppice shoots are higher than in the E. occidentalis ones. The ipsodiametrical ratio of the coppice shoots is high both in the E. x trabutii and in the E. occidentalis, so the agamic stems, in comparison with seed plants, are at greater risk of weather damage. In the last two agamic cycles the regeneration of the radical coppice shoots with an invasive feature and short and worn out crowns, appeared in some areas of both species. The cormometrical volume per hectare produced by the two species in the agamic cycles is sensibly higher than the one found in the gamic phase and, in the last cycle, still slightly growing. In the coppices the eight-year-old wood stands vary from 42-49 m3ha-1 for the E. occidentalis, to 59-83 m3ha-1 for the E. x trabutii. The plantations of eucalypts of

  7. Spectacular Batesian mimicry in ants

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-10-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Edwin O. Willis

    1984-01-01

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

  9. Conifer encroachment and hydrology: Altered above and below ground hydrologic fluxes in western juniper (Juniperus occidentalis)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niemeyer, R. J.; Link, T. E.; Heinse, R.; Seyfried, M. S.

    2013-12-01

    Western juniper (Juniperus occidentalis) occupy 9 million acres in Oregon, California, Idaho, and Nevada. In many of these areas juniper has expanded 10-fold since Euro-American settlement into what was mostly sagebrush steppe due to grazing, changes in fire regimes, and climate. Despite the importance of elucidating if juniper encroachment appreciably changes semi-arid hydrology, there have been few process-based studies linking above and below ground hydrologic fluxes or that assess variations across a gradient of shrub to tree-dominated areas. Our objectives are to determine: A) the differences in interception and throughfall at a lower density juniper stand dominated by low sagebrush (Artemisia arbuscula) and a moderate density juniper stand dominated by juniper, B) soil moisture dynamics between lower and moderate density juniper stands, and C) how those above and below ground processes are linked. Our study area was located at the USDA-ARS Reynolds Creek Experimental Watershed in the Owyhee Mountains of southwestern Idaho. We used multiple methods to measure and estimate above and below ground hydrologic fluxes. Above ground precipitation was estimated with large (approximately 5.5 m2) precipitation lysimeters; two located under tree canopies and two in the open. Soil moisture was measured continuously at four trees and across both plots once every 1 - 2 months once snow melted. Continuous measurements under the canopy consisted of four soil moisture probes each; two outside and under the canopy at 15 cm and 60 cm. Plot wide soil moisture changes were estimated based on changes in conductivity measured with electromagnetic induction (EMI) at both 0-75 cm and 0-150 cm. Results show some clear patterns in differences in hydrologic fluxes across the two stands. Rain and snow throughfall from mid-October through mid-April under the canopy was 289 mm, compared to 381 mm outside the canopy, therefore interception was 24% of incoming precipitation. Snowmelt rates

  10. Fire Evacuation using Ant Colony Optimization Algorithm

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Kanika Singhal; Shashank Sahu

    2016-01-01

    ... planning.The objective of the algorithm is to minimizes the entire rescue time of all evacuees.The ant colony optimization algorithm is used to solve the complications of shortest route planning. Presented paper gives a comparative overview of various emergency scenarios using ant colony optimization algorithm.

  11. Extrafloral nectar fuels ant life in deserts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aranda-Rickert, Adriana; Diez, Patricia; Marazzi, Brigitte

    2014-11-07

    Interactions mediated by extrafloral nectary (EFN)-bearing plants that reward ants with a sweet liquid secretion are well documented in temperate and tropical habitats. However, their distribution and abundance in deserts are poorly known. In this study, we test the predictions that biotic interactions between EFN plants and ants are abundant and common also in arid communities and that EFNs are only functional when new vegetative and reproductive structures are developing. In a seasonal desert of northwestern Argentina, we surveyed the richness and phenology of EFN plants and their associated ants and examined the patterns in ant-plant interaction networks. We found that 25 ant species and 11 EFN-bearing plant species were linked together through 96 pairs of associations. Plants bearing EFNs were abundant, representing ca. 19 % of the species encountered in transects and 24 % of the plant cover. Most ant species sampled (ca. 77 %) fed on EF nectar. Interactions showed a marked seasonal pattern: EFN secretion was directly related to plant phenology and correlated with the time of highest ant ground activity. Our results reveal that EFN-mediated interactions are ecologically relevant components of deserts, and that EFN-bearing plants are crucial for the survival of desert ant communities. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Annals of Botany Company.

  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

    2016-01-20

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

  13. Dynamical Equilibrium of Interacting Ant Societies

    CERN Document Server

    Leok, B T M

    1996-01-01

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

  14. Neuropeptidomics of the carpenter ant Camponotus floridanus.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-03-01

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

  15. Ants, rodents and seed predation in Proteaceae

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Ants may reduce seed predation by rapidly transporting and burying seeds in their .... the size and shape of inverted waste paper baskets or b) by securing a lid 5 ... Mimetes experiment was dry for only 3 h before rain set in. Ant activity ceased ...

  16. 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.

  17. Open Problem: Analyzing Ant Robot Coverage

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

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

  18. Ant aggression and evolutionary stability in plant-ant and plant-pollinator mutualistic interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oña, L; Lachmann, M

    2011-03-01

    Mutualistic partners derive a benefit from their interaction, but this benefit can come at a cost. This is the case for plant-ant and plant-pollinator mutualistic associations. In exchange for protection from herbivores provided by the resident ants, plants supply various kinds of resources or nests to the ants. Most ant-myrmecophyte mutualisms are horizontally transmitted, and therefore, partners share an interest in growth but not in reproduction. This lack of alignment in fitness interests between plants and ants drives a conflict between them: ants can attack pollinators that cross-fertilize the host plants. Using a mathematical model, we define a threshold in ant aggressiveness determining pollinator survival or elimination on the host plant. In our model we observed that, all else being equal, facultative interactions result in pollinator extinction for lower levels of ant aggressiveness than obligatory interactions. We propose that the capacity to discriminate pollinators from herbivores should not often evolve in ants, and when it does it will be when the plants exhibit limited dispersal in an environment that is not seed saturated so that each seed produced can effectively generate a new offspring or if ants acquire an extra benefit from pollination (e.g. if ants eat fruit). We suggest specific mutualism examples where these hypotheses can be tested empirically. © 2010 The Authors. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2010 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  19. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yuanshi; Wang, Shikun

    2015-01-01

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

  1. Modified chaotic ant swarm to function optimization

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  2. Microclimatic conditions of Lasius flavus ant mounds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Véle, Adam; Holuša, Jaroslav

    2017-05-01

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

  3. Uncovering the complexity of ant foraging trails.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Czaczkes, Tomer J; Grüter, Christoph; Jones, Sam M; Ratnieks, Francis L W

    2012-01-01

    The common garden ant Lasius niger use both trail pheromones and memory of past visits to navigate to and from food sources. In a recent paper we demonstrated a synergistic effect between route memory and trail pheromones: the presence of trail pheromones results in experienced ants walking straighter and faster. We also found that experienced ants leaving a pheromone trail deposit less pheromone. Here we focus on another finding of the experiment: the presence of cuticular hydrocarbons (CHCs), which are used as home range markers by ants, also affects pheromone deposition behavior. When walking on a trail on which CHCs are present but trail pheromones are not, experienced foragers deposit less pheromone on the outward journey than on the return journey. The regulatory mechanisms ants use during foraging and recruitment behavior is subtle and complex, affected by multiple interacting factors such as route memory, travel direction and the presence trail pheromone and home-range markings.

  4. Spatiotemporal chemotactic model for ant foraging

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramakrishnan, Subramanian; Laurent, Thomas; Kumar, Manish; Bertozzi, Andrea L.

    2014-12-01

    In this paper, we present a generic theoretical chemotactic model that accounts for certain emergent behaviors observed in ant foraging. The model does not have many of the constraints and limitations of existing models for ants colony dynamics and takes into account the distinctly different behaviors exhibited in nature by ant foragers in search of food and food ferrying ants. Numerical simulations based on the model show trail formation in foraging ant colonies to be an emergent phenomenon and, in particular, replicate behavior observed in experiments involving the species P. megacephala. The results have broader implications for the study of randomness in chemotactic models. Potential applications include the developments of novel algorithms for stochastic search in engineered complex systems such as robotic swarms.

  5. Microclimatic conditions of Lasius flavus ant mounds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Véle, Adam; Holuša, Jaroslav

    2016-11-01

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

  6. Fungal Adaptations to Mutualistic Life with Ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kooij, Pepijn Wilhelmus

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

  7. Optimal Load Dispatch Using Ant Lion Optimization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Menakshi Mahendru Nischal

    2015-08-01

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

  8. Biphasic calcium phosphate–casein bone graft fortified with Cassia occidentalis for bone tissue engineering and regeneration

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    B Santhosh Kumar; T Hemalatha; R Deepachitra; R Narasimha Raghavan; P Prabu; T P Sastry

    2015-02-01

    Research on traditional herbs is gaining momentum owing to their potent medical properties, among which Cassia occidentalis (CO) is a promising herb, with osteogenic potential. The study investigates the efficacy of CO extract incorporated biphasic calcium phosphate as an osteoinductive material. Prepared bone implants were characterized physico-chemically using FT-IR, TGA, XRD, SEM and EDX. The implants were analysed further for mechanical and biological properties. The results revealed that CO extract-incorporated bone implants possessed better compression strength and it was able to induce proliferation and enhance alkaline phosphatase activity in SaOS-2 cells. The implant proves to be promising for bone tissue engineering, and hence it demands further in vivo evaluation.

  9. NMR-based metabolomic investigation of bioactivity of chemical constituents in black raspberry (Rubus occidentalis L.) fruit extracts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paudel, Liladhar; Wyzgoski, Faith J; Giusti, M Monica; Johnson, Jodee L; Rinaldi, Peter L; Scheerens, Joseph C; Chanon, Ann M; Bomser, Joshua A; Miller, A Raymond; Hardy, James K; Reese, R Neil

    2014-02-26

    Black raspberry (Rubus occidentalis L.) (BR) fruit extracts with differing compound profiles have shown variable antiproliferative activities against HT-29 colon cancer cell lines. This study used partial least-squares (PLS) regression analysis to develop a high-resolution (1)H NMR-based multivariate statistical model for discerning the biological activity of BR constituents. This model identified specific bioactive compounds and ascertained their relative contribution against cancer cell proliferation. Cyanidin 3-rutinoside and cyanidin 3-xylosylrutinoside were the predominant contributors to the extract bioactivity, but salicylic acid derivatives (e.g., salicylic acid glucosyl ester), quercetin 3-glucoside, quercetin 3-rutinoside, p-coumaric acid, epicatechin, methyl ellagic acid derivatives (e.g., methyl ellagic acetyl pentose), and citric acid derivatives also contributed significantly to the antiproliferative activity of the berry extracts. This approach enabled the identification of new bioactive components in BR fruits and demonstrates the utility of the method for assessing chemopreventive compounds in foods and food products.

  10. Tumor inhibitory activity of methanolic and ethyl acetate soluble extracts of Thuja occidentalis L. on mice bearing Ehrlich ascites carcinoma.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Archana M Navale

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Thuja occidentalis (Cupressaceae is an ornamental plant of European origin. It has been used in folk medicine for the treatment of cancer. Mice bearing Ehrlich Ascites Carcinoma (EAC mice were treated with methanolic extract (165 mg/kg, ethyl acetate soluble fraction (30 mg/kg and combination of both extracts of TO. Inhibition of tumor growth, increase in survival time of animal with treatment, and hematological parameters were determined. Both methanolic and ethyl acetate soluble fractions of TO exerted tumor growth inhibitory activity in mice bearing EAC. Combination treatment of two extracts showed more pronounced effect. In conclusion, Methanolic and ethyl acetate soluble extracts of TO exhibit anticancer activity against Ehrlich ascites carcinoma in mice. Thus, it has anticancer potential and should be further evaluated in higher models.

  11. Actividad de rastreo en Boa constrictor occidentalis (Serpentes: Boidae, un mecanismo de localización de la especie

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Silmara Cervantes, Raquel

    1999-01-01

    Full Text Available En el presente trabajo se experimentó sobre la habilidad de Boa constrictor occidentalis para discriminar y seguir olores feromonales conespecíficos y heteroespecíficos. Las hembras presentaron elevada frecuencia de extrusiones de lengua hacia los estímulos de olor de piel de macho, piel de hembra y glándula de hembra, mostrando un mayor desplazamiento hacia el estímulo piel de hembra. Los machos respondieron con un incremento en el número de lengüeteos y búsqueda activa de los rastros frente a las secreciones de macho. Ambos sexos manifestaron preferencia por los olores conespecíficos aumentando la intensidad del lengüeteo y el seguimiento activo de rastros, mientras que exhibieron una marcada disminución de la frecuencia de extrusiones de lengua y escaso desplazamiento frente al estímulo heteroespecífico. Los resultados sugieren la estrecha relación existente entre la identificación de un estímulo mediante el lengüeteo y la actividad de rastreo. The ability in adult Boa constrictor occidentalis to discriminate between species and sexes and follow pheromonal trails was tested. Females presented elevated tongue flick rate (T.F.R. to male skin odor, female skin odor and female cloacal secretion. Trailing activity was higher to female skin odor. Males answered with elevated T.F.R. and exhibited active movements and searching of trails to their own secretions —male skin and male cloacal musk—. Both sexes had preferences to conespecific stimuli showing higher T.F.R. and active trailing while they were not interested in heterospecific trails presenting lower T.F.R. and limited movements. Results suggest the relationship between stimuli recognition by tongue flicking and trailing activity.

  12. [The ants: a strategy of population concentration].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zakharov, A A

    2011-01-01

    Ants are provided with a balanced system of reactions either to the original paucity of socia or to their secondary depopulation. This system can be defined as a strategy of population concentration. Both a successful reproduction of workers and queen fertilization are necessary conditions for ant communities' survival and development. Thus, the anthills must be large enough to ensure optimal conditions for reproduction. It is the strategy of population concentration that is directed to an accelerated attainment (or rehabilitation) by a socium of a state of stable development by way of concentrating the existent ant staff in an accessible number of viable nests. This strategy is realized throughout the life of ant communities by way of (a) fusing the starting family cells left by founder females, (b) fusing small anthills during artificial ant migrations, (c) uniting smaller socia or their joining other anthills, (d) reintegrating the secondary anthills (fragmentants) after an exogenous fragmentation of formicaries. Pooling and the attraction of deficient demographic resources from outside form the most efficient and quickest ways of reaching or restoring the threshold density levels. By realizing this strategy, the ants solve their paramount problems of anthill or settlement conservation at any particular time, as well as of providing some prospects for ant existence in the future. These problems are so vital for ant socia that they appear to hold priority over such other characteristics of utmost importance as genetic kinship or even species identity. The priority of social basics over genetic ones is unequivocally supported through mixed formicaries. A necessary condition for the realization of the strategy of population concentration is tolerance of highly developed social systems to the diversity of forms and to deviations from the norm. The use of one and the same mechanism at all stages of the life both of an individual socium and large ant settlements is

  13. Individual Recognition in Ant Queens

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    D'Ettorre, Patrizia; Heinze, Jürgen

    2005-01-01

    recognize each other's unique facial color patterns [3] . Individual recognition is advantageous when dominance hierarchies control the partitioning of work and reproduction 2 and 4 . Here, we show that unrelated founding queens of the ant Pachycondyla villosa use chemical cues to recognize each other......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...... 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1994-12-01

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

  15. Ant-lepidopteran associations along African forest edges

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-02-01

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

  16. Efeito fitotóxico do óleo volátil de Cleome guianensis Aubl. sobre o crescimento inicial de Senna occidentalis L.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A.C.S.S. VENTURA

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available RESUMO Aleloquímicos são substâncias liberadas por certas espécies vegetais no ambiente que influenciam a germinação e o desenvolvimento de outras plantas. O objetivo desse estudo foi avaliar o potencial fitotóxico de Cleome guianensis Aubl., bem como determinar o grau de estresse oxidativo causado em Senna occidentalis L. Para isso, o óleo das folhas de C. guianensis, nas concentrações 0,5 µg/mL, 1,0 µg/mL, 2,5 µg/mL e 5,0 µg/mL, em solução de 5 ml foi testado em bioensaios de germinação e de crescimento da raiz primária e do hipocótilo de S. occidentalis. Os indivíduos de S. occidentalis foram macerados, homogeneizados e submetidos a ensaios de quantificação da catalase, peroxidase, SOD e de peroxidação lipídica. Os resultados indicam que todas as concentrações do óleo volátil causaram um efeito negativo sobre a germinação e crescimento de S. occidentalis. Na concentração 5,0 µg/mL, houve 56% de inibição da germinação e 83% de inibição de crescimento do hipocótilo. Ainda, o óleo aumentou a atividade das enzimas induzidas pelo estresse oxidativo catalase, peroxidase e superóxido dismutase (SOD. Quanto à peroxidação lipídica, o óleo nas concentrações 1,0 µg/mL, 2,5 µg/mL e 5,0 µg/mL aumentou a produção de malondialdeído. Sendo assim, conclui-se que C. guianensis apresenta aleloquímicos que influenciam na germinação e no crescimento de S. occidentalis, além de aumentar a atividade das enzimas catalase, peroxidase, SOD e a produção de malondialdeído em S. occidentalis. Dessa forma, sugere-se a realização de estudos sobre o perfil químico do óleo a fim de descobrir as substâncias responsáveis por tais resultados e consolidar o potencial fitotóxico de C. guianensis.

