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Sample records for arboreal ant abundance

  1. Disentangling the diversity of arboreal ant communities in tropical forest trees.

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    Klimes, Petr; Fibich, Pavel; Idigel, Cliffson; Rimandai, Maling

    2015-01-01

    Tropical canopies are known for their high abundance and diversity of ants. However, the factors which enable coexistence of so many species in trees, and in particular, the role of foragers in determining local diversity, are not well understood. We censused nesting and foraging arboreal ant communities in two 0.32 ha plots of primary and secondary lowland rainforest in New Guinea and explored their species diversity and composition. Null models were used to test if the records of species foraging (but not nesting) in a tree were dependent on the spatial distribution of nests in surrounding trees. In total, 102 ant species from 389 trees occurred in the primary plot compared with only 50 species from 295 trees in the secondary forest plot. However, there was only a small difference in mean ant richness per tree between primary and secondary forest (3.8 and 3.3 sp. respectively) and considerably lower richness per tree was found only when nests were considered (1.5 sp. in both forests). About half of foraging individuals collected in a tree belonged to species which were not nesting in that tree. Null models showed that the ants foraging but not nesting in a tree are more likely to nest in nearby trees than would be expected at random. The effects of both forest stage and tree size traits were similar regardless of whether only foragers, only nests, or both datasets combined were considered. However, relative abundance distributions of species differed between foraging and nesting communities. The primary forest plot was dominated by native ant species, whereas invasive species were common in secondary forest. This study demonstrates the high contribution of foragers to arboreal ant diversity, indicating an important role of connectivity between trees, and also highlights the importance of primary vegetation for the conservation of native ant communities.

  2. Monitoring Effect of Fire on Ant Assemblages in Brazilian Rupestrian Grasslands: Contrasting Effects on Ground and Arboreal Fauna

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    Diego Anjos

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Fire is one of the most relevant ecological disturbances in nature. Little is known about the effects of fire on biodiversity in ecosystems like rupestrian grasslands, which share characteristics with savanna and forest biomes. Brazilian rupestrian grasslands are part of an endangered ecosystem that has been modified by anthropogenic fire events that have become more intense in recent decades. In this study, we evaluated the effects of fire on ground and arboreal ant assemblages through a two-year monitoring program (24 monthly samplings. We found that fire does not change cumulative species richness after 24 months, and that fire does not affect mean ant richness, abundance, and species composition in arboreal ants. On the other hand, fire increased mean ground ant species richness and abundance, and caused a significant change in species composition. Our results indicate a weak and beneficial effect of fire only for ground ant communities, which generally agrees with results from other studies in Brazilian savannas. Taken together, results from these studies may be useful for improvement of fire suppression policy in fire-prone habitats in Brazil.

  3. Canopy cover negatively affects arboreal ant species richness in a tropical open habitat

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    A. C. M. Queiroz

    Full Text Available Abstract We tested the hypothesis of a negative relationship between vegetation characteristics and ant species richness in a Brazilian open vegetation habitat, called candeial. We set up arboreal pitfalls to sample arboreal ants and measured the following environmental variables, which were used as surrogate of environmental heterogeneity: tree richness, tree density, tree height, circumference at the base of the plants, and canopy cover. Only canopy cover had a negative effect on the arboreal ant species richness. Vegetation characteristics and plant species composition are probably homogeneous in candeial, which explains the lack of relationship between other environmental variables and ant richness. Open vegetation habitats harbor a large number of opportunistic and generalist species, besides specialist ants from habitats with high temperatures. An increase in canopy cover decreases sunlight incidence and may cause local microclimatic differences, which negatively affect the species richness of specialist ants from open areas. Canopy cover regulates the richness of arboreal ants in open areas, since only few ant species are able to colonize sites with dense vegetation; most species are present in sites with high temperature and luminosity. Within open vegetation habitats the relationship between vegetation characteristics and species richness seems to be the opposite from closed vegetation areas, like forests.

  4. Rovno Amber Ant Assamblage: Bias toward Arboreal Strata or Sampling Effect?

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    Perkovsky E. E.

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available In 2015 B. Guenard with co-authors indicated that the Rovno amber ant assemblage, as described by G. Dlussky and A. Rasnitsyn (2009, showed modest support for a bias towards arboreal origin comparing the Baltic and Bitterfeld assemblages, although it is not clear whether this reflects a sampling error or a signal of real deviation. Since 2009, the Rovno ant collection has now grown more than twice in volume which makes possible to check if the above inference about the essentially arboreal character of the assemblage is real or due to a sampling error. The comparison provided suggests in favour of the latter reason for the bias revealed by B. Guenard and co-authors. The new and larger data on the Rovno assemblage show that the share of non-arboreal ants is now well comparable with those concerning the Baltic and Bitterfeld assemblages. This holds true for the both total assemblages and subassemblages of worker ants only.

  5. Spatial distribution of dominant arboreal ants in a malagasy coastal rainforest: gaps and presence of an invasive species.

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    Alain Dejean

    Full Text Available We conducted a survey along three belt transects located at increasing distances from the coast to determine whether a non-random arboreal ant assemblage, such as an ant mosaic, exists in the rainforest on the Masoala Peninsula, Madagascar. In most tropical rainforests, very populous colonies of territorially dominant arboreal ant species defend absolute territories distributed in a mosaic pattern. Among the 29 ant species recorded, only nine had colonies large enough to be considered potentially territorially dominant; the remaining species had smaller colonies and were considered non-dominant. Nevertheless, the null-model analyses used to examine the spatial structure of their assemblages did not reveal the existence of an ant mosaic. Inland, up to 44% of the trees were devoid of dominant arboreal ants, something not reported in other studies. While two Crematogaster species were not associated with one another, Brachymyrmex cordemoyi was positively associated with Technomyrmex albipes, which is considered an invasive species-a non-indigenous species that has an adverse ecological effect on the habitats it invades. The latter two species and Crematogaster ranavalonae were mutually exclusive. On the other hand, all of the trees in the coastal transect and at least 4 km of coast were occupied by T. albipes, and were interconnected by columns of workers. Technomyrmex albipes workers collected from different trees did not attack each other during confrontation tests, indicating that this species has formed a supercolony along the coast. Yet interspecific aggressiveness did occur between T. albipes and Crematogaster ranavalonae, a native species which is likely territorially dominant based on our intraspecific confrontation tests. These results suggest that the Masoala rainforest is threatened by a potential invasion by T. albipes, and that the penetration of this species further inland might be facilitated by the low density of native

  6. Temporal Variation in the Abundance and Richness of Foliage-Dwelling Ants Mediated by Extrafloral Nectar.

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    Ceres Belchior

    Full Text Available Plants bearing extrafloral nectaries (EFNs are common in the Brazilian cerrado savanna, where climatic conditions having marked seasonality influence arboreal ant fauna organization. These ant-plant interactions have rarely been studied at community level. Here, we tested whether: 1 EFN-bearing plants are more visited by ants than EFN-lacking plants; 2 ant visitation is higher in the rainy season than in dry season; 3 plants producing young leaves are more visited than those lacking young leaves in the rainy season; 4 during the dry season, plants with old leaves and flowers are more visited than plants with young leaves and bare of leaves or flowers; 5 the composition of visiting ant fauna differs between plants with and without EFNs. Field work was done in a cerrado reserve near Uberlândia, MG State, Brazil, along ten transects (total area 3,000 m2, in the rainy (October-January and dry seasons (April-July of 2010-2011. Plants (72 species; 762 individuals were checked three times per season for ant presence. Results showed that 21 species (29% and 266 individuals (35% possessed EFNs. These plants attracted 38 ant species (36 in rainy, 26 in dry season. In the rainy season, plants with EFNs had higher ant abundance/richness than plants without EFNs, but in the dry season, EFN presence did not influence ant visitation. Plant phenology affected ant richness and abundance in different ways: plants with young leaves possessed higher ant richness in the rainy season, but in the dry season ant abundance was higher on plants possessing old leaves or flowers. The species composition of plant-associated ant communities, however, did not differ between plants with and without EFNs in either season. These findings suggest that the effect of EFN presence on a community of plant-visiting ants is context dependent, being conditioned to seasonal variation.

  7. Temporal Variation in the Abundance and Richness of Foliage-Dwelling Ants Mediated by Extrafloral Nectar.

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    Belchior, Ceres; Sendoya, Sebastián F; Del-Claro, Kleber

    2016-01-01

    Plants bearing extrafloral nectaries (EFNs) are common in the Brazilian cerrado savanna, where climatic conditions having marked seasonality influence arboreal ant fauna organization. These ant-plant interactions have rarely been studied at community level. Here, we tested whether: 1) EFN-bearing plants are more visited by ants than EFN-lacking plants; 2) ant visitation is higher in the rainy season than in dry season; 3) plants producing young leaves are more visited than those lacking young leaves in the rainy season; 4) during the dry season, plants with old leaves and flowers are more visited than plants with young leaves and bare of leaves or flowers; 5) the composition of visiting ant fauna differs between plants with and without EFNs. Field work was done in a cerrado reserve near Uberlândia, MG State, Brazil, along ten transects (total area 3,000 m2), in the rainy (October-January) and dry seasons (April-July) of 2010-2011. Plants (72 species; 762 individuals) were checked three times per season for ant presence. Results showed that 21 species (29%) and 266 individuals (35%) possessed EFNs. These plants attracted 38 ant species (36 in rainy, 26 in dry season). In the rainy season, plants with EFNs had higher ant abundance/richness than plants without EFNs, but in the dry season, EFN presence did not influence ant visitation. Plant phenology affected ant richness and abundance in different ways: plants with young leaves possessed higher ant richness in the rainy season, but in the dry season ant abundance was higher on plants possessing old leaves or flowers. The species composition of plant-associated ant communities, however, did not differ between plants with and without EFNs in either season. These findings suggest that the effect of EFN presence on a community of plant-visiting ants is context dependent, being conditioned to seasonal variation.

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

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    Longino, John T; Branstetter, Michael G; Colwell, Robert K

    2014-01-01

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

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

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    John T Longino

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

  10. Arboreal ant colonies as 'hot-points' of cryptic diversity for myrmecophiles: the weaver ant Camponotus sp. aff. textor and its interaction network with its associates.

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    Pérez-Lachaud, Gabriela; Lachaud, Jean-Paul

    2014-01-01

    Systematic surveys of macrofaunal diversity within ant colonies are lacking, particularly for ants nesting in microhabitats that are difficult to sample. Species associated with ants are generally small and rarely collected organisms, which makes them more likely to be unnoticed. We assumed that this tendency is greater for arthropod communities in microhabitats with low accessibility, such as those found in the nests of arboreal ants that may constitute a source of cryptic biodiversity. We investigated the invertebrate diversity associated with an undescribed, but already threatened, Neotropical Camponotus weaver ant. As most of the common sampling methods used in studies of ant diversity are not suited for evaluating myrmecophile diversity within ant nests, we evaluated the macrofauna within ant nests through exhaustive colony sampling of three nests and examination of more than 80,000 individuals. We identified invertebrates from three classes belonging to 18 taxa, some of which were new to science, and recorded the first instance of the co-occurrence of two brood parasitoid wasp families attacking the same ant host colony. This diversity of ant associates corresponded to a highly complex interaction network. Agonistic interactions prevailed, but the prevalence of myrmecophiles was remarkably low. Our data support the hypothesis of the evolution of low virulence in a variety of symbionts associated with large insect societies. Because most myrmecophiles found in this work are rare, strictly specific, and exhibit highly specialized biology, the risk of extinction for these hitherto unknown invertebrates and their natural enemies is high. The cryptic, far unappreciated diversity within arboreal ant nests in areas at high risk of habitat loss qualifies these nests as 'hot-points' of biodiversity that urgently require special attention as a component of conservation and management programs.

  11. Arboreal ant colonies as 'hot-points' of cryptic diversity for myrmecophiles: the weaver ant Camponotus sp. aff. textor and its interaction network with its associates.

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    Gabriela Pérez-Lachaud

    Full Text Available INTRODUCTION: Systematic surveys of macrofaunal diversity within ant colonies are lacking, particularly for ants nesting in microhabitats that are difficult to sample. Species associated with ants are generally small and rarely collected organisms, which makes them more likely to be unnoticed. We assumed that this tendency is greater for arthropod communities in microhabitats with low accessibility, such as those found in the nests of arboreal ants that may constitute a source of cryptic biodiversity. MATERIALS AND METHODS: We investigated the invertebrate diversity associated with an undescribed, but already threatened, Neotropical Camponotus weaver ant. As most of the common sampling methods used in studies of ant diversity are not suited for evaluating myrmecophile diversity within ant nests, we evaluated the macrofauna within ant nests through exhaustive colony sampling of three nests and examination of more than 80,000 individuals. RESULTS: We identified invertebrates from three classes belonging to 18 taxa, some of which were new to science, and recorded the first instance of the co-occurrence of two brood parasitoid wasp families attacking the same ant host colony. This diversity of ant associates corresponded to a highly complex interaction network. Agonistic interactions prevailed, but the prevalence of myrmecophiles was remarkably low. CONCLUSIONS: Our data support the hypothesis of the evolution of low virulence in a variety of symbionts associated with large insect societies. Because most myrmecophiles found in this work are rare, strictly specific, and exhibit highly specialized biology, the risk of extinction for these hitherto unknown invertebrates and their natural enemies is high. The cryptic, far unappreciated diversity within arboreal ant nests in areas at high risk of habitat loss qualifies these nests as 'hot-points' of biodiversity that urgently require special attention as a component of conservation and management

  12. Arboreal Ant Colonies as ‘Hot-Points’ of Cryptic Diversity for Myrmecophiles: The Weaver Ant Camponotus sp. aff. textor and Its Interaction Network with Its Associates

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    Pérez-Lachaud, Gabriela; Lachaud, Jean-Paul

    2014-01-01

    Introduction Systematic surveys of macrofaunal diversity within ant colonies are lacking, particularly for ants nesting in microhabitats that are difficult to sample. Species associated with ants are generally small and rarely collected organisms, which makes them more likely to be unnoticed. We assumed that this tendency is greater for arthropod communities in microhabitats with low accessibility, such as those found in the nests of arboreal ants that may constitute a source of cryptic biodiversity. Materials and Methods We investigated the invertebrate diversity associated with an undescribed, but already threatened, Neotropical Camponotus weaver ant. As most of the common sampling methods used in studies of ant diversity are not suited for evaluating myrmecophile diversity within ant nests, we evaluated the macrofauna within ant nests through exhaustive colony sampling of three nests and examination of more than 80,000 individuals. Results We identified invertebrates from three classes belonging to 18 taxa, some of which were new to science, and recorded the first instance of the co-occurrence of two brood parasitoid wasp families attacking the same ant host colony. This diversity of ant associates corresponded to a highly complex interaction network. Agonistic interactions prevailed, but the prevalence of myrmecophiles was remarkably low. Conclusions Our data support the hypothesis of the evolution of low virulence in a variety of symbionts associated with large insect societies. Because most myrmecophiles found in this work are rare, strictly specific, and exhibit highly specialized biology, the risk of extinction for these hitherto unknown invertebrates and their natural enemies is high. The cryptic, far unappreciated diversity within arboreal ant nests in areas at high risk of habitat loss qualifies these nests as ‘hot-points’ of biodiversity that urgently require special attention as a component of conservation and management programs. PMID:24941047

  13. Arboreal ants use the "Velcro(R principle" to capture very large prey.

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    Alain Dejean

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Plant-ants live in a mutualistic association with host plants known as "myrmecophytes" that provide them with a nesting place and sometimes with extra-floral nectar (EFN and/or food bodies (FBs; the ants can also attend sap-sucking Hemiptera for their honeydew. In return, plant-ants, like most other arboreal ants, protect their host plants from defoliators. To satisfy their nitrogen requirements, however, some have optimized their ability to capture prey in the restricted environment represented by the crowns of trees by using elaborate hunting techniques. In this study, we investigated the predatory behavior of the ant Azteca andreae which is associated with the myrmecophyte Cecropia obtusa. We noted that up to 8350 ant workers per tree hide side-by-side beneath the leaf margins of their host plant with their mandibles open, waiting for insects to alight. The latter are immediately seized by their extremities, and then spread-eagled; nestmates are recruited to help stretch, carve up and transport prey. This group ambush hunting technique is particularly effective when the underside of the leaves is downy, as is the case for C. obtusa. In this case, the hook-shaped claws of the A. andreae workers and the velvet-like structure of the underside of the leaves combine to act like natural Velcro that is reinforced by the group ambush strategy of the workers, allowing them to capture prey of up to 13,350 times the mean weight of a single worker.

  14. Arboreal Ants Use the “Velcro® Principle” to Capture Very Large Prey

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    Dejean, Alain; Leroy, Céline; Corbara, Bruno; Roux, Olivier; Céréghino, Régis; Orivel, Jérôme; Boulay, Raphaël

    2010-01-01

    Plant-ants live in a mutualistic association with host plants known as “myrmecophytes” that provide them with a nesting place and sometimes with extra-floral nectar (EFN) and/or food bodies (FBs); the ants can also attend sap-sucking Hemiptera for their honeydew. In return, plant-ants, like most other arboreal ants, protect their host plants from defoliators. To satisfy their nitrogen requirements, however, some have optimized their ability to capture prey in the restricted environment represented by the crowns of trees by using elaborate hunting techniques. In this study, we investigated the predatory behavior of the ant Azteca andreae which is associated with the myrmecophyte Cecropia obtusa. We noted that up to 8350 ant workers per tree hide side-by-side beneath the leaf margins of their host plant with their mandibles open, waiting for insects to alight. The latter are immediately seized by their extremities, and then spread-eagled; nestmates are recruited to help stretch, carve up and transport prey. This group ambush hunting technique is particularly effective when the underside of the leaves is downy, as is the case for C. obtusa. In this case, the hook-shaped claws of the A. andreae workers and the velvet-like structure of the underside of the leaves combine to act like natural Velcro® that is reinforced by the group ambush strategy of the workers, allowing them to capture prey of up to 13,350 times the mean weight of a single worker. PMID:20593032

  15. The dynamics of foraging trails in the tropical arboreal ant Cephalotes goniodontus.

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    Deborah M Gordon

    Full Text Available The foraging behavior of the arboreal turtle ant, Cephalotes goniodontus, was studied in the tropical dry forest of western Mexico. The ants collected mostly plant-derived food, including nectar and fluids collected from the edges of wounds on leaves, as well as caterpillar frass and lichen. Foraging trails are on small pieces of ephemeral vegetation, and persist in exactly the same place for 4-8 days, indicating that food sources may be used until they are depleted. The species is polydomous, occupying many nests which are abandoned cavities or ends of broken branches in dead wood. Foraging trails extend from trees with nests to trees with food sources. Observations of marked individuals show that each trail is travelled by a distinct group of foragers. This makes the entire foraging circuit more resilient if a path becomes impassable, since foraging in one trail can continue while a different group of ants forms a new trail. The colony's trails move around the forest from month to month; from one year to the next, only one colony out of five was found in the same location. There is continual searching in the vicinity of trails: ants recruited to bait within 3 bifurcations of a main foraging trail within 4 hours. When bait was offered on one trail, to which ants recruited, foraging activity increased on a different trail, with no bait, connected to the same nest. This suggests that the allocation of foragers to different trails is regulated by interactions at the nest.

  16. The dynamics of foraging trails in the tropical arboreal ant Cephalotes goniodontus.

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    Gordon, Deborah M

    2012-01-01

    The foraging behavior of the arboreal turtle ant, Cephalotes goniodontus, was studied in the tropical dry forest of western Mexico. The ants collected mostly plant-derived food, including nectar and fluids collected from the edges of wounds on leaves, as well as caterpillar frass and lichen. Foraging trails are on small pieces of ephemeral vegetation, and persist in exactly the same place for 4-8 days, indicating that food sources may be used until they are depleted. The species is polydomous, occupying many nests which are abandoned cavities or ends of broken branches in dead wood. Foraging trails extend from trees with nests to trees with food sources. Observations of marked individuals show that each trail is travelled by a distinct group of foragers. This makes the entire foraging circuit more resilient if a path becomes impassable, since foraging in one trail can continue while a different group of ants forms a new trail. The colony's trails move around the forest from month to month; from one year to the next, only one colony out of five was found in the same location. There is continual searching in the vicinity of trails: ants recruited to bait within 3 bifurcations of a main foraging trail within 4 hours. When bait was offered on one trail, to which ants recruited, foraging activity increased on a different trail, with no bait, connected to the same nest. This suggests that the allocation of foragers to different trails is regulated by interactions at the nest.

  17. The invasive ant, Solenopsis invicta, reduces herpetofauna richness and abundance

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    Allen, Craig R.; Birge, Hannah E.; Slater, J.; Wiggers, E.

    2017-01-01

    Amphibians and reptiles are declining globally. One potential cause of this decline includes impacts resulting from co-occurrence with non-native red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta. Although a growing body of anecdotal and observational evidence from laboratory experiments supports this hypothesis, there remains a lack of field scale manipulations testing the effect of fire ants on reptile and amphibian communities. We addressed this gap by measuring reptile and amphibian (“herpetofauna”) community response to successful fire ant reductions over the course of 2 years following hydramethylnon application to five 100–200 ha plots in southeastern coastal South Carolina. By assessing changes in relative abundance and species richness of herpetofauna in response to fire ant reductions, we were able to assess whether some species were particularly vulnerable to fire ant presence, and whether this sensitivity manifested at the community level. We found that herpetofauna abundance and species richness responded positively to fire ant reductions. Our results document that even moderate populations of red imported fire ants decrease both the abundance and diversity of herpetofauna. Given global herpetofauna population declines and continued spread of fire ants, there is urgency to understand the impacts of fire ants beyond anecdotal and singles species studies. Our results provides the first community level investigation addressing these dynamics, by manipulating fire ant abundance to reveal a response in herpetofauna species abundance and richness.

  18. Spider diversity in coffee agroecosystems: the influence of agricultural intensification and aggressive ants.

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    Marín, Linda; Perfecto, Ivette

    2013-04-01

    Spiders are a very diverse group of invertebrate predators found in agroecosystems and natural systems. However, spider distribution, abundance, and eventually their ecological function in ecosystems can be influenced by abiotic and biotic factors such as agricultural intensification and dominant ants. Here we explore the influence of both agricultural intensification and the dominant arboreal ant Azteca instabilis on the spider community in coffee agroecosystems in southern Mexico. To measure the influence of the arboreal ant Azteca instabilis (F. Smith) on the spider community inhabiting the coffee layer of coffee agroecosystems, spiders were collected from coffee plants that were and were not patrolled by the ant in sites differing in agricultural intensification. For 2008, generalized linear mixed models showed that spider diversity was affected positively by agricultural intensification but not by the ant. However, results suggested that some spider species were associated with A. instabilis. Therefore, in 2009 we concentrated our research on the effect of A. instabilis on spider diversity and composition. For 2009, generalized linear mixed models show that spider richness and abundance per plant were significantly higher in the presence of A. instabilis. In addition, analyses of visual counts of insects and sticky traps data show that more resources were present in plants patrolled by the ant. The positive effect of A. instabilis on spiders seems to be caused by at least two mechanisms: high abundance of insects and protection against predators.

  19. Comparing different methods to assess weaver ant abundance in plantation trees

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    Wargui, Rosine; Offenberg, Joachim; Sinzogan, Antonio

    2015-01-01

    Weaver ants (Oecophylla spp.) are widely used as effective biological control agents. In order to optimize their use, ant abundance needs to be tracked. As several methods have been used to estimate ant abundance on plantation trees, abundances are not comparable between studies and no guideline...... is available on which method to apply in a particular study. This study compared four existing methods: three methods based on the number of ant trails on the main branches of a tree (called the Peng 1, Peng 2 and Offenberg index) and one method based on the number of ant nests per tree. Branch indices did...... not produce equal scores and cannot be compared directly. The Peng 1 index was the fastest to assess, but showed only limited seasonal fluctuations when ant abundance was high, because it approached its upper limit. The Peng 2 and Offenberg indices were lower and not close to the upper limit and therefore...

  20. A global database of ant species abundances

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    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.

  1. Properties of Arboreal Ant and Ground-Termite Nests in relation to Their Nesting Sites and Location in a Tropical-Derived Savanna

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    B. C. Echezona

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Ecosystem engineers such as ants and termites play an important role in the fertility of tropical soils. Physicochemical analyses were thus carried out on some arboreal ant nests collected from mango (Mangifera indica, bush mango (Irvingia gabonensis, kola (Cola nitida, newbouldia plant (Newbouldia laevis, and oil bean plant (Pentaclethra macrophylla and on ground nest of termite, Odontotermes sudanensis Sjost. (Isoptera: Termitidae in Nigeria. Arboreal nests, particularly those of M. indica, were significantly richer in the chemical constituents sampled, compared to those of ground-termite nests or adjacent unaffected soils. Available water capacity of nests from M. indica (60.0% was significantly higher than those of other sites or locations sampled. While biogenic structures were sandy-loamy in texture, their corresponding adjacent soils were either sandy or sandy-loamy. Soils worked by ants and termites had greater proportions of silt-sized (17.9 versus 9.7 and clay-sized (19.2 versus 9.3 to the detriment of coarse-sized particles (51.2 versus 60.9 and fine-sand-sized particles (11.7 versus 20.1 relative to the adjacent soils. Generally, biogenic structures were about 348% richer in P than their corresponding adjacent soils; an attribute, which holds a strong promise in bioremediation and biofortification of soils especially during amendment.

  2. 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.

  3. Ant-plant mutualism: a dietary by-product of a tropical ant's macronutrient requirements.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arcila Hernández, Lina M; Sanders, Jon G; Miller, Gabriel A; Ravenscraft, Alison; Frederickson, Megan E

    2017-12-01

    Many arboreal ants depend on myrmecophytic plants for both food and shelter; in return, these ants defend their host plants against herbivores, which are often insects. Ant-plant and other mutualisms do not necessarily involve the exchange of costly rewards or services; they may instead result from by-product benefits, or positive outcomes that do not entail a cost for one or both partners. Here, we examined whether the plant-ant Allomerus octoarticulatus pays a short-term cost to defend their host plants against herbivores, or whether plant defense is a by-product benefit of ant foraging for insect prey. Because the food offered by ant-plants is usually nitrogen-poor, arboreal ants may balance their diets by consuming insect prey or associating with microbial symbionts to acquire nitrogen, potentially shifting the costs and benefits of plant defense for the ant partner. To determine the effect of ant diet on an ant-plant mutualism, we compared the behavior, morphology, fitness, stable isotope signatures, and gaster microbiomes of A. octoarticulatus ants nesting in Cordia nodosa trees maintained for nearly a year with or without insect herbivores. At the end of the experiment, ants from herbivore exclosures preferred protein-rich baits more than ants in the control (i.e., herbivores present) treatment. Furthermore, workers in the control treatment were heavier than in the herbivore-exclusion treatment, and worker mass predicted reproductive output, suggesting that foraging for insect prey directly increased ant colony fitness. The gaster microbiome of ants was not significantly affected by the herbivore exclusion treatment. We conclude that the defensive behavior of some phytoecious ants is a by-product of their need for external protein sources; thus, the consumption of insect herbivores by ants benefits both the ant colony and the host plant. © 2017 by the Ecological Society of America.

  4. A global database of ant species abundances

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Gibb, H.; Dunn, R. R.; Sanders, N. J.; Grossman, B. F.; Photakis, M.; Abril, S.; Agosti, D.; Andersen, A. N.; Angulo, E.; Armbrecht, I.; Arnan, X.; Baccaro, F. B.; Bishop, T. R.; Boulay, R.; Brühl, C.; Castracani, C.; Cerdá, X.; Del Toro, I.; Delsinne, T.; Diaz, M.; Donoso, D. A.; Ellison, A. M.; Enríquez, M. L.; Fayle, Tom Maurice; Feener, D. H.; Fisher, B. L.; Fisher, R. N.; Fitzpatrick, M. C.; Gómez, C.; Gotelli, N. J.; Gove, A.; Grasso, D. A.; Groc, S.; Guenard, B.; Gunawardene, N.; Heterick, B.; Hoffmann, B.; Janda, Milan; Jenkins, C.; Kaspari, M.; Klimeš, Petr; Lach, L.; Laeger, T.; Lattke, J.; Leponce, M.; Lessard, J.-P.; Longino, J.; Lucky, A.; Luke, S. H.; Majer, J.; McGlynn, T. P.; Menke, S.; Mezger, D.; Mori, A.; Moses, Jimmy; Munyai, T. C.; Pacheco, R.; Paknia, O.; Pearce-Duvet, J.; Pfeiffer, M.; Philpott, S. M.; Resasco, J.; Retana, J.; Silva, R. R.; Sorger, M. D.; Souza, J.; Suarez, A.; Tista, M.; Vasconcelos, H. L.; Vonshak, M.; Weisser, M. D.; Yates, M.; Parr, C. L.

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 98, č. 3 (2017), s. 883-884 ISSN 0012-9658 R&D Projects: GA ČR GB14-36098G; GA ČR GAP505/12/2467; GA ČR GPP505/12/P875 Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : abundance * ants * database Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour OBOR OECD: Ecology Impact factor: 4.809, year: 2016 http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ecy.1682/abstract

  5. Importance of Arboreal Cyanolichen Abundance to Nitrogen Cycling in Sub-Boreal Spruce and Fir Forests of Central British Columbia, Canada

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ania Kobylinski

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available The importance of N2-fixing arboreal cyanolichens to the nitrogen (N-balance of sub-boreal interior hybrid spruce (Picea glauca × engelmannii and subalpine fir (Abies lasiocarpa forests was examined at field sites in central BC, Canada. Host trees were accessed by a single-rope climbing technique and foliage as well as arboreal macrolichen functional groups were sampled by branch height in eight random sample trees from each of two high (High Cyano and two low (Low Cyano cyanolichen abundance sites for a total of 32 sample trees. Natural abundances of stable isotopes of N (15N, 14N and carbon (13C, 12C were determined for aggregate host tree and epiphytic lichen samples, as well as representative samples of upper organic and soil horizons (Ae and Bf from beneath host trees. As expected, N2-fixing cyanolichens had 2–6-fold greater N-contents than chlorolichens and a δ15N close to atmospheric N2, while foliage and chlorolichens were more depleted in 15N. By contrast, soils at all trees and sites were 15N-enriched (positive δ15N, with declining (not significant δ15N with increased tree-level cyanolichen abundance. Lichen functional groups and tree foliage fell into three distinct groups with respect to δ13C; the tripartite cyanolichen Lobaria pulmonaria (lightest, host-tree needles (intermediate, and bipartite cyanolichens, hair (Alectoria and Bryoria spp. and chlorolichens (heaviest. Branch height of host trees was an effective predictor of needle δ13C. Our results showed a modest positive correlation between host tree foliage N and cyanolichen abundance, supporting our initial hypothesis that higher cyanolichen abundances would elevate host tree foliar N. Further study is required to determine if high cyanolichen abundance enhances host tree and/or stand-level productivity in sub-boreal forests of central BC, Canada.

  6. Imidacloprid seed treatments affect individual ant behavior and community structure but not egg predation, pest abundance or soybean yield.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Penn, Hannah J; Dale, Andrew M

    2017-08-01

    Neonicotinoid seed treatments are under scrutiny because of their variable efficacy against crop pests and for their potential negative impacts on non-target organisms. Ants provide important biocontrol services in agroecosystems and can be indicators of ecosystem health. This study tested for effects of exposure to imidacloprid plus fungicide or fungicide-treated seeds on individual ant survival, locomotion and foraging capabilities and on field ant community structure, pest abundance, ant predation and yield. Cohorts of ants exposed to either type of treated seed had impaired locomotion and a higher incidence of morbidity and mortality but no loss of foraging capacity. In the field, we saw no difference in ant species richness, regardless of seed treatment. Blocks with imidacloprid did have higher species evenness and diversity, probably owing to variable effects of the insecticide on different ant species, particularly Tetramorium caespitum. Ant predation on sentinel eggs, pest abundance and soybean growth and yield were similar in the two treatments. Both seed treatments had lethal and sublethal effects on ant individuals, and the influence of imidacloprid seed coating in the field was manifested in altered ant community composition. Those effects, however, were not strong enough to affect egg predation, pest abundance or soybean yield in field blocks. © 2016 Society of Chemical Industry. © 2016 Society of Chemical Industry.

  7. Bacterial Infections across the Ants: Frequency and Prevalence of Wolbachia, Spiroplasma, and Asaia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefanie Kautz

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Bacterial endosymbionts are common across insects, but we often lack a deeper knowledge of their prevalence across most organisms. Next-generation sequencing approaches can characterize bacterial diversity associated with a host and at the same time facilitate the fast and simultaneous screening of infectious bacteria. In this study, we used 16S rRNA tag encoded amplicon pyrosequencing to survey bacterial communities of 310 samples representing 221 individuals, 176 colonies and 95 species of ants. We found three distinct endosymbiont groups—Wolbachia (Alphaproteobacteria: Rickettsiales, Spiroplasma (Firmicutes: Entomoplasmatales, and relatives of Asaia (Alphaproteobacteria: Rhodospirillales—at different infection frequencies (at the ant species level: 22.1%, 28.4%, and 14.7%, resp. and relative abundances within bacterial communities (1.0%–99.9%. Spiroplasma was particularly enriched in the ant genus Polyrhachis, while Asaia relatives were most prevalent in arboreal ants of the genus Pseudomyrmex. While Wolbachia and Spiroplasma have been surveyed in ants before, Asaia, an acetic acid bacterium capable of fixing atmospheric nitrogen, has received much less attention. Due to sporadic prevalence across all ant taxa investigated, we hypothesize facultative associations for all three bacterial genera. Infection patterns are discussed in relation to potential adaptation of specific bacteria in certain ant groups.

  8. The dynamics of ant mosaics in tropical rainforests characterized using the Self-Organizing Map algorithm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dejean, Alain; Azémar, Frédéric; Céréghino, Régis; Leponce, Maurice; Corbara, Bruno; Orivel, Jérôme; Compin, Arthur

    2016-08-01

    Ants, the most abundant taxa among canopy-dwelling animals in tropical rainforests, are mostly represented by territorially dominant arboreal ants (TDAs) whose territories are distributed in a mosaic pattern (arboreal ant mosaics). Large TDA colonies regulate insect herbivores, with implications for forestry and agronomy. What generates these mosaics in vegetal formations, which are dynamic, still needs to be better understood. So, from empirical research based on 3 Cameroonian tree species (Lophira alata, Ochnaceae; Anthocleista vogelii, Gentianaceae; and Barteria fistulosa, Passifloraceae), we used the Self-Organizing Map (SOM, neural network) to illustrate the succession of TDAs as their host trees grow and age. The SOM separated the trees by species and by size for L. alata, which can reach 60 m in height and live several centuries. An ontogenic succession of TDAs from sapling to mature trees is shown, and some ecological traits are highlighted for certain TDAs. Also, because the SOM permits the analysis of data with many zeroes with no effect of outliers on the overall scatterplot distributions, we obtained ecological information on rare species. Finally, the SOM permitted us to show that functional groups cannot be selected at the genus level as congeneric species can have very different ecological niches, something particularly true for Crematogaster spp., which include a species specifically associated with B. fistulosa, nondominant species and TDAs. Therefore, the SOM permitted the complex relationships between TDAs and their growing host trees to be analyzed, while also providing new information on the ecological traits of the ant species involved. © 2015 Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

  9. The Life of a Dead Ant : The Expression of an Adaptive Extended Phenotype

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Andersen, Sandra B.; Gerritsma, Sylvia; Yusah, Kalsum M.; Mayntz, David; Hywel-Jones, Nigel L.; Billen, Johan; Boomsma, Jacobus J.; Hughes, David P.

    Specialized parasites are expected to express complex adaptations to their hosts. Manipulation of host behavior is such an adaptation. We studied the fungus Ophiocordyceps unilateralis, a locally specialized parasite of arboreal Camponotus leonardi ants. Ant-infecting Ophiocordyceps are known to

  10. Divergent chemical cues elicit seed collecting by ants in an obligate multi-species mutualism in lowland Amazonia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elsa Youngsteadt

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available In lowland Amazonian rainforests, specific ants collect seeds of several plant species and cultivate them in arboreal carton nests, forming species-specific symbioses called ant-gardens (AGs. In this obligate mutualism, ants depend on the plants for nest stability and the plants depend on ant nests for substrate and nutrients. AG ants and plants are abundant, dominant members of lowland Amazonian ecosystems, but the cues ants use to recognize the seeds are poorly understood. To address the chemical basis of the ant-seed interaction, we surveyed seed chemistry in nine AG species and eight non-AG congeners. We detected seven phenolic and terpenoid volatiles common to seeds of all or most of the AG species, but a blend of the shared compounds was not attractive to the AG ant Camponotus femoratus. We also analyzed seeds of three AG species (Anthurium gracile, Codonanthe uleana, and Peperomia macrostachya using behavior-guided fractionation. At least one chromatographic fraction of each seed extract elicited retrieval behavior in C. femoratus, but the active fractions of the three plant species differed in polarity and chemical composition, indicating that shared compounds alone did not explain seed-carrying behavior. We suggest that the various AG seed species must elicit seed-carrying with different chemical cues.

  11. Synergistic effects of fire and elephants on arboreal animals in an African savanna.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pringle, Robert M; Kimuyu, Duncan M; Sensenig, Ryan L; Palmer, Todd M; Riginos, Corinna; Veblen, Kari E; Young, Truman P

    2015-11-01

    Disturbance is a crucial determinant of animal abundance, distribution and community structure in many ecosystems, but the ways in which multiple disturbance types interact remain poorly understood. The effects of multiple-disturbance interactions can be additive, subadditive or super-additive (synergistic). Synergistic effects in particular can accelerate ecological change; thus, characterizing such synergies, the conditions under which they arise, and how long they persist has been identified as a major goal of ecology. We factorially manipulated two principal sources of disturbance in African savannas, fire and elephants, and measured their independent and interactive effects on the numerically dominant vertebrate (the arboreal gekkonid lizard Lygodactylus keniensis) and invertebrate (a guild of symbiotic Acacia ants) animal species in a semi-arid Kenyan savanna. Elephant exclusion alone (minus fire) had negligible effects on gecko density. Fire alone (minus elephants) had negligible effects on gecko density after 4 months, but increased gecko density twofold after 16 months, likely because the decay of fire-damaged woody biomass created refuges and nest sites for geckos. In the presence of elephants, fire increased gecko density nearly threefold within 4 months of the experimental burn; this occurred because fire increased the incidence of elephant damage to trees, which in turn improved microhabitat quality for geckos. However, this synergistic positive effect of fire and elephants attenuated over the ensuing year, such that only the main effect of fire was evident after 16 months. Fire also altered the structure of symbiotic plant-ant assemblages occupying the dominant tree species (Acacia drepanolobium); this influenced gecko habitat selection but did not explain the synergistic effect of fire and elephants. However, fire-driven shifts in plant-ant occupancy may have indirectly mediated this effect by increasing trees' susceptibility to elephant damage. Our

  12. 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.

  13. The effect of urbanization on ant abundance and diversity: a temporal examination of factors affecting biodiversity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Grzegorz Buczkowski

    Full Text Available Numerous studies have examined the effect of urbanization on species richness and most studies implicate urbanization as the major cause of biodiversity loss. However, no study has identified an explicit connection between urbanization and biodiversity loss as the impact of urbanization is typically inferred indirectly by comparing species diversity along urban-rural gradients at a single time point. A different approach is to focus on the temporal rather than the spatial aspect and perform "before and after" studies where species diversity is cataloged over time in the same sites. The current study examined changes in ant abundance and diversity associated with the conversion of natural habitats into urban habitats. Ant abundance and diversity were tracked in forested sites that became urbanized through construction and were examined at 3 time points - before, during, and after construction. On average, 4.3 ± 1.2 unique species were detected in undisturbed plots prior to construction. Ant diversity decreased to 0.7 ± 0.8 species in plots undergoing construction and 1.5 ± 1.1 species in plots 1 year after construction was completed. With regard to species richness, urbanization resulted in the permanent loss of 17 of the 20 species initially present in the study plots. Recovery was slow and only 3 species were present right after construction was completed and 4 species were present 1 year after construction was completed. The second objective examined ant fauna recovery in developed residential lots based on time since construction, neighboring habitat quality, pesticide inputs, and the presence of invasive ants. Ant diversity was positively correlated with factors that promoted ecological recovery and negatively correlated with factors that promoted ecological degradation. Taken together, these results address a critical gap in our knowledge by characterizing the short- and long-term the effects of urbanization on the loss of ant

  14. The effect of urbanization on ant abundance and diversity: a temporal examination of factors affecting biodiversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buczkowski, Grzegorz; Richmond, Douglas S

    2012-01-01

    Numerous studies have examined the effect of urbanization on species richness and most studies implicate urbanization as the major cause of biodiversity loss. However, no study has identified an explicit connection between urbanization and biodiversity loss as the impact of urbanization is typically inferred indirectly by comparing species diversity along urban-rural gradients at a single time point. A different approach is to focus on the temporal rather than the spatial aspect and perform "before and after" studies where species diversity is cataloged over time in the same sites. The current study examined changes in ant abundance and diversity associated with the conversion of natural habitats into urban habitats. Ant abundance and diversity were tracked in forested sites that became urbanized through construction and were examined at 3 time points - before, during, and after construction. On average, 4.3 ± 1.2 unique species were detected in undisturbed plots prior to construction. Ant diversity decreased to 0.7 ± 0.8 species in plots undergoing construction and 1.5 ± 1.1 species in plots 1 year after construction was completed. With regard to species richness, urbanization resulted in the permanent loss of 17 of the 20 species initially present in the study plots. Recovery was slow and only 3 species were present right after construction was completed and 4 species were present 1 year after construction was completed. The second objective examined ant fauna recovery in developed residential lots based on time since construction, neighboring habitat quality, pesticide inputs, and the presence of invasive ants. Ant diversity was positively correlated with factors that promoted ecological recovery and negatively correlated with factors that promoted ecological degradation. Taken together, these results address a critical gap in our knowledge by characterizing the short- and long-term the effects of urbanization on the loss of ant biodiversity.

  15. Dataset on the abundance of ants and Cosmopolites sordidus damage in plantain fields with intercropped plants

    OpenAIRE

    Anicet Gbèblonoudo Dassou; Dominique Carval; Sylvain Dépigny; Gabriel Fansi; Philippe Tixier

    2016-01-01

    The data presented in this article are related to the research article entitled ?Ant abundance and Cosmopolites sordidus damage in plantain fields as affected by intercropping? (A.G. Dassou, D. Carval, S. D?pigny, G.H Fansi, P. Tixier, 2015) [1]. This article describes how associated crops maize (Zea mays), cocoyam (Xanthosoma sagittifolium) and bottle gourd (Lagenaria siceraria) intercropped in the plantain fields in Cameroun modify ant community structure and damages of banana weevil Cosmop...

  16. An Assessment of Carbon Storage in China’s Arboreal Forests

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Weiwei Shao

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available In the years 2009–2013, China carried out its eighth national survey of forest resources. Based on the survey data, this paper used a biomass conversion function method to evaluate the carbon stores and carbon density of China’s arboreal forests. The results showed that: (1 By age group, the largest portion of carbon stores in China’s arboreal forests are in middle-aged forests. Over-mature forests have the least carbon storage; (2 By origin, natural forests of all age groups have higher carbon storage and carbon density than man-made forest plantations. The carbon density of natural forests and forest plantations increases gradually with the age of the trees; (3 By type (dominant tree species, the 18 most abundant types of arboreal forest in China account for approximately 94% of the nation’s total arboreal forest biomass and carbon storage. Among these, broadleaf mixed and Quercus spp. form the two largest portions. Taxus spp. forests, while comprising a very small portion of China’s forested area, have very high carbon density; (4 By region, the overall arboreal forest carbon storage is highest in the southwest part of China, and lowest in the northwest. However, because of differences in land use and forest coverage ratios, regions with arboreal forests of high carbon density are not necessarily the same regions that have high overall carbon storage; (5 By province, Heilongjiang, Yunnan, Tibet, Sichuan, Inner Mongolia, and Jilin have rather high carbon storage. The arboreal forests in Tibet, Jilin, Xinjiang, Sichuan, Yunnan, and Hainan have a rather high carbon density. This paper’s evaluation of carbon storage in China’s arboreal forests is a valuable reference for interpreting the role and function of Chinese ecosystems in coping with global climate change.

  17. Paralyzing action from a distance in an arboreal African ant species.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aline Rifflet

    Full Text Available Due to their prowess in interspecific competition and ability to catch a wide range of arthropod prey (mostly termites with which they are engaged in an evolutionary arms race, ants are recognized as a good model for studying the chemicals involved in defensive and predatory behaviors. Ants' wide diversity of nesting habits and relationships with plants and prey types implies that these chemicals are also very diverse. Using the African myrmicine ant Crematogaster striatula as our focal species, we adopted a three-pronged research approach. We studied the aggressive and predatory behaviors of the ant workers, conducted bioassays on the effect of their Dufour gland contents on termites, and analyzed these contents. (1 The workers defend themselves or eliminate termites by orienting their abdominal tip toward the opponent, stinger protruded. The chemicals emitted, apparently volatile, trigger the recruitment of nestmates situated in the vicinity and act without the stinger having to come into direct contact with the opponent. Whereas alien ants competing with C. striatula for sugary food sources are repelled by this behavior and retreat further and further away, termites defend their nest whatever the danger. They face down C. striatula workers and end up by rolling onto their backs, their legs batting the air. (2 The bioassays showed that the toxicity of the Dufour gland contents acts in a time-dependent manner, leading to the irreversible paralysis, and, ultimately, death of the termites. (3 Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry analyses showed that the Dufour gland contains a mixture of mono- or polyunsaturated long-chain derivatives, bearing functional groups like oxo-alcohols or oxo-acetates. Electrospray ionization-mass spectrometry showed the presence of a molecule of 1584 Da that might be a large, acetylated alkaloid capable of splitting into smaller molecules that could be responsible for the final degree of venom toxicity.

  18. Dataset on the abundance of ants and Cosmopolites sordidus damage in plantain fields with intercropped plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dassou, Anicet Gbèblonoudo; Carval, Dominique; Dépigny, Sylvain; Fansi, Gabriel; Tixier, Philippe

    2016-12-01

    The data presented in this article are related to the research article entitled "Ant abundance and Cosmopolites sordidus damage in plantain fields as affected by intercropping" (A.G. Dassou, D. Carval, S. Dépigny, G.H Fansi, P. Tixier, 2015) [1]. This article describes how associated crops maize (Zea mays), cocoyam (Xanthosoma sagittifolium) and bottle gourd (Lagenaria siceraria) intercropped in the plantain fields in Cameroun modify ant community structure and damages of banana weevil Cosmopolites sordidus. The field data set is made publicly available to enable critical or extended analyzes.

  19. Dataset on the abundance of ants and Cosmopolites sordidus damage in plantain fields with intercropped plants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anicet Gbèblonoudo Dassou

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available The data presented in this article are related to the research article entitled “Ant abundance and Cosmopolites sordidus damage in plantain fields as affected by intercropping” (A.G. Dassou, D. Carval, S. Dépigny, G.H Fansi, P. Tixier, 2015 [1]. This article describes how associated crops maize (Zea mays, cocoyam (Xanthosoma sagittifolium and bottle gourd (Lagenaria siceraria intercropped in the plantain fields in Cameroun modify ant community structure and damages of banana weevil Cosmopolites sordidus. The field data set is made publicly available to enable critical or extended analyzes.

  20. 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

    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 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...

  1. The Antsy Social Network: Determinants of Nest Structure and Arrangement in Asian Weaver Ants

    OpenAIRE

    Devarajan, Kadambari

    2016-01-01

    Asian weaver ants (Oecophylla smaragdina) are arboreal ants that are known to form mutualistic complexes with their host trees. They are eusocial ants that build elaborate nests in the canopy in tropical areas. A colony comprises of multiple nests, usually on multiple trees, and the boundaries of the colony may be difficult to identify. However, they provide the ideal model for studying group living in invertebrates since there are a definite number of nests for a given substrate, the tree. H...

  2. Plant-ants use symbiotic fungi as a food source: new insight into the nutritional ecology of ant-plant interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blatrix, Rumsaïs; Djiéto-Lordon, Champlain; Mondolot, Laurence; La Fisca, Philippe; Voglmayr, Hermann; McKey, Doyle

    2012-10-07

    Usually studied as pairwise interactions, mutualisms often involve networks of interacting species. Numerous tropical arboreal ants are specialist inhabitants of myrmecophytes (plants bearing domatia, i.e. hollow structures specialized to host ants) and are thought to rely almost exclusively on resources derived from the host plant. Recent studies, following up on century-old reports, have shown that fungi of the ascomycete order Chaetothyriales live in symbiosis with plant-ants within domatia. We tested the hypothesis that ants use domatia-inhabiting fungi as food in three ant-plant symbioses: Petalomyrmex phylax/Leonardoxa africana, Tetraponera aethiops/Barteria fistulosa and Pseudomyrmex penetrator/Tachigali sp. Labelling domatia fungal patches in the field with either a fluorescent dye or (15)N showed that larvae ingested domatia fungi. Furthermore, when the natural fungal patch was replaced with a piece of a (15)N-labelled pure culture of either of two Chaetothyriales strains isolated from T. aethiops colonies, these fungi were also consumed. These two fungi often co-occur in the same ant colony. Interestingly, T. aethiops workers and larvae ingested preferentially one of the two strains. Our results add a new piece in the puzzle of the nutritional ecology of plant-ants.

  3. The life of a dead ant -the expression of an adaptive extended phenotype

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, Sandra Breum; Gerritsma, Sylvia; Yusah, Kalsum M.

    2009-01-01

    to make hosts bite onto vegetation prior to killing them. We show that this represents a fine-tuned fungal adaptation: an extended phenotype. Dead ants were found under leaves, attached by their mandibles, on the northern side of saplings ca. 25 cm above the soil, where temperature and humidity conditions......Specialized parasites are expected to express complex adaptations to their hosts. Manipulation of host behavior is such an adaptation. We studied the fungus Ophiocordyceps unilateralis, a locally specialized parasite of arboreal Camponotus leonardi ants. Ant-infecting Ophiocordyceps are known...

  4. Effect of land cover, habitat fragmentation and ant colonies on the distribution and abundance of shrews in southern California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laakkonen, Juha; Fisher, Robert N.; Case, Ted J.

    2001-01-01

    Because effects of habitat fragmentation and anthropogenic disturbance on native animals have been relatively little studied in arid areas and in insectivores, we investigated the roles of different land covers, habitat fragmentation and ant colonies on the distribution and abundance of shrews, Notiosorex crawfordi and Sorex ornatus, in southern California.Notiosorex crawfordi was the numerically dominant species (trap-success rate 0·52) occurring in 21 of the 22 study sites in 85% of the 286 pitfall arrays used in this study.Sorex ornatus was captured in 14 of the sites, in 52% of the arrays with a total trap-success rate of 0·2. Neither of the species was found in one of the sites.The population dynamics of the two shrew species were relatively synchronous during the 4–5-year study; the peak densities usually occurred during the spring. Precipitation had a significant positive effect, and maximum temperature a significant negative effect on the trap-success rate of S. ornatus.Occurrence and abundance of shrews varied significantly between sites and years but the size of the landscape or the study site had no effect on the abundance of shrews. The amount of urban edge had no significant effect on the captures of shrews but increased edge allows invasion of the Argentine ants, which had a highly significant negative impact on the abundance of N. crawfordi.At the trap array level, the percentage of coastal sage scrub flora had a significant positive, and the percentage of other flora had a significant negative effect on the abundance of N. crawfordi. The mean canopy height and the abundance of N. crawfordi had a significant positive effect on the occurrence of S. ornatus.Our study suggests that the loss of native coastal sage scrub flora and increasing presence of Argentine ant colonies may significantly effect the distribution and abundance of N. crawfordi. The very low overall population densities of both shrew species in most study sites make both species

  5. Venom toxicity and composition in three Pseudomyrmex ant species having different nesting modes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Touchard, Axel; Labrière, Nicolas; Roux, Olivier; Petitclerc, Frédéric; Orivel, Jérôme; Escoubas, Pierre; Koh, Jennifer M S; Nicholson, Graham M; Dejean, Alain

    2014-09-01

    We aimed to determine whether the nesting habits of ants have influenced their venom toxicity and composition. We focused on the genus Pseudomyrmex (Pseudomyrmecinae) comprising terrestrial and arboreal species, and, among the latter, plant-ants that are obligate inhabitants of myrmecophytes (i.e., plants sheltering ants in hollow structures). Contrary to our hypothesis, the venom of the ground-dwelling species, Pseudomyrmex termitarius, was as efficacious in paralyzing prey as the venoms of the arboreal and the plant-ant species, Pseudomyrmex penetrator and Pseudomyrmex gracilis. The lethal potency of P. termitarius venom was equipotent with that of P. gracilis whereas the venom of P. penetrator was less potent. The MALDI-TOF MS analysis of each HPLC fraction of the venoms showed that P. termitarius venom is composed of 87 linear peptides, while both P. gracilis and P. penetrator venoms (23 and 26 peptides, respectively) possess peptides with disulfide bonds. Furthermore, P. penetrator venom contains three hetero- and homodimeric peptides consisting of two short peptidic chains linked together by two interchain disulfide bonds. The large number of peptides in P. termitarius venom is likely related to the large diversity of potential prey plus the antibacterial peptides required for nesting in the ground. Whereas predation involves only the prey and predator, P. penetrator venom has evolved in an environment where trees, defoliating insects, browsing mammals and ants live in equilibrium, likely explaining the diversity of the peptide structures. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Competitive assembly of South Pacific invasive ant communities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarty Megan

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The relative importance of chance and determinism in structuring ecological communities has been debated for nearly a century. Evidence for determinism or assembly rules is often evaluated with null models that randomize the occurrence of species in particular locales. However, analyses of the presence or absence of species ignores the potential influence of species abundances, which have long been considered of major importance on community structure. Here, we test for community assembly rules in ant communities on small islands of the Tokelau archipelago using both presence-absence and abundance data. We conducted three sets of analyses on two spatial scales using three years of sampling data from 39 plots on 11 islands. Results First, traditional null model tests showed support for negative species co-occurrence patterns among plots within islands, but not among islands. A plausible explanation for this result is that analyses at larger spatial scales merge heterogeneous habitats that have considerable effects on species occurrences. Second, analyses of ant abundances showed that samples with high ant abundances had fewer species than expected by chance, both within and among islands. One ant species, the invasive yellow crazy ant Anoplolepis gracilipes, appeared to have a particularly strong effect on community structure correlated with its abundance. Third, abundances of most ant species were inversely correlated with the abundances of all other ants at both spatial scales. This result is consistent with competition theory, which predicts species distributions are affected by diffuse competition with suites of co-occurring species. Conclusion Our results support a pluralistic explanation for ant species abundances and assembly. Both stochastic and deterministic processes interact to determine ant community assembly, though abundance patterns clearly drive the deterministic patterns in this community. These deterministic

  7. The legacy of logging--estimating arboreal lichen occurrence in a boreal multiple-use landscape on a two century scale.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horstkotte, Tim; Moen, Jon; Lämås, Tomas; Helle, Timo

    2011-01-01

    In northern Sweden, the availability of arboreal lichens (Bryoria fuscescens, Alectoria sarmentosa) as winter grazing resources is an important element in reindeer husbandry. With the industrialization of forestry, forests rich in arboreal lichens have diminished considerably. Here, we analyze how forestry has impacted lichen availability from the 1920's to the present day and model its future development assuming different forest management scenarios.We recorded the current occurrence of B. fuscescens in 144 sampling plots, stratified by forest age class and dominant tree species in a 26,600 ha boreal forest landscape that is used for both reindeer herding and forestry. Lichen abundance was visually estimated in four classes: none, sparse, moderate and abundant. A binary logistic model using forest age as the independent variable was developed to predict the probability of lichens being present. Using this model, we found that lichens were present in stands that are at least 63 years old. Because of the relative paucity of stands rich in arboreal lichens, it was not possible to reliably determine how age affects the variation in abundance of older forest stands. The historical development of forests where arboreal lichens could potentially occur was studied using historic forestry records dating back 80 years. Between 1926 and the present day, forestry has reduced the cover of forests older than 60 years from 84% to 34%. The likely future spatial coverage of these stands over the next 120 years was estimated for two different management scenarios and an unmanaged reference scenario, using the Heureka strategic planning program. Under both the "business as usual" scenario and that involving more intensive forestry, continued decreases in lichen availability are projected. Our results emphasize the importance of alternative forestry practices, such as prolonged rotation periods, to increase the availability of arboreal lichens as a grazing resource for reindeer.

