WorldWideScience

Sample records for biological ant foraging

  1. Foraging strategies of the ant Ectatomma vizottoi (Hymenoptera, Formicidae

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    Luan D. Lima

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Foraging strategies of the ant Ectatomma vizottoi (Hymenoptera, Formicidae. Foraging activity may be limited by temperature, humidity, radiation, wind, and other abiotic factors, all of which can affect energy costs during foraging. Ectatomma vizottoi's biology has only recently been studied, and no detailed information is available on its foraging patterns or diet in the field. For this reason, and because foraging activity is an important part of the ecological success of social insects, the present study aimed to investigate E. vizottoi's foraging strategies and dietary habits. First, we determined how abiotic factors constrained E. vizottoi's foraging patterns in the field by monitoring the foraging activity of 16 colonies on eight different days across two seasons. Second, we characterized E. vizottoi's diet by monitoring another set of 26 colonies during peak foraging activity. Our results show that E. vizottoi has foraging strategies that are similar to those of congeneric species. In spite of having a low efficiency index, colonies adopted strategies that allowed them to successfully obtain food resources while avoiding adverse conditions. These strategies included preying on other ant species, a foraging tactic that could arise if a wide variety of food items are not available in the environment or if E. vizottoi simply prefers, regardless of resource availability, to prey on other invertebrates and especially on other ant species.

  2. Variability in individual activity bursts improves ant foraging success.

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    Campos, Daniel; Bartumeus, Frederic; Méndez, Vicenç; Andrade, José S; Espadaler, Xavier

    2016-12-01

    Using experimental and computational methods, we study the role of behavioural variability in activity bursts (or temporal activity patterns) for individual and collective regulation of foraging in A. senilis ants. First, foraging experiments were carried out under special conditions (low densities of ants and food and absence of external cues or stimuli) where individual-based strategies are most prevalent. By using marked individuals and recording all foraging trajectories, we were then able to precisely quantify behavioural variability among individuals. Our main conclusions are that (i) variability of ant trajectories (turning angles, speed, etc.) is low compared with variability of temporal activity profiles, and (ii) this variability seems to be driven by plasticity of individual behaviour through time, rather than the presence of fixed behavioural stereotypes or specialists within the group. The statistical measures obtained from these experimental foraging patterns are then used to build a general agent-based model (ABM) which includes the most relevant properties of ant foraging under natural conditions, including recruitment through pheromone communication. Using the ABM, we are able to provide computational evidence that the characteristics of individual variability observed in our experiments can provide a functional advantage (in terms of foraging success) to the group; thus, we propose the biological basis underpinning our observations. Altogether, our study reveals the potential utility of experiments under simplified (laboratory) conditions for understanding information-gathering in biological systems. © 2016 The Author(s).

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Ant Foraging Behavior for Job Shop Problem

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    Mahad Diyana Abdul

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Ant Colony Optimization (ACO is a new algorithm approach, inspired by the foraging behavior of real ants. It has frequently been applied to many optimization problems and one such problem is in solving the job shop problem (JSP. The JSP is a finite set of jobs processed on a finite set of machine where once a job initiates processing on a given machine, it must complete processing and uninterrupted. In solving the Job Shop Scheduling problem, the process is measure by the amount of time required in completing a job known as a makespan and minimizing the makespan is the main objective of this study. In this paper, we developed an ACO algorithm to minimize the makespan. A real set of problems from a metal company in Johor bahru, producing 20 parts with jobs involving the process of clinching, tapping and power press respectively. The result from this study shows that the proposed ACO heuristics managed to produce a god result in a short time.

  6. The Müller-Lyer illusion in ant foraging.

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    Tomoko Sakiyama

    Full Text Available The Müller-Lyer illusion is a classical geometric illusion in which the apparent (perceived length of a line depends on whether the line terminates in an arrow tail or arrowhead. This effect may be caused by economic compensation for the gap between the physical stimulus and visual fields. Here, we show that the Müller-Lyer illusion can also be produced by the foraging patterns of garden ants (Lasius niger and that the pattern obtained can be explained by a simple, asynchronously updated foraging ant model. Our results suggest that the geometric illusion may be a byproduct of the foraging process, in which local interactions underlying efficient exploitation can also give rise to global exploration, and that visual information processing in human could implement similar modulation between local efficient processing and widespread computation.

  7. Sex-specific kleptoparasitic foraging in ant-eating spiders

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    Martisová, Martina; Bilde, T.; Pekar, Stano

    2009-01-01

    . To investigate this hypothesis, we studied the effect of sex and life history stage on the frequency of kleptoparasitism in ant-eating spiders of the genus Zodarion in the field. These spiders use a special capture technique involving a quick attack on an ant that is left unguarded by spiders for several minutes......, providing ample opportunities for kleptoparasitism. We found that adult females consistently hunted actively, while adult males ceased active prey capture and instead engaged in kleptoparasitism. Juvenile spiders were active hunters irrespective of sex. Consistent with an ontogenetic shift in foraging...

  8. Ants can learn to forage on one-way trails.

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    Pedro Leite Ribeiro

    Full Text Available The trails formed by many ant species between nest and food source are two-way roads on which outgoing and returning workers meet and touch each other all along. The way to get back home, after grasping a food load, is to take the same route on which they have arrived from the nest. In many species such trails are chemically marked by pheromones providing orientation cues for the ants to find their way. Other species rely on their vision and use landmarks as cues. We have developed a method to stop foraging ants from shuttling on two-way trails. The only way to forage is to take two separate roads, as they cannot go back on their steps after arriving at the food or at the nest. The condition qualifies as a problem because all their orientation cues -- chemical, visual or any other -- are disrupted, as all of them cannot but lead the ants back to the route on which they arrived. We have found that workers of the leaf-cutting ant Atta sexdens rubropilosa can solve the problem. They could not only find the alternative way, but also used the unidirectional traffic system to forage effectively. We suggest that their ability is an evolutionary consequence of the need to deal with environmental irregularities that cannot be negotiated by means of excessively stereotyped behavior, and that it is but an example of a widespread phenomenon. We also suggest that our method can be adapted to other species, invertebrate and vertebrate, in the study of orientation, memory, perception, learning and communication.

  9. A molecular phylogeny of Dorylus army ants provides evidence for multiple evolutionary transitions in foraging niche

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    Kronauer, Daniel J C; Schöning, Caspar; Vilhelmsen, Lars

    2007-01-01

    in the leaf-litter and some as conspicuous swarm raiders on the forest floor and in the lower vegetation (the infamous driver ants). Here we use a combination of nuclear and mitochondrial DNA sequences to reconstruct the phylogeny of the Dorylus s.l. army ants and to infer the evolutionary transitions...... in foraging niche and associated morphological adaptations. RESULTS: Underground foraging is basal and gave rise to leaf-litter foraging. Leaf-litter foraging in turn gave rise to two derived conditions: true surface foraging (the driver ants) and a reversal to subterranean foraging (a clade with most......BACKGROUND: Army ants are the prime arthropod predators in tropical forests, with huge colonies and an evolutionary derived nomadic life style. Five of the six recognized subgenera of Old World Dorylus army ants forage in the soil, whereas some species of the sixth subgenus (Anomma) forage...

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

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    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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. A molecular phylogeny of Dorylus army ants provides evidence for multiple evolutionary transitions in foraging niche

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    Vilhelmsen Lars B

    2007-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Army ants are the prime arthropod predators in tropical forests, with huge colonies and an evolutionary derived nomadic life style. Five of the six recognized subgenera of Old World Dorylus army ants forage in the soil, whereas some species of the sixth subgenus (Anomma forage in the leaf-litter and some as conspicuous swarm raiders on the forest floor and in the lower vegetation (the infamous driver ants. Here we use a combination of nuclear and mitochondrial DNA sequences to reconstruct the phylogeny of the Dorylus s.l. army ants and to infer the evolutionary transitions in foraging niche and associated morphological adaptations. Results Underground foraging is basal and gave rise to leaf-litter foraging. Leaf-litter foraging in turn gave rise to two derived conditions: true surface foraging (the driver ants and a reversal to subterranean foraging (a clade with most of the extant Dorylus s.s. species. This means that neither the subgenus Anomma nor Dorylus s.s. is monophyletic, and that one of the Dorylus s.s. lineages adopted subterranean foraging secondarily. We show that this latter group evolved a series of morphological adaptations to underground foraging that are remarkably convergent to the basal state. Conclusion The evolutionary transitions in foraging niche were more complex than previously thought, but our comparative analysis of worker morphology lends strong support to the contention that particular foraging niches have selected for very specific worker morphologies. The surprising reversal to underground foraging is therefore a striking example of convergent morphological evolution.

  14. A quantification of predation rates, indirect positive effects on plants, and foraging variation of the giant tropical ant, Paraponera clavata

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    Lee A. Dyer

    2002-09-01

    Full Text Available While a clear consensus is emerging that predators can play a major role in shaping terrestrial communities, basic natural history observations and simple quantifications of predation rates in complex terrestrial systems are lacking. The potential indirect effect of a large predatory ant, Paraponera clavata Fabricius (Formicidae: Ponerinae, on herbivores was determined on rainforest trees at La Selva Biological Station in Costa Rica and Barro Colorado Island in Panama. Prey and other food brought back to nests by 75 colonies of P. clavata were quantified, taking into account temporal, seasonal, and microhabitat variation for both foraging activity and composition of foraging booty. The dispersion and density of ant colonies and combined density with the mean amounts of prey retrieval were used to calculate rates of predation per hectare in the two forests. In addition, herbivory was measured on trees containing P. clavata and on trees where the ants were not foraging. Colonies at La Selva brought back significantly more nectar plus prey than those at Barro Colorado Island, but foraging patterns were similar in the two forests. At both forests, the ants were more active at night, and there was no significant seasonal or colonial variation in consumption of nectar, composition of foraging booty, and overall activity of the colonies. At La Selva, trees containing P. clavata colonies had the same levels of folivory as nearest neighbor trees without P. clavata but had significantly lower folivory than randomly selected trees. Predation by this ant was high in both forests, despite its omnivorous diet. This insect predator is part of potentially important top-down controls in these wet and moist forests.

  15. The Role of Non-Foraging Nests in Polydomous Wood Ant Colonies.

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    Ellis, Samuel; Robinson, Elva J H

    2015-01-01

    A colony of red wood ants can inhabit more than one spatially separated nest, in a strategy called polydomy. Some nests within these polydomous colonies have no foraging trails to aphid colonies in the canopy. In this study we identify and investigate the possible roles of non-foraging nests in polydomous colonies of the wood ant Formica lugubris. To investigate the role of non-foraging nests we: (i) monitored colonies for three years; (ii) observed the resources being transported between non-foraging nests and the rest of the colony; (iii) measured the amount of extra-nest activity around non-foraging and foraging nests. We used these datasets to investigate the extent to which non-foraging nests within polydomous colonies are acting as: part of the colony expansion process; hunting and scavenging specialists; brood-development specialists; seasonal foragers; or a selfish strategy exploiting the foraging effort of the rest of the colony. We found that, rather than having a specialised role, non-foraging nests are part of the process of colony expansion. Polydomous colonies expand by founding new nests in the area surrounding the existing nests. Nests founded near food begin foraging and become part of the colony; other nests are not founded near food sources and do not initially forage. Some of these non-foraging nests eventually begin foraging; others do not and are abandoned. This is a method of colony growth not available to colonies inhabiting a single nest, and may be an important advantage of the polydomous nesting strategy, allowing the colony to expand into profitable areas.

  16. Foraging of Psilocybe basidiocarps by the leaf-cutting ant Acromyrmex lobicornis in Santa Fé, Argentina.

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    Masiulionis, Virginia E; Weber, Roland Ws; Pagnocca, Fernando C

    2013-12-01

    It is generally accepted that material collected by leaf-cutting ants of the genus Acromyrmex consists solely of plant matter, which is used in the nest as substrate for a symbiotic fungus providing nutrition to the ants. There is only one previous report of any leaf-cutting ant foraging directly on fungal basidiocarps. Basidiocarps of Psilocybe coprophila growing on cow dung were actively collected by workers of Acromyrmex lobicornis in Santa Fé province, Argentina. During this behaviour the ants displayed typical signals of recognition and continuously recruited other foragers to the task. Basidiocarps of different stages of maturity were being transported into the nest by particular groups of workers, while other workers collected plant material. The collection of mature basidiocarps with viable spores by leaf-cutting ants in nature adds substance to theories relating to the origin of fungiculture in these highly specialized social insects.

  17. Colony Diet Influences Ant Worker Foraging and Attendance of Myrmecophilous Lycaenid Caterpillars

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    Sebastian Pohl

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Foraging animals regulate their intake of macronutrients such as carbohydrates and proteins. However, regulating the intake of these two macronutrients can be constrained by the nutrient content of available food sources. Compensatory foraging is a method to adjust nutrient intake under restricted nutrient availability by preferentially exploiting food sources that contain limiting nutrients. Here we studied the potential for compensatory foraging in the dolichoderine ant Iridomyrmex mayri, which is commonly found in associations with caterpillars of the obligatorily ant-associated lycaenid butterfly Jalmenus evagoras. The caterpillars receive protection against predators and parasites, and reward the ants with nutritional secretions from specialized exocrine glands. These secretions contain a mixture of sugars and free amino acids, particularly serine. We tested the influence of nutrient-deficient diets on foraging patterns in I. mayri by recording the intake of test solutions containing single types of macronutrients during food preference tests. We also investigated the level of ant attendance on fifth instar J. evagoras caterpillars to evaluate how changes in diet influenced ant tending of caterpillars and foraging on their secretions. Foragers on a protein diet compensated for the nutritional deficit by increasing the intake of test solutions that contained sucrose, compared to their counterparts on a non-restricted diet. Ants on a sugar diet, however, did not show a corresponding increased consumption of test solutions containing the amino acid serine. Additionally, compared with their counterparts on a mixed diet, ants on limited nutrient diets showed an increase in the number of caterpillar-tending workers, suggesting that the caterpillars’ secretions are suitable to compensate for the ants’ nutritional deficit.

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

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    Kleeman Lindsay

    2011-08-01

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

  19. The ejaculatory biology of leafcutter ants

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

    2015-01-01

    understanding of the fundamental biology of ejaculate production, transfer and physiological function remains extremely limited. We studied the ejaculation process in the leafcutter ant Atta colombica and found that it starts with the appearance of a clear pre-ejaculatory fluid (PEF) at the tip...

  20. Record and foraging behavior of ants (Hymenoptera, Formicidae in vertebrate carcasses

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    Tatiane Tagliatti Maciel

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Knowing the importance of participation by insects at cadaverous decomposition processes, and the limited use of the family Formicidae in criminal investigations, this study aims to record the foraging activity of four genera of ants in carcasses of birds and mammals. Observations occurred accidentally in two locations in the State of Minas Gerais, Brazil. In total, seven species of ants foraging in eight vertebrate carcasses were recorded. In addition, the study reported for the first time the presence of Wasmannia in carcasses in Brazil.

  1. Biological Inoculants in Forage Conservation

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    Judit Peter Szucs

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available 3rd generation biological inoculants –containing lactic acid bacteria and enzymes – are prefered nowadays in order to coordinate the fermentation in such a way that they increase lactic acid production by leaps and bounds at the beginning of the fermentation and improve the quality and stability of silage during the fermentation and feeding. The quality of raw material (maturity of plant, chop lenght, spreading of inoculant uniformly and the proper filling, compacting, covering and wrapping have a great influence on the effectiveness of the inoculant. The mycotoxin content of malfermented silages is an undesirable risk factor. The authors established, that the Lactobacillus buchneri and enzymes containing inoculant protected better the carotene content of low, medium- and high wilteed lucerne haylages (P<0,05 compare to untreated ones Aerobic stability experiment by Honnig 1990 method was carried out with medium wilted (36 % DM lucerne haylage which was treatedtreated before ensilage with , the dosage of 105 CFU/g Pediococcus acidilactici, 1,5x105 CFU/g Lactobacillus buchneri and cellulase and hemicellulase enzimes (20 000 CMC /g remained stabyle, unspoiled after 9 days exposure to the air, while the untreated haylages spoiled after 2;4;or 7days on aerobic condition. The different Lactobacillus plantarum strains (50.000 CFU of Lactobacillus plantarum DSM 16568 + 50.000 CFU of Lactobacillus plantarum DSM 4784/ g FM of maize applied together were able to improve the aerobic stability of silomaize silage.

  2. Can communication disruption of red imported fire ants reduce foraging success

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    Invasive pest ants often coordinate resource retrieval and colony expansion through the use of recruitment pheromones for information sharing to optimise their foraging; we argue that the potential for disruption of trail pheromone communication deserves investigation as a new and benign ecologicall...

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

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    Michael J Greene

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

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

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    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.

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

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    Tatiana P Flanagan

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

  6. Stealthy invaders: the biology of Cardiocondyla tramp ants

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    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...

  7. Colony-level behavioural variation correlates with differences in expression of the foraging gene in red imported fire ants.

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    Bockoven, Alison A; Coates, Craig J; Eubanks, Micky D

    2017-11-01

    Among social insects, colony-level variation is likely to be widespread and has significant ecological consequences. Very few studies, however, have documented how genetic factors relate to behaviour at the colony level. Differences in expression of the foraging gene have been associated with differences in foraging and activity of a wide variety of organisms. We quantified expression of the red imported fire ant foraging gene (sifor) in workers from 21 colonies collected across the natural range of Texas fire ant populations, but maintained under standardized, environmentally controlled conditions. Colonies varied significantly in their behaviour. The most active colonies had up to 10 times more active foragers than the least active colony and more than 16 times as many workers outside the nest. Expression differences among colonies correlated with this colony-level behavioural variation. Colonies with higher sifor expression in foragers had, on average, significantly higher foraging activity, exploratory activity and recruitment to nectar than colonies with lower expression. Expression of sifor was also strongly correlated with worker task (foraging vs. working in the interior of the nest). These results provide insight into the genetic and physiological processes underlying collective differences in social behaviour. Quantifying variation in expression of the foraging gene may provide an important tool for understanding and predicting the ecological consequences of colony-level behavioural variation. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  8. 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.

  9. Intraspecific Variation among Social Insect Colonies: Persistent Regional and Colony-Level Differences in Fire Ant Foraging Behavior.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alison A Bockoven

    Full Text Available Individuals vary within a species in many ecologically important ways, but the causes and consequences of such variation are often poorly understood. Foraging behavior is among the most profitable and risky activities in which organisms engage and is expected to be under strong selection. Among social insects there is evidence that within-colony variation in traits such as foraging behavior can increase colony fitness, but variation between colonies and the potential consequences of such variation are poorly documented. In this study, we tested natural populations of the red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta, for the existence of colony and regional variation in foraging behavior and tested the persistence of this variation over time and across foraging habitats. We also reared single-lineage colonies in standardized environments to explore the contribution of colony lineage. Fire ants from natural populations exhibited significant and persistent colony and regional-level variation in foraging behaviors such as extra-nest activity, exploration, and discovery of and recruitment to resources. Moreover, colony-level variation in extra-nest activity was significantly correlated with colony growth, suggesting that this variation has fitness consequences. Lineage of the colony had a significant effect on extra-nest activity and exploratory activity and explained approximately half of the variation observed in foraging behaviors, suggesting a heritable component to colony-level variation in behavior.

  10. Foraging loads of red wood ants: Formica aquilonia (Hymenoptera: Formicidae in relation to tree characteristics and stand age

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Heloise Gibb

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Background. Foraging efficiency is critical in determining the success of organisms and may be affected by a range of factors, including resource distance and quality. For social insects such as ants, outcomes must be considered at the level of both the individual and the colony. It is important to understand whether anthropogenic disturbances, such as forestry, affect foraging loads, independent of effects on the quality and distribution of resources. We asked if ants harvest greater loads from more distant and higher quality resources, how individual efforts scale to the colony level, and whether worker loads are affected by stand age. Methods. First, we performed a fine-scale study examining the effect of distance and resource quality (tree diameter and species on harvesting of honeydew by red wood ants, Formica aquilonia, in terms of crop load per worker ant and numbers of workers walking up and down each tree (ant activity (study 1. Second, we modelled what the combination of load and worker number responses meant for colony-level foraging loads. Third, at a larger scale, we asked whether the relationship between worker load and resource quality and distance depended on stand age (study 2. Results. Study 1 revealed that seventy percent of ants descending trees carried honeydew, and the percentage of workers that were honeydew harvesters was not related to tree species or diameter, but increased weakly with distance. Distance positively affected load mass in both studies 1 and 2, while diameter had weak negative effects on load. Relationships between load and distance and diameter did not differ among stands of different ages. Our model showed that colony-level loads declined much more rapidly with distance for small diameter than large diameter trees. Discussion. We suggest that a negative relationship between diameter and honeydew load detected in study 1 might be a result of crowding on large diameter trees close to nests, while the

  11. Differences in forage-acquisition and fungal enzyme activity contribute to niche segregation in Panamanian leaf-cutting ants.

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    Pepijn W Kooij

    Full Text Available The genera Atta and Acromyrmex are often grouped as leaf-cutting ants for pest management assessments and ecological surveys, although their mature colony sizes and foraging niches may differ substantially. Few studies have addressed such interspecific differences at the same site, which prompted us to conduct a comparative study across six sympatric leaf-cutting ant species in Central Panama. We show that foraging rates during the transition between dry and wet season differ about 60 fold between genera, but are relatively constant across species within genera. These differences appear to match overall differences in colony size, especially when Atta workers that return to their nests without leaves are assumed to carry liquid food. We confirm that Panamanian Atta specialize primarily on tree-leaves whereas Acromyrmex focus on collecting flowers and herbal leaves and that species within genera are similar in these overall foraging strategies. Species within genera tended to be spaced out over the three habitat categories that we distinguished (forest, forest edge, open grassland, but each of these habitats normally had only a single predominant Atta and Acromyrmex species. We measured activities of twelve fungus garden decomposition enzymes, belonging to the amylases, cellulases, hemicellulases, pectinases and proteinases, and show that average enzyme activity per unit of fungal mass in Atta gardens is lower than in Acromyrmex gardens. Expression profiles of fungal enzymes in Atta also appeared to be more specialized than in Acromyrmex, possibly reflecting variation in forage material. Our results suggest that species- and genus-level identities of leaf-cutting ants and habitat-specific foraging profiles may give predictable differences in the expression of fungal genes coding for decomposition enzymes.

  12. Parameter Selection for Ant Colony Algorithm Based on Bacterial Foraging Algorithm

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    Peng Li

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The optimal performance of the ant colony algorithm (ACA mainly depends on suitable parameters; therefore, parameter selection for ACA is important. We propose a parameter selection method for ACA based on the bacterial foraging algorithm (BFA, considering the effects of coupling between different parameters. Firstly, parameters for ACA are mapped into a multidimensional space, using a chemotactic operator to ensure that each parameter group approaches the optimal value, speeding up the convergence for each parameter set. Secondly, the operation speed for optimizing the entire parameter set is accelerated using a reproduction operator. Finally, the elimination-dispersal operator is used to strengthen the global optimization of the parameters, which avoids falling into a local optimal solution. In order to validate the effectiveness of this method, the results were compared with those using a genetic algorithm (GA and a particle swarm optimization (PSO, and simulations were conducted using different grid maps for robot path planning. The results indicated that parameter selection for ACA based on BFA was the superior method, able to determine the best parameter combination rapidly, accurately, and effectively.

  13. Information needs at the beginning of foraging: grass-cutting ants trade off load size for a faster return to the nest.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martin Bollazzi

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available Acquisition of information about food sources is essential for animals that forage collectively like social insects. Foragers deliver two commodities to the nest, food and information, and they may favor the delivery of one at the expenses of the other. We predict that information needs should be particularly high at the beginning of foraging: the decision to return faster to the nest will motivate a grass-cutting ant worker to reduce its loading time, and so to leave the source with a partial load.Field results showed that at the initial foraging phase, most grass-cutting ant foragers (Acromyrmex heyeri returned unladen to the nest, and experienced head-on encounters with outgoing workers. Ant encounters were not simply collisions in a probabilistic sense: outgoing workers contacted in average 70% of the returning foragers at the initial foraging phase, and only 20% at the established phase. At the initial foraging phase, workers cut fragments that were shorter, narrower, lighter and tenderer than those harvested at the established one. Foragers walked at the initial phase significantly faster than expected for the observed temperatures, yet not at the established phase. Moreover, when controlling for differences in the fragment-size carried, workers still walked faster at the initial phase. Despite the higher speed, their individual transport rate of vegetable tissue was lower than that of similarly-sized workers foraging later at the same patch.At the initial foraging phase, workers compromised their individual transport rates of material in order to return faster to the colony. We suggest that the observed flexible cutting rules and the selection of partial loads at the beginning of foraging are driven by the need of information transfer, crucial for the establishment and maintenance of a foraging process to monopolize a discovered resource.

  14. Foraging

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ydenberg, R.C.; Prins, H.H.T.

    2012-01-01

    This chapter describes the role played by behavioural adjustments to foraging behaviour in accommodating rapid environmental change. It looks into the adjustments of foraging behaviour to predation danger as a result of changes in the type and array of food available. It investigates the effects of

  15. 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

  16. 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....

  17. The effects of food presentation and microhabitat upon resource monopoly in a ground-foraging ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae community

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Terrence P McGlynn

    2000-06-01

    Full Text Available In Neotropical wet forests several species of omnivorous, resource-defending ants, live and forage in close proximity to one another. Although the forest floor is heterogeneous in microhabitat and food quantity, little is known about the impact of microhabitat and food variation upon resource monopoly among ants. We investigated how food type and microhabitat influence food monopoly in resource-defending ants in old-growth tropical wet forest in the Caribbean lowlands of Costa Rica. We measured several microhabitat characteristics at 66 points in a 0.5 hectare plot, and baited each point with two categories of tuna bait. These baits were presented in "split" and "clumped" arrangements. We measured the frequency of bait monopoly by a single species, as well as the number of recruited ant foragers at a bait. Out of five common species, two (Wasmannia auropunctata and Pheidole simonsi more frequently monopolized one bait type over the other, and one (P. simonsi recruited more ants to the split baits. We then considered the recruitment response by all ant species in the community. We found that the frequency of monopoly, sharing, and the absence of ants at a given point in the rainforest differed with bait type. The frequency of monopoly was associated with microhabitat type in two out of eight microhabitat variables (leaf litter depth and palms; variation in two other types (canopy tree distance and leafcutter ant trails was associated with changes in forager number. In at least two ant species, food presentation affected monopoly at baits; among all resource-defending ants, the microhabitats where ants foraged for food and the type of food located determined in part the frequency of monopoly and the number of foragers at the food item. These results suggest that the location and presentation of food items determines in part which ant species will utilize the resource.En los bosques húmedos de la Región Neotropical conviven varias especies de

  18. 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.

  19. Forage collection, substrate preparation, and diet composition in fungus-growing ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Licht, H.H.D.; Boomsma, J.J.

    2010-01-01

    , whereas most of the other attine species use dry and partly degraded plant material such as leaf litter and caterpillar frass, but systematic comparative studies of actual resource acquisition across the attine ants have not been done. 3. Here we review 179 literature records of diet composition across...... the extant genera of fungus-growing ants. The records confirm the dependence of leaf-cutting ants on fresh vegetation but find that flowers, dry plant debris, seeds (husks), and insect frass are used by all genera, whereas other substrates such as nectar and insect carcasses are only used by some. 4. Diet...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Walter R Tschinkel

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

  1. 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...

  2. Branch Width and Height Influence the Incorporation of Branches into Foraging Trails and Travel Speed in Leafcutter Ants Atta cephalotes (L.) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freeman, B M; Chaves-Campos, J

    2016-06-01

    Fallen branches are often incorporated into Atta cephalotes (L.) foraging trails to optimize leaf tissue transport rates and economize trail maintenance. Recent studies in lowlands show laden A. cephalotes travel faster across fallen branches than on ground, but more slowly ascending or descending a branch. The latter is likely because (1) it is difficult to travel up or downhill and (2) bottlenecks occur when branches are narrower than preceding trail. Hence, both branch height and width should determine whether branches decrease net travel times, but no study has evaluated it yet. Laden A. cephalotes were timed in relation to branch width and height across segments preceding, accessing, across, and departing a fallen branch in the highlands of Costa Rica. Ants traveled faster on branches than on cleared segments of trunk-trail, but accelerated when ascending or descending the branch-likely because of the absence of bottlenecks during the day in the highlands. Branch size did not affect ant speed in observed branches; the majority of which (22/24) varied from 11 to 120 mm in both height and width (average 66 mm in both cases). To determine whether ants exclude branches outside this range, ants were offered the choice between branches within this range and branches that were taller/wider than 120 mm. Ants strongly preferred the former. Our results indicate that A. cephalotes can adjust their speed to compensate for the difficulty of traveling on branch slopes. More generally, branch size should be considered when studying ant foraging efficiency.

  3. 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.

  4. Identifying Ant-Mirid Spatial Interactions to Improve Biological Control in Cacao-Based Agroforestry System.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bagny Beilhe, Leïla; Piou, Cyril; Tadu, Zéphirin; Babin, Régis

    2018-06-06

    The use of ants for biological control of insect pests was the first reported case of conservation biological control. Direct and indirect community interactions between ants and pests lead to differential spatial pattern. We investigated spatial interactions between mirids, the major cocoa pest in West Africa and numerically dominant ant species, using bivariate point pattern analysis to identify potential biological control agents. We assume that potential biological control agents should display negative spatial interactions with mirids considering their niche overlap. The mirid/ant data were collected in complex cacao-based agroforestry systems sampled in three agroecological areas over a forest-savannah gradient in Cameroon. Three species, Crematogaster striatula Emery (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), Crematogaster clariventris Mayr (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), and Oecophylla longinoda Latreille (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) with high predator and aggressive behaviors were identified as dominant and showed negative spatial relationships with mirids. The weaver ant, O. longinoda was identified as the only potential biological control agent, considering its ubiquity in the plots, the similarity in niche requirements, and the spatial segregation with mirids resulting probably from exclusion mechanisms. Combining bivariate point pattern analysis to good knowledge of insect ecology was an effective method to identify a potentially good biological control agent.

  5. 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

  6. Comparison Between Ground Ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) Communities Foraging in the Straw Mulch of Sugarcane Crops and in the Leaf Litter of Neighboring Forests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silva, N S; Saad, L P; Souza-Campana, D R; Bueno, O C; Morini, M S C

    2017-02-01

    In many sugarcane plantations in Brazil, the straw is left on the soil after harvesting, and vinasse, a by-product of the production of sugar and ethanol, is used for fertigation. Our goal was to compare ant community composition and species richness in the straw mulch of sugarcane crops with the leaf litter of neighboring forests. We tested the hypothesis that ant communities in the straw mulch of vinasse-irrigated sugarcane crops and in the forest leaf litter were similar, because the combination of straw mulching and vinasse irrigation has a positive effect on soil fauna. Straw mulch and leaf litter were collected from 21 sites and placed in Berlese funnels. In total, 61 species were found in the forest leaf litter, whereas 34 and 28 species were found in the straw mulch of sugarcane fields with and without vinasse, respectively. Ant communities differed between forest and crop fields, but the species in the sugarcane straw mulch were a subset of the species found in the forest leaf litter. Although vinasse is rich in organic matter, it did not increase ant diversity. Seven feeding and/or foraging types were identified and, among the different types, surface-foraging omnivorous ants were the most prevalent in all habitats. Vinasse-irrigated sugarcane straw mulch had more predatory species than mulch from vinasse-free fields, but fewer than forest leaf litter. However, this positive effect of vinasse irrigation should be carefully evaluated because vinasse has negative effects on the environment. © 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.

  7. Expression of the Foraging Gene Is Associated with Age Polyethism, Not Task Preference, in the Ant Cardiocondyla obscurior.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jan Oettler

    Full Text Available One of the fundamental principles of social organization, age polyethism, describes behavioral maturation of workers leading to switches in task preference. Here we present a system that allows for studying division of labor (DOL by taking advantage of the relative short life of Cardiocondyla obscurior workers and thereby the pace of behavioral transitions. By challenging same-age young and older age cohorts to de novo establish DOL into nurse and foraging tasks and by forcing nurses to precociously become foragers and vice versa we studied expression patterns of one of the best known candidates for social insect worker behavior, the foraging gene. Contrary to our expectations we found that foraging gene expression correlates with age, but not with the task foraging per se. This suggests that this nutrition-related gene, and the pathways it is embedded in, correlates with physiological changes over time and potentially primes, but not determines task preference of individual workers.

  8. Reproductive biology of the native forage grass Trichloris crinita (Poaceae, Chloridoideae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kozub, P C; Barboza, K; Galdeano, F; Quarin, C L; Cavagnaro, J B; Cavagnaro, P F

    2017-05-01

    Trichloris crinita is a perennial forage grass species native to arid regions of the American continent. Due to its extensive area of distribution, good forage quality and resistance to drought and grazing, this species is widely utilised as forage and for revegetation purposes in environments with low water availability. Despite its importance, genetic improvement of T. crinita has been very limited, partly as consequence of the lack of knowledge on its mode of reproduction. In the present work, we studied the reproductive biology of T. crinita by means of embryological analyses, flow cytometric seed screen (FCSS), self-compatibility tests and progeny testing with morphological and molecular markers. Cytological analyses revealed embryo sacs with eight nuclei and of Polygonum type for all T. crinita accessions analysed. FCSS histograms exhibited two clear peaks corresponding to 2C and 3C DNA content, indicating embryo sacs of sexual origin. Controlled pollination experiments designed to evaluate seed set (%) demonstrated that T. crinita is self-compatible, whereas results from morphological and simple sequence repeat (SSR) marker analysis of progeny revealed lack of outcrossing. Together, these results indicate that T. crinita reproduces sexually. It is a self-compatible and autogamous species. It is expected that these data will have a positive impact in the genetics and breeding of this species, and therefore contribute to its proper utilisation in arid regions. © 2017 German Botanical Society and The Royal Botanical Society of the Netherlands.

  9. 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.

  10. A Keystone Ant Species Provides Robust Biological Control of the Coffee Berry Borer Under Varying Pest Densities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morris, Jonathan R; Vandermeer, John; Perfecto, Ivette

    2015-01-01

    Species' functional traits are an important part of the ecological complexity that determines the provisioning of ecosystem services. In biological pest control, predator response to pest density variation is a dynamic trait that impacts the provision of this service in agroecosystems. When pest populations fluctuate, farmers relying on biocontrol services need to know how natural enemies respond to these changes. Here we test the effect of variation in coffee berry borer (CBB) density on the biocontrol efficiency of a keystone ant species (Azteca sericeasur) in a coffee agroecosystem. We performed exclosure experiments to measure the infestation rate of CBB released on coffee branches in the presence and absence of ants at four different CBB density levels. We measured infestation rate as the number of CBB bored into fruits after 24 hours, quantified biocontrol efficiency (BCE) as the proportion of infesting CBB removed by ants, and estimated functional response from ant attack rates, measured as the difference in CBB infestation between branches. Infestation rates of CBB on branches with ants were significantly lower (71%-82%) than on those without ants across all density levels. Additionally, biocontrol efficiency was generally high and did not significantly vary across pest density treatments. Furthermore, ant attack rates increased linearly with increasing CBB density, suggesting a Type I functional response. These results demonstrate that ants can provide robust biological control of CBB, despite variation in pest density, and that the response of predators to pest density variation is an important factor in the provision of biocontrol services. Considering how natural enemies respond to changes in pest densities will allow for more accurate biocontrol predictions and better-informed management of this ecosystem service in agroecosystems.

  11. Biological Control of Solenopsis Fire Ants by Pseudacteon Parasitoids: Theory and Practice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lloyd W. Morrison

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Pseudacteon parasitoids are potential biocontrol agents of invasive Solenopsis fire ants. Pseudacteon species that parasitize the invasive S. invicta Buren and S. richteri Forel have been introduced to, and naturally dispersed across, the southeastern USA, although there is no evidence yet that Solenopsis host ant populations have decreased. The ability of introduced Pseudacteon species to regulate Solenopsis populations will depend upon the relative importance of top-down effects in the recipient communities. In this paper, I examine the characteristics of the Pseudacteon/Solenopsis parasitoid/host system and evaluate the extent to which research findings are consistent with top-down control. Laboratory and field experiments evaluating Solenopsis population regulation have been equivocal, and overall the available evidence provides little support for strong top-down effects in this system. Competitive exclusion may occur among introduced Pseudacteon species, and future efforts at biological control are likely to be more efficacious if they focus on other types of natural enemies.

  12. 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

  13. ANTS AS BIOLOGICAL INDICATORS FOR MONITORING CHANGES IN ARID ENVIRONMENTS: LESSONS FOR MONITORING PROTECTED AREAS

    Science.gov (United States)

    The responses of ant communities to structural change (removal of an invasive were studied in a replicated experiment in a Chihuahuan Desert grassland. The results from sampling of ant communities by pit-fall trapping were validated by mapping ant colonies on the experimental plo...

  14. The effects of forest conversion to oil palm on ground-foraging ant communities depend on beta diversity and sampling grain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Wendy Y; Foster, William A

    2015-08-01

    Beta diversity - the variation in species composition among spatially discrete communities - and sampling grain - the size of samples being compared - may alter our perspectives of diversity within and between landscapes before and after agricultural conversion. Such assumptions are usually based on point comparisons, which do not accurately capture actual differences in total diversity. Beta diversity is often not rigorously examined. We investigated the beta diversity of ground-foraging ant communities in fragmented oil palm and forest landscapes in Sabah, Malaysia, using diversity metrics transformed from Hill number equivalents to remove dependences on alpha diversity. We compared the beta diversities of oil palm and forest, across three hierarchically nested sampling grains. We found that oil palm and forest communities had a greater percentage of total shared species when larger samples were compared. Across all grains and disregarding relative abundances, there was higher beta diversity of all species among forest communities. However, there were higher beta diversities of common and very abundant (dominant) species in oil palm as compared to forests. Differences in beta diversities between oil palm and forest were greatest at the largest sampling grain. Larger sampling grains in oil palm may generate bigger species pools, increasing the probability of shared species with forest samples. Greater beta diversity of all species in forest may be attributed to rare species. Oil palm communities may be more heterogeneous in common and dominant species because of variable community assembly events. Rare and also common species are better captured at larger grains, boosting differences in beta diversity between larger samples of forest and oil palm communities. Although agricultural landscapes support a lower total diversity than natural forests, diversity especially of abundant species is still important for maintaining ecosystem stability. Diversity in

  15. Reducing losses inflicted by insect pests on cashew, using weaver ants as a biological control agent

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Anato, Florence; Wargui, Rosine; Sinzogan, Antonio

    2015-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Cashew (Anacardium occidentale Linnaeus) is the largest agricultural export product in Benin. However, yields and quality are lost due to inefficient pest control. Weaver ants (Oecophylla spp.) may control pests in this crop as they eat and deter pests. In Benin, cashew pest damages......, nut quality and yield were compared among: (i) trees with weaver ant (Oecophylla longinoda Latreille), (ii) trees where weaver ants were fed sugar, (iii) IPM trees with weaver ants combined with GF-120 (a natural insecticide), and (iv) control trees receiving no control measures. RESULTS: Thrips...... damages on nuts were higher than other damage symptoms and significantly lower on control trees compared to other treatments. Percentage of first quality nuts was higher in the control compared to ants treatments, but not different from the IPM-treatment. However, compared to the control treatment, ants...

  16. Reduced biological control and enhanced chemical pest management in the evolution of fungus farming in ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fernández-Marín, Hermógenes; Zimmerman, Jess K; Nash, David R

    2009-01-01

    To combat disease, most fungus-growing ants (Attini) use antibiotics from mutualistic bacteria (Pseudonocardia) that are cultured on the ants' exoskeletons and chemical cocktails from exocrine glands, especially the metapleural glands (MG). Previous work has hypothesized that (i) Pseudonocardia a...

  17. Hidden biodiversity in entomological collections: The overlooked co-occurrence of dipteran and hymenopteran ant parasitoids in stored biological material.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gabriela Pérez-Lachaud

    Full Text Available Biological collections around the world are the repository of biodiversity on Earth; they also hold a large quantity of unsorted, unidentified, or misidentified material and can house behavioral information on species that are difficult to access or no longer available to science. Among the unsorted, alcohol-preserved material stored in the Formicidae Collection of the 'El Colegio de la Frontera Sur' Research Center (Chetumal, Mexico, we found nine colonies of the ponerine ant Neoponera villosa, that had been collected in bromeliads at Calakmul (Campeche, Mexico in 1999. Ants and their brood were revised for the presence of any sign of parasitism. Cocoons were dissected and their content examined under a stereomicroscope. Six N. villosa prepupae had been attacked by the ectoparasitoid syrphid fly Hypselosyrphus trigonus Hull (Syrphidae: Microdontinae, to date the only known dipteran species of the Microdontinae with a parasitoid lifestyle. In addition, six male pupae from three colonies contained gregarious endoparasitoid wasps. These were specialized in parasitizing this specific host caste as no gyne or worker pupae displayed signs of having been attacked. Only immature stages (larvae and pupae of the wasp could be obtained. Due to the long storage period, DNA amplification failed; however, based on biological and morphological data, pupae were placed in the Encyrtidae family. This is the first record of an encyrtid wasp parasitizing N. villosa, and the second example of an encyrtid as a primary parasitoid of ants. Furthermore, it is also the first record of co-occurrence of a dipteran ectoparasitoid and a hymenopteran endoparasitoid living in sympatry within the same population of host ants. Our findings highlight the importance of biological collections as reservoirs of hidden biodiversity, not only at the taxonomic level, but also at the behavioral level, revealing complex living networks. They also highlight the need for funding in order

  18. Hidden biodiversity in entomological collections: The overlooked co-occurrence of dipteran and hymenopteran ant parasitoids in stored biological material.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pérez-Lachaud, Gabriela; Lachaud, Jean-Paul

    2017-01-01

    Biological collections around the world are the repository of biodiversity on Earth; they also hold a large quantity of unsorted, unidentified, or misidentified material and can house behavioral information on species that are difficult to access or no longer available to science. Among the unsorted, alcohol-preserved material stored in the Formicidae Collection of the 'El Colegio de la Frontera Sur' Research Center (Chetumal, Mexico), we found nine colonies of the ponerine ant Neoponera villosa, that had been collected in bromeliads at Calakmul (Campeche, Mexico) in 1999. Ants and their brood were revised for the presence of any sign of parasitism. Cocoons were dissected and their content examined under a stereomicroscope. Six N. villosa prepupae had been attacked by the ectoparasitoid syrphid fly Hypselosyrphus trigonus Hull (Syrphidae: Microdontinae), to date the only known dipteran species of the Microdontinae with a parasitoid lifestyle. In addition, six male pupae from three colonies contained gregarious endoparasitoid wasps. These were specialized in parasitizing this specific host caste as no gyne or worker pupae displayed signs of having been attacked. Only immature stages (larvae and pupae) of the wasp could be obtained. Due to the long storage period, DNA amplification failed; however, based on biological and morphological data, pupae were placed in the Encyrtidae family. This is the first record of an encyrtid wasp parasitizing N. villosa, and the second example of an encyrtid as a primary parasitoid of ants. Furthermore, it is also the first record of co-occurrence of a dipteran ectoparasitoid and a hymenopteran endoparasitoid living in sympatry within the same population of host ants. Our findings highlight the importance of biological collections as reservoirs of hidden biodiversity, not only at the taxonomic level, but also at the behavioral level, revealing complex living networks. They also highlight the need for funding in order to carry out

  19. Ants can be used as bio-indicators to reveal biological effects of electromagnetic waves from some wireless apparatus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cammaerts, Marie-Claire; Johansson, Olle

    2014-12-01

    Society is confronted with an increasing number of applications making use of wireless communication. We also notice an increasing awareness about potentially harmful effects of the related electromagnetic fields on living organisms. At present, it is not realistic to expect that wireless communication will decrease or disappear within the near future. That is why we currently are investigating the mechanisms behind these effects and the effectiveness of possible solutions. In order to be efficient and effective, we designed and validated a fast and easy test on ants - these insects being used as a biological model - for revealing the effect of wireless equipments like mobile phones, smartphones, digital enhanced cordless telephone (DECT) phones, WiFi routers and so on. This test includes quantification of ants' locomotion under natural conditions, then in the vicinity of such wireless equipments. Observations, numerical results and statistical results allow detecting any effect of a radiating source on these living organisms.