  17. Harnessing ant defence at fruits reduces bruchid seed predation in a symbiotic ant-plant mutualism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pringle, Elizabeth G

    2014-06-22

    In horizontally transmitted mutualisms, mutualists disperse separately and reassemble in each generation with partners genetically unrelated to those in the previous generation. Because of this, there should be no selection on either partner to enhance the other's reproductive output directly. In symbiotic ant-plant mutualisms, myrmecophytic plants host defensive ant colonies, and ants defend the plants from herbivores. Plants and ants disperse separately, and, although ant defence can indirectly increase plant reproduction by reducing folivory, it is unclear whether ants can also directly increase plant reproduction by defending seeds. The neotropical tree Cordia alliodora hosts colonies of Azteca pittieri ants. The trees produce domatia where ants nest at stem nodes and also at the node between the peduncle and the rachides of the infloresence. Unlike the stem domatia, these reproductive domatia senesce after the tree fruits each year. In this study, I show that the tree's resident ant colony moves into these ephemeral reproductive domatia, where they tend honeydew-producing scale insects and patrol the nearby developing fruits. The presence of ants significantly reduced pre-dispersal seed predation by Amblycerus bruchid beetles, thereby directly increasing plant reproductive output.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  19. How to be an ant on figs

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-05-01

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

  20. Collective search by ants in microgravity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefanie M. Countryman

    2015-03-01

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

  1. Pheromone disruption of Argentine ant trail integrity

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-01-01

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

  2. Ant colonies for the travelling salesman problem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dorigo, M; Gambardella, L M

    1997-01-01

    We describe an artificial ant colony capable of solving the travelling salesman problem (TSP). Ants of the artificial colony are able to generate successively shorter feasible tours by using information accumulated in the form of a pheromone trail deposited on the edges of the TSP graph. Computer simulations demonstrate that the artificial ant colony is capable of generating good solutions to both symmetric and asymmetric instances of the TSP. The method is an example, like simulated annealing, neural networks and evolutionary computation, of the successful use of a natural metaphor to design an optimization algorithm.

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

    CERN Document Server

    Parisi, Daniel R; Josens, Roxana

    2014-01-01

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

  4. 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...

  5. 9 CFR 354.121 - Ante-mortem inspection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Parisi, Daniel R.; Soria, Sabrina A; Josens, Roxana

    2014-01-01

    In this work we studied the trajectories, velocities and densities of ants when egressing under controlled levels of stress produced by a chemical repellent at different concentrations. We found that, unlike other animals escaping under life-and-death conditions and pedestrian simulations, ants do not produce a higher density zone near the exit door. Instead, ants are uniformly distributed over the available space allowing for efficient evacuations. Consequently, the faster-is-slower effect o...

  7. Multitasking in a plant-ant interaction: how does Acacia myrtifolia manage both ants and pollinators?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martínez-Bauer, Angélica E; Martínez, Gerardo Cerón; Murphy, Daniel J; Burd, Martin

    2015-06-01

    Plant associations with protective ants are widespread among angiosperms, but carry the risk that ants will deter pollinators as well as herbivores. Such conflict, and adaptations to ameliorate or prevent the conflict, have been documented in African and neotropical acacias. Ant-acacia associations occur in Australia, but little is known of their ecology. Moreover, recent phylogenetic evidence indicates that Australian acacias are only distantly related to African and American acacias, providing an intercontinental natural experiment in the management of ant-pollinator conflict. We examined four populations of Acacia myrtifolia over a 400-km environmental gradient in southeastern Australia using ant and pollinator exclusion as well as direct observation of ants and pollinators to assess the potential for ant-pollinator conflict to affect seed set. Native bees were the only group of floral visitors whose visitation rates were a significant predictor of fruiting success, although beetles and wasps may play an important role as "insurance" pollinators. We found no increase in pollinator visitation or fruiting success following ant exclusion, even with large sample sizes and effective exclusion. Because ants are facultative visitors to A. myrtifolia plants, their presence may be insufficient to interfere greatly with floral visitors. It is also likely that the morphological location of extrafloral nectaries tends to draw ants away from reproductive parts, although we commonly observed ants on inflorescences, so the spatial separation is not strict. A. myrtifolia appears to maintain a generalized mutualism over a wide geographic range without the need for elaborate adaptations to resolve ant-pollinator conflict.

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

    CERN Document Server

    Malinowski, Janusz

    2014-01-01

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

  9. Fire disturbance disrupts an acacia ant-plant mutualism in favor of a subordinate ant species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sensenig, Ryan L; Kimuyu, Duncan K; Ruiz Guajardo, Juan C; Veblen, Kari E; Riginos, Corinna; Young, Truman P

    2017-05-01

    Although disturbance theory has been recognized as a useful framework in examining the stability of ant-plant mutualisms, very few studies have examined the effects of fire disturbance on these mutualisms. In myrmecophyte-dominated savannas, fire and herbivory are key drivers that could influence ant-plant mutualisms by causing complete colony mortality and/or decreasing colony size, which potentially could alter dominance hierarchies if subordinate species are more fire resilient. We used a large-scale, replicated fire experiment to examine long-term effects of fire on acacia-ant community composition. To determine if fire shifted ant occupancy from a competitive dominant to a subordinate ant species, we surveyed the acacia-ant community in 6-7 yr old burn sites and examined how the spatial scale of these burns influenced ant community responses. We then used two short-term fire experiments to explore possible mechanisms for the shifts in community patterns observed. Because survival of ant colonies is largely dependent on their ability to detect and escape an approaching fire, we first tested the evacuation response of all four ant species when exposed to smoke (fire signal). Then to better understand how fire and its interaction with large mammal herbivory affect the density of ants per tree, we quantified ant worker density in small prescribed burns within herbivore exclusion plots. We found clear evidence suggesting that fire disturbance favored the subordinate ant Crematogaster nigriceps more than the dominant and strong mutualist ant C. mimosae, whereby C. nigriceps (1) was the only species to occupy a greater proportion of trees in 6-7 yr old burn sites compared to unburned sites, (2) had higher burn/unburn tree ratios with increasing burn size, and (3) evacuated significantly faster than C. mimosae in the presence of smoke. Fire and herbivory had opposite effects on ant density per meter of branch for both C. nigriceps and C. mimosae, with fire

  10. Mutualism exploitation: predatory drosophilid larvae sugar-trap ants and jeopardize facultative ant-plant mutualism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vidal, Mayra C; Sendoya, Sebastian F; Oliveira, Paulo S

    2016-07-01

    An open question in the evolutionary ecology of ant-plant facultative mutualism is how other members of the associated community can affect the interaction to a point where reciprocal benefits are disrupted. While visiting Qualea grandiflora shrubs to collect sugary rewards at extrafloral nectaries, tropical savanna ants deter herbivores and reduce leaf damage. Here we show that larvae of the fly Rhinoleucophenga myrmecophaga, which develop on extrafloral nectaries, lure potentially mutualistic, nectar-feeding ants and prey on them. Foraging ants spend less time on fly-infested foliage. Field experiments showed that predation (or the threat of predation) on ants by fly larvae produces cascading effects through three trophic levels, resulting in fewer protective ants on leaves, increased numbers of chewing herbivores, and greater leaf damage. These results reveal an undocumented mode of mutualism exploitation by an opportunistic predator at a plant-provided food source, jeopardizing ant-derived protection services to the plant. Our study documents a rather unusual case of predation of adult ants by a dipteran species and demonstrates a top-down trophic cascade within a generalized ant-plant mutualism. © 2016 by the Ecological Society of America.

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

    CERN Document Server

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

    2008-01-01

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

  12. Compatibility assessment between four ethanolic plant extracts with a bug predator Orius horvathi (Reuter (Heteroptera: Anthocoridae used for controlling the western flower thrips Frankliniella occidentalis (Pergande (Thysanoptera: Thripidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Razavi Nooshin

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The western flower thrips, Frankliniella occidentalis (Pergande attacks a large number of crop plants. The current insecticides have caused resistance in insects and have caused outbreaks of thrips. In many instances, alternative methods of insect management and natural products, offer adequate pest control and pose fewer hazards. Several species of minute pirate bugs of the genus Orius play a significant role in the biological control of a large number of thrips species, such as F. occidentalis. In this study, the insecticidal activity of four ethanolic plant extracts (Cercis siliquastrum L., Calendula officinalis L., Peganum harmala L., Melia azedarach L. in integration with Orius horvathi (Reuter were evaluated for controlling F. occidentalis. The present research aimed to find plant extracts with a good impact on F. occidentalis but which have fewer side effects on O. horvathi. The results showed that P. harmala extract can be considered compatible with the natural enemy for controlling thrips. When the predatory bugs O. horvathi, were released three days after P. harmala extract spraying, the integration was more effective. While the P. harmala plant extract plays an important role in thrips control, it is necessary to consider the specified time interval between the application of the P. harmala plant extract and the release of the O. horvathi predatory bugs. The ethanolic extract of M. azedarach caused a balance between the pest population and the natural enemy. This result is very important in an Integrated Pest Management (IPM program because this ethanolic extract of M. azedarach had lower side effects on the natural enemy. This means that an integration of plant derived chemicals and the natural enemy, O. horvathi, can effectively control thrips.

  13. No transmission of Potato spindle tuber viroid shown in experiments with thrips (Frankliniella occidentalis, Thrips tabaci), honey bees (Apis mellifera) and bumblebees (Bombus terrestris)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Steen Lykke; Enkegaard, Annie; Nicolaisen, Mogens

    2012-01-01

    Experiments were carried out to investigate whether Potato spindle tuber viroid (PSTVd) can be transmitted intra- and inter-species from infected Solanum jasminoides to non-infected S. jasminoides and S. esculentum and from infected Brugmansia sp. to S. esculentum by Frankliniella occidentalis an....../pollinating activities within ornamentals and from ornamentals to S. esculentum was included, and no bee-mediated transmission was recorded....

  14. Fungal enzymes in the attine ant symbiosis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

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

  15. 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...

  16. Rose Atoll - Eradication of Invasive Ants

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — There are at least 9 species of ants introduced to Rose Atoll, including species that tend to scale insects that are devastating the Pisonia grandis trees on the 15...

  17. 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...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2011-01-01

    , the abundance of native ants increased to levels comparable to those in control plots after 1 year. Our findings suggest that factors other than large reductions in ant abundance and species density (number of species per unit area) may affect the establishment of fire ants and that the response of native ants...

  19. 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...

  20. An Improved Heuristic Ant-Clustering Algorithm

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Yunfei Chen; Yushu Liu; Jihai Zhao

    2004-01-01

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

  1. Molecular characterization and evolutionary insights into potential sex-determination genes in the western orchard predatory mite Metaseiulus occidentalis (Chelicerata: Arachnida: Acari: Phytoseiidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pomerantz, Aaron F; Hoy, Marjorie A; Kawahara, Akito Y

    2015-01-01

    Little is known about the process of sex determination at the molecular level in species belonging to the subclass Acari, a taxon of arachnids that contains mites and ticks. The recent sequencing of the transcriptome and genome of the western orchard predatory mite Metaseiulus occidentalis allows investigation of molecular mechanisms underlying the biological processes of sex determination in this predator of phytophagous pest mites. We identified four doublesex-and-mab-3-related transcription factor (dmrt) genes, one transformer-2 gene, one intersex gene, and two fruitless-like genes in M. occidentalis. Phylogenetic analyses were conducted to infer the molecular relationships to sequences from species of arthropods, including insects, crustaceans, acarines, and a centipede, using available genomic data. Comparative analyses revealed high sequence identity within functional domains and confirmed that the architecture for certain sex-determination genes is conserved in arthropods. This study provides a framework for identifying potential target genes that could be implicated in the process of sex determination in M. occidentalis and provides insight into the conservation and change of the molecular components of sex determination in arthropods.

  2. An important invasive pest, Frankliniella occidentalis, inspected in Tibet%西藏发现重要外来入侵害虫——西花蓟马

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    王海鸿; 雷仲仁; 李雪; 代安国; 陈翰秋

    2013-01-01

    西花蓟马是一种世界性的重要害虫,中国大陆地区2003年首次在北京发现并报道.作者对拉萨市区及堆龙德庆县蔬菜上采集到的蓟马进行形态学和分子生物学鉴定,证明此种蓟马为西花蓟马,这是西花蓟马在西藏发生的首次报道.%The western flower thrips, Frankliniella occidentalis, is one of the most dangerous pests around the world. In the mainland of China, this pest was firstly reported in Beijing in 2003. The thrips collected from the vegetables in Lhasa City and Duilongdeqing County were identified as F. Occidentalis (Pergande) by morphologi-cal and molecular methods. It was the first report that F. Occidentalis occurred in Tibet.

  3. Topical wound-healing effects and phytochemical composition of heartwood essential oils of Juniperus virginiana L., Juniperus occidentalis Hook., and Juniperus ashei J. Buchholz.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tumen, Ibrahim; Süntar, Ipek; Eller, Fred J; Keleş, Hikmet; Akkol, Esra Küpeli

    2013-01-01

    Ethnobotanical surveys indicated that in the traditional medicines worldwide, several Juniperus species are utilized as antihelmintic, diuretic, stimulant, antiseptic, carminative, stomachic, antirheumatic, antifungal, and for wound healing. In the present study, essential oils obtained from heartwood samples of Juniperus virginiana L., Juniperus occidentalis Hook. and Juniperus ashei J. Buchholz were evaluated for wound healing and anti-inflammatory activities by using in vivo experimental methods. The essential oils were obtained by the supercritical carbon dioxide extraction method. Linear incision and circular excision wound models were performed for the wound-healing activity assessment. The tissues were also evaluated for the hydroxyproline content as well as histopathologically. To evaluate the anti-inflammatory activity of the essential oils, the test used was an acetic acid-induced increase in capillary permeability. The essential oil of J. occidentalis showed the highest activity on the in vivo biological activity models. Additionaly, the oil of J. virginiana was found highly effective in the anti-inflammatory activity method. The experimental data demonstrated that essential oil of J. occidentalis displayed significant wound-healing and anti-inflammatory activities.

  4. Effects of Telfairia occidentalis (Hook F. Methanol Leaf Extract on the Haematological Indices and Histomorphology of the Endometrium and Liver of Female Albino Rats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chidozie Nwabuisi OKOYE

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of administration of Telfairia occidentalis (Hook f. methanol leaf extract on some hematological indices and histomorphology of the uterus and liver of female albino rats. Acute toxicity study of the extract was performed with female rats, following standard procedure. They were randomly assigned into 3 groups. The first group (A served as the untreated control and received distilled water, while the second group (B and third (C received 200 and 800 mg/kg mg/kg body weight of the methanol leaf extract of T. occidentalis respectively. Administration of the extract was done daily via the oral route for 21 days. Blood was collected for hematological evaluation at weekly intervals. Hematological parameters assessed were the packed cell volume (PCV, red blood cell (RBC count, hemoglobin concentration (HB and total white blood cell (TWBC count. At the end of the study period uterine and liver tissues were excised and prepared for histological examination. Results showed that there was a significant decrease (P 0.05 in the mean total WBC throughout the duration of the study. Histological examination of uterine and liver tissues of the different groups did not show any lesions. It was concluded that the T. occidentalis leaf methanolic extract does not adversely affect the reproductive functions of the uterus.

  5. 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.

