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Sample records for ground foraging ant

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

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    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

  2. 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

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

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    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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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

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    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

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

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    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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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).

  11. 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.

  12. 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...

  13. 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.

  14. 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...

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

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

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    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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

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

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    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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...

  7. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  9. 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.

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

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    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

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

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    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.

  15. 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.

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

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    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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

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

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    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.

  20. 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

  1. 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....

  2. Forage potential, micro-spatial and temporal distribution of ground ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Agelenidae (house spiders), Formicidae (ants) and Gryllidae (True crickets) respectively constituting 52.68%, 36.58% and 5.85% of the total arthropod abundance, dominated the 23 families of arthropods. On the basis of percentage biomass and per capita biomass compositions, Gryllidae and Agelenidae were of the most ...

  3. Agricultural matrices affect ground ant assemblage composition inside forest fragments.

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    Diego Santana Assis

    Full Text Available The establishment of agricultural matrices generally involves deforestation, which leads to fragmentation of the remaining forest. This fragmentation can affect forest dynamics both positively and negatively. Since most animal species are affected, certain groups can be used to measure the impact of such fragmentation. This study aimed to measure the impacts of agricultural crops (matrices on ant communities of adjacent lower montane Atlantic rainforest fragments. We sampled nine forest fragments at locations surrounded by different agricultural matrices, namely: coffee (3 replicates; sugarcane (3; and pasture (3. At each site we installed pitfall traps along a 500 m transect from the interior of the matrix to the interior of the fragment (20 pitfall traps ~25 m apart. Each transect was partitioned into four categories: interior of the matrix; edge of the matrix; edge of the fragment; and interior of the fragment. For each sample site, we measured ant species richness and ant community composition within each transect category. Ant richness and composition differed between fragments and matrices. Each sample location had a specific composition of ants, probably because of the influence of the nature and management of the agricultural matrices. Species composition in the coffee matrix had the highest similarity to its corresponding fragment. The variability in species composition within forest fragments surrounded by pasture was greatest when compared with forest fragments surrounded by sugarcane or, to a lesser extent, coffee. Functional guild composition differed between locations, but the most representative guild was 'generalist' both in the agricultural matrices and forest fragments. Our results are important for understanding how agricultural matrices act on ant communities, and also, how these isolated forest fragments could act as an island of biodiversity in an 'ocean of crops'.

  4. Agricultural matrices affect ground ant assemblage composition inside forest fragments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Assis, Diego Santana; Dos Santos, Iracenir Andrade; Ramos, Flavio Nunes; Barrios-Rojas, Katty Elena; Majer, Jonathan David; Vilela, Evaldo Ferreira

    2018-01-01

    The establishment of agricultural matrices generally involves deforestation, which leads to fragmentation of the remaining forest. This fragmentation can affect forest dynamics both positively and negatively. Since most animal species are affected, certain groups can be used to measure the impact of such fragmentation. This study aimed to measure the impacts of agricultural crops (matrices) on ant communities of adjacent lower montane Atlantic rainforest fragments. We sampled nine forest fragments at locations surrounded by different agricultural matrices, namely: coffee (3 replicates); sugarcane (3); and pasture (3). At each site we installed pitfall traps along a 500 m transect from the interior of the matrix to the interior of the fragment (20 pitfall traps ~25 m apart). Each transect was partitioned into four categories: interior of the matrix; edge of the matrix; edge of the fragment; and interior of the fragment. For each sample site, we measured ant species richness and ant community composition within each transect category. Ant richness and composition differed between fragments and matrices. Each sample location had a specific composition of ants, probably because of the influence of the nature and management of the agricultural matrices. Species composition in the coffee matrix had the highest similarity to its corresponding fragment. The variability in species composition within forest fragments surrounded by pasture was greatest when compared with forest fragments surrounded by sugarcane or, to a lesser extent, coffee. Functional guild composition differed between locations, but the most representative guild was 'generalist' both in the agricultural matrices and forest fragments. Our results are important for understanding how agricultural matrices act on ant communities, and also, how these isolated forest fragments could act as an island of biodiversity in an 'ocean of crops'.

  5. Two castes sizes of leafcutter ants in task partitioning in foraging activity

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    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.

  6. 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...

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

    OpenAIRE

    Elahi, Robin

    2005-01-01

    The large predatory ant, Paraponera clavata, exerts measurable top-down effects in wet and moist Neotropical forests, and therefore its distribution has potential ecological implications. To determine how water affects the presence of this important predator, the ground nesting ecology of P. clavata was examined with respect to various habitat characteristics. Four hectares of disturbed Costa Rican lowland rain forest were surveyed for ant colonies to determine nest distribution patterns in w...

  8. Ground-dwelling ant fauna of sites with high levels of copper.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diehl, E; Sanhudo, C E; Diehl-Fleig, Ed

    2004-02-01

    Richness and diversity of ant species are related to environmental factors such as vegetation, soil, presence of heavy metals, and insecticides, which allow the use of the assemblage members as terrestrial indicators of environmental conservation status. This study presents the results of ground ants surveyed in Minas do Camaquã in the municipality of Cacapava do Sul (Camaquã Basin), State of Rio Grande do Sul. Collections were performed in four sites, which high levels of copper in the soil, three of which--a mine, a liquid reject, and a solid reject-, had sparse or no plant cover, and one site where Pinus has been used for rehabilitation. Parque das Guaritas was the control site, since it presented normal levels of copper and a dense savanna cover. For each site, three transect lines extending 100 m were draw, and at each 10 m sardine baits were distributed; after two hours the ants present were collected. Hand collections in all five sites were performed during one hour (capture effort). A total of 51 species belonging to 17 genera were collected. The control site was the richest in ant species (r = 45). Sites with high level of copper and poor plant cover presented the lowest richness: mine (r = 14), solid reject (r = 15), and liquid reject (r = 16). In contrast, the site planted with Pinus presented an increment in richness (r = 24) of ground-dwelling ants, suggesting a reahabilitation process.

  9. Ground-dwelling ant fauna of sites with high levels of copper

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. Diehl

    Full Text Available Richness and diversity of ant species are related to environmental factors such as vegetation, soil, presence of heavy metals, and insecticides, which allow the use of the assemblage members as terrestrial indicators of environmental conservation status. This study presents the results of ground ants surveyed in Minas do Camaquã in the municipality of Caçapava do Sul (Camaquã Basin, State of Rio Grande do Sul. Collections were performed in four sites, with high levels of copper in the soil, three of which - a mine, a liquid reject, and a solid reject -, had sparse or no plant cover, and one site where Pinus has been used for rehabilitation. Parque das Guaritas was the control site, since it presented normal levels of copper and a dense savanna cover. For each site, three transect lines extending 100 m were draw, and at each 10 m sardine baits were distributed; after two hours the ants present were collected. Hand collections in all five sites were performed during one hour (capture effort. A total of 51 species belonging to 17 genera were collected. The control site was the richest in ant species (r = 45. Sites with high level of copper and poor plant cover presented the lowest richness: mine (r = 14, solid reject (r = 15, and liquid reject (r = 16. In contrast, the site planted with Pinus presented an increment in richness (r = 24 of ground-dwelling ants, suggesting a reahabilitation process.

  10. Migrations of green turtles (Chelonia mydas between nesting and foraging grounds across the Coral Sea.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tyffen C Read

    Full Text Available Marine megafauna tend to migrate vast distances, often crossing national borders and pose a significant challenge to managers. This challenge is particularly acute in the Pacific, which contains numerous small island nations and thousands of kilometers of continental margins. The green sea turtle, Chelonia mydas, is one such megafauna that is endangered in Pacific waters due to the overexploitation of eggs and adults for human consumption. Data from long-term tagging programs in Queensland (Australia and New Caledonia were analysed to investigate the migrations by C. mydas across the Coral Sea between their nesting site and their feeding grounds. A review of data collected over the last 50 years by different projects identified multiple migrations of C. mydas to and from New Caledonia (n = 97 and indicate that turtles foraging in New Caledonia nest in the Great Barrier Reef (Australia and vice versa. Several explanations exist for turtles exhibiting this energetically costly movement pattern from breeding to distant foraging grounds (1200-2680 km away despite viable foraging habitat being available in the local vicinity. These include hatchling drift, oceanic movements and food abundance predictability. Most of the tag recoveries in New Caledonia belonged to females from the south Great Barrier Reef genetic stock. Some females (n = 2 even showed fidelity to foraging sites located 1200 km away from the nesting site located in New Caledonia. This study also reveals previously unknown migrations pathways of turtles within the Coral Sea.

  11. 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 ...

  12. 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.

  13. Eurajoki Olkiluoto study on species of ground beetles and ants 2008

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Santaharju, J.; Helminen, S.-L.; Yrjoelae, R.

    2009-02-01

    The species of ants and Ground beetles at Olkiluoto in Eurajoki were studied in the summer of 2008 during two trapping periods: in June and August. The research goal was to clarify the species on Olkiluoto island of the earlier mentioned groups, at least at the family level, and to collect samples for further examination by Posiva. The trapping areas were selected at Olkiluoto in Posiva test monitoring sectors, a part of the trapping areas was the same as the earlier study. Species of ants, depending on their particular species, are a very dominating group of insects. The ants are the most important predators, scavengers and soil movers in Finnish forests. It looks as if the biomass of ants may be more than 10% of the biomass of all animals in certain areas of Finnish forests. In Finland there are about 60 species of ants that have been observed. They have been divided into four sub-groups, which are Myrmicinae, Formicinae, Ponerinae and Dolichoderinae. In Finland there are close to 300 species of ground beetles (Carabidae), which are divided into dozens of different families. The species, to a great extent, consist mostly of predatory insects that prey on microbes in field layers, but a part of them are specialized in feeding on flora. Ground beetles are usually divided into three groups according to their choice of habitat: Species that favour open biotopes, species that favour forests, and generalist species that can thrive in a variety of environments. Ground beetles also reflect changes in their living environment, and possibly they can be significant as socalled bio-indicators. Pitfall traps were used as the method of research. The preservative fluid used was ethanol (50%) with dishwashing liquid to remove surface tension. The points were located in various different biotopes in fields, meadows and forests. The data collected was defined as a minimum for the family level of Ground beetles and for ants to the species or species pairs. The species of Ground

  14. Eurajoki Olkiluoto study on species of ground beetles and ants 2008

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Santaharju, J.; Helminen, S.-L.; Yrjoelae, R. (Environmental Research Yrjoelae Ltd, Helsinki (Finland))

    2009-02-15

    The species of ants and Ground beetles at Olkiluoto in Eurajoki were studied in the summer of 2008 during two trapping periods: in June and August. The research goal was to clarify the species on Olkiluoto island of the earlier mentioned groups, at least at the family level, and to collect samples for further examination by Posiva. The trapping areas were selected at Olkiluoto in Posiva test monitoring sectors, a part of the trapping areas was the same as the earlier study. Species of ants, depending on their particular species, are a very dominating group of insects. The ants are the most important predators, scavengers and soil movers in Finnish forests. It looks as if the biomass of ants may be more than 10% of the biomass of all animals in certain areas of Finnish forests. In Finland there are about 60 species of ants that have been observed. They have been divided into four sub-groups, which are Myrmicinae, Formicinae, Ponerinae and Dolichoderinae. In Finland there are close to 300 species of ground beetles (Carabidae), which are divided into dozens of different families. The species, to a great extent, consist mostly of predatory insects that prey on microbes in field layers, but a part of them are specialized in feeding on flora. Ground beetles are usually divided into three groups according to their choice of habitat: Species that favour open biotopes, species that favour forests, and generalist species that can thrive in a variety of environments. Ground beetles also reflect changes in their living environment, and possibly they can be significant as socalled bio-indicators. Pitfall traps were used as the method of research. The preservative fluid used was ethanol (50%) with dishwashing liquid to remove surface tension. The points were located in various different biotopes in fields, meadows and forests. The data collected was defined as a minimum for the family level of Ground beetles and for ants to the species or species pairs. The species of Ground

  15. Humpback whale song and foraging behavior on an antarctic feeding ground.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alison K Stimpert

    Full Text Available Reports of humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae song chorusing occurring outside the breeding grounds are becoming more common, but song structure and underwater behavior of individual singers on feeding grounds and migration routes remain unknown. Here, ten humpback whales in the Western Antarctic Peninsula were tagged in May 2010 with non-invasive, suction-cup attached tags to study foraging ecology and acoustic behavior. Background song was identified on all ten records, but additionally, acoustic records of two whales showed intense and continuous singing, with a level of organization and structure approaching that of typical breeding ground song. The songs, produced either by the tagged animals or close associates, shared phrase types and theme structure with one another, and some song bouts lasted close to an hour. Dive behavior of tagged animals during the time of sound production showed song occurring during periods of active diving, sometimes to depths greater than 100 m. One tag record also contained song in the presence of feeding lunges identified from the behavioral sensors, indicating that mating displays occur in areas worthy of foraging. These data show behavioral flexibility as the humpbacks manage competing needs to continue to feed and to prepare for the breeding season during late fall. This may also signify an ability to engage in breeding activities outside of the traditional, warm water breeding ground locations.

  16. Disproportionate Declines in Ground-Foraging Insectivorous Birds after Mistletoe Removal.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David M Watson

    Full Text Available Insectivorous birds have been recognized as disproportionately sensitive to land-use intensification and habitat loss, with those species feeding primarily on the ground exhibiting some of the most dramatic declines. Altered litter inputs and availability of epigeic arthropods have been suggested to underlie reduced abundances and shrinking distributions but direct evidence is lacking. I used a patch-scale removal experiment in southern Australia to evaluate whether ground-feeding insectivores are especially vulnerable to altered litter-fall. Building on work demonstrating the importance of mistletoe litter to nutrient dynamics, litter was reduced by removing mistletoe (Loranthaceae from one set of eucalypt woodlands, responses of birds three years after mistletoe removal compared with otherwise similar control woodlands containing mistletoe. Despite not feeding on mistletoes directly, insectivores exhibited the greatest response to mistletoe removal. Among woodland residents, ground-foraging insectivores showed the most dramatic response; treatment woodlands losing an average of 37.4% of their pre-treatment species richness. Once these 19 species of ground-foraging insectivores were excluded, remaining woodland species showed no significant effect of mistletoe removal. This response reflects greater initial losses in treatment woodlands during the study (which coincided with a severe drought and double the number of species returning to control woodlands (where mistletoe numbers and litter were not manipulated post-drought. These findings support the productivity-based explanation of declining insectivores, suggesting diminished litter-fall reduced habitat quality for these birds via decreased availability of their preferred prey. In addition to altered prey availability, interactions between litter-fall and epigeic arthropods exemplify the importance of below-ground / above-ground linkages driving ecosystem function.

  17. Cerrado ground-dwelling ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae as indicators of edge effects

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carlos Roberto F. Brandão

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Large-scale agricultural production in Brazil preferentially occupies plateaus reclaimed from areas originally covered by Cerrado (savanna. Depending on the region, a percentage of the pristine vegetation coverage must be preserved by law, resulting in the creation of fragmented legal Cerrado reserves. The geometry of these relatively small legal reserves creates new habitat edges and ecotones, whose effects on the invertebrate fauna are poorly understood. This study aimed to assess the effects of abrupt edges resulting from soy production on ground-dwelling ant assemblages in the Brazilian Cerrado. The study sites are located within the Amazon region, in the state of Maranhão, northern Brazil, but were covered by Cerrado on a relatively low plateau, irregularly inter-spaced with gallery forests along streams. We compared species richness and species composition of ground-dwelling ants along eight transects set 0, 50, 100, 150, 200, and 250 m into the sensu stricto Cerrado and 50 and 100 m into the soy field. The collecting periods covered the wet and dry seasons. Effects on ant species richness were non-significant, although composition of the assemblages was significantly affected by edge effects, which were, in part, found to be species specific. We hypothesize that edge effects are probably greater than estimated because of the shape and complexity of reserves. Consideration of edge effects in the Cerrado Biome should enable the design of appropriate reserve sizes and shapes to meet conservation goals.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elahi, Robin

    2005-11-18

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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Videography reveals in-water behavior of loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta at a foraging ground

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samir Harshad Patel

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Assessing sea turtle behavior at the foraging grounds has been primarily limited to the interpretation of remotely-sensed data. As a result, there is a general lack of detailed understanding regarding the habitat use of sea turtles during a phase that accounts for a majority of their lives. Thus, this study aimed to fill these data gaps by providing detailed information about the feeding habits, prey availability, buoyancy control and water column usage by 73 loggerhead turtles across 45.7 hours of video footage obtained from a remotely operated vehicle (ROV from 2008 – 2014. We developed an ethogram to account for 27 potential environmental and behavioral parameters. Turtles were filmed through the entire water column and we quantified the frequency of behaviors such as flipper beats, breaths, defecations, feedings and reactions to the ROV. We used the ROV’s depth sensor and visible cues (i.e. water surface or benthic zone in view to distinguish depth zones and assess the turtles’ use of the water column. We also quantified interactions with sympatric biota, including potential gelatinous and non-gelatinous prey species, fish (including sharks, marine mammals and other sea turtles. We discovered that turtles tended to remain within the near surface and surface zones of the water column through the majority of the footage. During benthic dives, turtles consistently exhibited negative buoyancy and some turtles exhibited a dichotomous foraging behavior, first foraging within the water column, then diving to the benthic environment. Videography allowed us to combine behavioral observations and habitat features that cannot be captured by traditional telemetry methods, resulting in a broader understanding of loggerheads’ ecological role in the U.S. Mid-Atlantic.