  20. 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.

  1. Pandora formicae, a specialist ant pathogenic fungus: New insights into biology and taxonomy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Małagocka, Joanna; Jensen, Annette Bruun; Eilenberg, Jørgen

    2017-02-01

    Among fungi from the order Entomophthorales (Entomophthoromycota), there are many specialized, obligatory insect-killing pathogens. Pandora formicae (Humber & Bałazy) Humber is a rare example of an entomophthoralean fungus adapted to exclusively infect social insects: wood ants from the genus Formica. There is limited information available on P. formicae; many important aspects of this host-pathogen system remain hitherto unknown, and the taxonomical status of the fungus is unclear. Our study fills out some main gaps in the life history of P. formicae, such as seasonal prevalence and overwintering strategy. Field studies of infection prevalence show a disease peak in late summer and early autumn. Typical thick-walled entomophthoralean resting spores of P. formicae are documented and described for the first time. The proportion of cadavers with resting spores increased from late summer throughout autumn, suggesting that these spores are the main overwintering fungal structures. In addition, the phylogenetic status of Pandora formicae is outlined. Finally, we review the available taxonomical literature and conclude that the name P. formicae should be used rather than the name P. myrmecophaga for ant-infecting fungi displaying described morphological features. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Entedoninae wasps (Hymenoptera, Chalcidoidea, Eulophidae) associated with ants (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) in tropical America, with new species and notes on their biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hansson, Christer; Lachaud, Jean-Paul; Pérez-Lachaud, Gabriela

    2011-01-01

    Abstract Three new species of Eulophidae associated, or presumed to be associated with ants are described: two species of Horismenus Walker and one species of Microdonophagus Schauff. Information on the biology is also included. The two Horismenus species are from Chiapas, Mexico. Horismenus myrmecophagus sp. n. is known only from females and is a gregarious endoparasitoid in larvae of the weaver ant Camponotus sp. ca. textor. The parasitoids pupate inside the host larva, and an average of 6.7 individuals develops per host. This is the second time a species of genus Horismenus is found parasitizing the brood of a formicine ant of genus Camponotus. Horismenus microdonophagus sp. n. is described from both males and females, and is a gregarious endoparasitoid attacking the larvae of Microdon sp. (Diptera: Syrphidae), a predator on ant brood found in nests of Camponotus sp. ca. textor. The new species of Microdonophagus, Microdonophagus tertius, is from Costa Rica, and known only from the female. Nothing is known about its biology but since another species in same genus, Microdonophagus woodleyi Schauff, is associated with ants through its host, Microdon larva (with same biology as Horismenus microdonophagus), it is possible that also Microdonophagus tertius has this association. A new distributional record for Microdonophagus woodleyi is also reported, extending its distribution from Panama and Colombia to Brazil. PMID:22140342

  3. Experimental suppression of ants foraging on rainforest vegetation in New Guinea: testing methods for a whole-forest manipulation of insect communities

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Klimeš, Petr; Janda, Milan; Ibalim, S.; Kua, J.; Novotný, Vojtěch

    2011-01-01

    Roč. 36, č. 1 (2011), s. 94-103 ISSN 0307-6946 R&D Projects: GA AV ČR IAA600960712; GA AV ČR KJB612230701; GA MŠk LC06073; GA MŠk ME09082; GA ČR GD206/08/H044; GA ČR GA206/09/0115; GA ČR GAP505/10/0673 Grant - others:U.S. National Science Foundation(US) DEB-0841885; U.S. National Science Foundation(US) DEB-0816749; Grant Agency of University of South Bohemia(CZ) 052/2010/P; Grant Agency of University of South Bohemia(CZ) 136/2010/P Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z50070508 Keywords : ant exclusion * bait traps * canopy Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 1.995, year: 2011

  4. 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.

  5. Ex-ante analysis of economic returns from biological control of coconut mite in Tanzania

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Oleke, J.M.; Manyong, V.; Mignouna, D.; Isinika, A.; Mutabazi, K.; Hanna, R.; Sabelis, M.

    2013-01-01

    The coconut mite, Aceria guerreronis Keifer, has been identified as one of the pests that pose a threat to the coconut industry in Benin. The study presents the simulation results of the economic benefits of the biological control of coconut mites in Benin using a standard economic surplus model. In

  6. Nitrogen management in grasslands and forage-based production systems – Role of biological nitrification inhibition (BNI

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G.V. Subbarao

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Nitrogen (N, the most critical and essential nutrient for plant growth, largely determines the productivity in both extensive and intensive grassland systems. Nitrification and denitrification processes in the soil are the primary drivers of generating reactive N (NO3-, N2O and NO, largely responsible for N loss and degradation of grasslands. Suppressing nitrification can thus facilitate retention of soil N to sustain long-term productivity of grasslands and forage-based production systems. Certain plants can suppress soil nitrification by releasing inhibitors from roots, a phenomenon termed ‘biological nitrification inhibition’ (BNI. Recent methodological developments [e.g. bioluminescence assay to detect biological nitrification inhibitors (BNIs from plant-root systems] led to significant advances in our ability to quantify and characterize BNI function in pasture grasses. Among grass pastures, BNI capacity is strongest in low-N environment grasses such as Brachiaria humidicola and weakest in high-N environment grasses such as Italian ryegrass (Lolium perenne and B. brizantha. The chemical identity of some of the BNIs produced in plant tissues and released from roots has now been established and their mode of inhibitory action determined on nitrifying Nitrosomonas bacteria. Synthesis and release of BNIs is a highly regulated and localized process, triggered by the presence of NH4+ in the rhizosphere, which facilitates release of BNIs close to soil-nitrifier sites. Substantial genotypic variation is found for BNI capacity in B. humidicola, which opens the way for its genetic manipulation. Field studies suggest that Brachiaria grasses suppress nitrification and N2O emissions from soil. The potential for exploiting BNI function (from a genetic improvement and a system perspective to develop production systems, that are low-nitrifying, low N2O-emitting, economically efficient and ecologically sustainable, is discussed.

  7. Colobopsis explodens sp. n., model species for studies on "exploding ants" (Hymenoptera, Formicidae), with biological notes and first illustrations of males of the Colobopsis cylindrica group

    OpenAIRE

    Laciny, Alice; Zettel, Herbert; Kopchinskiy, Alexey; Pretzer, Carina; Pal, Anna; Abu Salim, Kamariah; Javad Rahimi, Mohammad; Hoenigsberger, Michaela; Lim, Linda; Jaitrong, Weeyawat; Druzhinina, Irina S.

    2018-01-01

    A taxonomic description of all castes of Colobopsis explodens Laciny & Zettel, sp. n. from Borneo, Thailand, and Malaysia is provided, which serves as a model species for biological studies on "exploding ants" in Southeast Asia. The new species is a member of the Colobopsis cylindrica (COCY) group and falls into a species complex that has been repeatedly summarized under the name Colobopsis saundersi (Emery, 1889) (formerly Camponotus saundersi). The COCY species group is known under its vern...

  8. An embodied biologically constrained model of foraging: from classical and operant conditioning to adaptive real-world behavior in DAC-X.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maffei, Giovanni; Santos-Pata, Diogo; Marcos, Encarni; Sánchez-Fibla, Marti; Verschure, Paul F M J

    2015-12-01

    Animals successfully forage within new environments by learning, simulating and adapting to their surroundings. The functions behind such goal-oriented behavior can be decomposed into 5 top-level objectives: 'how', 'why', 'what', 'where', 'when' (H4W). The paradigms of classical and operant conditioning describe some of the behavioral aspects found in foraging. However, it remains unclear how the organization of their underlying neural principles account for these complex behaviors. We address this problem from the perspective of the Distributed Adaptive Control theory of mind and brain (DAC) that interprets these two paradigms as expressing properties of core functional subsystems of a layered architecture. In particular, we propose DAC-X, a novel cognitive architecture that unifies the theoretical principles of DAC with biologically constrained computational models of several areas of the mammalian brain. DAC-X supports complex foraging strategies through the progressive acquisition, retention and expression of task-dependent information and associated shaping of action, from exploration to goal-oriented deliberation. We benchmark DAC-X using a robot-based hoarding task including the main perceptual and cognitive aspects of animal foraging. We show that efficient goal-oriented behavior results from the interaction of parallel learning mechanisms accounting for motor adaptation, spatial encoding and decision-making. Together, our results suggest that the H4W problem can be solved by DAC-X building on the insights from the study of classical and operant conditioning. Finally, we discuss the advantages and limitations of the proposed biologically constrained and embodied approach towards the study of cognition and the relation of DAC-X to other cognitive architectures. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Foraging Behavior of Odontomachus bauri on Barro Colorado Island, Panama

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Birgit Ehmer

    1995-01-01

    Full Text Available Foraging behavior and partitioning of foraging areas of Odonomachus bauri were investigated on Barro Colorado Island in Panama. The activity of the ants did not show any daily pattern; foragers were active day and night. The type of prey captured by O. bauri supports the idea that in higher Odontomachus and Anochetus species, the high speed of mandible closure serves more for generating power than capturing elusive prey. Polydomous nests may enable O. bauri colonies to enlarge their foraging areas.

  10. 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.

  11. 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...

  12. Leader-based and self-organized communication: modelling group-mass recruitment in ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Collignon, Bertrand; Deneubourg, Jean Louis; Detrain, Claire

    2012-11-21

    For collective decisions to be made, the information acquired by experienced individuals about resources' location has to be shared with naïve individuals through recruitment. Here, we investigate the properties of collective responses arising from a leader-based recruitment and a self-organized communication by chemical trails. We develop a generalized model based on biological data drawn from Tetramorium caespitum ant species of which collective foraging relies on the coupling of group leading and trail recruitment. We show that for leader-based recruitment, small groups of recruits have to be guided in a very efficient way to allow a collective exploitation of food while large group requires less attention from their leader. In the case of self-organized recruitment through a chemical trail, a critical value of trail amount has to be laid per forager in order to launch collective food exploitation. Thereafter, ants can maintain collective foraging by emitting signal intensity below this threshold. Finally, we demonstrate how the coupling of both recruitment mechanisms may benefit to collectively foraging species. These theoretical results are then compared with experimental data from recruitment by T. caespitum ant colonies performing group-mass recruitment towards a single food source. We evidence the key role of leaders as initiators and catalysts of recruitment before this leader-based process is overtaken by self-organised communication through trails. This model brings new insights as well as a theoretical background to empirical studies about cooperative foraging in group-living species. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. The Effects of Biological Fertilizers, Chemical Fertilizers and Manure Application on Some Qualitative Characteristics of Vicia villosa Roth Forage under Greenhouse Condition

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R Kamaei

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Introduction Fertilizer management plays an important role in successful crop production. The biological fertilizers have been suggested not only to elimination or significant reduction of chemical fertilizer dependency but also increase of soil fertility and improvement of crop yield and quality. Materials and Methods This experiment was conducted in a completely randomized design with three replications at the Research Greenhouse of Ferdowsi University of Mashhad. The experimental treatments included 1- mycorrhizae arbuscular (Glomus mosseae, 2- mycorrhizae arbuscular (Glomus mosseae + vermicompost (M+V, 3- mycorrhizae + nitroxein (included bacteria Azospirillum sp. and Azotobacter sp. (M+N, 4- mycorrhizae arbuscular + Rhizobium (R. legominuzarum (M+R, 5-mycorrhizae arbuscular + NPK Chemical fertilizer (40-40-20 (M+NPK and 6- Control (without fertilizer, C. In bio-fertilizer treatments, seeds were inoculated by mycorrhizae and Rhizobium immediately before planting, according the standard conditions and company recommendations. Chemical fertilizer and vermicompost were applied directly into the soil. The first irrigation was done immediately after planting and an additional irrigation was also done 4 days after planting to improve the seedling emergence. Subsequent irrigations were conducted at 10-days interval. Forage samples were collected at stage of 10% open bud. The samples were oven-dried in 70°C for 48 h and then weighed before being ground to pass through a 1-mm sieve. Both chemical analysis and in vitro digestibility assessments were performed in triplicate. Crud protein (CP, Ash, neutral detergent fiber (NDF and acid detergent fiber (ADF content of forages were measured by standard methods. An in vitro gas production method was conducted to determine the dry matter (DM and organic matter (OM digestibility. All data were subjected to ANOVA using the GLM procedure of SAS (SAS 9.1 and means were compared by using LSD-test at 5

  14. Biological conversion of forage sorghum biomass to ethanol by steam explosion pretreatment and simultaneous hydrolysis and fermentation at high solid content

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Manzanares, Paloma; Ballesteros, Ignacio; Negro, Maria Jose; Oliva, Jose Miguel; Gonzalez, Alberto; Ballesteros, Mercedes [Renewable Energy Department-CIEMAT, Biofuels Unit, Madrid (Spain)

    2012-06-15

    In this work, forage sorghum biomass was studied as feedstock for ethanol production by a biological conversion process comprising the steps of hydrothermal steam explosion pretreatment, enzymatic hydrolysis with commercial enzymes, and fermentation with the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Steam explosion conditions were optimized using a response surface methodology considering temperature (180-230 C) and time (2-10 min). Sugar recovery in the pretreatment and the enzymatic digestibility of the pretreated solid were used to determine the optimum conditions, i.e., 220 C and 7 min. At these conditions, saccharification efficiency attained 89 % of the theoretical and the recovery of xylose in the prehydrolyzate accounted for 35 % of the amount of xylose present in raw material. Then, a simultaneous hydrolysis and fermentation (SSF) process was tested at laboratory scale on the solid fraction of forage sorghum pretreated at optimum condition, in order to evaluate ethanol production. The effect of the enzyme dose and the supplementation with xylanase enzyme of the cellulolytic enzyme cocktail was studied at increasing solid concentration up to 18 % (w/w) in SSF media. Results show good performance of SSF in all consistencies tested with a significant effect of increasing enzyme load in SSF yield and final ethanol concentration. Xylanase supplementation allows increasing solid concentration up to 18 % (w/w) with good SSF performance and final ethanol content of 55 g/l after 4-5 days. Based on this result, about 190 l of ethanol could be obtained from 1 t of untreated forage sorghum, which means a transformation yield of 85 % of the glucose contained in the feedstock. (orig.)

  15. 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.

  16. Colobopsis explodens sp. n., model species for studies on "exploding ants" (Hymenoptera, Formicidae), with biological notes and first illustrations of males of the Colobopsis cylindrica group.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laciny, Alice; Zettel, Herbert; Kopchinskiy, Alexey; Pretzer, Carina; Pal, Anna; Salim, Kamariah Abu; Rahimi, Mohammad Javad; Hoenigsberger, Michaela; Lim, Linda; Jaitrong, Weeyawat; Druzhinina, Irina S

    2018-01-01

    A taxonomic description of all castes of Colobopsis explodens Laciny & Zettel, sp. n. from Borneo, Thailand, and Malaysia is provided, which serves as a model species for biological studies on "exploding ants" in Southeast Asia. The new species is a member of the Colobopsis cylindrica (COCY) group and falls into a species complex that has been repeatedly summarized under the name Colobopsis saundersi (Emery, 1889) (formerly Camponotus saundersi ). The COCY species group is known under its vernacular name "exploding ants" for a unique behaviour: during territorial combat, workers of some species sacrifice themselves by rupturing their gaster and releasing sticky and irritant contents of their hypertrophied mandibular gland reservoirs to kill or repel rivals. This study includes first illustrations and morphometric characterizations of males of the COCY group: Colobopsis explodens Laciny & Zettel, sp. n. and Colobopsis badia (Smith, 1857). Characters of male genitalia and external morphology are compared with other selected taxa of Camponotini. Preliminary notes on the biology of C. explodens Laciny & Zettel, sp. n. are provided. To fix the species identity of the closely related C. badia , a lectotype from Singapore is designated. The following taxonomic changes within the C. saundersi complex are proposed: Colobopsis solenobia (Menozzi, 1926), syn. n. and Colobopsis trieterica (Menozzi, 1926), syn. n. are synonymized with Colobopsis corallina Roger, 1863, a common endemic species of the Philippines. Colobopsis saginata Stitz, 1925, stat. n ., hitherto a subspecies of C. badia , is raised to species level.

  17. Evaluation of the biological nitrogen fixation (N2) contribution in several forage legumes and the transfer of N to associated grasses

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vargas, M.S.V.

    1991-12-01

    The objective of experiment 1 was to compare two different techniques for labelling the soil mineral nitrogen with 15 N, for studies to quantify the contribution of biological nitrogen fixation (BNF) to forage legumes using the 15 N isotope dilution technique. The two techniques for labelling the soil were: incorporation a 15 N labelled organic compost (slow release treatment), and split applications of 15 N labelled ammonium sulphate. The evaluation of the techniques was through the quantification of BNF in the Itaguai Hybrid of Centrosema using two non-Na- fixing control plants (P. maximum K K-16 and Sorghum bicolor). The objective of experiment 2 was to quantify the contribution of BNF to forage legumes and the transfer of fixed nitrogen to associated grasses in mixed swards again using the 15 N isotope dilution technique. This study was conducted on a red podzolic soil (Typic Hapludult), with 7 forage legumes and 3 grasses in monoculture, and 3 mixed swards of Brachiaria brizantha with the Centrosema hybrid, Galactia striata and Desmodium ovalifolium, respectively, with varying ratios of grass to legume (4:1 to 1:4). In order to quantify the BNF contributions to the legumes and the transfer of fixed N to the B. brizantha, the plots were amended 8 times with doses of 0.01 g 15 N m -2 of 15 N labelled ammonium sulphate (12.5 atom % 15 N) each 14 days, giving a total of 0.08 g 15 N m -2 of 15 N during the 97 days of the experiment. In monoculture the different forage legumes obtained the equivalent of between 43 and 100 kg N ha -1 from BNF. Stylosanthes guianensis showed the greatest contributions from BNF at 100 Kg N ha -1 . In mixed swards with Brachiaria brizantha the proportion of N derived from BNF in the three legumes studied (Centrosema hybrid, G. striata and D. ovalifolium) was significantly greater than when they were grown in monoculture. (author). 197 refs, 9 figs, 19 tabs

  18. 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

  19. 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...

  20. Volatile chemicals in glands of the carpenter ant, Camponotus ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Volatile chemicals in glands of the carpenter ant, Camponotus arminius. J.M. Brand, L.V. Mabinya, E.D. Morgan. Abstract. Camponotus arminius is a large black carpenter ant that occurs in tropical and sub-tropical Africa and has extensive foraging trails both in trees and on the ground. Analysis of excised mandibular glands ...

  1. 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.

  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. Earning their stripes: The potential of tiger trout and other salmonids as biological controls of forage fishes in a western reservoir

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winters, Lisa K.; Budy, Phaedra; Thiede, Gary P.

    2017-01-01

    Maintaining a balance between predator and prey populations can be an ongoing challenge for fisheries managers, especially in managing artificial ecosystems such as reservoirs. In a high-elevation Utah reservoir, the unintentional introduction of the Utah Chub Gila atraria and its subsequent population expansion prompted managers to experimentally shift from exclusively stocking Rainbow Trout Oncorhynchus mykiss to also stocking tiger trout (female Brown Trout Salmo trutta × male Brook Trout Salvelinus fontinalis) and Bonneville Cutthroat Trout O. clarkii utah (hereafter, Cutthroat Trout) as potential biological control agents. We measured a combination of diet, growth, temperature, and abundance and used bioenergetic simulations to quantify predator demand versus prey supply. Utah Chub were the predominant prey type for tiger trout, contributing up to 80% of the diet depending on the season. Utah Chub represented up to 70% of the total diet consumed by Cutthroat Trout. Although Utah Chub dominated the fish biomass in the reservoir, we still estimated abundances of 238,000 tiger trout, 214,000 Cutthroat Trout, and 55,000 Rainbow Trout. Consequently, when expanded to the population level of each predator, tiger trout and Cutthroat Trout consumed large quantities of Utah Chub on an annual basis: tiger trout consumed 508,000 kg (2,660 g/predator) of the standing prey population, and Cutthroat Trout consumed an estimated 322,000 kg (1,820 g/predator). The estimated combined consumption by Cutthroat Trout and tiger trout exceeded the estimate of Utah Chub annual production. As such, our results suggest that the high rates of piscivory exhibited by Cutthroat Trout and tiger trout in artificial lentic ecosystems are likely sufficient to effectively reduce the overall abundance of forage fishes and to prevent forage fishes from dominating fish assemblages. Collectively, this research provides the first documented findings on tiger trout ecology and performance

  4. 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

  5. Compass cues used by a nocturnal bull ant, Myrmecia midas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freas, Cody A; Narendra, Ajay; Cheng, Ken

    2017-05-01

    Ants use both terrestrial landmarks and celestial cues to navigate to and from their nest location. These cues persist even as light levels drop during the twilight/night. Here, we determined the compass cues used by a nocturnal bull ant, Myrmecia midas , in which the majority of individuals begin foraging during the evening twilight period. Myrmecia midas foragers with vectors of ≤5   m when displaced to unfamiliar locations did not follow the home vector, but instead showed random heading directions. Foragers with larger home vectors (≥10   m) oriented towards the fictive nest, indicating a possible increase in cue strength with vector length. When the ants were displaced locally to create a conflict between the home direction indicated by the path integrator and terrestrial landmarks, foragers oriented using landmark information exclusively and ignored any accumulated home vector regardless of vector length. When the visual landmarks at the local displacement site were blocked, foragers were unable to orient to the nest direction and their heading directions were randomly distributed. Myrmecia midas ants typically nest at the base of the tree and some individuals forage on the same tree. Foragers collected on the nest tree during evening twilight were unable to orient towards the nest after small lateral displacements away from the nest. This suggests the possibility of high tree fidelity and an inability to extrapolate landmark compass cues from information collected on the tree and at the nest site to close displacement sites. © 2017. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  6. 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....

  7. Nidificação e forrageamento de Centris (Ptilotopus scopipes Friese (Hymenoptera, Apidae Nesting biology and foraging behavior of Centris (Ptilotopus scopipes Friese (Hymenoptera, Apidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Cristina Gaglianone

    2001-07-01

    Full Text Available Centris (Ptilotopus are large bees and important pollinators in the Neotropical region. Its biology and behavior is still poorly known and only a few observations have been published. In this paper, observations on the biology of C. (Ptilotopus scopipes Friese, 1899, a species that occurs in the "cerrados" of Brazil, are presented. The study was conducted in the Estação Ecológica de Jataí, in Luiz Antônio, São Paulo, during the active period of the adults (November through April. Females collected pollen from flowers of Solanaceae and Caesalpiniaceae, by vibration, and floral oils from Malpighiaceae belonging to the genera Byrsonima, Banisteriopsis, Stigmaphyllon and Peixotoa. Floral resources are carried in the hind leg scopae to the nests, which are excavated in the walls of epigeous nests of the termite Procornitermes araujoi Emerson, 1952 (Termitidae, Nasutitermitinae. The main tunnel entered the termite nest at an ascending angle ending in a vestibulum. Two parallel, vertical burrows forming linear series of cells descended from the vestibulum. The upper cell (the nearest to the nest entrance was filled with soil. This might represent a protection against parasites. During the study, one female of Acanthopus excellens Schrottky, 1902 (Apidae, Ericrocidini, a cleptoparasitic bee, was captured when leaving one of the nests. A male of C. scopipes emerged eleven months after cell closure, suggesting a univoltine cycle for this species.

  8. The Biology and Natural History of Aphaenogaster rudis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Lubertazzi

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Workers from the genus Aphaenogaster are among the most abundant ants in the hardwood forests of eastern North America. The biology of these so-called rudis-group ant species, including details about their sociometry, productivity, natural history, and behavior, are synthesized here using published and newly collected data. The latter was collected, in part, using an artificial field nest, and its construction and use are explained. Ants of the rudis group occur in high densities in forest habitats (0.5–1.3 nests m2, have moderate sized colonies (population means from 266 to 613 workers per nest, and are keystone seed dispersers. Many aspects of their life history and behavior follow an annual cycle that tracks seasonal changes. These include foraging, reproduction, the production of new workers and nest migrations. This synthesis highlights what is known about these ants and reveals gaps in our knowledge that require further study.

  9. The Evolution of Personally Disadvantageous Punishment among Cofoundresses of the Ant Acromyrmex Versicolor

    OpenAIRE

    Cabrales, Antonio; Pollock, Gregory B.; Rissing, Steven W.

    1998-01-01

    Cofoundresses of the desert fungus garden ant Acromyrmex versicolor exhibit a forager specialist who subsumes all foraging risk prior to first worker eclosion (Rissing et al. 1989). In an experiment designed to mimic a "cheater" who refuses foraging assignment when her lot, cofoundresses delayed/failed to replace their forager, often leading to demise of their garden (Rissing et al. 1996). The cheater on task assignment is harmed, but so too is the punisher, as all will die without a healthy ...

  10. RESEARCHES CONCERNING THE EFFECT OF SOME BIOLOGICALLY-ACTIVE PRODUCTS ON FORAGE BIOMASS YIELD IN SMOOTH BROME

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I. PET

    2008-05-01

    Full Text Available Vegetal biostimulants are organic products (natural or synthesized that exert upon plant growth an action similar to the phytohormones’ one, when they are applied in small amounts, in certain stages of plant development. Biostimulants change organisms or organs’ development, nutrition or resistance, under various stress conditions, by inducing changes into the vital processes leading to the improvement of crop quality and quantity, to a better and more operative mechanical harvesting and to an improvement in the agricultural products’ preservation. The application of biologically-active products in the smooth brome crop determined growth of the dry matter yield of up to 1.11 t/ha depending on the product used, and the foliar surface index increased in the variants with application of biologically-active products with up to 1.16 m2SA/m2 land, compared to the control variant.

  11. 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.

  12. Integrating biology into invasive species management is a key principle for eradication success: the case of yellow crazy ant Anoplolepis gracilipes in northern Australia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoffmann, B D

    2015-04-01

    The lack of biological knowledge of many invasive species remains as one of the greatest impediments to their management. Here I detail targeted research into the biology of the yellow crazy ant Anoplolepis gracilipes within northern Australia and detail how such knowledge can be used to improve the management outcomes for this species. I quantified nest location and density in three habitats, worker activity over 24 h, infestation expansion rate, seasonal variation of worker abundance and the timing of production of sexuals. Nests were predominantly (up to 68%) located at the bases of large trees, indicating that search efforts should focus around tree bases. Nest density was one nest per 22, 7.1 and 6.3 m2 in the three habitats, respectively. These data form the baselines for quantifying treatment efficacy and set sampling densities for post-treatment assessments. Most (60%) nests were underground, predominantly (89%) occurring in an open area rather than underneath a rock or log. Some seasonality was evident for nests within leaf litter, with most (83%) occurring during the 'wet season' (October-March). Of the underground nests, most were shallow, with 44% being less than 10 cm deep, and 67% being less than 20 cm deep. Such nest location and density information serves many management purposes, for improving detection, mapping and post-treatment assessments, and also provided strong evidence that carbohydrate supply was a major driver of A. gracilipes populations. Just over half of the nests (56%) contained queens. Of the 62 underground nests containing queens, most queens (80%) were located at the deepest chamber. When queens were present, most often (38%) only one queen was present, the most being 16. Queen number per nest was the lowest in July and August just prior to the emergence of virgin queens in September, with queen numbers then remaining steadily high until April. Nothing is known for any ant species about how the queen number per nest/colony affects

  13. Cyatta abscondita: taxonomy, evolution, and natural history of a new fungus-farming ant genus from Brazil.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeffrey Sosa-Calvo

    Full Text Available Cyatta abscondita, a new genus and species of fungus-farming ant from Brazil, is described based on morphological study of more than 20 workers, two dealate gynes, one male, and two larvae. Ecological field data are summarized, including natural history, nest architecture, and foraging behavior. Phylogenetic analyses of DNA sequence data from four nuclear genes indicate that Cyatta abscondita is the distant sister taxon of the genus Kalathomyrmex, and that together they comprise the sister group of the remaining neoattine ants, an informal clade that includes the conspicuous and well-known leaf-cutter ants. Morphologically, Cyatta abscondita shares very few obvious character states with Kalathomyrmex. It does, however, possess a number of striking morphological features unique within the fungus-farming tribe Attini. It also shares morphological character states with taxa that span the ancestral node of the Attini. The morphology, behavior, and other biological characters of Cyatta abscondita are potentially informative about plesiomorphic character states within the fungus-farming ants and about the early evolution of ant agriculture.

  14. Nasa's Ant-Inspired Swarmie Robots

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leucht, Kurt W.

    2016-01-01

    As humans push further beyond the grasp of earth, robotic missions in advance of human missions will play an increasingly important role. These robotic systems will find and retrieve valuable resources as part of an in-situ resource utilization (ISRU) strategy. They will need to be highly autonomous while maintaining high task performance levels. NASA Kennedy Space Center has teamed up with the Biological Computation Lab at the University of New Mexico to create a swarm of small, low-cost, autonomous robots to be used as a ground-based research platform for ISRU missions. The behavior of the robot swarm mimics the central-place foraging strategy of ants to find and collect resources in a previously unmapped environment and return those resources to a central site. This talk will guide the audience through the Swarmie robot project from its conception by students in a New Mexico research lab to its robot trials in an outdoor parking lot at NASA. The software technologies and techniques used on the project will be discussed, as well as various challenges and solutions that were encountered by the development team along the way.

  15. 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 ...

  16. 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.

  17. Polarized light use in the nocturnal bull ant, Myrmecia midas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freas, Cody A; Narendra, Ajay; Lemesle, Corentin; Cheng, Ken

    2017-08-01

    Solitary foraging ants have a navigational toolkit, which includes the use of both terrestrial and celestial visual cues, allowing individuals to successfully pilot between food sources and their nest. One such celestial cue is the polarization pattern in the overhead sky. Here, we explore the use of polarized light during outbound and inbound journeys and with different home vectors in the nocturnal bull ant, Myrmecia midas . We tested foragers on both portions of the foraging trip by rotating the overhead polarization pattern by ±45°. Both outbound and inbound foragers responded to the polarized light change, but the extent to which they responded to the rotation varied. Outbound ants, both close to and further from the nest, compensated for the change in the overhead e-vector by about half of the manipulation, suggesting that outbound ants choose a compromise heading between the celestial and terrestrial compass cues. However, ants returning home compensated for the change in the e-vector by about half of the manipulation when the remaining home vector was short (1-2 m) and by more than half of the manipulation when the remaining vector was long (more than 4 m). We report these findings and discuss why weighting on polarization cues change in different contexts.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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...

  1. The View from the Trees: Nocturnal Bull Ants, Myrmecia midas, Use the Surrounding Panorama While Descending from Trees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freas, Cody A; Wystrach, Antione; Narendra, Ajay; Cheng, Ken

    2018-01-01

    Solitary foraging ants commonly use visual cues from their environment for navigation. Foragers are known to store visual scenes from the surrounding panorama for later guidance to known resources and to return successfully back to the nest. Several ant species travel not only on the ground, but also climb trees to locate resources. The navigational information that guides animals back home during their descent, while their body is perpendicular to the ground, is largely unknown. Here, we investigate in a nocturnal ant, Myrmecia midas , whether foragers travelling down a tree use visual information to return home. These ants establish nests at the base of a tree on which they forage and in addition, they also forage on nearby trees. We collected foragers and placed them on the trunk of the nest tree or a foraging tree in multiple compass directions. Regardless of the displacement location, upon release ants immediately moved to the side of the trunk facing the nest during their descent. When ants were released on non-foraging trees near the nest, displaced foragers again travelled around the tree to the side facing the nest. All the displaced foragers reached the correct side of the tree well before reaching the ground. However, when the terrestrial cues around the tree were blocked, foragers were unable to orient correctly, suggesting that the surrounding panorama is critical to successful orientation on the tree. Through analysis of panoramic pictures, we show that views acquired at the base of the foraging tree nest can provide reliable nest-ward orientation up to 1.75 m above the ground. We discuss, how animals descending from trees compare their current scene to a memorised scene and report on the similarities in visually guided behaviour while navigating on the ground and descending from trees.

  2. The View from the Trees: Nocturnal Bull Ants, Myrmecia midas, Use the Surrounding Panorama While Descending from Trees

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cody A. Freas

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Solitary foraging ants commonly use visual cues from their environment for navigation. Foragers are known to store visual scenes from the surrounding panorama for later guidance to known resources and to return successfully back to the nest. Several ant species travel not only on the ground, but also climb trees to locate resources. The navigational information that guides animals back home during their descent, while their body is perpendicular to the ground, is largely unknown. Here, we investigate in a nocturnal ant, Myrmecia midas, whether foragers travelling down a tree use visual information to return home. These ants establish nests at the base of a tree on which they forage and in addition, they also forage on nearby trees. We collected foragers and placed them on the trunk of the nest tree or a foraging tree in multiple compass directions. Regardless of the displacement location, upon release ants immediately moved to the side of the trunk facing the nest during their descent. When ants were released on non-foraging trees near the nest, displaced foragers again travelled around the tree to the side facing the nest. All the displaced foragers reached the correct side of the tree well before reaching the ground. However, when the terrestrial cues around the tree were blocked, foragers were unable to orient correctly, suggesting that the surrounding panorama is critical to successful orientation on the tree. Through analysis of panoramic pictures, we show that views acquired at the base of the foraging tree nest can provide reliable nest-ward orientation up to 1.75 m above the ground. We discuss, how animals descending from trees compare their current scene to a memorised scene and report on the similarities in visually guided behaviour while navigating on the ground and descending from trees.

  3. Heat Damaged Forages: Effects on Forage Quality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Traditionally, heat damage in forages has been associated with alterations in forage protein quality as a result of Maillard reactions, and most producers and nutritionists are familiar with this concept. However, this is not necessarily the most important negative consequence of spontaneous heating...

  4. 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.

  5. Leaf endophyte load influences fungal garden development in leaf-cutting ants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Van Bael Sunshine A

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Previous work has shown that leaf-cutting ants prefer to cut leaf material with relatively low fungal endophyte content. This preference suggests that fungal endophytes exact a cost on the ants or on the development of their colonies. We hypothesized that endophytes may play a role in their host plants’ defense against leaf-cutting ants. To measure the long-term cost to the ant colony of fungal endophytes in their forage material, we conducted a 20-week laboratory experiment to measure fungal garden development for colonies that foraged on leaves with low or high endophyte content. Results Colony mass and the fungal garden dry mass did not differ significantly between the low and high endophyte feeding treatments. There was, however, a marginally significant trend toward greater mass of fungal garden per ant worker in the low relative to the high endophyte treatment. This trend was driven by differences in the fungal garden mass per worker from the earliest samples, when leaf-cutting ants had been foraging on low or high endophyte leaf material for only 2 weeks. At two weeks of foraging, the mean fungal garden mass per worker was 77% greater for colonies foraging on leaves with low relative to high endophyte loads. Conclusions Our data suggest that the cost of endophyte presence in ant forage material may be greatest to fungal colony development in its earliest stages, when there are few workers available to forage and to clean leaf material. This coincides with a period of high mortality for incipient colonies in the field. We discuss how the endophyte-leaf-cutter ant interaction may parallel constitutive defenses in plants, whereby endophytes reduce the rate of colony development when its risk of mortality is greatest.

  6. Development of virtual bait stations to control Argentine ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in environmentally sensitive habitats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choe, Dong-Hwan; Vetter, Richard S; Rust, Michael K

    2010-10-01

    A novel bait station referred to as a virtual bait station was developed and tested against field populations of the invasive Argentine ant, Linepithema humile (Mayr) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), at White Beach, Camp Pendleton, in Oceanside, CA. White Beach is a nesting habitat for an endangered seabird, the California least tern (Sterna antillarum browni Mearns). The beach is heavily infested with Argentine ants, one of the threats for the California least tern chicks. Conventional pest control strategies are prohibited because of the existence of the protected bird species and the site's proximity to the ocean. The bait station consisted of a polyvinyl chloride pipe that was treated on the inside with fipronil insecticide at low concentrations to obtain delayed toxicity against ants. The pipe was provisioned with an inverted bottle of 25% sucrose solution, then capped, and buried in the sand. Foraging ants crossed the treated surface to consume the sucrose solution. The delayed toxicity of fipronil deposits allowed the ants to continue foraging on the sucrose solution and to interact with their nestmates, killing them within 3-5 d after exposure. Further modification of the bait station design minimized the accumulation of dead ants in the sucrose solution, significantly improving the longevity and efficacy of the bait station. The virtual bait station exploits the foraging behavior of the ants and provides a low impact approach to control ants in environmentally sensitive habitats. It excluded all insects except ants, required only milligram quantities of toxicant, and eliminated the problem of formulating toxicants into aqueous sugar baits.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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...

  11. An ant-plant mutualism through the lens of cGMP-dependent kinase genes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malé, Pierre-Jean G; Turner, Kyle M; Doha, Manjima; Anreiter, Ina; Allen, Aaron M; Sokolowski, Marla B; Frederickson, Megan E

    2017-09-13

    In plant-animal mutualisms, how an animal forages often determines how much benefit its plant partner receives. In many animals, foraging behaviour changes in response to foraging gene expression or activation of the cGMP-dependent protein kinase (PKG) that foraging encodes. Here, we show that this highly conserved molecular mechanism affects the outcome of a plant-animal mutualism. We studied the two PKG genes of Allomerus octoarticulatus, an Amazonian ant that defends the ant-plant Cordia nodosa against herbivores. Some ant colonies are better 'bodyguards' than others. Working in the field in Peru, we found that colonies fed with a PKG activator recruited more workers to attack herbivores than control colonies. This resulted in less herbivore damage. PKG gene expression in ant workers correlated with whether an ant colony discovered an herbivore and how much damage herbivores inflicted on leaves in a complex way; natural variation in expression levels of the two genes had significant interaction effects on ant behaviour and herbivory. Our results suggest a molecular basis for ant protection of plants in this mutualism. © 2017 The Author(s).

  12. Flexibility in collective decision-making by ant colonies: Tracking food across space and time

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dussutour, Audrey; Nicolis, Stamatios C.

    2013-01-01

    Deciding which of many available resources to exploit is a problem faced by a range of decentralized biological systems. For example, ants are able to choose between food sources that vary in quality using a chemical trail. This communication system characterized by a strong positive feedback allows a rapid transfer of information and the selection of the best food source. This is true in static environment, where a single, unchanging solution exists. In dynamic environments however such recruitment often ‘lock’ groups into suboptimal decisions, preventing a response to changes in available resources. Here, we investigate decision-making in a dynamic environment for the greenhead ants (Rhytidoponera metallica) which use a non-chemical recruitment. To experimentally test our study species’ ability to adapt to changes in their foraging environment, we offered three feeders that changed in quality. At any given time, only one feeder provided high quality food, while the others provided low quality food. Every two hours, the quality of the feeders changed such that the previously high quality feeder became a low quality feeder, and vice versa. We showed that ants were able to track changes in food quality across space and time. By coupling behavioral observations to computer simulations, we demonstrate that selection of food sources relies uniquely on a retention effect of feeding individuals on newcomers without comparison between available opportunities. The elegance of these parsimonious foraging systems is that the collective decision arises from the perception of conspecifics without the need for a leader having a synoptic overall view of the situation and knowing all the available options

  13. Divorcing physics from biology? Optimal foraging and Lévy flights. Comment on "Liberating Lévy walk research from the shackles of optimal foraging" by A.M. Reynolds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miramontes, Octavio

    2015-09-01

    Life on planet Earth emerged around 3.48 billion years ago [1]. The exact chain of events that lead to this is one of the most important unsolved problems in the history of science. Most of the research done so far is concerned mainly with understanding the source of the complex self-replicating machinery for the assembly of prebiotic organic molecules. This seems to be a problem in the field of biochemistry and very little attention has been given to the role played by the laws of physics in shaping the emergence of life and its evolutionary dynamics. Pioneering work by I. Prigogine and H. Haken, among others, showed that out-of-equilibrium thermodynamics and self-organization are physical phenomena acting right at the core of any emergent biological process. Furthermore, authors such as S.A. Kauffman and B.C. Goodwin [2,3] concluded that biological evolution is constrained by physical principles and have successfully asked the biological community to review the concept that natural selection and random mutations are the real sources of biological creativity. By doing this, a new generation of young biologists is now aware that the dynamics of living matter is not separated in any way from physical principles. A new Physics of Life is gaining momentum.

  14. Physical and biological determinants of collective behavioural dynamics in complex systems: pulling chain formation in the nest-weaving ant Oecophylla smaragdina.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas Bochynek

    Full Text Available The evolution of nest weaving, the inclusion of larval silk in the nest walls, is considered one of the pinnacles of cooperative behaviour in social insects. Within the four ant genera in which this has evolved, Oecophylla are unique in being the only group that precedes the deposition of larval silk by actively manipulating the leaf substrate to form a nest chamber. Here we provide the first descriptions of the manipulation process within a complex-systems framework. Substrate manipulation involves individual ants selecting, grasping and attempting to pull the edge of the substrate. These individuals are then joined by nest mates at the work site, who either select a site beside the first individual or grasp the body of the first or preceding worker to form a chain of pulling ants that together drag and bend the substrate. Site selection by individual workers is not random when confronted with an artificial leaf, with individuals more likely to grasp a substrate at its tip rather than along a more broad edge. The activity of additional individuals is also not random, with their activity being grouped in both space and time. Additional individuals are more likely to join an existing biting individual or pulling group. The positive feedback associated with the early stages of pulling behaviour appears typical for many of the collective actions observed in social insects.

  15. Optimally frugal foraging

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bénichou, O.; Bhat, U.; Krapivsky, P. L.; Redner, S.

    2018-02-01

    We introduce the frugal foraging model in which a forager performs a discrete-time random walk on a lattice in which each site initially contains S food units. The forager metabolizes one unit of food at each step and starves to death when it last ate S steps in the past. Whenever the forager eats, it consumes all food at its current site and this site remains empty forever (no food replenishment). The crucial property of the forager is that it is frugal and eats only when encountering food within at most k steps of starvation. We compute the average lifetime analytically as a function of the frugality threshold and show that there exists an optimal strategy, namely, an optimal frugality threshold k* that maximizes the forager lifetime.