  6. Visual scene perception in navigating wood ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lent, David D; Graham, Paul; Collett, Thomas S

    2013-04-22

    Ants, like honeybees, can set their travel direction along foraging routes using just the surrounding visual panorama. This ability gives us a way to explore how visual scenes are perceived. By training wood ants to follow a path in an artificial scene and then examining their path within transformed scenes, we identify several perceptual operations that contribute to the ants' choice of direction. The first is a novel extension to the known ability of insects to compute the "center of mass" of large shapes: ants learn a desired heading toward a point on a distant shape as the proportion of the shape that lies to the left and right of the aiming point--the 'fractional position of mass' (FPM). The second operation, the extraction of local visual features like oriented edges, is familiar from studies of shape perception. Ants may use such features for guidance by keeping them in desired retinal locations. Third, ants exhibit segmentation. They compute the learned FPM over the whole of a simple scene, but over a segmented region of a complex scene. We suggest how the three operations may combine to provide efficient directional guidance. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Entangled active matter: From cells to ants

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eilmus, Sascha; Heil, Martin

    2009-07-01

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

  12. Differences in prevalence of Borrelia burgdorferi and Anaplasma spp. infection among host-seeking Dermacentor occidentalis, Ixodes pacificus, and Ornithodoros coriaceus ticks in northwestern California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lane, Robert S.; Mun, Jeomhee; Peribáñez, Miguel A.; Fedorova, Natalia

    2010-01-01

    Previous studies revealed that the Pacific Coast tick (Dermacentor occidentalis) is infected occasionally with the agents of Lyme disease (Borrelia burgdorferi) or human granulocytic anaplasmosis (Anaplasma phagocytophilum) and that it is an inefficient experimental vector of B. burgdorferi. The relationship of the pajahuello tick (Ornithodoros coriaceus) to each of these bacterial zoonotic agents has not been reported. The primary bridging vector of both bacterial zoonotic agents to humans is the western black-legged tick (Ixodes pacificus). Because of the spatial and temporal overlap of D. occidentalis and O. coriaceus populations with those of I. pacificus in natural foci of B. burgdorferi and A. phagocytophilum in northwestern California, we conducted field and laboratory studies to determine if the Pacific Coast tick or the pajahuello tick potentially may serve as secondary vectors of either bacterium. Our findings reconfirmed that wild-caught D. occidentalis ticks are infected infrequently with B. burgdorferi or A. phagocytophilum, but some adult ticks from dense woodlands or chaparral were found to contain 2 important veterinary pathogens for the first time (Anaplasma bovis, A. ovis). The high prevalence of A. bovis infection (4.3%, n=185 ticks) within chaparral-derived ticks suggests that D. occidentalis could be an efficient vector of this rickettsia. Experimental attempts to transmit borreliae or Anaplasma spp. that may have been present in >100 wild-caught D. occidentalis adults to naïve rabbits were unsuccessful. Anaplasma spp. were not detected in O. coriaceus, but one (4.3%) of 23 nymphs was infected with B. bissettii. This finding and an antecedent report of a B. burgdorferi-like spirochete from the same tick species demonstrate that O. coriaceus sometimes acquires and transstadially passes Lyme disease group spirochetes. I. pacificus nymphs inhabiting a woodland nidus of B. burgdorferi and A. phagocytophilum had a 5-fold higher prevalence of

  13. Solution to the problem of ant being stuck by ant colony routing algorithm

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ZHAO Jing; TONG Wei-ming

    2009-01-01

    Many ant colony routing (ACR) algorithms have been presented in recent years, but few have studied the problem that ants will get stuck with probability in any terminal host when they are searching paths to route packets around a network. The problem has to be faced when designing and implementing the ACR algorithm. This article analyzes in detail the differences between the ACR and the ant colony optimization (ACO). Besides, particular restrictions on the ACR are pointed out and the three causes of ant being-stuck problem are obtained. Furthermore, this article proposes a new ant searching mechanism through dual path-checking and online routing loop removing by every intermediate node an ant visited and the destination host respectively, to solve the problem of ant being stuck and routing loop simultaneously. The result of numerical simulation is abstracted from one real network. Compared with existing two typical ACR algorithms, it shows that the proposed algorithm can settle the problem of ant being stuck and achieve more effective searching outcome for optimization path.

  14. Applied Ecology and Control of Imported Fire Ants and Argentine Ants

    Science.gov (United States)

    The red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta Buren, and Argentine ant, Linepithema humile (Mayr), are invasive species that are major pests in urban, natural, and agricultural habitats. The goal of this dissertation was to study aspects the chemical sensitivity, behavior, and ecology of each specie...

  15. Taxonomic and functional ecology of montane ants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tom Rhys Bishop

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available Why is biological diversity distributed in the way that it is? This question has been central to ecology and biogeography for centuries and is of great importance for pure and applied reasons. I use a functional trait view of ecology to complement standard sampling protocols to better understand the distribution and structure of ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae diversity across mountains. I use a long-term dataset of ant diversity and abundance, combined with a recently collected morphological trait dataset to examine how the alpha and beta diversity of ants responds to changes in temperature along an extensive elevational gradient in southern Africa. In addition, I link morphological thermoregulatory traits to each other and to the environment with a new database of ant elevational abundances from across the globe. Finally, I analyse how physiological thermal tolerances vary and constrain foraging patterns in montane ants. I find that temperature is a strong driver of both alpha and beta diversity patterns. In addition, morphological traits such as colour and body size are found to have a significant relationship to ambient temperatures. This relationship also implies that the relative abundances of different ant species change depending on their thermoregulatory traits (colour and body size and the surrounding thermal environment. Furthermore, the critical thermal minimum (CTmin of the ant species investigated and the lowest environmental temperatures are found to be key in constraining foraging activity patterns. The data presented here strengthen and link existing ideas about how thermoregulation can influence ecological communities and also suggests important ways in which diversity patterns may change in the future.

  16. Ecology of a fig ant-plant

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harrison, Rhett D.

    2014-05-01

    Mutualistic interactions are embedded in networks of interactions that affect the benefits accruing to the mutualistic partners. Figs and their pollinating wasps are engaged in an obligate mutualism in which the fig is dependent on the fig pollinator for pollination services and the pollinator is dependent on fig ovules for brood sites. This mutualism is exploited by non-pollinating fig wasps that utilise the same ovules, but do not provide a pollination service. Most non-pollinating wasps oviposit from outside the inflorescence (syconium), where they are vulnerable to ant predation. Ficus schwarzii is exposed to high densities of non-pollinating wasps, but Philidris sp. ants patrolling the syconia prevent them from ovipositing. Philidris rarely catch wasps, but the fig encourages the patrolling by providing a reward through extra-floral nectaries on the surface of syconia. Moreover, the reward is apparently only produced during the phase when parasitoids are ovipositing. An ant-exclusion experiment demonstrated that, in the absence of ants, syconia were heavily attacked and many aborted as a consequence. Philidris was normally rare on the figs during the receptive phase or at the time of day when wasp offspring are emerging, so predation on pollinators was limited. However, Myrmicaria sp. ants, which only occurred on three trees, preyed substantially on pollinating as well as non-pollinating wasps. F. schwarzii occurs in small clusters of trees and has an exceptionally rapid crop turnover. These factors appear to promote high densities of non-pollinating wasps and, as a consequence, may have led to both a high incidence of ants on trees and increased selective pressure on fig traits that increase the payoffs of the fig-ant interaction for the fig. The fig receives no direct benefit from the reward it provides, but protects pollinating wasps that will disperse its pollen.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Offenberg, Hans Joachim

    2011-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Offenberg, Hans Joachim

    2011-01-01

    Canopy dwelling weaver ants are widely distributed throughout the Old World Tropics where they build up high densities on their host trees. If managed properly the high number of ants will control a range of pest insects and benefit crop production. Simultaneously the ant larvae production, fuelled...... by the consumed pest insects, can be harvested and utilised for nutrition as they are tasty and high in proteins, vitamins and minerals. Thus, plantations may function as ant farms and in addition to plant production also hosts the production of edible animal protein. In this setup harmful pest insects are turned...... farming as a way forward to solve an increasing future demand for protein. Weaver ant farming may build on natural food collected by the ants or alternatively be boosted by feeding the ant colonies actively with protein and sugar. In both cases, when ant biocontrol is combined with ant farming...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Offenberg, Hans Joachim

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-05-01

    Gliding ants avoid predatory attacks and potentially mortal consequences of dislodgement from rainforest canopy substrates by directing their aerial descent towards nearby tree trunks. The ecologically relevant measure of performance for gliding ants is the ratio of net horizontal to vertical distance traveled over the course of a gliding trajectory, or glide index. To study variation in glide index, we measured three-dimensional trajectories of Cephalotes atratus ants gliding in natural rainforest habitats. We determined that righting phase duration, glide angle, and path directness all significantly influence variation in glide index. Unsuccessful landing attempts result in the ant bouncing off its target and being forced to make a second landing attempt. Our results indicate that ants are not passive gliders and that they exert active control over the aerodynamic forces they experience during their descent, despite their apparent lack of specialized control surfaces. © 2015. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  1. Ant colony optimization algorithm for continuous domains based on position distribution model of ant colony foraging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Liqiang; Dai, Yuntao; Gao, Jinyu

    2014-01-01

    Ant colony optimization algorithm for continuous domains is a major research direction for ant colony optimization algorithm. In this paper, we propose a distribution model of ant colony foraging, through analysis of the relationship between the position distribution and food source in the process of ant colony foraging. We design a continuous domain optimization algorithm based on the model and give the form of solution for the algorithm, the distribution model of pheromone, the update rules of ant colony position, and the processing method of constraint condition. Algorithm performance against a set of test trials was unconstrained optimization test functions and a set of optimization test functions, and test results of other algorithms are compared and analyzed to verify the correctness and effectiveness of the proposed algorithm.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liqiang Liu

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Ant colony optimization algorithm for continuous domains is a major research direction for ant colony optimization algorithm. In this paper, we propose a distribution model of ant colony foraging, through analysis of the relationship between the position distribution and food source in the process of ant colony foraging. We design a continuous domain optimization algorithm based on the model and give the form of solution for the algorithm, the distribution model of pheromone, the update rules of ant colony position, and the processing method of constraint condition. Algorithm performance against a set of test trials was unconstrained optimization test functions and a set of optimization test functions, and test results of other algorithms are compared and analyzed to verify the correctness and effectiveness of the proposed algorithm.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Barna Páll-Gergely

    2009-03-01

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

  4. POTENCIAL FITOTÓXICO DE Pterodon polygalaeflorus BENTH (LEGUMINOSAE SOBRE Acanthospermum australe (LOEFL. O. KUNTZE E Senna occidentalis (L. LINK

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    VALDENIR JOSÉ BELINELO

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available The objectives of this research were synthesize and characterize the allelopatic activity of 6a,7bdi-hydroxyvouacapan-17b-oic acid derivatives, isolated from seeds of Pterodon polygalaeflorus Benth (Leguminosae. The compound characterization processes involve in infrared spectrometry (IR and hydrogen and carbon nuclear magnetic resonance (1H and 13C NMR including experiments in double dimensions (COSY 1H 1H, HMQC and HMBC. Allellopathic effects were evaluated by bioassays, carried out at controlled 25 °C temperature and photoperiod (12h light/12h dark, during 72 hours. Sample concentrations of 1,0, 100,0 and 1000,0 mg.L-1 were tested. Senna occidentalis (fedegoso and Acanthospermum australe (carrapichinho were used as the target weed plants. Was observed that the allelopatic effect of the compounds increased as a function of the enhancement of concentration, thus showing a relation dose dependence. The N-ethyl-6a-acethoxy- 7b-hydroxyvouacapan-17b-amide and N,N-diethyl-6a-acethoxy-7b-hydroxyvouacapan 17b-amide were the derivatives that present the biggest inhibitory effect on seed germination and root growth of fedegoso and carrapichinho. Therefore, these compounds represent the most allelochemical potential against these weeds.

  5. Resistance to spinosad in the western flower thrips, Frankliniella occidentalis (Pergande), in greenhouses of south-eastern Spain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bielza, Pablo; Quinto, Vicente; Contreras, Josefina; Torné, María; Martín, Alberto; Espinosa, Pedro J

    2007-07-01

    Susceptibility to spinosad of western flower thrips (WFT), Frankliniella occidentalis (Pergande), from south-eastern Spain was determined. LC(50) values of the field populations without previous exposure to spinosad collected in Murcia in 2001 and 2002 ranged from 0.005 to 0.077 mg L(-1). The populations collected in Almeria in 2003 in greenhouses were resistant to spinosad (LC(50) > 54 mg L(-1)) compared with the authors' highly susceptible laboratory strain. The highly sensitive laboratory strain leads to very high resistance ratios for the field populations (>13 500), but these ratios do not necessarily mean resistance problems and control failures (spinosad field rate 90-120 mg L(-1)). The populations collected in Murcia from some greenhouses in 2004 were also resistant to spinosad (RF > 3682). Spinosad overuse, with more than ten applications per crop, produced these resistant populations in some greenhouses. Spinosad showed no cross-resistance to acrinathrin, formetanate or methiocarb in laboratory strains selected for resistance towards each insecticide. Correlation analysis indicated no cross-resistance among spinosad and the other three insecticides in 13 field populations and in nine laboratory strains. The synergists piperonyl butoxide (PBO), S,S,S-tributyl phosphorotrithioate (DEF) and diethyl maleate (DEM) did not enhance the toxicity of spinosad to the resistant strains, indicating that metabolic-mediated detoxification was not responsible for the spinosad resistance. These findings suggest that rotation with spinosad may be an effective resistance management strategy.

  6. Recruitment in Swarm-Founding Wasps: Polybia occidentalis Does not Actively Scent-Mark Carbohydrate Food Sources

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benjamin J. Taylor

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Scent marking food resources is expected to enhance foraging efficiency reducing search time. Many social bees exhibit this behavior, but scent-marking is absent in social wasps, except for Vespa mandarinia. We tested for scent marking in the swarm-founding wasp, Polybia occidentalis. This wasp has moderately large colonies and utilizes resources that are concentrated in time and space, making scent marking profitable. Also, this wasp uses chemical markings to lead nestmates to a new nest site during swarm emigration, making it possible that it could use the same behavior to recruit nestmates to a food source. Foragers from 11 colonies were given a choice between a previously visited feeder and an unvisited one, both containing a rich, unscented sucrose solution. There was no difference in the number of visits to the two treatments. However, some individuals chose the feeder on one side more often. We conclude that foragers of this species of wasp do not use odor marks left behind by nestmates to find food, but they do exhibit the tendency, when returning to a food source that has not been depleted, to choose a resource based on its relative position, presumably by using visual cues.

  7. Tricholeiperia peruensis n. sp. (Nematoda, Molineidae del quiróptero Lophostoma silvicolum occidentalis (Phyllostomidae en Tumbes, Perú

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marina Vargas

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available En el presente trabajo, se describe a Tricholeiperia peruensis n. sp. (Nematoda, Molineidae en base a 25 especímenes colectados del intestino de 5 murciélagos de la especie Lophostoma silvicolum occidentalis de la localidad de Angostura, distrito Pampas de Hospital, departamento de Tumbes, Perú. La nueva especie se caracteriza por la morfología de la vesícula cefálica en forma de capuchón con escotaduras, por el tamaño y forma de las espículas cuyo extremo distal de la rama externa se divide en dos, de las cuales la rama interna sufre una nueva división; por la disposición de las costillas de la bolsa copulatríz donde, entre otros detalles, las antero y postero-ventrales están separadas y las externo-dorsales nacen cerca de la parte media del tronco dorsal y son gruesas.

  8. Effects of repeated exposure to malathion on growth, food consumption, and locomotor performance of the western fence lizard (Sceloporus occidentalis)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Holem, Ryan R. [University of Georgia, Savannah River Ecology Laboratory, Aiken, SC 29801 (United States); ENTRIX, Inc., Okemos, MI 48864 (United States); Hopkins, William A. [University of Georgia, Savannah River Ecology Laboratory, Aiken, SC 29801 (United States); Department of Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA 24061 (United States)], E-mail: hopkinsw@vt.edu; Talent, Larry G. [Natural Resource Ecology and Management, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74078 (United States)

    2008-03-15

    Effects of repeated pollutant exposure on growth, locomotor performance, and behavior have rarely been evaluated in reptiles. We administered three doses of malathion (2.0, 20, or 100 mg/kg body weight) to western fence lizards (Sceloporus occidentalis) over an 81 day period. Eight and 23% mortality occurred at 20 and 100 mg/kg (p = 0.079) and 85% of lizards in the 100 mg/kg group exhibited clinical symptoms of poisoning. Growth, food consumption, body condition index, and terrestrial locomotor performance were not significantly influenced by malathion. However, arboreal sprint velocity was significantly reduced in lizards receiving 100 mg/kg. Fifty percent of lizards in the 100 mg/kg group also refused to sprint in the arboreal setting (p = 0.085). Based on these results, arboreal locomotor performance was the most sensitive metric of exposure we evaluated. Further study of compounds such as malathion is warranted due to highly variable application rates and exposure scenarios. - Repeated exposure of western fence lizards to malathion caused reduced arboreal performance and some mortality but growth, food consumption, and terrestrial performance were not affected.

  9. Health assessments of brown pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis) nestlings from colonies in South Carolina and Georgia, U.S.A.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferguson, L.M.; Norton, Terry M.; Cray, C.; Oliva, M.; Jodice, Patrick G.

    2014-01-01

    Health evaluations of brown pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis) nestlings from three colonies along the Atlantic coast of the southeastern United States were performed in 2005, 2007, and 2008. The primary objective of this study was to establish baseline data for hematologic, biochemical, and serologic values from a relatively healthy population of free-living pelicans during early chick development. Relationships among health variables and colony site, ectoparasite infestation, sex, and body condition index were also evaluated. Reference intervals are presented for health variables, including novel analytes for the species, as well as a comparison of these results with previously published values for wild pelicans. No significant relationships were found between health variables and nestling sex or body condition; however, differences between colony sites and the presence of ectoparasites were detected. The inclusion of health assessments as a regular component of management programs for seabirds can provide data to better understand the effect to species of concern when drastic changes occur to the population and its environment.

