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Sample records for omnivorous carpenter ants

  1. Nutritional upgrading for omnivorous carpenter ants by the endosymbiont Blochmannia

    Mueller Martin J

    2007-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Carpenter ants (genus Camponotus are considered to be omnivores. Nonetheless, the genome sequence of Blochmannia floridanus, the obligate intracellular endosymbiont of Camponotus floridanus, suggests a function in nutritional upgrading of host resources by the bacterium. Thus, the strongly reduced genome of the endosymbiont retains genes for all subunits of a functional urease, as well as those for biosynthetic pathways for all but one (arginine of the amino acids essential to the host. Results Nutritional upgrading by Blochmannia was tested in 90-day feeding experiments with brood-raising in worker-groups on chemically defined diets with and without essential amino acids and treated or not with antibiotics. Control groups were fed with cockroaches, honey water and Bhatkar agar. Worker-groups were provided with brood collected from the queenright mother-colonies (45 eggs and 45 first instar larvae each. Brood production did not differ significantly between groups of symbiotic workers on diets with and without essential amino acids. However, aposymbiotic worker groups raised significantly less brood on a diet lacking essential amino acids. Reduced brood production by aposymbiotic workers was compensated when those groups were provided with essential amino acids in their diet. Decrease of endosymbionts due to treatment with antibiotic was monitored by qRT-PCR and FISH after the 90-day experimental period. Urease function was confirmed by feeding experiments using 15N-labelled urea. GC-MS analysis of 15N-enrichment of free amino acids in workers revealed significant labelling of the non-essential amino acids alanine, glycine, aspartic acid, and glutamic acid, as well as of the essential amino acids methionine and phenylalanine. Conclusion Our results show that endosymbiotic Blochmannia nutritionally upgrade the diet of C. floridanus hosts to provide essential amino acids, and that it may also play a role in nitrogen recycling

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

    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 ...

  3. A new carpenter ant, Camponotus parabarbatus (Hymenoptera: Formicidae from India

    Himender Bharti

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available A new species of carpenter ant, collected in the Shivalik range of Himalaya is described and illustrated based on the worker and gyne castes under the name Camponotus parabarbatus sp. n. Presence of dense, short setae on gena and ventral surface of head resembles it most to Camponotus barbatus Roger, 1863 distributed in Southeast Asia. A regional identification key of Camponotus species is provided from the Shivalik hills of Indian Himalaya.

  4. Disentangling environmental and heritable nestmate recognition cues in a carpenter ant

    van Zweden, Jelle S; Dreier, Stephanie; d'Ettorre, Patrizia

    2009-01-01

    Discriminating between group members and strangers is a key feature of social life. Nestmate recognition is very effective in social insects and is manifested by aggression and rejection of alien individuals, which are prohibited to enter the nest. Nestmate recognition is based on the quantitative...... variation in cuticular hydrocarbons, which can include heritable cues from the workers, as well as acquired cues from the environment or queen-derived cues. We tracked the profile of six colonies of the ant Camponotus aethiops for a year under homogeneous laboratory conditions. We performed chemical...... diagnostic power between colonies. The presence of a queen had little influence on nestmate discrimination abilities. Our results suggest that heritable cues of workers are the dominant factor influencing nestmate discrimination in these carpenter ants and highlight the importance of colony kin structure...

  5. A New Species of Neotropical Carpenter Ant in the Genus Camponotus (Hymenoptera: Formicidae, Apparently without Major Workers

    William Mackay

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available We describe a new species of carpenter ants from Ecuador, which apparently has an obligatory relationship with the ant plants Cecropia membranacea Trécul, C. herthae Diels and C. marginalis Cuatrec. The workers are relatively small and hairy, and based on a number of collections, it does not appear to have major workers. We compare the new species to Camponotus balzani, to which it appears to be similar and which has normal major workers, and also lives in Cecropia spp.

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

    Harry C Evans

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

  7. Volatile chemicals in gJands of the carpenter ant, Cllmp()nofus arm ...

    1999-03-19

    Mar 19, 1999 ... Materials and methods. Worker ants were collected from ... observed in every chromatogram obtained, both of whole. Table 2 Identified .... alkenes. often corresponding in chain length to the alkanes present, this species only ...

  8. ANT

    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....

  9. Vocational Interests (The Self-Directed Search) of Female Carpenters

    Swan, Kathy C.

    2005-01-01

    In this national sample of female carpenters (N=411) who began their apprenticeship with the United Brotherhood of Carpenters during the 1990s in the United States, the author provides a profile of female carpenters' vocational interests (The Self-Directed Search). The vocational interests of 137 male carpenters also were gathered for comparison.…

  10. Sick ants become unsociable

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

    2012-01-01

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

  11. Interference competition between sunbirds and carpenter bees for ...

    Interference competition between sunbirds and carpenter bees for the nectar of ... the nectar plant Hypoestes aristata against carpenter bees (Xylocopa caffra and ... co-evolution, nectar, interspecific competition, pollination biology, pollinators, ...

  12. Large Carpenter Bees as Agricultural Pollinators

    Tamar Keasar

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Large carpenter bees (genus Xylocopa are wood-nesting generalist pollinators of broad geographical distribution that exhibit varying levels of sociality. Their foraging is characterized by a wide range of food plants, long season of activity, tolerance of high temperatures, and activity under low illumination levels. These traits make them attractive candidates for agricultural pollination in hot climates, particularly in greenhouses, and of night-blooming crops. Carpenter bees have demonstrated efficient pollination service in passionflower, blueberries, greenhouse tomatoes and greenhouse melons. Current challenges to the commercialization of these attempts lie in the difficulties of mass-rearing Xylocopa, and in the high levels of nectar robbing exhibited by the bees.

  13. Prenatal diagnosis of Carpenter syndrome: looking beyond craniosynostosis and polysyndactyly.

    Victorine, Anna S; Weida, Jennifer; Hines, Karrie A; Robinson, Barrett; Torres-Martinez, Wilfredo; Weaver, David D

    2014-03-01

    Carpenter syndrome is an autosomal recessive disorder comprising craniosynostosis, polysyndactyly, and brachydactyly. It occurs in approximately 1 birth per million. We present a patient with Carpenter syndrome (confirmed by molecular diagnosis) who has several unique and previously unreported manifestations including a large ovarian cyst and heterotaxy with malrotation of stomach, intestine, and liver. These findings were first noted by prenatal ultrasound and may assist in prenatally diagnosing additional cases of Carpenter syndrome. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  14. Brian Carpenter at the PS control computer

    vmo; CERN PhotoLab

    1971-01-01

    Brian E. Carpenter has been Group Leader of the Communications Systems group at CERN since 1985, following ten years' experience in software for process control systems at CERN, which was interrupted by three years teaching undergraduate computer science at Massey University in New Zealand. He holds a first degree in physics and a Ph.D. in computer science, and is an M.I.E.E. He is Chair of the Internet Architecture Board and an active participant in the Internet Engineering Task Force.

  15. 76 FR 51029 - Proposed CERCLA Administrative Cost Recovery Settlement; Carpenter Avenue Mercury Site, Iron...

    2011-08-17

    ... Settlement; Carpenter Avenue Mercury Site, Iron Mountain, Dickenson County, MI AGENCY: Environmental... of past response costs concerning the Carpenter Avenue Mercury site in Iron Mountain, Dickenson...., mail code: C-14J, Chicago, Illinois 60604. Comments should reference the Carpenter Avenue Mercury site...

  16. Carpenter Argyrozona argyrozona are an important component of ...

    spamer

    However, like many other reef fish, its catch per unit effort (cpue) has declined ... of abundance, one over the central Agulhas Bank and ... MATERIAL AND METHODS ... Carpenter were caught from a skiboat using handline ..... 7: A conceptual model showing current movements and direction over 30 days, and postulated ...

  17. Ants recognize foes and not friends

    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. The Rise of the Cultural Omnivore 1964-2004

    Jæger, Mads Meier; Katz-Gerro, Tally

    In their seminal work Peterson and Kern (1996) reported that the system of cultural stratification in the USA was characterized by omnivorous cultural consumers in 1982, a pattern that grew stronger in 1992. Subsequent research has shown that an omnivorous consumer also existed in many other...... variables affects the likelihood of belonging to this group relative to other cultural consumption groups. We report two major findings. First, we find that the relative size of the omnivore group in the Danish population has grown from the mid-1960s to the mid-2000s. Second, we find that social class...

  19. Macronutrient optimization and seasonal diet mixing in a large omnivore, the grizzly bear: a geometric analysis.

    Sean C P Coogan

    Full Text Available Nutrient balance is a strong determinant of animal fitness and demography. It is therefore important to understand how the compositions of available foods relate to required balance of nutrients and habitat suitability for animals in the wild. These relationships are, however, complex, particularly for omnivores that often need to compose balanced diets by combining their intake from diverse nutritionally complementary foods. Here we apply geometric models to understand how the nutritional compositions of foods available to an omnivorous member of the order Carnivora, the grizzly bear (Ursus arctos L., relate to optimal macronutrient intake, and assess the seasonal nutritional constraints on the study population in west-central Alberta, Canada. The models examined the proportion of macronutrients that bears could consume by mixing their diet from food available in each season, and assessed the extent to which bears could consume the ratio of protein to non-protein energy previously demonstrated using captive bears to optimize mass gain. We found that non-selective feeding on ungulate carcasses provided a non-optimal macronutrient balance with surplus protein relative to fat and carbohydrate, reflecting adaptation to an omnivorous lifestyle, and that optimization through feeding selectively on different tissues of ungulate carcasses is unlikely. Bears were, however, able to dilute protein intake to an optimal ratio by mixing their otherwise high-protein diet with carbohydrate-rich fruit. Some individual food items were close to optimally balanced in protein to non-protein energy (e.g. Hedysarum alpinum roots, which may help explain their dietary prevalence. Ants may be consumed particularly as a source of lipids. Overall, our analysis showed that most food available to bears in the study area were high in protein relative to lipid or carbohydrate, suggesting the lack of non-protein energy limits the fitness (e.g. body size and reproduction and

  20. Macronutrient optimization and seasonal diet mixing in a large omnivore, the grizzly bear: a geometric analysis.

    Coogan, Sean C P; Raubenheimer, David; Stenhouse, Gordon B; Nielsen, Scott E

    2014-01-01

    Nutrient balance is a strong determinant of animal fitness and demography. It is therefore important to understand how the compositions of available foods relate to required balance of nutrients and habitat suitability for animals in the wild. These relationships are, however, complex, particularly for omnivores that often need to compose balanced diets by combining their intake from diverse nutritionally complementary foods. Here we apply geometric models to understand how the nutritional compositions of foods available to an omnivorous member of the order Carnivora, the grizzly bear (Ursus arctos L.), relate to optimal macronutrient intake, and assess the seasonal nutritional constraints on the study population in west-central Alberta, Canada. The models examined the proportion of macronutrients that bears could consume by mixing their diet from food available in each season, and assessed the extent to which bears could consume the ratio of protein to non-protein energy previously demonstrated using captive bears to optimize mass gain. We found that non-selective feeding on ungulate carcasses provided a non-optimal macronutrient balance with surplus protein relative to fat and carbohydrate, reflecting adaptation to an omnivorous lifestyle, and that optimization through feeding selectively on different tissues of ungulate carcasses is unlikely. Bears were, however, able to dilute protein intake to an optimal ratio by mixing their otherwise high-protein diet with carbohydrate-rich fruit. Some individual food items were close to optimally balanced in protein to non-protein energy (e.g. Hedysarum alpinum roots), which may help explain their dietary prevalence. Ants may be consumed particularly as a source of lipids. Overall, our analysis showed that most food available to bears in the study area were high in protein relative to lipid or carbohydrate, suggesting the lack of non-protein energy limits the fitness (e.g. body size and reproduction) and population density

  1. Aurora 7 the Mercury space flight of M. Scott Carpenter

    Burgess, Colin

    2016-01-01

    TO A NATION enthralled by the heroic exploits of the Mercury astronauts, the launch of Lt. Cmdr. Scott Carpenter on NASA’s second orbital space flight was a renewed cause for pride, jubilation and celebration. Within hours, that excitement had given way to stunned disbelief and anxiety as shaken broadcasters began preparing the American public for the very real possibility that an American astronaut and his spacecraft may have been lost at sea. In fact, it had been a very close call. Completely out of fuel and forced to manually guide Aurora 7 through the frightening inferno of re-entry, Carpenter brought the Mercury spacecraft down to a safe splashdown in the ocean. In doing so, he controversially overshot the intended landing zone. Despite his efforts, Carpenter’s performance on the MA-7 mission was later derided by powerful figures within NASA. He would never fly into space again. Taking temporary leave of NASA, Carpenter participated in the U.S. Navy’s pioneering Sealab program. For a record 30 days...

  2. The evolution of genome size in ants

    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

  3. Taking Care of Business: Walter Carpenter and the Management of American Enterprise.

    Cheape, Charles W.

    1996-01-01

    Evaluates the life and career of DuPont corporate executive, Walter Carpenter, and uses it to illustrate the rise of the managerial class. Neither owners nor entrepreneurs, managers like Carpenter used their intelligence and skill to reorganize and expand the companies the companies where they worked. (MJP)

  4. Polyunsaturated fatty acid status of Dutch vegans and omnivores

    Fokkema, M R; Brouwer, D A; Hasperhoven, M B; Hettema, Y; Bemelmans, W J; Muskiet, F A

    We compared the polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) status of Dutch vegans and omnivores to investigate whether disparities can be explained by different diets and long chain PUFA (LCP) synthesis rates. Dietary intakes and fatty acid compositions of erythrocytes (RBC), platelets (PLT), plasma

  5. Polyunsaturated fatty acid status of Dutch vegans and omnivores

    Fokkema, M R; Brouwer, D A; Hasperhoven, M B; Hettema, Y; Bemelmans, W J; Muskiet, F A

    2000-01-01

    We compared the polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) status of Dutch vegans and omnivores to investigate whether disparities can be explained by different diets and long chain PUFA (LCP) synthesis rates. Dietary intakes and fatty acid compositions of erythrocytes (RBC), platelets (PLT), plasma

  6. Differences in nutritional status between vegans, vegetarians and omnivores.

    Crockart, H M

    1995-06-01

    Well planned vegetarian diets effectively meet Recommended Dietary Allowances and are a 'healthy' alternative to meat eating. Lacto-ovo-vegetarian diets have similar nutrient composition to omnivore diets. Vegan diets may be low in vitamin B 12. The fat content of the vegan diet is significantly lower and the polyunsaturated:saturated fatty acid ratio higher than in the omnivore diet. The fibre content of the vegan diet is about twice that of the lacto-ovo-vegetarian diet which is about three times that of the omnivore diet. Protein and essential amino acid content of the vegan diet is adequate. Protein intake of vegans is lower than that in omnivores. Blood lipoprotein changes due to intervention with a lacto-ovo-vegetarian diet are favourable regarding coronary artery disease risk. Infants and children have special needs. Full discussion of the effect of vegetarianism on child growth is beyond the scope of this report. Several dietary guidelines are given; choosing a wide variety of foods is recommended.

  7. Audel carpenter's and builder's math, plans, and specifications

    Miller, Mark Richard

    2005-01-01

    You can count on a good planA successful building or remodeling job requires not only a plan, but also the skill to interpret it and an understanding of the mathematics behind it. Whether you are a builder by trade or a do-it-yourself carpenter by choice, turn to this newly updated guide for easy explanations of the math involved and clear instructions on developing and using the necessary plans and specifications.* Explore the different types of wood products and learn what is best for your purpose* Choose appropriate building materials for weather and other natural factors* Refresh your knowledge of fractions, ratios, geometry, and measurement* Understand how to use basic surveying tools* Become familiar with the design process and recognize various styles of architecture* Learn to read architectural drawings and work with computer design

  8. Save Time and Money through Chemistry (by Ken Carpenter)

    Hazari, Al

    1998-01-01

    Useful Chemistry Publishing: Dayton, OH, 1997. 261 pp. Figs. and tables. ISBN: 0965566714. $24.95 (soft cover only). Would you like to learn about the 5 W's of everyday chemistry and chemicals? Who(m) should you see to learn to identify and appraise jewelry? What should you eat for breakfast? When should you get up from your sleep? Where is cholesterol in the human body? Why do pool owners add hydrochloric acid? Then read Save Time and Money through Chemistry, by Ken Carpenter. This book is loaded with practical and useful chemistry information that every person who took chemistry in high school or college wishes he or she had been introduced or exposed to. I know I do.

  9. Beyond ANT

    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....

  10. Enrichment of omnivorous cercozoan nanoflagellates from coastal Baltic Sea waters.

    Kasia Piwosz

    Full Text Available Free-living nano-sized flagellates are important bacterivores in aquatic habitats. However, some slightly larger forms can also be omnivorous, i.e., forage upon both bacterial and eukaryotic resources. This hitherto largely ignored feeding mode may have pronounced implications for the interpretation of experiments about protistan bacterivory. We followed the response of an uncultured group of omnivorous cercozoan nanoflagellates from the Novel Clade 2 (Cerc_BAL02 to experimental food web manipulation in samples from the Gulf of Gdańsk (Southern Baltic Sea. Seawater was either prefiltered through 5 µm filters to exclude larger predators of nanoflagellates (F-treatment, or prefiltered and subsequently 1∶10 diluted with sterile seawater (F+D-treatment to stimulate the growth of both, flagellates and bacteria. Initially, Cerc_BAL02 were rapidly enriched under both conditions. They foraged on both, eukaryotic prey and bacteria, and were highly competitive at low concentrations of food. However, these omnivores were later only successful in the F+D treatment, where they eventually represented almost one fifth of all aplastidic nanoflagellates. By contrast, their numbers stagnated in the F-treatment, possibly due to top-down control by a concomitant bloom of other, unidentified flagellates. In analogy with observations about the enrichment of opportunistically growing bacteria in comparable experimental setups we suggest that the low numbers of omnivorous Cerc_Bal02 flagellates in waters of the Gulf of Gdańsk might also be related to their vulnerability to grazing pressure.

  11. Isolation of biologically active peptides from the venom of Japanese carpenter bee, Xylocopa appendiculata

    Kawakami, Hiroko; Goto, Shin G.; Murata, Kazuya; Matsuda, Hideaki; Shigeri, Yasushi; Imura, Tomohiro; Inagaki, Hidetoshi; Shinada, Tetsuro

    2017-01-01

    Background Mass spectrometry-guided venom peptide profiling is a powerful tool to explore novel substances from venomous animals in a highly sensitive manner. In this study, this peptide profiling approach is successfully applied to explore the venom peptides of a Japanese solitary carpenter bee, Xylocopa appendiculata (Hymenoptera: Apoidea: Apidae: Anthophila: Xylocopinae: Xylocopini). Although interesting biological effects of the crude venom of carpenter bees have been reported, the struct...

  12. Linear Friction Welding Process Model for Carpenter Custom 465 Precipitation-Hardened Martensitic Stainless Steel

    2014-04-11

    Carpenter Custom 465 precipitation-hardened martensitic stainless steel to develop a linear friction welding (LFW) process model for this material...Model for Carpenter Custom 465 Precipitation-Hardened Martensitic Stainless Steel The views, opinions and/or findings contained in this report are... Martensitic Stainless Steel Report Title An Arbitrary Lagrangian-Eulerian finite-element analysis is combined with thermo-mechanical material

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

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

    2017-12-15

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

  14. Cholesterol Absorption and Synthesis in Vegetarians and Omnivores.

    Lütjohann, Dieter; Meyer, Sven; von Bergmann, Klaus; Stellaard, Frans

    2018-03-01

    Vegetarian diets are considered health-promoting; however, a plasma cholesterol lowering effect is not always observed. We investigate the link between vegetarian-diet-induced alterations in cholesterol metabolism. We study male and female omnivores, lacto-ovo vegetarians, lacto vegetarians, and vegans. Cholesterol intake, absorption, and fecal sterol excretion are measured as well as plasma concentrations of cholesterol and noncholesterol sterols. These serve as markers for cholesterol absorption, synthesis, and catabolism. The biliary cholesterol secretion rate is estimated. Flux data are related to body weight. Individual vegetarian diet groups are statistically compared to the omnivore group. Lacto vegetarians absorb 44% less dietary cholesterol, synthesized 22% more cholesterol, and show no differences in plasma total and LDL cholesterol. Vegan subjects absorb 90% less dietary cholesterol, synthesized 35% more cholesterol, and have a similar plasma total cholesterol, but a 13% lower plasma LDL cholesterol. No diet-related differences in biliary cholesterol secretion and absorption are observed. Total cholesterol absorption is lower only in vegans. Total cholesterol input is similar under all vegetarian diets. Unaltered biliary cholesterol secretion and higher cholesterol synthesis blunt the lowered dietary cholesterol intake in vegetarians. LDL cholesterol is significantly lower only in vegans. © 2018 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  15. Fire Ant Bites

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

  16. Physiology or psychic powers? William Carpenter and the debate over spiritualism in Victorian Britain.

    Delorme, Shannon

    2014-12-01

    This paper analyses the attitude of the British Physiologist William Benjamin Carpenter (1813-1885) to spiritualist claims and other alleged psychical phenomena in the second half of the Nineteenth Century. It argues that existing portraits of Carpenter as a critic of psychical studies need to be refined so as to include his curiosity about certain 'unexplained phenomena', as well as broadened so as to take into account his overarching epistemological approach in a context of theological and social fluidity within nineteenth-century British Unitarianism. Carpenter's hostility towards spiritualism has been well documented, but his interest in the possibility of thought-transference or his secret fascination with the medium Henry Slade have not been mentioned until now. This paper therefore highlights Carpenter's ambivalences and focuses on his conciliatory attitude towards a number of heterodoxies while suggesting that his Unitarian faith offers the keys to understanding his unflinching rationalism, his belief in the enduring power of mind, and his effort to resolve dualisms. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. "Affection in Education": Edward Carpenter, John Addington Symonds and the Politics of Greek Love

    Quinn, Josephine Crawley; Brooke, Christopher

    2011-01-01

    The paper examines Edward Carpenter's 1899 essay on education that defended the value of powerful same-sex attachments, either between older and younger boys or between teachers and pupils, in the context of Victorian ideologies of same-sex affection. Linda Dowling has described how "a homosexual counterdiscourse able to justify male love in…

  18. The Strauss and Carpenter Prognostic Scale in subjects clinically at high risk of psychosis

    Nieman, D. H.; Velthorst, E.; Becker, H. E.; de Haan, L.; Dingemans, P. M.; Linszen, D. H.; Birchwood, M.; Patterson, P.; Salokangas, R. K. R.; Heinimaa, M.; Heinz, A.; Juckel, G.; von Reventlow, H. G.; Morrison, A.; Schultze-Lutter, F.; Klosterkötter, J.; Ruhrmann, S.; McGorry, Patrick D.; McGlashan, Thomas H.; Knapp, Martin; van de Fliert, Reinaud; Klaassen, Rianne; Picker, Heinz; Neumann, Meike; Brockhaus-Dumke, Anke; Pukrop, Ralf; Svirskis, Tanja; Huttunen, Jukka; Laine, Tiina; Ilonen, Tuula; Ristkari, Terja; Hietala, Jarmo; Skeate, Amanda; Gudlowski, Yehonala; Ozgürdal, Seza; French, Paul; Stevens, Helen

    2013-01-01

    To investigate the predictive value of the Strauss and Carpenter Prognostic Scale (SCPS) for transition to a first psychotic episode in subjects clinically at high risk (CHR) of psychosis. Two hundred and forty-four CHR subjects participating in the European Prediction of Psychosis Study were

  19. Memory and Attention Make Smart Word Learning: An Alternative Account of Akhtar, Carpenter, and Tomasello.

    Samuelson, Larissa K.; Smith, Linda B.

    1998-01-01

    Used a modification of Akhtar, Carpenter, and Tomasello's (1996) task involving interpretation of novel nouns to test whether 18- to 28-month-olds' smart word learning derived from general attention and memory processes rather than knowledge about the communicative intents of others. Findings similar to those of Akhtar and colleagues suggest that…

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

    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

  1. Vegans report less stress and anxiety than omnivores.

    Beezhold, Bonnie; Radnitz, Cynthia; Rinne, Amy; DiMatteo, Julie

    2015-10-01

    Studies investigating mood in vegetarian diets have yielded conflicting results, either demonstrating risk for mental disorders or mood protection. Our objective was to investigate mood, as well as factors that potentially impact mood in vegans (VG), vegetarians (VEG), and omnivores (OMN). We surveyed mood, diet, and lifestyle factors in a broad geographic online sample of adult VG (n = 283), VEG (n = 109), and OMN (n = 228) who were recruited via diet-related social networks. Mood was measured with the Depression Anxiety Stress Scale-21 (DASS-21). The sample was mostly female (78.5%), and age was inversely correlated with all DASS scores (p vegan diet and daily fruit and vegetable intake. Mean stress scores were different in females only (F(2,476) = 3.82, p = 0.023, η(p)(2) = 0.016) and lower stress in females was related to a vegan diet and lower daily intake of sweets. A strict plant-based diet does not appear to negatively impact mood, in fact, reduction of animal food intake may have mood benefits. The improved mood domains were not consistent with those found in other studies, which may be due to methodological differences.

  2. Eating and health behaviors in vegans compared to omnivores: Dispelling common myths.

    Heiss, Sydney; Coffino, Jaime A; Hormes, Julia M

    2017-11-01

    Studies comparing eating behaviors in individuals avoiding meat and other animal products to omnivores have produced largely inconclusive findings, in part due to a failure to obtain sufficiently large samples of vegan participants to make meaningful comparisons. This study examined eating and health behaviors in a large community sample of dietary vegans ("vegans"), compared to omnivores. Participants (n = 578, 80.4% female) completed an online questionnaire assessing a range of eating- and other health-related attitudes and behaviors. Vegans (62.0%, n = 358) and omnivores (38.1%, n = 220) were comparable in terms of demographics. Vegans scored significantly lower than omnivores the Eating Disorder Examination - Questionnaire (multivariate p eating behavior. They also were more likely to consider themselves "healthy" (p eating styles, body mass index, smoking or exercise behaviors, or problems related to alcohol consumption. Effect sizes for comparisons on eating-related measures were generally small, with η p 2 ranging from eating attitudes and behaviors, and when they do, differences indicate slightly healthier attitudes and behaviors towards food. Similarly, vegans closely resembled omnivores in non-eating related health behaviors. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. The effects of ant nests on soil fertility and plant performance: a meta-analysis.

    Farji-Brener, Alejandro G; Werenkraut, Victoria

    2017-07-01

    Ants are recognized as one of the major sources of soil disturbance world-wide. However, this view is largely based on isolated studies and qualitative reviews. Here, for the first time, we quantitatively determined whether ant nests affect soil fertility and plant performance, and identified the possible sources of variation of these effects. Using Bayesian mixed-models meta-analysis, we tested the hypotheses that ant effects on soil fertility and plant performance depend on the substrate sampled, ant feeding type, latitude, habitat and the plant response variable measured. Ant nests showed higher nutrient and cation content than adjacent non-nest soil samples, but similar pH. Nutrient content was higher in ant refuse materials than in nest soils. The fertilizer effect of ant nests was also higher in dry habitats than in grasslands or savannas. Cation content was higher in nests of plant-feeding ants than in nests of omnivorous species, and lower in nests from agro-ecosystems than in nests from any other habitat. Plants showed higher green/root biomass and fitness on ant nests soils than in adjacent, non-nest sites; but plant density and diversity were unaffected by the presence of ant nests. Root growth was particularly higher in refuse materials than in ant nest soils, in leaf-cutting ant nests and in deserts habitats. Our results confirm the major role of ant nests in influencing soil fertility and vegetation patterns and provide information about the factors that mediate these effects. First, ant nests improve soil fertility mainly through the accumulation of refuse materials. Thus, different refuse dump locations (external or in underground nest chambers) could benefit different vegetation life-forms. Second, ant nests could increase plant diversity at larger spatial scales only if the identity of favoured plants changes along environmental gradients (i.e. enhancing β-diversity). Third, ant species that feed on plants play a relevant role fertilizing soils

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

    Greenfield, Gary; Machado, Penousal

    2015-01-01

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

  5. Dietary pattern analysis: a comparison between matched vegetarian and omnivorous subjects.

    Clarys, Peter; Deriemaeker, Peter; Huybrechts, Inge; Hebbelinck, Marcel; Mullie, Patrick

    2013-06-13

    Dietary pattern analysis, based on the concept that foods eaten together are as important as a reductive methodology characterized by a single food or nutrient analysis, has emerged as an alternative approach to study the relation between nutrition and disease. The aim of the present study was to compare nutritional intake and the results of dietary pattern analysis in properly matched vegetarian and omnivorous subjects. Vegetarians (n = 69) were recruited via purposeful sampling and matched non-vegetarians (n = 69) with same age, gender, health and lifestyle characteristics were searched for via convenience sampling. Two dietary pattern analysis methods, the Healthy Eating Index-2010 (HEI-2010) and the Mediterranean Diet Score (MDS) were calculated and analysed in function of the nutrient intake. Mean total energy intake was comparable between vegetarians and omnivorous subjects (p > 0.05). Macronutrient analysis revealed significant differences between the mean values for vegetarians and omnivorous subjects (absolute and relative protein and total fat intake were significantly lower in vegetarians, while carbohydrate and fibre intakes were significantly higher in vegetarians than in omnivorous subjects). The HEI and MDS were significantly higher for the vegetarians (HEI = 53.8.1 ± 11.2; MDS = 4.3 ± 1.3) compared to the omnivorous subjects (HEI = 46.4 ± 15.3; MDS = 3.8 ± 1.4). Our results indicate a more nutrient dense pattern, closer to the current dietary recommendations for the vegetarians compared to the omnivorous subjects. Both indexing systems were able to discriminate between the vegetarians and the non-vegetarians with higher scores for the vegetarian subjects.

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

    María José Campos-Navarrete

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

  7. Effects of contrasting omnivorous fish on submerged macrophyte biomass in temperate lakes: a mesocosm experiment

    Dorenbosch, M.; Bakker, E.S.

    2012-01-01

    1.Freshwater fish can affect aquatic vegetation directly by consuming macrophytes or indirectly by changing water quality. However, most fish in the temperate climate zone have an omnivorous diet. The impact of fish as aquatic herbivores in temperate climates therefore remains unclear and depends on

  8. Bacterial Composition, Genotoxicity, and Cytotoxicity of Fecal Samples from Individuals Consuming Omnivorous or Vegetarian Diets

    Federici, Ermanno; Prete, Roberta; Lazzi, Camilla; Pellegrini, Nicoletta; Moretti, Massimo; Corsetti, Aldo; Cenci, Giovanni

    2017-01-01

    This study analyzes the composition of viable fecal bacteria and gut toxicology biomarkers of 29 healthy volunteers, who followed omnivorous, lacto-ovo-vegetarian, or vegan diets. In particular, the research was focused on the prevalence of some representative viable bacteria from the four dominant phyla (Firmicutes, Bacteroidetes, Proteobacteria, Actinobacteria) commonly present in human feces, in order to evaluate the relationship between microorganisms selected by the habitual dietary patterns and the potential risk due to fecal water (FW) genotoxicity and cytotoxicity, considered as biomarkers for cancer risk and protective food activity. The relative differences of viable bacteria among dietary groups were generally not statistically significant. However, compared to omnivores, lacto-ovo-vegetarians showed low levels of total anaerobes. Otherwise, vegans showed total anaerobes counts similar to those of omnivores, but with lower number of bifidobacteria and the highest levels of bacteria from the Bacteroides–Prevotella genera. FW genotoxicity of lacto-ovo-vegetarians resulted significantly lower either in relation to that of omnivores and vegans. Lacto-ovo-vegetarians also showed the lowest levels of cytotoxicity, while the highest were found for vegans. These results highlighted that lacto-ovo-vegetarian diet was particularly effective in a favorable modulation of microbial activity, thus contributing to a significant reduction of the genotoxic and cytotoxic risk in the gut. PMID:28293225

  9. Bacterial Composition, Genotoxicity, and Cytotoxicity of Fecal Samples from Individuals Consuming Omnivorous or Vegetarian Diets.

    Federici, Ermanno; Prete, Roberta; Lazzi, Camilla; Pellegrini, Nicoletta; Moretti, Massimo; Corsetti, Aldo; Cenci, Giovanni

    2017-01-01

    This study analyzes the composition of viable fecal bacteria and gut toxicology biomarkers of 29 healthy volunteers, who followed omnivorous, lacto-ovo-vegetarian, or vegan diets. In particular, the research was focused on the prevalence of some representative viable bacteria from the four dominant phyla (Firmicutes, Bacteroidetes, Proteobacteria, Actinobacteria) commonly present in human feces, in order to evaluate the relationship between microorganisms selected by the habitual dietary patterns and the potential risk due to fecal water (FW) genotoxicity and cytotoxicity, considered as biomarkers for cancer risk and protective food activity. The relative differences of viable bacteria among dietary groups were generally not statistically significant. However, compared to omnivores, lacto-ovo-vegetarians showed low levels of total anaerobes. Otherwise, vegans showed total anaerobes counts similar to those of omnivores, but with lower number of bifidobacteria and the highest levels of bacteria from the Bacteroides-Prevotella genera. FW genotoxicity of lacto-ovo-vegetarians resulted significantly lower either in relation to that of omnivores and vegans. Lacto-ovo-vegetarians also showed the lowest levels of cytotoxicity, while the highest were found for vegans. These results highlighted that lacto-ovo-vegetarian diet was particularly effective in a favorable modulation of microbial activity, thus contributing to a significant reduction of the genotoxic and cytotoxic risk in the gut.

  10. Riding with the ants

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

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

  11. Hearing loss prevention for carpenters: Part 2 - Demonstration projects using individualized and group training

    Mark R Stephenson

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Two demonstration projects were conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of a comprehensive training program for carpenters. This training was paired with audiometry and counseling and a survey of attitudes and beliefs in hearing loss prevention. All participants received hearing tests, multimedia instruction on occupational noise exposure/hearing loss, and instruction and practice in using a diverse selection of hearing protection devices (HPDs. A total of 103 apprentice carpenters participated in the Year 1 training, were given a large supply of these HPDs, and instructions on how to get additional free supplies if they ran out during the 1-year interval between initial and follow-up training. Forty-two participants responded to the survey a second time a year later and completed the Year 2 training. Significant test-retest differences were found between the pre-training and the post-training survey scores. Both forms of instruction (individual versus group produced equivalent outcomes. The results indicated that training was able to bring all apprentice participants up to the same desired level with regard to attitudes, beliefs, and behavioral intentions to use hearing protection properly. It was concluded that the health communication models used to develop the educational and training materials for this effort were extremely effective.

  12. Feasibility of Preparing Nesting Box and Luring Large Solitary Carpenter Bee, Xylocopa Valga

    Schulz Michał

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Xylocopa valga, commonly called the carpenter bee and the largest bee with metallicviolet hair cover, is extremely rarely observed in Poland. We hypothesize that a stable and possibly long-term population of X. valga can be maintained in Poland through the creation of suitable nesting conditions. X. valga has been observed since the spring of 2014 in Wisznice (south-eastern Poland. A nesting box made out of 25 wooden blocks with drilled holes was hung about 2.5 meters above the ground. X. valga were interested in the blocks made of willow wood but did not nest in the beech, alder and pine. The carpenter bees chose holes made with drill bits of 10, 15, 20 mm in diameter and a length of 10, 15 and 20 cm. X. valga flying in the same direction most often visited the flora taxa: Aquilegia vulgaris, Ballota nigra, Consolida ajacis, Delphinium consolida, Deutzia scabra, Catalpa spp., Wisteria spp., Robinia ambigua, Stachys spp. and Trifolium pretense. X. valga is a solitary bee, but unlike most other solitary bees it demonstrates aspects of social behavior. It was observed to display cohabitative behavior involving the use of a single hole by more than one female. The females showed aggressive defensive behavior and if approached too closely started buzzing loudly. The information obtained during the long-term observation shows that X. valga can be maintained in partly artificial conditions to increase and stabilize the bee population.

  13. Discovery of defense- and neuropeptides in social ants by genome-mining.

    Christian W Gruber

    Full Text Available Natural peptides of great number and diversity occur in all organisms, but analyzing their peptidome is often difficult. With natural product drug discovery in mind, we devised a genome-mining approach to identify defense- and neuropeptides in the genomes of social ants from Atta cephalotes (leaf-cutter ant, Camponotus floridanus (carpenter ant and Harpegnathos saltator (basal genus. Numerous peptide-encoding genes of defense peptides, in particular defensins, and neuropeptides or regulatory peptide hormones, such as allatostatins and tachykinins, were identified and analyzed. Most interestingly we annotated genes that encode oxytocin/vasopressin-related peptides (inotocins and their putative receptors. This is the first piece of evidence for the existence of this nonapeptide hormone system in ants (Formicidae and supports recent findings in Tribolium castaneum (red flour beetle and Nasonia vitripennis (parasitoid wasp, and therefore its confinement to some basal holometabolous insects. By contrast, the absence of the inotocin hormone system in Apis mellifera (honeybee, another closely-related member of the eusocial Hymenoptera clade, establishes the basis for future studies on the molecular evolution and physiological function of oxytocin/vasopressin-related peptides (vasotocin nonapeptide family and their receptors in social insects. Particularly the identification of ant inotocin and defensin peptide sequences will provide a basis for future pharmacological characterization in the quest for potent and selective lead compounds of therapeutic value.