  8. The legacy of logging--estimating arboreal lichen occurrence in a boreal multiple-use landscape on a two century scale.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tim Horstkotte

    Full Text Available In northern Sweden, the availability of arboreal lichens (Bryoria fuscescens, Alectoria sarmentosa as winter grazing resources is an important element in reindeer husbandry. With the industrialization of forestry, forests rich in arboreal lichens have diminished considerably. Here, we analyze how forestry has impacted lichen availability from the 1920's to the present day and model its future development assuming different forest management scenarios.We recorded the current occurrence of B. fuscescens in 144 sampling plots, stratified by forest age class and dominant tree species in a 26,600 ha boreal forest landscape that is used for both reindeer herding and forestry. Lichen abundance was visually estimated in four classes: none, sparse, moderate and abundant. A binary logistic model using forest age as the independent variable was developed to predict the probability of lichens being present. Using this model, we found that lichens were present in stands that are at least 63 years old. Because of the relative paucity of stands rich in arboreal lichens, it was not possible to reliably determine how age affects the variation in abundance of older forest stands. The historical development of forests where arboreal lichens could potentially occur was studied using historic forestry records dating back 80 years. Between 1926 and the present day, forestry has reduced the cover of forests older than 60 years from 84% to 34%. The likely future spatial coverage of these stands over the next 120 years was estimated for two different management scenarios and an unmanaged reference scenario, using the Heureka strategic planning program. Under both the "business as usual" scenario and that involving more intensive forestry, continued decreases in lichen availability are projected. Our results emphasize the importance of alternative forestry practices, such as prolonged rotation periods, to increase the availability of arboreal lichens as a grazing

  9. The Legacy of Logging—Estimating Arboreal Lichen Occurrence in a Boreal Multiple-Use Landscape on a Two Century Scale

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horstkotte, Tim; Moen, Jon; Lämås, Tomas; Helle, Timo

    2011-01-01

    In northern Sweden, the availability of arboreal lichens (Bryoria fuscescens, Alectoria sarmentosa) as winter grazing resources is an important element in reindeer husbandry. With the industrialization of forestry, forests rich in arboreal lichens have diminished considerably. Here, we analyze how forestry has impacted lichen availability from the 1920's to the present day and model its future development assuming different forest management scenarios. We recorded the current occurrence of B. fuscescens in 144 sampling plots, stratified by forest age class and dominant tree species in a 26,600 ha boreal forest landscape that is used for both reindeer herding and forestry. Lichen abundance was visually estimated in four classes: none, sparse, moderate and abundant. A binary logistic model using forest age as the independent variable was developed to predict the probability of lichens being present. Using this model, we found that lichens were present in stands that are at least 63 years old. Because of the relative paucity of stands rich in arboreal lichens, it was not possible to reliably determine how age affects the variation in abundance of older forest stands. The historical development of forests where arboreal lichens could potentially occur was studied using historic forestry records dating back 80 years. Between 1926 and the present day, forestry has reduced the cover of forests older than 60 years from 84% to 34%. The likely future spatial coverage of these stands over the next 120 years was estimated for two different management scenarios and an unmanaged reference scenario, using the Heureka strategic planning program. Under both the “business as usual” scenario and that involving more intensive forestry, continued decreases in lichen availability are projected. Our results emphasize the importance of alternative forestry practices, such as prolonged rotation periods, to increase the availability of arboreal lichens as a grazing resource for reindeer

  10. Plant genotype shapes ant-aphid interactions: implications for community structure and indirect plant defense.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mooney, Kailen A; Agrawal, Anurag A

    2008-06-01

    Little is known about the mechanisms by which plant genotype shapes arthropod community structure. In a field experiment, we measured the effects of milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) genotype and ants on milkweed arthropods. Populations of the ant-tended aphid Aphis asclepiadis and the untended aphid Myzocallis asclepiadis varied eight- to 18-fold among milkweed genotypes, depending on aphid species and whether ants were present. There was no milkweed effect on predatory arthropods. Ants increased Aphis abundance 59%, decreased Myzocallis abundance 52%, and decreased predator abundance 56%. Milkweed genotype indirectly influenced ants via direct effects on Aphis and Myzocallis abundance. Milkweed genotype also modified ant-aphid interactions, influencing the number of ants attracted per Aphis and Myzocallis. While ant effects on Myzocallis were consistently negative, effects on Aphis ranged from antagonistic to mutualistic among milkweed genotypes. As a consequence of milkweed effects on ant-aphid interactions, ant abundance varied 13-fold among milkweed genotypes, and monarch caterpillar survival was negatively correlated with genetic variation in ant abundance. We speculate that heritable variation in milkweed phloem sap drives these effects on aphids, ants, and caterpillars. In summary, milkweed exerts genetic control over the interactions between aphids and an ant that provides defense against foliage-feeding caterpillars.

  11. Characterizing the Spatial Density Functions of Neural Arbors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teeter, Corinne Michelle

    Recently, it has been proposed that a universal function describes the way in which all arbors (axons and dendrites) spread their branches over space. Data from fish retinal ganglion cells as well as cortical and hippocampal arbors from mouse, rat, cat, monkey and human provide evidence that all arbor density functions (adf) can be described by a Gaussian function truncated at approximately two standard deviations. A Gaussian density function implies that there is a minimal set of parameters needed to describe an adf: two or three standard deviations (depending on the dimensionality of the arbor) and an amplitude. However, the parameters needed to completely describe an adf could be further constrained by a scaling law found between the product of the standard deviations and the amplitude of the function. In the following document, I examine the scaling law relationship in order to determine the minimal set of parameters needed to describe an adf. First, I find that the at, two-dimensional arbors of fish retinal ganglion cells require only two out of the three fundamental parameters to completely describe their density functions. Second, the three-dimensional, volume filling, cortical arbors require four fundamental parameters: three standard deviations and the total length of an arbor (which corresponds to the amplitude of the function). Next, I characterize the shape of arbors in the context of the fundamental parameters. I show that the parameter distributions of the fish retinal ganglion cells are largely homogenous. In general, axons are bigger and less dense than dendrites; however, they are similarly shaped. The parameter distributions of these two arbor types overlap and, therefore, can only be differentiated from one another probabilistically based on their adfs. Despite artifacts in the cortical arbor data, different types of arbors (apical dendrites, non-apical dendrites, and axons) can generally be differentiated based on their adfs. In addition, within

  12. Species diversity and distribution patterns of the ants of Amazonian Ecuador.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kari T Ryder Wilkie

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available Ants are among the most diverse, abundant and ecologically significant organisms on earth. Although their species richness appears to be greatest in the New World tropics, global patterns of ant diversity and distribution are not well understood. We comprehensively surveyed ant diversity in a lowland primary rainforest in Western Amazonia, Ecuador using canopy fogging, pitfall traps, baits, hand collecting, mini-Winkler devices and subterranean probes to sample ants. A total of 489 ant species comprising 64 genera in nine subfamilies were identified from samples collected in only 0.16 square kilometers. The most species-rich genera were Camponotus, Pheidole, Pseudomyrmex, Pachycondyla, Brachymyrmex, and Crematogaster. Camponotus and Pseudomyrmex were most diverse in the canopy, while Pheidole was most diverse on the ground. The three most abundant ground-dwelling ant genera were Pheidole, Solenopsis and Pyramica. Crematogaster carinata was the most abundant ant species in the canopy; Wasmannia auropunctata was most abundant on the ground, and the army ant Labidus coecus was the most abundant subterranean species. Ant species composition among strata was significantly different: 80% of species were found in only one stratum, 17% in two strata, and 3% in all three strata. Elevation and the number of logs and twigs available as nest sites were significant predictors of ground-dwelling ant species richness. Canopy species richness was not correlated with any ecological variable measured. Subterranean species richness was negatively correlated with depth in the soil. When ant species were categorized using a functional group matrix based on diet, nest-site preference and foraging ecology, the greatest diversity was found in Omnivorous Canopy Nesters. Our study indicates ant species richness is exceptionally high at Tiputini. We project 647-736 ant species in this global hotspot of biodiversity. Considering the relatively small area surveyed, this

  13. Invasion of yellow crazy ant Anoplolepis gracilipes in a Seychelles UNESCO palm forest

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher Kaiser-Bunbury

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available The mature palm forest of the Vallée de Mai, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, on the Seychelles island of Praslin, is a unique ecosystem containing many endemic species, including the iconic coco de mer palm Lodoicea maldivica. In 2009, the invasive yellow crazy ant Anoplolepis gracilipes was recorded for the first time within the palm forest, raising concern about its potential impacts on the endemic fauna. This research aimed: (1 to assess the current distribution and spread of A. gracilipes within the palm forest; (2 to identify environmental variables that are linked to A. gracilipes distribution; and (3 to compare endemic species richness and abundance in A. gracilipes invaded and uninvaded areas. Anoplolepis gracilipes was confined to the north-east of the site and remained almost stationary between April 2010 and December 2012, with isolated outbreaks into the forest. Infested areas had significantly higher temperature and humidity and lower canopy cover. Abundance and species richness of the endemic arboreal fauna were lower in the A. gracilipes invaded area. Molluscs were absent from the invaded area. The current restricted distribution of A. gracilipes in this ecosystem, combined with lower abundance of endemic fauna in the invaded area, highlight the need for further research to assess control measures and the possible role of biotic resistance to the invasion of the palm forest by A. gracilipes.

  14. Red imported fire ant impacts on upland arthropods in Southern Mississippi

    Science.gov (United States)

    Epperson, D.M.; Allen, Craig R.

    2010-01-01

    Red imported fire ants (Solenopsis invicta) have negative impacts on a broad array of invertebrate species. We investigated the impacts of fire ants on the upland arthropod community on 20???40 ha study sites in southern Mississippi. Study sites were sampled from 19972000 before, during, and after fire ant bait treatments to reduce fire ant populations. Fire ant abundance was assessed with bait transects on all sites, and fire ant population indices were estimated on a subset of study sites. Species richness and diversity of other ant species was also assessed from bait transects. Insect biomass and diversity was determined from light trap samples. Following treatments, fire ant abundance and population indices were significantly reduced, and ant species diversity and richness were greater on treated sites. Arthropod biomass, species diversity and species richness estimated from light trap samples were negatively correlated with fire ant abundance, but there were no observable treatment effects. Solenopsis invicta has the potential to negatively impact native arthropod communities resulting in a potential loss of both species and function.

  15. Density-dependent effects of ants on selection for bumble bee pollination in Polemonium viscosum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galen, Candace; Geib, Jennifer C

    2007-05-01

    Mutualisms are commonly exploited by cheater species that usurp rewards without providing reciprocal benefits. Yet most studies of selection between mutualist partners ignore interactions with third species and consequently overlook the impact of cheaters on evolution in the mutualism. Here, we explicitly investigate how the abundance of nectar-thieving ants (cheaters) influences selection in a pollination mutualism between bumble bees and the alpine skypilot, Polemonium viscosum. As suggested in past work with this species, bumble bees accounted for most of the seed production (78% +/- 6% [mean +/- SE]) in our high tundra study population and, in the absence of ants, exerted strong selection for large flowers. We tested for indirect effects of ant abundance on seed set through bumble bee pollination services (pollen delivery and pollen export) and a direct effect through flower damage. Ants reduced seed set per flower by 20% via flower damage. As ant density increased within experimental patches, the rate of flower damage rose, but pollen delivery and export did not vary significantly, showing that indirect effects of increased cheater abundance on pollinator service are negligible in this system. To address how ants affect selection for plant participation in the pollination mutualism we tested the impact of ant abundance on selection for bumble bee-mediated pollination. Results show that the impact of ants on fitness (seed set) accruing under bumble bee pollination is density dependent in P. viscosum. Selection for bumble bee pollination declined with increasing ant abundance in experimental patches, as predicted if cheaters constrain fitness returns of mutualist partner services. We also examined how ant abundance influences selection on flower size, a key component of plant investment in bumble bee pollination. We predicted that direct effects of ants would constrain bumble bee selection for large flowers. However, selection on flower size was significantly

  16. Odorous house ants (Tapinoma sessile as back-seat drivers of localized ant decline in urban habitats.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adam Salyer

    Full Text Available Invasive species and habitat disturbance threaten biodiversity worldwide by modifying ecosystem performance and displacing native organisms. Similar homogenization impacts manifest locally when urbanization forces native species to relocate or reinvade perpetually altered habitat. This study investigated correlations between ant richness and abundance in response to urbanization and the nearby presence of invasive ant species, odorous house ants (Tapinoma sessile, within its native region. Surveying localized ant composition within natural, semi-natural, and urban habitat supported efforts to determine whether T. sessile appear to be primary (drivers threats as instigators or secondary (passengers threats as inheritors of indigenous ant decline. Sampling 180 sites, evenly split between all habitats with and without T. sessile present, yielded 45 total species. Although urbanization and T. sessile presence factors were significantly linked to ant decline, their interaction correlated to the greatest reduction of total ant richness (74% and abundance (81%. Total richness appeared to decrease from 27 species to 18 when natural habitat is urbanized and from 18 species to 7 with T. sessile present in urban plots. Odorous house ant presence minimally influenced ant communities within natural and semi-natural habitat, highlighting the importance of habitat alteration and T. sessile presence interactions. Results suggest urbanization releases T. sessile from unknown constraints by decreasing ant richness and competition. Within urban environment, T. sessile are pre-adapted to quickly exploit new resources and grow to supercolony strength wherein T. sessile drive adjacent biodiversity loss. Odorous house ants act as passengers and drivers of ecological change throughout different phases of urban 'invasion'. This progression through surviving habitat alteration, exploiting new resources, thriving, and further reducing interspecific competition supports a

  17. Extrafloral nectar fuels ant life in deserts

    OpenAIRE

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

    2014-01-01

    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 dese...

  18. The life of a dead ant: the expression of an adaptive extended phenotype.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andersen, Sandra B; Gerritsma, Sylvia; Yusah, Kalsum M; Mayntz, David; Hywel-Jones, Nigel L; Billen, Johan; Boomsma, Jacobus J; Hughes, David P

    2009-09-01

    Specialized parasites are expected to express complex adaptations to their hosts. Manipulation of host behavior is such an adaptation. We studied the fungus Ophiocordyceps unilateralis, a locally specialized parasite of arboreal Camponotus leonardi ants. Ant-infecting Ophiocordyceps are known to make hosts bite onto vegetation before killing them. We show that this represents a fine-tuned fungal adaptation: an extended phenotype. Dead ants were found under leaves, attached by their mandibles, on the northern side of saplings approximately 25 cm above the soil, where temperature and humidity conditions were optimal for fungal growth. Experimental relocation confirmed that parasite fitness was lower outside this manipulative zone. Host resources were rapidly colonized and further secured by extensive internal structuring. Nutritional composition analysis indicated that such structuring allows the parasite to produce a large fruiting body for spore production. Our findings suggest that the osmotrophic lifestyle of fungi may have facilitated novel exploitation strategies.

  19. Effects of the Trophobiont Herbivore Calloconophora pugionata (Hemiptera on Ant Fauna Associated with Myrcia obovata (Myrtaceae in a Montane Tropical Forest

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roberth Fagundes

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Many studies have investigated the mechanisms behind the structure of arboreal ant assemblages. In this study, the objective was to evaluate the effect of availability of honeydew-producing colonies of Calloconophora pugionata (Membracidae on the structure of ant assemblages associated with the host plant Myrcia obovata (Myrtaceae in an Atlantic forest of Minas Gerais (Brazil. Our experiment consisted in a gradual exclusion of hemipteran colonies out of the host plant crown and further record of the ant assemblage response (species richness, composition, and occurrence to the presence and density of treehopper colonies. The hypothesis was that an increase in the number of trophobiont herbivores results in an increase in tending ant occurrence but a reduction in ant species diversity. Results corroborated our main hypothesis: membracids had a positive effect on the occurrence of ants but negative on species richness. Overall insect occurrence was also reduced with increasing in C. pugionata colonies, probably due to strengthening dominant ant species territory sizes and intensification of patrolling.

  20. Seasonal dynamics of ant community structure in the Moroccan Argan Forest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    El Keroumi, Abderrahim; Naamani, Khalid; Soummane, Hassna; Dahbi, Abdallah

    2012-01-01

    In this study we describe the structure and composition of ant communities in the endemic Moroccan Argan forest, using pitfall traps sampling technique throughout the four seasons between May 2006 and February 2007. The study focused on two distinct climatic habitats within the Essaouira Argan forest, a semi-continental site at Lahssinate, and a coastal site at Boutazarte. Thirteen different ant species were identified, belonging to seven genera. Monomorium subopacum Smith and Tapinoma simrothi Krausse-Heldrungen (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) were the most abundant and behaviorally dominant ant species in the arganeraie. In addition, more specimens were captured in the semi-continental site than in the coastal area. However, no significant difference was observed in species richness, evenness, or diversity between both sites. Composition and community structure showed clear seasonal dynamics. The number of species, their abundance, their diversity, and their evenness per Argan tree were significantly dissimilar among seasons. The richness (except between summer and autumn), and the abundance and the evenness of ant species among communities, showed a significant difference between the dry period (summer and spring) and the rainy period (winter and autumn). Higher abundance and richness values occurred in the dry period of the year. Ant species dominance and seasonal climatic variations in the arganeraie might be among the main factors affecting the composition, structure, and foraging activity of ant communities. This study, together with recent findings on ant predation behavior below Argan trees, highlights the promising use of dominant ant species as potential agents of Mediterranean fruit fly bio-control in the Argan forest and surrounding ecosystems.

  1. Using of ants and earthworm to modify of soil biological quality and its effect on cocoa seedlings growth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kilowasid, Laode Muhammad Harjoni; Budianto, Wayan; Syaf, Hasbullah; Tufaila, Muhammad; Safuan, La Ode

    2015-09-01

    Ant and earthworm can act as soil ecosystem engineers. Ant and earthworm are very dominant in smallholder cocoa plantation. The first experiment aimed to study the effect of the abundance of ants and earthworms on soil microbial activity and microfauna, and the second experiment to analyse the effect of soil modified by ants and earthworms on the cocoa seedlings growth. Ant (Ponera sp.) and earthworm (Pontoscolex sp.) collected from smallholder cocoa plantation, and kept in a container up to applied. In the first experiment, nine combinations of the abundance of ants and earthworms applied to each pot containing 3 kg of soil from smallholder cocoa plantation, and each combination of the abundance was repeated five times in a completely randomized design. After the soil was incubated for thirty days, ants and earthworms removed from the soil using hand sorting techniques. Soil from each pot was analysed for soil microbial activity, abundance of flagellates and nematodes. In the second experiment, the soil in each pot was planted with cocoa seedlings and maintained up to ninety days. The results showed the FDA hydrolytic activity of microbes, the abundance of flagellates and nematodes between the combination of the abundance of ants and earthworms have been significantly different. Dry weight of root, shoot and seedling cacao have been significantly different between the combination of the abundance of ants and earthworms. It was concluded that the combination of the abundance of ants and earthworms can be used in ecological engineering to improve soil quality.

  2. Final Technical Report, Wind Generator Project (Ann Arbor)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Geisler, Nathan [City of Ann Arbor, MI (United States)

    2017-03-20

    A Final Technical Report (57 pages) describing educational exhibits and devices focused on wind energy, and related outreach activities and programs. Project partnership includes the City of Ann Arbor, MI and the Ann Arbor Hands-on Museum, along with additional sub-recipients, and U.S. Department of Energy/Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE). Report relays key milestones and sub-tasks as well as numerous graphics and images of five (5) transportable wind energy demonstration devices and five (5) wind energy exhibits designed and constructed between 2014 and 2016 for transport and use by the Ann Arbor Hands-on Museum.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Otávio Guilherme Morais da Silva

    2016-06-01

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

  4. Changes in species diversity of arboreal spiders in Mexican coffee agroecosystems: untangling the web of local and landscape influences driving diversity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zachary Hajian-Forooshani

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Agricultural intensification is implicated as a major driver of global biodiversity loss. Local management and landscape scale factors both influence biodiversity in agricultural systems, but there are relatively few studies to date looking at how local and landscape scales influence biodiversity in tropical agroecosystems. Understanding what drives the diversity of groups of organisms such as spiders is important from a pragmatic point of view because of the important biocontrol services they offer to agriculture. Spiders in coffee are somewhat enigmatic because of their positive or lack of response to agricultural intensification. In this study, we provide the first analysis, to our knowledge, of the arboreal spiders in the shade trees of coffee plantations. In the Soconusco region of Chiapas, Mexico we sampled across 38 sites on 9 coffee plantations. Tree and canopy connectedness were found to positively influence overall arboreal spider richness and abundance. We found that different functional groups of spiders are responding to different local and landscape factors, but overall elevation was most important variable influencing arboreal spider diversity. Our study has practical management applications that suggest having shade grown coffee offers more suitable habitat for arboreal spiders due to a variety of the characteristics of the shade trees. Our results which show consistently more diverse arboreal spider communities in lower elevations are important in light of looming global climate change. As the range of suitable elevations for coffee cultivation shrinks promoting arboreal spider diversity will be important in sustaining the viability of coffee.

  5. Are Tree Species Diversity and Genotypic Diversity Effects on Insect Herbivores Mediated by Ants?

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    María José Campos-Navarrete

    Full Text Available Plant diversity can influence predators and omnivores and such effects may in turn influence herbivores and plants. However, evidence for these ecological feedbacks is rare. We evaluated if the effects of tree species (SD and genotypic diversity (GD on the abundance of different guilds of insect herbivores associated with big-leaf mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla were contingent upon the protective effects of ants tending extra-floral nectaries of this species. This study was conducted within a larger experiment consisting of mahogany monocultures and species polycultures of four species and -within each of these two plot types- mahogany was represented by either one or four maternal families. We selected 24 plots spanning these treatment combinations, 10 mahogany plants/plot, and within each plot experimentally reduced ant abundance on half of the selected plants, and surveyed ant and herbivore abundance. There were positive effects of SD on generalist leaf-chewers and sap-feeders, but for the latter group this effect depended on the ant reduction treatment: SD positively influenced sap-feeders under ambient ant abundance but had no effect when ant abundance was reduced; at the same time, ants had negative effects on sap feeders in monoculture but no effect in polyculture. In contrast, SD did not influence specialist stem-borers or leaf-miners and this effect was not contingent upon ant reduction. Finally, GD did not influence any of the herbivore guilds studied, and such effects did not depend on the ant treatment. Overall, we show that tree species diversity influenced interactions between a focal plant species (mahogany and ants, and that such effects in turn mediated plant diversity effects on some (sap-feeders but not all the herbivores guilds studied. Our results suggest that the observed patterns are dependent on the combined effects of herbivore identity, diet breadth, and the source of plant diversity.

  6. Ecological consequences of interactions between ants and honeydew-producing insects

    OpenAIRE

    Styrsky, John D; Eubanks, Micky D

    2006-01-01

    Interactions between ants and honeydew-producing hemipteran insects are abundant and widespread in arthropod food webs, yet their ecological consequences are very poorly known. Ant–hemipteran interactions have potentially broad ecological effects, because the presence of honeydew-producing hemipterans dramatically alters the abundance and predatory behaviour of ants on plants. We review several studies that investigate the consequences of ant–hemipteran interactions as ‘keystone interactions’...

  7. Geographic mosaic of plant evolution: extrafloral nectary variation mediated by ant and herbivore assemblages.

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    Anselmo Nogueira

    Full Text Available Herbivory is an ecological process that is known to generate different patterns of selection on defensive plant traits across populations. Studies on this topic could greatly benefit from the general framework of the Geographic Mosaic Theory of Coevolution (GMT. Here, we hypothesize that herbivory represents a strong pressure for extrafloral nectary (EFN bearing plants, with differences in herbivore and ant visitor assemblages leading to different evolutionary pressures among localities and ultimately to differences in EFN abundance and function. In this study, we investigate this hypothesis by analyzing 10 populations of Anemopaegma album (30 individuals per population distributed through ca. 600 km of Neotropical savanna and covering most of the geographic range of this plant species. A common garden experiment revealed a phenotypic differentiation in EFN abundance, in which field and experimental plants showed a similar pattern of EFN variation among populations. We also did not find significant correlations between EFN traits and ant abundance, herbivory and plant performance across localities. Instead, a more complex pattern of ant-EFN variation, a geographic mosaic, emerged throughout the geographical range of A. album. We modeled the functional relationship between EFNs and ant traits across ant species and extended this phenotypic interface to characterize local situations of phenotypic matching and mismatching at the population level. Two distinct types of phenotypic matching emerged throughout populations: (1 a population with smaller ants (Crematogaster crinosa matched with low abundance of EFNs; and (2 seven populations with bigger ants (Camponotus species matched with higher EFN abundances. Three matched populations showed the highest plant performance and narrower variance of EFN abundance, representing potential plant evolutionary hotspots. Cases of mismatched and matched populations with the lowest performance were associated

  8. Simplification of arboreal marsupial assemblages in response to increasing urbanization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Isaac, Bronwyn; White, John; Ierodiaconou, Daniel; Cooke, Raylene

    2014-01-01

    Arboreal marsupials play an essential role in ecosystem function including regulating insect and plant populations, facilitating pollen and seed dispersal and acting as a prey source for higher-order carnivores in Australian environments. Primarily, research has focused on their biology, ecology and response to disturbance in forested and urban environments. We used presence-only species distribution modelling to understand the relationship between occurrences of arboreal marsupials and eco-geographical variables, and to infer habitat suitability across an urban gradient. We used post-proportional analysis to determine whether increasing urbanization affected potential habitat for arboreal marsupials. The key eco-geographical variables that influenced disturbance intolerant species and those with moderate tolerance to disturbance were natural features such as tree cover and proximity to rivers and to riparian vegetation, whereas variables for disturbance tolerant species were anthropogenic-based (e.g., road density) but also included some natural characteristics such as proximity to riparian vegetation, elevation and tree cover. Arboreal marsupial diversity was subject to substantial change along the gradient, with potential habitat for disturbance-tolerant marsupials distributed across the complete gradient and potential habitat for less tolerant species being restricted to the natural portion of the gradient. This resulted in highly-urbanized environments being inhabited by a few generalist arboreal marsupial species. Increasing urbanization therefore leads to functional simplification of arboreal marsupial assemblages, thus impacting on the ecosystem services they provide.

  9. Plant-ants use symbiotic fungi as a food source: new insight into the nutritional ecology of ant–plant interactions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blatrix, Rumsaïs; Djiéto-Lordon, Champlain; Mondolot, Laurence; La Fisca, Philippe; Voglmayr, Hermann; McKey, Doyle

    2012-01-01

    Usually studied as pairwise interactions, mutualisms often involve networks of interacting species. Numerous tropical arboreal ants are specialist inhabitants of myrmecophytes (plants bearing domatia, i.e. hollow structures specialized to host ants) and are thought to rely almost exclusively on resources derived from the host plant. Recent studies, following up on century-old reports, have shown that fungi of the ascomycete order Chaetothyriales live in symbiosis with plant-ants within domatia. We tested the hypothesis that ants use domatia-inhabiting fungi as food in three ant–plant symbioses: Petalomyrmex phylax/Leonardoxa africana, Tetraponera aethiops/Barteria fistulosa and Pseudomyrmex penetrator/Tachigali sp. Labelling domatia fungal patches in the field with either a fluorescent dye or 15N showed that larvae ingested domatia fungi. Furthermore, when the natural fungal patch was replaced with a piece of a 15N-labelled pure culture of either of two Chaetothyriales strains isolated from T. aethiops colonies, these fungi were also consumed. These two fungi often co-occur in the same ant colony. Interestingly, T. aethiops workers and larvae ingested preferentially one of the two strains. Our results add a new piece in the puzzle of the nutritional ecology of plant-ants. PMID:22859596

  10. 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...

  11. 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.

  12. Simplification of arboreal marsupial assemblages in response to increasing urbanization.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bronwyn Isaac

    Full Text Available Arboreal marsupials play an essential role in ecosystem function including regulating insect and plant populations, facilitating pollen and seed dispersal and acting as a prey source for higher-order carnivores in Australian environments. Primarily, research has focused on their biology, ecology and response to disturbance in forested and urban environments. We used presence-only species distribution modelling to understand the relationship between occurrences of arboreal marsupials and eco-geographical variables, and to infer habitat suitability across an urban gradient. We used post-proportional analysis to determine whether increasing urbanization affected potential habitat for arboreal marsupials. The key eco-geographical variables that influenced disturbance intolerant species and those with moderate tolerance to disturbance were natural features such as tree cover and proximity to rivers and to riparian vegetation, whereas variables for disturbance tolerant species were anthropogenic-based (e.g., road density but also included some natural characteristics such as proximity to riparian vegetation, elevation and tree cover. Arboreal marsupial diversity was subject to substantial change along the gradient, with potential habitat for disturbance-tolerant marsupials distributed across the complete gradient and potential habitat for less tolerant species being restricted to the natural portion of the gradient. This resulted in highly-urbanized environments being inhabited by a few generalist arboreal marsupial species. Increasing urbanization therefore leads to functional simplification of arboreal marsupial assemblages, thus impacting on the ecosystem services they provide.

  13. Automated computation of arbor densities: a step toward identifying neuronal cell types

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    Uygar eSümbül

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available The shape and position of a neuron convey information regarding its molecular and functional identity. The identification of cell types from structure, a classic method, relies on the time-consuming step of arbor tracing. However, as genetic tools and imaging methods make data-driven approaches to neuronal circuit analysis feasible, the need for automated processing increases. Here, we first establish that mouse retinal ganglion cell types can be as precise about distributing their arbor volumes across the inner plexiform layer as they are about distributing the skeletons of the arbors. Then, we describe an automated approach to computing the spatial distribution of the dendritic arbors, or arbor density, with respect to a global depth coordinate based on this observation. Our method involves three-dimensional reconstruction of neuronal arbors by a supervised machine learning algorithm, post-processing of the enhanced stacks to remove somata and isolate the neuron of interest, and registration of neurons to each other using automatically detected arbors of the starburst amacrine interneurons as fiducial markers. In principle, this method could be generalizable to other structures of the CNS, provided that they allow sparse labeling of the cells and contain a reliable axis of spatial reference.

  14. Habitat alteration increases invasive fire ant abundance to the detriment of amphibians and reptiles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Todd, B.D.; Rothermel, B.B.; Reed, R.N.; Luhring, T.M.; Schlatter, K.; Trenkamp, L.; Gibbons, J.W.

    2008-01-01

    Altered habitats have been suggested to facilitate red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta) colonization and dispersal, possibly compounding effects of habitat alteration on native wildlife. In this study, we compared colonization intensity of wood cover boards by S. invicta among four forest management treatments in South Carolina, USA: an unharvested control (>30 years old); a partially thinned stand; a clearcut with coarse woody debris retained; and a clearcut with coarse woody debris removed. Additionally, we compared dehydration rates and survival of recently metamorphosed salamanders (marbled salamanders, Ambystoma opacum, and mole salamanders, A. talpoideum) among treatments. We found that the number of wood cover boards colonized by S. invicta differed significantly among treatments, being lowest in the unharvested forest treatments and increasing with the degree of habitat alteration. Salamanders that were maintained in experimental field enclosures to study water loss were unexpectedly subjected to high levels of S. invicta predation that differed among forest treatments. All known predation by S. invicta was restricted to salamanders in clearcuts. The amount of vegetative ground cover was inversely related to the likelihood of S. invicta predation of salamanders. Our results show that S. invicta abundance increases with habitat disturbance and that this increased abundance has negative consequences for amphibians that remain in altered habitats. Our findings also suggest that the presence of invasive S. invicta may compromise the utility of cover boards and other techniques commonly used in herpetological studies in the Southeast. ?? 2007 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

  15. Current and potential ant impacts in the Pacific region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loope, Lloyd L.; Krushelnycky, Paul D.

    2007-01-01

    Worldwide, ants are a powerful ecological force, and they appear to be dominant components of animal communities of many tropical and temperate ecosystems in terms of biomass and numbers of individuals (Bluthgen et al. 2000). For example, ants comprise up to 94% of arthropod individuals in fogging samples taken from diverse lowland tropical rainforest canopies, and 86% of the biomass (Davidson et al. 2003). The majority of these ant species and individuals obtain carbohydrates either from extrafloral nectaries or from sap-feeding Hemiptera that pass carbohydrate-rich “honeydew” to attending ants while concentrating nitrogen (N) from N-poor plant sap (Davidson et al. 2003). Honeydew and nectar represent key resources for arboreal ant species, although most ant species are at least partly carnivorous or scavengers (Bluthgen et al. 2004). In contrast to most of the terrestrial world, the biotas of many Pacific islands evolved without ants. Whereas endemic ant species are found in New Zealand (ca. 10 spp.), Tonga (ca. 10 spp.), and Samoa (ca. 12 spp.), other islands of Polynesia and parts of Micronesia likely lack native ants (Wilson and Taylor 1967, Wetterer 2002, Wetterer and Vargo 2003). About 20 Indo-Australian and western Pacific ant species range to the east and north of Samoa, but it is unclear how many of these were transported there by humans at some time (Wilson and Taylor 1967). Most of the remainder of the ant species currently found on Pacific islands are widespread species that fall in the category of “tramp species,” dispersed by recent human commerce and generally closely tied to human activity and urban areas (Wilson and Taylor 1967, McGlynn 1999). In Pacific island situations, some of these tramp ant species are able to thrive beyond areas of human activity. Relatively few ant species have been successful invaders of native communities on continents, and these include most of the species that pose the greatest problems for Pacific islands

  16. [Effects of environmental factors on the ant fauna of restinga community in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vargas, André B; Mayhé-Nunes, Antônio J; Queiroz, Jarbas M; Souza, Guilherme O; Ramos, Elaine F

    2007-01-01

    The effects of environmental factors on the richness, diversity and abundance of ants were studied in the Restinga da Marambaia, south coast of Rio de Janeiro State, Brazil. The samples were taken using pitfall traps in August/2004 (winter) and March/2005 (summer) in three different vegetation types: (1) herbaceous ridge palmoid (homogeneous habitat); (2) shrub dune thicket and (3) ridge forest (heterogeneous habitats). At each habitat a range of environmental attributes was recorded: soil temperature and humidity, percentage of soil covering by litter and litter depth. Ninety-two ant species belonging to 36 genera and eight subfamilies were recorded. Density of ant species and abundance varied significantly between habitats and seasons; ant diversity varied only between habitats. Homogeneous habitat had lower ant species density, abundance and diversity than heterogeneous habitats. The two first variables were positively correlated with litter depth and both were higher in summer than in winter samples. There were more species of Ponerinae and Ectatomminae in heterogeneous than in the homogeneous habitat, whereas the Formicinae species were more abundant in the later.

  17. Ants inhabiting myrmecophytic ferns regulate the distribution of lianas on emergent trees in a Bornean tropical rainforest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tanaka, Hiroshi O; Itioka, Takao

    2011-10-23

    Little is known about the spatial distribution of lianas on emergent trees in tropical rainforests and the factors affecting this distribution. The present study investigated the effects of an arboreal ant species, Crematogaster difformis, which forms myrmecophytic symbioses with two epiphytic ferns, Lecanopteris sp. and Platycerium sp., on the spatial distribution of lianas associated with emergent trees. Living lianas were placed onto trunk surfaces inside and outside the territories of the ants in the canopy, to examine their ability to remove them. The number of leaves pruned by the ants was significantly higher on lianas inside than outside their territories. The spatial overlap of the distributions of lianas and the two ferns on emergent trees were then examined. The frequency of liana colonization of tree crowns was found to be significantly lower on trees with than without ferns. Under the natural conditions, C. difformis workers were observed biting and pruning the lianas. These results suggest that C. difformis regulates the distribution of lianas on emergent trees.

  18. Postfire Succession of Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) Nesting in Dead Wood of Northern Boreal Forest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boucher, Philippe; Hébert, Christian; Francoeur, André; Sirois, Luc

    2015-10-01

    Dead wood decomposition begins immediately after tree death and involves a large array of invertebrates. Ecological successions are still poorly known for saproxylic organisms, particularly in boreal forests. We investigated the use of dead wood as nesting sites for ants along a 60-yr postfire chronosequence in northeastern coniferous forests. We sampled a total of 1,625 pieces of dead wood, in which 263 ant nests were found. Overall, ant abundance increased during the first 30 yr after wildfire, and then declined. Leptothorax cf. canadensis Provancher, the most abundant species in our study, was absent during the first 2 yr postfire, but increased steadily until 30 yr after fire, whereas Myrmica alaskensis Wheeler, second in abundance, was found at all stages of succession in the chronosequence. Six other species were less frequently found, among which Camponotus herculeanus (Linné), Formica neorufibarbis Emery, and Formica aserva Forel were locally abundant, but more scarcely distributed. Dead wood lying on the ground and showing numerous woodborer holes had a higher probability of being colonized by ants. The C:N ratio was lower for dead wood colonized by ants than for noncolonized dead wood, showing that the continuous occupation of dead wood by ants influences the carbon and nitrogen dynamics of dead wood after wildfire in northern boreal forests. © The Authors 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  19. Diversity of leaf litter ant communities in Ton Nga Chang Wildlife Sanctuary and nearby rubber plantations, Songkhla, Southern Thailand

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tobias O. Bickel

    2005-09-01

    Full Text Available Large areas of Southern Thailand's former natural rainforest have been replaced by rubber plantations. Despite the fact that rubber plantations dominate the landscape, little is known about its capacity to sustain forest dwelling species. We used leaf litter ants as a bioindicator from two natural forests, a rubber plantation forest and a completely cleared ruderal area in Southern Thailand, Songkla Province. There was a substantial decline in ant diversity from the undisturbed forest towards the ruderal area along a gradient of environmental disturbance. Additionally, there was a turnover in species composition between the different habitats and an increase in arboreal species "enhancing" the sparse ground foraging ant community in the plantation habitat. Also, alien tramp species replaced native species in the plantation and ruderal habitats. This study shows that despite their forest like appearance rubber plantations are a poor habitat for native leaf litter-inhabiting ants and unsuitable to sustain biodiversity in general. The changes in community structure in the secondary forest showed the importance of primary forest habitat to maintain regional biodiversity.

  20. Estimation of arboreal lichen biomass available to woodland caribou in Hudson Bay lowland black spruce sites

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarah K. Proceviat

    2003-04-01

    Full Text Available An arboreal lichen index to be utilized in assessing woodland caribou habitat throughout northeastern Ontario was developed. The "index" was comprised of 5 classes, which differentiated arboreal lichen biomass on black spruce trees, ranging from maximal quantities of arboreal lichen (class 5 to minimal amounts of arboreal lichen (class 1. This arboreal lichen index was subsequently used to estimate the biomass of arboreal lichen available to woodland caribou on lowland black spruce sites ranging in age from 1 year to 150 years post-harvest. A total of 39 sites were assessed and significant differences in arboreal lichen biomass were found, with a positive linear relationship between arboreal lichen biomass and forest age. It is proposed that the index be utilized by government and industry as a means of assessing the suitability of lowland black spruce habitat for woodland caribou in this region.

  1. Ant-caterpillar antagonism at the community level: interhabitat variation of tritrophic interactions in a neotropical savanna.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sendoya, Sebastián F; Oliveira, Paulo S

    2015-03-01

    Ant foraging on foliage can substantially affect how phytophagous insects use host plants and represents a high predation risk for caterpillars, which are important folivores. Ant-plant-herbivore interactions are especially pervasive in cerrado savanna due to continuous ant visitation to liquid food sources on foliage (extrafloral nectaries, insect honeydew). While searching for liquid rewards on plants, aggressive ants frequently attack or kill insect herbivores, decreasing their numbers. Because ants vary in diet and aggressiveness, their effect on herbivores also varies. Additionally, the differential occurrence of ant attractants (plant and insect exudates) on foliage produces variable levels of ant foraging within local floras and among localities. Here, we investigate how variation of ant communities and of traits among host plant species (presence or absence of ant attractants) can change the effect of carnivores (predatory ants) on herbivore communities (caterpillars) in a cerrado savanna landscape. We sampled caterpillars and foliage-foraging ants in four cerrado localities (70-460 km apart). We found that: (i) caterpillar infestation was negatively related with ant visitation to plants; (ii) this relationship depended on local ant abundance and species composition, and on local preference by ants for plants with liquid attractants; (iii) this was not related to local plant richness or plant size; (iv) the relationship between the presence of ant attractants and caterpillar abundance varied among sites from negative to neutral; and (v) caterpillars feeding on plants with ant attractants are more resistant to ant predation than those feeding on plants lacking attractants. Liquid food on foliage mediates host plant quality for lepidopterans by promoting generalized ant-caterpillar antagonism. Our study in cerrado shows that the negative effects of generalist predatory ants on herbivores are detectable at a community level, affecting patterns of abundance and

  2. Differential effects of land use on ant and herbivore insect communities associated with Caryocar brasiliense (Caryocaraceae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Frederico S. Neves

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Simplification of natural habitats leads to a modification of the community associated with a host plant. Pequi trees (Caryocar brasiliense are common to find in central Brazil, especially in the middle of monocultures, such as soy, corn, pasturelands or Eucalyptus plantations. On this scenario we hypothesized that habitat modification differentially affects the diversity of ants and herbivore insects associated with this species. The aim of the work was to test if C. brasiliense trees located in human modified habitats, support a lower species richness and abundance of ants, and a greater species richness and abundance of insect herbivores, compared to preserved cerrado habitats. The study was conducted in a Cerrado area located in Northern Minas Gerais State, Brazil. Ants and herbivore insects were collected monthly during 2005 using beating technique. The results showed that ant species richness was higher in pequi trees located in preserved Cerrado, followed by trees in pastureland and Eucalyptus plantation, respectively. The ant abundance was lower in the Eucalyptus plantation but no difference in ant abundance was observed between trees in pastureland and the preserved Cerrado. Moreover, herbivore insects exhibited lower number of species and individuals in trees located in the preserved Cerrado than in the pastureland and Eucalyptus plantation. We concluded that habitats simplified by human activities may result in diversity loss and may change species interactions.

  3. Out on a limb: Thermal microenvironments in the tropical forest canopy and their relevance to ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stark, Alyssa Y; Adams, Benjamin J; Fredley, Jennifer L; Yanoviak, Stephen P

    2017-10-01

    Small, cursorial ectotherms like ants often are immersed in the superheated air layers that develop millimeters above exposed, insolated surfaces (i.e., the thermal boundary layer). We quantified the thermal microenvironments around tree branches in the tropical rainforest canopy, and explored the effects of substrate color on the internal body temperature and species composition of arboreal ants. Branch temperatures during the day (09:00-16:00) were hottest (often > 50°C) and most variable on the upper surface, while the lowest and least variable temperatures occurred on the underside. Temperatures on black substrates declined with increasing distance above the surface in both the field and the laboratory. By contrast, a micro-scale temperature inversion occurred above white substrates. Wind events (ca. 2ms -1 ) eliminated these patterns. Internal temperatures of bodies of Cephalotes atratus workers experimentally heated in the laboratory were 6°C warmer on white vs. black substrates, and 6°C cooler than ambient in windy conditions. The composition of ant species foraging at baits differed between black-painted and unpainted tree branches, with a tendency for smaller ants to avoid the significantly hotter black surfaces. Collectively, these outcomes show that ants traversing canopy branches experience very heterogeneous thermal microenvironments that are partly influenced in predictable ways by branch surface coloration and breezy conditions. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. THE LATE TRIASSIC ARCHOSAUROMORPH TRILOPHOSAURUS AS AN ARBOREAL CLIMBER

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    JUSTIN A. SPIELMANN

    2005-11-01

    Full Text Available Two species of the unusual archosauromorph Trilophosaurus, T. buettneri Case and T. jacobsi Murry, are known from diverse localities in the Upper Triassic Chinle Group in the southwestern USA. Both species likely occupied similar ecological niches, based on morphological similarities in the postcrania, which are essentially identical. Trilophosaurus occurrences in the Chinle Group are relatively rare, but individual sites are exceptionally rich, suggesting that Trilophosaurus lived in a different paleoenvironment than more typical Chinle vertebrates, which lived in or near streams (phytosaurs, metoposaurs or on floodplains (aetosaurs, rauisuchians, and dinosaurs. Two potential interpretations are that Trilophosaurus was either an arboreal climber or a fossorial digger. However, the gross skeletal features of Trilophosaurus are not compatible with a fossorial mode of life: the limbs are too long and gracile, proximal limb elements are longer than distal ones, and the claws are laterally compressed, not transversely broadened. The intermittent study of Trilophosaurus has caused the theory of it being arboreal, originally proposed by Gregory, to receive little mention in subsequent studies. We reexamined the functional morphology of Trilophosaurus using a qualitative functional morphological analysis of the skeleton, a quantitative examination of claw curvature, and a quantitative examination of manus/trunk and pes/trunk ratios. Claw morphology of Trilophosaurus shows similarities to the arboreal drepanosaurs Drepanosaurus and Megalancosaurus. Our analysis provides ample evidence to suggest that Trilophosaurus was arboreal

  5. Biodiversity on Broadway--enigmatic diversity of the societies of ants (Formicidae on the streets of New York City.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marko Pećarević

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available Each year, a larger proportion of the Earth's surface is urbanized, and a larger proportion of the people on Earth lives in those urban areas. The everyday nature, however, that humans encounter in cities remains poorly understood. Here, we consider perhaps the most urban green habitat, street medians. We sampled ants from forty-four medians along three boulevards in New York City and examined how median properties affect the abundance and species richness of native and introduced ants found on them. Ant species richness varied among streets and increased with area but was independent of the other median attributes measured. Ant assemblages were highly nested, with three numerically dominant species present at all medians and additional species present at a subset of medians. The most common ant species were the introduced Pavement ant (Tetramorium caespitum and the native Thief ant (Solenopsis molesta and Cornfield ant (Lasius neoniger. The common introduced species on the medians responded differently to natural and disturbed elements of medians. Tetramorium caespitum was most abundant in small medians, with the greatest edge/area ratio, particularly if those medians had few trees, whereas Nylanderia flavipes was most abundant in the largest medians, particularly if they had more trees. Many of the species encountered in Manhattan were similar to those found in other large North American cities, such that a relatively small subset of ant species probably represent most of the encounters humans have with ants in North America.

  6. Predation and aggressiveness in host plant protection: a generalization using ants from the genus Azteca

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dejean, Alain; Grangier, Julien; Leroy, Céline; Orivel, Jerôme

    2009-01-01

    In studying the ant genus Azteca, a Neotropical group of arboreal species, we aimed to determine the extent to which the ants use predation and/or aggressiveness to protect their host plants from defoliating insects. We compared a territorially dominant, carton-nester, Azteca chartifex, and three plant-ant species. Azteca alfari and Azteca ovaticeps are associated with the myrmecophyte Cecropia (Cecropiaceae) and their colonies shelter in its hollow branches; whereas Azteca bequaerti is associated with Tococa guianensis (Melastomataceae) and its colonies shelter in leaf pouches situated at the base of the laminas. Whereas A. bequaerti workers react to the vibrations transmitted by the lamina when an alien insect lands on a leaf making it unnecessary for them to patrol their plant, the workers of the three other species rather discover prey by contact. The workers of all four species use a predatory behaviour involving spread-eagling alien insects after recruiting nestmates at short range, and, in some cases, at long range. Because A. alfari and A. ovaticeps discard part of the insects they kill, we deduced that the workers’ predatory behaviour and territorial aggressiveness combine in the biotic defence of their host tree.

  7. Pericarpial nectary-visiting ants do not provide fruit protection against pre-dispersal seed predators regardless of ant species composition and resource availability.

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    Priscila Andre Sanz-Veiga

    Full Text Available Extrafloral nectaries can occur in both vegetative and reproductive plant structures. In many Rubiaceae species in the Brazilian Cerrado, after corolla abscission, the floral nectary continues to secret nectar throughout fruit development originating post-floral pericarpial nectaries which commonly attract many ant species. The occurrence of such nectar secreting structures might be strategic for fruit protection against seed predators, as plants are expected to invest higher on more valuable and vulnerable parts. Here, we performed ant exclusion experiments to investigate whether the interaction with ants mediated by the pericarpial nectaries of Tocoyena formosa affects plant reproductive success by reducing the number of pre-dispersal seed predators. We also assessed whether ant protection was dependent on ant species composition and resource availability. Although most of the plants were visited by large and aggressive ant species, such as Ectatomma tuberculatum and species of the genus Camponotus, ants did not protect fruits against seed predators. Furthermore, the result of the interaction was neither related to ant species composition nor to the availability of resources. We suggest that these results may be related to the nature and behavior of the most important seed predators, like Hemicolpus abdominalis weevil which the exoskeleton toughness prevent it from being predated by most ant species. On the other hand, not explored factors, such as reward quality, local ant abundance, ant colony characteristics and/or the presence of alternative energetic sources could also account for variations in ant frequency, composition, and finally ant protective effects, highlighting the conditionality of facultative plant-ant mutualisms.

  8. Ant communities (Hymenoptera: Formicidae in an urban ecosystem near the Atlantic Rainforest

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    CM. Kamura

    Full Text Available The relationships between an urban ecosystem located near the Atlantic Rainforest in southeastern Brazil and ant communities were studied with the objective of quantifying the ant richness and abundance in the household environment and its surroundings. Eighty residences were sampled, where 58 species and 28 genera pertaining to 7 sub-families were found to be present. Inside the residences, the species richness was found to be lower (26, although the abundance was greater (10,670, with the wash area and kitchen being the locales that contributed with the greatest number of hits. The opposite was true in the areas outside the residences, where 54 species and 3,747 ants were observed. Inside houses, the species known as Tramp ants were found, in the following order of importance: Solenopsis -saevissima, Tapinoma melanocephalum, Linepithema humile, Paratrechina fulva, Wasmannia -auropunctata, P. -longicornis, Pheidole megacephala, Monomorium pharaonis and M. floricola. Externally, mainly in the yards and gardens, species such as Octostruma rugifera, Heteroponera dolo, Hypoponera sp.1 and sp.6, Gnamptogenys sp. 4, G. striatula, Odontomachus meinerti, Pachycondyla constricta and P. striata were found. In general, a greater number of species and lower abundance of individuals were observed in the neighborhoods nearer the mountains than in those closer to the urban center.

  9. Xenopus laevis Retinal Ganglion Cell Dendritic Arbors Develop Independently of Visual Stimulation

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    Barbara Lom

    2004-01-01

    Full Text Available Newly formed neurons must locate their appropriate target cells and then form synaptic connections with these targets in order to establish a functional nervous system. In the vertebrate retina, retinal ganglion cell (RGC dendrites extend from the cell body and form synapses with nearby amacrine and bipolar cells. RGC axons, however, exit the retina and synapse with the dendrites of midbrain neurons in the optic tectum. We examined how visual stimulation influenced Xenopus RGC dendritic arborization. Neuronal activity is known to be an important factor in shaping dendritic and axonal arborization. Thus, we reared tadpoles in dark and light environments then used rhodamine dextran retrograde labeling to identify RGCs in the retina. When we compared RGC dendritic arbors from tadpoles reared in dark and light environments, we found no morphological differences, suggesting that physiological visual activity did not contribute to the morphological development of Xenopus RGC dendritic arbors.

  10. Phengaris (Maculinea) teleius butterflies select host plants close to Myrmica ants for oviposition, but P. nausithous do not

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wynhoff, Irma; Langevelde, van Frank

    2017-01-01

    Many lycaenid butterfly species have interactions with ants, with 12% obligatorily depending on two sequential sources of larval food, namely host plants and host ants. When host plants are abundant but the density of host ant nests is relatively low, most host plants have no host ant nest in their

  11. Soil carabids and ants in two farming areas of yellow passion fruit (passiflora edulis) at Valle del Cauca, Colombia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Arenas, Anderson; Armbrecht, Inge; Chacon, Patricia

    2013-01-01

    The fauna of beetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae) and ants that survive in the soil of a passion fruit crop under conventional management in Roldanillo-Valle del Cauca was examined, in March and May (rainy season) and in June and July (dry season), 2012. We carried out four samplings of monthly intensity in two plots with plants of different ages, and registered the species found. We found 149 individuals of Carabidae, distributed into ten species and 2447 ants, distributed in 19 morphospecies. The most abundant species of ants was Solenopsis geminata, while Megacephala (Tetracha) sobrina was the most abundant species of Carabidae. It was also found that the abundance and richness of carabid beetles tend to be higher in the rainy season, while some ant species showed a preference for specific seasonal periods. We conclude that a rich fauna of ground carabids and ants survives in the study area, which could contribute in the control of phytophagous insects populations associated with the crops of passion fruit.

  12. Vegetation structure of plantain-based agrosystems determines numerical dominance in community of ground-dwelling ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dassou, Anicet Gbéblonoudo; Tixier, Philippe; Dépigny, Sylvain; Carval, Dominique

    2017-01-01

    In tropics, ants can represent an important part of animal biomass and are known to be involved in ecosystem services, such as pest regulation. Understanding the mechanisms underlying the structuring of local ant communities is therefore important in agroecology. In the humid tropics of Africa, plantains are cropped in association with many other annual and perennial crops. Such agrosystems differ greatly in vegetation diversity and structure and are well-suited for studying how habitat-related factors affect the ant community. We analysed abundance data for the six numerically dominant ant taxa in 500 subplots located in 20 diversified, plantain-based fields. We found that the density of crops with foliage at intermediate and high canopy strata determined the numerical dominance of species. We found no relationship between the numerical dominance of each ant taxon with the crop diversity. Our results indicate that the manipulation of the densities of crops with leaves in the intermediate and high strata may help maintain the coexistence of ant species by providing different habitat patches. Further research in such agrosystems should be performed to assess if the effect of vegetation structure on ant abundance could result in efficient pest regulation.

  13. Empirical test of the influence of global warming and forest disturbance on ant fauna at the Gwangneung Forest Long Term Ecological Research site, South Korea

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    Tae-Sung Kwon

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available This study examined the effects of forest disturbance and climate change on the ant fauna at the Long Term Ecological Research site in Gwangneung Forest, Korea in 2003 and 2012. After forest disturbance, the occurrence and abundance of ants belonging to the functional groups of forest ground forager and soil and litter dweller are predicted to decrease, while the occurrence and abundance of ants belonging to the open land forager and forest vegetation forager functional groups are predicted to increase. In terms of the effects of climate change, if the optimum temperature of the ants is lower than the annual average temperature in the survey area, the occurrence and abundance of the ants are predicted to decrease and vice versa. Ant surveys were carried out using pitfall traps. Changes in the dominant species, occurrence, and abundance mostly corresponded to the predictions for forest disturbance, but did not match the prediction for an increase in temperature.

