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Sample records for sibling ant species

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

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    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

  3. Discrimination of the Social Parasite Ectatomma parasiticum by Its Host Sibling Species (E. tuberculatum

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    Renée Fénéron

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Among social parasites, workerless inquilines entirely depend on their host for survival and reproduction. They are usually close phylogenetic relatives of their host, which raises important questions about their evolutionary history and mechanisms of speciation at play. Here we present new findings on Ectatomma parasiticum, the only inquiline ant described in the Ectatomminae subfamily. Field data confirmed its rarity and local distribution in a facultative polygynous population of E. tuberculatum in Mexico. Genetic analyses demonstrated that the parasite is a sibling species of its host, from which it may have diverged recently. Polygyny is suggested to have favored the evolution of social parasite by sympatric speciation. Nevertheless, host workers from this population were able to discriminate parasites from their conspecifics. They treated the parasitic queens either as individuals of interest or as intruders, depending on their colonial origin, probably because of the peculiar chemical profile of the parasites and/or their reproductive status. We suggest that E. parasiticum could have conserved from its host sibling species the queen-specific substances that produce attracting and settling effect on workers, which, in return, would increase the probability to be detected. This hypothesis could explain the imperfect social integration of the parasite into host colonies.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frederickson, Megan E

    2005-04-01

    The dynamics of mutualistic interactions involving more than a single pair of species depend on the relative costs and benefits of interaction among alternative partners. The neotropical myrmecophytes Cordia nodosa and Duroia hirsuta associate with several species of obligately symbiotic ants. I compared the ant partners of Cordia and Duroia with respect to two benefits known to be important in ant-myrmecophyte interactions: protection against herbivores provided by ants, and protection against encroaching vegetation provided by ants. Azteca spp., Myrmelachista schumanni, and Allomerus octoarticulatus demerarae ants all provide the leaves of Cordia and Duroia some protection against herbivores. However, Azteca and Allomerus provide more protection than does Myrmelachista to the leaves of their host plants. Although Allomerus protects the leaves of its hosts, plants occupied by Allomerus suffer more attacks by herbivores to their stems than do plants occupied by other ants. Relative to Azteca or Allomerus, Myrmelachista ants provide better protection against encroaching vegetation, increasing canopy openness over their host plants. These differences in benefits among the ant partners of Cordia and Duroia are reflected in the effect of each ant species on host plant size, growth rate, and reproduction. The results of this study show how mutualistic ant partners can differ with respect to both the magnitude and type of benefits they provide to the same species of myrmecophytic host.

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

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    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.

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

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    Wesley Dáttilo

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

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

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    Priscila Andre Sanz-Veiga

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

  9. Bacteria may contribute to distant species recognition in ant-aphid mutualistic relationships.

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    Fischer, Christophe Y; Detrain, Claire; Thonart, Philippe; Haubruge, Eric; Francis, Frédéric; Verheggen, François J; Lognay, Georges C

    2017-04-01

    Mutualistic interactions between ant and aphid species have been the subject of considerable historical and contemporary investigations, the primary benefits being cleaning and protection for the aphids and carbohydrate-rich honeydew for the ants. Questions remained, however, as to the volatile semiochemical factor influencing this relationship. A recent study highlighted the role of bacterial honeydew volatile compounds in ant attraction. Here, ant's ability to distantly discriminate 2 aphid species was investigated based on bacterial honeydew semiochemicals emissions using a two-way olfactometer. Both the mutualistic aphid Aphis fabae L. and the nonmyrmecophilous aphid Acyrthosiphon pisum Harris were found to be attractive for the ant Lasius niger L. The level of attraction was similar in both assays (control vs. one of the aphid species). However, when given a choice between these 2 aphid species, ants showed a significant preference for Aphis fabae. Honeydew volatiles, mostly from bacterial origins, are known to be a key element in ant attraction. Using the same olfactometry protocol, the relative attractiveness of volatiles emitted by honeydews collected from each aphid species and by bacteria isolated from each honeydew was investigated. Again, ants significantly preferred volatiles released by Aphis fabae honeydew and bacteria. This information suggests that microbial honeydew volatiles enable ants to distantly discriminate aphid species. These results strengthen the interest of studying the occurrence and potential impact of microorganisms in insect symbioses. © 2015 Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

  10. Different tolerances of symbiotic and nonsymbiotic ant-plant networks to species extinctions

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    Wesley Dattilo

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available The knowledge of the mechanisms that shape biodiversity-stability relationships is essential to understand ecological and evolutionary dynamics of interacting species. However, most studies focus only on species loss and ignore the loss of interactions. In this study, I evaluated the topological structure of two different ant-plant networks: symbiotic (ants and myrmecophytes and nonsymbiotic (ants and plants with extrafloral nectaries. Moreover, I also evaluated in both networks the tolerance to plant and ant species extinction using a new approach. For this, I used models based on simulations of cumulative removals of species from the network at random. Both networks were fundamentally different in the interaction and extinction patterns. The symbiotic network was more specialized and less robust to species extinction. On the other hand, the nonsymbiotic network tends to be functionally redundant and more robust to species extinction. The difference for food resource utilization and ant nesting in both ant-plant interactions can explain the observed pattern. In short, I contributed in this manner to our understanding of the biodiversity maintenance and coevolutionary processes in facultative and obligate mutualisms.

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

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    A. C. M. Queiroz

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

  12. Species-specific ant brain manipulation by a specialized fungal parasite.

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    de Bekker, Charissa; Quevillon, Lauren E; Smith, Philip B; Fleming, Kimberly R; Ghosh, Debashis; Patterson, Andrew D; Hughes, David P

    2014-08-29

    A compelling demonstration of adaptation by natural selection is the ability of parasites to manipulate host behavior. One dramatic example involves fungal species from the genus Ophiocordyceps that control their ant hosts by inducing a biting behavior. Intensive sampling across the globe of ants that died after being manipulated by Ophiocordyceps suggests that this phenomenon is highly species-specific. We advance our understanding of this system by reconstructing host manipulation by Ophiocordyceps parasites under controlled laboratory conditions and combining this with field observations of infection rates and a metabolomics survey. We report on a newly discovered species of Ophiocordyceps unilateralis sensu lato from North America that we use to address the species-specificity of Ophiocordyceps-induced manipulation of ant behavior. We show that the fungus can kill all ant species tested, but only manipulates the behavior of those it infects in nature. To investigate if this could be explained at the molecular level, we used ex vivo culturing assays to measure the metabolites that are secreted by the fungus to mediate fungus-ant tissue interactions. We show the fungus reacts heterogeneously to brains of different ant species by secreting a different array of metabolites. By determining which ion peaks are significantly enriched when the fungus is grown alongside brains of its naturally occurring host, we discovered candidate compounds that could be involved in behavioral manipulation by O. unilateralis s.l.. Two of these candidates are known to be involved in neurological diseases and cancer. The integrative work presented here shows that ant brain manipulation by O. unilateralis s.l. is species-specific seemingly because the fungus produces a specific array of compounds as a reaction to the presence of the host brain it has evolved to manipulate. These studies have resulted in the discovery of candidate compounds involved in establishing behavioral manipulation

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

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    Jean-Paul Lachaud

    2012-01-01

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

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    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 ...

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

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    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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2009-02-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2009-02-15

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

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

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    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  20. A global database of ant species abundances

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

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    Harry C Evans

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

  2. Tree-Dwelling Ants: Contrasting Two Brazilian Cerrado Plant Species without Extrafloral Nectaries

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    Jonas Maravalhas

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Ants dominate vegetation stratum, exploiting resources like extrafloral nectaries (EFNs and insect honeydew. These interactions are frequent in Brazilian cerrado and are well known, but few studies compare ant fauna and explored resources between plant species. We surveyed two cerrado plants without EFNs, Roupala montana (found on preserved environments of our study area and Solanum lycocarpum (disturbed ones. Ants were collected and identified, and resources on each plant noted. Ant frequency and richness were higher on R. montana (67%; 35 spp than S. lycocarpum (52%; 26, the occurrence of the common ant species varied between them, and similarity was low. Resources were explored mainly by Camponotus crassus and consisted of scale insects, aphids, and floral nectaries on R. montana and two treehopper species on S. lycocarpum. Ants have a high diversity on cerrado plants, exploring liquid and prey-based resources that vary in time and space and affect their presence on plants.

  3. Mitochondrial genome sequences reveal deep divergences among Anopheles punctulatus sibling species in Papua New Guinea

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    Logue Kyle

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Members of the Anopheles punctulatus group (AP group are the primary vectors of human malaria in Papua New Guinea. The AP group includes 13 sibling species, most of them morphologically indistinguishable. Understanding why only certain species are able to transmit malaria requires a better comprehension of their evolutionary history. In particular, understanding relationships and divergence times among Anopheles species may enable assessing how malaria-related traits (e.g. blood feeding behaviours, vector competence have evolved. Methods DNA sequences of 14 mitochondrial (mt genomes from five AP sibling species and two species of the Anopheles dirus complex of Southeast Asia were sequenced. DNA sequences from all concatenated protein coding genes (10,770 bp were then analysed using a Bayesian approach to reconstruct phylogenetic relationships and date the divergence of the AP sibling species. Results Phylogenetic reconstruction using the concatenated DNA sequence of all mitochondrial protein coding genes indicates that the ancestors of the AP group arrived in Papua New Guinea 25 to 54 million years ago and rapidly diverged to form the current sibling species. Conclusion Through evaluation of newly described mt genome sequences, this study has revealed a divergence among members of the AP group in Papua New Guinea that would significantly predate the arrival of humans in this region, 50 thousand years ago. The divergence observed among the mtDNA sequences studied here may have resulted from reproductive isolation during historical changes in sea-level through glacial minima and maxima. This leads to a hypothesis that the AP sibling species have evolved independently for potentially thousands of generations. This suggests that the evolution of many phenotypes, such as insecticide resistance will arise independently in each of the AP sibling species studied here.

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

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    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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gadau, Jürgen; Helmkampf, Martin; Nygaard, Sanne

    2012-01-01

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

  6. Adoption of parasitic Maculinea alcon caterpillars (Lepidoptera : Lycaenidae) by three Myrmica ant species

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Als, Thomas Damm; Nash, David Richard; Boomsma, J. J.

    2001-01-01

    Maculinea butterflies are parasites of Myrmica ant nests. The Alcon blue, Maculinea alcon, is unusual in that it parasitizes the nests of several Myrmica species, using M. rubra, M. ruginodis and M. scabrinodis as hosts in different parts of Europe. In Denmark it uses M. rubra and M. ruginodis....... alcon from three populations differing in their host use to laboratory nests of all three recorded host ant species collected from each of the M. alcon populations. We measured the attractiveness of the caterpillars to their host ants as the time taken for them to be adopted by each ant colony....... Caterpillars from all populations took longer to be adopted to M. scabrinodis nests than to nests of the other two ant species. Adoption times to M. rubra and M. ruginodis colonies differed: caterpillars from each of the two populations that used a single host species were adopted most quickly by that species...

  7. Do host species evolve a specific response to slave-making ants?

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    Delattre Olivier

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Social parasitism is an important selective pressure for social insect species. It is particularly the case for the hosts of dulotic (so called slave-making ants, which pillage the brood of host colonies to increase the worker force of their own colony. Such raids can have an important impact on the fitness of the host nest. An arms race which can lead to geographic variation in host defenses is thus expected between hosts and parasites. In this study we tested whether the presence of a social parasite (the dulotic ant Myrmoxenus ravouxi within an ant community correlated with a specific behavioral defense strategy of local host or non-host populations of Temnothorax ants. Social recognition often leads to more or less pronounced agonistic interactions between non-nestmates ants. Here, we monitored agonistic behaviors to assess whether ants discriminate social parasites from other ants. It is now well-known that ants essentially rely on cuticular hydrocarbons to discriminate nestmates from aliens. If host species have evolved a specific recognition mechanism for their parasite, we hypothesize that the differences in behavioral responses would not be fully explained simply by quantitative dissimilarity in cuticular hydrocarbon profiles, but should also involve a qualitative response due to the detection of particular compounds. We scaled the behavioral results according to the quantitative chemical distance between host and parasite colonies to test this hypothesis. Results Cuticular hydrocarbon profiles were distinct between species, but host species did not show a clearly higher aggression rate towards the parasite than toward non-parasite intruders, unless the degree of response was scaled by the chemical distance between intruders and recipient colonies. By doing so, we show that workers of the host and of a non-host species in the parasitized site displayed more agonistic behaviors (bites and ejections towards parasite

  8. Uni-directional trail sharing by two species of ants a Monte Carlo study

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kunduraci, T; Kayacan, O

    2015-01-01

    We study insect traffic, specifically ant traffic on a uni-directional trail which is shared by two species of ants, one of which is ‘good’ at smelling and the other ‘poor’. The two distinct species of ants are placed mixed on the same trail and individuals of both are permitted to make a U-turn when they encounter another ant in front of them. The theoretical scheme for the ant traffic is based on an asymmetric simple exclusion model. The ant traffic on the uni-directional trail is studied as a function of the number of ‘good-smelling’ ants and the evaporation probability of pheromones by keeping the number of ‘poor-smelling ants’ constant during Monte Carlo simulations. (paper)

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

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    María José Campos-Navarrete

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

  10. A genetic basis for the inviability of hybrids between sibling species of Drosophila

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hutter, P.; Roote, J.; Ashburner, M.