  14. B-vitamin status and concentrations of homocysteine in Austrian omnivores, vegetarians and vegans.

    Majchrzak, D; Singer, I; Männer, M; Rust, P; Genser, D; Wagner, K-H; Elmadfa, I

    2006-01-01

    A vegetarian diet is considered to promote health and longevity and reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases and cancer. However, a vegetarian diet may be deficient in some nutrients. Exclusion of animal products in vegetarian diets may affect the status of certain B-vitamins, and further cause the rise of plasma homocysteine concentration. The nutritional status of various B-vitamins (B(1), B(2), B(6), B(12), folic acid) and the concentration of homocysteine in blood plasma of omnivores (n = 40), vegetarians (n = 36) and vegans (n = 42) in Austria was evaluated. The evaluation was done using the functional parameters erythrocyte transketolase (ETK), glutathione reductase (EGR) and glutamic oxaloacetic transaminase (EGOT) activation coefficients. Enzyme activity was measured photometrically. The quantity of vitamins B(1), B(2) and B(6) in urine and the concentrations of vitamin B(6) and homocysteine in plasma were determined by HPLC methods with fluorescence detection. Plasma concentration of vitamin B(12) and folic acid were measured with radioimmunoassay. Most of the subjects showed a satisfying vitamin B(1) status. Vegans presented a significantly lower mean plasma vitamin B(12) concentration than omnivores and vegetarians and deficiency in 2.4% of the volunteers but the highest mean value of plasma folate among the investigated groups. A deficient status of folate was found in 18% of omnivores and in approximately 10% of vegans and vegetarians. The status of riboflavin is considered to be deficient in about 10% of omnivores and vegetarians and in over 30% of vegans. According to the activation coefficient of GOT, approximately one third of all subjects showed vitamin B(6) deficiency. Elevated homocysteine concentration in plasma was observed in 66% of the vegans and about 45-50% of the omnivores and vegetarians. Vegan subjects had significantly higher mean plasma homocysteine levels than omnivores. Thiamin and folate need not be a problem in a well

  15. Total and respirable dust exposures among carpenters and demolition workers during indoor work in Denmark

    Kirkeskov, Lilli; Hanskov, Dorte Jessing Agerby; Brauer, Charlotte

    2016-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Within the construction industry the risk of lung disorders depends on the specific professions probably due to variations in the levels of dust exposure, and with dust levels depending on the work task and job function. We do not know the extent of exposure in the different professions...... was 3.90 (95 % confidence interval 1.13-13.5) mg/m(3). Dust exposure varied depending on work task for both professions. The dustiest work occurred during demolition, especially when it was done manually. Only few workers used personal respiratory protection and only while performing the dustiest work...... or the variation between the different work tasks. The purpose of this study was therefore to assess if there were differences in dust exposure between carpenters and demolition workers who were expected to have low and high dust exposure, respectively. METHODS: Through interviews of key persons...

  16. Isolation of biologically active peptides from the venom of Japanese carpenter bee, Xylocopa appendiculata.

    Kawakami, Hiroko; Goto, Shin G; Murata, Kazuya; Matsuda, Hideaki; Shigeri, Yasushi; Imura, Tomohiro; Inagaki, Hidetoshi; Shinada, Tetsuro

    2017-01-01

    Mass spectrometry-guided venom peptide profiling is a powerful tool to explore novel substances from venomous animals in a highly sensitive manner. In this study, this peptide profiling approach is successfully applied to explore the venom peptides of a Japanese solitary carpenter bee, Xylocopa appendiculata (Hymenoptera: Apoidea: Apidae: Anthophila: Xylocopinae: Xylocopini). Although interesting biological effects of the crude venom of carpenter bees have been reported, the structure and biological function of the venom peptides have not been elucidated yet. The venom peptide profiling of the crude venom of X. appendiculata was performed by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization-time of flight mass spectroscopy. The venom was purified by a reverse-phase HPLC. The purified peptides were subjected to the Edman degradation, MS/MS analysis, and/or molecular cloning methods for peptide sequencing. Biological and functional characterization was performed by circular dichroism analysis, liposome leakage assay, and antimicrobial, histamine releasing and hemolytic activity tests. Three novel peptides with m / z 16508, 1939.3, and 1900.3 were isolated from the venom of X. appendiculata . The peptide with m / z 16508 was characterized as a secretory phospholipase A 2 (PLA 2 ) homolog in which the characteristic cysteine residues as well as the active site residues found in bee PLA 2 s are highly conserved. Two novel peptides with m/z 1939.3 and m/z 1900.3 were named as Xac-1 and Xac-2, respectively. These peptides are found to be amphiphilic and displayed antimicrobial and hemolytic activities. The potency was almost the same as that of mastoparan isolated from the wasp venom. We found three novel biologically active peptides in the venom of X. appendiculata and analyzed their molecular functions, and compared their sequential homology to discuss their molecular diversity. Highly sensitive mass analysis plays an important role in this study.

  17. The comparative study of the brain MR elastography between Chinese vegetarians and omnivores

    Liu Guangrui; Gao Peiyi; Lin Yan; Wang Xiaochun; Xue Jing; Sui Binbin; Ma Li; Wang Chen; Shen Mi

    2009-01-01

    Objective: To compare the shear stiffness of brain of parenchyma in Chinese vegetarians and omnivores by MR elastography examination. Methods: Twenty vegetarians and 20 omnivores were enrolled. They were matched with sex and age. Each vegetarian described himself or herself as a keeping vegetarian with more than 1 year of experience. Brain MRE examination was performed on each subject and the shear stiffness of brain parenchamy was measured by local frequency estimation (LFE) algorithm in four location(white matter and gray matter in frontal and parietal lobe). Randomized block ANOVA was used to analyze the shear stiffness of four locations. Meanwhile, the correlation between shear stiffness and age was analyzed. Independent sample t-test was used to compare the shear stiffness of two groups. The correlation between shear stiffness and vegetarian time was also analyzed. Results: The shear stiffness in four locations was (26.8±6.4),(12.7±2.8),(19.4±3.6),(10.5±2.8) kPa (1 kPa=7.5 mm Hg). There was significant difference among the four locations (F=174.48, P 0.05). The shear stiffness of frontal white matter was significantly lower in the vegetarians than in the omnivores [(23.7±6.4) and (29.9±4.8) kPa, t=3.45, P 0.3; (9.8±2.4) and (11.1±3.1) kPa; t=1.42, P>0.1]. There was no significant correlation between shear stiffness of brain parenchyma and vegetarian time (r=0.070, -0.003, -0.195,0.177, P>0.05). Conclusions: Compared with omnivore's, the shear stiffness of brain parenchyma was lower in vegetarians. The shear stiffness of brain parenchyma may be affected by the diet. (authors)

  18. Comparison of carnivore, omnivore, and herbivore mammalian genomes with a new leopard assembly

    Kim, Soonok; Cho, Yun Sung; Kim, Hak-Min; Chung, Oksung; Kim, Hyunho; Jho, Sungwoong; Seomun, Hong; Kim, Jeongho; Bang, Woo Young; Kim, Changmu; An, Junghwa; Bae, Chang Hwan; Bhak, Youngjune; Jeon, Sungwon; Yoon, Hyejun

    2016-01-01

    Background: There are three main dietary groups in mammals: carnivores, omnivores, and herbivores. Currently, there is limited comparative genomics insight into the evolution of dietary specializations in mammals. Due to recent advances in sequencing technologies, we were able to perform in-depth whole genome analyses of representatives of these three dietary groups. Results: We investigated the evolution of carnivory by comparing 18 representative genomes from across Mammalia with carnivorou...

  19. Carnivorous and omnivorous species of Orthoptera order recorded in the Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve

    LUPU N. Gabriel

    2007-10-01

    Full Text Available Generally known like have a diet exclusively composed from vegetable, the orthoptera species still surprising by few species whereon the type of the track is different. Some species prefer an omnivorous food regime, which have combination between vegetables and animal protein, other have an exclusively carnivorousfood regime, some species manifesting even cannibalism phenomena. For Danube Delta Biosphere Reservation it was find much more orthoptera species even genre that have an food regime other then one exclusively vegetable.

  20. Environmental impact of omnivorous, ovo-lacto-vegetarian, and vegan diet.

    Rosi, Alice; Mena, Pedro; Pellegrini, Nicoletta; Turroni, Silvia; Neviani, Erasmo; Ferrocino, Ilario; Di Cagno, Raffaella; Ruini, Luca; Ciati, Roberto; Angelino, Donato; Maddock, Jane; Gobbetti, Marco; Brighenti, Furio; Del Rio, Daniele; Scazzina, Francesca

    2017-07-21

    Food and beverage consumption has a great impact on the environment, although there is a lack of information concerning the whole diet. The environmental impact of 153 Italian adults (51 omnivores, 51 ovo-lacto-vegetarians, 51 vegans) and the inter-individual variability within dietary groups were assessed in a real-life context. Food intake was monitored with a 7-d dietary record to calculate nutritional values and environmental impacts (carbon, water, and ecological footprints). The Italian Mediterranean Index was used to evaluate the nutritional quality of each diet. The omnivorous choice generated worse carbon, water and ecological footprints than other diets. No differences were found for the environmental impacts of ovo-lacto-vegetarians and vegans, which also had diets more adherent to the Mediterranean pattern. A high inter-individual variability was observed through principal component analysis, showing that some vegetarians and vegans have higher environmental impacts than those of some omnivores. Thus, regardless of the environmental benefits of plant-based diets, there is a need for thinking in terms of individual dietary habits. To our knowledge, this is the first time environmental impacts of three dietary regimens are evaluated using individual recorded dietary intakes rather than hypothetical diet or diets averaged over a population.

  1. Associations between Nut Consumption and Health Vary between Omnivores, Vegetarians, and Vegans

    Rachel C. Brown

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Regular nut consumption is associated with reduced risk factors for chronic disease; however, most population-based studies lack consideration of effect modification by dietary pattern. The UK Women’s Cohort Study (UKWCS provides an ideal opportunity to examine relationships between nut consumption and chronic disease risk factors in a large sample with diverse dietary patterns. Nut and nutrient intake from 34,831 women was estimated using a food frequency questionnaire among self-identified omnivores, vegetarians and vegans. In this cross-sectional analysis, higher nut consumption was associated with lower body weight (difference between highest and lowest consumption categories from adjusted model: 6.1 kg; 95% CI: 4.7, 7.6 body mass index (BMI, 2.4 units difference; 95% CI: 1.9, 2.9, and waist circumference (2.6 cm difference; 95% CI: 1.4, 3.8 (all p for linear trend < 0.001. Higher nut consumption was also associated with reduced prevalence of high cholesterol and high blood pressure; having a history of heart attack, diabetes and gallstones; and markers of diet quality (all adjusted p for linear trend ≤ 0.011. Higher nut consumption appeared overall to be associated with greater benefits amongst omnivores compared to vegetarians and vegans. Findings support existing literature around beneficial effects of nut consumption and suggest that benefits may be larger among omnivores. Nut promotion strategies may have the highest population impact by specifically targeting this group.

  2. Omnivore-herbivore interactions: thrips and whiteflies compete via the shared host plant.

    Pappas, Maria L; Tavlaki, Georgia; Triantafyllou, Anneta; Broufas, George

    2018-03-05

    Phytophagy is a common feature among pure herbivorous insects and omnivores that utilise both plant and prey as food resources; nevertheless, experimental evidence for factors affecting their interactions is restricted to intraguild predation and predator-mediated competition. We herein focused on plant-mediated effects that could result from plant defence activation or quality alteration and compared the performance of an omnivore, the western flower thrips Frankliniella occidentalis, and a pure herbivore, the greenhouse whitefly Trialeurodes vaporariorum, on cucumber plants previously infested with either species. Furthermore, we recorded their behavioural responses when given a choice among infested and clean plants. Whiteflies laid less eggs on plants previously exposed to thrips but more on whitefly-infested plants. Thrips survival was negatively affected on whitefly-infested than on thrips-infested or clean plants. Notably, whiteflies developed significantly faster on plants infested with conspecifics. In accordance, whiteflies avoided thrips-infested plants and preferred whitefly-infested over clean plants. Thrips showed no preference for either infested or clean plants. Our study is a first report on the role of plant-mediated effects in shaping omnivore-herbivore interactions. Considering the factors driving such interactions we will likely better understand the ecology of the more complex relationships among plants and pest organisms.

  3. Consumptive and nonconsumptive effect ratios depend on interaction between plant quality and hunting behavior of omnivorous predators.

    Stephan, Jörg G; Stenberg, Johan A; Björkman, Christer

    2017-04-01

    Predators not only consume prey but exert nonconsumptive effects in form of scaring, consequently disturbing feeding or reproduction. However, how alternative food sources and hunting mode interactively affect consumptive and nonconsumptive effects with implications for prey fitness have not been addressed, impending functional understanding of such tritrophic interactions. With a herbivorous beetle, two omnivorous predatory bugs (plant sap as alternative food, contrasting hunting modes), and four willow genotypes (contrasting suitability for beetle/omnivore), we investigated direct and indirect effects of plant quality on the beetles key reproductive traits (oviposition rate, clutch size). Using combinations of either or both omnivores on different plant genotypes, we calculated the contribution of consumptive (eggs predated) and nonconsumptive (fewer eggs laid) effect on beetle fitness, including a prey density-independent measure (c:nc ratio). We found that larger clutches increase egg survival in presence of the omnivore not immediately consuming all eggs. However, rather than lowering mean, the beetles generally responded with a frequency shift toward smaller clutches. However, female beetles decreased mean and changed clutch size frequency with decreasing plant quality, therefore reducing intraspecific exploitative competition among larvae. More importantly, variation in host plant quality (to omnivore) led to nonconsumptive effects between one-third and twice as strong as the consumptive effects. Increased egg consumption on plants less suitable to the omnivore may therefore be accompanied by less searching and disturbing the beetle, representing a "cost" to the indirect plant defense in the form of a lower nonconsumptive effect. Many predators are omnivores and altering c:nc ratios (with egg retention as the most direct link to prey fitness) via plant quality and hunting behavior should be fundamental to advance ecological theory and applications

  4. Strong selection on mandible and nest features in a carpenter bee that nests in two sympatric host plants

    Flores-Prado, Luis; Pinto, Carlos F; Rojas, Alejandra; Fontúrbel, Francisco E

    2014-01-01

    Host plants are used by herbivorous insects as feeding or nesting resources. In wood-boring insects, host plants features may impose selective forces leading to phenotypic differentiation on traits related to nest construction. Carpenter bees build their nests in dead stems or dry twigs of shrubs and trees; thus, mandibles are essential for the nesting process, and the nest is required for egg laying and offspring survival. We explored the shape and intensity of natural selection on phenotypi...

  5. Commentary: Warring ants

    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 ...

  6. Antílope

    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.

  7. Antílope

    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.

  8. Fire Ant Allergy

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

  9. "Ant-egg" cataract revisited

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

    2017-01-01

    -ray scans and electron microscopy. The purpose of this study was to further characterize "ant-egg" cataract using modern technology and display the history of the "ant-eggs" after cataract extraction. METHODS: "Ant-eggs" were examined using Heidelberg SPECTRALIS Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT...

  10. Ant Colony Optimization for Control

    Van Ast, J.M.

    2010-01-01

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

  11. Effectiveness of OSHA Outreach Training on carpenters' work-related injury rates, Washington State 2000-2008.

    Schoenfisch, Ashley L; Lipscomb, Hester; Sinyai, Clayton; Adams, Darrin

    2017-01-01

    Despite the size and breadth of OSHA's Outreach Training program for construction, information on its impact on work-related injury rates is limited. In a 9-year dynamic cohort of 17,106 union carpenters in Washington State, the effectiveness of OSHA Outreach Training on workers' compensation claims rate was explored. Injury rates were calculated by training status overall and by carpenters' demographic and work characteristics using Poisson regression. OSHA Outreach Training resulted in a 13% non-significant reduction in injury claims rates overall. The protective effect was more pronounced for carpenters in their apprenticeship years, drywall installers, and with increasing time since training. In line with these observed effects and prior research, it is unrealistic to expect OSHA Outreach Training alone to have large effects on union construction workers' injury rates. Standard construction industry practice should include hazard awareness and protection training, coupled with more efficient approaches to injury control. Am. J. Ind. Med. 60:45-57, 2017. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  12. The Genome and Methylome of a Subsocial Small Carpenter Bee, Ceratina calcarata.

    Rehan, Sandra M; Glastad, Karl M; Lawson, Sarah P; Hunt, Brendan G

    2016-05-13

    Understanding the evolution of animal societies, considered to be a major transition in evolution, is a key topic in evolutionary biology. Recently, new gateways for understanding social evolution have opened up due to advances in genomics, allowing for unprecedented opportunities in studying social behavior on a molecular level. In particular, highly eusocial insect species (caste-containing societies with nonreproductives that care for siblings) have taken center stage in studies of the molecular evolution of sociality. Despite advances in genomic studies of both solitary and eusocial insects, we still lack genomic resources for early insect societies. To study the genetic basis of social traits requires comparison of genomes from a diversity of organisms ranging from solitary to complex social forms. Here we present the genome of a subsocial bee, Ceratina calcarata This study begins to address the types of genomic changes associated with the earliest origins of simple sociality using the small carpenter bee. Genes associated with lipid transport and DNA recombination have undergone positive selection in C. calcarata relative to other bee lineages. Furthermore, we provide the first methylome of a noneusocial bee. Ceratina calcarata contains the complete enzymatic toolkit for DNA methylation. As in the honey bee and many other holometabolous insects, DNA methylation is targeted to exons. The addition of this genome allows for new lines of research into the genetic and epigenetic precursors to complex social behaviors. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.

  13. Comparison of carnivore, omnivore, and herbivore mammalian genomes with a new leopard assembly.

    Kim, Soonok; Cho, Yun Sung; Kim, Hak-Min; Chung, Oksung; Kim, Hyunho; Jho, Sungwoong; Seomun, Hong; Kim, Jeongho; Bang, Woo Young; Kim, Changmu; An, Junghwa; Bae, Chang Hwan; Bhak, Youngjune; Jeon, Sungwon; Yoon, Hyejun; Kim, Yumi; Jun, JeHoon; Lee, HyeJin; Cho, Suan; Uphyrkina, Olga; Kostyria, Aleksey; Goodrich, John; Miquelle, Dale; Roelke, Melody; Lewis, John; Yurchenko, Andrey; Bankevich, Anton; Cho, Juok; Lee, Semin; Edwards, Jeremy S; Weber, Jessica A; Cook, Jo; Kim, Sangsoo; Lee, Hang; Manica, Andrea; Lee, Ilbeum; O'Brien, Stephen J; Bhak, Jong; Yeo, Joo-Hong

    2016-10-11

    There are three main dietary groups in mammals: carnivores, omnivores, and herbivores. Currently, there is limited comparative genomics insight into the evolution of dietary specializations in mammals. Due to recent advances in sequencing technologies, we were able to perform in-depth whole genome analyses of representatives of these three dietary groups. We investigated the evolution of carnivory by comparing 18 representative genomes from across Mammalia with carnivorous, omnivorous, and herbivorous dietary specializations, focusing on Felidae (domestic cat, tiger, lion, cheetah, and leopard), Hominidae, and Bovidae genomes. We generated a new high-quality leopard genome assembly, as well as two wild Amur leopard whole genomes. In addition to a clear contraction in gene families for starch and sucrose metabolism, the carnivore genomes showed evidence of shared evolutionary adaptations in genes associated with diet, muscle strength, agility, and other traits responsible for successful hunting and meat consumption. Additionally, an analysis of highly conserved regions at the family level revealed molecular signatures of dietary adaptation in each of Felidae, Hominidae, and Bovidae. However, unlike carnivores, omnivores and herbivores showed fewer shared adaptive signatures, indicating that carnivores are under strong selective pressure related to diet. Finally, felids showed recent reductions in genetic diversity associated with decreased population sizes, which may be due to the inflexible nature of their strict diet, highlighting their vulnerability and critical conservation status. Our study provides a large-scale family level comparative genomic analysis to address genomic changes associated with dietary specialization. Our genomic analyses also provide useful resources for diet-related genetic and health research.

  14. C677T methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase and plasma homocysteine levels among Thai vegans and omnivores.

    Kajanachumpol, Saowanee; Atamasirikul, Kalayanee; Tantibhedhyangkul, Phieuvit

    2013-01-01

    Hyperhomocysteinemia among vegetarians and vegans is caused mostly by vitamin B12 deficiency. A C-to-T mutation in the methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) gene results in a thermolabile MTHFR, which may affect homocysteine (Hcy) levels. The importance of this gene mutation among populations depends on the T allele frequency. Blood Hcy, vitamin B12, folate, vitamin B6, and MTHFR C677T mutation status were determined in 109 vegans and 86 omnivores aged 30 - 50 years. The vegans had significantly higher Hcy levels than the omnivores, geometric means (95 % CI) 19.2 (17.0 - 21.7) µmol/L vs. 8.53 (8.12 - 8.95) µmol/L, p vegans increased plasma Hcy, albeit insignificantly; geometric means 18.2 µmol/L, 20.4 µmol/L, and 30.0 µmol/L respectively in CC, CT, and TT MTHFR genotypes. There was also a significant decrease in serum folate; geometric means 12.1 ng/mL, 9.33 ng/mL, and 7.20 ng/mL respectively, in the CC, CT, and TT mutants, p = 0.006, and particularly, in the TT mutant compared with the CC wild type, 7.20 ng/mL vs. 12.1 ng/mL, p = 0.023. These findings were not seen in the omnivores. It was concluded that hyperhomocysteinemia is prevalent among Thai vegans due to vitamin B12 deficiency. C-to-T MTHFR mutation contributes only modestly to the hyperhomocysteinemia.

  15. Vegans report less bothersome vasomotor and physical menopausal symptoms than omnivores.

    Beezhold, Bonnie; Radnitz, Cynthia; McGrath, Robert E; Feldman, Arielle

    2018-06-01

    Lifestyle modifications that may reduce menopausal symptoms have generated much interest. The vegetarian diet has been associated with a lower risk of chronic disease as well as a more healthy hormonal milieu. Our objective in this cross-sectional study was to survey peri- and postmenopausal women to investigate menopausal symptoms and dietary pattern. Survey distribution in 2015-2016 was aimed at female vegans, vegetarians, and omnivores between the ages of 45 and 80 years, who were active on senior and vegetarian social networking websites and at vegan restaurants and events. We investigated vasomotor and physical symptoms as measured by the Menopause-specific Quality of Life Questionnaire (MENQOL) and dietary pattern classified by animal protein intakes reported in response to food frequency questions. Out of 754 participants who completed the survey, 604 reported they were perimenopausal (n = 121) or postmenopausal (n = 483), of whom 539 also completed the food frequency questions. We compared vasomotor and physical symptoms in omnivores (n = 304, consumed meat and/or poultry at least monthly) and vegans (n = 125, abstained from all animal proteins) using general linear models; covariates included age, exercise, hormone replacement therapy, presence of reproductive organs, and age at menopause. Among perimenopausal women, vegans reported less bothersome vasomotor (p < 0.01) and physical symptoms (p < 0.01) than omnivores. For both symptom types, more vegetables and less flesh food were associated with less bothersome symptoms (p values < 0.05). Eating a plant-based diet may be helpful for women in menopausal transition who prefer a natural means to manage their symptoms. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. The Brain Functional Networks Associated to Human and Animal Suffering Differ among Omnivores, Vegetarians and Vegans

    Filippi, Massimo; Riccitelli, Gianna; Falini, Andrea; Di Salle, Francesco; Vuilleumier, Patrik; Comi, Giancarlo; Rocca, Maria A.

    2010-01-01

    Empathy and affective appraisals for conspecifics are among the hallmarks of social interaction. Using functional MRI, we hypothesized that vegetarians and vegans, who made their feeding choice for ethical reasons, might show brain responses to conditions of suffering involving humans or animals different from omnivores. We recruited 20 omnivore subjects, 19 vegetarians, and 21 vegans. The groups were matched for sex and age. Brain activation was investigated using fMRI and an event-related design during observation of negative affective pictures of human beings and animals (showing mutilations, murdered people, human/animal threat, tortures, wounds, etc.). Participants saw negative-valence scenes related to humans and animals, alternating with natural landscapes. During human negative valence scenes, compared with omnivores, vegetarians and vegans had an increased recruitment of the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and inferior frontal gyrus (IFG). More critically, during animal negative valence scenes, they had decreased amygdala activation and increased activation of the lingual gyri, the left cuneus, the posterior cingulate cortex and several areas mainly located in the frontal lobes, including the ACC, the IFG and the middle frontal gyrus. Nonetheless, also substantial differences between vegetarians and vegans have been found responding to negative scenes. Vegetarians showed a selective recruitment of the right inferior parietal lobule during human negative scenes, and a prevailing activation of the ACC during animal negative scenes. Conversely, during animal negative scenes an increased activation of the inferior prefrontal cortex was observed in vegans. These results suggest that empathy toward non conspecifics has different neural representation among individuals with different feeding habits, perhaps reflecting different motivational factors and beliefs. PMID:20520767

  17. Micronutrient status and intake in omnivores, vegetarians and vegans in Switzerland.

    Schüpbach, R; Wegmüller, R; Berguerand, C; Bui, M; Herter-Aeberli, I

    2017-02-01

    Vegetarian and vegan diets have gained popularity in Switzerland. The nutritional status of individuals who have adopted such diets, however, has not been investigated. The aim of this study was to assess the intake and status of selected vitamins and minerals among vegetarian and vegan adults living in Switzerland. Healthy adults [omnivores (OVs), n OV  = 100; vegetarians (VGs), n VG  = 53; vegans (VNs), n VN  = 53] aged 18-50 years were recruited, and their weight and height were measured. Plasma concentrations of the vitamins A, C, E, B1, B2, B6, B12, folic acid, pantothenic acid, niacin, biotin and β-carotene and of the minerals Fe, Mg and Zn and urinary iodine concentration were determined. Dietary intake was assessed using a three-day weighed food record, and questionnaires were issued in order to assess the physical activity and lifestyle of the subjects. Omnivores had the lowest intake of Mg, vitamin C, vitamin E, niacin and folic acid. Vegans reported low intakes of Ca and a marginal consumption of the vitamins D and B12. The highest prevalence for vitamin and mineral deficiencies in each group was as follows: in the omnivorous group, for folic acid (58 %); in the vegetarian group, for vitamin B6 and niacin (58 and 34 %, respectively); and in the vegan group, for Zn (47 %). Despite negligible dietary vitamin B12 intake in the vegan group, deficiency of this particular vitamin was low in all groups thanks to widespread use of supplements. Prevalence of Fe deficiency was comparable across all diet groups. Despite substantial differences in intake and deficiency between groups, our results indicate that by consuming a well-balanced diet including supplements or fortified products, all three types of diet can potentially fulfill requirements for vitamin and mineral consumption.

  18. Comparison of nutritional quality of the vegan, vegetarian, semi-vegetarian, pesco-vegetarian and omnivorous diet.

    Clarys, Peter; Deliens, Tom; Huybrechts, Inge; Deriemaeker, Peter; Vanaelst, Barbara; De Keyzer, Willem; Hebbelinck, Marcel; Mullie, Patrick

    2014-03-24

    The number of studies comparing nutritional quality of restrictive diets is limited. Data on vegan subjects are especially lacking. It was the aim of the present study to compare the quality and the contributing components of vegan, vegetarian, semi-vegetarian, pesco-vegetarian and omnivorous diets. Dietary intake was estimated using a cross-sectional online survey with a 52-items food frequency questionnaire (FFQ). Healthy Eating Index 2010 (HEI-2010) and the Mediterranean Diet Score (MDS) were calculated as indicators for diet quality. After analysis of the diet questionnaire and the FFQ, 1475 participants were classified as vegans (n = 104), vegetarians (n = 573), semi-vegetarians (n = 498), pesco-vegetarians (n = 145), and omnivores (n = 155). The most restricted diet, i.e., the vegan diet, had the lowest total energy intake, better fat intake profile, lowest protein and highest dietary fiber intake in contrast to the omnivorous diet. Calcium intake was lowest for the vegans and below national dietary recommendations. The vegan diet received the highest index values and the omnivorous the lowest for HEI-2010 and MDS. Typical aspects of a vegan diet (high fruit and vegetable intake, low sodium intake, and low intake of saturated fat) contributed substantially to the total score, independent of the indexing system used. The score for the more prudent diets (vegetarians, semi-vegetarians and pesco-vegetarians) differed as a function of the used indexing system but they were mostly better in terms of nutrient quality than the omnivores.

  19. Comparison of Nutritional Quality of the Vegan, Vegetarian, Semi-Vegetarian, Pesco-Vegetarian and Omnivorous Diet

    Peter Clarys

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available The number of studies comparing nutritional quality of restrictive diets is limited. Data on vegan subjects are especially lacking. It was the aim of the present study to compare the quality and the contributing components of vegan, vegetarian, semi-vegetarian, pesco-vegetarian and omnivorous diets. Dietary intake was estimated using a cross-sectional online survey with a 52-items food frequency questionnaire (FFQ. Healthy Eating Index 2010 (HEI-2010 and the Mediterranean Diet Score (MDS were calculated as indicators for diet quality. After analysis of the diet questionnaire and the FFQ, 1475 participants were classified as vegans (n = 104, vegetarians (n = 573, semi-vegetarians (n = 498, pesco-vegetarians (n = 145, and omnivores (n = 155. The most restricted diet, i.e., the vegan diet, had the lowest total energy intake, better fat intake profile, lowest protein and highest dietary fiber intake in contrast to the omnivorous diet. Calcium intake was lowest for the vegans and below national dietary recommendations. The vegan diet received the highest index values and the omnivorous the lowest for HEI-2010 and MDS. Typical aspects of a vegan diet (high fruit and vegetable intake, low sodium intake, and low intake of saturated fat contributed substantially to the total score, independent of the indexing system used. The score for the more prudent diets (vegetarians, semi-vegetarians and pesco-vegetarians differed as a function of the used indexing system but they were mostly better in terms of nutrient quality than the omnivores.

  20. Faecal microbiota composition in vegetarians: comparison with omnivores in a cohort of young women in southern India.

    Kabeerdoss, Jayakanthan; Devi, R Shobana; Mary, R Regina; Ramakrishna, Balakrishnan S

    2012-09-28

    The effect of vegetarian diets on faecal microbiota has been explored largely through culture-based techniques. The present study compared the faecal microbiota of vegetarian and omnivorous young women in southern India. Faecal samples were obtained from thirty-two lacto-vegetarian and twenty-four omnivorous young adult women from a similar social and economic background. Macronutrient intake and anthropometric data were collected. Faecal microbiota of interest was quantified by real-time PCR with SYBR Green using primers targeting 16S rRNA genes of groups, including: Clostridium coccoides group (Clostridium cluster XIVa), Roseburia spp.-Eubacterium rectale, Bacteroides--Prevotella group, Bifidobacterium genus, Lactobacillus group, Clostridium leptum group (Clostridium cluster IV), Faecalibacterium prausnitzii, Ruminococcus productus--C. coccoides, Butyrivibrio, Enterococcus species and Enterobacteriaceae. The groups were matched for age, socio-economic score and anthropometric indices. Intake of energy, complex carbohydrates and Ca were significantly higher in the omnivorous group. The faecal microbiota of the omnivorous group was enriched with Clostridium cluster XIVa bacteria, specifically Roseburia-E. rectale. The relative proportions of other microbial communities were similar in both groups. The butyryl-CoA CoA-transferase gene, associated with microbial butyrate production, was present in greater amounts in the faeces of omnivores, and the levels were highly correlated with Clostridium cluster XIVa and Roseburia-E. rectale abundance and to a lesser extent with Clostridium leptum and F. prausnitzii abundance and with crude fibre intake. Omnivores had an increased relative abundance of Clostridium cluster XIVa bacteria and butyryl-CoA CoA-transferase gene compared with vegetarians, but we were unable to identify the components of the diet responsible for this difference.

  1. Histomorphology and proteolytic activity in the gastric apparatus of frugivorous, carnivorous and omnivorous species of birds.

    Jain, D K

    1976-01-01

    The histomorphology of the gastric apparatus, the pepsin level and the optimum pH for pepsin were investigated in Psittacula krameri (frugivore), Lanius schach (carnivore) and Acridotheres tristis (omnivore) species of birds. The proventricular glands were found to be made up of oxynticopeptic cells. The lobules of the oxynticopeptic cells are polyhedral; they are the largest in P. krameri, and the smallest in A. tristis. However, their greater number in A. tristis enables a higher secretion of hydrochloric acid and pepsin. The villi are more developed in A. tristis than in L. schach and P. krameri. The gizzard is larger in A. tristis than in P. krameri and A. tritis than in the carnivore L. schach. Koilin lining is beset with horny cones, which were well developed in A. tristis, moderately developed in P. krameri and absent in L. schach. The pepsin activity is higher in the proventriculus of the carnivorous L. schach and the omnivorous A. tristis than in the frugivorous P. krameri. Slight pepsin activity was also observed in gizzard tissue extracts in all the three species. The optimum pH for pepsin was found to be 1.5 for P. krameri and 1.8 for both L. schach and A. tristis.

  2. Diet shapes the gut microbiota of the omnivorous cockroach Blattella germanica.

    Pérez-Cobas, Ana Elena; Maiques, Elisa; Angelova, Alexandra; Carrasco, Purificación; Moya, Andrés; Latorre, Amparo

    2015-04-01

    The gut microbiota of insects contributes positively to the physiology of its host mainly by participating in food digestion, protecting against pathogens, or provisioning vitamins or amino acids, but the dynamics of this complex ecosystem is not well understood so far. In this study, we have characterized the gut microbiota of the omnivorous cockroach Blattella germanica by pyrosequencing the hypervariable regions V1-V3 of the 16S rRNA gene of the whole bacterial community. Three diets differing in the protein content (0, 24 and 50%) were tested at two time points in lab-reared individuals. In addition, the gut microbiota of wild adult cockroaches was also analyzed. In contrast to the high microbial richness described on the studied samples, only few species are shared by wild and lab-reared cockroaches, constituting the bacterial core in the gut of B. germanica. Overall, we found that the gut microbiota of B. germanica is highly dynamic as the bacterial composition was reassembled in a diet-specific manner over a short time span, with no-protein diet promoting high diversity, although the highest diversity was found in the wild cockroaches analyzed. We discuss how the flexibility of the gut microbiota is probably due to its omnivorous life style and varied diets. © FEMS 2015. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  3. Associations between Nut Consumption and Health Vary between Omnivores, Vegetarians, and Vegans.

    Brown, Rachel C; Gray, Andrew R; Tey, Siew Ling; Chisholm, Alexandra; Burley, Victoria; Greenwood, Darren C; Cade, Janet

    2017-11-06

    Regular nut consumption is associated with reduced risk factors for chronic disease; however, most population-based studies lack consideration of effect modification by dietary pattern. The UK Women's Cohort Study (UKWCS) provides an ideal opportunity to examine relationships between nut consumption and chronic disease risk factors in a large sample with diverse dietary patterns. Nut and nutrient intake from 34,831 women was estimated using a food frequency questionnaire among self-identified omnivores, vegetarians and vegans. In this cross-sectional analysis, higher nut consumption was associated with lower body weight (difference between highest and lowest consumption categories from adjusted model: 6.1 kg; 95% CI: 4.7, 7.6) body mass index (BMI, 2.4 units difference; 95% CI: 1.9, 2.9), and waist circumference (2.6 cm difference; 95% CI: 1.4, 3.8) (all p for linear trend vegans. Findings support existing literature around beneficial effects of nut consumption and suggest that benefits may be larger among omnivores. Nut promotion strategies may have the highest population impact by specifically targeting this group.

  4. Associations between Vitamin B-12 Status and Oxidative Stress and Inflammation in Diabetic Vegetarians and Omnivores.

    Lee, Yau-Jiunn; Wang, Ming-Yang; Lin, Mon-Chiou; Lin, Ping-Ting

    2016-02-26

    Diabetes is considered an oxidative stress and a chronic inflammatory disease. The purpose of this study was to investigate the correlations between vitamin B-12 status and oxidative stress and inflammation in diabetic vegetarians and omnivores. We enrolled 154 patients with type 2 diabetes (54 vegetarians and 100 omnivores). Levels of fasting glucose, glycohemoglobin (HbA1c), lipid profiles, oxidative stress, antioxidant enzymes activity, and inflammatory makers were measured. Diabetic vegetarians with higher levels of vitamin B-12 (>250 pmol/L) had significantly lower levels of fasting glucose, HbA1c and higher antioxidant enzyme activity (catalase) than those with lower levels of vitamin B-12 (≤ 250 pmol/L). A significant association was found between vitamin B-12 status and fasting glucose (r = -0.17, p = 0.03), HbA1c (r = -0.33, p = 0.02), oxidative stress (oxidized low density lipoprotein-cholesterol, r = -0.19, p = 0.03), and antioxidant enzyme activity (catalase, r = 0.28, p = 0.01) in the diabetic vegetarians; vitamin B-12 status was significantly correlated with inflammatory markers (interleukin-6, r = -0.33, p vegetarian diet.

  5. Visual Adaptations for Mate Detection in the Male Carpenter Bee Xylocopa tenuiscapa.

    Hema Somanathan

    Full Text Available Sexual dimorphism in eye structure is attributed to sexual selection in animals that employ vision for locating mates. In many male insects, large eyes and eye regions of higher acuity are believed to facilitate the location of females. Here, we compare various features of male and female eyes in three sympatric carpenter bee species, which include two diurnal species (Xylocopa tenuiscapa and X. leucothorax as well as a nocturnal species (X. tranquebarica. In X. tenuiscapa, males have larger eyes than females, while in the nocturnal X. tranquebarica, males have slightly smaller eyes and in X. leucothorax, the eyes are of similar size in both sexes. X. tenuiscapa males detect females by perching near nest sites (resource defence or along fly-ways and other open areas with good visibility. Males of the other two species search for females by patrolling. We postulate that the larger eyes of male X. tenuiscapa are beneficial to their mode of mate detection since perching males may benefit from a larger visual area of high resolution detecting moving stimuli across the sky, and which may be germane to the more social and gregarious nesting behaviour of this species, compared to the other solitary bees. We tested the performance of the eyes of male X. tenuiscapa behaviourally and find that a perching male can detect a flying female at a distance of 20 m, which darkens the visual field of a single ommatidium by just 2%. This, together with the bee's high spatial resolution permits detection of moving stimuli at least as well or even better than achieved by honey bee drones.

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

    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....

  7. The metapleural gland of ants

    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...