  10. [Transgenic tobacco plants with ribosome inactivating protein gene cassin from Cassia occidentalis and their resistance to tobacco mosaic virus].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruan, Xiao-Lei; Liu, Li-Fang; Li, Hua-Ping

    2007-12-01

    Cassin, the new gene of ribosome-inactivating protein (RIP) isolated from Cassia occidentalis, was inserted into expression vector pBI121 to produce plant expression vector pBI121-cassin (Figs.1, 2). pBI121-cassin was introduced into tobacco cultivar 'K326' by the Agrobacteriurm tumefaciens transformation method and more than 100 independent transformants were obtained. Southern blot hybridization analysis showed that a single gene locus was inserted into the chromosome of the transgenic tobacco lines (Fig.5) and PCR analysis of segregation population of progeny indicated that the inheritance of transgene was dominant in transgenic lines (Fig.4, Table 1). Results of RT-PCR and Northern blot hybridization analysis showed that transgene could be transcribed correctly (Figs.5, 6) . Three self-pollination lines of transgenic T(1) and T(2) were challenged with TMV at different concentration titers by mechanical inoculation. The transgenic lines exhibited different levels of resistance to TMV with the nontransgenic plants. After both titers of TMV concentration were inoculated, transgenic lines were considered as the highly resistant type with a delay of 4-13 d in development of symptoms and 10%-25% of test plants were infected, while nontransgenic control plants were susceptible typical symptoms on the newly emerged leaves (Table 2). One T(2) line, T(2)-8-2-1, was regarded as an immune type because it did not show any symptoms during 70 d and all plants were shown to be virus free by ELISA tests.

  11. The distribution of weaver ant pheromones on host trees

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Offenberg, Joachim

    2007-01-01

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

  12. Impacts of residual insecticide barriers on perimeter-invading ants, with particular reference to the odorous house ant, Tapinoma sessile.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-04-01

    Three liquid insecticide formulations were evaluated as barrier treatments against perimeter-invading ants at a multifamily housing complex in West Lafayette, IN. Several ant species were present at the study site, including (in order of abundance) pavement ant, Tetramorium caespitum (L.); honey ant, Prenolepis imparis (Say); odorous house ant, Tapinoma sessile (Say); thief ant, Solenopsis molesta (Say); acrobat ant, Crematogaster ashmeadi (Mayr); crazy ant, Paratrechina longicornis (Latrielle), field ants, Formica spp.; and carpenter ant Camponotus pennsylvanicus (DeGeer). Studies began in May 2001 and concluded 8 wk later in July. Individual replicate treatments were placed 0.61 in (2 feet) up and 0.92 m (3 feet) out from the ends of 46.1 by 10.1-m (151 by 33-foot) apartment buildings. Ant sampling was performed with 10 placements of moist cat food for 1 h within treatment zones, followed by capture and removal of recruited ants for later counting. All treatments led to substantial reductions in ant numbers relative to untreated controls. The most effective treatment was fipronil, where 2% of before-treatment ant numbers were present at 8 wk after treatment. Both imidacloprid and cyfluthrin barrier treatments had efficacy comparative with fipronil, but to 4 and 2 wk, respectively. Odorous house ants were not sampled before treatment. Comparisons of ant species composition between treatments and controls revealed an increase in odorous house ant frequencies at 1-8 wk after treatment in treated locations only. These results demonstrate efficacy for both nonrepellent and repellent liquid insecticides as perimeter treatments for pest ants. In addition, our findings with odorous house ant highlight an apparent invasive-like characteristic of this species that may contribute to its dramatic increase in structural infestation rates in many areas of the United States.

  13. Fossil evidence for the early ant evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perrichot, Vincent; Lacau, Sébastien; Néraudeau, Didier; Nel, André

    2008-02-01

    Ants are one of the most studied insects in the world; and the literature devoted to their origin and evolution, systematics, ecology, or interactions with plants, fungi and other organisms is prolific. However, no consensus yet exists on the age estimate of the first Formicidae or on the origin of their eusociality. We review the fossil and biogeographical record of all known Cretaceous ants. We discuss the possible origin of the Formicidae with emphasis on the most primitive subfamily Sphecomyrminae according to its distribution and the Early Cretaceous palaeogeography. And we review the evidence of true castes and eusociality of the early ants regarding their morphological features and their manner of preservation in amber. The mid-Cretaceous amber forest from south-western France where some of the oldest known ants lived, corresponded to a moist tropical forest close to the shore with a dominance of gymnosperm trees but where angiosperms (flowering plants) were already diversified. This palaeoenvironmental reconstruction supports an initial radiation of ants in forest ground litter coincident with the rise of angiosperms, as recently proposed as an ecological explanation for their origin and successful evolution.

  14. Lycaenid Caterpillar Secretions Manipulate Attendant Ant Behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hojo, Masaru K; Pierce, Naomi E; Tsuji, Kazuki

    2015-08-31

    Mutualistic interactions typically involve the exchange of different commodities between species. Nutritious secretions are produced by a number of insects and plants in exchange for services such as defense. These rewards are valuable metabolically and can be used to reinforce the behavior of symbiotic partners that can learn and remember them effectively. We show here novel effects of insect exocrine secretions produced by caterpillars in modulating the behavior of attendant ants in the food-for-defense interaction between lycaenid butterflies and ants. Reward secretions from the dorsal nectary organ (DNO) of Narathura japonica caterpillars function to reduce the locomotory activities of their attendant ants, Pristomyrmex punctatus workers. Moreover, workers that feed from caterpillar secretions are significantly more likely to show aggressive responses to eversion of the tentacle organs of the caterpillars. Analysis of the neurogenic amines in the brains of workers that consumed caterpillar secretions showed a significant decrease in levels of dopamine compared with controls. Experimental treatments in which reserpine, a known inhibitor of dopamine in Drosophila, was fed to workers similarly reduced their locomotory activity. We conclude that DNO secretions of lycaenid caterpillars can manipulate attendant ant behavior by altering dopaminergic regulation and increasing partner fidelity. Unless manipulated ants also receive a net nutritional benefit from DNO secretions, this suggests that similar reward-for-defense interactions that have been traditionally considered to be mutualisms may in fact be parasitic in nature. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Fuzzy Rules for Ant Based Clustering Algorithm

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amira Hamdi

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper provides a new intelligent technique for semisupervised data clustering problem that combines the Ant System (AS algorithm with the fuzzy c-means (FCM clustering algorithm. Our proposed approach, called F-ASClass algorithm, is a distributed algorithm inspired by foraging behavior observed in ant colonyT. The ability of ants to find the shortest path forms the basis of our proposed approach. In the first step, several colonies of cooperating entities, called artificial ants, are used to find shortest paths in a complete graph that we called graph-data. The number of colonies used in F-ASClass is equal to the number of clusters in dataset. Hence, the partition matrix of dataset founded by artificial ants is given in the second step, to the fuzzy c-means technique in order to assign unclassified objects generated in the first step. The proposed approach is tested on artificial and real datasets, and its performance is compared with those of K-means, K-medoid, and FCM algorithms. Experimental section shows that F-ASClass performs better according to the error rate classification, accuracy, and separation index.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tom M Fayle

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

  18. Desert ants learn vibration and magnetic landmarks.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cornelia Buehlmann

    Full Text Available The desert ants Cataglyphis navigate not only by path integration but also by using visual and olfactory landmarks to pinpoint the nest entrance. Here we show that Cataglyphis noda can additionally use magnetic and vibrational landmarks as nest-defining cues. The magnetic field may typically provide directional rather than positional information, and vibrational signals so far have been shown to be involved in social behavior. Thus it remains questionable if magnetic and vibration landmarks are usually provided by the ants' habitat as nest-defining cues. However, our results point to the flexibility of the ants' navigational system, which even makes use of cues that are probably most often sensed in a different context.

  19. Kin-informative recognition cues in ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  20. Moribund Ants Do Not Call for Help.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Krzysztof Miler

    Full Text Available When an antlion captures a foraging ant, the victim's nestmates may display rescue behaviour. This study tested the hypothesis that the expression of rescue behaviour depends on the life expectancy of the captured ant. This hypothesis predicts that the expression of rescue behaviour will be less frequent when the captured ant has a lower life expectancy than when it has a higher life expectancy because such a response would be adaptive at the colony level. Indeed, significant differences were found in the frequency of rescue behaviours in response to antlion victims with differing life expectancies. In agreement with prediction, victims with lower life expectancies were rescued less frequently, and those rescues had a longer latency and shorter duration. There was also a qualitative difference in the behaviour of rescuers to victims from the low and high life expectancy groups. Several explanations for these findings are proposed.

  1. Hopfield neural network based on ant system

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    洪炳镕; 金飞虎; 郭琦

    2004-01-01

    Hopfield neural network is a single layer feedforward neural network. Hopfield network requires some control parameters to be carefully selected, else the network is apt to converge to local minimum. An ant system is a nature inspired meta heuristic algorithm. It has been applied to several combinatorial optimization problems such as Traveling Salesman Problem, Scheduling Problems, etc. This paper will show an ant system may be used in tuning the network control parameters by a group of cooperated ants. The major advantage of this network is to adjust the network parameters automatically, avoiding a blind search for the set of control parameters.This network was tested on two TSP problems, 5 cities and 10 cities. The results have shown an obvious improvement.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-06-01

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

  3. An ants-eye view of an ant-plant protection mutualism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lanan, M. C.; Bronstein, J. L.

    2013-01-01

    Ant protection of extrafloral nectar-secreting plants (EFN plants) is a common form of mutualism found in most habitats around the world. However, very few studies have considered these mutualisms from the ant, rather than the plant, perspective. In particular, a whole-colony perspective that takes into account the spatial structure and nest arrangement of the ant colonies that visit these plants has been lacking, obscuring when and how colony-level foraging decisions might affect tending rates on individual plants. Here, we experimentally demonstrate that recruitment of Crematogaster opuntiae (Buren) ant workers to the extrafloral nectar-secreting cactus Ferocactus wislizeni (Englem) is not independent between plants up to 5m apart. Colony territories of C. opuntiae are large, covering areas of up to 5000m2, and workers visit between five and thirty-four extrafloral nectar-secreting barrel cacti within the territories. These ants are highly polydomous, with up to twenty nest entrances dispersed throughout the territory and interconnected by trail networks. Our study demonstrates that worker recruitment is not independent within large polydomous ant colonies, highlighting the importance of considering colonies rather than individual workers as the relevant study unit within ant/plant protection mutualisms PMID:23515612

  4. The worldwide expansion of the Argentine ant

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2010-01-01

    DNA haplotypes also suggests that supercolonies in the introduced range each derive from a single source supercolony and that one of these source supercolonies has been particularly successful, being the basis of many introduced populations spread across the world. Comparison of the genetic diversity......Aim The aim of this study was to determine the number of successful establishments of the invasive Argentine ant outside native range and to see whether introduced supercolonies have resulted from single or multiple introductions. We also compared the genetic diversity of native versus introduced...... to possible strategies to be used to control invasive ants....

  5. 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...

  6. Chaotic ant swarm optimization to economic dispatch

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cai, Jiejin; Ma, Xiaoqian [Electric Power College, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou 510640 (China); Li, Lixiang; Yang, Yixian [Information Security Center, Department of Information Engineering, Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications, Beijing 100876 (China); State Key Laboratory of Networking and Switching, Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications, Beijing 100876 (China); Peng, Haipeng [Information Security Center, Department of Information Engineering, Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications, Beijing 100876 (China); State Key Laboratory of Networking and Switching, Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications, Beijing 100876 (China); School of Information Science and Engineering, Shenyang University of Technology, Shenyang 110023 (China); Wang, Xiangdong [School of Information Science and Engineering, Shenyang University of Technology, Shenyang 110023 (China)

    2007-08-15

    This paper developed a novel algorithm named chaotic ant swarm optimization (CASO) for solving the economic dispatch (ED) problems of thermal generators in power systems. This algorithm combines with the chaotic and self-organization behavior of ants in the foraging process. It includes both effects of chaotic dynamics and swarm-based search. The algorithm was employed to solve the ED problems of thermal generators. The proposed method was applied to three examples of power systems. Simulation results demonstrated that the method can obtain feasible and effective solutions, and it is a promising alternative approach for solving the ED problems in practical power systems. (author)

  7. Ant functional responses along environmental gradients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arnan, Xavier; Cerdá, Xim; Retana, Javier

    2014-11-01

    Understanding species distributions and diversity gradients is a central challenge in ecology and requires prior knowledge of the functional traits mediating species' survival under particular environmental conditions. While the functional ecology of plants has been reasonably well explored, much less is known about that of animals. Ants are among the most diverse, abundant and ecologically significant organisms on earth, and they perform a great variety of ecological functions. In this study, we analyse how the functional species traits present in ant communities vary along broad gradients in climate, productivity and vegetation type in the south-western Mediterranean. To this end, we compiled one of the largest animal databases to date: it contains information on 211 local ant communities (including eight climate variables, productivity, and vegetation type) and 124 ant species, for which 10 functional traits are described. We used traits that characterize different dimensions of the ant functional niche with respect to morphology, life history and behaviour at both individual and colony level. We calculated two complementary functional trait community indices ('trait average' and 'trait dissimilarity') for each trait, and we analysed how they varied along the three different gradients using generalized least squares models that accounted for spatial autocorrelation. Our results show that productivity, vegetation type and, to a lesser extent, each climate variable per se might play an important role in shaping the occurrence of functional species traits in ant communities. Among the climate variables, temperature and precipitation seasonality had a much higher influence on functional responses than their mean values, whose effects were almost lacking. Our results suggest that strong relationships might exist between the abiotic environment and the distribution of functional traits among south-western Mediterranean ant communities. This finding indicates that

  8. Ant parasite queens revert to mating singly

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2004-01-01

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

  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......, 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...... enzyme activity across ant genera could indeed be partially explained by substrate differences. This implies that fungal enzyme activity has likely coevolved with the genus- or species-specific substrates that the ants use to manure their fungus garden. Plant decomposing enzymes are thus not only...

  10. Variation in Extrafloral Nectary Productivity Influences the Ant Foraging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lange, Denise; Calixto, Eduardo Soares; Del-Claro, Kleber

    2017-01-01

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

  11. Variation in Extrafloral Nectary Productivity Influences the Ant Foraging

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-01-01

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

  12. Research on the Perceptual Law of Artificial Ants

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ZHENG Zhaobao

    2005-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2008-01-01

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

  14. Evaluation of Thr(6)-bradykinin purified from Polybia occidentalis wasp venom in the choline uptake of mammal cortices.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mortari, Márcia Renata; Cunha, Alexandra Olimpio Siqueira; Carolino, Ruither Oliveira Gomes; Silva, Juliana de Castro E; Lopes, Norberto Peporine; Santos, Wagner Ferreira Dos

    2016-12-01

    Thr(6)-bradykinin is a peptide found in the venom of social and solitary wasps. This kinin, along with other bradykinin-like peptides, is known to cause irreversible paralysis in insects by presynaptic blockade of cholinergic transmission. However, this activity has never been tested in mammals. As such, the objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of Thr(6)-bradykinin on the cholinergic system of rats. The peptide was isolated from the venom of the Neotropical social wasp Polybia occidentalis Olivier (Vespidae). After correct identification and quantification by ESI-MS and MS/MS, the peptide was tested in [(14)C]-choline uptake using rat cortical synaptosomes. Each uptake assay was accompanied by lactic acid dehydrogenase (LDH) activity measurement to evaluate synaptosome integrity in the presence of six increasing concentrations of BK or Thr(6)-BK (0.039, 0.156, 0.625, 2.500, 10.000 and 40.000 μM). Data revealed that neither BK nor Thr(6)-BK at any of the six concentrations tested (from 0.039 to 40.000 μM) affected [(14)C]-choline uptake in synaptosomes. Moreover, there was no increase in LDH in the supernatants, indicating that BK and Thr(6)-BK did not disrupt the synaptosomes. In contrast to previous reports for the insect central nervous system (CNS), Thr(6)-BK had no effect on mammalian cholinergic transmission. Nevertheless, this selectivity for the insect CNS, combined with its irreversible mode of action may be relevant to the discovery of new sources of insecticides and could contribute to understanding the role of kinins in the mammalian CNS.