    1990-01-01

    An X-ray induced mutation of Drosophila melanogaster whose only known effect is the rescue of otherwise lethal interspecific hybrids has been characterized. This mutation, Hmr, maps to 1-31.84 (9D1-9E4). Hmr may be the consequence of a P element insertion. It rescues hybrid males from the cross of D. melanogaster females to males of its three sibling species, D. simulans, D. mauritiana and D. sechellia. This rescue is recessive, since hybrid males that carry both Hmr and a duplication expected to be Hmr + are not rescued. Hmr also rescues the otherwise inviable female hybrids from the cross of compound-X D. melanogaster females to males of its sibling species. This rescue is also recessive, since a compound-X heterozygous for Hmr does not rescue. Another mutation, discovered on the In(1)AB chromosome of D. melanogaster, is also found to rescue normally inviable species hybrids: unlike Hmr, however, In(1)AB rescues hybrid females from the cross of In(1)AB/Y males to sibling females, as well as hybrid males from the cross of In(1)AB females to sibling males. These data are interpreted on the basis of a model for the genetic basis of hybrid inviability of complementary genes

  11. How much variation can one ant species hold? Species delimitation in the Crematogaster kelleri-group in Madagascar.

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    Bonnie B Blaimer

    Full Text Available We investigated the species-level taxonomy of the Malagasy Crematogaster (Crematogaster kelleri-group and an additional more distantly related species of the same subgenus. Morphological data from worker, queen and male ants, as well as genetic data from three nuclear genes (long wavelength rhodopsin, arginine kinase and carbomoylphosphate synthase and one mitochondrial marker (cytochrome oxidase I led to the recognition of six species. Within the C. kelleri-group, three new species are described: C. hazolava Blaimer sp. n., C. hafahafa Blaimer sp. n. and C. tavaratra Blaimer sp. n. The previously described taxa C. kelleri Forel and C. madagascariensis André are validated by our analysis. Conversely, our data suggests synonymy of C. adrepens Forel (with C. kelleri and C. gibba Emery (with C. madagascariensis. A more distantly related and phylogenetically isolated species, C. tsisitsilo Blaimer sp. n., is further described. We report high levels of morphological and molecular variation in C. kelleri and illustrate that this variation can be explained partly by geography. Species descriptions, images, distribution maps and identification keys based on worker ants, as well as on queen and male ants where available, are presented for all six species. Our work highlights the elevated species richness of Crematogaster ants throughout Madagascar's humid forests, especially in the far northern tip of the island, and the need to use multiple data sources to ensure clear demarcation of this diversity.

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

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    Elsa Youngsteadt

    2010-12-01

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

  13. Sibling species of copepods in association with Mediterranean gorgorians

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    Mercedes Conradi

    2004-03-01

    Full Text Available Hitherto a single species of Doridicola Leydig (Poecilostomatoida: Rhynchomolgidae has been found reported in association with gorgonians in Europe: Doridicola botulosus (Stock and Kleeton, 1963, living on the Mediterranean gorgonian Eunicella singularis (Esper, 1791. During a survey along the Iberian Mediterranean coast, several specimens of D. botulosus were collected from its reported host. Furthermore, an undescribed species of Doridicola was discovered living in association with Paramuricea clavata (Risso, 1826, a Mediterranean gorgonian usually living in overlaps with that of E. singularis. Although the new species is close to D. botulosus, they differ in the oral appendages. A common origin of these two species was suggested. This is a good example of sibling species produced by the colonisation of two hosts with overlapping habitats

  14. Polyphyly and gene flow between non-sibling Heliconius species

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    Jiggins Chris D

    2006-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The view that gene flow between related animal species is rare and evolutionarily unimportant largely antedates sensitive molecular techniques. Here we use DNA sequencing to investigate a pair of morphologically and ecologically divergent, non-sibling butterfly species, Heliconius cydno and H. melpomene (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae, whose distributions overlap in Central and Northwestern South America. Results In these taxa, we sequenced 30–45 haplotypes per locus of a mitochondrial region containing the genes for cytochrome oxidase subunits I and II (CoI/CoII, and intron-spanning fragments of three unlinked nuclear loci: triose-phosphate isomerase (Tpi, mannose-6-phosphate isomerase (Mpi and cubitus interruptus (Ci genes. A fifth gene, dopa decarboxylase (Ddc produced sequence data likely to be from different duplicate loci in some of the taxa, and so was excluded. Mitochondrial and Tpi genealogies are consistent with reciprocal monophyly, whereas sympatric populations of the species in Panama share identical or similar Mpi and Ci haplotypes, giving rise to genealogical polyphyly at the species level despite evidence for rapid sequence divergence at these genes between geographic races of H. melpomene. Conclusion Recent transfer of Mpi haplotypes between species is strongly supported, but there is no evidence for introgression at the other three loci. Our results demonstrate that the boundaries between animal species can remain selectively porous to gene flow long after speciation, and that introgression, even between non-sibling species, can be an important factor in animal evolution. Interspecific gene flow is demonstrated here for the first time in Heliconius and may provide a route for the transfer of switch-gene adaptations for Müllerian mimicry. The results also forcefully demonstrate how reliance on a single locus may give an erroneous picture of the overall genealogical history of speciation and gene flow.

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

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

    2016-05-01

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

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

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    Vivek Mohan AGARWAL, Neelkamal RASTOGI

    2009-10-01

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

  17. Landmark-based morphometric analysis of two sibling species of the genus Asida (Coleoptera, Tenebrionidae)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Palmer, Miquel

    2002-01-01

    The case described here analyses morphological change at the boundary between ecological and evolutionary scales. The size and shape of 8 populations of two sibling species of tenebrionid beetles (Asida planipennis and A. moraguesi) are analysed using landmark-based methods. The two species differ

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-09-01

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

  19. Divergent trophic levels in two cryptic sibling bat species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siemers, Björn M; Greif, Stefan; Borissov, Ivailo; Voigt-Heucke, Silke L; Voigt, Christian C

    2011-05-01

    Changes in dietary preferences in animal species play a pivotal role in niche specialization. Here, we investigate how divergence of foraging behaviour affects the trophic position of animals and thereby their role for ecosystem processes. As a model, we used two closely related bat species, Myotis myotis and M. blythii oxygnathus, that are morphologically very similar and share the same roosts, but show clear behavioural divergence in habitat selection and foraging. Based on previous dietary studies on synanthropic populations in Central Europe, we hypothesised that M. myotis would mainly prey on predatory arthropods (i.e., secondary consumers) while M. blythii oxygnathus would eat herbivorous insects (i.e., primary consumers). We thus expected that the sibling bats would be at different trophic levels. We first conducted a validation experiment with captive bats in the laboratory and measured isotopic discrimination, i.e., the stepwise enrichment of heavy in relation to light isotopes between consumer and diet, in insectivorous bats for the first time. We then tested our trophic level hypothesis in the field at an ancient site of natural coexistence for the two species (Bulgaria, south-eastern Europe) using stable isotope analyses. As predicted, secondary consumer arthropods (carabid beetles; Coleoptera) were more enriched in (15)N than primary consumer arthropods (tettigoniids; Orthoptera), and accordingly wing tissue of M. myotis was more enriched in (15)N than tissue of M. blythii oxygnathus. According to a Bayesian mixing model, M. blythii oxygnathus indeed fed almost exclusively on primary consumers (98%), while M. myotis ate a mix of secondary (50%), but also, and to a considerable extent, primary consumers (50%). Our study highlights that morphologically almost identical, sympatric sibling species may forage at divergent trophic levels, and, thus may have different effects on ecosystem processes.

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

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    Alain Dejean

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

  1. The relationship between canopy cover and colony size of the wood ant Formica lugubris--implications for the thermal effects on a keystone ant species.

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    Yi-Huei Chen

    Full Text Available Climate change may affect ecosystems and biodiversity through the impacts of rising temperature on species' body size. In terms of physiology and genetics, the colony is the unit of selection for ants so colony size can be considered the body size of a colony. For polydomous ant species, a colony is spread across several nests. This study aims to clarify how climate change may influence an ecologically significant ant species group by investigating thermal effects on wood ant colony size. The strong link between canopy cover and the local temperatures of wood ant's nesting location provides a feasible approach for our study. Our results showed that nests were larger in shadier areas where the thermal environment was colder and more stable compared to open areas. Colonies (sum of nests in a polydomous colony also tended to be larger in shadier areas than in open areas. In addition to temperature, our results supported that food resource availability may be an additional factor mediating the relationship between canopy cover and nest size. The effects of canopy cover on total colony size may act at the nest level because of the positive relationship between total colony size and mean nest size, rather than at the colony level due to lack of link between canopy cover and number of nests per colony. Causal relationships between the environment and the life-history characteristics may suggest possible future impacts of climate change on these species.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ballantyne, Gavin; Willmer, Pat

    2012-01-01

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

  3. Evaluating effects of habitat loss and land-use continuity on ant species richness in seminatural grassland remnants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dauber, Jens; Bengtsson, Jan; Lenoir, Lisette

    2006-08-01

    Seminatural grasslands in Europe are susceptible to habitat destruction and fragmentation that result in negative effects on biodiversity because of increased isolation and area effects on extinction rate. However even small habitatpatches of seminatural grasslands might be of value for conservation and restoration of species richness in a landscape with a long history of management, which has been argued to lead to high species richness. We tested whether ant communities have been negatively affected by habitat loss and increased isolation of seminatural grasslands during the twentieth century. We examined species richness and community composition in seminatural grasslands of different size in a mosaic landscape in Central Sweden. Grasslands managed continuously over centuries harbored species-rich and ecologically diverse ant communities. Grassland remnant size had no effect on ant species richness. Small grassland remnants did not harbor a nested subset of the ant species of larger habitats. Community composition of ants was mainly affected by habitat conditions. Our results suggest that the abandonment of traditional land use and the encroachment of trees, rather than the effects of fragmentation, are important for species composition in seminatural grasslands. Our results highlight the importance of considering land-use continuity and dispersal ability of thefocal organisms when examining the effects of habitat loss and fragmentation on biodiversity. Landscape history should be considered in conservation programs focusing on effects of land-use change.

  4. Differences in Crossover Frequency and Distribution among Three Sibling Species of Drosophila

    OpenAIRE

    True, J. R.; Mercer, J. M.; Laurie, C. C.

    1996-01-01

    Comparisons of the genetic and cytogenetic maps of three sibling species of Drosophila reveal marked differences in the frequency and cumulative distribution of crossovers during meiosis. The maps for two of these species, Drosophila melanogaster and D. simulans, have previously been described, while this report presents new map data for D. mauritiana, obtained using a set of P element markers. A genetic map covering nearly the entire genome was constructed by estimating the recombination fra...

  5. Anopheles culicifacies sibling species in Odisha, eastern India: First appearance of Anopheles culicifacies E and its vectorial role in malaria transmission.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Das, Mumani; Das, Biswadeep; Patra, Aparna P; Tripathy, Hare K; Mohapatra, Namita; Kar, Santanu K; Hazra, Rupenangshu K

    2013-07-01

    To identify the Anopheles culicifacies sibling species complex and study their vectorial role in malaria endemic regions of Odisha. Mosquitoes were collected from 6 malaria endemic districts using standard entomological collection methods. An. culicifacies sibling species were identified by multiplex polymerase chain reaction (PCR) using cytochrome oxidase subunit II (COII) region of mitochondrial DNA. Plasmodium falciparum (Pf) sporozoite rate and human blood fed percentage (HBF) were estimated by PCR using Pf- and human-specific primers. Sequencing and phylogenetic analysis were performed to confirm the type of sibling species of An. culicifacies found in Odisha. Multiplex PCR detected An. culicifacies sibling species A, B, C, D and E in the malaria endemic regions of Odisha. An. culicifacies E was detected for the first time in Odisha, which was further confirmed by molecular phylogenetics. Highest sporozoite rate and HBF percentage were observed in An. culicifacies E in comparison with other sibling species. An. culicifacies E collected from Nawarangapur, Nuapara and Keonjhar district showed high HBF percentage and sporozoite rates. An. culicifacies B was the most abundant species, followed by An. culicifacies C and E. High sporozoite rate and HBF of An. culicifacies E indicated that it plays an important role in malaria transmission in Odisha. Appropriate control measures against An. culicifacies E at an early stage are needed to prevent further malaria transmission in Odisha. © 2013 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  6. Multilocus analysis of divergence and introgression in sympatric and allopatric sibling species of the Lutzomyia longipalpis complex in Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Araki, Alejandra S; Ferreira, Gabriel E M; Mazzoni, Camila J; Souza, Nataly A; Machado, Ricardo C; Bruno, Rafaela V; Peixoto, Alexandre A

    2013-01-01

    Lutzomyia longipalpis, the main vector of visceral leishmaniasis in Latin America, is a complex of sibling species. In Brazil, a number of very closely related sibling species have been revealed by the analyses of copulation songs, sex pheromones and molecular markers. However, the level of divergence and gene flow between the sibling species remains unclear. Brazilian populations of this vector can be divided in two main groups: one producing Burst-type songs and the Cembrene-1 pheromone and a second more diverse group producing various Pulse song subtypes and different pheromones. We analyzed 21 nuclear loci in two pairs of Brazilian populations: two sympatric populations from the Sobral locality (1S and 2S) in northeastern Brazil and two allopatric populations from the Lapinha and Pancas localities in southeastern Brazil. Pancas and Sobral 2S are populations of the Burst/Cembrene-1 species while Lapinha and Sobral 1S are two putative incipient species producing the same pheromone and similar Pulse song subtypes. The multilocus analysis strongly suggests the occurrence of gene flow during the divergence between the sibling species, with different levels of introgression between loci. Moreover, this differential introgression is asymmetrical, with estimated gene flow being higher in the direction of the Burst/Cembrene-1 species. The results indicate that introgressive hybridization has been a crucial phenomenon in shaping the genome of the L. longipalpis complex. This has possible epidemiological implications and is particularly interesting considering the potential for increased introgression caused by man-made environmental changes and the current trend of leishmaniasis urbanization in Brazil.