  8. Brain evolution, the determinates of food choice, and the omnivore's dilemma.

    Armelagos, George J

    2014-01-01

    A coevolutionary paradigm using a biocultural perspective can help to unravel the complex interactions that led to the contemporary pattern of eating. Evolutionary history helps to understand the adaptation of diet and its nutritional implications. Anatomical and behavioral changes linked to changing dietary patterns in the Paleolithic resulted in an adaptive framework that affects modern diet. The evolution of an expanding brain, a shrinking large intestine, and lengthening small intestine necessitated a demand for nutritionally dense foods. The key to these changes is an understanding of the response to the omnivore's dilemma. Omnivores in their search for new items to feed their varied diet (neophilia) have a challenge when they fear (neophobia) novel items that may be poisonous and can cause death. The inborn mechanism initiates palate fatigue (sensory-specific satiety) ensuring a variety of foods will be eaten. Variety will limit the impact of toxins ingested and provide a more balanced diet. The development of cuisine, a momentous event in history, mediated the conflict, and changed the course of human evolution. The cuisine, a biocultural construct, defines which items found in nature are edible, how these products are transformed into food, the flavors used to add a sensory dimension to foods, and rules of eating or etiquette. Etiquette defines how, when, and with whom we eat. Patterns of eating in the modern setting are the end product of the way that Homo sapiens evolved and resolved the omnivore's dilemma. Control of fire and cooking expanded the range of available foods by creating a class of foods that are "predigested." An essential element to the evolution of the human diet was the transition to agriculture as the primary mode of subsistence. The Neolithic revolution dramatically narrowed the dietary niche by decreasing the variety of available foods, with the shift to intensive agriculture creating a dramatic decline in human nutrition. The recent

  9. Hospitales seguros ante desastres

    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...

  10. Cardiorespiratory Fitness and Peak Torque Differences between Vegetarian and Omnivore Endurance Athletes: A Cross-Sectional Study.

    Lynch, Heidi M; Wharton, Christopher M; Johnston, Carol S

    2016-11-15

    In spite of well-documented health benefits of vegetarian diets, less is known regarding the effects of these diets on athletic performance. In this cross-sectional study, we compared elite vegetarian and omnivore adult endurance athletes for maximal oxygen uptake (VO2 max) and strength. Twenty-seven vegetarian (VEG) and 43 omnivore (OMN) athletes were evaluated using VO2 max testing on the treadmill, and strength assessment using a dynamometer to determine peak torque for leg extensions. Dietary data were assessed using detailed seven-day food logs. Although total protein intake was lower among vegetarians in comparison to omnivores, protein intake as a function of body mass did not differ by group (1.2 ± 0.3 and 1.4 ± 0.5 g/kg body mass for VEG and OMN respectively, p = 0.220). VO2 max differed for females by diet group (53.0 ± 6.9 and 47.1 ± 8.6 mL/kg/min for VEG and OMN respectively, p vegetarian endurance athletes' cardiorespiratory fitness was greater than that for their omnivorous counterparts, but that peak torque did not differ between diet groups. These data suggest that vegetarian diets do not compromise performance outcomes and may facilitate aerobic capacity in athletes.

  11. Effects of omnivorous tilapia on water turbidity and primary production dynamics in shallow lakes: implications for ecosystem management

    Zhang, Xiufeng; Mei, Xueying; Gulati, Ramesh D.

    2017-01-01

    The introduction of omnivorous tilapia into a variety of aquatic systems worldwide has led to a number of serious ecological problems. One of the main issues is an increase in water turbidity, which affects not only light penetration but also primary production and the distribution of phytoplankton

  12. Molecular phylogeny of Indo-Pacific carpenter ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae, Camponotus) reveals waves of dispersal and colonization from diverse source areas

    Clouse, R. M.; Janda, Milan; Blanchard, B.; Sharma, P.; Hoffmann, B. D.; Andersen, A. N.; Czekanski-Moir, J. E.; Krushelnycky, P.; Rabeling, C.; Wilson, E. O.; Economo, E. P.; Sarnat, E. M.; General, D. M.; Alpert, G. D.; Wheeler, W. C.

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 31, č. 4 (2015), s. 424-437 ISSN 0748-3007 R&D Projects: GA ČR GAP505/12/2467 Grant - others:Marie Curie Felloswhip(CZ) PIOFGA2009-25448 Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : Hymenoptera * Camponotus * molecular phylogeny Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology Impact factor: 4.952, year: 2015 http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/cla.12099/epdf

  13. Bone status and adipokine levels in children on vegetarian and omnivorous diets.

    Ambroszkiewicz, Jadwiga; Chełchowska, Magdalena; Szamotulska, Katarzyna; Rowicka, Grażyna; Klemarczyk, Witold; Strucińska, Małgorzata; Gajewska, Joanna

    2018-03-23

    Measurements of bone mineral density (BMD) reflect bone status but not the dynamics of bone turnover. Biochemical markers, which show global skeletal activity, were validated for the assessment of bone formation and resorption processes. Adipokines also play a significant role in the regulation of bone metabolism. To assess body composition, bone mineral density, bone turnover markers and adipokine levels in relation to vegetarian and omnivorous diets. The study included 53 vegetarian and 53 omnivorous prepubertal healthy children matched for age and sex (median age 7.0 years). Body composition and BMD were assessed by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. 25-hydroxyvitamin D and parathormone levels were measured by chemiluminescence method. Serum carboxy-terminal propeptide of type I collagen (CICP), total osteocalcin (OC) and its forms carboxylated (c-OC) and undercarboxylated (uc-OC), C-terminal cross-linking telopeptide of collagen type I (CTX), leptin and adiponectin levels were determined using immunoenzymatic assays. Both groups of children were comparable in terms of body composition, except for the percentage of fat mass, which was lower (19.24 vs. 21.77%, p = 0.018) in vegetarians. Mean values of total BMD z-score and lumbar spine BMD z-score were lower (-0.583 vs. -0.194, p = 0.009 and -0.877 vs. -0.496, p = 0.019, respectively) in vegetarians compared with omnivores. Serum leptin level was about 2-fold lower (1.39 vs. 2.94 ng/mL, p vegetarians, however, adiponectin concentration was similar in both groups. Vegetarians had similar concentration of 25-hydroxyvitamin D, but higher parathormone (40.8 vs. 32.1 pg/mL, p = 0.015) and CTX (1.94 vs. 1.76 ng/mL, p = 0.077) levels than omnivores. Total osteocalcin and CICP concentrations were comparable in both groups, however, c-OC/uc-OC ratio was higher (1.43 vs. 1.04 ng/mL, p vegetarians. We found positive correlation between c-OC and nutritional parameters adjusted for total energy intake (plant

  14. Omnivores Going Astray: A Review and New Synthesis of Abnormal Behavior in Pigs and Laying Hens

    Brunberg, Emma I.; Rodenburg, T. Bas; Rydhmer, Lotta; Kjaer, Joergen B.; Jensen, Per; Keeling, Linda J.

    2016-01-01

    Pigs and poultry are by far the most omnivorous of the domesticated farm animals and it is in their nature to be highly explorative. In the barren production environments, this motivation to explore can be expressed as abnormal oral manipulation directed toward pen mates. Tail biting (TB) in pigs and feather pecking (FP) in laying hens are examples of unwanted behaviors that are detrimental to the welfare of the animals. The aim of this review is to draw these two seemingly similar abnormalities together in a common framework, in order to seek underlying mechanisms and principles. Both TB and FP are affected by the physical and social environment, but not all individuals in a group express these behaviors and individual genetic and neurobiological characteristics play an important role. By synthesizing what is known about environmental and individual influences, we suggest a novel possible mechanism, common for pigs and poultry, involving the brain–gut–microbiota axis. PMID:27500137

  15. Dynamical study of a chaotic predator-prey model with an omnivore

    Al-khedhairi, A.; Elsadany, A. A.; Elsonbaty, A.; Abdelwahab, A. G.

    2018-01-01

    In this paper, the dynamics and bifurcations of a three-species predator-prey model with an omnivore are further investigated. The food web considered in this work comprises prey, predator and a third species, which consumes the carcasses of the predator along with predation of the original prey. The conditions for existence, uniqueness and continuous dependence on initial conditions for the solution of the model are derived. Analytical and numerical bifurcation studies reveal that the system undergoes transcritical and Hopf bifurcations around its equilibrium points. Further, the Hopf bifurcation curves in the parameters' space along with codimension two bifurcations of equilibrium points and bifurcation of limit cycles that arise in the system are investigated. In particular, the occurrence of generalized Hopf, fold Hopf and Neimarck-Sacker bifurcations is unveiled and illustrates the rich dynamics of the model. Finally, bifurcation diagrams, phase portraits and Lyapunov exponents of the model are presented.

  16. La vivienda ante emergencias

    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

  17. Everyday distinction and omnivorous orientation: An analysis of food choice, attitudinal dispositions and social background.

    Kahma, Nina; Niva, Mari; Helakorpi, Satu; Jallinoja, Piia

    2016-01-01

    In recent years studies on cultural consumption have experienced a Bourdieusian renaissance. This is indicated by a growing body of research analysing distinctions in different areas of culture, and numerous studies on the homology thesis applying the concepts of distinction, field and capital. Concurrently, however, it has been argued that instead of distinctive tastes, distinction and class status are increasingly manifested by cultural omnivorousness. For a good part studies focussing on distinction in food have analysed eating out and stylization through restaurant preferences, rather than everyday food choices. In this article we investigate everyday food choices from the perspective of distinction and omnivorousness. Our analysis draws on cross-sectional quantitative data collected in 2012 among 15-64-year-old Finns (N = 2601). The article maps out the relationship between food choice frequencies, dispositions and social background with Multiple Correspondence Analysis (MCA). The results show that the consumption of fruit and vegetables, ready-meals and convenience foods were among the most divisive food choices. The first structuring dimension juxtaposed processed, fatty and sugared foods with unprocessed foods and fresh ingredients. This dimension was associated with healthiness and weight control as dispositions. On the second structuring dimension there were differences in the valuation of taste, pleasure and sociability, and a contrast between moderate and restrictive choices. Particularly the first dimension was associated with educational, occupational, and gender differences. Distinction within everyday food choices was manifested in the use of healthy and unprocessed foods and 'moderate hedonism' in contrast to more restrictive tastes. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Comparative metabolomics in vegans and omnivores reveal constraints on diet-dependent gut microbiota metabolite production

    Wu, Gary D; Compher, Charlene; Chen, Eric Z; Smith, Sarah A; Shah, Rachana D; Bittinger, Kyle; Chehoud, Christel; Albenberg, Lindsey G; Nessel, Lisa; Gilroy, Erin; Star, Julie; Weljie, Aalim M; Flint, Harry J; Metz, David C; Bennett, Michael J; Li, Hongzhe; Bushman, Frederic D; Lewis, James D

    2015-01-01

    Objective The consumption of an agrarian diet is associated with a reduced risk for many diseases associated with a ‘Westernised’ lifestyle. Studies suggest that diet affects the gut microbiota, which subsequently influences the metabolome, thereby connecting diet, microbiota and health. However, the degree to which diet influences the composition of the gut microbiota is controversial. Murine models and studies comparing the gut microbiota in humans residing in agrarian versus Western societies suggest that the influence is large. To separate global environmental influences from dietary influences, we characterised the gut microbiota and the host metabolome of individuals consuming an agrarian diet in Western society. Design and results Using 16S rRNA-tagged sequencing as well as plasma and urinary metabolomic platforms, we compared measures of dietary intake, gut microbiota composition and the plasma metabolome between healthy human vegans and omnivores, sampled in an urban USA environment. Plasma metabolome of vegans differed markedly from omnivores but the gut microbiota was surprisingly similar. Unlike prior studies of individuals living in agrarian societies, higher consumption of fermentable substrate in vegans was not associated with higher levels of faecal short chain fatty acids, a finding confirmed in a 10-day controlled feeding experiment. Similarly, the proportion of vegans capable of producing equol, a soy-based gut microbiota metabolite, was less than that was reported in Asian societies despite the high consumption of soy-based products. Conclusions Evidently, residence in globally distinct societies helps determine the composition of the gut microbiota that, in turn, influences the production of diet-dependent gut microbial metabolites. PMID:25431456

  19. Taiwanese vegetarians and omnivores: dietary composition, prevalence of diabetes and IFG.

    Tina H T Chiu

    Full Text Available INTRODUCTION: Vegetarian diets have been shown to improve glucose metabolism and reduce risk for diabetes in Westerners but whether Chinese vegetarian diets have the same benefits is unknown. METHODS: We evaluated the association between diet and diabetes/impaired fasting glucose (IFG among 4384 Taiwanese Buddhist volunteers and identified diabetes/IFG cases from a comprehensive review of medical history and fasting plasma glucose. RESULTS: Vegetarians had higher intakes of carbohydrates, fiber, calcium, magnesium, total and non-heme iron, folate, vitamin A, and lower intakes of saturated fat, cholesterol, and vitamin B12. Besides avoiding meat and fish, vegetarians had higher intakes of soy products, vegetables, whole grains, but similar intakes of dairy and fruits, compared with omnivores. The crude prevalence of diabetes in vegetarians versus omnivores is 0.6% versus 2.3% in pre-menopausal women, 2.8% versus 10% in menopausal women, and 4.3% versus 8.1% in men. Polytomous logistic regression adjusting for age, body mass index, family history of diabetes, education, leisure time physical activity, smoking and alcohol, showed that this vegetarian diet was negatively associated with diabetes and IFG in men (OR for diabetes: 0.49, 95% CI: 0.28-0.89; OR for IFG: 0.66, 95% CI: 0.46-0.95; in pre-menopausal women (OR for diabetes: 0.26, 95% CI: 0.06-1.21; OR for IFG: 0.60, 95% CI: 0.35-1.04; and in menopausal women (OR for diabetes: 0.25, 95% CI: 0.15-0.42; OR for IFG: 0.73, 95% CI: 0.56-0.95. CONCLUSION: We found a strong protective association between Taiwanese vegetarian diet and diabetes/IFG, after controlling for various potential confounders and risk factors.

  20. Comparative metabolomics in vegans and omnivores reveal constraints on diet-dependent gut microbiota metabolite production.

    Wu, Gary D; Compher, Charlene; Chen, Eric Z; Smith, Sarah A; Shah, Rachana D; Bittinger, Kyle; Chehoud, Christel; Albenberg, Lindsey G; Nessel, Lisa; Gilroy, Erin; Star, Julie; Weljie, Aalim M; Flint, Harry J; Metz, David C; Bennett, Michael J; Li, Hongzhe; Bushman, Frederic D; Lewis, James D

    2016-01-01

    The consumption of an agrarian diet is associated with a reduced risk for many diseases associated with a 'Westernised' lifestyle. Studies suggest that diet affects the gut microbiota, which subsequently influences the metabolome, thereby connecting diet, microbiota and health. However, the degree to which diet influences the composition of the gut microbiota is controversial. Murine models and studies comparing the gut microbiota in humans residing in agrarian versus Western societies suggest that the influence is large. To separate global environmental influences from dietary influences, we characterised the gut microbiota and the host metabolome of individuals consuming an agrarian diet in Western society. Using 16S rRNA-tagged sequencing as well as plasma and urinary metabolomic platforms, we compared measures of dietary intake, gut microbiota composition and the plasma metabolome between healthy human vegans and omnivores, sampled in an urban USA environment. Plasma metabolome of vegans differed markedly from omnivores but the gut microbiota was surprisingly similar. Unlike prior studies of individuals living in agrarian societies, higher consumption of fermentable substrate in vegans was not associated with higher levels of faecal short chain fatty acids, a finding confirmed in a 10-day controlled feeding experiment. Similarly, the proportion of vegans capable of producing equol, a soy-based gut microbiota metabolite, was less than that was reported in Asian societies despite the high consumption of soy-based products. Evidently, residence in globally distinct societies helps determine the composition of the gut microbiota that, in turn, influences the production of diet-dependent gut microbial metabolites. Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://www.bmj.com/company/products-services/rights-and-licensing/

  1. The same microbiota and a potentially discriminant metabolome in the saliva of omnivore, ovo-lacto-vegetarian and Vegan individuals.

    De Filippis, Francesca; Vannini, Lucia; La Storia, Antonietta; Laghi, Luca; Piombino, Paola; Stellato, Giuseppina; Serrazanetti, Diana I; Gozzi, Giorgia; Turroni, Silvia; Ferrocino, Ilario; Lazzi, Camilla; Di Cagno, Raffaella; Gobbetti, Marco; Ercolini, Danilo

    2014-01-01

    The salivary microbiota has been linked to both oral and non-oral diseases. Scant knowledge is available on the effect of environmental factors such as long-term dietary choices on the salivary microbiota and metabolome. This study analyzed the microbial diversity and metabolomic profiles of the saliva of 161 healthy individuals who followed an omnivore or ovo-lacto-vegetarian or vegan diet. A large core microbiota was identified, including 12 bacterial genera, found in >98% of the individuals. The subjects could be stratified into three "salivary types" that differed on the basis of the relative abundance of the core genera Prevotella, Streptococcus/Gemella and Fusobacterium/Neisseria. Statistical analysis indicated no effect of dietary habit on the salivary microbiota. Phylogenetic beta-diversity analysis consistently showed no differences between omnivore, ovo-lacto-vegetarian and vegan individuals. Metabolomic profiling of saliva using (1)H-NMR and GC-MS/SPME identified diet-related biomarkers that enabled a significant discrimination between the 3 groups of individuals on the basis of their diet. Formate, urea, uridine and 5-methyl-3-hexanone could discriminate samples from omnivores, whereas 1-propanol, hexanoic acid and proline were characteristic of non-omnivore diets. Although the salivary metabolome can be discriminating for diet, the microbiota has a remarkable inter-individual stability and did not vary with dietary habits. Microbial homeostasis might be perturbed with sub-standard oral hygiene or other environmental factors, but there is no current indication that a choice of an omnivore, ovo-lacto-vegetarian or vegan diet can lead to a specific composition of the oral microbiota with consequences on the oral homeostasis.

  2. The same microbiota and a potentially discriminant metabolome in the saliva of omnivore, ovo-lacto-vegetarian and Vegan individuals.

    Francesca De Filippis

    Full Text Available The salivary microbiota has been linked to both oral and non-oral diseases. Scant knowledge is available on the effect of environmental factors such as long-term dietary choices on the salivary microbiota and metabolome. This study analyzed the microbial diversity and metabolomic profiles of the saliva of 161 healthy individuals who followed an omnivore or ovo-lacto-vegetarian or vegan diet. A large core microbiota was identified, including 12 bacterial genera, found in >98% of the individuals. The subjects could be stratified into three "salivary types" that differed on the basis of the relative abundance of the core genera Prevotella, Streptococcus/Gemella and Fusobacterium/Neisseria. Statistical analysis indicated no effect of dietary habit on the salivary microbiota. Phylogenetic beta-diversity analysis consistently showed no differences between omnivore, ovo-lacto-vegetarian and vegan individuals. Metabolomic profiling of saliva using (1H-NMR and GC-MS/SPME identified diet-related biomarkers that enabled a significant discrimination between the 3 groups of individuals on the basis of their diet. Formate, urea, uridine and 5-methyl-3-hexanone could discriminate samples from omnivores, whereas 1-propanol, hexanoic acid and proline were characteristic of non-omnivore diets. Although the salivary metabolome can be discriminating for diet, the microbiota has a remarkable inter-individual stability and did not vary with dietary habits. Microbial homeostasis might be perturbed with sub-standard oral hygiene or other environmental factors, but there is no current indication that a choice of an omnivore, ovo-lacto-vegetarian or vegan diet can lead to a specific composition of the oral microbiota with consequences on the oral homeostasis.

  3. Chronic dietary exposure to branched chain amino acids impairs glucose disposal in vegans but not in omnivores.

    Gojda, J; Rossmeislová, L; Straková, R; Tůmová, J; Elkalaf, M; Jaček, M; Tůma, P; Potočková, J; Krauzová, E; Waldauf, P; Trnka, J; Štich, V; Anděl, M

    2017-05-01

    Branched chain amino acids (BCAA) are among nutrients strongly linked with insulin sensitivity (IS) measures. We investigated the effects of a chronic increase of BCAA intake on IS in two groups of healthy subjects differing in their basal consumption of BCAA, that is, vegans and omnivores. Eight vegans and eight matched omnivores (five men and three women in each group) received 15 g (women) or 20 g (men) of BCAA daily for 3 months. Anthropometry, blood analyses, glucose clamp, arginine test, subcutaneous abdominal adipose tissue (AT) and skeletal muscle (SM) biopsies (mRNA levels of selected metabolic markers, respiratory chain (RC) activity) were performed at baseline, after the intervention and after a 6 month wash-out period. Compared with omnivores, vegans had higher IS at baseline (GIR, glucose infusion rate: 9.6±2.4 vs 7.1±2.4 mg/kg/min, 95% CI for difference: 0.55 to 5.82) that declined after the intervention and returned to baseline values after the wash-out period (changes in GIR with 95% CI, 3-0 months: -1.64 [-2.5; -0.75] and 9-3 months: 1.65 [0.75; 2.54] mg/kg/min). No such change was observed in omnivores. In omnivores the intervention led to an increased expression of lipogenic genes (DGAT2, FASN, PPARγ, SCD1) in AT. SM RC activity increased in both groups. Negative impact of increased BCAA intake on IS was only detected in vegans, that is, subjects with low basal amino acids/BCAA intake, which appear to be unable to induce sufficient compensatory changes within AT and SM on a BCAA challenge.

  4. Hearing loss prevention for carpenters: Part 1 - Using health communication and health promotion models to develop training that works

    Carol Merry Stephenson

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available In phase 1 of a large multiyear effort, health communication and health promotion models were used to develop a comprehensive hearing loss prevention training program for carpenters. Additionally, a survey was designed to be used as an evaluation instrument. The models informed an iterative research process in which the authors used key informant interviews, focus groups, and early versions of the survey tool to identify critical issues expected to be relevant to the success of the hearing loss prevention training. Commonly held attitudes and beliefs associated with occupational noise exposure and hearing losses, as well as issues associated with the use or non-use of hearing protectors, were identified. The training program was then specifically constructed to positively shape attitudes, beliefs, and behavioral intentions associated with healthy hearing behaviors - especially those associated with appropriate hearing protector use. The goal was to directly address the key issues and overcome the barriers identified during the formative research phase. The survey was finalized using factor analysis methods and repeated pilot testing. It was designed to be used with the training as an evaluation tool and thus could indicate changes over time in attitudes, beliefs, and behavioral intentions regarding hearing loss prevention. Finally, the training program was fine tuned with industry participation so that its delivery would integrate seamlessly into the existing health and safety training provided to apprentice carpenters. In phase 2, reported elsewhere in this volume, the training program and the survey were tested through a demonstration project at two sites.

  5. Accidental discovery of asbestos-related occupational pleural disease in unemployed carpenter: a healthcare safety net that needs mending.

    Manfredo, Irena

    2015-09-01

    Unemployed persons are often on the margins of the healthcare system and under the radar of safety and health organisations, as no systematic records are kept of occupational diseases caused by exposure at previous work place. Law in Slovenia requires that asbestos-related occupational diseases are verified by establishing the causal relationship between exposure at work and its effect on the worker. This report describes a case of verifying occupational pleural disease in an unemployed carpenter who was referred for consultation with occupational health specialist as part of the regular procedure for the unemployed registered at the Employment Service of Slovenia. At the consultation it turned out that the carpenter had been exposed to asbestos when he worked as a teenage apprentice. The diagnosis of the bilateral pleural disease and asbestosis was confirmed by X-ray and high-resolution computed tomography. Because he had no record of exposure in that period, we analysed his past working environment for minerals and found chrysotile in all asbestos board samples. The case was presented to an interdisciplinary committee, which verified his disease as occupational. This case points to the need of adopting guidelines for occupational health specialists providing counsel to the national employment service so that the number of unrecorded occupational diseases is minimised and their treatment is covered by the state.

  6. Historical isolation of the Galápagos carpenter bee (Xylocopa darwini despite strong flight capability and ecological amplitude.

    Pablo Vargas

    Full Text Available Colonization across the Galápagos Islands by the carpenter bee (Xylocopa darwini was reconstructed based on distribution of mitochondrial haplotypes (cytochrome oxidase II (COII sequences and haplotype lineages. A total of 12 haplotypes were found in 118 individuals of X. darwini. Distributional, phylogenetic and phylogeographic analyses suggest early colonization of most islands followed by historical isolation in two main groups: eastern and central-western islands. Evidence of recurrent inter-island colonization of haplotypes is largely lacking, despite strong flight capability and ecological amplitude of the species. Recent palaeogeographic data suggest that several of the current islands were connected in the past and thus the isolation pattern may have been even more pronounced. A contrast analysis was also carried out on 10 animal groups of the Galápagos Islands, and on haplotype colonization of seven animal and plant species from several oceanic archipelagos (the Galápagos, Azores, Canary Islands. New colonization metrics on the number of potential vs. inferred colonization events revealed that the Galápagos carpenter bee shows one of the most significant examples of geographic isolation.

  7. Pest repellent properties of ant pheromones

    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....

  8. Hospitales seguros ante desastres

    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.

  9. Protein hydrolysates are avoided by herbivores but not by omnivores in two-choice preference tests.

    Kristin L Field

    Full Text Available The negative sensory properties of casein hydrolysates (HC often limit their usage in products intended for human consumption, despite HC being nutritious and having many functional benefits. Recent, but taxonomically limited, evidence suggests that other animals also avoid consuming HC when alternatives exist.We evaluated ingestive responses of five herbivorous species (guinea pig, mountain beaver, gopher, vole, and rabbit and five omnivorous species (rat, coyote, house mouse, white-footed mouse, and deer mouse; N = 16-18/species using solid foods containing 20% HC in a series of two-choice preference tests that used a non-protein, cellulose-based alternative. Individuals were also tested with collagen hydrolysate (gelatin; GE to determine whether it would induce similar ingestive responses to those induced by HC. Despite HC and GE having very different nutritional and sensory qualities, both hydrolysates produced similar preference score patterns. We found that the herbivores generally avoided the hydrolysates while the omnivores consumed them at similar levels to the cellulose diet or, more rarely, preferred them (HC by the white-footed mouse; GE by the rat. Follow-up preference tests pairing HC and the nutritionally equivalent intact casein (C were performed on the three mouse species and the guinea pigs. For the mice, mean HC preference scores were lower in the HC v C compared to the HC v Cel tests, indicating that HC's sensory qualities negatively affected its consumption. However, responses were species-specific. For the guinea pigs, repeated exposure to HC or C (4.7-h sessions; N = 10 were found to increase subsequent HC preference scores in an HC v C preference test, which was interpreted in the light of conservative foraging strategies thought to typify herbivores.This is the first empirical study of dietary niche-related taxonomic differences in ingestive responses to protein hydrolysates using multiple species under comparable

  10. A cellular automata model for ant trails

    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].

  11. ANT, tourism and situated globality

    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...

  12. Assessing the Influence of Vegan, Vegetarian and Omnivore Oriented Westernized Dietary Styles on Human Gut Microbiota: A Cross Sectional Study.

    Losasso, Carmen; Eckert, Ester M; Mastrorilli, Eleonora; Villiger, Jorg; Mancin, Marzia; Patuzzi, Ilaria; Di Cesare, Andrea; Cibin, Veronica; Barrucci, Federica; Pernthaler, Jakob; Corno, Gianluca; Ricci, Antonia

    2018-01-01

    Diet and lifestyle have a strong influence on gut microbiota, which in turn has important implications on a variety of health-related aspects. Despite great advances in the field, it remains unclear to which extent the composition of the gut microbiota is modulated by the intake of animal derived products, compared to a vegetable based diet. Here the specific impact of vegan, vegetarian, and omnivore feeding type on the composition of gut microbiota of 101 adults was investigated among groups homogeneous for variables known to have a role in modulating gut microbial composition such as age, anthropometric variables, ethnicity, and geographic area. The results displayed a picture where the three different dietetic profiles could be well distinguished on the basis of participant's dietetic regimen. Regarding the gut microbiota; vegetarians had a significantly greater richness compared to omnivorous. Moreover, counts of Bacteroidetes related operational taxonomic units (OTUs) were greater in vegans and vegetarians compared to omnivores. Interestingly considering the whole bacterial community composition the three cohorts were unexpectedly similar, which is probably due to their common intake in terms of nutrients rather than food, e.g., high fat content and reduced protein and carbohydrate intake. This finding suggests that fundamental nutritional choices such as vegan, vegetarian, or omnivore do influence the microbiota but do not allow to infer conclusions on gut microbial composition, and suggested the possibility for a preferential impact of other variables, probably related to the general life style on shaping human gut microbial community in spite of dietary influence. Consequently, research were individuals are categorized on the basis of their claimed feeding types is of limited use for scientific studies, since it appears to be oversimplified.

  13. Assessing the Influence of Vegan, Vegetarian and Omnivore Oriented Westernized Dietary Styles on Human Gut Microbiota: A Cross Sectional Study

    Carmen Losasso

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Diet and lifestyle have a strong influence on gut microbiota, which in turn has important implications on a variety of health-related aspects. Despite great advances in the field, it remains unclear to which extent the composition of the gut microbiota is modulated by the intake of animal derived products, compared to a vegetable based diet. Here the specific impact of vegan, vegetarian, and omnivore feeding type on the composition of gut microbiota of 101 adults was investigated among groups homogeneous for variables known to have a role in modulating gut microbial composition such as age, anthropometric variables, ethnicity, and geographic area. The results displayed a picture where the three different dietetic profiles could be well distinguished on the basis of participant’s dietetic regimen. Regarding the gut microbiota; vegetarians had a significantly greater richness compared to omnivorous. Moreover, counts of Bacteroidetes related operational taxonomic units (OTUs were greater in vegans and vegetarians compared to omnivores. Interestingly considering the whole bacterial community composition the three cohorts were unexpectedly similar, which is probably due to their common intake in terms of nutrients rather than food, e.g., high fat content and reduced protein and carbohydrate intake. This finding suggests that fundamental nutritional choices such as vegan, vegetarian, or omnivore do influence the microbiota but do not allow to infer conclusions on gut microbial composition, and suggested the possibility for a preferential impact of other variables, probably related to the general life style on shaping human gut microbial community in spite of dietary influence. Consequently, research were individuals are categorized on the basis of their claimed feeding types is of limited use for scientific studies, since it appears to be oversimplified.

  14. Estimated net acid excretion inversely correlates with urine pH in vegans, lacto-ovo vegetarians, and omnivores.

    Ausman, Lynne M; Oliver, Lauren M; Goldin, Barry R; Woods, Margo N; Gorbach, Sherwood L; Dwyer, Johanna T

    2008-09-01

    Diet affects urine pH and acid-base balance. Both excess acid/alkaline ash (EAA) and estimated net acid excretion (NAE) calculations have been used to estimate the effects of diet on urine pH. This study's goal was to determine if free-living vegans, lacto-ovo vegetarians, and omnivores have increasingly acidic urine, and to assess the ability of EAA and estimated NAE calculations to predict urine pH. This study used a cross-sectional design. This study assessed urine samples of 10 vegan, 16 lacto-ovo vegetarian, and 16 healthy omnivorous women in the Boston metropolitan area. Six 3-day food records from each dietary group were analyzed for EAA content and estimated NAE, and correlations with measured urine pH were calculated. The mean (+/- SD) urine pH was 6.15 +/- 0.40 for vegans, 5.90 +/- 0.36 for lacto-ovo vegetarians, and 5.74 +/- 0.21 for omnivores (analysis of variance, P = .013). Calculated EAA values were not significantly different among the three groups, whereas mean estimated NAE values were significantly different: 17.3 +/- 14.5 mEq/day for vegans, 31.3 +/- 8.5 mEq/day for lacto-ovo vegetarians, and 42.6 +/- 13.2 mEq/day for omnivores (analysis of variance, P = .01). The average deattenuated correlation between urine pH and EAA was 0.333; this value was -0.768 for estimated NAE and urine pH, with a regression equation of pH = 6.33 - 0.014 NAE (P = .02, r = -0.54). Habitual diet and estimated NAE calculations indicate the probable ranking of urine pH by dietary groups, and may be used to determine the likely acid-base status of an individual; EAA calculations were not predictive of urine pH.

  15. The Assessment of Bone Regulatory Pathways, Bone Turnover, and Bone Mineral Density in Vegetarian and Omnivorous Children.

    Ambroszkiewicz, Jadwiga; Chełchowska, Magdalena; Szamotulska, Katarzyna; Rowicka, Grażyna; Klemarczyk, Witold; Strucińska, Małgorzata; Gajewska, Joanna

    2018-02-07

    Vegetarian diets contain many beneficial properties as well as carry a risk of inadequate intakes of several nutrients important to bone health. The aim of the study was to evaluate serum levels of bone metabolism markers and to analyze the relationships between biochemical bone markers and anthropometric parameters in children on vegetarian and omnivorous diets. The study included 70 prepubertal children on a lacto-ovo-vegetarian diet and 60 omnivorous children. Body composition, bone mineral content (BMC), and bone mineral density (BMD) were assessed by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. Biochemical markers-bone alkaline phosphatase (BALP), C-terminal telopeptide of type I collagen (CTX-I), osteoprotegerin (OPG), nuclear factor κB ligand (RANKL), sclerostin, and Dickkopf-related protein 1 (Dkk-1)-were measured using immunoenzymatic assays. In vegetarians, we observed a significantly higher level of BALP ( p = 0.002) and CTX-I ( p = 0.027), and slightly lower spine BMC ( p = 0.067) and BMD ( p = 0.060) than in omnivores. Concentrations of OPG, RANKL, sclerostin, and Dkk-1 were comparable in both groups of children. We found that CTX-I was positively correlated with BMC, total BMD, and lumbar spine BMD in vegetarians, but not in omnivores. A well-planned vegetarian diet with proper dairy and egg intake does not lead to significantly lower bone mass; however, children following a lacto-ovo-vegetarian diet had a higher rate of bone turnover and subtle changes in bone regulatory markers. CTX-I might be an important marker for the protection of vegetarians from bone abnormalities.

  16. Comparison of Renal Function and Other Predictors in Lacto-Ovo Vegetarians and Omnivores With Chronic Kidney Disease.

    Chang, Chou-Yueh; Chang, Horng-Rong; Lin, Hsing-Chun; Chang, Han-Hsin

    2018-03-13

    Objective Vegetarian diets have been shown to increase the risk of certain nutritional deficiencies, such as iron. As a number of patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) in Taiwan are lacto-ovo vegetarians, the aim of this study was to investigate the effects of different proportions and sources of protein in lacto-ovo vegetarian and omnivorous diets, as well as the influence of adequate dietary protein intake, on renal function and nutritional status of Taiwanese patients with stage 3 to stage 5 CKD. Methods This is a cross-sectional study. In total, 100 outpatients with stage 3 to stage 5 CKD were enrolled in this study, including 40 lacto-ovo vegetarians and 60 omnivores. Subjects were divided into the lacto-ovo vegetarian group and omnivorous group based on dietary protein patterns. The indicators of renal function included estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR), creatinine, and blood urea nitrogen (BUN). Albumin, hemoglobin (Hb), and red blood cell count (RBC) measurements served as nutritional indicators. The levels of dietary energy and protein, as well as protein sources (plant or animal), were also analyzed. Results The levels of serum phosphate and triglycerides were significantly lower in the lacto-ovo vegetarian group than in the omnivore group, suggesting that lacto-ovo vegetarian diets have both phosphate-lowering and lipid-lowering effects, which could reduce the development of hyperphosphatemia and dyslipidemia. However, since all groups consumed higher than the recommended amounts of protein diet intake, no significant differences were observed in other renal function indices between the two groups. Conclusion Although a larger cohort study is necessary, the findings of this study could help patients with CKD to make healthier food choices and be used to support future medical nutritional therapies.

  17. Cardiorespiratory Fitness and Peak Torque Differences between Vegetarian and Omnivore Endurance Athletes: A Cross-Sectional Study

    Heidi M. Lynch

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available In spite of well-documented health benefits of vegetarian diets, less is known regarding the effects of these diets on athletic performance. In this cross-sectional study, we compared elite vegetarian and omnivore adult endurance athletes for maximal oxygen uptake (VO2 max and strength. Twenty-seven vegetarian (VEG and 43 omnivore (OMN athletes were evaluated using VO2 max testing on the treadmill, and strength assessment using a dynamometer to determine peak torque for leg extensions. Dietary data were assessed using detailed seven-day food logs. Although total protein intake was lower among vegetarians in comparison to omnivores, protein intake as a function of body mass did not differ by group (1.2 ± 0.3 and 1.4 ± 0.5 g/kg body mass for VEG and OMN respectively, p = 0.220. VO2 max differed for females by diet group (53.0 ± 6.9 and 47.1 ± 8.6 mL/kg/min for VEG and OMN respectively, p < 0.05 but not for males (62.6 ± 15.4 and 55.7 ± 8.4 mL/kg/min respectively. Peak torque did not differ significantly between diet groups. Results from this study indicate that vegetarian endurance athletes’ cardiorespiratory fitness was greater than that for their omnivorous counterparts, but that peak torque did not differ between diet groups. These data suggest that vegetarian diets do not compromise performance outcomes and may facilitate aerobic capacity in athletes.

  18. Determination of increased mean drag coefficients for a cylinder vibrating at low values of Keulegan-Carpenter number

    Carlos Alberto Riveros

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available There is an increasing demand for the development of a reliable technology for wind turbines in deepwaters.Therefore, offshore wind turbine technology is receiving great amount of attention by the research community. Nevertheless, the dynamic response prediction of the support system for offshore wind turbines is still challenging due to the nonlinear and self-regulated nature of the Vortex Induced Vibration (VIV process. In this paper, the numerical implementation of a computational fluid dynamics-based approach for determination of increased mean drag coefficient is presented. The numerical study is conducted at low values of Keulegan-Carpenter number in order to predict the increment of drag force due to cross-flow motion. The simulation results are then compared with previously developed empirical formulations. Good agreement is observed in these comparisons.

  19. The large carpenter bees of central Saudi Arabia, with notes on the biology of Xylocopa sulcatipes Maa (Hymenoptera, Apidae, Xylocopinae

    Mohammed Hannan

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available The large carpenter bees (Xylocopinae, Xylocopa Latreille occurring in central Saudi Arabia are reviewed. Two species are recognized in the fauna, Xylocopa (Koptortosoma aestuans (Linnaeus and X. (Ctenoxylocopa sulcatipes Maa. Diagnoses for and keys to the species of these prominent components of the central Saudi Arabian bee fauna are provided to aid their identification by pollination researchers active in the region. Females and males of both species are figured and biological notes provided for X. sulcatipes. Notes on the nesting biology and ecology of X. sulcatipes are appended. As in studies for this species from elsewhere, nests were found in dried stems of Calotropis procera (Aiton (Asclepiadaceae and Phoenix dactylifera L. (Arecaceae.