  16. 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

  17. A Breath of Fresh Air in Foraging Theory: The Importance of Wind for Food Size Selection in a Central-Place Forager.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alma, Andrea Marina; Farji-Brener, Alejandro G; Elizalde, Luciana

    2017-09-01

    Empirical data about food size carried by central-place foragers do not often fit with the optimum predicted by classical foraging theory. Traditionally, biotic constraints such as predation risk and competition have been proposed to explain this inconsistency, leaving aside the possible role of abiotic factors. Here we documented how wind affects the load size of a central-place forager (leaf-cutting ants) through a mathematical model including the whole foraging process. The model showed that as wind speed at ground level increased from 0 to 2 km/h, load size decreased from 91 to 30 mm 2 , a prediction that agreed with empirical data from windy zones, highlighting the relevance of considering abiotic factors to predict foraging behavior. Furthermore, wind reduced the range of load sizes that workers should select to maintain a similar rate of food intake and decreased the foraging rate by ∼70% when wind speed increased 1 km/h. These results suggest that wind could reduce the fitness of colonies and limit the geographic distribution of leaf-cutting ants. The developed model offers a complementary explanation for why load size in central-place foragers may not fit theoretical predictions and could serve as a basis to study the effects of other abiotic factors that influence foraging.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  1. Optic disc detection using ant colony optimization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dias, Marcy A.; Monteiro, Fernando C.

    2012-09-01

    The retinal fundus images are used in the treatment and diagnosis of several eye diseases, such as diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma. This paper proposes a new method to detect the optic disc (OD) automatically, due to the fact that the knowledge of the OD location is essential to the automatic analysis of retinal images. Ant Colony Optimization (ACO) is an optimization algorithm inspired by the foraging behaviour of some ant species that has been applied in image processing for edge detection. Recently, the ACO was used in fundus images to detect edges, and therefore, to segment the OD and other anatomical retinal structures. We present an algorithm for the detection of OD in the retina which takes advantage of the Gabor wavelet transform, entropy and ACO algorithm. Forty images of the retina from DRIVE database were used to evaluate the performance of our method.

  2. 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.

  3. Temperature limits trail following behaviour through pheromone decay in ants

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Oudenhove, Louise; Billoir, Elise; Boulay, Raphaël; Bernstein, Carlos; Cerdá, Xim

    2011-12-01

    In Mediterranean habitats, temperature affects both ant foraging behaviour and community structure. Many studies have shown that dominant species often forage at lower temperature than subordinates. Yet, the factors that constrain dominant species foraging activity in hot environments are still elusive. We used the dominant ant Tapinoma nigerrimum as a model species to test the hypothesis that high temperatures hinder trail following behaviour by accelerating pheromone degradation. First, field observations showed that high temperatures (> 30°C) reduce the foraging activity of T. nigerrimum independently of the daily and seasonal rhythms of this species. Second, we isolated the effect of high temperatures on pheromone trail efficacy from its effect on worker physiology. A marked substrate was heated during 10 min (five temperature treatments from 25°C to 60°C), cooled down to 25°C, and offered in a test choice to workers. At hot temperature treatments (>40°C), workers did not discriminate the previously marked substrate. High temperatures appeared therefore to accelerate pheromone degradation. Third, we assessed the pheromone decay dynamics by a mechanistic model fitted with Bayesian inference. The model predicted ant choice through the evolution of pheromone concentration on trails as a function of both temperature and time since pheromone deposition. Overall, our results highlighted that the effect of high temperatures on recruitment intensity was partly due to pheromone evaporation. In the Mediterranean ant communities, this might affect dominant species relying on chemical recruitment, more than subordinate ant species, less dependent on chemical communication and less sensitive to high temperatures.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greenfield, Gary; Machado, Penousal

    2015-01-01

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

  5. The effect of different P fertilizer application (chemical, biologic and integrated on forage quality of two barely varieties (Bahman and Fasieh

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lezhia Zandiyeh

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract To evaluate the effect of different sources of P fertilizer on grain yield and yield components of two barely varieties, this experiment was conducted in Research Farm, College of Agriculture, University of Tehran in 2010. The experimental treatments were arranged as factorial based on randomized complete block design with three replications. The treatments consisted of two barely varieties (Bahman and Fasieh and 7 levels of P fertilizer viz: 1. Control (no fertilizer application, 2. Chemical P fertilizer (based on the soil test, 3. Biological P fertilizer (P solubilizing bacteria, 4. Biological P fertilizer + 100% chemical P fertilizer, 5. Biological P fertilizer + 75% chemical P fertilizer, 6. Biological P fertilizer + 50% chemical P fertilizer, 7. Biological P fertilizer + 25% chemical P fertilizer. The results indicated that the ash percentage in Fasieh was significantly higher than Bahman at Chemical P fertilizer, integrated and Biological P fertilizer + 50% chemical P fertilizer. Except for Biological P fertilizer, DMD percentage was significantly higher in Fasieh compared to Bahman. The highest crude protein percentage was obtained for Fasieh in Biological P fertilizer + 50% chemical P fertilizer for Bahman in Biological P fertilizer + 75% chemical P fertilizer, respectively. The water soluble carbohydrate content was significantly higher in Fasieh at Chemical P fertilizer and integrated fertilizer treatments compared to Bahman variety. The highest NDF in Bahman was observed when received Biological P fertilizer + 50% chemical P fertilizer treatment, while the same results was obtained for Fasieh when received Biological P fertilizer + 100% chemical P fertilizer and Biological P fertilizer + 75% chemical P fertilizer.

  6. The foraging ecology of two Namib Desert harvester ant species

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    1986-08-04

    Aug 4, 1986 ... resulted in the germination of annual plants, growth of perennicil plants ... variance/mean ratio (Pielou 1969) was used to determine the dispersion ... one to non-seed plant matter and one to arthropod matter. Dietary niche ...

  7. Giant Ants and Walking Plants: Using Science Fiction to Teach a Writing-Intensive, Lab-Based Biology Class for Nonmajors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Firooznia, Fardad

    2006-01-01

    This writing-intensive, lab-based, nonmajor biology course explores scientific inquiry and biological concepts through specific topics illustrated or inaccurately depicted in works of science fiction. The laboratory emphasizes the scientific method and introduces several techniques used in biological research related to the works we study.…

  8. Can temperate insects take the heat? A case study of the physiological and behavioural responses in a common ant, Iridomyrmex purpureus (Formicidae), with potential climate change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andrew, Nigel R; Hart, Robert A; Jung, Myung-Pyo; Hemmings, Zac; Terblanche, John S

    2013-09-01

    Insects in temperate regions are predicted to be at low risk of climate change relative to tropical species. However, these assumptions have generally been poorly examined in all regions, and such forecasting fails to account for microclimatic variation and behavioural optimisation. Here, we test how a population of the dominant ant species, Iridomyrmex purpureus, from temperate Australia responds to thermal stress. We show that ants regularly forage for short periods (minutes) at soil temperatures well above their upper thermal limits (upper lethal temperature = 45.8 ± 1.3°C; CT(max) = 46.1°C) determined over slightly longer periods (hours) and do not show any signs of a classic thermal performance curve in voluntary locomotion across soil surface temperatures of 18.6-57°C (equating to a body temperature of 24.5-43.1°C). Although ants were present all year round, and dynamically altered several aspects of their thermal biology to cope with low temperatures and seasonal variation, temperature-dependence of running speed remained invariant and ants were unable to elevate high temperature tolerance using plastic responses. Measurements of microclimate temperature were higher than ant body temperatures during the hottest part of the day, but exhibited a stronger relationship with each other than air temperatures from the closest weather station. Generally close associations of ant activity and performance with microclimatic conditions, possibly to maximise foraging times, suggest I. purpureus displays highly opportunistic thermal responses and readily adjusts behaviour to cope with high trail temperatures. Increasing frequency or duration of high temperatures is therefore likely to result in an immediate reduction in foraging efficiency. In summary, these results suggest that (1) soil-dwelling temperate insect populations may be at higher risks of thermal stress with increased frequency or duration of high temperatures resulting from climate change than

  9. 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...

  10. Landmark memories are more robust when acquired at the nest site than en route: experiments in desert ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bisch-Knaden, Sonja; Wehner, Rüdiger

    2003-03-01

    Foraging desert ants, Cataglyphis fortis, encounter different sequences of visual landmarks while navigating by path integration. This paper explores the question whether the storage of landmark information depends on the context in which the landmarks are learned during an ant's foraging journey. Two experimental set-ups were designed in which the ants experienced an artificial landmark panorama that was placed either around the nest entrance (nest marks) or along the vector route leading straight towards the feeder (route marks). The two training paradigms resulted in pronounced differences in the storage characteristics of the acquired landmark information: memory traces of nest marks were much more robust against extinction and/or suppression than those of route marks. In functional terms, this result is in accord with the observation that desert ants encounter new route marks during every foraging run but always pass the same landmarks when approaching the nest entrance.

  11. 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.

  12. Negative feedback enables fast and flexible collective decision-making in ants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christoph Grüter

    Full Text Available Positive feedback plays a major role in the emergence of many collective animal behaviours. In many ants pheromone trails recruit and direct nestmate foragers to food sources. The strong positive feedback caused by trail pheromones allows fast collective responses but can compromise flexibility. Previous laboratory experiments have shown that when the environment changes, colonies are often unable to reallocate their foragers to a more rewarding food source. Here we show both experimentally, using colonies of Lasius niger, and with an agent-based simulation model, that negative feedback caused by crowding at feeding sites allows ant colonies to maintain foraging flexibility even with strong recruitment to food sources. In a constant environment, negative feedback prevents the frequently found bias towards one feeder (symmetry breaking and leads to equal distribution of foragers. In a changing environment, negative feedback allows a colony to quickly reallocate the majority of its foragers to a superior food patch that becomes available when foraging at an inferior patch is already well underway. The model confirms these experimental findings and shows that the ability of colonies to switch to a superior food source does not require the decay of trail pheromones. Our results help to resolve inconsistencies between collective foraging patterns seen in laboratory studies and observations in the wild, and show that the simultaneous action of negative and positive feedback is important for efficient foraging in mass-recruiting insect colonies.

  13. Neural Mechanisms of Foraging

    OpenAIRE

    Kolling, Nils; Behrens, Timothy EJ; Mars, Rogier B; Rushworth, Matthew FS

    2012-01-01

    Behavioural economic studies, involving limited numbers of choices, have provided key insights into neural decision-making mechanisms. By contrast, animals’ foraging choices arise in the context of sequences of encounters with prey/food. On each encounter the animal chooses to engage or whether the environment is sufficiently rich that searching elsewhere is merited. The cost of foraging is also critical. We demonstrate humans can alternate between two modes of choice, comparative decision-ma...

  14. Riding with the ants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

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

  15. Habitat-specific foraging strategies in Australasian gannets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Melanie R. Wells

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Knowledge of top predator foraging adaptability is imperative for predicting their biological response to environmental variability. While seabirds have developed highly specialised techniques to locate prey, little is known about intraspecific variation in foraging strategies with many studies deriving information from uniform oceanic environments. Australasian gannets (Morus serrator typically forage in continental shelf regions on small schooling prey. The present study used GPS and video data loggers to compare habitat-specific foraging strategies at two sites of contrasting oceanographic regimes (deep water near the continental shelf edge, n=23; shallow inshore embayment, n=26, in south-eastern Australia. Individuals from the continental shelf site exhibited pelagic foraging behaviours typical of gannet species, using local enhancement to locate and feed on small schooling fish; in contrast only 50% of the individuals from the inshore site foraged offshore, displaying the typical pelagic foraging strategy. The remainder adopted a strategy of searching sand banks in shallow inshore waters in the absence of conspecifics and other predators for large, single prey items. Furthermore, of the individuals foraging inshore, 93% were male, indicating that the inshore strategy may be sex-specific. Large inter-colony differences in Australasian gannets suggest strong plasticity in foraging behaviours, essential for adapting to environmental change.

  16. Survey on Recent Research and Implementation of Ant Colony Optimization in Various Engineering Applications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohan B. Chandra

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available Ant colony optimization (ACO takes inspiration from the foraging behaviour of real ant species. This ACO exploits a similar mechanism for solving optimization problems for the various engineering field of study. Many successful implementations using ACO are now available in many applications. This paper reviewing varies systematic approach on recent research and implementation of ACO. Finally it presents the experimental result of ACO which is applied for routing problem and compared with existing algorithms.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Beneficial Effects of Ants and Spiders on the Reproductive Value of Eriotheca gracilipes (Malvaceae) in a Tropical Savanna.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stefani, Vanessa; Pires, Tayna Lopes; Torezan-Silingardi, Helena Maura; Del-Claro, Kleber

    2015-01-01

    Predators affect plant fitness when they forage on them and reduce the action of herbivores. Our study evaluates the complementary effects of spiders and ants that visit the extrafloral nectaries of Eriotheca gracilipes (Malvaceae) on the production of fruits and viable seeds of these savanna trees. Four experimental groups were established: control group - with free access of spiders and ants; exclusion group - spiders and ants excluded; ant group - absence of spiders; and spider group - absence of ants. The presence of ants reduced the spider richness; however, the presence of spiders did not affect the ant richness. A significantly higher number of fruits per buds were found in the presence of spiders alone or spiders and ants together (control group) compared with the absence of both predators (exclusion group). The number of seeds per fruits and seed viability were higher in the control group. This is the first study showing that spiders and ants may exert a positive and complementary effect on the reproductive value of an extrafloral nectaried plant. Mostly the impact of ants and/or spiders on herbivores is considered, whereas our study reinforces the importance of evaluating the effect of multiple predators simultaneously, exploring how the interactions among predators with distinct skills may affect the herbivores and the plants on which they forage.

  20. Walking on inclines: how do desert ants monitor slope and step length

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Seidl Tobias

    2008-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background During long-distance foraging in almost featureless habitats desert ants of the genus Cataglyphis employ path-integrating mechanisms (vector navigation. This navigational strategy requires an egocentric monitoring of the foraging path by incrementally integrating direction, distance, and inclination of the path. Monitoring the latter two parameters involves idiothetic cues and hence is tightly coupled to the ant's locomotor behavior. Results In a kinematic study of desert ant locomotion performed on differently inclined surfaces we aimed at pinpointing the relevant mechanisms of estimating step length and inclination. In a behavioral experiment with ants foraging on slippery surfaces we broke the otherwise tightly coupled relationship between stepping frequency and step length and examined the animals' ability to monitor distances covered even under those adverse conditions. We show that the ants' locomotor system is not influenced by inclined paths. After removing the effect of speed, slope had only marginal influence on kinematic parameters. Conclusion From the obtained data we infer that the previously proposed monitoring of angles of the thorax-coxa joint is not involved in inclinometry. Due to the tiny variations in cycle period, we also argue that an efference copy of the central pattern generator coding the step length in its output frequency will most likely not suffice for estimating step length and complementing the pedometer. Finally we propose that sensing forces acting on the ant's legs could provide the desired neuronal correlate employed in monitoring inclination and step length.

  1. Adaptive Bacterial Foraging Optimization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hanning Chen

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Bacterial Foraging Optimization (BFO is a recently developed nature-inspired optimization algorithm, which is based on the foraging behavior of E. coli bacteria. Up to now, BFO has been applied successfully to some engineering problems due to its simplicity and ease of implementation. However, BFO possesses a poor convergence behavior over complex optimization problems as compared to other nature-inspired optimization techniques. This paper first analyzes how the run-length unit parameter of BFO controls the exploration of the whole search space and the exploitation of the promising areas. Then it presents a variation on the original BFO, called the adaptive bacterial foraging optimization (ABFO, employing the adaptive foraging strategies to improve the performance of the original BFO. This improvement is achieved by enabling the bacterial foraging algorithm to adjust the run-length unit parameter dynamically during algorithm execution in order to balance the exploration/exploitation tradeoff. The experiments compare the performance of two versions of ABFO with the original BFO, the standard particle swarm optimization (PSO and a real-coded genetic algorithm (GA on four widely-used benchmark functions. The proposed ABFO shows a marked improvement in performance over the original BFO and appears to be comparable with the PSO and GA.

  2. Forage quantity and quality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jorgenson, Janet C.; Udevitz, Mark S.; Felix, Nancy A.; Douglas, David C.; Reynolds, Patricia E.; Rhode, E.B.

    2002-01-01

    The Porcupine caribou herd has traditionally used the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska, for calving. Availability of nutritious forage has been hypothesized as one of the reasons the Porcupine caribou herd migrates hundreds of kilometers to reach the coastal plain for calving (Kuropat and Bryant 1980, Russell et al. 1993).Forage quantity and quality and the chronology of snowmelt (which determines availability and phenological stages of forage) have been suggested as important habitat attributes that lead calving caribou to select one area over another (Lent 1980, White and Trudell 1980, Eastland et al. 1989). A major question when considering the impact of petroleum development is whether potential displacement of the caribou from the 1002 Area to alternate calving habitat will limit access to high quantity and quality forage.Our study had the following objectives: 1) quantify snowmelt patterns by area; 2) quantify relationships among phenology, biomass, and nutrient content of principal forage species by vegetation type; and 3) determine if traditional concentrated calving areas differ from adjacent areas with lower calving densities in terms of vegetation characteristics.

  3. 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.

  4. Optimal search behavior and classic foraging theory

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bartumeus, F; Catalan, J

    2009-01-01

    Random walk methods and diffusion theory pervaded ecological sciences as methods to analyze and describe animal movement. Consequently, statistical physics was mostly seen as a toolbox rather than as a conceptual framework that could contribute to theory on evolutionary biology and ecology. However, the existence of mechanistic relationships and feedbacks between behavioral processes and statistical patterns of movement suggests that, beyond movement quantification, statistical physics may prove to be an adequate framework to understand animal behavior across scales from an ecological and evolutionary perspective. Recently developed random search theory has served to critically re-evaluate classic ecological questions on animal foraging. For instance, during the last few years, there has been a growing debate on whether search behavior can include traits that improve success by optimizing random (stochastic) searches. Here, we stress the need to bring together the general encounter problem within foraging theory, as a mean for making progress in the biological understanding of random searching. By sketching the assumptions of optimal foraging theory (OFT) and by summarizing recent results on random search strategies, we pinpoint ways to extend classic OFT, and integrate the study of search strategies and its main results into the more general theory of optimal foraging.

  5. Cooperative Bacterial Foraging Optimization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hanning Chen

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Bacterial Foraging Optimization (BFO is a novel optimization algorithm based on the social foraging behavior of E. coli bacteria. This paper presents a variation on the original BFO algorithm, namely, the Cooperative Bacterial Foraging Optimization (CBFO, which significantly improve the original BFO in solving complex optimization problems. This significant improvement is achieved by applying two cooperative approaches to the original BFO, namely, the serial heterogeneous cooperation on the implicit space decomposition level and the serial heterogeneous cooperation on the hybrid space decomposition level. The experiments compare the performance of two CBFO variants with the original BFO, the standard PSO and a real-coded GA on four widely used benchmark functions. The new method shows a marked improvement in performance over the original BFO and appears to be comparable with the PSO and GA.

  6. Application of chaotic ant swarm optimization in electric load forecasting

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hong, W.-C.

    2010-01-01

    Support vector regression (SVR) had revealed strong potential in accurate electric load forecasting, particularly by employing effective evolutionary algorithms to determine suitable values of its three parameters. Based on previous research results, however, these employed evolutionary algorithms themselves have several drawbacks, such as converging prematurely, reaching slowly the global optimal solution, and trapping into a local optimum. This investigation presents an SVR-based electric load forecasting model that applied a novel algorithm, namely chaotic ant swarm optimization (CAS), to improve the forecasting performance by searching its suitable parameters combination. The proposed CAS combines with the chaotic behavior of single ant and self-organization behavior of ant colony in the foraging process to overcome premature local optimum. The empirical results indicate that the SVR model with CAS (SVRCAS) results in better forecasting performance than the other alternative methods, namely SVRCPSO (SVR with chaotic PSO), SVRCGA (SVR with chaotic GA), regression model, and ANN model.

  7. 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...

  8. [Behavioral mechanisms of spatial competition between red wood ants (Formica aquilonia) and ground beetles (Carabidae)].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dorosheva, E A; Reznikova, Zh I

    2006-01-01

    Behavioral aspects of spatial competition between red wood ants (Formica aquilonia) and six mass species of Carabidae were studied in field and laboratory experiments. We showed that red wood ants essentially influence spatial distribution of ground beetles on their common territories. Transplantation experiments suggest that in newly established ants' settlements stronger forms of interrelations arise than in old stable colony. To examine the ability of beetles to avoid collisions with ants we used two experimental techniques. In laboratory, we tested carabids ability to avoid a clash in a Y-shaped labyrinth containing an active tethered ant in one section. In field experiments we compared quantitative characteristics of movements (such as crookedness of individual trajectories, speed of movement, the time spent on stops) for beetles placed close to ants foraging routes and on ant-free plots. All beetles studied displayed a clear tendency to learn, that is, to modity their behavior in order to avoid collisions with ants. Species that exhibited best parameters of learning were closer to ants by their size and characteristic movement, namely, Pterostichus oblogopunctatus and P. magus. Beetles' stereotyped behavioral tactics can be considered universal for avoiding collisions with any subject (for instance, with an ant) of a certain size and speed of movements. A set of tactics in the labyrinth included: (1) attempts to round the ant; (2) turns away after touching the ant with antennae; (3) turns away without a contact; (4) avoidances of a dangerous section; (5) stops near the ant with the antennae hidden. Comparing pairwise difference between four species shows that beetles use species-specific preference for definite combinations of tactics. Effective learning allows carabids to penetrate into ant foraging territory and partly avoide interference competition. It seems that red wood ants are not inclined to learn to avoid collisions with competing carabid species

  9. 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

  10. Comparative Sucrose Responsiveness in Apis mellifera and A. cerana Foragers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Wenchao; Kuang, Haiou; Wang, Shanshan; Wang, Jie; Liu, Wei; Wu, Zhenhong; Tian, Yuanyuan; Huang, Zachary Y.; Miao, Xiaoqing

    2013-01-01

    In the European honey bee, Apis mellifera, pollen foragers have a higher sucrose responsiveness than nectar foragers when tested using a proboscis extension response (PER) assay. In addition, Africanized honey bees have a higher sucrose responsiveness than European honey bees. Based on the biology of the Eastern honey bee, A. cerana, we hypothesized that A. cerana should also have a higher responsiveness to sucrose than A. mellifera. To test this hypothesis, we compared the sucrose thresholds of pollen foragers and nectar foragers in both A. cerana and A. mellifera in Fujian Province, China. Pollen foragers were more responsive to sucrose than nectar foragers in both species, consistent with previous studies. However, contrary to our hypothesis, A. mellifera was more responsive than A. cerana. We also demonstrated that this higher sucrose responsiveness in A. mellifera was not due to differences in the colony environment by co-fostering two species of bees in the same mixed-species colonies. Because A. mellifera foragers were more responsive to sucrose, we predicted that their nectar foragers should bring in less concentrated nectar compared to that of A. cerana. However, we found no differences between the two species. We conclude that A. cerana shows a different pattern in sucrose responsiveness from that of Africanized bees. There may be other mechanisms that enable A. cerana to perform well in areas with sparse nectar resources. PMID:24194958

  11. Comparative sucrose responsiveness in Apis mellifera and A. cerana foragers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Wenchao; Kuang, Haiou; Wang, Shanshan; Wang, Jie; Liu, Wei; Wu, Zhenhong; Tian, Yuanyuan; Huang, Zachary Y; Miao, Xiaoqing

    2013-01-01

    In the European honey bee, Apis mellifera, pollen foragers have a higher sucrose responsiveness than nectar foragers when tested using a proboscis extension response (PER) assay. In addition, Africanized honey bees have a higher sucrose responsiveness than European honey bees. Based on the biology of the Eastern honey bee, A. cerana, we hypothesized that A. cerana should also have a higher responsiveness to sucrose than A. mellifera. To test this hypothesis, we compared the sucrose thresholds of pollen foragers and nectar foragers in both A. cerana and A. mellifera in Fujian Province, China. Pollen foragers were more responsive to sucrose than nectar foragers in both species, consistent with previous studies. However, contrary to our hypothesis, A. mellifera was more responsive than A. cerana. We also demonstrated that this higher sucrose responsiveness in A. mellifera was not due to differences in the colony environment by co-fostering two species of bees in the same mixed-species colonies. Because A. mellifera foragers were more responsive to sucrose, we predicted that their nectar foragers should bring in less concentrated nectar compared to that of A. cerana. However, we found no differences between the two species. We conclude that A. cerana shows a different pattern in sucrose responsiveness from that of Africanized bees. There may be other mechanisms that enable A. cerana to perform well in areas with sparse nectar resources.

  12. Comparative sucrose responsiveness in Apis mellifera and A. cerana foragers.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wenchao Yang

    Full Text Available In the European honey bee, Apis mellifera, pollen foragers have a higher sucrose responsiveness than nectar foragers when tested using a proboscis extension response (PER assay. In addition, Africanized honey bees have a higher sucrose responsiveness than European honey bees. Based on the biology of the Eastern honey bee, A. cerana, we hypothesized that A. cerana should also have a higher responsiveness to sucrose than A. mellifera. To test this hypothesis, we compared the sucrose thresholds of pollen foragers and nectar foragers in both A. cerana and A. mellifera in Fujian Province, China. Pollen foragers were more responsive to sucrose than nectar foragers in both species, consistent with previous studies. However, contrary to our hypothesis, A. mellifera was more responsive than A. cerana. We also demonstrated that this higher sucrose responsiveness in A. mellifera was not due to differences in the colony environment by co-fostering two species of bees in the same mixed-species colonies. Because A. mellifera foragers were more responsive to sucrose, we predicted that their nectar foragers should bring in less concentrated nectar compared to that of A. cerana. However, we found no differences between the two species. We conclude that A. cerana shows a different pattern in sucrose responsiveness from that of Africanized bees. There may be other mechanisms that enable A. cerana to perform well in areas with sparse nectar resources.

  13. Self-organized structures in a superorganism: do ants “behave” like molecules?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Detrain, Claire; Deneubourg, Jean-Louis

    2006-09-01

    While the striking structures (e.g. nest architecture, trail networks) of insect societies may seem familiar to many of us, the understanding of pattern formation still constitutes a challenging problem. Over the last two decades, self-organization has dramatically changed our view on how collective decision-making and structures may emerge out of a population of ant workers having each their own individuality as well as a limited access to information. A variety of collective behaviour spontaneously outcome from multiple interactions between nestmates, even when there is no directing influence imposed by an external template, a pacemaker or a leader. By focussing this review on foraging structures, we show that ant societies display some properties which are usually considered in physico-chemical systems, as typical signatures of self-organization. We detail the key role played by feed-back loops, fluctuations, number of interacting units and sensitivity to environmental factors in the emergence of a structured collective behaviour. Nonetheless, going beyond simple analogies with non-living self-organized patterns, we stress on the specificities of social structures made of complex living units of which the biological features have been selected throughout the evolution depending on their adaptive value. In particular, we consider the ability of each ant individual to process information about environmental and social parameters, to accordingly tune its interactions with nestmates and ultimately to determine the final pattern emerging at the collective level. We emphasize on the parsimony and simplicity of behavioural rules at the individual level which allow an efficient processing of information, energy and matter within the whole colony.

  14. Vertical organization of the division of labor within nests of the Florida harvester ant, Pogonomyrmex badius.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Walter R Tschinkel

    Full Text Available In the Florida harvester ant, Pogonomyrmex badius, foragers occur only in the top 15 cm of the nest, whereas brood and brood-care workers reside mostly in the deepest regions, yet the food and seeds foragers collect must be transported downward 30 to 80 cm to seed chambers and up to 2 m to brood chambers. Using mark-recapture techniques with fluorescent printer's ink, we identified a class of workers that ranges widely within the vertical structure of the nest, rapidly moving materials dropped by foragers in the upper regions downward, and excavated soil from deeper upward. Within the nest, only 5% of foragers were recovered below 20 cm depth, but about 30% of transfer workers and 82% of unmarked workers were found there. Below 70 cm depth, 90% of workers were unmarked, and were probably involved mostly in brood care. During the summer, the transfer workers comprise about a quarter of the nest population, while foragers make up about 40%. Workers marked as transfer workers later appear as foragers, while those marked as foragers die and disappear from the foraging population, suggesting that transfer workers are younger, and age into foraging. The importance of these findings for laboratory studies of division of labor are discussed. The efficient allocation of labor is a key component of superorganismal fitness.

  15. New Developments in Forage Varieties

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forage crops harvested for hay or haylage or grazed support dairy, beef, sheep and horse production. Additional livestock production from reduced forage acreage supports the need for forage variety improvement. The Consortium for Alfalfa Improvement is a partnership model of government, private no...

  16. Optimal Foraging in Semantic Memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hills, Thomas T.; Jones, Michael N.; Todd, Peter M.

    2012-01-01

    Do humans search in memory using dynamic local-to-global search strategies similar to those that animals use to forage between patches in space? If so, do their dynamic memory search policies correspond to optimal foraging strategies seen for spatial foraging? Results from a number of fields suggest these possibilities, including the shared…

  17. Nidificação e forrageamento de Centris (Ptilotopus maranhensis Ducke (Hymenoptera, Apidae, Centridini Nesting biology and foraging of Centris (Ptilotopus maranhensis Ducke (Hymenoptera, Apidae, Centridini

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marina Ramos

    2007-12-01

    Full Text Available As abelhas pertencentes à tribo Centridini possuem distribuição neotropical e são consideradas os principais polinizadores de diversas espécies vegetais em diferentes biomas. Apesar disso, dados sobre a biologia da maioria das espécies ainda são escassos. Este trabalho relata observações sobre a biologia de Centris (Ptilotopus maranhensis Ducke, 1910, uma espécie que ocorre no Nordeste do Brasil. O estudo foi conduzido em uma área de cerrado no Estado do Maranhão durante o período de atividade dos adultos. Fêmeas foram observadas nidificando em termiteiros epígeos e em visita às flores de Byrsonima umbellata Mart. (Malpighiaceae para coleta de óleo. O comportamento foi registrado diretamente e através de filmagens. Os ninhos foram escavados, raspando-se o substrato até as células serem encontradas. Um ninho completo foi aberto para exame das estruturas internas e análise do conteúdo das células. A estrutura geral apresentava um túnel principal com células descendentes dispostas linearmente. Foram encontradas células (n = 5 com larvas em diferentes estágios de desenvolvimento e uma massa de pólen de consistência firme e pastosa formada por uma grande quantidade de grãos de Byrsonima.The bees belonging to the tribe Centridini possess distribution neotropical and are considered the main pollinators of different plant species in different biomas. Despite of this the biology data of the majority of species remain scarce. This work is about observations of biology of Centris (Ptilotopus maranhensis Ducke, 1910, specie that occurs in the Northeast of Brazil. The study was made in a cerrado area in the State of Maranhão during a period of adult activity. Females were seen nesting at epigeous termite nests and visiting Byrsonima umbellata Mart. (Malpighiaceae flowers for oil collection. The behavior was directly registered and shooted. The nests were excavated being scraped the substratum until the cells were found. A

  18. 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...

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. ACTIVITY OF LEAF-CUTTING ANT Atta sexdens piriventris SUBMITED TO HIGH DILUTION HOMEOPATHIC PREPARATIONS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexandre Giesel

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available The effect of high dilution preparations on the movement and foraging activities of Atta sexdens piriventris was evaluated. Five colonies of ants were located on each of the five experimental areas using a randomized complete block design. Three main forage trails from each colony were selected from where evaluations were made. Ten mL of high dilution preparation of Atta sexdens piriventris nosodes and Belladonna homeopathy solution were sprayed over 0.5 m of each selected trail, 1.0 m far from the nest. The controls were pure water and non treated trails. Applications were made daily during 10 days. The total number of ants moving on each trail one meter away from the nest, carrying or not plant fragments, were assessed before the daily application. Dilution preparations at 30CH (thirtieth centesimal Hahnemannian dilution of A. sexdens piriventris nosodes and Belladonna reduced the activities of ants from the fifth day after the first application. The treatment effect lasted more than 20 days after the last application. The use of preparation at 30CH dilution order to reduce the foraging activity of leaf-cutting ants is a potential non residual method to manage leaf-cutting ants.

  2. PRODUCTIVE IMPACT OF THE GREEN FORAGE SUPPLY USAGE AT THE DAIRY FARMS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    LAVINIA MOISE

    2007-05-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents the importance of the crop structure as a tool to maximize efficiency in the conceiving of the green forage supply scheme in a dairy farm. Several apects are necessary to consider for proper green forage utilization by the cattle, as follows: climatic conditions, proper field operations for each crop, optimal harvest date, and farm technical and economical resources. With a high degree of succulence, green forage and derived products (silage, haylage, present addvantages as compared to hay, having superior indices of nutritive value and palatability. A green forage supply scheme was applied on an area of 188 ha taking into account dairy cattle biological traits. Crop structure was as follows: forage maize, Sudan grass, Italian ryegrass, new lucern and old lucerne, and orchardgrass. Insuring the required superior green forage for the dairy cattle according to forage rations, represents one of the main techniques to maximize milk production and to minimize milk production cost.

  3. The nature of culture: technological variation in chimpanzee predation on army ants revisited

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schöning, Caspar; Humle, Tatyana; Möbius, Yasmin

    2008-01-01

    -eating may represent local behavioral responses of the chimpanzees to the anti-predator traits of the army ant species present at the different sites. We examined assemblages of available prey species, their behavior and morphology, consumption by chimpanzees, techniques employed, and tool lengths at 14...... sites in eastern, central, and western Africa. Where army ants are eaten, tool length and concomitant technique are a function of prey type. Epigaeically foraging species with aggressive workers that inflict painful bites are harvested with longer tools and usually by the "pull-through" technique......; species foraging in leaf-litter with less aggressive workers that inflict less painful bites are harvested with short tools and by the "direct-mouthing" technique. However, prey species characteristics do not explain several differences in army-ant-eating between Bossou (Guinea) and Taï (Ivory Coast...

  4. 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 ...

  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. 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. "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...

  9. Ant Colony Optimization for Control

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van Ast, J.M.

    2010-01-01

    The very basis of this thesis is the collective behavior of ants in colonies. Ants are an excellent example of how rather simple behavior on a local level can lead to complex behavior on a global level that is beneficial for the individuals. The key in the self-organization of ants is communication

  10. 90Sr and 137Cs migration in food chain: soil-forage-cattle

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Korneev, N.A.; Sirotkin, A.N.

    1982-01-01

    It is established that the coefficients of biological absorption (CBA) of radionuclides by osteal and muscle tissue change with the age of animals. The CBA of strontium-90 and cesium-137 of the grown animals is 3.0 and 2.8 times respectively higher, than of young animals in the migration chain soil-forage, and in the chain forage-bone, and forage-muscles-3.4 and 1.5 times lower

  11. Effect of forage quality in faeces from different ruminant species fed high and low quality forage

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jalali, A R; Nørgaard, P; Nielsen, M O

    2010-01-01

    Effect of forage quality in faeces from different ruminant species fed high and low quality forage......Effect of forage quality in faeces from different ruminant species fed high and low quality forage...

  12. A Novel Plant Root Foraging Algorithm for Image Segmentation Problems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lianbo Ma

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents a new type of biologically-inspired global optimization methodology for image segmentation based on plant root foraging behavior, namely, artificial root foraging algorithm (ARFO. The essential motive of ARFO is to imitate the significant characteristics of plant root foraging behavior including branching, regrowing, and tropisms for constructing a heuristic algorithm for multidimensional and multimodal problems. A mathematical model is firstly designed to abstract various plant root foraging patterns. Then, the basic process of ARFO algorithm derived in the model is described in details. When tested against ten benchmark functions, ARFO shows the superiority to other state-of-the-art algorithms on several benchmark functions. Further, we employed the ARFO algorithm to deal with multilevel threshold image segmentation problem. Experimental results of the new algorithm on a variety of images demonstrated the suitability of the proposed method for solving such problem.

  13. Unraveling Trichoderma species in the attine ant environment: description of three new taxa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montoya, Quimi Vidaurre; Meirelles, Lucas Andrade; Chaverri, Priscila; Rodrigues, Andre

    2016-05-01

    Fungus-growing "attine" ants forage diverse substrates to grow fungi for food. In addition to the mutualistic fungal partner, the colonies of these insects harbor a rich microbiome composed of bacteria, filamentous fungi and yeasts. Previous work reported some Trichoderma species in the fungus gardens of leafcutter ants. However, no studies systematically addressed the putative association of Trichoderma with attine ants, especially in non-leafcutter ants. Here, a total of 62 strains of Trichoderma were analyzed using three molecular markers (ITS, tef1 and rpb2). In addition, 30 out of 62 strains were also morphologically examined. The strains studied correspond to the largest sampling carried out so far for Trichoderma in the attine ant environment. Our results revealed the richness of Trichoderma in this environment, since we found 20 Trichoderma species, including three new taxa described in the present work (Trichoderma attinorum, Trichoderma texanum and Trichoderma longifialidicum spp. nov.) as well as a new phylogenetic taxon (LESF 545). Moreover, we show that all 62 strains grouped within different clades across the Trichoderma phylogeny, which are identical or closely related to strains derived from several other environments. This evidence supports the transient nature of the genus Trichoderma in the attine ant colonies. The discovery of three new species suggests that the dynamic foraging behavior of these insects might be responsible for accumulation of transient fungi into their colonies, which might hold additional fungal taxa still unknown to science.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. Stochastic recruitment leads to symmetry breaking in foraging populations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biancalani, Tommaso; Dyson, Louise; McKane, Alan

    2014-03-01

    When an ant colony is faced with two identical equidistant food sources, the foraging ants are found to concentrate more on one source than the other. Analogous symmetry-breaking behaviours have been reported in various population systems, (such as queueing or stock market trading) suggesting the existence of a simple universal mechanism. Past studies have neglected the effect of demographic noise and required rather complicated models to qualitatively reproduce this behaviour. I will show how including the effects of demographic noise leads to a radically different conclusion. The symmetry-breaking arises solely due to the process of recruitment and ceases to occur for large population sizes. The latter fact provides a testable prediction for a real system.

  17. forage systems mixed with forage legumes grazed by lactating cows

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Clair Jorge Olivo

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Current research evaluates productivity, stocking and nutritional rates of three forage systems with Elephant Grass (EG + Italian Ryegrass (IR + Spontaneous Growth Species (SGS, without forage legumes; EG + IR + SGS + Forage Peanut (FP, mixed with FP; and EG + IR + SGS + Red Clover (RC, mixed with RC, in rotational grazing method by lactating cows. IR developed between rows of EG. FP was maintained, whilst RC was sow to respective forage systems. The experimental design was completely randomized, with three treatments and two replication, subdivided into parcels over time. Mean rate for forage yield and average stocking rate were 10.6, 11.6 and 14.4 t ha-1; 3.0, 2.8 and 3.1 animal unit ha-1 day-1, for the respective systems. Levels of crude protein and total digestible nutrients were 17.8, 18.7 and 17.5%; 66.5, 66.8 and 64.8%, for the respective forage systems. The presence of RC results in better and higher forage yield in the mixture, whilst FP results in greater control of SGS. The inclusion of forage legumes in pasture systems provides better nutritional rates.

  18. Recurrent bridgehead effects accelerate global alien ant spread

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cleo Bertelsmeier; Sébastien Ollier; Andrew M. Liebhold; Eckehard G. Brockerhoff; Darren Ward; Laurent Keller

    2018-01-01

    Biological invasions are a major threat to biological diversity, agriculture, and human health. To predict and prevent new invasions, it is crucial to develop a better understanding of the drivers of the invasion process. The analysis of 4,533 border interception events revealed that at least 51 different alien ant species were intercepted at US ports over a period of...

  19. Contrasting Foraging Patterns: Testing Resource-Concentration and Dilution Effects with Pollinators and Seed Predators

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexandria Wenninger

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Resource concentration effects occur when high resource density patches attract and support more foragers than low density patches. In contrast, resource dilution effects can occur if high density patches support fewer consumers. In this study, we examined the foraging rates of pollinators and seed predators on two perennial plant species (Rudbeckia triloba and Verbena stricta as functions of resource density. Specifically, we examined whether resource-dense patches (densities of flower and seeds on individual plants resulted in greater visitation and seed removal rates, respectively. We also examined whether foraging rates were context-dependent by conducting the study in two sites that varied in resource densities. For pollinators, we found negative relationships between the density of flowers per plant and visitation rates, suggesting dilution effects. For seed predators, we found positive relationships consistent with concentration effects. Saturation effects and differences in foraging behaviors might explain the opposite relationships; most of the seed predators were ants (recruitment-based foragers, and pollinators were mostly solitary foragers. We also found that foraging rates were site-dependent, possibly due to site-level differences in resource abundance and consumer densities. These results suggest that these two plant species may benefit from producing as many flowers as possible, given high levels of pollination and low seed predation.

  20. Variation in the effectiveness of biotic defence: the case of an opportunistic ant-plant protection mutualism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giusto, Bruno; Anstett, Marie-Charlotte; Dounias, Edmond; McKey, Doyle B

    2001-11-01

    Benefits to plants in facultative ant protection mutualisms are highly variable. This allows examination of the sources of this variation and the mechanisms by which ants protect plants. We studied opportunistic interactions between ants and an extrafloral nectary-bearing vine, Dioscorea praehensilis, during 3 different years. Variation in plant protection among years was striking. Several factors affected the effectiveness of the biotic defence. Stems recently emerged from the underground tuber were self-supporting, contacting no other plants and encountering few foraging ants. Stems then became lianescent, and contact with supporting plants greatly increased ant recruitment. Both species and number of ant workers influenced the effect of ants on the major herbivore, the chrysomelid beetle Lilioceris latipennis. Protective actions included limitation of oviposition (reduction in the number of eggs laid on the plant) and predation, leading to increased larval mortality. The probability of successful predation was strongly dependent on larval size. If temporarily low ant-patrolling activity allows larvae to grow beyond a critical size, their mechanical (thick integument) or chemical (plant-derived compounds in a fecal shield) defences become more effective against ants. Secondary metabolites derived from the host plant thus appear to be important for the anti-predator mechanisms of this beetle, being necessary for its survival and reproduction on a host plant that actively recruits ants as a biotic defence against herbivores.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2016-01-01

    Signalling is necessary for the maintenance of inter-specific mutualisms but is vulnerable to exploitation by eavesdropping. While eavesdropping of intra-specific signals has been studied extensively, such exploitation of inter-specific signals has not been widely documented. The juvenile stages...... for oviposition and mate searching respectively. Our experiments reveal that two natural enemies of J. evagoras, araneid spiders and braconid parasitoid wasps, exploit ant signals as cues for increasing their foraging and oviposition success respectively. Intriguingly, selection through eavesdropping is unlikely...

  2. Forage evaluation by analysis after

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    by forages, can be estimated by amino acid analysis of the products of fermentation in vitro. Typical results of such analyses are presented in Table 1. These results indicate that after fermentation the amino acid balance of forages is not optimal for either milk or meat production, with histidine usually being the first limiting.