  7. Survival and growth of parasitic Maculinea alcon caterpillars (Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae) in nests of three Myrmica ant species

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nash, D. R.; Als, Thomas Damm; Boomsma, J. J.

    2011-01-01

    The Alcon blue butterfly (Maculinea alcon) parasitizes the nests of several Myrmica ant species. In Denmark, it uses M. rubra and M. ruginodis, but never M. scabrinodis. To further examine the basis of this specificity and local co-adaptation between host and parasite, the pattern of growth...... and survival of newly-adopted caterpillars of M. alcon in Myrmica subcolonies was examined in the laboratory. M. alcon caterpillars were collected from three populations differing in their host use, and reared in laboratory nests of all three ant species collected from each M. alcon population. While...... there were differences in the pattern of growth of caterpillars from different populations during the first few months after adoption, which depended on host ant species and the site from which the ants were collected, there was no evidence of major differences in final size achieved. Survival was, however...

  8. Looking for the ants: selection of oviposition sites by two myrmecophilous butterfly species

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wynhoff, I.; Grutters, M.; Langevelde, van F.

    2008-01-01

    Obligate myrmecophilous butterfly species, such as Maculinea teleius and M. nausithous that hibernate as caterpillar in nests of the ant species Myrmica scabrinodis and M. rubra respectively, have narrowly defined habitat requirements. One would expect that these butterflies are able to select for

  9. Multilocus Analysis of Divergence and Introgression in Sympatric and Allopatric Sibling Species of the Lutzomyia longipalpis Complex in Brazil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mazzoni, Camila J.; Souza, Nataly A.; Machado, Ricardo C.; Bruno, Rafaela V.

    2013-01-01

    Background Lutzomyia longipalpis, the main vector of visceral leishmaniasis in Latin America, is a complex of sibling species. In Brazil, a number of very closely related sibling species have been revealed by the analyses of copulation songs, sex pheromones and molecular markers. However, the level of divergence and gene flow between the sibling species remains unclear. Brazilian populations of this vector can be divided in two main groups: one producing Burst-type songs and the Cembrene-1 pheromone and a second more diverse group producing various Pulse song subtypes and different pheromones. Methodology/Principal Findings We analyzed 21 nuclear loci in two pairs of Brazilian populations: two sympatric populations from the Sobral locality (1S and 2S) in northeastern Brazil and two allopatric populations from the Lapinha and Pancas localities in southeastern Brazil. Pancas and Sobral 2S are populations of the Burst/Cembrene-1 species while Lapinha and Sobral 1S are two putative incipient species producing the same pheromone and similar Pulse song subtypes. The multilocus analysis strongly suggests the occurrence of gene flow during the divergence between the sibling species, with different levels of introgression between loci. Moreover, this differential introgression is asymmetrical, with estimated gene flow being higher in the direction of the Burst/Cembrene-1 species. Conclusions/Significance The results indicate that introgressive hybridization has been a crucial phenomenon in shaping the genome of the L. longipalpis complex. This has possible epidemiological implications and is particularly interesting considering the potential for increased introgression caused by man-made environmental changes and the current trend of leishmaniasis urbanization in Brazil. PMID:24147172

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adam Salyer

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

  11. Incompatibility and competitive exclusion of genomic segments between sibling Drosophila species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fang, Shu; Yukilevich, Roman; Chen, Ying; Turissini, David A; Zeng, Kai; Boussy, Ian A; Wu, Chung-I

    2012-06-01

    The extent and nature of genetic incompatibilities between incipient races and sibling species is of fundamental importance to our view of speciation. However, with the exception of hybrid inviability and sterility factors, little is known about the extent of other, more subtle genetic incompatibilities between incipient species. Here we experimentally demonstrate the prevalence of such genetic incompatibilities between two young allopatric sibling species, Drosophila simulans and D. sechellia. Our experiments took advantage of 12 introgression lines that carried random introgressed D. sechellia segments in different parts of the D. simulans genome. First, we found that these introgression lines did not show any measurable sterility or inviability effects. To study if these sechellia introgressions in a simulans background contained other fitness consequences, we competed and genetically tracked the marked alleles within each introgression against the wild-type alleles for 20 generations. Strikingly, all marked D. sechellia introgression alleles rapidly decreased in frequency in only 6 to 7 generations. We then developed computer simulations to model our competition results. These simulations indicated that selection against D. sechellia introgression alleles was high (average s = 0.43) and that the marker alleles and the incompatible alleles did not separate in 78% of the introgressions. The latter result likely implies that most introgressions contain multiple genetic incompatibilities. Thus, this study reveals that, even at early stages of speciation, many parts of the genome diverge to a point where introducing foreign elements has detrimental fitness consequences, but which cannot be seen using standard sterility and inviability assays.

  12. The effect of two ant species Lasius niger and Lasius flavus on soil properties in two contrasting habitats

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Holec, M.; Frouz, J. [Academy of Science Czech Republic, Ceske Budejovice (Czech Republic). Inst. of Soil Biology

    2006-11-15

    Ants significantly change the soil environment within the nest. The aim of this study is to contribute to ecology and thus the importance of two ant species Lasius niger and Lasius flavus in a post-mining landscape near the town of Sokolov in northwest Bohemia where both species are common. Chemical (total C, N, and available P) and microbiological parameters (respiration, cellulose decomposition and direct counts of bacteria) were investigated in both ant species in two different habitats: a tertiary clay heap after brown coal mining with a weakly developed organic layer and semi natural meadows with well developed organic horizons. Total C and N in the L. flavus mound was lower than in the surrounding soil in both stands, the same was true for total N in L. niger on the heaps. L. niger nests in both sites were significantly enriched by available P. A litter bag test with cellulose indicated lower decomposition in the ant nest in comparison with the surrounding soil. Respiration seems to be limited by lower soil moisture in the nest. However, microbial respiration, even in suitable moisture conditions, did not differ between the nest and soil (on heaps) or nest respiration was significantly lower (in L. flavus nests in the meadow). In meadow soil both species had a lower bacteria count than the surrounding soil, but the L. niger nest on the heap had higher bacterial numbers. Both species significantly alter soil conditions, although the effect on selected parameters is variable. Moreover, the result with lower nest moisture and lower decomposition rate in ant mounds indicates that soil moisture should be the next important factor limiting soil processes inside ant mounds.

  13. Phenotypic differentiation in love song traits among sibling species of the Lutzomyia longipalpis complex in Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vigoder, Felipe M; Souza, Nataly A; Brazil, Reginaldo P; Bruno, Rafaela V; Costa, Pietra L; Ritchie, Michael G; Klaczko, Louis B; Peixoto, Alexandre A

    2015-05-28

    Brazilian populations of Lutzomyia longipalpis may constitute a complex of cryptic species, and this report investigates the distribution and number of potential sibling species. One of the main differences observed among Brazilian populations is the type of acoustic signal produced by males during copulation. These copulation song differences seem to be evolving faster than neutral molecular markers and have been suggested to contribute to insemination failure observed in crosses between these sibling species. In previous studies, two main types of copulation songs were found, burst-type and pulse-type. The latter type can, in turn, be further subdivided into five different patterns. We recorded male song from 13 new populations of the L. longipalpis complex from Brazil and compared the songs with 12 already available. Out of these 25 populations, 16 produce burst-type and 9 produce pulse-type songs. We performed a principal component analysis in these two main groups separately and an additional discriminant analysis in the pulse-type group. The pulse-type populations showed a clear separation between the five known patterns with a high correspondence of individuals to their correct group, confirming the differentiation between them. The distinctiveness of the burst-type subgroups was much lower than that observed among the pulse-type groups and no clear population structure was observed. This suggests that the burst-type populations represent a single species. Overall, our results are consistent with the existence in Brazil of at least six species of the L. longipalpis complex, one with a wide distribution comprising all the populations with burst-type songs, and five more closely related allopatric siblings with different pulse-type song patterns and more restricted distribution ranges.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  15. Food collection and response to pheromones in an ant species exposed to electromagnetic radiation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cammaerts, Marie-Claire; Rachidi, Zoheir; Bellens, François; De Doncker, Philippe

    2013-09-01

    We used the ant species Myrmica sabuleti as a model to study the impact of electromagnetic waves on social insects' response to their pheromones and their food collection. We quantified M. sabuleti workers' response to their trail, area marking and alarm pheromone under normal conditions. Then, we quantified the same responses while under the influence of electromagnetic waves. Under such an influence, ants followed trails for only short distances, no longer arrived at marked areas and no longer orientated themselves to a source of alarm pheromone. Also when exposed to electromagnetic waves, ants became unable to return to their nest and recruit congeners; therefore, the number of ants collecting food increases only slightly and slowly. After 180 h of exposure, their colonies deteriorated. Electromagnetic radiation obviously affects social insects' behavior and physiology.

  16. Myrmecochory and short-term seed fate in Rhamnus alaternus: Ant species and seed characteristics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bas, J. M.; Oliveras, J.; Gómez, C.

    2009-05-01

    Benefits conferred on plants in ant-mediated seed dispersal mutualisms (myrmecochory) depend on the fate of transported seeds. We studied the effects of elaiosome presence, seed size and seed treatment (with and without passage through a bird's digestive tract) on short-term seed fate in Rhamnus alaternus. In our study, we define short-term seed, or initial, seed fate, as the location where ants release the seeds after ant contact with it. The elaiosomes had the most influence on short-term fate, i.e. whether or not seeds were transported to the nest. The workers usually transported big seeds more often than small ones, but small ants did not transport large seeds. Effect of seed size on transport depended on the ant species and on the treatment of the seed (manual extraction simulating a direct fall from the parent plant vs. bird deposition corresponding to preliminary primary dispersal). Probability of removal of elaiosome-bearing seeds to the nest by Aphaenogaster senilis increased with increasing seed weight.

  17. Microsatellite primers for fungus-growing ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2002-01-01

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

  18. Microsatellite Primers for Fungus-Growing Ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2002-01-01

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

  19. Are Invasive Species Stressful? The Glucocorticoid Profile of Native Lizards Exposed to Invasive Fire Ants Depends on the Context.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graham, Sean P; Freidenfelds, Nicole A; Thawley, Christopher J; Robbins, Travis R; Langkilde, Tracy

    Invasive species represent a substantial threat to native species worldwide. Research on the impacts of invasive species on wild living vertebrates has focused primarily on population-level effects. The sublethal, individual-level effects of invaders may be equally important but are poorly understood. We investigated the effects of invasive fire ants (Solenopsis invicta) on the physiological stress response of a native lizard (Sceloporus undulatus) within two experimental contexts: directly exposing lizards to a fire ant attack and housing lizards with fire ants in seminatural field enclosures. Lizards directly exposed to brief attack by fire ants had elevated concentrations of the stress hormone corticosterone (CORT), suggesting that these encounters can be physiologically stressful. However, lizards exposed for longer periods to fire ants in field enclosures had lower concentrations of CORT. This may indicate that the combined effects of confinement and fire ant exposure have pushed lizards into allostatic overload. However, lizards from fire ant enclosures appeared to have intact negative feedback controls of the stress response, evidenced by functioning adrenocorticotropic hormone responsiveness and lack of suppression of innate immunity (plasma bactericidal capacity). We review previous studies examining the stress response of wild vertebrates to various anthropogenic stressors and discuss how these-in combination with our results-underscore the importance of considering context (the length, frequency, magnitude, and types of threat) when assessing these impacts.

  20. Savanna ant species richness is maintained along a bioclimatic gradient of increasing latitude and decreasing rainfall in northern Australia

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, Alan N.; Del Toro, Israel; Parr, Catherine L.

    2015-01-01

    of 246 species from 37 genera. Mean observed species richness pooled across sampling periods was similar at sand (85.4) and loam (82.2) sites, but was less than half this at clay sites (40.0). Ant communities were also compositionally distinct on clay soils compared with sands and loams. Individual...... genera showed variable diversity patterns, ranging from a linear increase to a linear decrease in species richness along the NATT. However, total species richness was relatively uniform along the gradient. Patterns of ant species turnover were consistent with previously recognized biogeographical......Aim: Using a standardized sampling protocol along a 600-km transect in northern Australia, we tested whether ant diversity within a single biome, tropical savanna, decreases with increasing latitude (as a surrogate of temperature) and decreasing rainfall, as is expected for biodiversity in general...

  1. Pest repellent properties of ant pheromones

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Offenberg, Joachim

    2012-01-01

    of ant pheromones may be sufficient to repel pest insects from ant territories. The study of ant semiochemicals is in its infancy, yet, evidence for their potential use in pest management is starting to build up. Pheromones from four of five tested ant species have been shown to deter herbivorous insect...... prey and competing ant species are also deterred by ant deposits, whereas ant symbionts may be attracted to them. Based on these promising initial findings, it seems advisable to further elucidate the signaling properties of ant pheromones and to test and develop their use in future pest management....

  2. The distribution and diversity of insular ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Roura-Pascual, Núria; Sanders, Nate; Hui, Cang

    2016-01-01

    Aim: To examine the relationship between island characteristics (area, distance to the nearest continent, climate and human population size) and ant species richness, as well as the factors underlying global geographical clustering of native and exotic ant composition on islands. Location: One...... hundred and two islands from 20 island groups around the world. Methods: We used spatial linear models that consider the spatial structure of islands to examine patterns of ant species richness. We also performed modularity analyses to identify clusters of islands hosting a similar suite of species...... and constructed conditional inference trees to assess the characteristics of islands that explain the formation of these island-ant groups. Results: Island area was the best predictor of ant species richness. However, distance to the nearest continent was an important predictor of native ant species richness...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  4. Colony structure and spatial partitioning of cavity dwelling ant species in nuts of eastern US forest floors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nut-bearing trees create islands of high efficiency, low cost housing opportunities for ant colonies. Fallen nuts in leaf litter from previous seasons provide ready-made nest sites for cavity dwelling ant species, as well as affording protection from the elements. Suitable nuts for nests require an ...