  15. The Plant Virus Tomato Spotted Wilt Tospovirus Activates the Immune System of Its Main Insect Vector, Frankliniella occidentalis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Medeiros, Ricardo B.; Resende, Renato de O.; de Ávila, Antonio Carlos

    2004-01-01

    Tospoviruses have the ability to infect plants and their insect vectors. Tomato spotted wilt virus (TSWV), the type species in the Tospovirus genus, infects its most important insect vector, Frankliniella occidentalis, the western flower thrips (WFT). However, no detrimental effects on the life cycle or cytopathological changes have been reported in the WFT after TSWV infection, and relatively few viral particles can be observed even several days after infection. We hypothesized that TSWV infection triggers an immune response in the WFT. Using subtractive cDNA libraries to probe WFT DNA macroarrays, we found that the WFT's immune system is activated by TSWV infection. The activated genes included (i) those encoding antimicrobial peptides, such as defensin and cecropin; (ii) genes involved in pathogen recognition, such as those encoding lectins; (iii) those encoding receptors that activate the innate immune response, such as Toll-3; and (iv) those encoding members of signal transduction pathways activated by Toll-like receptors, such as JNK kinase. Transcriptional upregulation of these genes after TSWV infection was confirmed by Northern analysis, and the kinetics of the immune response was measured over time. Several of the detected genes were activated at the same time that viral replication was first detected by reverse transcription-PCR. To our knowledge, this is the first report of the activation of an insect vector immune response by a plant virus. The results may lead to a better understanding of insects' immune responses against viruses and may help in the future development of novel control strategies against plant viruses, as well as human and animal viruses transmitted by insect vectors. PMID:15113877

  16. Using detection dogs to conduct simultaneous surveys of northern spotted (Strix occidentalis caurina and barred owls (Strix varia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samuel K Wasser

    Full Text Available State and federal actions to conserve northern spotted owl (Strix occidentalis caurina habitat are largely initiated by establishing habitat occupancy. Northern spotted owl occupancy is typically assessed by eliciting their response to simulated conspecific vocalizations. However, proximity of barred owls (Strix varia-a significant threat to northern spotted owls-can suppress northern spotted owl responsiveness to vocalization surveys and hence their probability of detection. We developed a survey method to simultaneously detect both species that does not require vocalization. Detection dogs (Canis familiaris located owl pellets accumulated under roost sites, within search areas selected using habitat association maps. We compared success of detection dog surveys to vocalization surveys slightly modified from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Draft 2010 Survey Protocol. Seventeen 2 km × 2 km polygons were each surveyed multiple times in an area where northern spotted owls were known to nest prior to 1997 and barred owl density was thought to be low. Mitochondrial DNA was used to confirm species from pellets detected by dogs. Spotted owl and barred owl detection probabilities were significantly higher for dog than vocalization surveys. For spotted owls, this difference increased with number of site visits. Cumulative detection probabilities of northern spotted owls were 29% after session 1, 62% after session 2, and 87% after session 3 for dog surveys, compared to 25% after session 1, increasing to 59% by session 6 for vocalization surveys. Mean detection probability for barred owls was 20.1% for dog surveys and 7.3% for vocal surveys. Results suggest that detection dog surveys can complement vocalization surveys by providing a reliable method for establishing occupancy of both northern spotted and barred owl without requiring owl vocalization. This helps meet objectives of Recovery Actions 24 and 25 of the Revised Recovery Plan for the

  17. Assimilation of xylem-transported 13C-labelled CO2 in leaves and branches of sycamore (Platanus occidentalis L.).

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGuire, M A; Marshall, J D; Teskey, R O

    2009-01-01

    Previous reports have shown that CO(2) dissolved in xylem sap in tree stems can move upward in the transpiration stream. To determine the fate of this dissolved CO(2), the internal transport of respired CO(2) at high concentration from the bole of the tree was simulated by allowing detached young branches of sycamore (Platanus occidentalis L.) to transpire water enriched with a known quantity of (13)CO(2) in sunlight. Simultaneously, leaf net photosynthesis and CO(2) efflux from woody tissue were measured. Branch and leaf tissues were subsequently analysed for (13)C content to determine the quantity of transported (13)CO(2) label that was fixed. Treatment branches assimilated an average of 35% (SE=2.4) of the (13)CO(2) label taken up in the treatment water. The majority was fixed in the woody tissue of the branches, with smaller amounts fixed in the leaves and petioles. Overall, the fixation of internally transported (13)CO(2) label by woody tissues averaged 6% of the assimilation of CO(2) from the atmosphere by the leaves. Woody tissue assimilation rates calculated from measurements of (13)C differed from rates calculated from measurements of CO(2) efflux in the lower branch but not in the upper branch. The results of this study showed unequivocally that CO(2) transported in xylem sap can be fixed in photosynthetic cells in the leaves and branches of sycamore trees and provided evidence that recycling of xylem-transported CO(2) may be an important means by which trees reduce the carbon cost of respiration.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antonio Carlos Da-Silva

    2012-07-01

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

  19. Expression analysis of Drosophila doublesex, transformer-2, intersex, fruitless-like, and vitellogenin homologs in the parahaploid predator Metaseiulus occidentalis (Chelicerata: Acari: Phytoseiidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pomerantz, Aaron F; Hoy, Marjorie A

    2015-01-01

    Characterization and expression analyses are essential to gain insight into sex-determination pathways in members of the Acari. Little is known about sex determination at the molecular level in the western orchard predatory mite Metaseiulus occidentalis (Arthropoda: Chelicerata: Arachnida: Acari: Phytoseiidae), a parahaploid species. In this study, eight genes previously identified as putative homologs to genes involved in the sex-determination pathway in Drosophila melanogaster were evaluated for sex-specific alternative splicing and sex-biased expression using reverse-transcriptase PCR and quantitative real-time PCR techniques, respectively. The homologs evaluated in M. occidentalis included two doublesex-like genes (Moccdsx1 and Moccdsx2), transformer-2 (Mocctra-2), intersex (Moccix), two fruitless-like genes (MoccBTB1 and MoccBTB2), as well as two vitellogenin-like genes (Moccvg1 and Moccvg2). Single transcripts of equal size were detected in males and females for Moccdsx1, Moccdsx2, Mocctra-2, Moccix, and MoccBTB2, suggesting that their pre-mRNAs do not undergo alternative splicing in a sex-specific manner. Three genes, Moccdsx1, Moccdsx2 and MoccBTB2, displayed male-biased expression relative to females. One gene, Moccix, displayed female-biased expression relative to males. Two genes, Mocctra-2 and MoccBTB1, did not display detectable differences in transcript abundance in males and females. Expression of Moccvg1 and Moccvg2 were detected in females only, and transcript levels were up-regulated in mated females relative to unmated females. To our knowledge, this represents the first attempt to elucidate expression patterns of putative sex-determination genes in an acarine. This study is an initial step towards understanding the sex-determination pathway in the parahaploid M. occidentalis.

  20. Ants Orasest ja Anne Lange monograafiast / Jüri Talvet

    Index Scriptorium Estoniae

    Talvet, Jüri, 1945-

    2005-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  2. Ant-egg cataract. An electron microscopic study

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schrøder, H D; Nissen, S H

    1979-01-01

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

  3. Dynamics of an ant-plant-pollinator model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yuanshi; DeAngelis, Donald L.; Nathaniel Holland, J.

    2015-03-01

    In this paper, we consider plant-pollinator-ant systems in which plant-pollinator interaction and plant-ant interaction are both mutualistic, but there also exists interference of pollinators by ants. The plant-pollinator interaction can be described by a Beddington-DeAngelis formula, so we extend the formula to characterize plant-pollinator mutualisms, including the interference by ants, and form a plant-pollinator-ant model. Using dynamical systems theory, we show uniform persistence of the model. Moreover, we demonstrate conditions under which boundary equilibria are globally asymptotically stable. The dynamics exhibit mechanisms by which the three species could coexist when ants interfere with pollinators. We define a threshold in ant interference. When ant interference is strong, it can drive plant-pollinator mutualisms to extinction. Furthermore, if the ants depend on pollination mutualism for their persistence, then sufficiently strong ant interference could lead to their own extinction as well. Yet, when ant interference is weak, plant-ant and plant-pollinator mutualisms can promote the persistence of one another.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-04-01

    Mutualistic ants are commonly considered as an efficient indirect defence against herbivores. Nevertheless, their indirect protective role against plant pathogens has been scarcely investigated. We compared the protective role against pathogens of two different ant partners, a mutualistic and a parasitic ant, on the host plant Acacia hindsii (Fabaceae). The epiphytic bacterial community on leaves was evaluated in the presence and absence of both ant partners by cultivation and by 454 pyrosequencing of the 16S rRNA gene. Pathogen-inflicted leaf damage, epiphytic bacterial abundance (colony-forming units) and number of operational taxonomic units (OTUs) were significantly higher in plants inhabited by parasitic ants than in plants inhabited by mutualistic ants. Unifrac unweighted and weighted principal component analyses showed that the bacterial community composition on leaves changed significantly when mutualistic ants were removed from plants or when plants were inhabited by parasitic ants. Direct mechanisms provided by ant-associated bacteria would contribute to the protective role against pathogens. The results suggest that the indirect defence of mutualistic ants also covers the protection from bacterial plant pathogens. Our findings highlight the importance of considering bacterial partners in ant-plant defensive mutualisms, which can contribute significantly to ant-mediated protection from plant pathogens. © 2014 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2014 New Phytologist Trust.

  5. Ants Orasest ja Anne Lange monograafiast / Jüri Talvet

    Index Scriptorium Estoniae

    Talvet, Jüri, 1945-

    2005-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Index Scriptorium Estoniae

    Vahtras, Ants, 1953-

    2001-01-01

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

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

    Index Scriptorium Estoniae

    Laansalu, Ants, 1938-2011

    2008-01-01

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

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

    Index Scriptorium Estoniae

    Juske, Ants, 1956-

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Index Scriptorium Estoniae

    Veetõusme, Ants, 1949-

    2002-01-01

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

  11. The worldwide expansion of the Argentine ant

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  12. A global database of ant species abundances

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  13. The evolution of invasiveness in garden ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2008-01-01

    It is unclear why some species become successful invaders whilst others fail, and whether invasive success depends on pre-adaptations already present in the native range or on characters evolving de-novo after introduction. Ants are among the worst invasive pests, with Lasius neglectus and its ra...

  14. Recognition of social identity in ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bos, Nick; d'Ettorre, Patrizia

    2012-01-01

    Recognizing the identity of others, from the individual to the group level, is a hallmark of society. Ants, and other social insects, have evolved advanced societies characterized by efficient social recognition systems. Colony identity is mediated by colony specific signature mixtures, a blend...

  15. Histrionicotoxin alkaloids finally detected in an ant

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  16. Improving Emergency Management by Modeling Ant Colonies

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-03-01

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

  17. The ejaculatory biology of leafcutter ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2015-01-01

    understanding of the fundamental biology of ejaculate production, transfer and physiological function remains extremely limited. We studied the ejaculation process in the leafcutter ant Atta colombica and found that it starts with the appearance of a clear pre-ejaculatory fluid (PEF) at the tip...

  18. La nueva novela hispanoamericana ante Europa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Manuel Zapata Olivella

    1964-01-01

    Full Text Available Hace exactamente medio siglo -1905- Unamuno se burlaba de los escritores hispanoamericanos a quienes consumía el antojo de descubrir a Europa a los europeos en vez de describir lo que tenían ante sus ojos.

  19. Ants recognize foes and not friends.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-07-01

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

  20. Caste-specific tyramides from Myrmicine ants

    Science.gov (United States)

    T.H. Jones; H.M. Garrafo; T.F. Spande; N.R. Andriamaharavo; J.S.T. Gorman; A.J. Snyder; A.W. Jeter; J.A. Torres; John W. Daly

    2010-01-01

    Analysis of the extracts of male ants of Monomorium minimum and Monomorium ebeninum by GC-MS and GC-FTIR revealed the presence of tyramides 2 and 4c, for which the structures were established by comparison with synthetic samples. These compounds and their analogues 1 and 3 were also found in males of other Monomorium species, males of Myrmicaria opaciventris, and males...

  1. Ant System Algorithm Research and Its Applications

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2002-01-01

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

  2. Enhanced Pest Ant Control with Hydrophobic Bait

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gómez, Crisanto; Oliveras, Jordi

    2003-04-01

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

  5. Parameters of ante-mortem delirium

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Deksnyte, Aušra

    2014-02-01

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

  6. Interactive effects of soil-dwelling ants, ant mounds and simulated grazing on local plant community composition

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Veen, G.F.; Olff, H.

    2011-01-01

    Interactions between aboveground vertebrate herbivores and subterranean yellow meadow ants (Lasius flavus) can drive plant community patterns in grassland ecosystems. Here, we study the relative importance of the presence of ants (L. flavus) and ant mounds under different simulated grazing regimes

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mathis, Kaitlyn A; Tsutsui, Neil D

    2016-08-17

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

  8. Experimental Study of the Dynamics of Foraging Ants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walker, J. I.; Fetzner, R. P.; Baxter, G. W.

    2006-03-01

    We study the search paths of foraging ants in order to describe their behavior mathematically. Ants have become popular as simple agents in models of artificial life. Here, the ant is presented the problem of finding food when no food cues are present. In this experiment, individual ants (Formicinae lasius flavus) are allowed to forage on a two-dimensional textured surface in the absence of a food source. The position of the ant as a function of time is determined with a high resolution digital camera. The scaling properties of the resulting foraging paths compare favorably with those of certain types of random walk.

  9. Ant species confer different partner benefits on two neotropical myrmecophytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frederickson, Megan E

    2005-04-01

    The dynamics of mutualistic interactions involving more than a single pair of species depend on the relative costs and benefits of interaction among alternative partners. The neotropical myrmecophytes Cordia nodosa and Duroia hirsuta associate with several species of obligately symbiotic ants. I compared the ant partners of Cordia and Duroia with respect to two benefits known to be important in ant-myrmecophyte interactions: protection against herbivores provided by ants, and protection against encroaching vegetation provided by ants. Azteca spp., Myrmelachista schumanni, and Allomerus octoarticulatus demerarae ants all provide the leaves of Cordia and Duroia some protection against herbivores. However, Azteca and Allomerus provide more protection than does Myrmelachista to the leaves of their host plants. Although Allomerus protects the leaves of its hosts, plants occupied by Allomerus suffer more attacks by herbivores to their stems than do plants occupied by other ants. Relative to Azteca or Allomerus, Myrmelachista ants provide better protection against encroaching vegetation, increasing canopy openness over their host plants. These differences in benefits among the ant partners of Cordia and Duroia are reflected in the effect of each ant species on host plant size, growth rate, and reproduction. The results of this study show how mutualistic ant partners can differ with respect to both the magnitude and type of benefits they provide to the same species of myrmecophytic host.

  10. The interactions of ants with their biotic environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Renner, Susanne S.

    2017-01-01

    This special feature results from the symposium ‘Ants 2016: ant interactions with their biotic environments’ held in Munich in May 2016 and deals with the interactions between ants and other insects, plants, microbes and fungi, studied at micro- and macroevolutionary levels with a wide range of approaches, from field ecology to next-generation sequencing, chemical ecology and molecular genetics. In this paper, we review key aspects of these biotic interactions to provide background information for the papers of this special feature. After listing the major types of biotic interactions that ants engage in, we present a brief overview of ant/ant communication, ant/plant interactions, ant/fungus symbioses, and recent insights about ants and their endosymbionts. Using a large molecular clock-dated Formicidae phylogeny, we map the evolutionary origins of different ant clades' interactions with plants, fungi and hemiptera. Ants' biotic interactions provide ideal systems to address fundamental ecological and evolutionary questions about mutualism, coevolution, adaptation and animal communication. PMID:28298352

  11. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graham, Paul; Mangan, Michael

    2015-03-01

    Visual navigation is a critical behaviour for many animals, and it has been particularly well studied in ants. Decades of ant navigation research have uncovered many ways in which efficient navigation can be implemented in small brains. For example, ants show us how visual information can drive navigation via procedural rather than map-like instructions. Two recent behavioural observations highlight interesting adaptive ways in which ants implement visual guidance. Firstly, it has been shown that the systematic nest searches of ants can be biased by recent experience of familiar scenes. Secondly, ants have been observed to show temporary periods of confusion when asked to repeat a route segment, even if that route segment is very familiar. Taken together, these results indicate that the navigational decisions of ants take into account their recent experiences as well as the currently perceived environment. © 2015. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  14. Extrafloral nectar content alters foraging preferences of a predatory ant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilder, Shawn M; Eubanks, Micky D

    2010-04-23

    We tested whether the carbohydrate and amino acid content of extrafloral nectar affected prey choice by a predatory ant. Fire ants, Solenopsis invicta, were provided with artificial nectar that varied in the presence of carbohydrates and amino acids and were then provided with two prey items that differed in nutritional content, female and male crickets. Colonies of fire ants provided with carbohydrate supplements consumed less of the female crickets and frequently did not consume the high-lipid ovaries of female crickets. Colonies of fire ants provided with amino acid supplements consumed less of the male crickets. While a number of studies have shown that the presence of extrafloral nectar or honeydew can affect ant foraging activity, these results suggest that the nutritional composition of extrafloral nectar is also important and can affect subsequent prey choice by predatory ants. Our results suggest that, by altering the composition of extrafloral nectar, plants could manipulate the prey preferences of ants foraging on them.

  15. Fast and Flexible: Argentine Ants Recruit from Nearby Trails

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

    Argentine ants (Linepithema humile) live in groups of nests connected by trails to each other and to stable food sources. In a field study, we investigated whether some ants recruit directly from established, persistent trails to food sources, thus accelerating food collection. Our results indicate that Argentine ants recruit nestmates to food directly from persistent trails, and that the exponential increase in the arrival rate of ants at baits is faster than would be possible if recruited ants traveled from distant nests. Once ants find a new food source, they walk back and forth between the bait and sometimes share food by trophallaxis with nestmates on the trail. Recruiting ants from nearby persistent trails creates a dynamic circuit, like those found in other distributed systems, which facilitates a quick response to changes in available resources. PMID:23967129

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tatiana P Flanagan

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

  17. Búsqueda de enemigos naturales nativos de Frankliniella occidentalis (Pergande(thysanoptera: thripidae, sobre Dendranthema grandijlorum en el municipio de Piendamo, cauca.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Castro V. Ulises

    1999-06-01

    Full Text Available En la empresa "Flores del Cauca" en el municipio de Piendamó a 1S00 m.s.n.m. con temperatura promedia de 18° C y HR de SO ± 5%, se hizo una búsqueda de enemigos naturales nativos de F. occidentalis (Thysanóptera: Thripidae sobre eras experimentales de Dendranthema grandiflorum libres de control químico. La búsqueda se extendió a los hospedantes alternos del tisanóptero en áreas aledañas al cultivo. Semanalmente se cosechaban plantas de crisantemo, se llevaban al laboratorio para la recolección de thrips y sus enemigos naturales nativos. En el laboratorio se realizaron bioensayos para probar la acción depredadora de algunos de los enemigos de F. occídentalis que fueron encontrados en crisantemo. Se encontraron los siguientes enemigos naturales nativos: El hemíptero Orius sp. (Anthocoridae. los ácaros Amblyseius herbjcolus. Euseius naindaimei y Thyplodromalus peregrinus (Phytoseiidae, larvas de Chrysopidae; los thrips leptothirs sp. y Haplotrips gowdeyi (Phlaeothripidae, un ácaro de la familia Ascidae; difereflles especies de arañas; larvas de la familia Coccinellidae y adultos de F. occidentalis infectados por hongos no identificados.