  20. Ants Orase kultuurisõnum

    2007-01-01

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

  1. Work-related falls among union carpenters in Washington State before and after the Vertical Fall Arrest Standard.

    Lipscomb, Hester J; Li, Leiming; Dement, John

    2003-08-01

    Washington State enacted a change in their fall standard for the construction industry in 1991, preceding the Safety Standard for Fall Protection in the Construction Industry promulgated by Federal OSHA in 1994. We evaluated changes in the rate of falls from elevations and measures of severity among a large cohort of union carpenters after the fall standard change in Washington State, taking into account the temporal trends in their overall injury rates. There was a significant decrease in the rate of falls from height after the standard went into effect, even after adjusting for the overall decrease in work-related injuries among this cohort. Much of the decrease was immediate, likely representing the publicity surrounding fatal falls and subsequent promulgation of the standard. The greatest decrease was seen between 3 and 3(1/2) years after the standard went into effect. There was a significant reduction in mean paid lost days per event after the standard change and there was a significant reduction in mean cost per fall when adjusting for age and the temporal trend for costs among non-fall injuries. Through the use of observational methods we have demonstrated significant effects of the Washington State Vertical Fall Arrest Standard among carpenters in the absence of a control or comparison group. Without controlling for the temporal trend in overall injury rates, the rate of decline in falls appeared significantly greater, but the more pronounced, but delayed, decline was not seen. The analyses demonstrate potential error in failing to account for temporal patterns or assuming that a decline after an intervention is related to the intervention. Copyright 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  2. Prevention of traumatic nail gun injuries in apprentice carpenters: use of population-based measures to monitor intervention effectiveness.

    Lipscomb, Hester J; Nolan, James; Patterson, Dennis; Dement, John M

    2008-10-01

    Nail guns are responsible for a significant injury burden in residential construction. Risk, based on hours of work, is particularly high among apprentice carpenters due in part to more frequent exposure to tool use. Nail gun injuries were evaluated over 3 years among carpenters enrolled in two apprenticeship programs in the Midwest (2.3 million residential work hours observed) following initiation of training and a voluntary ANSI standard change calling for safer sequential triggers on framing nailers. Injury rates, based on hours of tool use, were calculated yearly. Rates and adjusted rate ratios were calculated with Poisson regression. Attributable risk percent (AR%) and population attributable risk (PAR%) were calculated yearly for modifiable independent risk factors for injury including lack of training in tool use and type of trigger mechanism on tools being used. As apprentices received training and safer trigger mechanisms became more widespread, injury rates decreased significantly (31%). While school training and hands-on mentoring were both important, injury rates were lowest among apprentices who received both. Although injury rates changed over the observation period, the relative risk comparing trigger mechanisms did not; contact trip triggers consistently carried a twofold risk. Although training and safer trigger use both increased, because of the relative prevalence of training and trigger exposures in this population, the engineering solution consistently had the potential to make more difference in population risk. Our findings demonstrate the utility of observational methods including measures of population-based risk in monitoring intervention effectiveness and making recommendations that lead to injury reduction. Published 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  3. Comparative analysis of bone mineral density and incidence of osteoporosis in vegetarians and omnivores

    Chen Qingfu; Yang Shuyu; Yan Bing; Liu Changqin; Shi Xiulin; Zhang Hujie; Yu Yaxin; Wang Liying; Li Xuejun

    2010-01-01

    Objective: To study the changes of bone mineral density and incidence of osteoporosis in vegetarians. Methods: Dual energy X-ray absorptiometry was used to measure the bone mineral densities of spine, neck of femur and greater trochanter in 62 vegetarians (vegetarian group) and 60 normal age-matched men(control group). Results: Compared with control group, the bone mineral densities(tms · cm -2 ) of spine, neck of femur and greater trochanter in vegetarians were evidently decreased (0.752 ± 0.075 vs 1.014 ± 0.096, 0.697 ± 0.071 vs 1.003 ± 0.111, 0.713 ± 0.083 vs 1.011 ± 0.097, P<0.001) and the incidences of osteoporosis and osteopenia were increased (40.3% υs 13.3%, 19.3% υs 5.0%, P<0.001). Conclusion: Vegetarians have lower bone mineral density and higher incidences of osteoporosis and osteopenia than omnivores. (authors)

  4. Intermittent feeding in a migratory omnivore: Digestion and body composition of American Black Duck during autumn

    Barboza, P.S.; Jorde, Dennis G.

    2001-01-01

    Birds fast intermittently during weather disturbances and migration. We tested responses of black duck to lost feeding days during autumn mass gain. Nine adult males were fed a pelleted diet (1.5% fat, 15.8% protein, and 18.3% neutral detergent fiber) and caged indoors during September and October (12 h light; 17? -24? C) to measure balances over 14 d when fed ad lib. each day and fasted intermittently for 2 d wk-1 (short fast) or 4 d wk-1 (long fast). Body mass (1,081 g), body water content, and metabolizable intakes of energy and protein were maintained as daily intakes of dry matter increased to 1.65 (short fast) and 2.35 (long fast) times the unfasted level. Intermittent feeding reduced metabolizability of dry matter, energy, protein, and acid detergent fiber. Concentrations of Mn provided similar estimates of metabolizability to direct measures in unfasted birds but underestimated measures of birds on long fasts. Fasting regimes continued outdoors for 9 wk when temperatures declined to -9? C. Birds on short fasts were heavier (1,373 vs. 1,241 g) and fatter (159 vs. 58 g) than those on long fasts, while body water (894 g) and protein (316 g) were similar between groups after 5 wk. Birds on long fasts subsequently gained mass when fed daily, but those on short fasts lost mass when fed each day. Omnivorous waterfowl combine ingestive and digestive flexibility with plasticity of body lipid to contend with uncertain food availability.

  5. Exploring the Musical Taste of Expert Listeners: Musicology Students reveal Tendency towards Omnivorous Taste

    Paul eElvers

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available The current study examined the musical taste of musicology students as compared to a control student group. Participants (n=1003 completed an online survey regarding the frequency with which they listened to 22 musical styles. A factor analysis revealed six underlying dimensions of musical taste. A hierarchical cluster analysis then grouped all participants, regardless of their status, according to their similarity on these dimensions. The employed exploratory approach was expected to reveal potential differences between musicology students and controls. A three-cluster solution was obtained. Comparisons of the clusters in terms of musical taste revealed differences in the listening frequency and variety of appreciated music styles: The first cluster (51% musicology students / 27% controls showed the greatest musical engagement across all dimensions although with a tendency towards »sophisticated« musical styles. The second cluster (36% musicology students / 46% controls exhibited an interest in »conventional« music, while the third cluster (13% musicology students / 27% controls showed a strong liking of rock music. The results provide some support for the notion of specific tendencies in the musical taste of musicology students and the contribution of familiarity and knowledge towards musical omnivorousness.

  6. Bifidobacteria, Lactobacilli, and Short Chain Fatty Acids of Vegetarians and Omnivores

    Bunešová Věra

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available The intestinal microbiota represents the largest and the most complex microbial community inhabiting the human body. Bifidobacteria and lactobacilli represent important commensal bacteria with the ability to utilize complex carbohydrates. The main fermentation products from the breakdown of complex dietary carbohydrates are short chain fatty acids (SCFAs. We examined faecal samples of vegetarians (n = 10 and conventional omnivores (n = 10 to evaluate the counts and occurrence of cultivable bacteria, especially bifidobacteria and lactobacilli, using cultivation on selective media, and matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight. Moreover, concentrations and molar proportion of SCFAs in faecal samples were measured. Total counts of Gram-negative anaerobic bacteria were significantly lower (P 0.05 between the diet groups. In total, six Bifidobacterium spp. and thirteen Lactobacillus spp. were detected via culture-dependent methods. Bifidobacteria counts and species composition in faecal samples of both groups were found to be relatively similar, regardless of the diet. Lactobacillus species varied more by individual diet.

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

    Alan Andersen

    1997-06-01

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

  8. Monoculture of leafcutter ant gardens.

    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.

  9. Pest repelling properties of ant pheromones

    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...

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

    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.

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

    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.

  12. Feeding stimulants in an omnivorous species, crucian carp Carassius carassius (Linnaeus 1758

    K.Håkan Olsén

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Many fish are during feeding dependent on both an olfactory and gustatory sense. Olfaction that acts as the distance sense induces arousal, food search behaviour and attraction to the source, followed by examination of food items by the gustatory sense. During buccal handling the fish decide if the feed will be rejected or swallowed. Amino acids are often stimulatory to the gustatory sense and can act as feeding stimulants. There are, however, inter-species differences concerning what kinds of amino acids act as feeding stimulants or deterrents. The species differences are probably dependent on the natural food choice. As feeding stimulating molecules increase feeding and growth, but deterrents have the reverse effect, it is important to know what kind of molecules have either effect. In the present study we record mouth handling time in the omnivorous crucian carp, Carassius carassius, of agar pellets containing water extracts of meal consisting of ordinary food pellets, blue mussels or a commercial carp attractant. These tests were followed by testing with agar pellets with synthetic amino acids, based on the content of the water extracts of the food pellets that was the only feeding stimulant. Neither extracts of mussel meal or of commercial carp attractants had a stimulating effect, i.e. no significant difference in handling time compared to agar pellets with only water. A mixture of five of the major amino acids in the food pellet extract (40 mM alanine, 20 mM glycine, 20 mM arginine, 8 mM serine, 8 mM leucin gave a significant longer handling time compared to agar pellets with only water. The handling time was also longer for the three amino acids that had the highest concentrations (40 mM Ala, 20 mM Gly, 20 mM Arg and finally with only alanine (128 mM. Agar pellets with only Ala gave, however, a significant shorter handling time compared to agar pellets with food pellet extract. The mussel meal extract had the same content of

  13. Exploring the musical taste of expert listeners: musicology students reveal tendency toward omnivorous taste.

    Elvers, Paul; Omigie, Diana; Fuhrmann, Wolfgang; Fischinger, Timo

    2015-01-01

    Musicology students are engaged with music on an academic level and usually have an extensive musical background. They have a considerable knowledge of music history and theory and listening to music may be regarded as one of their primary occupations. Taken together, these factors qualify them as ≫expert listeners≪, who may be expected to exhibit a specific profile of musical taste: interest in a broad range of musical styles combined with a greater appreciation of ≫sophisticated≪ styles. The current study examined the musical taste of musicology students as compared to a control student group. Participants (n = 1003) completed an online survey regarding the frequency with which they listened to 22 musical styles. A factor analysis revealed six underlying dimensions of musical taste. A hierarchical cluster analysis then grouped all participants, regardless of their status, according to their similarity on these dimensions. The employed exploratory approach was expected to reveal potential differences between musicology students and controls. A three-cluster solution was obtained. Comparisons of the clusters in terms of musical taste revealed differences in the listening frequency and variety of appreciated music styles: the first cluster (51% musicology students/27% controls) showed the greatest musical engagement across all dimensions although with a tendency toward ≫sophisticated≪ musical styles. The second cluster (36% musicology students/46% controls) exhibited an interest in ≫conventional≪ music, while the third cluster (13% musicology students/27% controls) showed a strong liking of rock music. The results provide some support for the notion of specific tendencies in the musical taste of musicology students and the contribution of familiarity and knowledge toward musical omnivorousness. Further differences between the clusters in terms of social, personality, and sociodemographic factors are discussed.

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

    Lee A. Dyer

    2002-09-01

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

  15. Male parentage in army ants

    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...

  16. A cellular automata model for ant trails

    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 ...

  17. Fungal Adaptations to Mutualistic Life with Ants

    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....

  18. A >46,000-year-old kangaroo bone implement from Carpenter's Gap 1 (Kimberley, northwest Australia)

    Langley, Michelle C.; O'Connor, Sue; Aplin, Ken

    2016-12-01

    Here we describe the oldest shaped and utilised bone implement recovered from an Australian context. Dated to beyond 46,000 years cal. BP and recovered from Carpenter's Gap 1 rockshelter, in the Kimberley region of northern Western Australia, this artefact demonstrates not only that Australian osseous technology has a time depth almost 25,000 years older than previously believed, but that bone technology was present in the opposite corner of the country from which it was proposed to have been innovated around 20,000 years ago. Comparison of this artefact with ethnographic implements found that the CG1 point was most consistent with an awl or a 'nose-bone'. If the implement was an awl it provides evidence for intangible behaviours such as leather working or basketry being enacted more than 46,000 years cal. BP ago, while the alternative - a nose-bone - would constitute the earliest piece of personal ornamentation in Sahul. In either case, this single artefact provides rare insights into the culture and technology of Australia's earliest peoples.

  19. Juvenile hormone-dopamine systems for the promotion of flight activity in males of the large carpenter bee Xylocopa appendiculata

    Sasaki, Ken; Nagao, Takashi

    2013-12-01

    The reproductive roles of dopamine and dopamine regulation systems are known in social hymenopterans, but the knowledge on the regulation systems in solitary species is still needed. To test the possibility that juvenile hormone (JH) and brain dopamine interact to trigger territorial flight behavior in males of a solitary bee species, the effects on biogenic amines of JH analog treatments and behavioral assays with dopamine injections in males of the large carpenter bee Xylocopa appendiculata were quantified. Brain dopamine levels were significantly higher in methoprene-treated males than in control males 4 days after treatment, but were not significantly different after 7 days. Brain octopamine and serotonin levels did not differ between methoprene-treated and control males at 4 and 7 days after treatment. Injection of dopamine caused significantly higher locomotor activities and a shorter duration for flight initiation in experimental versus control males. These results suggest that brain dopamine can be regulated by JH and enhances flight activities in males. The JH-dopamine system in males of this solitary bee species is similar to that of males of the highly eusocial honeybee Apis mellifera.

  20. Strong selection on mandible and nest features in a carpenter bee that nests in two sympatric host plants.

    Flores-Prado, Luis; Pinto, Carlos F; Rojas, Alejandra; Fontúrbel, Francisco E

    2014-05-01

    Host plants are used by herbivorous insects as feeding or nesting resources. In wood-boring insects, host plants features may impose selective forces leading to phenotypic differentiation on traits related to nest construction. Carpenter bees build their nests in dead stems or dry twigs of shrubs and trees; thus, mandibles are essential for the nesting process, and the nest is required for egg laying and offspring survival. We explored the shape and intensity of natural selection on phenotypic variation on three size measures of the bees (intertegular width, wing length, and mandible area) and two nest architecture measures (tunnel length and diameter) on bees using the native species Chusquea quila (Poaceae), and the alloctonous species Rubus ulmifolius (Rosaceae), in central Chile. Our results showed significant and positive linear selection gradients for tunnel length on both hosts, indicating that bees building long nests have more offspring. Bees with broader mandibles show greater fitness on C. quila but not on R. ulmifolius. Considering that C. quila represents a selective force on mandible area, we hypothesized a high adaptive value of this trait, resulting in higher fitness values when nesting on this host, despite its wood is denser and hence more difficult to be bored.

  1. Spatiotemporal heterogeneity in prey abundance and vulnerability shapes the foraging tactics of an omnivore.

    Rayl, Nathaniel D; Bastille-Rousseau, Guillaume; Organ, John F; Mumma, Matthew A; Mahoney, Shane P; Soulliere, Colleen E; Lewis, Keith P; Otto, Robert D; Murray, Dennis L; Waits, Lisette P; Fuller, Todd K

    2018-05-01

    predators can dynamically adjust their foraging tactics over short time-scales in response to changing prey abundance and vulnerability. Further, they demonstrate the utility of integrating temporal dynamics of prey availability into investigations of predator-prey interactions, and move towards a mechanistic understanding of the dynamic foraging tactics of a large omnivore. © 2018 The Authors. Journal of Animal Ecology © 2018 British Ecological Society.

  2. Spatiotemporal heterogeneity in prey abundance and vulnerability shapes the foraging tactics of an omnivore

    Rayl, Nathaniel; Bastille-Rousseau, Guillaume; Organ, John F.; Mumma, Matthew; Mahoney, Shane P.; Soulliere, Colleen; Lewis, Keith; Otto, Robert; Murray, Dennis; Waits, Lisette; Fuller, Todd

    2018-01-01

    generalist predators can dynamically adjust their foraging tactics over short time‐scales in response to changing prey abundance and vulnerability. Further, they demonstrate the utility of integrating temporal dynamics of prey availability into investigations of predator–prey interactions, and move towards a mechanistic understanding of the dynamic foraging tactics of a large omnivore.

  3. Microsatellite Primers for Fungus-Growing Ants

    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....

  4. Microsatellite primers for fungus-growing ants

    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....

  5. The impact of vegan diet on B-12 status in healthy omnivores: five-year prospective study.

    Mądry, Edyta; Lisowska, Aleksandra; Grebowiec, Philip; Walkowiak, Jarosław

    2012-04-02

    There are no long-term prospective studies assessing the impact of the vegan diet on vitamin B-12 (B-12) status. Many vegans take B-12 supplements irregularly or refuse to adopt them at all, considering them to be "unnatural" products. The use of B-12 fortified food may be an alternative. Therefore, we aimed to estimate the long-term effect of a vegan diet on serum B-12 concentrations in healthy omnivore adults, comparing the influence of natural products consumption and B-12 fortified food. A five year prospective study was carried out comprising 20 omnivore healthy adult subjects, who moved to strict vegan diet for 5 years. Ten volunteers followed vegan diet based entirely on natural products, while the remaining ten subjects consumed food fortified in B-12. In all subjects serum vitamin B-12 concentration was determined before and 6, 12, 24 and 60 months after the implementation of the diet. A significant decrease (p vegan diet. However, observed changes were in fact limited to the subgroup consuming exclusively natural products (p vegan diet is associated with the risk of vitamin B-12 deficiency. B-12 fortified products might constitute a valuable alternative in vegans refusing to take vitamin supplements.

  6. Occurrence of antibiotic resistance genes in the fecal DNA of healthy omnivores, ovo-lacto vegetarians and vegans.

    Milanović, Vesna; Osimani, Andrea; Aquilanti, Lucia; Tavoletti, Stefano; Garofalo, Cristiana; Polverigiani, Serena; Litta-Mulondo, Alice; Cocolin, Luca; Ferrocino, Ilario; Di Cagno, Raffaella; Turroni, Silvia; Lazzi, Camilla; Pellegrini, Nicoletta; Clementi, Francesca

    2017-09-01

    The effects of long-term omnivore, ovo-lacto vegetarian and vegan diets on the occurrence of 12 antibiotic resistance (AR) genes in the human gut were studied. The feces of 144 healthy volunteers recruited from Turin, Bari, Bologna, and Parma were screened for the occurrence of genes conferring resistance to tetracyclines, macrolide-lincosamide-streptogramin B, vancomycin, and β-lactams. Overall, erm(B), tet(W) and tet(M) were detected at the highest frequency. A low effect from the diet on the AR gene distribution emerged, with tet(K) and vanB occurring at a lower and higher frequency in vegans and omnivores, respectively. A correlation of the intake of eggs, milk from animal sources and cheese with an increased occurrence of tet(K) was observed, together with a higher incidence of vanB in consumers of eggs, poultry meat, fish and seafood. When the detection frequencies of AR genes in volunteers from Bari and the other sites were comparatively evaluated, a north-to-south gradient was observed, whereas no effect of sex or age was highlighted. Except for tet(K), a negligible three-factor interaction was seen. A high impact of the geographical location on AR gene distribution was seen in the cohort of subjects analyzed, irrespective of their dietary habits. © 2017 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  7. Temperature and diet effects on omnivorous fish performance: Implications for the latitudinal diversity gradient in herbivorous fishes

    Behrens, M.D.; Lafferty, K.D.

    2007-01-01

    Herbivorous fishes show a clear latitudinal diversity gradient, making up a larger proportion of the fish species in a community in tropical waters than in temperate waters. One proposed mechanism that could drive this gradient is a physiological constraint due to temperature. One prediction based on this mechanism is that if herbivorous fishes could shift their diet to animal material, they would be better able to grow, survive, and reproduce in cold waters. We tested this prediction on the omnivore Girella nigricans under different temperature and diet regimes using RNA-DNA ratios as an indicator of performance. Fish had increased performance (100%) at low temperatures (12??C) when their diet was supplemented with animal material. In contrast, at higher temperatures (17, 22, and 27??C) fish showed no differences between diets. This indicates that omnivorous fishes could increase their performance at low temperatures by consuming more animal matter. This study supports the hypothesis that a relative increase in the nutritional value of plant material at warmer temperatures could drive the latitudinal diversity gradient in herbivorous fishes. ?? 2007 NRC.

  8. Revolutionizing Remote Exploration with ANTS

    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.

  9. Nesting biology of an Oriental carpenter bee, Xylocopa (Biluna nasalis Westwood, 1838, in Thailand (Hymenoptera, Apidae, Xylocopinae

    Watcharapong Hongjamrassilp

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available The biological study of wild non-Apis bees can provide useful information that may help with the pollination of food crops and native plants in areas where the keeping of honey bee colonies is restricted or affected by CCD. Here, we describe the nesting biology of the Oriental large carpenter bee, Xylocopa (Biluna nasalis Westwood, 1838. An aggregation of more than 80+ bamboo nests of X. nasalis was discovered in Suan Pheung district, Ratch Buri province, Thailand on the 25th of May 2012. We collected 27 nests from the site to dissect, measure the external and internal nest architecture, and analyze the pollen composition of the pollen masses. X. nasalis constructs linear unbranched nests with nest entrance mostly located at the open-end of the bamboo culms. The nest length and the branch diameter of the nest entrance (excluding nesting edge are 25.40 ± 6.95 cm and 17.94 ± 6.00 mm, and the maximum number of provisioned cells is 8. A biased sex ratio of 8♀: 1♂ is reported, with up to 7 adults inhabiting in a single nest. 29 pollen types were identified from 14 pollen masses using an acetolysis method and visualization under both light microscope and scanning electron microscope. 13 pollen types were considered as major pollen sources (contribute ≥ 1% in total pollen volume; however, only 10 can be identified to family and generic levels. The dominant pollen sources are of the families Elaeagnaceae (Elaeagnus cf. latifolia, Euphorbiaceae (Croton, Fabaceae (Senna siamea and Cassia, Fagaceae (Lithocarpus and Castanopsis, and Lythraceae (Trapa which are mostly native to the region of Southeast Asia. The nesting architectural details should prove to be beneficial to beekeepers and researchers who are interested in trapping and studying X. nasalis, and the polylectic behavior of X. nasalis can be highly valuable for future crop pollination strategies, particularly for plants that require sonication of their poricidal anthers.

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

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

    2017-12-01

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

  11. Ecosystem services delivered by weaver ants

    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...

  12. Three-dimensional visualization and a deep-learning model reveal complex fungal parasite networks in behaviorally manipulated ants.

    Fredericksen, Maridel A; Zhang, Yizhe; Hazen, Missy L; Loreto, Raquel G; Mangold, Colleen A; Chen, Danny Z; Hughes, David P

    2017-11-21

    Some microbes possess the ability to adaptively manipulate host behavior. To better understand how such microbial parasites control animal behavior, we examine the cell-level interactions between the species-specific fungal parasite Ophiocordyceps unilateralis sensu lato and its carpenter ant host ( Camponotus castaneus ) at a crucial moment in the parasite's lifecycle: when the manipulated host fixes itself permanently to a substrate by its mandibles. The fungus is known to secrete tissue-specific metabolites and cause changes in host gene expression as well as atrophy in the mandible muscles of its ant host, but it is unknown how the fungus coordinates these effects to manipulate its host's behavior. In this study, we combine techniques in serial block-face scanning-electron microscopy and deep-learning-based image segmentation algorithms to visualize the distribution, abundance, and interactions of this fungus inside the body of its manipulated host. Fungal cells were found throughout the host body but not in the brain, implying that behavioral control of the animal body by this microbe occurs peripherally. Additionally, fungal cells invaded host muscle fibers and joined together to form networks that encircled the muscles. These networks may represent a collective foraging behavior of this parasite, which may in turn facilitate host manipulation. Copyright © 2017 the Author(s). Published by PNAS.

  13. Roadside Survey of Ants on Oahu, Hawaii

    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

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

    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.

  15. Metabolism of triglyceride-rich lipoproteins and transfer of lipids to high-density lipoproteins (HDL) in vegan and omnivore subjects.

    Vinagre, J C; Vinagre, C G; Pozzi, F S; Slywitch, E; Maranhão, R C

    2013-01-01

    Vegan diet excludes all foodstuffs of animal origin and leads to cholesterol lowering and possibly reduction of cardiovascular disease risk. The aim was to investigate whether vegan diet improves the metabolic pathway of triglyceride-rich lipoproteins, consisting in lipoprotein lipolysis and removal from circulation of the resulting remnants and to verify whether the diet alters HDL metabolism by changing lipid transfers to this lipoprotein. 21 vegan and 29 omnivores eutrophic and normolipidemic subjects were intravenously injected triglyceride-rich emulsions labeled with (14)C-cholesterol oleate and (3)H-triolein: fractional clearance rates (FCR, in min(-1)) were calculated from samples collected during 60 min for radioactive counting. Lipid transfer to HDL was assayed by incubating plasma samples with a donor nanoemulsion labeled with radioactive lipids; % lipids transferred to HDL were quantified in supernatant after chemical precipitation of non-HDL fractions and nanoemulsion. Serum LDL cholesterol was lower in vegans than in omnivores (2.1 ± 0.8, 2.7 ± 0.7 mmol/L, respectively, p vegans than in omnivores (0.016 ± 0.012, 0.003 ± 0.003, p vegans than in omnivores (2.7 ± 0.6, 3.5 ± 1.5%, p vegans, but the lipolysis process, estimated by triglyceride FCR was equal. Increased removal of atherogenic remnants and diminution of cholesteryl ester transfer may favor atherosclerosis prevention by vegan diet. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Confirmatory factor analysis of the Eating Disorder Examination-Questionnaire: A comparison of five factor solutions across vegan and omnivore participants.

    Heiss, Sydney; Boswell, James F; Hormes, Julia M

    2018-05-01

    The Eating Disorder Examination-Questionnaire (EDE-Q) is a valid and reliable measure of eating-related pathology, but its factor structure has proven difficult to replicate. Given differences in dietary patterns in vegans compared to omnivores, proper measurement of eating disorder symptoms is especially important in studies of animal product avoiders. This study compared goodness-of-fit of five alternative models of the EDE-Q in vegans (i.e., individuals refraining from all animal products, n = 318) and omnivores (i.e., individuals not restricting intake of animal products, n = 200). Confirmatory factor analyses were used to compare fit indices of the original four-factor model of the EDE-Q, along with alternative three-, two-, full one-, and brief one-factor models. No model provided adequate fit of the data in either sample of respondents. The fit of the brief one-factor model was the closest to acceptable in omnivores, but did not perform as well in vegans. Indicators of fit were comparable in vegans and omnivores across all other models. Our data confirm difficulties in replicating the proposed factor structure of the EDE-Q, including in vegans. More research is needed to determine the suitability of the EDE-Q for quantifying eating behaviors, including in those abstaining from animal products. © 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  17. The distribution and diversity of insular ants

    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...

  18. Effect of omnivorous and vegan diets with different protein and carbohydrate content on growth and metabolism of growing rats.

    Giuberti, Gianluca; Morlacchini, Mauro; Crippa, Luca; Capraro, Jessica; Paganini, Beatrice; Gallo, Antonio; Rossi, Filippo

    2018-08-01

    The purpose of this study was to observe, in a rat animal model, the short and medium term effects of vegan (VEG) or omnivorous (OMNI) diets with different energy partition between nutrients (zone or classic). Six different diets were administered, for 72 days to 120 growing male Sprague-Dawley rats: (i) VEG zone diet; (ii) VEG classic diet; (iii) OMNI zone diet; (iv) OMNI classic diet; (v) OMNI zone diet with added fibre and (vi) OMNI classic diet with added fibre. Zone diets (high protein and low carbohydrates), resulted in better growth , feed efficiency, lower blood glucose and insulin responses. VEG diets have lowered cholesterol blood level. Histopathological analysis evidenced no damage to liver and kidney tissue by the intake of any of the diet types. Further longer animal and human duration studies should be performed to exclude detrimental effect of higher protein diet.

  19. Antígona y la muerte

    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...

  20. Ant-plant symbioses: Stalking the chuyachaqui.

    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.

  1. From Ant Trails to Pedestrian Dynamics

    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.

  2. Simultaneous stimulation of glycolysis and gluconeogenesis by feeding in the anterior intestine of the omnivorous GIFT tilapia, Oreochromis niloticus

    Yong-Jun Chen

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available The present study was performed to investigate the roles of anterior intestine in the postprandial glucose homeostasis of the omnivorous Genetically Improved Farmed Tilapia (GIFT. Sub-adult fish (about 173 g were sampled at 0, 1, 3, 8 and 24 h post feeding (HPF after 36 h of food deprivation, and the time course of changes in intestinal glucose transport, glycolysis, glycogenesis and gluconeogenesis at the transcription and enzyme activity level, as well as plasma glucose contents, were analyzed. Compared with 0 HPF (fasting for 36 h, the mRNA levels of both ATP-dependent sodium/glucose cotransporter 1 and facilitated glucose transporter 2 increased during 1-3 HPF, decreased at 8 HPF and then leveled off. These results indicated that intestinal uptake of glucose and its transport across the intestine to blood mainly occurred during 1-3 HPF, which subsequently resulted in the increase of plasma glucose level at the same time. Intestinal glycolysis was stimulated during 1-3 HPF, while glucose storage as glycogen was induced during 3-8 HPF. Unexpectedly, intestinal gluconeogenesis (IGNG was also strongly induced during 1-3 HPF at the state of nutrient assimilation. The mRNA abundance and enzyme activities of glutamic-pyruvic and glutamic-oxaloacetic transaminases increased during 1-3 HPF, suggesting that the precursors of IGNG might originate from some amino acids. Taken together, it was concluded that the anterior intestine played an important role in the regulation of postprandial glucose homeostasis in omnivorous tilapia, as it represented significant glycolytic potential and glucose storage. It was interesting that postprandial IGNG was stimulated by feeding temporarily, and its biological significance remains to be elucidated in fish.

  3. Simultaneous stimulation of glycolysis and gluconeogenesis by feeding in the anterior intestine of the omnivorous GIFT tilapia, Oreochromis niloticus.

    Chen, Yong-Jun; Zhang, Ti-Yin; Chen, Hai-Yan; Lin, Shi-Mei; Luo, Li; Wang, De-Shou

    2017-06-15

    The present study was performed to investigate the roles of anterior intestine in the postprandial glucose homeostasis of the omnivorous Genetically Improved Farmed Tilapia (GIFT). Sub-adult fish (about 173 g) were sampled at 0, 1, 3, 8 and 24 h post feeding (HPF) after 36 h of food deprivation, and the time course of changes in intestinal glucose transport, glycolysis, glycogenesis and gluconeogenesis at the transcription and enzyme activity level, as well as plasma glucose contents, were analyzed. Compared with 0 HPF (fasting for 36 h), the mRNA levels of both ATP-dependent sodium/glucose cotransporter 1 and facilitated glucose transporter 2 increased during 1-3 HPF, decreased at 8 HPF and then leveled off. These results indicated that intestinal uptake of glucose and its transport across the intestine to blood mainly occurred during 1-3 HPF, which subsequently resulted in the increase of plasma glucose level at the same time. Intestinal glycolysis was stimulated during 1-3 HPF, while glucose storage as glycogen was induced during 3-8 HPF. Unexpectedly, intestinal gluconeogenesis (IGNG) was also strongly induced during 1-3 HPF at the state of nutrient assimilation. The mRNA abundance and enzyme activities of glutamic-pyruvic and glutamic-oxaloacetic transaminases increased during 1-3 HPF, suggesting that the precursors of IGNG might originate from some amino acids. Taken together, it was concluded that the anterior intestine played an important role in the regulation of postprandial glucose homeostasis in omnivorous tilapia, as it represented significant glycolytic potential and glucose storage. It was interesting that postprandial IGNG was stimulated by feeding temporarily, and its biological significance remains to be elucidated in fish. © 2017. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

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

    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.

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

    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.

  6. Michael Jackson antes del caos

    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...

  7. Viaje Antártico

    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...

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

    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...

  9. Serum concentrations of vitamin B12 and folate in British male omnivores, vegetarians and vegans: results from a cross-sectional analysis of the EPIC-Oxford cohort study.

    Gilsing, A M J; Crowe, F L; Lloyd-Wright, Z; Sanders, T A B; Appleby, P N; Allen, N E; Key, T J

    2010-09-01

    Vegans, and to a lesser extent vegetarians, have low average circulating concentrations of vitamin B12; however, the relation between factors such as age or time on these diets and vitamin B12 concentrations is not clear. The objectives of this study were to investigate differences in serum vitamin B12 and folate concentrations between omnivores, vegetarians and vegans and to ascertain whether vitamin B12 concentrations differed by age and time on the diet. A cross-sectional analysis involving 689 men (226 omnivores, 231 vegetarians and 232 vegans) from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition Oxford cohort. Mean serum vitamin B12 was highest among omnivores (281, 95% CI: 270-292 pmol/l), intermediate among vegetarians (182, 95% CI: 175-189 pmol/l) and lowest among vegans (122, 95% CI: 117-127 pmol/l). In all, 52% of vegans, 7% of vegetarians and one omnivore were classified as vitamin B12 deficient (defined as serum vitamin B12 vegan diet and serum vitamin B12. In contrast, folate concentrations were highest among vegans, intermediate among vegetarians and lowest among omnivores, but only two men (both omnivores) were categorized as folate deficient (defined as serum folate Vegans have lower vitamin B12 concentrations, but higher folate concentrations, than vegetarians and omnivores. Half of the vegans were categorized as vitamin B12 deficient and would be expected to have a higher risk of developing clinical symptoms related to vitamin B12 deficiency.

  10. Daniel Carpenter | NREL

    Vapors," Green Chemistry (2014) "Field-to-Fuel Performance Testing of Lignocellulosic Demonstration Experiments," Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research (2014) "Pilot-Scale Literature," Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research (2010) "Demonstration and

  11. Hybrid chaotic ant swarm optimization

    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.

  12. The Biochemical Toxin Arsenal from Ant Venoms

    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.

  13. Hey! A Fire Ant Stung Me!

    ... 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 ...

  14. The Biochemical Toxin Arsenal from Ant Venoms

    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

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

    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.

  16. AntStar: Enhancing Optimization Problems by Integrating an Ant System and A⁎ Algorithm

    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.

  17. Cryptococcus neoformans carried by Odontomachus bauri ants

    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.

  18. Recurrence analysis of ant activity patterns.

    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.

  19. Ants defend aphids against lethal disease

    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

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

    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.

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

    Wang, Yuanshi; Wang, Shikun

    2015-01-01

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

  2. Michael Jackson antes del caos

    Juan Luciano Nieves

    2015-01-01

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

  3. Individual Recognition in Ant Queens

    D'Ettorre, Patrizia; Heinze, Jürgen

    2005-01-01

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

  4. FDTD-ANT User Manual

    Zimmerman, Martin L.

    1995-01-01

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

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

    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.

  6. Collective search by ants in microgravity

    Stefanie M. Countryman

    2015-03-01

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

  7. Ant-lepidopteran associations along African forest edges

    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.

  8. Pheromone disruption of Argentine ant trail integrity

    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.

  9. Reading a book can change your mind, but only some changes last for a year: food attitude changes in readers of The Omnivore's Dilemma

    Hormes, Julia M.; Rozin, Paul; Green, Melanie C.; Fincher, Katrina

    2013-01-01

    Attitude change is a critical component of health behavior change, but has rarely been studied longitudinally following extensive exposures to persuasive materials such as full-length movies, books, or plays. We examined changes in attitudes related to food production and consumption in college students who had read Michael Pollan's book The Omnivore's Dilemma as part of a University-wide reading project. Composite attitudes towards organic foods, local produce, meat, and the qualit...

  10. Blood pressure of omnivorous and semi-vegetarian postmenopausal women and their relationship with dietary and hair concentrations of essential and toxic metals.

    Rodenas, S; Sánchez-Muniz, F J; Bastida, S; Sevillano, M I; Larrea Marín, T; González-Muñoz, M J

    2011-01-01

    This study aims to ascertain the relationships between mineral consumption, hair mineral content, and blood pressure. The study involved 26 postmenopausal women from enclosed religious communities, 14 were semi-vegetarians and 12 were omnivores. Mineral dietary assessment was performed using a 14-d precise weight method and Food tables. Hair mineral levels were measured by means Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS) and Inductively Coupled Plasma Atomic Emission Spectrometry (ICP-OES). Multivariable stepwise linear regression analyses were performed to find out the variables that affected most blood pressure. In general terms, the omnivorous diet contained a significantly higher mineral content than the semi-vegetarian one. The mineral intake from both diets implied no health risk to the women studied, as their estimated daily intake (EDI) of toxic elements such as Cd and Pb was lower than their respective provisional tolerable weekly intake (PTWI) of these minerals. Hair of the semi-vegetarians contained higher amounts of Al (p < 0.01), Ba (p < 0.01), K (p < 0.001), Na (p < 0.001), Pb (p < 0.001) and Mn (p < 0.01) but lower levels of Ca (p < 0.05) and Zn (p < 0.05) than that of their omnivorous counterparts. The omnivores presented significantly higher systolic (p < 0.01) and diastolic (p < 0.05) pressures than the semi-vegetarians. Levels of hair Co (R² = 0.328; p = 0.032) and hair K (R² = 0.409; p = 0.014)) were explicative for systolic and diastolic blood pressure, respectively. Several dietary mineral and hair contents were higher in semi-vegetarian women suggesting that the hair is an important mineral excretion via contributing to maintain blood pressure at low levels.

  11. Changing to a vegetarian diet reduces the body creatine pool in omnivorous women, but appears not to affect carnitine and carnosine homeostasis: a randomised trial.