  3. The interplay between scent trails and group-mass recruitment systems in ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Planqué, Robert; van den Berg, Jan Bouwe; Franks, Nigel R

    2013-10-01

    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 efficiently when small, thereby overcoming the hurdles to grow large? In this paper, we study the case of combined group and mass recruitment displayed by some ant species. Using mathematical models, we explore to what extent early group recruitment may aid deployment of scent trails, making such trails available at much smaller colony sizes. We show that a competition between group and mass recruitment may cause oscillatory behaviour mediated by scent trails. This results in a further reduction of colony size to establish trails successfully.

  4. Innate colour preference, individual learning and memory retention in the ant Camponotus blandus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yilmaz, Ayse; Dyer, Adrian G; Rössler, Wolfgang; Spaethe, Johannes

    2017-09-15

    Ants are a well-characterized insect model for the study of visual learning and orientation, but the extent to which colour vision is involved in these tasks remains unknown. We investigated the colour preference, learning and memory retention of Camponotus blandus foragers under controlled laboratory conditions. Our results show that C. blandus foragers exhibit a strong innate preference for ultraviolet (UV, 365 nm) over blue (450 nm) and green (528 nm) wavelengths. The ants can learn to discriminate 365 nm from either 528 nm or 450 nm, independent of intensity changes. However, they fail to discriminate between 450 nm and 528 nm. Modelling of putative colour spaces involving different numbers of photoreceptor types revealed that colour discrimination performance of individual ants is best explained by dichromacy, comprising a short-wavelength (UV) receptor with peak sensitivity at about 360 nm, and a long-wavelength receptor with peak sensitivity between 470 nm and 560 nm. Foragers trained to discriminate blue or green from UV light are able to retain the learned colour information in an early mid-term (e-MTM), late mid-term (l-MTM), early long-term (e-LTM) and late long-term (l-LTM) memory from where it can be retrieved after 1 h, 12 h, 24 h, 3 days and 7 days after training, indicating that colour learning may induce different memory phases in ants. Overall, our results show that ants can use chromatic information in a way that should promote efficient foraging in complex natural environments. © 2017. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  5. 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....

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Attention in Urban Foraging

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Malcolm McCullough

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available This position paper argues how there has to be much more to smart city learning than just wayshowing, and something better as augmented reality than covering the world with instructions. Attention has become something for many people to know better in an age of information superabundance. Embodied cognition explains how the work-ings of attention are not solely a foreground task, as if attention is something to pay. As digital media appear in ever more formats and contexts, their hybrids with physical form increasing influence how habitual engagement with persistent situations creates learning. Ambient information can just add to the distraction by multitasking, or it can support more favorable processes of shifting among different kinds of information with a particular intent. As one word for this latter process, foraging deserves more consideration in smart city learning

  9. Impact of Interference Competition on Exploration and Food Exploitation in the Ant Lasius niger

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    Vincent Fourcassié

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Competition acts as a major force in shaping spatially and/or temporally the foraging activity of ant colonies. Interference competition between colonies in particular is widespread in ants where it can prevent the physical access of competitors to a resource, either directly by fighting or indirectly, by segregating the colony foraging areas. Although the consequences of interference competition on ant distribution have been well studied in the literature, the behavioral mechanisms underlying interference competition have been less explored. Little is known on how ants modify their exploration patterns or the choice of a feeding place after experiencing aggressive encounters. In this paper, we show that, at the individual level, the aphid-tending ant Lasius niger reacts to the presence of an alien conspecific through direct aggressive behavior and local recruitment in the vicinity of fights. At the colony level, however, no defensive recruitment is triggered and the “risky” area where aggressive encounters occur is not specifically avoided during further exploration or food exploitation. We discuss how between-species differences in sensitivity to interference competition could be related to the spatial and temporal predictability of food resources at stake.

  10. The Use of Weaver Ants in the Management of Fruit Flies in Africa

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vayssières, Jean-François; Offenberg, Hans Joachim; Sinzogan, Antonio

    2016-01-01

    Generalist predators such as the weaver ant, Oecophylla longinoda (Latreille), play an important role as biological control agents in West African orchards and, by extension, also in forest and savanna ecosystems within sub-Saharan Africa. These weaver ants are one of the most effective and effi...... an interest in the use of weaver ants. Protection of tropical forests and savannas is ecologically and environmentally crucial and also essential for the protection of O. longinoda....

  11. Use of Urban Marine Habitats by Foraging Wading Birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wading birds that utilize coastal habitats may be at risk from increasing urbanization near their foraging and stopover sites. However, the relative importance of human disturbance in the context of other landscape and biological factors that may be influencing their distributio...

  12. Hospitales seguros ante desastres

    OpenAIRE

    Celso Vladimir Bambaren Alatrista; María Del Socorro Alatrista Gutierrez

    2007-01-01

    Entre 1982 a 2005 se registraron daños en 1 143 establecimientos de salud en el Perú, generalmente debido a sismos, lluvias e inundaciones. Los daños en los servicios de salud producen la interrupción de la atención de la población y de los programas de salud, así como generan un gran gasto para la rehabilitación y reconstrucción. Por ello, se requiere proteger a los establecimientos de salud y desarrollar una política de hospitales seguros ante desastres que incluya medidas para prevenir o r...

  13. Nest Relocation and Colony Founding in the Australian Desert Ant, Melophorus bagoti Lubbock (Hymenoptera: Formicidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patrick Schultheiss

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Even after years of research on navigation in the Red Honey Ant, Melophorus bagoti, much of its life history remains elusive. Here, we present observations on nest relocation and the reproductive and founding stages of colonies. Nest relocation is possibly aided by trail laying behaviour, which is highly unusual for solitary foraging desert ants. Reproduction occurs in synchronised mating flights, which are probably triggered by rain. Queens may engage in multiple matings, and there is circumstantial evidence that males are chemically attracted to queens. After the mating flight, the queens found new colonies independently and singly. Excavation of these founding colonies reveals first insights into their structure.

  14. La vivienda ante emergencias

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Arq. María Eugenia Gonzàlez Chipont

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Este trabajo propone analizar la evolución de la vivienda como respuesta ante emergencias desde principios del siglo XX hasta nuestros días. La secuencia de casos a analizar no sigue una cronología estricta sino que se organiza en función de un creciente grado de complejidad. Comienza con los aportes fundamentales de la vivienda mínima del movimiento moderno, con un fuerte acento en lo tecnológico, para ir profundizando, mientras avanzamos en el siglo, en los aspectos sociales de la arquitectura. Sin intentar oponer lo tecnológico y lo social, la estructura propuesta expresa un enriquecimiento de la cuestión técnica conforme se van ampliando sus objetivos sociales. Mientras los requerimientos tecnológicos como la inmediatez y la masividad de la respuesta, permanecen a lo largo del tiempo, la vivienda ante emergencias puede plantearse objetivos sociales cada vez más profundos. Los casos fueron elegidos a partir de autores renombrados de la Historia de la Arquitectura partiendo de ejemplos cercanos a la génesis del movimiento moderno para acercarnos cada vez más hacia el contexto actual de Latinoamérica. Se logra así un barrido geográfco pero principalmente cultural: desde las fuentes de la modernidad, bajo el paradigma sólido de la industrialización, hasta la inestabilidad de la ciudad posindustrial latinoamericana

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. Sousa-Souto

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

  16. The nature of culture: technological variation in chimpanzee predation on army ants revisited.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schöning, Caspar; Humle, Tatyana; Möbius, Yasmin; McGrew, W C

    2008-07-01

    Chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) predation on army ants (Dorylus, subgenus Anomma) is an impressive example of skillful use of elementary technology, and it has been suggested to reflect cultural differences among chimpanzee communities. Alternatively, the observed geographic diversity in army-ant-eating may represent local behavioral responses of the chimpanzees to the anti-predator traits of the army ant species present at the different sites. We examined assemblages of available prey species, their behavior and morphology, consumption by chimpanzees, techniques employed, and tool lengths at 14 sites in eastern, central, and western Africa. Where army ants are eaten, tool length and concomitant technique are a function of prey type. Epigaeically foraging species with aggressive workers that inflict painful bites are harvested with longer tools and usually by the "pull-through" technique; species foraging in leaf-litter with less aggressive workers that inflict less painful bites are harvested with short tools and by the "direct-mouthing" technique. However, prey species characteristics do not explain several differences in army-ant-eating between Bossou (Guinea) and Taï (Ivory Coast), where the same suite of prey species is available and is consumed. Moreover, the absence of army-ant-eating at five sites cannot be explained by the identity of available prey species, as all the species found at these sites are eaten elsewhere. We conclude that some of the observed variation in the predator-prey relationship of chimpanzees and army ants reflects environmental influences driven by the prey, while other variation is not linked to prey characteristics and may be solely sociocultural.

  17. Foraging behavior and virulence of some entomopathogenic nematodes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Manana A. Lortkipanidze

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available At present the biological control as a pest control technology is becoming more desirable. Biological formulations on basis of entomopathogenic nematodes are one of the effective means for the protection of agricultural and forest plants from harmful insects. Nowadays, the use of entomopathogenic nematodes as biological control agents is a key component in IPM system. The foraging strategies of entomopathogenic nematodes (EPNs vary between species. This variation is consistent with use of different foraging strategies between ambush, cruise and intermediate to find their host insects. In order to ambush prey, some species of EPNs nictate, or raise their bodies of the soil surface so they are better poised to attach passing insects, other species adopt a cruising strategy and rarely nictate. Some species adopt an intermediate strategy between ambush and cruise. We compared in laboratory the foraging strategies of the entomopathogenic nematode species: Steinernema carpocapsae, Heterorhabditis bacteriophora and the recently described species Steinernema tbilisiensis and assessed their virulence against mealworm beetle, Tenebrio molitor L. (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae. The tests showed that S. tbilisiensis adopts both foraging strategies.

  18. 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....

  19. 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.

  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. Pupae transplantation to boost early colony growth in the weaver ant Oecophylla longinoda Latreille (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ouagoussounon, Issa; Sinzogan, Antonio; Offenberg, Joachim

    2013-01-01

    Oecophylla ants are currently used for biological control in fruit plantations in Australia, Asia and Africa and for protein production in Asia. To further improve the technology and implement it on a large scale, effective and fast production of live colonies is desirable. Early colony development...... capita brood production by the resident queen, triggered by the adopted pupae. Thus pupae transplantation may be used to shorten the time it takes to produce weaver ant colonies in ant nurseries, and may in this way facilitate the implementation of weaver ant biocontrol in West Africa....

  2. Hospitales seguros ante desastres

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Celso Vladimir Bambaren Alatrista

    2007-07-01

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

  3. Navigational efficiency of nocturnal Myrmecia ants suffers at low light levels.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ajay Narendra

    Full Text Available Insects face the challenge of navigating to specific goals in both bright sun-lit and dim-lit environments. Both diurnal and nocturnal insects use quite similar navigation strategies. This is despite the signal-to-noise ratio of the navigational cues being poor at low light conditions. To better understand the evolution of nocturnal life, we investigated the navigational efficiency of a nocturnal ant, Myrmecia pyriformis, at different light levels. Workers of M. pyriformis leave the nest individually in a narrow light-window in the evening twilight to forage on nest-specific Eucalyptus trees. The majority of foragers return to the nest in the morning twilight, while few attempt to return to the nest throughout the night. We found that as light levels dropped, ants paused for longer, walked more slowly, the success in finding the nest reduced and their paths became less straight. We found that in both bright and dark conditions ants relied predominantly on visual landmark information for navigation and that landmark guidance became less reliable at low light conditions. It is perhaps due to the poor navigational efficiency at low light levels that the majority of foragers restrict navigational tasks to the twilight periods, where sufficient navigational information is still available.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    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...

  5. Does greed help a forager survive?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhat, U.; Redner, S.; Bénichou, O.

    2017-06-01

    We investigate the role of greed on the lifetime of a random-walking forager on an initially resource-rich lattice. Whenever the forager lands on a food-containing site, all the food there is eaten and the forager can hop S more steps without food before starving. Upon reaching an empty site, the forager comes one time unit closer to starvation. The forager is also greedy—given a choice to move to an empty or to a food-containing site in its local neighborhood, the forager moves preferentially toward food. Surprisingly, the forager lifetime varies nonmonotonically with greed, with different senses of the nonmonotonicity in one and two dimensions. Also unexpectedly, the forager lifetime in one dimension has a huge peak for very negative greed where the forager is food averse.

  6. At Lunch with a Killer: The Effect of Weaver Ants on Host-Parasitoid Interactions on Mango.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Valentina Migani

    Full Text Available Predator-prey interactions can affect the behaviour of the species involved, with consequences for population distribution and competitive interactions. Under predation pressure, potential prey may adopt evasive strategies. These responses can be costly and could impact population growth. As some prey species may be more affected than others, predation pressure could also alter the dynamics among species within communities. In field cages and small observation cages, we studied the interactions between a generalist predator, the African weaver ant, Oecophylla longinoda, two species of fruit flies that are primary pests of mango fruits, Ceratitis cosyra and Bactrocera dorsalis, and their two exotic parasitoids, Fopius arisanus and Diachasmimorpha longicaudata. In all experiments, either a single individual (observation cage experiments or groups of individuals (field cage experiments of a single species were exposed to foraging in the presence or absence of weaver ants. Weaver ant presence reduced the number of eggs laid by 75 and 50 percent in B. dorsalis and C. cosyra respectively. Similarly, parasitoid reproductive success was negatively affected by ant presence, with success of parasitism reduced by around 50 percent for both F. arisanus and D. longicaudata. The negative effect of weaver ants on both flies and parasitoids was mainly due to indirect predation effects. Encounters with weaver ant workers increased the leaving tendency in flies and parasitoids, thus reduced the time spent foraging on mango fruits. Parasitoids were impacted more strongly than fruit flies. We discuss how weaver ant predation pressure may affect the population dynamics of the fruit flies, and, in turn, how the alteration of host dynamics could impact parasitoid foraging behaviour and success.

  7. Temporal variation in the composition of ant assemblages (Hymenoptera, Formicidae on trees in the Pantanal floodplain, Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stela de Almeida Soares

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available Temporal variation in the composition of ant assemblages (Hymenoptera, Formicidae on trees in the Pantanal floodplain, Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil. In this paper we investigate how seasonal flooding influences the composition of assemblages of ants foraging on trees in the Pantanal of Mato Grosso do Sul. During the flood in the Pantanal, a large area is covered by floods that are the main forces that regulate the pattern of diversity in these areas. However, the effects of such natural disturbances in the ant communities are poorly known. In this sense, the objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of temporal variation in assemblages of ants foraging on trees in the Pantanal of Miranda. Samples were collected during a year in two adjacent areas, one who suffered flooding during the wet period and another that did not suffer flooding throughout the year. In 10 sites for each evaluated habitat, five pitfall traps were installed at random in trees 25 m apart from each other. In the habitat with flooding, the highest richness was observed during the flooding period, while there was no significant change in richness in the area that does not suffer flooding. The diversity of species between the two evaluated habitats varied significantly during the two seasons. Most ants sampled belong to species that forage and nest in soil. This suggests that during the flood in flooded habitats, ants that did not migrate to higher areas without flooding adopt the strategy to search for resources in the tree canopy.

  8. Solenopsis ant magnetic material: statistical and seasonal studies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Abraçado, Leida G; Esquivel, Darci M S; Wajnberg, Eliane

    2009-01-01

    In this paper, we quantify the magnetic material amount in Solenopsis ants using ferromagnetic resonance (FMR) at room temperature. We sampled S. interrupta workers from several morphologically indistinguishable castes. Twenty-five oriented samples of each body part of S. interrupta (20 units each) showed that FMR line shapes are reproducible. The relative magnetic material amount was 31 ± 12% (mean ± SD) in the antennae, 27 ± 13% in the head, 21 ± 12% in the thorax and 20 ± 10% in the abdomen. In order to measure variation in the magnetic material from late summer to early winter, ants were collected each month between March and July. The amount of magnetic material was greatest in all four body parts in March and least in all four body parts in June. In addition, S. richteri majors presented more magnetic material than minor workers. Extending these findings to the genera Solenopsis, the reduction in magnetic material found in winter could be explained by our sampling fewer foraging major ants

  9. Complex scaling behavior in animal foraging patterns

    Science.gov (United States)

    Premachandra, Prabhavi Kaushalya

    This dissertation attempts to answer questions from two different areas of biology, ecology and neuroscience, using physics-based techniques. In Section 2, suitability of three competing random walk models is tested to describe the emergent movement patterns of two species of primates. The truncated power law (power law with exponential cut off) is the most suitable random walk model that characterizes the emergent movement patterns of these primates. In Section 3, an agent-based model is used to simulate search behavior in different environments (landscapes) to investigate the impact of the resource landscape on the optimal foraging movement patterns of deterministic foragers. It should be noted that this model goes beyond previous work in that it includes parameters such as spatial memory and satiation, which have received little consideration to date in the field of movement ecology. When the food availability is scarce in a tropical forest-like environment with feeding trees distributed in a clumped fashion and the size of those trees are distributed according to a lognormal distribution, the optimal foraging pattern of a generalist who can consume various and abundant food types indeed reaches the Levy range, and hence, show evidence for Levy-flight-like (power law distribution with exponent between 1 and 3) behavior. Section 4 of the dissertation presents an investigation of phase transition behavior in a network of locally coupled self-sustained oscillators as the system passes through various bursting states. The results suggest that a phase transition does not occur for this locally coupled neuronal network. The data analysis in the dissertation adopts a model selection approach and relies on methods based on information theory and maximum likelihood.

  10. Evaluation of the biological nitrogen fixation (N{sub 2}) contribution in several forage legumes and the transfer of N to associated grasses; Avaliacao da contribuicao da fixacao biologica de N{sub 2} em varias leguminosas forrageiras e transferencia de N para uma graminea consorciada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Vargas, M S.V.

    1991-12-01

    The objective of experiment 1 was to compare two different techniques for labelling the soil mineral nitrogen with {sup 15} N, for studies to quantify the contribution of biological nitrogen fixation (BNF) to forage legumes using the {sup 15} N isotope dilution technique. The two techniques for labelling the soil were: incorporation a {sup 15} N labelled organic compost (slow release treatment), and split applications of {sup 15} N labelled ammonium sulphate. The evaluation of the techniques was through the quantification of BNF in the Itaguai Hybrid of Centrosema using two non-Na- fixing control plants (P. maximum K K-16 and Sorghum bicolor). The objective of experiment 2 was to quantify the contribution of BNF to forage legumes and the transfer of fixed nitrogen to associated grasses in mixed swards again using the {sup 15} N isotope dilution technique. This study was conducted on a red podzolic soil (Typic Hapludult), with 7 forage legumes and 3 grasses in monoculture, and 3 mixed swards of Brachiaria brizantha with the Centrosema hybrid, Galactia striata and Desmodium ovalifolium, respectively, with varying ratios of grass to legume (4:1 to 1:4). In order to quantify the BNF contributions to the legumes and the transfer of fixed N to the B. brizantha, the plots were amended 8 times with doses of 0.01 g {sup 15} N m{sup -2} of {sup 15} N labelled ammonium sulphate (12.5 atom % {sup 15} N) each 14 days, giving a total of 0.08 g {sup 15} N m{sup -2} of {sup 15} N during the 97 days of the experiment. In monoculture the different forage legumes obtained the equivalent of between 43 and 100 kg N ha{sup -1} from BNF. Stylosanthes guianensis showed the greatest contributions from BNF at 100 Kg N ha{sup -1}. In mixed swards with Brachiaria brizantha the proportion of N derived from BNF in the three legumes studied (Centrosema hybrid, G. striata and D. ovalifolium) was significantly greater than when they were grown in monoculture. (author). 197 refs, 9 figs, 19 tabs.

  11. Compound eye adaptations for diurnal and nocturnal lifestyle in the intertidal ant, Polyrhachis sokolova.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ajay Narendra

    Full Text Available The Australian intertidal ant, Polyrhachis sokolova lives in mudflat habitats and nests at the base of mangroves. They are solitary foraging ants that rely on visual cues. The ants are active during low tides at both day and night and thus experience a wide range of light intensities. We here ask the extent to which the compound eyes of P. sokolova reflect the fact that they operate during both day and night. The ants have typical apposition compound eyes with 596 ommatidia per eye and an interommatidial angle of 6.0°. We find the ants have developed large lenses (33 µm in diameter and wide rhabdoms (5 µm in diameter to make their eyes highly sensitive to low light conditions. To be active at bright light conditions, the ants have developed an extreme pupillary mechanism during which the primary pigment cells constrict the crystalline cone to form a narrow tract of 0.5 µm wide and 16 µm long. This pupillary mechanism protects the photoreceptors from bright light, making the eyes less sensitive during the day. The dorsal rim area of their compound eye has specialised photoreceptors that could aid in detecting the orientation of the pattern of polarised skylight, which would assist the animals to determine compass directions required while navigating between nest and food sources.

  12. Ant Colony Optimization ACO For The Traveling Salesman Problem TSP Using Partitioning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alok Bajpai

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract An ant colony optimization is a technique which was introduced in 1990s and which can be applied to a variety of discrete combinatorial optimization problem and to continuous optimization. The ACO algorithm is simulated with the foraging behavior of the real ants to find the incremental solution constructions and to realize a pheromone laying-and-following mechanism. This pheromone is the indirect communication among the ants. In this paper we introduces the partitioning technique based on the divide and conquer strategy for the traveling salesman problem which is one of the most important combinatorial problem in which the original problem is partitioned into the group of sub problems. And then we apply the ant colony algorithm using candidate list strategy for each smaller sub problems. After that by applying the local optimization and combining the sub problems to find the good solution for the original problem by improving the exploration efficiency of the ants. At the end of this paper we have also be presented the comparison of result with the normal ant colony system for finding the optimal solution to the traveling salesman problem.

  13. Fermat's principle of least time predicts refraction of ant trails at substrate borders.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jan Oettler

    Full Text Available Fermat's principle of least time states that light rays passing through different media follow the fastest (and not the most direct path between two points, leading to refraction at medium borders. Humans intuitively employ this rule, e.g., when a lifeguard has to infer the fastest way to traverse both beach and water to reach a swimmer in need. Here, we tested whether foraging ants also follow Fermat's principle when forced to travel on two surfaces that differentially affected the ants' walking speed. Workers of the little fire ant, Wasmannia auropunctata, established "refracted" pheromone trails to a food source. These trails deviated from the most direct path, but were not different to paths predicted by Fermat's principle. Our results demonstrate a new aspect of decentralized optimization and underline the versatility of the simple yet robust rules governing the self-organization of group-living animals.

  14. Ants visit nectaries of Epidendrum denticulatum (Orchidaceae in a Brazilian rainforest: effects on herbivory and pollination

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Almeida A. M.

    2003-01-01

    Full Text Available Epidendrum denticulatum (Orchidaceae produces nectar on the petioles of buds, flowers, and fruits (extrafloral nectaries but no nectar is found on its flowers, and it is probably a deceptive species. In the Brazilian Atlantic rainforest, some aspects of both the ecology and behavior of Camponotus sericeiventris (Formicinae and Ectatomma tuberculatum (Ponerinae, two ant species foraging on E. denticulatum extrafloral nectaries, were investigated. Both experiments, using termites as baits and field observations, suggest that these ant species are able to prevent reproductive organ herbivory, without affecting pollinator behaviour. Since a low fruit set is often cited as a characteristic of the family, especially for deceptive species, ants attracted to orchid inflorescences protect reproductive structures and increase the probability of pollination success. Epidendrum denticulatum flowers were visited and probably pollinated by Heliconius erato (Nymphalidae and Euphyes leptosema (Hesperiidae.

  15. Ants visit nectaries of Epidendrum denticulatum (Orchidaceae in a Brazilian rainforest: effects on herbivory and pollination

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. M. Almeida

    Full Text Available Epidendrum denticulatum (Orchidaceae produces nectar on the petioles of buds, flowers, and fruits (extrafloral nectaries but no nectar is found on its flowers, and it is probably a deceptive species. In the Brazilian Atlantic rainforest, some aspects of both the ecology and behavior of Camponotus sericeiventris (Formicinae and Ectatomma tuberculatum (Ponerinae, two ant species foraging on E. denticulatum extrafloral nectaries, were investigated. Both experiments, using termites as baits and field observations, suggest that these ant species are able to prevent reproductive organ herbivory, without affecting pollinator behaviour. Since a low fruit set is often cited as a characteristic of the family, especially for deceptive species, ants attracted to orchid inflorescences protect reproductive structures and increase the probability of pollination success. Epidendrum denticulatum flowers were visited and probably pollinated by Heliconius erato (Nymphalidae and Euphyes leptosema (Hesperiidae.

  16. Fermat's principle of least time predicts refraction of ant trails at substrate borders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oettler, Jan; Schmid, Volker S; Zankl, Niko; Rey, Olivier; Dress, Andreas; Heinze, Jürgen

    2013-01-01

    Fermat's principle of least time states that light rays passing through different media follow the fastest (and not the most direct) path between two points, leading to refraction at medium borders. Humans intuitively employ this rule, e.g., when a lifeguard has to infer the fastest way to traverse both beach and water to reach a swimmer in need. Here, we tested whether foraging ants also follow Fermat's principle when forced to travel on two surfaces that differentially affected the ants' walking speed. Workers of the little fire ant, Wasmannia auropunctata, established "refracted" pheromone trails to a food source. These trails deviated from the most direct path, but were not different to paths predicted by Fermat's principle. Our results demonstrate a new aspect of decentralized optimization and underline the versatility of the simple yet robust rules governing the self-organization of group-living animals.

  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. 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. 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.

  20. 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

  1. Do Mound Disturbance and Bait Placement Affect Bait Removal and Treatment Efficacy in Red Imported Fire ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae at Different Seasons?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xing P. Hu

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available This study provides empirical evidence that disturbing mound immediately before application, as opposed to label recommendation, did not reduce foraging activity of the red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta Buren, except for about 10-min delay in foraging. Despite the delayed foraging, there was no significant difference in the amount of baits foraged between disturbed and undisturbed colonies. Eventually, >96% of the baits were foraged, with the maximum removal occurred by 2 and 3 h, respectively, in summer and spring trial. The fastest and great amount of bait removal 1 h post-treatment occurred to baits placed on mound, followed by 0.18–0.3-m from mound base, and the slowest 1.08–1.2-m from mound base. All treatment gave 100% control 1 mo later, regardless of the season, without colony relocation or new colony invasion in the test plots.

  2. Time optimized path-choice in the termite hunting ant Megaponera analis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frank, Erik T; Hönle, Philipp O; Linsenmair, K Eduard

    2018-05-10

    Trail network systems among ants have received a lot of scientific attention due to their various applications in problem solving of networks. Recent studies have shown that ants select the fastest available path when facing different velocities on different substrates, rather than the shortest distance. The progress of decision-making by these ants is determined by pheromone-based maintenance of paths, which is a collective decision. However, path optimization through individual decision-making remains mostly unexplored. Here we present the first study of time-optimized path selection via individual decision-making by scout ants. Megaponera analis scouts search for termite foraging sites and lead highly organized raid columns to them. The path of the scout determines the path of the column. Through installation of artificial roads around M. analis nests we were able to influence the pathway choice of the raids. After road installation 59% of all recorded raids took place completely or partly on the road, instead of the direct, i.e. distance-optimized, path through grass from the nest to the termites. The raid velocity on the road was more than double the grass velocity, the detour thus saved 34.77±23.01% of the travel time compared to a hypothetical direct path. The pathway choice of the ants was similar to a mathematical model of least time allowing us to hypothesize the underlying mechanisms regulating the behavior. Our results highlight the importance of individual decision-making in the foraging behavior of ants and show a new procedure of pathway optimization. © 2018. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  3. 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.

  4. Estimating the net electricity energy generation and demand using the ant colony optimization approach. Case of Turkey

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Toksari, M. Duran

    2009-01-01

    This paper presents Turkey's net electricity energy generation and demand based on economic indicators. Forecasting model for electricity energy generation and demand is first proposed by the ant colony optimization (ACO) approach. It is multi-agent system in which the behavior of each ant is inspired by the foraging behavior of real ants to solve optimization problem. Ant colony optimization electricity energy estimation (ACOEEE) model is developed using population, gross domestic product (GDP), import and export. All equations proposed here are linear electricity energy generation and demand (linear A COEEGE and linear ACOEEDE) and quadratic energy generation and demand (quadratic A COEEGE and quadratic ACOEEDE). Quadratic models for both generation and demand provided better fit solution due to the fluctuations of the economic indicators. The ACOEEGE and ACOEEDE models indicate Turkey's net electricity energy generation and demand until 2025 according to three scenarios. (author)

  5. Resource diversity and landscape-level homogeneity drive native bee foraging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jha, Shalene; Kremen, Claire

    2013-01-08

    Given widespread declines in pollinator communities and increasing global reliance on pollinator-dependent crops, there is an acute need to develop a mechanistic understanding of native pollinator population and foraging biology. Using a population genetics approach, we determine the impact of habitat and floral resource distributions on nesting and foraging patterns of a critical native pollinator, Bombus vosnesenskii. Our findings demonstrate that native bee foraging is far more plastic and extensive than previously believed and does not follow a simple optimal foraging strategy. Rather, bumble bees forage further in pursuit of species-rich floral patches and in landscapes where patch-to-patch variation in floral resources is less, regardless of habitat composition. Thus, our results reveal extreme foraging plasticity and demonstrate that floral diversity, not density, drives bee foraging distance. Furthermore, we find a negative impact of paved habitat and a positive impact of natural woodland on bumble bee nesting densities. Overall, this study reveals that natural and human-altered landscapes can be managed for increased native bee nesting and extended foraging, dually enhancing biodiversity and the spatial extent of pollination services.

  6. Comparative Effect of Sole Forage and Mixed Concentrate-Forage ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    There was no statistical (P>0.05) difference in average intake of forage between the two treatment groups. Economically, Treatment 1 proves to be better for the enhancement of body weight in growing rabbits than Treatment 2. Key words: Weaner rabbits,Poultry grower mesh, Tridax procumbens, Feed intake,Body weight ...

  7. Foraging task specialisation and foraging labour allocation in stingless bees

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hofstede, Frouke Elisabeth

    2006-01-01

    Social bees collect nectar and pollen from flowering plants for energy of the adult bees and for feeding the larvae in the colony. The flowering patterns of plants imply that periods of high food availability are often followed by periods of meagre foraging conditions. Being dependent on such a

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ingram Krista K

    2009-04-01

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

  9. 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.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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

  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.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  12. Comparative Immature Morphology of Brazilian Fire Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Solenopsis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eduardo Gonçalves Paterson Fox

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Although common in Brazil, the biology of the fire ant Solenopsis saevissima (Smith is still poorly studied. Larval descriptions are useful to genus-level ant systematics and sometimes to species-level taxonomy. This study presents a detailed description of juveniles of S. saevissima from Brazil, which were compared with Brazilian specimens of Solenopsis invicta Buren, Solenopsis geminata (Fabricius, and Solenopsis altipunctata Pitts. Different larval instars were separated by diagnostic morphological traits which were confirmed by observing moults. Reproductive larvae could be easily sorted by their distinctive body dimensions and shape. Contrary to previous reports on this species, the larvae of S. saevissima proved to be generally identical to those of S. invicta, while a few specimens resembled those of other close species, such as Solenopsis megergates Trager. Mature larvae thus presented considerable intraspecific variation in some characters recently proposed to aid fire ant species separation (morphology of head hairs.

  13. Natural selection drives the evolution of ant life cycles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, Edward O; Nowak, Martin A

    2014-09-02

    The genetic origin of advanced social organization has long been one of the outstanding problems of evolutionary biology. Here we present an analysis of the major steps in ant evolution, based for the first time, to our knowledge, on combined recent advances in paleontology, phylogeny, and the study of contemporary life histories. We provide evidence of the causal forces of natural selection shaping several key phenomena: (i) the relative lateness and rarity in geological time of the emergence of eusociality in ants and other animal phylads; (ii) the prevalence of monogamy at the time of evolutionary origin; and (iii) the female-biased sex allocation observed in many ant species. We argue that a clear understanding of the evolution of social insects can emerge if, in addition to relatedness-based arguments, we take into account key factors of natural history and study how natural selection acts on alleles that modify social behavior.

  14. 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.

  15. Benefits of collective intelligence: Swarm intelligent foraging, an ethnographic research

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sivave Mashingaidze

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Wisdom of crowds; bees, colonies of ants, schools of fish, flocks of birds, and fireflies flashing synchronously are all examples of highly coordinated behaviors that emerge from collective, decentralized intelligence. This article is an ethnographic study of swarm intelligence foraging of swarms and the benefits derived from collective decision making. The author used using secondary data analysis to look at the benefits of swarm intelligence in decision making to achieve intended goals. Concepts like combined decision making and consensus were discussed and four principles of swarm intelligence were also discussed viz; coordination, cooperation, deliberation and collaboration. The research found out that collective decision making in swarms is the touchstone of achieving their goals. The research further recommended corporate to adopt collective intelligence for business sustainability.

  16. Execution Plans for Cyber Foraging

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kristensen, Mads Darø

    2008-01-01

    Cyber foraging helps small devices perform heavy tasks by opportunistically discovering and utilising available resources (such as computation, storage, bandwidth, etc.) held by larger, nearby peers. This offloading is done in an ad-hoc manner, as larger machines will not always be within reach...

  17. Triticale for dairy forage systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Triticale forages have become increasingly important components of dairy-cropping systems. In part, this trend has occurred in response to environmental pressures, specifically a desire to capture N and other nutrients from land-applied manure, and/or to improve stewardship of the land by providing ...

  18. Execution Plans for Cyber Foraging

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kristensen, Mads Darø

    2008-01-01

    Cyber foraging helps small devices perform heavy tasks by opportunistically discovering and utilising available resources (such as computation, storage, bandwidth, etc.) held by larger, nearby peers. This offloading is done in an ad-hoc manner, as larger machines will not always be within reach. ...

  19. 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.

  20. Can anthropic fires affect epigaeic and hypogaeic Cerrado ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) communities in the same way?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Canedo-Júnior, Ernesto de Oliveira; Cuissi, Rafael Gonçalves; Nelson Henrique de Almeida, Curi; Demetrio, Guilherme Ramos; Lasmar, Chaim José; Malves, Kira

    2016-03-01

    Fire occurrences are a common perturbation in Cerrado ecosystems, and may differently impact the local biodiversity. Arthropods are one of the taxa affected by fires, and among them, ants are known as good bioindicators. We aimed to evaluate the effect of anthropic fires on epigaeic and hypogaeic ant communities (species richness and composition) in Cerrado areas with different post-fire event recovery periods. We conducted the study in four Cerrado areas during two weeks of 2012 dry season: one unburned and three at different post-fire times (one month, one and two years). We sampled ants with pitfall traps in epigaeic and hypogaeic microhabitats. We collected 71 ant morpho-species from 25 genera. In the epigaeic microhabitat we sampled 56 morpho-species and 42 in the hypogaeic microhabitat. The area with the shortest recovery time presented lower epigaeic ant species richness (4.3 ± 2.00) in comparison to the other areas (8.1 ± 2.68 species on one year area; 10.3 ± 2.66 species on two years area; 10.4 ± 2.31 species on control area), but recovery time did not affect hypogaeic ant species richness. Regarding ant species composition, fire did not directly affect hypogaeic ant species, which remained the same even one month after fire event. However, two years were not enough to reestablish ant species composition in both microhabitats in relation to our control group samples. Our study is the first to assess anthropic fire effects upon epigaeic and hypogaeic ants communities; highlighting the importance of evaluating different microhabitats, to more accurately detect the effects of anthropic disturbances in biological communities. We concluded that ant communities are just partially affected by fire occurrences, and epigaeic assemblages are the most affected ones in comparison to hypogaeic ants. Furthermore the study provides knowledge to aid in the creation of vegetation management programs that allow Cerrado conservation.

  1. Digest: Ant workers might use ancient regulatory pathways to divide labor

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Ernst, Ulrich R.

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 71, č. 1 (2017), s. 193-194 ISSN 0014-3820 Institutional support: RVO:61388963 Keywords : regulatory pathways * social insect * ants Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour OBOR OECD: Biology (theoretical, mathematical, thermal, cryobiology, biological rhythm), Evolutionary biology Impact factor: 4.201, year: 2016

  2. 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

  3. Army ants dynamically adjust living bridges in response to a cost-benefit trade-off.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reid, Chris R; Lutz, Matthew J; Powell, Scott; Kao, Albert B; Couzin, Iain D; Garnier, Simon

    2015-12-08

    The ability of individual animals to create functional structures by joining together is rare and confined to the social insects. Army ants (Eciton) form collective assemblages out of their own bodies to perform a variety of functions that benefit the entire colony. Here we examine ‟bridges" of linked individuals that are constructed to span gaps in the colony's foraging trail. How these living structures adjust themselves to varied and changing conditions remains poorly understood. Our field experiments show that the ants continuously modify their bridges, such that these structures lengthen, widen, and change position in response to traffic levels and environmental geometry. Ants initiate bridges where their path deviates from their incoming direction and move the bridges over time to create shortcuts over large gaps. The final position of the structure depended on the intensity of the traffic and the extent of path deviation and was influenced by a cost-benefit trade-off at the colony level, where the benefit of increased foraging trail efficiency was balanced by the cost of removing workers from the foraging pool to form the structure. To examine this trade-off, we quantified the geometric relationship between costs and benefits revealed by our experiments. We then constructed a model to determine the bridge location that maximized foraging rate, which qualitatively matched the observed movement of bridges. Our results highlight how animal self-assemblages can be dynamically modified in response to a group-level cost-benefit trade-off, without any individual unit's having information on global benefits or costs.

  4. Risso's dolphins plan foraging dives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arranz, Patricia; Benoit-Bird, Kelly J; Southall, Brandon L; Calambokidis, John; Friedlaender, Ari S; Tyack, Peter L

    2018-02-28

    Humans remember the past and use that information to plan future actions. Lab experiments that test memory for the location of food show that animals have a similar capability to act in anticipation of future needs, but less work has been done on animals foraging in the wild. We hypothesized that planning abilities are critical and common in breath-hold divers who adjust each dive to forage on prey varying in quality, location and predictability within constraints of limited oxygen availability. We equipped Risso's dolphins with sound-and-motion recording tags to reveal where they focus their attention through their externally observable echolocation and how they fine tune search strategies in response to expected and observed prey distribution. The information from the dolphins was integrated with synoptic prey data obtained from echosounders on an underwater vehicle. At the start of the dives, whales adjusted their echolocation inspection ranges in ways that suggest planning to forage at a particular depth. Once entering a productive prey layer, dolphins reduced their search range comparable to the scale of patches within the layer, suggesting that they were using echolocation to select prey within the patch. On ascent, their search range increased, indicating that they decided to stop foraging within that layer and started searching for prey in shallower layers. Information about prey, learned throughout the dive, was used to plan foraging in the next dive. Our results demonstrate that planning for future dives is modulated by spatial memory derived from multi-modal prey sampling (echoic, visual and capture) during earlier dives. © 2018. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  5. 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...

  6. Intersexual trophic niche partitioning in an ant-eating spider (Araneae: Zodariidae.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stano Pekár

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Divergence in trophic niche between the sexes may function to reduce competition between the sexes ("intersexual niche partitioning hypothesis", or may be result from differential selection among the sexes on maximizing reproductive output ("sexual selection hypothesis". The latter may lead to higher energy demands in females driven by fecundity selection, while males invest in mate searching. We tested predictions of the two hypotheses underlying intersexual trophic niche partitioning in a natural population of spiders. Zodarion jozefienae spiders specialize on Messor barbarus ants that are polymorphic in body size and hence comprise potential trophic niches for the spider, making this system well-suited to study intersexual trophic niche partitioning.Comparative analysis of trophic morphology (the chelicerae and body size of males, females and juveniles demonstrated highly female biased SSD (Sexual Size Dimorphism in body size, body weight, and in the size of chelicerae, the latter arising from sex-specific growth patterns in trophic morphology. In the field, female spiders actively selected ant sub-castes that were larger than the average prey size, and larger than ants captured by juveniles and males. Female fecundity was highly positively correlated with female body mass, which reflects foraging success during the adult stage. Females in laboratory experiments preferred the large ant sub-castes and displayed higher capture efficiency. In contrast, males occupied a different trophic niche and showed reduced foraging effort and reduced prey capture and feeding efficiency compared with females and juveniles.Our data indicate that female-biased dimorphism in trophic morphology and body size correlate with sex-specific reproductive strategies. We propose that intersexual trophic niche partitioning is shaped primarily by fecundity selection in females, and results from sex-differences in the route to successful reproduction where females are

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John T Longino

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

  9. Photoperiod and feeding behavior of the Antarctic fish Notothenia rossii (Perciformes: Nototheniidae and functional morphology of chemical and visual sensory structures used in foraging Comportamento alimentar do peixe antártico Notothenia rossii (Perciformes: Nototheniidae em diferentes fotoperíodos e a morfologia funcional das estruturas quimio-foto sensoriais usadas na detecção do alimento

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lucélia Donatti

    2008-06-01

    élio sensorial e não sensorial rico mucosubstâncias de natureza diversa. Podemos concluir que em diferentes fotoperíodos existe uma diferença de resposta na estimulação visual e química para a detecção de persas e todo o sistema sensorial são mais estimulados em períodos de maior luminosidade, principalmente quando existe uma alternância entre períodos de luz e escuro. Os órgãos sensoriais são complexos quando comparados com outros peixes antárticos como Gobionotothen gibberifrons Lönnberg, 1905 e Ophthalmolycus amberensis Tomo, Marshoff & Torno, 1977 mas similar a Notothenia coriiceps Richardson, 1844.