  5. Pheromone-mediated mate location and discrimination by two syntopic sibling species of Dendroctonus bark beetles in Chiapas, Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alicia Nino-Dominguez; Brian T. Sullivan; Jose H. Lopez-Urbina; Jorge E. Macias-Samano

    2015-01-01

    Where their geographic and host ranges overlap, sibling species of tree-killing bark beetles may simultaneously attack and reproduce on the same hosts. However, sustainability of these potentially mutually beneficial associations demands effective prezygotic reproductive isolation mechanisms between the interacting species. The pine bark beetle, Dendroctonus...

  6. Ant-lepidopteran associations along African forest edges

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-02-01

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

  7. Role of early experience in ant enslavement: a comparative analysis of a host and a non-host species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sermage Claire

    2005-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Ants use the odour of the colony to discriminate nestmates. In some species, this odour is learned during the first days following emergence, and thus early experience has a strong influence on nestmate discrimination. Slave-making ants are social parasites that capture brood of other ant species to increase the worker force of their colony. After emerging in the slave-maker nest, slave workers work as if they were in their own colony. We tested the hypothesis that early experience allows the deception of commonly enslaved species, while non-host species use a different mechanism, which does not involve learning. Results Pupae of a host species, Temnothorax unifasciatus, and a non-host species, T. parvulus, were allowed to emerge in the presence of workers of one of two slave-maker species, Chalepoxenus muellerianus or Myrmoxenus ravouxi. When T. unifasciatus was exposed to slave-makers for 10 days following emergence, they were more aggressive towards their own sisters and groomed the slave-maker more. T. parvulus gave a less clear result: while workers behaved more aggressively towards their sisters when exposed early to C. muellerianus workers, this was not the case when exposed early to M. ravouxi workers. Moreover, T. parvulus workers allogroomed conspecific nestmates less than T. unifasciatus. Allogrooming activity might be very important for the slave-makers because they are tended by their slaves. Conclusion Our findings show that early experience influences nestmate discrimination in the ant T. unifasciatus and can account for the successful enslavement of this species. However, the non-host species T. parvulus is less influenced by the early environment. This might help to explain why this species is never used by social parasites.

  8. Roadside Survey of Ants on Oahu, Hawaii

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  9. Hybrid sterility in crosses between two Brazilian sibling species of the Anopheles albitarsis complex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fontoura, Nathalia Giglio; Araki, Alejandra Saori; Van Der Maas Azevedo, Renata; Galardo, Allan Kardec Ribeiro; Peixoto, Alexandre Afranio; Lima, José Bento Pereira

    2014-12-04

    Complexes of cryptic species are common in several taxa and this is also the case in the Anopheles genus, a group including all known human malaria vectors. The Anopheles albitarsis complex comprises at least nine cryptic species, some of which are implicated as vectors of human malaria. Several different types of data have been generated for this species complex such as cytogenetics, alloenzymes, morphological and feeding behavioral, hybridization experiments, RAPD-PCR and RFLP and mitochondrial and nuclear markers. Studies focused on its postzygotic isolation are still somewhat rare in the literature despite their importance to understand the speciation process and the level of gene flow potentially occurring among the different sibling species. Hybridization experiments between Anopheles albitarsis s.s. and Anopheles marajoara, as well as backcrosses between hybrids and Anopheles albitarsis s.s., were performed using the induced mating technique. Results were compared to intraspecific crosses. Larva-to-adult viability and sex ratio were also assessed. Male hybrids show very low insemination rates and nearly complete sterility, apparently due to abnormalities in their reproductive organs. Evidence of partial sterility among the hybrid females was also observed. Our data indicated that Anopheles albitarsis s.s. and Anopheles marajoara show a high level of postzygotic isolation with a strong hybrid male sterility. This result is consistent with the Haldane's rule which states that in interspecific crosses the heterogametic sex is the first to be affected. However, the fact that the females are not completely sterile raises the possibility of introgression between these two siblings species.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  12. X-Ray microtomography for ant taxonomy: An exploration and case study with two new Terataner (Hymenoptera, Formicidae, Myrmicinae species from Madagascar.

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    Francisco Hita Garcia

    Full Text Available We explore the potential of x-ray micro computed tomography (μCT for the field of ant taxonomy by using it to enhance the descriptions of two remarkable new species of the ant genus Terataner: T. balrog sp. n. and T. nymeria sp. n.. We provide an illustrated worker-based species identification key for all species found on Madagascar, as well as detailed taxonomic descriptions, which include diagnoses, discussions, measurements, natural history data, high-quality montage images and distribution maps for both new species. In addition to conventional morphological examination, we have used virtual reconstructions based on volumetric μCT scanning data for the species descriptions. We also include 3D PDFs, still images of virtual reconstructions, and 3D rotation videos for both holotype workers and one paratype queen. The complete μCT datasets have been made available online (Dryad, https://datadryad.org and represent the first cybertypes in ants (and insects. We discuss the potential of μCT scanning and critically assess the usefulness of cybertypes for ant taxonomy.

  13. [Early sibling aggression in mammals and its hormonal correlates].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Antonevich, A L; Naĭdenko, S V

    2007-01-01

    Early sibling aggression is a widespread phenomenon in birds. Ornithologists distinguish species with "obligate" and "facultative" siblicide. Sibling aggression was described in some mammal species: the domestic pig (Sus scrofa), the spotted hyena (Crocuta crocuta), the Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx), and the Iberian lynx (L. par-dinus). In all of them, sibling aggression corresponds well with the "facultative" siblicide model in birds. Sibling aggression was observed at the age of 36-64 days in both lynx species. It is usually restricted to a single fight and can change the hierarchical structure and growth rate of the kittens. In the spotted hyena and the domestic pig, the frequency and intensity of aggressive interactions between siblings are strongest during the first days of postnatal ontogeny and then decrease gradually. The newborns of these species are much developed than newborn lynx kittens. Usually adult lynx females, in contrast to hyenas and pigs, try to stop sibling fights. This is probably related to the larger parental investment at the time of the fight in lynxes (a kitten's body weight is about 10% of the mother's) than in pigs (0.5%) and hyenas (1.9%). Sibling aggression in spotted hyenas could be related to the high level of androstenedione and is not related to testosterone concentration. In the Eurasian lynx, female sibs attack their littermates slightly more often than male sibs do, and sibling aggression is not testosterone-dependent. Hormones secreted by the adrenal glands may play an important role in this phenomenon. The data available so far, however, do not positively confirm the presence of hormonal trigger effects in mammal sibling aggression.

  14. Ant species (Hymenoptera, Formicidae from the seasonally dry tropical forest of northeastern Brazil: a compilation from field surveys in Bahia and literature records

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    Mônica A. Ulysséa

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Ant species (Hymenoptera, Formicidae from the seasonally dry tropical forest of northeastern Brazil: a compilation from field surveys in Bahia and literature records. The Caatingas occur predominantly in northeastern Brazil and comparatively it is the biome that received less attention than any other ecosystem in Brazil, representing the region where invertebrate groups are less known. We present here the first list of ant species of the Caatingas, compiling information from the literature, from a study of samples preserved in alcohol in the Laboratory of Entomology (Universidade Estadual de Feira de Santana, and from a field survey conducted in Milagres, Bahia, submitting standardized 1-m² samples of the leaf-litter to Winkler extractors. Summing all information, 11 subfamilies, 61 genera and 173 species (plus one subspecies of ants are recognized in the biome. This species number does not consider morphospecies that could not be named due to the lack of reliable recent taxonomic information for some Neotropical ant genera. The list presented here for ant species of the Caatingas is therefore underestimated, but it is relevant because it allows the identification of areas to be sampled in order to improve our knowledge of the diversity of ants in this biome.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John T Longino

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

  18. Current and potential ant impacts in the Pacific region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loope, Lloyd L.; Krushelnycky, Paul D.

    2007-01-01

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

  19. Host plant quality of Tamarix ramosissima and T. parviflora for three sibling species of the biocontrol insect Diorhabda elongata (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dalin, Peter; O'Neal, Melissa J; Dudley, Tom; Bean, Daniel W

    2009-10-01

    Several sibling species of the leaf beetle Diorhabda elongata (Brullé) have been introduced into North America for the biocontrol of saltcedars (Tamarix spp.), but only one, D. carinulata (Desbrochers), has been extensively used in the field. The first open releases took place in 2001, and widespread defoliation occurred at sites infested by Tamarix ramosissima, T. chinensis, and their hybrid forms. The beetles failed, however, to establish at sites where other Tamarix species are targeted for control. In this study, we compared the preference and performance of three Diorhabda sibling species using adult choice and larval performance experiments on the two formally targeted Tamarix species: T. ramosissima and T. parviflora. In the adult choice experiment, a greater proportion of D. carinulata was found on T. ramosissima than on T. parviflora. For the other two sibling species, D. elongata (Brullé) and D. carinata (Faldermann), adults were found in similar proportions on the two host plants. In the larval performance experiment, larval growth and survival did not differ between Tamarix species for any Diorhabda type; however, D. carinata larval biomass was 35-50% greater than the other beetles regardless of host species. Based on the few adults of D. carinulata found on T. parviflora in the adult choice experiment, we do not recommend introducing this beetle at sites where T. parviflora is targeted for biological control. The species D. carinata seems especially promising for future release because its larvae gained substantially more biomass than the other beetles during the same time period on both Tamarix species.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aline Rifflet

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

  1. Interspecific competition between Solenopsis invicta and two native ant species, Pheidole fervens and Monomorium chinense.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Yin-Cheng; Kafle, Lekhnath; Shih, Cheng-Jen

    2011-04-01

    This study was designed to understand the effects of the interspecific competition between red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta Buren and two native ant species, Pheidole fervens Smith and Monomorium chinense Santschi, by conducting colony interference and individual confrontation tests under laboratory conditions. The colony interference test showed that both native ant species, owing to their numerical advantage, killed the Solenopsis invicta virus-1 (SINV-1)-infected or healthy queens of S. invicta. Significantly less time was required for M. chinense to kill all SINV-1-infected S. invicta compared with the time required to kill the healthy S. invicta. Compared with healthy S. invicta, SINV-1-infected S. invicta spent a longer time eliminating the P. fervens colonies. In confrontation tests, M. chinense killed a significantly higher number of infected S. invicta minors than they did healthy minors, but the number of S. invicta majors (either infected or healthy) killed was substantially less. This study found that the viral infection weakened the competitive ability of S. invicta and made them prone to be eliminated by M. chinense but not by P. fervens.

  2. Social coercion of larval development in an ant species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Villalta, Irene; Amor, Fernando; Cerdá, Xim; Boulay, Raphaël

    2016-04-01

    Ants provide one of the best examples of the division of labor in animal societies. While the queens reproduce, workers generally refrain from laying eggs and dedicate themselves exclusively to domestic tasks. In many species, the small diploid larvae are bipotent and can develop either into workers or queens depending mostly on environmental cues. This generates a conflicting situation between the adults that tend to rear a majority of larvae into workers and the larvae whose individual interest may be to develop into reproductive queens. We tested the social regulation of larval caste fate in the fission-performing ant Aphaenogaster senilis. We first observed interactions between resident workers and queen- and worker-destined larvae in presence/absence of the queen. The results show that workers tend to specifically eliminate queen-destined larvae when the queen is present but not when she is absent or imprisoned in a small cage allowing for volatile pheromone exchanges. In addition, we found that the presence of already developed queen-destined larvae does not inhibit the development of younger still bipotent larvae into queens. Finally, we analyzed the cuticular hydrocarbon profiles of queen- and worker-destined larvae and found no significant quantitative or qualitative difference. Interestingly, the total amount of hydrocarbons on both larval castes is extremely low, which lends credence on the chemical insignificance hypothesis of larval ants. Overall, our results suggest that workers control larval development and police larvae that would develop into queens instead of workers. Such policing behavior is similar in many aspects to what is known of worker policing among adults.

  3. Social coercion of larval development in an ant species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Villalta, Irene; Amor, Fernando; Cerdá, Xim; Boulay, Raphaël

    2016-04-01

    Ants provide one of the best examples of the division of labor in animal societies. While the queens reproduce, workers generally refrain from laying eggs and dedicate themselves exclusively to domestic tasks. In many species, the small diploid larvae are bipotent and can develop either into workers or queens depending mostly on environmental cues. This generates a conflicting situation between the adults that tend to rear a majority of larvae into workers and the larvae whose individual interest may be to develop into reproductive queens. We tested the social regulation of larval caste fate in the fission-performing ant Aphaenogaster senilis. We first observed interactions between resident workers and queen- and worker-destined larvae in presence/absence of the queen. The results show that workers tend to specifically eliminate queen-destined larvae when the queen is present but not when she is absent or imprisoned in a small cage allowing for volatile pheromone exchanges. In addition, we found that the presence of already developed queen-destined larvae does not inhibit the development of younger still bipotent larvae into queens. Finally, we analyzed the cuticular hydrocarbon profiles of queen- and worker-destined larvae and found no significant quantitative or qualitative difference. Interestingly, the total amount of hydrocarbons on both larval castes is extremely low, which lends credence on the chemical insignificance hypothesis of larval ants. Overall, our results suggest that workers control larval development and police larvae that would develop into queens instead of workers. Such policing behavior is similar in many aspects to what is known of worker policing among adults.