  3. Stable Isotopes Reveal Long-Term Fidelity to Foraging Grounds in the Galapagos Sea Lion (Zalophus wollebaeki.

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    Massimiliano Drago

    Full Text Available Most otariids have colony-specific foraging areas during the breeding season, when they behave as central place foragers. However, they may disperse over broad areas after the breeding season and individuals from different colonies may share foraging grounds at that time. Here, stable isotope ratios in the skull bone of adult Galapagos sea lions (Zalophus wollebaeki were used to assess the long-term fidelity of both sexes to foraging grounds across the different regions of the Galapagos archipelago. Results indicated that the stable isotope ratios (δ(13C and δ(15N of sea lion bone significantly differed among regions of the archipelago, without any significant difference between sexes and with a non significant interaction between sex and region. Moreover, standard ellipses, estimated by Bayesian inference and used as a measure of the isotopic resource use area at the population level, overlapped widely for the sea lions from the southern and central regions, whereas the overlap of the ellipses for sea lions from the central and western regions was small and non-existing for those from the western and southern regions. These results suggest that males and females from the same region within the archipelago use similar foraging grounds and have similar diets. Furthermore, they indicate that the exchange of adults between regions is limited, thus revealing a certain degree of foraging philopatry at a regional scale within the archipelago. The constraints imposed on males by an expanded reproductive season (~ 6 months, resulting from the weak reproductive synchrony among females, and those imposed on females by a very long lactation period (at least one year but up to three years, may explain the limited mobility of adult Galapagos sea lions of both sexes across the archipelago.

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

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    Diego Anjos

    2017-06-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Diversity and ecology of ground dwelling ants at Khao Nan National Park, southern Thailand

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Suparoek Watanasit

    2008-10-01

    Full Text Available Khao Nan National Park (KNNP is located in the southern part of Thailand. Its flora and fauna are diverse, however there is little information about the diversity of ants. The aim of this study was to determine species diversity and ecology of ants at KNNP. Three study sites (Baucheak Trail, Pra Forest and Sunantha Trail were chosen and at each three permanent plots of 30x30 m were selected at least 500 m apart. The ant sampling was extracted from leaf litter by the Winkler bag method. Physical factors of precipitation, humidity, air temperature, and soil temperature were recorded during the collection of ants every two months between January 2006 and January 2007. A total number of 172 species and 43 genera belonging to 9 subfamilies were identified. The top five dominant genera of ants were Pheidole (27 species following by Tetramorium (14 species, Camponotus (13 species, Pachycondyla (12 species, and Crematogaster (9 species. The influence of the study sites on the species number of ants in this study indicated that the study sites had an affect on the species number. Regarding the environmental factors, the results showed that the individual numbers of Pheidole was significantly negatively correlated to precipitation, whereas Pachycondyla was significantly negatively correlated to humidity, while both genera were significantly positively correlated to air temperature and soil temperature. Moreover, Camponotus was the only genus significantly positively correlated to the air temperature.

  8. Polychlorinated biphenyls and organochlorine pesticides as intrinsic tracer tags of foraging grounds of bluefin tuna in the northwest Atlantic Ocean

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Deshpande, Ashok D.; Dickhut, Rebecca M.; Dockum, Bruce W.; Brill, Richard W.; Farrington, Cameron

    2016-01-01

    Researchers have utilized chemical fingerprints in the determination of habitat utilization and movements of the aquatic animals. In the present effort, we analyzed polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) congeners and organochlorine pesticides in the samples of juvenile bluefin tuna caught offshore of Virginia, and in larger bluefin tuna from the Gulf of Maine and near Nova Scotia. For a given specimen, or a given location, PCB concentrations were highest, followed by DDTs, and chlordanes. Average contaminant concentrations from fish captured from the three locations were not significantly different; and PCBs, DDTs, and chlordanes correlated well with each other. Trans-nonachlor/PCB 153 ratios in bluefin tuna of eastern Atlantic (i.e., Mediterranean) origin are low compared to the corresponding ratios in fish in the western Atlantic. As the former migrate to the western Atlantic, these ratios gradually turnover due to the accumulation of biomass from forage contaminated with higher trans-nonachlor/PCB 153 ratio reflecting dissimilar use of chlordane pesticides on two sides of the Atlantic Ocean. The trans-nonachlor/PCB 153 ratio indicated that one juvenile bluefin tuna from offshore of Virginia and one large bluefin tuna from Gulf of Maine in the present study originated from foraging grounds in the Mediterranean Sea, and that they have made the trans-Atlantic migrations. The remaining individuals were determined to be either spawned in the Gulf of Mexico or the trans-nonachlor/PCB 153 ratio for the putative Mediterranean bluefin tuna was completely turned over to resemble the ratio characteristic to the western Atlantic. Based on the turnover time for trans-nonachlor/PCB 153 ratio previously determined, the residence time of juvenile bluefin tuna offshore Virginia was estimated to be at least 0.8 to 1.6 years. A discriminant function analysis (DFA) plot of total PCB normalized signatures of PCB congeners showed three separate clusters, which suggested that bluefin tuna

  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. 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.

  11. Polychlorinated biphenyls and organochlorine pesticides as intrinsic tracer tags of foraging grounds of bluefin tuna in the northwest Atlantic Ocean.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deshpande, Ashok D; Dickhut, Rebecca M; Dockum, Bruce W; Brill, Richard W; Farrington, Cameron

    2016-04-15

    Researchers have utilized chemical fingerprints in the determination of habitat utilization and movements of the aquatic animals. In the present effort, we analyzed polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) congeners and organochlorine pesticides in the samples of juvenile bluefin tuna caught offshore of Virginia, and in larger bluefin tuna from the Gulf of Maine and near Nova Scotia. For a given specimen, or a given location, PCB concentrations were highest, followed by DDTs, and chlordanes. Average contaminant concentrations from fish captured from the three locations were not significantly different; and PCBs, DDTs, and chlordanes correlated well with each other. Trans-nonachlor/PCB 153 ratios in bluefin tuna of eastern Atlantic (i.e., Mediterranean) origin are low compared to the corresponding ratios in fish in the western Atlantic. As the former migrate to the western Atlantic, these ratios gradually turnover due to the accumulation of biomass from forage contaminated with higher trans-nonachlor/PCB 153 ratio reflecting dissimilar use of chlordane pesticides on two sides of the Atlantic Ocean. The trans-nonachlor/PCB 153 ratio indicated that one juvenile bluefin tuna from offshore of Virginia and one large bluefin tuna from Gulf of Maine in the present study originated from foraging grounds in the Mediterranean Sea, and that they have made the trans-Atlantic migrations. The remaining individuals were determined to be either spawned in the Gulf of Mexico or the trans-nonachlor/PCB 153 ratio for the putative Mediterranean bluefin tuna was completely turned over to resemble the ratio characteristic to the western Atlantic. Based on the turnover time for trans-nonachlor/PCB 153 ratio previously determined, the residence time of juvenile bluefin tuna offshore Virginia was estimated to be at least 0.8 to 1.6years. A discriminant function analysis (DFA) plot of total PCB normalized signatures of PCB congeners showed three separate clusters, which suggested that bluefin tuna

  12. Determining spatio-temporal distribution of bee forage species of Al-Baha region based on ground inventorying supported with GIS applications and Remote Sensed Satellite Image analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nuru Adgaba

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available In arid zones, the shortage of bee forage is critical and usually compels beekeepers to move their colonies in search of better forages. Identifying and mapping the spatiotemporal distribution of the bee forages over given area is important for better management of bee colonies. In this study honey bee plants in the target areas were inventoried following, ground inventory work supported with GIS applications. The study was conducted on 85 large plots of 50 × 50 m each. At each plot, data on species name, height, base diameter, crown height, crown diameter has been taken for each plant with their respective geographical positions. The data were stored, and processed using Trimble GPS supported with ArcGIS10 software program. The data were used to estimate the relative frequency, density, abundance and species diversity, species important value index and apicultural value of the species. In addition, Remotely Sensed Satellite Image of the area was obtained and processed using Hopfield Artificial Neural Network techniques. During the study, 182 species from 49 plant families were identified as bee forages of the target area. From the total number of species; shrubs, herbs and trees were accounting for 61%, 27.67%, and 11.53% respectively. Of which Ziziphus spina-christi, Acacia tortilis, Acacia origina, Acacia asak, Lavandula dentata, and Hypoestes forskaolii were the major nectar source plants of the area in their degree of importance. The average vegetation cover values of the study areas were low (<30% with low Shannon’s species diversity indices (H′ of 0.5–1.52 for different sites. Based on the eco-climatological factors and the variations in their flowering period, these major bee forage species were found to form eight distinct spatiotemporal categories which allow beekeepers to migrate their colonies to exploit the resources at different seasons and place. The Remote Sensed Satellite Image analysis confirmed the spatial

  13. Determining spatio-temporal distribution of bee forage species of Al-Baha region based on ground inventorying supported with GIS applications and Remote Sensed Satellite Image analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adgaba, Nuru; Alghamdi, Ahmed; Sammoud, Rachid; Shenkute, Awraris; Tadesse, Yilma; Ansari, Mahammad J; Sharma, Deepak; Hepburn, Colleen

    2017-07-01

    In arid zones, the shortage of bee forage is critical and usually compels beekeepers to move their colonies in search of better forages. Identifying and mapping the spatiotemporal distribution of the bee forages over given area is important for better management of bee colonies. In this study honey bee plants in the target areas were inventoried following, ground inventory work supported with GIS applications. The study was conducted on 85 large plots of 50 × 50 m each. At each plot, data on species name, height, base diameter, crown height, crown diameter has been taken for each plant with their respective geographical positions. The data were stored, and processed using Trimble GPS supported with ArcGIS10 software program. The data were used to estimate the relative frequency, density, abundance and species diversity, species important value index and apicultural value of the species. In addition, Remotely Sensed Satellite Image of the area was obtained and processed using Hopfield Artificial Neural Network techniques. During the study, 182 species from 49 plant families were identified as bee forages of the target area. From the total number of species; shrubs, herbs and trees were accounting for 61%, 27.67%, and 11.53% respectively. Of which Ziziphus spina-christi , Acacia tortilis , Acacia origina , Acacia asak , Lavandula dentata , and Hypoestes forskaolii were the major nectar source plants of the area in their degree of importance. The average vegetation cover values of the study areas were low (GIS and satellite image processing techniques could be an important tool for characterizing and mapping the available bee forage resources leading to their efficient and sustainable utilization.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    B. C. Echezona

    2012-01-01

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

  16. 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

  17. MEMS two-axis force plate array used to measure the ground reaction forces during the running motion of an ant

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Takahashi, Hidetoshi; Thanh-Vinh, Nguyen; Jung, Uijin G; Shimoyama, Isao; Matsumoto, Kiyoshi

    2014-01-01

    A terrestrial insect can perform agile running maneuvers. However, the balance of ground reaction forces (GRFs) between each leg in an insect have remained poorly characterized. In this report, we present a micro force plate array for the simultaneous measurement of the anterior and vertical components of GRFs of multiple legs during the running motion of an ant. The proposed force plate, which consists of a 2000 µm × 980 µm × 20 µm plate base as the contact surface of an ant's leg, and the supported beams with piezoresistors on the sidewall and surface are sufficiently compact to be adjacently arrayed along the anterior direction. Eight plates arrayed in parallel were fabricated on the same silicon-on-insulator substrate to narrow the gap between each plate to 20 µm. We compartmented the plate surface into 32 blocks and evaluated the sensitivities to two-axis forces in each block so that the exerted forces could be detected wherever a leg came into contact. The force resolutions in both directions were under 1 µN within ±20 µN. Using the fabricated force plate array, we achieved a simultaneous measurement of the GRFs of three legs on one side while an ant was running. (paper)

  18. Soil bulk electrical resistivity and forage ground cover: nonlinear models in an alfalfa (Medicago sativa L. case study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roberta Rossi

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Alfalfa is a highly productive and fertility-building forage crop; its performance, can be highly variable as influenced by within-field soil spatial variability. Characterising the relations between soil and forage- variation is important for optimal management. The aim of this work was to model the relationship between soil electrical resistivity (ER and plant productivity in an alfalfa (Medicago sativa L. field in Southern Italy. ER mapping was accomplished by a multi-depth automatic resistivity profiler. Plant productivity was assessed through normalised difference vegetation index (NDVI at 2 dates. A non-linear relationship between NDVI and deep soil ER was modelled within the framework of generalised additive models. The best model explained 70% of the total variability. Soil profiles at six locations selected along a gradient of ER showed differences related to texture (ranging from clay to sandy-clay loam, gravel content (0 to 55% and to the presence of a petrocalcic horizon. Our results prove that multi-depth ER can be used to localise permanent soil features that drive plant productivity.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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...

  2. Stealthy invaders: the biology of Cardiocondyla tramp ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2006-01-01

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

  3. Forage plants of an Arctic-nesting herbivore show larger warming response in breeding than wintering grounds, potentially disrupting migration phenology

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lameris, T.K.; Jochems, Femke; van der Graaf, A.J.; Andersson, M.; Limpens, J.; Nolet, B.A.

    2017-01-01

    During spring migration, herbivorous waterfowl breeding in the Arctic depend on peaks in the supply of nitrogen-rich forage plants, following a “green wave” of grass growth along their flyway to fuel migration and reproduction. The effects of climate warming on forage plant growth are expected to be

  4. 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.

  5. Growth performance, feeding behavior, and selected blood metabolites of Holstein dairy calves fed restricted amounts of milk: No interactions between sources of finely ground grain and forage provision.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mirzaei, M; Khorvash, M; Ghorbani, G R; Kazemi-Bonchenari, M; Ghaffari, M H

    2017-02-01

    The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of grain sources and forage provision on growth performance, blood metabolites, and feeding behaviors of dairy calves. Sixty 3-d-old Holstein dairy calves (42.2 ± 2.5 kg of body weight) were used in a 2 × 3 factorial arrangement with the factors being grain sources (barley and corn) and forage provision (no forage, alfalfa hay, and corn silage). Individually housed calves were randomly assigned (n = 10 calves per treatment: 5 males and 5 females) to 6 treatments: (1) barley grain (BG) without forage supplement, (2) BG with alfalfa hay (AH) supplementation, (3) BG with corn silage (CS) supplementation, (4) corn grain (CG) without forage supplement, (5) CG with AH supplementation, and (6) CG with CS supplementation. All calves had ad libitum access to water and starter feed throughout the experiment. All calves were weaned on d 49 and remained in the study until d 63. Starter feed intake and average daily gain (ADG) was greater for calves fed barley than those fed corn during the preweaning and overall periods. Calves supplemented with CS had greater final body weight and postweaning as well as overall starter feed intake than AH and non-forage-supplemented calves. During the preweaning and overall periods, feeding of CS was found to increase ADG compared with feeding AH and nonforage diets. However, feed efficiency was not affected by dietary treatments. Calves supplemented with CS spent more time ruminating compared with AH and control groups; nonnutritive oral behaviors were the greatest in non-forage-supplemented calves. Regardless of the grain sources, the rumen pH value was greater for AH calves compared with CS and non-forage-supplemented calves. Blood concentration of BHB was greater for CS-supplemented calves compared with AH and non-forage-supplemented calves. Furthermore, body length and heart girth were greater for calves fed barley compared with those fed corn, and also in forage

  6. 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

  7. Diversity of the ground-dwelling ant fauna (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of a moist, Montane forest of the semi-arid Brazilian "Nordeste".