  14. Ann Arbor Session I: Breaking Ground.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Music Educators Journal, 1979

    1979-01-01

    Summarizes the first session of the National Symposium on the Applications of Psychology to the Teaching and Learning of Music held at Ann Arbor from October 30 to November 2, 1978. Sessions concerned auditory perception, motor learning, child development, memory and information processing, and affect and motivation. (SJL)

  15. Indirect effects of mutualism: ant-treehopper associations deter pollinators and reduce reproduction in a tropical shrub.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ibarra-Isassi, Javier; Oliveira, Paulo S

    2018-03-01

    Animal-pollinated plants can be susceptible to changes in pollinator availability. Honeydew-producing treehoppers frequently occur on inflorescences, potentially enhancing ant-mediated negative effects on pollination services. However, the effect of ant-attended, honeydew-producing insects on plant reproduction remains uncertain. We recorded the abundance of treehoppers and ants on Byrsonima intermedia (Malpighiaceae), and monitored floral visitors in a Brazilian cerrado savanna. We manipulated the presence of ants and ant-treehopper associations on inflorescences to assess their effect on pollination and fruit formation. We used dried ants pinned to inflorescences to evaluate the effect of ant presence and ant identity on potential pollinators. Results show that the presence of treehoppers increases ant abundance on flowers and disrupts pollination by oil-collecting bees, decreasing the frequency and duration of floral visits and reducing fruit and seed set. Treehopper herbivory has no direct effect on fruit or seed production, which are independent of treehopper density. Pinned ants promote avoidance by floral visitors, reducing the number of visits. Ant identity mediates visitation decisions, with Ectatomma brunneum causing greater avoidance by floral visitors than Camponotus rufipes. Field videos show that pollinating bees are harassed by ants near flowers, prompting avoidance behavior by the bees. This is the first demonstration of indirect effects by honeydew-gathering ants, via disrupted pollination, on plant reproduction in tropical cerrado savanna. Our results highlight the importance of studying other interactions near flowers, in addition to just observing pollinators, for a proper understanding of plant reproduction.

  16. The Relationship Between Ants and Lycaeides melissa samuelis (Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae) at Concord Pine Barrens, NH, USA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pascale, Elizabeth G; Thiet, Rachel K

    2016-04-22

    The Karner blue butterfly (Lycaeides melissa samuelis Nabokov) (Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae) is a federally listed, endangered species that has experienced dramatic decline over its historic range. In surviving populations, Karner blue butterflies have a facultative mutualism with ants that could be critically important to their survival where their populations are threatened by habitat loss or disturbance. In this study, we investigated the effects of ants, wild blue lupine population status (native or restored), and fire on adult Karner blue butterfly abundance at the Concord Pine Barrens, NH, USA. Ant frequency (the number of times we collected each ant species in our pitfall traps) was higher in restored than native lupine treatments regardless of burn status during both Karner blue butterfly broods, and the trend was statistically significant during the second brood. We observed a positive relationship between adult Karner blue butterfly abundance and ant frequency during the first brood, particularly on native lupine, regardless of burn treatment. During the second brood, adult Karner blue butterfly abundance and ant frequency were not significantly correlated in any treatments or their combinations. Our findings suggest that a combination of native and restored lupine is important for supporting both Karner blue butterflies and ants at the Concord Pine Barrens, and that burning does not affect the mutualism. Thus, scientists and managers at the site may wish to target their habitat management activities to best support both Karner blue butterflies and the particular ant species that provide the greatest benefit to their survival. © 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.

  17. Invasive ants compete with and modify the trophic ecology of hermit crabs on tropical islands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McNatty, Alice; Abbott, Kirsti L; Lester, Philip J

    2009-05-01

    Invasive species can dramatically alter trophic interactions. Predation is the predominant trophic interaction generally considered to be responsible for ecological change after invasion. In contrast, how frequently competition from invasive species contributes to the decline of native species remains controversial. Here, we demonstrate how the trophic ecology of the remote atoll nation of Tokelau is changing due to competition between invasive ants (Anoplolepis gracilipes) and native terrestrial hermit crabs (Coenobita spp.) for carrion. A significant negative correlation was observed between A. gracilipes and hermit crab abundance. On islands with A. gracilipes, crabs were generally restricted to the periphery of invaded islands. Very few hermit crabs were found in central areas of these islands where A. gracilipes abundances were highest. Ant exclusion experiments demonstrated that changes in the abundance and distribution of hermit crabs on Tokelau are a result of competition. The ants did not kill the hermit crabs. Rather, when highly abundant, A. gracilipes attacked crabs by spraying acid and drove crabs away from carrion resources. Analysis of naturally occurring N and C isotopes suggests that the ants are effectively lowering the trophic level of crabs. According to delta(15) N values, hermit crabs have a relatively high trophic level on islands where A. gracilipes have not invaded. In contrast, where these ants have invaded we observed a significant decrease in delta(15) N for all crab species. This result concurs with our experiment in suggesting long-term exclusion from carrion resources, driving co-occurring crabs towards a more herbivorous diet. Changes in hermit crab abundance or distribution may have major ramifications for the stability of plant communities. Because A. gracilipes have invaded many tropical islands where the predominant scavengers are hermit crabs, we consider that their competitive effects are likely to be more prominent in

  18. Are ant assemblages of Brazilian veredas characterised by location or habitat type?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Costa-Milanez, C B; Lourenço-Silva, G; Castro, P T A; Majer, J D; Ribeiro, S P

    2014-02-01

    Wetland areas in the Brazilian Cerrado, known as "veredas", represent ecosystems formed on sandy soils with high concentrations of peat, and are responsible for the recharge of aquiferous reservoirs. They are currently under threat by various human activities, most notably the clearing of vegetation for Eucalyptus plantations. Despite their ecological importance and high conservation value, little is known about the actual effects of human disturbance on the animal community. To assess how habitat within different veredas, and plantations surrounding them affect ant assemblages, we selected four independent vereda locations, two being impacted by Eucalyptus monoculture (one younger and one mature plantation) and two controls, where the wetland was surrounded by cerrado vegetation. Ant sampling was conducted in May 2010 (dry season) using three complementary methods, namely baits, pitfall traps, and hand collection, in the wetland and in the surrounding habitats. A total of 7,575 ants were sampled, belonging to seven subfamilies, 32 genera and 124 species. Ant species richness and abundance did not differ between vereda locations, but did between the habitats. When impacted by the monoculture, ant species richness and abundance decreased in wetlands, but were less affected in the cerrado habitat. Ant species composition differed between the three habitats and between vereda locations. Eucalyptus plantations had an ant species composition defined by high dominance of Pheidole sp. and Solenopsis invicta, while natural habitats were defined by Camponotus and Crematogaster species. Atta sexdens was strictly confined to native habitats of non-impacted "veredas". Eucalyptus monocultures require high quantities of water in the early stages, which may have caused a decrease in groundwater level in the wetland, allowing hypogeic ants such as Labidus praedator to colonise this habitat.

  19. A new ant species of Oxyepoecus (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Myrmicinae, with the description of Oxyepoecus browni gyne and new records for the genus

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    Mônica A. Ulysséa

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available We describe a new species of Oxyepoecus Santschi, 1926, Oxyepoecus regularis sp. nov., based on workers and a gyne collected in "Caatinga Arbórea" (Arboreal Shrubland in Milagres and "Mata Seca" (Dry Forest in Boa Vista do Tupim, both in the state of Bahia, Brazil. The gyne of Oxyepoecus browni Albuquerque & Brandão, 2004, collected in the same leaf litter ant survey, is also described. In addition, we present new records for Oxyepoecus species in Northeastern Brazil.

  20. Selection of arboreal termitaria for nesting by cooperatively breeding Micronesian Kingfishers Todiramphus cinnamominus reichenbachii

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kesler, Dylan C.; Haig, Susan M.

    2005-01-01

    Limited nest-site availability appears to be an important factor in the evolution of delayed dispersal and cooperative breeding in some cavity-nesting species. The cooperatively breeding Pohnpei subspecies of Micronesian Kingfisher Todiramphus cinnamominus reichenbachii excavates nest cavities from the nests of arboreal termites Nasutitermes spp., or termitaria. In this first published description of nest-sites for this subspecies, we used surveys, remote sensing and radiotelemetry to evaluate the relationship between nest-site availability and co-operation. Results illustrate that nest termitaria are higher in the forest canopy, larger in volume and occur in areas with more contiguous canopy cover than unused termitaria. Nest termitaria were selected independently of the proximity to forest edges and territory boundaries, and we found no difference in characteristics of termitaria used by cooperative groups and breeding pairs. Logistic regression modelling indicated that termitaria with nest-like characteristics were not limited in abundance, suggesting that neither the prospects of inheriting nesting resources nor limited nest-site abundance are probable explanations for delayed dispersal in the Pohnpei subspecies of Micronesian Kingfisher.

  1. Competence of Litter Ants for Rapid Biodiversity Assessments

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    T. H. Saumya E. Silva

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Rapid Biodiversity Assessment approaches associated with focusing taxa have overcome many of the problems related to large scale surveys. This study examined the suitability of litter ants as a focusing taxon by checking whether diversity and species assemblages of litter ants reflect the overall picture of arthropod diversity and assemblages in leaf litter in two vegetation types: secondary forest and pine plantation in Upper Hanthana forest reserve, Sri Lanka. In each vegetation type, arthropods were sampled using three sampling methods (Winkler extraction, hand collection, and pitfall traps along three 100 m line transects. From the two sites, 1887 litter ants (34 species and 3488 litter arthropods (52 species were collected. Species assemblages composition of both ants and other arthropods differed significantly between the two sites (ANOSIM, p=0.001 with both groups generating distinct clusters for the two sites (SIMPROF, p=0.001. But there was no significant correlation (p>0.05 between abundance and richness of litter ants and those of other arthropods in both vegetation types. The overall finding suggests that the litter ants do not reflect the holistic picture of arthropod diversity and assemblages in leaf litter, but the quality of the habitat for the survival of all litter arthropods.

  2. Forelimb bone curvature in terrestrial and arboreal mammals

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    Keith Henderson

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available It has recently been proposed that the caudal curvature (concave caudal side observed in the radioulna of terrestrial quadrupeds is an adaptation to the habitual action of the triceps muscle which causes cranial bending strains (compression on cranial side. The caudal curvature is proposed to be adaptive because longitudinal loading induces caudal bending strains (increased compression on the caudal side, and these opposing bending strains counteract each other leaving the radioulna less strained. If this is true for terrestrial quadrupeds, where triceps is required for habitual elbow extension, then we might expect that in arboreal species, where brachialis is habitually required to maintain elbow flexion, the radioulna should instead be cranially curved. This study measures sagittal curvature of the ulna in a range of terrestrial and arboreal primates and marsupials, and finds that their ulnae are curved in opposite directions in these two locomotor categories. This study also examines sagittal curvature in the humerus in the same species, and finds differences that can be attributed to similar adaptations: the bone is curved to counter the habitual muscle action required by the animal’s lifestyle, the difference being mainly in the distal part of the humerus, where arboreal animals tend have a cranial concavity, thought to be in response the carpal and digital muscles that pull cranially on the distal humerus.

  3. Developing neurons use a putative pioneer's peripheral arbor to establish their terminal fields.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gan, W B; Macagno, E R

    1995-05-01

    Pioneer neurons are known to guide later developing neurons during the initial phases of axonal outgrowth. To determine whether they are also important in the formation of terminal fields by the follower cells, we studied the role of a putative leech pioneer neuron, the pressure-sensitive (PD) neuron, in the establishment of other neurons' peripheral arbors. The PD neuron has a major axon that exits from its segmental ganglion to grow along the dorsal-posterior (DP) nerve to the dorsal body wall, where it arborizes extensively mainly in its own segment. It also has two minor axons that project to the two adjacent segments but branch to a lesser degree. We found that the peripheral projections of several later developing neurons, including the AP motor neuron and the TD sensory neuron, followed, with great precision, the major axon and peripheral arbor of the consegmental PD neuron, up to its fourth-order branches. When a PD neuron was ablated before it had grown to the body wall, the AP and TD axons grew normally toward and reached the target area, but then formed terminal arbors that were greatly reduced in size and abnormal in morphology. Further, if the ablation of a PD neuron was accompanied by the induction, in the same segment, of greater outgrowth of the minor axon of a PD neuron from the adjacent segment, the arbors of the same AP neurons grew along these novel PD neuron branches. These results demonstrate that the peripheral arbor of a PD neuron is a both necessary and sufficient template for the formation of normal terminal fields by certain later growing follower neurons.

  4. Acanthopria and Mimopriella parasitoid wasps (Diapriidae) attack Cyphomyrmex fungus-growing ants (Formicidae, Attini)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernández-Marín, Hermógenes; Zimmerman, Jess K.; Wcislo, William T.

    2006-01-01

    New World diapriine wasps are abundant and diverse, but the biology of most species is unknown. We provide the first description of the biology of diapriine wasps, Acanthopria spp. and Mimopriella sp., which attack the larvae of Cyphomyrmex fungus-growing ants. In Puerto Rico, the koinobiont parasitoids Acanthopria attack Cyphomyrmex minutus, while in Panama at least four morphospecies of Acanthopria and one of Mimopriella attack Cyphomyrmex rimosus. Of the total larvae per colony, 0 100% were parasitized, and 27 70% of the colonies per population were parasitized. Parasitism rate and colony size were negatively correlated for C. rimosus but not for C. minutus. Worker ants grasped at, bit, and in some cases, killed adult wasps that emerged in artificial nests or tried to enter natural nests. Parasitoid secondary sex ratios were female-biased for eclosing wasps, while field collections showed a male-biased sex ratio. Based on their abundance and success in attacking host ants, these minute wasps present excellent opportunities to explore how natural enemies impact ant colony demography and population biology.

  5. Parachuting behavior and predation by ants in the nettle caterpillar, Scopelodes contracta.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamazaki, Kazuo

    2010-01-01

    This paper documents the bizarre descending behavior from the tree crown to the ground of the larvae of the moth, Scopelodes contracta Walker (Lepidoptera: Limacodidae) and the interaction of the larva with predatory ants. S. contracta larvae infest leaves of many tree species in urban areas and orchards in Japan. Mature larvae and leaves without basal leaf parts were found under trees of four species infested with S. contracta larvae in Osaka, Japan. Individual larvae riding on leaves were observed falling from tree crowns to the ground. Many S. contracta cocoons were found in the soil below the trees two weeks after the observed parachuting. These observations indicate that S. contracta larvae parachuted to the ground where they spin their cocoons in the soil. When a larva that had just parachuted down was returned to an arboreal twig, the larva repeated the parachuting behavior. This parachuting behavior appears to be adaptive, because larvae can descend to the ground safely and with low energy cost. Worker ants of Tetramorium tsushimae Emery (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) and Pristomyrmex punctatus Mayr (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) occasionally attacked larvae on the ground before they had a chance to burrow in the soil.

  6. Diversity of Species and Behavior of Hymenopteran Parasitoids of Ants: A Review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jean-Paul Lachaud

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Reports of hymenopterans associated with ants involve more than 500 species, but only a fraction unambiguously pertain to actual parasitoids. In this paper, we attempt to provide an overview of both the diversity of these parasitoid wasps and the diversity of the types of interactions they have formed with their ant hosts. The reliable list of parasitoid wasps using ants as primary hosts includes at least 138 species, reported between 1852 and 2011, distributed among 9 families from 3 superfamilies. These parasitoids exhibit a wide array of biologies and developmental strategies: ecto- or endoparasitism, solitary or gregarious, and idio- or koinobiosis. All castes of ants and all developmental stages, excepting eggs, are possible targets. Some species parasitize adult worker ants while foraging or performing other activities outside the nest; however, in most cases, parasitoids attack ant larvae either inside or outside their nests. Based on their abundance and success in attacking ants, some parasitoid wasps like diapriids and eucharitids seem excellent potential models to explore how parasitoids impact ant colony demography, population biology, and ant community structure. Despite a significant increase in our knowledge of hymenopteran parasitoids of ants, most of them remain to be discovered.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoffmann, Benjamin D; Auina, Saronna; Stanley, Margaret C

    2014-01-01

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

  8. Effects of Formica ants on soil fauna-results from a short-term exclusion and a long-term natural experiment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lenoir, Lisette; Bengtsson, Jan; Persson, Tryggve

    2003-02-01

    Wood ants (Formica spp.) were hypothesised to affect the composition and greatly reduce the abundance of large-sized soil fauna by predation. This was tested in two ways. Firstly, a 4-year-long experimental study was carried out in a mixed forest. Five ant-free 1.3-m(2) plots were created by fenced exclosures within an ant territory. Five nearby plots had fences with entrances for the ants. In addition, five non-fenced control plots were selected. Soil fauna (e.g. Coleoptera, Diptera larvae, Collembola and Araneae) was sampled during the summers of 1997-2000. The soil fauna was affected by the exclosures but there was no detectable effect of ants on the soil fauna. Secondly, soil fauna was studied within a large-scale natural experiment in which the long-term (30 years) effects of red wood ants could be assessed inside and outside ant territories. This long-term natural experiment revealed no significant effects of ants on the abundance or composition of soil fauna. The results from the two studies indicate that the effects of wood ants on soil fauna are fairly small. The hypothesis that wood ants are key-stone predators on soil fauna could, thus, not be supported.

  9. Are ant assemblages of Brazilian veredas characterised by location or habitat type?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    CB Costa-Milanez

    Full Text Available Wetland areas in the Brazilian Cerrado, known as “veredas”, represent ecosystems formed on sandy soils with high concentrations of peat, and are responsible for the recharge of aquiferous reservoirs. They are currently under threat by various human activities, most notably the clearing of vegetation for Eucalyptus plantations. Despite their ecological importance and high conservation value, little is known about the actual effects of human disturbance on the animal community. To assess how habitat within different veredas, and plantations surrounding them affect ant assemblages, we selected four independent vereda locations, two being impacted by Eucalyptus monoculture (one younger and one mature plantation and two controls, where the wetland was surrounded by cerrado vegetation. Ant sampling was conducted in May 2010 (dry season using three complementary methods, namely baits, pitfall traps, and hand collection, in the wetland and in the surrounding habitats. A total of 7,575 ants were sampled, belonging to seven subfamilies, 32 genera and 124 species. Ant species richness and abundance did not differ between vereda locations, but did between the habitats. When impacted by the monoculture, ant species richness and abundance decreased in wetlands, but were less affected in the cerrado habitat. Ant species composition differed between the three habitats and between vereda locations. Eucalyptus plantations had an ant species composition defined by high dominance of Pheidole sp. and Solenopsis invicta, while natural habitats were defined by Camponotus and Crematogaster species. Atta sexdens was strictly confined to native habitats of non-impacted “veredas”. Eucalyptus monocultures require high quantities of water in the early stages, which may have caused a decrease in groundwater level in the wetland, allowing hypogeic ants such as Labidus praedator to colonise this habitat.

  10. Population responses to environmental change in a tropical ant: the interaction of spatial and temporal dynamics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jackson, Doug; Vandermeer, John; Perfecto, Ivette; Philpott, Stacy M

    2014-01-01

    Spatial structure can have a profound, but often underappreciated, effect on the temporal dynamics of ecosystems. Here we report on a counterintuitive increase in the population of a tree-nesting ant, Azteca sericeasur, in response to a drastic reduction in the number of potential nesting sites. This surprising result is comprehensible when viewed in the context of the self-organized spatial dynamics of the ants and their effect on the ants' dispersal-limited natural enemies. Approximately 30% of the trees in the study site, a coffee agroecosystem in southern Mexico, were pruned or felled over a two-year period, and yet the abundance of the ant nests more than doubled over the seven-year study. Throughout the transition, the spatial distribution of the ants maintained a power-law distribution - a signal of spatial self organization - but the local clustering of the nests was reduced post-pruning. A cellular automata model incorporating the changed spatial structure of the ants and the resulting partial escape from antagonists reproduced the observed increase in abundance, highlighting how self-organized spatial dynamics can profoundly influence the responses of ecosystems to perturbations.

  11. Population responses to environmental change in a tropical ant: the interaction of spatial and temporal dynamics.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Doug Jackson

    Full Text Available Spatial structure can have a profound, but often underappreciated, effect on the temporal dynamics of ecosystems. Here we report on a counterintuitive increase in the population of a tree-nesting ant, Azteca sericeasur, in response to a drastic reduction in the number of potential nesting sites. This surprising result is comprehensible when viewed in the context of the self-organized spatial dynamics of the ants and their effect on the ants' dispersal-limited natural enemies. Approximately 30% of the trees in the study site, a coffee agroecosystem in southern Mexico, were pruned or felled over a two-year period, and yet the abundance of the ant nests more than doubled over the seven-year study. Throughout the transition, the spatial distribution of the ants maintained a power-law distribution - a signal of spatial self organization - but the local clustering of the nests was reduced post-pruning. A cellular automata model incorporating the changed spatial structure of the ants and the resulting partial escape from antagonists reproduced the observed increase in abundance, highlighting how self-organized spatial dynamics can profoundly influence the responses of ecosystems to perturbations.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greenfield, Gary; Machado, Penousal

    2015-01-01

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

  13. An overlooked mandibular-rubbing behavior used during recruitment by the African weaver ant, Oecophylla longinoda.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Olivier Roux

    2010-02-01

    Full Text Available In Oecophylla, an ant genus comprising two territorially dominant arboreal species, workers are known to (1 use anal spots to mark their territories, (2 drag their gaster along the substrate to deposit short-range recruitment trails, and (3 drag the extruded rectal gland along the substrate to deposit the trails used in long-range recruitment. Here we study an overlooked but important marking behavior in which O. longinoda workers first rub the underside of their mandibles onto the substrate, and then--in a surprising posture--tilt their head and also rub the upper side of their mandibles. We demonstrate that this behavior is used to recruit nestmates. Its frequency varies with the rate at which a new territory, a sugary food source, a prey item, or an alien ant are discovered. Microscopy analyses showed that both the upper side and the underside of the mandibles possess pores linked to secretory glands. So, by rubbing their mandibles onto the substrate, the workers probably spread a secretion from these glands that is involved in nestmate recruitment.

  14. Leaf anatomical traits of non-arboreal savanna species along a gradient of tree encroachment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luiz Felipe Souza Pinheiro

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT In the Brazilian savanna (Cerrado of Brazil, fire suppression has transformed typical savanna formations (TS into forested savanna (FS due to the phenomenon of encroachment. Under encroachment, non-arboreal plants begin to receive less light due to greater tree density and canopy closure. Here we aim to evaluate if leaf anatomical traits of non-arboreal species differ according to the degree of tree encroachment at the Assis Ecological Station - São Paulo, Brazil. To this end, we evaluated leaf tissue thickness and specific leaf area (SLA in representative non-arboreal species occurring along a gradient of tree encroachment. Leaves of TS species showed a trend towards xeromorphism, with traits reported to facilitate survival under high luminosity, such as thick leaves, thick epidermis and mesophyll, and low SLA. In contrast, FS species exhibited mesomorphic leaves, with thin mesophyll and high SLA, which are able to capture diffuse light in denser environments. Thus, non-arboreal understory species with mesomorphic leaf traits should be favored in environments with denser vegetation in contrast to typical savanna species. The results suggest that typical non-arboreal savanna species would not survive under tree encroachment due to the low competitiveness of their leaf anatomical strategies in shady environments.

  15. 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....

  16. Disease dynamics in a specialized parasite of ant societies.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sandra B Andersen

    Full Text Available 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 and that hyperparasites often castrate Ophiocordyceps. However, once fruiting bodies become sexually mature they appear robust. Such parasite life-history traits are consistent with iteroparity--a reproductive strategy rarely considered in fungi. We discuss how tropical habitats with high biodiversity of hyperparasites and high spore mortality has likely been crucial for the evolution and maintenance of iteroparity in parasites with low dispersal potential.

  17. Associations of Two Ecologically Significant Social Insect Taxa in the Litter of an Amazonian Rainforest: Is There a Relationship between Ant and Termite Species Richness?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amy L. Mertl

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available In spite of the ecological dominance of Neotropical ants and termites, little is understood about how their interactions influence their species richness and distribution. We surveyed ground-dwelling termite and ant species in a primary rainforest in Ecuador and analyzed ecological correlates of diversity. Termite richness was positively correlated with ant richness and abundance of twig-nesting ants. We found no evidence of competition for twigs between termites and ants. No ecological factors were correlated with termite diversity although elevation and twig and log abundance influenced ant diversity. When ant richness was compared to the richness of termites employing different predator defenses, a positive correlation was found with soldierless termites, but not genera employing chemical or mechanical defense. Our results suggest that multiple ecological factors influence ant and termite diversity, and that ant predation on termites may have a greater effect than competition between ant and termites for nest sites and food sources.

  18. Complex foraging ecology of the red harvester ant and its effect on the soil seed bank

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luna, Pedro; García-Chávez, Juan Héctor; Dáttilo, Wesley

    2018-01-01

    Granivory is an important interaction in the arid and semi-arid zones of the world, since seeds form an abundant and nutritious resource in these areas. While species of the genus Pogonomyrmex have been studied in detail as seed predators, their impact on seed abundance in the soil has not yet been explored in sufficient depth. We studied the impact of the harvesting activities of the ant Pogonomyrmex barbatus on seed abundance in the soil of the Zapotitlán valley, Mexico. We found that P. barbatus activity significantly impacts the abundance of seeds in the soil, which is lower in the sites where P. barbatus forages than it is in sites with no recorded foraging. We also found that P. barbatus distributes intact seeds of three tree species, two of which are nurse plants, and could consequently be promoting the establishment of these species. Using tools derived from graph theory, we observed that the ant-seed interactions exhibit a nested pattern; where more depredated seed species seem to be the more spatially abundant in the environment. This study illustrates the complex foraging ecology of the harvester ant P. barbatus and elucidates its effect on the soil seed bank in a semi-arid environment.

  19. Habitat diversity of the Multicolored Asian ladybeetle Harmonia axyridis Pallas (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae in agricultural and arboreal ecosystems: a review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vandereycken, A.

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available The Multicolored Asian ladybeetle, Harmonia axyridis (Pallas, native to Asia, is an invasive species in many European and American countries. Initially introduced as a biological control agent against aphids and coccids in greenhouses, this alien species rapidly invaded many habitats such as forests, meadows, wetlands, and agricultural crops. This paper reviews the habitats (forests, crops, herbs, gardens and orchards where H. axyridis has been observed, either during insect samplings or as part of Integrated Pest Management (IPM programs. Studies have referenced H. axyridis on 106 plant taxa (35 arboreal species, 21 crop species, 27 herbaceous species, 11 ornamental species, and 12 orchard species and have identified 89 plant-prey relationships (34 arboreal species, 16 crop species, 13 herbaceous species, 10 ornamental species, and 16 orchard species in different countries. Harmonia axyridis is more abundant in forest areas, principally on Acer, Salix, Tilia and Quercus, than in agroecosystems. Some plant species, such as Urtica dioica L., which surround crops, contain large numbers of H. axyridis and could constitute important reserves of this alien species in advance of aphid invasions into crops. This review highlights the polyphagy and eurytopic aspect of H. axyridis.

  20. Evidences that human disturbance simplify the ant fauna associated a Stachytarpheta glabra Cham. (Verbenaceae compromising the benefits of ant-plant mutualism

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    BC. Barbosa

    Full Text Available Interaction among species, like ants and plants through extrafloral nectaries (EFNs, are important components of ecological communities’ evolution. However, the effect of human disturbance on such specific interactions and its ecological consequences is poorly understood. This study evaluated the outcomes of mutualism between ants and the EFN-bearing plant Stachytarpheta glabra under anthropogenic disturbance. We compared the arthropod fauna composition between two groups of twenty plant individuals, one in an area disturbed by human activities and one in a preserved area. We also check the plant investment in herbivory defense and the consequential leaf damage by herbivore. Our results indicate that such disturbances cause simplification of the associated fauna and lack of proper ant mutualist. This led to four times more herbivory on plants of disturbed areas, despite the equal amount of EFN and ant visitors and low abundance of herbivores. The high pressure of herbivory may difficult the re-establishment of S. glabra, an important pioneer species in ferruginous fields, therefore it may affect resilience of this fragile ecological community.

  1. Tree-hugging koalas demonstrate a novel thermoregulatory mechanism for arboreal mammals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Briscoe, Natalie J.; Handasyde, Kathrine A.; Griffiths, Stephen R.; Porter, Warren P.; Krockenberger, Andrew; Kearney, Michael R.

    2014-01-01

    How climate impacts organisms depends not only on their physiology, but also whether they can buffer themselves against climate variability via their behaviour. One of the way species can withstand hot temperatures is by seeking out cool microclimates, but only if their habitat provides such refugia. Here, we describe a novel thermoregulatory strategy in an arboreal mammal, the koala Phascolarctos cinereus. During hot weather, koalas enhanced conductive heat loss by seeking out and resting against tree trunks that were substantially cooler than ambient air temperature. Using a biophysical model of heat exchange, we show that this behaviour greatly reduces the amount of heat that must be lost via evaporative cooling, potentially increasing koala survival during extreme heat events. While it has long been known that internal temperatures of trees differ from ambient air temperatures, the relevance of this for arboreal and semi-arboreal mammals has not previously been explored. Our results highlight the important role of tree trunks as aboveground ‘heat sinks’, providing cool local microenvironments not only for koalas, but also for all tree-dwelling species. PMID:24899683

  2. Patterns of diversity and abundance of fungus-growing ants (Formicidae: Attini in areas of the Brazilian Cerrado Padrões de diversidade e abundância de formigas cultivadoras de fungo (Formicidade: Attini em áreas do Cerrado Brasileiro

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Heraldo L. Vasconcelos

    2008-09-01

    Full Text Available Fungus-growing ants (tribe Attini are characteristic elements of the New World fauna. However, there is little information on the patterns of diversity, abundance, and distribution of attine species in their native ecosystems, especially for the so-called "lower" genera of the tribe. A survey of attine ant nests (excluding Atta Fabricus, 1804 and Acromyrmex Mayr, 1865 was conducted in a variety of savanna and forest habitats of the Cerrado biome near Uberlândia, Brazil. In total, 314 nests from 21 species of nine genera were found. Trachymyrmex Forel, 1893 was the most diverse genus with 10 species. Eighteen species were found in the savannas, including Mycetagroicus cerradensis Brandão & Mayhé-Nunes, 2001, a species from a recently-described genus of Attini, whereas in the forests only 12 species were found. Forest and savannas support relatively distinct faunas, each with a number of unique species; the species present in the forest habitats did not represent a nested subset of the species found in the savannas. Furthermore, although many species were common to both types of vegetation, their abundances were quite different. The density of attine nests is relatively high at some sites, exceeding an estimated 4,000 nests per hectare. In this sense, attine ants can be regarded as prevalent invertebrate taxa in the Brazilian Cerrado.As formigas cultivadoras de fungos (tribo Attini são exclusivas da fauna do Novo Mundo. Entretanto, existem poucas informações sobre os padrões de diversidade, abundância e distribuição das espécies de Attini em seus ecossistemas nativos, em especial para os gêneros menos derivados desta tribo. Um levantamento de ninhos de Attini (excluindo Atta Fabricius, 1804 e Acromyrmex Mayr, 1865 foi realizado em diversos ambientes savânicos e de floresta do bioma Cerrado próximos à Uberlândia, Brasil. Encontramos 314 ninhos de 21 espécies pertencentes a nove gêneros da tribo. Trachymyrmex Forel, 1893 foi o g

  3. Dynamic Wolbachia prevalence in Acromyrmex leaf-cutting ants: potential for a nutritional symbiosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andersen, S B; Boye, M; Nash, D R; Boomsma, J J

    2012-07-01

    Wolbachia are renowned as reproductive parasites, but their phenotypic effects in eusocial insects are not well understood. We used a combination of qrt-PCR, fluorescence in situ hybridization and laser scanning confocal microscopy to evaluate the dynamics of Wolbachia infections in the leaf-cutting ant Acromyrmex octospinosus across developmental stages of sterile workers. We confirm that workers are infected with one or two widespread wsp genotypes of Wolbachia, show that colony prevalence is always 100% and characterize two rare recombinant genotypes. One dominant genotype is always present and most abundant, whereas another only proliferates in adult workers of some colonies and is barely detectable in larvae and pupae. An explanation may be that Wolbachia genotypes compete for host resources in immature stages while adult tissues provide substantially more niche space. Tissue-specific prevalence of the two genotypes differs, with the rarer genotype being over-represented in the adult foregut and thorax muscles. Both genotypes occur extracellularly in the foregut, suggesting an unknown mutualistic function in worker ant nutrition. Both genotypes are also abundant in the faecal fluid of the ants, suggesting that they may have extended functional phenotypes in the fungus garden that the ants manure with their own faeces. © 2012 The Authors. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2012 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  4. Los Servicios de Inteligencia ante los retos de la Comunidad Internacional

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Torres Muro, Federico

    2005-01-01

    Full Text Available El título de mi contribución a este número de la revista Arbor, «Los Servicios de inteligencia ante los retos de la comunidad internacional", posiblemente debería completarse con la frase, para las que aquéllos deben tener respuesta. Me explico. Es obvio que la comunidad internacional tiene que afrontar retos como el hambre, la pobreza, el cambio climático, que no menciono en mi artículo ya que no entran dentro del ámbito de actuación de los servicios de inteligencia, aunque ningún analista cualificado los ignoraría. No obstante, he creído conveniente centrar mi descripción, necesariamente sucinta, del panorama actual de las relaciones internacionales en aquellos factores que entiendo afectan directamente a la seguridad internacional y, por tanto, a la tarea de los servicios de inteligencia.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Valerie S. Banschbach

    2012-01-01

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

  6. Effects of temporally persistent ant nests of soil protozoan communities and the abundance of morphological types of amoeba

    Science.gov (United States)

    We compared soil protozoan communities near ant nests with soil protozoans in reference soils 5m from the edge of any mounds. We sampled three species of Chihuahuan Desert ants that construct nests that persist for more than a decade: a seed harvester, Pogonomymex rugosus, a liquid feeding honey-po...

  7. Morphometric evaluation of Arbor Acre parent stock broilers reared ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Morphometric evaluation of Arbor Acre parent stock broilers reared in ... Economic importance of morphometric parameters such as live weight and body ... (R2) value of 60.30 included forecast indices such as BL, WS, WL, TL, BG and SL.

  8. Snail arboreality: the microdistribution of Sitala jenynsi (Gastropoda ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The habitats and patterns of vertical migration of the shell banding morphs of the snail Sitala jenynsi (Pfeiffer) were studied in Dar es Salaam and Wazo regions of central coastal Tanzania Both dimorphic and trimorphic populations were arboreal throughout the year. The snails occurred randomly within mid-heights 180 to ...

  9. Tree-hugging koalas demonstrate a novel thermoregulatory mechanism for arboreal mammals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Briscoe, Natalie J; Handasyde, Kathrine A; Griffiths, Stephen R; Porter, Warren P; Krockenberger, Andrew; Kearney, Michael R

    2014-06-01

    How climate impacts organisms depends not only on their physiology, but also whether they can buffer themselves against climate variability via their behaviour. One of the way species can withstand hot temperatures is by seeking out cool microclimates, but only if their habitat provides such refugia. Here, we describe a novel thermoregulatory strategy in an arboreal mammal, the koala Phascolarctos cinereus. During hot weather, koalas enhanced conductive heat loss by seeking out and resting against tree trunks that were substantially cooler than ambient air temperature. Using a biophysical model of heat exchange, we show that this behaviour greatly reduces the amount of heat that must be lost via evaporative cooling, potentially increasing koala survival during extreme heat events. While it has long been known that internal temperatures of trees differ from ambient air temperatures, the relevance of this for arboreal and semi-arboreal mammals has not previously been explored. Our results highlight the important role of tree trunks as aboveground 'heat sinks', providing cool local microenvironments not only for koalas, but also for all tree-dwelling species. © 2014 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  10. Neuropeptides in the desert ant Cataglyphis fortis: Mass spectrometric analysis, localization, and age-related changes.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-03-01

    Cataglyphis desert ants exhibit an age-related polyethism, with ants performing tasks in the dark nest for the first ∼4 weeks of their adult life before they switch to visually based long-distance navigation to forage. Although behavioral and sensory aspects of this transition have been studied, the internal factors triggering the behavioral changes are largely unknown. We suggest the neuropeptide families allatostatin A (AstA), allatotropin (AT), short neuropeptide F (sNPF), and tachykinin (TK) as potential candidates. Based on a neuropeptidomic analysis in Camponotus floridanus, nano-LC-ESI MS/MS was used to identify these neuropeptides biochemically in Cataglyphis fortis. Furthermore, we show that all identified peptide families are present in the central brain and ventral ganglia of C. fortis whereas in the retrocerebral complex only sNPF could be detected. Immunofluorescence staining against AstA, AT, and TK in the brain revealed arborizations of AstA- and TK-positive neurons in primary sensory processing centers and higher order integration centers, whereas AT immunoreactivity was restricted to the central complex, the antennal mechanosensory and motor center, and the protocerebrum. For artificially dark-kept ants, we found that TK distribution changed markedly in the central complex from days 1 and 7 to day 14 after eclosion. Based on functional studies in Drosophila, this age-related variation of TK is suggestive of a modulatory role in locomotion behavior in C. fortis. We conclude that the general distribution and age-related changes in neuropeptides indicate a modulatory role in sensory input regions and higher order processing centers in the desert ant brain. J. Comp. Neurol. 525:901-918, 2017. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  11. Investigation of Photovoltaic Assisted Misting System Application for Arbor Refreshment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hikmet Esen

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available In this study, for the first time in the literature, solar assisted cooler with misting system established on an arbor with an area of 24 m2 and georeferenced in Elazig (38.6775° N, 39.1707° E, Turkey, is presented. Here, we present a system that reduces interior temperature of the arbor while increasing humidity. Also, the system generates required electricity with a solar photovoltaic module to power pressurized water pump through an inverter and stores it in a battery for use when there is no sunlight. The model of the photovoltaic module was implemented using a Matlab program. As a result of being an uncomplicated system, return on investment for the system is 3.7 years.

  12. Carbohydrate supply limits invasion of natural communities by Argentine ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rowles, Alexei D; Silverman, Jules

    2009-08-01

    The ability of species to invade new habitats is often limited by various biotic and physical factors or interactions between the two. Invasive ants, frequently associated with human activities, flourish in disturbed urban and agricultural environments. However, their ability to invade and establish in natural habitats is more variable. This is particularly so for the invasive Argentine ant (Linepithema humile). While biotic resistance and low soil moisture limits their invasion of natural habitats in some instances, the effect of food availability has been poorly explored. We conducted field experiments to determine if resource availability limits the spread and persistence of Argentine ants in remnant natural forest in North Carolina. Replicated transects paired with and without sucrose solution feeding stations were run from invaded urban edges into forest remnants and compared over time using baits and direct counts at feeding stations. Repeated under different timing regimes in 2006 and 2007, access to sucrose increased local Argentine ant abundances (1.6-2.5 fold) and facilitated their progression into the forest up to 73 +/- 21% of 50-m transects. Resource removal caused an expected decrease in Argentine ant densities in 2006, in conjunction with their retreat to the urban/forest boundary. However, in 2007, Argentine ant numbers unexpectedly continued to increase in the absence of sugar stations, possibly through access to alternative resources or conditions not available the previous year such as honeydew-excreting Hemiptera. Our results showed that supplementing carbohydrate supply facilitates invasion of natural habitat by Argentine ants. This is particularly evident where Argentine ants continued to thrive following sugar station removal.

  13. Population Development of Several Species of Ants on the Cocoa Trees in South Sulawesi

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fatahuddin Fatahuddin

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available Several species of ants with different behavior have been found in cocoa plantations and their behavior is important to be considered because it might be correlated with the degree of protection of cocoa plant from cocoa pests. The aim of this research is to manipulate and to develop ants population in environment, so they are able to establish permanently in cocoa trees. This research was conducted in Papakaju Regions Luwu Regency in Juli to November 2009. In this study, 10 cocoa trees with ants were sampled (each species of ant in 10 cocoa trees. A control of 10 tree samples without ant was also taken. In order to assess the abundance of ant population, it was grouped based on scoring, which score 1 for less than 20 ants, score 2 for 21–50 ants, score 3 for 51–200 ants, score 4 for 201–1000 ants, and score 5 for more than 1000 per tree. The results indicated that average of population score of the three ants species reached the highest population for the Oecophylla. smaragdina with average score 4.85 (>1000 ants, Dolichoderus thoracicus, with average score 3.90 (> 200 ants and Crematogaster. difformis with average score 3.10 (>200 ants. This research indicated that three species of ants, Oecophylla smaragdina (weaver ant, Dolichoderus thoracicus (cocoa black ant and Crematogaster difformis (cracking ant. in farmer cocoa plantations in South Sulawesi giving better performance against major pests of cocoa in particular cocoa pod borer (CPB. Key words: Ant Population, Oecophylla smaragdina, Dolichoderus thoracicus, Crematogaster difformis, artificial nest, cocoa.

  14. Reduced entomopathogen abundance in Myrmica ant nests-testing a possible immunological benefit of myrmecophily using Galleria mellonella as a model

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schär, Sämi; Larsen, Louise L.M.; Meyling, Nicolai Vitt

    2015-01-01

    Social insects such as ants have evolved collective rather than individual immune defence strategies against diseases and parasites at the level of their societies (colonies), known as social immunity. Ants frequently host other arthropods, so-called myrmecophiles, in their nests. Here, we tested...... that immunological benefits of entering ant nests may provide us a new explanation of why natural selection acts in favour of such a life-history strategy....

  15. The ARBOR irradiation project

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Petersen, C.; Shamardin, V.; Fedoseev, A.; Shimansky, G.; Efimov, V.; Rensman, J.

    2002-01-01

    The irradiation project 'ARBOR', for 'Associated Reactor Irradiation in BOR 60', includes 150 mini-tensile/low cycle fatigue specimens and 150 mini-Charpy (KLST) specimens of nine different RAFM steels. Specimens began irradiation on 22 November 2000 in an specially designed irradiation rig in BOR 60, in a fast neutron flux (>0.1 MeV) of 1.8x10 15 n/cm 2 s and with direct sodium cooling at a temperature less than 340 deg. C. Tensile, low cycle fatigue and Charpy specimens of the following materials are included: EUROFER 97, F82H mod., OPTIFER IVc, EUROFER 97 with different boron contents, ODS-EUROFER 97, as well as EUROFER 97 electron-beam welded and reference bulk material, from NRG, Petten

  16. Imported fire ants near the edge of their range: disturbance and moisture determine prevalence and impact of an invasive social insect.

    Science.gov (United States)

    LeBrun, Edward G; Plowes, Robert M; Gilbert, Lawrence E

    2012-07-01

    1. Habitat disturbance and species invasions interact in natural systems, making it difficult to isolate the primary cause of ecosystem degradation. A general understanding requires case studies of how disturbance and invasion interact across a variety of ecosystem - invasive species combinations. 2. Dramatic losses in ant diversity followed the invasion of central Texas by red imported fire ants (Solenopsis invicta). However, recent manipulative studies in Florida revealed no effect on ant diversity following the removal of S. invicta from a disturbed pasture habitat, but moderate loss of diversity associated with their introduction into undisturbed habitat and no invasion occurred without disturbance. Thus, the importance of S. invicta in driving diversity loss and its ability to invade undisturbed systems is unresolved. 3. We examine the distribution and abundance of a large monogyne S. invicta population and its association with the co-occurring ant assemblage at a site in south Texas close to the aridity tolerance limit of S. invicta. 4. We document that moisture modulates S. invicta densities. Further, soil disturbing habitat manipulations greatly increase S. invicta population densities. However, S. invicta penetrates all habitats regardless of soil disturbance history. In contrast, controlled burns depress S. invicta densities. 5. In habitats where S. invicta is prevalent, it completely replaces native fire ants. However, S. invicta impacts native ants as a whole less strongly. Intriguingly, native ants responded distinctly to S. invicta in different environments. In wet, undisturbed environments, high S. invicta abundance disrupts the spatial structure of the ant assemblage by increasing clumping and is associated with reduced species density, while in dry-disturbed habitats, sites with high S. invicta abundance possess high numbers of native species. Analyses of co-occurrence indicate that reduced species density in wet

  17. Urban habitat complexity affects species richness but not environmental filtering of morphologically-diverse ants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alessandro Ossola

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Habitat complexity is a major determinant of structure and diversity of ant assemblages. Following the size-grain hypothesis, smaller ant species are likely to be advantaged in more complex habitats compared to larger species. Habitat complexity can act as an environmental filter based on species size and morphological traits, therefore affecting the overall structure and diversity of ant assemblages. In natural and semi-natural ecosystems, habitat complexity is principally regulated by ecological successions or disturbance such as fire and grazing. Urban ecosystems provide an opportunity to test relationships between habitat, ant assemblage structure and ant traits using novel combinations of habitat complexity generated and sustained by human management. We sampled ant assemblages in low-complexity and high-complexity parks, and high-complexity woodland remnants, hypothesizing that (i ant abundance and species richness would be higher in high-complexity urban habitats, (ii ant assemblages would differ between low- and high-complexity habitats and (iii ants living in high-complexity habitats would be smaller than those living in low-complexity habitats. Contrary to our hypothesis, ant species richness was higher in low-complexity habitats compared to high-complexity habitats. Overall, ant assemblages were significantly different among the habitat complexity types investigated, although ant size and morphology remained the same. Habitat complexity appears to affect the structure of ant assemblages in urban ecosystems as previously observed in natural and semi-natural ecosystems. However, the habitat complexity filter does not seem to be linked to ant morphological traits related to body size.

  18. Urban habitat complexity affects species richness but not environmental filtering of morphologically-diverse ants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nash, Michael A.; Christie, Fiona J.; Hahs, Amy K.; Livesley, Stephen J.

    2015-01-01

    Habitat complexity is a major determinant of structure and diversity of ant assemblages. Following the size-grain hypothesis, smaller ant species are likely to be advantaged in more complex habitats compared to larger species. Habitat complexity can act as an environmental filter based on species size and morphological traits, therefore affecting the overall structure and diversity of ant assemblages. In natural and semi-natural ecosystems, habitat complexity is principally regulated by ecological successions or disturbance such as fire and grazing. Urban ecosystems provide an opportunity to test relationships between habitat, ant assemblage structure and ant traits using novel combinations of habitat complexity generated and sustained by human management. We sampled ant assemblages in low-complexity and high-complexity parks, and high-complexity woodland remnants, hypothesizing that (i) ant abundance and species richness would be higher in high-complexity urban habitats, (ii) ant assemblages would differ between low- and high-complexity habitats and (iii) ants living in high-complexity habitats would be smaller than those living in low-complexity habitats. Contrary to our hypothesis, ant species richness was higher in low-complexity habitats compared to high-complexity habitats. Overall, ant assemblages were significantly different among the habitat complexity types investigated, although ant size and morphology remained the same. Habitat complexity appears to affect the structure of ant assemblages in urban ecosystems as previously observed in natural and semi-natural ecosystems. However, the habitat complexity filter does not seem to be linked to ant morphological traits related to body size. PMID:26528416

  19. The role of ant-tended extrafloral nectaries in the protection and benefit of a Neotropical rainforest tree.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de la Fuente, Marie Ann S; Marquis, Robert J

    1999-02-01

    One possible function of extrafloral nectaries is to attract insects, particularly ants, which defend plants from herbivores. We determined whether ants visiting saplings of the tree Stryphnodendronmicrostachyum (Leguminosae) provide protection (decreased plant damage due to ant molestation or killing of herbivores) and benefit (increased plant growth and reproduction associated with ant presence) to the plant. We compared ant and herbivore abundance, herbivore damage and growth of ant-visited plants and ant-excluded plants grown in sun and shade microhabitats of a 6-ha plantation in Costa Rica over a 7-month period. Results show that ants provided protection to plants not by reducing herbivore numbers but by molesting herbivores. Ants also reduced the incidence of pathogen attack on leaves. Protection was greater in the shade than in the sun, probably due to lower herbivore attack in the sun. Protection was also variable within sun and shade habitats, and this variability appeared to be related to variable ant visitation. Results also indicate that ant presence benefits the plant: ant-visited plants grew significantly more in height than ant-excluded plants. The cultivation of ants may serve as an important natural biological control in tropical forestry and agroforestry systems, where increased plant density can otherwise lead to increased herbivore attack.

  20. Seasonality directs contrasting food collection behavior and nutrient regulation strategies in ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cook, Steven C; Eubanks, Micky D; Gold, Roger E; Behmer, Spencer T

    2011-01-01

    Long-lived animals, including social insects, often display seasonal shifts in foraging behavior. Foraging is ultimately a nutrient consumption exercise, but the effect of seasonality per se on changes in foraging behavior, particularly as it relates to nutrient regulation, is poorly understood. Here, we show that field-collected fire ant colonies, returned to the laboratory and maintained under identical photoperiod, temperature, and humidity regimes, and presented with experimental foods that had different protein (p) to carbohydrate (c) ratios, practice summer- and fall-specific foraging behaviors with respect to protein-carbohydrate regulation. Summer colonies increased the amount of food collected as the p:c ratio of their food became increasingly imbalanced, but fall colonies collected similar amounts of food regardless of the p:c ratio of their food. Choice experiments revealed that feeding was non-random, and that both fall and summer ants preferred carbohydrate-biased food. However, ants rarely ate all the food they collected, and their cached or discarded food always contained little carbohydrate relative to protein. From a nutrient regulation strategy, ants consumed most of the carbohydrate they collected, but regulated protein consumption to a similar level, regardless of season. We suggest that varied seasonal food collection behaviors and nutrient regulation strategies may be an adaptation that allows long-lived animals to meet current and future nutrient demands when nutrient-rich foods are abundant (e.g. spring and summer), and to conserve energy and be metabolically more efficient when nutritionally balanced foods are less abundant.

  1. The ant assemblage visiting extrafloral nectaries of Hibiscus pernambucensis (Malvaceae) in a mangrove forest in Southeast Brazil (Hymenoptera : Formicidae)

    OpenAIRE

    Cogni, R; Freitas, AVL

    2002-01-01

    Ant species visiting extrafloral nectaries (EFNs) of Hibiscus pernambucensis were studied in a daily flooded mangrove forest in Picinguaba, Southeast Brazil. Nineteen ant species in five subfamilies were observed visiting the EFNs. The most common species (in order of abundance) were Camponotus sp.2, Brachymyrmex sp. and Pseudomyrmex gracilis during the warm season and Brachymyrmex sp., Camponotus crassus and Camponotus sp.2 during the cold season. A twenty-four hour census showed that ant ac...

  2. Effect of post-fire resprouting on leaf fluctuating asymmetry, extrafloral nectar quality, and ant-plant-herbivore interactions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alves-Silva, Estevão; Del-Claro, Kleber

    2013-06-01

    Fires in the Cerrado savanna are a severe form of disturbance, but some species are capable of resprouting afterwards. It is unknown, however, how and whether post-fire resprouting represents a stressful condition to plants and how their rapid re-growth influences both the production of biochemical compounds, and interactions with mutualistic ants. In this study, we examined the influence of post-fire resprouting on biotic interactions (ant-plant-herbivore relationships) and on plant stress. The study was performed on two groups of the extrafloral nectaried shrub Banisteriopsis campestris (Malpighiaceae); one group was recovering from fire while the other acted as control. With respect to biotic interactions, we examined whether resprouting influenced extrafloral nectar concentration (milligrams per microliter), the abundance of the ant Camponotus crassus and leaf herbivory rates. Plant stress was assessed via fluctuating asymmetry (FA) analysis, which refers to deviations from perfect symmetry in bilaterally symmetrical traits (e.g., leaves) and indicates whether species are under stress. Results revealed that FA, sugar concentration, and ant abundance were 51.7 %, 35.7 % and 21.7 % higher in resprouting plants. Furthermore, C. crassus was significantly associated with low herbivory rates, but only in resprouting plants. This study showed that post-fire resprouting induced high levels of plant stress and influenced extrafloral nectar quality and ant-herbivore relationships in B. campestris. Therefore, despite being a stressful condition to the plant, post-fire resprouting individuals had concentrated extrafloral nectar and sustained more ants, thus strengthening the outcomes of ant-plant mutualism.

  3. The ARBOR irradiation project

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Petersen, C. E-mail: claus.petersen@imf.fzk.de; Shamardin, V.; Fedoseev, A.; Shimansky, G.; Efimov, V.; Rensman, J

    2002-12-01

    The irradiation project 'ARBOR', for 'Associated Reactor Irradiation in BOR 60', includes 150 mini-tensile/low cycle fatigue specimens and 150 mini-Charpy (KLST) specimens of nine different RAFM steels. Specimens began irradiation on 22 November 2000 in an specially designed irradiation rig in BOR 60, in a fast neutron flux (>0.1 MeV) of 1.8x10{sup 15} n/cm{sup 2} s and with direct sodium cooling at a temperature less than 340 deg. C. Tensile, low cycle fatigue and Charpy specimens of the following materials are included: EUROFER 97, F82H mod., OPTIFER IVc, EUROFER 97 with different boron contents, ODS-EUROFER 97, as well as EUROFER 97 electron-beam welded and reference bulk material, from NRG, Petten.

  4. An arboreal spider protects its offspring by diving into the water of tank bromeliads.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hénaut, Yann; Corbara, Bruno; Azémar, Frédéric; Céréghino, Régis; Dézerald, Olivier; Dejean, Alain

    2018-03-01

    Cupiennius salei (Ctenidae) individuals frequently live in association with tank bromeliads, including Aechmea bracteata, in Quintana Roo (Mexico). Whereas C. salei females without egg sacs hunt over their entire host plant, females carrying egg sacs settle above the A. bracteata reservoirs they have partially sealed with silk. There they avoid predators that use sight to detect their prey, as is known for many bird species. Furthermore, if a danger is more acute, these females dive with their egg sacs into the bromeliad reservoir. An experiment showed that this is not the case for males or females without egg sacs. In addition to the likely abundance of prey found therein, the potential of diving into the tank to protect offspring may explain the close association of this spider with bromeliads. These results show that, although arboreal, C. salei evolved a protective behavior using the water of tank bromeliads to protect offspring. Copyright © 2018 Académie des sciences. Published by Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  5. Ants in Tropical Urban Habitats: The Myrmecofauna in a Densely Populated Area of Bogor, West Java, Indonesia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    AKHMAD RIZALI

    2008-06-01

    Full Text Available Ants are the most abundant animals in tropical habitats and have been widely studied in natural and semi-natural tropical systems. However, species in urban tropical habitats remain poorly studied, despite their abundance and potentially important roles in urban ecosystems and pest dynamics. We investigated the ant fauna of Bogor and its surroundings to contribute to the characterization of the myrmecofauna of one of Southeast Asia’s most densely populated regions. Ants were collected both by hand collection and from honey baits in the most common habitats: garbage dumps, households, and home gardens. In total, 94 species were recorded, over two thirds of which occurred in home gardens, which underlines the importance of vegetated habitats for urban planning to support complex ant assemblages. Twelve sampled species are well-known as tramp species that occur primarily in human-dominated landscapes. The two tramp species Anoplolepis gracilipes and Paratrechina longicornis dominated ant assemblages in all locations and most habitat types. The assemblages of tramp species were affected by habitat type, whereas that of non tramp species were not. Forty-five species were also recorded in the Bogor Botanical Garden and five species are also known to be common in cacao agroforests. Hence, research in urban tropical habitats can increase our knowledge of the occurrence of ant species, allowing us to better assess the biodiversity and conservation potential of semi-natural habitats.

  6. Spider-Ant Associations: An Updated Review of Myrmecomorphy, Myrmecophily, and Myrmecophagy in Spiders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paula E. Cushing

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper provides a summary of the extensive theoretical and empirical work that has been carried out in recent years testing the adaptational significance of various spider-ant associations. Hundreds of species of spiders have evolved close relationships with ants and can be classified as myrmecomorphs, myrmecophiles, or myrmecophages. Myrmecomorphs are Batesian mimics. Their close morphological and behavioral resemblance to ants confers strong survival advantages against visually hunting predators. Some species of spiders have become integrated into the ant society as myrmecophiles or symbionts. These spider myrmecophiles gain protection against their own predators, live in an environment with a stable climate, and are typically surrounded by abundant food resources. The adaptations by which this integration is made possible are poorly known, although it is hypothesized that most spider myrmecophiles are chemical mimics and some are even phoretic on their hosts. The third type of spider-ant association discussed is myrmecophagy—or predatory specialization on ants. A table of known spider myrmecophages is provided as is information on their biology and hunting strategies. Myrmecophagy provides these predators with an essentially unlimited food supply and may even confer other protections to the spiders.