  18. Variation in Venoms of Polybia Paulista Von Ihering and Polybia Occidentalis Olivier (Hymenoptera: Vespidae), Assessed by the FTIR-PAS Technique.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mendonça, A; Paula, M C; Fernandes, W D; Andrade, L H C; Lima, S M; Antonialli-Junior, W F

    2017-02-01

    Wasps are able to synthesize toxic compounds known as venoms, which form a part of a mechanism to overcome prey and also to defend their colonies. Study of the compounds that constitute these substances is essential in order to understand how this defense mechanism evolved, since there is evidence that the venoms can vary both intra- and interspecifically. Some studies have used liquid and gas chromatography as a reliable technique to analyze these compounds. However, the use of Fourier transform infrared photoacoustic spectroscopy (FTIR-PAS) to analyze the variations in venom's chemical profile has been proposed recently. This study evaluated whether the FTIR-PAS technique is effective for assessing the role of environmental factors on intra- and interspecific differences in the venom of the wasps Polybia paulista Von Ihering and Polybia occidentalis Olivier by FTIR-PAS. The colonies were collected in three municipalities of Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil, in different types of environments. The results showed that the venoms of P. paulista and P. occidentalis differed significantly in profile. In addition, the intraspecific differences in the venom's chemical profile of P. paulista are related to the type of environment where they nested, regardless of the geographical distance between the nests. The FTIR-PAS technique proved to be reliable and effective to evaluate the variations in the venom's chemical profile in social wasps.

  19. Quelques vertus médicinales de Cassia occidentalis L. (Césalpiniacées en basse Cóte d’Ivoire

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. Aké Assi

    1983-12-01

    Full Text Available SOME MEDICINAL PROPERTIES OF CASSIA OCCIDENTALIS  L. (CAESALPINIACEAE IN THE LOWER IVORY COAST About 40 species of Cassia, a great number of which have been introduced, grow in different parts of intertropical Africa, in all types o f vegetation. The 14 species in the Ivory Coast are herbs, shrubs or trees. The local pharmacopoeia uses six of these species for various therapeutic preparations. The currently most used species is Cassia occidentalis L. commonly called Faux Kinkéliba. In the forest area of the Lower Ivory Coast, 11 medical preparations made from different parts of the plant are used. With its considerable ability to spread, this South American plant has become a pantropical one. It is found chiefly in the vicinity of villages. C. occidentalis is used for the relief and treatment of a variety of pains and diseases, for example as a cicatrizant, abortifacient, febrifuge, diuretic, laxative or cholagogue and tonic, and in cases of asthma, cataract, jaundice and kwashiorkor.

  20. Quelques vertus médicinales de Cassia occidentalis L. (Césalpiniacées en basse Cóte d’Ivoire

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. Aké Assi

    1983-12-01

    Full Text Available SOME MEDICINAL PROPERTIES OF CASSIA OCCIDENTALIS  L. (CAESALPINIACEAE IN THE LOWER IVORY COAST About 40 species of Cassia, a great number of which have been introduced, grow in different parts of intertropical Africa, in all types o f vegetation. The 14 species in the Ivory Coast are herbs, shrubs or trees. The local pharmacopoeia uses six of these species for various therapeutic preparations. The currently most used species is Cassia occidentalis L. commonly called Faux Kinkéliba. In the forest area of the Lower Ivory Coast, 11 medical preparations made from different parts of the plant are used. With its considerable ability to spread, this South American plant has become a pantropical one. It is found chiefly in the vicinity of villages. C. occidentalis is used for the relief and treatment of a variety of pains and diseases, for example as a cicatrizant, abortifacient, febrifuge, diuretic, laxative or cholagogue and tonic, and in cases of asthma, cataract, jaundice and kwashiorkor.

  1. An Endangered Arboreal Specialist, the Western Ringtail Possum (Pseudocheirus occidentalis, Shows a Greater Genetic Divergence across a Narrow Artificial Waterway than a Major Road.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kaori Yokochi

    Full Text Available The fragmentation of habitats by roads and other artificial linear structures can have a profound effect on the movement of arboreal species due to their strong fidelity to canopies. Here, we used 12 microsatellite DNA loci to investigate the fine-scale spatial genetic structure and the effects of a major road and a narrow artificial waterway on a population of the endangered western ringtail possum (Pseudocheirus occidentalis in Busselton, Western Australia. Using spatial autocorrelation analysis, we found positive genetic structure in continuous habitat over distances up to 600 m. These patterns are consistent with the sedentary nature of P. occidentalis and highlight their vulnerability to the effects of habitat fragmentation. Pairwise relatedness values and Bayesian cluster analysis also revealed significant genetic divergences across an artificial waterway, suggesting that it was a barrier to gene flow. By contrast, no genetic divergences were detected across the major road. While studies often focus on roads when assessing the effects of artificial linear structures on wildlife, this study provides an example of an often overlooked artificial linear structure other than a road that has a significant impact on wildlife dispersal leading to genetic subdivision.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cameron, G.; Williams, L.

    2001-12-01

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

  3. Honey Bees Avoiding Ant Harassment at Flowers Using Scent Cues.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sidhu, Sheena C; Wilson Rankin, Erin E

    2016-02-01

    Pollinators require resources throughout the year to maintain healthy populations. Along the urban-natural interface, floral resource availability may be limited especially when the system experiences extreme drought and fire threats. In such areas, succulents, such as Aloe spp., are commonly planted to serve as functional drought-tolerant, fire-protective landscaping, which can also support pollinator populations. However, access to this resource may be restricted by competition from other floral foragers, including invasive pests. We measured free-foraging honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) visitation rate and visitation duration to aloe flowers with and without Argentine ants (Linepithema humile (Mayr)) in a drought-stressed environment and found that bees actively avoided foraging on the ant-occupied flowers. To determine the mechanisms of avoidance, our subsequent experiments assessed visitation in the absence of ants and compared aloe flowers treated with ant pheromone to unmanipulated flowers lacking ant pheromone. Bees approached all flowers equally, but accepted flowers without ants at a higher rate than flowers with ants. Visitation duration also increased twofold on ant-excluded flowers, which suggests that Argentine ants may limit resource acquisition by bees. Honey bees similarly avoided flowers with Argentine ant pheromone and preferentially visited unmanipulated flowers at threefold higher rate. This study demonstrates that honey bees avoid foraging on floral resources with invasive Argentine ants and that bees use ant odors to avoid ant-occupied flowers. Resource limitation by this invasive pest ant may have serious implication for sustaining healthy pollinator populations at the urban-natural interface. © The Authors 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  4. Potencial alelopático da parte aérea de Senna occidentalis (L. Link (Fabaceae, Caesalpinioideae: bioensaios em laboratório Allelopathic potential of aerial parts of Senna occidentalis (L. Link (Fabaceae, Caesalpinioideae: Laboratory bioassays

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana Carina da Silva Cândido

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available A bioatividade das frações semipurificadas (hexânica, acetato de etila e etanol-água do extrato etanólico das partes aérea de S. occidentalis foi avaliada através de ensaios de germinação e de crescimento de Lactuca sativa (alface, Lycopersicon esculentum (tomate, Allium cepa (cebola e Triticum aestivum (trigo, em laboratório. Foram utilizadas três concentrações (250, 500, 1000 mg L-1 de cada fração e um controle não tratado, com quatro repetições de 50 sementes. Os bioensaios de germinação revelaram que todas as frações atrasaram a germinação de alface, tomate e cebola, e as frações hexânica e acetato de etila reduziram a germinabilidade de tomate e cebola. Nos bioensaios de crescimento, a fração hexânica estimulou o crescimento da raiz e inibiu o crescimento do hipocótilo das eudicotiledôneas. A mesma fração inibiu o crescimento da raiz e do coleóptilo das monocotiledôneas. A fração acetato de etila inibiu o crescimento da raiz das plântulas-alvo e o hipocótilo/coleóptilo de tomate e cebola. A fração etanol-água estimulou o crescimento da raiz de tomate e do hipocótilo de alface e inibiu o crescimento da raiz de cebola e trigo e, também, do coleóptilo de cebola, na concentração de 1000 mg L-1. Nos bioensaios com herbicidas comerciais foram observados efeitos semelhantes àqueles obtidos na germinação pelas frações e no crescimento pelas frações hexânica e acetato de etila. Na cromatografia em camada delgada, foram detectados terpenos na fração hexânica, compostos fenólicos e alcalóides na fração acetato de etila. A análise espectrofotométrica revelou que a fração acetato de etila possui o maior conteúdo de compostos fenólicos e flavonóides.The bioactivity of semipurified fractions (hexane, ethyl acetate and ethanol-water obtained from S. occidentalis aerial-part ethanol extract was evaluated by germination and growth bioassays using Lactuca sativa (lettuce, Lycopersicon

  5. Interaction between Mutualisms: Ant-tended butterflies exploit enemy-free space provided by ant-treehopper associations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaminski, Lucas A; Freitas, André V L; Oliveira, Paulo S

    2010-09-01

    Although mutualisms have been intensively investigated, demonstration of indirect effects between co-occurring mutualistic systems is rare. For instance, the ecological consequences of co-occurrence of ant-tended insects on a plant have never been examined for survival effects on either trophobiont species. Here, we assess the selective pressures mediating co-occurrence of a facultative ant-tended butterfly (Parrhasius polibetes) with ant-tended treehoppers (Guayaquila xiphias) on Schefflera vinosa shrubs. We evaluated host plant selection and caterpillar survival in P. polibetes in the presence and absence of ant-treehopper associations. Paired trials revealed that butterflies preferably oviposit on branches hosting ant-tended treehoppers when they had a choice between those and branches without this interaction. Presence of ant-tended treehoppers on a branch reduced the abundance of P. polibetes' natural enemies and improved caterpillar survival in both premyrmecophylic and ant-tended phases. Thus ant-tended treehoppers create an enemy-free space on foliage that butterflies exploit to protect larval offspring. These findings connect two widely documented ant-trophobiont mutualisms and highlight the importance of considering multiple interactions for a proper understanding of ant-plant-herbivore systems. Detection of other ant-based mutualisms on oviposition to improve offspring survival may have represented an important evolutionary step in the process of host plant selection in facultative myrmecophilous butterflies.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-06-01

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

  7. Seed harvesting by a generalist consumer is context-dependent: Interactive effects across multiple spatial scales

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ostoja, Steven M.; Schupp, Eugene W.; Klinger, Rob

    2013-01-01

    Granivore foraging decisions affect consumer success and determine the quantity and spatial pattern of seed survival. These decisions are influenced by environmental variation at spatial scales ranging from landscapes to local foraging patches. In a field experiment, the effects of seed patch variation across three spatial scales on seed removal by western harvester ants Pogonomyrmex occidentalis were evaluated. At the largest scale we assessed harvesting in different plant communities, at the intermediate scale we assessed harvesting at different distances from ant mounds, and at the smallest scale we assessed the effects of interactions among seed species in local seed neighborhoods on seed harvesting (i.e. resource–consumer interface). Selected seed species were presented alone (monospecific treatment) and in mixture with Bromus tectorum (cheatgrass; mixture treatment) at four distances from P. occidentalis mounds in adjacent intact sagebrush and non-native cheatgrass-dominated communities in the Great Basin, Utah, USA. Seed species differed in harvest, with B. tectorum being least preferred. Large and intermediate scale variation influenced harvest. More seeds were harvested in sagebrush than in cheatgrass-dominated communities (largest scale), and the quantity of seed harvested varied with distance from mounds (intermediate-scale), although the form of the distance effect differed between plant communities. At the smallest scale, seed neighborhood affected harvest, but the patterns differed among seed species considered. Ants harvested fewer seeds from mixed-seed neighborhoods than from monospecific neighborhoods, suggesting context dependence and potential associational resistance. Further, the effects of plant community and distance from mound on seed harvest in mixtures differed from their effects in monospecific treatments. Beyond the local seed neighborhood, selection of seed resources is better understood by simultaneously evaluating removal at

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1987-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-11-01

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

  10. Recognition of social identity in ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bos, Nick; d'Ettorre, Patrizia

    2012-01-01

    Recognizing the identity of others, from the individual to the group level, is a hallmark of society. Ants, and other social insects, have evolved advanced societies characterized by efficient social recognition systems. Colony identity is mediated by colony specific signature mixtures, a blend o...... is formed, where in the nervous system it is localized, and the possible role of learning. We combine seemingly contradictory evidence in to a novel, parsimonious theory for the information processing of nestmate recognition cues.......Recognizing the identity of others, from the individual to the group level, is a hallmark of society. Ants, and other social insects, have evolved advanced societies characterized by efficient social recognition systems. Colony identity is mediated by colony specific signature mixtures, a blend...

  11. Ant Colony Optimization and Hypergraph Covering Problems

    CERN Document Server

    Pat, Ankit

    2011-01-01

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

  12. Optic disc detection using ant colony optimization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dias, Marcy A.; Monteiro, Fernando C.

    2012-09-01

    The retinal fundus images are used in the treatment and diagnosis of several eye diseases, such as diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma. This paper proposes a new method to detect the optic disc (OD) automatically, due to the fact that the knowledge of the OD location is essential to the automatic analysis of retinal images. Ant Colony Optimization (ACO) is an optimization algorithm inspired by the foraging behaviour of some ant species that has been applied in image processing for edge detection. Recently, the ACO was used in fundus images to detect edges, and therefore, to segment the OD and other anatomical retinal structures. We present an algorithm for the detection of OD in the retina which takes advantage of the Gabor wavelet transform, entropy and ACO algorithm. Forty images of the retina from DRIVE database were used to evaluate the performance of our method.

  13. Comparative analysis of the macronutrient content of Central European ants (Formicidae): implications for ant-eating predators.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pekár, S; Mayntz, D

    2014-03-01

    Prey nutrient quality determines predator performance. Polyphagous predators can address nutritional challenges by targeting prey with specific nutrient composition, but prey-specialised predators (e.g., ant-eaters), must obtain all nutrients from limited array of prey. Analysis of published data on prey specificity of European ant-eating spiders showed that some feed only on one ant genus, while others feed on several genera. Spiders feeding on several ant genera can possibly balance nutrient intake by selecting different ant prey. But monophagous species must extract all prey from a single prey species and can only vary nutrient intake by feeding on specific body parts. Most ant-eating spider species are catching Formica, Lasius and Messor ants, suggesting that these are most profitable ant species. We evaluated the nutritional content of a variety of 16 Central European ant species belonging to 11 genera and four subfamilies. We found that the nutritional composition, namely the amount of carbon, nitrogen and lipids, of European ants is heterogeneous. The largest variation in the amount of carbon and lipids was among ant subfamilies and species, while the largest variation in nitrogen was among ant genera. The largest amount of carbon and nitrogen was typical for Myrmicinae and the largest amount of lipids were typical for Formicinae. Within ants, the relative amounts of lipids were significantly higher in the gaster while the contents of carbon and nitrogen were highest in foreparts. Ant species did not cluster in the ordination space according to their taxonomic relationship or trophic strategy. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karin Moll

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

  15. Polyethism in a colony of artificial ants

    CERN Document Server

    Marriott, Chris

    2011-01-01

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

  16. Ant colony optimization and constraint programming

    CERN Document Server

    Solnon, Christine

    2013-01-01

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

  17. Exploration versus exploitation in polydomous ant colonies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cook, Zoe; Franks, Daniel W; Robinson, Elva J H

    2013-04-21

    In socially foraging species resource information can be shared between individuals, increasing foraging success. In ant colonies, nestmate recruitment allows high exploitation rates at known resources however, to maximise foraging efficiency this must be balanced with searching for new resources. Many ant species form colonies inhabiting two or more spatially separated but socially connected nests: this type of organisation is known as polydomy. Polydomous colonies may benefit from increased foraging efficiency by carrying out dispersed-central place foraging. However, decentralisation of the colony may affect recruitment success by limiting interaction between ants based in separate nests. We use an agent-based model which compares the foraging success of monodomous and polydomous colonies in different food environments, incorporating recruitment through pheromone trails and group foraging. In contrast to previous results we show that polydomy is beneficial in some but not all cases. Polydomous colonies discover resources at a higher rate, making them more successful when food is highly dispersed, but their relative success can be lowered by limitations on recruitment success. Monodomous colonies can have higher foraging efficiency than polydomous colonies by exploiting food more rapidly. The results show the importance of interactions between recruitment strategy, colony size, and colony organisation. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. El periodista, ante la espiral de silencio

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dr. Fermín Galindo Arranz

    1998-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-10-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Offenberg, Hans Joachim

    2011-01-01

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

  1. Marco Isaia, Mauro Paschetta, Enrico Lana, Paolo Pantini, Axel L. Schönhofer, Erhard Christian & Guido Bandino (2011: Aracnidi sotterranei delle Alpi Occidentali italiane/Subterranean Arachnids of the Western Italian Alps (Arachnida: Araneae, Opiliones, Palpigradi, Pseudoscorpiones

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zaenker, Stefan

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available book review: Marco Isaia, Mauro Paschetta, Enrico Lana, Paolo Pantini, Axel L. Schönhofer, Erhard Christian & Guido Bandino (2011: Aracnidi sotterranei delle Alpi Occidentali italiane/Subterranean Arachnids of the Western Italian Alps (Arachnida: Araneae, Opiliones, Palpigradi, Pseudoscorpiones

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-09-24

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

  3. 西花蓟马传播番茄斑萎病毒研究进展%Reaearch advances on transmission of tomato spotted wilt virus by Frankliniella occidentalis (Pergande)

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    杨帆; 刘万学; 张国; 万方浩

    2011-01-01

    Frankliniella occidentalis is one of the important quarantine pests in the world.This pest not only damages crops, but also transmits virus, thus causing serious economic loss to crops.As the F.occidentalis invaded into China, and the tomato spotted wilt virus it transmitted was found in various regions in China, it seriously threatened the cash crops due to its wide suitable distribution areas.This article summarizes the process that F.occidentalis gets, carries and transmits the tomato spotted wilt virus, and the cycle of the virus in F.occidentalis and the associated mechanism.This article also reviews the F.occidentalis - virus - plant interaction and its effect on the fitness of F.occidentalis, so as to provide a guide to the fundamental research and application in the transmission of tomato spotted wilt virus mediated by F.occidentalis.%西花蓟马Frankliniella occidentalis是世界性重要检疫性害虫之一,不仅直接取食危害作物而且传播病毒,从而造成极为严重的经济损失.由于西花蓟马在我国具有广泛的适生范围,随其入侵我国并随之传播的番茄斑萎病毒(Tomato spotted wilt virus)已在我国不同地域发现,对经济作物已形成严重威胁.本文综述了西花蓟马对番茄斑萎病毒的获取、携带和传播扩散过程及其病毒在蓟马体内的循环过程和机理,总结了影响西花蓟马传播番茄斑萎病毒效率的因素,并评述了"西花蓟马-病毒-植物"这一互作系统及其对西花蓟马生长发育适合度的影响,以期为我国西花蓟马传播番茄斑萎病毒的基础研究和防控提供理论依据与指导.