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hites, N L; Mourão, M A N; Araújo, F O; Melo, M V C; de Biseau, J C; Quinet, Y

    2005-01-01

    Although the so called "green islands" of the semi-arid Brazilian "Nordeste" are economically, socially, and ecologically important. relatively little is known about their biodiversity. We present the results of the first survey of the ground-dwelling ant fauna of a secondary forest in the Serra de Baturité (4 degrees 05'-4 degrees 40' S / 38 degrees 30'-39 degrees 10' W), among the biggest of the moist, montane forests of the state of Ceará, Brazil. From February to March 2001, samples were taken every 50 m along twelve 200 m transects, each separated from the others by at least 50 m and cut on either side of a recreational trail. Where possible, two transects were cut from the same starting point on the trail, one on either side. At each sample site two methods were used, as recommended in the ALL. protocol: a pitfall trap and the treatment of 1 m2 of leaf litter with the Winkler extractor. The myrmecofauna of the Serra de Baturité is quite diverse: individuals from 72 species, 23 genera, and six subfamilies were collected. The observed patterns of specific richness show the same tendencies noted in other tropical regions, particularly the frequency of capture distribution with many rare and few abundant species. Differences with the Atlantic and Amazonian forests were also observed, especially the relative importance of the Ponerinac and Formicinae subfamilies, indicating a possible influence of the surrounding "caatinga" (savanna-like ecosystem) on the myrmecofauna of the moist, montane forest.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. The effect of wildfire and clear-cutting on above-ground biomass, foliar C to N ratios and fiber content throughout succession: Implications for forage quality in woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mallon, E. E.; Turetsky, M.; Thompson, I.; Noland, T. L.; Wiebe, P.

    2013-12-01

    Disturbance is known to play an important role in maintaining the productivity and biodiversity of boreal forest ecosystems. Moderate to low frequency disturbance is responsible for regeneration opportunities creating a mosaic of habitats and successional trajectories. However, large-scale deforestation and increasing wildfire frequencies exacerbate habitat loss and influence biogeochemical cycles. This has raised concern about the quality of the under-story vegetation post-disturbance and whether this may impact herbivores, especially those vulnerable to change. Forest-dwelling caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou) are declining in several regions of Canada and are currently listed as a species at risk by COSEWIC. Predation and landscape alteration are viewed as the two main threats to woodland caribou. This has resulted in caribou utilizing low productivity peatlands as refuge and the impact of this habitat selection on their diet quality is not well understood. Therefore there are two themes in the study, 1) Forage quantity: above-ground biomass and productivity and 2) Forage quality: foliar N and C to N ratios and % fiber. The themes are addressed in three questions: 1) How does forage quantity and quality vary between upland forests and peatlands? 2) How does wildfire affect the availability and nutritional quality of forage items? 3) How does forage quality vary between sites recovering from wildfire versus timber harvest? Research sites were located in the Auden region north of Geraldton, ON. This landscape was chosen because it is known woodland caribou habitat and has thorough wildfire and silviculture data from the past 7 decades. Plant diversity, above-ground biomass, vascular green area and seasonal foliar fiber and C to N ratios were collected across a matrix of sites representing a chronosequence of time since disturbance in upland forests and peatlands. Preliminary findings revealed productivity peaked in early age stands (0-30 yrs) and biomass peaked

  14. 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....

  15. Dataset of long-term monitoring of ground-dwelling ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in the influence areas of a hydroelectric power plant on the Madeira River in the Amazon Basin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernandes, Itanna O; de Souza, Jorge L P

    2018-01-01

    Biodiversity loss is accelerating rapidly in response to increasing human influence on the Earth's natural ecosystems. One way to overcome this problem is by focusing on places of human interest and monitoring the changes and impacts on the biodiversity. This study was conducted at six sites within the influence area of the Santo Antônio Hydroelectric Power Plant in the margins of the Madeira River in Rondônia State. The sites cover a latitudinal gradient of approximately 100 km in the Brazilian Amazon Basin. The sampling design included six sampling modules with six plots (transects) each, totaling 30 sampling plots. The transects were distributed with 0 km, 0.5 km, 1 km, 2 km, 3 km and 4 km, measured perpendicularly from the river margin towards the interior of the forest. For sampling the ground-dwelling ants, the study used the ALL (ants of the leaf litter) protocol, which is standardized globally in the inventories of ant fauna. For the purpose of impact indicators, the first two campaigns (September 2011 to November 2011) were carried out in the pre-filling period, while campaigns 3 to 10 (February 2012 to November 2014) were carried out during and after the filling of the hydroelectric reservoir. A total of 253 events with a total of 9,165 occurrences were accounted during the monitoring. The ants were distributed in 10 subfamilies, 68 genera and 324 species/morphospecies. The impact on ant biodiversity during the periods before and after filling was measured by ecological indicators and by the presence and absence of some species/morphospecies. This is the first study, as far as we know, including taxonomic and ecological treatment to monitor the impact of a hydroelectric power plant on ant fauna. Until recently, most studies conducted on hydroelectric plants, located in the Amazon Basin, were carried out after the implementation of dams in order to assess their impacts on the environment and biodiversity (Benchimol and Peres 2015, Latrubesse et al. 2017

  16. 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 ...

  17. 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.

  18. Diversity of the ground-dwelling ant fauna (Hymenoptera:Formicidae of a moist,montane forest of the semi-arid Brazilian "Nordeste "

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. L Hites

    2005-06-01

    Full Text Available Although the so called "green islands" of the semi-arid Brazilian "Nordeste" are economically, socially, and ecologically important, relatively little is known about their biodiversity. We present the results of the first survey of the ground-dwelling ant fauna of a secondary forest in the Serra de Baturité (4° 05’ - 4° 40’ S / 38° 30’ - 39° 10’ W, among the biggest of the moist, montane forests of the state of Ceará, Brazil. From February to March 2001, samples were taken every 50 m along twelve 200 m transects, each separated from the others by at least 50 m and cut on either side of a recreational trail. Where possible, two transects were cut from the same starting point on the trail, one on either side. At each sample site two methods were used, as recommended in the ALL protocol: a pitfall trap and the treatment of 1 m² of leaf litter with the Winkler extractor. The myrmecofauna of the Serra de Baturité is quite diverse: individuals from 72 species, 23 genera, and six subfamilies were collected. The observed patterns of specific richness show the same tendencies noted in other tropical regions, particularly the frequency of capture distribution with many rare and few abundant species. Differences with the Atlantic and Amazonian forests were also observed, especially the relative importance of the Ponerinae and Formicinae subfamilies, indicating a possible influence of the surrounding "caatinga" (savanna-like ecosystem on the myrmecofauna of the moist,montane forest. Rev. Biol. Trop. 53(1-2:165-173. Epub 2005 Jun 24Se presentan los resultados del primer inventario de la mirmecofauna del suelo en un parche de bosque montano húmedo del "Nordeste" semi-árido brasileño. Aunque estos parches o "islas verdes" son importantes económica, social, y ecológicamente, se conoce relativamente poco acerca de su biodiversidad. La investigación fue llevada a cabo en un bosque secundario en la Serra de Baturité, uno de los mayores del

  19. 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.

  20. Refuse dumps from leaf-cutting ant nests reduce the intensity of above-ground competition among neighboring plants in a Patagonian steppe

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farji-Brener, Alejandro G.; Lescano, María Natalia

    2017-11-01

    In arid environments, the high availability of sunlight due to the scarcity of trees suggests that plant competition take place mainly belowground for water and nutrients. However, the occurrence of soil disturbances that increase nutrient availability and thereby promote plant growth may enhance shoot competition between neighboring plants. We conducted a greenhouse experiment to evaluate the influence of the enriched soil patches generated by the leaf-cutting ant, Acromyrmex lobicornis, on the performance of the alien forb Carduus thoermeri (Asteraceae) under different intraspecific competition scenarios. Our results showed that substrate type and competition scenario affected mainly aboveground plant growth. As expected, plants growing without neighbors and in nutrient-rich ant refuse dumps showed more aboveground biomass than plants growing with neighbors and in nutrient-poor steppe soils. However, aboveground competition was more intense in nutrient-poor substrates: plants under shoot and full competition growing in the nutrient-rich ant refuse dumps showed higher biomass than those growing on steppe soils. Belowground biomass was similar among focal plants growing under different substrate type. Our results support the traditional view that increments in resource availability reduce competition intensity. Moreover, the fact that seedlings in this sunny habitat mainly compete aboveground illustrates how limiting factors may be scale-dependent and change in importance as plants grow.

  1. 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 ...

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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...

  5. 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.

  6. 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...

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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).

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. Specialization on pollen or nectar in bumblebee foragers is not associated with ovary size, lipid reserves or sensory tuning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adam R. Smith

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Foraging specialization allows social insects to more efficiently exploit resources in their environment. Recent research on honeybees suggests that specialization on pollen or nectar among foragers is linked to reproductive physiology and sensory tuning (the Reproductive Ground-Plan Hypothesis; RGPH. However, our understanding of the underlying physiological relationships in non-Apis bees is still limited. Here we show that the bumblebee Bombus terrestris has specialist pollen and nectar foragers, and test whether foraging specialization in B. terrestris is linked to reproductive physiology, measured as ovarian activation. We show that neither ovary size, sensory sensitivity, measured through proboscis extension response (PER, or whole-body lipid stores differed between pollen foragers, nectar foragers, or generalist foragers. Body size also did not differ between any of these three forager groups. Non-foragers had significantly larger ovaries than foragers. This suggests that potentially reproductive individuals avoid foraging.

  17. 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.

  18. Collective search by ants in microgravity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefanie M. Countryman

    2015-03-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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 ...

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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...

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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...

  1. 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.

  2. 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...

  3. 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…

  4. 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...

  5. Visual field shape and foraging ecology in diurnal raptors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Potier, Simon; Duriez, Olivier; Cunningham, Gregory B; Bonhomme, Vincent; O'Rourke, Colleen; Fernández-Juricic, Esteban; Bonadonna, Francesco

    2018-05-18

    Birds, particularly raptors, are believed to forage primarily using visual cues. However, raptor foraging tactics are highly diverse - from chasing mobile prey to scavenging - which may reflect adaptations of their visual systems. To investigate this, we studied the visual field configuration of 15 species of diurnal Accipitriformes that differ in such tactics, first focusing on the binocular field and blind area by using a single traits approach, and then exploring the shape of the binocular field with morphometric approaches. While the maximum binocular field width did not differ in species of different foraging tactics, the overall shape of their binocular fields did. In particular, raptors chasing terrestrial prey (ground predators) had a more protruding binocular field and a wider blind area above the head than did raptors chasing aerial or aquatic prey and obligate scavengers. Ground predators that forage on mammals from above have a wide but short bill - which increases ingestion rate - and large suborbital ridge to avoid sun glare. This may explain the protruding binocular field and the wide blind area above the head. By contrast, species from the two other groups have long but narrow bills used to pluck, flake or tear food and may need large visual coverage (and reduced suborbital ridges) to increase their foraging efficiency ( e.g. using large visual coverage to follow the escaping prey in three dimensions or detect conspecifics). We propose that binocular field shape is associated with bill and suborbital ridge shape and, ultimately, foraging strategies. © 2018. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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...

  9. Effect of Grazing on Forage Quality and Quantity for Ungulates of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This study examined the effect of grazing as simulated by clipping on forage quality and quantity in terms of above ground biomass, live, total production and nutrients content of forages utilized by ungulates of Kainji Lake National Park. Three 2.5m by 2.5m plots were constructed in the three main vegetation communities in ...

  10. 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 ...

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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, ...

  14. "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...

  15. 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

  16. 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...

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. Meta-heuristic ant colony optimization technique to forecast the amount of summer monsoon rainfall: skill comparison with Markov chain model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chaudhuri, Sutapa; Goswami, Sayantika; Das, Debanjana; Middey, Anirban

    2014-05-01

    Forecasting summer monsoon rainfall with precision becomes crucial for the farmers to plan for harvesting in a country like India where the national economy is mostly based on regional agriculture. The forecast of monsoon rainfall based on artificial neural network is a well-researched problem. In the present study, the meta-heuristic ant colony optimization (ACO) technique is implemented to forecast the amount of summer monsoon rainfall for the next day over Kolkata (22.6°N, 88.4°E), India. The ACO technique belongs to swarm intelligence and simulates the decision-making processes of ant colony similar to other adaptive learning techniques. ACO technique takes inspiration from the foraging behaviour of some ant species. The ants deposit pheromone on the ground in order to mark a favourable path that should be followed by other members of the colony. A range of rainfall amount replicating the pheromone concentration is evaluated during the summer monsoon season. The maximum amount of rainfall during summer monsoon season (June—September) is observed to be within the range of 7.5-35 mm during the period from 1998 to 2007, which is in the range 4 category set by the India Meteorological Department (IMD). The result reveals that the accuracy in forecasting the amount of rainfall for the next day during the summer monsoon season using ACO technique is 95 % where as the forecast accuracy is 83 % with Markov chain model (MCM). The forecast through ACO and MCM are compared with other existing models and validated with IMD observations from 2008 to 2012.

  1. Search paths of swans foraging on spatially autocorrelated tubers

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nolet, B.A.; Mooij, W.M.

    2002-01-01

    1. Tundra swans forage on below-ground pondweed tubers that are heterogeneously distributed in space. The swans have no visual cues to delineate patches. It was tested whether swans employ an area-restricted search tactic. Theory predicts that swans should alternate between an intensive (low-speed,

  2. Effects of growth stage on quality characteristics of triticale forages

    Science.gov (United States)

    The use of triticale (X Triticosecale Wittmack) in dairy-cropping systems has expanded greatly in recent years, partly to improve land stewardship by providing winter ground cover. Our objectives were to relate the nutritive value of triticale forages grown in central Wisconsin with plant growth sta...

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Dynamics of sward condition and botanical composition in mixed pastures of marandugrass, forage peanut and tropical kudzu

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carlos Mauricio Soares de Andrade

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available This study was carried out to evaluate the dynamics of sward condition and botanical composition of a mixed pasture of marandugrass (Brachiaria brizantha cv. Marandu, forage peanut (Arachis pintoi cv. Mandobi and tropical kudzu (Pueraria phaseoloides, rotationally stocked at four daily forage allowance levels (6.6, 10.3, 14.3 and 17.9% of live weight. Sward condition was characterized in each stocking cycle by measuring pre- and post-grazing sward height, forage mass and percentage of bare ground. Botanical composition (grass, forage peanut, tropical kudzu and weeds was evaluated before each stocking period. Swards under smaller forage allowances presented lower height, forage mass and ground cover. This condition favored the growth of forage peanut, which constituted 21.1, 15.2, 8.4 and 3.8% of forage mass in the last quarter of the experimental period, from the lowest to the highest forage allowance, respectively. Tropical kudzu was sensitive to all forage allowance levels and its percentage in the botanical composition was strongly reduced along the experimental period, especially during the dry season (July to September. Forage peanut cv. Mandobi and marandugrass form a more balanced mixture when pre-grazing sward height is maintained shorter than 45 cm. Tropical kudzu is intolerant to intensive grazing management systems when associated to marandugrass.

  6. 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.

  7. Myrmeciza and related antbirds (Aves, Formicariidae as army ant followers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Edwin O. Willis

    1984-01-01

    Full Text Available Antbirds of the genera Myrmeciza (including Sipia and Myrmoborus, Gymnocichla, and Sclateria hop near or on the ground in fairly dense vegetation, "pounding" their tails downward. Where dense understory vegetation is widespread and ants move in it for long distances, certain of these antbirds become regular ant followers: M. immaculata and M. fortis in cluttered moist foothill forest from Costa Rica to upper Amazonia; Gymnocichla nudiceps in moist cluttered second growth of Central America to Colombia. Where the forest understory is more open, Myrmeciza species follow ants mainly in cluttered patches: M. exsul in lowland forest west of the Andes, M. myotherina east of the Andes. Myrmeciza or relatives that specialize on water-edge or very dense zones rarely follow ants.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amy L. Mertl

    2012-01-01

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

  11. 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...

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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....

  16. 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...

  17. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  19. 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...

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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....

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Ovary activation does not correlate with pollen and nectar foraging specialization in the bumblebee Bombus impatiens

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Meagan A. Simons

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Social insect foragers may specialize on certain resource types. Specialization on pollen or nectar among honeybee foragers is hypothesized to result from associations between reproductive physiology and sensory tuning that evolved in ancestral solitary bees (the Reproductive Ground-Plan Hypothesis; RGPH. However, the two non-honeybee species studied showed no association between specialization and ovary activation. Here we investigate the bumblebee B. impatiens because it has the most extensively studied pollen/nectar specialization of any bumblebee. We show that ovary size does not differ between pollen specialist, nectar specialist, and generalist foragers, contrary to the predictions of the RGPH. However, we also found mixed support for the second prediction of the RGPH, that sensory sensitivity, measured through proboscis extension response (PER, is greater among pollen foragers. We also found a correlation between foraging activity and ovary size, and foraging activity and relative nectar preference, but no correlation between ovary size and nectar preference. In one colony non-foragers had larger ovaries than foragers, supporting the reproductive conflict and work hypothesis, but in the other colony they did not.