  10. Recent developments in forage evaluation with special reference to practical applications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. HUHTANEN

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available The present re-evaluation of a dataset of systematically collected laboratory analyses and in vivo digestibility information for several types of silages gives convincing evidence of the biological weaknesses of feed characterisation based on the proximate feed analysis. The problems include intrinsic failures of the analysis in describing cause-response relationships between forage composition and digestibility, and heavy dependency of the equations on forage specific and environmental factors. It is concluded that proximate analysis is not suitable for characterisation of neither forages nor concentrate feedstuffs. In vitro pepsin-cellulase solubility of organic matter (OMS and concentration of indigestible neutral detergent fibre (iNDF predicted forage organic matter digestibility (OMD with an acceptable accuracy for practical feed evaluation purposes provided that forage type dependent correction equations were employed. The revised detergent system dividing forage dry matter (DM into almost completely available neutral detergent solubles (NDS, and insoluble residue (neutral detergent fibre, NDF shows potential for future development. The combined use of long-term in situ ruminal incubation and NDF fractionation can be used to divide forage DM into three biologically meaningful fractions: NDS, iNDF and potentially digestible NDF (pdNDF. The summative models can then be used to predict forage D-value, i.e. apparently digestible organic matter in forage (g kg-1 DM. The models sum digestible NDS, which can be determined by Lucas equation, and digestible NDF (dNDF, which is the amount of pdNDF that is actually digested during any specific fermentation or retention time. Forage type specific summative models were as good as regression equations based on OMS or iNDF in predicting forage D-value and general summative models gave better results than general equations based on iNDF and especially OMS. If the goal is to reduce prediction error of D

  11. Dynamic oceanography determines fine scale foraging behavior of Masked Boobies in the Gulf of Mexico.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Caroline L Poli

    Full Text Available During breeding, foraging marine birds are under biological, geographic, and temporal constraints. These contraints require foraging birds to efficiently process environmental cues derived from physical habitat features that occur at nested spatial scales. Mesoscale oceanography in particular may change rapidly within and between breeding seasons, and findings from well-studied systems that relate oceanography to seabird foraging may transfer poorly to regions with substantially different oceanographic conditions. Our objective was to examine foraging behavior of a pan-tropical seabird, the Masked Booby (Sula dactylatra, in the understudied Caribbean province, a moderately productive region driven by highly dynamic currents and fronts. We tracked 135 individuals with GPS units during May 2013, November 2013, and December 2014 at a regionally important breeding colony in the southern Gulf of Mexico. We measured foraging behavior using characteristics of foraging trips and used area restricted search as a proxy for foraging events. Among individual attributes, nest stage contributed to differences in foraging behavior whereas sex did not. Birds searched for prey at nested hierarchical scales ranging from 200 m-35 km. Large-scale coastal and shelf-slope fronts shifted position between sampling periods and overlapped geographically with overall foraging locations. At small scales (at the prey patch level, the specific relationship between environmental variables and foraging behavior was highly variable among individuals but general patterns emerged. Sea surface height anomaly and velocity of water were the strongest predictors of area restricted search behavior in random forest models, a finding that is consistent with the characterization of the Gulf of Mexico as an energetic system strongly influenced by currents and eddies. Our data may be combined with tracking efforts in the Caribbean province and across tropical regions to advance

  12. Dynamic oceanography determines fine scale foraging behavior of Masked Boobies in the Gulf of Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poli, Caroline L.; Harrison, Autumn-Lynn; Vallarino, Adriana; Gerard, Patrick D.; Jodice, Patrick G.R.

    2017-01-01

    During breeding, foraging marine birds are under biological, geographic, and temporal constraints. These contraints require foraging birds to efficiently process environmental cues derived from physical habitat features that occur at nested spatial scales. Mesoscale oceanography in particular may change rapidly within and between breeding seasons, and findings from well-studied systems that relate oceanography to seabird foraging may transfer poorly to regions with substantially different oceanographic conditions. Our objective was to examine foraging behavior of a pan-tropical seabird, the Masked Booby (Sula dactylatra), in the understudied Caribbean province, a moderately productive region driven by highly dynamic currents and fronts. We tracked 135 individuals with GPS units during May 2013, November 2013, and December 2014 at a regionally important breeding colony in the southern Gulf of Mexico. We measured foraging behavior using characteristics of foraging trips and used area restricted search as a proxy for foraging events. Among individual attributes, nest stage contributed to differences in foraging behavior whereas sex did not. Birds searched for prey at nested hierarchical scales ranging from 200 m—35 km. Large-scale coastal and shelf-slope fronts shifted position between sampling periods and overlapped geographically with overall foraging locations. At small scales (at the prey patch level), the specific relationship between environmental variables and foraging behavior was highly variable among individuals but general patterns emerged. Sea surface height anomaly and velocity of water were the strongest predictors of area restricted search behavior in random forest models, a finding that is consistent with the characterization of the Gulf of Mexico as an energetic system strongly influenced by currents and eddies. Our data may be combined with tracking efforts in the Caribbean province and across tropical regions to advance understanding of seabird

  13. Corn in consortium with forages

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cássia Maria de Paula Garcia

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available The basic premises for sustainable agricultural development with focus on rural producers are reducing the costs of production and aggregation of values through the use crop-livestock system (CLS throughout the year. The CLS is based on the consortium of grain crops, especially corn with tropical forages, mainly of the genus Panicum and Urochloa. The study aimed to evaluate the grain yield of irrigated corn crop intercropped with forage of the genus Panicum and Urochloa. The experiment was conducted at the Fazenda de Ensino, Pesquisa e Extensão – FEPE  of the Faculdade de Engenharia - UNESP, Ilha Solteira in an Oxisol in savannah conditions and in the autumn winter of 2009. The experimental area was irrigated by a center pivot and had a history of no-tillage system for 8 years. The corn hybrid used was simple DKB 390 YG at distances of 0.90 m. The seeds of grasses were sown in 0.34 m spacing in the amount of 5 kg ha-1, they were mixed with fertilizer minutes before sowing  and placed in a compartment fertilizer seeder and fertilizers were mechanically deposited in the soil at a depth of 0.03 m. The experimental design used was a randomized block with four replications and five treatments: Panicum maximum cv. Tanzania sown during the nitrogen fertilization (CTD of the corn; Panicum maximum cv. Mombaça sown during the nitrogen fertilization (CMD of the corn; Urochloa brizantha cv. Xaraés sown during the occasion of nitrogen fertilization (CBD of the corn; Urochloa ruziziensis cv. Comumsown during the nitrogen fertilization (CRD of the corn and single corn (control. The production components of corn: plant population per hectare (PlPo, number of ears per hectare (NE ha-1, number of rows per ear (NRE, number of kernels per row on the cob (NKR, number of grain in the ear (NGE and mass of 100 grains (M100G were not influenced by consortium with forage. Comparing grain yield (GY single corn and maize intercropped with forage of the genus Panicum

  14. Aphid alarm pheromone as a cue for ants to locate aphid partners.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    François J Verheggen

    Full Text Available The mutualistic relationships that occur between myrmecophilous aphids and ants are based on the rich food supply that honeydew represents for ants and on the protection they provide against aphid natural enemies. While aphid predators and parasitoids actively forage for oviposition sites by using aphid semiochemicals, scouts of aphid-tending ant species would also benefit from locating honeydew resources by orienting toward aphid pheromone sources. The present study aims to provide additional information on the use of Aphis fabae alarm pheromone, i.e. (E-β-farnesene (EβF, by ant scouts. The perception and behavioral impact of EβF on Lasius niger were investigated using electroantennography and two bio-assays measuring their attraction and orientation towards aphid semiochemicals. Pronounced electrical depolarizations were observed from L. niger scout antennae to stimulations of A. fabae alarm pheromone, while other sesquiterpenes elicited weak or no responses. L. niger scouts were significantly attracted toward EβF in a four-arm olfactometer, as well as in an two-choice bioassay. These laboratory results suggest for the first time that low amounts of aphid alarm pheromone can be used by L. niger scouts as a cue indicating the presence of aphid colonies and could therefore mediate the aphid-ant partnership in the field.

  15. Sampling efficacy for the red imported fire ant Solenopsis invicta (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stringer, Lloyd D; Suckling, David Maxwell; Baird, David; Vander Meer, Robert K; Christian, Sheree J; Lester, Philip J

    2011-10-01

    Cost-effective detection of invasive ant colonies before establishment in new ranges is imperative for the protection of national borders and reducing their global impact. We examined the sampling efficiency of food-baits and pitfall traps (baited and nonbaited) in detecting isolated red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta Buren) nests in multiple environments in Gainesville, FL. Fire ants demonstrated a significantly higher preference for a mixed protein food type (hotdog or ground meat combined with sweet peanut butter) than for the sugar or water baits offered. Foraging distance success was a function of colony size, detection trap used, and surveillance duration. Colony gyne number did not influence detection success. Workers from small nests (0- to 15-cm mound diameter) traveled no >3 m to a food source, whereas large colonies (>30-cm mound diameter) traveled up to 17 m. Baited pitfall traps performed best at detecting incipient ant colonies followed by nonbaited pitfall traps then food baits, whereas food baits performed well when trying to detect large colonies. These results were used to create an interactive model in Microsoft Excel, whereby surveillance managers can alter trap type, density, and duration parameters to estimate the probability of detecting specified or unknown S. invicta colony sizes. This model will support decision makers who need to balance the sampling cost and risk of failure to detect fire ant colonies.

  16. Nutrition mediates the expression of cultivar-farmer conflict in a fungus-growing ant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shik, Jonathan Z; Gomez, Ernesto B; Kooij, Pepijn W; Santos, Juan C; Wcislo, William T; Boomsma, Jacobus J

    2016-09-06

    Attine ants evolved farming 55-60 My before humans. Although evolutionarily derived leafcutter ants achieved industrial-scale farming, extant species from basal attine genera continue to farm loosely domesticated fungal cultivars capable of pursuing independent reproductive interests. We used feeding experiments with the basal attine Mycocepurus smithii to test whether reproductive allocation conflicts between farmers and cultivars constrain crop yield, possibly explaining why their mutualism has remained limited in scale and productivity. Stoichiometric and geometric framework approaches showed that carbohydrate-rich substrates maximize growth of both edible hyphae and inedible mushrooms, but that modest protein provisioning can suppress mushroom formation. Worker foraging was consistent with maximizing long-term cultivar performance: ant farmers could neither increase carbohydrate provisioning without cultivars allocating the excess toward mushroom production, nor increase protein provisioning without compromising somatic cultivar growth. Our results confirm that phylogenetically basal attine farming has been very successful over evolutionary time, but that unresolved host-symbiont conflict may have precluded these wild-type symbioses from rising to ecological dominance. That status was achieved by the evolutionarily derived leafcutter ants following full domestication of a coevolving cultivar 30-35 Mya after the first attine ants committed to farming.

  17. A Stochastic Inversion Method for Potential Field Data: Ant Colony Optimization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Shuang; Hu, Xiangyun; Liu, Tianyou

    2014-07-01

    Simulating natural ants' foraging behavior, the ant colony optimization (ACO) algorithm performs excellently in combinational optimization problems, for example the traveling salesman problem and the quadratic assignment problem. However, the ACO is seldom used to inverted for gravitational and magnetic data. On the basis of the continuous and multi-dimensional objective function for potential field data optimization inversion, we present the node partition strategy ACO (NP-ACO) algorithm for inversion of model variables of fixed shape and recovery of physical property distributions of complicated shape models. We divide the continuous variables into discrete nodes and ants directionally tour the nodes by use of transition probabilities. We update the pheromone trails by use of Gaussian mapping between the objective function value and the quantity of pheromone. It can analyze the search results in real time and promote the rate of convergence and precision of inversion. Traditional mapping, including the ant-cycle system, weaken the differences between ant individuals and lead to premature convergence. We tested our method by use of synthetic data and real data from scenarios involving gravity and magnetic anomalies. The inverted model variables and recovered physical property distributions were in good agreement with the true values. The ACO algorithm for binary representation imaging and full imaging can recover sharper physical property distributions than traditional linear inversion methods. The ACO has good optimization capability and some excellent characteristics, for example robustness, parallel implementation, and portability, compared with other stochastic metaheuristics.

  18. Seasonal contrasts in the response of coffee ants to agroforestry shade-tree management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teodoro, A V; Sousa-Souto, L; Klein, A-M; Tscharntke, T

    2010-12-01

    In many tropical landscapes, agroforestry systems are the last forested ecosystems, providing shade, having higher humidity, mitigating potential droughts, and possessing more species than any other crop system. Here, we tested the hypothesis that higher levels of shade and associated humidity in agroforestry enhance coffee ant richness more during the dry than rainy season, comparing ant richness in 22 plots of three coffee agroforestry types in coastal Ecuador: simple-shade agroforests (intensively managed with low tree species diversity), complex-shade agroforests (extensively managed with intermediate tree species diversity) and abandoned coffee agroforests (abandoned for 10-15 yr and resembling secondary forests). Seasonality affected responses of ant richness but not composition to agroforestry management, in that most species were observed in abandoned coffee agroforests in the dry season. In the rainy season, however, most species were found in simple-shade agroforests, and complex agroforestry being intermediate. Foraging coffee ants species composition did not change differently according to agroforestry type and season. Results show that shade appears to be most important in the dry seasons, while a mosaic of different land-use types may provide adequate environmental conditions to ant species, maximizing landscape-wide richness throughout the year. © 2010 Entomological Society of America

  19. 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.

  20. Ants swimming in pitcher plants: kinematics of aquatic and terrestrial locomotion in Camponotus schmitzi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bohn, Holger Florian; Thornham, Daniel George; Federle, Walter

    2012-06-01

    Camponotus schmitzi ants live in symbiosis with the Bornean pitcher plant Nepenthes bicalcarata. Unique among ants, the workers regularly dive and swim in the pitcher's digestive fluid to forage for food. High-speed motion analysis revealed that C. schmitzi ants swim at the surface with all legs submerged, with an alternating tripod pattern. Compared to running, swimming involves lower stepping frequencies and larger phase delays within the legs of each tripod. Swimming ants move front and middle legs faster and keep them more extended during the power stroke than during the return stroke. Thrust estimates calculated from three-dimensional leg kinematics using a blade-element approach confirmed that forward propulsion is mainly achieved by the front and middle legs. The hind legs move much less, suggesting that they mainly serve for steering. Experiments with tethered C. schmitzi ants showed that characteristic swimming movements can be triggered by submersion in water. This reaction was absent in another Camponotus species investigated. Our study demonstrates how insects can use the same locomotory system and similar gait patterns for moving on land and in water. We discuss insect adaptations for aquatic/amphibious lifestyles and the special adaptations of C. schmitzi to living on an insect-trapping pitcher plant.

  1. Saving the injured: Rescue behavior in the termite-hunting ant Megaponera analis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frank, Erik Thomas; Schmitt, Thomas; Hovestadt, Thomas; Mitesser, Oliver; Stiegler, Jonas; Linsenmair, Karl Eduard

    2017-04-01

    Predators of highly defensive prey likely develop cost-reducing adaptations. The ant Megaponera analis is a specialized termite predator, solely raiding termites of the subfamily Macrotermitinae (in this study, mostly colonies of Pseudocanthotermes sp.) at their foraging sites. The evolutionary arms race between termites and ants led to various defensive mechanisms in termites (for example, a caste specialized in fighting predators). Because M. analis incurs high injury/mortality risks when preying on termites, some risk-mitigating adaptations seem likely to have evolved. We show that a unique rescue behavior in M. analis , consisting of injured nestmates being carried back to the nest, reduces combat mortality. After a fight, injured ants are carried back by their nestmates; these ants have usually lost an extremity or have termites clinging to them and are able to recover within the nest. Injured ants that are forced experimentally to return without help, die in 32% of the cases. Behavioral experiments show that two compounds, dimethyl disulfide and dimethyl trisulfide, present in the mandibular gland reservoirs, trigger the rescue behavior. A model accounting for this rescue behavior identifies the drivers favoring its evolution and estimates that rescuing enables maintenance of a 28.7% larger colony size. Our results are the first to explore experimentally the adaptive value of this form of rescue behavior focused on injured nestmates in social insects and help us to identify evolutionary drivers responsible for this type of behavior to evolve in animals.

  2. Evidence of Levy walk foraging patterns in human hunter-gatherers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raichlen, David A; Wood, Brian M; Gordon, Adam D; Mabulla, Audax Z P; Marlowe, Frank W; Pontzer, Herman

    2014-01-14

    When searching for food, many organisms adopt a superdiffusive, scale-free movement pattern called a Lévy walk, which is considered optimal when foraging for heterogeneously located resources with little prior knowledge of distribution patterns [Viswanathan GM, da Luz MGE, Raposo EP, Stanley HE (2011) The Physics of Foraging: An Introduction to Random Searches and Biological Encounters]. Although memory of food locations and higher cognition may limit the benefits of random walk strategies, no studies to date have fully explored search patterns in human foraging. Here, we show that human hunter-gatherers, the Hadza of northern Tanzania, perform Lévy walks in nearly one-half of all foraging bouts. Lévy walks occur when searching for a wide variety of foods from animal prey to underground tubers, suggesting that, even in the most cognitively complex forager on Earth, such patterns are essential to understanding elementary foraging mechanisms. This movement pattern may be fundamental to how humans experience and interact with the world across a wide range of ecological contexts, and it may be adaptive to food distribution patterns on the landscape, which previous studies suggested for organisms with more limited cognition. Additionally, Lévy walks may have become common early in our genus when hunting and gathering arose as a major foraging strategy, playing an important role in the evolution of human mobility.

  3. Geographic profiling and animal foraging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Le Comber, Steven C; Nicholls, Barry; Rossmo, D Kim; Racey, Paul A

    2006-05-21

    Geographic profiling was originally developed as a statistical tool for use in criminal cases, particularly those involving serial killers and rapists. It is designed to help police forces prioritize lists of suspects by using the location of crime scenes to identify the areas in which the criminal is most likely to live. Two important concepts are the buffer zone (criminals are less likely to commit crimes in the immediate vicinity of their home) and distance decay (criminals commit fewer crimes as the distance from their home increases). In this study, we show how the techniques of geographic profiling may be applied to animal data, using as an example foraging patterns in two sympatric colonies of pipistrelle bats, Pipistrellus pipistrellus and P. pygmaeus, in the northeast of Scotland. We show that if model variables are fitted to known roost locations, these variables may be used as numerical descriptors of foraging patterns. We go on to show that these variables can be used to differentiate patterns of foraging in these two species.

  4. Starvation dynamics of a greedy forager

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhat, U.; Redner, S.; Bénichou, O.

    2017-07-01

    We investigate the dynamics of a greedy forager that moves by random walking in an environment where each site initially contains one unit of food. Upon encountering a food-containing site, the forager eats all the food there and can subsequently hop an additional S steps without food before starving to death. Upon encountering an empty site, the forager goes hungry and comes one time unit closer to starvation. We investigate the new feature of forager greed; if the forager has a choice between hopping to an empty site or to a food-containing site in its nearest neighborhood, it hops preferentially towards food. If the neighboring sites all contain food or are all empty, the forager hops equiprobably to one of these neighbors. Paradoxically, the lifetime of the forager can depend non-monotonically on greed, and the sense of the non-monotonicity is opposite in one and two dimensions. Even more unexpectedly, the forager lifetime in one dimension is substantially enhanced when the greed is negative; here the forager tends to avoid food in its local neighborhood. We also determine the average amount of food consumed at the instant when the forager starves. We present analytic, heuristic, and numerical results to elucidate these intriguing phenomena.

  5. Foraging flight distances of wintering ducks and geese: a review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    William P. Johnson

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available The distance covered by foraging animals, especially those that radiate from a central area when foraging, may affect ecosystem, community, and population dynamics, and has conservation and landscape planning implications for multiple taxa, including migratory waterfowl. Migrating and wintering waterfowl make regular foraging flights between roosting and feeding areas that can greatly impact energetic resources within the foraging zone near roost sites. We reviewed published studies and gray literature for one-way foraging flight distances (FFDs of migrating and wintering dabbling ducks and geese. Thirty reviewed studies reported FFDs and several reported values for multiple species or locations. We obtained FFD values for migration (n = 7 and winter (n = 70. We evaluated the effects of body mass, guild, i.e., dabbling duck or goose, and location, i.e., Nearctic or Palearctic, on FFDs. We used the second-order Akaike's Information Criterion for model selection. We found support for effects of location and guild on FFDs. FFDs of waterfowl wintering in the Nearctic (7.4 ± 6.7 km, mean ± SD; n = 39 values were longer than in the Palearctic (4.2 ± 3.2 km; n = 31 values. The FFDs of geese (7.8 ± 7.2 km, mean ± SD; n = 24 values were longer than FFDs of dabbling ducks (5.1 ± 4.4 km, mean ± SD; n = 46 values. We found mixed evidence that distance flown from the roost changed, i.e., increased or decreased, seasonally. Our results can be used to refine estimates of energetic carrying capacity around roosts and in biological and landscape planning efforts.

  6. To drink or grasp? How bullet ants ( Paraponera clavata) differentiate between sugars and proteins in liquids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jandt, Jennifer; Larson, Hannah K.; Tellez, Peter; McGlynn, Terrence P.

    2013-12-01

    Flexibility in behavior can increase the likelihood that a forager may respond optimally in a fluctuating environment. Nevertheless, physiological or neuronal constraints may result in suboptimal responses to stimuli. We observed foraging workers of the giant tropical ant (also referred to as the "bullet ant"), Paraponera clavata, as they reacted to liquid solutions with varying concentrations of sugar and protein. We show that when protein/sucrose concentration is high, many bullet ants will often try to grasp at the droplet, rather than gather it by drinking. Because P. clavata actively hunt for prey, fixed action patterns and rapid responses to protein may be adaptively important, regardless of the medium in which it is presented. We conclude that, in P. clavata, food-handling decisions are made in response to the nutrient content of the food rather than the texture of the food. Further, we suggest that colonies that maintain a mixture of individuals with consistent fixed or flexible behavioral responses to food-handling decisions may be better adapted to fluctuating environmental conditions, and we propose future studies that could address this.

  7. Male parentage in army ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2006-01-01

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

  8. Trade-Off between Foraging Activity and Infestation by Nest Parasites in the Primitively Eusocial Bee Halictus scabiosae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea Lienhard

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Diurnal activities of Halictus scabiosae bees and their nest parasites (major bee-flies, cuckoo wasps, ichneumon wasps, Sphecodes bees, and velvet ants were investigated at a study site with 159 nests in Eastern Austria. Foraging activity correlated with ambient temperature only before midday and decreased in the afternoon. The activity of nest-infesting parasites increased during the day and correlated with ambient temperature. The match factor fm between the ratios of the foraging activities of H. scabiosae and the ratios of aspects of morning temperature was assessed on three consecutive days with different weather. The activity patterns of halictine bees and their nest parasites differed: the parasites exhibited only small time windows in which their activities were synchronised with those of their hosts. The bees exhibited an anticyclic behaviour and collected food in times of low parasite pressure and decreased foraging activity when parasite pressure increased.

  9. A cellular automata model for ant trails

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

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

  10. 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....

  11. Foraging strategy of little auks during chick rearing in northwest Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mosbech, Anders; Møller, Eva Friis; Johansen, Kasper Lambert

    of the ongoing warming of the Arctic. Here we present the first results from GPS tracking of breeding little auks in northwest Greenland, involving data from four different breeding colonies. We examine time budgets, foraging trip patterns and habitat preferences at foraging areas, including comparison......Foraging strategy of little auks during chick rearing in northwest Greenland Anders Mosbech, Kasper Johansen, Eva Friis Møller & Peter Lyngs Department of Biology and Arctic Center, Aarhus University, Denmark An estimated 80 % of the global little auk population breeds in the coastal landscape...... bordering the north water polynya in high Arctic northwest Greenland, and from this main breeding area very little is known on foraging behavior. Little auks are feeding on lipid-rich copepods associated with cold artic waters, and are potentially important for monitoring and assessing the impact...

  12. Warring arthropod societies: Social spider colonies can delay annihilation by predatory ants via reduced apparency and increased group size.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keiser, Carl N; Wright, Colin M; Pruitt, Jonathan N

    2015-10-01

    Sociality provides individuals with benefits via collective foraging and anti-predator defense. One of the costs of living in large groups, however, is increased apparency to natural enemies. Here, we test how the individual-level and collective traits of spider societies can increase the risk of discovery and death by predatory ants. We transplanted colonies of the social spider Stegodyphus dumicola into a habitat dense with one of their top predators, the pugnacious ant Anoplolepis custodiens. With three different experiments, we test how colony-wide survivorship in a predator-dense habitat can be altered by colony apparency (i.e., the presence of a capture web), group size, and group composition (i.e., the proportion of bold and shy personality types present). We also test how spiders' social context (i.e., living solitarily vs. among conspecifics) modifies their behaviour toward ants in their capture web. Colonies with capture webs intact were discovered by predatory ants on average 25% faster than colonies with the capture web removed, and all discovered colonies eventually collapsed and succumbed to predation. However, the lag time from discovery by ants to colony collapse was greater for colonies containing more individuals. The composition of individual personality types in the group had no influence on survivorship. Spiders in a social group were more likely to approach ants caught in their web than were isolated spiders. Isolated spiders were more likely to attack a safe prey item (a moth) than they were to attack ants and were more likely to retreat from ants after contact than they were after contact with moths. Together, our data suggest that the physical structures produced by large animal societies can increase their apparency to natural enemies, though larger groups can facilitate a longer lag time between discovery and demise. Lastly, the interaction between spiders and predatory ants seems to depend on the social context in which spiders reside

  13. Foraging strategy switch of a top marine predator according to seasonal resource differences

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Malcolm Daniel O'Toole

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available The spatio-temporal variability in marine resources influences the foraging behaviour and success of top marine predators. However, little is known about the links between these animals and ocean productivity, specifically, how plankton density influences their foraging behaviour. Southern elephant seals (Mirounga leonina have two annual at-sea foraging trips: a two month post-breeding foraging trip (Nov – Jan that coincides with elevated summer productivity; and an eight month post-moulting foraging trip (Feb – Oct over winter, when productivity is low. Physical parameters are often used to describe seal habitat, whereas information about important biological parameters is lacking. We used electronic tags deployed on elephant seals during both trips to determine their movement and foraging behaviour. The tags also recorded light, which measured the bio-optical properties of the water column, the bulk of which is presumably influenced by phytoplankton. We investigated the relationship between plankton density and seal foraging behaviour; comparing trends between summer and winter trips. We found a positive relationship between plankton density and foraging behaviour, which did not vary seasonally. We propose that profitable concentrations of seal prey are more likely to coincide with planktonic aggregations, but we also acknowledge that trophic dynamics may shift in response to seasonal trends in productivity. Seal prey (mid-trophic level and plankton (lower-trophic level are expected to overlap in space and time during summer trips when peak phytoplankton blooms occur. In contrast, aggregated patches of lower trophic levels are likely to be more dispersed during winter trips when plankton density is considerably lower and heterogeneous. These results show that southern elephant seals are able to exploit prey resources in different ways throughout the year as demonstrated by the variation observed between seal foraging behaviour and trophic

  14. Microsatellite Primers for Fungus-Growing Ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2002-01-01

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

  15. 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....

  16. Visual Foraging With Fingers and Eye Gaze

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ómar I. Jóhannesson

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available A popular model of the function of selective visual attention involves search where a single target is to be found among distractors. For many scenarios, a more realistic model involves search for multiple targets of various types, since natural tasks typically do not involve a single target. Here we present results from a novel multiple-target foraging paradigm. We compare finger foraging where observers cancel a set of predesignated targets by tapping them, to gaze foraging where observers cancel items by fixating them for 100 ms. During finger foraging, for most observers, there was a large difference between foraging based on a single feature, where observers switch easily between target types, and foraging based on a conjunction of features where observers tended to stick to one target type. The pattern was notably different during gaze foraging where these condition differences were smaller. Two conclusions follow: (a The fact that a sizeable number of observers (in particular during gaze foraging had little trouble switching between different target types raises challenges for many prominent theoretical accounts of visual attention and working memory. (b While caveats must be noted for the comparison of gaze and finger foraging, the results suggest that selection mechanisms for gaze and pointing have different operational constraints.

  17. Boa constrictor (Boa constrictor): foraging behavior

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sorrell, G.G.; Boback, M.S.; Reed, R.N.; Green, S.; Montgomery, Chad E.; DeSouza, L.S.; Chiaraviglio, M.

    2011-01-01

    Boa constrictor is often referred to as a sit-and-wait or ambush forager that chooses locations to maximize the likelihood of prey encounters (Greene 1983. In Janzen [ed.], Costa Rica Natural History, pp. 380-382. Univ. Chicago Press, Illinois). However, as more is learned about the natural history of snakes in general, the dichotomy between active versus ambush foraging is becoming blurred. Herein, we describe an instance of diurnal active foraging by a B. constrictor, illustrating that this species exhibits a range of foraging behaviors.

  18. U.S. DAIRY FORAGE RESEARCH CENTER

    Data.gov (United States)

    Federal Laboratory Consortium — Vision: Leading the world in integrated dairy forage systems research. Mission: Providing dairy industry solutions for food security, environmental sustainability,...

  19. U.S. Dairy Forage Research Center

    Data.gov (United States)

    Federal Laboratory Consortium — Vision: Leading the world in integrated dairy forage systems research. Mission: Providing dairy industry solutions for food security, environmental sustainability,...

  20. Division of labor regulates precision rescue behavior in sand-dwelling Cataglyphis cursor ants: to give is to receive.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elise Nowbahari

    Full Text Available Division of labor, an adaptation in which individuals specialize in performing tasks necessary to the colony, such as nest defense and foraging, is believed key to eusocial insects' remarkable ecological success. Here we report, for the first time, a completely novel specialization in a eusocial insect, namely the ability of Cataglyphis cursor ants to rescue a trapped nestmate using precisely targeted behavior. Labeled "precision rescue", this behavior involves the ability of rescuers not only to detect what, exactly, holds the victim in place, but also to direct specific actions to this obstacle. Individual ants, sampled from each of C. cursor's three castes, namely foragers, nurses and inactives, were experimentally ensnared (the "victim" and exposed to a caste-specific group of potential "rescuers." The data reveal that foragers were able to administer, and obtain, the most help while members of the youngest, inactive caste not only failed to respond to victims, but also received virtually no help from potential rescuers, regardless of caste. Nurses performed intermediate levels of aid, mirroring their intermediate caste status. Our results demonstrate that division of labor, which controls foraging, defense and brood care in C. cursor, also regulates a newly discovered behavior in this species, namely a sophisticated form of rescue, a highly adaptive specialization that is finely tuned to a caste member's probability of becoming, or encountering, a victim in need of rescue.

  1. 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.

  2. A model of ant route navigation driven by scene familiarity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bart Baddeley

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available In this paper we propose a model of visually guided route navigation in ants that captures the known properties of real behaviour whilst retaining mechanistic simplicity and thus biological plausibility. For an ant, the coupling of movement and viewing direction means that a familiar view specifies a familiar direction of movement. Since the views experienced along a habitual route will be more familiar, route navigation can be re-cast as a search for familiar views. This search can be performed with a simple scanning routine, a behaviour that ants have been observed to perform. We test this proposed route navigation strategy in simulation, by learning a series of routes through visually cluttered environments consisting of objects that are only distinguishable as silhouettes against the sky. In the first instance we determine view familiarity by exhaustive comparison with the set of views experienced during training. In further experiments we train an artificial neural network to perform familiarity discrimination using the training views. Our results indicate that, not only is the approach successful, but also that the routes that are learnt show many of the characteristics of the routes of desert ants. As such, we believe the model represents the only detailed and complete model of insect route guidance to date. What is more, the model provides a general demonstration that visually guided routes can be produced with parsimonious mechanisms that do not specify when or what to learn, nor separate routes into sequences of waypoints.

  3. 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.

  4. Establishment of Black Ant (Dolichoderus thoracicuson Cocoa Plantation and Its Effects on Helopeltisspp. Infestation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Soekadar Wiryadiputra

    2007-05-01

    Full Text Available Black ant (Dolichoderus thoracicusis the efficient biological control agent in suppressing main cocoa pests. It was reported that besides controlling the cocoa mirids, Helopeltisspp., this agent also can be used for biological control of cocoa pod borer (Conopomorpha cramerellaand rodents pest. Nevertheles, establishment of black ant in cocoa plantation is difficult. The objectives of research were to obtain the best method of black ant establisment and to know its effect on suppressing population and infestation of Helopeltis spp. The experiment was conducted on two cocoa ecosystems, namely cocoa plantation with coconut shading trees and with Gliricidia sepium shading trees. There were six methods of black ant establisment tried using a combination between black ant nest types and innoculation of mealybug (Cataenococcus hispidus. A control plot also added on these trial, therefore seven treatments were tried in this experiment and each treatmentwasreplicated three times. The results revealedthat on cocoa shaded by coconuts, ant establishment by the nests of coconut leaves combined with mealybug(Cataenococcus hispidusinoculation on husk wedges were the best method and could effectively control Helopeltis infestation. Good results of ant establishment also occurred on cocoa shaded by Gliricidia but its effect on Helopeltis infestation has not been significant. Four months after establishment of black ant on cocoa with coconut shading trees, Helopeltisspp. population on the plots treated by coconut leaves nest combined with innoculation of mealybug using husk wedges were very low, namely only one Helopeltisper 36 cocoa trees, whereas on control plot reaches of 85 Helopeltis. Infestation of Helopeltis measured by percentage of trees occupied by Helopeltisper 36 cocoa trees in the same period and treatment plot revealed also very low, namely 1.04% compared to 27.86% on that of the control plot. Key words : Cocoa, black ant (Dolichoderus thoracicus

  5. Smaller Brains and Optic Lobes in Reproductive Workers of the Ant Harpegnathos

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gronenberg, Wulfila; Liebig, Jürgen

    Most animals show long-term modifications of their behavior which often reflect an adaptation to seasonal variations (e.g., hibernation) or result from changes in the animal's internal state (e.g., estrous cycle or sexual maturity). Such modifications may substantially affect the nervous system [1, 2]. A particularly striking behavioral change can occur in workers of the ant Harpegnathos. A few young workers in the colony may become reproductives and are thus confined to their dark nest chambers, whereas most workers spend their lives as foragers, employing acute vision when hunting prey. This behavioral difference coincides with a marked decrease in brain volume and with an even stronger reduction in the large visual brain centers. Instead of maintaining superfluous brain functions, these ants reduce brain matter which is expensive to support.

  6. Developing Cyber Foraging Applications for Portable Devices

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kristensen, Mads Darø; Bouvin, Niels Olof

    2008-01-01

    This paper presents the Locusts cyber foraging framework. Cyber foraging is the opportunistic use of computing resources available in the nearby environment, and using such resources thus fall into the category of distributed computing. Furthermore, for the resources to be used efficiently, paral...

  7. 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...

  8. Dietary and prey-capture adaptations by which Zodarion germanicum, an ant-eating spider (Araneae: Zodariidae), specialises on the Formicinae

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pekár, S.; Toft, Søren; Hrusková, M.

    2008-01-01

    There has been considerable recent interest in the biology of spiders that specialise on ants as prey, but previous studies have tended to envisage the level of adaptation as being to ants as a group. In this paper, we provide evidence that Zodarion germanicum is a spider that has dietary and venom...... adaptations by which it targets a particular subset of ants, the subfamily Formicinae. We reared spiders from first instar in the laboratory on three different diets: formicine ants only, myrmicine ants only and mixed (both formicine and myrmicine ants). Fitness-related life-history parameters were determined......, and we found that the spiders on the formicine-only diet lived longer and grew at a faster rate. Lipid, carbon and nitrogen compositions of ants were analysed, but we found no evidence of formicines differing from myrmicines in macro-nutrient content. This suggests that effects on longevity and growth...

  9. Genetic Architecture of Natural Variation Underlying Adult Foraging Behavior That Is Essential for Survival of Drosophila melanogaster.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Yuh Chwen G; Yang, Qian; Chi, Wanhao; Turkson, Susie A; Du, Wei A; Kemkemer, Claus; Zeng, Zhao-Bang; Long, Manyuan; Zhuang, Xiaoxi

    2017-05-01

    Foraging behavior is critical for the fitness of individuals. However, the genetic basis of variation in foraging behavior and the evolutionary forces underlying such natural variation have rarely been investigated. We developed a systematic approach to assay the variation in survival rate in a foraging environment for adult flies derived from a wild Drosophila melanogaster population. Despite being such an essential trait, there is substantial variation of foraging behavior among D. melanogaster strains. Importantly, we provided the first evaluation of the potential caveats of using inbred Drosophila strains to perform genome-wide association studies on life-history traits, and concluded that inbreeding depression is unlikely a major contributor for the observed large variation in adult foraging behavior. We found that adult foraging behavior has a strong genetic component and, unlike larval foraging behavior, depends on multiple loci. Identified candidate genes are enriched in those with high expression in adult heads and, demonstrated by expression knock down assay, are involved in maintaining normal functions of the nervous system. Our study not only identified candidate genes for foraging behavior that is relevant to individual fitness, but also shed light on the initial stage underlying the evolution of the behavior. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.

  10. 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

  11. Feeding and stocking up: radio-labelled food reveals exchange patterns in ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buffin, Aurélie; Denis, Damien; Van Simaeys, Gaetan; Goldman, Serge; Deneubourg, Jean-Louis

    2009-06-17

    Food sharing is vital for a large number of species, either solitary or social, and is of particular importance within highly integrated societies, such as in colonial organisms and in social insects. Nevertheless, the mechanisms that govern the distribution of food inside a complex organizational system remain unknown. Using scintigraphy, a method developed for medical imaging, we were able to describe the dynamics of food-flow inside an ant colony. We monitored the sharing process of a radio-labelled sucrose solution inside a nest of Formica fusca. Our results show that, from the very first load that enters the nest, food present within the colony acts as negative feedback to entering food. After one hour of the experiments, 70% of the final harvest has already entered the nest. The total foraged quantity is almost four times smaller than the expected storage capacity. A finer study of the spatial distribution of food shows that although all ants have been fed rapidly (within 30 minutes), a small area representing on average 8% of the radioactive surface holds more than 25% of the stored food. Even in rather homogeneous nests, we observed a strong concentration of food in few workers. Examining the position of these workers inside the nest, we found heavily loaded ants in the centre of the aggregate. The position of the centre of this high-intensity radioactive surface remained stable for the three consecutive hours of the experiments. We demonstrate that the colony simultaneously managed to rapidly feed all workers (200 ants fed within 30 minutes) and build up food stocks to prevent food shortage, something that occurs rather often in changing environments. Though we expected the colony to forage to its maximum capacity, the flow of food entering the colony is finely tuned to the colony's needs. Indeed the food-flow decreases proportionally to the food that has already been harvested, liberating the work-force for other tasks.

  12. Symmetry breaking on density in escaping ants: experiment and alarm pheromone model.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Geng Li

    Full Text Available The symmetry breaking observed in nature is fascinating. This symmetry breaking is observed in both human crowds and ant colonies. In such cases, when escaping from a closed space with two symmetrically located exits, one exit is used more often than the other. Group size and density have been reported as having no significant impact on symmetry breaking, and the alignment rule has been used to model symmetry breaking. Density usually plays important roles in collective behavior. However, density is not well-studied in symmetry breaking, which forms the major basis of this paper. The experiment described in this paper on an ant colony displays an increase then decrease of symmetry breaking versus ant density. This result suggests that a Vicsek-like model with an alignment rule may not be the correct model for escaping ants. Based on biological facts that ants use pheromones to communicate, rather than seeing how other individuals move, we propose a simple yet effective alarm pheromone model. The model results agree well with the experimental outcomes. As a measure, this paper redefines symmetry breaking as the collective asymmetry by deducing the random fluctuations. This research indicates that ants deposit and respond to the alarm pheromone, and the accumulation of this biased information sharing leads to symmetry breaking, which suggests true fundamental rules of collective escape behavior in ants.

  13. Poneromorph Ants Associated with Parasitoid Wasps of the Genus Kapala Cameron (Hymenoptera: Eucharitidae in French Guiana

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jean-Paul Lachaud

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Eucharitid wasps are specific, specialized parasitoids of ants. The genus Kapala Cameron is the most common in the Neotropics but few species are described, and information dealing with their biology, behavior and host associations is scarce. Numerous poneromorph ant colonies were inspected over 4 collection surveys in French Guiana. A diverse fauna of parasites and parasitoids was found, including mermithid nematodes, flies, eucharitids, and another gregarious endoparasitoid wasp. Five new host associations for Kapala are reported, all of them involving medium- to large-size poneromorph ant species from 4 genera: Ectatomma brunneum Fr. Smith, Gnamptogenys tortuolosa (Fr. Smith, Odontomachus haematodus (L., O. mayi Mann, and Pachycondyla verenae (Forel. Three other associations involving O. hastatus (Fabr., P. apicalis (Latreille, and P. stigma (Fabr., already reported for other countries but new for French Guiana, are confirmed. The data extend the number of hosts for Kapala to 24 ant species from 7 genera. The high diversity of the ant host genera associated with Kapala, combined with the fact that these ant genera are the most widely distributed among Neotropical poneromorph ants, could account for the dominant status of the genus Kapala among the eucharitine wasps of Central and South America.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Dietary variation and stress among prehistoric Jomon foragers from Japan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Temple, Daniel H

    2007-08-01

    Current archaeological evidence indicates that greater dietary reliance on marine resources is recorded among the eastern Jomon, while plant dependence prevailed in western/inland Japan. The hypothesis that the dietary choices of the western/inland Jomon will be associated with greater systemic stress is tested by comparing carious tooth and enamel hypoplasia frequencies between the eastern and western/inland Jomon. Demographic collapse coincides with climate change during the Middle to Late Jomon period, suggesting dwindling resource availability. It is hypothesized that this change was associated with greater systemic stress and/or dietary change among the Middle to Late Jomon. This hypothesis is tested by comparing enamel hypoplasia and carious tooth frequencies between Middle to Late and Late to Final Jomon foragers. Enamel hypoplasia was significantly more prevalent among the western/inland Jomon. Such findings are consistent with archaeological studies that argue for greater plant consumption and stresses associated with seasonal resource depletion among the western/inland Jomon. Approximately equivalent enamel hypoplasia frequencies between Middle to Late and Late to Final Jomon foragers argues against a demographic collapse in association with diminished nutritional returns. Significant differences in carious tooth frequencies are, however, observed between Middle to Late and Late to Final Jomon foragers. These results suggest a subsistence shift during the Middle to Late Jomon period, perhaps in response to a changed climate. The overall patterns of stress documented by this study indicate wide-spread environmentally directed biological variation among the prehistoric Jomon. (c) 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  17. 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.

  18. The Effect of Trail Pheromone and Path Confinement on Learning of Complex Routes in the Ant Lasius niger.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Czaczkes, Tomer J; Weichselgartner, Tobias; Bernadou, Abel; Heinze, Jürgen

    2016-01-01

    Route learning is key to the survival of many central place foragers, such as bees and many ants. For ants which lay pheromone trails, the presence of a trail may act as an important source of information about whether an error has been made. The presence of trail pheromone has been demonstrated to support route learning, and the effect of pheromones on route choice have been reported to persist even after the pheromones have been removed. This could be explained in two ways: the pheromone may constrain the ants onto the correct route, thus preventing errors and aiding learning. Alternatively, the pheromones may act as a 'reassurance', signalling that the learner is on the right path and that learning the path is worthwhile. Here, we disentangle pheromone presence from route confinement in order to test these hypotheses, using the ant Lasius niger as a model. Unexpectedly, we did not find any evidence that pheromones support route learning. Indeed, there was no evidence that ants confined to the correct route learned at all. Thus, while we cannot support the 'reassurance' hypothesis, we can rule out the 'confinement' hypothesis. Other findings, such as a reduction in pheromone deposition in the presence of trail pheromones, are remarkably consistent with previous experiments. As previously reported, ants which make errors on their outward journey upregulate pheromone deposition on their return. Surprisingly, ants which would go on to make an error down-regulate pheromone deposition on their outward journey, hinting at a capacity for ants to gauge the quality of their own memories.