  4. Ord's kangaroo rats living in floodplain habitats: Factors contributing to habitat attraction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, M.S.; Wilson, K.R.; Andersen, D.C.

    2003-01-01

    High densities of an aridland granivore, Ord's kangaroo rat (Dipodomys ordii), have been documented in floodplain habitats along the Yampa River in northwestern Colorado. Despite a high probability of inundation and attendant high mortality during the spring flood period, the habitat is consistently recolonized. To understand factors that potentially make riparian habitats attractive to D. ordii, we compared density and spatial pattern of seeds, density of a competitor (western harvester ant, Pogonomyrmex occidentalis), and digging energetics within floodplain habitats and between floodplain and adjacent upland habitats. Seed density within the floodplain was greatest in the topographically high (rarely flooded) floodplain and lowest immediately after a spring flood in the topographically low (frequently flooded) floodplain. Seed densities in adjacent upland habitat that never floods were higher than the lowest floodplain habitat. In the low floodplain prior to flooding, seeds had a clumped spatial pattern, which D. ordii is adept at exploiting; after spring flooding, a more random pattern resulted. Populations of the western harvester ant were low in the floodplain relative to the upland. Digging by D. ordii was energetically less expensive in floodplain areas than in upland areas. Despite the potential for mortality due to annual spring flooding, the combination of less competition from harvester ants and lower energetic costs of digging might promote the use of floodplain habitat by D. ordii.

  5. Ants at Plant Wounds: A Little-Known Trophic Interaction with Evolutionary Implications for Ant-Plant Interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Staab, Michael; Fornoff, Felix; Klein, Alexandra-Maria; Blüthgen, Nico

    2017-09-01

    Extrafloral nectaries (EFNs) allow plants to engage in mutualisms with ants, preventing herbivory in exchange for food. EFNs occur scattered throughout the plant phylogeny and likely evolved independent from herbivore-created wounds subsequently visited by ants collecting leaked sap. Records of wound-feeding ants are, however, anecdotal. By surveying 38,000 trees from 40 species, we conducted the first quantitative ecological study of this overlooked behavior. Ant-wound interactions were widespread (0.5% of tree individuals) and occurred on 23 tree species. Interaction networks were opportunistic, closely resembling ant-EFN networks. Fagaceae, a family lacking EFNs, was strongly overrepresented. For Fagaceae, ant occurrence at wounds correlated with species-level leaf damage, potentially indicating that wounds may attract mutualistic ants, which supports the hypothesis of ant-tended wounds as precursors of ant-EFN mutualisms. Given that herbivore wounds are common, wound sap as a steadily available food source might further help to explain the overwhelming abundance of ants in (sub)tropical forest canopies.

  6. How Load-Carrying Ants Avoid Falling Over: Mechanical Stability during Foraging in Atta vollenweideri Grass-Cutting Ants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moll, Karin; Roces, Flavio; Federle, Walter

    2013-01-01

    Background Foraging workers of grass-cutting ants (Atta vollenweideri) regularly carry grass fragments larger than their own body. Fragment length has been shown to influence the ants’ running speed and thereby the colony’s food intake rate. We investigated whether and how grass-cutting ants maintain stability when carrying fragments of two different lengths but identical mass. Principal Findings Ants carried all fragments in an upright, backwards-tilted position, but held long fragments more vertically than short ones. All carrying ants used an alternating tripod gait, where mechanical stability was increased by overlapping stance phases of consecutive steps. The overlap was greatest for ants carrying long fragments, resulting in more legs contacting the ground simultaneously. For all ants, the projection of the total centre of mass (ant and fragment) was often outside the supporting tripod, i.e. the three feet that would be in stance for a non-overlapping tripod gait. Stability was only achieved through additional legs in ground contact. Tripod stability (quantified as the minimum distance of the centre of mass to the edge of the supporting tripod) was significantly smaller for ants with long fragments. Here, tripod stability was lowest at the beginning of each step, when the center of mass was near the posterior margin of the supporting tripod. By contrast, tripod stability was lowest at the end of each step for ants carrying short fragments. Consistently, ants with long fragments mainly fell backwards, whereas ants carrying short fragments mainly fell forwards or to the side. Assuming that transporting ants adjust neither the fragment angle nor the gait, they would be less stable and more likely to fall over. Conclusions In grass-cutting ants, the need to maintain static stability when carrying long grass fragments has led to multiple kinematic adjustments at the expense of a reduced material transport rate. PMID:23300994

  7. Behavior of Ants Escaping from a Single-Exit Room

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Shujie; Lv, Wei; Song, Weiguo

    2015-01-01

    To study the rules of ant behavior and group-formation phenomena, we examined the behaviors of Camponotus japonicus, a species of large ant, in a range of situations. For these experiments, ants were placed inside a rectangular chamber with a single exit that also contained a filter paper soaked in citronella oil, a powerful repellent. The ants formed several groups as they moved toward the exit to escape. We measured the time intervals between individual escapes in six versions of the experiment, each containing an exit of a different width, to quantify the movement of the groups. As the ants exited the chamber, the time intervals between individual escapes changed and the frequency distribution of the time intervals exhibited exponential decay. We also investigated the relationship between the number of ants in a group and the group flow rate. PMID:26125191

  8. Where and how Argentine ant (Linepithema humile) spreads in Corsica?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blight, Olivier; Orgeas, Jérôme; Renucci, Marielle; Tirard, Alain; Provost, Erick

    2009-08-01

    The Argentine ant, Linepithema humile (Dolichoderinae), is one of the most widespread invasive ant species in the world. When established in optimal habitat, this species usually excludes most other local ants and can heavily impact other arthropods as well. Although Argentine ants have been present in southern Europe for more than 100 years, they were first noted in Corsica, a French Mediterranean island, in 1957 in only one urban station. In this study, we aimed to map precisely their geographical distribution in Corsica and to quantify their presence by using an infestation index. We recorded changes in the distribution of Argentine ants in Corsica over the past decade. Argentine ants appeared to be well established within their introduced range and spreading along the Corsican coasts principally through Human-mediated jump-dispersal but not homogenously.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jim Underwood

    2002-11-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David J Gonthier

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

  11. Cercomacra and related antbirds (Aves, Formicariidae as army ant followers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Edwin O. Willis

    1984-01-01

    Full Text Available Cercomacra and Schistocichla antbirds (Formicariidae favor dense foliage and seldom follow army ants for flushed prey, since the ants move through open forest understory as well as through dense zones. Two other lineages, the Drymophila-Hypocnemis lineage (of dense woodland understory and the Formicivora lineage (of dense bushes in dry or semiopen zones, also cannot follow ants regularly through open forest understory.

  12. Consuming fire ants reduces northern bobwhite survival and weight gain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Myers, P.E.; Allen, Craig R.; Birge, Hannah E.

    2014-01-01

    Northern bobwhite quail, Colinus virginianus (L.) (Galliformes: Odontophoridae), population declines are well documented, but pinpointing the reasons for these decreases has proven elusive. Bobwhite population declines are attributed primarily to loss of habitat and land use changes. This, however, does not entirely explain population declines in areas intensively managed for bobwhites. Although previous research demonstrates the negative impact of red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta Buren) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) on northern bobwhites, the mechanisms underlying this effect are largely unknown. To meet the protein demands of early growth and development, bobwhite chicks predominantly consume small insects, of which ants are a substantial proportion. Fire ants alter ant community dynamics by often reducing native ant diversity and abundance while concurrently increasing the abundance of individuals. Fire ants have negative effects on chicks, but they are also a large potential protein source, making it difficult to disentangle their net effect on bobwhite chicks. To help investigate these effects, we conducted a laboratory experiment to understand (1) whether or not bobwhites consume fire ants, and (2) how the benefits of this consumption compare to the deleterious impacts of bobwhite chick exposure to fire ants. Sixty bobwhite chicks were separated into two groups of 30; one group was provided with starter feed only and the second group was provided with feed and fire ants. Bobwhite chicks were observed feeding on fire ants. Chicks that fed on fire ants had reduced survival and weight gain. Our results show that, while fire ants increase potential food sources for northern bobwhite, their net effect on bobwhite chicks is deleterious. This information will help inform land managers and commercial bobwhite rearing operations.

  13. Ant behaviour and seed morphology: a missing link of myrmecochory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gómez, Crisanto; Espadaler, Xavier; Bas, Josep M

    2005-12-01

    Seed dispersal by ants (myrmecochory) is mediated by the presence of a lipid-rich appendage (elaiosome) on the seed that induces a variety of ants to collect the diaspores. When seeds mature or fall onto the ground, these ant species transport them to their nest. After eating the elaiosome, the seed is discarded in nest galleries or outside, in the midden or farther away, where seeds can potentially germinate. The final location of seeds with their elaiosomes removed was evaluated to assess the importance of possible handles (structures that ants can grasp to carry) in transporting ants during re-dispersal experiments of seeds from nests of six species of ants. The results indicate that seeds remained within the nest because the ants were not able to transport them out of the nest. As a consequence of the elaiosome being removed, small ant species could not take Euphorbia characias seeds out of their nests. Only large ant species could remove E. characias seeds from their nests. Attaching an artificial handle to E. characias seeds allowed small ant species to redistribute the seeds from their nests. On the other hand, Rhamnus alaternus seeds that have a natural handle after the elaiosome removal were removed from the nests by both groups of ant species. If a seed has an element that acts as a handle, it will eventually get taken out of the nest. The ants' size and their mandible gap can determine the outcome of the interaction (i.e. the pattern of the final seed shadow) and as a consequence, could influence the events that take place after the dispersal process.

  14. Parallelizing Ant Colony Optimization via Area of Expertise Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    2007-09-13

    lutions for all but the most trivial instances. Ant colony optimization (ACO) is a simple metaheuristic that can effectively solve problems in these...expertise” technique is applied to two problem domains: gridworld and the traveling salesman problem. 1.1 Motivation ACO is a metaheuristic that generates...independent ant agents, an obvious extension of the ant colony framework is to implement the algorithm in a parallel environment. One of the main

  15. Evolutionarily advanced ant farmers rear polyploid fungal crops

    OpenAIRE

    Pepijn W Kooij; Aanen, D. K.; Schiøtt, M.; Boomsma, Jacobus J.

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Innovative evolutionary developments are often related to gene or genome duplications. The crop fungi of attine fungus‐growing ants are suspected to have enhanced genetic variation reminiscent of polyploidy, but this has never been quantified with cytological data and genetic markers. We estimated the number of nuclei per fungal cell for 42 symbionts reared by 14 species of Panamanian fungus‐growing ants. This showed that domesticated symbionts of higher attine ants are polykaryotic ...

  16. Does Trichomes on the Plant Epidermic Surface Disturb Ants Locomotion?

    OpenAIRE

    Danon C. Cardoso; Maykon P Cristiano; Lenise C. M. Vilela; Tiago D. A. Martins

    2009-01-01

    Problem Statement: Many morphological characteristics, both physical and chemical, are used in the defense against herbivores on plants. Trichomes are structures used by plants as physics defense and when associated with glands combine physics and chemistry defense. Many species of ants are herbivores and use leaves and seeds, others ants use Extra Floral Nectars as a food resource, and the majority of the species are predators of other ants and other insects, &#...

  17. Rhabdomyolysis and Acute Renal Failure After Fire Ant Bites

    OpenAIRE

    Koya, Supriya; Crenshaw, Daryl; Agarwal, Anupam

    2007-01-01

    We describe a 59-year-old patient who developed acute renal failure because of rhabdomyolysis after extensive red fire ant bites. This case illustrates a serious systemic reaction that may occur from fire ant bites. Consistent with the clinical presentation in rhabdomyolysis associated with non-traumatic causes, hyperkalemia, hypophosphatemia, hypocalcemia, and high anion gap acidosis were not observed in this patient. While local allergic reactions to fire ant bites are described in the lite...

  18. [Syagrus romanzoffiana (Arecaceae) seed utilization by ants in a secondary forest in South Brazil].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silva, Fernanda R; Begnini, Romualdo M; Klier, Vinícius A; Scherer, Karla Z; Lopes, Benedito C; Castellani, Tânia T

    2009-01-01

    Ants can nest in a wide variety of substracts. This paper shows Syagrus romanzoffiana seed utilization by ants in an Atlantic secondary forest. We report 29 seeds occupied by small-bodied ants, with 27 of them showing at least two ant development stages. Although a large number of seeds were sampled, a low level of ant occupation was observed.

  19. Laboratory host specificicty testing of the fire ant microsporidian pathogen Vairimorpha invictae (Microsporidia: Burenellidae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    The host specificity of Vairimorpha invictae, a microsporidian pathogen of fire ants in South America, was assessed in the laboratory with the tropical fire ant, Solenopsis geminata, the southern fire ant, Solenopsis xyloni, and the Argentine ant, Linepithema humile. The two fire ant species are fo...

  20. Long-term persistence of a neotropical ant-plant population in the absence of obligate plant-ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moraes, Sinara C; Vasconcelos, Heraldo L

    2009-09-01

    Interactions between ants and ant-plants are considered classic examples of obligate mutualisms. Previous studies have indicated that for many ant-plants the loss of ant colonies results in severe defoliation or mortality. Although individual plants can persist for some period of time without their mutualistic partners, to date populations of ant-free plants have only been recorded at high altitudes or on remote islands where herbivores are also scarce. We studied the interaction between ants, herbivores, and the ant-plant Tococa guianensis in the Cerrado region of central Brazil. Using a survey conducted across a large geographic region, we show that there is interpopulation variation in ant occupancy across sites and habitats. At most sites surveyed, plants were inhabited by Allomerus octoarticulatus, an obligate plant-ant. Plants with obligate ants had significantly lower standing levels of herbivore damage than plants with opportunistic ants and plants with no ant occupants. Furthermore, experimental removal of A. octoarticulatus resulted in increased levels of damage in both young and mature leaves. Despite the protection provided by obligate ants, populations of T. guianensis were found to persist without these ants in some areas. Plants without A. octoarticulatus had significantly greater leaf toughness and trichome density than those with A. octoarticulatus. Furthermore, trichome density in plants with A. octoarticulatus increased after ants were removed, probably as a response induced by increased levels of herbivore damage. To our knowledge, this is the first record of the occurrence of native myrmecophyte populations without their mutualistic ants in mainland low-elevation sites. Several factors may help to explain the long-term persistence of T. guianensis populations without plant-ants in some areas of the Brazilian Cerrado, including its potential for induced morphological defenses against insect herbivores and selection for increased levels of

  1. Ant-Crypto, a Cryptographer for Data Encryption Standard

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Salabat Khan

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Swarm Intelligence and Evolutionary Techniques are attracting the cryptanalysts in the field of cryptography. This paper presents a novel swarm based attack called Ant-Crypto (Ant-Cryptographer for the cryptanalysis of Data Encryption Standard (DES. Ant-Crypto is based on Binary Ant Colony Optimization (BACO i.e. a binary search space based directed graph is modeled for efficiently searching the optimum result (an original encryption key, in our case. The reason that why evolutionary techniques are becoming attractive is because of the inapplicability of traditional techniques and brute force attacks against feistel ciphers due to their inherent structure based on high nonlinearity and low autocorrelation. Ant-Crypto uses a known-plaintext attack to recover the secret key of DES which is required to break/ decipher the secret messages. Ant-Crypto iteratively searches for the secret key while generating several candidate optimum keys that are guessed across different runs on the basis of routes completed by ants. These optimum keys are then used to find each individual bit of the 56 bit secret key used during encryption by DES. Ant-Crypto is compared with some other state of the art evolutionary based attacks i.e. Genetic Algorithm and Comprehensive Binary Particle Swarm Optimization. The experimental results show that Ant-Crypto is an effective evolutionary attack against DES and can deduce large number of valuable bits as compared to other evolutionary algorithms; both in terms of time and space complexity.