  13. Ovary activation does not correlate with pollen and nectar foraging specialization in the bumblebee Bombus impatiens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simons, Meagan A; Smith, Adam R

    2018-01-01

    Social insect foragers may specialize on certain resource types. Specialization on pollen or nectar among honeybee foragers is hypothesized to result from associations between reproductive physiology and sensory tuning that evolved in ancestral solitary bees (the Reproductive Ground-Plan Hypothesis; RGPH). However, the two non-honeybee species studied showed no association between specialization and ovary activation. Here we investigate the bumblebee B. impatiens because it has the most extensively studied pollen/nectar specialization of any bumblebee. We show that ovary size does not differ between pollen specialist, nectar specialist, and generalist foragers, contrary to the predictions of the RGPH. However, we also found mixed support for the second prediction of the RGPH, that sensory sensitivity, measured through proboscis extension response (PER), is greater among pollen foragers. We also found a correlation between foraging activity and ovary size, and foraging activity and relative nectar preference, but no correlation between ovary size and nectar preference. In one colony non-foragers had larger ovaries than foragers, supporting the reproductive conflict and work hypothesis, but in the other colony they did not.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. Physiological effects of increased foraging effort in a small passerine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yap, Kang Nian; Kim, Oh Run; Harris, Karilyn C; Williams, Tony D

    2017-11-15

    Foraging to obtain food, either for self-maintenance or at presumably elevated rates to provide for offspring, is thought to be an energetically demanding activity but one that is essential for fitness (higher reproductive success and survival). Nevertheless, the physiological mechanisms that allow some individuals to support higher foraging performance, and the mechanisms underlying costs of high workload, remain poorly understood. We experimentally manipulated foraging behaviour in zebra finches ( Taeniopygia guttata ) using the technique described by Koetsier and Verhulst (2011) Birds in the 'high foraging effort' (HF) group had to obtain food either while flying/hovering or by making repeated hops or jumps from the ground up to the feeder, behaviour typical of the extremely energetically expensive foraging mode observed in many free-living small passerines. HF birds made significantly more trips to the feeder per 10 min, whereas control birds spent more time (perched) at the feeder. Despite this marked change in foraging behaviour, we documented few short- or long-term effects of 'training' (3 days and 90 days of 'training', respectively) and some of these effects were sex specific. There were no effects of treatment on basal metabolic rate, haematocrit, haemoglobin or plasma glycerol, triglyceride and glucose levels, and masses of kidney, crop, large intestine, small intestine, gizzard and liver. HF females had higher masses of flight muscle, leg muscle, heart and lung compared with controls. In contrast, HF males had lower heart mass than controls and there were no differences for other organs. When both sexes were pooled, there were no effects of treatment on body composition. Finally, birds in the HF treatment group had higher levels of reactive oxygen metabolites (dROMs) and, consequently, although treatment did not affect total anti-oxidant capacity, birds in the HF treatment group had higher oxidative stress. © 2017. Published by The Company of

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Effects of invasive European fire ants (Myrmica rubra on herring gull (Larus argentatus reproduction.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luke E DeFisher

    Full Text Available Various invasive ant species have negatively affected reproductive success in birds by disrupting nest site selection, incubation patterns, food supply, and by direct predation on nestlings. Impacts can be particularly severe when non-native ants colonize seabird nesting islands where thousands of birds may nest in high densities on the ground or in burrows or crevices. Here we report on the first documented effects of Myrmica rubra, the European fire ant, on the reproduction of birds in its non-native range. We documented herring gulls (Larus argentatus on Appledore Island, Maine, engaging in more erratic incubation behaviors at nests infested by the ants. Newly-hatched chicks in some nests were swarmed by ants, leading to rapid chick death. Due to high overall rates of chick mortality, survival probabilities did not vary between nests with and without ant activity, however chick growth rates were slower at nests with ants than at ant-free nests. Ant infestation likely leads to longer-term fitness consequences because slower growth rates early in life may ultimately lead to lower post-fledging survival probabilities.

  20. Relationship of coarse woody debris to arthropod Availability for Red-Cockaded Woodpeckers and other bark-foraging birds on loblolly pine boles.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Horn, Scott; Hanula, James, L.

    2008-04-01

    Abstract This study determined if short-term removal of coarse woody debris would reduce prey available to red-cockaded woodpeckers (Picoides borealis Vieillot) and other bark-foraging birds at the Savannah River Site in Aiken and Barnwell counties, SC. All coarse woody debris was removed from four 9-ha plots of mature loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.) in 1997 and again in 1998. We sampled arthropods in coarse woody debris removal and control stands using crawl traps that captured arthropods crawling up tree boles, burlap bands wrapped around trees, and cardboard panels placed on the ground. We captured 27 orders and 172 families of arthropods in crawl traps whereas 20 arthropod orders were observed under burlap bands and cardboard panels. The most abundant insects collected from crawl traps were aphids (Homoptera: Aphididae) and ants (Hymenoptera: Forrnicidae). The greatest biomass was in the wood cockroaches (Blattaria: Blattellidae), caterpillars (Lepidoptera) in the Family Noctuidae, and adult weevils (Coleoptera: Curculionidae). The most common group observed underneath cardboard panels was lsoptera (termites), and the most common taxon under burlap bands was wood cockroaches. Overall, arthropod abundance and biomass captured in crawl traps was similar in control and removal plots. In contrast, we observed more arthropods under burlap bands (mean & SE; 3,021.5 k 348.6, P= 0.03) and cardboard panels (3,537.25 k 432.4, P= 0.04) in plots with coarse woody debris compared with burlap bands (2325 + 171.3) and cardboard panels (2439.75 + 288.9) in plots where coarse woody debris was removed. Regression analyses showed that abundance beneath cardboard panels was positively correlated with abundance beneath burlap bands demonstrating the link between abundance on the ground with that on trees. Our results demonstrate that short-term removal of coarse woody debris from pine forests reduced overall arthropod availability to bark-foraging birds.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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].

  6. 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...

  7. 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.

  8. Ants Orase kultuurisõnum

    Index Scriptorium Estoniae

    2007-01-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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)

  13. 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 ...

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. King eider foraging effort during the pre-breeding period in Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oppel, Steffen; Powell, Abby N.; Butler, Malcolm G.

    2011-01-01

    For reproduction, many arctic-nesting migratory birds rely on nutrients obtained on the breeding grounds, so they devote sufficient time to foraging immediately prior to nesting. However, little is known about the increase in foraging effort necessary to meet the energetic requirements of reproduction. In early June 2006 and 2008, we quantified the proportion of time spent foraging before breeding by a large sea duck, the King Eider (Somateria spectabilis), on its breeding grounds in northern Alaska. During >235 hours of behavioral observations, both male and female King Eiders spent >50% of the day loafing (resting, sleeping, comfort behavior, or being alert). Females foraged on average 30% of the time (mean 7.2 hr day-1,95% CI 6.0-8.4 hr day-1), three times as much as males (9%; 2.3 hr day-1, 95% CI 1.5–2.8 hr day-1). The most common prey in ponds where the eiders foraged were chironomid larvae and worms ranging in length from 1 to 30 mm. If the King Eider's daily energy expenditure on its breeding grounds is similar to values published for related species, it would need to ingest only 0.2–0.6 g dry mass of invertebrates per minute of foraging to meet its energetic requirements. Males did not lose body mass before breeding, and we assume that their foraging effort was sufficient for energy balance. Therefore, female King Eiders appear to triple their foraging effort over maintenance requirements to meet the energetic challenges of egg formation.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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...

  1. 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 ...

  2. 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. ...

  3. Monoculture of leafcutter ant gardens.

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    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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Riqueza de formigas de solo na praia da Pedreira, Parque Estadual de Itapuã, Viamão, RS, Brasil Richness of ground-dwelling ants in the Praia da Pedreira, Parque Estadual de Itapuã, Viamão, RS, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elena Diehl

    2005-12-01

    Full Text Available Neste trabalho são listadas as espécies de formigas de solo encontradas em três ambientes (mata nativa, barreira pedregosa e areias da orla na praia da Pedreira, localizada na Zona de Uso Intensivo do Parque Estadual de Itapuã, município de Viamão, RS. No total, foram identificadas 60 espécies representantes de 24 gêneros, 18 tribos e oito subfamílias (Dolichoderinae, Ecitoninae, Ectatomminae, Formicinae, Heteroponerinae, Myrmicinae, Ponerinae e Pseudomyrmecinae. Dos três ambientes amostrados, de acordo com o estimador de riqueza jackknife de primeira ordem, a mata nativa apresentou a maior riqueza (Sest= 37,5, seguindo-se a barreira pedregosa (Sest= 8,9 e as areias da orla (Sest= 5,9. Apenas Acromyrmex laticeps, Crematogaster sp. e Solenopsis invicta foram comuns aos três ambientes. Neste trabalho é feito o primeiro registro de ocorrência de Pachycondyla crenata e Pachycondyla laevigata (Ponerinae para o Rio Grande do Sul.Aiming to improve the knowledge on the Brazilian biodiversity, especially the ant fauna of Rio Grande do Sul State (Southern Brazil, this survey was conducted in the Praia da Pedreira, a site of Intensive Use of the Parque Estadual de Itapuã. Ground-dwelling ant species were surveyed for three environments in the beach (native forest, rock bar and sand bar, during 12 months (April/2000 - March/2001. Collections resulted in 60 species belonging to 24 genera, 18 tribes and eight subfamilies (Dolichoderinae, Ecitoninae, Ectatomminae, Formicinae, Heteroponerinae, Myrmicinae, Ponerinae and Pseudomyrmecinae. According to the first order jackknife estimator, the native forest area presented the greatest richness (Sest= 37.5, followed by rock bar (Sest= 8.9 and sand bar (Sest= 5.9. Only Acromyrmex laticeps, Crematogaster sp. and Solenopsis invicta were common to all three environments. This paper presents the first record of Pachycondyla crenata and Pachycondyla laevigata (Ponerinae occurrence in the Rio Grande do Sul

  7. 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...

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  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. Bioturbation by the Fungus-Gardening Ant, Trachymyrmex septentrionalis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Walter R Tschinkel

    Full Text Available Soil invertebrates such as ants are thought to be important manipulators of soils in temperate and tropical ecosystems. The fungus gardening ant, Trachymyrmex septentrionalis, is an important agent of biomantling, that is, of depositing soil excavated from below onto the surface, and has been suggested as an agent of bioturbation (moving soil below ground as well. The amount of bioturbation by this ant was quantified by planting queenright colonies in sand columns consisting of 5 layers of different colored sand. The amount of each color of sand deposited on the surface was determined from April to November 2015. In November, colonies were excavated and the color and amount of sand deposited below ground (mostly as backfill in chambers was determined. Extrapolated to one ha, T. septentrionalis deposited 800 kg of sand per annum on the surface, and an additional 200 kg (17% of the total excavated below ground. On average, this mixes 1.3% of the sand from other layers within the top meter of soil per millennium, but this mixing is unlikely to be homogeneous, and probably occurs as "hotspots" in both horizontal and vertical space. Such mixing is discussed as a challenge to sediment dating by optically stimulated luminescence (OSL.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  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. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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...

  6. 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.

  7. 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 ...

  8. 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....

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barden, Phillip; Grimaldi, David A

    2016-02-22

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

  10. 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

  11. Stable Isotopic Insights into the Foraging Ecology of an Endangered Marine Predator, the Hawaiian Petrel

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiley, A. E.; Ostrom, P. H.; James, H. F.

    2010-12-01

    Seabirds play vital roles in their ecosystems, both as predators in their oceanic foraging grounds and conduits of marine nutrients to island nesting sites. Despite growing evidence that food availability limits seabird populations, characterization of the diet and even foraging locations of some seabird species remains elusive. Here, we use stable carbon (δ13C) and nitrogen (δ15N) isotopes to study the foraging ecology of an endangered and poorly known seabird, the Hawaiian petrel (Pterodroma sandwichensis). This species nests solely on the main Hawaiian Islands but forages widely across the NE Pacific, sometimes traveling over 10,000km on single foraging trips. δ13C and δ15N values vary with trophic level and at the base of food webs throughout the marine range of the Hawaiian petrel. Thus, we are able to use isotope signatures in modern and ancient petrel tissues to track spatial and temporal variation in foraging location and diet. We find strong evidence of foraging segregation between populations, with hatch-year birds from the island of Hawaii exhibiting feather δ15N and δ13C values over 3‰ and 1 ‰ higher, respectively, than those found in Maui and Kauai hatch-year birds. There is also significant variation in δ15N values between feathers from Kauai, Hawaii, and Maui adults, indicating additional foraging segregation during the winter molt. To distinguish between the effects of trophic level and foraging location, we relate our data to those from seabirds with known diet and foraging location, as well as to previous characterizations of isoscapes in the NE Pacific and at-sea observations of our study species. Finally, we track Hawaiian petrel foraging ecology back in time through examination of stable isotope values in historical feathers and ancient bone collagen. We find that, despite a species-wide decline in δ15N values (consistent with trophic level decline), populations have maintained divergent isotopic niches through at least the past 1

  12. 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....

  13. 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....

  14. Foraging in a tidally structured environment by red knots (Calidris canutus) : Ideal, but not free

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Gils, JA; Spaans, B; Dekinga, A; Piersma, T; Speirs, D.C.

    Besides the "normal" challenge of obtaining adequate intake rates in a patchy and dangerous world, shorebirds foraging in intertidal habitats face additional environmental hurdles. The tide forces them to commute between a roosting site and feeding grounds, twice a day. Moreover, because intertidal

  15. Foraging in a tidally structured environment by red knots (Calidris canutus): Ideal, but not free

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van Gils, J.A.; Spaans, B.; Dekinga, A.; Piersma, T.

    2006-01-01

    Besides the “normal” challenge of obtaining adequate intake rates in a patchy and dangerous world, shorebirds foraging in intertidal habitats face additional environmental hurdles. The tide forces them to commute between a roosting site and feeding grounds, twice a day. Moreover, because intertidal

  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. Effects of forage provision to dairy calves on growth performance and rumen fermentation: A meta-analysis and meta-regression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Imani, M; Mirzaei, M; Baghbanzadeh-Nobari, B; Ghaffari, M H

    2017-02-01

    A meta-analysis of the potential effect of forage provision on growth performance and rumen fermentation of dairy calves was conducted using published data from the literature (1998-2016). Meta-regression was used to evaluate the effects of different forage levels, forage sources, forage offering methods, physical forms of starter, and grain sources on the heterogeneity of the results. We considered 27 studies that reported the effects of forage provision to dairy calves. Estimated effect sizes of forage were calculated on starter feed intake, average daily gain (ADG), feed efficiency (FE), body weight (BW), and rumen fermentation parameters. Intake of starter feed, ADG, BW, ruminal pH, and rumen molar proportion of acetate increased when supplementing forage but FE decreased. Heterogeneity (the amount of variation among studies) was significant for intake of starter feed, ADG, FE, final BW, and rumen fermentation parameters. Improving overall starter feed intake was greater in calves offered alfalfa hay compared with those offered other types of forages. During the milk feeding and overall periods, improving ADG was greater for calves fed a high level of forage (>10% in dry matter) compared with those fed a low level of forage (≤10% in dry matter) diets. The advantages reported in weight gain at a high level of forage could be due to increased gut fill. Improving overall ADG was lower for calves offered forages with textured starter feed compared with ground starter feed. The meta-regression analysis revealed that changes associated with forage provision affect FE differently for various forage sources and forage offering methods during the milk-feeding period. Forage sources also modulated the effect of feeding forage on ruminal pH during the milk-feeding period. In conclusion, forage has the potential to affect starter feed intake and performance of dairy calves, but its effects depend on source, level, and method of forage feeding and physical form of starter

  3. Red-cockaded woodpecker male/female foraging differences in young forest stands.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Franzreb, Kathleen, E.

    2010-07-01

    ABSTRACT The Red-cockaded Woodpecker (Picoides borealis) is an endangered species endemic to pine (Pinus spp.) forests of the southeastern United States. I examined Red-cockaded Woodpecker foraging behavior to learn if there were male/female differences at the Savannah River Site, South Carolina. The study was conducted in largely young forest stands (,50 years of age) in contrast to earlier foraging behavior studies that focused on more mature forest. The Redcockaded Woodpecker at the Savannah River site is intensively managed including monitoring, translocation, and installation of artificial cavity inserts for roosting and nesting. Over a 3-year period, 6,407 foraging observations covering seven woodpecker family groups were recorded during all seasons of the year and all times of day. The most striking differences occurred in foraging method (males usually scaled [45% of observations] and females mostly probed [47%]),substrate used (females had a stronger preference [93%] for the trunk than males [79%]), and foraging height from the ground (mean 6 SE foraging height was higher for males [11.1 6 0.5 m] than females [9.8 6 0.5 m]). Niche overlap between males and females was lowest for substrate (85.6%) and foraging height (87.8%), and highest for tree species (99.0%), tree condition (98.3%), and tree height (96.4%). Both males and females preferred to forage in older, large pine trees. The habitat available at the Savannah River Site was considerably younger than at most other locations, but the pattern of male/female habitat partitioning observed was similar to that documented elsewhere within the range attesting to the species’ ability to adjust behaviorally.