  7. Ecology: 'Devil's gardens' bedevilled by ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frederickson, Megan E; Greene, Michael J; Gordon, Deborah M

    2005-09-22

    'Devil's gardens' are large stands of trees in the Amazonian rainforest that consist almost entirely of a single species, Duroia hirsuta, and, according to local legend, are cultivated by an evil forest spirit. Here we show that the ant Myrmelachista schumanni, which nests in D. hirsuta stems, creates devil's gardens by poisoning all plants except its host plants with formic acid. By killing these other plants, M. schumanni provides its colonies with abundant nest sites--a long-lasting benefit as colonies can live for 800 years.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-10-01

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

  9. Effects of an African weaver ant, Oecophylla longinoda, in controlling mango fruit flies (Diptera: Tephritidae) in Benin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Mele, Paul; Vayssières, Jean-François; Van Tellingen, Esther; Vrolijks, Jan

    2007-06-01

    Six mango, Mangifera indica L., plantations around Parakou, northern Benin, were sampled at 2-wk intervals for fruit fly damage from early April to late May in 2005. Mean damage ranged from 1 to 24% with a weaver ant, Oecophylla longinoda (Latreille), being either abundant or absent. The fruit fly complex is made up of Ceratitis spp. and Bactrocera invadens Drew et al., a new invasive species in West Africa. In 2006, Ceratitis spp. peaked twice in the late dry season in early April and early May, whereas B. invadens populations quickly increased at the onset of the rains, from mid-May onward. Exclusion experiments conducted in 2006 with 'Eldon', 'Kent', and 'Gouverneur' confirmed that at high ant abundance levels, Oecophylla significantly reduced fruit fly infestation. Although fruit fly control methods are still at an experimental stage in this part of the world, farmers who tolerated weaver ants in their orchard were rewarded by significantly better fruit quality. Conservation biological control with predatory ants such as Oecophylla in high-value tree crops has great potential for African and Asian farmers. Implications for international research for development at the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research level are discussed.

  10. Nyctanthes arbor-tristis L. of Oleaceae (Sanskrit: Parijatham, Hindi ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Nyctanthes arbor-tristis L. of Oleaceae (Sanskrit: Parijatham, Hindi: Harsinghar or Parja) is a small ornamental tree which is often grown in temples for its fragrant Dowers. Flowers are small, white with a bright orange corolla tube. Fruit is bilaterally compressed. The yellowish dye extracted from the flowers is used to colour ...

  11. Movement patterns of three arboreal primates in a Neotropical moist forest explained by LiDAR-estimated canopy structure

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    McLean, Kevin A.; Trainor, Anne M.; Asner, Gregory P.; Crofoot, Margaret C.; Hopkins, Mariah E.; Campbell, Christina J.; Martin, Roberta E.; Knapp, David E.; Jansen, Patrick A.

    2016-01-01

    Context: Many arboreal mammals in Neotropical forests are important seed dispersers that influence the spatial patterns of tree regeneration via their movement patterns, which in turn are determined by the canopy structure of the forest itself. However, the relationship between arboreal mammal

  12. Habitat Modification by the Leaf-Cutter Ant, Atta cephalotes, and Patterns of Leaf-Litter Arthropod Communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wells, Rachel L; Murphy, Serena K; Moran, Matthew D

    2017-12-08

    Ecosystem engineers are profoundly important in many biological communities. A Neotropical taxonomic group considered to have engineering effects is the Formicidae (ants). Leaf-cutter ants (LCAs), in particular, which form extensive colonies of millions of individuals, can be important ecosystem engineers in these environments. While the effects of LCAs on plant community structure and soil chemistry are well-studied, their effects on consumers are poorly understood. Therefore, we examined the indirect effects of the LCA Atta cephalotes L. on the leaf-litter arthropod community. We compared abundance and diversity patterns at ant nests to areas distant from nests, utilizing both a factorial design and gradient analysis for both nocturnal and diurnal arthropods. We found that arthropod abundance and diversity was significantly lower for multiple taxonomic groups and trophic levels near leaf-cutter nests, and this pattern was strongest at night. Exceptions to this pattern included two morphospecies of Collembola that were more abundant on nests, suggesting some specialization for these species. For the gradient analysis, abundance increased exponentially for most groups of arthropods. However, for the dominant arthropod species, the amphipod Cerrorchestia hyloraina Lindeman, a quadratic function was the best fit curvilinear model for abundance. It appeared that C. hyloraina had maximal abundance at the transition between nest site and less disturbed forest. These results indicate that LCA activity has a strong effect on the leaf-litter arthropod community, adding to spatial heterogeneity within neotropical forests. These effects may translate into changes in important ecological processes such as nutrient cycling and food web function. © The Authors 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  13. Art and Reality in The Arbor (2010

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mello Cecília

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available This article offers an in-depth analysis of 2010 British film The Arbor by Clio Barnard. The director’s debut feature is a groundbreaking work dedicated to the lives of playwright Andrea Dunbar and her eldest daughter Lorraine. Dunbar grew up in the Buttershaw Estate in Bradford and drew on her own experiences to write her first play The Arbor at the age of 15, followed by Rita, Sue and Bob Too!. She struggled with alcoholism and died of a brain haemorrhage in 1990, at the age of 29. Lorraine’s life followed down a difficult path as she became a drug addict and was jailed for manslaughter for causing the death of her two-year old child by gross neglect. My aim is to explore how the film combines different media, namely theatre, television and radio, in a cinematic experience defined by multiple registers and multiple voices, and how this structure works towards creating as much as conserving individual and collective memories, highlighting the fictional nature of memories. This leads to a reflection on the lip-synching technique, employed as the main vehicle for memory in the film, which provokes as much empathy and compassion as it does critical thinking, thus turning Brecht’s binary equation reason-emotion in its head.1

  14. An Intermediate Value Theorem for the Arboricities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Avapa Chantasartrassmee

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Let G be a graph. The vertex (edge arboricity of G denoted by a(G (a1(G is the minimum number of subsets into which the vertex (edge set of G can be partitioned so that each subset induces an acyclic subgraph. Let d be a graphical sequence and let R(d be the class of realizations of d. We prove that if π∈{a,a1}, then there exist integers x(π and y(π such that d has a realization G with π(G=z if and only if z is an integer satisfying x(π≤z≤y(π. Thus, for an arbitrary graphical sequence d and π∈{a,a1}, the two invariants x(π=min(π,d:=min{π(G:G∈R(d} and  y(π=max(π,d:=max{π(G:G∈R(d} naturally arise and hence π(d:={π(G:G∈R(d}={z∈Z:x(π≤z≤y(π}. We write d=rn:=(r,r,…,r for the degree sequence of an r-regular graph of order n. We prove that a1(rn={⌈(r+1/2⌉}. We consider the corresponding extremal problem on vertex arboricity and obtain min(a,rn in all situations and max(a,rn for all n≥2r+2.

  15. Seasonality directs contrasting food collection behavior and nutrient regulation strategies in ants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Steven C Cook

    Full Text Available Long-lived animals, including social insects, often display seasonal shifts in foraging behavior. Foraging is ultimately a nutrient consumption exercise, but the effect of seasonality per se on changes in foraging behavior, particularly as it relates to nutrient regulation, is poorly understood. Here, we show that field-collected fire ant colonies, returned to the laboratory and maintained under identical photoperiod, temperature, and humidity regimes, and presented with experimental foods that had different protein (p to carbohydrate (c ratios, practice summer- and fall-specific foraging behaviors with respect to protein-carbohydrate regulation. Summer colonies increased the amount of food collected as the p:c ratio of their food became increasingly imbalanced, but fall colonies collected similar amounts of food regardless of the p:c ratio of their food. Choice experiments revealed that feeding was non-random, and that both fall and summer ants preferred carbohydrate-biased food. However, ants rarely ate all the food they collected, and their cached or discarded food always contained little carbohydrate relative to protein. From a nutrient regulation strategy, ants consumed most of the carbohydrate they collected, but regulated protein consumption to a similar level, regardless of season. We suggest that varied seasonal food collection behaviors and nutrient regulation strategies may be an adaptation that allows long-lived animals to meet current and future nutrient demands when nutrient-rich foods are abundant (e.g. spring and summer, and to conserve energy and be metabolically more efficient when nutritionally balanced foods are less abundant.

  16. Effect of an invasive ant and its chemical control on a threatened endemic Seychelles millipede.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lawrence, James M; Samways, Michael J; Henwood, Jock; Kelly, Janine

    2011-06-01

    The impact of invasive species on island faunas can be of major local consequence, while their control is an important part of island ecosystem restoration. Among these invasive species are ants, of which some have a disruptive impact on indigenous arthropod populations. Here, we study the impact of the invasive African big-headed ant, Pheidole megacephala, on a small Seychelles island, Cousine, and assess the impact of this ant, and its chemical control, using the commercially available hydramethylnon-based bait, Siege, on the endemic keystone Seychelles giant millipede species, Sechelleptus seychellarum. We found no significant correlations in landscape-scale spatial overlap and abundance between the ant and the millipede. Furthermore, the ant did not attack healthy millipedes, but fed only on dying and dead individuals. The chemical defences of the millipede protected it from ant predation. Ingestion of the bait at standard concentration had no obvious impact on the millipede. The most significant threat to the Seychelles giant millipede in terms of P. megacephala invasion is from possible catastrophic shifts in ecosystem function through ant hemipteran mutualisms which can lead to tree mortality, resulting in alteration of the millipede's habitat.

  17. An ant-plant by-product mutualism is robust to selective logging of rain forest and conversion to oil palm plantation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fayle, Tom M; Edwards, David P; Foster, William A; Yusah, Kalsum M; Turner, Edgar C

    2015-06-01

    Anthropogenic disturbance and the spread of non-native species disrupt natural communities, but also create novel interactions between species. By-product mutualisms, in which benefits accrue as side effects of partner behaviour or morphology, are often non-specific and hence may persist in novel ecosystems. We tested this hypothesis for a two-way by-product mutualism between epiphytic ferns and their ant inhabitants in the Bornean rain forest, in which ants gain housing in root-masses while ferns gain protection from herbivores. Specifically, we assessed how the specificity (overlap between fern and ground-dwelling ants) and the benefits of this interaction are altered by selective logging and conversion to an oil palm plantation habitat. We found that despite the high turnover of ant species, ant protection against herbivores persisted in modified habitats. However, in ferns growing in the oil palm plantation, ant occupancy, abundance and species richness declined, potentially due to the harsher microclimate. The specificity of the fern-ant interactions was also lower in the oil palm plantation habitat than in the forest habitats. We found no correlations between colony size and fern size in modified habitats, and hence no evidence for partner fidelity feedbacks, in which ants are incentivised to protect fern hosts. Per species, non-native ant species in the oil palm plantation habitat (18 % of occurrences) were as important as native ones in terms of fern protection and contributed to an increase in ant abundance and species richness with fern size. We conclude that this by-product mutualism persists in logged forest and oil palm plantation habitats, with no detectable shift in partner benefits. Such persistence of generalist interactions in novel ecosystems may be important for driving ecosystem functioning.

  18. Diet of the ant-eating chat Myrmecocichla lormicivora in relation to ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    1987-11-15

    Nov 15, 1987 ... year Hymenoptera (ants) were the most abundant arthropods in the pitfall traps wit~ Isoptera common in winter. Although a wide variety of ... occasional Acacia karroo tree. (For more detail of the physical .... Isoptera and Formicidae occurred in the diet during most months of the year, they 'rere only common ...

  19. Changes in canopy structure and ant assemblages affect soil ecosystem variables as a foundation species declines

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kendrick, Joseph A.; Ribbons, Relena Rose; Classen, Aimee Taylor

    2015-01-01

    in ant species composition would interact to alter soil ecosystem variables. In the Harvard Forest Hemlock Removal Experiment (HF-HeRE), established in 2003, T. canadensis in large plots were killed in place or logged and removed to mimic adelgid infestation or salvage harvesting, respectively. In 2006...... (richness and abundance) of ants increases rapidly as T. canadensis is lost from the stands. Because ants live and forage at the litter-soil interface, we hypothesized that environmental changes caused by hemlock loss (e.g., increased light and warmth at the forest floor, increased soil pH) and shifts......, we built ant exclosure subplots within all of the canopy manipulation plots to examine direct and interactive effects of canopy change and ant assemblage composition on soil and litter variables. Throughout HF-HeRE, T. canadensis was colonized by the adelgid in 2009, and the infested trees are now...

  20. Fire Ants (Solenopsis spp. and Their Natural Enemies in Southern South America

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juan Briano

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available We review the fire ant research conducted by the ARS-South American Biological Control Laboratory (SABCL since 1987 to find a complex of natural enemies in southern South America and evaluate their specificity and suitability for field release as self-sustaining biological control agents. We also include those studies conducted by the ARS-Center for Medical, Agriculture, and Veterinary Entomology in the United States with the SABCL collaboration. Ecological and biological information is reported on local fire ants and their microsporidia, nematodes, viruses, phorid flies, eucharitid wasps, strepsiptera, and parasitic ants. Their biology, abundance, distribution, detrimental effect, field persistence, specificity, and phenology are discussed. We conclude that the objectives of the ARS program in South America are being achieved and that the pioneering studies have served to encourage further investigations in the United States and other countries and advanced the implementation of biological control programs to decrease imported fire ant densities and damage. Still, several promising organisms should be further investigated for eventual field release in the near future.

  1. Heavy metal accumulation and ecosystem engineering by two common mine site-nesting ant species: implications for pollution-level assessment and bioremediation of coal mine soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khan, Shbbir R; Singh, Satish K; Rastogi, Neelkamal

    2017-04-01

    The present study focuses on the abundance, heavy metal content, and the impact of ecosystem engineering activities of two coal mine site-inhabiting ant species, Cataglyphis longipedem and Camponotus compressus. The abundance of Ct. longipedem increased while that of C. compressus decreased, with increasing soil pollution. Correspondence analysis reveals a close association between soil heavy metal concentrations and Ct. longipedem abundance, but this association is lacking in the case of C. compressus. Cataglyphis ants which occupy stress-characterized niches appear to be pre-adapted to tolerate heavy metal pollution. Higher concentrations of Zn and Mn in Ct. longipedem may contribute to the strengthening of the cuticular structures, necessary for nest excavation in the hard, arid soil and for single load carrying. C. compressus ants appear to be pollution sensitive. Their higher Fe content may be related to metal uptake via plant-derived liquids and species-specific regulatory mechanisms. The metal pollution index and biota-to-soil accumulation factors, calculated by using the ant body metal content of the two species, indicate an overall decrease of soil heavy metal concentrations with increase of the site age, which reflects the degree of pollution related to the mine site age. The concentrations of total and available heavy metals (Fe, Zn, Mn, Pb, and Cu) were significantly lower in the ant nest debris soil as compared to the reference soil. The results of the present study highlight the role of ants as bioindicators and in bioremediation of contaminated soil.

  2. Undecomposed Twigs in the Leaf Litter as Nest-Building Resources for Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae in Areas of the Atlantic Forest in the Southeastern Region of Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tae Tanaami Fernandes

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available In tropical forests, the leaf-litter stratum exhibits one of the greatest abundances of ant species. This diversity is associated with the variety of available locations for nest building. Ant nests can be found in various microhabitats, including tree trunks and fallen twigs in different stages of decomposition. In this study, we aimed to investigate undecomposed twigs as nest-building resources in the leaf litter of dense ombrophilous forest areas in the southeastern region of Brazil. Demographic data concerning the ant colonies, the physical characteristics of the nests, and the population and structural of the forest were observed. Collections were performed manually over four months in closed canopy locations that did not have trails or flooded areas. A total of 294 nests were collected, and 34 ant species were recorded. Pheidole, Camponotus, and Hypoponera were the richest genera observed; these genera were also among the most populous and exhibited the greatest abundance of nests. We found no association between population size and nest diameter. Only tree cover influenced the nest abundance and species richness. Our data indicate that undecomposed twigs may be part of the life cycle of many species and are important for maintaining ant diversity in the leaf litter.

  3. Tail function during arboreal quadrupedalism in squirrel monkeys (Saimiri boliviensis) and tamarins (Saguinus oedipus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, Jesse W; Russo, Gabrielle A; Fellmann, Connie D; Thatikunta, Meena A; Chadwell, Brad A

    2015-10-01

    The need to maintain stability on narrow branches is often presented as a major selective force shaping primate morphology, with adaptations to facilitate grasping receiving particular attention. The functional importance of a long and mobile tail for maintaining arboreal stability has been comparatively understudied. Tails can facilitate arboreal balance by acting as either static counterbalances or dynamic inertial appendages able to modulate whole-body angular momentum. We investigate associations between tail use and inferred grasping ability in two closely related cebid platyrrhines-cotton-top tamarins (Saguinus oedipus) and black-capped squirrel monkeys (Saimiri boliviensis). Using high-speed videography of captive monkeys moving on 3.2 cm diameter poles, we specifically test the hypothesis that squirrel monkeys (characterized by grasping extremities with long digits) will be less dependent on the tail for balance than tamarins (characterized by claw-like nails, short digits, and a reduced hallux). Tamarins have relatively longer tails than squirrel monkeys, move their tails through greater angular amplitudes, at higher angular velocities, and with greater angular accelerations, suggesting dynamic use of tail to regulate whole-body angular momentum. By contrast, squirrel monkeys generally hold their tails in a comparatively stationary posture and at more depressed angles, suggesting a static counterbalancing mechanism. This study, the first empirical test of functional tradeoffs between grasping ability and tail use in arboreal primates, suggests a critical role for the tail in maintaining stability during arboreal quadrupedalism. Our findings have the potential to inform our functional understanding of tail loss during primate evolution. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James M. Cook

    2012-02-01

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

  5. Symbiont interactions in a tripartite mutualism: exploring the presence and impact of antagonism between two fungus-growing ant mutualists.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael Poulsen

    Full Text Available Mutualistic associations are shaped by the interplay of cooperation and conflict among the partners involved, and it is becoming increasingly clear that within many mutualisms multiple partners simultaneously engage in beneficial interactions. Consequently, a more complete understanding of the dynamics within multipartite mutualism communities is essential for understanding the origin, specificity, and stability of mutualisms. Fungus-growing ants cultivate fungi for food and maintain antibiotic-producing Pseudonocardia actinobacteria on their cuticle that help defend the cultivar fungus from specialized parasites. Within both ant-fungus and ant-bacterium mutualisms, mixing of genetically distinct strains can lead to antagonistic interactions (i.e., competitive conflict, which may prevent the ants from rearing multiple strains of either of the mutualistic symbionts within individual colonies. The success of different ant-cultivar-bacterium combinations could ultimately be governed by antagonistic interactions between the two mutualists, either as inhibition of the cultivar by Pseudonocardia or vice versa. Here we explore cultivar-Pseudonocardia antagonism by evaluating in vitro interactions between strains of the two mutualists, and find frequent antagonistic interactions both from cultivars towards Pseudonocardia and vice versa. To test whether such in vitro antagonistic interactions affect ant colonies in vivo, we performed sub-colony experiments using species of Acromyrmex leaf-cutting ants. We created novel ant-fungus-bacterium pairings in which there was antagonism from one, both, or neither of the ants' microbial mutualists, and evaluated the effect of directional antagonism on cultivar biomass and Pseudonocardia abundance on the cuticle of workers within sub-colonies. Despite the presence of frequent in vitro growth suppression between cultivars and Pseudonocardia, antagonism from Pseudonocardia towards the cultivar did not reduce sub

  6. 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.

  7. Morphometric traits in arbor-acres broiler chicken ( Gallus gallus )fed ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Fifty sixth day morphometric and body weight measurements were taken on one hundred and forty eight Arbor Acres broiler chickens reared under the Deep Litter system in the guinea savana Zone of Nigeria. This study aimed to determine the effects of substituting treated and untreated Cocoa Bean Shell (CBS) at 50 and ...

  8. Microglia show altered morphology and reduced arborization in human brain during aging and Alzheimer's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davies, Danielle S; Ma, Jolande; Jegathees, Thuvarahan; Goldsbury, Claire

    2017-11-01

    Changes in microglia function are involved in Alzheimer's disease (AD) for which ageing is the major risk factor. We evaluated microglial cell process morphologies and their gray matter coverage (arborized area) during ageing and in the presence and absence of AD pathology in autopsied human neocortex. Microglial cell processes were reduced in length, showed less branching and reduced arborized area with aging (case range 52-98 years). This occurred during normal ageing and without microglia dystrophy or changes in cell density. There was a larger reduction in process length and arborized area in AD compared to aged-matched control microglia. In AD cases, on average, 49%-64% of microglia had discontinuous and/or punctate Iba1 labeled processes instead of continuous Iba1 distribution. Up to 16% of aged-matched control microglia displayed discontinuous or punctate features. There was no change in the density of microglial cell bodies in gray matter during ageing or AD. This demonstrates that human microglia show progressive cell process retraction without cell loss during ageing. Additional changes in microglia occur with AD including Iba1 protein puncta and discontinuity. We suggest that reduced microglial arborized area may be an aging-related correlate of AD in humans. These variations in microglial cells during ageing and in AD could reflect changes in neural-glial interactions which are emerging as key to mechanisms involved in ageing and neurodegenerative disease. © 2016 International Society of Neuropathology.

  9. Assessing Arboreal Adaptations of Bird Antecedents: Testing the Ecological Setting of the Origin of the Avian Flight Stroke

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dececchi, T. Alexander; Larsson, Hans C. E.

    2011-01-01

    The origin of avian flight is a classic macroevolutionary transition with research spanning over a century. Two competing models explaining this locomotory transition have been discussed for decades: ground up versus trees down. Although it is impossible to directly test either of these theories, it is possible to test one of the requirements for the trees-down model, that of an arboreal paravian. We test for arboreality in non-avian theropods and early birds with comparisons to extant avian, mammalian, and reptilian scansors and climbers using a comprehensive set of morphological characters. Non-avian theropods, including the small, feathered deinonychosaurs, and Archaeopteryx, consistently and significantly cluster with fully terrestrial extant mammals and ground-based birds, such as ratites. Basal birds, more advanced than Archaeopteryx, cluster with extant perching ground-foraging birds. Evolutionary trends immediately prior to the origin of birds indicate skeletal adaptations opposite that expected for arboreal climbers. Results reject an arboreal capacity for the avian stem lineage, thus lending no support for the trees-down model. Support for a fully terrestrial ecology and origin of the avian flight stroke has broad implications for the origin of powered flight for this clade. A terrestrial origin for the avian flight stroke challenges the need for an intermediate gliding phase, presents the best resolved series of the evolution of vertebrate powered flight, and may differ fundamentally from the origin of bat and pterosaur flight, whose antecedents have been postulated to have been arboreal and gliding. PMID:21857918

  10. Assessing arboreal adaptations of bird antecedents: testing the ecological setting of the origin of the avian flight stroke.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T Alexander Dececchi

    Full Text Available The origin of avian flight is a classic macroevolutionary transition with research spanning over a century. Two competing models explaining this locomotory transition have been discussed for decades: ground up versus trees down. Although it is impossible to directly test either of these theories, it is possible to test one of the requirements for the trees-down model, that of an arboreal paravian. We test for arboreality in non-avian theropods and early birds with comparisons to extant avian, mammalian, and reptilian scansors and climbers using a comprehensive set of morphological characters. Non-avian theropods, including the small, feathered deinonychosaurs, and Archaeopteryx, consistently and significantly cluster with fully terrestrial extant mammals and ground-based birds, such as ratites. Basal birds, more advanced than Archaeopteryx, cluster with extant perching ground-foraging birds. Evolutionary trends immediately prior to the origin of birds indicate skeletal adaptations opposite that expected for arboreal climbers. Results reject an arboreal capacity for the avian stem lineage, thus lending no support for the trees-down model. Support for a fully terrestrial ecology and origin of the avian flight stroke has broad implications for the origin of powered flight for this clade. A terrestrial origin for the avian flight stroke challenges the need for an intermediate gliding phase, presents the best resolved series of the evolution of vertebrate powered flight, and may differ fundamentally from the origin of bat and pterosaur flight, whose antecedents have been postulated to have been arboreal and gliding.

  11. 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 ...

  12. Recolonization patterns of ants in a rehabilitated lignite mine in central Italy: Potential for the use of Mediterranean ants as indicators of restoration processes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ottonetti, L.; Tucci, L.; Santini, G. [University of Florence, Florence (Italy)

    2006-03-15

    Ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) assemblages were sampled with pitfall traps in three different habitats associated with a rehabilitated mine district and in undisturbed forests in Tuscany, Italy. The four habitats were (1) open fields (3-4 years old); (2) a middle-age mixed plantation (10 years); (3) an old-age mixed plantation (20 years); and (4) an oak woodland (40 years) not directly affected by mining activities. The aim of the study was to analyze ant recolonization patterns in order to provide insights on the use of Mediterranean ant fauna as indicators of restoration processes. Species richness and diversity were not significantly different among the four habitats. However, multivariate analyses showed that the assemblages in the different habitats were clearly differentiated, with similarity relationships reflecting a successional gradient among rehabilitated sites. The observed patterns of functional group changes along the gradient broadly accord with those of previous studies in other biogeographic regions. These were (1) a decrease of dominant Dolichoderinae and opportunists; (2) an increase in the proportion of cold-climate specialists; and (3) the appearance of the Cryptic species in the oldest plantations, with a maximum of abundance in the woodland. In conclusion, the results of our study supported the use of Mediterranean ants as a suitable tool for biomonitoring of restoration processes, and in particular, the functional group approach proved a valuable framework to better interpret local trends in terms of global ecological patterns. Further research is, however, needed in order to obtain a reliable classification of Mediterranean ant functional groups.

  13. Braking system for use with an arbor of a microscope

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Norgren, D.U.

    1984-01-01

    A balanced braking system comprising a plurality of braking assemblies located about a member to be braked. Each of the braking assemblies consists of a spring biased piston of a first material fitted into a body of a different material which has a greater contraction upon cooling than the piston material. The piston is provided with a recessed head portion over which is positioned a diaphragm and forming a space therebetween to which is connected a pressurized fluid supply. The diaphragm is controlled by the fluid in the space to contact or withdraw from the member to be braked. A cooling device causes the body within which the piston is fitted to contract more than the piston, producing a tight shrink fit therebetween. The braking system is particularly applicable for selectively braking an arbor of an electron microscope which immobilizes, for example, a vertically adjustable low temperature specimen holder during observation. The system provides balanced braking forces which can be easily removed and re-established with minimal disturbance to arbor location

  14. Braking system for use with an arbor of a microscope

    Science.gov (United States)

    Norgren, Duane U.

    1984-01-01

    A balanced braking system comprising a plurality of braking assemblies located about a member to be braked. Each of the braking assemblies consists of a spring biased piston of a first material fitted into a body of a different material which has a greater contraction upon cooling than the piston material. The piston is provided with a recessed head portion over which is positioned a diaphragm and forming a space therebetween to which is connected a pressurized fluid supply. The diaphragm is controlled by the fluid in the space to contact or withdraw from the member to be braked. A cooling device causes the body within which the piston is fitted to contract more than the piston, producing a tight shrink fit therebetween. The braking system is particularly applicable for selectively braking an arbor of an electron microscope which immobilizes, for example, a vertically adjustable low temperature specimen holder during observation. The system provides balanced braking forces which can be easily removed and re-established with minimal disturbance to arbor location.

  15. Nutrient-dependent increased dendritic arborization of somatosensory neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watanabe, Kaori; Furumizo, Yuki; Usui, Tadao; Hattori, Yukako; Uemura, Tadashi

    2017-01-01

    Suboptimal nutrition imposes developmental constraints on infant animals, which marshal adaptive responses to eventually become mature adults. Such responses are mounted at multiple levels from systemic to cellular. At the cellular level, the underlying mechanisms of cell proliferation control have been intensively studied. However, less is known about how growth of postmitotic and morphologically complex cells, such as neurons, is controlled by nutritional status. We address this question using Class I and Class IV dendritic arborization neurons in Drosophila larvae. Class IV neurons have been shown to sense nociceptive thermal, mechanical and light stimuli, whereas Class I neurons are proprioceptors. We reared larvae on diets with different protein and carbohydrate content throughout larval stages and examined how morphologies of Class I or Class IV neurons were affected. Dendritic arbors of Class IV neurons became more complex when larvae were reared on a low-yeast diet, which contains lower amounts of amino acids and other ingredients, compared to a high-yeast diet. In contrast, such low-yeast-dependent hyperarborization was not seen in Class I neurons. The physiological and metabolic implications of the hyperarborization phenotype are discussed in relation to a recent hypothesis that Class IV neurons sense protein-deficient stress and to our characterization of how the dietary yeast contents impacted larval metabolism. © 2016 Molecular Biology Society of Japan and John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd.

  16. Paratrechina longicornis ants in a tropical dry forest harbor specific Actinobacteria diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reyes, Ruth D Hernández; Cafaro, Matías J

    2015-01-01

    The diversity of Actinobacteria associated with Paratrechina longicornis, an ant species that prefers a high protein diet, in a subtropical dry forest (Guánica, Puerto Rico) was determined by culture methods and by 16S rDNA clone libraries. The results of both methodologies were integrated to obtain a broader view of the diversity. Streptomyces, Actinomadura, Nocardia, Ornithinimicrobium, Tsukamurella, Brevibacterium, Saccharopolyspora, Nocardioides, Microbacterium, Leifsonia, Pseudonocardia, Corynebacterium, Geodermatophilus, Amycolatopsis, and Nonomuraea were found associated with the ants. The genera Streptomyces and Actinomadura were the most abundant. Also, the diversity of Actinobacteria associated with the soil surrounding the nest was determined using 16S rDNA clone libraries. In total, 27 genera of Actinobacteria were associated with the nest soils. A dominant genus was not observed in any of the soil samples. We compared statistically the Actinobacteria communities among P. longicornis nests and each nest with its surrounding soil using the clone libraries data. We established that the communities associated with the ants were consistent and significantly different from those found in the soil in which the ants live. © 2015 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  17. 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.

  18. An assessment of rehabilitation success in an African grassland using ants as bioindicators

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samantha-Leigh Jamison

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Many studies that evaluate rehabilitation make use of invertebrate bioindicators. Invertebrates, especially ants, make useful indicators as they are sensitive to environmental change. We compared ant assemblages in rehabilitated and control sites in the Rietvlei Nature Reserve, a protected area important for grassland conservation in South Africa. Pitfall traps were used to sample ant assemblages at six control sites and six rehabilitated sites. In addition, environmental and vegetation surveys were conducted at each site. We found that the ant assemblages differed significantly between the control and rehabilitated sites, although there was considerable overlap; the control sites supported a greater species density and higher abundance of ants than the rehabilitated sites. In total, 36 ant species were collected (control sites: 34 species; rehabilitated sites: 26 species. The environmental survey revealed that percentages of bare ground and coarse sand, as well as soil pH, differed significantly between the control and rehabilitated sites. The control and rehabilitated sites also supported significantly different plant assemblages. Three indicator ant species were identified for the control sites: Crematogaster rectinota, Crematogaster amita and Monomorium fastidium. No indicator species were identified for the rehabilitated sites. These results suggest that recovery from the previous agricultural use of the area is still incomplete and highlights the lack of research examining the success of rehabilitation in the grassland biome. Conservation implications: The present study illustrates the need for further research on rehabilitation techniques utilised in the grassland biome. This is of value as the remainder of South African grasslands are considered critically endangered.

  19. Monthly fluctuation of termite caste proportions (Isoptera) within fire ant mounds (hymenoptera: formicidae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas G. Shelton; J.T. Vogt; Marla J. Tanley; Arthur G. Appel

    2003-01-01

    Monthly abundance and caste proportions of subterranean termites (Reticulitennes spp.) inhabiting red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta Buren) mounds were recorded during 1999 and 2000 from a relatively undisturbed forest edge in Tuskegee, Alabama. Temperature data were also recorded at these mounds; mean air, soil, and mound temperatures followed a sine model over...

  20. 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.

  1. 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...... that give us a more detailed impression of the 1-ANT’s performance. Furthermore, the experiments also deal with the question whether using many ant solutions in one iteration can decrease the total runtime....

  2. 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.

  3. Adolescent cocaine exposure simplifies orbitofrontal cortical dendritic arbors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lauren M DePoy

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Cocaine and amphetamine remodel dendritic spines within discrete cortico-limbic brain structures including the orbitofrontal cortex (oPFC. Whether dendrite structure is similarly affected, and whether pre-existing cellular characteristics influence behavioral vulnerabilities to drugs of abuse, remain unclear. Animal models provide an ideal venue to address these issues because neurobehavioral phenotypes can be defined both before, and following, drug exposure. We exposed mice to cocaine from postnatal days 31-35, corresponding to early adolescence, using a dosing protocol that causes impairments in an instrumental reversal task in adulthood. We then imaged and reconstructed excitatory neurons in deep-layer oPFC. Prior cocaine exposure shortened and simplified arbors, particularly in the basal region. Next, we imaged and reconstructed orbital neurons in a developmental-genetic model of cocaine vulnerability – the p190rhogap+/- mouse. p190RhoGAP is an actin cytoskeleton regulatory protein that stabilizes dendrites and dendritic spines, and p190rhogap+/- mice develop rapid and robust locomotor activation in response to cocaine. Despite this, oPFC dendritic arbors were intact in drug-naïve p190rhogap+/- mice. Together, these findings provide evidence that adolescent cocaine exposure has long-term effects on dendrite structure in the oPFC, and they suggest that cocaine-induced modifications in dendrite structure may contribute to the behavioral effects of cocaine more so than pre-existing structural abnormalities in this cell population.

  4. 78 FR 65380 - Notice of Inventory Completion: University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-10-31

    ... the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI. The human remains were removed from Alpena, Isabella, Grand... removed from the Devil River Mound site (20AL1) in Alpena County, MI. A resident of Ossineke, MI...

  5. The demographic consequences of mutualism: ants increase host-plant fruit production but not population growth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ford, Kevin R; Ness, Joshua H; Bronstein, Judith L; Morris, William F

    2015-10-01

    The impact of mutualists on a partner's demography depends on how they affect the partner's multiple vital rates and how those vital rates, in turn, affect population growth. However, mutualism studies rarely measure effects on multiple vital rates or integrate them to assess the ultimate impact on population growth. We used vital rate data, population models and simulations of long-term population dynamics to quantify the demographic impact of a guild of ant species on the plant Ferocactus wislizeni. The ants feed at the plant's extrafloral nectaries and attack herbivores attempting to consume reproductive organs. Ant-guarded plants produced significantly more fruit, but ants had no significant effect on individual growth or survival. After integrating ant effects across these vital rates, we found that projected population growth was not significantly different between unguarded and ant-guarded plants because population growth was only weakly influenced by differences in fruit production (though strongly influenced by differences in individual growth and survival). However, simulations showed that ants could positively affect long-term plant population dynamics through services provided during rare but important events (herbivore outbreaks that reduce survival or years of high seedling recruitment associated with abundant precipitation). Thus, in this seemingly clear example of mutualism, the interaction may actually yield no clear benefit to plant population growth, or if it does, may only do so through the actions of the ants during rare events. These insights demonstrate the value of taking a demographic approach to studying the consequences of mutualism.

  6. Effects of heavy metal pollution on red wood ant (Formica s. str.) populations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Eeva, T.; Sorvari, J.; Koivunen, V.

    2004-01-01

    We studied the species composition, mound population densities, relative abundance and colony sizes of red wood ants along a well known air pollution gradient of a copper smelter in Southwest Finland. The dominant species, Formica aquilonia, was further studied for heavy metal (Al, Cu, Cd, Ni, Zn, As, Pb, Hg) levels and morphological characters (body mass, head width, labial gland disease) of workers. We found five species belonging to Formica s. str., and two of them showed changes in their relative abundance, which could not be explained by natural habitat differences. Nest mound volumes were 34% smaller in the polluted area, suggesting that smaller colonies can be maintained there. The heavy metal levels in F. aquilonia workers were higher in the polluted area for all metals, except Hg. The largest relative differences between the study areas (polluted/unpolluted) were found for As (4.1), Ni (2.4), Cu (2.1) and Pb (1.8). Morphological characters of workers were not related to the heavy metal levels. Our data showed that red wood ants can tolerate relatively high amounts of heavy metals and maintain reproducing colonies even in a heavily polluted area, but on the basis of smaller colony sizes, pollution stress may also cause trade-offs in reproduction. - Capsule: Five species of red wood ants vary in their sensitivity to heavy metal pollution but all of them had smaller colonies in a polluted area

  7. Chemical camouflage: a key process in shaping an ant-treehopper and fig-fig wasp mutualistic network.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Bo; Lu, Min; Cook, James M; Yang, Da-Rong; Dunn, Derek W; Wang, Rui-Wu

    2018-01-30

    Different types of mutualisms may interact, co-evolve and form complex networks of interdependences, but how species interact in networks of a mutualistic community and maintain its stability remains unclear. In a mutualistic network between treehoppers-weaver ants and fig-pollinating wasps, we found that the cuticular hydrocarbons of the treehoppers are more similar to the surface chemical profiles of fig inflorescence branches (FIB) than the cuticular hydrocarbons of the fig wasps. Behavioral assays showed that the cuticular hydrocarbons from both treehoppers and FIBs reduce the propensity of weaver ants to attack treehoppers even in the absence of honeydew rewards, suggesting that chemical camouflage helps enforce the mutualism between weaver ants and treehoppers. High levels of weaver ant and treehopper abundances help maintain the dominance of pollinating fig wasps in the fig wasp community and also increase fig seed production, as a result of discriminative predation and disturbance by weaver ants of ovipositing non-pollinating fig wasps (NPFWs). Ants therefore help preserve this fig-pollinating wasp mutualism from over exploitation by NPFWs. Our results imply that in this mutualistic network chemical camouflage plays a decisive role in regulating the behavior of a key species and indirectly shaping the architecture of complex arthropod-plant interactions.

  8. 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.

  9. "Ant-egg" cataract revisited

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2017-01-01

    -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...

  10. Developmental shaping of dendritic arbors in Drosophila relies on tightly regulated intra-neuronal activity of protein kinase A (PKA).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Copf, Tijana

    2014-09-15

    Dendrites develop morphologies characterized by multiple levels of complexity that involve neuron type specific dendritic length and particular spatial distribution. How this is developmentally regulated and in particular which signaling molecules are crucial in the process is still not understood. Using Drosophila class IV dendritic arborization (da) neurons we test in vivo the effects of cell-autonomous dose-dependent changes in the activity levels of the cAMP-dependent Protein Kinase A (PKA) on the formation of complex dendritic arbors. We find that genetic manipulations of the PKA activity levels affect profoundly the arbor complexity with strongest impact on distal branches. Both decreasing and increasing PKA activity result in a reduced complexity of the arbors, as reflected in decreased dendritic length and number of branching points, suggesting an inverted U-shape response to PKA. The phenotypes are accompanied by changes in organelle distribution: Golgi outposts and early endosomes in distal dendritic branches are reduced in PKA mutants. By using Rab5 dominant negative we find that PKA interacts genetically with the early endosomal pathway. We test if the possible relationship between PKA and organelles may be the result of phosphorylation of the microtubule motor dynein components or Rab5. We find that Drosophila cytoplasmic dynein components are direct PKA phosphorylation targets in vitro, but not in vivo, thus pointing to a different putative in vivo target. Our data argue that tightly controlled dose-dependent intra-neuronal PKA activity levels are critical in determining the dendritic arbor complexity, one of the possible ways being through the regulation of organelle distribution. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Pest repelling properties of ant pheromones

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Offenberg, Joachim

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  13. Nectar Theft and Floral Ant-Repellence: A Link between Nectar Volume and Ant-Repellent Traits?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ballantyne, Gavin; Willmer, Pat

    2012-01-01

    As flower visitors, ants rarely benefit a plant. They are poor pollinators, and can also disrupt pollination by deterring other flower visitors, or by stealing nectar. Some plant species therefore possess floral ant-repelling traits. But why do particular species have such traits when others do not? In a dry forest in Costa Rica, of 49 plant species around a third were ant-repellent at very close proximity to a common generalist ant species, usually via repellent pollen. Repellence was positively correlated with the presence of large nectar volumes. Repellent traits affected ant species differently, some influencing the behaviour of just a few species and others producing more generalised ant-repellence. Our results suggest that ant-repellent floral traits may often not be pleiotropic, but instead could have been selected for as a defence against ant thieves in plant species that invest in large volumes of nectar. This conclusion highlights to the importance of research into the cost of nectar production in future studies into ant-flower interactions. PMID:22952793

  14. Pest repellent properties of ant pheromones

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Offenberg, Joachim

    2012-01-01

    of ant pheromones may be sufficient to repel pest insects from ant territories. The study of ant semiochemicals is in its infancy, yet, evidence for their potential use in pest management is starting to build up. Pheromones from four of five tested ant species have been shown to deter herbivorous insect...... 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....

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hare, James F.; Alloway, Thomas M.

    2001-01-01

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

  16. Leafcutter Ant Nests Inhibit Low-Intensity Fire Spread in the Understory of Transitional Forests at the Amazon's Forest-Savanna Boundary

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karine S. Carvalho

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Leaf-cutter ants (Atta spp. remove leaf litter and woody debris—potential fuels—in and around their nests and foraging trails. We conducted single and three annual experimental fires to determine the effects of this leaf-cutter ant activity on the behavior of low-intensity, slow-moving fires. In a transitional forest, where the southern Amazon forest meets the Brazilian savanna, we tested whether leaf-cutter ant nests and trails (i inhibit fire spread due to a lack of fuels, and (ii, thereby, reduce the total burned area during these experimental low-intensity fires, particularly at forest edges where leaf-cutter ant abundance was higher. Fine-medium fuel mass increased with an increase in distance from ant nest, and the mean area of bare soil was greater on nests than on the forest floor. Between 60 to 90 percent of the unburned area was within 30 m of ant nests, and burned area significantly increased with increasing distance to ant nests. In addition, the number of ant nests declined with increasing distance from the forest edge, and, with exception of the first experimental fire, burned area also increased with increasing distance from the edge. The present study provides new insight to fire ecology in Amazon environments.

  17. Variations iconographiques : Constantin le Grand dans les peintures des églises de Pătrăuţi et d’Arbore / Iconographic Variations: Constantine the Great in the Paintings of the Churches of Pătrăuţi and Arbore

    OpenAIRE

    Tereza Sinigalia

    2014-01-01

    Iconographic Variations: Constantine the Great in the Paintings of the Churches of Pătrăuţi and Arbore. The article, written in 2013, the Constantinian Year, takes back and develops some ideas which can be found in my previous articles concerning the murals in both of churches in discussion. „The Exaltation of the Holy Cross” of the former nun’s monastery Pătrăuţi and the church dedicated to „The Beheading of St John the Baptist” in the village Arbore. The first is the foundation of the Molda...

  18. Natural canopy bridges effectively mitigate tropical forest fragmentation for arboreal mammals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gregory, Tremaine; Carrasco-Rueda, Farah; Alonso, Alfonso; Kolowski, Joseph; Deichmann, Jessica L

    2017-06-20

    Linear infrastructure development and resulting habitat fragmentation are expanding in Neotropical forests, and arboreal mammals may be disproportionately impacted by these linear habitat clearings. Maintaining canopy connectivity through preservation of connecting branches (i.e. natural canopy bridges) may help mitigate that impact. Using camera traps, we evaluated crossing rates of a pipeline right-of-way in a control area with no bridges and in a test area where 13 bridges were left by the pipeline construction company. Monitoring all canopy crossing points for a year (7,102 canopy camera nights), we confirmed bridge use by 25 mammal species from 12 families. With bridge use beginning immediately after exposure and increasing over time, use rates were over two orders of magnitude higher than on the ground. We also found a positive relationship between a bridge's use rate and the number of species that used it, suggesting well-used bridges benefit multiple species. Data suggest bridge use may be related to a combination of bridge branch connectivity, multiple connections, connectivity to adjacent forest, and foliage cover. Given the high use rate and minimal cost, we recommend all linear infrastructure projects in forests with arboreal mammal populations include canopy bridges.

  19. Energy gradients and the geographic distribution of local ant diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaspari, Michael; Ward, Philip S; Yuan, May

    2004-08-01

    Geographical diversity gradients, even among local communities, can ultimately arise from geographical differences in speciation and extinction rates. We evaluated three models--energy-speciation, energy-abundance, and area--that predict how geographic trends in net diversification rates generate trends in diversity. We sampled 96 litter ant communities from four provinces: Australia, Madagascar, North America, and South America. The energy-speciation hypothesis best predicted ant species richness by accurately predicting the slope of the temperature diversity curve, and accounting for most of the variation in diversity. The communities showed a strong latitudinal gradient in species richness as well as inter-province differences in diversity. The former vanished in the temperature-diversity residuals, suggesting that the latitudinal gradient arises primarily from higher diversification rates in the tropics. However, inter-province differences in diversity persisted in those residuals--South American communities remained more diverse than those in North America and Australia even after the effects of temperature were removed.

  20. Ground-foraging ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae and rainfall effect on pitfall trapping in a deciduous thorn woodland (Caatinga, Northeastern Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francyregis A Nunes

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available The semi-arid Caatinga is the fourth largest biome of Brazil, which biota still remains one of the most poorly known, especially with regard to invertebrate groups. In this study, a ground-foraging ant assemblage was surveyed during one year and the effect of rainfall on pitfall trapping was assessed. The study was performed in an area located in the municipality of Pentecoste (3º48’ S - 39º20’ W, in the State of Ceará. A 200m transect with 20 equidistant sampling points was established. Transect sampling was performed once a month during 12 months, over the period August 2008-August 2009. At each sampling point, a pitfall trap partially filled with a mixture of ethanol and monoethylene glycol was placed at the beginning of each month and remained in the field for seven days. 39 species belonging to six subfamilies and 19 genera, plus two unidentified species, were collected, with Pheidole (10 spp. and Camponotus (8 spp. being the taxa with the most species. 23 species were frequent, being found in more than 50% of the 12 transect samplings. Five species had an intermediate frequency (25 to 50%, while 13 were relatively infrequent (less than 25%. Most of the species (22 showed low occurrence, being found in less than 10% of the 240 samples (20 samples each month, during 12 months. Only five species were collected in more than 50% of the samples, those species being also responsible for most of the total abundance (number of captured individuals of all species observed each month. The speciesaccumulation curves (observed and estimated indicated that sampling sufficiency was attained, and that about 92% of the estimated ground-foraging ant fauna had been collected. 40 and 29 species were collected in the dry and rainy season, respectively, with monthly species richness ranging from 13 to 28. The total ant abundance showed a drastic decrease during the rainy season, and a negative linear correlation was found between rainfall and total ant

  1. Plant lock and ant key: pairwise coevolution of an exclusion filter in an ant-plant mutualism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brouat, C; Garcia, N; Andary, C; McKey, D

    2001-10-22

    Although observations suggest pairwise coevolution in specific ant-plant symbioses, coevolutionary processes have rarely been demonstrated. We report on, what is to the authors' knowledge, the strongest evidence yet for reciprocal adaptation of morphological characters in a species-specific ant-plant mutualism. The plant character is the prostoma, which is a small unlignified organ at the apex of the domatia in which symbiotic ants excavate an entrance hole. Each myrmecophyte in the genus Leonardoxa has evolved a prostoma with a different shape. By performing precise measurements on the prostomata of three related myrmecophytes, on their specific associated ants and on the entrance holes excavated by symbiotic ants at the prostomata, we showed that correspondence of the plant and ant traits forms a morphological and behavioural filter. We have strong evidence for coevolution between the dimensions and shape of the symbiotic ants and the prostoma in one of the three ant-Leonardoxa associations.

  2. 78 FR 65382 - Notice of Inventory Completion: University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-10-31

    ....S.C. 3003, of the completion of an inventory of human remains under the control of the University of....R50000] Notice of Inventory Completion: University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI AGENCY: National Park Service, Interior. ACTION: Notice. SUMMARY: The University of Michigan has completed an inventory of human...

  3. 78 FR 65369 - Notice of Inventory Completion: University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-10-31

    ....S.C. 3003, of the completion of an inventory of human remains under the control of the University of....R50000] Notice of Inventory Completion: University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI AGENCY: National Park Service, Interior. ACTION: Notice. SUMMARY: The University of Michigan has completed an inventory of human...

  4. 78 FR 65366 - Notice of Inventory Completion: University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-10-31

    ....S.C. 3003, of the completion of an inventory of human remains under the control of the University of....R50000] Notice of Inventory Completion: University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI AGENCY: National Park Service, Interior. ACTION: Notice. SUMMARY: The University of Michigan has completed an inventory of human...

  5. 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...... us to reduce agency to causation and to conceptualize actor-networks as homogeneous ontologies of force. This article proposes to regard ANT’s inability to conceptualize reflexivity and the interrelatedness of different ontologies as the fundamental problem of the theory. Drawing on Günther......, it offers an ‘infra-language’ of reflexive relations while maintaining ANT’s de-centred approach. This would enable us to conceptualize actor-networks as non-homogeneous, dynamic and connecting different societal rationales while maintaining the main strengths of ANT....

  6. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alan Andersen

    1997-06-01

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

  8. 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...

  9. The arboreal component of a dry forest in Northeastern Brazil

    OpenAIRE

    Rodal,M. J. N.; Nascimento,L. M.

    2006-01-01

    The dry forests of northeastern Brazil are found near the coastal zone and on low, isolated mountains inland amid semi-arid vegetation. The floristic composition of these dry montane forests, as well as their relationship to humid forests (Atlantic forest sensu stricto) and to the deciduous thorn woodlands (Caatinga sensu stricto) of the Brazilian northeast are not yet well known. This paper sought to determine if the arboreal plants in a dry forest growing on a low mountain in the semi-arid ...

  10. The metapleural gland of ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Yek, Sze Huei; Mueller, Ulrich G

    2011-01-01

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

  11. Evaluation Of The Advanced Operating System Of The Ann Arbor Transportation Authority : AATA Web Survey

    Science.gov (United States)

    1999-01-01

    During 1997, visitors to the Ann Arbor (Michigan) Transportation Authority's worldwide web site were invited to complete an electronic questionnaire about their experience with the site. Eighty surveys were collected, representing a non-scientific se...

  12. Variation in ant populations with elevation, tree cover, and fire in a pinyon-juniper-dominated watershed

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eugenie M. MontBlanc; Jeanne C. Chambers; Peter E. Brussard

    2007-01-01

    Climate change and fire suppression have facilitated expansion of pinyon-juniper woodlands into sagebrush- steppe ecosystems of the Great Basin, USA, resulting in a loss of biological diversity. To assess the effects of using prescribed fire in restoration efforts, ant abundance, species richness, and composition were examined pre- and post-burn along the elevation and...

  13. 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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  15. The effect of water on the ground nesting habits of the giant tropical ant, Paraponera clavata.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elahi, Robin

    2005-11-18

    The large predatory ant, Paraponera clavata, exerts measurable top-down effects in wet and moist Neotropical forests, and therefore its distribution has potential ecological implications. To determine how water affects the presence of this important predator, the ground nesting ecology of P. clavata was examined with respect to various habitat characteristics. Four hectares of disturbed Costa Rican lowland rain forest were surveyed for ant colonies to determine nest distribution patterns in wet and dry habitat; significantly more colonies were found in dry habitat. Seventeen of 19 nests built on slopes of > 5 degrees inclination were positioned on the downward side of the tree, possibly using the trunk as a shield against runoff during rain showers. Moisture and pH inside nests were significantly different from adjacent soil. These results suggest that water influences the ground nesting habits of P. clavata, thus ecological differences between comparatively wet and dry portions of tropical forests may arise from the relative abundance of this ant species.

  16. Nocturnal arboreality in snakes in the swamplands of the Atchafalaya Basin of south-central Louisiana and Big Thicket National Preserve of Southeast Texas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glorioso, Brad M.; Waddle, J. Hardin

    2017-01-01

    The southeastern United States is home to a diverse assemblage of snakes, but only one species, the Rough Greensnake (Opheodrys aestivus), is considered specialized for a predominantly arboreal lifestyle. Other species, such as Ratsnakes (genus Pantherophis) and Ribbonsnakes/Gartersnakes (genus Thamnophis), are widely known to climb into vegetation and trees. Some explanations given for snake climbing behavior are foraging, thermoregulation, predator avoidance, and response to flood. Reports of arboreality in snake species typically not associated with life in the trees (such as terrestrial, aquatic, and even fossorial species) usually come from single observations, with no knowledge of prevalence of the behavior. Here, we report on arboreality of snake species detected during 8 years of night surveys in the Atchafalaya Basin of south-central Louisiana and 5+ years of night surveys in Big Thicket National Preserve in southeast Texas. We recorded a total of 1,088 detections of 19 snake species between the two study areas, with 348 detections above ground level (32%). The Rough Greensnake and Western Ribbonsnake (Thamnophis proximus) accounted for nearly 75% of total arboreal detections among the two study areas. However, with one exception, all snake species detected more than once between both study areas had at least one arboreal detection. These observations demonstrate that snakes with widely varying natural histories may be found in the trees at night, and for some species, this behavior may be more common than previously believed.

  17. The Kinesin Adaptor Calsyntenin-1 Organizes Microtubule Polarity and Regulates Dynamics during Sensory Axon Arbor Development

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mary C. Halloran

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available Axon growth and branching, and development of neuronal polarity are critically dependent on proper organization and dynamics of the microtubule (MT cytoskeleton. MTs must organize with correct polarity for delivery of diverse cargos to appropriate subcellular locations, yet the molecular mechanisms regulating MT polarity remain poorly understood. Moreover, how an actively branching axon reorganizes MTs to direct their plus ends distally at branch points is unknown. We used high-speed, in vivo imaging of polymerizing MT plus ends to characterize MT dynamics in developing sensory axon arbors in zebrafish embryos. We find that axonal MTs are highly dynamic throughout development, and that the peripheral and central axons of sensory neurons show differences in MT behaviors. Furthermore, we show that Calsyntenin-1 (Clstn-1, a kinesin adaptor required for sensory axon branching, also regulates MT polarity in developing axon arbors. In wild type neurons the vast majority of MTs are directed in the correct plus-end-distal orientation from early stages of development. Loss of Clstn-1 causes an increase in MTs polymerizing in the retrograde direction. These misoriented MTs most often are found near growth cones and branch points, suggesting Clstn-1 is particularly important for organizing MT polarity at these locations. Together, our results suggest that Clstn-1, in addition to regulating kinesin-mediated cargo transport, also organizes the underlying MT highway during axon arbor development.

  18. RAB-10-Dependent Membrane Transport Is Required for Dendrite Arborization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zou, Wei; Yadav, Smita; DeVault, Laura; Jan, Yuh Nung; Sherwood, David R.

    2015-01-01

    Formation of elaborately branched dendrites is necessary for the proper input and connectivity of many sensory neurons. Previous studies have revealed that dendritic growth relies heavily on ER-to-Golgi transport, Golgi outposts and endocytic recycling. How new membrane and associated cargo is delivered from the secretory and endosomal compartments to sites of active dendritic growth, however, remains unknown. Using a candidate-based genetic screen in C. elegans, we have identified the small GTPase RAB-10 as a key regulator of membrane trafficking during dendrite morphogenesis. Loss of rab-10 severely reduced proximal dendritic arborization in the multi-dendritic PVD neuron. RAB-10 acts cell-autonomously in the PVD neuron and localizes to the Golgi and early endosomes. Loss of function mutations of the exocyst complex components exoc-8 and sec-8, which regulate tethering, docking and fusion of transport vesicles at the plasma membrane, also caused proximal dendritic arborization defects and led to the accumulation of intracellular RAB-10 vesicles. In rab-10 and exoc-8 mutants, the trans-membrane proteins DMA-1 and HPO-30, which promote PVD dendrite stabilization and branching, no longer localized strongly to the proximal dendritic membranes and instead were sequestered within intracellular vesicles. Together these results suggest a crucial role for the Rab10 GTPase and the exocyst complex in controlling membrane transport from the secretory and/or endosomal compartments that is required for dendritic growth. PMID:26394140

  19. 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....