  19. The Effect of Trail Pheromone and Path Confinement on Learning of Complex Routes in the Ant Lasius niger.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tomer J Czaczkes

    Full Text Available Route learning is key to the survival of many central place foragers, such as bees and many ants. For ants which lay pheromone trails, the presence of a trail may act as an important source of information about whether an error has been made. The presence of trail pheromone has been demonstrated to support route learning, and the effect of pheromones on route choice have been reported to persist even after the pheromones have been removed. This could be explained in two ways: the pheromone may constrain the ants onto the correct route, thus preventing errors and aiding learning. Alternatively, the pheromones may act as a 'reassurance', signalling that the learner is on the right path and that learning the path is worthwhile. Here, we disentangle pheromone presence from route confinement in order to test these hypotheses, using the ant Lasius niger as a model. Unexpectedly, we did not find any evidence that pheromones support route learning. Indeed, there was no evidence that ants confined to the correct route learned at all. Thus, while we cannot support the 'reassurance' hypothesis, we can rule out the 'confinement' hypothesis. Other findings, such as a reduction in pheromone deposition in the presence of trail pheromones, are remarkably consistent with previous experiments. As previously reported, ants which make errors on their outward journey upregulate pheromone deposition on their return. Surprisingly, ants which would go on to make an error down-regulate pheromone deposition on their outward journey, hinting at a capacity for ants to gauge the quality of their own memories.

  20. Ocean acidification impairs crab foraging behaviour.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dodd, Luke F; Grabowski, Jonathan H; Piehler, Michael F; Westfield, Isaac; Ries, Justin B

    2015-07-07

    Anthropogenic elevation of atmospheric CO2 is driving global-scale ocean acidification, which consequently influences calcification rates of many marine invertebrates and potentially alters their susceptibility to predation. Ocean acidification may also impair an organism's ability to process environmental and biological cues. These counteracting impacts make it challenging to predict how acidification will alter species interactions and community structure. To examine effects of acidification on consumptive and behavioural interactions between mud crabs (Panopeus herbstii) and oysters (Crassostrea virginica), oysters were reared with and without caged crabs for 71 days at three pCO2 levels. During subsequent predation trials, acidification reduced prey consumption, handling time and duration of unsuccessful predation attempt. These negative effects of ocean acidification on crab foraging behaviour more than offset any benefit to crabs resulting from a reduction in the net rate of oyster calcification. These findings reveal that efforts to evaluate how acidification will alter marine food webs should include quantifying impacts on both calcification rates and animal behaviour. © 2015 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  1. 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...

  2. ANT: Software for Generating and Evaluating Degenerate Codons for Natural and Expanded Genetic Codes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Engqvist, Martin K M; Nielsen, Jens

    2015-08-21

    The Ambiguous Nucleotide Tool (ANT) is a desktop application that generates and evaluates degenerate codons. Degenerate codons are used to represent DNA positions that have multiple possible nucleotide alternatives. This is useful for protein engineering and directed evolution, where primers specified with degenerate codons are used as a basis for generating libraries of protein sequences. ANT is intuitive and can be used in a graphical user interface or by interacting with the code through a defined application programming interface. ANT comes with full support for nonstandard, user-defined, or expanded genetic codes (translation tables), which is important because synthetic biology is being applied to an ever widening range of natural and engineered organisms. The Python source code for ANT is freely distributed so that it may be used without restriction, modified, and incorporated in other software or custom data pipelines.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2011-01-01

    -ratios have convergently shaped these mating systems. Here we show that ponerine army ants of the genus Simopelta, which are distantly related but similar in general biology to other army ants, have strictly monandrous queens. Preliminary data suggest that workers reproduce in queenright colonies, which...... is in sharp contrast to other army ants. We hypothesize that differences in mature colony size and social complexity may explain these striking discrepancies....

  4. 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...

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Michael Jackson antes del caos

    OpenAIRE

    Juan Luciano Nieves

    2015-01-01

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

  8. Viaje Antártico

    OpenAIRE

    Lasa, Gorka

    2017-01-01

    Ah, qué grandiosa sensación esta de poder caminar por los eternos hielos y dejar que mi vista se pierda en el horizonte crepuscular de esta desolada región! Aquellas solitarias islas, lamentos blancos en la distancia, aquellos azules glaciares llorando su neblina de frío y siglos. Al llamado lejano, mi alma se ve arrastrada por los vientos australes. Mítico ensueño que genera en mi imaginación el gran continente antártico. Belleza misteriosa e intimidante de la vastedad casi mágica que envuel...

  9. Artificial pheromone for path selection by a foraging swarm of robots.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campo, Alexandre; Gutiérrez, Alvaro; Nouyan, Shervin; Pinciroli, Carlo; Longchamp, Valentin; Garnier, Simon; Dorigo, Marco

    2010-11-01

    Foraging robots involved in a search and retrieval task may create paths to navigate faster in their environment. In this context, a swarm of robots that has found several resources and created different paths may benefit strongly from path selection. Path selection enhances the foraging behavior by allowing the swarm to focus on the most profitable resource with the possibility for unused robots to stop participating in the path maintenance and to switch to another task. In order to achieve path selection, we implement virtual ants that lay artificial pheromone inside a network of robots. Virtual ants are local messages transmitted by robots; they travel along chains of robots and deposit artificial pheromone on the robots that are literally forming the chain and indicating the path. The concentration of artificial pheromone on the robots allows them to decide whether they are part of a selected path. We parameterize the mechanism with a mathematical model and provide an experimental validation using a swarm of 20 real robots. We show that our mechanism favors the selection of the closest resource is able to select a new path if a selected resource becomes unavailable and selects a newly detected and better resource when possible. As robots use very simple messages and behaviors, the system would be particularly well suited for swarms of microrobots with minimal abilities.

  10. Local distortion of the earth’s magnetic field as a proposal for handling the leafcutter ant species Atta spp. (Hymenoptera: Formicidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hernán Paz Penagos

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Studies regarding the spatial orientation of social insects (bees, termites and ants concerning their search for food, foraging and transporting it have received considerable attention during the last few years. Such studies have been aimed at learning so as to apply it to robotics (multiagents and ecological pest control. However, little is known about the types of orientation mechanism and their integration in such insects. This article presents some geomagnetic field detection studies dealing with controlling them by magnetotaxis or orientation experiments in Sasaima (Cundinamarca to formulate an ecological management proposal for ants from this species which greatly affect Colombian agriculture.

  11. 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...

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

    OpenAIRE

    Briano, Juan; Calcaterra, Luis; Varone, Laura

    2012-01-01

    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 repo...

  13. 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

  14. Sympatric cattle grazing and desert bighorn sheep foraging

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garrison, Kyle R.; Cain, James W.; Rominger, Eric M.; Goldstein, Elise J.

    2015-01-01

    Foraging behavior affects animal fitness and is largely dictated by the resources available to an animal. Understanding factors that affect forage resources is important for conservation and management of wildlife. Cattle sympatry is proposed to limit desert bighorn population performance, but few studies have quantified the effect of cattle foraging on bighorn forage resources or foraging behavior by desert bighorn. We estimated forage biomass for desert bighorn sheep in 2 mountain ranges: the cattle-grazed Caballo Mountains and the ungrazed San Andres Mountains, New Mexico. We recorded foraging bout efficiency of adult females by recording feeding time/step while foraging, and activity budgets of 3 age-sex classes (i.e., adult males, adult females, yearlings). We also estimated forage biomass at sites where bighorn were observed foraging. We expected lower forage biomass in the cattle-grazed Caballo range than in the ungrazed San Andres range and lower biomass at cattle-accessible versus inaccessible areas within the Caballo range. We predicted bighorn would be less efficient foragers in the Caballo range. Groundcover forage biomass was low in both ranges throughout the study (Jun 2012–Nov 2013). Browse biomass, however, was 4.7 times lower in the Caballo range versus the San Andres range. Bighorn in the Caballo range exhibited greater overall daily travel time, presumably to locate areas of higher forage abundance. By selecting areas with greater forage abundance, adult females in the Caballo range exhibited foraging bout efficiency similar to their San Andres counterparts but lower overall daily browsing time. We did not find a significant reduction in forage biomass at cattle-accessible areas in the Caballo range. Only the most rugged areas in the Caballo range had abundant forage, potentially a result of intensive historical livestock use in less rugged areas. Forage conditions in the Caballo range apparently force bighorn to increase foraging effort by

  15. Hybrid chaotic ant swarm optimization

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Li Yuying; Wen Qiaoyan; Li Lixiang; Peng Haipeng

    2009-01-01

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

  16. Optimal Foraging by Birds: Experiments for Secondary & Postsecondary Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pecor, Keith W.; Lake, Ellen C.; Wund, Matthew A.

    2015-01-01

    Optimal foraging theory attempts to explain the foraging patterns observed in animals, including their choice of particular food items and foraging locations. We describe three experiments designed to test hypotheses about food choice and foraging habitat preference using bird feeders. These experiments can be used alone or in combination and can…

  17. BEE FORAGE MAPPING BASED ON MULTISPECTRAL IMAGES LANDSAT

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Moskalenko

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Possibilities of bee forage identification and mapping based on multispectral images have been shown in the research. Spectral brightness of bee forage has been determined with the use of satellite images. The effectiveness of some methods of image classification for mapping of bee forage is shown. Keywords: bee forage, mapping, multispectral images, image classification.

  18. 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.

  19. Application of ground penetrating radar in detecting the hazards and risks of termites and ants in soil levees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Xiuhao; Henderson, Gregg; Mao, Lixin; Evans, Ahmad

    2009-08-01

    A ground penetrating radar (GPR) technique was used to detect Formosan subterranean termite (Coptotermes formosanus) and red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta) hazards and risks (targets) in a soil levee at the London Avenue Canal in New Orleans, LA. To make this assessment, GPR signal scans were examined for features produced by termite or ant activities and potential sources of food and shelter such as nests, tree roots, and voids (tunnels). The total scanned length of the soil levee was 4,125 m. The average velocity and effective depth of the radar penetration was 0.080 m/ns and 0.61 m, respectively. Four hundred twenty-seven targets were identified. Tree roots (38), voids (31), fire ant nests (209), and metal objects (149) were detected, but no Formosan termite carton nests were identified. The lack of identified termite nests may be related to drowning events at the time to the flood. Based on the target density (TD), the two new floodwall and levee sections that were rebuilt or reinforced after they were destroyed by Hurricane Katrina in 2005 were determined to be at low potential risk from termites and ants. A merging target density (MTD) method indicated a high potential risk near one of the breached sections still remains. Foraging and nesting activity of Formosan subterranean termites and red imported fire ants may be a contributory factor to the levee failure at the London Avenue Canal.

  20. Functional role of phenylacetic acid from metapleural gland secretions in controlling fungal pathogens in evolutionarily derived leaf-cutting ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fernández-Marín, Hermógenes; Nash, David Richard; Higginbotham, Sarah

    2015-01-01

    Fungus-farming ant colonies vary four to five orders of magnitude in size. They employ compounds from actinomycete bacteria and exocrine glands as antimicrobial agents. Atta colonies have millions of ants and are particularly relevant for understanding hygienic strategies as they have abandoned...... their ancestors’ prime dependence on antibiotic-based biological control in favour of using metapleural gland (MG) chemical secretions. Atta MGs are unique in synthesizing large quantities of phenylacetic acid (PAA), a known but little investigated antimicrobial agent.We showthat particularly the smallestworkers...... derived leaf-cutting ants are less sensitive to PAA than strains from phylogenetically more basal fungus-farming ants, consistent with the dynamics of an evolutionary arms race between virulence and control for Escovopsis, but not Metarhizium. Atta ants form larger colonies with more extreme caste...

  1. Limited gene dispersal and spatial genetic structure as stabilizing factors in an ant-plant mutualism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malé, P-J G; Leroy, C; Humblot, P; Dejean, A; Quilichini, A; Orivel, J

    2016-12-01

    Comparative studies of the population genetics of closely associated species are necessary to properly understand the evolution of these relationships because gene flow between populations affects the partners' evolutionary potential at the local scale. As a consequence (at least for antagonistic interactions), asymmetries in the strength of the genetic structures of the partner populations can result in one partner having a co-evolutionary advantage. Here, we assess the population genetic structure of partners engaged in a species-specific and obligatory mutualism: the Neotropical ant-plant, Hirtella physophora, and its ant associate, Allomerus decemarticulatus. Although the ant cannot complete its life cycle elsewhere than on H. physophora and the plant cannot live for long without the protection provided by A. decemarticulatus, these species also have antagonistic interactions: the ants have been shown to benefit from castrating their host plant and the plant is able to retaliate against too virulent ant colonies. We found similar short dispersal distances for both partners, resulting in the local transmission of the association and, thus, inbred populations in which too virulent castrating ants face the risk of local extinction due to the absence of H. physophora offspring. On the other hand, we show that the plant populations probably experienced greater gene flow than did the ant populations, thus enhancing the evolutionary potential of the plants. We conclude that such levels of spatial structure in the partners' populations can increase the stability of the mutualistic relationship. Indeed, the local transmission of the association enables partial alignments of the partners' interests, and population connectivity allows the plant retaliation mechanisms to be locally adapted to the castration behaviour of their symbionts. © 2016 European Society For Evolutionary Biology. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2016 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  2. Specialization does not predict individual efficiency in an ant.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna Dornhaus

    2008-11-01

    Full Text Available The ecological success of social insects is often attributed to an increase in efficiency achieved through division of labor between workers in a colony. Much research has therefore focused on the mechanism by which a division of labor is implemented, i.e., on how tasks are allocated to workers. However, the important assumption that specialists are indeed more efficient at their work than generalist individuals--the "Jack-of-all-trades is master of none" hypothesis--has rarely been tested. Here, I quantify worker efficiency, measured as work completed per time, in four different tasks in the ant Temnothorax albipennis: honey and protein foraging, collection of nest-building material, and brood transports in a colony emigration. I show that individual efficiency is not predicted by how specialized workers were on the respective task. Worker efficiency is also not consistently predicted by that worker's overall activity or delay to begin the task. Even when only the worker's rank relative to nestmates in the same colony was used, specialization did not predict efficiency in three out of the four tasks, and more specialized workers actually performed worse than others in the fourth task (collection of sand grains. I also show that the above relationships, as well as median individual efficiency, do not change with colony size. My results demonstrate that in an ant species without morphologically differentiated worker castes, workers may nevertheless differ in their ability to perform different tasks. Surprisingly, this variation is not utilized by the colony--worker allocation to tasks is unrelated to their ability to perform them. What, then, are the adaptive benefits of behavioral specialization, and why do workers choose tasks without regard for whether they can perform them well? We are still far from an understanding of the adaptive benefits of division of labor in social insects.

  3. 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.

  4. 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 ...

  5. 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

  6. Group foraging increases foraging efficiency in a piscivorous diver, the African penguin

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGeorge, Cuan; Ginsberg, Samuel; Pichegru, Lorien; Pistorius, Pierre A.

    2017-01-01

    Marine piscivores have evolved a variety of morphological and behavioural adaptations, including group foraging, to optimize foraging efficiency when targeting shoaling fish. For penguins that are known to associate at sea and feed on these prey resources, there is nonetheless a lack of empirical evidence to support improved foraging efficiency when foraging with conspecifics. We examined the hunting strategies and foraging performance of breeding African penguins equipped with animal-borne video recorders. Individuals pursued both solitary as well as schooling pelagic fish, and demonstrated independent as well as group foraging behaviour. The most profitable foraging involved herding of fish schools upwards during the ascent phase of a dive where most catches constituted depolarized fish. Catch-per-unit-effort was significantly improved when targeting fish schools as opposed to single fish, especially when foraging in groups. In contrast to more generalist penguin species, African penguins appear to have evolved specialist hunting strategies closely linked to their primary reliance on schooling pelagic fish. The specialist nature of the observed hunting strategies further limits the survival potential of this species if Allee effects reduce group size-related foraging efficiency. This is likely to be exacerbated by diminishing fish stocks due to resource competition and environmental change. PMID:28989785

  7. Effects of small-scale clustering of flowers on pollinator foraging behaviour and flower visitation rate

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Akter, Asma; Biella, Paolo; Klečka, Jan

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 12, č. 11 (2017), č. článku e0187976. E-ISSN 1932-6203 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GP14-10035P; GA ČR(CZ) GJ17-24795Y Grant - others:GA JU(CZ) 152/2016/P Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : Dracocephalum moldavica * foraging behaviour * foraging biology Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour OBOR OECD: Ecology Impact factor: 2.806, year: 2016 http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0187976

  8. Forage: a sensitive indicator of airborne radioactivity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jackson, W.M.; Noakes, J.E.; Spaulding, J.D.

    1981-01-01

    This paper presents the results of using Ge(Li) γ-ray spectroscopy to measure radioactivity concentration of forage in the vicinity of the Joseph M. Farley Nuclear Plant, Houston County, AL., over a 31/2 yr period. The report period includes 2 yr of pre-operational and 11/2 yr of operational sampling. Although the objective of forage sampling was the measurement of manmade airborne fallout radioactivity, several natural radioisotopes were also found to be present. A summary of natural radioactivity data for all samples measured during the period from August 1975 to December 1978 is given. Approximately 10 days after each of four Chinese atmospheric nuclear tests conducted during the sampling period fresh fission product fallout was measured on the forage. The information from these nuclear tests shows forage sampling to be a convenient and sensitive monitoring tool for airborne fallout radioactivity. (author)

  9. Cell Wall Diversity in Forage Maize

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Torres, A.F.; Noordam-Boot, C.M.M.; Dolstra, Oene; Weijde, van der Tim; Combes, Eliette; Dufour, Philippe; Vlaswinkel, Louis; Visser, R.G.F.; Trindade, L.M.

    2015-01-01

    Genetic studies are ideal platforms for assessing the extent of genetic diversity, inferring the genetic architecture, and evaluating complex trait interrelations for cell wall compositional and bioconversion traits relevant to bioenergy applications. Through the characterization of a forage

  10. African Journal of Range and Forage Science

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The African Journal of Range & Forage Science is the leading rangeland and pastoral journal in Africa. The Journal is dedicated to publishing quality original material that advances rangeland ecology and pasture management in Africa. Read more abou the journal here.

  11. Multisensory foraging by hymenopterous parasitoids

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Waeckers, F.L.

    1994-01-01

    The use of parasitoids as biological control agents is gaining interest as an environmentally sound alternative to the use of chemical insecticides. In order to extend and optimize biological control systems, it is essential to gain insight in the stimuli and mechanisms by which natural enemies

  12. 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.

  13. Annual forage cropping-systems for midwestern ruminant livestock production

    OpenAIRE

    McMillan, John Ernest

    2016-01-01

    Annual forage cropping systems are a vital aspect of livestock forage production. One area where this production system can be enhanced is the integration of novel annual forages into conventional cropping systems. Two separate projects were conducted to investigate alternative forage options in annual forage production. In the first discussed research trial, two sets of crops were sown following soft red winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) grain harvest, at two nitrogen application rates 56 ...

  14. Agronomic and forage characteristics of Guazuma ulmifolia Lam.

    OpenAIRE

    Manríquez-Mendoza, Leonor Yalid; López-Ortíz, Silvia; Pérez-Hernández, Ponciano; Ortega- Jiménez, Eusebio; López-Tecpoyotl, Zenón Gerardo; Villarruel-Fuentes, Manuel

    2011-01-01

    Native trees are an important source of forage for livestock, particularly in regions having prolonged dry periods. Some tree species have fast growth rates, good nutritional quality, and the ability to produce forage during dry periods when the need for forage is greater. Guazuma ulmifolia Lam. is a tree native to tropical America that has a high forage potential. This species is mentioned in a number of studies assessing the forage potential of trees in a diverse array of environments and v...

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. Chemical and behavioral integration of army ant-associated rove beetles - a comparison between specialists and generalists.

    Science.gov (United States)

    von Beeren, Christoph; Brückner, Adrian; Maruyama, Munetoshi; Burke, Griffin; Wieschollek, Jana; Kronauer, Daniel J C

    2018-01-01

    Host-symbiont interactions are embedded in ecological communities and range from unspecific to highly specific relationships. Army ants and their arthropod guests represent a fascinating example of species-rich host-symbiont associations where host specificity ranges across the entire generalist - specialist continuum. In the present study, we compared the behavioral and chemical integration mechanisms of two extremes of the generalist - specialist continuum: generalist ant-predators in the genus Tetradonia (Staphylinidae: Aleocharinae: Athetini), and specialist ant-mimics in the genera Ecitomorpha and Ecitophya (Staphylinidae: Aleocharinae: Ecitocharini). Similar to a previous study of Tetradonia beetles, we combined DNA barcoding with morphological studies to define species boundaries in ant-mimicking beetles. This approach found four ant-mimicking species at our study site at La Selva Biological Station in Costa Rica. Community sampling of Eciton army ant parasites revealed that ant-mimicking beetles were perfect host specialists, each beetle species being associated with a single Eciton species. These specialists were seamlessly integrated into the host colony, while generalists avoided physical contact to host ants in behavioral assays. Analysis of the ants' nestmate recognition cues, i.e. cuticular hydrocarbons (CHCs), showed close similarity in CHC composition and CHC concentration between specialists and Eciton burchellii foreli host ants. On the contrary, the chemical profiles of generalists matched host profiles less well, indicating that high accuracy in chemical host resemblance is only accomplished by socially integrated species. Considering the interplay between behavior, morphology, and cuticular chemistry, specialists but not generalists have cracked the ants' social code with respect to various sensory modalities. Our results support the long-standing idea that the evolution of host-specialization in parasites is a trade-off between the range of

  18. Ambient Air Temperature Does Not Predict whether Small or Large Workers Forage in Bumble Bees (Bombus impatiens

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Margaret J. Couvillon

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Bumble bees are important pollinators of crops and other plants. However, many aspects of their basic biology remain relatively unexplored. For example, one important and unusual natural history feature in bumble bees is the massive size variation seen between workers of the same nest. This size polymorphism may be an adaptation for division of labor, colony economics, or be nonadaptive. It was also suggested that perhaps this variation allows for niche specialization in workers foraging at different temperatures: larger bees might be better suited to forage at cooler temperatures and smaller bees might be better suited to forage at warmer temperatures. This we tested here using a large, enclosed growth chamber, where we were able to regulate the ambient temperature. We found no significant effect of ambient or nest temperature on the average size of bees flying to and foraging from a suspended feeder. Instead, bees of all sizes successfully flew and foraged between 16∘C and 36∘C. Thus, large bees foraged even at very hot temperatures, which we thought might cause overheating. Size variation therefore could not be explained in terms of niche specialization for foragers at different temperatures.

  19. Recognition of endophytic Trichoderma species by leaf-cutting ants and their potential in a Trojan-horse management strategy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rocha, Silma L.; Evans, Harry C.; Jorge, Vanessa L.; Cardoso, Lucimar A. O.; Pereira, Fernanda S. T.; Rocha, Fabiano B.; Barreto, Robert W.; Hart, Adam G.

    2017-01-01

    Interactions between leaf-cutting ants, their fungal symbiont (Leucoagaricus) and the endophytic fungi within the vegetation they carry into their colonies are still poorly understood. If endophytes antagonistic to Leucoagaricus were found in plant material being carried by these ants, then this might indicate a potential mechanism for plants to defend themselves from leaf-cutter attack. In addition, it could offer possibilities for the management of these important Neotropical pests. Here, we show that, for Atta sexdens rubropilosa, there was a significantly greater incidence of Trichoderma species in the vegetation removed from the nests—and deposited around the entrances—than in that being transported into the nests. In a no-choice test, Trichoderma-infested rice was taken into the nest, with deleterious effects on both the fungal gardens and ant survival. The endophytic ability of selected strains of Trichoderma was also confirmed, following their inoculation and subsequent reisolation from seedlings of eucalyptus. These results indicate that endophytic fungi which pose a threat to ant fungal gardens through their antagonistic traits, such as Trichoderma, have the potential to act as bodyguards of their plant hosts and thus might be employed in a Trojan-horse strategy to mitigate the negative impact of leaf-cutting ants in both agriculture and silviculture in the Neotropics. We posit that the ants would detect and evict such ‘malign’ endophytes—artificially inoculated into vulnerable crops—during the quality-control process within the nest, and, moreover, that the foraging ants may then be deterred from further harvesting of ‘Trichoderma-enriched’ plants. PMID:28484603

  20. Evidence of trapline foraging in honeybees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buatois, Alexis; Lihoreau, Mathieu

    2016-08-15

    Central-place foragers exploiting floral resources often use multi-destination routes (traplines) to maximise their foraging efficiency. Recent studies on bumblebees have showed how solitary foragers can learn traplines, minimising travel costs between multiple replenishing feeding locations. Here we demonstrate a similar routing strategy in the honeybee (Apis mellifera), a major pollinator known to recruit nestmates to discovered food resources. Individual honeybees trained to collect sucrose solution from four artificial flowers arranged within 10 m of the hive location developed repeatable visitation sequences both in the laboratory and in the field. A 10-fold increase of between-flower distances considerably intensified this routing behaviour, with bees establishing more stable and more efficient routes at larger spatial scales. In these advanced social insects, trapline foraging may complement cooperative foraging for exploiting food resources near the hive (where dance recruitment is not used) or when resources are not large enough to sustain multiple foragers at once. © 2016. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  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. Michael Jackson antes del caos

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juan Luciano Nieves

    2015-01-01

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

  3. Individual Recognition in Ant Queens

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    D'Ettorre, Patrizia; Heinze, Jürgen

    2005-01-01

    Personal relationships are the cornerstone of vertebrate societies, but insect societies are either too large for individual recognition, or their members were assumed to lack the necessary cognitive abilities 1 and 2 . This paradigm has been challenged by the recent discovery that paper wasps...... recognize each other's unique facial color patterns [3] . Individual recognition is advantageous when dominance hierarchies control the partitioning of work and reproduction 2 and 4 . Here, we show that unrelated founding queens of the ant Pachycondyla villosa use chemical cues to recognize each other...... individually. Aggression was significantly lower in pairs of queens that had previously interacted than in pairs with similar social history but no experience with one another. Moreover, subordinates discriminated familiar and unfamiliar dominants in choice experiments in which physical contact, but not odor...

  4. FDTD-ANT User Manual

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zimmerman, Martin L.

    1995-01-01

    This manual explains the theory and operation of the finite-difference time domain code FDTD-ANT developed by Analex Corporation at the NASA Lewis Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio. This code can be used for solving electromagnetic problems that are electrically small or medium (on the order of 1 to 50 cubic wavelengths). Calculated parameters include transmission line impedance, relative effective permittivity, antenna input impedance, and far-field patterns in both the time and frequency domains. The maximum problem size may be adjusted according to the computer used. This code has been run on the DEC VAX and 486 PC's and on workstations such as the Sun Sparc and the IBM RS/6000.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Temporal fractals in seabird foraging behaviour: diving through the scales of time

    Science.gov (United States)

    Macintosh, Andrew J. J.; Pelletier, Laure; Chiaradia, Andre; Kato, Akiko; Ropert-Coudert, Yan

    2013-05-01

    Animal behaviour exhibits fractal structure in space and time. Fractal properties in animal space-use have been explored extensively under the Lévy flight foraging hypothesis, but studies of behaviour change itself through time are rarer, have typically used shorter sequences generated in the laboratory, and generally lack critical assessment of their results. We thus performed an in-depth analysis of fractal time in binary dive sequences collected via bio-logging from free-ranging little penguins (Eudyptula minor) across full-day foraging trips (216 data points; 4 orders of temporal magnitude). Results from 4 fractal methods show that dive sequences are long-range dependent and persistent across ca. 2 orders of magnitude. This fractal structure correlated with trip length and time spent underwater, but individual traits had little effect. Fractal time is a fundamental characteristic of penguin foraging behaviour, and its investigation is thus a promising avenue for research on interactions between animals and their environments.

  8. Individual lifetime pollen and nectar foraging preferences in bumble bees

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hagbery, Jessica; Nieh, James C.

    2012-10-01

    Foraging specialization plays an important role in the ability of social insects to efficiently allocate labor. However, relatively little is known about the degree to which individual bumble bees specialize on collecting nectar or pollen, when such preferences manifest, and if individuals can alter their foraging preferences in response to changes in the colony workforce. Using Bombus impatiens, we monitored all foraging visits made by every bee in multiple colonies and showed that individual foragers exhibit consistent lifetime foraging preferences. Based upon the distribution of foraging preferences, we defined three forager types (pollen specialists, nectar specialists, and generalists). In unmanipulated colonies, 16-36 % of individuals specialized (≥90 % of visits) on nectar or pollen only. On its first day of foraging, an individual's foraging choices (nectar only, pollen only, or nectar and pollen) significantly predicted its lifetime foraging preferences. Foragers that only collected pollen on their first day of foraging made 1.61- to 1.67-fold more lifetime pollen foraging visits (as a proportion of total trips) than foragers that only collected nectar on their first foraging day. Foragers were significantly larger than bees that stayed only in the nest. We also determined the effect of removing pollen specialists at early (brood present) or later (brood absent) stages in colony life. These results suggest that generalists can alter their foraging preferences in response to the loss of a small subset of foragers. Thus, bumble bees exhibit individual lifetime foraging preferences that are established early in life, but generalists may be able to adapt to colony needs.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. The organization of societal conflicts by pavement ants Tetramorium caespitum: an agent-based model of amine-mediated decision making.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoover, Kevin M; Bubak, Andrew N; Law, Isaac J; Yaeger, Jazmine D W; Renner, Kenneth J; Swallow, John G; Greene, Michael J

    2016-06-01

    Ant colonies self-organize to solve complex problems despite the simplicity of an individual ant's brain. Pavement ant Tetramorium caespitum colonies must solve the problem of defending the territory that they patrol in search of energetically rich forage. When members of 2 colonies randomly interact at the territory boundary a decision to fight occurs when: 1) there is a mismatch in nestmate recognition cues and 2) each ant has a recent history of high interaction rates with nestmate ants. Instead of fighting, some ants will decide to recruit more workers from the nest to the fighting location, and in this way a positive feedback mediates the development of colony wide wars. In ants, the monoamines serotonin (5-HT) and octopamine (OA) modulate many behaviors associated with colony organization and in particular behaviors associated with nestmate recognition and aggression. In this article, we develop and explore an agent-based model that conceptualizes how individual changes in brain concentrations of 5-HT and OA, paired with a simple threshold-based decision rule, can lead to the development of colony wide warfare. Model simulations do lead to the development of warfare with 91% of ants fighting at the end of 1 h. When conducting a sensitivity analysis, we determined that uncertainty in monoamine concentration signal decay influences the behavior of the model more than uncertainty in the decision-making rule or density. We conclude that pavement ant behavior is consistent with the detection of interaction rate through a single timed interval rather than integration of multiple interactions.

  12. Quitting time: When do honey bee foragers decide to stop foraging on natural resources?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael eRivera

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Honey bee foragers may use both personal and social information when making decisions about when to visit resources. In particular, foragers may stop foraging at resources when their own experience indicates declining resource quality, or when social information, namely the delay to being able to unload nectar to receiver bees, indicates that the colony has little need for the particular resource being collected. Here we test the relative importance of these two factors in a natural setting, where colonies are using many dynamically changing resources. We recorded detailed foraging histories of individually marked bees, and identified when they appeared to abandon any resources (such as flower patches that they had previously been collecting from consistently. As in previous studies, we recorded duration of trophallaxis events (unloading nectar to receiver bees as a proxy for resource quality and the delays before returning foragers started trophallaxis as a proxy for social need for the resource. If these proxy measures accurately reflect changes in resource quality and social need, they should predict whether bees continue foraging or not. However, neither factor predicted when individuals stopped foraging on a particular resource, nor did they explain changes in colony-level foraging activity. This may indicate that other, as yet unstudied processes also affect individual decisions to abandon particular resources.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F. Barbero

    2012-01-01

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

  16. Giant ants and their shape: revealing relationships in the genus Titanomyrma with geometric morphometrics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julian Katzke

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Shape is a natural phenomenon inherent to many different lifeforms. A modern technique to analyse shape is geometric morphometrics (GM, which offers a whole range of methods concerning the pure shape of an object. The results from these methods have provided new insights into biological problems and have become especially useful in the fields of entomology and palaeontology. Despite the conspicuous successes in other hymenopteran groups, GM analysis of wings and fossil wings of Formicidae has been neglected. Here we tested if landmarks defining the wing shape of fossil ants that belong to the genus Titanomyrma are reliable and if this technique is able to expose relationships among different groups of the largest Hymenoptera that ever lived. This study comprises 402 wings from 362 ants that were analysed and assigned with the GM methods linear discriminant function analysis, principal component analysis, canonical variate analysis, and regression. The giant ant genus Titanomyrma and the parataxon Formicium have different representatives that are all very similar but these modern methods were able to distinguish giant ant types even to the level of the sex. Thirty-five giant ant specimens from the Eckfeld Maar were significantly differentiable from a collection of Messel specimens that consisted of 187 Titanomyrma gigantea females and 42 T. gigantea males, and from 74 Titanomyrma simillima females and 21 T. simillima males. Out of the 324 Messel ants, 127 are newly assigned to a species and 223 giant ants are newly assigned to sex with GM analysis. All specimens from Messel fit to the two species. Moreover, shape affinities of these groups and the species Formicium brodiei, Formicium mirabile, and Formicium berryi, which are known only from wings, were investigated. T. gigantea stands out with a possible female relative in one of the Eckfeld specimens whereas the other groups show similar shape patterns that are possibly plesiomorphic. Formicidae

  17. Giant ants and their shape: revealing relationships in the genus Titanomyrma with geometric morphometrics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Katzke, Julian; Barden, Phillip; Dehon, Manuel; Michez, Denis; Wappler, Torsten

    2018-01-01

    Shape is a natural phenomenon inherent to many different lifeforms. A modern technique to analyse shape is geometric morphometrics (GM), which offers a whole range of methods concerning the pure shape of an object. The results from these methods have provided new insights into biological problems and have become especially useful in the fields of entomology and palaeontology. Despite the conspicuous successes in other hymenopteran groups, GM analysis of wings and fossil wings of Formicidae has been neglected. Here we tested if landmarks defining the wing shape of fossil ants that belong to the genus Titanomyrma are reliable and if this technique is able to expose relationships among different groups of the largest Hymenoptera that ever lived. This study comprises 402 wings from 362 ants that were analysed and assigned with the GM methods linear discriminant function analysis, principal component analysis, canonical variate analysis, and regression. The giant ant genus Titanomyrma and the parataxon Formicium have different representatives that are all very similar but these modern methods were able to distinguish giant ant types even to the level of the sex. Thirty-five giant ant specimens from the Eckfeld Maar were significantly differentiable from a collection of Messel specimens that consisted of 187 Titanomyrma gigantea females and 42 T. gigantea males, and from 74 Titanomyrma simillima females and 21 T. simillima males. Out of the 324 Messel ants, 127 are newly assigned to a species and 223 giant ants are newly assigned to sex with GM analysis. All specimens from Messel fit to the two species. Moreover, shape affinities of these groups and the species Formicium brodiei , Formicium mirabile , and Formicium berryi , which are known only from wings, were investigated. T. gigantea stands out with a possible female relative in one of the Eckfeld specimens whereas the other groups show similar shape patterns that are possibly plesiomorphic. Formicidae are one of the

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-06-01

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

  19. Tricks of the trade: Mechanism of brood theft in an ant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paul, Bishwarup; Annagiri, Sumana

    2018-01-01

    Thievery is ubiquitous in the animal kingdom, social insects not being an exception. Brood is invaluable for the survival of social insect colonies and brood theft is well documented in ants. In many species the stolen brood act as slaves in the thief colony as they take up tasks related to foraging, defence and colony maintenance. Slave-making (dulotic) ants are at an advantage as they gain workforce without investing in rearing immature young, and several slave-making species have been recorded in temperate regions. In the current study we investigate brood theft in a primitively eusocial ponerine ant Diacamma indicum that inhabits the tropics. In the context of colony relocation we asked how thieves steal brood and what victim colonies do to prevent theft. While exposed nests increased colonies' vulnerability, the relocation process itself did not enhance the chances of theft. Various aggressive interactions, in particular immobilization of intruders helped in preventing theft. Thieves that acted quickly, stayed furtive and stole unguarded brood were found to be successful. This comprehensive study of behavioural mechanism of theft reveals that these are the 'tricks' adopted by thieves.

  20. Avaliação da urina e de leucócitos como amostras biológicas para a detecção ante mortem do vírus da cinomose canina por RT-PCR em cães naturalmente infectados Evaluation of the urine and leucocytes as biological samples for ante mortem detection of canine distemper virus by RT-PCR assay in naturally infected dogs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F.J. Negrão

    2007-02-01

    Full Text Available Urine and leucocytes were comparatively evaluated as clinical samples for ante mortem detection of the canine distemper virus (CDV by a reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR assay. One hundred and eighty eight dogs with clinical symptoms of distemper, were distributed in three groups. The group A was constituted of 93 dogs with systemic signs of distemper; the group B by 11 dogs with neurological signs, and the group C by 84 dogs that presented simultaneously systemic and neurological signs. In 66.5% (125/188 of the dogs was amplified an amplicon with 287 base pair of the CDV nucleoprotein gene. In 60.8% (76/125 of the animals the CDV was detected simultaneously in the urine and leucocytes, and in 39.2% (49/125 of the dogs just a type of clinical sample (urine: n=37; leucocytes: n=12 was positive. These results demonstrate that the different forms of clinical distemper disease can hinder the choice of only one type of clinical sample to carry out the ante mortem etiological diagnosis of CDV infection, and false-negative results can be generated.

  1. Biology And Biometry Of A Beautiful And Forageable Freshwater ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Crustaceans are the highly preferred delicacy for many organisms including man. The preference was reflected from the quantum of selective feed in take from the wild predatory organisms, which was evaluated by the gut content analysis. But the gut mainly contain partially digested or fragments of prey after digestion.

  2. 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 ...

  3. Ant mosaics in Bornean primary rain forest high canopy depend on spatial scale, time of day, and sampling method

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kalsum M. Yusah

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Background Competitive interactions in biological communities can be thought of as giving rise to “assembly rules” that dictate the species that are able to co-exist. Ant communities in tropical canopies often display a particular pattern, an “ant mosaic”, in which competition between dominant ant species results in a patchwork of mutually exclusive territories. Although ant mosaics have been well-documented in plantation landscapes, their presence in pristine tropical forests remained contentious until recently. Here we assess presence of ant mosaics in a hitherto under-investigated forest stratum, the emergent trees of the high canopy in primary tropical rain forest, and explore how the strength of any ant mosaics is affected by spatial scale, time of day, and sampling method. Methods To test whether these factors might impact the detection of ant mosaics in pristine habitats, we sampled ant communities from emergent trees, which rise above the highest canopy layers in lowland dipterocarp rain forests in North Borneo (38.8–60.2 m, using both baiting and insecticide fogging. Critically, we restricted sampling to only the canopy of each focal tree. For baiting, we carried out sampling during both the day and the night. We used null models of species co-occurrence to assess patterns of segregation at within-tree and between-tree scales. Results The numerically dominant ant species on the emergent trees sampled formed a diverse community, with differences in the identity of dominant species between times of day and sampling methods. Between trees, we found patterns of ant species segregation consistent with the existence of ant mosaics using both methods. Within trees, fogged ants were segregated, while baited ants were segregated only at night. Discussion We conclude that ant mosaics are present within the emergent trees of the high canopy of tropical rain forest in Malaysian Borneo, and that sampling technique, spatial scale, and time

  4. Kunstikriitik Ants Juske sai doktoriks / Neeme Korv

    Index Scriptorium Estoniae

    Korv, Neeme, 1974-

    2003-01-01

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

  5. 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....

  6. 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. ...

  7. 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...

  8. Conservation and Ecology of Marine Forage Fishes--Proceedings of a Research Symposium, September 2012

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liedtke, Theresa; Gibson, Caroline; Lowry, Dayv; Fagergren, Duane

    2013-01-01

    Locally and globally, there is growing recognition of the critical roles that herring, smelt, sand lance, eulachon, and other forage fishes play in marine ecosystems. Scientific and resource management entities throughout the Salish Sea, agree that extensive information gaps exist, both in basic biological knowledge and parameters critical to fishery management. Communication and collaboration among researchers also is inadequate. Building on the interest and enthusiasm generated by recent forage fish workshops and symposia around the region, the 2012 Research Symposium on the Conservation and Ecology of Marine Forage Fishes was designed to elucidate practical recommendations for science and policy needs and actions, and spur further collaboration in support for the precautionary management of forage fish. This dynamic and productive event was a joint venture of the Northwest Straits Commission Forage Fish Program, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), and The Puget Sound Partnership. The symposium was held on September 12–14, 2012, at the University of Washington, Friday Harbor Laboratories campus. Sixty scientists, graduate students, and fisheries policy experts convened; showcasing ongoing research, conservation, and management efforts targeting forage fish from regional and national perspectives. The primary objectives of this event were to: (1) review current research and management related to marine forage fish species; and (2) identify priority science and policy needs and actions for Washington, British Columbia, and the entire West Coast. Given the diversity of knowledge, interests, and disciplines surrounding forage fish on both sides of the international border, the organizing committee made a concerted effort to contact many additional experts who, although unable to attend, provided valuable insights and ideas to the symposium structure and discussions. The value of the symposium format was highlighted in

  9. 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...

  10. 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 Science Czech Republic, Ceske Budejovice (Czech Republic). Inst. of Soil Biology

    2006-07-15

    A study was carried out during 2001 on mine tailings in NW Bohemia aimed at describing the spatial patterns of nests distribution and epigeic activity of ants in relation to the vegetation mosaic. Lasius niger was the most abundant species of ant and its nest mounds were significantly more numerous in patches with sparse vegetation than inside dense Calamagrostis epigejos vegetation; this was particularly true for small and medium-sized nests. Small and medium nests also occurred more frequently near the edges of a given patch than in the center. Large and medium nests were randomly distributed in the area, whereas small nests had an aggregated distribution. Pitfall trapping reveal significantly higher activity of L. niger workers in tall and dense vegetation stands in comparison with low and sparse vegetation. This pattern was particularly pronounced during the peak of foraging activity in summer and was not so significant in spring or autumn. We expect that ants preferentially forage in shaded habitats during the summer months when bare soil may be too hot. The results indicated that nesting and foraging may differ in their microclimatic requirements and the formation of vegetation mosaics may be important to changes in the ant population during succession.

  11. An Overview of Integrated Management of Leaf-Cutting Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae in Brazilian Forest Plantations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ronald Zanetti

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Brazilian forest producers have developed integrated management programs to increase the effectiveness of the control of leaf-cutting ants of the genera Atta and Acromyrmex. These measures reduced the costs and quantity of insecticides used in the plantations. Such integrated management programs are based on monitoring the ant nests, as well as the need and timing of the control methods. Chemical control employing baits is the most commonly used method, however, biological, mechanical and cultural control methods, besides plant resistance, can reduce the quantity of chemicals applied in the plantations.

  12. Mating Behavior of the African Weaver Ant, Oecophylla longinoda (Latreille) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nene, Wilson; Rwegasira, Gration; Offenberg, Hans Joachim

    2015-01-01

    Mating in most species of ants occurs during nuptial flights. In the African weaver ant, Oecophylla longinoda Latreille, mating has previously been hypothesized to take place within the nest before the nuptial flight. However, several researchers disagree with this supposition particularly...... with reference to the closely related species Oecopylla smaragdina (Fabricius) whose mating occur during nuptial flights. Understanding the mating strategy of O. longinoda is of importance for its successful application in biological control programs. We conducted field and screen house experiments during two...