  4. Revolutionizing Remote Exploration with ANTS

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2002-05-01

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

  5. Methane Production of Different Forages in Ruminal Fermentation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. J. Meale

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available An in vitro rumen batch culture study was completed to compare effects of common grasses, leguminous shrubs and non-leguminous shrubs used for livestock grazing in Australia and Ghana on CH4 production and fermentation characteristics. Grass species included Andropodon gayanus, Brachiaria ruziziensis and Pennisetum purpureum. Leguminous shrub species included Cajanus cajan, Cratylia argentea, Gliricidia sepium, Leucaena leucocephala and Stylosanthes guianensis and non-leguminous shrub species included Annona senegalensis, Moringa oleifera, Securinega virosa and Vitellaria paradoxa. Leaves were harvested, dried at 55°C and ground through a 1 mm screen. Serum bottles containing 500 mg of forage, modified McDougall’s buffer and rumen fluid were incubated under anaerobic conditions at 39°C for 24 h. Samples of each forage type were removed after 0, 2, 6, 12 and 24 h of incubation for determination of cumulative gas production. Methane production, ammonia concentration and proportions of VFA were measured at 24 h. Concentration of aNDF (g/kg DM ranged from 671 to 713 (grasses, 377 to 590 (leguminous shrubs and 288 to 517 (non-leguminous shrubs. After 24 h of in vitro incubation, cumulative gas, CH4 production, ammonia concentration, proportion of propionate in VFA and IVDMD differed (p<0.05 within each forage type. B. ruziziensis and G. sepium produced the highest cumulative gas, IVDMD, total VFA, proportion of propionate in VFA and the lowest A:P ratios within their forage types. Consequently, these two species produced moderate CH4 emissions without compromising digestion. Grazing of these two species may be a strategy to reduce CH4 emissions however further assessment in in vivo trials and at different stages of maturity is recommended.

  6. 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.

  7. 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...

  8. Ecosystem services delivered by weaver ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Offenberg, Joachim

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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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...

  15. Influence of small-scale disturbances by kangaroo rats on Chihuahuan Desert ants

    Science.gov (United States)

    R. L. Schooley; B. T. Bestelmeyer; J. F. Kelly

    2000-01-01

    Banner-tailed kangaroo rats (Dipodomys spectabilis) are prominent ecosystem engineers that build large mounds that influence the spatial structuring of fungi, plants, and some ground-dwelling animals. Ants are diverse and functionally important components of arid ecosystems; some species are also ecosystem engineers. We investigated the effects of...

  16. 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...

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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...

  20. 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...

  1. 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.

  2. Plant Killing by Mutualistic Ants Increases the Density of Host Species Seedlings in the Dry Forest of Costa Rica

    OpenAIRE

    Amador-Vargas, Sabrina

    2012-01-01

    Some species of plant-mutualistic ants kill the vegetation growing in the vicinities of their host plant, creating an area of bare ground (clearing). The reduced competition in the clearing may facilitate the establishment of host species sprouts (clones and seedlings), which in turn benefits the ants with additional food and shelter (“sprout-establishment hypothesis”). To test this hypothesis, the density and origin of Acacia collinsii sprouts growing inside clearings and in the vicinities o...

  3. 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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  5. Estimating Rangeland Forage Production Using Remote Sensing Data from a Small Unmanned Aerial System (sUAS)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, H.; Jin, Y.; Devine, S.; Dahlgren, R. A.; Covello, S.; Larsen, R.; O'Geen, A. T.

    2017-12-01

    California rangelands cover 23 million hectares and support a $3.4 billion annual cattle industry. Rangeland forage production varies appreciably from year-to-year and across short distances on the landscape. Spatially explicit and near real-time information on forage production at a high resolution is critical for effective rangeland management, especially during an era of climatic extremes. We here integrated a multispectral MicaSense RedEdge camera with a 3DR solo quad-copter and acquired time-series images during the 2017 growing season over a topographically complex 10-hectare rangeland in San Luis Obispo County, CA. Soil moisture and temperature sensors were installed at 16 landscape positions, and vegetation clippings were collected at 36 plots to quantify forage dry biomass. We built four centimeter-level models for forage production mapping using time series of sUAS images and ground measurements of forage biomass and soil temperature and moisture. The biophysical model based on Monteith's eco-physiological plant growth theory estimated forage production reasonably well with a coefficient of determination (R2) of 0.86 and a root-mean-square error (RMSE) of 424 kg/ha when the soil parameters were included, and a R2 of 0.79 and a RMSE of 510 kg/ha when only remote sensing and topographical variables were included. We built two empirical models of forage production using a stepwise variable selection technique, one with soil variables. Results showed that cumulative absorbed photosynthetically active radiation (APAR) and elevation were the most important variables in both models, explaining more than 40% of the spatio-temporal variance in forage production. Soil moisture accounted for an additional 29% of the variance. Illumination condition was selected as a proxy for soil moisture in the model without soil variables, and accounted for 18% of the variance. We applied the remote sensing-based models to map daily forage production at 30-cm resolution for the

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-10-01

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

  7. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-09-01

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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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…

  12. 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.

  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. 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.

  15. Effects of Grazing Management in Brachiaria grass-forage Peanut Pastures on Canopy Structure and Forage Intake.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gomes, F K; Oliveira, M D B L; Homem, B G C; Boddey, R M; Bernardes, T F; Gionbelli, M P; Lara, M A S; Casagrande, D R

    2018-06-13

    Maintenance of mixed grass-legume pastures for stand longevity and improved animal utilization is a challenge in warm-season climates. The goal of this study was to assess grazing management on stand persistence, forage intake, and N balance of beef heifers grazing mixed pastures of Brachiaria brizantha and Arachis pintoi. A two-year experiment was carried out in Brazil, where four grazing management were assessed: rest period interrupted at 90%, 95%, and 100% of light interception (LI) and a fixed rest period of 42 days (90LI, 95LI, 100LI, and 42D, respectively). The LI were taken at 50 points at ground level and at five points above the canopy for each paddock using a canopy analyzer. For all treatments, the post-grazing stubble height was 15 cm. Botanical composition and canopy structure characteristics such as canopy height, forage mass, and vertical distribution of the morphological composition were evaluated pre-and post-grazing. Forage chemical composition, intake, and microbial synthesis were also determined. A randomized complete block design was used, considering the season of the year as a repeated measure over time. Grazing management and season were considered fixed, while block and year were considered random effects. In the summer, legume mass accounted for 19% of the canopy at 100LI, which was less than other treatments (a mean of 30%). The 100LI treatment had a greater grass stem mass compared with other treatments. In terms of vertical distribution for 100LI, 38.6% of the stem mass was above the stubble height, greater than the 5.7% for other treatments. The canopy structure limited neutral detergent fiber intake (P = 0.007) at 100LI (1.02% of BW/d), whereas 42D, 90LI, and 95LI treatments had NDF intake close to 1.2% of BW/d. The intake of digestible organic matter (OM; P = 0.007) and the ratio of crude protein/digestible OM (P < 0.001) were less at 100LI in relation to the other treatments. The production of microbial N (P < 0.001) and efficiency

  16. Riverine Landscape Patch Heterogeneity Drives Riparian Ant Assemblages in the Scioto River Basin, USA.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paradzayi Tagwireyi

    Full Text Available Although the principles of landscape ecology are increasingly extended to include riverine landscapes, explicit applications are few. We investigated associations between patch heterogeneity and riparian ant assemblages at 12 riverine landscapes of the Scioto River, Ohio, USA, that represent urban/developed, agricultural, and mixed (primarily forested, but also wetland, grassland/fallow, and exurban land-use settings. Using remotely-sensed and ground-collected data, we delineated riverine landscape patch types (crop, grass/herbaceous, gravel, lawn, mudflat, open water, shrub, swamp, and woody vegetation, computed patch metrics (area, density, edge, richness, and shape, and conducted coordinated sampling of surface-active Formicidae assemblages. Ant density and species richness was lower in agricultural riverine landscapes than at mixed or developed reaches (measured using S [total number of species], but not using Menhinick's Index [DM], whereas ant diversity (using the Berger-Park Index [DBP] was highest in agricultural reaches. We found no differences in ant density, richness, or diversity among internal riverine landscape patches. However, certain characteristics of patches influenced ant communities. Patch shape and density were significant predictors of richness (S: R2 = 0.72; DM: R2=0.57. Patch area, edge, and shape emerged as important predictors of DBP (R2 = 0.62 whereas patch area, edge, and density were strongly related to ant density (R2 = 0.65. Non-metric multidimensional scaling and analysis of similarities distinguished ant assemblage composition in grass and swamp patches from crop, gravel, lawn, and shrub as well as ant assemblages in woody vegetation patches from crop, lawn, and gravel (stress = 0.18, R2 = 0.64. These findings lend insight into the utility of landscape ecology to river science by providing evidence that spatial habitat patterns within riverine landscapes can influence assemblage characteristics of riparian

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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 ...

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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)

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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 ...

  7. 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...

  8. 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.

  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. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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...

  16. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana Gabriela D Bieber

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Reproduction and dispersal in an ant-associated root aphid community

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ivens, A.B.F.; Kronauer, Daniel Jan Christoph; Pen, I.

    2012-01-01

    viscosity is high and winged aphids rare, consistent with infrequent horizontal transmission between ant host colonies. The absence of the primary host shrub (Pistacia) may explain the absence of sex in three of the studied species, but elm trees (Ulmus) that are primary hosts of the fourth species (T...... above ground, whereas dispersal constraints and dependence on ant-tending may differentially affect the costs and benefits of sex in subterranean aphids. Here, we studied reproductive mode and dispersal in a community of root aphids that are obligately associated with the ant Lasius flavus. We assessed...... the genetic population structure of four species (Geoica utricularia, Tetraneura ulmi, Forda marginata and Forda formicaria) in a Dutch population and found that all species reproduce predominantly if not exclusively asexually, so that populations consist of multiple clonal lineages. We show that population...

  10. Evaluation of neutral detergent fiber contents in forages, concentrates and cattle feces ground at different particle sizes and using bags made from different textiles Avaliação dos teores de fibra em detergente neutro em forragens, concentrados e fezes bovinas moídas em diferentes tamanhos e em sacos de diferentes tecidos

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tiago Neves Pereira Valente

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Two experiments were carried out to evaluate the effects of particles sizes on contents of neutral detergent fiber (NDF by using nylon bags F57 (Ankom® and non-woven textile (NWT 100 g/m². In the first experiment, to check contents of NDF obtained with each one of the textilles, quantitative filter paper (purified cellulose was used as analytical standard. The material was processed in a 1 or 2 mm and put in the bags in a ratio of 20 mg of dry matter/cm² of surface. The analyses were performed in a fiber analyser (Ankom220 and using a heat-stable a-amylase. No effects of particles sizes were found. In the second experiment, it was used samples of forage (signal grass hay, sugar cane, coastcross hay, corn straw, corn silage, and elephant grass at 50 and 250 days of growing after cutting, concentrate feeds (sorghum grain, gluten meal, citrus pulp, cottonseed meal, soybean meal, wheat bran, corn grain, whole soybean, and soybean hulls, and feces of cattle of animals fed diets containing 15 or 50% of concentrate. The samples were prepared, put in bags, and analyzed as described in the previous experiment. In both experiments, the smallest contents of NDF were found by using nylon bags, indicating loss of particles through the bag porosity. It is suggested grind of samples by using 1-mm screen sieve, which provides efficient extraction of cell content by the action of neutral detergent and a greater specific surface by the action of the heat-stable a-amylase enzyme. The use of particles ground at 2-mm overestimates NDF contents.Foram realizados dois experimentos objetivando-se avaliar a influência do tamanho das partículas sobre os teores de fibra em detergente neutro (FDN utilizando-se sacos de náilon, F57 (Ankom® e tecido-não-tecido (TNT 100 g/m². No primeiro experimento, com o intuito de aferir os teores de FDN obtidos com cada um dos tecidos, utilizou-se papel-filtro quantitativo (celulose purificada como padrão analítico. O material

  11. Scavengers on the move: behavioural changes in foraging search patterns during the annual cycle.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pascual López-López

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Optimal foraging theory predicts that animals will tend to maximize foraging success by optimizing search strategies. However, how organisms detect sparsely distributed food resources remains an open question. When targets are sparse and unpredictably distributed, a Lévy strategy should maximize foraging success. By contrast, when resources are abundant and regularly distributed, simple brownian random movement should be sufficient. Although very different groups of organisms exhibit Lévy motion, the shift from a Lévy to a brownian search strategy has been suggested to depend on internal and external factors such as sex, prey density, or environmental context. However, animal response at the individual level has received little attention. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We used GPS satellite-telemetry data of Egyptian vultures Neophron percnopterus to examine movement patterns at the individual level during consecutive years, with particular interest in the variations in foraging search patterns during the different periods of the annual cycle (i.e. breeding vs. non-breeding. Our results show that vultures followed a brownian search strategy in their wintering sojourn in Africa, whereas they exhibited a more complex foraging search pattern at breeding grounds in Europe, including Lévy motion. Interestingly, our results showed that individuals shifted between search strategies within the same period of the annual cycle in successive years. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Results could be primarily explained by the different environmental conditions in which foraging activities occur. However, the high degree of behavioural flexibility exhibited during the breeding period in contrast to the non-breeding period is challenging, suggesting that not only environmental conditions explain individuals' behaviour but also individuals' cognitive abilities (e.g., memory effects could play an important role. Our results support the growing

  12. Nitrogen removal and nitrate leaching for forage systems receiving dairy effluent.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woodard, Kenneth R; French, Edwin C; Sweat, Lewin A; Graetz, Donald A; Sollenberger, Lynn E; Macoon, Bisoondat; Portier, Kenneth M; Wade, Brett L; Rymph, Stuart J; Prine, Gordon M; Van Horn, Harold H

    2002-01-01

    Florida dairies need year-round forage systems that prevent loss of N to ground water from waste effluent sprayfields. Our purpose was to quantify forage N removal and monitor nitrate N (NO3(-)-N) concentrations in soil water below the rooting zone for two forage systems during four 12-mo cycles (1996-2000). Soil in the sprayfield is an excessively drained Kershaw sand (thermic, uncoated Typic Quartzipsamment). Over four cycles, average loading rates of effluent N were 500, 690, and 910 kg ha(-1) per cycle. Nitrogen removed by the bermudagrass (Cynodon spp.)-rye (Secale cereale L.) system (BR) during the first three cycles was 465 kg ha(-1) per cycle for the low loading rate, 528 kg ha(-1) for the medium rate, and 585 kg ha(-1) for the high. For the corn (Zea mays L.)-forage sorghum [Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench]-rye system (CSR), N removals were 320 kg ha(-1) per cycle for the low rate, 327 kg ha(-1) for the medium, and 378 kg ha(-1) for the high. The higher N removals for BR were attributed to higher N concentration in bermudagrass (18.1-24.2 g kg(-1)) than in corn and forage sorghum (10.3-14.7 g kg(-1)). Dry matter yield declined in the fourth cycle for bermudagrass but N removal continued to be higher for BR than CSR. The BR system was much more effective at preventing NO3(-)-N leaching. For CSR, NO3(-)-N levels in soil water (1.5 m below surface) increased steeply during the period between the harvest of one forage and canopy dosure of the next. Overall, the BR system was better than CSR at removing N from the soil and maintaining low NO3(-)-N concentrations below the rooting zone.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samantha-Leigh Jamison

    2016-09-01

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

  14. 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 ...

  15. Subterranean termite open-air foraging and tolerance to desiccation: Comparative water relation of two sympatric Macrotermes spp. (Blattodea: Termitidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Jian; Neoh, Kok-Boon; Appel, Arthur G; Lee, Chow-Yang

    2012-02-01

    The foraging patterns of termites are strongly related to physiological limits in overcoming desiccation stress. In this study, we examined moisture preferences and physiological characteristics of Macrotermes carbonarius (Hagen) and M. gilvus (Hagen) as both exhibit conspicuous patterns of foraging activity. Despite both species showing no significant differences in calculated cuticular permeability, and percentage of total body water, they differed greatly in rate of water loss and surface area to volume ratio. For example, M. carbonarius which had a lower surface area to volume ratio (29.26-53.66) showed lower rate of water loss and percentage of total body water loss. This also resulted in higher LT(50) when exposed to extreme conditions (≈2% RH). However, contrasting observations were made in M. gilvus that has smaller size with higher surface area to volume ratio of 40.28-69.75. It is likely that the standard equation for calculating insect surface areas is inadequate for these termite species. The trend was further supported by the result of a moisture preference bioassay that indicated M. carbonarius had a broader range of moisture preference (between 5% and 20%) than M. gilvus which had a relatively narrow moisture preference (only 20%). These results explain why M. carbonarius can tolerate desiccation stress for a longer period foraging above-ground in the open air; while M. gilvus only forages below ground or concealed within foraging mud tubes. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Nutrient foraging strategies are associated with productivity and population growth in forest shrubs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stone, Bram W. G.; Faillace, Cara A.; Lafond, Jonathan J.; Baumgarten, Joni M.; Mozdzer, Thomas J.; Dighton, John; Meiners, Scott J.; Grabosky, Jason C.; Ehrenfeld, Joan G.