  4. The evolution of genome size in ants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Spagna Joseph C

    2008-02-01

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

  5. Recurrence analysis of ant activity patterns.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Felipe Marcel Neves

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-02-01

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

  7. Lovesongs and period gene polymorphisms indicate Lutzomyia cruzi (Mangabeira, 1938) as a sibling species of the Lutzomyia longipalpis (Lutz and Neiva, 1912) complex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vigoder, Felipe M; Araki, Alejandra S; Bauzer, Luiz G S R; Souza, Nataly A; Brazil, Reginaldo P; Peixoto, Alexandre A

    2010-08-01

    The sand fly Lutzomyia cruzi (Mangabeira, 1938) is implicated as a vector of American visceral leishmaniasis (AVL) in some areas of Brazil. Lutzomyia cruzi is closely related to Lutzomyia longipalpis s.l. (Lutz and Neiva, 1912) the main Latin American vector of AVL and a species complex. Although females of the two species are identical, the males can be distinguished by differences in the genitalia. Nevertheless, pheromone analysis shows that Lu. cruzi males produce 9-methyl-germacrene-B, which has also been found in a number of Latin American populations of Lu. longipalpis s.l. In addition, analysis of microsatellite loci shows that the level of divergence between Lu. cruzi and Lu. longipalpis s.l. is similar to that observed among the Lu. longipalpis s.l. sibling species. Here we present the lovesongs of Lu. cruzi males which are similar to the Burst-type songs produced by one of the Lu. longipalpis s.l. sibling species. We also present data on the molecular polymorphisms of the period gene of Lu. cruzi that indicate this species as another sibling within the Lu. longipalpis complex. The results highlight the importance of an integrative approach to understand the patterns of genetic and phenotypic divergence among very closely related vector species. Copyright 2010. Published by Elsevier B.V.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Amador-Vargas, Sabrina

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amy L. Mertl

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  11. Competitive assembly of South Pacific invasive ant communities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarty Megan

    2009-01-01

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

  12. The Megadiverse Australian Ant Genus Melophorus: Using CO1 Barcoding to Assess Species Richness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alan N. Andersen

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Melophorus is an exceptionally diverse ant genus from arid Australia that has received little taxonomic attention, such that just a fraction of its remarkable number of species is described. The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization’s Tropical Ecosystems Research Centre (TERC in Darwin holds by far the most extensive collection of Melophorus, and as of September 2016 this comprised >850 sorted morphospecies. However, the reliability of such morphospecies is open to question because species delimitation is extremely challenging due to highly generalized morphology and worker polymorphism. Here we use CO1 barcoding of 401 Melophorus specimens from 188 morphospecies in the TERC collection to determine the reliability of morphologically-based species delimitations as a basis for assessing true diversity within the genus. Our CO1 data confirm the extremely challenging nature of morphologically-based species delimitation within Melophorus, and suggest substantially higher diversity than that indicated by morphospecies. We found many cases where combinations of high (>10% CO1 divergence, polyphyly, sympatric association, and morphological differentiation indicated that single morphospecies represented multiple lineages. Overall, our analysis indicates that the 188 morphospecies barcoded represent at least 225 independent CO1 lineages. We discuss these results in terms of both their limitations and implications for estimating the total number of species in this exceptionally diverse, arid-adapted ant genus.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  14. Reproductive isolating mechanisms between two sympatric sibling species of sea snakes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shine, Richard; Reed, Robert N; Shetty, Sohan; Lemaster, Michael; Mason, Robert T

    2002-08-01

    Mechanisms that maintain species isolation within sympatric congeners have attracted analysis in many kinds of organisms, but not in snakes. We studied two sibling species of amphibious sea snakes (Laticauda colubrina and L. frontalis) on the island of Efate, in the Pacific Ocean republic of Vanuatu. The two taxa are almost identical morphologically, except that L. colubrina grows much larger than L. frontalis. No natural hybrids have been reported, and geographic distributions of the two taxa suggest the possibility of sympatric speciation. Our fieldwork shows that the two taxa are often syntopic and overlap in breeding seasons. Behavioral studies in outdoor arenas show that the separation between these two taxa is maintained by species-specific cues that control male courtship. Males of both species courted conspecific females but not heterospecific females. The proximate mechanism driving this separation involves chemical cues. Adult females of both taxa possess distinctive lipids in the skin. Males directed courtship behavior (chin-pressing) to hexane-extracted samples of lipids from conspecific but not heterospecific females. Males of the dwarf species (L frontalis) were more selective courters than were those of the larger taxon (L. colubrina), perhaps because a preference for courting larger females means that L. colubrina males would be unlikely to court L. frontalis-sized (i.e., small) females even in the absence of pheromonal barriers.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert B. Pape

    2016-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shingleton, A W; Foster, W A

    2000-09-22

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

  17. Stealthy invaders: the biology of Cardiocondyla tramp ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2006-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paul, J; Roces, F

    2003-04-01

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

  20. Older Siblings Influence Younger Siblings' Motor Development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berger, Sarah E.; Nuzzo, Katie

    2008-01-01

    Evidence exists for two competing theories about the effects of having an older sibling on development. Previous research has found that having an older sibling has both advantages and disadvantages for younger siblings' development. This study examined whether and how older siblings influenced the onset of their own younger siblings' motor…

  1. Pest repelling properties of ant pheromones

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Offenberg, Joachim

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana Z Gonçalves

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

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

  5. Exposure to light enhances pre-adult fitness in two dark-dwelling sympatric species of ants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sharma Vijay

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background In insects, circadian clocks play a key role in enhancing fitness by regulating life history traits such as developmental time and adult lifespan. These clocks use environmental light/dark (LD cycles to fine-tune a wide range of behavioral and physiological processes. To study the effect of environmental LD conditions on pre-adult fitness components, we used two dark-dwelling sympatric species of ants (the night active Camponotus compressus and the day active Camponotus paria, which normally develop underground and have fairly long pre-adult developmental time. Results Our results suggest that ants develop fastest as pre-adults when maintained under constant light (LL, followed closely by 12:12 hr light/dark (LD, and then constant darkness (DD. While light exposure alters developmental rates of almost all stages of development, the overall pre-adult development in LL is speeded-up (relative to DD by ~37% (34 days in C. compressus and by ~35% (31 days in C. paria. In LD too, development is faster (relative to DD by ~29% (26 days in C. compressus and by ~28% (25 days in C. paria. Pre-adult viability of both species is also higher under LL and LD compared to DD. While pre-adult development time and viability is enhanced in LL and LD, clutch-size undergoes reduction, at least in C. compressus. Conclusion Exposure to light enhances pre-adult fitness in two dark-dwelling species of Camponotus by speeding-up development and by enhancing viability. This suggests that social ants use environmental light/dark cycles to modulate key life history traits such as pre-adult development time and viability.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  7. Toxic industrial deposit remediation by ant activity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jilkova, Veronika; Frouz, Jan

    2016-04-01

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

  8. Infection of army ant pupae by two new parasitoid mites (Mesostigmata: Uropodina

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adrian Brückner

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available A great variety of parasites and parasitoids exploit ant societies. Among them are the Mesostigmata mites, a particularly common and diverse group of ant-associated arthropods. While parasitism is ubiquitous in Mesostigmata, parasitoidism has only been described in the genus Macrodinychus. Yet information about the basic biology of most Macrodinychus species is lacking. Out of 24 formally described species, information about basic life-history traits is only available for three species. Here we formally describe two new Macrodinychus species, i.e. Macrodinychus hilpertae and Macrodinychus derbyensis. In both species, immature stages developed as ecto-parasitoids on ant pupae of the South-East Asian army ant Leptogenys distinguenda. By piercing the developing ant with their chelicera, the mites apparently suck ant hemolymph, ultimately killing host individuals. We compare infection rates among all studied Macrodinychus species and discuss possible host countermeasures against parasitoidism. The cryptic lifestyle of living inside ant nests has certainly hampered the scientific discovery of Macrodinychus mites and we expect that many more macrodinychid species await scientific discovery and description.

  9. Infection of army ant pupae by two new parasitoid mites (Mesostigmata: Uropodina).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brückner, Adrian; Klompen, Hans; Bruce, Andrew Iain; Hashim, Rosli; von Beeren, Christoph

    2017-01-01

    A great variety of parasites and parasitoids exploit ant societies. Among them are the Mesostigmata mites, a particularly common and diverse group of ant-associated arthropods. While parasitism is ubiquitous in Mesostigmata, parasitoidism has only been described in the genus Macrodinychus . Yet information about the basic biology of most Macrodinychus species is lacking. Out of 24 formally described species, information about basic life-history traits is only available for three species. Here we formally describe two new Macrodinychus species, i.e. Macrodinychus hilpertae and Macrodinychus derbyensis . In both species, immature stages developed as ecto-parasitoids on ant pupae of the South-East Asian army ant Leptogenys distinguenda . By piercing the developing ant with their chelicera, the mites apparently suck ant hemolymph, ultimately killing host individuals. We compare infection rates among all studied Macrodinychus species and discuss possible host countermeasures against parasitoidism. The cryptic lifestyle of living inside ant nests has certainly hampered the scientific discovery of Macrodinychus mites and we expect that many more macrodinychid species await scientific discovery and description.

  10. The invasion biology and sociogenetics of pharaoh ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schmidt, Anna Mosegaard

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

  11. Impact of ecological doses of the most widespread phthalate on a terrestrial species, the ant Lasius niger.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cuvillier-Hot, Virginie; Salin, Karine; Devers, Séverine; Tasiemski, Aurélie; Schaffner, Pauline; Boulay, Raphaël; Billiard, Sylvain; Lenoir, Alain

    2014-05-01

    Phthalates are synthetic contaminants released into the environment notably by plastic waste. Semi-volatile, they adsorb to atmospheric particles and get distributed in all ecosystems. Effects of this major anthropogenic pollution in economical species in aquatic habitats have attracted large interest. On the contrary, very few studies have focused on wild terrestrial species. Yet, these lipophilic molecules are easily trapped by insect cuticle; ants and other insects have been shown to permanently bear among their cuticular components a non-negligible proportion of phthalates, meaning that they suffer from chronic exposure to these pollutants. Oral route could also be an additional way of contamination, as phthalates tend to stick to any organic particle. We show here via a food choice experiment that Lasius niger workers can detect, and avoid feeding on, food contaminated with DEHP (DiEthyl Hexyl Phthalate), the most widespread phthalate found in nature. This suggests that the main source of contamination for ants is atmosphere and that doses measured on the cuticle correspond to the chronic exposure levels for these animals. Such an ecologically relevant dose of DEHP was used to contaminate ants in lab and to investigate their physiological impact. Over a chronic exposure (1 dose per week for 5 weeks), the egg-laying rate of queens was significantly reduced lending credence to endocrine disruptive properties of such a pollutant, as also described for aquatic invertebrates. On the contrary, short term exposure (24h) to a single dose of DEHP does not induce oxidative stress in ant workers as expected, but leads to activation of the immune system. Because of their very large distribution, their presence in virtually all terrestrial ecosystems and their representation at all trophic levels, ants could be useful indicators of contamination by phthalates, especially via monitoring the level of activation of their immune state. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All

  12. Confirmation of Two Sibling Species among Anopheles fluviatilis Mosquitoes in South and Southeastern Iran by Analysis of Cytochrome Oxidase I Gene.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naddaf, Saied Reza; Oshaghi, Mohammad Ali; Vatandoost, Hassan

    2012-12-01

    Anopheles fluviatilis, one of the major malaria vectors in Iran, is assumed to be a complex of sibling species. The aim of this study was to evaluate Cytochrome oxidase I (COI) gene alongside 28S-D3 as a diagnostic tool for identification of An. fluviatilis sibling species in Iran. DNA sample belonging to 24 An. fluviatilis mosquitoes from different geographical areas in south and southeastern Iran were used for amplification of COI gene followed by sequencing. The 474-475 bp COI sequences obtained in this study were aligned with 59 similar sequences of An. fluviatilis and a sequence of Anopheles minimus, as out group, from GenBank database. The distances between group and individual sequences were calculated and phylogenetic tree for obtained sequences was generated by using Kimura two parameter (K2P) model of neighbor-joining method. Phylogenetic analysis using COI gene grouped members of Fars Province (central Iran) in two distinct clades separate from other Iranian members representing Hormozgan, Kerman, and Sistan va Baluchestan Provinces. The mean distance between Iranian and Indian individuals was 1.66%, whereas the value between Fars Province individuals and the group comprising individuals from other areas of Iran was 2.06%. Presence of 2.06% mean distance between individuals from Fars Province and those from other areas of Iran is indicative of at least two sibling species in An. fluviatilis mosquitoes of Iran. This finding confirms earlier results based on RAPD-PCR and 28S-D3 analysis.

  13. Thermal reactionomes reveal divergent responses to thermal extremes in warm and cool-climate ant species

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Stanton-Geddes, John; Nguyen, Andrew; Chick, Lacy

    2016-01-01

    across an experimental gradient. We characterized thermal reactionomes of two common ant species in the eastern U.S, the northern cool-climate Aphaenogaster picea and the southern warm-climate Aphaenogaster carolinensis, across 12 temperatures that spanned their entire thermal breadth.......The distributions of species and their responses to climate change are in part determined by their thermal tolerances. However, little is known about how thermal tolerance evolves. To test whether evolutionary extension of thermal limits is accomplished through enhanced cellular stress response...