  20. 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....

  1. 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

  2. Assessing the impact of deforestation of the Atlantic rainforest on ant-fruit interactions: a field experiment using synthetic fruits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bieber, Ana Gabriela D; Silva, Paulo S D; Sendoya, Sebastián F; Oliveira, Paulo S

    2014-01-01

    Ants frequently interact with fleshy fruits on the ground of tropical forests. This interaction is regarded as mutualistic because seeds benefit from enhanced germination and dispersal to nutrient-rich microsites, whereas ants benefit from consuming the nutritious pulp/aril. Considering that the process of deforestation affects many attributes of the ecosystem such as species abundance and composition, and interspecific interactions, we asked whether the interaction between ants and fallen fleshy fruits in the Brazilian Atlantic forest differs between human-created fragments and undisturbed forests. We controlled diaspore type and quantity by using synthetic fruits (a plastic 'seed' covered by a lipid-rich 'pulp'), which were comparable to lipid-rich fruits. Eight independent areas (four undisturbed forests, and four disturbed forest fragments) were used in the field experiment, in which we recorded the attracted ant species, ant behaviour, and fruit removal distance. Fruits in undisturbed forest sites attracted a higher number of species than those in disturbed forests. Moreover, the occurrence of large, fruit-carrying ponerine ants (Pachycondyla, Odontomachus; 1.1 to 1.4 cm) was higher in undisturbed forests. Large species (≥3 mm) of Pheidole (Myrmicinae), also able to remove fruits, did not differ between forest types. Following these changes in species occurrence, fruit displacement was more frequent in undisturbed than in disturbed forests. Moreover, displacement distances were also greater in the undisturbed forests. Our data suggest that fallen fleshy fruits interacting with ants face different fates depending on the conservation status of the forest. Together with the severe loss of their primary dispersers in human-disturbed tropical forest sites, vertebrate-dispersed fruits may also be deprived of potential ant-derived benefits in these habitats due to shifts in the composition of interacting ant species. Our data illustrate the use of synthetic fruits

  3. A revised and dated phylogeny of cobweb spiders (Araneae, Araneoidea, Theridiidae): A predatory Cretaceous lineage diversifying in the era of the ants (Hymenoptera, Formicidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Jie; May-Collado, Laura J; Pekár, Stano; Agnarsson, Ingi

    2016-01-01

    Cobweb spiders (Theridiidae) are highly diverse from the perspective of species richness, morphological diversity, variety of web architecture, and behavioral repertoires. The family includes over 50% of social spiders, a behavioral rarity among the order, and members of the family are furthermore the subject of research on venom, silk biomechanics, kleptoparasitism and web building, among other traits. Theridiidae is one of the most abundant groups of spiders, and thus key insect predators in many different ecosystems and is among relatively few spider families that show high degree of myrmecophagy. Modern comparative studies on all these fronts are best buttressed on a phylogenetic foundation. Our goal here is to offer a revised, dated, phylogenetic hypothesis for the family by summarizing previously published data from multiple molecular and morphological studies through data-mining, and adding novel data from several genera. We also test the hypothesis that the origin and diversification of cobweb spiders coincides with that of ants on which many species specialize as prey. The new phylogeny is largely congruent with prior studies and current taxonomy and should provide a useful tool for theridiid classification and for comparative analyses. Nevertheless, we also highlight the limitations of currently available data-the state of the art in Theridiidae phylogenetics-offering weak support for most of the deeper nodes in the phylogeny. Thus the need is clear for modern phylogenomic approaches to obtain a more solid understanding, especially of relationships among subfamilies. We recover the monophyly of currently recognized theridiid subfamilies with the exception of some enigmatic 'pholcommatines' (Styposis, Phoroncidia) and putative 'hadrotarsines' (Audifia, Tekellina) whose placement is uncertain in our analyses. Theridiidae dates back some 100 mya to the Cretaceous, a period of diversification in flowering plants and many groups of insects, including ants. The

  4. Partial incompatibility between ants and symbiotic fungi in two sympatric species of Acromyrmex leaf-cutting ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bot, A N; Rehner, S A; Boomsma, J J

    2001-10-01

    We investigate the nature and duration of incompatibility between certain combinations of Acromyrmex leaf-cutting ants and symbiotic fungi, taken from sympatric colonies of the same or a related species. Ant-fungus incompatibility appeared to be largely independent of the ant species involved, but could be explained partly by genetic differences among the fungus cultivars. Following current theoretical considerations, we develop a hypothesis, originally proposed by S. A. Frank, that the observed incompatibilities are ultimately due to competitive interactions between genetically different fungal lineages, and we predict that the ants should have evolved mechanisms to prevent such competition between cultivars within a single garden. This requires that the ants are able to recognize unfamiliar fungi, and we show that this is indeed the case. Amplified fragment length polymorphism genotyping further shows that the two sympatric Acromyrmex species share each other's major lineages of cultivar, confirming that horizontal transfer does occasionally take place. We argue and provide some evidence that chemical substances produced by the fungus garden may mediate recognition of alien fungi by the ants. We show that incompatibility between ants and transplanted, genetically different cultivars is indeed due to active killing of the novel cultivar by the ants. This incompatibility disappears when ants are force-fed the novel cultivar for about a week, a result that is consistent with our hypothesis of recognition induced by the resident fungus and eventual replacement of incompatibility compounds during force-feeding.

  5. Sick ants become unsociable

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  6. Construction of arboreal nests by brown-nosed coatis, Nasua nasua (Carnivora: Procyonidae in the Brazilian Pantanal

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Natalie Olifiers

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available The construction of arboreal nests is rare among mammals in the order Carnivora. However, coatis (Procyonidae: Nasua Storr, 1780 build arboreal nests that are used for resting or birthing. Here we describe Nasua nasua (Linnaeus, 1766 nests located during a telemetry study of coatis in the Brazilian Pantanal. Coati nests were all "bird-like", that is, open nests having a semispherical shape. Nests were constructed of twigs, branches, and lianas sometimes interlaced with leaves. Nest volume was 30-50 cm³ and average nest height was approximately 9.5 m. Nests were found in open "cerrado" vegetation, along forest edges, or in interior "cordilheiras" forest. The reasons why coatis build such nests are unclear, but may relate to inter or intraspecific competition for nesting sites, litter size, thermoregulation, and predation avoidance.

  7. 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

  8. Roadside Survey of Ants on Oahu, Hawaii

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tong, Reina L.; Grace, J. Kenneth; Krushelnycky, Paul D.

    2018-01-01

    Hawaii is home to over 60 ant species, including five of the six most damaging invasive ants. Although there have been many surveys of ants in Hawaii, the last island-wide hand-collection survey of ants on Oahu was conducted in 1988–1994. In 2012, a timed hand-collection of ants was made at 44 sites in a systematic, roadside survey throughout Oahu. Ants were identified and species distribution in relation to elevation, precipitation and soil type was analyzed. To assess possible convenience sampling bias, 15 additional sites were sampled further from roads to compare with the samples near roads. Twenty-four species of ants were found and mapped; Pheidole megacephala (F.), Ochetellus glaber (Mayr), and Technomyrmex difficilis Forel were the most frequently encountered ants. For six ant species, a logistic regression was performed with elevation, average annual precipitation, and soil order as explanatory variables. O. glaber was found in areas with lower precipitation around Oahu. Paratrechina longicornis (Latrielle) and Tetramorium simillimum (Smith, F.) were found more often in lower elevations and in areas with the Mollisol soil order. Elevation, precipitation, and soil type were not significant sources of variation for P. megacephala, Plagiolepis alluaudi Emery, and T. difficilis. P. megacephala was associated with fewer mean numbers of ants where it occurred. Ant assemblages near and far from roads did not significantly differ. Many species of ants remain established on Oahu, and recent invaders are spreading throughout the island. Mapping ant distributions contributes to continued documentation and understanding of these pests. PMID:29439503

  9. The influence of insecticides and vegetation in structuring Formica mound ant communities (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in Maine lowbush blueberry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choate, Beth; Drummond, Francis A

    2013-04-01

    Assessing the influence of new, reduced-risk insecticides on natural enemies within agroecosystems is essential to developing integrated pest management strategies. Three species of mound-building Formica ants are abundant throughout Maine lowbush blueberry fields (Formica exsectoides Forel, F. glacialis Wheeler, and F. ulkei Emery). All three species have been described in the literature as predaceous, with research demonstrating that F. exsectoides preys on major pest insects of lowbush blueberry. The objectives of this study were to determine the impact of common-use and newly introduced insecticides on Formica sp. ant communities in lowbush blueberry fields. Laboratory assays indicated that the commonly applied insecticide phosmet is toxic to F. exsectoides, even after 8 d of field weathering (P insecticides, such as acetamiprid, had little effect on survival of all three species. Abundance of each species in the field varied with lowbush blueberry pesticide-use strategy and amount of nonblueberry vegetation. Both F. exsectoides and F. glacialis were most abundant in organic fields; however, overall F. glacialis was the most abundant in fields of all management types. Field surveys support laboratory results suggesting that phosmet is highly toxic to these species and influences their spatial pattern. Manipulation of the crop to conserve natural enemies in lowbush blueberry is difficult because the crop is not planted; therefore, we must look closely at the incorporation of low toxicity insecticides with natural enemies to efficiently control pest insects.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. Impaired terrestrial and arboreal locomotor performance in the western fence lizard (Sceloporus occidentalis) after exposure to an AChE-inhibiting pesticide

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    DuRant, Sarah E.; Hopkins, William A.; Talent, Larry G.

    2007-01-01

    We examined the effects of a commonly used AChE-inhibiting pesticide on terrestrial and arboreal sprint performance, important traits for predator avoidance and prey capture, in the western fence lizard (Sceloporus occidentalis). Lizards were exposed to carbaryl (2.5, 25, and 250 μg/g) and were raced before and 4, 24, and 96 h after dosing. In the terrestrial setting, exposure to low concentrations of carbaryl had stimulatory effects on performance, but exposure to the highest concentration was inhibitory. No stimulatory effects of carbaryl were noted in the arboreal environment and performance in lizards was reduced after exposure to both the medium and highest dose of carbaryl. Our findings suggest that acute exposure to high concentrations of carbaryl can have important sublethal consequences on fitness-related traits in reptiles and that arboreal locomotor performance is a more sensitive indicator of AChE-inhibiting pesticide poisoning than terrestrial locomotor performance. - Exposure to an acetylcholinesterase-inhibiting pesticide alters locomotor performance in western fence lizards

  13. Impaired terrestrial and arboreal locomotor performance in the western fence lizard (Sceloporus occidentalis) after exposure to an AChE-inhibiting pesticide

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    DuRant, Sarah E. [Wildlife Ecotoxicology and Physiological Ecology Program, Department of Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, 444 Latham Hall, Blacksburg, VA 24061 (United States); University of Georgia, Savannah River Ecology Laboratory, PO Drawer E, Aiken, SC 29802 (United States); Hopkins, William A. [Wildlife Ecotoxicology and Physiological Ecology Program, Department of Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, 444 Latham Hall, Blacksburg, VA 24061 (United States) and University of Georgia, Savannah River Ecology Laboratory, PO Drawer E, Aiken, SC 29802 (United States)]. E-mail: hopkinsw@vt.edu; Talent, Larry G. [Department of Zoology, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74078 (United States)

    2007-09-15

    We examined the effects of a commonly used AChE-inhibiting pesticide on terrestrial and arboreal sprint performance, important traits for predator avoidance and prey capture, in the western fence lizard (Sceloporus occidentalis). Lizards were exposed to carbaryl (2.5, 25, and 250 {mu}g/g) and were raced before and 4, 24, and 96 h after dosing. In the terrestrial setting, exposure to low concentrations of carbaryl had stimulatory effects on performance, but exposure to the highest concentration was inhibitory. No stimulatory effects of carbaryl were noted in the arboreal environment and performance in lizards was reduced after exposure to both the medium and highest dose of carbaryl. Our findings suggest that acute exposure to high concentrations of carbaryl can have important sublethal consequences on fitness-related traits in reptiles and that arboreal locomotor performance is a more sensitive indicator of AChE-inhibiting pesticide poisoning than terrestrial locomotor performance. - Exposure to an acetylcholinesterase-inhibiting pesticide alters locomotor performance in western fence lizards.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  15. The interactions of ants with their biotic environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chomicki, Guillaume; Renner, Susanne S

    2017-03-15

    This s pecial 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 s pecial 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. © 2017 The Author(s).

  16. Chemically armed mercenary ants protect fungus-farming societies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2013-01-01

    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......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...

  17. A cellular automata model for ant trails

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    In this study, the unidirectional ant traffic flow with U-turn in an ant trail was inves- tigated using ... the literature, it was considered in the model that (i) ant colony consists of two kinds of ants, good- ... ponents without a central controller [8].

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2011-01-01

    Weaver ants (Oecophylla spp.) are increasingly being used for biocontrol and are targeted for future production of insect protein in ant farms. An efficient production of live ant colonies may facilitate the utilization of these ants but the production of mature colonies is hampered by the long...... and no transplantation. Thus, in ant nurseries the use of multiple queens during nest founding as well as transplantation of pupae from foreign colonies may be utilised to decrease the time it takes to produce a colony ready for implementation....

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-06-01

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

  20. Food source quality and ant dominance hierarchy influence the outcomes of ant-plant interactions in an arid environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flores-Flores, Rocío Vianey; Aguirre, Armando; Anjos, Diego V.; Neves, Frederico S.; Campos, Ricardo I.; Dáttilo, Wesley

    2018-02-01

    In this study, we conducted a series of experiments in a population of Vachellia constricta (Fabaceae) in the arid Tehuacan-Cuicatláan valley, Mexico, in order to evaluate if the food source quality and ant dominance hierarchy influence the outcomes of ant-plant interactions. Using an experiment with artificial nectaries, we observed that ants foraging on food sources with higher concentration of sugar are quicker in finding and attacking potential herbivorous insects. More specifically, we found that the same ant species may increase their defence effectiveness according to the quality of food available. These findings indicate that ant effectiveness in plant protection is context-dependent and may vary according to specific individual characteristics of plants. In addition, we showed that competitively superior ant species tend to dominate plants in periods with high nectar activity, emphasizing the role of the dominance hierarchy structuring ant-plant interactions. However, when high sugar food sources were experimentally available ad libitum, the nocturnal and competitively superior ant species, Camponotus atriceps, did not dominate the artificial nectaries during the day possibly due to limitation of its thermal tolerance. Therefore, temporal niche partitioning may be allowing the coexistence of two dominant ant species (Camponotus rubritorax during the day and C. atriceps at night) on V. constricta. Our findings indicate that the quality of the food source, and temporal shifts in ant dominance are key factors which structure the biotic plant defences in an arid environment.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yuanshi; Wang, Shikun

    2015-01-01

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

  2. 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

  3. The importance of ants in cave ecology, with new records and behavioral observations of ants in Arizona caves

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert B. Pape

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available The importance of ants as elements in cave ecology has been mostly unrecognized. A global list of ant species recorded from caves, compiled from a review of existing literature, is presented. This paper also reviews what is currently known about ants occurring in Arizona (USA caves. The diversity and distribution represented in these records suggests ants are relatively common cave visitors (trogloxenes. A general utilization of caves by ants within both temperate and tropical latitudes may be inferred from this combined evidence. Observations of ant behavior in Arizona caves demonstrate a low level and sporadic, but persistent, use of these habitats and their contained resources by individual ant colonies. Documentation of Neivamyrmex sp. preying on cave-inhabiting arthropods is reported here for the first time. Observations of hypogeic army ants in caves suggests they may not penetrate to great vertical depth in search of prey, but can be persistent occupants in relatively shallow, horizontal sections of caves where they may prey on endemic cave animals. First cave records for ten ant species are reported from Arizona caves. These include two species of Neivamyrmex (N. nigrescens Cresson and Neivamyrmex sp.; Formicidae: Dorylinae, four myrmicines (Pheidole portalensis Wilson, Pheidole cf. porcula Wheeler, Solenopsis aurea Wheeler and Stenamma sp. Westwood, one dolichoderine (Forelius keiferi Wheeler and three formicines (Lasius arizonicus Wheeler, L. sitiens Wilson, and Camponotus sp. Mayr.

  4. The shape of terrestrial abundance distributions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alroy, John

    2015-01-01

    Ecologists widely accept that the distribution of abundances in most communities is fairly flat but heavily dominated by a few species. The reason for this is that species abundances are thought to follow certain theoretical distributions that predict such a pattern. However, previous studies have focused on either a few theoretical distributions or a few empirical distributions. I illustrate abundance patterns in 1055 samples of trees, bats, small terrestrial mammals, birds, lizards, frogs, ants, dung beetles, butterflies, and odonates. Five existing theoretical distributions make inaccurate predictions about the frequencies of the most common species and of the average species, and most of them fit the overall patterns poorly, according to the maximum likelihood–related Kullback-Leibler divergence statistic. Instead, the data support a low-dominance distribution here called the “double geometric.” Depending on the value of its two governing parameters, it may resemble either the geometric series distribution or the lognormal series distribution. However, unlike any other model, it assumes both that richness is finite and that species compete unequally for resources in a two-dimensional niche landscape, which implies that niche breadths are variable and that trait distributions are neither arrayed along a single dimension nor randomly associated. The hypothesis that niche space is multidimensional helps to explain how numerous species can coexist despite interacting strongly. PMID:26601249

  5. Ant-plant-homopteran mutualism: how the third partner affects the interaction between a plant-specialist ant and its myrmecophyte host

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaume, L.; McKey, D.; Terrin, S.

    1998-01-01

    By estimating relative costs and benefits, we explored the role of the homopteran partner in the protection mutualism between the myrmecophyte Leonardoxa africana T3, the ant Aphomomyrmex afer, and sap-sucking homopterans tended by ants in the tree's swollen hollow twigs. The ants obtain nest sites and food from their host-plant (food is obtained either directly by extrafloral nectar or indirectly via homopterans). Aphomomyrmex workers patrol the young leaves of L. africana T3 and protect them against phytophagous insects. Because ants tended, either solely or primarily, coccids in some trees and pseudococcids in others, we were able to study whether the nature of the interaction was dependent on the identity of the third partner. First, the type of homopteran affects the benefits to the tree of maintaining a large ant colony. Larger colony size (relative to tree size) confers greater protection against herbivory; this relationship is more pronounced for trees whose ants tend pseudococcids than for those in which ants tend coccids. Second, for trees (and associated ant colonies) of comparable size, homopteran biomass was much larger in trees harbouring coccids than in trees with pseudococcids. Thus, the cost to the tree of maintaining ants may be greater when ants are associated with coccids. The net benefits to the plant of maintaining ants appear to be much greater with pseudococcids as the third partner. To explore how the type of homopteran affects functioning of the system, we attempted to determine which of the resources (nest sites, extrafloral nectar, and homopterans) is likely to limit ant colony size. In trees where ants tended coccids, ant-colony biomass was strongly dependent on the number of extrafloral nectaries. In contrast, in trees whose ants tended only pseudococcids, colony biomass was not related to the number of nectaries and was most strongly determined by the volume of available nest sites. We present hypotheses to explain how the type of

  6. Assessing the impact of deforestation of the Atlantic rainforest on ant-fruit interactions: a field experiment using synthetic fruits.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana Gabriela D Bieber

    Full Text Available Ants frequently interact with fleshy fruits on the ground of tropical forests. This interaction is regarded as mutualistic because seeds benefit from enhanced germination and dispersal to nutrient-rich microsites, whereas ants benefit from consuming the nutritious pulp/aril. Considering that the process of deforestation affects many attributes of the ecosystem such as species abundance and composition, and interspecific interactions, we asked whether the interaction between ants and fallen fleshy fruits in the Brazilian Atlantic forest differs between human-created fragments and undisturbed forests. We controlled diaspore type and quantity by using synthetic fruits (a plastic 'seed' covered by a lipid-rich 'pulp', which were comparable to lipid-rich fruits. Eight independent areas (four undisturbed forests, and four disturbed forest fragments were used in the field experiment, in which we recorded the attracted ant species, ant behaviour, and fruit removal distance. Fruits in undisturbed forest sites attracted a higher number of species than those in disturbed forests. Moreover, the occurrence of large, fruit-carrying ponerine ants (Pachycondyla, Odontomachus; 1.1 to 1.4 cm was higher in undisturbed forests. Large species (≥3 mm of Pheidole (Myrmicinae, also able to remove fruits, did not differ between forest types. Following these changes in species occurrence, fruit displacement was more frequent in undisturbed than in disturbed forests. Moreover, displacement distances were also greater in the undisturbed forests. Our data suggest that fallen fleshy fruits interacting with ants face different fates depending on the conservation status of the forest. Together with the severe loss of their primary dispersers in human-disturbed tropical forest sites, vertebrate-dispersed fruits may also be deprived of potential ant-derived benefits in these habitats due to shifts in the composition of interacting ant species. Our data illustrate the use of

  7. Tropical and Holarctic Ants in Late Eocene Ambers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Perkovsky E. E.

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Based on representative collections, the ratio of tropical and Holarctic ant species in Priabonian (Late Eocene Baltic, Bitterfeld (Saxonian, Danish and Rovno ambers is analyzed for the first time. In surveyed representative collections of Baltic amber, the ratios of Holarctic and tropical ant species are from 1.1 to 1.5; with 10 Holarctic and 9 tropical species (out of 31 in the PIN-964 collection, and 9 and 5 species (out of 29 in the Giecewicz collection; the ratio in the representative collection of Saxonian amber is 0.9, 11 Holarctic species vs. 12 tropical species (out of 55; in the representative collection of Rovno amber it is 0.65, 15 vs. 23 species (out of 79; and in the representative collection of Danish amber it is 0.64, 7 vs. 11 species (out of 36. Hence, in representative collections of Baltic amber, Holarctic species clearly prevail not just in terms of the share of their specimens (by 9.8 to 19.6 times, but also by the number of species. In Bitterfeld amber, Holarctic species are somewhat less numerous than tropical ones, but their specimens are 6 times greater. In representative collections of Rovno and Danish ambers, the number of Holarctic species is 1.5 to 1.7 times smaller than that of tropical species, but the number of their specimens is 4.9 to 6.9 times greater. The numbers of tropical and Holarctic species represented by more than one specimen is similar in Priabonian ambers, 25 versus 22, but Holarctic species include four dominants or subdominants. The abundance of temperate elements in the Priabonian amber ant fauna along with the relatively small number of tropical elements greatly distinguishes it from the Middle European Lutetian ant faunas of Messel and Eckfeld in shale, which do not have temperate elements at all. Formica phaethusa Wheeler, Glaphyromyrmex oligocenicus Wheeler, Plagiolepis squamifera Mayr, Proceratium eocenicum Dlussky, Hypoponera atavia (Mayr, Ponera lobulifera Dlussky, Aphaenogaster mersa

  8. 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...

  9. Leaf-litter amount as a factor in the structure of a ponerine ants community (Hymenoptera, Formicidae, Ponerinae in an eastern Amazonian rainforest, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexandro Herbert dos Santos Bastos

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Leaf-litter amount as a factor in the structure of a ponerine ants community (Hymenoptera, Formicidae, Ponerinae in an eastern Amazonian rainforest, Brazil. Leaf-litter may be an important factor in structuring ponerine ant communities (Hymenoptera, Formicidae, Ponerinae in tropical rainforests. We specifically examined how leaf-litter affects the structure of a ponerine ant community in primary Amazonian rainforest sites at the Ferreira Penna Scientific Station, Pará, Brazil. A total of 53 species belonging to eight genera of three ponerine tribes were collected with mini-Winkler extractors. The amount of leaf-litter positively affected the abundance and richness of the ponerine ant community, and also influenced species composition. Nearby samples often had low species similarity, especially when adjacent samples differed in the amount of leaf-litter. Leaf-litter availability in Amazonian primary forests is a key factor for distribution of ground-dwelling ponerine species, even at small scales.

  10. Canopy Venom: Proteomic Comparison among New World Arboreal Pit-Viper Venoms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Debono, Jordan; Cochran, Chip; Kuruppu, Sanjaya; Nouwens, Amanda; Rajapakse, Niwanthi W; Kawasaki, Minami; Wood, Kelly; Dobson, James; Baumann, Kate; Jouiaei, Mahdokht; Jackson, Timothy N W; Koludarov, Ivan; Low, Dolyce; Ali, Syed A; Smith, A Ian; Barnes, Andrew; Fry, Bryan G

    2016-07-08

    Central and South American pitvipers, belonging to the genera Bothrops and Bothriechis, have independently evolved arboreal tendencies. Little is known regarding the composition and activity of their venoms. In order to close this knowledge gap, venom proteomics and toxin activity of species of Bothriechis, and Bothrops (including Bothriopsis) were investigated through established analytical methods. A combination of proteomics and bioactivity techniques was used to demonstrate a similar diversification of venom composition between large and small species within Bothriechis and Bothriopsis. Increasing our understanding of the evolution of complex venom cocktails may facilitate future biodiscoveries.

  11. Ant Fauna Diversity in an Area Degraded by Diamond Mining in the State of Mato Grosso,Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jorge João Aparecido Nahra

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available This study aimed at sampling the diversity of ants in environments influenced by diamond mining activities in the Brazilian savannah, providing information on the ant fauna in this region of Mato Grosso.The study was carried out in the city of Poxoréu-MT, Brazil, in a property with diamond mining,where pitfall traps were installed in four different transects per environment: A1 – degraded area by diamond mining A2 – adjacent area to A1 with savannah vegetation with anthropogenic influence, A3 – adjacent area to A2 with anthropized savannah vegetation, bordering with A4 – area with savannah vegetation preserved without anthropogenic changes. Samples were collected bimonthly for a period of one year, and the samples were quantified and identified taking into account their species level in order to allow the application of the diversity indices for each environment. 15 species of ants were sampled among the four environments, being nine species in A1, 13 in A2, 15 in A3 and 12 species in A4, presenting Brachymyrmex patagonicus as the most abundant, foraging in all environments. Diversity indices allow to conclude that A3 has the greatest diversity of species, and conversely the lower dominance, in all environments. However, A1 was the most dominant species of ants due to the lowest diversity. Thus, environmental degradation by diamond mining can affect the composition of ants and their dominance in the savannah vegetation.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-02-01

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

  13. 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.

    2013-01-01

    The ants are extraordinary in having evolved many lineages that exploit closely related ant societies as social parasites, but social parasitism by distantly related ants is rare. Here we document the interaction dynamics among a Sericomyrmex fungus-growing ant host, a permanently associated parasitic guest ant of the genus Megalomyrmex, and a raiding agro-predator of the genus Gnamptogenys. We show experimentally that the guest ants protect their host colonies against agro-predator raids using alkaloid venom that is much more potent than the biting defenses of the host ants. Relatively few guest ants are sufficient to kill raiders that invariably exterminate host nests without a cohabiting guest ant colony. We also show that the odor of guest ants discourages raider scouts from recruiting nestmates to host colonies. Our results imply that Sericomyrmex fungus-growers obtain a net benefit 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. PMID:24019482

  14. 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.

  15. 76 FR 80392 - Notice of Inventory Completion: University of Michigan Museum of Anthropology, Ann Arbor, MI

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-12-23

    ...: University of Michigan Museum of Anthropology, Ann Arbor, MI AGENCY: National Park Service, Interior. ACTION... Michigan officials and its Museum of Anthropology professional staff in consultation with representatives... accessioned into the Museum of Anthropology. Between 2007 and 2009 the remains were inventoried at the...

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

    OpenAIRE

    Naser, Belal; Bodinet, Cornelia; Tegtmeier, Martin; Lindequist, Ulrike

    2005-01-01

    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, especial...

  17. Monoculture of leafcutter ant gardens.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ulrich G Mueller

    2010-09-01

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

  18. Variations iconographiques : Constantin le Grand dans les peintures des églises de Pătrăuţi et d’Arbore / Iconographic Variations: Constantine the Great in the Paintings of the Churches of Pătrăuţi and Arbore

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tereza Sinigalia

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Iconographic Variations: Constantine the Great in the Paintings of the Churches of Pătrăuţi and Arbore. The article, written in 2013, the Constantinian Year, takes back and develops some ideas which can be found in my previous articles concerning the murals in both of churches in discussion. „The Exaltation of the Holy Cross” of the former nun’s monastery Pătrăuţi and the church dedicated to „The Beheading of St John the Baptist” in the village Arbore. The first is the foundation of the Moldavian prince Ştefan the Great (!487 and the second was built by Luca Arbore, chef of the army of the same Ştefan and of his hairs, Bogdan III and Stephen the Young, in 1503. The last was under the guardianship of Arbore during his nonage time, but was beheaded by him for high treason in 1523. As a reflex of the political situation of the Moldavia, see the military actions of the Ottomans in their endeavor to conquer Stephen’s country, the prince took the Emperor Constantine as a model in his struggle against the enemies of the Cross. The great „Cavalcade of the Emperor Constantine the Great/The Vision of the Emperor”, painted on the western wall of the narthex of the church in Pătrăuţi and the presence of the same Emperor as intercessor in front of Christ in the Votive painting of Stephens’s family and in the company of his mother, Helen, in some other images, so as in the scenes illustrating the History of the Holly Cross, found by Helen in Jerusalem, proves the special spiritual and political interest of the founder in this issue. The great chef of the army, Luca Arbore, demonstrates a similar idea when he asked the painters of his church to introduce in the narthex, on the western wall „The vision of the Emperor Constantine”, „The Discovery of the Cross” and „The Exaltation of the Holy Cross”. The datation of the painting rests an open discussion. I offered some supplementary arguments supporting the painting of the

  19. 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...

  20. Antagonistic Interactions between the African Weaver Ant Oecophylla longinoda and the Parasitoid Anagyrus pseudococci Potentially Limits Suppression of the Invasive Mealybug Rastrococcus iceryoides

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chrysantus M. Tanga

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available The ant Oecophylla longinoda Latreille forms a trophobiotic relationship with the invasive mealybug Rastrococus iceryoides Green and promotes the latter’s infestations to unacceptable levels in the presence of their natural enemies. In this regard, the antagonistic interactions between the ant and the parasitoid Anagyrus pseudococci Girault were assessed under laboratory conditions. The percentage of parasitism of R. iceryoides by A. pseudococci was significantly higher on “ant-excluded” treatments (86.6% ± 1.27% compared to “ant-tended” treatments (51.4% ± 4.13%. The low female-biased sex-ratio observed in the “ant-tended” treatment can be attributed to ants’ interference during the oviposition phase, which disrupted parasitoids’ ability to fertilize eggs. The mean foraging time, host handling time and number of successful oviposition in “ant-excluded” treatment were significantly higher compared to “ant-tended” treatments. When ant workers were allowed access to sterilized sand grains, mummified and unmummified R. iceryoides, they selectively removed the mummified mealybugs, indicating that they recognized the mummies as potential foods (1.2 ± 0.46 to 7.8 ± 1.17 mummies at 10 min intervals for 2 h. Percentage emergence from mummified R. iceryoides removed by the ants was significantly lower compared to emergence from mummies not exposed to ants. Although, host seeking parasitoids frequently evaded attacks, some were killed by the foraging ant workers (2.0 ± 0.38 to 6.0 ± 0.88 at 10 min intervals for 2 h. These results suggest for the first time that the presence of O. longinoda has a detrimental effect on the abundance, reproductive success and possibly oviposition strategy of female parasitoids, which might be a delimiting factor in field conditions if both natural enemies are to be recommended for use within the same agro-ecosystem.

  1. Food resource and temporal partitioning amongst a guild of predatory agroecosystem - inhabiting ant species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vivek Mohan AGARWAL, Neelkamal RASTOGI

    2009-10-01

    Full Text Available Prey diversity and temporal foraging patterns of six abundant, predatory ant species were investigated seasonally in an agroecosystem with two main vegetable crops. Pheidole sp. demonstrated the highest predation success and therefore appears to be the dominant species while Tapinoma melanocephalum showed the lowest success under the natural field conditions. Investigation of prey diversity and temporal activity patterns with the null model tests of niche overlap revealed a significant overlap indicating that the activity periods and prey diversity may not be solely influenced by interactions among the co-existing ant species. However, niche partitioning in the daily peak activity periods was demonstrated during all the three seasons (summer, rainy and winter particularly between Pheidole sp. and T. melanocephalum. Pheidole sp. exhibited a high intensity, broadly extended mono-modal foraging pattern. Camponotus compressus and C. paria showed bi-modality in their foraging activity during the rainy season and mono-modal patterns during summer and winter seasons. Pachycondyla tesserinoda, Tetramorium sp. and T. melanocephalum exhibited peak foraging activities in the morning hours during the summer and rainy seasons. The activity profiles of C. compressus and T. melanocephalum were skewed towards late afternoon hours during the winter season indicating avoidance of foraging activity during the favourable periods when the more aggressive Pheidole sp. is active. In the sponge gourd agroecosystem, the ants captured predominantly hymenopteran, orthopteran and coleopteran insects. While Pheidole sp. hunted mainly the large orthopteran prey, other ant species captured worker ants in the sponge gourd agroecosystem. In the cauliflower agroecosystem, while other species captured prey chiefly belonging to six orders, i.e., Lepidoptera, Hymenoptera, Coleoptera, Hemiptera, Isoptera and Diptera, Pheidole sp. was the only species to also hunt orthopteran prey

  2. Antígona y la muerte

    OpenAIRE

    Pérez Alcolea, Simona Micaela

    2012-01-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. Ants defend aphids against lethal disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nielsen, Charlotte; Agrawal, Anurag A.; Hajek, Ann E.

    2010-01-01

    Social insects defend their own colonies and some species also protect their mutualist partners. In mutualisms with aphids, ants typically feed on honeydew produced by aphids and, in turn guard and shelter aphid colonies from insect natural enemies. Here we report that Formica podzolica ants tending milkweed aphids, Aphis asclepiadis, protect aphid colonies from lethal fungal infections caused by an obligate aphid pathogen, Pandora neoaphidis. In field experiments, bodies of fungal-killed aphids were quickly removed from ant-tended aphid colonies. Ant workers were also able to detect infective conidia on the cuticle of living aphids and responded by either removing or grooming these aphids. Our results extend the long-standing view of ants as mutualists and protectors of aphids by demonstrating focused sanitizing and quarantining behaviour that may lead to reduced disease transmission in aphid colonies. PMID:19923138

  5. Generic diversity of ants (Himenopteros: Formicidae in forest set, forest border and areas cultivated three Communities of the Municipality of Coripata, Nor Yungas Department of La Paz, Bolivia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mamani-Mamani Beatriz

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available The biodiversity is the variety of all the vegetables, animals and the microorganisms that end up coexisting and interaction inside an ecosystem to be interrelated to each other. The ants represent the biggest abundance inside the insects. The family Formicidae is characterized by the importance that has in the natural ecosystems and for the variety of ecological functions that you/they complete, due to the association with many plants and animals. They have a great variability in the feeding and they use diverse nidificación forms; however they are very scarce the carried out studies. The present investigation was carried out in the municipality of Coripata, where the family Formicidae showed bigger abundance and wealth among habitats. For that they settled the 5 traps of having fallen by place (Altuspata, Choro and Alto Choro in three types of different habitats (forest, forest border and cultivation during 12 months. 15026 individuals were distributed in 6 subfamilies with 26 goods and 46 species y/o morfoespecies found in total. This shows that it exists a great wealth and abundance of ants in this ecosystem. The subfamilies Ecitoninae showed a bigger number of individuals for the habit form that you/they have of being depredators and nomadic. The biggest wealth and abundance of ants was identified in the area of forest of the place Altuspata. Inside the subfamilies Ecitoninae the species Labidus spininoides and Labidus praedator presented bigger number, and with regard to the places one has similarity as for the quantity of individuals.

  6. Collective search by ants in microgravity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefanie M. Countryman

    2015-03-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. The Biochemical Toxin Arsenal from Ant Venoms

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  9. Schizophyllum commune: The main cause of dying trees of the Banja Luka arbored walks and parks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matavulj Milan N.

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available In the frame of investigation of the main cause of dying trees of the main arbored walks (Mladena Stojanovića Aley and Park, the investigation of the presence and diversity of macrofungi in Banja Luka City were undertaken in the period 2006-2011. Relatively poor generic diversity of lignicolous (pathogenic or potentially pathogenic and saprotrophic macrofungi with only 16 species representing this group (13 basidiomycets: Schizophyllum commune, Fomes fomentarius, Stereum hirsutum, Coriolus versicolor, Flammulina velutipes, Pseudotrametes gibbosa, Ganoderma applanatum, G. lucidum, G. adspersum, Polyporus squamosus, Meripilus giganteus, Laetiporus sulphureus, Auricu­laria auricula-judae, and 3 ascomycets: Nectria cinnabarina, Xylaria hypoxylon, X. poly­morpha were recorded. Such a poor qualitative composition of this very important fungal group could be explained by the reduction in the number of plant species in arbored walks and alleys, as well as the reduction in the number of fungi resistant to heavy air pollution caused by nearby (1-5m fuel combustion in engines. Although only preliminary, our results pointed to the necessity of conservation and protection of the most beautiful features of Banja Luka and its alleys and arbored walks, by undertaking the measures of curing damaged trees and treating them with fungicides in order to wipe out the epiphytia caused in more than 95% of cases (dated May 2011 by Split-gill (Schizophyllum commune, present on dead wood but also on damaged trees of Aesculus hyppocastaneum (127 trees, Tilia cordata (124 trees, Tilia platyphyllos (36 trees, Tilia argentea (40 trees, Acer negundo (20 trees, Platanus acerifolia (2 trees, Robinia pseudoacacia (3 trees, Fraxinus ornus (1 tree, Betula pendula (1 tree, Catalpa sp. (2 trees, etc. Altogether, during the last decade, around 200 trees collapsed or were sanitary cut in Banja Luka arbored walk from the Malta site to the Green bridge, a total length around 5 km. The

  10. Aphid egg protection by ants: a novel aspect of the mutualism between the tree-feeding aphid Stomaphis hirukawai and its attendant ant Lasius productus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matsuura, Kenji; Yashiro, Toshihisa

    2006-10-01

    Aphids often form mutualistic associations with ants, in which the aphids provide the ants with honeydew and the ants defend the aphids from predators. In this paper, we report aphid egg protection by ants as a novel aspect of the deeply interdependent relationship between a tree-feeding aphid and its attendant ant. The ant Lasius productus harbours oviparous females, males, and eggs of the hinoki cypress-feeding aphid Stomaphis hirukawai in its nests in winter. We investigated the behaviour of ants kept with aphid eggs in petri dishes to examine whether the ants recognise the aphid eggs and tend them or only provide a refuge for the aphids. Workers carried almost all of the aphid eggs into the nest within 24 h. The ants indiscriminately tended aphid eggs collected from their own colonies and those from other ant colonies. The ants cleaned the eggs and piled them up in the nest, and egg tending by ants dramatically increased aphid egg survival rates. Starving the ants showed no significant effect on aphid egg survivorship. Without ants, aphid eggs were rapidly killed by fungi. These results suggested that grooming by the ants protected the aphid eggs, at least, against pathogenic fungi. This hygienic service afforded by the ants seems indispensable for egg survival of these aphids in an environment rich in potentially pathogenic microorganisms.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. Ant-plant symbioses: Stalking the chuyachaqui.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davidson, D W; McKey, D

    1993-09-01

    According to Quechua-speaking peoples, orchard-like stands ('Supay Chacras') of two Amazonian ant-plant species are cultivated by the devil, or 'Chuyachaqui'. These "devil gardens" offer extreme examples of specializations that have evolved repeatedly in ant-plant associations. Numerous investigations are beginning to disclose the identity of the Chuyachaqui - the forces behind evolutionary specialization in ant-plant symbioses. These developments have important implications for our understanding of modes of coevolution in symbiotic mutualism, remarkable convergent similarities in the form of ant-plant symbioses on different continents, and pronounced intercontinental differences in the diversity and taxonomic composition of associates. Copyright © 1993. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  14. 76 FR 73670 - Notice of Inventory Completion: University of Michigan Museum of Anthropology, Ann Arbor, MI

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-11-29

    ...: University of Michigan Museum of Anthropology, Ann Arbor, MI AGENCY: National Park Service, Interior. ACTION... Museum of Anthropology NAGPRA collections staff in consultation with representatives of the Bay Mills... Anthropology purchased the human remains from Reverend L. P. Rowland in November of 1924 as part of a larger...

  15. In vitro antioxidant evaluation and total phenolics of methanolic leaf extracts of Nyctanthes arbor-tristis L.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michael, J Savarimuthu; Kalirajan, A; Padmalatha, C; Singh, A J A Ranjit

    2013-09-01

    To investigate the in vitro antioxidant activity and total phenolic content of the methanolic leaf extract of Nyctanthes arbor-tristis L. (NA). The sample was tested using five in vitro antioxidant methods (1, 1-diphenyl-2-picryl hydrazine radical scavenging activity (DPPH), hydroxyl radical-scavenging activity (-OH), nitric oxide scavenging activity (NO), superoxide radical-scavenging activity, and total antioxidant activity) to evaluate the in vitro antioxidant potential of NA and the total phenolic content (Folin-Ciocalteu method). The extract showed good free radical scavenging property which was calculated as an IC50 value. IC50 (Half maximal inhibitory concentration) of the methanolic extract was found to be 57.93 μg·mL(-1) for DPPH, 98.61 μg·mL(-1) for -OH, 91.74 μg·mL(-1) for NO, and 196.07 μg·mL(-1) for superoxide radical scavenging activity. Total antioxidant capacity of the extract was found to be (1198 ± 24.05) mg ascorbic acid for the methanolic extract. Free radical scavenging activity observed in the extracts of NA showed a concentration-dependent reaction. The in vitro scavenging tested for free radicals was reported to be due to high phenolic content in the leaf extract. The leaf extract of NA showed the highest total phenolic content with a value of 78.48 ± 4.2 equivalent mg TAE/g (tannic acid equivalent). N. arbor-tristis leaf extract exhibited potent free radical scavenging activity. The finding suggests that N. arbor-tristis leaves could be a potential source of natural antioxidant. Copyright © 2013 China Pharmaceutical University. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Predictors of leafhopper abundance and richness in a coffee agroecosystem in Chiapas, Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burdine, Justin D; Domínguez Martínez, Gabriel H; Philpott, Stacy M

    2014-04-01

    Coffee agroecosystems with a vegetatively complex shade canopy contain high levels of biodiversity. However, as coffee management is intensified, diversity may be lost. Most biodiversity studies in coffee agroecosystems have examined predators and not herbivores, despite their importance as potential coffee pests and coffee disease vectors. We sampled one abundant herbivore group of leafhoppers on an organic coffee farm in Chiapas, Mexico. We sampled leafhoppers with elevated pan traps in high- and moderate-shade coffee during the dry and wet seasons of 2011. The two major objectives were to 1) compare leafhopper abundance and richness during the wet and dry seasons and 2) examine the correlations between habitat characteristics (e.g., vegetation, elevation, and presence of aggressive ants) and leafhopper richness and abundance. We collected 2,351 leafhoppers, representing eight tribes and 64 morphospecies. Leafhopper abundance was higher in the dry season than in the wet season. Likewise, leafhopper richness was higher in the dry season. Several vegetation and other habitat characteristics correlated with abundance and richness of leafhoppers. The number of Inga trees positively correlated with leafhopper abundance, and other significant correlates of abundance included vegetation complexity. Leafhopper richness was correlated with the number of Inga trees. As leafhoppers transmit important coffee diseases, understanding the specific habitat factors correlating with changes in abundance and richness may help predict future disease outbreaks.

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

  18. ANT, tourism and situated globality

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  19. The effects of biogeography on ant diversity and activity on the Boston Harbor Islands, Massachusetts, U.S.A.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, Adam T; Rykken, Jessica J; Farrell, Brian D

    2011-01-01

    Many studies have examined how island biogeography affects diversity on the scale of island systems. In this study, we address how diversity varies over very short periods of time on individual islands. To do this, we compile an inventory of the ants living in the Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area, Boston, Massachusetts, USA using data from a five-year All Taxa Biodiversity Inventory of the region's arthropods. Consistent with the classical theory of island biogeography, species richness increased with island size, decreased with island isolation, and remained relatively constant over time. Additionally, our inventory finds that almost half of the known Massachusetts ant fauna can be collected in the BHI, and identifies four new species records for Massachusetts, including one new to the United States, Myrmica scabrinodis. We find that the number of species actually active on islands depended greatly on the timescale under consideration. The species that could be detected during any given week of sampling could by no means account for total island species richness, even when correcting for sampling effort. Though we consistently collected the same number of species over any given week of sampling, the identities of those species varied greatly between weeks. This variation does not result from local immigration and extinction of species, nor from seasonally-driven changes in the abundance of individual species, but rather from weekly changes in the distribution and activity of foraging ants. This variation can be upwards of 50% of ant species per week. This suggests that numerous ant species on the BHI share the same physical space at different times. This temporal partitioning could well explain such unexpectedly high ant diversity in an isolated, urban site.

  20. Recurrence analysis of ant activity patterns.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Felipe Marcel Neves

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

  1. Practice makes perfect: Performance optimisation in 'arboreal' parkour athletes illuminates the evolutionary ecology of great ape anatomy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Halsey, Lewis G; Coward, Samuel R L; Crompton, Robin H; Thorpe, Susannah K S

    2017-02-01

    An animal's size is central to its ecology, yet remarkably little is known about the selective pressures that drive this trait. A particularly compelling example is how ancestral apes evolved large body mass in such a physically and energetically challenging environment as the forest canopy, where weight-bearing branches and lianas are flexible, irregular and discontinuous, and the majority of preferred foods are situated on the most flexible branches at the periphery of tree crowns. To date the issue has been intractable due to a lack of relevant fossil material, the limited capacity of the fossil record to reconstruct an animal's behavioural ecology and the inability to measure energy consumption in freely moving apes. We studied the oxygen consumption of parkour athletes while they traversed an arboreal-like course as an elite model ape, to test the ecomorphological and behavioural mechanisms by which a large-bodied ape could optimize its energetic performance during tree-based locomotion. Our results show that familiarity with the arboreal-like course allowed the athletes to substantially reduce their energy expenditure. Furthermore, athletes with larger arm spans and shorter legs were particularly adept at finding energetic savings. Our results flesh out the scanty fossil record to offer evidence that long, strong arms, broad chests and a strong axial system, combined with the frequent use of uniform branch-to-branch arboreal pathways, were critical to off-setting the mechanical and energetic demands of large mass in ancestral apes. Crown Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Symbiotic mutualism with a community of opportunistic ants: protection, competition, and ant occupancy of the myrmecophyte Barteria nigritana (Passifloraceae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Djiéto-Lordon, Champlain; Dejean, Alain; Gibernau, Marc; Hossaert-McKey, Martine; McKey, Doyle

    2004-10-01

    Barteria nigritana is a myrmecophyte tree of Lower Guinea coastal vegetation. Unlike the more specialised B. fistulosa, which harbours a single host-specific mutualistic ant, B. nigritana is associated with several opportunistic ants. Such symbiotic, yet opportunistic, ant-plant associations have been little studied. On 113 clumps of B. nigritana, we censused ant associates and herbivores and compared herbivory on plants occupied by different ants. In addition to these correlative data, protection conferred by different ant species was compared by herbivore-placement experiments. Identity of ant associate changed predictably over plant ontogeny. Pheidole megacephala was restricted to very small plants; saplings were occupied by either Oecophylla longinoda or Crematogaster sp., and the latter species was the sole occupant of larger trees. Damage by caterpillars of the nymphalid butterfly Acraea zetes accounted for much of the herbivory to leaves. Ant species differed in the protection provided to hosts. While P. megacephala provided no significant protection, plants occupied by O. longinoda and Crematogaster sp. suffered less damage than did unoccupied plants or those occupied by P. megacephala. Furthermore, O. longinoda provided more effective protection than did Crematogaster sp. Herbivore-placement experiments confirmed these results. Workers of O. longinoda killed or removed all larval instars of A. zetes. Crematogaster preyed on only the two first larval instars, and P. megacephala preyed mainly on eggs, only rarely attacking the two first larval instars. Opportunistic ants provided significant protection to this relatively unspecialised myrmecophyte. The usual associate of mature trees was not the species that provided most protection.

  3. Vascular epiphytes and host trees of ant-gardens in an anthropic landscape in southeastern Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morales-Linares, Jonas; García-Franco, José G.; Flores-Palacios, Alejandro; Valenzuela-González, Jorge E.; Mata-Rosas, Martín; Díaz-Castelazo, Cecilia

    2016-12-01

    Ant-gardens (AGs) are considered one of the most complex mutualist systems between ants and plants, since interactions involving dispersal, protection, and nutrition occur simultaneously in them; however, little is known about the effects of the transformation of ecosystems on their diversity and interactions. In five environments with different land use within an anthropic landscape in southeastern Mexico, we investigated the diversity and composition of epiphytes and host trees of AGs built by Azteca gnava. A total of 10,871 individuals of 26 epiphytic species, associating with 859 AGs located in 161 host trees, were recorded. The diversity and composition of epiphytes tended to be different between environments; however, Aechmea tillandsioides and Codonanthe uleana were the most important species and considered true AG epiphytes, because they were the most frequent, abundant, and occurred exclusively in AGs. Other important species were the orchids Epidendrum flexuosum, Coryanthes picturata, and Epidendrum pachyrachis, and should also be considered true AG epiphytes, because they occurred almost exclusively in the AGs. The AG abundance in agroforestry plantations was similar or even greater than in riparian vegetation (natural habitat). The AGs were registered in 37 host species but were more frequent in Mangifera indica and Citrus sinensis. We conclude that true epiphytes of A. gnava AGs persist in different environments and host trees, and even these AGs could proliferate in agroforestry plantations of anthropic landscapes.

  4. Spatial grain and the causes of regional diversity gradients in ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaspari, Michael; Yuan, May; Alonso, Leeanne

    2003-03-01

    Gradients of species richness (S; the number of species of a given taxon in a given area and time) are ubiquitous. A key goal in ecology is to understand whether and how the many processes that generate these gradients act at different spatial scales. Here we evaluate six hypotheses for diversity gradients with 49 New World ant communities, from tundra to rain forest. We contrast their performance at three spatial grains from S(plot), the average number of ant species nesting in a m2 plot, through Fisher's alpha, an index that treats our 30 1-m2 plots as subsamples of a locality's diversity. At the smallest grain, S(plot), was tightly correlated (r2 = 0.99) with colony abundance in a fashion indistinguishable from the packing of randomly selected individuals into a fixed space. As spatial grain increased, the coaction of two factors linked to high net rates of diversification--warm temperatures and large areas of uniform climate--accounted for 75% of the variation in Fisher's alpha. However, the mechanisms underlying these correlations (i.e., precisely how temperature and area shape the balance of speciation to extinction) remain elusive.

  5. First report of two species of scarab beetles (Coleoptera, Scarabaeidae inside nests of Azteca cf. chartifex Forel (Hymenoptera, Formicidae in Brazilian Amazonian Rainforest

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    João Rafael Alves-Oliveira

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT We report for the first time the occurrence of two species of scarab beetles, Phileurus carinatus declivis Prell, 1914 (Scarabaeidae: Dynastinae and Cyclidius elongatus (Olivier, 1789 (Cetoniinae: Cremastocheilini inside nests of Azteca cf. chartifex Forel, 1896, a neotropical arboreal ant species. This report indicates that these two beetle species are associated, at least as inquilines, to this ant species, although the nature of this relationship remains unclear.

  6. The fungal cultivar of leaf-cutter ants produces specific enzymes in response to different plant substrates

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Khadempour, Lily [Department of Bacteriology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison WI 53706 USA; Department of Zoology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison WI 53706 USA; Department of Energy Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison WI 53706 USA; Burnum-Johnson, Kristin E. [Biological Sciences Division, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland WA 99352 USA; Baker, Erin S. [Biological Sciences Division, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland WA 99352 USA; Nicora, Carrie D. [Biological Sciences Division, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland WA 99352 USA; Webb-Robertson, Bobbie-Jo M. [Biological Sciences Division, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland WA 99352 USA; White, Richard A. [Biological Sciences Division, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland WA 99352 USA; Monroe, Matthew E. [Biological Sciences Division, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland WA 99352 USA; Huang, Eric L. [Biological Sciences Division, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland WA 99352 USA; Smith, Richard D. [Biological Sciences Division, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland WA 99352 USA; Currie, Cameron R. [Department of Bacteriology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison WI 53706 USA; Department of Energy Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison WI 53706 USA

    2016-10-26

    Herbivores use symbiotic microbes to help gain access to energy and nutrients from plant material. Leaf-cutter ants are a paradigmatic example, having tremendous impact on their ecosystems as dominant generalist herbivores through cultivation of a fungus, Leucoagaricus gongylophorous. Here we examine how this mutualism could facilitate the flexible substrate incorporation of the ants by providing leaf-cutter ant subcolonies four substrate types: leaves, flowers, oats, and a mixture of all three. Through metaproteomic analysis of the fungus gardens, we were able to identify and quantify 1766 different fungal proteins, including 161 biomass-degrading enzymes. This analysis revealed that fungal protein profiles were significantly different between subcolonies fed different substrates with the highest abundance of cellulolytic enzymes observed in the leaf and flower treatments. When the fungus garden is provided with leaves and flowers, which contain the majority of their energy in recalcitrant material, it increases its production of proteins that break down cellulose: endoglucanases, exoglucanase and β-glucosidase. Further, the complete metaproteomes for the leaves and flowers treatments were very similar, the mixed treatment closely resembled the treatment with oats alone. This suggests that when provided a mixture of substrates, the fungus garden preferentially produces enzymes necessary for breakdown of simpler, more digestible substrates. This flexible, substrate-specific response of the fungal cultivar allows the leaf-cutter ants to derive energy from a wide range of substrates, which may contribute to their ability to be dominant generalist herbivores.

  7. An empirical assessment and comparison of species-based and habitat-based surrogates: a case study of forest vertebrates and large old trees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindenmayer, David B; Barton, Philip S; Lane, Peter W; Westgate, Martin J; McBurney, Lachlan; Blair, David; Gibbons, Philip; Likens, Gene E

    2014-01-01

    A holy grail of conservation is to find simple but reliable measures of environmental change to guide management. For example, particular species or particular habitat attributes are often used as proxies for the abundance or diversity of a subset of other taxa. However, the efficacy of such kinds of species-based surrogates and habitat-based surrogates is rarely assessed, nor are different kinds of surrogates compared in terms of their relative effectiveness. We use 30-year datasets on arboreal marsupials and vegetation structure to quantify the effectiveness of: (1) the abundance of a particular species of arboreal marsupial as a species-based surrogate for other arboreal marsupial taxa, (2) hollow-bearing tree abundance as a habitat-based surrogate for arboreal marsupial abundance, and (3) a combination of species- and habitat-based surrogates. We also quantify the robustness of species-based and habitat-based surrogates over time. We then use the same approach to model overall species richness of arboreal marsupials. We show that a species-based surrogate can appear to be a valid surrogate until a habitat-based surrogate is co-examined, after which the effectiveness of the former is lost. The addition of a species-based surrogate to a habitat-based surrogate made little difference in explaining arboreal marsupial abundance, but altered the co-occurrence relationship between species. Hence, there was limited value in simultaneously using a combination of kinds of surrogates. The habitat-based surrogate also generally performed significantly better and was easier and less costly to gather than the species-based surrogate. We found that over 30 years of study, the relationships which underpinned the habitat-based surrogate generally remained positive but variable over time. Our work highlights why it is important to compare the effectiveness of different broad classes of surrogates and identify situations when either species- or habitat-based surrogates are likely

  8. SAD kinases sculpt axonal arbors of sensory neurons through long and short-term responses to neurotrophin signals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lilley, Brendan N.; Pan, Y. Albert; Sanes, Joshua R.