    2017-01-01

    Background and Aims Temperate deciduous forest understoreys are experiencing widespread changes in community composition, concurrent with increases in rates of nitrogen supply. These shifts in plant abundance may be driven by interspecific differences in nutrient foraging (i.e. conservative vs. acquisitive strategies) and, thus, adaptation to contemporary nutrient loading conditions. This study sought to determine if interspecific differences in nutrient foraging could help explain patterns of shrub success and decline in eastern North American forests. Methods Using plants grown in a common garden, fine root traits associated with nutrient foraging were measured for six shrub species. Traits included the mean and skewness of the root diameter distribution, specific root length (SRL), C:N ratio, root tissue density, arbuscular mycorrhizal colonization and foraging precision. Above- and below-ground productivity were also determined for the same plants, and population growth rates were estimated using data from a long-term study of community dynamics. Root traits were compared among species and associations among root traits, measures of productivity and rates of population growth were evaluated. Key Results Species fell into groups having thick or thin root forms, which correspond to conservative vs. acquisitive nutrient foraging strategies. Interspecific variation in root morphology and tissue construction correlated with measures of productivity and rates of cover expansion. Of the four species with acquisitive traits, three were introduced species that have become invasive in recent decades, and the fourth was a weedy native. In contrast, the two species with conservative traits were historically dominant shrubs that have declined in abundance in eastern North American forests. Conclusions In forest understoreys of eastern North America, elevated nutrient availability may impose a filter on species success in addition to above-ground processes such as herbivory

  17. Ants as tools in sustainable agriculture

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Offenberg, Joachim

    2015-01-01

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

  18. 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

  19. Fungal enzymes in the attine ant symbiosis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

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

  20. 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. ...

  1. 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...

  2. 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...

  3. 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.

  4. Field suppression of the invasive ant Wasmannia auropunctata (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in a tropical fruit orchard in Hawaii.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Souza, Evann; Follett, Peter A; Price, Don K; Stacy, Elizabeth A

    2008-08-01

    The little fire ant, Wasmannia auropunctata (Roger) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), is an invasive ant that forms supercolonies when it successfully invades new areas. W. auropunctata was first reported in Hawaii in 1999, and it has since invaded a variety of agricultural sites, including nurseries, orchards, and pastures. Amdro (hydramethylnon; in bait stations), Esteem (pyriproxyfen; broadcast bait), and Conserve (spinosad; ground spray) were tested for their efficacy against W. auropunctata in a rambutan, Nephelium lappaceum L. and mangosteen, Garcinia mangostana L., orchard by making treatments every 2 wk for 16 wk. Relative estimates of ant numbers in plots was determined by transect sampling using peanut butter-baited sticks. Significant treatment effects were observed on weeks 13-17, with reductions in ant counts occurring in the Amdro and Esteem treatments. During this period, the reduction in ant numbers from pretreatment counts averaged 47.1 and 92.5% in the Amdro and Esteem plots, respectively, whereas ant numbers in the untreated control plots increased by 185.9% compared with pretreatment counts. Conserve did not cause a reduction in ant counts as applied in our experiment. No plots for any of the treatments achieved 100% reduction. Pseudococcidae were counted on branch terminals at 4-wk intervals. The two predominant species, Nipaecoccus nipae (Maskell) and Nipaecoccus viridis (Newstead) were significantly lower in the Amdro and Esteem treatments on week 16 compared with controls. Many W. auropunctata were found nesting in protected sites in the orchard trees, which may have compromised the ground-based control methods. Absolute density estimates from shallow core samples taken from the orchard floor indicated the W. auropunctata supercolony exceeded 244 million ants and 22.7 kg wet weight per ha.

  5. 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.

  6. 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...

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Grounded theory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harris, Tina

    2015-04-29

    Grounded theory is a popular research approach in health care and the social sciences. This article provides a description of grounded theory methodology and its key components, using examples from published studies to demonstrate practical application. It aims to demystify grounded theory for novice nurse researchers, by explaining what it is, when to use it, why they would want to use it and how to use it. It should enable nurse researchers to decide if grounded theory is an appropriate approach for their research, and to determine the quality of any grounded theory research they read.

  14. 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

  15. 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....

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Root morphology and mycorrhizal symbioses together shape nutrient foraging strategies of temperate trees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Weile; Koide, Roger T; Adams, Thomas S; DeForest, Jared L; Cheng, Lei; Eissenstat, David M

    2016-08-02

    Photosynthesis by leaves and acquisition of water and minerals by roots are required for plant growth, which is a key component of many ecosystem functions. Although the role of leaf functional traits in photosynthesis is generally well understood, the relationship of root functional traits to nutrient uptake is not. In particular, predictions of nutrient acquisition strategies from specific root traits are often vague. Roots of nearly all plants cooperate with mycorrhizal fungi in nutrient acquisition. Most tree species form symbioses with either arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) or ectomycorrhizal (EM) fungi. Nutrients are distributed heterogeneously in the soil, and nutrient-rich "hotspots" can be a key source for plants. Thus, predicting the foraging strategies that enable mycorrhizal root systems to exploit these hotspots can be critical to the understanding of plant nutrition and ecosystem carbon and nutrient cycling. Here, we show that in 13 sympatric temperate tree species, when nutrient availability is patchy, thinner root species alter their foraging to exploit patches, whereas thicker root species do not. Moreover, there appear to be two distinct pathways by which thinner root tree species enhance foraging in nutrient-rich patches: AM trees produce more roots, whereas EM trees produce more mycorrhizal fungal hyphae. Our results indicate that strategies of nutrient foraging are complementary among tree species with contrasting mycorrhiza types and root morphologies, and that predictable relationships between below-ground traits and nutrient acquisition emerge only when both roots and mycorrhizal fungi are considered together.

  19. 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...

  20. 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, ...

  1. 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...

  2. 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...

  3. 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...

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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...

  8. 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...

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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…

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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...

  16. 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...

  17. Legumes and forage species sole or intercropped with corn in soybean-corn succession in midwestern Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gessí Ceccon

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available The feasibility of no-tillage in the Cerrado (Savanna-like vegetation of Brazil depends on the production of sufficient above-ground crop residue, which can be increased by corn-forage intercropping. This study evaluated how above-ground crop residue production and yields of soybean and late-season corn in a soybean-corn rotation were influenced by the following crops in the year before soybean: corn (Zea mays L. intercropped with Brachiaria (Urochloa brizantha cv. Marandu, B. decumbens cv. Basilisk, B. ruziziensis, cv. comum., Panicummaximum cv. Tanzânia, sunn hemp (Crotalaria juncea L., pigeon pea [Cajanus cajan (L. Millsp]; sole corn, forage sorghum [Sorghum bicolor (L. Moench (cv. Santa Elisa], and ruzi grass. In March 2005, corn and forage species were planted in alternate rows spaced 0.90 m apart, and sole forage species were planted in rows spaced 0.45 m apart. In October 2005, the forages were killed with glyphosate and soybean was planted. After the soybean harvest in March 2006, sole late-season corn was planted in the entire experimental area. Corn grain and stover yields were unaffected by intercropping. Above-ground crop residue was greater when corn was intercropped with Tanzania grass (10.7 Mg ha-1, Marandu (10.1 Mg ha-1, and Ruzi Grass (9.8 Mg ha-1 than when corn was not intercropped (4.0 Mg ha-1. The intercropped treatments increased the percentage of soil surface covered with crop residue. Soybean and corn grain yields were higher after sole ruzi grass and intercropped ruzi grass than after other crops. The intercropping corn with Brachiaria spp. and corn with Panicum spp. increases above-ground crop residue production and maintains nutrients in the soil without reducing late-season corn yield and the viability of no-till in the midwestern region of Brazil.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  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. On Heels and Toes: How Ants Climb with Adhesive Pads and Tarsal Friction Hair Arrays.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Endlein, Thomas; Federle, Walter

    2015-01-01

    Ants are able to climb effortlessly on vertical and inverted smooth surfaces. When climbing, their feet touch the substrate not only with their pretarsal adhesive pads but also with dense arrays of fine hairs on the ventral side of the 3rd and 4th tarsal segments. To understand what role these different attachment structures play during locomotion, we analysed leg kinematics and recorded single-leg ground reaction forces in Weaver ants (Oecophylla smaragdina) climbing vertically on a smooth glass substrate. We found that the ants engaged different attachment structures depending on whether their feet were above or below their Centre of Mass (CoM). Legs above the CoM pulled and engaged the arolia ('toes'), whereas legs below the CoM pushed with the 3rd and 4th tarsomeres ('heels') in surface contact. Legs above the CoM carried a significantly larger proportion of the body weight than legs below the CoM. Force measurements on individual ant tarsi showed that friction increased with normal load as a result of the bending and increasing side contact of the tarsal hairs. On a rough sandpaper substrate, the tarsal hairs generated higher friction forces in the pushing than in the pulling direction, whereas the reverse effect was found on the smooth substrate. When the tarsal hairs were pushed, buckling was observed for forces exceeding the shear forces found in climbing ants. Adhesion forces were small but not negligible, and higher on the smooth substrate. Our results indicate that the dense tarsal hair arrays produce friction forces when pressed against the substrate, and help the ants to push outwards during horizontal and vertical walking.

  2. On Heels and Toes: How Ants Climb with Adhesive Pads and Tarsal Friction Hair Arrays.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas Endlein

    Full Text Available Ants are able to climb effortlessly on vertical and inverted smooth surfaces. When climbing, their feet touch the substrate not only with their pretarsal adhesive pads but also with dense arrays of fine hairs on the ventral side of the 3rd and 4th tarsal segments. To understand what role these different attachment structures play during locomotion, we analysed leg kinematics and recorded single-leg ground reaction forces in Weaver ants (Oecophylla smaragdina climbing vertically on a smooth glass substrate. We found that the ants engaged different attachment structures depending on whether their feet were above or below their Centre of Mass (CoM. Legs above the CoM pulled and engaged the arolia ('toes', whereas legs below the CoM pushed with the 3rd and 4th tarsomeres ('heels' in surface contact. Legs above the CoM carried a significantly larger proportion of the body weight than legs below the CoM. Force measurements on individual ant tarsi showed that friction increased with normal load as a result of the bending and increasing side contact of the tarsal hairs. On a rough sandpaper substrate, the tarsal hairs generated higher friction forces in the pushing than in the pulling direction, whereas the reverse effect was found on the smooth substrate. When the tarsal hairs were pushed, buckling was observed for forces exceeding the shear forces found in climbing ants. Adhesion forces were small but not negligible, and higher on the smooth substrate. Our results indicate that the dense tarsal hair arrays produce friction forces when pressed against the substrate, and help the ants to push outwards during horizontal and vertical walking.

  3. 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...

  4. 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....

  5. 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...

  6. 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.

  7. Grazing management strategies for massaigrass-forage peanut pastures: 1. dynamics of sward condition and botanical composition Estratégias de manejo do pastejo para pastos consorciados de capim-massai e amendoim forrageiro: 1. dinâmica da condição do pasto e da composição botânica

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carlos Mauricio Soares de Andrade

    2006-04-01

    Full Text Available This study was carried out from October 2002 to December 2003 to evaluate the dynamics of sward condition and botanical composition of a mixed massaigrass (Panicum maximum x P. infestum, cv. Massai and forage peanut (Arachis pintoi Ac 01 pasture, intermittently stocked at three daily herbage allowance levels (9.0, 14.5 and 18.4% live weight. Sward condition was characterized in each grazing cycle in terms of the pre and post-grazing sward height, forage mass and percentage of bare ground. Botanical composition (grass, legume and weeds was evaluated before each grazing period. Sward height and forage mass increased linearly with increasing herbage allowance (HA levels, and higher values were observed during the rainy season. Percentage of bare ground increased primarily at the lowest HA level. Percentage of forage peanut increased throughout the experimental period, primarily in the barest and shortest swards, under the lowest HA level. In the last quarter of 2003 the legume constituted 23.5, 10.6 and 6.4% of the pasture forage mass, respectively, from the lowest to the highest HA level. These results suggest that forage peanut can be successfully associated with massaigrass, as long as the pre-grazing sward height is maintained shorter than 65-70 cm, which will prevent excessive shading to the legume.Este estudo foi realizado com o objetivo de avaliar a dinâmica e a composição botânica de uma pastagem consorciada de capim-massai (Panicum maximum x P. infestum, cv. Massai e amendoim forrageiro (Arachis pintoi Ac 01, manejada sob lotação rotacionada em três níveis de oferta diária de forragem (9,0; 14,5 e 18,4% do peso vivo. A condição da pastagem foi caracterizada em cada ciclo de pastejo, em termos de altura, massa de forragem e porcentagem de solo descoberto (pré e pós-pastejo. A composição botânica da pastagem (gramínea, leguminosa e invasoras foi monitorada antes de cada período de ocupação. Houve aumento linear da altura

  8. Sexual segregation in juvenile New Zealand sea lion foraging ranges: implications for intraspecific competition, population dynamics and conservation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elaine S Leung

    Full Text Available Sexual segregation (sex differences in spatial organisation and resource use is observed in a large range of taxa. Investigating causes for sexual segregation is vital for understanding population dynamics and has important conservation implications, as sex differences in foraging ecology may affect vulnerability to area-specific human activities. Although behavioural ecologists have proposed numerous hypotheses for this phenomenon, the underlying causes of sexual segregation are poorly understood. We examined the size-dimorphism and niche divergence hypotheses as potential explanations for sexual segregation in the New Zealand (NZ sea lion (Phocarctos hookeri, a nationally critical, declining species impacted by trawl fisheries. We used satellite telemetry and linear mixed effects models to investigate sex differences in the foraging ranges of juvenile NZ sea lions. Male trip distances and durations were almost twice as long as female trips, with males foraging over the Auckland Island shelf and in further locations than females. Sex was the most important variable in trip distance, maximum distance travelled from study site, foraging cycle duration and percent time at sea whereas mass and age had small effects on these characteristics. Our findings support the predictions of the niche divergence hypothesis, which suggests that sexual segregation acts to decrease intraspecific resource competition. As a consequence of sexual segregation in foraging ranges, female foraging grounds had proportionally double the overlap with fisheries operations than males. This distribution exposes female juvenile NZ sea lions to a greater risk of resource competition and bycatch from fisheries than males, which can result in higher female mortality. Such sex-biased mortality could impact population dynamics, because female population decline can lead to decreased population fecundity. Thus, effective conservation and management strategies must take into account

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Foraging behavior of selected insectivorous birds in Cauvery Delta region of Nagapattinam District, Tamil Nadu, India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Asokan

    2010-02-01

    Full Text Available This paper reports the foraging behavior of five insectivorous birds, namely White-breasted Kingfisher Halcyon smyrnensis, Small Bee-eater Merops orientalis, Indian Roller Coracias benghalensis, Common Myna Acridotheres tristis and Black Drongo Dicrurus macrocercus in Nagapattinam District of Tamil Nadu, India. The birds used a variety of perch types for hunting insect prey; in general the electric power line was a common perch type used by all species except the Common Myna. The perching and foraging height used by birds were classified into 3 meter categories, up to 12m. Aerial feeding or hawking in Bee-eaters and ground feeding in Common Mynas were major feeding techniques, recorded 68% and 86% of the time respectively. The other three species used gleaning as a feeding technique. The highest niche overlap was recorded between Indian Rollers and Black Drongos and between White-breasted Kingfishers and Indian Rollers.

  15. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamazaki, Kazuo

    2010-01-01

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

  17. 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...

  18. 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.

  19. 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...

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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)

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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....

  6. Resources or landmarks: which factors drive homing success in Tetragonula carbonaria foraging in natural and disturbed landscapes?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leonhardt, Sara D; Kaluza, Benjamin F; Wallace, Helen; Heard, Tim A

    2016-10-01

    To date, no study has investigated how landscape structural (visual) alterations affect navigation and thus homing success in stingless bees. We addressed this question in the Australian stingless bee Tetragonula carbonaria by performing marking, release and re-capture experiments in landscapes differing in habitat homogeneity (i.e., the proportion of elongated ground features typically considered prominent visual landmarks). We investigated how landscape affected the proportion of bees and nectar foragers returning to their hives as well as the earliest time bees and foragers returned. Undisturbed landscapes with few landmarks (that are conspicuous to the human eye) and large proportions of vegetation cover (natural forests) were classified visually/structurally homogeneous, and disturbed landscapes with many landmarks and fragmented or no extensive vegetation cover (gardens and plantations) visually/structurally heterogeneous. We found that proportions of successfully returning nectar foragers and earliest times first bees and foragers returned did not differ between landscapes. However, most bees returned in the visually/structurally most (forest) and least (garden) homogeneous landscape, suggesting that they use other than elongated ground features for navigation and that return speed is primarily driven by resource availability in a landscape.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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....