    Blancquaert, Laura; Baguet, Audrey; Bex, Tine; Volkaert, Anneke; Everaert, Inge; Delanghe, Joris; Petrovic, Mirko; Vervaet, Chris; De Henauw, Stefaan; Constantin-Teodosiu, Dumitru; Greenhaff, Paul; Derave, Wim

    2018-04-01

    Balanced vegetarian diets are popular, although they are nearly absent in creatine and carnosine and contain considerably less carnitine than non-vegetarian diets. Few longitudinal intervention studies investigating the effect of a vegetarian diet on the availability of these compounds currently exist. We aimed to investigate the effect of transiently switching omnivores onto a vegetarian diet for 6 months on muscle and plasma creatine, carnitine and carnosine homeostasis. In a 6-month intervention, forty omnivorous women were ascribed to three groups: continued omnivorous diet (control, n 10), vegetarian diet without supplementation (Veg+Pla, n 15) and vegetarian diet combined with daily β-alanine (0·8-0·4 g/d) and creatine supplementation (1 g creatine monohydrate/d) (Veg+Suppl, n 15). Before (0 months; 0M), after 3 months (3M) and 6 months (6M), a fasted venous blood sample and 24-h urine was collected, and muscle carnosine content was determined by proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H-MRS). Muscle biopsies were obtained at 0M and 3M. Plasma creatine and muscle total creatine content declined from 0M to 3M in Veg+Pla (P=0·013 and P=0·009, respectively), whereas plasma creatine increased from 0M in Veg+Suppl (P=0·004). None of the carnitine-related compounds in plasma or muscle showed a significant time×group interaction effect. 1H-MRS-determined muscle carnosine content was unchanged over 6M in control and Veg+Pla, but increased in Veg+Suppl in soleus (Pvegetarian diet in omnivorous women, which was ameliorated when accompanied by low-dose dietary creatine supplementation. Carnitine and carnosine homeostasis was unaffected by a 3- or 6-month vegetarian diet, respectively.

  12. A comparison of heart rate variability, n-3 PUFA status and lipid mediator profile in age- and BMI-matched middle-aged vegans and omnivores.

    Pinto, Ana M; Sanders, Thomas A B; Kendall, Alexandra C; Nicolaou, Anna; Gray, Robert; Al-Khatib, Haya; Hall, Wendy L

    2017-03-01

    Low heart rate variability (HRV) predicts sudden cardiac death. Long-chain (LC) n-3 PUFA (C20-C22) status is positively associated with HRV. This cross-sectional study investigated whether vegans aged 40-70 years (n 23), whose diets are naturally free from EPA (20 : 5n-3) and DHA (22 : 6n-3), have lower HRV compared with omnivores (n 24). Proportions of LC n-3 PUFA in erythrocyte membranes, plasma fatty acids and concentrations of plasma LC n-3 PUFA-derived lipid mediators were significantly lower in vegans. Day-time interbeat intervals (IBI), adjusted for physical activity, age, BMI and sex, were significantly shorter in vegans compared with omnivores (mean difference -67 ms; 95 % CI -130, -3·4, P50 % and high-frequency power) were similarly lower in vegans, with no differences during sleep. In conclusion, vegans have higher 24 h SDNN, but lower day-time HRV and shorter day-time IBI relative to comparable omnivores. Vegans may have reduced availability of precursor markers for pro-resolving lipid mediators; it remains to be determined whether there is a direct link with impaired cardiac function in populations with low-n-3 status.

  13. Perspectives provided by leopard and other cat genomes: how diet determined the evolutionary history of carnivores, omnivores, and herbivores

    Kim, Soonok; Cho, Yun Sung; Bhak, Jong; O’Brian, Stephen J.; Yeo, Joo-Hong

    2017-01-01

    Recent advances in genome sequencing technologies have enabled humans to generate and investigate the genomes of wild species. This includes the big cat family, such as tigers, lions, and leopards. Adding the first high quality leopard genome, we have performed an in-depth comparative analysis to identify the genomic signatures in the evolution of felid to become the top predators on land. Our study focused on how the carnivore genomes, as compared to the omnivore or herbivore genomes, shared evolutionary adaptations in genes associated with nutrient metabolism, muscle strength, agility, and other traits responsible for hunting and meat digestion. We found genetic evidence that genomes represent what animals eat through modifying genes. Highly conserved genetically relevant regions were discovered in genomes at the family level. Also, the Felidae family genomes exhibited low levels of genetic diversity associated with decreased population sizes, presumably because of their strict diet, suggesting their vulnerability and critical conservation status. Our findings can be used for human health enhancement, since we share the same genes as cats with some variation. This is an example how wildlife genomes can be a critical resource for human evolution, providing key genetic marker information for disease treatment. PMID:28042784

  14. Fecal Microbiota in Healthy Subjects Following Omnivore, Vegetarian and Vegan Diets: Culturable Populations and rRNA DGGE Profiling.

    Ferrocino, Ilario; Di Cagno, Raffaella; De Angelis, Maria; Turroni, Silvia; Vannini, Lucia; Bancalari, Elena; Rantsiou, Kalliopi; Cardinali, Gianluigi; Neviani, Erasmo; Cocolin, Luca

    2015-01-01

    In this study, the fecal microbiota of 153 healthy volunteers, recruited from four different locations in Italy, has been studied by coupling viable counts, on different microbiological media, with ribosomal RNA Denaturing Gradient Gel Electrophoresis (rRNA-DGGE). The volunteers followed three different diets, namely omnivore, ovo-lacto-vegetarian and vegan. The results obtained from culture-dependent and -independent methods have underlined a high level of similarity of the viable fecal microbiota for the three investigated diets. The rRNA DGGE profiles were very complex and comprised a total number of bands that varied from 67 to 64 for the V3 and V9 regions of the 16S rRNA gene, respectively. Only a few bands were specific in/of all three diets, and the presence of common taxa associated with the dietary habits was found. As far as the viable counts are concerned, the high similarity of the fecal microbiota was once again confirmed, with only a few of the investigated groups showing significant differences. Interestingly, the samples grouped differently, according to the recruitment site, thus highlighting a higher impact of the food consumed by the volunteers in the specific geographical locations than that of the type of diet. Lastly, it should be mentioned that the fecal microbiota DGGE profiles obtained from the DNA were clearly separated from those produced using RNA, thus underlining a difference between the total and viable populations in the fecal samples.

  15. Fecal Microbiota in Healthy Subjects Following Omnivore, Vegetarian and Vegan Diets: Culturable Populations and rRNA DGGE Profiling

    Ferrocino, Ilario; Di Cagno, Raffaella; De Angelis, Maria; Turroni, Silvia; Vannini, Lucia; Bancalari, Elena; Rantsiou, Kalliopi; Cardinali, Gianluigi; Neviani, Erasmo; Cocolin, Luca

    2015-01-01

    In this study, the fecal microbiota of 153 healthy volunteers, recruited from four different locations in Italy, has been studied by coupling viable counts, on different microbiological media, with ribosomal RNA Denaturing Gradient Gel Electrophoresis (rRNA-DGGE). The volunteers followed three different diets, namely omnivore, ovo-lacto-vegetarian and vegan. The results obtained from culture-dependent and -independent methods have underlined a high level of similarity of the viable fecal microbiota for the three investigated diets. The rRNA DGGE profiles were very complex and comprised a total number of bands that varied from 67 to 64 for the V3 and V9 regions of the 16S rRNA gene, respectively. Only a few bands were specific in/of all three diets, and the presence of common taxa associated with the dietary habits was found. As far as the viable counts are concerned, the high similarity of the fecal microbiota was once again confirmed, with only a few of the investigated groups showing significant differences. Interestingly, the samples grouped differently, according to the recruitment site, thus highlighting a higher impact of the food consumed by the volunteers in the specific geographical locations than that of the type of diet. Lastly, it should be mentioned that the fecal microbiota DGGE profiles obtained from the DNA were clearly separated from those produced using RNA, thus underlining a difference between the total and viable populations in the fecal samples. PMID:26035837

  16. Fecal Microbiota in Healthy Subjects Following Omnivore, Vegetarian and Vegan Diets: Culturable Populations and rRNA DGGE Profiling.

    Ilario Ferrocino

    Full Text Available In this study, the fecal microbiota of 153 healthy volunteers, recruited from four different locations in Italy, has been studied by coupling viable counts, on different microbiological media, with ribosomal RNA Denaturing Gradient Gel Electrophoresis (rRNA-DGGE. The volunteers followed three different diets, namely omnivore, ovo-lacto-vegetarian and vegan. The results obtained from culture-dependent and -independent methods have underlined a high level of similarity of the viable fecal microbiota for the three investigated diets. The rRNA DGGE profiles were very complex and comprised a total number of bands that varied from 67 to 64 for the V3 and V9 regions of the 16S rRNA gene, respectively. Only a few bands were specific in/of all three diets, and the presence of common taxa associated with the dietary habits was found. As far as the viable counts are concerned, the high similarity of the fecal microbiota was once again confirmed, with only a few of the investigated groups showing significant differences. Interestingly, the samples grouped differently, according to the recruitment site, thus highlighting a higher impact of the food consumed by the volunteers in the specific geographical locations than that of the type of diet. Lastly, it should be mentioned that the fecal microbiota DGGE profiles obtained from the DNA were clearly separated from those produced using RNA, thus underlining a difference between the total and viable populations in the fecal samples.

  17. Functional morphology of comminuting feeding structures of Trichodactylus borellianus (Brachyura, Decapoda, Trichodactylidae), an omnivorous freshwater crab.

    Carvalho, Débora de Azevedo; Viozzi, Maria Florencia; Collins, Pablo Agustín; Williner, Verónica

    2017-07-01

    Crustaceans exhibit great diversity of feeding structures with morphological traits that are useful to infer the general trophic habits of species. In this study, we analyzed the functional morphology of comminuting feeding structures (mandibles, chelipeds, gastric mill) of the freshwater crab Trichodactylus borellianus directly related with the food fragmentation. The heterochely and mechanical advantage (MA) of the chelae were also studied. In both analyses, we considered the relationship between morphology and the natural diet. We expected to find a consistent relation between feeding habits and morphological traits. In general, we found simple structures armed with uniform setal systems and feeding appendages without pronounced teeth or spines. Mandibles have primarily cutting functions, helping with the food anchoring and fragmentation with mandibular palps armed with pappose setae. Chelipeds were covered with spines and simple setae. Adult males exhibited right-handedness with high MA of the major chelae. The ingested, relatively large pieces of food are finally chewed by a gastric mill equipped with sharp cusps characteristic of decapods with low ingestion of crude fiber material. The morphology of the feeding apparatus revealed that it is well adapted to an omnivorous diet, being able to cope with dietary changes. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Adult Competency Education Kit. Basic Skills in Speaking, Math, and Reading for Employment. Part H. ACE Competency Based Job Descriptions: #25--Household Appliance Mechanic; #26--Lineworker; #27--Painter Helper, Spray; #28--Painter, Brush; #29--Carpenter Apprentice.

    San Mateo County Office of Education, Redwood City, CA. Career Preparation Centers.

    This fifth of fifteen sets of Adult Competency Education (ACE) Competency Based Job Descriptions in the ACE kit contains job descriptions for Household Appliance Mechanic; Lineworker; Painter Helper, Spray; Painter, Brush; and Carpenter Apprentice. Each begins with a fact sheet that includes this information: occupational title, D.O.T. code, ACE…

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

    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 ...

  20. Ants as tools in sustainable agriculture

    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...

  1. Kunstikriitik Ants Juske sai doktoriks / Neeme Korv

    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

  2. Fungal enzymes in the attine ant symbiosis

    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....

  3. Exotic ants (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) of Ohio

    Ivanov,Kal

    2016-01-01

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

  4. Improving Emergency Management by Modeling Ant Colonies

    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

  5. Extrafloral nectar fuels ant life in deserts

    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...

  6. Chemically armed mercenary ants protect fungus-farming societies

    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...

  7. Toxic industrial deposit remediation by ant activity

    Jilkova, Veronika; Frouz, Jan

    2016-04-01

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

  8. Congestion and communication in confined ant traffic

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

    2014-03-01

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

  9. Fire ants perpetually rebuild sinking towers

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

    2017-07-01

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

  10. Combination of plant and insect eggs as food sources facilitates ovarian development in an omnivorous bug Apolygus lucorum (Hemiptera: Miridae).

    Yuan, Wei; Li, Wenjing; Li, Yunhe; Wu, Kongming G

    2013-06-01

    Diet nutrient is considered as an important regulatory factor for reproduction of insects. To understand the effect of different food sources on the reproductive physiology of Apolygus lucorum (Meyer-Dür), the ovarian development in adult females was investigated when they were fed on green beans (Gb), combination of green beans Phaseolus vulgaris L and Helicoverpa armigera eggs (GbHe), or H. armigera eggs (He). A female of A. lucorum has two ovaries, and each ovary contained seven yellowish ovarioles. Females fed on Gb or GbHe had larger ovaries and the ovarioles contained larger numbers of oocytes compared with those fed on He. Females in GeHe treatment has significantly higher number of follicles per ovary throughout the whole adult period compared with those in Gb or He treatment. Furthermore, the length of the best developed ovariole was affected by the diet type. The females fed on GbHe had the most developed ovarioles, with significantly longer ovarioles than those fed on Gb or He. A method was described to quantitatively score the degree of ovarian development in the current study. Similarly, the ovarian development scores were significantly higher for females in GbHe treatment than those in other two diet treatments. The ovarian development significantly delayed for females fed on He. Our results demonstrate that A. lucorum, as an omnivorous insect species, can acquire nutrients from both plant and animal origin food sources, and the combination of plants and animal food sources can significantly facilitate the ovary development of its females.

  11. Vegetarianism and meat consumption: A comparison of attitudes and beliefs between vegetarian, semi-vegetarian, and omnivorous subjects in Belgium.

    Mullee, Amy; Vermeire, Leen; Vanaelst, Barbara; Mullie, Patrick; Deriemaeker, Peter; Leenaert, Tobias; De Henauw, Stefaan; Dunne, Aoibheann; Gunter, Marc J; Clarys, Peter; Huybrechts, Inge

    2017-07-01

    High levels of meat consumption in Belgium may be contributing to increased risk of non-communicable diseases in this population. The objective of this study is to investigate the attitudes and beliefs about vegetarianism and meat consumption among the Belgian population, ultimately to better understand the motivations underlying these dietary behaviours. This cross-sectional study was initiated in March 2011. A total of 2436 individuals from a representative consumer panel from the Flemish and Brussels communities participated. The study sample was evenly distributed by education level and sex (1238 men and 1198 women). An online questionnaire with multiple-choice questions about vegetarianism and meat consumption was completed by all participants. Although representative of the prevalence of vegetarians in the population, the number of vegetarians in the study was low (n = 38); the number of semi-vegetarians (n = 288) and omnivores was high (n = 2031). Vegetarians were more likely than semi-vegetarians to agree that meat production is bad for the environment and that meat consumption is unhealthy. Important reasons for not being vegetarian included lack of interest and awareness, taste, and limited cooking skills. Encouragingly, health and discovering new tastes were seen as the most important motives for considering eating a more vegetarian-based diet. The results of this study highlight the motivations that can be used for encouraging the general public to reduce their meat consumption in favour of a plant-rich diet, and will help to inform more targeted health campaigns for reducing meat consumption in Belgium. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Efficacy of GPS cluster analysis for predicting carnivory sites of a wide-ranging omnivore: the American black bear

    Kindschuh, Sarah R.; Cain, James W.; Daniel, David; Peyton, Mark A.

    2016-01-01

    The capacity to describe and quantify predation by large carnivores expanded considerably with the advent of GPS technology. Analyzing clusters of GPS locations formed by carnivores facilitates the detection of predation events by identifying characteristics which distinguish predation sites. We present a performance assessment of GPS cluster analysis as applied to the predation and scavenging of an omnivore, the American black bear (Ursus americanus), on ungulate prey and carrion. Through field investigations of 6854 GPS locations from 24 individual bears, we identified 54 sites where black bears formed a cluster of locations while predating or scavenging elk (Cervus elaphus), mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus), or cattle (Bos spp.). We developed models for three data sets to predict whether a GPS cluster was formed at a carnivory site vs. a non-carnivory site (e.g., bed sites or non-ungulate foraging sites). Two full-season data sets contained GPS locations logged at either 3-h or 30-min intervals from April to November, and a third data set contained 30-min interval data from April through July corresponding to the calving period for elk. Longer fix intervals resulted in the detection of fewer carnivory sites. Clusters were more likely to be carnivory sites if they occurred in open or edge habitats, if they occurred in the early season, if the mean distance between all pairs of GPS locations within the cluster was less, and if the cluster endured for a longer period of time. Clusters were less likely to be carnivory sites if they were initiated in the morning or night compared to the day. The top models for each data set performed well and successfully predicted 71–96% of field-verified carnivory events, 55–75% of non–carnivory events, and 58–76% of clusters overall. Refinement of this method will benefit from further application across species and ecological systems.

  13. Feeding habits of omnivorous Asplanchna: comparison of diet composition among Asplanchna herricki, A. priodonta and A. girodi in pond ecosystems

    Shin-ichi NAKANO

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available Spatial distribution and the diet composition of Asplanchna species were studied in 18 water bodies in Matsuyama, Japan. The abundance of Asplanchna and other rotifers, crustaceans, phytoplankton and microbial plankton, together with basic environmental parameters, were determined between October and December 2006, and the distribution and diet composition of Asplanchna species were estimated. Three species of Asplanchna, A. herricki, A. priodonta and A. girodi were found in the present study, but A. herricki was rather less abundant than the other two species. Their diet composition was different among the species, showing that A. herricki consumed only particulate matter while the diet of A. priodonta included mainly phytoplankton, dominated by dinoflagellates. In contrast, A. girodi was rather carnivorous, and included other rotifers in its diet. Their different food habits are not explained by their morphotypes and trophi structures, suggesting this difference might be related to their feeding abilities. For A. girodi, prey selectivity (Chesson's α for rotifer prey was negative, except for Keratella cochlearis. The amount of rotifers consumed was also low at a mean prey number of less than 3 per A. girodi gut. The result suggests that the predation impact of Asplanchna as a top-down controller of rotifer populations is species-specific and can be apparent only when Asplanchna population reaches high density in these ponds. From the present results, three Asplanchna species were found to belong to basically different feeding groups, A. herricki is detritivore while A. priodonta and A. girodi are omnivores; but A. girodi is more predacious.

  14. Class Position and Musical Tastes: A Sing-Off between the Cultural Omnivorism and Bourdieusian Homology Frameworks.

    Veenstra, Gerry

    2015-05-01

    The longstanding debate between the homology and omnivorism approaches to the class bases of cultural tastes and practices rages on in cultural sociology. The homology thesis claims that class positions throughout the class hierarchy are accompanied by specified cultural tastes and specialized modes of appreciating them while the cultural omnivorism thesis contends that elites are (increasingly) characterized by a breadth of cultural tastes of any and all kinds. This study tests the applicability of these theses to musical tastes in Canada through the application of multiple correspondence analysis, latent class analysis, and logistic regression modeling to original telephone survey data (n = 1,595) from Toronto and Vancouver. I find that musical omnivorism, an appreciation for diverse musical styles, is not dispersed along class lines. Instead I find a homology between class position and musical tastes that designates blues, choral, classical, jazz, musical theater, opera, pop, reggae, rock, and world/international as relatively highbrow and country, disco, easy listening, golden oldies, heavy metal, and rap as relatively lowbrow. Of the highbrow tastes, all but jazz are disliked by lower class people, and of the lowbrow tastes, country, easy listening, and golden oldies are concurrently disliked by higher class people. Consistent with the homology thesis, it appears that class position is aligned with specific musical likes and dislikes. Le vieux débat entre les approches de l'homologie et de l'omnivorisme aux bases des classes des goûts et des pratiques culturels fait rage dans la sociologie culturelle. La thèse de l'homologie prétend que les positions des classes à travers la hiérarchie des classes sont accompagnées par des goûts culturels spécifiés et des modes spécialisés permettant leur appréciation. La thèse de l'omnivorisme culturel, en revanche, soutient que les élites sont (de plus en plus) caractérisées par un éventail de go

  15. Serum concentrations of vitamin B12 and folate in British male omnivores, vegetarians, and vegans: results from a cross-sectional analysis of the EPIC-Oxford cohort study

    Gilsing, Anne MJ; Crowe, Francesca L; Lloyd-Wright, Zouë; Sanders, Thomas AB; Appleby, Paul N; Allen, Naomi E; Key, Timothy J

    2010-01-01

    Background/Objectives Vegans and to a lesser extent vegetarians have low average circulating concentrations of vitamin B12; however, the relation between factors such as age or time on these diets and vitamin B12 concentrations is not clear. The objectives were to investigate differences in serum vitamin B12 and folate concentrations between omnivores, vegetarians and vegans and to ascertain whether vitamin B12 concentrations differed by age and time on the diet. Subjects/Methods A cross-sectional analysis involving 689 men (226 omnivores, 231 vegetarians and 232 vegans) from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition Oxford cohort. Results Mean serum vitamin B12 was highest among omnivores (281, 95% CI: 270-292 pmol/l), intermediate in vegetarians (182, 95% CI: 175-189 pmol/l), and lowest in vegans (122, 95% CI: 117-127 pmol/l). Fifty-two percent of vegans, 7% of vegetarians and one omnivore were classified as vitamin B12 deficient (defined as serum vitamin B12 vegan diet and serum vitamin B12. In contrast, folate concentrations were highest among vegans, intermediate in vegetarians, and lowest in omnivores, but only two men (both omnivores) were categorised as folate deficient (defined as serum folate Vegans have lower vitamin B12 concentrations, but higher folate concentrations, than vegetarians and omnivores. Half of the vegans were categorised as vitamin B12 deficient and would be expected to have a higher risk of developing clinical symptoms related to vitamin B12 deficiency. PMID:20648045

  16. The distribution of weaver ant pheromones on host trees

    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. Fuzzy Rules for Ant Based Clustering Algorithm

    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.

  18. Kin-informative recognition cues in ants

    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...

  19. Ant parasite queens revert to mating singly

    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....

  20. The worldwide expansion of the Argentine ant

    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...

  1. Desert ants learn vibration and magnetic landmarks.

    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.

  2. Ocorrência de perda auditiva induzida pelo ruído em carpinteiros Occurrence of noise induced hearing loss in carpenters

    Victor Hygor Veríssimo Farias

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available OBJETIVO: investigar a ocorrência de perda auditiva induzida pelo ruído (PAIR em carpinteiros, caracterizando a perda auditiva por faixa etária, tempo de exposição total ao ruído e uso regular de protetores auditivos durante o tempo total de exposição. MÉTODO: estudo retrospectivo, descritivo, em uma população de 80 carpinteiros da construção civil, atendidos em uma clínica particular. Foram analisados 60 trabalhadores, conforme dados obtidos na anamnese e ficha do exame audiométrico. RESULTADOS: 49% dos trabalhadores apresentaram audição normal, sendo 58% com limiares auditivos normais bilateralmente e 35% com entalhe audiométrico em 3 kHz, 4 kHz e/ou 6 kHz. 44% apresentaram perfil audiométrico sugestivo de PAIR, destes 74% foram classificados como PAIR bilateral e 19% como PAIR unilateral. Houve diferença estatística significante entre os grupo PAIR e Normal em relação às variáveis idade (p=0,001, assim como o tempo total de exposição ao ruído ocupacional (p=0,002. CONCLUSÃO: quanto maior a idade e o tempo de profissão como carpinteiro, maior é a sua alteração auditiva, principalmente, devido à exposição ao ruído elevado durante a jornada de trabalho, sendo também constatado que as medidas de controle pelo uso do protetor são insuficientes para prevenir perdas auditivas. Portanto, sugerem-se medidas preventivas em saúde auditiva ativamente nessa população estudada, no ramo da construção civil.PURPOSE: to investigate the occurrence of noise induced hearing loss in carpenters, characterizing the hearing loss for age group, time of total exposure to noise and regular use of hearing protectors during the total exposure time. METHOD: retrospective and descriptive study in a population of 80 construction carpenters, attended at a private clinic. 60 workers were analyzed, as data on medical history and record of audiometric testing. RESULTS: 49% of the workers shoed normal hearing, being 58% with normal

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

    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.

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

    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.

  5. Image Edge Tracking via Ant Colony Optimization

    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.

  6. Comparison of a Restricted and Unrestricted Vegan Diet Plan with a Restricted Omnivorous Diet Plan on Health-Specific Measures.

    Bloomer, Richard J; Gunnels, Trint A; Schriefer, JohnHenry M

    2015-07-14

    We have previously noted beneficial health outcomes when individuals follow a dietary restriction plan in accordance with the Daniel Fast (DF). This is true whether individuals eliminate all animal products or include small amounts of meat and dairy in their plan. The present study sought to compare anthropometric and biochemical measures of health in individuals following a traditional DF (i.e., restricted vegan) or modified DF (i.e., restricted omnivorous; inclusive of ad libitum meat and skim milk consumption), with those following an unrestricted vegan diet plan. 35 subjects (six men; 29 women; 33 ± 2 years; range: 18-67 years) completed a 21-day diet plan. Subjects reported to the lab for pre- (day 1) and post-intervention testing (day 22) in a 10 h fasted state. Blood samples were collected and assayed for complete blood count, metabolic panel, lipid panel, insulin, HOMA-IR, C-reactive protein, and oxidative stress biomarkers (malondialdehyde, advanced oxidation protein products, and nitrate/nitrite). Heart rate and blood pressure were measured and body composition was determined via dual energy X-ray absorptiometry. Subjects' self-reported compliance, mental and physical health, and satiety in relation to the dietary modification were recorded. No interaction effects were noted for our outcome measures (p > 0.05). However, subjects in the traditional DF group reported an approximate 10% increase in perceived mental and physical health, with a 25% reduction in malondialdehyde and a 33% reduction in blood insulin. Systolic BP was reduced approximately 7 mmHg in subjects assigned to the traditional DF, with an approximate 5 mmHg reduction in subjects assigned to the modified DF and the unrestricted vegan plan. A small (2 mmHg) reduction in diastolic BP was noted for subjects in both DF groups; a slight increase in diastolic BP was noted for subjects assigned to the unrestricted vegan group. An approximate 20% reduction was noted in total and LDL cholesterol

  7. Comparison of a Restricted and Unrestricted Vegan Diet Plan with a Restricted Omnivorous Diet Plan on Health-Specific Measures

    Richard J. Bloomer

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Background: We have previously noted beneficial health outcomes when individuals follow a dietary restriction plan in accordance with the Daniel Fast (DF. This is true whether individuals eliminate all animal products or include small amounts of meat and dairy in their plan. The present study sought to compare anthropometric and biochemical measures of health in individuals following a traditional DF (i.e., restricted vegan or modified DF (i.e., restricted omnivorous; inclusive of ad libitum meat and skim milk consumption, with those following an unrestricted vegan diet plan. Methods: 35 subjects (six men; 29 women; 33 ± 2 years; range: 18–67 years completed a 21-day diet plan. Subjects reported to the lab for pre- (day 1 and post-intervention testing (day 22 in a 10 h fasted state. Blood samples were collected and assayed for complete blood count, metabolic panel, lipid panel, insulin, HOMA-IR, C-reactive protein, and oxidative stress biomarkers (malondialdehyde, advanced oxidation protein products, and nitrate/nitrite. Heart rate and blood pressure were measured and body composition was determined via dual energy X-ray absorptiometry. Subjects’ self-reported compliance, mental and physical health, and satiety in relation to the dietary modification were recorded. Results: No interaction effects were noted for our outcome measures (p > 0.05. However, subjects in the traditional DF group reported an approximate 10% increase in perceived mental and physical health, with a 25% reduction in malondialdehyde and a 33% reduction in blood insulin. Systolic BP was reduced approximately 7 mmHg in subjects assigned to the traditional DF, with an approximate 5 mmHg reduction in subjects assigned to the modified DF and the unrestricted vegan plan. A small (2 mmHg reduction in diastolic BP was noted for subjects in both DF groups; a slight increase in diastolic BP was noted for subjects assigned to the unrestricted vegan group. An approximate 20

  8. Comparison of a Restricted and Unrestricted Vegan Diet Plan with a Restricted Omnivorous Diet Plan on Health-Specific Measures

    Bloomer, Richard J.; Gunnels, Trint A.; Schriefer, JohnHenry M.

    2015-01-01

    Background: We have previously noted beneficial health outcomes when individuals follow a dietary restriction plan in accordance with the Daniel Fast (DF). This is true whether individuals eliminate all animal products or include small amounts of meat and dairy in their plan. The present study sought to compare anthropometric and biochemical measures of health in individuals following a traditional DF (i.e., restricted vegan) or modified DF (i.e., restricted omnivorous; inclusive of ad libitum meat and skim milk consumption), with those following an unrestricted vegan diet plan. Methods: 35 subjects (six men; 29 women; 33 ± 2 years; range: 18–67 years) completed a 21-day diet plan. Subjects reported to the lab for pre- (day 1) and post-intervention testing (day 22) in a 10 h fasted state. Blood samples were collected and assayed for complete blood count, metabolic panel, lipid panel, insulin, HOMA-IR, C-reactive protein, and oxidative stress biomarkers (malondialdehyde, advanced oxidation protein products, and nitrate/nitrite). Heart rate and blood pressure were measured and body composition was determined via dual energy X-ray absorptiometry. Subjects’ self-reported compliance, mental and physical health, and satiety in relation to the dietary modification were recorded. Results: No interaction effects were noted for our outcome measures (p > 0.05). However, subjects in the traditional DF group reported an approximate 10% increase in perceived mental and physical health, with a 25% reduction in malondialdehyde and a 33% reduction in blood insulin. Systolic BP was reduced approximately 7 mmHg in subjects assigned to the traditional DF, with an approximate 5 mmHg reduction in subjects assigned to the modified DF and the unrestricted vegan plan. A small (2 mmHg) reduction in diastolic BP was noted for subjects in both DF groups; a slight increase in diastolic BP was noted for subjects assigned to the unrestricted vegan group. An approximate 20% reduction was

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

    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...

  10. Hybrid Bee Ant Colony Algorithm for Effective Load Balancing And ...

    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.

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

    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...

  12. Dealing with water deficit in Atta ant colonies: large ants scout for water while small ants transport it

    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.

  13. Extended phenotype: nematodes turn ants into bird-dispersed fruits

    Hughes, D P; Kronauer, D J C; Boomsma, J J

    2008-01-01

    A recent study has discovered a novel extended phenotype of a nematode which alters its ant host to resemble ripe fruit. The infected ants are in turn eaten by frugivorous birds that disperse the nematode's eggs.......A recent study has discovered a novel extended phenotype of a nematode which alters its ant host to resemble ripe fruit. The infected ants are in turn eaten by frugivorous birds that disperse the nematode's eggs....

  14. Histrionicotoxin alkaloids finally detected in an ant

    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....

  15. Ants, rodents and seed predation in Proteaceae

    ... 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.

  16. The evolution of invasiveness in garden ants

    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...

  17. The ejaculatory biology of leafcutter ants

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

    2015-01-01

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

  18. Mating, hybridisation and introgression in Lasius ants

    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

  19. Recognition of social identity in ants

    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...

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

    ... 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 ...

  1. Operant conditioning in the ant Myrmica sabuleti.

    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.

  2. A global database of ant species abundances

    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.

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

    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 ...

  4. Dynamics of an ant-plant-pollinator model

    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.

  5. Ants Orasest ja Anne Lange monograafiast / Jüri Talvet

    Talvet, Jüri, 1945-

    2005-01-01

    Arvustus: Oras, Ants. Luulekool. I, Apoloogia / koostajad Hando Runnel ja Jaak Rähesoo. Tartu : Ilmamaa, 2003 ; Oras, Ants. Luulekool II, Meistriklass. Tartu : Ilmamaa, 2004 ; Lange, Anne. Ants Oras : [kirjandusteadlane, -kriitik ja tõlkija (1900-1982)]. Tartu : Ilmamaa, 2004

  6. Non-reporting of work injuries and aspects of jobsite safety climate and behavioral-based safety elements among carpenters in Washington State.

    Lipscomb, Hester J; Schoenfisch, Ashley L; Cameron, Wilfrid

    2015-04-01

    Declining work injury rates may reflect safer work conditions as well as under-reporting. Union carpenters were invited to participate in a mailed, cross-sectional survey designed to capture information about injury reporting practices. Prevalence of non-reporting and fear of repercussions for reporting were compared across exposure to behavioral-based safety elements and three domains of the Nordic Safety Climate Questionnaire (NOSACQ-50). The majority (>75%) of the 1,155 participants felt they could report work-related injuries to their supervisor without fear of retribution, and most felt that the majority of injuries on their jobsites got reported. However, nearly half indicated it was best not to report minor injuries, and felt pressures to use their private insurance for work injury care. The prevalence of non-reporting and fear of reporting increased markedly with poorer measures of management safety justice (NOSACQ-50). Formal and informal policies and practices on jobsites likely influence injury reporting. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  7. Analysis of Pregnancy Outcomes Using the New IADPSG Recommendation Compared with the Carpenter and Coustan Criteria in an Area with a Low Prevalence of Gestational Diabetes

    Katrien Benhalima

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Aims. This paper aims to evaluate characteristics and pregnancy outcomes in women prior classified normal by Carpenter and Coustan criteria (old criteria and now gestational diabetes (GDM by the IADPSG criteria. Methods. Retrospective analysis of 6727 pregnancies is used. Using the old criteria, 222 had GDM (old GDM. Using the IADPSG criteria, 382 had GDM of which 160 had a normal glucose tolerance with the old criteria (new GDM. We compared the new GDM group with the old GDM group and women with normal glucose tolerance with both criteria (NGT group, 6345. Results. New GDM women were younger (31.6 ± 4.7 versus 33.3 ± 7.2 years, than old GDM women. Caesarean section was performed in 30.5% of new GDM, in 32.4% of old GDM (, and in 23.3% of NGT women (. Large for gestational age occurred in 10.8% of new GDM, in 13.8% of old GDM (, and in 9.0% of NGT women (. Shoulder dystocia occurred in 3.9% of new GDM, in 3.2% of old GDM (, and in 1.4% of NGT women (. Conclusion. Using the IADPSG criteria, more women are identified as having GDM, and these women carry an increased risk for adverse gestational outcome compared to women without GDM.

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

    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...

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

    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.

  10. Concentration of 137Cs and 40K in meat of omnivore and herbivore game species in mountain forest ecosystems of Gorski Kotar, Croatia

    Nikica Sprem; Ivan Babic; Domagoj Barisic; Delko Barisic

    2013-01-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate 137 Cs and 40 K load in large mammal game species in the mountain forest region of Gorski Kotar in Croatia approximately a quarter of century after the Chernobyl accident. 137 Cs and 40 K activity were determined by the gamma-spectrometric method in 49 meat samples of five large game species: brown bear (Ursus arctos), wild boar (Sus scrofa), roe deer (Capreolus capreolus), red deer (Cervus elaphus), and chamois (Rupicapra rupicapra). The results indicated that herbivore game species (roe deer, red deer and chamois) show significantly lower 137 Cs concentrations than omnivore species (brown bear, wild boar), thereby confirming the hypothesis that different dietary strategy impact caesium concentrations in meat. The measured caesium load in brown bear meat was in the range of two orders of magnitude, while caesium load in wild boar meat was found in the range of one order of magnitude. The estimated effective equivalent dose showed that uptake of the highest caesium doses would be from consumption of omnivore species meat, while much lower doses could be taken in with the consumption of meat from herbivore species. (author)

  11. Interactive effects of soil-dwelling ants, ant mounds and simulated grazing on local plant community composition

    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. Edge detection in digital images using Ant Colony Optimization

    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.

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

    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.

  14. The interactions of ants with their biotic environment.

    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).

  15. Ant species confer different partner benefits on two neotropical myrmecophytes.

    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.

  16. Fast and flexible: argentine ants recruit from nearby trails.

    Tatiana P Flanagan

    Full Text Available Argentine ants (Linepithema humile live in groups of nests connected by trails to each other and to stable food sources. In a field study, we investigated whether some ants recruit directly from established, persistent trails to food sources, thus accelerating food collection. Our results indicate that Argentine ants recruit nestmates to food directly from persistent trails, and that the exponential increase in the arrival rate of ants at baits is faster than would be possible if recruited ants traveled from distant nests. Once ants find a new food source, they walk back and forth between the bait and sometimes share food by trophallaxis with nestmates on the trail. Recruiting ants from nearby persistent trails creates a dynamic circuit, like those found in other distributed systems, which facilitates a quick response to changes in available resources.

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

    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...

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

    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.

  19. Fast and flexible: argentine ants recruit from nearby trails.

    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.

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

    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....

  1. Optic disc detection using ant colony optimization

    Dias, Marcy A.; Monteiro, Fernando C.

    2012-09-01

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

  2. A global database of ant species abundances

    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

  3. Public goods dilemma in asexual ant societies

    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...

  4. Ant colony optimization and constraint programming

    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

  5. Precision Rescue Behavior in North American Ants

    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.

  6. El periodista, ante la espiral de silencio

    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.

  7. Recognition of social identity in ants

    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.

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

    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.

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

    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.

  10. Chemically armed mercenary ants protect fungus-farming societies

    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

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

    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.

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

    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.

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

    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

  14. Immune-modulating effects in mouse dendritic cells of lactobacilli and bifidobacteria isolated from individuals following omnivorous, vegetarian and vegan diets.

    Luongo, Diomira; Treppiccione, Lucia; Sorrentino, Alida; Ferrocino, Ilario; Turroni, Silvia; Gatti, Monica; Di Cagno, Raffaella; Sanz, Yolanda; Rossi, Mauro

    2017-09-01

    Lactobacilli and bifidobacteria play a primary role in modulation of gut immunity. By considering that microbiota composition depends on various factors, including diet, we asked whether functional differences could characterize faecal populations of lactobacilli and bifidobacteria isolated from individuals with different dietary habits. 155 healthy volunteers who followed omnivorous, ovo-lacto-vegetarian or vegan diets were recruited at four Italian centres (Turin, Parma, Bologna and Bari). Faecal samples were collected; lactobacilli and bifidobacteria were isolated on selective media and their immunomodulatory activity was tested in mouse dendritic cells (DCs). Pre-incubation with lactobacilli increased LPS-induced expression of the maturation markers CD80 and CD86, whereas pre-incubation with bifidobacteria decreased such expression. Analysis of the cytokine profile indicated that strains of both genera induced down-regulation of IL-12 and up-regulation of IL-10, whereas expression of TNF-α was not modulated. Notably, analysis of anti-inflammatory potential (IL-10/IL-12 ratio) showed that lactobacilli evoked a greater anti-inflammatory effect than did bifidobacteria in the omnivorous group (P<0.05). We also found significantly reduced anti-inflammatory potential in the bacterial strains isolated from Bari's volunteers in comparison with those from the cognate groups from the other centres. In conclusion, lactobacilli and bifidobacteria showed a genus-specific ability of modulating in vitro innate immunity associated with a specific dietary habit. Furthermore, the geographical area had a significant impact on the anti-inflammatory potential of some components of faecal microbiota. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Comparison of correlates of bone mineral density in individuals adhering to lacto-ovo, vegan, or omnivore diets: a cross-sectional investigation.