  14. Competence of Litter Ants for Rapid Biodiversity Assessments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  15. Sibling differentiation: sibling and parent relationship trajectories in adolescence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feinberg, Mark E; McHale, Susan M; Crouter, Ann C; Cumsille, Patricio

    2003-01-01

    Studied here were the links between sibling differences in trajectories of change in the qualities of parent-child relationships and the qualities of sibling relationships across a 2-year period in adolescence. Participants were first- and second-born siblings (M age = 14.94 years for firstborns and M age = 12.46 years for secondborns) from 185 predominantly White, working and middle-class families. In home interviews, siblings reported on their dyadic family relationships. For reports of parent-child warmth but not parent-child conflict, results were consistent with sibling differentiation theory: Increasing differences between siblings over time in parent-child warmth were linked to trajectories of increasing warmth and decreasing conflict in the sibling relationship as reported by firstborns, and increasing warmth in the sibling relationship as reported by secondborns. The findings support the view that sibling differentiation may be a strategy for managing sibling conflict and rivalry.

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emilio M Bruna

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

  18. A Simple Key for Identifying the Sibling Species of the Malaria Vector Anopheles gambiae (Giles Complex by Polytene Chromosome Cytogenetics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Music Temitope OBEMBE

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available It has been established that Anopheles gambiae complex sibling species are the major Plasmodium malaria vectors in Africa; however, not all the sibling species transmit the infection. Easier molecular methods, PCR-based assays, have been developed to distinguish the several members of the A. gambiae complex. However, malaria vector research in less developed countries, particularly sub-Saharan Africa, is being hampered by the lack of PCR facilities in laboratories and the cost of carrying out the assay within lack of funding. Hence, the present study was designed to develop a simple identification key, based on an affordable method of polytene chromosome cytotaxonomy, for identifying the major P. falciparum vectors. The Identification Key was successfully used to identify two members of the A. gambiae complex, A. gambiae sensu stricto and A. arabiensis, which are the most potent malaria vectors in Africa; even so, it could not be used to establish the infective and the refractory strains.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-09-01

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

  20. Distribution and Diversity of the Cryptic Ant Genus Oxyepoecus (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Myrmicinae in Paraguay with Descriptions of Two New Species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. Delsinne

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available We discuss the diversity and distribution of the ant genus Oxyepoecus in Paraguay. Oxyepoecus inquilinus is recorded for the first time, and new distribution data are given for O. rastratus and O. vezenyii. Published data for O. bruchi, O. rastratus, O. reticulatus, and O. vezenyii are summarized. Two new species are described (O. bidentatus n. sp. and O. striatus n. sp., and a key to the workers of the seven Paraguayan Oxyepoecus species is provided. At Teniente Enciso National Park, four species cooccur. This locality appears as a promising site for studies documenting the biology of this poorly known ant genus, and because of the IUCN “vulnerable“ Red List classification of O. inquilinus, the importance of the Teniente Enciso National Park for biological conservation is clearly established.

  1. Consequences of sex-specific growth on sibling competition in black-headed gulls : A sexually-size dimorphic species with scramble competition

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mueller, Wendt; Groothuis, Ton G. G.; Dijkstra, Cor

    2007-01-01

    Biased mortality of the larger sex during the early developmental period has been reported for a number of size-dimorphic bird species. This can partly be explained by the fact that growing to larger size renders the larger sex more vulnerable to food shortage. However, since sibling rivalry is

  2. Host-ant specificity of endangered large blue butterflies (Phengaris spp., Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae) in Japan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ueda, Shouhei; Komatsu, Takashi; Itino, Takao; Arai, Ryusuke; Sakamoto, Hironori

    2016-11-03

    Large blue butterflies, Phengaris (Maculinea), are an important focus of endangered-species conservation in Eurasia. Later-instar Phengaris caterpillars live in Myrmica ant nests and exploit the ant colony's resources, and they are specialized to specific host-ant species. For example, local extinction of P. arion in the U. K. is thought to have been due to the replacement of its host-ant species with a less-suitable congener, as a result of changes in habitat. In Japan, Myrmica kotokui hosts P. teleius and P. arionides caterpillars. We recently showed, however, that the morphological species M. kotokui actually comprises four genetic clades. Therefore, to determine to which group of ants the hosts of these two Japanese Phengaris species belong, we used mitochondrial COI-barcoding of M. kotokui specimens from colonies in the habitats of P. teleius and P. arionides to identify the ant clade actually parasitized by the caterpillars of each species. We found that these two butterfly species parasitize different ant clades within M. kotokui.

  3. Siblings' personality traits and types of sibling relationship in childhood

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tina Kavčič

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available The contribution presents a follow-up study of sibling relationship and personality in 87 sibling dyads in early/middle childhood from parental perspective. At Time 1 all siblings attended pre-school and one year later approximately half of the older siblings entered compulsory school. At both times of measurement siblings' mothers and fathers independently reported on their children's personality characteristics using the Inventory of Child Individual Differences (Halverson et al., 2003; Slovene adaptation, Zupančič & Kavčič, 2009 and on the observed sibling warmth, agonism, and rivalry using the Parental Expectations and Perceptions of Children's Sibling Relationships Questionnaire (Kramer, 2001. The predictive relationship obtained by two sets of cross-rater analyses (between maternal ratings of child personality and paternal reports on sibling relationship, and vice versa suggested that (a personality traits of both siblings and (b the match between siblings' personalities are associated with sibling type (affectionate, involved or average membership. Among personality traits, disagreeableness seems to be an especially significant contributor to sibling relationship quality.

  4. Nonintegrated Host Association of Myrmecophilus tetramorii, a Specialist Myrmecophilous Ant Cricket (Orthoptera: Myrmecophilidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Takashi Komatsu

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Myrmecophilus ant crickets (Orthoptera: Myrmecophilidae are typical ant guests. In Japan, about 10 species are recognized on the basis of morphological and molecular phylogenetic frameworks. Some of these species have restricted host ranges and behave intimately toward their host ant species (i.e., they are host specialist. We focused on one species, M. tetramorii, which uses the myrmicine ant Tetramorium tsushimae as its main host. All but one M. tetramorii individuals were collected specifically from nests of T. tsushimae in the field. However, behavioral observation showed that all individuals used in the experiment received hostile reactions from the host ants. There were no signs of intimate behaviors such as grooming of hosts or receipt of mouth-to-mouth feeding from hosts, which are seen in some host-specialist Myrmecophilus species among obligate host-ant species. Therefore, it may be that M. tetramorii is the species that is specialized to exploit the host by means other than chemical integration.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  6. Confirmation of Two Sibling Species among Anopheles Fluviatilis Mosquitoes in South and Southeastern Iran by Analysis of Cytochrome Oxidase I Gene

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Saied Reza Naddaf

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Background: Anopheles fluviatilis, one of the major malaria vectors in Iran, is assumed to be a complex of sibling species. The aim of this study was to evaluate Cytochrome oxidase I (COI gene alongside 28S-D3 as a diagnostic tool for identification of An. fluviatilis sibling species in Iran.Methods: DNA sample belonging to 24 An. fluviatilis mosquitoes from different geographical areas in south and southeastern Iran were used for amplification of COI gene followed by sequencing. The 474–475 bp COI sequences obtained in this study were aligned with 59 similar sequences of An. fluviatilis and a sequence of Anopheles minimus, as out group, from GenBank database. The distances between group and individual sequences were calculated and phy­logenetic tree for obtained sequences was generated by using Kimura two parameter (K2P model of neighbor-join­ing method.Results: Phylogenetic analysis using COI gene grouped members of Fars Province (central Iran in two distinct clades separate from other Iranian members representing Hormozgan, Kerman, and Sistan va Baluchestan Provinces. The mean distance between Iranian and Indian individuals was 1.66%, whereas the value between Fars Province individ­uals and the group comprising individuals from other areas of Iran was 2.06%.Conclusion: Presence of 2.06% mean distance between individuals from Fars Province and those from other areas of Iran is indicative of at least two sibling species in An. fluviatilis mosquitoes of Iran. This finding confirms earlier results based on RAPD-PCR and 28S-D3 analysis.

  7. Dispersal for survival: some observations on the trunk ant (Formica truncorum Fabricius)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2001-10-22

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  10. Dynamics of an ant-plant-pollinator model

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-03-01

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

  11. Three new species and reassessment of the rare Neotropical ant genus Leptanilloides (Hymenoptera, Formicidae, Leptanilloidinae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marek Borowiec

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available We describe three new species of the Neotropical ant genus Leptanilloides: L. gracilis sp. n. based on workers from Mexico and Guatemala, L. erinys sp. n. based on workers and a gyne from Ecuador, and L. femoralis sp. n. based on workers from Venezuela. The description of L. gracilis is a northern extension of the known range of the genus, now numbering eleven described species. We also describe and discuss three unassociated male morphotypes from Central America. We report the occurrence of a metatibial gland in Leptanilloides and a fused promesonotal connection (suture in some species. We provide a modified, detailed diagnosis of the genus and a revised key to the worker caste of the known species.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-09-01

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

  16. Sibling popularity: A moderator of sibling influence for adolescent substance use.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wallace, Lacey N

    Sibling substance use is a known correlate of adolescent substance use. Yet, not all siblings are equally influential. Sibling influence has been found to vary by age gap, sex, and birth order. Little research, however, has investigated whether siblings' peer context is also a source of variation. The present study tested whether more popular siblings were more influential for adolescent use of cigarettes, alcohol, and marijuana. Data were obtained from sibling pairs in the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health. Findings indicate that older siblings have more influence on younger sibling marijuana use when they have more friends. These findings contribute to prior work examining which siblings are more influential and highlight the need to consider siblings as part of a greater peer context.

  17. Fungal Adaptations to Mutualistic Life with Ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kooij, Pepijn Wilhelmus

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

  18. Life-Histories of Sub-Arctic Ants

    OpenAIRE

    Heinze, Jürgen

    1993-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fürst, Matthias A; Nash, David Richard

    2010-01-01

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

  20. Attack of the invasive garden ant: aggression behaviour of Lasius neglectus (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) against native Lasius species in Spain

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cremer, Sylvia; Ugelvig, Line Vej; Lommen, Suzanne T.E.

    2006-01-01

    Invasive species often dramatically change native species communities by directly and indirectly out-competing na-tive species. We studied the direct interference abilities of the invasive garden ant, Lasius neglectus VAN LOON, BOOMSMA & ANDRÁSFALVY, 1990, by performing one-to-one aggression test...

  1. A diverse ant fauna from the mid-cretaceous of Myanmar (Hymenoptera: Formicidae.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Phillip Barden

    Full Text Available A new collection of 24 wingless ant specimens from mid-Cretaceous Burmese amber (Albian-Cenomanian, 99 Ma comprises nine new species belonging to the genus Sphecomyrmodes Engel and Grimaldi. Described taxa vary considerably with regard to total size, head and body proportion, cuticular sculpturing, and petiole structure while all species are unified by a distinct shared character. The assemblage represents the largest known diversification of closely related Cretaceous ants with respect to species number. These stem-group ants exhibit some characteristics previously known only from their extant counterparts along with presumed plesiomorphic morphology. Consequently, their morphology may inform hypotheses relating to basal relationships and general patterns of ant evolution. These and other uncovered Cretaceous species indicate that stem-group ants are not simply wasp-like, transitional formicids, but rather a group of considerable adaptive diversity, exhibiting innovations analogous to what crown-group ants would echo 100 million years later.

  2. Ecosystem services delivered by weaver ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Offenberg, Joachim

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Fernanda Miori de Zarzuela

    2012-01-01

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

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

  5. Ants farm subterranean aphids mostly in single clone groups

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  6. Consequences of sibling rivalry vary across life in a passerine bird

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bebbington, Kat; Kingma, Sjouke A.; Fairfield, Eleanor A.; Spurgin, Lewis G.; Komdeur, Jan; Richardson, David S.

    Many studies have assessed the costs of sibling rivalry in systems where offspring always have competitors, but conclusions about sibling rivalry in these species are restricted to interpreting the cost of changes in the relative level of competition and are often complicated by the expression of

  7. Latitudinal variation of a defensive symbiosis in the Bugula neritina (Bryozoa sibling species complex.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonathan Linneman

    Full Text Available Mutualistic relationships are beneficial for both partners and are often studied within a single environment. However, when the range of the partners is large, geographical differences in selective pressure may shift the relationship outcome from positive to negative. The marine bryozoan Bugula neritina is a colonial invertebrate common in temperate waters worldwide. It is the source of bioactive polyketide metabolites, the bryostatins. Evidence suggests that an uncultured vertically transmitted symbiont, "Candidatus Endobugula sertula", hosted by B. neritina produces the bryostatins, which protect the vulnerable larvae from predation. Studies of B. neritina along the North American Atlantic coast revealed a complex of two morphologically similar sibling species separated by an apparent biogeographic barrier: the Type S sibling species was found below Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, while Type N was found above. Interestingly, the Type N colonies lack "Ca. Endobugula sertula" and, subsequently, defensive bryostatins; their documented northern distribution was consistent with traditional biogeographical paradigms of latitudinal variation in predation pressure. Upon further sampling of B. neritina populations, we found that both host types occur in wider distribution, with Type N colonies living south of Cape Hatteras, and Type S to the north. Distribution of the symbiont, however, was not restricted to Type S hosts. Genetic and microscopic evidence demonstrates the presence of the symbiont in some Type N colonies, and larvae from these colonies are endowed with defensive bryostatins and contain "Ca. Endobugula sertula". Molecular analysis of the symbiont from Type N colonies suggests an evolutionarily recent acquisition, which is remarkable for a symbiont thought to be transmitted only vertically. Furthermore, most Type S colonies found at higher latitudes lack the symbiont, suggesting that this host-symbiont relationship is more flexible than

  8. Consequences of sibling rivalry vary across life in a passerine bird

    OpenAIRE

    Bebbington, Kat; Kingma, Sjouke A.; Fairfield, Eleanor A.; Spurgin, Lewis G.; Komdeur, Jan; Richardson, David S.