  13. 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.

  14. 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...

  15. The ejaculatory biology of leafcutter ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  16. 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

  17. Ants recognize foes and not friends

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

    Discriminating among individuals and rejecting non-group members is essential for the evolution and stability of animal societies. Ants are good models for studying recognition mechanisms, because they are typically very efficient in discriminating ‘friends’ (nest-mates) from ‘foes’ (non-nest-mates). Recognition in ants involves multicomponent cues encoded in cuticular hydrocarbon profiles. Here, we tested whether workers of the carpenter ant Camponotus herculeanus use the presence and/or absence of cuticular hydrocarbons to discriminate between nest-mates and non-nest-mates. We supplemented the cuticular profile with synthetic hydrocarbons mixed to liquid food and then assessed behavioural responses using two different bioassays. Our results show that (i) the presence, but not the absence, of an additional hydrocarbon elicited aggression and that (ii) among the three classes of hydrocarbons tested (unbranched, mono-methylated and dimethylated alkanes; for mono-methylated alkanes, we present a new synthetic pathway), only the dimethylated alkane was effective in eliciting aggression. Our results suggest that carpenter ants use a fundamentally different mechanism for nest-mate recognition than previously thought. They do not specifically recognize nest-mates, but rather recognize and reject non-nest-mates bearing odour cues that are novel to their own colony cuticular hydrocarbon profile. This begs for a reappraisal of the mechanisms underlying recognition systems in social insects. PMID:19364750

  18. 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...

  19. 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 ...

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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 ...

  3. Dynamics of an ant-plant-pollinator model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yuanshi; DeAngelis, Donald L.; Nathaniel Holland, J.

    2015-03-01

    In this paper, we consider plant-pollinator-ant systems in which plant-pollinator interaction and plant-ant interaction are both mutualistic, but there also exists interference of pollinators by ants. The plant-pollinator interaction can be described by a Beddington-DeAngelis formula, so we extend the formula to characterize plant-pollinator mutualisms, including the interference by ants, and form a plant-pollinator-ant model. Using dynamical systems theory, we show uniform persistence of the model. Moreover, we demonstrate conditions under which boundary equilibria are globally asymptotically stable. The dynamics exhibit mechanisms by which the three species could coexist when ants interfere with pollinators. We define a threshold in ant interference. When ant interference is strong, it can drive plant-pollinator mutualisms to extinction. Furthermore, if the ants depend on pollination mutualism for their persistence, then sufficiently strong ant interference could lead to their own extinction as well. Yet, when ant interference is weak, plant-ant and plant-pollinator mutualisms can promote the persistence of one another.

  4. 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

  5. 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...

  6. 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.

  7. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-06-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  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. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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).

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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...

  20. 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.

  1. Removal and Burial of Weed Seeds by Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) From the Soil Surface of a Cropped Area in Western Australia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Minkey, D M; Spafford, H

    2016-10-01

    Although granivorous ants are known to collect weed seeds from cropping areas in Australia, the fate of these seeds has not been adequately investigated. Seeds of annual ryegrass (Lolium rigidum Gaud.) and wild radish (Raphanus raphanistrum L.) were placed around the nests of five native ant species (Iridomyrmex greensladei Shattuck, Rhytidoponera metallica Smith, Melophorus turneri Forel, Monomorium rothsteini Forel, and Pheidole hartmeyeri Forel) and tracked continuously over a 24-h period. Removal rates and seed preference of the ant species were evaluated. Ant nests were then excavated to determine the placement of seeds that were taken into each nest. Seed preference, seed removal efficiencies, activity, and seed storage all varied between the ant species. Annual ryegrass seed was collected by three species of ants and was removed from the soil surface more efficiently than wild radish seed. Most ant species stored seed below ground at a depth that is inhibitory to emergence, thereby potentially removing that portion of seed from the seed bank, but some seed was placed at germinable depths. Pheidole hartmeyeri was identified as a likely biological control agent for annual ryegrass seeds and wild radish, while Me. turneri and Mo. rothsteini have potential as biocontrol agents for annual ryegrass, but further research is needed. © The Authors 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  2. 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.

  3. 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...

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. First observation of Dorylus ant feeding in Budongo chimpanzees supports absence of stick-tool culture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mugisha, Steven; Zuberbühler, Klaus; Hobaiter, Catherine

    2016-07-01

    The use of stick- or probe-tools is a chimpanzee universal, recorded in all long-term study populations across Africa, except one: Budongo, Uganda. Here, after 25 years of observation, stick-tool use remains absent under both natural circumstances and strong experimental scaffolding. Instead, the chimpanzees employ a rich repertoire of leaf-tools for a variety of dietary and hygiene tasks. One use of stick-tools in other communities is in feeding on the aggressive Dorylus 'army ant' species, consumed by chimpanzees at all long-term study sites outside of mid-Western Uganda. Here we report the first observation of army-ant feeding in Budongo, in which individuals from the Waibira chimpanzee community employed detached leaves to feed on a ground swarm. We describe the behaviour and discuss whether or not it can be considered tool use, together with its implication for the absence of stick-tool 'culture' in Budongo chimpanzees.

  9. 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....

  10. Quantification and characterization of putative diazotrophic bacteria from forage palm under saline water irrigation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gabiane dos Reis Antunes

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this study was to evaluate the density and phenotypical diversity of diazotrophic endophytic bacteria from the forage palm irrigated with different saline water depths. Opuntia stricta (IPA-200016 received five depths of saline water (L1: 80%. ETo; L2: 60%.ETo; L3: 40%; ETo; L4: 20%; ETo and, L5: 0% ETo, where ETo is the reference evapotranspiration. The roots were collected in the field, disinfected, grounded and serial diluted from 10-1 to 10-4. The total concentration of diazotrophic bacteria was determined by the most probable number method (MPN and the isolated bacteria were characterized phenotipically. The concentration of bacteria found in forage palm roots ranged from 0.36 x 104 to 109.89 104 cells per gram of root, with highest occurrence on the 60 and 80% ETo. In the dendrogram of similarity it was possible to observe the formation of 24 phenotypic groups with 100% similarity. All bacteria presented similarity superior to 40%. Among these groups, 14 are rare groups, formed by only a single bacterial isolate. In the Semi-Arid conditions, the forage palm that receives the highest amount of saline water, presents a higher density of putative nitrogen-fixing endophytic bacteria with high phenotypic diversity.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexandro Herbert dos Santos Bastos

    2011-12-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  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. Terrestrial and Marine Foraging Strategies of an Opportunistic Seabird Species Breeding in the Wadden Sea.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefan Garthe

    Full Text Available Lesser black-backed gulls Larus fuscus are considered to be mainly pelagic. We assessed the importance of different landscape elements (open sea, tidal flats and inland by comparing marine and terrestrial foraging behaviours in lesser black-backed gulls breeding along the coast of the southern North Sea. We attached GPS data loggers to eight incubating birds and collected information on diet and habitat use. The loggers recorded data for 10-19 days to allow flight-path reconstruction. Lesser black-backed gulls foraged in both offshore and inland areas, but rarely on tidal flats. Targets and directions were similar among all eight individuals. Foraging trips (n = 108 lasted 0.5-26.4 h (mean 8.7 h, and ranges varied from 3.0-79.9 km (mean 30.9 km. The total distance travelled per foraging trip ranged from 7.5-333.6 km (mean 97.9 km. Trips out to sea were significantly more variable in all parameters than inland trips. Presence in inland areas was closely associated with daylight, whereas trips to sea occurred at day and night, but mostly at night. The most common items in pellets were grass (48%, insects (38%, fish (28%, litter (26% and earthworms (20%. There was a significant relationship between the carbon and nitrogen isotope signals in blood and the proportional time each individual spent foraging at sea/land. On land, gulls preferentially foraged on bare ground, with significantly higher use of potato fields and significantly less use of grassland. The flight patterns of lesser black-backed gulls at sea overlapped with fishing-vessel distribution, including small beam trawlers fishing for shrimps in coastal waters close to the colony and large beam-trawlers fishing for flatfish at greater distances. Our data show that individuals made intensive use of the anthropogenic landscape and seascape, indicating that lesser black-backed gulls are not a predominantly marine species during the incubation period.

  16. Quasi-planktonic behavior of foraging top marine predators

    Science.gov (United States)

    Della Penna, Alice; de Monte, Silvia; Kestenare, Elodie; Guinet, Christophe; D'Ovidio, Francesco

    2015-12-01

    Monitoring marine top predators is fundamental for assessing the health and functioning of open ocean ecosystems. Although recently tracking observations have substantially increased, factors determining the horizontal exploration of the ocean by marine predators are still largely unknown, especially at the scale of behavioral switches (1-100 km, days-weeks). It is commonly assumed that the influence of water movement can be neglected for animals capable of swimming faster than the current. Here, we challenge this assumption by combining the use of biologging (GPS and accelerometry), satellite altimetry and in-situ oceanographic data (ADCP and drifting buoys) to investigate the effect of the mesoscale ocean dynamics on a marine predator, the southern elephant seal. A Lagrangian approach reveals that trajectories of elephant seals are characterized by quasi-planktonic bouts where the animals are horizontally drifting. These bouts correspond to periods of increased foraging effort, indicating that in the quasi-planktonic conditions energy is allocated to diving and chasing, rather than in horizontal search of favourable grounds. These results suggest that mesoscale features like eddies and fronts may act as a focal points for trophic interactions not only by bottom-up modulation of nutrient injection, but also by directly entraining horizontal displacements of the upper trophic levels.

  17. 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...

  18. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Arenas, Anderson; Armbrecht, Inge; Chacon, Patricia

    2013-01-01

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

  20. 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

  1. 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...

  2. 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

  3. Ground water

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Osmond, J.K.; Cowart, J.B.

    1982-01-01

    The subject is discussed under the headings: background and theory (introduction; fractionation in the hydrosphere; mobility factors; radioisotope evolution and aquifer classification; aquifer disequilibria and geochemical fronts); case studies (introduction; (a) conservative, and (b) non-conservative, behaviour); ground water dating applications (general requirements; radon and helium; radium isotopes; uranium isotopes). (U.K.)

  4. Ground water

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Osmond, J.K.; Cowart, J.B.

    1992-01-01

    The great variations in concentrations and activity ratios of 234 U/ 238 U in ground waters and the features causing elemental and isotopic mobility in the hydrosphere are discussed. Fractionation processes and their application to hydrology and other environmental problems such as earthquake, groundwater and aquifer dating are described. (UK)

  5. Nutrient foraging strategies are associated with productivity and population growth in forest shrubs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caplan, Joshua S; Stone, Bram W G; Faillace, Cara A; Lafond, Jonathan J; Baumgarten, Joni M; Mozdzer, Thomas J; Dighton, John; Meiners, Scott J; Grabosky, Jason C; Ehrenfeld, Joan G

    2017-04-01

    Temperate deciduous forest understoreys are experiencing widespread changes in community composition, concurrent with increases in rates of nitrogen supply. These shifts in plant abundance may be driven by interspecific differences in nutrient foraging (i.e. conservative vs. acquisitive strategies) and, thus, adaptation to contemporary nutrient loading conditions. This study sought to determine if interspecific differences in nutrient foraging could help explain patterns of shrub success and decline in eastern North American forests. Using plants grown in a common garden, fine root traits associated with nutrient foraging were measured for six shrub species. Traits included the mean and skewness of the root diameter distribution, specific root length (SRL), C:N ratio, root tissue density, arbuscular mycorrhizal colonization and foraging precision. Above- and below-ground productivity were also determined for the same plants, and population growth rates were estimated using data from a long-term study of community dynamics. Root traits were compared among species and associations among root traits, measures of productivity and rates of population growth were evaluated. Species fell into groups having thick or thin root forms, which correspond to conservative vs. acquisitive nutrient foraging strategies. Interspecific variation in root morphology and tissue construction correlated with measures of productivity and rates of cover expansion. Of the four species with acquisitive traits, three were introduced species that have become invasive in recent decades, and the fourth was a weedy native. In contrast, the two species with conservative traits were historically dominant shrubs that have declined in abundance in eastern North American forests. In forest understoreys of eastern North America, elevated nutrient availability may impose a filter on species success in addition to above-ground processes such as herbivory and overstorey canopy conditions. Shrubs that have

  6. 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.

  7. El periodista, ante la espiral de silencio

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dr. Fermín Galindo Arranz

    1998-01-01

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

  8. Recognition of social identity in ants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nick eBos

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Recognizing the identity of others, from the individual to the group level, is a hallmark of society. Ants, and other social insects, have evolved advanced societies characterized by efficient social recognition systems. Colony identity is mediated by colony specific signature mixtures, a blend of hydrocarbons present on the cuticle of every individual (the label. Recognition occurs when an ant encounters another individual, and compares the label it perceives to an internal representation of its own colony odor (the template. A mismatch between label and template leads to rejection of the encountered individual. Although advances have been made in our understanding of how the label is produced and acquired, contradictory evidence exists about information processing of recognition cues. Here, we review the literature on template acquisition in ants and address how and when the template is formed, where in the nervous system it is localized, and the possible role of learning. We combine seemingly contradictory evidence in to a novel, parsimonious theory for the information processing of nestmate recognition cues.

  9. Urban gardens promote bee foraging over natural habitats and plantations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaluza, Benjamin F; Wallace, Helen; Heard, Tim A; Klein, Alexandra-Maria; Leonhardt, Sara D

    2016-03-01

    Increasing human land use for agriculture and housing leads to the loss of natural habitat and to widespread declines in wild bees. Bee foraging dynamics and fitness depend on the availability of resources in the surrounding landscape, but how precisely landscape related resource differences affect bee foraging patterns remains unclear. To investigate how landscape and its interaction with season and weather drive foraging and resource intake in social bees, we experimentally compared foraging activity, the allocation of foragers to different resources (pollen, nectar, and resin) and overall resource intake in the Australian stingless bee Tetragonula carbonaria (Apidae, Meliponini). Bee colonies were monitored in different seasons over two years. We compared foraging patterns and resource intake between the bees' natural habitat (forests) and two landscapes differently altered by humans (suburban gardens and agricultural macadamia plantations). We found foraging activity as well as pollen and nectar forager numbers to be highest in suburban gardens, intermediate in forests and low in plantations. Foraging patterns further differed between seasons, but seasonal variations strongly differed between landscapes. Sugar and pollen intake was low in plantations, but contrary with our predictions, it was even higher in gardens than in forests. In contrast, resin intake was similar across landscapes. Consequently, differences in resource availability between natural and altered landscapes strongly affect foraging patterns and thus resource intake in social bees. While agricultural monocultures largely reduce foraging success, suburban gardens can increase resource intake well above rates found in natural habitats of bees, indicating that human activities can both decrease and increase the availability of resources in a landscape and thus reduce or enhance bee fitness.

  10. Forage mass and the nutritive value of pastures mixed with forage peanut and red clover

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ricardo Lima de Azevedo Junior

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available The objective of this research was to estimate three pasture-based systems mixed with elephantgrass + spontaneous growth species, annual ryegrass, for pasture-based system 1; elephantgrass + spontaneous growth species + forage peanut, for pasture-based system 2; and elephantgrass + spontaneous growth species + annual ryegrass + red clover, for pasture-based system 3. Elephantgrass was planted in rows 4 m apart from each other. During the cool-season, annual ryegrass was sown in the alleys between the rows of elephantgrass; forage peanut and red clover were sown in the alleys between the elephantgrass according to the respective treatment. The experimental design was totally randomized in the three treatments (pasture-based systems, two replicates (paddocks in completely split-plot time (grazing cycles. Holstein cows receiving 5.5 kg-daily complementary concentrate feed were used in the evaluation. Pre-grazing forage mass, botanical composition and stocking rate were evaluated. Samples of simulated grazing were collected to analyze organic matter (OM, neutral detergent fiber (NDF, crude protein (CP and organic matter in situ digestibility (OMISD. Nine grazing cycles were performed during the experimental period (341 days. The average dry matter values for pre-grazing and stocking rate were 3.34; 3.46; 3.79 t/ha, and 3.28; 3.34; 3.60 AU/ha for each respective pasture-based system. Similar results were observed between the pasture-based systems for OM, NDF, CP and OMISD. Considering forage mass, stocking rate and nutritive value, the pasture-based system intercropped with forage legumes presented better performance.