    2013-01-01

    SUMMARY Extrinsic cues activate intrinsic signaling mechanisms to pattern neuronal shape and connectivity. We showed previously that three cytoplasmic Ser/Thr kinases, LKB1, SAD-A and SAD-B, control early axon-dendrite polarization in forebrain neurons. Here we assess their role in other neuronal types. We found that all three kinases are dispensable for axon formation outside of the cortex, but that SAD kinases are required for formation of central axonal arbors by subsets of sensory neurons. The requirement for SAD kinases is most prominent in NT-3 dependent neurons. SAD kinases transduce NT-3 signals in two ways through distinct pathways. First, sustained NT-3/TrkC signaling increases SAD protein levels. Second, short duration NT-3/TrkC signals transiently activate SADs by inducing dephosphorylation of C-terminal domains, thereby allowing activating phosphorylation of the kinase domain. We propose that SAD kinases integrate long- and short duration signals from extrinsic cues to sculpt axon arbors within the CNS. PMID:23790753

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    De La Riva, Deborah G.; Trumble, John T.

    2016-01-01

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

  12. Nyctanthes arbor-tristis Ameliorated FCA-Induced Experimental Arthritis: A Comparative Study among Different Extracts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uroos, Maliha; Sattar, Shumaila; Umer, Nigarish; Sharif, Ahsan

    2017-01-01

    Nyctanthes arbor-tristis (NAT) is commonly used traditionally for the treatment of rheumatism and inflammatory diseases. Current study evaluates the antiarthritic potential of NAT using Freund's adjuvant-induced arthritic rat model. Treatments with methanolic, ethyl acetate, and n-hexane extracts were continued for consecutive 20 days. Macroscopic arthritic scoring and water displacement plethysmometry were used to evaluate arthritic development. Hematological and biochemical parameters were investigated and ankle joints were processed for histopathological evaluation. Qualitative phytochemical analysis and GC-MS analysis were conducted for identification of constituents. NAT extracts suppressed arthritic scoring, paw edema, infiltration of inflammatory cells, pannus formation, and bone erosion. The plant extracts ameliorated total leukocytes and platelet counts and nearly normalized red blood cells (RBC) counts and hemoglobin (Hb) content. The extracts were found safe in terms of hepatotoxicity and nephrotoxicity as determined by aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine aminotransferase (ALT), creatinine, and urea levels. Comparative analysis showed that ethyl acetate extract produced the highest inhibition of paw edema. The major constituents found in ethyl acetate extract can be classified into three major classes, that is, terpenes, terpenoids, fatty acids, and iridoid glycosides. Current study showed that Nyctanthes arbor-tristis ameliorated experimental rheumatoid arthritis and ethyl acetate extract possessed the highest inhibitory activity. PMID:28676830

  13. THE KINETICS OF MULTIBRANCH INTEGRATION ON THE DENDRITIC ARBOR OF CA1 PYRAMIDAL NEURONS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sunggu eYang

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available The process by which synaptic inputs separated in time and space are integrated by the dendritic arbor to produce a sequence of action potentials is among the most fundamental signal transformations that takes place within the central nervous system. Some aspects of this complex process, such as integration at the level of individual dendritic branches, have been extensively studied. But other aspects, such as how inputs from multiple branches are combined, and the kinetics of that integration have not been systematically examined. Using a 3D digital holographic photolysis technique to overcome the challenges posed by the complexities of the 3D anatomy of the dendritic arbor of CA1 pyramidal neurons for conventional photolysis, we show that integration on a single dendrite is fundamentally different from that on multiple dendrites. Multibranch integration occurring at oblique and basal dendrites allows somatic action potential firing of the cell to faithfully follow the driving stimuli over a significantly wider frequency range than what is possible with single branch integration. However, multibranch integration requires greater input strength to drive the somatic action potentials. This tradeoff between sensitivity and kinetics may explain the puzzling report of the predominance of multibranch, rather than single branch, integration from in vivo recordings during presentation of visual stimuli.

  14. ArborZ: PHOTOMETRIC REDSHIFTS USING BOOSTED DECISION TREES

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gerdes, David W.; Sypniewski, Adam J.; McKay, Timothy A.; Hao, Jiangang; Weis, Matthew R.; Wechsler, Risa H.; Busha, Michael T.

    2010-01-01

    Precision photometric redshifts will be essential for extracting cosmological parameters from the next generation of wide-area imaging surveys. In this paper, we introduce a photometric redshift algorithm, ArborZ, based on the machine-learning technique of boosted decision trees. We study the algorithm using galaxies from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) and from mock catalogs intended to simulate both the SDSS and the upcoming Dark Energy Survey. We show that it improves upon the performance of existing algorithms. Moreover, the method naturally leads to the reconstruction of a full probability density function (PDF) for the photometric redshift of each galaxy, not merely a single 'best estimate' and error, and also provides a photo-z quality figure of merit for each galaxy that can be used to reject outliers. We show that the stacked PDFs yield a more accurate reconstruction of the redshift distribution N(z). We discuss limitations of the current algorithm and ideas for future work.

  15. Improved Ant Colony Clustering Algorithm and Its Performance Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gao, Wei

    2016-01-01

    Clustering analysis is used in many disciplines and applications; it is an important tool that descriptively identifies homogeneous groups of objects based on attribute values. The ant colony clustering algorithm is a swarm-intelligent method used for clustering problems that is inspired by the behavior of ant colonies that cluster their corpses and sort their larvae. A new abstraction ant colony clustering algorithm using a data combination mechanism is proposed to improve the computational efficiency and accuracy of the ant colony clustering algorithm. The abstraction ant colony clustering algorithm is used to cluster benchmark problems, and its performance is compared with the ant colony clustering algorithm and other methods used in existing literature. Based on similar computational difficulties and complexities, the results show that the abstraction ant colony clustering algorithm produces results that are not only more accurate but also more efficiently determined than the ant colony clustering algorithm and the other methods. Thus, the abstraction ant colony clustering algorithm can be used for efficient multivariate data clustering. PMID:26839533

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Offenberg, Hans Joachim

    2011-01-01

    can be combined with the use of the ants in biological control programmes in tropical plantations where pest insects are converted into ant biomass. To assess the cost-benefits of ant farming based on artificial feeding, food consumption and food conversion efficiency (ECI) of Oecophylla smaragdina......Oecophylla ants are sold at high prices on several commercial markets as a human delicacy, as pet food or as traditional medicine. Currently markets are supplied by ants collected from the wild; however, an increasing interest in ant farming exists as all harvest is easily sold and as ant farming...... selling prices these efficiencies led to rates of return from 1.52 to 4.56, respectively, if: (i) protein is supplied from commercial products; or (ii) alternatively supplied from free sources such as insects and kitchen waste. These results suggest that Oecophylla ant farming may become highly profitable...

  17. A cellular automata model for ant trails

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

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

  18. Ant-Related Oviposition and Larval Performance in a Myrmecophilous Lycaenid

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew D. Trager

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available We experimentally assessed ant-related oviposition and larval performance in the Miami blue butterfly (Cyclargus thomasi bethunebakeri. Ant tending had sex-dependent effects on most measures of larval growth: female larvae generally benefitted from increased tending frequency whereas male larvae were usually unaffected. The larger size of female larvae tended by ants resulted in a substantial predicted increase in lifetime egg production. Oviposition by adult females that were tended by C. floridanus ants as larvae was similar between host plants with or without ants. However, they laid relatively more eggs on plants with ants than did females raised without ants, which laid less than a third of their eggs on plants with ants present. In summary, we found conditional benefits for larvae tended by ants that were not accompanied by oviposition preference for plants with ants present, which is a reasonable result for a system in which ant presence at the time of oviposition is not a reliable indicator of future ant presence. More broadly, our results emphasize the importance of considering the consequences of variation in interspecific interactions, life history traits, and multiple measures of performance when evaluating the costs and benefits of mutualistic relationships.

  19. Ants as tools in sustainable agriculture

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Offenberg, Joachim

    2015-01-01

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

  20. Effect of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and phosphate fertilization on initial growth of six arboreal species of cerrado

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kenia Alves Pereira Lacerda

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available This study evaluated the benefit of inoculation with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, Glomus clarum, for the initial growth of some native arboreal species of the Cerrado biome, namely gabiroba (Campomanesia cambessedeana, baru (Dipterix alata, jatobá (Hymenaea courbaril, ingá (Inga laurina, caroba (Jacaranda cuspidifolia and chichá (Sterculia striata, in unsterilized soil with low (0.02 mg L‑1 and high (0.2 mg L‑1 concentrations of P in the soil solution. Experiments were conducted in a greenhouse, using 1.5 kg vases, for up to 120 days. The experimental design for each arboreal species was completely randomized, with ten replicates in a 2x2 factorial design (inoculated and noninoculated seedlings, and two levels of phosphorus (P in the soil solution. Arboreal plants of the Cerrado biome showed increased mycorrhizal colonization from inoculation with Glomus clarum, except chichá, as this species showed a high indigenous colonization, not differing from the colonization promoted by inoculated fungi. Inoculation promoted increased growth in baru, gabiroba, ingá, caroba and chichá, increasing shoot dry matter (MSPA and root dry matter (MSR. In caroba, this effect was synergistic with application of P to the soil. Baru and jatobá showed increased dry matter with application of P to the soil only. The mycotrophy (mycorrhizal dependence of species and their response to inoculation and to phosphorus are discussed. In order to produce quality seedlings of caroba, gabiroba, chichá and ingá, combining inoculation with Glomus clarum and phosphate fertilization of the soil is recommended, while for jatobá and baru only the application of P to the soil is recommended.

  1. The effects of biogeography on ant diversity and activity on the Boston Harbor Islands, Massachusetts, U.S.A.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adam T Clark

    Full Text Available Many studies have examined how island biogeography affects diversity on the scale of island systems. In this study, we address how diversity varies over very short periods of time on individual islands. To do this, we compile an inventory of the ants living in the Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area, Boston, Massachusetts, USA using data from a five-year All Taxa Biodiversity Inventory of the region's arthropods. Consistent with the classical theory of island biogeography, species richness increased with island size, decreased with island isolation, and remained relatively constant over time. Additionally, our inventory finds that almost half of the known Massachusetts ant fauna can be collected in the BHI, and identifies four new species records for Massachusetts, including one new to the United States, Myrmica scabrinodis. We find that the number of species actually active on islands depended greatly on the timescale under consideration. The species that could be detected during any given week of sampling could by no means account for total island species richness, even when correcting for sampling effort. Though we consistently collected the same number of species over any given week of sampling, the identities of those species varied greatly between weeks. This variation does not result from local immigration and extinction of species, nor from seasonally-driven changes in the abundance of individual species, but rather from weekly changes in the distribution and activity of foraging ants. This variation can be upwards of 50% of ant species per week. This suggests that numerous ant species on the BHI share the same physical space at different times. This temporal partitioning could well explain such unexpectedly high ant diversity in an isolated, urban site.

  2. ADAPTIVE ANT COLONY OPTIMIZATION BASED GRADIENT FOR EDGE DETECTION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Febri Liantoni

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Ant Colony Optimization (ACO is a nature-inspired optimization algorithm which is motivated by ants foraging behavior. Due to its favorable advantages, ACO has been widely used to solve several NP-hard problems, including edge detection. Since ACO initially distributes ants at random, it may cause imbalance ant distribution which later affects path discovery process. In this paper an adaptive ACO is proposed to optimize edge detection by adaptively distributing ant according to gradient analysis. Ants are adaptively distributed according to gradient ratio of each image regions. Region which has bigger gradient ratio, will have bigger number of ant distribution. Experiments are conducted using images from various datasets. Precision and recall are used to quantitatively evaluate performance of the proposed algorithm. Precision and recall of adaptive ACO reaches 76.98 % and 96.8 %. Whereas highest precision and recall for standard ACO are 69.74 % and 74.85 %. Experimental results show that the adaptive ACO outperforms standard ACO which randomly distributes ants.

  3. Insights into the evolution, biogeography and natural history of the acorn ants, genus Temnothorax Mayr (hymenoptera: Formicidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prebus, Matthew

    2017-12-13

    Temnothorax (Formicidae: Myrmicinae) is a diverse genus of ants found in a broad spectrum of ecosystems across the northern hemisphere. These diminutive ants have long served as models for social insect behavior, leading to discoveries about social learning and inspiring hypotheses about the process of speciation and the evolution of social parasitism. This genus is highly morphologically and behaviorally diverse, and this has caused a great deal of taxonomic confusion in recent years. Past efforts to estimate the phylogeny of this genus have been limited in taxonomic scope, leaving the broader evolutionary patterns in Temnothorax unclear. To establish the monophyly of Temnothorax, resolve the evolutionary relationships, reconstruct the historical biogeography and investigate trends in the evolution of key traits, I generated, assembled, and analyzed two molecular datasets: a traditional multi-locus Sanger sequencing dataset, and an ultra-conserved element (UCE) dataset. Using maximum likelihood, Bayesian, and summary-coalescent based approaches, I analyzed 22 data subsets consisting of 103 ingroup taxa and a maximum of 1.8 million base pairs in 2485 loci. The results of this study suggest an origin of Temnothorax at the Eocene-Oligocene transition, concerted transitions to arboreal nesting habits in several clades during the Oligocene, coinciding with ancient global cooling, and several convergent origins of social parasitism in the Miocene and Pliocene. As with other Holarctic taxa, Temnothorax has a history of migration across Beringia during the Miocene. Temnothorax is corroborated as a natural group, and the notion that many of the historical subgeneric and species group concepts are artificial is reinforced. The strict form of Emery's Rule, in which a socially parasitic species is sister to its host species, is not well supported in Temnothorax.

  4. Fungal Adaptations to Mutualistic Life with Ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kooij, Pepijn Wilhelmus

    Fungus-growing ants (Attini) feed off a fungus they cultivate in a mutualistic symbiosis in underground chambers by providing it substrate they collect outside the colony. The tribe of Attine ants ranges from small colonies of the paleo- and basal Attine species with a few hundred workers that fo...... that the fungus evolved some incredible adaptations to a mutualistic life with the ants....

  5. Direct and indirect influences of the weaver ant Oecophylla smaragdina on citrus farmers pest perceptions and management practices in the Mekong Delta, Vietnam.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mele, van P.; Cuc, N.T.T.; Huis, van A.

    2002-01-01

    In the Mekong Delta, Vietnam, the predatory weaver ant Oecophylla smaragdina was abundant in about 75␘f the sweet orange and 25␘f the Tieu mandarin orchards. With a three-level scale (low, moderate, high), farmers assessed the incidence, severity and yield loss of fruit caused by major pests. With

  6. 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.

  7. Hey! A Fire Ant Stung Me!

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Videos for Educators Search English Español Hey! A Fire Ant Stung Me! KidsHealth / For Kids / Hey! A ... Me picó una roja o colorada! What's a Fire Ant? There are many different types of fire ...

  8. 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.

  9. Occurrence of Solenopsis saevissima F Smith (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) damaging Schizolobium amazonicum

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lunz, Alexandre M.; Aguiar, Tanice da S.; Cardoso, Andreza S.; Harada, Ana Y.

    2009-01-01

    Injuries by Solenopsis saevissima F Smith in parica (Schizolobium amazonicum) trees are described for the first time in Dom Eliseu County, Para State, Brazil. This ant damages leaves and the shaft where holes and galleries are opened up to the plant shoot. Terminal and new shoots are attacked and destroyed, harming the development of upright and uniform trunks for commercialization. Arboreal nests constructed by this ant were also observed in some plants. (author)

  10. [Occurrence of Solenopsis saevissima F Smith (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) damaging Schizolobium amazonicum].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lunz, Alexandre M; Harada, Ana Y; Aguiar, Tanice da S; Cardoso, Andreza S

    2009-01-01

    Injuries by Solenopsis saevissima F Smith in paricá (Schizolobium amazonicum) trees are described for the first time in Dom Eliseu County, Pará State, Brazil. This ant damages leaves and the shaft where holes and galleries are opened up to the plant shoot. Terminal and new shoots are attacked and destroyed, harming the development of upright and uniform trunks for commercialization. Arboreal nests constructed by this ant were also observed in some plants.

  11. Occurrence of Solenopsis saevissima F Smith (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) damaging Schizolobium amazonicum; Danos de Solenopsis saevissima F Smith (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) em Parica, Schizolobium amazonicum

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lunz, Alexandre M.; Aguiar, Tanice da S.; Cardoso, Andreza S. [EMBRAPA Amazonia Oriental, Belem, PA (Brazil). Lab. de Entomologia], e-mail: amehl@cpatu.embrapa.br; Harada, Ana Y. [Museu Paraense Emilio Goeldi, Belem, PA (Brazil). Coordenacao de Pesquisas em Zoologia. Setor de Invertebrados], e-mail: ahara@museu-goeldi.br

    2009-03-15

    Injuries by Solenopsis saevissima F Smith in parica (Schizolobium amazonicum) trees are described for the first time in Dom Eliseu County, Para State, Brazil. This ant damages leaves and the shaft where holes and galleries are opened up to the plant shoot. Terminal and new shoots are attacked and destroyed, harming the development of upright and uniform trunks for commercialization. Arboreal nests constructed by this ant were also observed in some plants. (author)

  12. Cryptococcus neoformans carried by Odontomachus bauri ants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mariana Santos de Jesus

    2012-06-01

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

  13. Morphology and function of the forelimb in arboreal frogs: specializations for grasping ability?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manzano, Adriana S; Abdala, Virginia; Herrel, Anthony

    2008-09-01

    Frogs are characterized by a unique morphology associated with their saltatory lifestyle. Although variation in the form and function of the pelvic girdle and associated appendicular system related to specialized locomotor modes such as swimming or burrowing has been documented, the forelimbs have typically been viewed as relatively unspecialized. Yet, previous authors have noted versatility in forelimb function among arboreal frogs associated with feeding. Here we study the morphology and function of the forelimb and hand during locomotion in two species of arboreal frogs (Litoria caerulea and Phyllomedusa bicolor). Our data show a complex arrangement of the distal forelimb and hand musculature with some notable differences between species. Analyses of high-speed video and video fluoroscopy recordings show that forelimbs are used in alternating fashion in a diagonal sequence footfall pattern and that the position of the hand is adjusted when walking on substrates of different diameters. Electromyographic recordings show that the flexors of the hand are active during substrate contact, suggesting the use of gripping to generate a stabilizing torque. Measurements of grasping forces in vivo and during stimulation experiments show that both species, are capable of executing a so-called power grip but also indicates marked differences between species, in the magnitude of forces generated. Stimulation experiments showed an increased control of digit flexion in the more specialized of the two species, allowing it to execute a precision grip paralleled only by that seen in primates.

  14. [Ants as carriers of microorganisms in hospital environments].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pereira, Rogério Dos Santos; Ueno, Mariko

    2008-01-01

    Concern exists regarding the real possibility of public health threats caused by pathogenic agents that are carried by urban ants. The present study had the objective of isolating and identifying the microorganisms that are associated with ants in hospital environments. One hundred and twenty-five ants of the same species were collected from different units of a university hospital. Each ant was collected using a swab soaked with physiological solution and was transferred to a tube containing brain heart infusion broth and incubated at 35 degrees C for 24 hours. From each tube, with growth, inoculations were made into specific culturing media, to isolate any microorganisms. The ants presented a high capacity for carrying microorganism groups: spore-producing Gram-positive bacilli 63.5%, Gram-negative bacilli 6.3%, Gram-positive cocci 23.1%, filamentous fungi 6.7% and yeast 0.5%. Thus, it can be inferred that ants may be one of the agents responsible for disseminating microorganisms in hospital environments.

  15. Cuando dialogan dos Antígonas: La tumba de Antígona de María Zambrano y Antígona furiosa de Griselda Gambaro

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rose Duroux

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Antígona ha sido un tópico por más de 2.000 años, participando de una historia que siempre puede ser reconocida. Tanto la Guerra Civil española como la dictadura argentina vieron surgir Antígonas en busca de justicia. A partir de los trabajos de María Zambrano y Griselda Gambaro, este artículo busca rehabilitar discursivamente estas versiones. Por un lado, la filósofa española nunca regresó del exilio iniciado en 1939 y defendió hasta el final los valores republicanos. Cuando asumió que su expatriación era irreversible, ingresó en un exilio profundo del cual Antígona revela lo esencial, pasando de la "privación" a la "revelación" tanto en un modo filosófico como en el poético, tanto en sus ensayos como en su única pieza teatral, La Tumba de Antígona [1967], una significativa metáfora de la guerra fratricida y del exilio. Por otro, Antígona furiosa [1986] de Gambaro, reescribe la tragedia de Sófocles cuando denuncia el terrorismo de estado argentino en una furiosa Antígona. Gambaro, hermana y madre de desaparecidos de la guerra sucia eleva su grito por justicia en nombre de la fraternidad humanaAntigone has been a topical figure for more than 2,000 years. She plays a part in a story that one can always identify. Spanish Civil War and Argentine dictatorship saw the birth of many Antigones seeking justice. Starting from the M. Zambrano and G. Gambaro's creations, this work rehabilitates the speech and the incarnations of the Iberian and Ibero-american Antigone. On the one hand, Spanish philosopher María Zambrano never came out of the exodus which began in 1939, and she defended the values of the Republic all the way. Once she acknowledged that expatriation was irreversible, she entered a profound exile of which Antigone reveals the essence, going from "deprivation" to "revelation" in a philosophical as well as a poetical manner, both in her essays and in her unique play, La Tumba de Antígona [1967], a striking metaphor

  16. Predaceous ants, beach replenishment, and nest placement by sea turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wetterer, James K; Wood, Lawrence D; Johnson, Chris; Krahe, Holly; Fitchett, Stephanie

    2007-10-01

    Ants known for attacking and killing hatchling birds and reptiles include the red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta Buren), tropical fire ant [Solenopsis geminata (Fabr.)], and little fire ant [Wasmannia auropunctata (Roger)]. We tested whether sea turtle nest placement influenced exposure to predaceous ants. In 2000 and 2001, we surveyed ants along a Florida beach where green turtles (Chelonia mydas L.), leatherbacks (Dermochelys coriacea Vandelli), and loggerheads (Caretta caretta L.) nest. Part of the beach was artificially replenished between our two surveys. As a result, mean beach width experienced by nesting turtles differed greatly between the two nesting seasons. We surveyed 1,548 sea turtle nests (2000: 909 nests; 2001: 639 nests) and found 22 ant species. S. invicta was by far the most common species (on 431 nests); S. geminata and W. auropunctata were uncommon (on 3 and 16 nests, respectively). In 2000, 62.5% of nests had ants present (35.9% with S. invicta), but in 2001, only 30.5% of the nests had ants present (16.4% with S. invicta). Turtle nests closer to dune vegetation had significantly greater exposure to ants. Differences in ant presence on turtle nests between years and among turtle species were closely related to differences in nest placement relative to dune vegetation. Beach replenishment significantly lowered exposure of nests to ants because on the wider beaches turtles nested farther from the dune vegetation. Selective pressures on nesting sea turtles are altered both by the presence of predaceous ants and the practice of beach replenishment.

  17. Anti-depressant activity of Nyctanthes arbor-tristis in mice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sumeet Gupta

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available The present study assesses the protective effect of Nyctanthes arbor-tristis (Nyctaginaceae extracts and in combination with fluoxetine on stress-induced depression in mice. Leaves were extracted using different solvents (petroleum ether, chloroform and hydroethanol and administered orally for 14 days. These extracts showed significant improvement in the mobility percentage but among these, hydroethanol extract showed better protective effect from day 1 to 14 in both forced swimming and tail suspension test model. Hydroethanol (100 mg/kg and chloroform (100 mg/kg extracts with fluoxetine showed synergistic effect when compared with fluoxetine treated group (10 mg/kg alone at day 7 and 14. Among monoamine levels only hydroethanol extract (400 mg/kg restored the 5-HT level near to level of fluoxetine-treated group. Hydroethanol extracts with two higher doses showed significant decrease in glucose and triglycerides levels. Clinically, it may useful as anti-depressant drug.

  18. Studies on the environmental implications of ants (Hymenoptera ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    A study of ants associated wh two synanthropcenvironments in Awka was carried out in 2008 using pitfall and bait traps. The study yelded a total of 561 ants wth 409 obtaned from the hemisynanthrophic environment while 192 ants were collected from the endophilic environment. The percentage occurrence, total dstribution ...

  19. SAD kinases sculpt axonal arbors of sensory neurons through long- and short-term responses to neurotrophin signals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lilley, Brendan N; Pan, Y Albert; Sanes, Joshua R

    2013-07-10

    Extrinsic cues activate intrinsic signaling mechanisms to pattern neuronal shape and connectivity. We showed previously that three cytoplasmic Ser/Thr kinases, LKB1, SAD-A, and SAD-B, control early axon-dendrite polarization in forebrain neurons. Here, we assess their role in other neuronal types. We found that all three kinases are dispensable for axon formation outside of the cortex but that SAD kinases are required for formation of central axonal arbors by subsets of sensory neurons. The requirement for SAD kinases is most prominent in NT-3 dependent neurons. SAD kinases transduce NT-3 signals in two ways through distinct pathways. First, sustained NT-3/TrkC signaling increases SAD protein levels. Second, short-duration NT-3/TrkC signals transiently activate SADs by inducing dephosphorylation of C-terminal domains, thereby allowing activating phosphorylation of the kinase domain. We propose that SAD kinases integrate long- and short-duration signals from extrinsic cues to sculpt axon arbors within the CNS. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Tracing the rise of ants - out of the ground.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea Lucky

    Full Text Available The evolution of ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae is increasingly well-understood due to recent phylogenetic analyses, along with estimates of divergence times and diversification rates. Yet, leading hypotheses regarding the ancestral habitat of ants conflict with new findings that early ant lineages are cryptic and subterranean. Where the ants evolved, in respect to habitat, and how habitat shifts took place over time have not been formally tested. Here, we reconstruct the habitat transitions of crown-group ants through time, focusing on where they nest and forage (in the canopy, litter, or soil. Based on ancestral character reconstructions, we show that in contrast to the current consensus based on verbal arguments that ants evolved in tropical leaf litter, the soil is supported as the ancestral stratum of all ants. We also find subsequent movements up into the litter and, in some cases, into the canopy. Given the global importance of ants, because of their diversity, ecological influence and status as the most successful eusocial lineage on Earth, understanding the early evolution of this lineage provides insight into the factors that made this group so successful today.

  1. Long-term changes in abundances of Sonoran Desert lizards reveal complex responses to climatic variation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flesch, Aaron D; Rosen, Philip C; Holm, Peter

    2017-12-01

    Understanding how climatic variation affects animal populations and communities is essential for addressing threats posed by climate change, especially in systems where impacts are projected to be high. We evaluated abundance dynamics of five common species of diurnal lizards over 25 years in a Sonoran Desert transition zone where precipitation decreased and temperature increased across time, and assessed hypotheses for the influence of climatic flux on spatiotemporal variation in abundances. We repeatedly surveyed lizards in spring and summer of each year at up to 32 sites, and used hierarchical mixture models to estimate detection probabilities, abundances, and population growth rates. Among terrestrial species, abundances of a short-lived, winter-spring breeder increased markedly by an estimated 237%-285% across time, while two larger spring-summer breeders with higher thermal preferences declined by up to 64%. Abundances of two arboreal species that occupy shaded and thus sheltered microhabitats fluctuated but did not decline systematically. Abundances of all species increased with precipitation at short lag times (1-1.5 years) likely due to enhanced food availability, but often declined after periods of high precipitation at longer lag times (2-4 years) likely due to predation and other biotic pressures. Although rising maximum daily temperatures (T max ) are expected to drive global declines of lizards, associations with T max were variable and weak for most species. Instead, abundances of all species declined with rising daily minimum temperatures, suggesting degradation of cool refugia imposed widespread metabolic or other costs. Our results suggest climate warming and drying are having major impacts on lizard communities by driving declines in species with traits that augment exposure to abiotic extremes and by modifying species interactions. The complexity of patterns we report indicates that evaluating and responding to the influence of climate change

  2. 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.

  3. Insecticide transfer efficiency and lethal load in Argentine ants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Life-Histories of Sub-Arctic Ants

    OpenAIRE

    Heinze, Jürgen

    1993-01-01

    Ant species belonging to seven genera occur in habitats near the tree line in the Northern Hemisphere. An analysis of colony founding strategies suggests that in addition to physiological cold resistance, behavioral and sociometric adaptations might be important for survival and propagation of ants in subarctic biomes.

  7. Edge detection in digital images using Ant Colony Optimization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marjan Kuchaki Rafsanjani

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Ant Colony Optimization (ACO is an optimization algorithm inspired by the behavior of real ant colonies to approximate the solutions of difficult optimization problems. In this paper, ACO is introduced to tackle the image edge detection problem. The proposed approach is based on the distribution of ants on an image; ants try to find possible edges by using a state transition function. Experimental results show that the proposed method compared to standard edge detectors is less sensitive to Gaussian noise and gives finer details and thinner edges when compared to earlier ant-based approaches.

  8. 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 specie...

  9. Action potential propagation recorded from single axonal arbors using multi-electrode arrays.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tovar, Kenneth R; Bridges, Daniel C; Wu, Bian; Randall, Connor; Audouard, Morgane; Jang, Jiwon; Hansma, Paul K; Kosik, Kenneth S

    2018-04-11

    We report the presence of co-occurring extracellular action potentials (eAPs) from cultured mouse hippocampal neurons among groups of planar electrodes on multi-electrode arrays (MEAs). The invariant sequences of eAPs among co-active electrode groups, repeated co-occurrences and short inter-electrode latencies are consistent with action potential propagation in unmyelinated axons. Repeated eAP co-detection by multiple electrodes was widespread in all our data records. Co-detection of eAPs confirms they result from the same neuron and allows these eAPs to be isolated from all other spikes independently of spike sorting algorithms. We averaged co-occurring events and revealed additional electrodes with eAPs that would otherwise be below detection threshold. We used these eAP cohorts to explore the temperature sensitivity of action potential propagation and the relationship between voltage-gated sodium channel density and propagation velocity. The sequence of eAPs among co-active electrodes 'fingerprints' neurons giving rise to these events and identifies them within neuronal ensembles. We used this property and the non-invasive nature of extracellular recording to monitor changes in excitability at multiple points in single axonal arbors simultaneously over several hours, demonstrating independence of axonal segments. Over several weeks, we recorded changes in inter-electrode propagation latencies and ongoing changes in excitability in different regions of single axonal arbors. Our work illustrates how repeated eAP co-occurrences can be used to extract physiological data from single axons with low electrode density MEAs. However, repeated eAP co-occurrences leads to over-sampling spikes from single neurons and thus can confound traditional spike-train analysis.

  10. The AINTEGUMENTA genes, MdANT1 and MdANT2, are associated with the regulation of cell production during fruit growth in apple (Malus × domestica Borkh.).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dash, Madhumita; Malladi, Anish

    2012-06-25

    Fruit growth in apple (Malus × domestica Borkh.) is mediated by cell production and expansion. Genes involved in regulating these processes and thereby fruit growth, are not well characterized. We hypothesized that the apple homolog(s) of AINTEGUMENTA (ANT), an APETALA2-repeat containing transcription factor, regulates cell production during fruit growth in apple. Two ANT genes, MdANT1 and MdANT2, were isolated from apple and their expression was studied during multiple stages of fruit development. MdANT1 and MdANT2 expression was high during early fruit growth coincident with the period of cell production, rapidly declined during exit from cell production, and remained low during the rest of fruit development. The effects of increase in carbohydrate availability during fruit growth were characterized. Increase in carbohydrate availability enhanced fruit growth largely through an increase in cell production. Expression of MdANT1 and MdANT2 increased sharply by up to around 5-fold in response to an increase in carbohydrate availability. Expression of the ANT genes was compared across two apple genotypes, 'Gala' and 'Golden Delicious Smoothee' (GS), which differ in the extent of fruit growth, largely due to differences in cell production. In comparison to 'Gala', the larger fruit-size genotype, GS, displayed higher levels and a longer duration of MdANT1 and MdANT2 expression. Expression of the ANTs and cell cycle genes in the fruit core and cortex tissues isolated using laser capture microdissection was studied. During early fruit growth, expression of the MdANTs was higher within the cortex, the tissue that constitutes the majority of the fruit. Additionally, MdANT1 and MdANT2 expression was positively correlated with that of A- and B-type CYCLINS, B-type CYCLIN-DEPENDENT-KINASES (CDKBs) and MdDEL1. Multiple lines of evidence from this study suggest that MdANT1 and MdANT2 regulate cell production during fruit growth in apple. ANTs may coordinate the expression of

  11. Current issues in the evolutionary ecology of ant-plant symbioses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayer, Veronika E; Frederickson, Megan E; McKey, Doyle; Blatrix, Rumsaïs

    2014-05-01

    Ant-plant symbioses involve plants that provide hollow structures specialized for housing ants and often food to ants. In return, the inhabiting ants protect plants against herbivores and sometimes provide them with nutrients. Here, we review recent advances in ant-plant symbioses, focusing on three areas. First, the nutritional ecology of plant-ants, which is based not only on plant-derived food rewards, but also on inputs from other symbiotic partners, in particular fungi and possibly bacteria. Food and protection are the most important 'currencies' exchanged between partners and they drive the nature and evolution of the relationships. Secondly, studies of conflict and cooperation in ant-plant symbioses have contributed key insights into the evolution and maintenance of mutualism, particularly how partner-mediated feedbacks affect the specificity and stability of mutualisms. There is little evidence that mutualistic ants or plants are under selection to cheat, but the costs and benefits of ant-plant interactions do vary with environmental factors, making them vulnerable to natural or anthropogenic environmental change. Thus, thirdly, ant-plant symbioses should be considered good models for investigating the effects of global change on the outcome of mutualistic interactions. © 2014 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2014 New Phytologist Trust.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Offenberg, Hans Joachim

    2011-01-01

    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......, the environmental cost of protein production may fall even lower than for other insects as the ants feed on pests that would otherwise reduce the plant yield and since the farming area is simultaneously in use for plant production. In this presentation I provide data showing (i) how the harvest of ants can...

  13. Toxic industrial deposit remediation by ant activity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jilkova, Veronika; Frouz, Jan

    2016-04-01

    Toxic industrial deposits are often contaminated by heavy metals and the substrates have low pH values. In such systems, soil development is thus slowed down by high toxicity and acidic conditions which are unfavourable to soil fauna. Ants (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) are considered tolerant to heavy metal pollution and are known to increase organic matter content and microbial activity in their nests. Here, we focused on soil remediation caused by three ant species (Formica sanguinea, Lasius niger, and Tetramorium sp.) in an ore-washery sedimentation basin near Chvaletice (Czech Republic). Soil samples were taken from the centre of ant nests and from the nest surroundings (>3 m from nests). Samples were then analyzed for microbial activity and biomass and contents of organic matter and nutrients. As a result, ant species that most influenced soil properties was F. sanguinea as there were higher microbial activity and total nitrogen and ammonia contents in ant nests than in the surrounding soil. We expected such a result because F. sanguinea builds conspicuous large nests and is a carnivorous species that brings substantial amounts of nitrogen in insect prey to their nests. Effects of the other two ant species might be lower because of smaller nests and different feeding habits as they rely mainly on honeydew from aphids or on plant seeds that do not contain much nutrients.

  14. Heat-induced symmetry breaking in ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae escape behavior.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuan-Kai Chung

    Full Text Available The collective egress of social insects is important in dangerous situations such as natural disasters or enemy attacks. Some studies have described the phenomenon of symmetry breaking in ants, with two exits induced by a repellent. However, whether symmetry breaking occurs under high temperature conditions, which are a common abiotic stress, remains unknown. In our study, we deposited a group of Polyrhachis dives ants on a heated platform and counted the number of escaping ants with two identical exits. We discovered that ants asymmetrically escaped through two exits when the temperature of the heated platform was >32.75°C. The degree of asymmetry increased linearly with the temperature of the platform. Furthermore, the higher the temperature of heated platform was, the more ants escaped from the heated platform. However, the number of escaping ants decreased for 3 min when the temperature was higher than the critical thermal limit (39.46°C, which is the threshold for ants to endure high temperature without a loss of performance. Moreover, the ants tended to form small groups to escape from the thermal stress. A preparatory formation of ant grouping was observed before they reached the exit, indicating that the ants actively clustered rather than accidentally gathered at the exits to escape. We suggest that a combination of individual and grouping ants may help to optimize the likelihood of survival during evacuation.

  15. 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

  16. Ant tending influences soldier production in a social aphid.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shingleton, A W; Foster, W A

    2000-09-22

    The aphid Pseudoregma sundanica (Van der Goot) (Homoptera: Aphididae) has two defence strategies. It is obligatorily tended by various species of ant and also produces sterile soldiers. We investigated how they allocate their investment in these two strategies. We measured the size, number of soldiers, number and species of tending ant, and number and species of predators in P. sundanica populations. We found that the level of ant tending correlated negatively with soldier investment in P. sundanica. The species of tending ant also influenced soldier investment. We excluded ants from aphid populations and recorded changes in population size and structure over four weeks. Ant exclusion led to population decline and extinction. At the same time, surviving populations showed a significant increase in soldier investment. The data demonstrate that social aphids can adjust their investment in soldiers in direct response to environmental change.

  17. 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.

  18. 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....

  19. 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....

  20. Evaluation Of The Advanced Operating System Of The Ann Arbor Transportation Authority : Driver And Dispatcher Perceptions Of AATA'S Advanced Operating System

    Science.gov (United States)

    1999-01-01

    In 1997, the Ann Arbor (Michigan) Transportation Authority began deploying advanced public transportation systems (APTS) technologies in its fixed route and paratransit operations. The project's concept is the integration of a range of such technolog...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2010-01-01

    Social insects offer unique opportunities to test predictions regarding the evolution of cooperation, life histories and communication. Colony founding by groups of unrelated queens, some of which are later killed, may select for selfish reproductive strategies, honest signalling and punishment....... Here, we use a brood transfer experiment to test whether cofounding queens of the ant Lasius niger 'selfishly' adjust their productivity when sharing the nest with future competitors. We simultaneously analysed queen cuticular hydrocarbon (CHC) profiles to investigate whether queens honestly signal...... correlated with reproductive maturation, and to a lesser extent with productivity; the same hydrocarbons were more abundant on queens that were not killed, suggesting that workers select productive queens using these chemical cues. Our results highlight the role of honest signalling in the evolution...

  2. Host ant independent oviposition in the parasitic butterfly Maculinea alcon

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fürst, Matthias A; Nash, David Richard

    2010-01-01

    to host-ant nests and non-host-ant nests, and the number and position of eggs attached were assessed. Our results show no evidence for host-ant-based oviposition in M. alcon, but support an oviposition strategy based on plant characteristics. This suggests that careful management of host-ant distribution......Parasitic Maculinea alcon butterflies can only develop in nests of a subset of available Myrmica ant species, so female butterflies have been hypothesized to preferentially lay eggs on plants close to colonies of the correct host ants. Previous correlational investigations of host......-ant-dependent oviposition in this and other Maculinea species have, however, shown equivocal results, leading to a long-term controversy over support for this hypothesis. We therefore conducted a controlled field experiment to study the egg-laying behaviour of M. alcon. Matched potted Gentiana plants were set out close...

  3. Using Ant Communities For Rapid Assessment Of Terrestrial Ecosystem Health

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wike, L

    2005-06-01

    relative health of the ecosystem. The IBI, though originally for Midwestern streams, has been successfully adapted to other ecoregions and taxa (macroinvertebrates, Lombard and Goldstein, 2004) and has become an important tool for scientists and regulatory agencies alike in determining health of stream ecosystems. The IBI is a specific type of a larger group of methods and procedures referred to as Rapid Bioassessment (RBA). These protocols have the advantage of directly measuring the organisms affected by system perturbations, thus providing an integrated evaluation of system health because the organisms themselves integrate all aspects of their environment and its condition. In addition to the IBI, the RBA concept has also been applied to seep wetlands (Paller et al. 2005) and terrestrial systems (O'Connell et al. 1998, Kremen et al. 1993, Rodriguez et al. 1998, Rosenberg et al. 1986). Terrestrial RBA methods have lagged somewhat behind those for aquatic systems because terrestrial systems are less distinctly defined and seem to have a less universal distribution of an all-inclusive taxon, such as fish in the IBI, upon which to base an RBA. In the last decade, primarily in Australia, extensive development of an RBA using ant communities has shown great promise. Ants have the same advantage for terrestrial RBAs that fish do for aquatic systems in that they are an essential and ubiquitous component of virtually all terrestrial ecosystems. They occupy a broad range of niches, functional groups, and trophic levels and they possess one very important characteristic that makes them ideal for RBA because, similar to the fishes, there is a wide range of tolerance to conditions within the larger taxa. Within ant communities there are certain groups, genera, or species that may be very robust and abundant under even the harshest impacts. There are also taxa that are very sensitive to disturbance and change and their presence or absence is also indicative of the local

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

  5. 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.

  6. By their own devices: invasive Argentine ants have shifted diet without clear aid from symbiotic microbes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Yi; Holway, David A; Łukasik, Piotr; Chau, Linh; Kay, Adam D; LeBrun, Edward G; Miller, Katie A; Sanders, Jon G; Suarez, Andrew V; Russell, Jacob A

    2017-03-01

    The functions and compositions of symbiotic bacterial communities often correlate with host ecology. Yet cause-effect relationships and the order of symbiont vs. host change remain unclear in the face of ancient symbioses and conserved host ecology. Several groups of ants exemplify this challenge, as their low-nitrogen diets and specialized symbioses appear conserved and ancient. To address whether nitrogen-provisioning symbionts might be important in the early stages of ant trophic shifts, we studied bacteria from the Argentine ant, Linepithema humile - an invasive species that has transitioned towards greater consumption of sugar-rich, nitrogen-poor foods in parts of its introduced range. Bacteria were present at low densities in most L. humile workers, and among those yielding quality 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing data, we found just three symbionts to be common and dominant. Two, a Lactobacillus and an Acetobacteraceae species, were shared between native and introduced populations. The other, a Rickettsia, was found only in two introduced supercolonies. Across an eight-year period of trophic reduction in one introduced population, we found no change in symbionts, arguing against a relationship between natural dietary change and microbiome composition. Overall, our findings thus argue against major changes in symbiotic bacteria in association with the invasion and trophic shift of L. humile. In addition, genome content from close relatives of the identified symbionts suggests that just one can synthesize most essential amino acids; this bacterium was only modestly abundant in introduced populations, providing little support for a major role of nitrogen-provisioning symbioses in Argentine ant's dietary shift. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  7. 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.

  8. The direct and ecological costs of an ant-plant symbiosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frederickson, Megan E; Ravenscraft, Alison; Miller, Gabriel A; Arcila Hernández, Lina M; Booth, Gregory; Pierce, Naomi E

    2012-06-01

    How strong is selection for cheating in mutualisms? The answer depends on the type and magnitude of the costs of the mutualism. Here we investigated the direct and ecological costs of plant defense by ants in the association between Cordia nodosa, a myrmecophytic plant, and Allomerus octoarticulatus, a phytoecious ant. Cordia nodosa trees produce food and housing to reward ants that protect them against herbivores. For nearly 1 year, we manipulated the presence of A. octoarticulatus ants and most insect herbivores on C. nodosa in a full-factorial experiment. Ants increased plant growth when herbivores were present but decreased plant growth when herbivores were absent, indicating that hosting ants can be costly to plants. However, we did not detect a cost to ant colonies of defending host plants against herbivores. Although this asymmetry in costs suggests that the plants may be under stronger selection than the ants to cheat by withholding investment in their partner, the costs to C. nodosa are probably at least partly ecological, arising because ants tend scale insects on their host plants. We argue that ecological costs should favor resistance or traits other than cheating and thus that neither partner may face much temptation to cheat.

  9. Exploring with PAM: Prospecting ANTS Missions for Solar System Surveys

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, P. E.; Rilee, M. L.; Curtis, S. A.

    2003-01-01

    ANTS (Autonomous Nano-Technology Swarm), a large (1000 member) swarm of nano to picoclass (10 to 1 kg) totally autonomous spacecraft, are being developed as a NASA advanced mission concept. ANTS, based on a hierarchical insect social order, use an evolvable, self-similar, hierarchical neural system in which individual spacecraft represent the highest level nodes. ANTS uses swarm intelligence attained through collective, cooperative interactions of the nodes at all levels of the system. At the highest levels this can take the form of cooperative, collective behavior among the individual spacecraft in a very large constellation. The ANTS neural architecture is designed for totally autonomous operation of complex systems including spacecraft constellations. The ANTS (Autonomous Nano Technology Swarm) concept has a number of possible applications. A version of ANTS designed for surveying and determining the resource potential of the asteroid belt, called PAM (Prospecting ANTS Mission), is examined here.

  10. Fumigant Activity of Sweet Orange Essential Oil Fractions Against Red Imported Fire Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Wei; Zhang, Ning; Chen, Hongli; Zhong, Balian; Yang, Aixue; Kuang, Fan; Ouyang, Zhigang; Chun, Jiong

    2017-08-01

    Sweet orange oil fractions were prepared by molecular distillation of cold-pressed orange oil from sample A (Citrus sinensis (L.) 'Hamlin' from America) and sample B (Citrus sinensis Osbeck 'Newhall' from China) respectively, and their fumigant activities against medium workers of red imported fire ants (Solenopsis invicta Buren) were investigated. The volatile composition of the orange oil fractions was identified and quantified using GC-MS. Fractions from sample A (A1, A2, and A3) contained 23, 37, and 48 chemical constituents, and fractions from sample B (B1, B2, and B3) contained 18, 29, and 26 chemical constituents, respectively. Monoterpenes were the most abundant components, accounting for 73.56% to 94.86% of total orange oil fractions, among which D-limonene (65.28-80.18%), β-pinene (1.71-5.58%), 3-carene (0.41-4.01%), β-phellandrene (0.58-2.10%), and linalool (0.31-2.20%) were major constituents. Fumigant bioassay indicated that all orange oil fractions exerted good fumigant toxicity against workers of fire ants at 3, 5, 10, and 20 mg/centrifuge tubes, and B1 had the strongest insecticidal potential, followed by A1, B2, A2, B3, and A3. The fractions composed of more high volatile molecules (A1 and B1) showed greater fumigant effects than others. Compounds linalool and D-limonene, which were the constituents of the orange oil, exhibited excellent fumigant toxicity against red imported fire ant workers. Linalool killed red imported fire ant workers completely at 5, 10, and 20 mg/tube after 8 h of treatment, and D-limonene induced >86% mortality at 8 h of exposure. © 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.

  11. Combination of beehive matrices analysis and ant biodiversity to study heavy metal pollution impact in a post-mining area (Sardinia, Italy).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Satta, Alberto; Verdinelli, Marcello; Ruiu, Luca; Buffa, Franco; Salis, Severyn; Sassu, Antonio; Floris, Ignazio

    2012-11-01

    Mining activities represent a major source of environment contamination. The aim of this study was to evaluate the use of bees and ants as bioindicators to detect the heavy metal impact in post-mining areas. A biomonitoring programme involving a combination of honeybee hive matrices analysis and ant biodiversity survey was conducted over a 3-year period. The experimental design involved three monitoring stations where repeated sampling activities focused on chemical detection of cadmium (Cd), chrome (Cr) and lead (Pb) from different matrices, both from hosted beehives (foraging bees, honey and pollen) and from the surrounding environment (stream water and soil). At the same time, ant biodiversity (number and abundance of species) was determined through a monitoring programme based on the use of pitfall traps placed in different habitats inside each mining site. The heavy metal content detected in stream water from the control station was always below the analytical limit of quantification. In the case of soil, the content of Cd and Pb from the control was lower than that of mining sites. The mean heavy metal concentrations in beehive matrices from mining sites were mainly higher than the control, and as a result of regression and discriminant analysis, forager bee sampling was an efficient environmental pollution bioindicator. Ant collection and identification highlighted a wide species variety with differences among habitats mostly associated with vegetation features. A lower variability was observed in the polluted landfill characterised by lack of vegetation. Combined biomonitoring with forager bees and ants represents a reliable tool for heavy metal environmental impact studies.

  12. Egg-laying butterflies distinguish predaceous ants by sight.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sendoya, Sebastián F; Freitas, André V L; Oliveira, Paulo S

    2009-07-01

    Information about predation risks is critical for herbivorous insects, and natural selection favors their ability to detect predators before oviposition and to select enemy-free foliage when offspring mortality risk is high. Food plants are selected by ovipositing butterflies, and offspring survival frequently varies among plants because of variation in the presence of predators. Eunica bechina butterflies oviposit on Caryocar brasiliense, an ant-defended plant. Experiments with dried Camponotus and Cephalotes ants pinned to leaves revealed that butterflies use ant size and form as visual cues to avoid ovipositing on plant parts occupied by ants more likely to kill larval offspring. Presence of sap-sucking bugs did not affect butterfly oviposition. This is the first demonstration that visual recognition of predators can mediate egg-laying decisions by an insect herbivore and that an insect will discriminate among different species of potential predators. This unusual behavioral capability permits specialization on a risky, ant-defended food plant.

  13. Protection of Vochysia elliptica (Vochysiaceae by a nectar-thieving ant

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. Q. ROMERO

    Full Text Available Vochysia elliptica (Vochysiaceae is a shrubby plant, which does not have EFNs. Camponotus ants thieve nectar, and can decrease plant fitness by making flowers less attractive to pollinators. However, ants remove herbivores, wich can be beneficial. Results show that plants from which ants were excluded had lower rates of termite (simulated herbivore removal than did plants visited by ants. Plants accessible to ants showed higher rates of termite removal in the base of leaves and in the inflorescence, than in the tip of leaves. This occurs because ants must pass through the principal axis to reach the inflorescence. Conclusive results of this cost/benefit analysis of the Camponotus sp. presence for V. elliptica can be obtained, with experimental manipulations.

  14. Benefits conferred by "timid" ants: active anti-herbivore protection of the rainforest tree Leonardoxa africana by the minute ant Petalomyrmex phylax.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaume, Laurence; McKey, Doyle; Anstett, Marie-Charlotte

    1997-10-01

    In this study, we demonstrate that an important benefit provided by the small host-specific ant Petalomyrmex phylax to its host plant Leonardoxa africana is efficient protection against herbivores. We estimate that in the absence of ants, insect herbivory would reduce the leaf area by about one-third. This contributes considerably to the fitness of the plant. Our estimates take into account not only direct damage, such as removal of leaf surface by chewing insects, but also the effects of sucking insects on leaf growth and expansion. Sucking insects are numerically predominant in this system, and the hitherto cryptic effects of ant protection against the growth-reducing effects of sucking insects accounted for half of the total estimated benefit of ant protection. We propose that the small size of workers confers a distinct advantage in this system. Assuming that resource limitation implies a trade off between size and number of ants, and given the small size of phytophagous insects that attack Leonardoxa, we conclude that fine-grained patrolling by a large number of small workers maximises protection of young leaves of this plant. Since herbivores are small and must complete their development on the young leaves of Leonardoxa, and since a high patrolling density is required for a fine-grained search for these enemies, numerous small ants should provide the most effective protection of young leaves of Leonardoxa. We also discuss other factors that may have influenced worker size in this ant.

  15. Influências de Atta spp. (Hymenoptera: Formicidae na recuperação da vegetação pós-fogo em floresta de transição amazônica Influences of leafcutter ant Atta spp. (Hymenoptera: Formicidae on vegetation recovery after fire in Amazonian transitional forest

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karine Santana Carvalho

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Este estudo investigou o papel das saúvas na recuperação da vegetação pós-fogo. Foi hipotetizado que a perturbação do fogo aumenta a abundância de ninhos de saúva (1 e as atividades de remoção de sementes (2 e desfolha (3, especialmente no ambiente de borda. Os ninhos de saúva foram inventariados e mapeados e após 17 meses, checados para o registro de sua atividade e de novas colônias emergindo na área. Realizou-se experimentos comparativos de remoção de sementes e desfolha de plântulas em duas parcelas de 50 ha, uma submetida a fogo anual (tratamento e outra sem fogo (controle. A abundância de ninhos de saúva foi maior na parcela tratamento que na parcela controle, especialmente na borda da floresta. As espécies encontradas foram: Atta cephalotes, A. laevigata e A. sexdens , sendo esta última a espécie mais abundante e que mostrou aumento em número de colônias ativas após 17 meses. O aumento na abundância de ninhos na parcela tratamento foi acompanhado por um aumento na atividade dessas formigas. Enquanto mais de duas folhas foram arrancadas por plântula nessa parcela, menos de uma foi registrada na parcela controle. Também a abundância média de galhos desfolhados e de sementes removidas por saúvas foi maior na parcela tratamento que na parcela controle. As saúvas tanto podem diminuir ou retardar o processo de regeneração florestal pós-fogo, quanto acelerá-lo, devido à elevada predação seletiva que favorece as espécies menos palatáveis. Desta forma, suas atividades podem modificador apenas a composição da vegetação recuperando-se do fogo.In this study we investigated the role of leaf-cutting ants in the post-fire vegetation recovery. We hypothesized that a forest plot submitted to annual fire presents: (1 higher abundance of leaf-cutting ant nests; (2 higher removal of seeds; and (3 higher herbivory rates of leaf-cutting ants, when compared to the forest plots without fire (control. The leaf

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emilio M Bruna

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

  17. Density-dependent benefits in ant-hemipteran mutualism? The case of the ghost ant Tapinoma melanocephalum (Hymenoptera: Formicidae and the invasive mealybug Phenacoccus solenopsis (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aiming Zhou

    Full Text Available Although density-dependent benefits to hemipterans from ant tending have been measured many times, few studies have focused on integrated effects such as interactions between ant tending, natural enemy density, and hemipteran density. In this study, we tested whether the invasive mealybug Phenacoccus solenopsis is affected by tending by ghost ants (Tapinoma melanocephalum, the presence of parasitoids, mealybug density, parasitoid density and interactions among these factors. Our results showed that mealybug colony growth rate and percentage parasitism were significantly affected by ant tending, parasitoid presence, and initial mealybug density separately. However, there were no interactions among the independent factors. There were also no significant interactions between ant tending and parasitoid density on either mealybug colony growth rate or percentage parasitism. Mealybug colony growth rate showed a negative linear relationship with initial mealybug density but a positive linear relationship with the level of ant tending. These results suggest that benefits to mealybugs are density-independent and are affected by ant tending level.

  18. Ant exclusion in citrus over an 8-year period reveals a pervasive yet changing effect of ants on a Mediterranean spider assemblage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mestre, L; Piñol, J; Barrientos, J A; Espadaler, X

    2013-09-01

    Ants and spiders are ubiquitous generalist predators that exert top-down control on herbivore populations. Research shows that intraguild interactions between ants and spiders can negatively affect spider populations, but there is a lack of long-term research documenting the strength of such interactions and the potentially different effects of ants on the diverse array of species in a spider assemblage. Similarly, the suitability of family-level surrogates for finding patterns revealed by species-level data (taxonomic sufficiency) has almost never been tested in spider assemblages. We present a long-term study in which we tested the impact of ants on the spider assemblage of a Mediterranean citrus grove by performing sequential 1-year experimental exclusions on tree canopies for 8 years. We found that ants had a widespread influence on the spider assemblage, although the effect was only evident in the last 5 years of the study. During those years, ants negatively affected many spiders, and effects were especially strong for sedentary spiders. Analyses at the family level also detected assemblage differences between treatments, but they concealed the different responses to ant exclusion shown by some related spider species. Our findings show that the effects of experimental manipulations in ecology can vary greatly over time and highlight the need for long-term studies to document species interactions.