    2017-01-01

    Many studies have assessed the costs of sibling rivalry in systems where offspring always have competitors, but conclusions about sibling rivalry in these species are restricted to interpreting the cost of changes in the relative level of competition and are often complicated by the expression of potentially costly rivalry related traits. Additionally, the majority of studies focus on early-life sibling rivalry, but the costs of competition can also affect later-life performance. We test a su...

  9. Ant-plant symbioses: Stalking the chuyachaqui.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davidson, D W; McKey, D

    1993-09-01

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

  10. Bullying among siblings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolke, Dieter; Skew, Alexandra J

    2012-01-01

    Parents are often concerned about repeated conflicts between their daughters and sons. However, there is little empirical research of sibling bullying. To conduct a review of existing studies of sibling bullying. Are there any associations between sibling bullying and peer bullying at school? What are the consequences of sibling bullying? Is there good justification why sibling bullying has been so neglected in research? Studies of sibling relationships were reviewed. Four quantitative studies were identified that report on both sibling and peer bullying. Sibling bullying is frequent with up to 50% involved in sibling bullying every month and between 16% and 20% involved in bullying several times a week. Experience of sibling bullying increases the risk of involvement in bullying in school. Both, bullying between siblings and school bullying make unique contributions to explaining behavioral and emotional problems. There is a clear dose-effect relationship of involvement of bullying at home and at school and behavioral or emotional problems. Those involved in both have up to 14 times increased odds of behavioral or emotional problems compared to those involved in only one context or not at all. The empirical evidence is limited and studies are mostly cross-sectional studies. Nevertheless, the review suggests that for those victimized at home and at school behavioral and emotional problems are highly increased. Sibling relationships appear to be a training ground with implications for individual well-being. Strengthening families and parenting skills and increasing sibling support is likely to reduce bullying and increase well-being.

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

    OpenAIRE

    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...

  12. THE TRUE IDENTITY OF COPELAND'S AQUATIC SCUTTLE FLY (DIPTERA: PHORIDAE) FROM INDIANA AND RECOGNITION OF A SIBLING SPECIES FROM TEXAS.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Disney, R Henry L; Copeland, Robert S; Murrell, Ebony

    2009-07-01

    Among the insects reported by Copeland (1989) breeding in the waters retained by treeholes in Indiana was a scuttle fly identified by W. H. Robinson as Megaselia scalaris (Loew). It is here reported that in fact this fly, along with fresh material from Illinois and Missouri, is M. imitatrix Borgmeier, whose type series was from Puerto Rico. An aquatic species reported from Texas is recognized as a sibling species of M. imitatrix and is named M. hansonix Disney, sp. nov. A single female from Brazil represents a third species of this complex, thus raising doubts about the identity of specimens from Brazil attributed to M. imitatrix by Benton and Claugher (2000).

  13. How ants find each other; temporal and spatial patterns in nuptial flights

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Noordijk, J.; Morssinkhof, R.; Boer, P.; Schaffers, A.P.; Heijerman, Th.; Sykora, K.V.

    2008-01-01

    Reproduction is a key factor in understanding population ecology and therefore species occurrence. However, patterns in reproductive behaviour for distinct ant species remain insufficiently known. In this paper strategies in mate finding are studied for six ant species (Lasius niger, Lasius

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alan Andersen

    1997-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-02-01

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

  17. An initial look at sibling reports on children's behavior: comparisons with children's self-reports and relations with siblings' self-reports and sibling relationships.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Epkins, C C; Dedmon, A M

    1999-10-01

    The authors examined siblings' reports of children's depression, anxiety, and aggression, and their reports of the sibling relationship, and compared them with children's self-reports. In two samples, including 169 sibling pairs (age M = 9.98 years, SD = 1.51), no significant differences emerged in the levels of depression and anxiety found in siblings' reports of children's behavior and children's self-reports, although siblings reported children to have significantly higher levels of aggression than the children self-reported. Age, the difference in ages between siblings, sex, and sibling sex were not related to siblings' reports of children's behavior. The relations between children's and siblings' reports of children's behavior were significant, yet moderate (average r = .22). Both siblings' self-reports of internalizing behavior and their perceptions of aspects of the sibling relationship (affection, rivalry, hostility, and satisfaction with the sibling relationship) explained significant, and unique, variance in siblings' reports of children's internalizing behavior. The findings for aggressive behavior were similar, although siblings' perceptions of affection in the sibling relationship were not significantly related to their reports of children's aggression. The potential uses and benefits of sibling reports of children's behavior, and sibling and family relationships, are discussed.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Abel Bernadou

    2013-03-01

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

  19. Comparative physical mapping of 18S rDNA in the karyotypes of six leafcutter ant species of the genera Atta and Acromyrmex (Formicidae: Myrmicinae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teixeira, Gisele Amaro; Barros, Luísa Antônia Campos; de Aguiar, Hilton Jeferson Alves Cardoso; das Graças Pompolo, Silvia

    2017-10-01

    Leafcutter ants of the Atta and Acromyrmex genera are important plagues in different cultures. Cytogenetic data on chromosome number, morphology, and chromosomal banding pattern are only available for 17 species of leafcutter ants. Molecular cytogenetic data for the detection of ribosomal genes by the FISH technique are scarce, and only 15 Neotropical ant species have been studied. This study aimed to physically map the 18S ribosomal RNA genes (rDNA) of six leafcutter ants belonging to the genera Atta and Acromyrmex using FISH. The results were compared with data on the fluorochrome CMA 3 currently available for these species. All analyzed species presented the 18S rDNA on one pair of chromosomes. In Acromyrmex subterraneus molestans and Ac. aspersus, FISH signals were observed in the terminal region of the short arm of the largest subtelocentric pair, while in Atta bisphaerica, A. laevigata, and A. sexdens, FISH signals were observed in the interstitial region of the long arm of the fourth metacentric pair. In Acromyrmex striatus, 18S rDNA was located in the interstitial region of the second metacentric pair. The karyotypic formula for Ac. aspersus was 2n = 38 (8m + 10sm + 16st + 4a), representing the first report in this species. The observed 18S rDNA regions in A. laevigata, A. sexdens, A. bisphaerica, Ac. aspersus, and Ac. subterraneus molestans corresponded to the CMA 3 + bands, while in Ac. striatus, several GC-rich bands and one pair of 18S rDNA bands were observed. No differential bands were visible using the DAPI fluorochrome. Karyotype uniformity with previously studied Atta spp. was also observed at the level of molecular cytogenetics using 18S rDNA FISH. A difference in the size of the chromosomal pair carrying the 18S rDNA gene was observed in Ac. striatus (2n = 22) and Atta spp. (2n = 22) highlighting the dissimilarity between these species. The results from the present study contribute to the description of 18S rDNA clusters

  20. Diapriinae Wasps (Hymenoptera: Diaprioidea: Diapriidae Associated with Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae in Argentina

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marta S. Loiácono

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available We provide an overview of diapriid wasps associated with ants in Argentina and the diversity of interactions they have developed with their hosts. As a result, we report 16 species of nine genera of Diapriinae, two new geographic distributions, three new association records, illustrations, and photographs. We highlight myrmecophile symphylic species, with a high degree of integration with the host ants, adaptation being morphological and behavioral. A table with diapriid species and ant hosts is given.

  1. Phylogenomics and Divergence Dating of Fungus-Farming Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae of the Genera Sericomyrmex and Apterostigma.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana Ješovnik

    Full Text Available Fungus-farming ("attine" ants are model systems for studies of symbiosis, coevolution, and advanced eusociality. A New World clade of nearly 300 species in 15 genera, all attine ants cultivate fungal symbionts for food. In order to better understand the evolution of ant agriculture, we sequenced, assembled, and analyzed transcriptomes of four different attine ant species in two genera: three species in the higher-attine genus Sericomyrmex and a single lower-attine ant species, Apterostigma megacephala, representing the first genomic data for either genus. These data were combined with published genomes of nine other ant species and the honey bee Apis mellifera for phylogenomic and divergence-dating analyses. The resulting phylogeny confirms relationships inferred in previous studies of fungus-farming ants. Divergence-dating analyses recovered slightly older dates than most prior analyses, estimating that attine ants originated 53.6-66.7 million of years ago, and recovered a very long branch subtending a very recent, rapid radiation of the genus Sericomyrmex. This result is further confirmed by a separate analysis of the three Sericomyrmex species, which reveals that 92.71% of orthologs have 99% - 100% pairwise-identical nucleotide sequences. We searched the transcriptomes for genes of interest, most importantly argininosuccinate synthase and argininosuccinate lyase, which are functional in other ants but which are known to have been lost in seven previously studied attine ant species. Loss of the ability to produce the amino acid arginine has been hypothesized to contribute to the obligate dependence of attine ants upon their cultivated fungi, but the point in fungus-farming ant evolution at which these losses occurred has remained unknown. We did not find these genes in any of the sequenced transcriptomes. Although expected for Sericomyrmex species, the absence of arginine anabolic genes in the lower-attine ant Apterostigma megacephala strongly

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-07-01

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

  3. Sperm length evolution in the fungus-growing ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  4. Siblings of children with life-limiting conditions: psychological adjustment and sibling relationships.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fullerton, J M; Totsika, V; Hain, R; Hastings, R P

    2017-05-01

    This study explored psychological adjustment and sibling relationships of siblings of children with life-limiting conditions (LLCs), expanding on previous research by defining LLCs using a systematic classification of these conditions. Thirty-nine siblings participated, aged 3-16 years. Parents completed measures of siblings' emotional and behavioural difficulties, quality of life, sibling relationships and impact on families and siblings. Sibling and family adjustment and relationships were compared with population norms, where available, and to a matched comparison group of siblings of children with autistic spectrum disorder (ASD), as a comparable 'high risk' group. LLC siblings presented significantly higher levels of emotional and behavioural difficulties, and lower quality of life than population norms. Their difficulties were at levels comparable to siblings of children with ASD. A wider impact on the family was confirmed. Family socio-economic position, time since diagnosis, employment and accessing hospice care were factors associated with better psychological adjustment. Using a systematic classification of LLCs, the study supported earlier findings of increased levels of psychological difficulties in siblings of children with a LLC. The evidence is (i) highlighting the need to provide support to these siblings and their families, and (ii) that intervention approaches could be drawn from the ASD field. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  5. Siblings exposed to intimate partner violence: linking sibling relationship quality & child adjustment problems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piotrowski, Caroline C; Tailor, Ketan; Cormier, Damien C

    2014-01-01

    Although the majority of families that experience intimate partner violence (IPV) have more than one child, most research to date has focused upon a single child within these families. A significant body of research has indicated siblings play an important role in children's adjustment and well-being. To address this gap, the three main goals of the present study were to compare the adjustment of older and younger siblings exposed to IPV, to describe and compare the quality of these sibling relationships from multiple perspectives, and to investigate how sibling adjustment and relationship quality influence children's adjustment. Forty-seven sibling pairs and their mothers were recruited from the community. Mothers self-reported on their violent experiences using the Conflict Tactics Scale, and also estimated the length of time their children were exposed to IPV. Mothers and children completed assessments of child adjustment and the quality of sibling relationships. Observers also assessed the quality of sibling interaction. Results indicated that adjustment between siblings was highly inter-related. On average, mothers reported sibling relationships as less positive but also as less hostile than did siblings themselves. Higher levels of sibling hostility, lower levels of sibling warmth and higher levels of disengagement each significantly predicted child adjustment; however, these effects were predicated upon the adjustment of the other sibling. The sibling relationships of children exposed to IPV made a difference in their individual adjustment, and their adjustment issues influenced how they feel about and interacted with their sibling. Sibling hostility played a stronger role in adjustment issues than sibling warmth. The nature of sibling influences and the direction of future research were discussed. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Non-Random Sibling Cannibalism in the Marine Gastropod Crepidula coquimbensis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antonio Brante

    Full Text Available Sibling cannibalism is commonly observed in marine species. For instance, intrabrood cannibalism has been documented in marine gastropods with direct development, suggesting a relationship between embryo behavior and the evolution of life history strategies. However, there has been little effort to document the factors driving sibling cannibalism in marine species. The kin selection theory suggests that the level of relatedness plays an important role in cannibalism patterns. We examined Crepidula coquimbensis, a marine gastropod that broods and encloses its brooded offspring in capsules. Encapsulated embryos show sibling cannibalism and high levels of intracapsular multiple paternity. Given these features, cannibalistic behavior may be driven by kin-relatedness. To test this hypothesis, we constructed artificial aggregations of embryos to mimic three levels of relatedness: high, medium and low. For each category of aggregation, the cannibalism rate and benefits (i.e. size at hatching of surviving offspring were estimated. In addition, at the end of embryo development, we performed parentage analyses to determine if cannibalism was associated with the relatedness between cannibal and victim embryos. Our results show that the intensity of sibling cannibalism increased in aggregations characterized by the lowest level of relatedness. There were important benefits of cannibalism in terms of hatching cannibal size. In addition, cannibalism between embryos was not random: the variation in reproductive success between males increased over the course of the experiment and the effective number of fathers decreased. Altogether, these results suggest that polyandry may play an important role in the evolution of sibling cannibalism in C. coquimbensis and that kin selection may operate during early embryonic stages in this species.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katherine C Horn

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

  8. Ants defend aphids against lethal disease

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  9. Sibling Incest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phillips-Green, Mary J.