  11. 75 FR 68321 - Forage Genetics International; Supplemental Request for Partial Deregulation of Roundup Ready...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-11-05

    ...] Forage Genetics International; Supplemental Request for Partial Deregulation of Roundup Ready Alfalfa... Inspection Service has received a supplemental request for ``partial deregulation'' from Forage Genetics... affected persons of the availability of the documents submitted to the Agency from Forage Genetics...

  12. Forage Production Technology Transfer in Kwale and Kilifi Districts of Coast Province

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mwatate, C.D; Ramadhan, C.D.A; Njunie, M.N

    1999-01-01

    A forage production and utilisation programme was introduced in Kwale (AEZ CL2/CL3) and Kilifi (AEZ CL3/CL4) districts to combat major constraint in low quality and quantity feed at the coast. Dairy production had a great market potential stimulated by the high urban and rural population. Willing farmers were invited to PRC-Mtwapa to see how grasses, legumes and multipurpose trees would fit in their mixed maize cassava farming system. After explaining the forage characteristics to the farmers, they were allowed to select a maximum of three out of eight legumes (Vigna Unguiculata; Dolichos lablab; Clitoria tanatea; Stylosanthes guianennsis; Mucuna pruriens; Pueraria phaseloids; Macroptlium atropurpureum and Centrosema pubescens), tree out of five Napier grasses (Cultivar Mott, Clone 13, French Cameroon, Gold Coast and Bana). Giant panicum and and one of the two multipurpose trees (Gliricidia sepium and Leucaena leucocephala) to test in their farms. After planting in mid 1996 on-farm the research-extension team monitored ground cover and labor aplied monthly by gender, green leaf production, and survival over the drought in 1997. Along-side the planted forages, actual forage fed by dairy farmers was sampled, analysed for chemical composition and degradability to advise farmers on ration formulation. Ranking by farmers showed a preference for clitiria, Macuna and Dolichos in Kwale as the three best legumes. More than 70% of Napier grass variety had established while establishment rate of gliricidia was 33%. An extension leaflet developed during the study will be used to disseminate the information in the region

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-10-01

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

  15. Chemically armed mercenary ants protect fungus-farming societies

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

    The ants are extraordinary in having evolved many lineages that exploit closely related ant societies as social parasites, but social parasitism by distantly related ants is rare. Here we document the interaction dynamics among a Sericomyrmex fungus-growing ant host, a permanently associated parasitic guest ant of the genus Megalomyrmex, and a raiding agro-predator of the genus Gnamptogenys. We show experimentally that the guest ants protect their host colonies against agro-predator raids using alkaloid venom that is much more potent than the biting defenses of the host ants. Relatively few guest ants are sufficient to kill raiders that invariably exterminate host nests without a cohabiting guest ant colony. We also show that the odor of guest ants discourages raider scouts from recruiting nestmates to host colonies. Our results imply that Sericomyrmex fungus-growers obtain a net benefit from their costly guest ants behaving as a functional soldier caste to meet lethal threats from agro-predator raiders. The fundamentally different life histories of the agro-predators and guest ants appear to facilitate their coexistence in a negative frequency-dependent manner. Because a guest ant colony is committed for life to a single host colony, the guests would harm their own interests by not defending the host that they continue to exploit. This conditional mutualism is analogous to chronic sickle cell anemia enhancing the resistance to malaria and to episodes in human history when mercenary city defenders offered either net benefits or imposed net costs, depending on the level of threat from invading armies. PMID:24019482

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-09-24

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

  17. Utilization of male sterility in forage crops

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Suginobu, Ken-ichi

    1982-01-01

    The genetic nature of male sterility in forage crops was reviewed. Many workers have suggested that hybrids in forage crops are quite promising. First, the selection of the most desirable parental genotype from a large original population is improtant in heterosis breeding programs. After the more promising inbreds or clones have been selected on the basis of good general combining ability, it is necessary to identify the particular single, three-way or double cross that will produce the highest yields. A high seed yield potential is also important in a new variety so that the seeds can be sold at lower prices than other varieties. A tentative scheme for hybrid seed production by using inbred lines of male sterile or normal parents is proposed. At a breeding station, the seeds for male sterile F 1 (AB), maintainer S 1 (C-S 1 ) and either maintainer or restorer S 1 s(D-S 1 , E-S 1 ) are produced from the parental clones. At a seed increase agency, the seeds for male sterile F 1 (ABC) and either maintainer or restorer S 2 (D-S 2 ) are produced. In the case that D-S 2 seed production is difficult, maintainer or restorer F 1 (DE) should be produced from D-S 1 x E-S 1 . These seeds are used for commercial seed production. Seeds of hybrid F 1 (ABCD) or hybrid F 1 (ABCDE) are for practical use. (Kaihara, S.)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heinze, Jürgen; Frohschammer, Sabine; Bernadou, Abel

    2017-08-18

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

  19. Seed storage effects on germination for two forage kochia cultivars

    Science.gov (United States)

    The cultivar ‘Snowstorm’ forage kochia was released by the USDA-ARS in 2012. It is a synthetic cultivar selected for stature, forage production, and adaptation to semiarid environments. Similar to the earlier released (1984) ‘Immigrant’ cultivar it can increase rangeland productivity magnitudes when...

  20. Forage yield and quality of kenaf ( Hibiscus cannabinus L.) for ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This study was carried out to evaluate 40 kenaf accessions for forage yield and quality at Universiti Putra Malaysia in 2009. Forage yield and quality traits were measured at the initial flowering stage. The kenaf accessions showed highly significant variation for most of trait studied. Plant dry matter yield ranged from 5286 kg ...

  1. 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

  2. Morphological responses of forage sorghums to salinity and ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The response of forage sorghum [Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench] varieties to salinity and irrigation frequency were studied from December 2007 to December 2009. Two forage sorghum varieties (Speedfeed and KFS4) were grown under salinity levels of 0, 5, 10 and 15 dS m-1 and irrigated when the leaf water potential ...

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Effects of seasonal advancement on the forage availability, quality ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Effects of seasonal advancement on the forage availability, quality and acceptability by grazing gudali cattle in the humid zone of Nigeria. ... There were significant (p<0.05) differences in the dry matter (DM), crude protein (CP) and neutral detergent fibre (NDF) contents of all the forages. DM content ranged from 9.6% (Tridax ...

  6. Female mice respond differently to costly foraging versus food restriction

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schubert, Kristin A.; Vaanholt, Lobke M.; Stavasius, Fanny; Demas, Gregory E.; Daan, Serge; Visser, G. Henk

    2008-01-01

    Experimental manipulation of foraging costs per food reward can be used to study the plasticity of physiological systems involved in energy metabolism. This approach is useful for understanding adaptations to natural variation in food availability. Earlier studies have shown that animals foraging on

  7. Honeybee forage, bee visitation counts and the properties of honey ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The aim of the survey was to document honeybee forage plants and asses honeybee visitation counts on different forage plants and properties of honey from selected agro-ecological zones of Uganda. In order to achieve the objectives of the study, a survey of the apiaries and beekeepers was done by selecting fifteen bee ...

  8. Does supplemental feeding affect behaviour and foraging of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    In response to the provision of high-quality pods of Acacia albida, animals reduced foraging time in 2008 and allocated it to resting. This pattern corresponds to the animals' behaviour in captivity without foraging versus vigilance trade-offs and with predictable (in time and space) access to food. In 2009, supplemental ...

  9. Forage herbs improve mineral composition of grassland herbage

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pirhofer-Walzl, Karin; Søegaard, Karen; Jensen, Henning Høgh

    2011-01-01

    there is limited information about mineral concentrations in forage herbs. To determine whether herbs have greater macro- and micromineral concentrations than forage legumes and grasses, we conducted a 2-year experiment on a loamy-sand site in Denmark sown with a multi-species mixture comprised of three functional...

  10. Children's Play and Culture Learning in an Egalitarian Foraging Society

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boyette, Adam H.

    2016-01-01

    Few systematic studies of play in foragers exist despite their significance for understanding the breadth of contexts for human development and the ontogeny of cultural learning. Forager societies lack complex social hierarchies, avenues for prestige or wealth accumulation, and formal educational institutions, and thereby represent a contrast to…

  11. Testing Optimal Foraging Theory Using Bird Predation on Goldenrod Galls

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yahnke, Christopher J.

    2006-01-01

    All animals must make choices regarding what foods to eat, where to eat, and how much time to spend feeding. Optimal foraging theory explains these behaviors in terms of costs and benefits. This laboratory exercise focuses on optimal foraging theory by investigating the winter feeding behavior of birds on the goldenrod gall fly by comparing…

  12. Foraging behaviour and feeding ecology of the Black-cheeked ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Foraging behaviour and feeding ecology of the Black-cheeked Lovebird Agapornis nigrigenis were studied in Zambia. The birds fed on at least 39 species, and food items included seeds, leaves, flowers (especially nectar), fruit pulp, invertebrates, bark, lichen and resin. Terrestrial foraging was dominant, whereas arboreal ...

  13. Nutritional status influences socially regulated foraging ontogeny in honey bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toth, Amy L; Kantarovich, Sara; Meisel, Adam F; Robinson, Gene E

    2005-12-01

    In many social insects, including honey bees, worker energy reserve levels are correlated with task performance in the colony. Honey bee nest workers have abundant stored lipid and protein while foragers are depleted of these reserves; this depletion precedes the shift from nest work to foraging. The first objective of this study was to test the hypothesis that lipid depletion has a causal effect on the age at onset of foraging in honey bees (Apis mellifera L.). We found that bees treated with a fatty acid synthesis inhibitor (TOFA) were more likely to forage precociously. The second objective of this study was to determine whether there is a relationship between social interactions, nutritional state and behavioral maturation. Since older bees are known to inhibit the development of young bees into foragers, we asked whether this effect is mediated nutritionally via the passage of food from old to young bees. We found that bees reared in social isolation have low lipid stores, but social inhibition occurs in colonies in the field, whether young bees are starved or fed. These results indicate that although social interactions affect the nutritional status of young bees, social and nutritional factors act independently to influence age at onset of foraging. Our findings suggest that mechanisms linking internal nutritional physiology to foraging in solitary insects have been co-opted to regulate altruistic foraging in a social context.

  14. Boldness affects foraging decisions in barnacle geese: an experimental approach

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kurvers, R.H.J.M.; Nolet, B.A.; Prins, H.H.T.; Ydenberg, R.C.; Oers, van K.

    2012-01-01

    Individuals foraging in groups constantly need to make decisions, such as when to leave a group, when to join a group, and when to move collectively to another feeding site. In recent years, it has become evident that personality may affect these foraging decisions, but studies where individuals are

  15. Scavenger: Transparent Development of Efficient Cyber Foraging Applications

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kristensen, Mads Darø

    2010-01-01

    delivering efficient, mobile use of remote computing resources through the use of a custom built mobile code execution environment and a new dual-profiling scheduler. One of the main difficulties within cyber foraging is that it is very challenging for application programmers to develop cyber foraging...

  16. Optimal Foraging for Multiple Resources in Several Food Species

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hengeveld, G.M.; Langevelde, van F.; Groen, T.A.; Knegt, de H.J.

    2009-01-01

    The concentrations of resources in forage are not perfectly balanced to the needs of an animal, and food species differ in these concentrations. Under many circumstances, animals should thus forage on multiple food species to attain the maximum and most balanced intake of several resources. In this

  17. Optimal foraging for multiple resources in several food species

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hengeveld, G.M.; van Langevelde, F.; Groen, T.A.; de Knegt, H.J.

    2009-01-01

    The concentrations of resources in forage are not perfectly balanced to the needs of an animal, and food species differ in these concentrations. Under many circumstances, animals should thus forage on multiple food species to attain the maximum and most balanced intake of several resources. In this

  18. A Ground Systems Template for Remote Sensing Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    McClanahan, Timothy P.; Trombka, Jacob I.; Floyd, Samuel R.; Truskowski, Walter; Starr, Richard D.; Clark, Pamela E.; Evans, Larry G.

    2002-10-01

    Spaceborne remote sensing using gamma and X-ray spectrometers requires particular attention to the design and development of reliable systems. These systems must ensure the scientific requirements of the mission within the challenging technical constraints of operating instrumentation in space. The Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous (NEAR) spacecraft included X-ray and gamma-ray spectrometers (XGRS), whose mission was to map the elemental chemistry of the 433 Eros asteroid. A remote sensing system template, similar to a blackboard systems approach used in artificial intelligence, was identified in which the spacecraft, instrument, and ground system was designed and developed to monitor and adapt to evolving mission requirements in a complicated operational setting. Systems were developed for ground tracking of instrument calibration, instrument health, data quality, orbital geometry, solar flux as well as models of the asteroid's surface characteristics, requiring an intensive human effort. In the future, missions such as the Autonomous Nano-Technology Swarm (ANTS) program will have to rely heavily on automation to collectively encounter and sample asteroids in the outer asteroid belt. Using similar instrumentation, ANTS will require information similar to data collected by the NEAR X-ray/Gamma-Ray Spectrometer (XGRS) ground system for science and operations management. The NEAR XGRS systems will be studied to identify the equivalent subsystems that may be automated for ANTS. The effort will also investigate the possibility of applying blackboard style approaches to automated decision making required for ANTS.

  19. A ground systems template for remote sensing systems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    McClanahan, Timothy P.; Trombka, Jacob I.; Floyd, Samuel R.; Truskowski, Walter; Starr, Richard D.; Clark, Pamela E.; Evans, Larry G.

    2002-01-01

    Spaceborne remote sensing using gamma and X-ray spectrometers requires particular attention to the design and development of reliable systems. These systems must ensure the scientific requirements of the mission within the challenging technical constraints of operating instrumentation in space. The Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous (NEAR) spacecraft included X-ray and gamma-ray spectrometers (XGRS), whose mission was to map the elemental chemistry of the 433 Eros asteroid. A remote sensing system template, similar to a blackboard systems approach used in artificial intelligence, was identified in which the spacecraft, instrument, and ground system was designed and developed to monitor and adapt to evolving mission requirements in a complicated operational setting. Systems were developed for ground tracking of instrument calibration, instrument health, data quality, orbital geometry, solar flux as well as models of the asteroid's surface characteristics, requiring an intensive human effort. In the future, missions such as the Autonomous Nano-Technology Swarm (ANTS) program will have to rely heavily on automation to collectively encounter and sample asteroids in the outer asteroid belt. Using similar instrumentation, ANTS will require information similar to data collected by the NEAR X-ray/Gamma-Ray Spectrometer (XGRS) ground system for science and operations management. The NEAR XGRS systems will be studied to identify the equivalent subsystems that may be automated for ANTS. The effort will also investigate the possibility of applying blackboard style approaches to automated decision making required for ANTS

  20. The effect of restricted milk feeding through conventional or step-down methods with or without forage provision in starter feed on performance of Holstein bull calves.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daneshvar, D; Khorvash, M; Ghasemi, E; Mahdavi, A H; Moshiri, B; Mirzaei, M; Pezeshki, A; Ghaffari, M H

    2015-08-01

    The objective of the current study was to examine whether step-down (STP) milk feeding method together with forage provision would improve performance, rumen fermentation, nutrient digestibility, blood metabolites, and structural growth of calves. Holstein bull calves ( = 40) were randomly assigned to 1 of 4 treatments in a completely randomized design with a 2 × 2 factorial arrangement. Treatments were 1) conventional (COV) milk feeding without forage provision (COV-NF), 2) COV milk feeding with forage provision, 3) STP milk feeding without forage provision, and 4) STP milk feeding with forage provision. Calves in the COV method ( = 20) received 5.5 L/d milk until d 56 of age followed by 2 L/d milk from d 56 to 59 of age. Calves in the STP method ( = 20) received 7 L/d milk until d 35, 4 L/d milk from d 35 to 48, and 2 L/d milk from d 50 to 59 of age. All the calves received the starter ration from d 3 of the study until d 74 of age. Forage-supplemented calves ( = 10/milk feeding method) received 15% alfalfa hay mixed with finely ground starter as a total mixed ration. All calves were weaned on d 60 of age and remained in the study until d 74. Regardless of the milk feeding method, the final BW (92.54 vs. 83.14 kg/d), starter intake (0.90 vs. 0.65 kg/d), total DMI (1.43 vs. 1.17 kg/d), and ADG (0.73 vs. 0.60 kg/d) were greater ( calves than those that received no forage during the preweaning, postweaning, and overall periods. Milk feeding method had no effect on ruminal pH, total VFA, acetate, or acetate:propionate ratio as well as body measurements. Ruminal pH and the molar proportions of acetate were greater ( calves than those that received no forage during the pre- and postweaning periods. Regardless of forage provision, STP methods increased ( feeding methods and forage provision with respect to BW, DMI, G:F, apparent nutrient digestibility (DM, OM, and CP), and body measurements. The interaction of milk feeding method and forage provision was significant