  19. Just follow your nose: homing by olfactory cues in ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steck, Kathrin

    2012-04-01

    How is an ant-equipped with a brain that barely exceeds the size of a pinhead-capable of achieving navigational marvels? Even though evidences suggest that navigation is a multimodal process, ants heavily depend on olfactory cues-of pheromonal and non-pheromonal nature-for foraging and orientation. Recent studies have directed their attention to the efficiency of pheromone trail networks. Advances in neurophysiological techniques make it possible to investigate trail pheromone processing in the ant's brain. In addition to relying on pheromone odours, ants also make use of volatiles emanating from the nest surroundings. Deposited in the vicinity of the nest, these home-range markings help the ants to home after a foraging run. Furthermore, olfactory landmarks associated with the nest enhance ants' homing abilities. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Formigas em Carcaças de Rattus norvegicus (Berkenhout em uma Área de Cerrado no Sudeste do Brasil: Riqueza e Abundância

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alysson Fonseca

    2015-04-01

    Abstract. We studied the main species of ants associated with carcasses of Rattus norvegicus (Berkenhout during the decomposition process, in different seasons in a savannah area. In each of the four seasons a carcass was disposed in the field and we installed around it five pitfall traps. Ants were collected from the tray containing the carcass and from the traps daily, until the end of decomposition in each season. Ants belonging to twenty-three species, with 63.85% of the total individuals collected in the traps and the rest directly in the trays, were sampled. The presence of predatory and nectarivorous species were registered. The scarcity of available resources in the environment in the dry season possibly makes the carcasses important food sources, explaining the higher richness of active species near the trays (collected in the pitfall traps. This increased activity is also reflected in a higher number of species and individuals in the carcasses. The opposite also seems to occur once in the autumn, end of wet season, we observed lower abundance of ants in the carcasses. The presence of ants on carcasses throughout all stages of the decomposition process and in all seasons of the year highlighted the importance of the association between representatives of this taxon and carcasses in Cerrado environments.

  1. Behind every great ant, there is a great gut

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Poulsen, Michael; Sapountzis, Panagiotis

    2012-01-01

    on the potential contribution of the ants’ gut symbionts. This issue of Molecular Ecology contains a study by Anderson et al. (2012), who take a comparative approach to explore the link between trophic levels and ant microbiomes, specifically, to address three main questions: (i) Do closely related herbivorous...... conserved gut microbiomes, suggesting symbiont functions that directly relate to dietary preference of the ant host. These findings suggest an ecological role of gut symbionts in ants, for example, in metabolism and/or protection, and the comparative approach taken supports a model of co-evolution between...... ant species and specific core symbiont microbiomes. This study, thereby, highlights the omnipresence and importance of gut symbioses—also in the Hymenoptera—and suggests that these hitherto overlooked microbes likely have contributed to the ecological success of the ants....

  2. Spizaetus hawk-eagles as predators of arboreal colobines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fam, S D; Nijman, V

    2011-04-01

    The predation pressure put on primates by diurnal birds of prey differs greatly between continents. Africa and South America have specialist raptors (e.g. crowned hawk-eagle Stephanoaetus coronatus and harpy eagle Harpia harpyja) whereas in Asia the only such specialist's (Philippine eagle Pithecophaga jefferyi) distribution is largely allopatric with primates. The almost universal absence of polyspecific groups in Asia (common in Africa and South America) may indicate reduced predation pressure. As such there is almost no information on predation pressures on primates in Asia by raptors. Here we report successful predation of a juvenile banded langur Presbytis femoralis (~2 kg) by a changeable hawk-eagle Spizaetus cirrhatus. The troop that was attacked displayed no signs of being alarmed, and no calls were made before the event. We argue that in insular Southeast Asia, especially, large Spizaetus hawk-eagles (~2 kg) are significant predators of arboreal colobines. Using data on the relative size of sympatric Spizaetus hawk-eagles and colobines we make predictions on where geographically we can expect the highest predation pressure (Thai-Malay Peninsula) and which colobines are least (Nasalis larvatus, Trachypithecus auratus, P. thomasi) and most (P. femoralis, T. cristatus) affected.

  3. 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......) 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...... only an m/z 204 base peak. Found also for the first time in skin extracts from the comparison frog Oophaga granulifera of Costa Rica is a trace DHQ of MW 273. It is coded as 273F in the frog; a different isomer is found in the ant....

  4. Neuromodulation of Nestmate Recognition Decisions by Pavement Ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bubak, Andrew N; Yaeger, Jazmine D W; Renner, Kenneth J; Swallow, John G; Greene, Michael J

    2016-01-01

    Ant colonies are distributed systems that are regulated in a non-hierarchical manner. Without a central authority, individuals inform their decisions by comparing information in local cues to a set of inherent behavioral rules. Individual behavioral decisions collectively change colony behavior and lead to self-organization capable of solving complex problems such as the decision to engage in aggressive societal conflicts with neighbors. Despite the relevance to colony fitness, the mechanisms that drive individual decisions leading to cooperative behavior are not well understood. Here we show how sensory information, both tactile and chemical, and social context-isolation, nestmate interaction, or fighting non-nestmates-affects brain monoamine levels in pavement ants (Tetramorium caespitum). Our results provide evidence that changes in octopamine and serotonin in the brains of individuals are sufficient to alter the decision by pavement ants to be aggressive towards non-nestmate ants whereas increased brain levels of dopamine correlate to physical fighting. We propose a model in which the changes in brain states of many workers collectively lead to the self-organization of societal aggression between neighboring colonies of pavement ants.

  5. Antílope

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pedro Anderson Martinho Moçambique

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Essa espécie de antílope só é encontrada em território angolano, sendo assim um símbolo nacional. Segundo a mitologia africana é símbolo de vivacidade, velocidade e beleza - Angola.

  6. Antílope

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pedro Anderson Martinho Moçambique

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available Essa espécie de antílope só é encontrada em território angolano, sendo assim um símbolo nacional. Segundo a mitologia africana é símbolo de vivacidade, velocidade e beleza - Angola.

  7. Journal of Biosciences | Indian Academy of Sciences

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    It is endemic to the biodiversity hotspot of the southern Western Ghats of India and, besides ants, harbours many endemic invertebrate taxa, such as bees that pollinate it as well as arboreal earthworms, within swollen hollow stem internodes called domatia. Using inter simple sequence repeat (ISSR) markers, three ...

  8. Application of an Image Tracking Algorithm in Fire Ant Motion Experiment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lichuan Gui

    2009-04-01

    Full Text Available An image tracking algorithm, which was originally used with the particle image velocimetry (PIV to determine velocities of buoyant solid particles in water, is modified and applied in the presented work to detect motion of fire ant on a planar surface. A group of fire ant workers are put to the bottom of a tub and excited with vibration of selected frequency and intensity. The moving fire ants are captured with an image system that successively acquires image frames of high digital resolution. The background noise in the imaging recordings is extracted by averaging hundreds of frames and removed from each frame. The individual fire ant images are identified with a recursive digital filter, and then they are tracked between frames according to the size, brightness, shape, and orientation angle of the ant image. The speed of an individual ant is determined with the displacement of its images and the time interval between frames. The trail of the individual fire ant is determined with the image tracking results, and a statistical analysis is conducted for all the fire ants in the group. The purpose of the experiment is to investigate the response of fire ants to the substrate vibration. Test results indicate that the fire ants move faster after being excited, but the number of active ones are not increased even after a strong excitation.

  9. Induced Effects on Red Imported Fire Ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) Forager Size Ratios by Pseudacteon spp. (Diptera: Phoridae): Implications on Bait Size Selection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reed, J J; Puckett, R T; Gold, R E

    2015-10-01

    Red imported fire ants, Solenopsis invicta Buren, are adversely affected by phorid flies in the genus Pseudacteon by instigating defensive behaviors in their hosts, and in turn reducing the efficiency of S. invicta foraging. Multiple Pseudacteon species have been released in Texas, and research has been focused on the establishment and spread of these introduced biological control agents. Field experiments were conducted to determine bait particle size selection of S. invicta when exposed to phorid populations. Four different particle sizes of two candidate baits were offered to foragers (one provided by a pesticide manufacturer, and a laboratory-created bait). Foragers selectively were attracted to, and removed more 1-1.4-mm particles than any other bait size. The industry-provided bait is primarily made of particles in the 1.4-2.0 mm size, larger than what was selected by the ants in this study. While there was a preference for foragers to be attracted to and rest on the industry-provided blank bait, S. invicta removed more of the laboratory-created bait from the test vials. There was an abundance of workers with head widths ranging from 0.5-0.75 mm collected from baits. This was dissimilar from a previous study wherein phorid flies were not active and in which large workers were collected in higher abundance at the site. This implies that phorid fly activity caused a shift for red imported fire ant colonies to have fewer large foragers. © The Authors 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  10. Interactions Increase Forager Availability and Activity in Harvester Ants.

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    Evlyn Pless

    Full Text Available Social insect colonies use interactions among workers to regulate collective behavior. Harvester ant foragers interact in a chamber just inside the nest entrance, here called the 'entrance chamber'. Previous studies of the activation of foragers in red harvester ants show that an outgoing forager inside the nest experiences an increase in brief antennal contacts before it leaves the nest to forage. Here we compare the interaction rate experienced by foragers that left the nest and ants that did not. We found that ants in the entrance chamber that leave the nest to forage experienced more interactions than ants that descend to the deeper nest without foraging. Additionally, we found that the availability of foragers in the entrance chamber is associated with the rate of forager return. An increase in the rate of forager return leads to an increase in the rate at which ants descend to the deeper nest, which then stimulates more ants to ascend into the entrance chamber. Thus a higher rate of forager return leads to more available foragers in the entrance chamber. The highest density of interactions occurs near the nest entrance and the entrances of the tunnels from the entrance chamber to the deeper nest. Local interactions with returning foragers regulate both the activation of waiting foragers and the number of foragers available to be activated.

  11. Potential effects of arboreal and terrestrial avian dispersers on seed dormancy, seed germination and seedling establishment in Ormosia (Papilionoideae) species in Peru

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foster, Mercedes S.

    2008-01-01

    The relative effectiveness of arboreal or terrestrial birds at dispersing seeds of Ormosia macrocalyx and O. bopiensis (Fabaceae: Papilionoideae) were studied in south-eastern Peru. Seeds of both species were either scarified, to represent seed condition after dispersal by terrestrial birds, or left intact, to represent seed condition after dispersal by arboreal birds. Seeds were distributed along forest transects, and germination, seedling development and mortality were monitored to determine the successes of the two groups at producing seedlings. Scarified seeds germinated with the early rains of the dry-to-wet-season transition, when erratic rainfall was interspersed with long dry spells. Intact seeds germinated 30 d later when the rain was more plentiful and regular. Intact seeds of O. macrocalyx gave rise to significantly more seedlings (41.1% vs. 25.5%) than did scarified seeds, in part, because significantly more seedlings from scarified seeds (n = 20) than from intact seeds (n = 3) died from desiccation when their radicles failed to enter the dry ground present during the dry-to-wet-season transition. Also, seedlings from scarified seeds were neither larger nor more robust than those from intact seeds despite their longer growing period. Results are consistent with the hypothesis that dispersal effectiveness of arboreal birds, at least for O. macrocalyx, is greater than that of terrestrial birds. Screen-house experiments in which seedlings developed under different watering regimes supported this result. Numbers of seedlings developing from intact and scarified seeds of O. bopiensis did not differ significantly.

  12. Fluid intake rates in ants correlate with their feeding habits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paul, J; Roces, F

    2003-04-01

    This study investigates the techniques of nectar feeding in 11 different ant species, and quantitatively compares fluid intake rates over a wide range of nectar concentrations in four species that largely differ in their feeding habits. Ants were observed to employ two different techniques for liquid food intake, in which the glossa works either as a passive duct-like structure (sucking), or as an up- and downwards moving shovel (licking). The technique employed for collecting fluids at ad libitum food sources was observed to be species-specific and to correlate with the presence or absence of a well-developed crop in the species under scrutiny. Workers of ponerine ants licked fluid food during foraging and transported it as a droplet between their mandibles, whereas workers of species belonging to phylogenetically more advanced subfamilies, with a crop capable of storing liquids, sucked the fluid food, such as formicine ants of the genus Camponotus. In order to evaluate the performance of fluid collection during foraging, intake rates for sucrose solutions of different concentrations were measured in four ant species that differ in their foraging ecology. Scaling functions between fluid intake rates and ant size were first established for the polymorphic species, so as to compare ants of different size across species. Results showed that fluid intake rate depended, as expected and previously reported in the literature, on sugar concentration and the associated fluid viscosity. It also depended on both the species-specific feeding technique and the extent of specialization on foraging on liquid food. For similarly-sized ants, workers of two nectar-feeding ant species, Camponotus rufipes (Formicinae) and Pachycondyla villosa (Ponerinae), collected fluids with the highest intake rates, while workers of the leaf-cutting ant Atta sexdens (Myrmicinae) and a predatory ant from the Rhytidoponera impressa-complex (Ponerinae) did so with the lowest rate. Calculating the

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

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    Balaji Prabhakar

    Full Text Available 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.

  14. Endophytic fungi reduce leaf-cutting ant damage to seedlings

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bittleston, L. S.; Brockmann, F.; Wcislo, W.; Van Bael, S. A.

    2011-01-01

    Our study examines how the mutualism between Atta colombica leaf-cutting ants and their cultivated fungus is influenced by the presence of diverse foliar endophytic fungi (endophytes) at high densities in tropical leaf tissues. We conducted laboratory choice trials in which ant colonies chose between Cordia alliodora seedlings with high (Ehigh) or low (Elow) densities of endophytes. The Ehigh seedlings contained 5.5 times higher endophyte content and a greater diversity of fungal morphospecies than the Elow treatment, and endophyte content was not correlated with leaf toughness or thickness. Leaf-cutting ants cut over 2.5 times the leaf area from Elow relative to Ehigh seedlings and had a tendency to recruit more ants to Elow plants. Our findings suggest that leaf-cutting ants may incur costs from cutting and processing leaves with high endophyte loads, which could impact Neotropical forests by causing variable damage rates within plant communities. PMID:20610420

  15. Entomopathogens Isolated from Invasive Ants and Tests of Their Pathogenicity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Fernanda Miori de Zarzuela

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Some ant species cause severe ecological and health impact in urban areas. Many attempts have been tested to control such species, although they do not always succeed. Biological control is an alternative to chemical control and has gained great prominence in research, and fungi and nematodes are among the successful organisms controlling insects. This study aimed to clarify some questions regarding the biological control of ants. Invasive ant species in Brazil had their nests evaluated for the presence of entomopathogens. Isolated entomopathogens were later applied in colonies of Monomorium floricola under laboratory conditions to evaluate their effectiveness and the behavior of the ant colonies after treatment. The entomopathogenic nematodes Heterorhabditis sp. and Steinernema sp. and the fungi Beauveria bassiana, Metarhizium anisopliae, and Paecilomyces sp. were isolated from the invasive ant nests. M. floricola colonies treated with Steinernema sp. and Heterorhabditis sp. showed a higher mortality of workers than control. The fungus Beauveria bassiana caused higher mortality of M. floricola workers. However, no colony reduction or elimination was observed in any treatment. The defensive behaviors of ants, such as grooming behavior and colony budding, must be considered when using fungi and nematodes for biological control of ants.

  16. 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...

  17. Regulation and specificity of antifungal metapleural gland secretion in leaf-cutting ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Yek, Sze Huei; Nash, David Richard; Jensen, Annette Bruun

    2012-01-01

    significantly larger for ants challenged with virulent and mild pathogens/weeds than for controls and Escovopsis-challenged ants. We conclude that the MG defence system of leaf-cutting ants has characteristics reminiscent of an additional cuticular immune system, with specific and non-specific components......Ants have paired metapleural glands (MGs) to produce secretions for prophylactic hygiene. These exocrine glands are particularly well developed in leaf-cutting ants, but whether the ants can actively regulate MG secretion is unknown. In a set of controlled experiments using conidia of five fungi...

  18. Significance of the tropical fire ant Solenopsis geminata (hymenoptera: formicidae) as part of the natural enemy complex responsible for successful biological control of many tropical irrigated rice pests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Way, M J; Heong, K L

    2009-10-01

    The tropical fire ant Solenopsis geminata (Fabricius) often nests very abundantly in the earthen banks (bunds) around irrigated rice fields in the tropics. Where some farmers habitually drain fields to the mud for about 3-4 days, the ants can quickly spread up to about 20 m into the fields where they collect food, including pest prey such as the eggs and young of the apple snail Pomacea caniculata (Lamarck) and insects such as lepidopterous larvae and hoppers, notably Nilaparvata lugens (Stäl) the brown planthopper (Bph) and green leafhoppers Nephotettix spp. Even in drained fields, the activity of S. geminata is restricted by rainfall in the wet season. The relatively few ant workers that forage characteristically into drained fields and on to the transplanted clumps of rice plants (hills) kill the normally few immigrant Bph adults but are initially slower acting than other species of the natural enemy complex. However, larger populations of Bph are fiercely attacked and effectively controlled by rapidly recruited ant workers; whereas, in the absence of the ant, the other natural enemies are inadequate. In normal circumstances, there is no ant recruitment in response to initially small populations of immigrant Bph and no evidence of incompatibility between ant foragers and other natural enemies such as spiders. However, when many ants are quickly and aggressively recruited to attack large populations of Bph, they temporarily displace some spiders from infested hills. It is concluded that, in suitable weather conditions and even when insecticides kill natural enemies within the rice field, periodic drainage that enables S. geminata to join the predator complex is valuable for ant-based control of pests such as snails and Lepidoptera, and especially against relatively large populations of Bph. Drainage practices to benefit ants are fully compatible with recent research, which shows that periodic drainage combats problems of 'yield decline' in intensively irrigated

  19. Hidden diversity behind the zombie-ant fungus Ophiocordyceps unilateralis: four new species described from carpenter ants in Minas Gerais, Brazil.

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    Harry C Evans

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Ophiocordyceps unilateralis (Clavicipitaceae: Hypocreales is a fungal pathogen specific to ants of the tribe Camponotini (Formicinae: Formicidae with a pantropical distribution. This so-called zombie or brain-manipulating fungus alters the behaviour of the ant host, causing it to die in an exposed position, typically clinging onto and biting into the adaxial surface of shrub leaves. We (HCE and DPH are currently undertaking a worldwide survey to assess the taxonomy and ecology of this highly variable species. METHODS: We formally describe and name four new species belonging to the O. unilateralis species complex collected from remnant Atlantic rainforest in the south-eastern region (Zona da Mata of the State of Minas Gerais, Brazil. Fully illustrated descriptions of both the asexual (anamorph and sexual (teleomorph stages are provided for each species. The new names are registered in Index Fungorum (registration.indexfungorum.org and have received IF numbers. This paper is also a test case for the electronic publication of new names in mycology. CONCLUSIONS: We are only just beginning to understand the taxonomy and ecology of the Ophiocordyceps unilateralis species complex associated with carpenter ants; macroscopically characterised by a single stalk arising from the dorsal neck region of the ant host on which the anamorph occupies the terminal region and the teleomorph occurs as lateral cushions or plates. Each of the four ant species collected--Camponotus rufipes, C. balzani, C. melanoticus and C. novogranadensis--is attacked by a distinct species of Ophiocordyceps readily separated using traditional micromorphology. The new taxa are named according to their ant host.

  20. Aversive learning of odor-heat associations in ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Desmedt, Lucie; Baracchi, David; Devaud, Jean-Marc; Giurfa, Martin; d'Ettorre, Patrizia

    2017-12-15

    Ants have recently emerged as useful models for the study of olfactory learning. In this framework, the development of a protocol for the appetitive conditioning of the maxilla-labium extension response (MaLER) provided the possibility of studying Pavlovian odor-food learning in a controlled environment. Here we extend these studies by introducing the first Pavlovian aversive learning protocol for harnessed ants in the laboratory. We worked with carpenter ants Camponotus aethiops and first determined the capacity of different temperatures applied to the body surface to elicit the typical aversive mandible opening response (MOR). We determined that 75°C is the optimal temperature to induce MOR and chose the hind legs as the stimulated body region because of their high sensitivity. We then studied the ability of ants to learn and remember odor-heat associations using 75°C as the unconditioned stimulus. We studied learning and short-term retention after absolute (one odor paired with heat) and differential conditioning (a punished odor versus an unpunished odor). Our results show that ants successfully learn the odor-heat association under a differential-conditioning regime and thus exhibit a conditioned MOR to the punished odor. Yet, their performance under an absolute-conditioning regime is poor. These results demonstrate that ants are capable of aversive learning and confirm previous findings about the different attentional resources solicited by differential and absolute conditioning in general. © 2017. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  1. Neuromodulation of Nestmate Recognition Decisions by Pavement Ants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew N Bubak

    Full Text Available Ant colonies are distributed systems that are regulated in a non-hierarchical manner. Without a central authority, individuals inform their decisions by comparing information in local cues to a set of inherent behavioral rules. Individual behavioral decisions collectively change colony behavior and lead to self-organization capable of solving complex problems such as the decision to engage in aggressive societal conflicts with neighbors. Despite the relevance to colony fitness, the mechanisms that drive individual decisions leading to cooperative behavior are not well understood. Here we show how sensory information, both tactile and chemical, and social context-isolation, nestmate interaction, or fighting non-nestmates-affects brain monoamine levels in pavement ants (Tetramorium caespitum. Our results provide evidence that changes in octopamine and serotonin in the brains of individuals are sufficient to alter the decision by pavement ants to be aggressive towards non-nestmate ants whereas increased brain levels of dopamine correlate to physical fighting. We propose a model in which the changes in brain states of many workers collectively lead to the self-organization of societal aggression between neighboring colonies of pavement ants.

  2. Sperm length evolution in the fungus-growing ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2009-01-01

    -growing ants, representing 9 of the 12 recognized genera, and mapped these onto the ant phylogeny. We show that average sperm length across species is highly variable and decreases with mature colony size in basal genera with singly mated queens, suggesting that sperm production or storage constraints affect...... the evolution of sperm length. Sperm length does not decrease further in multiply mating leaf-cutting ants, despite substantial further increases in colony size. In a combined analysis, sexual dimorphism explained 63.1% of the variance in sperm length between species. As colony size was not a significant...... predictor in this analysis, we conclude that sperm production trade-offs in males have been the major selective force affecting sperm length across the fungus-growing ants, rather than storage constraints in females. The relationship between sperm length and sexual dimorphism remained robust...

  3. The invasion biology and sociogenetics of pharaoh ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schmidt, Anna Mosegaard

    Social insect colonies perform a number of tasks affecting the environments they live in. Some unintentionally introduced species have attracted the attention of scientists and general public alike when causing a number of changes to the composition and functioning of ecosystems. Such ?invaders...... laboratory lineages, thus building the foundation for future research on the species. In addition, I have started a selection experiment (still ongoing in collaboration with Dr. T. Linksvayer) using pharaoh ants, which is the first time artificial selection is attempted in an ant species. Pharaoh ants have...

  4. 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.

  5. When invasive ants meet: effects of outbreeding on queen performance in the tramp ant Cardiocondyla itsukii.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heinze, Jürgen; Frohschammer, Sabine; Bernadou, Abel

    2017-08-18

    Most disturbed habitats in the tropics and subtropics harbor numerous species of invasive ants, and occasionally the same species has been introduced repeatedly from multiple geographical sources. We examined how experimental crossbreeding between sexuals from different populations affects the fitness of queens of the tramp ant Cardiocondyla itsukii, which is widely distributed in Asia and the Pacific Islands. Eggs laid by queens that mated with nestmate males had a higher hatching rate than eggs laid by queens mated to males from neighboring (Hawaii × Kauai) or distant introduced populations (Hawaii/Kauai × Okinawa). Furthermore, inbreeding queens had a longer lifespan and produced a less female-biased offspring sex ratio than queens from allopatric mating. This suggests that the genetic divergence between different source populations may already be so large that in case of multiple invasions eventual crossbreeding might negatively affect the fitness of tramp ants. © 2017 Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

  6. Conflict over reproduction in an ant-plant symbiosis: why Allomerus octoarticulatus ants sterilize Cordia nodosa trees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frederickson, Megan E

    2009-05-01

    The evolutionary stability of mutualism is thought to depend on how well the fitness interests of partners are aligned. Because most ant-myrmecophyte mutualisms are persistent and horizontally transmitted, partners share an interest in growth but not in reproduction. Resources invested in reproduction are unavailable for growth, giving rise to a conflict of interest between partners. I investigated whether this explains why Allomerus octoarticulatus ants sterilize Cordia nodosa trees. Allomerus octoarticulatus nests in the hollow stem domatia of C. nodosa. Workers protect C. nodosa leaves against herbivores but destroy inflorescences. Using C. nodosa trees with Azteca ants, which do not sterilize their hosts, I cut inflorescences off trees to simulate sterilization by A. octoarticulatus. Sterilized C. nodosa grew faster than control trees, providing evidence for a trade-off between growth and reproduction. Allomerus octoarticulatus manipulates this trade-off to its advantage; sterilized trees produce more domatia and can house larger, more fecund colonies.

  7. Fire Ant Allergy

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  8. Adaptive Radiation in Socially Advanced Stem-Group Ants from the Cretaceous.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barden, Phillip; Grimaldi, David A

    2016-02-22

    Across terrestrial ecosystems, modern ants are ubiquitous. As many as 94 out of every 100 individual arthropods in rainforests are ants, and they constitute up to 15% of animal biomass in the Amazon. Moreover, ants are pervasive agents of natural selection as over 10,000 arthropod species are specialized inquilines or myrmecomorphs living among ants or defending themselves through mimicry. Such impact is traditionally explained by sociality: ants are the first major group of ground-dwelling predatory insects to become eusocial, increasing efficiency of tasks and establishing competitive superiority over solitary species. A wealth of specimens from rich deposits of 99 million-year-old Burmese amber resolves ambiguity regarding sociality and diversity in the earliest ants. The stem-group genus Gerontoformica maintained distinct reproductive castes including morphotypes unknown in solitary aculeate (stinging) wasps, providing insight into early behavior. We present rare aggregations of workers, indicating group recruitment as well as an instance of interspecific combat; such aggression is a social feature of modern ants. Two species and an unusual new genus are described, further expanding the remarkable diversity of early ants. Stem-group ants are recovered as a paraphyletic assemblage at the base of modern lineages varying greatly in size, form, and mouthpart structure, interpreted here as an adaptive radiation. Though Cretaceous stem-group ants were eusocial and adaptively diverse, we hypothesize that their extinction resulted from the rise of competitively superior crown-group taxa that today form massive colonies, consistent with Wilson and Hölldobler's concept of "dynastic succession." Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. The genome of the fire ant Solenopsis invicta

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wurm, Yannick; Wang, John; Riba-Grognuz, Oksana

    2011-01-01

    Ants have evolved very complex societies and are key ecosystem members. Some ants, such as the fire ant Solenopsis invicta, are also major pests. Here, we present a draft genome of S. invicta, assembled from Roche 454 and Illumina sequencing reads obtained from a focal haploid male and his brothe...

  10. Ant colony search algorithm for optimal reactive power optimization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lenin K.

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available The paper presents an (ACSA Ant colony search Algorithm for Optimal Reactive Power Optimization and voltage control of power systems. ACSA is a new co-operative agents’ approach, which is inspired by the observation of the behavior of real ant colonies on the topic of ant trial formation and foraging methods. Hence, in the ACSA a set of co-operative agents called "Ants" co-operates to find good solution for Reactive Power Optimization problem. The ACSA is applied for optimal reactive power optimization is evaluated on standard IEEE, 30, 57, 191 (practical test bus system. The proposed approach is tested and compared to genetic algorithm (GA, Adaptive Genetic Algorithm (AGA.

  11. Individual-based ant-plant networks: diurnal-nocturnal structure and species-area relationship.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wesley Dáttilo

    Full Text Available Despite the importance and increasing knowledge of ecological networks, sampling effort and intrapopulation variation has been widely overlooked. Using continuous daily sampling of ants visiting three plant species in the Brazilian Neotropical savanna, we evaluated for the first time the topological structure over 24 h and species-area relationships (based on the number of extrafloral nectaries available in individual-based ant-plant networks. We observed that diurnal and nocturnal ant-plant networks exhibited the same pattern of interactions: a nested and non-modular pattern and an average level of network specialization. Despite the high similarity in the ants' composition between the two collection periods, ant species found in the central core of highly interacting species totally changed between diurnal and nocturnal sampling for all plant species. In other words, this "night-turnover" suggests that the ecological dynamics of these ant-plant interactions can be temporally partitioned (day and night at a small spatial scale. Thus, it is possible that in some cases processes shaping mutualistic networks formed by protective ants and plants may be underestimated by diurnal sampling alone. Moreover, we did not observe any effect of the number of extrafloral nectaries on ant richness and their foraging on such plants in any of the studied ant-plant networks. We hypothesize that competitively superior ants could monopolize individual plants and allow the coexistence of only a few other ant species, however, other alternative hypotheses are also discussed. Thus, sampling period and species-area relationship produces basic information that increases our confidence in how individual-based ant-plant networks are structured, and the need to consider nocturnal records in ant-plant network sampling design so as to decrease inappropriate inferences.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-07-22

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

  13. 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.

  14. Field abundance and nest structure of the ant Anoplolepis tenella associated with the African root and tuber scale in the Congo Basin

    OpenAIRE

    Fotso Kuate, A.; Tindo, M.; Hanna, R.; Kenne, M.; Goergen, G.

    2006-01-01

    Anoplolepis tenella is a ground-dwelling ant of the tropical forest zone of Central Africa. It is associated with the African root and tuber scale (ARTS), Stictococcus vayssierei Richard, an emerging cassava pest in the zone. Developing sustainable and effective methods to control ARTS requires basic knowledge of the biology of A. tenella and the nature of interactions between the two insects. A study on the nest distribution and composition of A. tenella in various vegetation types prevailin...

  15. The diversity of microorganisms associated with Acromyrmex leafcutter ants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Boomsma Jacobus J

    2002-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Molecular biological techniques are dramatically changing our view of microbial diversity in almost any environment that has so far been investigated. This study presents a systematic survey of the microbial diversity associated with a population of Acromyrmex leafcutter ants. In contrast to previous studies on social insects, which targeted specific groups of symbionts occurring in the gut (termites, Tetraponera ants or in specialised cells (Camponotus ants the objective of our present study was to do a total screening of all possible micro-organisms that can be found inside the bodies of these leafcutter ants. Results We amplified, cloned and sequenced SSU rRNA encoding gene fragments from 9 microbial groups known to have insect-associated representatives, and show that: (1 representatives of 5 out of 9 tested groups are present, (2 mostly several strains per group are present, adding up to a total of 33 different taxa. We present the microbial taxa associated with Acromymex ants in a phylogenetic context (using sequences from GenBank to assess and illustrate to which known microorganisms they are closely related. The observed microbial diversity is discussed in the light of present knowledge on the evolutionary history of Acromyrmex leafcutter ants and their known mutualistic and parasitic symbionts. Conclusions The major merits of the screening approach documented here is its high sensitivity and specificity, which allowed us to identify several microorganisms that are promising candidates for further study of their interactions with Acromyrmex leafcutter ants or their gardens.

  16. Graveyards on the Move: The Spatio-Temporal Distribution of Dead Ophiocordyceps-Infected Ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pontoppidan, Maj-Britt; Himaman, Winanda; Hywel-Jones, Nigel L.

    2009-01-01

    rainforest. We established that high density aggregations exist (up to 26 dead ants/m2), which we coined graveyards. We further established that graveyards are patchily distributed in a landscape with no or very few O. unilateralis-killed ants. At some, but not all, spatial scales of analysis the density...... unilateralis, which is pan-tropical in distribution, causes infected worker ants to leave their nest and die under leaves in the understory of tropical rainforests. Working in a forest dynamic plot in Southern Thailand we mapped the occurrence of these dead ants by examining every leaf in 1,360 m2 of primary...... of dead ants correlated with temperature, humidity and vegetation cover. Remarkably, having found 2243 dead ants inside graveyards we only found 2 live ants of the principal host, ant Camponotus leonardi, suggesting that foraging host ants actively avoid graveyards. We discovered that the principal host...

  17. 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

    2009-01-01

    Discriminating among individuals and rejecting non-group members is essential for the evolution and stability of animal societies. Ants are good models for studying recognition mechanisms, because they are typically very efficient in discriminating ‘friends’ (nest-mates) from ‘foes’ (non-nest-mates). Recognition in ants involves multicomponent cues encoded in cuticular hydrocarbon profiles. Here, we tested whether workers of the carpenter ant Camponotus herculeanus use the presence and/or 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. PMID:19364750

  18. Trail Pheromone Disruption of Argentine Ant Trail Formation and Foraging

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suckling, D.M.; Peck, R.W.; Stringer, L.D.; Snook, K.; Banko, P.C.

    2010-01-01

    Trail pheromone disruption of invasive ants is a novel tactic that builds on the development of pheromone-based pest management in other insects. Argentine ant trail pheromone, (Z)-9-hexadecenal, was formulated as a micro-encapsulated sprayable particle and applied against Argentine ant populations in 400 m2 field plots in Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park. A widely dispersed point source strategy for trail pheromone disruption was used. Traffic rates of ants in bioassays of treated filter paper, protected from rainfall and sunlight, indicated the presence of behaviorally significant quantities of pheromone being released from the formulation for up to 59 days. The proportion of plots, under trade wind conditions (2-3 m s-1), with visible trails was reduced for up to 14 days following treatment, and the number of foraging ants at randomly placed tuna-bait cards was similarly reduced. The success of these trail pheromone disruption trials in a natural ecosystem highlights the potential of this method for control of invasive ant species in this and other environments. ?? Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010.

  19. Water stress strengthens mutualism among ants, trees, and scale insects.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elizabeth G Pringle

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available Abiotic environmental variables strongly affect the outcomes of species interactions. For example, mutualistic interactions between species are often stronger when resources are limited. The effect might be indirect: water stress on plants can lead to carbon stress, which could alter carbon-mediated plant mutualisms. In mutualistic ant-plant symbioses, plants host ant colonies that defend them against herbivores. Here we show that the partners' investments in a widespread ant-plant symbiosis increase with water stress across 26 sites along a Mesoamerican precipitation gradient. At lower precipitation levels, Cordia alliodora trees invest more carbon in Azteca ants via phloem-feeding scale insects that provide the ants with sugars, and the ants provide better defense of the carbon-producing leaves. Under water stress, the trees have smaller carbon pools. A model of the carbon trade-offs for the mutualistic partners shows that the observed strategies can arise from the carbon costs of rare but extreme events of herbivory in the rainy season. Thus, water limitation, together with the risk of herbivory, increases the strength of a carbon-based mutualism.

  20. Water stress strengthens mutualism among ants, trees, and scale insects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pringle, Elizabeth G; Akçay, Erol; Raab, Ted K; Dirzo, Rodolfo; Gordon, Deborah M

    2013-11-01

    Abiotic environmental variables strongly affect the outcomes of species interactions. For example, mutualistic interactions between species are often stronger when resources are limited. The effect might be indirect: water stress on plants can lead to carbon stress, which could alter carbon-mediated plant mutualisms. In mutualistic ant-plant symbioses, plants host ant colonies that defend them against herbivores. Here we show that the partners' investments in a widespread ant-plant symbiosis increase with water stress across 26 sites along a Mesoamerican precipitation gradient. At lower precipitation levels, Cordia alliodora trees invest more carbon in Azteca ants via phloem-feeding scale insects that provide the ants with sugars, and the ants provide better defense of the carbon-producing leaves. Under water stress, the trees have smaller carbon pools. A model of the carbon trade-offs for the mutualistic partners shows that the observed strategies can arise from the carbon costs of rare but extreme events of herbivory in the rainy season. Thus, water limitation, together with the risk of herbivory, increases the strength of a carbon-based mutualism.

  1. Ant colony algorithm for clustering in portfolio optimization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Subekti, R.; Sari, E. R.; Kusumawati, R.

    2018-03-01

    This research aims to describe portfolio optimization using clustering methods with ant colony approach. Two stock portfolios of LQ45 Indonesia is proposed based on the cluster results obtained from ant colony optimization (ACO). The first portfolio consists of assets with ant colony displacement opportunities beyond the defined probability limits of the researcher, where the weight of each asset is determined by mean-variance method. The second portfolio consists of two assets with the assumption that each asset is a cluster formed from ACO. The first portfolio has a better performance compared to the second portfolio seen from the Sharpe index.

  2. Automating ActionScript Projects with Eclipse and Ant

    CERN Document Server

    Koning, Sidney

    2011-01-01

    Automating repetitive programming tasks is easier than many Flash/AS3 developers think. With the Ant build tool, the Eclipse IDE, and this concise guide, you can set up your own "ultimate development machine" to code, compile, debug, and deploy projects faster. You'll also get started with versioning systems, such as Subversion and Git. Create a consistent workflow for multiple machines, or even complete departments, with the help of extensive Ant code samples. If you want to work smarter and take your skills to a new level, this book will get you on the road to automation-with Ant. Set up y

  3. Exotic ants (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) of Ohio

    OpenAIRE

    Ivanov,Kal

    2016-01-01

    The worldwide transfer of plants and animals outside their native ranges is an ever increasing problem for global biodiversity. Ants are no exception and many species have been transported to new locations often with profound negative impacts on local biota. The current study is based on data gathered since the publication of the “Ants of Ohio” in 2005. Here I expand on our knowledge of Ohio’s myrmecofauna by contributing new records, new distributional information and natural history notes. ...

  4. Individual Rules for Trail Pattern Formation in Argentine Ants (Linepithema humile)

    OpenAIRE

    Perna, Andrea; Granovskiy, Boris; Garnier, Simon; Nicolis, Stamatios C.; Labédan, Marjorie; Theraulaz, Guy; Fourcassié, Vincent; Sumpter, David J. T.

    2012-01-01

    We studied the formation of trail patterns by Argentine ants exploring an empty arena. Using a novel imaging and analysis technique we estimated pheromone concentrations at all spatial positions in the experimental arena and at different times. Then we derived the response function of individual ants to pheromone concentrations by looking at correlations between concentrations and changes in speed or direction of the ants. Ants were found to turn in response to local pheromone concentrations,...

  5. Ant-mediated effects on spruce litter decomposition, solution chemistry, and microbial activity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Stadler, B.; Schramm, Andreas; Kalbitz, K.

    2006-01-01

    the effects of ants and aphid honeydew on litter solution of Norway spruce, microbial enzyme activities, and needle decomposition in a field and greenhouse experiment during summer 2003. In the field, low ant densities had relatively little effects on litter solution 30 cm away from a tree trunk...... and %N were not affected by ants or honeydew. Our results suggest that ants have a distinct and immediate effect on solution composition and microbial activity in the litter layer indicating accelerated litter decay whereas the effect of honeydew was insignificant. Keywords: Ants; Decomposition; Formica......Forest management practices often generate clear-cut patches, which may be colonized by ants not present in the same densities in mature forests. In addition to the associated changes in abiotic conditions ants can initiate processes, which do not occur in old-growth stands. Here, we analyse...

  6. Ants: Major Functional Elements in Fruit Agro-Ecosystems and Biological Control Agents

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lamine Diamé

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Ants are a very diverse taxonomic group. They display remarkable social organization that has enabled them to be ubiquitous throughout the world. They make up approximately 10% of the world’s animal biomass. Ants provide ecosystem services in agrosystems by playing a major role in plant pollination, soil bioturbation, bioindication, and the regulation of crop-damaging insects. Over recent decades, there have been numerous studies in ant ecology and the focus on tree cropping systems has given added importance to ant ecology knowledge. The only missing point in this knowledge is the reasons underlying difference between the positive and negative effects of ants in tree cropping systems. This review article provides an overview of knowledge of the roles played by ants in orchards as functional elements, and on the potential of Oecophylla weaver ants as biological control agents. It also shows the potential and relevance of using ants as an agro-ecological diagnosis tool in orchards. Lastly, it demonstrates the potential elements which may determine the divergent negative and positive of their effects on cropping systems.

  7. Economy of scale: third partner strengthens a keystone ant-plant mutualism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prior, Kirsten M; Palmer, Todd M

    2018-02-01

    While foundation species can stabilize ecosystems at landscape scales, their ability to persist is often underlain by keystone interactions occurring at smaller scales. Acacia drepanolobium is a foundation tree, comprising >95% of woody cover in East African black-cotton savanna ecosystems. Its dominance is underlain by a keystone mutualistic interaction with several symbiotic ant species in which it provides housing (swollen thorns) and carbohydrate-rich nectar from extra-floral nectaries (EFN). In return, it gains protection from catastrophic damage from mega-herbivores. Crematogaster mimosae is the ecologically dominant symbiotic ant in this system, also providing the highest protection services. In addition to tending EFN, C. mimosae tend scale insects for carbohydrate-rich honeydew. We investigated the role of scale insects in this specialized ant-plant interaction. Specifically, does this putatively redundant third partner strengthen the ant-plant mutualism by making the ant a better protector of the tree? Or does it weaken the mutualism by being costly to the tree while providing no additional benefit to the ant-plant mutualism? We coupled observational surveys with two scale-manipulation experiments and found evidence that this third partner strengthens the ant-plant mutualism. Trees with scale insects experimentally removed experienced a 2.5X increase in elephant damage compared to trees with scale insects present over 10 months. Reduced protection was driven by scale removal causing a decrease in ant colony size and per capita baseline activity and defensive behavior. We also found that ants increased scale-tending and the density of scale insects on trees when EFN were experimentally reduced. Thus, in this system, scale insects and EFN are likely complementary, rather than redundant, resources with scale insects benefitting ants when EFN production is low (such as during annual dry periods in this semi-arid ecosystem). This study reveals that a third

  8. An invasive slug exploits an ant-seed dispersal mutualism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meadley Dunphy, Shannon A; Prior, Kirsten M; Frederickson, Megan E

    2016-05-01

    Plant-animal mutualisms, such as seed dispersal, are often vulnerable to disruption by invasive species. Here, we show for the first time how a non-ant invasive species negatively affects seed dispersal by ants. We examined the effects of several animal species that co-occur in a temperate deciduous forest-including native and invasive seed-dispersing ants (Aphaenogaster rudis and Myrmica rubra, respectively), an invasive slug (Arion subfuscus), and native rodents-on a native myrmecochorous plant, Asarum canadense. We experimentally manipulated ant, slug, and rodent access to seed depots and measured seed removal. We also video-recorded depots to determine which other taxa interact with seeds. We found that A. rudis was the main disperser of seeds and that A. subfuscus consumed elaiosomes without dispersing seeds. Rodent visitation was rare, and rodent exclusion had no significant effect on seed or elaiosome removal. We then used data obtained from laboratory and field mesocosm experiments to determine how elaiosome robbing by A. subfuscus affects seed dispersal by A. rudis and M. rubra. We found that elaiosome robbing by slugs reduced seed dispersal by ants, especially in mesocosms with A. rudis, which picks up seeds more slowly than M. rubra. Taken together, our results show that elaiosome robbing by an invasive slug reduces seed dispersal by ants, suggesting that invasive slugs can have profound negative effects on seed dispersal mutualisms.

  9. Olfactory memory established during trophallaxis affects food search behaviour in ants

    OpenAIRE

    Provecho, Y.; Josens, R.

    2009-01-01

    Camponotus mus ants can associate sucrose and odour at the source during successive foraging cycles and use this memory to locate the nectar in the absence of other cues. These ants perform conspicuous trophallactic behaviour during recruitment while foraging for nectar. In this work, we studied whether Camponotus mus ants are able to establish this odour-sucrose association in the social context of trophallaxis and we evaluated this memory in another context previously experienced by the ant...

  10. Evaluation Of The Advanced Operating System Of The Ann Arbor Transportation Authority : Cost Study : Before, During And After AOS Implementation (October 1996-May 1999)

    Science.gov (United States)

    1999-01-01

    In 1997, the Ann Arbor (Michigan) Transportation Authority (AATA) began deploying advanced public transportation systems (APTS) technologies in its fixed route and paratransit operations. The project's concept is the integration of a range of such te...

  11. Commentary: Warring ants

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

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

  12. Individual Rules for Trail Pattern Formation in Argentine Ants (Linepithema humile)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perna, Andrea; Granovskiy, Boris; Garnier, Simon; Nicolis, Stamatios C.; Labédan, Marjorie; Theraulaz, Guy; Fourcassié, Vincent; Sumpter, David J. T.

    2012-01-01

    We studied the formation of trail patterns by Argentine ants exploring an empty arena. Using a novel imaging and analysis technique we estimated pheromone concentrations at all spatial positions in the experimental arena and at different times. Then we derived the response function of individual ants to pheromone concentrations by looking at correlations between concentrations and changes in speed or direction of the ants. Ants were found to turn in response to local pheromone concentrations, while their speed was largely unaffected by these concentrations. Ants did not integrate pheromone concentrations over time, with the concentration of pheromone in a 1 cm radius in front of the ant determining the turning angle. The response to pheromone was found to follow a Weber's Law, such that the difference between quantities of pheromone on the two sides of the ant divided by their sum determines the magnitude of the turning angle. This proportional response is in apparent contradiction with the well-established non-linear choice function used in the literature to model the results of binary bridge experiments in ant colonies (Deneubourg et al. 1990). However, agent based simulations implementing the Weber's Law response function led to the formation of trails and reproduced results reported in the literature. We show analytically that a sigmoidal response, analogous to that in the classical Deneubourg model for collective decision making, can be derived from the individual Weber-type response to pheromone concentrations that we have established in our experiments when directional noise around the preferred direction of movement of the ants is assumed. PMID:22829756

  13. Individual rules for trail pattern formation in Argentine ants (Linepithema humile.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea Perna

    Full Text Available We studied the formation of trail patterns by Argentine ants exploring an empty arena. Using a novel imaging and analysis technique we estimated pheromone concentrations at all spatial positions in the experimental arena and at different times. Then we derived the response function of individual ants to pheromone concentrations by looking at correlations between concentrations and changes in speed or direction of the ants. Ants were found to turn in response to local pheromone concentrations, while their speed was largely unaffected by these concentrations. Ants did not integrate pheromone concentrations over time, with the concentration of pheromone in a 1 cm radius in front of the ant determining the turning angle. The response to pheromone was found to follow a Weber's Law, such that the difference between quantities of pheromone on the two sides of the ant divided by their sum determines the magnitude of the turning angle. This proportional response is in apparent contradiction with the well-established non-linear choice function used in the literature to model the results of binary bridge experiments in ant colonies (Deneubourg et al. 1990. However, agent based simulations implementing the Weber's Law response function led to the formation of trails and reproduced results reported in the literature. We show analytically that a sigmoidal response, analogous to that in the classical Deneubourg model for collective decision making, can be derived from the individual Weber-type response to pheromone concentrations that we have established in our experiments when directional noise around the preferred direction of movement of the ants is assumed.

  14. Molecular structure and diversity of PBAN/Pyrokinin family peptides in ants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Man-Yeon eChoi

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available Neuropeptides are the largest group of insect hormones. They are produced in the central and peripheral nervous systems and affect insect development, reproduction, feeding and behavior. A variety of neuropeptide families have been identified in insects. One of these families is the PBAN/pyrokinin family defined by a common FXPRLamide or similar amino acid fragment at the C-terminal end. These peptides, found in all insects studied thus far, have been conserved throughout evolution. The most well studied physiological function is regulation of moth sex pheromone biosynthesis through the Pheromone Biosynthesis Activating Neurohormone (PBAN, although several developmental functions have also been reported. Over the past years we have extended knowledge of the PBAN/pyrokinin family of peptides to ants, focusing mainly on the fire ant, Solenopsis invicta. The fire ant is one of the most studied social insects and over the last 60 years a great deal has been learned about many aspects of this ant, including the behaviors and chemistry of pheromone communication. However, virtually nothing is known about the regulation of these pheromone systems. Recently, we demonstrated the presence of PBAN/pyrokinin immunoreactive neurons in the fire ant, and identified and characterized PBAN and additional neuropeptides. We have mapped the fire ant PBAN gene structure and determined the tissue expression level in the central nervous system of the ant. We review here our research to date on the molecular structure and diversity of ant PBAN/pyrokinin peptides in preparation for determining the function of the neuropeptides in ants and other social insects.

  15. Ants and their effects on an insect herbivore community associated with the inflorescences of Byrsonima crassifolia (Linnaeus H.B.K. (Malpighiaceae Formigas e seus efeitos em uma comunidade de insetos herbívoros associada com as inflorescências de Byrsonima crassifolia (Linnaeus H.B.K. (Malpighiaceae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. Wilson Fernandes

    2005-06-01

    Full Text Available The effects of ants on the insect community on inflorescences of Byrsonima crassifolia (Malpighiaceae were tested in an ant exclusion experiment in a cerrado vegetation in southeastern Brazil. Forty-four species of insects (23 families and nine species of ants (6 genera and 3 subfamilies were found on the inflorescences of B. crassifolia. The exclusion of ants, primarily Camponotus sericeiventris and Camponotus spp., reduced the treehopper population to 20% of the original abundance. Ant exclusion and time influenced the abundance of chewing (Exclusion, POs efeitos de formigas na comunidade de insetos em inflorescências de Byrsonima crassifolia (Malpighiaceae foram testados em um experimento de exclusão em uma vegetação de cerrado no Sudeste do Brasil. Quarenta e quatro espécies de insetos (23 famílias e nove espécies de formigas (seis gêneros e três subfamílias foram encontradas nas inflorescências de B. crassifolia. A exclusão das formigas, principalmente de Camponotus sericeiventris e de Camponotus spp. reduziu a população de membracídeos para 20% da abundância original. Exclusão das formigas e o tempo influenciaram a abundância de insetos mastigadores (exclusão, P<0,001; tempo, P<0,002 e sugadores (exclusão, P<0,02; tempo, P<0,01. Insetos mastigadores e sugadores foram encontrados duas vezes mais em inflorescências com formigas excluídas quando comparados com inflorescências controle (P<0,001. Insetos sugadores foram encontrados 1,5 vezes mais em inflorescências com formigas excluídas do que no controle. Apenas o tempo influenciou significativamente a riqueza de insetos mastigadores e sugadores associados com as inflorescências de B. crassifolia. Inflorescências em ramos controle foram significativamente menos atacadas por herbívoros do que inflorescências em ramos com formigas excluídas (P<0,001. Portanto, estes resultados sugerem que a presença das formigas influencia a estrutura da comunidade de insetos herb

  16. Ultrastructure of antennal sensillae of the samsum ant ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Black ant (Samsum), Pachycodyla sennarrensis, stings and injects venom and inflicts allergy (a rare clinical problem) due to its local and systemic reaction, which is considered as a health hazard amongst Saudi society. Thus, black ant is a source of serious concern for the government and experts as well.

  17. The effect of diet and opponent size on aggressive interactions involving caribbean crazy ants (Nylanderia fulva.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katherine C Horn

    Full Text Available Biotic interactions are often important in the establishment and spread of invasive species. In particular, competition between introduced and native species can strongly influence the distribution and spread of exotic species and in some cases competition among introduced species can be important. The Caribbean crazy ant, Nylanderia fulva, was recently introduced to the Gulf Coast of Texas, and appears to be spreading inland. It has been hypothesized that competition with the red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta, may be an important factor in the spread of crazy ants. We investigated the potential of interspecific competition among these two introduced ants by measuring interspecific aggression between Caribbean crazy ant workers and workers of Solenopsis invicta. Specifically, we examined the effect of body size and diet on individual-level aggressive interactions among crazy ant workers and fire ants. We found that differences in diet did not alter interactions between crazy ant workers from different nests, but carbohydrate level did play an important role in antagonistic interactions with fire ants: crazy ants on low sugar diets were more aggressive and less likely to be killed in aggressive encounters with fire ants. We found that large fire ants engaged in fewer fights with crazy ants than small fire ants, but fire ant size affected neither fire ant nor crazy ant mortality. Overall, crazy ants experienced higher mortality than fire ants after aggressive encounters. Our findings suggest that fire ant workers might outcompete crazy ant workers on an individual level, providing some biotic resistance to crazy ant range expansion. However, this resistance may be overcome by crazy ants that have a restricted sugar intake, which may occur when crazy ants are excluded from resources by fire ants.

  18. Weaver Ants to Control Fruit Fly Damage to Tanzanian Mangoes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kirkegaard, Nina

    in Australia and West Africa. In this study, small scale farmers did not think weaver ants protected their mangoes from fruit flies. Observational studies confirmed the farmers’ views. No volatile compounds, likely to be responsible for the weaver ants’ deterrent effect, were identified. This study focused...... mangoes varied a lot with zero infestation in some fruits and more than 100 pupae emerging from other fruits, indicating that other factors than the presence of weaver ants affect the fruit flies’ decision on where to oviposit. It was not uncommon for farmers to place newly harvested mangoes below mango...... not shown to be effectively deterring fruit flies, there is no great motivation for farmers to adopt weaver ants. Assuming the weaver ants could be managed in a way that made weaver ants deter fruit flies effectively there are still some economic aspects which should be studied further. It is necessary...

  19. Advances in Research on the Venom Chemistry of Imported Fire Ants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Workers of the imported fire ants, including red imported fire ants, Solenopsis invicta Buren, black imported fire ants, S. richteri Forel, and their hybrid (S. invicta × S. richteri), are vicious stingers. Since the venomous sting is a significant medical problem to humans, the chemistry of import...

  20. Various chemical strategies to deceive ants in three Arhopala species (lepidoptera: Lycaenidae exploiting Macaranga myrmecophytes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yoko Inui

    Full Text Available Macaranga myrmecophytes (ant-plants are generally well protected from herbivore attacks by their symbiotic ants (plant-ants. However, larvae of Arhopala (Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae species survive and develop on specific Macaranga ant-plant species without being attacked by the plant-ants of their host species. We hypothesized that Arhopala larvae chemically mimic or camouflage themselves with the ants on their host plant so that the larvae are accepted by the plant-ant species of their host. Chemical analyses of cuticular hydrocarbons showed that chemical congruency varied among Arhopala species; A. dajagaka matched well the host plant-ants, A. amphimuta did not match, and unexpectedly, A. zylda lacked hydrocarbons. Behaviorally, the larvae and dummies coated with cuticular chemicals of A. dajagaka were well attended by the plant-ants, especially by those of the host. A. amphimuta was often attacked by all plant-ants except for the host plant-ants toward the larvae, and those of A. zylda were ignored by all plant-ants. Our results suggested that conspicuous variations exist in the chemical strategies used by the myrmecophilous butterflies that allow them to avoid ant attack and be accepted by the plant-ant colonies.

  1. 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.