  13. The expression and impact of antifungal grooming in ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reber, A; Purcell, J; Buechel, S D; Buri, P; Chapuisat, M

    2011-05-01

    Parasites can cause extensive damage to animal societies in which many related individuals frequently interact. In response, social animals have evolved diverse individual and collective defences. Here, we measured the expression and efficiency of self-grooming and allo-grooming when workers of the ant Formica selysi were contaminated with spores of the fungal entomopathogen Metarhizium anisopliae. The amount of self-grooming increased in the presence of fungal spores, which shows that the ants are able to detect the risk of infection. In contrast, the amount of allo-grooming did not depend on fungal contamination. Workers groomed all nestmate workers that were re-introduced into their groups. The amount of allo-grooming towards noncontaminated individuals was higher when the group had been previously exposed to the pathogen. Allo-grooming decreased the number of fungal spores on the surface of contaminated workers, but did not prevent infection in the conditions tested (high dose of spores and late allo-grooming). The rate of disease transmission to groomers and other nestmates was extremely low. The systematic allo-grooming of all individuals returning to the colony, be they contaminated or not, is probably a simple but robust prophylactic defence preventing the spread of fungal diseases in insect societies. © 2011 The Authors. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2011 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  14. Cognitive plasticity in foraging Vespula germanica wasps.

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'Adamo, Paola; Lozada, Mariana

    2011-01-01

    Vespula germanica (F.) (Hymenoptera: Vespidae) is a highly invasive social wasp that exhibits a rich behavioral repertoire in which learning and memory play a fundamental role in foraging. The learning abilities of these wasps were analyzed while relocating a food source and whether V. germanica foragers are capable of discriminating between different orientation patterns and generalizing their choice to a new pattern. Foraging wasps were trained to associate two different stripe orientation patterns with their respective food locations. Their response to a novel configuration that maintained the orientation of one of the learned patterns but differed in other aspects (e.g. width of stripes) was then evaluated. The results support the hypothesis that V. germanica wasps are able to associate a particular oriented pattern with the location of a feeder and to generalize their choice to a new pattern, which differed in quality, but presented the same orientation.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2006-01-01

    the PPG morphology varies considerably according to age and mating status. The epithelial thickness increases with age and reaches a maximum at 3 weeks in both virgin and mated queens. A considerable expansion of the lumen diameter occurs in both groups between 4 and 7 days. Virgin queens release...... nurses and foragers. We suggest the PPG serves different purposes in pharaoh's ants: it is likely that the PPG of workers and virgin queens is used to feed larvae. In mated queens the gland probably plays a role in providing the queen with nutritious oils for egg production. The PPG may also function...

  16. Forage production in mixed grazing systems of elephant grass with arrowleaf clover or forage peanut

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daiane Cristine Seibt

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT Most dairy production systems are pasture-based, usually consisting of sole grass species. This system facilitates pasture management, but results in high production costs, mainly because of nitrogen fertilizers. An alternative to making forage systems more sustainable is to introduce legumes into the pasture. Mixed pastures allow better forage distribution over time and reduce fertilization costs. Thus, the objective of this study was to evaluate, throughout the year, three forage systems (FS: FS1 (control - elephant grass (EG, ryegrass (RG, and spontaneous species (SS; FS2 - EG + RG + SS + arrowleaf clover; and FS3 - EG + RG + SS + forage peanut. Elephant grass was planted in rows spaced 4 m apart. Ryegrass was sown between the EG lines, in the winter. Arrowleaf clover was sown according to the respective treatments and forage peanut was preserved. Evaluation was carried out using Holstein cows. The experiment was arranged in a completely randomized design, with three treatments (FS, and three repetitions (paddocks with repeated measurements (grazing cycles. Forage mass achieved 3.46, 3.80, and 3.91 t ha-1 for the treatments FS1, FS2 and FS3, respectively. The forage systems intercropped with legumes produced the best results.

  17. Toxic industrial deposit remediation by ant activity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jilkova, Veronika; Frouz, Jan

    2016-04-01

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

  18. Congestion and communication in confined ant traffic

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-03-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. Thermoregulation strategies in ants in comparison to other social insects, with a focus on red wood ants (Formica rufa group [v2; ref status: indexed, http://f1000r.es/35p

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Štěpánka Kadochová

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Temperature influences every aspect of ant biology, especially metabolic rate, growth and development. Maintenance of high inner nest temperature increases the rate of sexual brood development and thereby increases the colony fitness. Insect societies can achieve better thermoregulation than solitary insects due to the former’s ability to build large and elaborated nests and display complex behaviour. In ants and termites the upper part of the nest, the mound, often works as a solar collector and can also have an efficient ventilation system. Two thermoregulatory strategies could be applied. Firstly the ants use an increased thermal gradient available in the mound for brood relocation. Nurse workers move the brood according to the thermal gradients to ensure the ideal conditions for development. A precise perception of temperature and evolution of temperature preferences are needed to make the correct choices. A second thermoregulatory strategy used by mound nesting ants is keeping a high temperature inside large nests. The unique thermal and insulation properties of the nest material help to maintain stable conditions, which is the case of the Wood ant genus Formica. Ants can regulate thermal loss by moving nest aggregation and alternating nest ventilation. Metabolic heat produced by ant workers or associated micro organisms is an important additional source of heat which helps to maintain thermal homeostasis in the nest.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Information Foraging Theory: A Framework for Intelligence Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-11-01

    oceanographic information, human intelligence (HUMINT), open-source intelligence ( OSINT ), and information provided by other governmental departments [1][5...Human Intelligence IFT Information Foraging Theory LSA Latent Semantic Similarity MVT Marginal Value Theorem OFT Optimal Foraging Theory OSINT

  6. A properly adjusted forage harvester can save time and money

    Science.gov (United States)

    A properly adjusted forage harvester can save fuel and increase the realizable milk per ton of your silage. This article details the adjustments necessary to minimize energy while maximizing productivity and forage quality....

  7. Social foraging by waterbirds in shallow coastal lagoons in Ghana

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Battley, PF; Poot, M; Wiersma, P; Gordon, C; Ntiamoa-Baidu, Y; Piersma, T; Battley, Phil F.

    Social foraging in waterbirds in Ghanaian coastal lagoons was studied during October and November 1994. Two types of foraging were social: directionally synchronized flocks (often involving distinctive feeding methods used in unison) and dense pecking aggregations. Social flocks were typically

  8. 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.

  9. Molecular phylogenetic study of a myrmecophyte symbiosis: did Leonardoxa/ ant associations diversify via cospeciation?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chenuil, A; McKey, D B

    1996-10-01

    The Leonardoxa africana (Leguminosae: Caesalpinioideae) complex is a group of four closely related taxa (L1 to L4) exhibiting various grades of specificity and specialization in mutualistic associations with ants. Each of the two most specialized species, Leonardoxa taxon 3 (L3) and L. africana sensu stricto (L4), interacts with a specific species of formicine ant, respectively Aphomomyrmex after and Petalomyrmex phylax, which nests in specialized swollen twigs. These two monotypic genera are the sole African members of the tribe Myrmelachistini, and their occurrence in closely related plants suggested thehypothesis that the two associations L4/Petalomyrmex and L3/Aphomomyrmex are derived by cospeciation from an ancestral association. Phylogenies based on DNA sequences were reconstructed for the ants and compared with phylogenies available for the plants in order to test for this hypothesis of cospeciation. The resulting topologies suggest either that the association with myrmelachistine ants arose several times or that a plant species (L2) and an ant population split off from an ancestral association. Furthermore, dates of speciation events appear to differ between ants and corresponding plants. An estimate of at least 4 million years was obtained for the separation of Aphomomyrmex and Petalomyrmex, whereas biological, biogeographic, and molecular-genetic data suggest a much more recent divergence for the plants. Thus, we reject the hypothesis of cospeciation and conclude that Aphomomyrmex and Petalomyrmex independently colonized different taxa of Leonardoxa. This striking instance of parallel evolution supports the notion that specific ant-plant associations originated by ecological fitting of preadapted partners. We discuss alternative evolutionary scenarios that are consistent with molecular data.

  10. Destructive disinfection of infected brood prevents systemic disease spread in ant colonies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pull, Christopher D; Ugelvig, Line V; Wiesenhofer, Florian; Grasse, Anna V; Tragust, Simon; Schmitt, Thomas; Brown, Mark Jf; Cremer, Sylvia

    2018-01-09

    In social groups, infections have the potential to spread rapidly and cause disease outbreaks. Here, we show that in a social insect, the ant Lasius neglectus , the negative consequences of fungal infections ( Metarhizium brunneum ) can be mitigated by employing an efficient multicomponent behaviour, termed destructive disinfection, which prevents further spread of the disease through the colony. Ants specifically target infected pupae during the pathogen's non-contagious incubation period, utilising chemical 'sickness cues' emitted by pupae. They then remove the pupal cocoon, perforate its cuticle and administer antimicrobial poison, which enters the body and prevents pathogen replication from the inside out. Like the immune system of a metazoan body that specifically targets and eliminates infected cells, ants destroy infected brood to stop the pathogen completing its lifecycle, thus protecting the rest of the colony. Hence, in an analogous fashion, the same principles of disease defence apply at different levels of biological organisation.

  11. Positive-Strand RNA Viruses Infecting the Red Imported Fire Ant, Solenopsis invicta

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Steven M. Valles

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available The imported fire ants, Solenopsis invicta and S. richteri were introduced into the USA between 1918 and 1945. Since that time, they have expanded their USA range to include some 138 million hectares. Their introduction has had significant economic consequences with costs associated with damage and control efforts estimated at 6 billion dollars annually in the USA. The general consensus of entomologists and myrmecologists is that permanent, sustainable control of these ants in the USA will likely depend on self-sustaining biological control agents. A metagenomics approach successfully resulted in discovery of three viruses infecting S. invicta. Solenopsis invicta virus 1 (SINV-1, SINV-2, and SINV-3 are all positive, single-stranded RNA viruses and represent the first viral discoveries in any ant species. Molecular characterization, host relationships, and potential development and use of SINV-1, SINV-2, and SINV-3 as biopesticides are discussed.

  12. Scheduling and development support in the Scavenger cyber foraging system

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kristensen, Mads Darø; Bouvin, Niels Olof

    2010-01-01

    Cyber foraging is a pervasive computing technique where small mobile devices offload resource intensive tasks to stronger computing machinery in the vicinity. One of the main challenges within cyber foraging is that it is very difficult to develop cyber foraging enabled applications. An applicati...

  13. Evaluation of nutritional value some forage species available in Iran ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Novin

    2012-07-17

    Jul 17, 2012 ... and chemical composition of forage species was estimated. MATERIALS AND METHODS ... head per day at 8.00 a.m. and 6.00 p.m. Forage samples (2 g DM with 2 mm screen ) were weighed into nylon bags ..... methods to study the kinetics of degradation of forage species, instead of the in situ technique, ...

  14. 7 CFR 407.13 - Group risk plan for forage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    ... acres of hay in the county, as specified in the actuarial documents. The actuarial documents will... a period for forage regrowth. 2. Crop Insured The insured crop will be the forage types shown on the... the Group Risk Plan Common Policy, acreage seeded to forage after July 1 of the previous crop year...

  15. 7 CFR 457.117 - Forage production crop insurance provisions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    ... INSURANCE CORPORATION, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE COMMON CROP INSURANCE REGULATIONS § 457.117 Forage..., or a mixture thereof, or other species as shown in the Actuarial Documents. Harvest—Removal of forage... different price elections by type, in which case you may select one price election for each forage type...

  16. Blue Oak Canopy Effect on Seasonal Forage Production and Quality

    Science.gov (United States)

    William E. Frost; Neil K. McDougald; Montague W. Demment

    1991-01-01

    Forage production and forage quality were measured seasonally beneath the canopy of blue oak (Quercus douglasii) and in open grassland at the San Joaquin Experimental Range. At the March and peak standing crop sampling dates forage production was significantly greater (p=.05) beneath blue oak compared to open grassland. At most sampling dates, the...

  17. Subterranean ants (Hymenoptera, Formicidae as prey of fossorial reptiles (Reptilia, Squamata: Amphisbaenidae in Central Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Flávia de Araújo Esteves

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available The ant diversity observed in stomach contents of fossorial reptiles was compared to the subterranean ant richness collected using traditional and modern techniques of ant collections. We analyzed the alimentary tract of 64 specimens of amphisbaenians (4 Amphisbaena alba, 10 A. fuliginosa, 25 A. vermicularis, and 25 Leposternon infraorbitale collected during the fauna rescue for the construction of Serra da Mesa hydroelectric dam in the Tocantins River (from 1992 to 1997, in Minaçu County, Goiás, Brazil. We found only five ant species present in the stomach contents, all belonging to the army ants subfamily Ecitoninae. In contrast, the traditional techniques for subterranean ants' collection are far more efficient than the exam of fossorial reptile's stomach contents, collecting a much richer and diverse ant fauna. The exclusive occurrence of army ants in the alimentary tract of these fossorial reptiles suggests that they trace the chemical trails laid by the ants while moving inside and over the soil. Further, the occurrence of the epigaeic army ants Eciton and Labidus in the stomach contents suggests that amphisbaenians may forage on the soil surface as well.A diversidade de formigas no conteúdo estomacal de répteis fossoriais foi comparada à riqueza de formigas subterrâneas coletadas com o uso de técnicas tradicionais e modernas para sua coleta. Analisamos o trato alimentar de 64 espécimes de anfisbenídeos (4 Amphisbaena alba, 10 A. fuliginosa, 25 A. vermicularis e 25 Leposternon infraorbitale coletados durante o resgate da fauna para a construção da represa da Hidroelétrica da Serra da Mesa no Rio Tocantins (de 1992 a 1997, na cidade de Minaçu, Goiás, Brasil. Encontramos apenas cinco espécies de formigas presentes nos conteúdos estomacais aqui examinados, todas pertencentes à subfamília das formigas-de-correição, Ecitoninae. Ao contrário, as técnicas tradicionais de coleta de formigas subterrâneas são muito mais

  18. Visualization of Metabolic Interaction Networks in Microbial Communities Using VisANT 5.0.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brian R Granger

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available The complexity of metabolic networks in microbial communities poses an unresolved visualization and interpretation challenge. We address this challenge in the newly expanded version of a software tool for the analysis of biological networks, VisANT 5.0. We focus in particular on facilitating the visual exploration of metabolic interaction between microbes in a community, e.g. as predicted by COMETS (Computation of Microbial Ecosystems in Time and Space, a dynamic stoichiometric modeling framework. Using VisANT's unique metagraph implementation, we show how one can use VisANT 5.0 to explore different time-dependent ecosystem-level metabolic networks. In particular, we analyze the metabolic interaction network between two bacteria previously shown to display an obligate cross-feeding interdependency. In addition, we illustrate how a putative minimal gut microbiome community could be represented in our framework, making it possible to highlight interactions across multiple coexisting species. We envisage that the "symbiotic layout" of VisANT can be employed as a general tool for the analysis of metabolism in complex microbial communities as well as heterogeneous human tissues. VisANT is freely available at: http://visant.bu.edu and COMETS at http://comets.bu.edu.

  19. Visualization of Metabolic Interaction Networks in Microbial Communities Using VisANT 5.0.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Granger, Brian R; Chang, Yi-Chien; Wang, Yan; DeLisi, Charles; Segrè, Daniel; Hu, Zhenjun

    2016-04-01

    The complexity of metabolic networks in microbial communities poses an unresolved visualization and interpretation challenge. We address this challenge in the newly expanded version of a software tool for the analysis of biological networks, VisANT 5.0. We focus in particular on facilitating the visual exploration of metabolic interaction between microbes in a community, e.g. as predicted by COMETS (Computation of Microbial Ecosystems in Time and Space), a dynamic stoichiometric modeling framework. Using VisANT's unique metagraph implementation, we show how one can use VisANT 5.0 to explore different time-dependent ecosystem-level metabolic networks. In particular, we analyze the metabolic interaction network between two bacteria previously shown to display an obligate cross-feeding interdependency. In addition, we illustrate how a putative minimal gut microbiome community could be represented in our framework, making it possible to highlight interactions across multiple coexisting species. We envisage that the "symbiotic layout" of VisANT can be employed as a general tool for the analysis of metabolism in complex microbial communities as well as heterogeneous human tissues. VisANT is freely available at: http://visant.bu.edu and COMETS at http://comets.bu.edu.

  20. A preliminary checklist of the ants (Hymenoptera, Formicidae of Andorra

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Abel Bernadou

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available Within the last decade, checklists of the ant fauna of several European countries have been published or updated. Nevertheless, no ant checklists have hitherto been published for the principality of Andorra, a small landlocked country located in the eastern part of the Pyrenees. This work presents a critical list of the ant species of Andorra based on a review of the literature and on the biological material we collected during several field campaigns conducted in Andorra since the year 2005. Seventy-five species belonging to 21 genera of Formicidae were recorded. Nine species were recorded for the first time in Andorra: Aphaenogaster gibbosa (Latreille, 1798, Camponotus lateralis (Olivier, 1792, Camponotus piceus (Leach, 1825, Formica exsecta Nylander, 1846, Lasius piliferus Seifert, 1992, Tapinoma madeirense Forel, 1895, Temnothorax lichtensteini (Bondroit, 1918, Temnothorax niger (Forel, 1894, Temnothorax nigriceps (Mayr, 1855. The most speciose genera were Formica Linnaeus, 1758 and Temnothorax Forel, 1890 with 14 and 12 species, respectively. The ant fauna of Andorra is mostly dominated by Central European species (some are typical cold climate specialists; however species belonging to the Mediterranean ant fauna were also found. This can be explained by the particular geographic situation of Andorra which is characterized by a high mountain Mediterranean climate.

  1. Mathematical modeling on obligate mutualism: Interactions between leaf-cutter ants and their fungus garden.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kang, Yun; Clark, Rebecca; Makiyama, Michael; Fewell, Jennifer

    2011-11-21

    We propose a simple mathematical model by applying Michaelis-Menton equations of enzyme kinetics to study the mutualistic interaction between the leaf cutter ant and its fungus garden at the early stage of colony expansion. We derive sufficient conditions on the extinction and coexistence of these two species. In addition, we give a region of initial condition that leads to the extinction of two species when the model has an interior attractor. Our global analysis indicates that the division of labor by worker ants and initial conditions are two important factors that determine whether leaf cutter ants' colonies and their fungus garden can survive and grow or not. We validate the model by comparing model simulations and data on fungal and ant colony growth rates under laboratory conditions. We perform sensitive analysis of the model based on the experimental data to gain more biological insights on ecological interactions between leaf-cutter ants and their fungus garden. Finally, we give conclusions and discuss potential future work. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  2. New evidences supporting trophobiosis between populations of Edessa rufomarginata (Heteroptera: Pentatomidae and Camponotus (Hymenoptera: Formicidae ants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel Paiva Silva

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT Despite its important effect on the maintenance of tritrophic interactions among plants, insect herbivores, and ants, there is still a paucity of natural history and basic biology information involving trophobiosis among Heteroptera stink bugs. Here, based on previous observations of a new trophobiotic interaction between Edessa rufomarginata (De Geer, 1773 and Camponotus rufipes (Fabricius, 1775 ants, we describe the chemical profile of the honeydew obtained by Gas Chromatography–Mass Spectrometry. There were mainly three different sugars (trehalose, glucose, and sorbose within our samples. The extrafloral nectaries of Caryocar brasiliense Camb., the host plant of E. rufomarginata, attracts a wide assemblage of Cerrado ants with varying aggressiveness toward herbivores. Therefore, this facultative trophobiotic interaction may allow the survival of the stink bug while feeding on the risky, highly ant-visited plant. Given the rarity of trophobiotic interactions between Pentatomidae species and ants and considering a zoological perspective within this family, here we discuss the ecological and evolutionary routes that may allow the rise of these interactions.

  3. Adaptive foraging and flexible food web topology

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Křivan, Vlastimil; Schmitz, O.

    2003-01-01

    Roč. 5, - (2003), s. 623-652 ISSN 1522-0613 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA201/03/0091 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z5007907 Keywords : adaptive foraging * food chain * food web structure Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 1.587, year: 2003

  4. Skill ontogeny among Tsimane forager-horticulturalists.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schniter, Eric; Gurven, Michael; Kaplan, Hillard S; Wilcox, Nathaniel T; Hooper, Paul L

    2015-09-01

    We investigate whether age profiles of Tsimane forager-horticulturalists' reported skill development are consistent with predictions derived from life history theory about the timing of productivity and reproduction. Previous studies of forager skill development have often focused on a few abilities (e.g. hunting), and neglected the broad range of skills and services typical of forager economies (e.g. childcare, craft production, music performance, story-telling). By systematically examining age patterns in reported acquisition, proficiency, and expertise across a broad range of activities including food production, childcare, and other services, we provide the most complete skill development study of a traditional subsistence society to date. Our results show that: (1) most essential skills are acquired prior to first reproduction, then developed further so that their productive returns meet the increasing demands of dependent offspring during adulthood; (2) as postreproductive adults age beyond earlier years of peak performance, they report developing additional conceptual and procedural proficiency, and despite greater physical frailty than younger adults, are consensually regarded as the most expert (especially in music and storytelling), consistent with their roles as providers and educators. We find that adults have accurate understandings of their skillsets and skill levels -an important awareness for social exchange, comparison, learning, and pedagogy. These findings extend our understanding of the evolved human life history by illustrating how changes in embodied capital and the needs of dependent offspring predict the development of complementary skills and services in a forager-horticulturalist economy. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  5. Improving tree establishment with forage crops

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eric J. Holzmueller; Carl W. Mize

    2003-01-01

    Tree establishment in Iowa can be difficult without adequate weed control. Although herbicides are effective at controlling weeds, they may not be desirable in riparian settings and some landowners are opposed to using them. An alternative to herbicides is the use of forage crops to control weeds. A research project was established in 1998 to evaluate the influence of...

  6. Information Foraging in E-Voting

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vatrapu, Ravi; Robertson, Scott

    2009-01-01

    with others. Interaction analysis of the case study data consisted of applying Information Foraging Theory to understand participant specific behaviors in searching and browsing. Case study results show skewed time allocation to activities, a tradeoff between enrichment vs. exploitation of search results...

  7. Foraging strategies of Antarctic Fulmarine petrels

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Creuwels, J.C.S.; Engelhard, G.A.; Franeker, van J.A.; Veer, van der W.; Hasperhoven, J.G.; Ruiterman, W.

    2010-01-01

    During breeding, procellariiform seabirds are typical central-place foragers, depending on distant pelagic resources. Especially in polar environments, where there is only a short time window to complete the breeding season, high chick provisioning rates are needed to allow chicks to fledge

  8. Field and Forage Crop Pests. MEP 310.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morgan, Omar, D.; And Others

    As part of a cooperative extension service series by the University of Maryland, this publication introduces the identification and control of common agricultural pests that can be found in field and forage crops. The first of the five sections defines "pest" and "weed" and generally introduces different kinds of pests in the…

  9. Alternatives for forage evaluation in ruminants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gosselink, J.M.J.

    2004-01-01

    The objective of this thesis was to validate and to compare in situ and in vitro techniques with in vivo data. These techniques were also evaluated for future and practical use in feed evaluation for ruminants. The techniques were compared using the digestion data of 98 forages and the energy

  10. Foraging behavior analysis of swarm robotics system

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sakthivelmurugan E.

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Swarm robotics is a number of small robots that are synchronically works together to accomplish a given task. Swarm robotics faces many problems in performing a given task. The problems are pattern formation, aggregation, Chain formation, self-assembly, coordinated movement, hole avoidance, foraging and self-deployment. Foraging is most essential part in swarm robotics. Foraging is the task to discover the item and get back into the shell. The researchers conducted foraging experiments with random-movement of robots and they have end up with unique solutions. Most of the researchers have conducted experiments using the circular arena. The shell is placed at the centre of the arena and environment boundary is well known. In this study, an attempt is made to different strategic movements like straight line approach, parallel line approach, divider approach, expanding square approach, and parallel sweep approach. All these approaches are to be simulated by using player/stage open-source simulation software based on C and C++ programming language in Linux operating system. Finally statistical comparison will be done with task completion time of all these strategies using ANOVA to identify the significant searching strategy.

  11. Leaf processing behaviour in Atta leafcutter ants: 90% of leaf cutting takes place inside the nest, and ants select pieces that require less cutting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garrett, Ryan W; Carlson, Katherine A; Goggans, Matthew Scott; Nesson, Michael H; Shepard, Christopher A; Schofield, Robert M S

    2016-01-01

    Leafcutter ants cut trimmings from plants, carry them to their underground nests and cut them into smaller pieces before inoculating them with a fungus that serves as a primary food source for the colony. Cutting is energetically costly, so the amount of cutting is important in understanding foraging energetics. Estimates of the cutting density, metres of cutting per square metre of leaf, were made from samples of transported leaf cuttings and of fungal substrate from field colonies of Atta cephalotes and Atta colombica. To investigate cutting inside the nest, we made leaf-processing observations of our laboratory colony, A. cephalotes. We did not observe the commonly reported reduction of the leaf fragments into a pulp, which would greatly increase the energy cost of processing. Video clips of processing behaviours, including behaviours that have not previously been described, are linked. An estimated 2.9 (±0.3) km of cutting with mandibles was required to reduce a square metre of leaf to fungal substrate. Only about 12% (±1%) of this cutting took place outside of the nest. The cutting density and energy cost is lower for leaf material with higher ratios of perimeter to area, so we tested for, and found that the laboratory ants had a preference for leaves that were pre-cut into smaller pieces. Estimates suggest that the energy required to transport and cut up the leaf material is comparable to the metabolic energy available from the fungus grown on the leaves, and so conservation of energy is likely to be a particularly strong selective pressure for leafcutter ants.

  12. Trapline foraging by bumble bees: VII. Adjustments for foraging success following competitor removal

    OpenAIRE

    Kazuharu Ohashi; Alison Leslie; James D. Thomson

    2013-01-01

    Animals collecting food from renewable resource patches scattered in space often establish small foraging areas to which they return faithfully. Such area fidelity offers foraging advantages through selection of profitable patches, route minimization, and regular circuit visits to these patches (“trapline foraging”). Resource distribution under field conditions may often vary in time, however, especially when competitors suddenly vanish and a number of patches become available for their neigh...

  13. 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...

  14. The Role of Celestial Compass Information in Cataglyphis Ants during Learning Walks and for Neuroplasticity in the Central Complex and Mushroom Bodies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grob, Robin; Fleischmann, Pauline N; Grübel, Kornelia; Wehner, Rüdiger; Rössler, Wolfgang

    2017-01-01

    Central place foragers are faced with the challenge to learn the position of their nest entrance in its surroundings, in order to find their way back home every time they go out to search for food. To acquire navigational information at the beginning of their foraging career, Cataglyphis noda performs learning walks during the transition from interior worker to forager. These small loops around the nest entrance are repeatedly interrupted by strikingly accurate back turns during which the ants stop and precisely gaze back to the nest entrance-presumably to learn the landmark panorama of the nest surroundings. However, as at this point the complete navigational toolkit is not yet available, the ants are in need of a reference system for the compass component of the path integrator to align their nest entrance-directed gazes. In order to find this directional reference system, we systematically manipulated the skylight information received by ants during learning walks in their natural habitat, as it has been previously suggested that the celestial compass, as part of the path integrator, might provide such a reference system. High-speed video analyses of distinct learning walk elements revealed that even exclusion from the skylight polarization pattern, UV-light spectrum and the position of the sun did not alter the accuracy of the look back to the nest behavior. We therefore conclude that C. noda uses a different reference system to initially align their gaze directions. However, a comparison of neuroanatomical changes in the central complex and the mushroom bodies before and after learning walks revealed that exposure to UV light together with a naturally changing polarization pattern was essential to induce neuroplasticity in these high-order sensory integration centers of the ant brain. This suggests a crucial role of celestial information, in particular a changing polarization pattern, in initially calibrating the celestial compass system.

  15. The Role of Celestial Compass Information in Cataglyphis Ants during Learning Walks and for Neuroplasticity in the Central Complex and Mushroom Bodies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robin Grob

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Central place foragers are faced with the challenge to learn the position of their nest entrance in its surroundings, in order to find their way back home every time they go out to search for food. To acquire navigational information at the beginning of their foraging career, Cataglyphis noda performs learning walks during the transition from interior worker to forager. These small loops around the nest entrance are repeatedly interrupted by strikingly accurate back turns during which the ants stop and precisely gaze back to the nest entrance—presumably to learn the landmark panorama of the nest surroundings. However, as at this point the complete navigational toolkit is not yet available, the ants are in need of a reference system for the compass component of the path integrator to align their nest entrance-directed gazes. In order to find this directional reference system, we systematically manipulated the skylight information received by ants during learning walks in their natural habitat, as it has been previously suggested that the celestial compass, as part of the path integrator, might provide such a reference system. High-speed video analyses of distinct learning walk elements revealed that even exclusion from the skylight polarization pattern, UV-light spectrum and the position of the sun did not alter the accuracy of the look back to the nest behavior. We therefore conclude that C. noda uses a different reference system to initially align their gaze directions. However, a comparison of neuroanatomical changes in the central complex and the mushroom bodies before and after learning walks revealed that exposure to UV light together with a naturally changing polarization pattern was essential to induce neuroplasticity in these high-order sensory integration centers of the ant brain. This suggests a crucial role of celestial information, in particular a changing polarization pattern, in initially calibrating the celestial compass system.

  16. Is there an endogenous tidal foraging rhythm in marine iguanas?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wikelski, M; Hau, M

    1995-12-01

    As strictly herbivorous reptiles, Galápagos marine iguanas graze on algae in the intertidal areas during low tide. Daily foraging rhythms were observed on two islands during 3 years to determine the proximate factors underlying behavioral synchrony with the tides. Marine iguanas walked to their intertidal foraging grounds from far-off resting areas in anticipation of the time of low tide. Foraging activity was restricted to daytime, resulting in a complex bitidal rhythm including conspicuous switches from afternoon foraging to foraging during the subsequent morning when low tide occurred after dusk. The animals anticipated the daily low tide by a maximum of 4 h. The degree of anticipation depended on environmental parameters such as wave action and food supply. "Early foragers" survived in greater numbers than did animals arriving later at foraging sites, a result indicating selection pressure on the timing of anticipation. The timing of foraging trips was better predicted by the daily changes in tabulated low tide than it was by the daily changes in actual exposure of the intertidal foraging flats, suggesting an endogenous nature of the foraging rhythms. Endogenous rhythmicity would also explain why iguanas that had spontaneously fasted for several days nevertheless went foraging at the "right" time of day. A potential lunar component of the foraging rhythmicity of marine iguanas showed up in their assemblage on intertidal rocks during neap tide nights. This may indicate that iguanas possessed information on the semi-monthly rhythms in tide heights. Enclosure experiments showed that bitidal foraging rhythms of iguanas may free run in the absence of direct cues from the intertidal areas and operate independent of the light:dark cycle and social stimuli. Therefore, the existence of a circatidal oscillator in marine iguanas is proposed. The bitidal foraging pattern may result from an interaction of a circadian system with a circatidal system. Food intake or related

  17. ANTS-anchored Zn-Al-CO3-LDH particles as fluorescent probe for sensing of folic acid

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Liu, Pengfei; Liu, Dan; Liu, Yanhuan; Li, Lei

    2016-01-01

    A novel fluorescent nanosensor for detecting folic acid (FA) in aqueous media has been developed based on 8-aminonaphthalene-1,3,6-trisulfonate (ANTS) anchored to the surface of Zn-Al-CO 3 -layered double hydroxides (LDH) particles. The nanosensor showed high fluorescence intensity and good photostability due to a strong coordination interaction between surface Zn 2+ ions of Zn-Al-CO 3 -LDH and N atoms of ANTS, which were verified by result of X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). ANTS-anchored on the surface of Zn-Al-CO 3 -LDH restricted the intra-molecular rotation leading to ANTS-anchored J-type aggregation emission enhancement. ANTS-anchored Zn-Al-CO 3 -LDH particles exhibited highly sensitive and selective response to FA over other common metal ions and saccharides present in biological fluids. The proposed mechanism was that oxygen atoms of -SO 3 groups in ANTS-anchored on the surface of Zn-Al-CO 3 -LDH were easily collided by FA molecules to form potential hydrogen bonds between ANTS-anchored and FA molecules, which could effectively quench the ANTS-anchored fluorescence. Under the simulated physiological conditions (pH of 7.4), the fluorescence quenching was fitted to Stern-Volmer equation with a linear response in the concentration range of 1 μM to 200 μM with a limit of detection of 0.1 μM. The results indicate that ANTS-anchored Zn-Al-CO 3 -LDH particles can afford a very sensitive system for the sensing FA in aqueous solution. - Highlights: • A novel fluorescent nanosensor has been developed. • The sensor exhibited highly sensitive and selective response to FA. • The fluorescence quenching was fitted to Stern–Volmer equation. • The linear response range was 1–200 μM with a limit of detection of 0.1 μM.

  18. Levy Foraging in a Dynamic Environment – Extending the Levy Search

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vincenzo Fioriti

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available A common task for robots is the patrolling of an unknown area with inadequate information about target locations. Under these circumstances it has been suggested that animal foraging could provide an optimal or at least sub-optimal search methodology, namely the Levy flight search. Although still in debate, it seems that predators somehow follow this search pattern when foraging, because it avoids being trapped in a local search if the food is beyond the sensory range. A Levy flight is a particular case of the random walk. Its displacements on a 2-D surface are drawn from the Pareto-Levy probability distribution, characterized by power law tails. The Levy flight search has many applications in optical material, ladars, optics, large database search, earthquake data analysis, location of DNA sites, human mobility, stock return analysis, online auctions, astronomy, ecology and biology. Almost all studies and simulations concerning the Levy flight foraging examine static or slowly moving (with respect to the forager uniformly distributed resources. Moreover, in recent works a small swarm of underwater autonomous vehicles has been used to test the standard Levy search in the underwater environment, with good results. In this paper we extend the classical Levy foraging framework taking into consideration a moving target allocated on a 2-D surface according to a radial probability distribution and comparing its performance with the random walk search. The metric used in the numerical simulations is the detection rate. Simulations include the sensor resolution, intended as the maximum detection distance of the forager from the target. Furthermore, contrarily to the usual Levy foraging framework, we use only one target. Results show that Levy flight outperforms the random walk if the sensor detection radius is not too small or too large. We also find the Levy flight in the velocity of the center of mass model of a fish school according the Kuramoto

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wike, L

    2005-06-01

    conditions. Also, as with the aquatic RBAs using macroinvertebrates, ants have a wide variety of functional foraging or feeding groups, by whose abundance or scarcity an evaluation of the system health may be made. Much of the ground work has been done for useful ant RBAs, but it has primarily been in Australia, Europe, the US desert Southwest, and South America. However, the work already done will transport well to other ecoregions and as has been done with the IBI, it could be adapted with an appropriate investment of time and resources. It would be necessary to establish taxonomic expertise, allocate the local ant fauna to functional groups, and evaluation and modification of metrics and characteristics used to develop indices in the existing methods. Successful adaptation and application of an ant RBA would provide a cost effective, useful, and robust tool for evaluating the health of terrestrial ecosystems anywhere in the region.

  20. Increased Risk Proneness or Social Withdrawal? The Effects of Shortened Life Expectancy on the Expression of Rescue Behavior in Workers of the ant Formica cinerea (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miler, Krzysztof; Symonowicz, Beata; Godzińska, Ewa J

    2017-01-01

    In social insects behavioral consequences of shortened life expectancy include, among others, increased risk proneness and social withdrawal. We investigated the impact of experimental shortening of life expectancy of foragers of the ant Formica cinerea achieved by their exposure to carbon dioxide on the expression of rescue behavior, risky pro-social behavior, tested by means of two bioassays during which a single worker (rescuer) was confronted with a nestmate (victim) attacked by a predator (antlion larva capture bioassay) or immobilized by an artificial snare (entrapment bioassay). Efficacy of carbon dioxide poisoning in shortening life expectancy was confirmed by the analysis of ant mortality. Rescue behavior observed during behavioral tests involved digging around the victim, transport of the sand covering the victim, pulling the limbs/antennae/mandibles of the victim, direct attack on the antlion (in antlion larva capture tests), and snare biting (in entrapment tests). The rate of occurrence of rescue behavior was lower in ants with shortened life expectancy, but that effect was significant only in the case of the entrapment bioassay. Similarly, only in the case of the entrapment bioassay ants with shortened life expectancy displayed rescue behavior after a longer latency and devoted less time to that behavior than ants from the control groups. Our results demonstrated that in ant workers shortened life expectancy may lead to reduced propensity for rescue behavior, most probably as an element of the social withdrawal syndrome that had already been described in several studies on behavior of moribund ants and honeybees.

  1. 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...

  2. 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....

  3. 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...

  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. 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.

  6. Discrete bacteria foraging optimization algorithm for graph based problems - a transition from continuous to discrete

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sur, Chiranjib; Shukla, Anupam

    2018-03-01

    Bacteria Foraging Optimisation Algorithm is a collective behaviour-based meta-heuristics searching depending on the social influence of the bacteria co-agents in the search space of the problem. The algorithm faces tremendous hindrance in terms of its application for discrete problems and graph-based problems due to biased mathematical modelling and dynamic structure of the algorithm. This had been the key factor to revive and introduce the discrete form called Discrete Bacteria Foraging Optimisation (DBFO) Algorithm for discrete problems which exceeds the number of continuous domain problems represented by mathematical and numerical equations in real life. In this work, we have mainly simulated a graph-based road multi-objective optimisation problem and have discussed the prospect of its utilisation in other similar optimisation problems and graph-based problems. The various solution representations that can be handled by this DBFO has also been discussed. The implications and dynamics of the various parameters used in the DBFO are illustrated from the point view of the problems and has been a combination of both exploration and exploitation. The result of DBFO has been compared with Ant Colony Optimisation and Intelligent Water Drops Algorithms. Important features of DBFO are that the bacteria agents do not depend on the local heuristic information but estimates new exploration schemes depending upon the previous experience and covered path analysis. This makes the algorithm better in combination generation for graph-based problems and combination generation for NP hard problems.

  7. 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.

  8. Expression analysis of vitellogenins in the workers of the red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chloe Hawkings

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Vitellogenin has been proposed to regulate division of labor and social organization in social insects. The red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta harbors four distinct, adjacent vitellogenin genes (Vg1, Vg2, Vg3, and Vg4. Contrary to honey bees that have a single Vg ortholog as well as potentially fertile nurses, and to other ant species that lay trophic eggs, S. invicta workers completely lack ovaries or the ability to lay eggs. This provides a unique model to investigate whether Vg duplication in S. invicta was followed by subfunctionalization to acquire non-reproductive functions and whether Vg was co-opted to regulate behavior within the worker caste. To investigate these questions, we compared the expression patterns of S. invicta Vg genes among workers from different morphological subcastes or performing different tasks. RT-qPCRs revealed higher relative expression of Vg1 in major workers compared to both medium and minor workers, and of Vg2 in major workers when compared to minor workers. Relative expression of Vg1 was also higher in carbohydrate foragers when compared to nurses and protein foragers. By contrast, the level of expression of Vg2, Vg3, and Vg4 were not significantly different among the workers performing the specific tasks. Additionally, we analyzed the relationship between the expression of the Vg genes and S-hydroprene, a juvenile hormone analog. No changes in Vg expression were recorded in workers 12 h after application of the analog. Our results suggest that in S. invicta the Vg gene underwent subfunctionalization after duplication to new functions based on the expression bias observed in these data. This may suggest an alternative and still unknown function for Vg in the workers that needs to be investigated further.

  9. Ants of the Peloponnese, Greece (Hymenoptera: Formicidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Borowiec Lech

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available This paper relates to material obtained during two field trips to the Peloponnese in 2013 and 2016. With the inclusion of some hitherto unpublished ant material, it gives new records from a total of 92 sampling localities. 129 species (including morphospecies not attributed to any known taxon of ants have been recorded from the Peloponnese (southern Greece, 27 of which have been recorded from this region for the first time. Lasius reginae and 5 other morphospecies attributed only to species complexes are new to Greece.

  10. Image Edge Tracking via Ant Colony Optimization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Ruowei; Wu, Hongkun; Liu, Shilong; Rahman, M. A.; Liu, Sanchi; Kwok, Ngai Ming

    2018-04-01

    A good edge plot should use continuous thin lines to describe the complete contour of the captured object. However, the detection of weak edges is a challenging task because of the associated low pixel intensities. Ant Colony Optimization (ACO) has been employed by many researchers to address this problem. The algorithm is a meta-heuristic method developed by mimicking the natural behaviour of ants. It uses iterative searches to find the optimal solution that cannot be found via traditional optimization approaches. In this work, ACO is employed to track and repair broken edges obtained via conventional Sobel edge detector to produced a result with more connected edges.

  11. The Circadian Clock of the Ant Camponotus floridanus Is Localized in Dorsal and Lateral Neurons of the Brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kay, Janina; Menegazzi, Pamela; Mildner, Stephanie; Roces, Flavio; Helfrich-Förster, Charlotte

    2018-06-01

    The circadian clock of social insects has become a focal point of interest for research, as social insects show complex forms of timed behavior and organization within their colonies. These behaviors include brood care, nest maintenance, foraging, swarming, defense, and many other tasks, of which several require social synchronization and accurate timing. Ants of the genus Camponotus have been shown to display a variety of daily timed behaviors such as the emergence of males from the nest, foraging, and relocation of brood. Nevertheless, circadian rhythms of isolated individuals have been studied in few ant species, and the circadian clock network in the brain that governs such behaviors remains completely uncharacterized. Here we show that isolated minor workers of Camponotus floridanus exhibit temperature overcompensated free-running locomotor activity rhythms under constant darkness. Under light-dark cycles, most animals are active during day and night, with a slight preference for the night. On the neurobiological level, we show that distinct cell groups in the lateral and dorsal brain of minor workers of C. floridanus are immunostained with an antibody against the clock protein Period (PER) and a lateral group additionally with an antibody against the neuropeptide pigment-dispersing factor (PDF). PER abundance oscillates in a daily manner, and PDF-positive neurites invade most parts of the brain, suggesting that the PER/PDF-positive neurons are bona fide clock neurons that transfer rhythmic signals into the relevant brain areas controlling rhythmic behavior.

  12. 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.

  13. 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...

  14. Visual perception and social foraging in birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernández-Juricic, Esteban; Erichsen, Jonathan T; Kacelnik, Alex

    2004-01-01

    Birds gather information about their environment mainly through vision by scanning their surroundings. Many prevalent models of social foraging assume that foraging and scanning are mutually exclusive. Although this assumption is valid for birds with narrow visual fields, these models have also been applied to species with wide fields. In fact, available models do not make precise predictions for birds with large visual fields, in which the head-up, head-down dichotomy is not accurate and, moreover, do not consider the effects of detection distance and limited attention. Studies of how different types of visual information are acquired as a function of body posture and of how information flows within flocks offer new insights into the costs and benefits of living in groups.