    Knurick, Jessica R; Johnston, Carol S; Wherry, Sarah J; Aguayo, Izayadeth

    2015-05-11

    Vegetarian diets are associated with factors that may not support bone health, such as low body mass and low intakes of protein; yet, these diets are alkaline, a factor that favors bone mineral density (BMD). This study compared the correlates of BMD in young, non-obese adults consuming meat-based (n = 27), lacto-ovo vegetarian (n = 27), or vegan (n = 28) diets for ≥1 year. A 24 h diet recall, whole body DXA scan, 24 h urine specimen, and fasting blood sample were collected from participants. BMD did not differ significantly between groups. Protein intake was reduced ~30% in individuals consuming lacto-ovo and vegan diets as compared to those consuming meat-based diets (68 ± 24, 69 ± 29, and 97 ± 47 g/day respectively, p = 0.006); yet dietary protein was only associated with BMD for those following vegan diets. Urinary pH was more alkaline in the lacto-ovo and vegan groups versus omnivores (6.5 ± 0.4, 6.7 ± 0.4, and 6.2 ± 0.4 respectively, p = 0.003); yet urinary pH was associated with BMD in omnivores only. These data suggest that plant-based diets are not detrimental to bone in young adults. Moreover, diet prescriptions for bone health may vary among diet groups: increased fruit and vegetable intake for individuals with high meat intakes and increased plant protein intake for individuals who follow a vegetarian diet plan.

  16. Comparison of Correlates of Bone Mineral Density in Individuals Adhering to Lacto-Ovo, Vegan, or Omnivore Diets: A Cross-Sectional Investigation

    Jessica R. Knurick

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Vegetarian diets are associated with factors that may not support bone health, such as low body mass and low intakes of protein; yet, these diets are alkaline, a factor that favors bone mineral density (BMD. This study compared the correlates of BMD in young, non-obese adults consuming meat-based (n = 27, lacto-ovo vegetarian (n = 27, or vegan (n = 28 diets for ≥1 year. A 24 h diet recall, whole body DXA scan, 24 h urine specimen, and fasting blood sample were collected from participants. BMD did not differ significantly between groups. Protein intake was reduced ~30% in individuals consuming lacto-ovo and vegan diets as compared to those consuming meat-based diets (68 ± 24, 69 ± 29, and 97 ± 47 g/day respectively, p = 0.006; yet dietary protein was only associated with BMD for those following vegan diets. Urinary pH was more alkaline in the lacto-ovo and vegan groups versus omnivores (6.5 ± 0.4, 6.7 ± 0.4, and 6.2 ± 0.4 respectively, p = 0.003; yet urinary pH was associated with BMD in omnivores only. These data suggest that plant-based diets are not detrimental to bone in young adults. Moreover, diet prescriptions for bone health may vary among diet groups: increased fruit and vegetable intake for individuals with high meat intakes and increased plant protein intake for individuals who follow a vegetarian diet plan.

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

    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.

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

    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.

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

    Shingleton, A W; Foster, W A

    2000-09-22

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

  20. Consuming fire ants reduces northern bobwhite survival and weight gain

    Myers, P.E.; Allen, Craig R.; Birge, Hannah E.

    2014-01-01

    Northern bobwhite quail, Colinus virginianus (L.) (Galliformes: Odontophoridae), population declines are well documented, but pinpointing the reasons for these decreases has proven elusive. Bobwhite population declines are attributed primarily to loss of habitat and land use changes. This, however, does not entirely explain population declines in areas intensively managed for bobwhites. Although previous research demonstrates the negative impact of red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta Buren) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) on northern bobwhites, the mechanisms underlying this effect are largely unknown. To meet the protein demands of early growth and development, bobwhite chicks predominantly consume small insects, of which ants are a substantial proportion. Fire ants alter ant community dynamics by often reducing native ant diversity and abundance while concurrently increasing the abundance of individuals. Fire ants have negative effects on chicks, but they are also a large potential protein source, making it difficult to disentangle their net effect on bobwhite chicks. To help investigate these effects, we conducted a laboratory experiment to understand (1) whether or not bobwhites consume fire ants, and (2) how the benefits of this consumption compare to the deleterious impacts of bobwhite chick exposure to fire ants. Sixty bobwhite chicks were separated into two groups of 30; one group was provided with starter feed only and the second group was provided with feed and fire ants. Bobwhite chicks were observed feeding on fire ants. Chicks that fed on fire ants had reduced survival and weight gain. Our results show that, while fire ants increase potential food sources for northern bobwhite, their net effect on bobwhite chicks is deleterious. This information will help inform land managers and commercial bobwhite rearing operations.

  1. Cercomacra and related antbirds (Aves, Formicariidae as army ant followers

    Edwin O. Willis

    1984-01-01

    Full Text Available Cercomacra and Schistocichla antbirds (Formicariidae favor dense foliage and seldom follow army ants for flushed prey, since the ants move through open forest understory as well as through dense zones. Two other lineages, the Drymophila-Hypocnemis lineage (of dense woodland understory and the Formicivora lineage (of dense bushes in dry or semiopen zones, also cannot follow ants regularly through open forest understory.

  2. Do herbivores eavesdrop on ant chemical communication to avoid predation?

    David J Gonthier

    Full Text Available Strong effects of predator chemical cues on prey are common in aquatic and marine ecosystems, but are thought to be rare in terrestrial systems and specifically for arthropods. For ants, herbivores are hypothesized to eavesdrop on ant chemical communication and thereby avoid predation or confrontation. Here I tested the effect of ant chemical cues on herbivore choice and herbivory. Using Margaridisa sp. flea beetles and leaves from the host tree (Conostegia xalapensis, I performed paired-leaf choice feeding experiments. Coating leaves with crushed ant liquids (Azteca instabilis, exposing leaves to ant patrolling prior to choice tests (A. instabilis and Camponotus textor and comparing leaves from trees with and without A. instabilis nests resulted in more herbivores and herbivory on control (no ant-treatment relative to ant-treatment leaves. In contrast to A. instabilis and C. textor, leaves previously patrolled by Solenopsis geminata had no difference in beetle number and damage compared to control leaves. Altering the time A. instabilis patrolled treatment leaves prior to choice tests (0-, 5-, 30-, 90-, 180-min. revealed treatment effects were only statistically significant after 90- and 180-min. of prior leaf exposure. This study suggests, for two ecologically important and taxonomically diverse genera (Azteca and Camponotus, ant chemical cues have important effects on herbivores and that these effects may be widespread across the ant family. It suggests that the effect of chemical cues on herbivores may only appear after substantial previous ant activity has occurred on plant tissues. Furthermore, it supports the hypothesis that herbivores use ant chemical communication to avoid predation or confrontation with ants.

  3. A Theoretic Basis for IS? The Contribution of ANT

    Jim Underwood

    2002-11-01

    Full Text Available Representation is a key issue of IS design and operation that is often ignored. Actor-network theory (ANT, a semiotic theory of stakeholders, provides a way of dealing with representation. Combining aspects of ANT and Foucault's discourse theory allows us to include concepts as actors and promises a flexible and durable foundation for IS practice, but ANT itself indicates that the search for a purely theoretical foundation for IS is misguided.

  4. Insecticide transfer efficiency and lethal load in Argentine ants

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

    2015-10-15

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

  5. Improved Ant Colony Clustering Algorithm and Its Performance Study

    Gao, Wei

    2016-01-01

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

  6. Insecticide transfer efficiency and lethal load in Argentine ants

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

    2015-01-01

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

  7. Disease dynamics in a specialized parasite of ant societies

    Andersen, Sandra Breum; Ferrari, Matthew; Evans, Harry C.

    2012-01-01

    Coevolution between ant colonies and their rare specialized parasites are intriguing, because lethal infections of workers may correspond to tolerable chronic diseases of colonies, but the parasite adaptations that allow stable coexistence with ants are virtually unknown. We explore the trade......-offs experienced by Ophiocordyceps parasites manipulating ants into dying in nearby graveyards. We used field data from Brazil and Thailand to parameterize and fit a model for the growth rate of graveyards. We show that parasite pressure is much lower than the abundance of ant cadavers suggests...

  8. Signals can trump rewards in attracting seed-dispersing ants.

    Kyle M Turner

    Full Text Available Both rewards and signals are important in mutualisms. In myrmecochory, or seed dispersal by ants, the benefits to plants are relatively well studied, but less is known about why ants pick up and move seeds. We examined seed dispersal by the ant Aphaenogaster rudis of four co-occurring species of plants, and tested whether morphology, chemical signaling, or the nutritional quality of fatty seed appendages called elaiosomes influenced dispersal rates. In removal trials, ants quickly collected diaspores (seeds plus elaiosomes of Asarum canadense, Trillium grandiflorum, and Sanguinaria canadensis, but largely neglected those of T. erectum. This discrepancy was not explained by differences in the bulk cost-benefit ratio, as assessed by the ratio of seed to elaiosome mass. We also provisioned colonies with diaspores from one of these four plant species or no diaspores as a control. Colonies performed best when fed S. canadensis diaspores, worst when fed T. grandiflorum, and intermediately when fed A. canadense, T. erectum, or no diaspores. Thus, the nutritional rewards in elaiosomes affected colony performance, but did not completely predict seed removal. Instead, high levels of oleic acid in T. grandiflorum elaiosomes may explain why ants disperse these diaspores even though they reduce ant colony performance. We show for the first time that different elaiosome-bearing plants provide rewards of different quality to ant colonies, but also that ants appear unable to accurately assess reward quality when encountering seeds. Instead, we suggest that signals can trump rewards as attractants of ants to seeds.

  9. The evolution of invasiveness in garden ants.

    Sylvia Cremer

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

  10. The Evolution of Invasiveness in Garden Ants

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

    2008-01-01

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

  11. [Syagrus romanzoffiana (Arecaceae) seed utilization by ants in a secondary forest in South Brazil].

    Silva, Fernanda R; Begnini, Romualdo M; Klier, Vinícius A; Scherer, Karla Z; Lopes, Benedito C; Castellani, Tânia T

    2009-01-01

    Ants can nest in a wide variety of substracts. This paper shows Syagrus romanzoffiana seed utilization by ants in an Atlantic secondary forest. We report 29 seeds occupied by small-bodied ants, with 27 of them showing at least two ant development stages. Although a large number of seeds were sampled, a low level of ant occupation was observed.

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

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

    2011-01-01

    and cases in which non-native species become established in intact (lacking extensive anthropogenic soil disturbance) communities and subsequently diminish the abundance and richness of native species is challenging on the basis of observation alone. The red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta......), an invasive species that occurs throughout much of the southeastern United States, is such an example. Rather than competitively displacing native species, fire ants may become established only in disturbed areas in which native species richness and abundance are already reduced. We used insecticide to reduce......, the abundance of native ants increased to levels comparable to those in control plots after 1 year. Our findings suggest that factors other than large reductions in ant abundance and species density (number of species per unit area) may affect the establishment of fire ants and that the response of native ants...

  13. La escritura como espada ante el machismo

    Rottoli, Sofía

    2016-01-01

    Cuando se trata de expresar una postura que abarque una temática demasiado amplia o controversial, recurrir a la escritura puede ser una buena opción de abordaje. Sobre todo cuando son discusiones que llevan años de vigencia. Las luchas feministas ante la violencia de género no son una excepción. Sus discusiones siempre tuvieron presencia en diversos campos, uno de ellos es la ya mencionada escritura. Centro de Investigación en Lectura y Escritura (CILE)

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

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

    2005-09-22

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

  15. Ante-natal ionising radiation and cancer

    Anon.

    1988-01-01

    This editorial comments on the latest reports of the Oxford Survey of Childhood Cancer (now based on Birmingham). With 14759 pairs, the latest survey is over 10-fold larger than the 1958 report and the calculation of fatal childhood cancer rate at one case in 990 ante-natal radiographic examinations is rather larger than the early estimates, in spite of the fetal radiation dose having been halved and the cure rate for childhood leukemia being much improved. Comments are made on the comparisons with bomb survivors, and on the much increased fatal cancer incidence after first trimester radiography. (UK)

  16. Ant Systems for a Dynamic TSP - Ants Caught in a Traffic Jam

    Eyckelhof, C.J.; Dorigo, M.; Caro Di, G.; Snoek, M.; Sampels, M.

    2002-01-01

    In this paper we present a new Ants System approach to a dynamic Travelling Salesman Problem. Here the travel times between the cities are subject to change. To handle this dynamism several ways of adapting the pheromone matrix both locally and globally are considered. We show that the strategy of

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

    Ballantyne, Gavin; Willmer, Pat

    2012-01-01

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

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

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

    2001-10-01

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

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

    Robert B. Pape

    2016-09-01

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

  20. Genetics Home Reference: Carpenter syndrome

    ... deformed hips, a rounded upper back that also curves to the side ( kyphoscoliosis ), and knees that are ... Information What information about a genetic condition can statistics provide? Why are some genetic conditions more common ...

  1. ANT tuner retrofit for LEB cavity

    Walling, L.; Goren, Y.; Kwiatkowski, S.

    1994-03-01

    This report describes a ferrite tuner design for the LEB cavity that utilizes techniques for bonding ferrite to metallic cooling plates that is utilized in the high-power rf and microwave industry. A test tuner was designed to fit into the existing LEB-built magnet and onto the Grimm LEB Cavity. It will require a new vacuum window in order to attain maximal tuning range and high voltage capability and a new center conductor of longer length and a different vacuum window connection than the Grimm center conductor. However, the new center conductor will be essentially identical to the Grimm center conductor in its basic construction and in the way it connects to the stand for support. The tuner is mechanically very similar to high-power stacked circulators built by ANT of Germany and was designed according to ANT's established engineering and design criteria and SSC LEB tuning and power requirements. The tuner design incorporates thin tiles of ferrite glued using a high-radiation-resistance epoxy to copper-plated stainless steel cooling plates of thickness 6.5 mm with water cooling channels inside the plates. The cooling plates constitute 16 pie-shaped segments arranged in a disk. They are electrically isolated from each other to suppress eddy currents. Five of these disks are arranged in parallel with high-pressure rf contacts between the plates at the outer radius. The end walls are slotted copper-plated stainless steel of thickness 3 mm

  2. Loading pattern optimization using ant colony algorithm

    Hoareau, Fabrice

    2008-01-01

    Electricite de France (EDF) operates 58 nuclear power plants (NPP), of the Pressurized Water Reactor type. The loading pattern optimization of these NPP is currently done by EDF expert engineers. Within this framework, EDF R and D has developed automatic optimization tools that assist the experts. LOOP is an industrial tool, developed by EDF R and D and based on a simulated annealing algorithm. In order to improve the results of such automatic tools, new optimization methods have to be tested. Ant Colony Optimization (ACO) algorithms are recent methods that have given very good results on combinatorial optimization problems. In order to evaluate the performance of such methods on loading pattern optimization, direct comparisons between LOOP and a mock-up based on the Max-Min Ant System algorithm (a particular variant of ACO algorithms) were made on realistic test-cases. It is shown that the results obtained by the ACO mock-up are very similar to those of LOOP. Future research will consist in improving these encouraging results by using parallelization and by hybridizing the ACO algorithm with local search procedures. (author)

  3. Ant Foraging Behavior for Job Shop Problem

    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.

  4. The effect of diet and opponent size on aggressive interactions involving caribbean crazy ants (Nylanderia fulva.

    Katherine C Horn

    Full Text Available Biotic interactions are often important in the establishment and spread of invasive species. In particular, competition between introduced and native species can strongly influence the distribution and spread of exotic species and in some cases competition among introduced species can be important. The Caribbean crazy ant, Nylanderia fulva, was recently introduced to the Gulf Coast of Texas, and appears to be spreading inland. It has been hypothesized that competition with the red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta, may be an important factor in the spread of crazy ants. We investigated the potential of interspecific competition among these two introduced ants by measuring interspecific aggression between Caribbean crazy ant workers and workers of Solenopsis invicta. Specifically, we examined the effect of body size and diet on individual-level aggressive interactions among crazy ant workers and fire ants. We found that differences in diet did not alter interactions between crazy ant workers from different nests, but carbohydrate level did play an important role in antagonistic interactions with fire ants: crazy ants on low sugar diets were more aggressive and less likely to be killed in aggressive encounters with fire ants. We found that large fire ants engaged in fewer fights with crazy ants than small fire ants, but fire ant size affected neither fire ant nor crazy ant mortality. Overall, crazy ants experienced higher mortality than fire ants after aggressive encounters. Our findings suggest that fire ant workers might outcompete crazy ant workers on an individual level, providing some biotic resistance to crazy ant range expansion. However, this resistance may be overcome by crazy ants that have a restricted sugar intake, which may occur when crazy ants are excluded from resources by fire ants.

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

    Matsuura, Kenji; Yashiro, Toshihisa

    2006-10-01

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

  6. Current and potential ant impacts in the Pacific region

    Loope, Lloyd L.; Krushelnycky, Paul D.

    2007-01-01

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

  7. Ultrastructure of antennal sensillae of the samsum ant ...

    Black ant (Samsum), Pachycodyla sennarrensis, stings and injects venom and inflicts allergy (a rare clinical problem) due to its local and systemic reaction, which is considered as a health hazard amongst Saudi society. Thus, black ant is a source of serious concern for the government and experts as well.

  8. Development of a Bait System for the Pharaoh's Ant, Monomorium ...

    The infestation of the Pharaoh's ant, Monomorium pharaonis L. is widespread and, sometimes, very serious in homes, hospitals, restaurants, factories, etc. People are helpless because effective baited traps are not available locally, and little has been done locally to develop effective control strategies for these ants.

  9. A preliminary checklist of the ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of ...

    A preliminary species checklist of the ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of. Kakamega Forest, Western Kenya, is presented. The species list is based on specimens sampled from 1999 until 2009, which are deposited in the ant collection of the Zoological Research Museum Koenig, Bonn, Germany, and the Natural History ...

  10. Ant species richness of fynbos and forest ecosystems in the ...

    The ant fauna in fynbos and forest habitats in the southern Cape are compared. There is no significant difference in ant species richness between the two undisturbed habitat types, and the only two species common to both are Acantholepis capensis and Camponotus maculatus. The degree of Hakea sericea infestation in ...

  11. Novel Phialophora species from leaf-cutting ants (tribe Attini)

    Attili-Angelis, D.; Duarte, A.P.M.; Pagnocca, F.C.; Nagamoto, N.S.; de Vries, M.; Stielow, J.B.; de Hoog, G.S.

    2014-01-01

    Ants in the tribe Attini (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) maintain a 50 million-year-old lifestyle of co-evolution with symbiotic basidiomycetous fungi which they cultivate as essential source of nutrition. However, other microorganisms have been reported from ant habitats indicating a higher diversity of

  12. Why do house-hunting ants recruit in both directions?

    Planqué, R.; Dechaume-Moncharmont, F.-X.; Franks, N.R.; Kovacs, T.; Marshall, J.A.R.

    2007-01-01

    To perform tasks, organisms often use multiple procedures. Explaining the breadth of such behavioural repertoires is not always straightforward. During house hunting, colonies of Temnothorax albipennis ants use a range of behaviours to organise their emigrations. In particular, the ants use tandem

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

    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.

  14. In vitro studies of ante-mortem proliferation kinetics

    McBride, W.H.; Withers, H.R.

    1986-01-01

    Using K562 human erythroblastoid cells, it was concluded that dose fractionation has no discrepant effect on the ante-mortem proliferation kinetics of doomed cells as opposed to clonogenic cell survival and that effects on ante-mortem proliferation kinetics cannot be solely responsible for the differences in fractionation response between early and late responding tissues. (UK)

  15. Reciprocal genomic evolution in the ant-fungus agricultural symbiosis

    Nygaard, Sanne; Hu, Haofu; Li, Cai

    2016-01-01

    The attine ant-fungus agricultural symbiosis evolved over tens of millions of years, producing complex societies with industrial-scale farming analogous to that of humans. Here we document reciprocal shifts in the genomes and transcriptomes of seven fungus-farming ant species and their fungal...

  16. Life-Histories of Sub-Arctic Ants

    Heinze, Jürgen

    1993-01-01

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

  17. Studies of laboulbeniales (Fungi, Ascomycota) on myrmica ants (II)

    Haelewaters, Danny; Boer, Peter; Gort, Gerrit; Noordijk, Jinze

    2015-01-01

    One group of important insect parasites are the Laboulbeniales (Ascomycota), microscopic fungi that live attached to the exterior of their hosts, mainly beetles, but also mites, millipedes, earwigs, and ants. Rickia wasmannii is a common fungus in Europe and is limited to the ant genus Myrmica

  18. ADAPTIVE ANT COLONY OPTIMIZATION BASED GRADIENT FOR EDGE DETECTION

    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.

  19. Patterns of male parentage in the fungus-growing ants

    Villesen, Palle; Boomsma, JJ

    2003-01-01

    Ant queens from eight species, covering three genera of lower and two genera of higher attine ants, have exclusively or predominantly single mating. The ensuing full-sib colonies thus have a strong potential reproductive conflict between the queen and the workers over male production...

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

    Adam Salyer

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

  1. Risco cardiovascular em vegetarianos e onívoros: um estudo comparativo Cardiovascular risk in vegetarians and omnivores: a comparative study

    Rita de Cássia Moreira de Almeida Teixeira

    2007-10-01

    Full Text Available FUNDAMENTO: Estudos clínicos e epidemiológicos demonstram grande associação da dieta com os agravos crônicos, particularmente com os eventos cardiovasculares, apesar de ainda não compreendidos todos os seus mecanismos de ação. OBJETIVO: Descrever e analisar o risco cardiovascular em vegetarianos e onívoros residentes na Grande Vitória/ES, na faixa etária de 35 a 64 anos. MÉTODOS: Para avaliação do risco cardiovascular foi realizado estudo de coorte histórico com 201 indivíduos. Foram incluídos 67 vegetarianos há no mínimo 5 anos, provenientes da Grande Vitória, e 134 onívoros, participantes do Projeto MONICA/Vitória, pareados por classe socioeconômica, sexo, idade e raça. Medidas bioquímicas e hemodinâmicas foram obtidas na Clínica de Investigação Cardiovascular da UFES. Para comparação de proporções, foi usado o teste chi2 e calculada a razão de prevalência. O risco cardiovascular foi calculado por meio do algoritmo de Framingham. RESULTADOS: A idade média do grupo foi de 47 ± 8 anos e o tempo médio de vegetarianismo 19 ± 10 anos, sendo a dieta ovolactovegetariana seguida por 73% dos vegetarianos. Pressão arterial, glicemia de jejum, colesterol total, colesterol de lipoproteína de baixa densidade (LDL-colesterol e triglicerídeos foram mais baixos entre vegetarianos (pBACKGROUND: Clinical and epidemiological studies have demonstrated a strong association between eating habits and chronic diseases, particularly cardiovascular events, although not all the mechanisms of action are understood. OBJECTIVE: To describe and analyze the cardiovascular risk (CVR in vegetarians and omnivores residing in Greater Vitória, State of Espírito Santo, Brazil, in the age range from 35 to 64 years. METHODS: To evaluate CVR in the groups, a historical cohort study with 201 individuals was conducted. Sixty seven individuals who had been following a vegetarian diet for at least five years, and who were from Greater Vit

  2. Weaver Ants to Control Fruit Fly Damage to Tanzanian Mangoes

    Kirkegaard, Nina

    in Australia and West Africa. In this study, small scale farmers did not think weaver ants protected their mangoes from fruit flies. Observational studies confirmed the farmers’ views. No volatile compounds, likely to be responsible for the weaver ants’ deterrent effect, were identified. This study focused...... mangoes varied a lot with zero infestation in some fruits and more than 100 pupae emerging from other fruits, indicating that other factors than the presence of weaver ants affect the fruit flies’ decision on where to oviposit. It was not uncommon for farmers to place newly harvested mangoes below mango...... not shown to be effectively deterring fruit flies, there is no great motivation for farmers to adopt weaver ants. Assuming the weaver ants could be managed in a way that made weaver ants deter fruit flies effectively there are still some economic aspects which should be studied further. It is necessary...

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

    Poulsen, Michael; Sapountzis, Panagiotis

    2012-01-01

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

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

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

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

    2009-07-01

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

  6. Herbivory of Omnivorous Fish Shapes the Food Web Structure of a Chinese Tropical Eutrophic Lake: Evidence from Stable Isotope and Fish Gut Content Analyses

    Jian Gao

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Studies suggest that, unlike the situation in temperate lakes, high biomasses of omnivorous fish are maintained in subtropical and tropical lakes when they shift from a turbid phytoplankton-dominated state to a clear water macrophyte-dominated state, and the predation pressure on large-bodied zooplankton therefore remains high. Whether this reflects a higher degree of herbivory in warm lakes than in temperate lakes is debatable. We combined food web studies using stable isotopes with gut content analyses of the most dominant fish species to elucidate similarities and differences in food web structure between a clear water macrophyte-dominated basin (MDB and a turbid phytoplankton-dominated basin (PDB of Huizhou West Lake, a shallow tropical Chinese lake. The δ13C–δ15N biplot of fish and invertebrates revealed community-wide differences in isotope-based metrics of the food webs between MDB and PDB. The range of consumer δ15N (NR was lower in MDB than in PDB, indicating shorter food web length in MDB. The mean nearest neighbor distance (MNND and standard deviation around MNND (SDNND were higher in MDB than in PDB, showing a markedly low fish trophic overlap and a more uneven packing of species in niches in MDB than in PDB. The range of fish δ13C (CR of consumers was more extensive in MDB than in PDB, indicating a wider feeding range for fish in MDB. Mixing model results showed that macrophytes and associated periphyton constituted a large fraction of basal production sources for the fish in MDB, while particulate organic matter (POM contributed a large fraction in PDB. In MDB, the diet of the dominant fish species, crucian carp (Carassius carassius, consisted mainly of vegetal matter (macrophytes and periphyton and zooplankton, while detritus was the most important food item in PDB. Our results suggest that carbon from macrophytes with associated periphyton may constitute an important food resource for omnivorous fish, and this may strongly

  7. ANT International chemistry update and best practices

    Nordmann, F.; Odar, S.; Venz, H.; Kysela, J.; Ruehle, W.; Riess, R.

    2010-01-01

    There is an increasing number of Nuclear Power Plants (NPP) in various countries. Their chemistry practices are different due to the variety of designs and experiences while in the past the view was more monolithic. This is allowing a very rich experience that is extremely difficult to fully be aware of. ANT International is now collecting and evaluating these data as well as related R and D Information. This allows interested parties to have an easier access to the various sources of information. The chemistry experts associated to ANT International have been gathering a comprehensive detailed view of: The numerous laboratory data gained all over the world during the past decades; The extensive plant operating experiences with various types of chemistry strategies, crosschecked for various types of reactors designs and materials; An experienced international knowledge able to give the comprehensive overview that young engineers now in charge of many other activities are unable to fully cover. This paper gives the core conclusions of the detailed ANT International reports and results that have recently been gathered in the area of chemistry. It particularly covers: The primary water chemistry and its relation with radionuclides, dose rates and fuel behaviour; The secondary water chemistry focusing on its rationale selection depending on materials, design and other constraints; The start up and shutdown chemistry with it large variety of practices hardly understandable even for some experts; and, The maintenance remedies such as decontamination, steam generator cleaning and its alternate options. Various types of Reactor designs (PWR, VVER, BWR, CANDU®) are considered. The different materials, for example the impact of steam generator tubing and its evolution on the secondary water chemistry rationale or on the radioactivity built-up in the primary coolant, are described. The ways to improve the plant operation with a long term reliability as well as the most

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

    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.

  9. Immune defense in leaf-cutting ants

    Armitage, Sophie A O; Broch, Jens F; Marín, Hermogenes Fernández

    2011-01-01

    To ameliorate the impact of disease, social insects combine individual innate immune defenses with collective social defenses. This implies that there are different levels of selection acting on investment in immunity, each with their own trade-offs. We present the results of a cross......-fostering experiment designed to address the influences of genotype and social rearing environment upon individual and social immune defenses. We used a multiply mating leaf-cutting ant, enabling us to test for patriline effects within a colony, as well as cross-colony matriline effects. The worker's father influenced...... both individual innate immunity (constitutive antibacterial activity) and the size of the metapleural gland, which secretes antimicrobial compounds and functions in individual and social defense, indicating multiple mating could have important consequences for both defense types. However, the primarily...

  10. Ex-ante Evaluation von Investitionsalternativen

    Matthias Müller

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Der Beitrag zeigt, wie mit Hilfe der Methode der agentenbasierten Modellierung und Simulation (ABMS ein Beitrag zur ex-ante Policy-Beratung geleistet werden kann. Anhand eines exemplarischen Anwendungsfalls, der VISIBLE Simulationsumgebung („Virtual Simulation Lab for the Analysis of Investments in Learning and Education“, diskutieren wir die Konsequenzen unterschiedlicher Kooperationsförderinstrumente für Wissensdiffusionsprozesse in Netzwerken am Beispiel der Region Heilbronn-Franken. Die Simulationsergebnisse zeigen, dass die strukturelle Konfiguration eines regionalen Innovationssystems eine zentrale Bedeutung für die Gestaltung von Kooperationsfördermaßnahmen hat und dass Interventionen, die darauf abzielen, Wissenstransfer zwischen den Akteuren anzuregen, genau die entgegengesetzten Wirkungen entfalten können.

  11. Swarm controlled emergence for ant clustering

    Scheidler, Alexander; Merkle, Daniel; Middendorf, Martin

    2013-01-01

    .g. moving robots, and clustering algorithms. Design/methodology/approach: Different types of control agents for that ant clustering model are designed by introducing slight changes to the behavioural rules of the normal agents. The clustering behaviour of the resulting swarms is investigated by extensive...... for future research to investigate the application of the method in other swarm systems. Swarm controlled emergence might be applied to control emergent effects in computing systems that consist of many autonomous components which make decentralized decisions based on local information. Practical...... simulation studies. Findings: It is shown that complex behavior can emerge in systems with two types of agents (normal agents and control agents). For a particular behavior of the control agents, an interesting swarm size dependent effect was found. The behaviour prevents clustering when the number...

  12. Discrimination Behavior in the Supercolonial Pharaoh Ant

    Pontieri, Luigi

    The majority of eusocial insect species live in small, kin structured colonies that are mutually aggressive and rarely interact. By contrast, a restricted group of ant species show a peculiar social organization called unicoloniality, where colonies can grow to vast networks of geographically...... and genetic distance between colony pairs, further confirming the important role of endogenous cues in the nestmate recognition of this species. The third chapter presents a methodological study on the best procedures for identifying chemical compounds used for nestmate recognition in social insects. We first...... evaluated the power of different combinations of data transformation and chemical distance calculation in differentiating between true nestmate recognition (NMR) cues and other compounds. We found that particular combinations of statistical procedures are more effective in differentiating NMR cues from...

  13. Reading a book can change your mind, but only some changes last for a year: food attitude changes in readers of The Omnivore's Dilemma.

    Hormes, Julia M; Rozin, Paul; Green, Melanie C; Fincher, Katrina

    2013-01-01

    Attitude change is a critical component of health behavior change, but has rarely been studied longitudinally following extensive exposures to persuasive materials such as full-length movies, books, or plays. We examined changes in attitudes related to food production and consumption in college students who had read Michael Pollan's book The Omnivore's Dilemma as part of a University-wide reading project. Composite attitudes toward organic foods, local produce, meat, and the quality of the American food supply, as well as opposition to government subsidies, distrust in corporations, and commitment to the environmental movement were significantly and substantially impacted, in comparison to students who had not read the book. Much of the attitude change disappeared after 1 year; however, over the course of 12 months self-reported opposition to government subsidies and belief that the quality of the food supply is declining remained elevated in readers of the book, compared to non-readers. Findings have implications for our understanding of the nature of changes in attitudes to food and eating in response to extensive exposure to coherent and engaging messages targeting health behaviors.

  14. Demonstration of omnivorous non-thermal mixed waste treatment: Direct chemical oxidation using peroxydisulfate. Progress report SF2-3-MW-35, October--December 1995

    Cooper, J.F.; Wang, F.; Krueger, R.; King, K.; Shell, T.; Farmer, J.C.; Adamson, M.

    1996-01-27

    Direct Chemical Oxidation is an emerging ``omnivorous`` waste destruction technique which uses one of the strongest known oxidants (ammonium peroxydisulfate) to convert organic solids or liquids to carbon dioxide and their mineral constituents. The process operates at ambient pressure and at moderate temperatures (80--100 C) where organic destruction is rapid without catalysts. The byproduct (ammonium sulfate) is benign and may be recycled using commercial electrolysis equipment. The authors have constructed and initially tested a bench-scale facility (batch prereactor and plug-flow reactor) which allows treatability tests on any solid or liquid organic waste surrogate, with off-gas analysis by mass spectroscopy. Shake-down tests of the plug flow reactor on model chemical ethylene glycol confirmed earlier predictive models. Pre-reactor tests on water-immiscible substances confirmed destruction of cotton rags (cellulose), kerosene, tributyl phosphate and triethylamine. The process is intended to provide an all-aqueous, ambient pressure destruction technique for difficult materials not suitable or fully accepted for conventional incineration. Such wastes include solid and liquid mixed wastes containing incinerator chars, halogenated and nitrogenated wastes, oils and greases, and chemical or biological warfare agents.

  15. A new, large-bodied omnivorous bat (Noctilionoidea: Mystacinidae) reveals lost morphological and ecological diversity since the Miocene in New Zealand.

    Hand, Suzanne J; Beck, Robin M D; Archer, Michael; Simmons, Nancy B; Gunnell, Gregg F; Scofield, R Paul; Tennyson, Alan J D; De Pietri, Vanesa L; Salisbury, Steven W; Worthy, Trevor H

    2018-01-10

    A new genus and species of fossil bat is described from New Zealand's only pre-Pleistocene Cenozoic terrestrial fauna, the early Miocene St Bathans Fauna of Central Otago, South Island. Bayesian total evidence phylogenetic analysis places this new Southern Hemisphere taxon among the burrowing bats (mystacinids) of New Zealand and Australia, although its lower dentition also resembles Africa's endemic sucker-footed bats (myzopodids). As the first new bat genus to be added to New Zealand's fauna in more than 150 years, it provides new insight into the original diversity of chiropterans in Australasia. It also underscores the significant decline in morphological diversity that has taken place in the highly distinctive, semi-terrestrial bat family Mystacinidae since the Miocene. This bat was relatively large, with an estimated body mass of ~40 g, and its dentition suggests it had an omnivorous diet. Its striking dental autapomorphies, including development of a large hypocone, signal a shift of diet compared with other mystacinids, and may provide evidence of an adaptive radiation in feeding strategy in this group of noctilionoid bats.

  16. Demonstration of omnivorous non-thermal mixed waste treatment: Direct chemical oxidation using peroxydisulfate. Progress report SF2-3-MW-35, October--December 1995

    Cooper, J.F.; Wang, F.; Krueger, R.; King, K.; Shell, T.; Farmer, J.C.; Adamson, M.

    1996-01-01

    Direct Chemical Oxidation is an emerging ''omnivorous'' waste destruction technique which uses one of the strongest known oxidants (ammonium peroxydisulfate) to convert organic solids or liquids to carbon dioxide and their mineral constituents. The process operates at ambient pressure and at moderate temperatures (80--100 C) where organic destruction is rapid without catalysts. The byproduct (ammonium sulfate) is benign and may be recycled using commercial electrolysis equipment. The authors have constructed and initially tested a bench-scale facility (batch prereactor and plug-flow reactor) which allows treatability tests on any solid or liquid organic waste surrogate, with off-gas analysis by mass spectroscopy. Shake-down tests of the plug flow reactor on model chemical ethylene glycol confirmed earlier predictive models. Pre-reactor tests on water-immiscible substances confirmed destruction of cotton rags (cellulose), kerosene, tributyl phosphate and triethylamine. The process is intended to provide an all-aqueous, ambient pressure destruction technique for difficult materials not suitable or fully accepted for conventional incineration. Such wastes include solid and liquid mixed wastes containing incinerator chars, halogenated and nitrogenated wastes, oils and greases, and chemical or biological warfare agents

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

    Maria Fernanda Miori de Zarzuela

    2012-01-01

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

  18. The diversity of microorganisms associated with Acromyrmex leafcutter ants

    Boomsma Jacobus J

    2002-05-01

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

  19. USING ANT COMMUNITIES FOR RAPID ASSESSMENT OF TERRESTRIAL ECOSYSTEM HEALTH

    Wike, L; Doug Martin, D; Michael Paller, M; Eric Nelson, E

    2007-01-12

    Ecosystem health with its near infinite number of variables is difficult to measure, and there are many opinions as to which variables are most important, most easily measured, and most robust, Bioassessment avoids the controversy of choosing which physical and chemical parameters to measure because it uses responses of a community of organisms that integrate all aspects of the system in question. A variety of bioassessment methods have been successfully applied to aquatic ecosystems using fish and macroinvertebrate communities. Terrestrial biotic index methods are less developed than those for aquatic systems and we are seeking to address this problem here. This study had as its objective to examine the baseline differences in ant communities at different seral stages from clear cut back to mature pine plantation as a precursor to developing a bioassessment protocol. Comparative sampling was conducted at four seral stages; clearcut, 5 year, 15 year and mature pine plantation stands. Soil and vegetation data were collected at each site. All ants collected were preserved in 70% ethyl alcohol and identified to genus. Analysis of the ant data indicates that ants respond strongly to the habitat changes that accompany ecological succession in managed pine forests and that individual genera as well as ant community structure can be used as an indicator of successional change. Ants exhibited relatively high diversity in both early and mature seral stages. High ant diversity in the mature seral stages was likely related to conditions on the forest floor which favored litter dwelling and cool climate specialists.