  2. Disease dynamics in a specialized parasite of ant societies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, Sandra Breum; Ferrari, Matthew; Evans, Harry C.

    2012-01-01

    Coevolution between ant colonies and their rare specialized parasites are intriguing, because lethal infections of workers may correspond to tolerable chronic diseases of colonies, but the parasite adaptations that allow stable coexistence with ants are virtually unknown. We explore the trade......-offs experienced by Ophiocordyceps parasites manipulating ants into dying in nearby graveyards. We used field data from Brazil and Thailand to parameterize and fit a model for the growth rate of graveyards. We show that parasite pressure is much lower than the abundance of ant cadavers suggests...

  3. Ant plant herbivore interactions in the neotropical cerrado savanna

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oliveira, Paulo S.; Freitas, André V. L.

    2004-12-01

    The Brazilian cerrado savanna covers nearly 2 million km2 and has a high incidence on foliage of various liquid food sources such as extrafloral nectar and insect exudates. These liquid rewards generate intense ant activity on cerrado foliage, making ant plant herbivore interactions especially prevalent in this biome. We present data on the distribution and abundance of extrafloral nectaries in the woody flora of cerrado communities and in the flora of other habitats worldwide, and stress the relevance of liquid food sources (including hemipteran honeydew) for the ant fauna. Consumption by ants of plant and insect exudates significantly affects the activity of the associated herbivores of cerrado plant species, with varying impacts on the reproductive output of the plants. Experiments with an ant plant butterfly system unequivocally demonstrate that the behavior of both immature and adult lepidopterans is closely related to the use of a risky host plant, where intensive visitation by ants can have a severe impact on caterpillar survival. We discuss recent evidence suggesting that the occurrence of liquid rewards on leaves plays a key role in mediating the foraging ecology of foliage-dwelling ants, and that facultative ant plant mutualisms are important in structuring the community of canopy arthropods. Ant-mediated effects on cerrado herbivore communities can be revealed by experiments performed on wide spatial scales, including many environmental factors such as soil fertility and vegetation structure. We also present some research questions that could be rewarding to investigate in this major neotropical savanna.

  4. Improvement and Implementation of Best-worst Ant Colony Algorithm

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xianmin Wei

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available In this study, we introduced the ant colony algorithm of best-worst ant system based on the pheromone update. By update improvements of local pheromone and global pheromone, as well as the optimal solution enhancement to a greater extent and the weakening of the worst solution, the algorithm further increased the difference of pheromone amount between the edge of the optimal path and the edge of the worst path and allowed the ant colony search behavior more focused near the optimal solution. Finally, through simulation experiments to prove that the algorithm can get the optimal solution and the convergence rate is faster than the average ant colony algorithm.

  5. What is the effect of soil use on ant communities?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmidt, Fernando A; Diehl, Elena

    2008-01-01

    Studies on ant communities in agroecosystems have contributed to the knowledge of the effect of agricultural activities on biological communities. The aim of this study is to explain the effect of soil use on ant communities. We tested the hypothesis that there was a decrease in ant species richness and a change in the species composition at habitats with more intense soil use. We collected ants using sardine baits, subterranean traps and direct sampling at four habitats with different soil use (secundary forest, Acacia forestry, initial stage of succession and mixed crops). The ant species richness did not decrease with intensity of soil use. In successional habitat the species numbers collected using sardine baits and subterranean traps were significantly different. Species composition of communities had a pronounced variation, with the epigaeic and hypogaeic ant faunas of the habitat with high intense soil use (mixed crops) had low similarity with ant communities of the three other habitats. The predator species were restricted to habitats with low intensity of soil use. Then, species composition could better reflect the functional changes on ant communities than species richness. Our data can help to choose the component of ant community that better reflect the response of biodiversity to agricultural impacts.

  6. Looking and homing: how displaced ants decide where to go.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeil, Jochen; Narendra, Ajay; Stürzl, Wolfgang

    2014-01-01

    We caught solitary foragers of the Australian Jack Jumper ant, Myrmecia croslandi, and released them in three compass directions at distances of 10 and 15 m from the nest at locations they have never been before. We recorded the head orientation and the movements of ants within a radius of 20 cm from the release point and, in some cases, tracked their subsequent paths with a differential GPS. We find that upon surfacing from their transport vials onto a release platform, most ants move into the home direction after looking around briefly. The ants use a systematic scanning procedure, consisting of saccadic head and body rotations that sweep gaze across the scene with an average angular velocity of 90° s(-1) and intermittent changes in turning direction. By mapping the ants' gaze directions onto the local panorama, we find that neither the ants' gaze nor their decisions to change turning direction are clearly associated with salient or significant features in the scene. Instead, the ants look most frequently in the home direction and start walking fast when doing so. Displaced ants can thus identify home direction with little translation, but exclusively through rotational scanning. We discuss the navigational information content of the ants' habitat and how the insects' behaviour informs us about how they may acquire and retrieve that information.

  7. Five new records of ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) for Nebraska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nemec, Kristine T.; Trager, James C.; Manley, Elizabeth; Allen, Craig R.

    2012-01-01

    Ants are ubiquitous and influential organisms in terrestrial ecosystems. About 1,000 ant species occur in North America, where they are found in nearly every habitat (Fisher and Cover 2007). Ants are critical to ecological processes and structure. Ants affect soils via tunneling activity (Baxter and Hole 1967), disperse plant seeds (Lengyel et al. 2009), prey upon a variety of insects and other invertebrates (Way and Khoo 1992, Folgarait 1998), are often effective primary consumers through their prodigious consumption of floral and especially extrafloral nectar, and honeydew (Tobin 1994), and serve as prey for invertebrates (Gotelli 1996, Gastreich 1999) and vertebrates (Reiss 2001).

  8. Variation of ant community structure on Ficus benguetensis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shang-Yang Lin

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Although ants are commonly found on Ficus trees, information remains lacking on the pattern and diversity of the ant community visiting these trees. We hypothesize that dynamic changes in the availability and types of food can affect the composition as well as abundance of ant communities occurring on fig trees. To investigate the impact of resource availability, diversity, and variability on the ant community structure, we surveyed and recorded the fig phenology and ant abundance on 17 trees (11 male and six female trees of Ficus benguetensis in New Taipei City in northern Taiwan from 2011 to 2013. A total of 13 ant species were found on these fig trees, with 6 species more abundant than the others. The composition and relative abundance of the ant species occurring on F. benguetensis trees showed significant variations associated with tree sex, fig abundance, fig developmental phase, as well as temperature. A degree of dietary niche partitioning was also observed. We suggest that sexual differentiation in fig phenology plays a major role in controlling the availability and variance in food resources for ants, thereby shaping the complex ant communities foraging on F. benguetensis.

  9. 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.

  10. 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...

  11. Evolution and ecology of directed aerial descent in arboreal ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yanoviak, Stephen P; Munk, Yonatan; Dudley, Robert

    2011-12-01

    Directed aerial descent (DAD) is used by a variety of arboreal animals to escape predators, to remain in the canopy, and to access resources. Here, we build upon the discovery of DAD in ants of tropical canopies by summarizing its known phylogenetic distribution among ant genera, and within both the subfamily Pseudomyrmecinae and the genus Cephalotes. DAD has multiple evolutionary origins in ants, occurring independently in numerous genera in the subfamilies Myrmicinae, Formicinae, and Pseudomyrmecinae. Ablation experiments and video recordings of ants in a vertical wind tunnel showed that DAD in Cephalotes atratus is achieved via postural changes, specifically orientation of the legs and gaster. The occurrence of DAD in Formicinae indicates that the presence of a postpetiole is not essential for the behavior. Evidence to date indicates that gliding behavior is accomplished by visual targeting mediated by the compound eyes, and is restricted to diurnally active ants that nest in trees. Occlusion of ocelli in Pseudomyrmex gracilis workers had no effect on their success or performance in gliding. Experimental assessment of the fate of ants that fall to the understory showed that ants landing in water are 15 times more likely to suffer lethal attacks than are ants landing in leaf litter. Variation in both the aerodynamic mechanisms and selective advantages of DAD merits further study given the broad taxonomic diversity of arboreal ants that engage in this intriguing form of flight.

  12. Signals can trump rewards in attracting seed-dispersing ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turner, Kyle M; Frederickson, Megan E

    2013-01-01

    Both rewards and signals are important in mutualisms. In myrmecochory, or seed dispersal by ants, the benefits to plants are relatively well studied, but less is known about why ants pick up and move seeds. We examined seed dispersal by the ant Aphaenogaster rudis of four co-occurring species of plants, and tested whether morphology, chemical signaling, or the nutritional quality of fatty seed appendages called elaiosomes influenced dispersal rates. In removal trials, ants quickly collected diaspores (seeds plus elaiosomes) of Asarum canadense, Trillium grandiflorum, and Sanguinaria canadensis, but largely neglected those of T. erectum. This discrepancy was not explained by differences in the bulk cost-benefit ratio, as assessed by the ratio of seed to elaiosome mass. We also provisioned colonies with diaspores from one of these four plant species or no diaspores as a control. Colonies performed best when fed S. canadensis diaspores, worst when fed T. grandiflorum, and intermediately when fed A. canadense, T. erectum, or no diaspores. Thus, the nutritional rewards in elaiosomes affected colony performance, but did not completely predict seed removal. Instead, high levels of oleic acid in T. grandiflorum elaiosomes may explain why ants disperse these diaspores even though they reduce ant colony performance. We show for the first time that different elaiosome-bearing plants provide rewards of different quality to ant colonies, but also that ants appear unable to accurately assess reward quality when encountering seeds. Instead, we suggest that signals can trump rewards as attractants of ants to seeds.

  13. 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.

  14. Signals can trump rewards in attracting seed-dispersing ants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kyle M Turner

    Full Text Available Both rewards and signals are important in mutualisms. In myrmecochory, or seed dispersal by ants, the benefits to plants are relatively well studied, but less is known about why ants pick up and move seeds. We examined seed dispersal by the ant Aphaenogaster rudis of four co-occurring species of plants, and tested whether morphology, chemical signaling, or the nutritional quality of fatty seed appendages called elaiosomes influenced dispersal rates. In removal trials, ants quickly collected diaspores (seeds plus elaiosomes of Asarum canadense, Trillium grandiflorum, and Sanguinaria canadensis, but largely neglected those of T. erectum. This discrepancy was not explained by differences in the bulk cost-benefit ratio, as assessed by the ratio of seed to elaiosome mass. We also provisioned colonies with diaspores from one of these four plant species or no diaspores as a control. Colonies performed best when fed S. canadensis diaspores, worst when fed T. grandiflorum, and intermediately when fed A. canadense, T. erectum, or no diaspores. Thus, the nutritional rewards in elaiosomes affected colony performance, but did not completely predict seed removal. Instead, high levels of oleic acid in T. grandiflorum elaiosomes may explain why ants disperse these diaspores even though they reduce ant colony performance. We show for the first time that different elaiosome-bearing plants provide rewards of different quality to ant colonies, but also that ants appear unable to accurately assess reward quality when encountering seeds. Instead, we suggest that signals can trump rewards as attractants of ants to seeds.

  15. [Ants: a chemical library of anticancer molecules].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vétillard, Angélique; Bouzid, Wafa

    2016-01-01

    Animal venoms are complex mixtures containing simple organic molecules, proteins, peptides, and other bioactive elements with extraordinary biological properties associated with their ability to act on a number of molecular receptors in the process of incapacitating their target organisms. In such a context, arthropod venoms are invaluable sources of bioactive substances, with therapeutic interest but the limited availability of some venom such as those from ants, has restricted the potential that these biomolecules could represent. We investigated for the first time transcriptomic expression from the ant species Tetramorium bicarinatum. Four hundred randomly selected clones from cDNA libraries were sequenced and a total of 374 expressed sequence tags (ESTs) were generated. Based on the results of BLAST searches, these sequences were clustered and assembled into 269 contigs. About 72% (269) of these matched BLASTx hits with an interesting diversity and unusual abundance of cellular transcripts (48%) related to gene and protein expression reflecting the specialization of this tissue. In addition, transcripts encoding transposases were relatively highly expressed (14%). It may be that transposable elements are present and that their presence accounts for some of the variation in venom toxins. About twenty per cent of the ESTs were categorized as putative toxins, the major part represented by allergens (48% of the total venom toxins) such as pilosulin 5, sol i 3 and Myp p I and II. Several contigs encoding enzymes, including zinc-metalloproteases (17%) that are likely involved in the processing and activation of venom proteins/peptides, were also identified from the library. In addition, a number of sequences (8%) had no significant similarity to any known sequence which indicates a potential source of for the discovery of new toxins. In order to provide a global insight on the transcripts expressed in the venom gland of the Brazilian ant species Tetramorium

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Tamaños y proporción sexual de Ucides occidentalis (Crustacea: Gecarcinidae en un manglar de Costa Rica (ING

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fernando Vives Jiménez

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Sizes and sex ratios of Ucides occidentalis (ORT-MANN 1897  were studied in the mangrove area of Estero Panama, Guanacaste, Costa Rica, from March to August 1982. The caparace length was 36.7-84.5 mm for males and 36.00-60.8 mm for females. The mean sex-ratio was 1.96±1.30 males per female. The relationship between caparace length and weight were W=1.17 x 10-2 Lc2,3970 for males and W=2.38 x 10-3 Lc2,7354 for females. The relative growth was allometric for the length-weight relationships in both sexes.

  19. Nonanthocyanin secondary metabolites of black raspberry (Rubus occidentalis L.) fruits: identification by HPLC-DAD, NMR, HPLC-ESI-MS, and ESI-MS/MS analyses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paudel, Liladhar; Wyzgoski, Faith J; Scheerens, Joseph C; Chanon, Ann M; Reese, R Neil; Smiljanic, Danijela; Wesdemiotis, Chrys; Blakeslee, Joshua J; Riedl, Kenneth M; Rinaldi, Peter L

    2013-12-11

    Nonanthocyanin secondary metabolites potentially contributing to the antiproliferative bioactivity of black raspberry ( Rubus occidentalis L.) fruits were extracted in ethyl acetate and isolated by semipreparative and analytical HPLC and analyzed by NMR, HPLC-ESI-MS, and ESI-MS/MS techniques. Here we present complete and partial structures of a variety of the chemical entities such as quercetin 3-glucoside, quercetin 3-rutinoside, myricetin glucoside, dihydrokaempferol glucoside, benzoic acid β-d-glucopyranosyl ester, 3,4-dihydroxybenzoic acid, epicatechin, caffeic acid, p-coumaric acid, p-coumaryl glucoside, p-coumaryl sugar ester, ellagic acid, methyl ellagic acid acetylpentose, methyl ellagic acid valerylpentose, trans-piceid, phloretin glucoside (phloridzin), dihydrosinapic acid, salicylic acid β-d-glucopyranosyl ester, a salicylic acid derivative without attached sugar, p-alkylphenyl glucoside, and a citric acid derivative. To our knowledge, 15 of these compounds were not previously reported in black raspberry fruits.

  20. The acacia ants revisited: convergent evolution and biogeographic context in an iconic ant/plant mutualism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ward, Philip S; Branstetter, Michael G

    2017-03-15

    Phylogenetic and biogeographic analyses can enhance our understanding of multispecies interactions by placing the origin and evolution of such interactions in a temporal and geographical context. We use a phylogenomic approach-ultraconserved element sequence capture-to investigate the evolutionary history of an iconic multispecies mutualism: Neotropical acacia ants (Pseudomyrmex ferrugineus group) and their associated Vachellia hostplants. In this system, the ants receive shelter and food from the host plant, and they aggressively defend the plant against herbivores and competing plants. We confirm the existence of two separate lineages of obligate acacia ants that convergently occupied Vachellia and evolved plant-protecting behaviour, from timid ancestors inhabiting dead twigs in rainforest. The more diverse of the two clades is inferred to have arisen in the Late Miocene in northern Mesoamerica, and subsequently expanded its range throughout much of Central America. The other lineage is estimated to have originated in southern Mesoamerica about 3 Myr later, apparently piggy-backing on the pre-existing mutualism. Initiation of the Pseudomyrmex/Vachellia interaction involved a shift in the ants from closed to open habitats, into an environment with more intense plant herbivory. Comparative studies of the two lineages of mutualists should provide insight into the essential features binding this mutualism. © 2017 The Author(s).