  15. Do ants need to estimate the geometrical properties of trail bifurcations to find an efficient route? A swarm robotics test bed.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simon Garnier

    Full Text Available Interactions between individuals and the structure of their environment play a crucial role in shaping self-organized collective behaviors. Recent studies have shown that ants crossing asymmetrical bifurcations in a network of galleries tend to follow the branch that deviates the least from their incoming direction. At the collective level, the combination of this tendency and the pheromone-based recruitment results in a greater likelihood of selecting the shortest path between the colony's nest and a food source in a network containing asymmetrical bifurcations. It was not clear however what the origin of this behavioral bias is. Here we propose that it results from a simple interaction between the behavior of the ants and the geometry of the network, and that it does not require the ability to measure the angle of the bifurcation. We tested this hypothesis using groups of ant-like robots whose perceptual and cognitive abilities can be fully specified. We programmed them only to lay down and follow light trails, avoid obstacles and move according to a correlated random walk, but not to use more sophisticated orientation methods. We recorded the behavior of the robots in networks of galleries presenting either only symmetrical bifurcations or a combination of symmetrical and asymmetrical bifurcations. Individual robots displayed the same pattern of branch choice as individual ants when crossing a bifurcation, suggesting that ants do not actually measure the geometry of the bifurcations when travelling along a pheromone trail. Finally at the collective level, the group of robots was more likely to select one of the possible shorter paths between two designated areas when moving in an asymmetrical network, as observed in ants. This study reveals the importance of the shape of trail networks for foraging in ants and emphasizes the underestimated role of the geometrical properties of transportation networks in general.

  16. Utilization of 15N in the sequence of mineral fertilizer - forage - animal - slurry - forage

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Peschke, H.

    1981-01-01

    After systematic application of 15 N-ammonium nitrate, the change of the dinuclidic composition and 15 N quantity was studied by isotope analysis of several open systems in the sequence mineral fertilizer - (soil) - forage - (animal) - slurry - (soil) - forage. The relative 15 N isotope frequency of 50 atom% in the mineral fertilizer declined to 12.2 to 21.4 atom% in the forage (beet, oats, hay) and went down to 3.15 atom% in the slurry of a dairy cow fed on this forage. Silage maize manured with the slurry of the dairy cow only showed 1.98 atom %, green oats grown after the silage maize on the same area was found to have 0.45 atom%. The 15 N quantity of 104.5 g N in the fertilizer gradually decreased to 41.6 g N in the forage, 30.5 g N in the slurry and 22.6 g N in the silage maize. The causes discussed are 15 N isotope dilution as qualitative factor and productive and unproductive N losses as quantitative factors. (author)

  17. Hybrid value foraging: How the value of targets shapes human foraging behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolfe, Jeremy M; Cain, Matthew S; Alaoui-Soce, Abla

    2018-04-01

    In hybrid foraging, observers search visual displays for multiple instances of multiple target types. In previous hybrid foraging experiments, although there were multiple types of target, all instances of all targets had the same value. Under such conditions, behavior was well described by the marginal value theorem (MVT). Foragers left the current "patch" for the next patch when the instantaneous rate of collection dropped below their average rate of collection. An observer's specific target selections were shaped by previous target selections. Observers were biased toward picking another instance of the same target. In the present work, observers forage for instances of four target types whose value and prevalence can vary. If value is kept constant and prevalence manipulated, participants consistently show a preference for the most common targets. Patch-leaving behavior follows MVT. When value is manipulated, observers favor more valuable targets, though individual foraging strategies become more diverse, with some observers favoring the most valuable target types very strongly, sometimes moving to the next patch without collecting any of the less valuable targets.

  18. Utilization of /sup 15/N in the sequence of mineral fertilizer - forage - animal - slurry - forage

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Peschke, H [Humboldt-Universitaet, Berlin (German Democratic Republic). Sektion Pflanzenproduktion

    1981-12-01

    After systematic application of /sup 15/N-ammonium nitrate, the change of the dinuclidic composition and /sup 15/N quantity was studied by isotope analysis of several open systems in the sequence mineral fertilizer - (soil) - forage - (animal) - slurry - (soil) - forage. The relative /sup 15/N isotope frequency of 50 atom% in the mineral fertilizer declined to 12.2 to 21.4 atom% in the forage (beet, oats, hay) and went down to 3.15 atom% in the slurry of a dairy cow fed on this forage. Silage maize manured with the slurry of the dairy cow only showed 1.98 atom %, green oats grown after the silage maize on the same area was found to have 0.45 atom%. The /sup 15/N quantity of 104.5 g N in the fertilizer gradually decreased to 41.6 g N in the forage, 30.5 g N in the slurry and 22.6 g N in the silage maize. The causes discussed are /sup 15/N isotope dilution as qualitative factor and productive and unproductive N losses as quantitative factors.

  19. 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....

  20. Protein Binding Capacity of Different Forages Tannin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yusiati, L. M.; Kurniawati, A.; Hanim, C.; Anas, M. A.

    2018-02-01

    Eight forages of tannin sources(Leucaena leucocephala, Arachis hypogaea, Mimosa pudica, Morus alba L, Swietenia mahagoni, Manihot esculenta, Gliricidia sepium, and Bauhinia purpurea)were evaluated their tannin content and protein binding capacity. The protein binding capacity of tannin were determined using precipitation of bovine serum albumin (BSA). Swietenia mahagonihas higest total tannin level and condensed tannin (CT) compared with other forages (P<0.01). The Leucaena leucocephala has highest hydrolysable tannin (HT) level (P<0.01). The total and condensed tannin content of Swietenia mahagoni were 11.928±0.04 mg/100 mg and 9.241±0.02mg/100mg dry matter (DM) of leaves. The hydrolysable tannin content of Leucaena leucocephala was 5.338±0.03 mg/100 mg DM of leaves. Binding capacity was highest in Swietenia mahagoni and Leucaena leucocephala compared to the other forages (P<0.01). The optimum binding of BSA to tannin in Leucaena leucocephala and Swietenia mahagoniwere1.181±0.44 and 1.217±0.60mg/mg dry matter of leaves. The present study reports that Swietenia mahagoni has highest of tannin content and Leucaena leucocephala and Swietenia mahagoni capacity of protein binding.

  1. Mercury in San Francisco Bay forage fish

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Greenfield, Ben K., E-mail: ben@sfei.or [San Francisco Estuary Institute, 7770 Pardee Lane, Oakland, CA 94621 (United States); Jahn, Andrew, E-mail: andyjahn@mac.co [1000 Riverside Drive, Ukiah, CA 95482 (United States)

    2010-08-15

    In the San Francisco Estuary, management actions including tidal marsh restoration could change fish mercury (Hg) concentrations. From 2005 to 2007, small forage fish were collected and analyzed to identify spatial and interannual variation in biotic methylmercury (MeHg) exposure. The average whole body total Hg concentration was 0.052 {mu}g g{sup -1} (wet-weight) for 457 composite samples representing 13 fish species. MeHg constituted 94% of total Hg. At a given length, Hg concentrations were higher in nearshore mudflat and wetland species (Clevelandia ios, Menidia audens, and Ilypnus gilberti), compared to species that move offshore (e.g., Atherinops affinis and Lepidogobius lepidus). Gut content analysis indicated similar diets between Atherinops affinis and Menidia audens, when sampled at the same locations. Hg concentrations were higher in sites closest to the Guadalupe River, which drains a watershed impacted by historic Hg mining. Results demonstrate that despite differences among years and fish species, nearshore forage fish exhibit consistent Hg spatial gradients. - Total mercury in estuarine forage fish varies with species, habitat, and proximity to a historic mercury mine.

  2. Nutritional characteristics of forages from Niger

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F. Infascelli

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available In the production systems of the semi-arid areas low quality forages are commonly used as the basal diet (Wilkins, 2000 and, as a consequence, the nutritional status of ruminants depends mainly on the ability of rumen fermentation to yield nutrients such as the short chain fatty acids and microbial biomass (Preston and Leng, 1987. The forages browsed by the livestock can be classified into two main groups: ephemeral annual plants, which germinate and remain green for only a few weeks after rain, perennial shrubs and tree fodders. Despite their potential as feeds, little research has determined their nutritive value. In vivo evaluation is the best estimation method of feed’s nutritional value, however it is very laborious and difficult to standardize with browsing animals. O the contrary, in vitro methods are less expensive, less time consuming and allow a better control of experimental conditions than in vivo experiments. The in vitro gas production technique (IVGPT appears to be the most suitable method for use in developing countries where resources may be limited (Makkar, 2004. Increased interest in use of non-conventional feed resources has led to an increase in use of this technique, since IVGPT can provide useful data on digestion kinetics of both the soluble and insoluble fractions of feedstuffs. The aim of the present research was to evaluate twelve forages from the arid zone of Niger using the IVGPT.

  3. Mercury in San Francisco Bay forage fish

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Greenfield, Ben K.; Jahn, Andrew

    2010-01-01

    In the San Francisco Estuary, management actions including tidal marsh restoration could change fish mercury (Hg) concentrations. From 2005 to 2007, small forage fish were collected and analyzed to identify spatial and interannual variation in biotic methylmercury (MeHg) exposure. The average whole body total Hg concentration was 0.052 μg g -1 (wet-weight) for 457 composite samples representing 13 fish species. MeHg constituted 94% of total Hg. At a given length, Hg concentrations were higher in nearshore mudflat and wetland species (Clevelandia ios, Menidia audens, and Ilypnus gilberti), compared to species that move offshore (e.g., Atherinops affinis and Lepidogobius lepidus). Gut content analysis indicated similar diets between Atherinops affinis and Menidia audens, when sampled at the same locations. Hg concentrations were higher in sites closest to the Guadalupe River, which drains a watershed impacted by historic Hg mining. Results demonstrate that despite differences among years and fish species, nearshore forage fish exhibit consistent Hg spatial gradients. - Total mercury in estuarine forage fish varies with species, habitat, and proximity to a historic mercury mine.

  4. Non-transferable signals on ant queen eggs

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2006-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  6. The Effects of Forage Policy on Feed Costs in Korea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jae Bong Chang

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Feeding operations are substantial on livestock farms, besides being potentially expensive. Feeding efficiency has been considered a major influence on profits in the livestock industry. Indeed, feed costs are shown to be the largest single item of production cost in Korea. To promote production and use of domestic forage, the Korean government has enforced the forage base expansion program that strengthens the competitiveness of the livestock industry by reducing the production cost. The forage base expansion program includes three main policies: subsidized forage production, support for processing and distribution, and expanding land for forage production. This paper investigates the influence of the government’s policies often conjectured to have pronounced effects on forage production. To evaluate the forage policies, this paper uses a path-analysis approach linking government spending on forage base expansion programs and feed costs. Results indicate that the Korean government’s spending on supporting domestic forage production results in a decrease in the ratio of forage expenses to total feed cost.

  7. Antennal proteome comparison of sexually mature drone and forager honeybees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feng, Mao; Song, Feifei; Aleku, Dereje Woltedji; Han, Bin; Fang, Yu; Li, Jianke

    2011-07-01

    Honeybees have evolved an intricate system of chemical communication to regulate their complex social interactions. Specific proteins involved in odorant detection most likely supported this chemical communication. Odorant reception takes place mainly in the antennae within hairlike structures called olfactory sensilla. Antennal proteomes of sexually mature drone and forager worker bees (an age group of bees assigned to perform field tasks) were compared using two-dimensional electrophoresis, mass spectrometry, quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction, and bioinformatics. Sixty-one differentially expressed proteins were identified in which 67% were highly upregulated in the drones' antennae whereas only 33% upregulated in the worker bees' antennae. The antennae of the worker bees strongly expressed carbohydrate and energy metabolism and molecular transporters signifying a strong demand for metabolic energy and odorant binding proteins for their foraging activities and other olfactory responses, while proteins related to fatty acid metabolism, antioxidation, and protein folding were strongly upregulated in the drones' antennae as an indication of the importance for the detection and degradation of sex pheromones during queen identification for mating. On the basis of both groups of altered antenna proteins, carbohydrate metabolism and energy production and molecular transporters comprised more than 80% of the functional enrichment analysis and 45% of the constructed biological interaction networks (BIN), respectively. This suggests these two protein families play crucial roles in the antennal olfactory function of sexually mature drone and forager worker bees. Several key node proteins in the BIN were validated at the transcript level. This first global proteomic comparative analysis of antennae reveals sex-biased protein expression in both bees, indicating that odorant response mechanisms are sex-specific because of natural selection for different olfactory

  8. 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....

  9. Ants, rodents and seed predation in Proteaceae

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    ... their nests extremely rapidly. One benefit of the ant-plant interaction may be seed escape ... (odourless to humans when dry) household glue or, b) placing seed in a Petri dish ... the layout of exclosures was completed. Response was not as.

  10. The evolution of invasiveness in garden ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2008-01-01

    It is unclear why some species become successful invaders whilst others fail, and whether invasive success depends on pre-adaptations already present in the native range or on characters evolving de-novo after introduction. Ants are among the worst invasive pests, with Lasius neglectus and its ra...

  11. Mating, hybridisation and introgression in Lasius ants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Have, van der T.M.; Pedersen, J.S.; Boomsma, J.J.

    2011-01-01

    Recent reviews have shown that hybridisation among ant species is likely to be more common than previously appreciated. but that documented cases of introgression remain rare. After molecular phylogenetic work had shown that European Lasius niger (LINNAEUS, 1758) and L. psammophilus SEIFERT, 1992

  12. 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

  13. Recognition of social identity in ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bos, Nick; d'Ettorre, Patrizia

    2012-01-01

    Recognizing the identity of others, from the individual to the group level, is a hallmark of society. Ants, and other social insects, have evolved advanced societies characterized by efficient social recognition systems. Colony identity is mediated by colony specific signature mixtures, a blend...

  14. Plasmodium parasitaemia among pregnant women attending ante ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    ... Ante-Natal Clinic at Military Hospital Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria using the Standard parasitological technique. Venous blood was collected from 200 pregnant women, both thick and thin blood films were made on clean greese-free glass slide and stained with 10% Giemsa stains diluted with 7.2 buffered water for ...

  15. 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.

  16. A global database of ant species abundances

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  17. 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 ...

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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...

  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. Foraging behaviour of the exotic wasp Vespula germanica (Hymenoptera: Vespidae) on a native caterpillar defoliator.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pietrantuono, A L; Moreyra, S; Lozada, M

    2017-09-19

    Vespula germanica is a social wasp and an opportunistic predator. While foraging, these wasps learn and integrate different kinds of cues. They have successfully invaded many parts of the world, including native Nothofagus and Lophozonia forests located in the Andean-Patagonian region, where they forage on native arthropods. Perzelia arda, a lepidopteron defoliator of Lophozonia obliqua, uses the foliage to hide in and feed on. The purpose of this work is to study whether V. germanica use olfactory cues when foraging on P. arda. To do this, we used a Y-tube olfactometer and established three treatments to compare pairs of all combinations of stimuli (larvae, leaves with larval traces, and leaves without larval traces) and controls. Data were analysed via two developed models that showed decisions made by V. germanica and allowed to establish a scale of preferences between the stimuli. The analysis demonstrates that V. germanica wasps choose P. arda as larval prey and are capable of discriminating between the offered stimuli (deviance information criterion (DIC) null model = 873.97; DIC simple model = 84.5, n = 152). According to the preference scale, V. germanica preferred leaves with traces of larvae, suggesting its ability to associate these traces with the presence of the prey. This may be because, under natural conditions, larvae are never exposed outside their shelters of leaves and therefore V. germanica uses indirect signals. The presence of V. germanica foraging on P. arda highlights the flexible foraging behaviour of this wasp which may also act as a positive biological control, reducing lepidopteran populations.

  3. Examining short-term nutritional status among BaAka foragers in transitional economies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Remis, Melissa J; Jost Robinson, Carolyn A

    2014-07-01

    Foragers in transitioning economies are at an increased risk of negative health outcomes as they undergo changes in subsistence patterns and diet. Here, we provide anthropometric data and examine the nutrition and health of adult BaAka foragers in relationship to declining wildlife and economic change in the Dzanga Sangha Protected Areas (APDS), Central African Republic. From June to August 2012, we collected biological data and dietary recall surveys from individuals in Mossapoula (MS) and Yandoumbé (YDBE) villages using standard anthropometric techniques and a single capillary blood finger prick. In our analysis, we identified variation in anthropometric measurements and hemoglobin levels by village (MS = 66, YDBE = 75) and gender (64 men, 77 women). Immigration, increased gun hunting and wildlife trades have reduced forager reliance on forest resources. These changes are evidenced in the marginal health of contemporary BaAka foragers of APDS. Although anthropometric measures of nutritional status do not significantly differ between communities, hemoglobin data highlight inequities in access to forest products between villages with different proximity to community hunting zones. Further, poor dietary diversity and low frequency of purchased foods in the diet indicate that the transition to a market economy has not been fully realized and diets are impoverished. Economic changes appear to have had the most impact at MS village, where forest use is most restricted and consumption of meat and forest products was reduced. This work highlights the nutritional and health needs of foragers in rapidly transitioning economies; especially those impacted by conservation management and zoning policies. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  4. Cuckoos, ants, bees and the evolution of instincts

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    César Ades

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available In this paper, I examine Chapter VII of "The Origin of Species" (Instinct, in which Charles Darwin applies evolutionary theory by natural selection to the instinct domain and lays the foundations of a biological analysis of behavior. Darwin intended to show the possibility of gradual evolution in the case of complex behaviors such as brood parasitism in cuckoos, slave-making habits in ants and geometrical cell building in honey bees. Darwin attributed functional value to behavioral characters, used the comparision of related species' behavior as a way to infer evolutionary stages, gave cost-and-benefit and optimization processes a role as selection criteria, took into account aspects of behavioral competition and manipulation and gave a group selection approach to the question of sterile castes of eusocial insects. More than results and solutions, Darwin offered, in his chapter about Instinct, a paradigm for the analysis of species typical behaviors, a true starting point for modern approaches such as ethology and behavioral ecology.In this paper, I examine Chapter VII of "The Origin of Species" (Instinct, in which Charles Darwin applies evolutionary theory by natural selection to the instinct domain and lays the foundations of a biological analysis of behavior. Darwin intended to show the possibility of gradual evolution in the case of complex behaviors such as brood parasitism in cuckoos, slave-making habits in ants and geometrical cell building in honey bees. Darwin attributed functional value to behavioral characters, used the comparision of related species' behavior as a way to infer evolutionary stages, gave cost-and-benefit and optimization processes a role as selection criteria, took into account aspects of behavioral competition and manipulation and gave a group selection approach to the question of sterile castes of eusocial insects. More than results and solutions, Darwin offered, in his chapter about Instinct, a paradigm for the

  5. Presence of the fire ant Solenopsis invicta (Westwood) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) stimulates burrowing behavior by larvae of the sandfly Lutzomyia longipalpis (Lutz and Neiva) (Diptera: Psychodidae)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Harvey, Jeffrey A. [Netherlands Institute of Ecology, Heteren (Netherlands). Dept. of Terrestrial Ecology; Hamilton, James G.C.; Ward, Richard D. [University of Keele, Staffordshire (United Kingdom). Centre for Applied Entomology and Parasitology. Dept. of Biological Sciences

    2010-01-15

    The sandfly Lutzomyia longipalpis (Lutz and Neiva) vectors leishmaniasis in the neotropics. Although much is known about the biology of adult flies, little is known about interactions with its natural enemies. Here, we examined behavior of larvae of L4 L. longipalpis on a soil substrate when exposed to the fire ant Solenopsis invicata (Westwood). When ants were absent, most larvae tended to remain at or close to the soil surface, but when ants were present the larvae burrowed into the soil. Sandflies seek refuges in the presence of generalist predators, thus rendering them immune to attack from many potential enemies. (author)

  6. Presence of the fire ant Solenopsis invicta (Westwood) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) stimulates burrowing behavior by larvae of the sandfly Lutzomyia longipalpis (Lutz and Neiva) (Diptera: Psychodidae)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Harvey, Jeffrey A.; Hamilton, James G.C.; Ward, Richard D.

    2010-01-01

    The sandfly Lutzomyia longipalpis (Lutz and Neiva) vectors leishmaniasis in the neotropics. Although much is known about the biology of adult flies, little is known about interactions with its natural enemies. Here, we examined behavior of larvae of L4 L. longipalpis on a soil substrate when exposed to the fire ant Solenopsis invicata (Westwood). When ants were absent, most larvae tended to remain at or close to the soil surface, but when ants were present the larvae burrowed into the soil. Sandflies seek refuges in the presence of generalist predators, thus rendering them immune to attack from many potential enemies. (author)

  7. Presence of the fire ant Solenopsis invicta (Westwood) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) stimulates burrowing behavior by larvae of the sandfly Lutzomyia longipalpis (Lutz & Neiva) (Diptera: Psychodidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harvey, Jeffrey A; Hamilton, James G C; Ward, Richard D

    2010-01-01

    The sandfly Lutzomyia longipalpis (Lutz & Neiva) vectors leishmaniasis in the neotropics. Although much is known about the biology of adult flies, little is known about interactions with its natural enemies. Here, we examined behavior of larvae of L4 L.longipalpis on a soil substrate when exposed to the fire ant Solenopsis invicata (Westwood). When ants were absent, most larvae tended to remain at or close to the soil surface, but when ants were present the larvae burrowed into the soil. Sandflies seek refuges in the presence of generalist predators, thus rendering them immune to attack from many potential enemies.

  8. RI: Rheology as a Tool for Understanding the Mechanics of Live Ant Aggregations, Part 2

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-11-04

    earwax of pigs, dogs , cows, and humans. We find that earwax is shear-thinning for all these animals. This ability enables it to cling to the ear in low...self-cleaning.” Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology annual meeting, 2017.  P. Yang, D. Dao, R. Lehner, D. Hu, “ The hydrodynamics of...RI: Rheology as a Tool for Understanding the Mechanics of Live Ant Aggregations, Part 2 An Anton Paarr MCR 501 rheometer was purchased in order to

  9. An ant colony optimization algorithm for phylogenetic estimation under the minimum evolution principle

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Milinkovitch Michel C

    2007-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Distance matrix methods constitute a major family of phylogenetic estimation methods, and the minimum evolution (ME principle (aiming at recovering the phylogeny with shortest length is one of the most commonly used optimality criteria for estimating phylogenetic trees. The major difficulty for its application is that the number of possible phylogenies grows exponentially with the number of taxa analyzed and the minimum evolution principle is known to belong to the NP MathType@MTEF@5@5@+=feaafiart1ev1aaatCvAUfKttLearuWrP9MDH5MBPbIqV92AaeXatLxBI9gBaebbnrfifHhDYfgasaacPC6xNi=xH8viVGI8Gi=hEeeu0xXdbba9frFj0xb9qqpG0dXdb9aspeI8k8fiI+fsY=rqGqVepae9pg0db9vqaiVgFr0xfr=xfr=xc9adbaqaaeGacaGaaiaabeqaaeqabiWaaaGcbaWenfgDOvwBHrxAJfwnHbqeg0uy0HwzTfgDPnwy1aaceaGae8xdX7Kaeeiuaafaaa@3888@-hard class of problems. Results In this paper, we introduce an Ant Colony Optimization (ACO algorithm to estimate phylogenies under the minimum evolution principle. ACO is an optimization technique inspired from the foraging behavior of real ant colonies. This behavior is exploited in artificial ant colonies for the search of approximate solutions to discrete optimization problems. Conclusion We show that the ACO algorithm is potentially competitive in comparison with state-of-the-art algorithms for the minimum evolution principle. This is the first application of an ACO algorithm to the phylogenetic estimation problem.

  10. Comparative metabolite fingerprinting of the rumen system during colonisation of three forage grass (Lolium perenne L. varieties.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alison H Kingston-Smith

    Full Text Available The rumen microbiota enable ruminants to degrade complex ligno-cellulosic compounds to produce high quality protein for human consumption. However, enteric fermentation by domestic ruminants generates negative by-products: greenhouse gases (methane and environmental nitrogen pollution. The current lack of cultured isolates representative of the totality of rumen microbial species creates an information gap about the in vivo function of the rumen microbiota and limits our ability to apply predictive biology for improvement of feed for ruminants. In this work we took a whole ecosystem approach to understanding how the metabolism of the microbial population responds to introduction of its substrate. Fourier Transform Infra Red (FTIR spectroscopy-based metabolite fingerprinting was used to discriminate differences in the plant-microbial interactome of the rumen when using three forage grass varieties (Lolium perenne L. cv AberDart, AberMagic and Premium as substrates for microbial colonisation and fermentation. Specific examination of spectral regions associated with fatty acids, amides, sugars and alkanes indicated that although the three forages were apparently similar by traditional nutritional analysis, patterns of metabolite flux within the plant-microbial interactome were distinct and plant genotype dependent. Thus, the utilisation pattern of forage nutrients by the rumen microbiota can be influenced by subtleties determined by forage genotypes. These data suggest that our interactomic approach represents an important means to improve forages and ultimately the livestock environment.

  11. 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

  12. Work or sleep? : honeybee foragers opportunistically nap during the day when forage is not available

    OpenAIRE

    Klein, Barrett; Seeley, Thomas D.

    2011-01-01

    Shifts in work schedules test humans’ capacity to be flexible in the timing of both work and sleep. Honeybee, Apis mellifera, foragers also shift their work schedules, but how flexible they are in the timing of sleep as they shift the timing of work is unknown, despite the importance of colony-level plasticity in the face of a changing environment. We hypothesized that sleep schedules of foragers are not fixed and instead vary depending on the time when food is available. We trained bees to v...

  13. 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...

  14. Study of the correlation between radioactive contamination of milk and forage with strontium 90

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sabo, A; Mezei, I [Joint Inst. for Nuclear Research, Dubna (USSR). Lab. of Neutron Physics

    1978-08-01

    Significant correlation between radioactive contamination of milk and forage is established on the basis of the data mathematic treatment. Contamination of cow milk by /sup 90/Sr is approximately one order less than forage contamination, which testifies to high discrimination ability of cows in biological chain soil-plant-animal-man. Animals have this ability only in relation to /sup 90/Sr. For other radioactive isotopes discirmination factor can differ significantly from the one characteristic of /sup 90/Sr. It is stressed that as a result of high discrimination ability of cows /sup 90/Sr quantity, penetrating into human body from vegetable products is much more, than the one penetrating from milk and milk products.

  15. The Roles of Parasitoid Foraging for Hosts, Food and Mates in the Augmentative Control of Tephritidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martin Aluja

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Ultimately, the success of augmentative fruit fly biological control depends upon the survival, dispersal, attack rate and multi-generational persistence of mass-reared parasitoids in the field. Foraging for hosts, food and mates is fundamental to the above and, at an operational level, the choice of the parasitoid best suited to control a particular tephritid in a certain environment, release rate estimates and subsequent monitoring of effectiveness. In the following we review landscape-level and microhabitat foraging preferences, host/fruit ranges, orientation through environmental cues, host vulnerabilities/ovipositor structures, and inter and intraspecific competition. We also consider tephritid parasitoid mating systems and sexual signals, and suggest the directions of future research.

  16. The Roles of Parasitoid Foraging for Hosts, Food and Mates in the Augmentative Control of Tephritidae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sivinski, John; Aluja, Martin

    2012-07-20

    Ultimately, the success of augmentative fruit fly biological control depends upon the survival, dispersal, attack rate and multi-generational persistence of mass-reared parasitoids in the field. Foraging for hosts, food and mates is fundamental to the above and, at an operational level, the choice of the parasitoid best suited to control a particular tephritid in a certain environment, release rate estimates and subsequent monitoring of effectiveness. In the following we review landscape-level and microhabitat foraging preferences, host/fruit ranges, orientation through environmental cues, host vulnerabilities/ovipositor structures, and inter and intraspecific competition. We also consider tephritid parasitoid mating systems and sexual signals, and suggest the directions of future research.

  17. 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.

  18. Fungal communities in gardens of the leafcutter ant Atta cephalotes in forest and cabruca agrosystems of southern Bahia State (Brazil).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reis, Bárbara Monique Dos Santos; Silva, Aline; Alvarez, Martín Roberto; Oliveira, Tássio Brito de; Rodrigues, Andre

    2015-12-01

    Leaf-cutting ants interact with several fungi in addition to the fungal symbiont they cultivate for food. Here, we assessed alien fungal communities in colonies of Atta cephalotes. Fungus garden fragments were sampled from colonies in the Atlantic Rainforest and in a cabruca agrosystem in the state of Bahia (Brazil) in two distinct periods to evaluate whether differences in nest habitat influence the diversity of fungi in the ant colonies. We recovered a total of 403 alien fungi isolates from 628 garden fragments. The prevalent taxa found in these samples were Escovopsis sp. (26 %), Escovopsioides nivea (24 %), and Trichoderma spirale (10.9 %). Fungal diversity was similar between the colonies sampled in both areas suggesting that ants focus on reducing loads of alien fungi in the fungus gardens instead of avoiding specific fungi. However, fungal taxa composition differed between colonies sampled in the two areas and between the sampling periods. These differences are likely explained by the availability of plant substrates available for foraging over habitats and periods. Ordination analysis further supported that sampling period was the main attribute for community structuring but also revealed that additional factors may explain the structuring of fungal communities in colonies of A. cephalotes. Copyright © 2015 The British Mycological Society. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. 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.

  20. 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).

  1. 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.

  2. Review: Feeding conserved forage to horses: recent advances and recommendations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harris, P A; Ellis, A D; Fradinho, M J; Jansson, A; Julliand, V; Luthersson, N; Santos, A S; Vervuert, I

    2017-06-01

    The horse is a non-ruminant herbivore adapted to eating plant-fibre or forage-based diets. Some horses are stabled for most or the majority of the day with limited or no access to fresh pasture and are fed preserved forage typically as hay or haylage and sometimes silage. This raises questions with respect to the quality and suitability of these preserved forages (considering production, nutritional content, digestibility as well as hygiene) and required quantities. Especially for performance horses, forage is often replaced with energy dense feedstuffs which can result in a reduction in the proportion of the diet that is forage based. This may adversely affect the health, welfare, behaviour and even performance of the horse. In the past 20 years a large body of research work has contributed to a better and deeper understanding of equine forage needs and the physiological and behavioural consequences if these are not met. Recent nutrient requirement systems have incorporated some, but not all, of this new knowledge into their recommendations. This review paper amalgamates recommendations based on the latest understanding in forage feeding for horses, defining forage types and preservation methods, hygienic quality, feed intake behaviour, typical nutrient composition, digestion and digestibility as well as health and performance implications. Based on this, consensual applied recommendations for feeding preserved forages are provided.

  3. Application of genomics to forage crop breeding for quality traits

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lübberstedt, Thomas

    2007-01-01

    Forage quality depends on the digestibility of fodder, and can be directly measured by the intake and metabolic conversion in animal trials. However, animal trials are time-consuming, laborious, and thus expensive. It is not possible to study thousands of plant genotypes, as required in breeding...... studied in detail and sequence motifs with likely effect on forage quality have been identified by association studies. Moreover, transgenic approaches substantiated the effect of several of these genes on forage quality. Perspectives and limitations of these findings for forage crop breeding...

  4. Double Deception: Ant-Mimicking Spiders Elude Both Visually- and Chemically-Oriented Predators

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uma, Divya; Durkee, Caitlin; Herzner, Gudrun; Weiss, Martha

    2013-01-01

    Biological mimicry is often multimodal, in that a mimic reinforces its resemblance to another organism via different kinds of signals that can be perceived by a specific target audience. In this paper we describe a novel scenario, in which a mimic deceives at least two distinct audiences, each of which relies primarily on a different sensory modality for decision-making. We have previously shown that Peckhamia picata, a myrmecomorphic spider that morphologically and behaviorally resembles the ant Camponotus nearcticus, experiences reduced predation by visually-oriented jumping spiders. Here we report that Peckhamia also faces reduced aggression from spider-hunting sphecid wasps as well as from its model ant, both of which use chemical cues to identify prey. We also report that Peckhamia does not chemically resemble its model ants, and that its total cuticular hydrocarbons are significantly lower than those of the ants and non-mimic spiders. Although further studies are needed to clarify the basis of Peckhamia's chemically-mediated protection, to our knowledge, such ‘double deception,’ in which a single organism sends misleading visual cues to one set of predators while chemically misleading another set, has not been reported; however, it is likely to be common among what have until now been considered purely visual mimics. PMID:24236152

  5. 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.

  6. 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...

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Linking GPS Telemetry Surveys and Scat Analyses Helps Explain Variability in Black Bear Foraging Strategies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lesmerises, Rémi; Rebouillat, Lucie; Dussault, Claude; St-Laurent, Martin-Hugues

    2015-01-01

    Studying diet is fundamental to animal ecology and scat analysis, a widespread approach, is considered a reliable dietary proxy. Nonetheless, this method has weaknesses such as non-random sampling of habitats and individuals, inaccurate evaluation of excretion date, and lack of assessment of inter-individual dietary variability. We coupled GPS telemetry and scat analyses of black bears Ursus americanus Pallas to relate diet to individual characteristics and habitat use patterns while foraging. We captured 20 black bears (6 males and 14 females) and fitted them with GPS/Argos collars. We then surveyed GPS locations shortly after individual bear visits and collected 139 feces in 71 different locations. Fecal content (relative dry matter biomass of ingested items) was subsequently linked to individual characteristics (sex, age, reproductive status) and to habitats visited during foraging bouts using Brownian bridges based on GPS locations prior to feces excretion. At the population level, diet composition was similar to what was previously described in studies on black bears. However, our individual-based method allowed us to highlight different intra-population patterns, showing that sex and female reproductive status had significant influence on individual diet. For example, in the same habitats, females with cubs did not use the same food sources as lone bears. Linking fecal content (i.e., food sources) to habitat previously visited by different individuals, we demonstrated a potential differential use of similar habitats dependent on individual characteristics. Females with cubs-of-the-year tended to use old forest clearcuts (6-20 years old) to feed on bunchberry, whereas females with yearling foraged for blueberry and lone bears for ants. Coupling GPS telemetry and scat analyses allows for efficient detection of inter-individual or inter-group variations in foraging strategies and of linkages between previous habitat use and food consumption, even for cryptic

  10. Linking GPS Telemetry Surveys and Scat Analyses Helps Explain Variability in Black Bear Foraging Strategies.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rémi Lesmerises

    Full Text Available Studying diet is fundamental to animal ecology and scat analysis, a widespread approach, is considered a reliable dietary proxy. Nonetheless, this method has weaknesses such as non-random sampling of habitats and individuals, inaccurate evaluation of excretion date, and lack of assessment of inter-individual dietary variability. We coupled GPS telemetry and scat analyses of black bears Ursus americanus Pallas to relate diet to individual characteristics and habitat use patterns while foraging. We captured 20 black bears (6 males and 14 females and fitted them with GPS/Argos collars. We then surveyed GPS locations shortly after individual bear visits and collected 139 feces in 71 different locations. Fecal content (relative dry matter biomass of ingested items was subsequently linked to individual characteristics (sex, age, reproductive status and to habitats visited during foraging bouts using Brownian bridges based on GPS locations prior to feces excretion. At the population level, diet composition was similar to what was previously described in studies on black bears. However, our individual-based method allowed us to highlight different intra-population patterns, showing that sex and female reproductive status had significant influence on individual diet. For example, in the same habitats, females with cubs did not use the same food sources as lone bears. Linking fecal content (i.e., food sources to habitat previously visited by different individuals, we demonstrated a potential differential use of similar habitats dependent on individual characteristics. Females with cubs-of-the-year tended to use old forest clearcuts (6-20 years old to feed on bunchberry, whereas females with yearling foraged for blueberry and lone bears for ants. Coupling GPS telemetry and scat analyses allows for efficient detection of inter-individual or inter-group variations in foraging strategies and of linkages between previous habitat use and food consumption, even

  11. 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....

  12. Foraging modality and plasticity in foraging traits determine the strength of competitive interactions among carnivorous plants, spiders and toads.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jennings, David E; Krupa, James J; Rohr, Jason R

    2016-07-01

    Foraging modalities (e.g. passive, sit-and-wait, active) and traits are plastic in some species, but the extent to which this plasticity affects interspecific competition remains unclear. Using a long-term laboratory mesocosm experiment, we quantified competition strength and the plasticity of foraging traits in a guild of generalist predators of arthropods with a range of foraging modalities. Each mesocosm contained eight passively foraging pink sundews, and we employed an experimental design where treatments were the presence or absence of a sit-and-wait foraging spider and actively foraging toad crossed with five levels of prey abundance. We hypothesized that actively foraging toads would outcompete the other species at low prey abundance, but that spiders and sundews would exhibit plasticity in foraging traits to compensate for strong competition when prey were limited. Results generally supported our hypotheses. Toads had a greater effect on sundews at low prey abundances, and toad presence caused spiders to locate webs higher above the ground. Additionally, the closer large spider webs were to the ground, the greater the trichome densities produced by sundews. Also, spider webs were larger with than without toads and as sundew numbers increased, and these effects were more prominent as resources became limited. Finally, spiders negatively affected toad growth only at low prey abundance. These findings highlight the long-term importance of foraging modality and plasticity of foraging traits in determining the strength of competition within and across taxonomic kingdoms. Future research should assess whether plasticity in foraging traits helps to maintain coexistence within this guild and whether foraging modality can be used as a trait to reliably predict the strength of competitive interactions. © 2016 The Authors. Journal of Animal Ecology © 2016 British Ecological Society.

  13. Forage Polyphenol Oxidase and Ruminant Livestock Nutrition

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael Richard F. Lee

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Polyphenol oxidase (PPO is associated with the detrimental effect of browning fruit and vegetables, however interest within PPO containing forage crops has grown since the brownng reaction was associated with reduced nitrogen (N losses in silo and the rumen. The reduction in protein breakdown in silo of red clover (high PPO forage increased the quality of protein, improving N-use efficiency (NUE when fed to ruminants. A further benefit of red clover silage feeding is a significant reduction in lipolysis in silo and an increase in the deposition of beneficial C18 polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA in animal products, which has also been linked to PPO activity. PPOs protection of plant protein and glycerol based-PUFA in silo is related to the deactivation of plant proteases and lipases. This deactivation occurs through PPO catalysing the conversion of diphenols to quinones which bind with cellular nucleophiles such as protein reforming a protein-bound phenol (PBP. If the protein is an enzyme the complexing denatures the enzyme. However, PPO is inactive in the anaerobic rumen and therefore any subsequent protection of plant protein and glycerol based-PUFA in the rumen must be as a result of events that occurred to the forage pre-ingestion. Reduced activity of plant proteases and lipases would have little effect on NUE and glycerol based-PUFA in the rumen due to the greater concentration of rumen microbial proteases and lipases. The mechanism for PPOs protection of plant protein in the rumen is a consequence of complexing plant protein, rather than protease deactivation per se. These complexed proteins reduce protein digestibility in the rumen and subsequently increase un-degraded dietary protein flow to the small intestine. The mechanism for protecting glycerol-based PUFA has yet to be fully elucidated but may be associated with entrapment within PBP reducing access to microbial lipases or differences in rumen digestion kinetics of red clover.

  14. Comparison of sorghum classes for grain and forage yield and forage nutritive value

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sorghum represents a broad category of plants that includes those grown primarily for forage (FS) or grain. Sorghum sudan crosses (SS) are also considered sorghum. Each of these groups can be further classified as brown midrib (BMR), nonBMR, photoperiod sensitive (PS), and nonPS. In our study, sor...

  15. Fatty acid composition of forage herb species

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Warner, D.; Jensen, Søren Krogh; Cone, J.W.

    2010-01-01

    The use of alternative forage species in grasslands for intensive livestock production is receiving renewed attention. Data on fatty acid composition of herbs are scarce, so four herbs (Plantago lanceolata, Achillea millefolium, Cichorium intybus, Pastinaca sativa) and one grass species (timothy......, Phleum pratense) were sown in a cutting trial. The chemical composition and concentration of fatty acids (FA) of individual species were determined during the growing season. Concentrations of crude protein and FA were generally higher in the herbs than in timothy. C. intybus had the highest nutritive...

  16. Temporal effects of hunting on foraging behavior of an apex predator: Do bears forego foraging when risk is high?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hertel, Anne G; Zedrosser, Andreas; Mysterud, Atle; Støen, Ole-Gunnar; Steyaert, Sam M J G; Swenson, Jon E

    2016-12-01

    Avoiding predators most often entails a food cost. For the Scandinavian brown bear (Ursus arctos), the hunting season coincides with the period of hyperphagia. Hunting mortality risk is not uniformly distributed throughout the day, but peaks in the early morning hours. As bears must increase mass for winter survival, they should be sensitive to temporal allocation of antipredator responses to periods of highest risk. We expected bears to reduce foraging activity at the expense of food intake in the morning hours when risk was high, but not in the afternoon, when risk was low. We used fine-scale GPS-derived activity patterns during the 2 weeks before and after the onset of the annual bear hunting season. At locations of probable foraging, we assessed abundance and sugar content, of bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus), the most important autumn food resource for bears in this area. Bears decreased their foraging activity in the morning hours of the hunting season. Likewise, they foraged less efficiently and on poorer quality berries in the morning. Neither of our foraging measures were affected by hunting in the afternoon foraging bout, indicating that bears did not allocate antipredator behavior to times of comparably lower risk. Bears effectively responded to variation in risk on the scale of hours. This entailed a measurable foraging cost. The additive effect of reduced foraging activity, reduced forage intake, and lower quality food may result in poorer body condition upon den entry and may ultimately reduce reproductive success.

  17. 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

  18. Public goods dilemma in asexual ant societies

    OpenAIRE

    Dobata, Shigeto; Tsuji, Kazuki

    2013-01-01

    This study reports experimental evidence for the “public goods dilemma” between cooperators and cheaters in an asexual ant society, in which cheating is always more rewarding for individuals but cooperation at the cost of individual fitness leads to better performance of groups. Although this dilemma provides the basic principle of social evolution, its experimental demonstration with underlying genetics and fitness evaluation for both cooperators and cheaters still lacks in societies other t...

  19. Ant colony optimization and constraint programming

    CERN Document Server

    Solnon, Christine

    2013-01-01

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

  20. Precision Rescue Behavior in North American Ants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katherine Taylor

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Altruistic behavior, in which one individual provides aid to another at some cost to itself, is well documented. However, some species engage in a form of altruism, called rescue, that places the altruist in immediate danger. Here we investigate one such example, namely rescuing victims captured by predators. In a field experiment with two North American ant species, Tetramorium sp. E and Prenolepis imparis, individuals were held in artificial snares simulating capture. T. sp. E, but not P. imparis, exhibited digging, pulling, and snare biting, the latter precisely targeted to the object binding the victim. These results are the first to document precision rescue in a North American ant species; moreover, unlike rescue in other ants, T. sp. E rescues conspecifics from different colonies, mirroring their atypical social behavior, namely the lack of aggression between non-nestmate (heterocolonial conspecifics. In a second, observational study designed to demonstrate rescue from an actual predator, T. sp. E victims were dropped into an antlion's pit and the behavior of a single rescuer was observed. Results showed that T. sp. E not only attempted to release the victim, but also risked attacking the predator, suggesting that precision rescue may play an important role in this species' antipredator behavior.