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

    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.

  1. Competitive assembly of South Pacific invasive ant communities

    Sarty Megan

    2009-01-01

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

  2. Evolution of Fungal enzymes in the attine ant symbiosis

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

    The attine ant symbiosis is characterized by ancient but varying degrees of diffuse co-evolution between the ants and their fungal cultivars. Domesticated fungi became dependent on vertical transmission by queens and the ant colonies came to rely on their symbiotic fungus for food and thus...... as garden substrate, whereas the more basal genera use leaf litter, insect feces and insect carcasses. We hypothesized that enzyme activity of fungal symbionts has co-evolved with substrate use and we measured enzyme activities of fungus gardens in the field to test this, focusing particularly on plant...... essential for the symbiosis in general, but have contributed specifically to the evolution of the symbiosis....

  3. Comparative studies of the secretome of fungus-growing ants

    Linde, Tore; Grell, Morten Nedergaard; Schiøtt, Morten

    2009-01-01

    Leafcutter ants of the species Acromyrmex echinatior live in symbiosis with the fungus Leucoagaricus gongylophorus. The ants harvest fragments of leaves and carry them to the nest where they place the material on the fungal colony. The fungus secretes a wide array of proteins to degrade the leaves...... into nutrients that the ants can feed on. The focus of this study is to discover, characterize and compare the secreted proteins. In order to do so cDNA libraries are constructed from mRNA extracted from the fungus material. The most efficient technology to screen cDNA libraries selectively for secreted...

  4. Warehouse stocking optimization based on dynamic ant colony genetic algorithm

    Xiao, Xiaoxu

    2018-04-01

    In view of the various orders of FAW (First Automotive Works) International Logistics Co., Ltd., the SLP method is used to optimize the layout of the warehousing units in the enterprise, thus the warehouse logistics is optimized and the external processing speed of the order is improved. In addition, the relevant intelligent algorithms for optimizing the stocking route problem are analyzed. The ant colony algorithm and genetic algorithm which have good applicability are emphatically studied. The parameters of ant colony algorithm are optimized by genetic algorithm, which improves the performance of ant colony algorithm. A typical path optimization problem model is taken as an example to prove the effectiveness of parameter optimization.

  5. Ant colony algorithm for clustering in portfolio optimization

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

    2018-03-01

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

  6. Automating ActionScript Projects with Eclipse and Ant

    Koning, Sidney

    2011-01-01

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

  7. The invasion biology and sociogenetics of pharaoh ants

    Schmidt, Anna Mosegaard

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

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

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

    2004-10-01

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

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

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

    2016-01-01

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

  10. The introduction history of invasive garden ants in Europe: integrating genetic, chemical and behavioural approaches

    Ugelvig, Line; Drijfhout, Falko; Kronauer, Daniel

    2008-01-01

    BACKGROUND: The invasive garden ant, Lasius neglectus, is the most recently detected pest ant and the first known invasive ant able to become established and thrive in the temperate regions of Eurasia. In this study, we aim to reconstruct the invasion history of this ant in Europe analysing 14 po...

  11. Stealthy invaders: the biology of Cardiocondyla tramp ants

    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...

  12. FMR measurements in fire ants: evidence of magnetic material

    Esquivel, Darci M.S.; Acosta-Avalos, Daniel; El-Jaick, Lea J.; Cunha, Alexandra D.M.; Malheiros, Maria G.; Wajnberg, Eliane [Centro Brasileiro de Pesquisas Fisicas (CBPF), Rio de Janeiro, RJ (Brazil); Linhares, Marilia P. [Centro de Ciencias do Estado, do Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, RJ (Brazil)

    1998-01-01

    Based on the behavioral and the localization of iron-containing tissue fire ants were examined by EPR for magnetic material. Results suggest the presence of magnetite particles. (author) 12 refs., 1 fig.

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

    Sandra B Andersen

    Full Text Available Coevolution between ant colonies and their rare specialized parasites are intriguing, because lethal infections of workers may correspond to tolerable chronic diseases of colonies, but the parasite adaptations that allow stable coexistence with ants are virtually unknown. We explore the trade-offs experienced by Ophiocordyceps parasites manipulating ants into dying in nearby graveyards. We used field data from Brazil and Thailand to parameterize and fit a model for the growth rate of graveyards. We show that parasite pressure is much lower than the abundance of ant cadavers suggests and that hyperparasites often castrate Ophiocordyceps. However, once fruiting bodies become sexually mature they appear robust. Such parasite life-history traits are consistent with iteroparity--a reproductive strategy rarely considered in fungi. We discuss how tropical habitats with high biodiversity of hyperparasites and high spore mortality has likely been crucial for the evolution and maintenance of iteroparity in parasites with low dispersal potential.

  14. Sperm length evolution in the fungus-growing ants

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    Edwin O. Willis

    1984-01-01

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

  16. Ants farm subterranean aphids mostly in single clone groups

    Ivens, Aniek B.F.; Kronauer, Daniel Jan Christoph; Pen, Ido

    2012-01-01

    mutualisms have been studied in sufficient genetic detail to address these issues, so we decided to characterize symbiont diversity in the complex mutualism between multiple root aphid species and Lasius flavus ants. After showing elsewhere that three of these aphid species have low dispersal and mostly...... if not exclusively asexual reproduction, we here investigate aphid diversity within and between ant nest mounds. Results The three focal species (Geoica utricularia, Forda marginata and Tetraneura ulmi) had considerable clonal diversity at the population level. Yet more than half of the ant mounds contained just....... The ants appear to eat most of the early instar aphids, so that adult aphids are unlikely to face limited phloem resources and scramble competition with other aphids. We suggest that such culling of carbohydrate-providing symbionts for protein ingestion may maintain maximal host yield per aphid while also...

  17. Ant groups optimally amplify the effect of transiently informed individuals

    Gelblum, Aviram; Pinkoviezky, Itai; Fonio, Ehud; Ghosh, Abhijit; Gov, Nir; Feinerman, Ofer

    2015-07-01

    To cooperatively transport a large load, it is important that carriers conform in their efforts and align their forces. A downside of behavioural conformism is that it may decrease the group's responsiveness to external information. Combining experiment and theory, we show how ants optimize collective transport. On the single-ant scale, optimization stems from decision rules that balance individuality and compliance. Macroscopically, these rules poise the system at the transition between random walk and ballistic motion where the collective response to the steering of a single informed ant is maximized. We relate this peak in response to the divergence of susceptibility at a phase transition. Our theoretical models predict that the ant-load system can be transitioned through the critical point of this mesoscopic system by varying its size; we present experiments supporting these predictions. Our findings show that efficient group-level processes can arise from transient amplification of individual-based knowledge.

  18. Florida alternative NTCIP testing software (ANTS) for actuated signal controllers.

    2009-01-01

    The scope of this research project did include the development of a software tool to test devices for NTCIP compliance. Development of the Florida Alternative NTCIP Testing Software (ANTS) was developed by the research team due to limitations found w...

  19. Novel fungal disease in complex leaf-cutting ant societies

    Hughes, David Peter; Evans, Harry C.; Hywel-Jones, Nigel

    2009-01-01

    1. The leaf-cutting ants practise an advanced system of mycophagy where they grow a fungus as a food source. As a consequence of parasite threats to their crops, they have evolved a system of morphological, behavioural, and chemical defences, particularly against fungal pathogens (mycopathogens). 2....... Specific fungal diseases of the leaf-cutting ants themselves have not been described, possibly because broad spectrum anti-fungal defences against mycopathogens have reduced their susceptibility to entomopathogens. 3. Using morphological and molecular tools, the present study documents three rare infection...... events of Acromyrmex and Atta leaf-cutting ants by Ophiocordyceps fungi, agenus of entomopathogens that is normally highly specific in its host choice. 4. As leaf-cutting ants have been intensively studied, the absence of prior records of Ophiocordyceps suggests that these infections may be a novel event...

  20. Heavy metal pollution disturbs immune response in wild ant populations

    Sorvari, Jouni; Rantala, Liisa M.; Rantala, Markus J.; Hakkarainen, Harri; Eeva, Tapio

    2007-01-01

    Concern about the effects of environmental contaminants on immune function in both humans and wildlife is growing and practically nothing is known about this impact on terrestrial invertebrates, even though they are known to easily accumulate pollutants. We studied the effect of industrial heavy metal contamination on immune defense of a free-living wood ant (Formica aquilonia). To find out whether ants show an adapted immune function in a polluted environment, we compared encapsulation responses between local and translocated colonies. Local colonies showed higher heavy metal levels than the translocated ones but the encapsulation response was similar between the two groups, indicating that the immune system of local ants has not adapted to high contamination level. The encapsulation response was elevated in moderate whereas suppressed in high heavy metal levels suggesting higher risk for infections in heavily polluted areas. - Heavy metal pollution affects immune function in ants

  1. Ant colony search algorithm for optimal reactive power optimization

    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. application of ant colony optimisation in distribution transformer sizing

    HP

    Keywords: ant colony, optimization, transformer sizing, distribution transformer. 1. INTRODUCTION ... more intensive pheromone and higher probability to be chosen [12]. ..... pp.29-41, 1996. [7] EC global market place, “Technical Parameters”,.

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

    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

  4. Climatic warming destabilizes forest ant communities.

    Diamond, Sarah E; Nichols, Lauren M; Pelini, Shannon L; Penick, Clint A; Barber, Grace W; Cahan, Sara Helms; Dunn, Robert R; Ellison, Aaron M; Sanders, Nathan J; Gotelli, Nicholas J

    2016-10-01

    How will ecological communities change in response to climate warming? Direct effects of temperature and indirect cascading effects of species interactions are already altering the structure of local communities, but the dynamics of community change are still poorly understood. We explore the cumulative effects of warming on the dynamics and turnover of forest ant communities that were warmed as part of a 5-year climate manipulation experiment at two sites in eastern North America. At the community level, warming consistently increased occupancy of nests and decreased extinction and nest abandonment. This consistency was largely driven by strong responses of a subset of thermophilic species at each site. As colonies of thermophilic species persisted in nests for longer periods of time under warmer temperatures, turnover was diminished, and species interactions were likely altered. We found that dynamical (Lyapunov) community stability decreased with warming both within and between sites. These results refute null expectations of simple temperature-driven increases in the activity and movement of thermophilic ectotherms. The reduction in stability under warming contrasts with the findings of previous studies that suggest resilience of species interactions to experimental and natural warming. In the face of warmer, no-analog climates, communities of the future may become increasingly fragile and unstable.

  5. Recognition in ants: social origin matters.

    Joël Meunier

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

  6. Nasa's Ant-Inspired Swarmie Robots

    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.

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

    Rowles, Alexei D; Silverman, Jules

    2009-08-01

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

  8. Hybridization in East African swarm-raiding army ants

    Kronauer, Daniel Jc; Peters, Marcell K; Schöning, Caspar

    2011-01-01

    Hybridization can have complex effects on evolutionary dynamics in ants because of the combination of haplodiploid sex-determination and eusociality. While hybrid non-reproductive workers have been found in a range of species, examples of gene-flow via hybrid queens and males are rare. We studied...... hybridization in East African army ants (Dorylus subgenus Anomma) using morphology, mitochondrial DNA sequences, and nuclear microsatellites....

  9. An Improved Ant Colony Matching by Using Discrete Curve Evolution

    Saadi, Younes; Sari, Eka,; Herawan, Tutut

    2014-01-01

    Part 1: Information & Communication Technology-EurAsia Conference 2014, ICT-EurAsia 2014; International audience; In this paper we present an improved Ant Colony Optimization (ACO) for contour matching, which can be used to match 2D shapes. Discrete Curve Evolution (DCE) technique is used to simplify the extracted contour. In order to find the best correspondence between shapes, the match process is formulated as a Quadratic Assignment Problem (QAP) and resolved by using Ant Colony Optimizati...

  10. Behavior of ergatoid males in the ant, Cardiocondyla nuda

    Heinze, Jürgen; Künholz, S.; Schilder, K.; Hölldobler, B.

    1993-01-01

    Ergatoid males of the ant, Cardiocondyla nuda, attack and frequently kill young males during or shortly after eclosion. Smaller colonies therefore contain typically only one adult male, which may inseminate all alate queens which are reared in the colony over a few weeks. In larger colonies, several males may be present, however, fighting among adult males was not observed. We discuss the significance of male fighting behavior in ants.

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

    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.

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

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

    2009-07-22

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

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

    Pereira, Rogério Dos Santos; Ueno, Mariko

    2008-01-01

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

  14. Species-Specific Effects of Ant Inhabitants on Bromeliad Nutrition.

    Ana Z Gonçalves

    Full Text Available Predator activities may lead to the accumulation of nutrients in specific areas of terrestrial habitats where they dispose of prey carcasses. In their feeding sites, predators may increase nutrient availability in the soil and favor plant nutrition and growth. However, the translocation of nutrients from one habitat to another may depend on predator identity and diet, as well as on the amount of prey intake. Here we used isotopic (15N and physiological methods in greenhouse experiments to evaluate the effects of the identity of predatory ants (i.e., the consumption of prey and nest sites on the nutrition and growth of the bromeliad Quesnelia arvensis. We showed that predatory ants with protein-based nutrition (i.e., Odontomachus hastatus, Gnamptogenys moelleri improved the performance of their host bromeliads (i.e., increased foliar N, production of soluble proteins and growth. On the other hand, the contribution of Camponotus crassus for the nutritional status of bromeliads did not differ from bromeliads without ants, possibly because this ant does not have arthropod prey as a preferred food source. Our results show, for the first time, that predatory ants can translocate nutrients from one habitat to another within forests, accumulating nutrients in their feeding sites that become available to bromeliads. Additionally, we highlight that ant contribution to plant nutrition may depend on predator identity and its dietary requirements. Nest debris may be especially important for epiphytic and terrestrial bromeliads in nutrient-poor environments.

  15. Reaction of mutualistic and granivorous ants to ulex elaiosome chemicals.

    Gammans, Nicola; Bullock, James M; Gibbons, Hannah; Schönrogge, Karsten

    2006-09-01

    It has been proposed that chemicals on plant elaiosomes aid seed detection by seed-dispersing ants. We hypothesized that the chemical interaction between ants and elaiosomes is more intimate than a generic attraction, and that elaiosome chemicals will attract mutualistic but not granivorous ant species. We investigated this by using two gorse species, Ulex minor and U. europaeus, and two associated ant species from European heathlands, the mutualist Myrmica ruginodis and the granivore Tetramorium caespitum. Behavioral studies were conducted with laboratory nests and foraging arenas. Both ants will take Ulex seeds, but while M. ruginodis showed increased antennation toward ether extracts of elaiosome surface chemicals compared with controls, T. caespitum showed no response. Elaiosome extracts were separated into seven lipid fractions. M. ruginodis showed increased antennation only toward the diglyceride fractions of both Ulex species, whereas T. caespitum showed no consistent reaction. This indicates that M. ruginodis can detect the elaiosome by responding to its surface chemicals, but T. caespitum is unresponsive to these chemicals. Responses to surface chemicals could increase the rate of seed detection in the field, and so these results suggest that Ulex elaiosomes produce chemicals that facilitate attraction of mutualistic rather than granivorous ant species. This could reduce seed predation and increase Ulex fitness.

  16. Competence of Litter Ants for Rapid Biodiversity Assessments

    T. H. Saumya E. Silva

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Elizabeth G Pringle

    2013-11-01

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

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

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

    2016-05-01

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

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

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

    2013-11-01

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

  20. CO2 efflux from subterranean nests of ant communities in a seasonal tropical forest, Thailand

    Hasin, Sasitorn; Ohashi, Mizue; Yamada, Akinori; Hashimoto, Yoshiaki; Tasen, Wattanachai; Kume, Tomonori; Yamane, Seiki

    2014-01-01

    Many ant species construct subterranean nests. The presence of their nests may explain soil respiration “hot spots”, an important factor in the high CO2 efflux from tropical forests. However, no studies have directly measured CO2 efflux from ant nests. We established 61 experimental plots containing 13 subterranean ant species to evaluate the CO2 efflux from subterranean ant nests in a tropical seasonal forest, Thailand. We examined differences in nest CO2 efflux among ant species. We determi...

  1. Using ant-behavior-based simulation model AntWeb to improve website organization

    Li, Weigang; Pinheiro Dib, Marcos V.; Teles, Wesley M.; Morais de Andrade, Vlaudemir; Alves de Melo, Alba C. M.; Cariolano, Judas T.

    2002-03-01

    Some web usage mining algorithms showed the potential application to find the difference among the organizations expected by visitors to the website. However, there are still no efficient method and criterion for a web administrator to measure the performance of the modification. In this paper, we developed an AntWeb, a model inspired by ants' behavior to simulate the sequence of visiting the website, in order to measure the efficient of the web structure. We implemented a web usage mining algorithm using backtrack to the intranet website of the Politec Informatic Ltd., Brazil. We defined throughput (the number of visitors to reach their target pages per time unit relates to the total number of visitors) as an index to measure the website's performance. We also used the link in a web page to represent the effect of visitors' pheromone trails. For every modification in the website organization, for example, putting a link from the expected location to the target object, the simulation reported the value of throughput as a quick answer about this modification. The experiment showed the stability of our simulation model, and a positive modification to the intranet website of the Politec.

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

    Fatahuddin Fatahuddin

    2010-08-01

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

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

    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...

  4. Various chemical strategies to deceive ants in three Arhopala species (lepidoptera: Lycaenidae exploiting Macaranga myrmecophytes.

    Yoko Inui

    Full Text Available Macaranga myrmecophytes (ant-plants are generally well protected from herbivore attacks by their symbiotic ants (plant-ants. However, larvae of Arhopala (Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae species survive and develop on specific Macaranga ant-plant species without being attacked by the plant-ants of their host species. We hypothesized that Arhopala larvae chemically mimic or camouflage themselves with the ants on their host plant so that the larvae are accepted by the plant-ant species of their host. Chemical analyses of cuticular hydrocarbons showed that chemical congruency varied among Arhopala species; A. dajagaka matched well the host plant-ants, A. amphimuta did not match, and unexpectedly, A. zylda lacked hydrocarbons. Behaviorally, the larvae and dummies coated with cuticular chemicals of A. dajagaka were well attended by the plant-ants, especially by those of the host. A. amphimuta was often attacked by all plant-ants except for the host plant-ants toward the larvae, and those of A. zylda were ignored by all plant-ants. Our results suggested that conspicuous variations exist in the chemical strategies used by the myrmecophilous butterflies that allow them to avoid ant attack and be accepted by the plant-ant colonies.

  5. Neuromodulation of Nestmate Recognition Decisions by Pavement Ants.

    Andrew N Bubak

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

  6. Neuromodulation of Nestmate Recognition Decisions by Pavement Ants.

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

    2016-01-01

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

  7. Ants avoid superinfections by performing risk-adjusted sanitary care.

    Konrad, Matthias; Pull, Christopher D; Metzler, Sina; Seif, Katharina; Naderlinger, Elisabeth; Grasse, Anna V; Cremer, Sylvia

    2018-03-13

    Being cared for when sick is a benefit of sociality that can reduce disease and improve survival of group members. However, individuals providing care risk contracting infectious diseases themselves. If they contract a low pathogen dose, they may develop low-level infections that do not cause disease but still affect host immunity by either decreasing or increasing the host's vulnerability to subsequent infections. Caring for contagious individuals can thus significantly alter the future disease susceptibility of caregivers. Using ants and their fungal pathogens as a model system, we tested if the altered disease susceptibility of experienced caregivers, in turn, affects their expression of sanitary care behavior. We found that low-level infections contracted during sanitary care had protective or neutral effects on secondary exposure to the same (homologous) pathogen but consistently caused high mortality on superinfection with a different (heterologous) pathogen. In response to this risk, the ants selectively adjusted the expression of their sanitary care. Specifically, the ants performed less grooming and more antimicrobial disinfection when caring for nestmates contaminated with heterologous pathogens compared with homologous ones. By modulating the components of sanitary care in this way the ants acquired less infectious particles of the heterologous pathogens, resulting in reduced superinfection. The performance of risk-adjusted sanitary care reveals the remarkable capacity of ants to react to changes in their disease susceptibility, according to their own infection history and to flexibly adjust collective care to individual risk.

  8. PARAMETER ESTIMATION OF VALVE STICTION USING ANT COLONY OPTIMIZATION

    S. Kalaivani

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available In this paper, a procedure for quantifying valve stiction in control loops based on ant colony optimization has been proposed. Pneumatic control valves are widely used in the process industry. The control valve contains non-linearities such as stiction, backlash, and deadband that in turn cause oscillations in the process output. Stiction is one of the long-standing problems and it is the most severe problem in the control valves. Thus the measurement data from an oscillating control loop can be used as a possible diagnostic signal to provide an estimate of the stiction magnitude. Quantification of control valve stiction is still a challenging issue. Prior to doing stiction detection and quantification, it is necessary to choose a suitable model structure to describe control-valve stiction. To understand the stiction phenomenon, the Stenman model is used. Ant Colony Optimization (ACO, an intelligent swarm algorithm, proves effective in various fields. The ACO algorithm is inspired from the natural trail following behaviour of ants. The parameters of the Stenman model are estimated using ant colony optimization, from the input-output data by minimizing the error between the actual stiction model output and the simulated stiction model output. Using ant colony optimization, Stenman model with known nonlinear structure and unknown parameters can be estimated.

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

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

    2008-02-01

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

  10. The cavity-nest ant Temnothorax crassispinus prefers larger nests.

    Mitrus, S

    Colonies of the ant Temnothorax crassispinus inhabit mostly cavities in wood and hollow acorns. Typically in the field, nest sites that can be used by the ant are a limited resource. In a field experiment, it was investigated whether the ants prefer a specific size of nest, when different ones are available. In July 2011, a total of 160 artificial nests were placed in a beech-pine forest. Four artificial nests (pieces of wood with volume cavities, ca 415, 605, 730, and 980 mm 3 , respectively) were located on each square meter of the experimental plot. One year later, shortly before the emergence of new sexuals, the nests were collected. In July 2012, colonies inhabited more frequently bigger nests. Among queenright colonies, the ones which inhabited bigger nests had more workers. However, there was no relationship between volume of nest and number of workers for queenless colonies. Queenright colonies from bigger nests produced more sexual individuals, but there was no correlation between number of workers and sex allocation ratio, or between volume of nest and sex allocation ratio. In a laboratory experiment where ant colonies were kept in 470 and 860 mm 3 nests, larger colonies allocated more energy to produce sexual individuals. The results of this study show the selectivity of T. crassispinus ants regarding the size of nest cavity, and that the nest volume has an impact on life history parameters.

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

    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.

  12. Stigmergic construction and topochemical information shape ant nest architecture.

    Khuong, Anaïs; Gautrais, Jacques; Perna, Andrea; Sbaï, Chaker; Combe, Maud; Kuntz, Pascale; Jost, Christian; Theraulaz, Guy

    2016-02-02

    The nests of social insects are not only impressive because of their sheer complexity but also because they are built from individuals whose work is not centrally coordinated. A key question is how groups of insects coordinate their building actions. Here, we use a combination of experimental and modeling approaches to investigate nest construction in the ant Lasius niger. We quantify the construction dynamics and the 3D structures built by ants. Then, we characterize individual behaviors and the interactions of ants with the structures they build. We show that two main interactions are involved in the coordination of building actions: (i) a stigmergic-based interaction that controls the amplification of depositions at some locations and is attributable to a pheromone added by ants to the building material; and (ii) a template-based interaction in which ants use their body size as a cue to control the height at which they start to build a roof from existing pillars. We then develop a 3D stochastic model based on these individual behaviors to analyze the effect of pheromone presence and strength on construction dynamics. We show that the model can quantitatively reproduce key features of construction dynamics, including a large-scale pattern of regularly spaced pillars, the formation and merging of caps over the pillars, and the remodeling of built structures. Finally, our model suggests that the lifetime of the pheromone is a highly influential parameter that controls the growth and form of nest architecture.

  13. DATA MINING UNTUK KLASIFIKASI PELANGGAN DENGAN ANT COLONY OPTIMIZATION

    Maulani Kapiudin

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available In this research the system for potentially customer classification is designed by extracting rule based classification from raw data with certain criteria. The searching process uses customer database from a bank with data mining technic by using ant colony optimization. A test based on min_case_per_rule variety and phenomene updating were done on a certain period of time. The result are group of customer class which base on rules built by ant and by modifying the pheromone updating, the area of the case is getting bigger. Prototype of the software is coded with C++ 6 version. The customer database master is created by using Microsoft Access. This paper gives information about potential customer of bank that can be classified by prototype of the software. Abstract in Bahasa Indonesia : Pada penelitian untuk sistem klasifikasi potensial customer ini didesain dengan melakukan ekstrak rule berdasarkan klasifikasi dari data mentah dengan kriteria tertentu. Proses pencarian menggunakan database pelanggan dari suatu bank dengan teknik data mining dengan ant colony optimization. Dilakukan percobaan dengan min_case_per_rule variety dan phenomene updating pada periode waktu tertentu. Hasilnya adalah sekelompok class pelanggan yang didasarkan dari rules yang dibangun dengan ant dan dengan dimodifikasi dengan pheromone updating, area permasalahan menjadi lebih melebar. Prototype dari software ini menggunakan C++ versi 6. Database pelanggan dibangun dengan Microsoft Access. Paper ini memberikan informasi mengenai potensi pelanggan dari bank, sehingga dapat diklasifikasikan dengan prototype dari software. Kata kunci: ant colony optimization, classification, min_case_per_rule, term, pheromone updating

  14. Channeler Ant Model: 3 D segmentation of medical images through ant colonies

    Fiorina, E.; Valzano, S.; Arteche Diaz, R.; Bosco, P.; Gargano, G.; Megna, R.; Oppedisano, C.; Massafra, A.

    2011-01-01

    In this paper the Channeler Ant Model (CAM) and some results of its application to the analysis of medical images are described. The CAM is an algorithm able to segment 3 D structures with different shapes, intensity and background. It makes use of virtual and colonies and exploits their natural capabilities to modify the environment and communicate with each other by pheromone deposition. Its performance has been validated with the segmentation of 3 D artificial objects and it has been already used successfully in lung nodules detection on Computer Tomography images. This work tries to evaluate the CAM as a candidate to solve the quantitative segmentation problem in Magnetic Resonance brain images: to evaluate the percentage of white matter, gray matter and cerebrospinal fluid in each voxel.

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

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    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.

  17. Social isolation and brain development in the ant Camponotus floridanus.

    Seid, Marc A; Junge, Erich

    2016-06-01

    Social interactions play a key role in the healthy development of social animals and are most pronounced in species with complex social networks. When developing offspring do not receive proper social interaction, they show developmental impairments. This effect is well documented in mammalian species but controversial in social insects. It has been hypothesized that the enlargement of the mushroom bodies, responsible for learning and memory, observed in social insects is needed for maintaining the large social networks and/or task allocation. This study examines the impact of social isolation on the development of mushroom bodies of the ant Camponotus floridanus. Ants raised in isolation were shown to exhibit impairment in the growth of the mushroom bodies as well as behavioral differences when compared to ants raised in social groups. These results indicate that social interaction is necessary for the proper development of C. floridanus mushroom bodies.

  18. Antígonas. Una visión intertextual

    Elena Cano Turrión

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available In this article and from an intertextual point of view, we will try to examine how theSophoclean hypotext has generated three very different hypertexts. The first one is the short story“Antígona o la elección” by M. Yourcenar, which goes further the religious motivation in the originaltext; then, there is an essay written as a dialogue by Maria Zambrano, entitled La tumba de Antígonawhich main topics are confrontation against power, lack of freedom and destiny and faith in humanconscience. Finally, Luis Riaza’s Antígona…¡Cerda! Appears closer to its hypotext but at the same timesemantic deviation becomes more relevant.

  19. Effective ANT based Routing Algorithm for Data Replication in MANETs

    N.J. Nithya Nandhini

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available In mobile ad hoc network, the nodes often move and keep on change its topology. Data packets can be forwarded from one node to another on demand. To increase the data accessibility data are replicated at nodes and made as sharable to other nodes. Assuming that all mobile host cooperative to share their memory and allow forwarding the data packets. But in reality, all nodes do not share the resources for the benefits of others. These nodes may act selfishly to share memory and to forward the data packets. This paper focuses on selfishness of mobile nodes in replica allocation and routing protocol based on Ant colony algorithm to improve the efficiency. The Ant colony algorithm is used to reduce the overhead in the mobile network, so that it is more efficient to access the data than with other routing protocols. This result shows the efficiency of ant based routing algorithm in the replication allocation.

  20. Mating, hybridisation and introgression in Lasius ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

    Van der Have, Tom; Pedersen, Jes Søe; Boomsma, Jacobus Jan

    2011-01-01

    Recent reviews have shown that hybridisation among ant species is likely to be more common than previously appreci-ated, but that documented cases of introgression remain rare. After molecular phylogenetic work had shown that Euro-pean Lasius niger (LINNAEUS, 1758) and L. psammophilus SEIFERT, 1992...... (formerly L. alienus (FOERSTER, 1850)) are unlikely to be very closely related, we decided to analyse an old data set confirming the conclusion by PEARSON (1983) that these two ants can indeed form viable hybrids. We show that signatures of introgression can be detected in a Danish site...... sympatrically. This would imply that multiple accessible field sites are available to study the molecular details of hybridisation and in-trogression between two ant species that have variable degrees of sympatry throughout their distributional ranges...

  1. Evolutionary patterns of proteinase activity in attine ant fungus gardens

    Semenova, Tatyana; Hughes, David Peter; Boomsma, Jacobus Jan

    2011-01-01

    hypothesized that fungal proteinase activity may have been under selection for efficiency and that different classes of proteinases might be involved. Results: We determined proteinase activity profiles across a wide pH range for fungus gardens of 14 Panamanian species of fungus-growing ants, representing...... classes. Remarkably, the single symbiont that is shared by species of the crown group of Atta and Acromyrmex leaf-cutting ants mostly showed metalloproteinase activity, suggesting that recurrent changes in enzyme production may have occurred throughout the domestication history of fungus-garden symbionts......Background: Attine ants live in symbiosis with a basidiomycetous fungus that they rear on a substrate of plant material. This indirect herbivory implies that the symbiosis is likely to be nitrogen deprived, so that specific mechanisms may have evolved to enhance protein availability. We therefore...

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

    Eduardo Gonçalves Paterson Fox

    2012-01-01

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

  3. Social context predicts recognition systems in ant queens

    Dreier, Stéphanie Agnès Jeanine; d'Ettorre, Patrizia

    2009-01-01

    Recognition of group-members is a key feature of sociality. Ants use chemical communication to discriminate nestmates from intruders, enhancing kin cooperation and preventing parasitism. The recognition code is embedded in their cuticular chemical profile, which typically varies between colonies....... We predicted that ants might be capable of accurate recognition in unusual situations when few individuals interact repeatedly, as new colonies started by two to three queens. Individual recognition would be favoured by selection when queens establish dominance hierarchies, because repeated fights...... for dominance are costly; but it would not evolve in absence of hierarchies. We previously showed that Pachycondyla co-founding queens, which form dominance hierarchies, have accurate individual recognition based on chemical cues. Here, we used the ant Lasius niger to test the null hypothesis that individual...

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

    Wilson, Edward O; Nowak, Martin A

    2014-09-02

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

  5. Native supercolonies of unrelated individuals in the invasive Argentine ant

    Pedersen, Jes Søe; Krieger, Michael J. B.; Vogel, Valérie

    2006-01-01

    organization is not only a key attribute responsible for the ecological dominance of these ants, but also an evolutionary paradox because relatedness between nestmates is effectively zero. Recently, it has been proposed that, in the Argentine ant, unicoloniality is a derived trait that evolved after its......Kinship among group members has long been recognized as a main factor promoting the evolution of sociality and reproductive altruism, yet some ants have an extraordinary social organization, called unicoloniality, whereby individuals mix freely among physically separated nests. This type of social...... with related individuals who are aggressive toward members of other colonies, we found that native populations also form supercolonies, and are effectively unicolonial. Moreover, just as in introduced populations, the relatedness between nestmates is not distinguishable from zero in these native range...

  6. Ants at Ton Nga Chang Wildlife Sanctuary, Songkhla

    Watanasit, S.

    2005-03-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this study was to investigate diversity of ant at Ton Nga Chang Wildlife Sanctuary, Hat Yai, Songkhla. Three line transects (100 m each were randomly set up in 2 types of forest area, disturbed and undisturbed. Hand collecting (HC and leaf litter sampling (LL were applied for ant collection within a time limit of 30 minutes for each method. This study was carried out every month during Febuary 2002- Febuary 2003. The results showed that 206 species were placed under 8 subfamilies: Aenictinae, Cerapachyinae, Dolichoderinae, Formicinae, Leptanillinae, Myrmicinae, Ponerinae and Pseudomyrmecinae. Study sites and collection methods could divide ant species into 2 groups, whereas seasonal change could not distinguish the groups by DCA of multivariate analysis.

  7. Social isolation and brain development in the ant Camponotus floridanus

    Seid, Marc A.; Junge, Erich

    2016-06-01

    Social interactions play a key role in the healthy development of social animals and are most pronounced in species with complex social networks. When developing offspring do not receive proper social interaction, they show developmental impairments. This effect is well documented in mammalian species but controversial in social insects. It has been hypothesized that the enlargement of the mushroom bodies, responsible for learning and memory, observed in social insects is needed for maintaining the large social networks and/or task allocation. This study examines the impact of social isolation on the development of mushroom bodies of the ant Camponotus floridanus. Ants raised in isolation were shown to exhibit impairment in the growth of the mushroom bodies as well as behavioral differences when compared to ants raised in social groups. These results indicate that social interaction is necessary for the proper development of C. floridanus mushroom bodies.

  8. Ant colonies prefer infected over uninfected nest sites

    Pontieri, Luigi; Vojvodic, Svjetlana; Graham, Riley

    2014-01-01

    with sporulating mycelium of the entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium brunneum (infected nests), nests containing nestmates killed by freezing (uninfected nests), and empty nests. In contrast to the expectation pharaoh ant colonies preferentially (84%) moved into the infected nest when presented with the choice...... the high risk of epidemics in group-living animals. Choosing nest sites free of pathogens is hypothesized to be highly efficient in invasive ants as each of their introduced populations is often an open network of nests exchanging individuals (unicolonial) with frequent relocation into new nest sites...... and low genetic diversity, likely making these species particularly vulnerable to parasites and diseases. We investigated the nest site preference of the invasive pharaoh ant, Monomorium pharaonis, through binary choice tests between three nest types: nests containing dead nestmates overgrown...

  9. EVOLUTIONARY TRANSITIONS IN ENZYME ACTIVITY OF ANT FUNGUS GARDENS

    De Fine Licht, Henrik H; Schiøtt, Morten; Mueller, Ulrich G

    2010-01-01

    an association with a monophyletic clade of specialized symbionts. In conjunction with the transition to specialized symbionts, the ants advanced in colony size and social complexity. Here we provide a comparative study of the functional specialization in extracellular enzyme activities in fungus gardens across...... the attine phylogeny. We show that, relative to sister clades, gardens of higher-attine ants have enhanced activity of protein-digesting enzymes, whereas gardens of leaf-cutting ants also have increased activity of starch-digesting enzymes. However, the enzyme activities of lower-attine fungus gardens...... are targeted primarily towards partial degradation of plant cell walls, reflecting a plesiomorphic state of non-domesticated fungi. The enzyme profiles of the higher-attine and leaf-cutting gardens appear particularly suited to digest fresh plant materials and to access nutrients from live cells without major...

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

    Priscila Andre Sanz-Veiga

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

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

    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'.

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

    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'.

  13. Characterization of actinobacteria associated with three ant-plant mutualisms.

    Hanshew, Alissa S; McDonald, Bradon R; Díaz Díaz, Carol; Djiéto-Lordon, Champlain; Blatrix, Rumsaïs; Currie, Cameron R

    2015-01-01

    Ant-plant mutualisms are conspicuous and ecologically important components of tropical ecosystems that remain largely unexplored in terms of insect-associated microbial communities. Recent work has revealed that ants in some ant-plant systems cultivate fungi (Chaetothyriales) within their domatia, which are fed to larvae. Using Pseudomyrmex penetrator/Tachigali sp. from French Guiana and Petalomyrmex phylax/Leonardoxa africana and Crematogaster margaritae/Keetia hispida, both from Cameroon, as models, we tested the hypothesis that ant-plant-fungus mutualisms co-occur with culturable Actinobacteria. Using selective media, we isolated 861 putative Actinobacteria from the three systems. All C. margaritae/K. hispida samples had culturable Actinobacteria with a mean of 10.0 colony forming units (CFUs) per sample, while 26 % of P. penetrator/Tachigali samples (mean CFUs 1.3) and 67 % of P. phylax/L. africana samples (mean CFUs 3.6) yielded Actinobacteria. The largest number of CFUs was obtained from P. penetrator workers, P. phylax alates, and C. margaritae pupae. 16S rRNA gene sequencing and phylogenetic analysis revealed the presence of four main clades of Streptomyces and one clade of Nocardioides within these three ant-plant mutualisms. Streptomyces with antifungal properties were isolated from all three systems, suggesting that they could serve as protective symbionts, as found in other insects. In addition, a number of isolates from a clade of Streptomyces associated with P. phylax/L. africana and C. margaritae/K. hispida were capable of degrading cellulose, suggesting that Streptomyces in these systems may serve a nutritional role. Repeated isolation of particular clades of Actinobacteria from two geographically distant locations supports these isolates as residents in ant-plant-fungi niches.

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

    Mooney, Kailen A; Agrawal, Anurag A

    2008-06-01

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

  15. Intrapopulation differences in ant eating in the mountain gorillas of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda.