  2. Uni-directional trail sharing by two species of ants a Monte Carlo study

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kunduraci, T; Kayacan, O

    2015-01-01

    We study insect traffic, specifically ant traffic on a uni-directional trail which is shared by two species of ants, one of which is ‘good’ at smelling and the other ‘poor’. The two distinct species of ants are placed mixed on the same trail and individuals of both are permitted to make a U-turn when they encounter another ant in front of them. The theoretical scheme for the ant traffic is based on an asymmetric simple exclusion model. The ant traffic on the uni-directional trail is studied as a function of the number of ‘good-smelling’ ants and the evaporation probability of pheromones by keeping the number of ‘poor-smelling ants’ constant during Monte Carlo simulations. (paper)

  3. Improving Emergency Management by Modeling Ant Colonies

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-03-01

    perform functions such as nursing the brood or maintaining the nest. The more mature workers will begin to travel outside the nest to perform foraging...small sized ants predominantly act in functional roles such as nurses or transport services within the nest. The larger sizes predominantly function...stages: the founding stage, the ergonomic stage, and the reproductive stage. The founding stage is marked by a queen ant successful mating and laying

  4. Revolutionizing Remote Exploration with ANTS

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2002-05-01

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

  5. Species-Specific Effects of Ant Inhabitants on Bromeliad Nutrition.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana Z Gonçalves

    Full Text Available Predator activities may lead to the accumulation of nutrients in specific areas of terrestrial habitats where they dispose of prey carcasses. In their feeding sites, predators may increase nutrient availability in the soil and favor plant nutrition and growth. However, the translocation of nutrients from one habitat to another may depend on predator identity and diet, as well as on the amount of prey intake. Here we used isotopic (15N and physiological methods in greenhouse experiments to evaluate the effects of the identity of predatory ants (i.e., the consumption of prey and nest sites on the nutrition and growth of the bromeliad Quesnelia arvensis. We showed that predatory ants with protein-based nutrition (i.e., Odontomachus hastatus, Gnamptogenys moelleri improved the performance of their host bromeliads (i.e., increased foliar N, production of soluble proteins and growth. On the other hand, the contribution of Camponotus crassus for the nutritional status of bromeliads did not differ from bromeliads without ants, possibly because this ant does not have arthropod prey as a preferred food source. Our results show, for the first time, that predatory ants can translocate nutrients from one habitat to another within forests, accumulating nutrients in their feeding sites that become available to bromeliads. Additionally, we highlight that ant contribution to plant nutrition may depend on predator identity and its dietary requirements. Nest debris may be especially important for epiphytic and terrestrial bromeliads in nutrient-poor environments.

  6. 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.

  7. Ants farm subterranean aphids mostly in single clone groups

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ivens, Aniek B.F.; Kronauer, Daniel Jan Christoph; Pen, Ido

    2012-01-01

    mutualisms have been studied in sufficient genetic detail to address these issues, so we decided to characterize symbiont diversity in the complex mutualism between multiple root aphid species and Lasius flavus ants. After showing elsewhere that three of these aphid species have low dispersal and mostly...... if not exclusively asexual reproduction, we here investigate aphid diversity within and between ant nest mounds. Results The three focal species (Geoica utricularia, Forda marginata and Tetraneura ulmi) had considerable clonal diversity at the population level. Yet more than half of the ant mounds contained just....... The ants appear to eat most of the early instar aphids, so that adult aphids are unlikely to face limited phloem resources and scramble competition with other aphids. We suggest that such culling of carbohydrate-providing symbionts for protein ingestion may maintain maximal host yield per aphid while also...

  8. Novel fungal disease in complex leaf-cutting ant societies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hughes, David Peter; Evans, Harry C.; Hywel-Jones, Nigel

    2009-01-01

    1. The leaf-cutting ants practise an advanced system of mycophagy where they grow a fungus as a food source. As a consequence of parasite threats to their crops, they have evolved a system of morphological, behavioural, and chemical defences, particularly against fungal pathogens (mycopathogens). 2....... Specific fungal diseases of the leaf-cutting ants themselves have not been described, possibly because broad spectrum anti-fungal defences against mycopathogens have reduced their susceptibility to entomopathogens. 3. Using morphological and molecular tools, the present study documents three rare infection...... events of Acromyrmex and Atta leaf-cutting ants by Ophiocordyceps fungi, agenus of entomopathogens that is normally highly specific in its host choice. 4. As leaf-cutting ants have been intensively studied, the absence of prior records of Ophiocordyceps suggests that these infections may be a novel event...

  9. Operant conditioning in the ant Myrmica sabuleti.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cammaerts, M C

    2004-11-30

    Operant conditioning could be obtained in the ant Myrmica sabuleti by presenting to the workers, during a six-day period, an apparatus containing either sugared water or meat as a reward. The conditioning obtained using sugared water as a reward was short lasting. A reconditioning was more persistent and lasted four hours. The ants' response was very precise, since they exhibited it only in front of an apparatus identical to that used during the training phase. Operant conditioning obtained using meat as a reward was more pronounced than that obtained by using sugared water, probably because meat is more valuable as a reward than sugar for the species studied, which is essentially a carnivorous one. Such a conditioning was rather persistent. Indeed, a first operant conditioning obtained by using meat as a reward could still be detected after seven hours, and a reconditioning was still significant after eight hours. One day after this eight-hour period without rewarding the ants, the response was higher again and a further day later, it was still significant. Since the operant conditioning is easy to perform and quantify and since the ants' response is very precise, such a conditioning can be used for further studying M. sabuleti workers' visual perception.

  10. Ant parasite queens revert to mating singly

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2004-01-01

    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......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...... to a dozen different males, the social parasite mates only singly. This rapid and surprising reversion to single mating in a socially parasitic ant indicates that the costs of polyandry are probably specific to a free-living lifestyle....

  11. The worldwide expansion of the Argentine ant

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2010-01-01

    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...... supercolonies to assess the size of the propagules (i.e. the number of founding individuals) at the origin of the introduced supercolonies. Location Global. Methods We used mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) markers and microsatellite loci to study 39 supercolonies of the Argentine ant Linepithema humile covering both......) 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. Arborealities: The Tactile Ecology of Hardy’s Woodlanders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    William A. Cohen

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available This article asks what consequences two recent movements in scholarship - affect theory and environmental studies - might have for understanding the Victorian tactile imagination. Thomas Hardy's 1887 novel 'The Woodlanders' provides a means of addressing this question, for it shares with posthumanist critics a view that people are material things in a world of things, and that the world is itself a collection of vital agencies and networked actors. Hardy shows how a tactile modality provides a point of entry into discussions of both affect and ecology, situating the human in a proximate, contiguous relation to both bodily and environmental materialities. 'The Woodlanders' offers a world in which trees, in particular, work on - and are in turn worked on by - human objects; a world in which, one might say, the trees are people and the people are trees. This arboreality is far from a sentimental oneness with nature, nor is it an exercise in anthropomorphization. Instead, it provides a recognition of the inhuman, material, and sensate aspects of the human; or, perhaps better, of the human as rooted, budding, leafy, and abloom. Like some recent theoretical accounts, 'The Woodlanders' disperses agency among human and non-human elements alike, employing a tactile mode of representation to break down distinctions between them. Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE

  13. Urban physiology: city ants possess high heat tolerance.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael J Angilletta

    Full Text Available Urbanization has caused regional increases in temperature that exceed those measured on a global scale, leading to urban heat islands as much as 12 degrees C hotter than their surroundings. Optimality models predict ectotherms in urban areas should tolerate heat better and cold worse than ectotherms in rural areas. We tested these predications by measuring heat and cold tolerances of leaf-cutter ants from South America's largest city (São Paulo, Brazil. Specifically, we compared thermal tolerances of ants from inside and outside of the city. Knock-down resistance and chill-coma recovery were used as indicators of heat and cold tolerances, respectively. Ants from within the city took 20% longer to lose mobility at 42 degrees C than ants from outside the city. Interestingly, greater heat tolerance came at no obvious expense of cold tolerance; hence, our observations only partially support current theory. Our results indicate that thermal tolerances of some organisms can respond to rapid changes in climate. Predictive models should account for acclimatory and evolutionary responses during climate change.

  14. Antígonas. Una visión intertextual

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elena Cano Turrión

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available In this article and from an intertextual point of view, we will try to examine how theSophoclean hypotext has generated three very different hypertexts. The first one is the short story“Antígona o la elección” by M. Yourcenar, which goes further the religious motivation in the originaltext; then, there is an essay written as a dialogue by Maria Zambrano, entitled La tumba de Antígonawhich main topics are confrontation against power, lack of freedom and destiny and faith in humanconscience. Finally, Luis Riaza’s Antígona…¡Cerda! Appears closer to its hypotext but at the same timesemantic deviation becomes more relevant.

  15. Reaction of mutualistic and granivorous ants to ulex elaiosome chemicals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gammans, Nicola; Bullock, James M; Gibbons, Hannah; Schönrogge, Karsten

    2006-09-01

    It has been proposed that chemicals on plant elaiosomes aid seed detection by seed-dispersing ants. We hypothesized that the chemical interaction between ants and elaiosomes is more intimate than a generic attraction, and that elaiosome chemicals will attract mutualistic but not granivorous ant species. We investigated this by using two gorse species, Ulex minor and U. europaeus, and two associated ant species from European heathlands, the mutualist Myrmica ruginodis and the granivore Tetramorium caespitum. Behavioral studies were conducted with laboratory nests and foraging arenas. Both ants will take Ulex seeds, but while M. ruginodis showed increased antennation toward ether extracts of elaiosome surface chemicals compared with controls, T. caespitum showed no response. Elaiosome extracts were separated into seven lipid fractions. M. ruginodis showed increased antennation only toward the diglyceride fractions of both Ulex species, whereas T. caespitum showed no consistent reaction. This indicates that M. ruginodis can detect the elaiosome by responding to its surface chemicals, but T. caespitum is unresponsive to these chemicals. Responses to surface chemicals could increase the rate of seed detection in the field, and so these results suggest that Ulex elaiosomes produce chemicals that facilitate attraction of mutualistic rather than granivorous ant species. This could reduce seed predation and increase Ulex fitness.

  16. [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.

  17. Recognition of social identity in ants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nick eBos

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Recognizing the identity of others, from the individual to the group level, is a hallmark of society. Ants, and other social insects, have evolved advanced societies characterized by efficient social recognition systems. Colony identity is mediated by colony specific signature mixtures, a blend of hydrocarbons present on the cuticle of every individual (the label. Recognition occurs when an ant encounters another individual, and compares the label it perceives to an internal representation of its own colony odor (the template. A mismatch between label and template leads to rejection of the encountered individual. Although advances have been made in our understanding of how the label is produced and acquired, contradictory evidence exists about information processing of recognition cues. Here, we review the literature on template acquisition in ants and address how and when the template is 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.

  18. In vitro studies of ante-mortem proliferation kinetics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    McBride, W.H.; Withers, H.R.

    1986-01-01

    Using K562 human erythroblastoid cells, it was concluded that dose fractionation has no discrepant effect on the ante-mortem proliferation kinetics of doomed cells as opposed to clonogenic cell survival and that effects on ante-mortem proliferation kinetics cannot be solely responsible for the differences in fractionation response between early and late responding tissues. (UK)

  19. Bacteria may contribute to distant species recognition in ant-aphid mutualistic relationships.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fischer, Christophe Y; Detrain, Claire; Thonart, Philippe; Haubruge, Eric; Francis, Frédéric; Verheggen, François J; Lognay, Georges C

    2017-04-01

    Mutualistic interactions between ant and aphid species have been the subject of considerable historical and contemporary investigations, the primary benefits being cleaning and protection for the aphids and carbohydrate-rich honeydew for the ants. Questions remained, however, as to the volatile semiochemical factor influencing this relationship. A recent study highlighted the role of bacterial honeydew volatile compounds in ant attraction. Here, ant's ability to distantly discriminate 2 aphid species was investigated based on bacterial honeydew semiochemicals emissions using a two-way olfactometer. Both the mutualistic aphid Aphis fabae L. and the nonmyrmecophilous aphid Acyrthosiphon pisum Harris were found to be attractive for the ant Lasius niger L. The level of attraction was similar in both assays (control vs. one of the aphid species). However, when given a choice between these 2 aphid species, ants showed a significant preference for Aphis fabae. Honeydew volatiles, mostly from bacterial origins, are known to be a key element in ant attraction. Using the same olfactometry protocol, the relative attractiveness of volatiles emitted by honeydews collected from each aphid species and by bacteria isolated from each honeydew was investigated. Again, ants significantly preferred volatiles released by Aphis fabae honeydew and bacteria. This information suggests that microbial honeydew volatiles enable ants to distantly discriminate aphid species. These results strengthen the interest of studying the occurrence and potential impact of microorganisms in insect symbioses. © 2015 Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

  20. Targeted removal of ant colonies in ecological experiments, using hot water.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tschinkel, Walter R; King, Joshua R

    2007-01-01

    Ecological experiments on fire ants cannot, or should not, use poison baits to eliminate the fire ants because such baits are not specific to fire ants, or even to ants. Hot water is an extremely effective and specific killing agent for fire ant colonies, but producing large amounts of hot water in the field, and making the production apparatus mobile have been problematical. The construction and use of a charcoal-fired kiln made from a 55-gal. oil drum lined with a sand-fireclay mixture is described. An automobile heater fan powered from a 12-v battery provided a draft. Dual bilge pumps pumped water from a large tank through a long coil of copper tubing within the kiln to produce 4 to 5 l. of hot water per min. The hot water was collected in 20 l. buckets and poured into fire ant nests previously opened by piercing with a stick. The entire assembly was transported in and operated from the back of a pickup truck. Five experimental plots containing 32 to 38 colonies of the fire ant, Solenopsis invicta, Buren (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), were treated with hot water over a period of two years. All colonies on the treatment plots were treated twice with hot water early in 2004, reducing their numbers to zero. However new colonies were formed, and mature colonies expanded into the plots. A third treatment was made in the spring of 2005, after which fire ant populations were suppressed for over a year. Whereas the 5 control plots contained a total of 166 mostly large colonies, the 5 treatment plots contained no live colonies at all. Averaged over a two-year period, a 70% reduction in total number of colonies was achieved (P ants.

  1. The genomic impact of 100 million years of social evolution in seven ant species

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gadau, Jürgen; Helmkampf, Martin; Nygaard, Sanne

    2012-01-01

    Ants (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) represent one of the most successful eusocial taxa in terms of both their geographic distribution and species number. The publication of seven ant genomes within the past year was a quantum leap for socio- and ant genomics. The diversity of social organization in ants...... between social and solitary insects, as well as among ant species. Altogether, these seven ant genomes open exciting new research avenues and opportunities for understanding the genetic basis and regulation of social species, and adaptive complex systems in general....... makes them excellent model organisms to study the evolution of social systems. Comparing the ant genomes with those of the honeybee, a lineage that evolved eusociality independently from ants, and solitary insects suggests that there are significant differences in key aspects of genome organization...

  2. Two castes sizes of leafcutter ants in task partitioning in foraging activity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcelo Arruda de Toledo

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT: Task partitioning in eusocial animals is most likely an evolutionary adaptation that optimizes the efficiency of the colony to grow and reproduce. It was investigated indirect task partitioning in two castes sizes; this involves task partitioning in which the material transported is not transferred directly from one individual to another, but where it is dropped by one ant to be picked up by another. In two separate approaches, it was confirmed previous results pertaining to leaf caching activities among Atta colombica with task partitioning activities involving leaf dropping among Atta sexdens rubropilosa , in which there is a correlation between the size of an individual ant and the leaf fragment it transports. It was also suggested that this correlation exists only in individual ants that cut and transport (CaT the same fragment to the nest. When task partitioning occurs and individual ants transporting (T leaf fragments cut by other ants, the correlation becomes looser or disappears. We also observed that CaT ants are smaller than T ants.

  3. Infection of army ant pupae by two new parasitoid mites (Mesostigmata: Uropodina

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adrian Brückner

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available A great variety of parasites and parasitoids exploit ant societies. Among them are the Mesostigmata mites, a particularly common and diverse group of ant-associated arthropods. While parasitism is ubiquitous in Mesostigmata, parasitoidism has only been described in the genus Macrodinychus. Yet information about the basic biology of most Macrodinychus species is lacking. Out of 24 formally described species, information about basic life-history traits is only available for three species. Here we formally describe two new Macrodinychus species, i.e. Macrodinychus hilpertae and Macrodinychus derbyensis. In both species, immature stages developed as ecto-parasitoids on ant pupae of the South-East Asian army ant Leptogenys distinguenda. By piercing the developing ant with their chelicera, the mites apparently suck ant hemolymph, ultimately killing host individuals. We compare infection rates among all studied Macrodinychus species and discuss possible host countermeasures against parasitoidism. The cryptic lifestyle of living inside ant nests has certainly hampered the scientific discovery of Macrodinychus mites and we expect that many more macrodinychid species await scientific discovery and description.

  4. Infection of army ant pupae by two new parasitoid mites (Mesostigmata: Uropodina).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brückner, Adrian; Klompen, Hans; Bruce, Andrew Iain; Hashim, Rosli; von Beeren, Christoph

    2017-01-01

    A great variety of parasites and parasitoids exploit ant societies. Among them are the Mesostigmata mites, a particularly common and diverse group of ant-associated arthropods. While parasitism is ubiquitous in Mesostigmata, parasitoidism has only been described in the genus Macrodinychus . Yet information about the basic biology of most Macrodinychus species is lacking. Out of 24 formally described species, information about basic life-history traits is only available for three species. Here we formally describe two new Macrodinychus species, i.e. Macrodinychus hilpertae and Macrodinychus derbyensis . In both species, immature stages developed as ecto-parasitoids on ant pupae of the South-East Asian army ant Leptogenys distinguenda . By piercing the developing ant with their chelicera, the mites apparently suck ant hemolymph, ultimately killing host individuals. We compare infection rates among all studied Macrodinychus species and discuss possible host countermeasures against parasitoidism. The cryptic lifestyle of living inside ant nests has certainly hampered the scientific discovery of Macrodinychus mites and we expect that many more macrodinychid species await scientific discovery and description.

  5. Olfactory memory established during trophallaxis affects food search behaviour in ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Provecho, Yael; Josens, Roxana

    2009-10-01

    Camponotus mus ants can associate sucrose and odour at the source during successive foraging cycles and use this memory to locate the nectar in the absence of other cues. These ants perform conspicuous trophallactic behaviour during recruitment while foraging for nectar. In this work, we studied whether Camponotus mus ants are able to establish this odour-sucrose association in the social context of trophallaxis and we evaluated this memory in another context previously experienced by the ant, as a nectar source. After a single trophallaxis of a scented solution, the receiver ant was tested in a Y-maze without any reward, where two scents were presented: in one arm, the solution scent and in the other, a new scent. Ants consistently chose the arm with the solution scent and stayed longer therein. Trophallaxis duration had no effect on the arm choice or with the time spent in each arm. Workers are able to associate an odour (conditioned stimulus) with the sucrose (unconditioned stimulus) they receive through a social interaction and use this memory as choice criteria during food searching.

  6. USING ANT COMMUNITIES FOR RAPID ASSESSMENT OF TERRESTRIAL ECOSYSTEM HEALTH

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wike, L; Doug Martin, D; Michael Paller, M; Eric Nelson, E

    2007-01-12

    Ecosystem health with its near infinite number of variables is difficult to measure, and there are many opinions as to which variables are most important, most easily measured, and most robust, Bioassessment avoids the controversy of choosing which physical and chemical parameters to measure because it uses responses of a community of organisms that integrate all aspects of the system in question. A variety of bioassessment methods have been successfully applied to aquatic ecosystems using fish and macroinvertebrate communities. Terrestrial biotic index methods are less developed than those for aquatic systems and we are seeking to address this problem here. This study had as its objective to examine the baseline differences in ant communities at different seral stages from clear cut back to mature pine plantation as a precursor to developing a bioassessment protocol. Comparative sampling was conducted at four seral stages; clearcut, 5 year, 15 year and mature pine plantation stands. Soil and vegetation data were collected at each site. All ants collected were preserved in 70% ethyl alcohol and identified to genus. Analysis of the ant data indicates that ants respond strongly to the habitat changes that accompany ecological succession in managed pine forests and that individual genera as well as ant community structure can be used as an indicator of successional change. Ants exhibited relatively high diversity in both early and mature seral stages. High ant diversity in the mature seral stages was likely related to conditions on the forest floor which favored litter dwelling and cool climate specialists.

  7. Novel Phialophora species from leaf-cutting ants (tribe Attini)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Attili-Angelis, D.; Duarte, A.P.M.; Pagnocca, F.C.; Nagamoto, N.S.; de Vries, M.; Stielow, J.B.; de Hoog, G.S.

    2014-01-01

    Ants in the tribe Attini (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) maintain a 50 million-year-old lifestyle of co-evolution with symbiotic basidiomycetous fungi which they cultivate as essential source of nutrition. However, other microorganisms have been reported from ant habitats indicating a higher diversity of

  8. Why do house-hunting ants recruit in both directions?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Planqué, R.; Dechaume-Moncharmont, F.-X.; Franks, N.R.; Kovacs, T.; Marshall, J.A.R.

    2007-01-01

    To perform tasks, organisms often use multiple procedures. Explaining the breadth of such behavioural repertoires is not always straightforward. During house hunting, colonies of Temnothorax albipennis ants use a range of behaviours to organise their emigrations. In particular, the ants use tandem

  9. Bats from Santo Antônio dos Ipês Farm, Jaú, São Paulo State, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ayesha Ribeiro Pedrozo

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available This study recorded the bat species that occur on Santo Antônio dos Ipês Farm, in Jaú, SP, Brazil, studied the food items the bats consumed and analyzed bats for the rabies virus. Sampling was performed using mist nets, on twenty-one nights in five areas on the farm, between November 2009 and July 2011. After a capture effort of 18,217.5 m2.h, 580 bats and 16 species were netted. Sturnira lilium (n = 184 captures, Artibeus lituratus (n = 134 and Carollia perspicillata (n = 126 were the most abundant species. In addition, two individuals of Lasiurus ega were observed in their shelter, resulting in 17 sampled species. The most consumed food items were fruits of Solanaceae and Piperaceae and fruits of Muntingia calabura were less consumed. None of the 132 bats analyzed for rabies was positive. Santo Antônio dos Ipês Farm is an important area because it contains Reserva Ecológica Amadeu Botelho (a conservation unit, a unique remnant of semideciduous seasonal forest in the Jaú region that serves as refuge for wild animals, including bats.

  10. AntBot: Anti-pollution peer-to-peer botnets

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yan, Guanhua [Los Alamos National Laboratory; Eidenbenz, Stephan [Los Alamos National Laboratory; Ha, Duc T [UNIV. AT BUFFALO

    2009-01-01

    Botnets, which are responsible for many email sparnming and DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks in the current Internet, have emerged as one of most severe cyber-threats in recent years. To evade detection and improve resistance against countermeasures, botnets have evolved from the first generation that relies on IRC chat channels to deliver commands to the current generation that uses highly resilient P2P (Peer-to-Peer) protocols to spread their C&C (Command and Control) information. It is, however, revealed that P2P botnets, although relieved from the single point of failure that IRC botnets suffer, can be easily disrupted using pollution-based mitigation schemes [15]. In this paper, we play the devil's advocate and propose a new type of hypothetical botnets called AntBot, which aim to propagate their C&C information to individual bots even though there exists an adversary that persistently pollutes keys used by seized bots to search the command information. The key idea of AntBot is a tree-like structure that bots use to deliver the command so that captured bots reveal only limited information. To evaluate effectiveness of AntBot against pollution-based mitigation in a virtual environment, we develop a distributed P2P botnet simulator. Using extensive experiments, we demonstrate that AntBot operates resiliently against pollution-based mitigation. We further present a few potential defense schemes that could effectively disrupt AntBot operations.

  11. Intrapopulation differences in ant eating in the mountain gorillas of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ganas, Jessica; Robbins, Martha M

    2004-10-01

    Variability in ant eating has been observed in several populations of eastern and western gorillas. We investigated the occurrence of ant (Dorylus sp.) eating in two groups of mountain gorillas (Gorilla beringei beringei) with overlapping home ranges within Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda from September 2001 to August 2002. We calculated the frequency of ant eating by an indirect method of analyzing fecal samples from silverbacks, adult females, and juveniles. One group consumed ants significantly more often than the other (3.3 vs 17.6% of days sampled). Furthermore, the group that consumed ants more often also consumed them on a seasonal basis (September-February monthly range: 0-8%; March-August monthly range: 30-42.9%). Finally, females and juveniles of this group consumed ants significantly more often than did the silverback (total samples containing ants: silverback, 2.1%; adult female, 13.2%; juvenile, 11.2%). Differences in ant eating between groups are likely due to variability in use of habitats where ants occur (particularly secondary forests). Surveys of ant densities in differing habitats, nutritional analysis of ants, and quantification of the amount of ants in their diets are necessary to understand if ant consumption is due to availability, nutritional value, group traditions, or taste preference.

  12. Trail pheromone of the Argentine ant, Linepithema humile (Mayr (Hymenoptera: Formicidae.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dong-Hwan Choe

    Full Text Available The Argentine ant (Linepithema humile is recognized as one of the world's most damaging invasive species. One reason for the ecological dominance of introduced Argentine ant populations is their ability to dominate food and habitat resources through the rapid mobilization and recruitment of thousands of workers. More than 30 years ago, studies showed that (Z-9-hexadecenal strongly attracted Argentine ant workers in a multi-choice olfactometer, suggesting that (Z-9-hexadecenal might be the trail pheromone, or a component of a trail pheromone mixture. Since then, numerous studies have considered (Z-9-hexadecenal as the key component of the Argentine ant trails. Here, we report the first chemical analyses of the trails laid by living Argentine ants and find that (Z-9-hexadecenal is not present in a detectible quantity. Instead, two iridoids, dolichodial and iridomyrmecin, appear to be the primary chemical constituents of the trails. Laboratory choice tests confirmed that Argentine ants were attracted to artificial trails comprised of these two chemicals significantly more often than control trails. Although (Z-9-hexadecenal was not detected in natural trails, supplementation of artificial dolichodial+iridomyrmecin trails with an extremely low concentraion of (Z-9-hexadecenal did increase the efficacy of the trail-following behavior. In stark contrast with previous dogma, our study suggests that dolichodial and iridomyrmecin are major components of the Argentine ant trail pheromone. (Z-9-hexadecenal may act in an additive manner with these iridoids, but it does not occur in detectable quantities in Argentine ant recruitment trails.

  13. The effects of ant nests on soil fertility and plant performance: a meta-analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farji-Brener, Alejandro G; Werenkraut, Victoria

    2017-07-01

    Ants are recognized as one of the major sources of soil disturbance world-wide. However, this view is largely based on isolated studies and qualitative reviews. Here, for the first time, we quantitatively determined whether ant nests affect soil fertility and plant performance, and identified the possible sources of variation of these effects. Using Bayesian mixed-models meta-analysis, we tested the hypotheses that ant effects on soil fertility and plant performance depend on the substrate sampled, ant feeding type, latitude, habitat and the plant response variable measured. Ant nests showed higher nutrient and cation content than adjacent non-nest soil samples, but similar pH. Nutrient content was higher in ant refuse materials than in nest soils. The fertilizer effect of ant nests was also higher in dry habitats than in grasslands or savannas. Cation content was higher in nests of plant-feeding ants than in nests of omnivorous species, and lower in nests from agro-ecosystems than in nests from any other habitat. Plants showed higher green/root biomass and fitness on ant nests soils than in adjacent, non-nest sites; but plant density and diversity were unaffected by the presence of ant nests. Root growth was particularly higher in refuse materials than in ant nest soils, in leaf-cutting ant nests and in deserts habitats. Our results confirm the major role of ant nests in influencing soil fertility and vegetation patterns and provide information about the factors that mediate these effects. First, ant nests improve soil fertility mainly through the accumulation of refuse materials. Thus, different refuse dump locations (external or in underground nest chambers) could benefit different vegetation life-forms. Second, ant nests could increase plant diversity at larger spatial scales only if the identity of favoured plants changes along environmental gradients (i.e. enhancing β-diversity). Third, ant species that feed on plants play a relevant role fertilizing soils

  14. Specialized Fungal Parasites and Opportunistic Fungi in Gardens of Attine Ants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fernando C. Pagnocca

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Ants in the tribe Attini (Hymenoptera: Formicidae comprise about 230 described species that share the same characteristic: all coevolved in an ancient mutualism with basidiomycetous fungi cultivated for food. In this paper we focused on fungi other than the mutualistic cultivar and their roles in the attine ant symbiosis. Specialized fungal parasites in the genus Escovopsis negatively impact the fungus gardens. Many fungal parasites may have small impacts on the ants' fungal colony when the colony is balanced, but then may opportunistically shift to having large impacts if the ants' colony becomes unbalanced.

  15. Myrmeciza and related antbirds (Aves, Formicariidae as army ant followers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Edwin O. Willis

    1984-01-01

    Full Text Available Antbirds of the genera Myrmeciza (including Sipia and Myrmoborus, Gymnocichla, and Sclateria hop near or on the ground in fairly dense vegetation, "pounding" their tails downward. Where dense understory vegetation is widespread and ants move in it for long distances, certain of these antbirds become regular ant followers: M. immaculata and M. fortis in cluttered moist foothill forest from Costa Rica to upper Amazonia; Gymnocichla nudiceps in moist cluttered second growth of Central America to Colombia. Where the forest understory is more open, Myrmeciza species follow ants mainly in cluttered patches: M. exsul in lowland forest west of the Andes, M. myotherina east of the Andes. Myrmeciza or relatives that specialize on water-edge or very dense zones rarely follow ants.

  16. Reciprocal genomic evolution in the ant-fungus agricultural symbiosis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nygaard, Sanne; Hu, Haofu; Li, Cai

    2016-01-01

    The attine ant-fungus agricultural symbiosis evolved over tens of millions of years, producing complex societies with industrial-scale farming analogous to that of humans. Here we document reciprocal shifts in the genomes and transcriptomes of seven fungus-farming ant species and their fungal...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Villesen, Palle; Boomsma, JJ

    2003-01-01

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

  18. Ant Systems for a Dynamic TSP - Ants Caught in a Traffic Jam

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Eyckelhof, C.J.; Dorigo, M.; Caro Di, G.; Snoek, M.; Sampels, M.

    2002-01-01

    In this paper we present a new Ants System approach to a dynamic Travelling Salesman Problem. Here the travel times between the cities are subject to change. To handle this dynamism several ways of adapting the pheromone matrix both locally and globally are considered. We show that the strategy of

  19. Comparative studies of the secretome of fungus-growing ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Linde, Tore; Grell, Morten Nedergaard; Schiøtt, Morten

    2009-01-01

    Leafcutter ants of the species Acromyrmex echinatior live in symbiosis with the fungus Leucoagaricus gongylophorus. The ants harvest fragments of leaves and carry them to the nest where they place the material on the fungal colony. The fungus secretes a wide array of proteins to degrade the leaves...... into nutrients that the ants can feed on. The focus of this study is to discover, characterize and compare the secreted proteins. In order to do so cDNA libraries are constructed from mRNA extracted from the fungus material. The most efficient technology to screen cDNA libraries selectively for secreted...

  20. PARAMETER ESTIMATION OF VALVE STICTION USING ANT COLONY OPTIMIZATION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Kalaivani

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available In this paper, a procedure for quantifying valve stiction in control loops based on ant colony optimization has been proposed. Pneumatic control valves are widely used in the process industry. The control valve contains non-linearities such as stiction, backlash, and deadband that in turn cause oscillations in the process output. Stiction is one of the long-standing problems and it is the most severe problem in the control valves. Thus the measurement data from an oscillating control loop can be used as a possible diagnostic signal to provide an estimate of the stiction magnitude. Quantification of control valve stiction is still a challenging issue. Prior to doing stiction detection and quantification, it is necessary to choose a suitable model structure to describe control-valve stiction. To understand the stiction phenomenon, the Stenman model is used. Ant Colony Optimization (ACO, an intelligent swarm algorithm, proves effective in various fields. The ACO algorithm is inspired from the natural trail following behaviour of ants. The parameters of the Stenman model are estimated using ant colony optimization, from the input-output data by minimizing the error between the actual stiction model output and the simulated stiction model output. Using ant colony optimization, Stenman model with known nonlinear structure and unknown parameters can be estimated.

  1. Effects of dam-induced landscape fragmentation on amazonian ant-plant mutualistic networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Emer, Carine; Venticinque, Eduardo Martins; Fonseca, Carlos Roberto

    2013-08-01

    Mutualistic networks are critical to biological diversity maintenance; however, their structures and functionality may be threatened by a swiftly changing world. In the Amazon, the increasing number of dams poses a large threat to biological diversity because they greatly alter and fragment the surrounding landscape. Tight coevolutionary interactions typical of tropical forests, such as the ant-myrmecophyte mutualism, where the myrmecophyte plants provide domatia nesting space to their symbiotic ants, may be jeopardized by the landscape changes caused by dams. We analyzed 31 ant-myrmecophyte mutualistic networks in undisturbed and disturbed sites surrounding Balbina, the largest Central Amazonian dam. We tested how ant-myrmecophyte networks differ among dam-induced islands, lake edges, and undisturbed forests in terms of species richness, composition, structure, and robustness (number of species remaining in the network after partner extinctions). We also tested how landscape configuration in terms of area, isolation, shape, and neighborhood alters the structure of the ant-myrmecophyte networks on islands. Ant-myrmecophytic networks were highly compartmentalized in undisturbed forests, and the compartments had few strongly connected mutualistic partners. In contrast, networks at lake edges and on islands were not compartmentalized and were negatively affected by island area and isolation in terms of species richness, density, and composition. Habitat loss and fragmentation led to coextinction cascades that contributed to the elimination of entire ant-plant compartments. Furthermore, many myrmecophytic plants in disturbed sites lost their mutualistic ant partners or were colonized by opportunistic, nonspecialized ants. Robustness of ant-myrmecophyte networks on islands was lower than robustness near lake edges and in undisturbed forest and was particularly susceptible to the extinction of plants. Beyond the immediate habitat loss caused by the building of large dams

  2. Hybridization in East African swarm-raiding army ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  3. Ants at Ton Nga Chang Wildlife Sanctuary, Songkhla

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Watanasit, S.

    2005-03-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this study was to investigate diversity of ant at Ton Nga Chang Wildlife Sanctuary, Hat Yai, Songkhla. Three line transects (100 m each were randomly set up in 2 types of forest area, disturbed and undisturbed. Hand collecting (HC and leaf litter sampling (LL were applied for ant collection within a time limit of 30 minutes for each method. This study was carried out every month during Febuary 2002- Febuary 2003. The results showed that 206 species were placed under 8 subfamilies: Aenictinae, Cerapachyinae, Dolichoderinae, Formicinae, Leptanillinae, Myrmicinae, Ponerinae and Pseudomyrmecinae. Study sites and collection methods could divide ant species into 2 groups, whereas seasonal change could not distinguish the groups by DCA of multivariate analysis.

  4. Visual cues for the retrieval of landmark memories by navigating wood ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harris, Robert A; Graham, Paul; Collett, Thomas S

    2007-01-23

    Even on short routes, ants can be guided by multiple visual memories. We investigate here the cues controlling memory retrieval as wood ants approach a one- or two-edged landmark to collect sucrose at a point along its base. In such tasks, ants store the desired retinal position of landmark edges at several points along their route. They guide subsequent trips by retrieving the appropriate memory and moving to bring the edges in the scene toward the stored positions. The apparent width of the landmark turns out to be a powerful cue for retrieving the desired retinal position of a landmark edge. Two other potential cues, the landmark's apparent height and the distance that the ant walks, have little effect on memory retrieval. A simple model encapsulates these conclusions and reproduces the ants' routes in several conditions. According to this model, the ant stores a look-up table. Each entry contains the apparent width of the landmark and the desired retinal position of vertical edges. The currently perceived width provides an index for retrieving the associated stored edge positions. The model accounts for the population behavior of ants and the idiosyncratic training routes of individual ants. Our results imply binding between the edge of a shape and its width and, further, imply that assessing the width of a shape does not depend on the presence of any particular local feature, such as a landmark edge. This property makes the ant's retrieval and guidance system relatively robust to edge occlusions.

  5. Where to nest? Ecological determinants of chimpanzee nest abundance and distribution at the habitat and tree species scale.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carvalho, Joana S; Meyer, Christoph F J; Vicente, Luis; Marques, Tiago A

    2015-02-01

    Conversion of forests to anthropogenic land-uses increasingly subjects chimpanzee populations to habitat changes and concomitant alterations in the plant resources available to them for nesting and feeding. Based on nest count surveys conducted during the dry season, we investigated nest tree species selection and the effect of vegetation attributes on nest abundance of the western chimpanzee, Pan troglodytes verus, at Lagoas de Cufada Natural Park (LCNP), Guinea-Bissau, a forest-savannah mosaic widely disturbed by humans. Further, we assessed patterns of nest height distribution to determine support for the anti-predator hypothesis. A zero-altered generalized linear mixed model showed that nest abundance was negatively related to floristic diversity (exponential form of the Shannon index) and positively with the availability of smaller-sized trees, reflecting characteristics of dense-canopy forest. A positive correlation between nest abundance and floristic richness (number of plant species) and composition indicated that species-rich open habitats are also important in nest site selection. Restricting this analysis to feeding trees, nest abundance was again positively associated with the availability of smaller-sized trees, further supporting the preference for nesting in food tree species from dense forest. Nest tree species selection was non-random, and oil palms were used at a much lower proportion (10%) than previously reported from other study sites in forest-savannah mosaics. While this study suggests that human disturbance may underlie the exclusive arboreal nesting at LCNP, better quantitative data are needed to determine to what extent the construction of elevated nests is in fact a response to predators able to climb trees. Given the importance of LCNP as refuge for Pan t. verus our findings can improve conservation decisions for the management of this important umbrella species as well as its remaining suitable habitats. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  6. Ant-inspired density estimation via random walks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Musco, Cameron; Su, Hsin-Hao; Lynch, Nancy A

    2017-10-03

    Many ant species use distributed population density estimation in applications ranging from quorum sensing, to task allocation, to appraisal of enemy colony strength. It has been shown that ants estimate local population density by tracking encounter rates: The higher the density, the more often the ants bump into each other. We study distributed density estimation from a theoretical perspective. We prove that a group of anonymous agents randomly walking on a grid are able to estimate their density within a small multiplicative error in few steps by measuring their rates of encounter with other agents. Despite dependencies inherent in the fact that nearby agents may collide repeatedly (and, worse, cannot recognize when this happens), our bound nearly matches what would be required to estimate density by independently sampling grid locations. From a biological perspective, our work helps shed light on how ants and other social insects can obtain relatively accurate density estimates via encounter rates. From a technical perspective, our analysis provides tools for understanding complex dependencies in the collision probabilities of multiple random walks. We bound the strength of these dependencies using local mixing properties of the underlying graph. Our results extend beyond the grid to more general graphs, and we discuss applications to size estimation for social networks, density estimation for robot swarms, and random walk-based sampling for sensor networks.

  7. Philodryas chamissonis (Reptilia: Squamata: Colubridae preys on the arboreal marsupial Dromiciops gliroides (Mammalia: Microbiotheria: Microbiotheriidae Philodryas chamissonis (Reptilia: Squamata: Dipsadidae predando o marsupial arborícola Dromiciops gliroides (Mammalia: Microbiotheria: Microbiotheriidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Muñoz-Leal

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available Philodryas chamissonis, the Chilean long-tailed snake, is a diurnal predator mainly of Liolaemus lizards, but also of amphibians, birds, rodents and juvenile rabbits. Dromiciops gliroides (Colocolo opossum is an arboreal marsupial endemic of temperate rainforest of southern South America. Little information is available about this marsupial's biology and ecology. Here we report the predation of one Colocolo opossum by an adult female P. chamissonis in a mixed Nothofagus forest, composed mainly by N. dombeyi, N. glauca and N. alpina trees, in the "Huemules de Niblinto" National Reserve, Nevados de Chillán, Chile. Since these two species have different activity and habitat use patterns, we discuss how this encounter may have occurred. Although it could just have been an opportunistic event, this finding provides insights into the different components of food chains in forest ecosystems of Chile.Philodryas chamissonis, cobra de cauda comprida ("Culebra de cola larga", é uma cobra diurna, predadora principalmente de lagartos do gênero Liolaemus, mas também de anfíbios, aves, roedores e coelhos jovens. Dromiciops gliroides (colocolo é um marsupial arborícola endêmico das florestas temperadas do sul da América do Sul. Há pouca informação disponível sobre a biologia e a ecologia deste marsulpial. É reportada, neste estudo, a predação de um colocolo por uma fêmea adulta de P. chamissonis, em uma floresta mista de Nothofagus, composta principalmente por árvores N. dombeyi, N. glauca e N. alpina, na Reserva Nacional de Huemules de Niblinto, Nevados de Chillán, Chile. Uma vez que estas duas espécies possuem diferentes padrões de atividade e de uso de habitat, discute-se como este evento poder ter ocorrido. Embora este possa ter sido apenas um evento oportunístico, o achado fornece novas informações sobre os diferentes componentes da cadeia alimentar nos ecossistemas florestais do Chile.

  8. Effects of invasive European fire ants (Myrmica rubra on herring gull (Larus argentatus reproduction.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luke E DeFisher

    Full Text Available Various invasive ant species have negatively affected reproductive success in birds by disrupting nest site selection, incubation patterns, food supply, and by direct predation on nestlings. Impacts can be particularly severe when non-native ants colonize seabird nesting islands where thousands of birds may nest in high densities on the ground or in burrows or crevices. Here we report on the first documented effects of Myrmica rubra, the European fire ant, on the reproduction of birds in its non-native range. We documented herring gulls (Larus argentatus on Appledore Island, Maine, engaging in more erratic incubation behaviors at nests infested by the ants. Newly-hatched chicks in some nests were swarmed by ants, leading to rapid chick death. Due to high overall rates of chick mortality, survival probabilities did not vary between nests with and without ant activity, however chick growth rates were slower at nests with ants than at ant-free nests. Ant infestation likely leads to longer-term fitness consequences because slower growth rates early in life may ultimately lead to lower post-fledging survival probabilities.

  9. Studies of laboulbeniales (Fungi, Ascomycota) on myrmica ants (II)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Haelewaters, Danny; Boer, Peter; Gort, Gerrit; Noordijk, Jinze

    2015-01-01

    One group of important insect parasites are the Laboulbeniales (Ascomycota), microscopic fungi that live attached to the exterior of their hosts, mainly beetles, but also mites, millipedes, earwigs, and ants. Rickia wasmannii is a common fungus in Europe and is limited to the ant genus Myrmica

  10. A new fire ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) bait base carrier for moist conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kafle, Lekhnath; Wu, Wen-Jer; Shih, Cheng-Jen

    2010-10-01

    A new water-resistant fire ant bait (T-bait; cypermethrin 0.128%) consisting of dried distillers grains with solubles (DDGS) as a carrier was developed and evaluated against a standard commercial bait (Advion; indoxacarb 0.045%) under both laboratory and field conditions. When applying the normal T-bait or Advion in the laboratory, 100% of Solenopsis invicta Buren worker ants were killed within 4 days. However, when the T-bait and Advion were wetted, 70.6 and 39.7% of the ants were killed respectively. Under field conditions, dry T-bait and dry Advion had almost the same efficacy against ant colonies. However, when T-bait and Advion came in contact with water, the former's ability to kill S. invicta colonies in the field was only marginally reduced, while Advion lost virtually all of its activity. In addition, DDGS was also shown to be compatible with a number of other insecticides, such as d-allethrin, permethrin and pyrethrin. Based on its properties of remaining attractive to the fire ants when wetted, combined with its ant-killing abilities both in the laboratory and in the field, T-bait is an efficient fire ant bait, especially under moist conditions.

  11. Coevolved crypts and exocrine glands support mutualistic bacteria in fungus-growing ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Currie, Cameron R; Poulsen, Michael; Mendenhall, John

    2006-01-01

    Attine ants engage in a quadripartite symbiosis with fungi they cultivate for food, specialized garden parasites, and parasite-inhibiting bacteria. Molecular phylogenetic evidence supports an ancient host-pathogen association between the ant-cultivar mutualism and the garden parasite. Here we show...... that ants rear the antibiotic-producing bacteria in elaborate cuticular crypts, supported by unique exocrine glands, and that these structures have been highly modified across the ants' evolutionary history. This specialized structural evolution, together with the absence of these bacteria and modifications...

  12. Disentangling the diversity of arboreal ant communities in tropical forest trees

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Klimeš, Petr; Fibich, P.; Idigel, C.; Rimandai, M.

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 10, č. 2 (2015), e0117853 E-ISSN 1932-6203 R&D Projects: GA ČR GPP505/12/P875; GA MŠk(CZ) LH11008; GA ČR GB14-36098G Grant - others:European Social Fund(CZ) CZ.1.07/2.3.00/20.0064 Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : tropical forest trees Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 3.057, year: 2015 http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0117853

  13. Absence of jamming in ant trails: feedback control of self-propulsion and noise.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chaudhuri, Debasish; Nagar, Apoorva

    2015-01-01

    We present a model of ant traffic considering individual ants as self-propelled particles undergoing single-file motion on a one-dimensional trail. Recent experiments on unidirectional ant traffic in well-formed natural trails showed that the collective velocity of ants remains approximately unchanged, leading to the absence of jamming even at very high densities [John et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 102, 108001 (2009)]. Assuming a feedback control mechanism of self-propulsion force generated by each ant using information about the distance from the ant in front, our model captures all the main features observed in the experiment. The distance headway distribution shows a maximum corresponding to separations within clusters. The position of this maximum remains independent of average number density. We find a non-equilibrium first-order transition, with the formation of an infinite cluster at a threshold density where all the ants in the system suddenly become part of a single cluster.

  14. Macrodinychus mites as parasitoids of invasive ants: an overlooked parasitic association.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lachaud, Jean-Paul; Klompen, Hans; Pérez-Lachaud, Gabriela

    2016-07-21

    Mites are frequent ant symbionts, yet the exact nature of their interactions with their hosts is poorly known. Generally, myrmecophilous mites show adaptations for dispersal through phoresis, but species that lack such an adaptation may have evolved unusual specialized relationships with their hosts. The immature stages of Macrodinychus multispinosus develop as ectoparasitoids of pupae of the invasive ant Paratrechina longicornis. Feeding stages show regressed locomotor appendages. These mites complete their development on a single host, sucking all of its body content and therefore killing it. Locally high proportions of parasitized host pupae suggest that M. multispinosus could serve as a biological control agent. This is the ninth species of Macrodinychus reported as ant parasite, and the third known as parasitoid of invasive ants, confirming a unique habit in the evolution of mite feeding strategies and suggesting that the entire genus might be parasitic on ants. Several mites' characteristics, such as their protective morphology, possible viviparity, lack of a specialized stage for phoretic dispersal, and low host specificity, combined with both the general low aggressiveness of invasive P. longicornis towards other ants and its possible susceptibility to generalist ectoparasites would account for the host shift in native macrodinychid mites.

  15. Tree-Dwelling Ants: Contrasting Two Brazilian Cerrado Plant Species without Extrafloral Nectaries

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonas Maravalhas

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Ants dominate vegetation stratum, exploiting resources like extrafloral nectaries (EFNs and insect honeydew. These interactions are frequent in Brazilian cerrado and are well known, but few studies compare ant fauna and explored resources between plant species. We surveyed two cerrado plants without EFNs, Roupala montana (found on preserved environments of our study area and Solanum lycocarpum (disturbed ones. Ants were collected and identified, and resources on each plant noted. Ant frequency and richness were higher on R. montana (67%; 35 spp than S. lycocarpum (52%; 26, the occurrence of the common ant species varied between them, and similarity was low. Resources were explored mainly by Camponotus crassus and consisted of scale insects, aphids, and floral nectaries on R. montana and two treehopper species on S. lycocarpum. Ants have a high diversity on cerrado plants, exploring liquid and prey-based resources that vary in time and space and affect their presence on plants.

  16. Ants use partner specific odors to learn to recognize a mutualistic partner.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Masaru K Hojo

    Full Text Available Regulation via interspecific communication is an important for the maintenance of many mutualisms. However, mechanisms underlying the evolution of partner communication are poorly understood for many mutualisms. Here we show, in an ant-lycaenid butterfly mutualism, that attendant ants selectively learn to recognize and interact cooperatively with a partner. Workers of the ant Pristomyrmex punctatus learn to associate cuticular hydrocarbons of mutualistic Narathura japonica caterpillars with food rewards and, as a result, are more likely to tend the caterpillars. However, the workers do not learn to associate the cuticular hydrocarbons of caterpillars of a non-ant-associated lycaenid, Lycaena phlaeas, with artificial food rewards. Chemical analysis revealed cuticular hydrocarbon profiles of the mutualistic caterpillars were complex compared with those of non-ant-associated caterpillars. Our results suggest that partner-recognition based on partner-specific chemical signals and cognitive abilities of workers are important mechanisms underlying the evolution and maintenance of mutualism with ants.

  17. A diverse ant fauna from the mid-cretaceous of Myanmar (Hymenoptera: Formicidae.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Phillip Barden

    Full Text Available A new collection of 24 wingless ant specimens from mid-Cretaceous Burmese amber (Albian-Cenomanian, 99 Ma comprises nine new species belonging to the genus Sphecomyrmodes Engel and Grimaldi. Described taxa vary considerably with regard to total size, head and body proportion, cuticular sculpturing, and petiole structure while all species are unified by a distinct shared character. The assemblage represents the largest known diversification of closely related Cretaceous ants with respect to species number. These stem-group ants exhibit some characteristics previously known only from their extant counterparts along with presumed plesiomorphic morphology. Consequently, their morphology may inform hypotheses relating to basal relationships and general patterns of ant evolution. These and other uncovered Cretaceous species indicate that stem-group ants are not simply wasp-like, transitional formicids, but rather a group of considerable adaptive diversity, exhibiting innovations analogous to what crown-group ants would echo 100 million years later.

  18. A preliminary checklist of the ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    A preliminary species checklist of the ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of. Kakamega Forest, Western Kenya, is presented. The species list is based on specimens sampled from 1999 until 2009, which are deposited in the ant collection of the Zoological Research Museum Koenig, Bonn, Germany, and the Natural History ...

  19. Automatic optimization of a nuclear reactor reload using the algorithm Ant-Q; A otimizacao automatica da recarga nuclear utilizando o algoritmo Ant-Q

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Machado, Liana; Schirru, Roberto [Universidade Federal, Rio de Janeiro, RJ (Brazil). Coordenacao dos Programas de Pos-graduacao de Engenharia. Programa de Engenharia Nuclear

    2002-07-01

    The nuclear fuel reload optimization is a NP-Complete combinatorial optimization problem. For decades this problem was solved using an expert's knowledge. From the eighties, however there have been efforts to automatic fuel reload and the more recent ones show the Genetic Algorithm's (GA) efficiency on this problem. Following this trend, our aim is to optimization nuclear fuel reload using Ant-Q, artificial theory based algorithms. Ant-Q's results on the Traveling salesman Problem, which is conceptuality similar to fuel reload, are better than GA's. Ant-Q was tested in real application on the cycle 7 reload of Angra I. Comparing Ant-Q result with the GA's, it can be verified that, even without a local heuristics, the former algorithm, as it superiority comparing the GA in Angra I show. Is a valid technique to solve the nuclear fuel reload problem. (author)

  20. Characterization of actinobacteria associated with three ant-plant mutualisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanshew, Alissa S; McDonald, Bradon R; Díaz Díaz, Carol; Djiéto-Lordon, Champlain; Blatrix, Rumsaïs; Currie, Cameron R

    2015-01-01

    Ant-plant mutualisms are conspicuous and ecologically important components of tropical ecosystems that remain largely unexplored in terms of insect-associated microbial communities. Recent work has revealed that ants in some ant-plant systems cultivate fungi (Chaetothyriales) within their domatia, which are fed to larvae. Using Pseudomyrmex penetrator/Tachigali sp. from French Guiana and Petalomyrmex phylax/Leonardoxa africana and Crematogaster margaritae/Keetia hispida, both from Cameroon, as models, we tested the hypothesis that ant-plant-fungus mutualisms co-occur with culturable Actinobacteria. Using selective media, we isolated 861 putative Actinobacteria from the three systems. All C. margaritae/K. hispida samples had culturable Actinobacteria with a mean of 10.0 colony forming units (CFUs) per sample, while 26 % of P. penetrator/Tachigali samples (mean CFUs 1.3) and 67 % of P. phylax/L. africana samples (mean CFUs 3.6) yielded Actinobacteria. The largest number of CFUs was obtained from P. penetrator workers, P. phylax alates, and C. margaritae pupae. 16S rRNA gene sequencing and phylogenetic analysis revealed the presence of four main clades of Streptomyces and one clade of Nocardioides within these three ant-plant mutualisms. Streptomyces with antifungal properties were isolated from all three systems, suggesting that they could serve as protective symbionts, as found in other insects. In addition, a number of isolates from a clade of Streptomyces associated with P. phylax/L. africana and C. margaritae/K. hispida were capable of degrading cellulose, suggesting that Streptomyces in these systems may serve a nutritional role. Repeated isolation of particular clades of Actinobacteria from two geographically distant locations supports these isolates as residents in ant-plant-fungi niches.

  1. Hybrid Bee Ant Colony Algorithm for Effective Load Balancing And ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    PROF. OLIVER OSUAGWA

    Ant Colony algorithm is used in this hybrid Bee Ant Colony algorithm to solve load balancing issues ... Genetic Algorithm (MO-GA) for dynamic job scheduling that .... Information Networking and Applications Workshops. [7]. M. Dorigo & T.

  2. The interplay between scent trails and group-mass recruitment systems in ants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Planque, R.; van den Berg, G.J.B.; Franks, N.R.

    2013-01-01

    Large ant colonies invariably use effective scent trails to guide copious ant numbers to food sources. The success of mass recruitment hinges on the involvement of many colony members to lay powerful trails. However, many ant colonies start off as single queens. How do these same colonies forage

  3. Evolution of Fungal enzymes in the attine ant symbiosis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    The attine ant symbiosis is characterized by ancient but varying degrees of diffuse co-evolution between the ants and their fungal cultivars. Domesticated fungi became dependent on vertical transmission by queens and the ant colonies came to rely on their symbiotic fungus for food and thus...... as garden substrate, whereas the more basal genera use leaf litter, insect feces and insect carcasses. We hypothesized that enzyme activity of fungal symbionts has co-evolved with substrate use and we measured enzyme activities of fungus gardens in the field to test this, focusing particularly on plant...... essential for the symbiosis in general, but have contributed specifically to the evolution of the symbiosis....

  4. Social context predicts recognition systems in ant queens

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dreier, Stéphanie Agnès Jeanine; d'Ettorre, Patrizia

    2009-01-01

    Recognition of group-members is a key feature of sociality. Ants use chemical communication to discriminate nestmates from intruders, enhancing kin cooperation and preventing parasitism. The recognition code is embedded in their cuticular chemical profile, which typically varies between colonies....... We predicted that ants might be capable of accurate recognition in unusual situations when few individuals interact repeatedly, as new colonies started by two to three queens. Individual recognition would be favoured by selection when queens establish dominance hierarchies, because repeated fights...... for dominance are costly; but it would not evolve in absence of hierarchies. We previously showed that Pachycondyla co-founding queens, which form dominance hierarchies, have accurate individual recognition based on chemical cues. Here, we used the ant Lasius niger to test the null hypothesis that individual...

  5. Ant colonies prefer infected over uninfected nest sites

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pontieri, Luigi; Vojvodic, Svjetlana; Graham, Riley

    2014-01-01

    with sporulating mycelium of the entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium brunneum (infected nests), nests containing nestmates killed by freezing (uninfected nests), and empty nests. In contrast to the expectation pharaoh ant colonies preferentially (84%) moved into the infected nest when presented with the choice...... the high risk of epidemics in group-living animals. Choosing nest sites free of pathogens is hypothesized to be highly efficient in invasive ants as each of their introduced populations is often an open network of nests exchanging individuals (unicolonial) with frequent relocation into new nest sites...... and low genetic diversity, likely making these species particularly vulnerable to parasites and diseases. We investigated the nest site preference of the invasive pharaoh ant, Monomorium pharaonis, through binary choice tests between three nest types: nests containing dead nestmates overgrown...

  6. The influence of different vegetation patches on the spatial distribution of nests and the epigeic activity of ants (Lasius niger) on a spoil dump after brown coal mining (Czech Republic)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Holec, M.; Frouz, J.; Pokorny, R. [Academy of S