    Ganas, Jessica; Robbins, Martha M

    2004-10-01

    Variability in ant eating has been observed in several populations of eastern and western gorillas. We investigated the occurrence of ant (Dorylus sp.) eating in two groups of mountain gorillas (Gorilla beringei beringei) with overlapping home ranges within Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda from September 2001 to August 2002. We calculated the frequency of ant eating by an indirect method of analyzing fecal samples from silverbacks, adult females, and juveniles. One group consumed ants significantly more often than the other (3.3 vs 17.6% of days sampled). Furthermore, the group that consumed ants more often also consumed them on a seasonal basis (September-February monthly range: 0-8%; March-August monthly range: 30-42.9%). Finally, females and juveniles of this group consumed ants significantly more often than did the silverback (total samples containing ants: silverback, 2.1%; adult female, 13.2%; juvenile, 11.2%). Differences in ant eating between groups are likely due to variability in use of habitats where ants occur (particularly secondary forests). Surveys of ant densities in differing habitats, nutritional analysis of ants, and quantification of the amount of ants in their diets are necessary to understand if ant consumption is due to availability, nutritional value, group traditions, or taste preference.

  16. Five new records of ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) from Morocco.

    Taheri, Ahmed; Reyes-López, Joaquin L

    2015-01-01

    A recent catalogue of the rich ant fauna of Morocco included 214 species, with later studies adding an additional 12 species. Following recent fieldwork in the north of Morocco, we report five new records for the country (Plagiolepis pygmaea Latreille, 1798, Ponera testacea Emery, 1895, Strumigenys tenuipilis Emery, 1915, Temnothorax pardoi Tinaut, 1987, and Tetramorium parvioculum Guillem & Bensusan, 2009) and we present new data on the distribution and natural history of six additional species. This work brings the total number of ants known from Morocco to 233, taking into account two species which were omitted in the list of Cagniant. © Crown copyright 2015.

  17. Core Business Selection Based on Ant Colony Clustering Algorithm

    Yu Lan

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Core business is the most important business to the enterprise in diversified business. In this paper, we first introduce the definition and characteristics of the core business and then descript the ant colony clustering algorithm. In order to test the effectiveness of the proposed method, Tianjin Port Logistics Development Co., Ltd. is selected as the research object. Based on the current situation of the development of the company, the core business of the company can be acquired by ant colony clustering algorithm. Thus, the results indicate that the proposed method is an effective way to determine the core business for company.

  18. Significance of chemical recognition cues is context dependent in ants

    Bos, N.; Guerrieri, F.J.; d'Ettorre, P.

    2010-01-01

    signatures, composed primarily of long-chain cuticular hydrocarbons. These signatures are colony specific and allow discrimination between nestmates and non-nestmates. Nevertheless, the mechanisms underlying detection, perception and information processing of chemical signatures are poorly understood. It has...... context, affects aggression against non-nestmates carrying the hydrocarbon profile associated with food. Individual ant workers were able to associate the non-nestmate chemical profile with food. However, conditioned ants were still aggressive when encountering a non-nestmate carrying the odour profile...

  19. Mutualistic fungi control crop diversity in fungus-growing ants

    Poulsen, Michael; Boomsma, Jacobus J

    2005-01-01

    Leaf-cutting ants rear clonal fungi for food and transmit the fungi from mother to daughter colonies so that symbiont mixing and conflict, which result from competition between genetically different clones, are avoided. Here we show that despite millions of years of predominantly vertical...... transmission, the domesticated fungi actively reject mycelial fragments from neighboring colonies, and that the strength of these reactions are in proportion to the overall genetic difference between these symbionts. Fungal incompatibility compounds remain intact during ant digestion, so that fecal droplets...

  20. Are queen ants inhibited by their own pheromone?

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

    2013-01-01

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

  1. Sperm storage induces an immunity cost in ants

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

    2006-01-01

    Ant queens are among the most long-lived insects known. They mate early in adult life and maintain millions of viable sperm in their sperm storage organ until they die many years later. Because they never re-mate, the reproductive success of queens is ultimately sperm-limited, but it is not known...... what selective forces determine the upper limit to sperm storage. Here we show that sperm storage carries a significant cost of reduced immunity during colony founding. Newly mated queens of the leaf-cutting ant Atta colombica upregulate their immune response shortly after completing their nest burrow...

  2. The search rate of the African weaver ant in cashew

    Henriksen, Signe; Axelsen, Jørgen Aagaard; Lemming, Katrine Hansen

    2015-01-01

    Oecophylla longinoda is a species of eusocial colony living ants that prey upon other insects to feed their larva. Many of these insects are considered pests. An ecosystem model of the interactions between an O. longinoda colony and its potential prey is under construction by the team behind...... this article, and it is unknown which functional response equations are useful for eusocial insect colonies. We investigated the search rate of O. longinoda using artificial feeding experiments in a Tanzanian cashew (Anacardium occidentale L.) orchard to determine the search efficiency of the ants...

  3. Application of ant colony optimization in NPP classification fault location

    Xie Chunli; Liu Yongkuo; Xia Hong

    2009-01-01

    Nuclear Power Plant is a highly complex structural system with high safety requirements. Fault location appears to be particularly important to enhance its safety. Ant Colony Optimization is a new type of optimization algorithm, which is used in the fault location and classification of nuclear power plants in this paper. Taking the main coolant system of the first loop as the study object, using VB6.0 programming technology, the NPP fault location system is designed, and is tested against the related data in the literature. Test results show that the ant colony optimization can be used in the accurate classification fault location in the nuclear power plants. (authors)

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

    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...

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

    Frederickson, Megan E

    2009-05-01

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

  6. The genomic impact of 100 million years of social evolution in seven ant species

    Gadau, Jürgen; Helmkampf, Martin; Nygaard, Sanne

    2012-01-01

    Ants (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) represent one of the most successful eusocial taxa in terms of both their geographic distribution and species number. The publication of seven ant genomes within the past year was a quantum leap for socio- and ant genomics. The diversity of social organization in ants...... between social and solitary insects, as well as among ant species. Altogether, these seven ant genomes open exciting new research avenues and opportunities for understanding the genetic basis and regulation of social species, and adaptive complex systems in general....... makes them excellent model organisms to study the evolution of social systems. Comparing the ant genomes with those of the honeybee, a lineage that evolved eusociality independently from ants, and solitary insects suggests that there are significant differences in key aspects of genome organization...

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

    Neonicotinoid insecticides are commonly used in managing pest ants, including the imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta Buren. There is increasing evidence that neonicotinoid insecticides at sublethal concentrations have profound effects on social insects. However, the sublethal effect of neonicot...

  8. Live and let die: why fighter males of the ant Cardiocondyla kill each other but tolerate their winged rivals

    Anderson, Carl; Cremer, Sylvia Maria; Heinze, Jürgen

    2003-01-01

    alternative dispersal tactics, ants, Cardiocondyla, ergatoid males, fighting, male dimorphism, toleration......alternative dispersal tactics, ants, Cardiocondyla, ergatoid males, fighting, male dimorphism, toleration...

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

    Provecho, Y.; Josens, R.

    2009-01-01

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

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

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

    2012-01-01

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

  11. 9 CFR 381.71 - Condemnation on ante mortem inspection.

    2010-01-01

    ... dressed, nor shall they be conveyed into any department of the official establishment where poultry... AGRICULTURE AGENCY ORGANIZATION AND TERMINOLOGY; MANDATORY MEAT AND POULTRY PRODUCTS INSPECTION AND VOLUNTARY INSPECTION AND CERTIFICATION POULTRY PRODUCTS INSPECTION REGULATIONS Ante Mortem Inspection § 381.71...

  12. Application of ant colony optimisation in distribution transformer sizing

    This study proposes an optimisation method for transformer sizing in power system using ant colony optimisation and a verification of the process by MATLAB software. The aim is to address the issue of transformer sizing which is a major challenge affecting its effective performance, longevity, huge capital cost and power ...

  13. Formulation des betons autopla~ants : Optimisation du squelette ...

    Formulation des betons autopla~ants : Optimisation du squelette granulaire par la methode graphique de Dreux - Gorisse. Fatiha Boumaza - Zeraoulia* & Mourad Behim. Laboratoire Materiaux, Geo - Materiaux et Environnement - Departement de Genie Civil. Universite Badji Mokhtar Annaba - BP 12, 23000 Annaba - ...

  14. Ant and rattan associations in forest of tropical Africa | Sunderland ...

    Recent fieldwork aimed at increasing our knowledge of the taxonomy and ecology of African rattans has indicated that there is a significant relationship between these climbing palms and a number of ant species. A closer investigation into this relationship has found that the morphology of rattan palms is particularly ...

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

    Dijkstra, Michiel Bendert; Boomsma, Jacobus Jan

    2006-01-01

    ovaries. Workers of Atta leafcutter ants only lay trophic eggs in queenright colonies. Although Atta colonies are commonly kept at universities, museums, and zoos, no reports of worker sons in orphaned colonies exist, suggesting that Atta workers are infertile. To explicitly test this, we created eleven...

  16. Does the afrotropical army ant Dorylus (Anomma) molestus go ...

    Swarm-raiding army ants are extremely polyphagous nomadic predators inhabiting tropical forests. They are considered keystone species because their raids can regulate the population dynamics of their prey and because a plethora of both invertebrate and vertebrate species are obligatorily or facultatively associated with ...

  17. Biogeography of Puerto Rican ants: a non-equilibrium case?

    J.A. Torres; R.R. Snelling

    1997-01-01

    Ants were studied on Puerto Rico and 44 islands surrounding Puerto Rico. Habitat diversity was the best predictor of the number of species per island and the distributions of species followed a nested subset pattern. The number of extinctions per island was low, approximately 1 to 2 extinctions per island in a period of 18 years, and the rates of colonization seem to...

  18. Recurrent bridgehead effects accelerate global alien ant spread

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

    2018-01-01

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

  19. Ultrastructure of antennal sensillae of the samsum ant ...

    Jane

    2010-10-11

    Oct 11, 2010 ... subsequently may form the basis in producing its effective control measure in future. ... persons that may deteriorate into serious health condi- tions. ... with the behavioral ecology of ants (Faucheux et al.,. 2006) ... Basiconic type acts as food and CO2 receptor, trichoids ..... Sex pheromone perception in male.

  20. Energy Efficient Routing in Wireless Sensor Networks based on Ant ...

    PROF. O. E. OSUAGWU

    2013-09-01

    Sep 1, 2013 ... improved Ant System and their application in WSN routing process. The simulation results show ... and Mobile ad-hoc networks (MANETs) are inappropriate for ... Dorigo in 1992 in his PhD thesis, the first algorithm was aiming ...

  1. Urban physiology: city ants possess high heat tolerance.

    Michael J Angilletta

    Full Text Available Urbanization has caused regional increases in temperature that exceed those measured on a global scale, leading to urban heat islands as much as 12 degrees C hotter than their surroundings. Optimality models predict ectotherms in urban areas should tolerate heat better and cold worse than ectotherms in rural areas. We tested these predications by measuring heat and cold tolerances of leaf-cutter ants from South America's largest city (São Paulo, Brazil. Specifically, we compared thermal tolerances of ants from inside and outside of the city. Knock-down resistance and chill-coma recovery were used as indicators of heat and cold tolerances, respectively. Ants from within the city took 20% longer to lose mobility at 42 degrees C than ants from outside the city. Interestingly, greater heat tolerance came at no obvious expense of cold tolerance; hence, our observations only partially support current theory. Our results indicate that thermal tolerances of some organisms can respond to rapid changes in climate. Predictive models should account for acclimatory and evolutionary responses during climate change.

  2. Irving Babbitti humanismi põhijooned / Ants Oras

    Oras, Ants

    2003-01-01

    Varem ilmunud: rmt.: "Kultuuri ja teaduse teilt: mõtteid ja uurimusi Tartu Ülikooli 300-nda mälestusaasta puhuks". Tartu : Loodus, 1932, lk. 144-153 ; Ants Oras, "Irving Babbitt' i humanismi põhijooned: äratrükk koguteosest "Kultuuri ja teaduse teilt"". Tartu, 1932

  3. Ant-egg cataract. An electron microscopic study

    Schrøder, H D; Nissen, S H

    1979-01-01

    an intermittent growth of the structure. In the ant-eggs, as well as in some areas separate from these, membrane limited cytoplasmic bodies could be seen in many cases, the membranes of which were partly joint and partly separated by an electron dense material. It is suggested that the calcifications seen...

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

    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.

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

    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).

  6. Ant Colony Optimization and the Minimum Cut Problem

    Kötzing, Timo; Lehre, Per Kristian; Neumann, Frank

    2010-01-01

    Ant Colony Optimization (ACO) is a powerful metaheuristic for solving combinatorial optimization problems. With this paper we contribute to the theoretical understanding of this kind of algorithm by investigating the classical minimum cut problem. An ACO algorithm similar to the one that was prov...

  7. Evolutionary transitions in enzyme activity of ant fungus gardens.

    De Fine Licht, Henrik H; Schiøtt, Morten; Mueller, Ulrich G; Boomsma, Jacobus J

    2010-07-01

    Fungus-growing (attine) ants and their fungal symbionts passed through several evolutionary transitions during their 50 million year old evolutionary history. The basal attine lineages often shifted between two main cultivar clades, whereas the derived higher-attine lineages maintained an association with a monophyletic clade of specialized symbionts. In conjunction with the transition to specialized symbionts, the ants advanced in colony size and social complexity. Here we provide a comparative study of the functional specialization in extracellular enzyme activities in fungus gardens across the attine phylogeny. We show that, relative to sister clades, gardens of higher-attine ants have enhanced activity of protein-digesting enzymes, whereas gardens of leaf-cutting ants also have increased activity of starch-digesting enzymes. However, the enzyme activities of lower-attine fungus gardens are targeted primarily toward partial degradation of plant cell walls, reflecting a plesiomorphic state of nondomesticated fungi. The enzyme profiles of the higher-attine and leaf-cutting gardens appear particularly suited to digest fresh plant materials and to access nutrients from live cells without major breakdown of cell walls. The adaptive significance of the lower-attine symbiont shifts remains unclear. One of these shifts was obligate, but digestive advantages remained ambiguous, whereas the other remained facultative despite providing greater digestive efficiency.

  8. An object-oriented model for ex ante accounting information

    Verdaasdonk, P.J.A.

    2003-01-01

    Present accounting data models such as the Research-Event-Agent (REA) model merely focus on the modeling of static accounting phenomena. In this paper, it is argued that these models are not able to provide relevant ex ante accounting data for operations management decisions. These decisions require

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

    Bart Baddeley

    2012-01-01

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

  10. Rethinking crop-disease management in fungus-growing ants

    Boomsma, J.J.; Aanen, D.K.

    2009-01-01

    Ant fungus farming has become a prominent model for studying the evolution of mutualistic cooperation, with recent advances in reconstructing the evolutionary origin and elaborations of the symbiosis (1, 2), discovering additional partners and clarifying their interactions (3, 4), and analyzing

  11. Water Stress Strengthens Mutualism Among Ants, Trees, and Scale Insects

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

    2013-01-01

    Abiotic environmental variables strongly affect the outcomes of species interactions. For example, mutualistic interactions between species are often stronger when resources are limited. The effect might be indirect: water stress on plants can lead to carbon stress, which could alter carbon-mediated plant mutualisms. In mutualistic ant–plant symbioses, plants host ant colonies that defend them against herbivores. Here we show that the partners' investments in a widespread ant–plant symbiosis increase with water stress across 26 sites along a Mesoamerican precipitation gradient. At lower precipitation levels, Cordia alliodora trees invest more carbon in Azteca ants via phloem-feeding scale insects that provide the ants with sugars, and the ants provide better defense of the carbon-producing leaves. Under water stress, the trees have smaller carbon pools. A model of the carbon trade-offs for the mutualistic partners shows that the observed strategies can arise from the carbon costs of rare but extreme events of herbivory in the rainy season. Thus, water limitation, together with the risk of herbivory, increases the strength of a carbon-based mutualism. PMID:24223521

  12. Ant-inspired density estimation via random walks.

    Musco, Cameron; Su, Hsin-Hao; Lynch, Nancy A

    2017-10-03

    Many ant species use distributed population density estimation in applications ranging from quorum sensing, to task allocation, to appraisal of enemy colony strength. It has been shown that ants estimate local population density by tracking encounter rates: The higher the density, the more often the ants bump into each other. We study distributed density estimation from a theoretical perspective. We prove that a group of anonymous agents randomly walking on a grid are able to estimate their density within a small multiplicative error in few steps by measuring their rates of encounter with other agents. Despite dependencies inherent in the fact that nearby agents may collide repeatedly (and, worse, cannot recognize when this happens), our bound nearly matches what would be required to estimate density by independently sampling grid locations. From a biological perspective, our work helps shed light on how ants and other social insects can obtain relatively accurate density estimates via encounter rates. From a technical perspective, our analysis provides tools for understanding complex dependencies in the collision probabilities of multiple random walks. We bound the strength of these dependencies using local mixing properties of the underlying graph. Our results extend beyond the grid to more general graphs, and we discuss applications to size estimation for social networks, density estimation for robot swarms, and random walk-based sampling for sensor networks.

  13. Ants Oras ja eesti Shakespeare'i-kultuur / Evelin Banhard

    Banhard, Evelin

    2008-01-01

    Artikkel käsitleb Ants Orase rolli William Shakespeare'i pärandi tõlkija ja tutvustajana. Analüüsitakse Orase töid eesti kultuuriajakirjanduses 1920. ja 1930. aastatel ning tema hilisemaid, paguluses kirjutatud arvustusi

  14. INTRODUCTION The tailor or weaver ants of genus Oecophylla ...

    smaragdina which is a sister species and ecological equivalent of ... Stability in population of Oecophylla in BSP and PG over 13 years suggests that weaver ant .... between the two years were significant at 95% confidence ..... over time is dependent on the nature of the perturbation. ... longinoda in relation to territorility and.

  15. Dentigerumycin: a bacterial mediator of an ant-fungus symbiosis

    Oh, Dong-Chan; Poulsen, Michael; Currie, Cameron R

    2009-01-01

    Fungus-growing ants engage in mutualistic associations with both the fungus they cultivate for food and actinobacteria (Pseudonocardia spp.) that produce selective antibiotics to defend that fungus from specialized fungal parasites. We have analyzed one such system at the molecular level and found...

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

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

  17. Advances in Research on the Venom Chemistry of Imported Fire Ants

    Workers of the imported fire ants, including red imported fire ants, Solenopsis invicta Buren, black imported fire ants, S. richteri Forel, and their hybrid (S. invicta × S. richteri), are vicious stingers. Since the venomous sting is a significant medical problem to humans, the chemistry of import...

  18. Dispersal for survival: some observations on the trunk ant (Formica truncorum Fabricius)

    Mabelis, A.A.; Korczynska, J.

    2001-01-01

    The survival chance of the trunk ant (Formica truncorum) is compared with the survival chance of two other species of red wood ants: F.rufa and F.polyctena. Nest populations of F.truncorum are much smaller than nest populations of the other red wood ant species, which makes the species a weaker

  19. The genome of the fire ant Solenopsis invicta

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

    2011-01-01

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

  20. The effects of age and social interactions on innate immunity in a leaf-cutting ant

    Armitage, S.A.O.; Boomsma, J.J.

    2010-01-01

    defence is affected by both age and the short-term presence or absence of nestmates in the leaf-cutting ant Acromyrmex octospinosus. We predicted that older ants would show immune senescence and that group living may result in prophylactic differences in immune defence compared to solitarily kept ants. We...

  1. The effectiveness of weaver ant (Oecophylla smaragdina) biocontrol in Southeast Asian citrus and mango

    Offenberg, Joachim; Cuc, Nguyen Thi Thu; Wiwatwitaya, Decha

    2013-01-01

    Oecophylla ants may protect tropical plantation crops against pests. Cost-benefit studies comparing ant-based protection with conventional methods are needed to assess whether it is economically viable. Here we contrast profits in ant and chemically protected plots in a Thai and a Vietnamese citrus...

  2. Towards a better understanding of the evolution of specialized parasites of fungus-growing ant crops

    Yek, Sze Huei; Boomsma, Jacobus Jan; Poulsen, Michael

    2012-01-01

    Fungus-growing ants have interacted and partly coevolved with specialised microfungal parasites of the genus Escovopsis since the origin of ant fungiculture about 50 million years ago. Here, we review the recent progress in understanding the patterns of specificity of this ant-parasite associatio...

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

    Matthew D. Trager

    2013-01-01

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

  4. Drowning out the protection racket: partner manipulation or drought can strengthen ant-plant mutualism.

    Denison, R Ford

    2014-07-01

    Two recent reports discuss interactions between plants and ants that defend them from herbivores. Acacia trees provide their ant bodyguards with a diet that reduces their ability to benefit from alternate hosts. Provisioning of ants by Cordia trees during drought may buy insurance against extreme defoliation events, not just average-year benefits. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    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

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

    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.

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

    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.

  8. Elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations promote ant tending of aphids.

    Kremer, Jenni M M; Nooten, Sabine S; Cook, James M; Ryalls, James M W; Barton, Craig V M; Johnson, Scott N

    2018-04-27

    Animal mutualisms, which involve beneficial interactions between individuals of different species, are common in nature. Insect-insect mutualism, for example, is widely regarded as a keystone ecological interaction. Some mutualisms are anticipated to be modified by climate change, but the focus has largely been on plant-microbe and plant-animal mutualisms rather than those between animals. Ant-aphid mutualisms, whereby ants tend aphids to harvest their honeydew excretions and, in return, provide protection for the aphids, are widespread. The mutualism is heavily influenced by the quality and quantity of honeydew produced by aphids, which is directly affected by host plant quality. As predicted increases in concentrations of atmospheric carbon dioxide (eCO 2 ) are widely reported to affect plant nutritional chemistry, this may also alter honeydew quality and hence the nature of ant-aphid mutualisms. Using glasshouse chambers and field-based open-top chambers, we determined the effect of eCO 2 on the growth and nutritional quality (foliar amino acids) of lucerne (Medicago sativa). We determined how cowpea aphid (Aphis craccivora) populations and honeydew production were impacted when feeding on such plants and how this affected the tending behaviour of ants (Iridomyrmex sp.). eCO 2 stimulated plant growth but decreased concentrations of foliar amino acids by 29% and 14% on aphid-infested plants and aphid-free plants, respectively. Despite the deterioration in host plant quality under eCO 2 , aphids maintained performance and populations were unchanged by eCO 2 . Aphids induced higher concentrations of amino acids (glutamine, asparagine, glutamic acid and aspartic acid) important for endosymbiont-mediated synthesis of essential amino acids. Aphids feeding under eCO 2 also produced over three times more honeydew than aphids feeding under ambient CO 2 , suggesting they were imbibing more phloem sap at eCO 2 . The frequency of ant tending of aphids more than doubled in

  9. A phylogenetic perspective on the association between ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) and black yeasts (Ascomycota: Chaetothyriales).

    Vasse, Marie; Voglmayr, Hermann; Mayer, Veronika; Gueidan, Cécile; Nepel, Maximilian; Moreno, Leandro; de Hoog, Sybren; Selosse, Marc-André; McKey, Doyle; Blatrix, Rumsaïs

    2017-03-15

    The frequency and the geographical extent of symbiotic associations between ants and fungi of the order Chaetothyriales have been highlighted only recently. Using a phylogenetic approach based on seven molecular markers, we showed that ant-associated Chaetothyriales are scattered through the phylogeny of this order. There was no clustering according to geographical origin or to the taxonomy of the ant host. However, strains tended to be clustered according to the type of association with ants: strains from ant-made carton and strains from plant cavities occupied by ants ('domatia') rarely clustered together. Defining molecular operational taxonomic units (MOTUs) with an internal transcribed spacer sequence similarity cut-off of 99% revealed that a single MOTU could be composed of strains collected from various ant species and from several continents. Some ant-associated MOTUs also contained strains isolated from habitats other than ant-associated structures. Altogether, our results suggest that the degree of specialization of the interactions between ants and their fungal partners is highly variable. A better knowledge of the ecology of these interactions and a more comprehensive sampling of the fungal order are needed to elucidate the evolutionary history of mutualistic symbioses between ants and Chaetothyriales. © 2017 The Author(s).

  10. Plant-ants feed their host plant, but above all a fungal symbiont to recycle nitrogen.

    Defossez, Emmanuel; Djiéto-Lordon, Champlain; McKey, Doyle; Selosse, Marc-André; Blatrix, Rumsaïs

    2011-05-07

    In ant-plant symbioses, plants provide symbiotic ants with food and specialized nesting cavities (called domatia). In many ant-plant symbioses, a fungal patch grows within each domatium. The symbiotic nature of the fungal association has been shown in the ant-plant Leonardoxa africana and its protective mutualist ant Petalomyrmex phylax. To decipher trophic fluxes among the three partners, food enriched in (13)C and (15)N was given to the ants and tracked in the different parts of the symbiosis up to 660 days later. The plant received a small, but significant, amount of nitrogen from the ants. However, the ants fed more intensively the fungus. The pattern of isotope enrichment in the system indicated an ant behaviour that functions specifically to feed the fungus. After 660 days, the introduced nitrogen was still present in the system and homogeneously distributed among ant, plant and fungal compartments, indicating efficient recycling within the symbiosis. Another experiment showed that the plant surface absorbed nutrients (in the form of simple molecules) whether or not it is coated by fungus. Our study provides arguments for a mutualistic status of the fungal associate and a framework for investigating the previously unsuspected complexity of food webs in ant-plant mutualisms.

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

    Yuan-Kai Chung

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

  12. Uni-directional trail sharing by two species of ants a Monte Carlo study

    Kunduraci, T; Kayacan, O

    2015-01-01

    We study insect traffic, specifically ant traffic on a uni-directional trail which is shared by two species of ants, one of which is ‘good’ at smelling and the other ‘poor’. The two distinct species of ants are placed mixed on the same trail and individuals of both are permitted to make a U-turn when they encounter another ant in front of them. The theoretical scheme for the ant traffic is based on an asymmetric simple exclusion model. The ant traffic on the uni-directional trail is studied as a function of the number of ‘good-smelling’ ants and the evaporation probability of pheromones by keeping the number of ‘poor-smelling ants’ constant during Monte Carlo simulations. (paper)

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

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

    2006-01-01

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

  14. Absence of jamming in ant trails: feedback control of self-propulsion and noise.

    Chaudhuri, Debasish; Nagar, Apoorva

    2015-01-01

    We present a model of ant traffic considering individual ants as self-propelled particles undergoing single-file motion on a one-dimensional trail. Recent experiments on unidirectional ant traffic in well-formed natural trails showed that the collective velocity of ants remains approximately unchanged, leading to the absence of jamming even at very high densities [John et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 102, 108001 (2009)]. Assuming a feedback control mechanism of self-propulsion force generated by each ant using information about the distance from the ant in front, our model captures all the main features observed in the experiment. The distance headway distribution shows a maximum corresponding to separations within clusters. The position of this maximum remains independent of average number density. We find a non-equilibrium first-order transition, with the formation of an infinite cluster at a threshold density where all the ants in the system suddenly become part of a single cluster.

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

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Ceres Belchior

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

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

    Alessandro Ossola

    2015-10-01

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

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

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

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

    1998-01-01

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

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

    Gabriela Pérez-Lachaud

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

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

    Pérez-Lachaud, Gabriela; Lachaud, Jean-Paul

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Pérez-Lachaud, Gabriela; Lachaud, Jean-Paul

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Wynhoff, Irma; Langevelde, van Frank

    2017-01-01

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

  4. Actitudes europeos ante el envejecimiento y los personas mayores

    ALAN WALKER

    1996-01-01

    Full Text Available n este artículo se realiza un análisis comparativo de las actitudes ante el envejecimiento y las personas mayores en los doce estados miembros de la unión europea. Está basado en datos originales de encuesta y se centra en la relación entre las personas mayores y los jovenes, la jubilación y las pensiones, los trabajadores de edad y el empleo, la atención social a las personas mayores y la política de la vejez. Por lo tanto, el artículo intenta proporcionar un resumen de las principales dimensiones de las actitudes publicas ante el envejecimiento en la union europea.

  5. Multi-objective ant algorithm for wireless sensor network positioning

    Fidanova, S.; Shindarov, M.; Marinov, P.

    2013-01-01

    It is impossible to imagine our modern life without telecommunications. Wireless networks are a part of telecommunications. Wireless sensor networks (WSN) consist of spatially distributed sensors, which communicate in wireless way. This network monitors physical or environmental conditions. The objective is the full coverage of the monitoring region and less energy consumption of the network. The most appropriate approach to solve the problem is metaheuristics. In this paper the full coverage of the area is treated as a constrain. The objectives which are optimized are a minimal number of sensors and energy (lifetime) of the network. We apply multi-objective Ant Colony Optimization to solve this important telecommunication problem. We chose MAX-MIN Ant System approach, because it is proven to converge to the global optima

  6. Sexual Cooperation: Mating Increases Longevity in Ant Queens

    Schrempf, Alexandra; Heinze, Jürgen; Cremer, Sylvia

    2005-01-01

    Divergent reproductive interests of males and females often cause sexual conflict [1] and [2] . Males of many species manipulate females by transferring seminal fluids that boost female short-term fecundity while decreasing their life expectancy and future reproductivity [3] and [4] . The life...... history of ants, however, is expected to reduce sexual conflict; whereas most insect females show repeated phases of mating and reproduction, ant queens mate only during a short period early in life and undergo a lifelong commitment to their mates by storing sperm [5] . Furthermore, sexual offspring can...... sterilized male lived considerably longer and started laying eggs earlier than virgin queens. Only queens that received viable sperm from fertile males showed increased fecundity. The lack of a trade-off between fecundity and longevity is unexpected, given evolutionary theories of aging [6] . Our data...

  7. The Müller-Lyer illusion in ant foraging.

    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.

  8. Evolutionarily advanced ant farmers rear polyploid fungal crops

    Kooij, Pepijn Wilhelmus; Aanen, D.K.; Schiøtt, Morten

    2015-01-01

    to be lowly and facultatively polyploid (just over two haplotypes on average), whereas Atta and Acromyrmex symbionts are highly and obligatorily polyploid (ca. 5-7 haplotypes on average). This stepwise transition appears analogous to ploidy variation in plants and fungi domesticated by humans and in fungi...... the number of nuclei per fungal cell for 42 symbionts reared by 14 species of Panamanian fungus-growing ants. This showed that domesticated symbionts of higher attine ants are polykaryotic with 7-17 nuclei per cell, whereas nonspecialized crops of lower attines are dikaryotic similar to most free...... domesticated by termites and plants, where gene or genome duplications were typically associated with selection for higher productivity, but allopolyploid chimerism was incompatible with sexual reproduction....

  9. Study on bi-directional pedestrian movement using ant algorithms

    Gokce, Sibel; Kayacan, Ozhan

    2016-01-01

    A cellular automata model is proposed to simulate bi-directional pedestrian flow. Pedestrian movement is investigated by using ant algorithms. Ants communicate with each other by dropping a chemical, called a pheromone, on the substrate while crawling forward. Similarly, it is considered that oppositely moving pedestrians drop ‘visual pheromones’ on their way and the visual pheromones might cause attractive or repulsive interactions. This pheromenon is introduced into modelling the pedestrians’ walking preference. In this way, the decision-making process of pedestrians will be based on ‘the instinct of following’. At some densities, the relationships of velocity–density and flux–density are analyzed for different evaporation rates of visual pheromones. Lane formation and phase transition are observed for certain evaporation rates of visual pheromones. (paper)

  10. Response Ant Colony Optimization of End Milling Surface Roughness

    Ahmed N. Abd Alla

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available Metal cutting processes are important due to increased consumer demands for quality metal cutting related products (more precise tolerances and better product surface roughness that has driven the metal cutting industry to continuously improve quality control of metal cutting processes. This paper presents optimum surface roughness by using milling mould aluminium alloys (AA6061-T6 with Response Ant Colony Optimization (RACO. The approach is based on Response Surface Method (RSM and Ant Colony Optimization (ACO. The main objectives to find the optimized parameters and the most dominant variables (cutting speed, feedrate, axial depth and radial depth. The first order model indicates that the feedrate is the most significant factor affecting surface roughness.

  11. How many gamergates is an ant queen worth?

    Monnin, Thibaud; Peeters, Christian

    2008-02-01

    Ant reproductives exhibit different morphological adaptations linked to dispersal and fertility. By reviewing the literature on taxa where workers can reproduce sexually (i.e. become gamergates) we show that (1) species with a single gamergate generally have lost the winged queen caste, whereas only half of the species with several gamergates have, and (2) single-gamergate species have smaller colonies than multiple-gamergate species. Comparison with “classical” ants without gamergates, where having one vs having several winged queens are two distinct syndromes, suggests that having one vs having several gamergates are not. Gamergate number does not affect the success of colony fission, but retention of the queen caste permits the option of independent foundation.

  12. ANTS/PAM: Future Exploration of the Asteroid Belt

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

    2004-05-01

    The Autonomous Nano-Technology Swarm (ANTS) is applied to the Prospecting Asteroid Mission (PAM) concept, as part of a NASA RASC study. The ANTS architecture is inspired by success of social insect colonies, based on the division of labor within the colonies: 1) within their specialties, individual specialists generally outperform general-ists, and 2) with sufficiently efficient social interaction and coordination, the group of specialists generally outper-forms the group of generalists. ANTS as applied to PAM involves a thousand individual specialist `sciencecraft', one subswarm per target, in an environment where detection and tracking of irregular, infrequent targets is a major chal-lenge. Workers, carry and operate eight to nine different scientific instruments, including spectrometers, ranging and radio science devices, imagers. The remaining specialists, Messenger/Rulers, provide communication and coordina-tion. The non-expendable propulsion system is based on autonomously deployable and configurable solar sails, a system suitable to a low gravity environment. The design of the neural basis function requires a minimum of 4 or 5 specialists for collective decision making. Allowing for ten instrument specialist teams and compensating for antici-pated high attrition, we calculate an initial minimum of 100 per subswarm should allow characterization of hundreds of asteroids. The difficulty in observing irregular, rapidly moving, poorly illuminated objects is largely overcome by the ANT sciencecraft capability to optimize conditions for each instrument. Components are composed of carbon nanotubules reversibly deployable from NEMS nodes, allowing 100 times decrease in packaging volume. 1000 smart 10 centimeter, 1 kg cubic boxes create a 1000 kg 1 meter cube.

  13. Subterranean ant nests: Trace fossils past and future?

    Tschinkel, Walter R.

    2003-01-01

    Many species of ants excavate complex, species-typical nests in soil. The basic structural units of many nests are descending tunnels connecting flattened, generally horizontal chambers of oval to lobed outline. The species-typical structure of many nests results from variation in the size, shape, number and arrangement of these basic elements. Nest architecture can be rendered by filling subterranean nests with a thin slurry of orthodontal plaster, then excavating and reconstructing the hard...

  14. António Reis and Margarida Cordeiro, eccentric filmmakers

    Lucas Tavares Neves

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available The international symposium "António Reis and Margarida Cordeiro, eccentric filmmakers" took place in Paris between the 3rd and the 4th of June, 2015. Speakers exchanged on the political, social and poetical aspects of the duo's cinematography, as well as on the reverberations of titles such as Jaime (1974 and Trás-os-montes (1976 on the Portuguese filmic landscape of the decades that followed.

  15. How lost "passenger" ants find their way home.

    Srinivasan, Mandyam V

    2018-03-01

    Animal navigation has fascinated biologists and engineers for centuries, and some of the most illuminating discoveries have come from the study of creatures with a brain no larger than a sesame seed. In an elegant recent study, Pfeiffer and Wittlinger (Science, 353, 1155-1157, 2016) have shown the means by which desert ants, carried from one nest to another by a relative, find their own way back home if they are accidentally dropped en route.

  16. Timing of dispersal: effect of ants on aphids

    Kindlmann, Pavel; Hullé, M.; Stadler, B.

    2007-01-01

    Roč. 152, č. 4 (2007), s. 625-631 ISSN 0029-8549 R&D Projects: GA AV ČR IAA6087301; GA MŠk LC06073; GA ČR(CZ) GEDIV/06/E013 Grant - others:-(DE) BMBF No. PT BEO 51-0339476D Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60870520 Keywords : Ant attendance * Dispersal * Mutualistic systems * Suction traps Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 2.973, year: 2007

  17. Competition can lead to unexpected patterns in tropical ant communities

    Ellwood, M. D. F.; Blüthgen, N.; Fayle, Tom Maurice; Foster, W. A.; Menzel, F.

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 75, AUG 01 (2016), s. 24-34 ISSN 1146-609X R&D Projects: GA ČR GA14-32302S; GA ČR(CZ) GA16-09427S Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : ant mosaics * assembly rules * competitive exclusion Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 1.652, year: 2016 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1146609X16300832

  18. Egg-Laying Butterflies Distinguish Predaceous Ants by Sight

    Sendoya, SF; Freitas, AVL; Oliveira, PS

    2009-01-01

    Information about predation risks is critical for herbivorous insects, and natural selection favors their ability to detect predators before oviposition and to select enemy-free foliage when offspring mortality risk is high. Food plants are selected by ovipositing butterflies, and offspring survival frequently varies among plants because of variation in the presence of predators. Eunica bechina butterflies oviposit on Caryocar brasiliense, an ant-defended plant. Experiments with dried Campono...

  19. Estimating the Ex Ante Expected Returns to College

    Andrew J. Hussey; Omari H. Swinton

    2011-01-01

    Rather than estimating the returns to obtaining a college degree, this paper treats the college education decision as an uncertain investment involving varying likelihoods of successful graduation. We predict earnings conditional on both graduating and not graduating from both selective and non-selective institutions, and incorporate estimated individual-specific graduation rates in calculating the ex ante expected returns from college attendance for individuals across the ability distributio...

  20. Nest etiquette--where ants go when nature calls.

    Tomer J Czaczkes

    Full Text Available Sanitary behaviour is an important, but seldom studied, aspect of social living. Social insects have developed several strategies for dealing with waste and faecal matter, including dumping waste outside the nest and forming specialised waste-storage chambers. In some cases waste material and faeces are put to use, either as a construction material or as a long-lasting signal, suggesting that faeces and waste may not always be dangerous. Here we examine a previously undescribed behaviour in ants - the formation of well-defined faecal patches. Lasius niger ants were housed in plaster nests and provided with coloured sucrose solution. After two months, 1-4 well defined dark patches, the colour of the sucrose solution, formed within each of the plaster nests. These patches never contained other waste material such as uneaten food items, or nestmate corpses. Such waste was collected in waste piles outside the nest. The coloured patches were thus distinct from previously described 'kitchen middens' in ants, and are best described as 'toilets'. Why faeces is not removed with other waste materials is unclear. The presence of the toilets inside the nest suggests that they may not be an important source of pathogens, and may have a beneficial role.