    2002-01-01

    Recently, sibling incest, a type of intrafamilial incest, has received notice from mental health professionals; however, many professionals still do not recognize the seriousness of the problem. This article reviews current research on the individual and family dynamics that allow sibling incest to occur, the effects of sibling incest on victims,…

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ethel Fernandes de Oliveira Peternelli

    2004-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-05-01

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

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

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    CB Costa-Milanez

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barden, Phillip; Grimaldi, David A

    2016-02-22

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heinze, Jürgen; Frohschammer, Sabine; Bernadou, Abel

    2017-08-18

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-10-01

    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 determined the effects of environmental factors on nest CO2 efflux and calculated an index of nest structure. The mean CO2 efflux from nests was significantly higher than those from the surrounding soil in the wet and dry seasons. The CO2 efflux was species-specific, showing significant differences among the 13 ant species. The soil moisture content significantly affected nest CO2 efflux, but there was no clear relationship between nest CO2 efflux and nest soil temperature. The diameter of the nest entrance hole affected CO2 efflux. However, there was no significant difference in CO2 efflux rates between single-hole and multiple-hole nests. Our results suggest that in a tropical forest ecosystem the increase in CO2 efflux from subterranean ant nests is caused by species-specific activity of ants, the nest soil environment, and nest structure.

  16. What makes siblings different? The development of sibling differences in academic achievement and interests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jensen, Alexander C; McHale, Susan M

    2015-06-01

    To illuminate processes that contribute to the development of sibling differences, this study examined cross-lagged links between parents' beliefs about sibling differences in academic ability and differences between siblings' grade point averages (GPAs), and cross-lagged links between differences in siblings' GPAs and sibling differences in academic interests. Data were collected from mothers, fathers, firstborn youth (M age at Time 1 = 15.71, SD = 1.07), and secondborn youth (M age at Time 1 = 13.18, SD = 1.29) from 388 European American families on 3 annual occasions. Findings revealed that, after controlling for siblings' average grades and prior differences in performance, parents' beliefs about sibling differences in academic ability predicted differences in performance such that youth rated by parents as relatively more competent than their sibling earned relatively higher grades the following year. Siblings' relative school performance, however, did not predict parents' beliefs about differences between siblings' competencies. Further, after controlling for average interests and grades, sibling differences in GPA predicted differences in siblings' interests such that youth who had better grades than their siblings reported relatively stronger academic interests the following year. Differences in interest, however, did not predict sibling differences in GPA. Findings are discussed in terms the role of sibling dynamics in family socialization. (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).

  17. Structural Features of Sibling Dyads and Attitudes toward Sibling Relationships in Young Adulthood

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riggio, Heidi R.

    2006-01-01

    This study examined sibling-dyad structural variables (sex composition, age difference, current coresidence, position adjacency, family size, respondent and/or sibling ordinal position) and attitudes toward adult sibling relationships. A sample of 1,053 young adults (M age = 22.1 years) described one sibling using the Lifespan Sibling Relationship…

  18. Genetic evidence for intra- and interspecific slavery in honey ants (genus Myrmecocystus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kronauer, D J C; Gadau, J; Hölldobler, B

    2003-04-22

    The New World honey ant species Myrmecocystus mimicus is well known for its highly stereotyped territorial tournaments, and for the raids on conspecific nests that can lead to intraspecific slavery. Our results from mitochondrial and nuclear markers show that the raided brood emerges in the raiding colony and is subsequently incorporated into the colony's worker force. We also found enslaved conspecifics in a second honey ant species, M. depilis, the sister taxon of M. mimicus, which occurs in sympatry with M. mimicus at the study site. Colonies of this species furthermore contained raided M. mimicus workers. Both species have an effective mating frequency that is not significantly different from 1. This study provides genetic evidence for facultative intra- and interspecific slavery in the genus Myrmecocystus. Slavery in ants has evolved repeatedly and supposedly by different means. We propose that, in honey ants, secondary contact between two closely related species that both exhibit intraspecific slavery gave rise to an early form of facultative interspecific slavery.

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

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    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marko Pećarević

    2010-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-12-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Suparoek Watanasit

    2008-10-01

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

  4. Predatory behavior of Pseudodorus clavatus (Diptera, Syrphidae on aphids tended by ants

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    Alexandra Bächtold

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Predatory behavior of Pseudodorus clavatus (Diptera, Syrphidae on aphids tended by ants. In this study, we examined the interactions between myrmecophilous aphids, their ant-guards and a predatory syrphid species, Pseudodorus clavatus (F.. Larvae of this predator were found in the colonies of three aphid species: Aphis gossypii, A. spiraecola and Toxoptera sp., which were tended by eight ant species, especially Camponotus. Hoverfly larvae managed to infiltrate the aphid colonies and consume nymphs. Predator larvae exhibited inconspicuous movements and were not detected by ants which were commonly observed touching and antennating the larvae they come into contact. These results suggest that behavioral and chemical cues are involved in the infiltration and on the successful predation of syrphids upon aphids.

  5. Diversity of ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae in two rubber plantations in Songkhla Province, Southern Thailand

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Suparoek Watanasit

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available Ants play important roles in tropical rainforest ecosystems. In southern Thailand, many such areas have been extensivelylogged and replaced by rubber plantations. Since changes to the environment can cause changes to the diversity offlora and fauna, the objectives of this study were to determine habitat influences on the ant composition between homogenousand heterogeneous rubber plantations, and to investigate if any environmental factors can be directly correlated withchanges in the ant community. Three 100 m–line-transects, spaced 100 m apart, were laid out at two study sites. Four samplingmethods, hand collecting (HC, leaf litter sampling (LL, honey bait (HB and soil sampling (SS, were used to sample ants.Temperature, humidity, and precipitation were recorded. Samples were collected every two months from June 2004 to April2005. The results showed that a total of six subfamilies (Aenictinae, Dolichoderinae, Formicinae, Myrmicinae, Ponerinaemand Pseudomyrmecinae, comprising 29 genera and 87 species were found in the two study sites. The dominant genera werePheidole and Crematogaster, followed by Pheidologeton and Pachycondyla. The sampling methods used in this studyindicated that LL and HC were most suitable for sampling ants, and any combination of sampling methods detected moreant species than a single method did. Detrended correspondence analysis (DCA grouped ant species between the two typesof rubber plantation, and also divided ant species into three groups by sampling method: HC group, SS group and LL+HBgroup. DCA did not group ant species by seasonal changes, however. Further, canonical correspondence analysis detectedno effect of temperature, humidity, or precipitation on the ant community.

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

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    Samantha-Leigh Jamison

    2016-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-12-01

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

  8. The distribution of weaver ant pheromones on host trees

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Offenberg, Joachim

    2007-01-01

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

  9. Oviposition behaviour of four ant parasitoids (Hymenoptera, Braconidae, Euphorinae, Neoneurini and Ichneumonidae, Hybrizontinae, with the description of three new European species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kees van Achterberg

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available The oviposition behaviour of four ant parasitoids was observed and filmed for the first time. The movies are available from YouTube (search for Elasmosoma, Hybrizon, Kollasmosoma and Neoneurus. Two of the observed species (Neoneurus vesculus sp. n. and Kollasmosoma sentum sp. n. are new to science. A third species (Neoneurus recticalcar sp. n. is described from Slovakia and Norway. Keys to the Palaearctic species of the genera Neoneurus and Kollasmosoma are added.

  10. Ants as tools in sustainable agriculture

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Offenberg, Joachim

    2015-01-01

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

  11. Are elder siblings helpers or competitors? Antagonistic fitness effects of sibling interactions in humans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nitsch, Aïda; Faurie, Charlotte; Lummaa, Virpi

    2013-01-01

    Determining the fitness consequences of sibling interactions is pivotal for understanding the evolution of family living, but studies investigating them across lifetime are lacking. We used a large demographic dataset on preindustrial humans from Finland to study the effect of elder siblings on key life-history traits. The presence of elder siblings improved the chances of younger siblings surviving to sexual maturity, suggesting that despite a competition for parental resources, they may help rearing their younger siblings. After reaching sexual maturity however, same-sex elder siblings' presence was associated with reduced reproductive success in the focal individual, indicating the existence of competition among same-sex siblings. Overall, lifetime fitness was reduced by same-sex elder siblings' presence and increased by opposite-sex elder siblings' presence. Our study shows opposite effects of sibling interactions depending on the life-history stage, and highlights the need for using long-term fitness measures to understand the selection pressures acting on sibling interactions. PMID:23173210

  12. Patterns of host ant use by sympatric populations of Maculinea alcon and M. 'rebeli' in the Carpathian Basin

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tartally, A.; Nash, David Richard; Lengyel, S.

    2008-01-01

    Maculinea butterflies show social parasitism via obligatory myrmecophily as their larvae are adopted and raised to pupation by Myrmica ants. Suitable hosts differ for different Maculinea species, and host ant specificity can further differ at the population-level. Although early studies suggested...... single ant species as main hosts for each Maculinea species, it has recently become clear that their host ant specificity is more complex. Maculinea alcon and Maculinea ‘rebeli’ have variously been separated according to adult and larval morphology, phenology, and their use of different ecosystems......, including host plant and host ant species. However, recent genetic evidence has questioned their separation as good species. Here we compare the use of host ants by M. alcon and M. ‘rebeli’ at the regional scale in NE-Hungary and Transylvania (Romania), where molecular studies have found no species...

  13. How many gamergates is an ant queen worth?

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  14. Ants at Ton Nga Chang Wildlife Sanctuary, Songkhla

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    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.

  15. A new genus and species of Macrochelidae (Acari:Mesostigmata) associated with the Texas leaf cutting ant, Atta texana (Buckley) in Louisiana, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gerald W. Krantz; John Moser

    2012-01-01

    Adults and nymphs of a new genus and species of the family Macrochelidae are described from detritus cavities of the leaf-cutting ant, Atta texana. This new species is notable in having peritremes with no posterior loop, a series of small subterminal teeth on the fixed cheliceral digit rather than the single large tooth typical of other macrochelids...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elizabeth G Pringle

    2013-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-11-01

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

  19. And What About Siblings? A Longitudinal Analysis of Sibling Effects on Youth's Intergroup Attitudes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eckstein, Katharina; Šerek, Jan; Noack, Peter

    2018-02-01

    Within the process of political socialization, the family is of particular importance. Apart from parents, however, little is known about the role of other close family members. The present study examined if siblings affect each other's intergroup attitudes (i.e., intolerance towards immigrants, social dominance orientation). Drawing on a sample of 362 sibling dyads (older siblings: M age  = 17.77, 53.6% female; younger siblings: M age  = 13.61, 61.3% female), the results showed that older siblings' intergroup attitudes predicted younger siblings' attitudes, but this effect was moderated by gender. Specifically, older siblings' intolerance and social dominance orientation were only found to affect their younger sisters, yet not their younger brothers. Although younger siblings' intergroup attitudes had no main effect on older siblings, a significant moderation by age indicated that younger siblings affected older siblings' social dominance orientation with increasing age. These moderation effects of age and gender were not mediated by the quality of family relationships. The findings also remained the same when parental intergroup attitudes were taken into account. While siblings were generally identified as an important agent of political socialization in youth, the results also highlight the necessity to further examine the mechanism that either facilitate or hinder sibling effects.

  20. Geographical variation in host-ant specificity of the parasitic butterfly Maculinea alcon in Denmark

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Als, Thomas Damm; Nash, David Richard; Boomsma, J. J.

    2002-01-01

    1. Maculinea alcon uses three different species of Myrmica host ants along a north-south gradient in Europe. Based on this geographical variation in host ant use, Elmes et al. (1994) suggested that M. alcon might consist of three or more cryptic species or host races, each using a single...... and different host-ant species.2. Population-specific differences in allozyme genotypes of M. alcon in Denmark (Gadeberg Boomsma, 1997) have suggested that genetically differentiated forms may occur in a gradient across Denmark, possibly in relation to the use of different host ants.3. It was found that two...... host-ant species are indeed used as hosts in Denmark, but not in a clear-cut north-south gradient. Furthermore, specificity was not complete for many M. alcon populations. Of five populations investigated in detail, one used primarily M. rubra as a host, another exclusively used M. ruginodis, while...

  1. Modelling Vulnerability and Range Shifts in Ant Communities Responding to Future Global Warming in Temperate Forests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kwon, Tae-Sung; Li, Fengqing; Kim, Sung-Soo; Chun, Jung Hwa; Park, Young-Seuk

    2016-01-01

    Global warming is likely leading to species' distributional shifts, resulting in changes in local community compositions and diversity patterns. In this study, we applied species distribution models to evaluate the potential impacts of temperature increase on ant communities in Korean temperate forests, by testing hypotheses that 1) the risk of extinction of forest ant species would increase over time, and 2) the changes in species distribution ranges could drive upward movements of ant communities and further alter patterns of species richness. We sampled ant communities at 335 evenly distributed sites across South Korea and modelled the future distribution range for each species using generalized additive models. To account for spatial autocorrelation, autocovariate regressions were conducted prior to generalized additive models. Among 29 common ant species, 12 species were estimated to shrink their suitable geographic areas, whereas five species would benefit from future global warming. Species richness was highest at low altitudes in the current period, and it was projected to be highest at the mid-altitudes in the 2080s, resulting in an upward movement of 4.9 m yr-1. This altered the altitudinal pattern of species richness from a monotonic-decrease curve (common in temperate regions) to a bell-shaped curve (common in tropical regions). Overall, ant communities in temperate forests are vulnerable to the on-going global warming and their altitudinal movements are similar to other faunal communities.

  2. A global database of ant species abundances

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kyle M Turner

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

  4. Tropical and Holarctic Ants in Late Eocene Ambers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Perkovsky E. E.

    2016-04-01

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

  5. First-born siblings show better second language skills than later born siblings

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keller, Karin; Troesch, Larissa M.; Grob, Alexander

    2015-01-01

    We examined the extent to which three sibling structure variables number of siblings, birth order, and presence of an older sibling at school age are linked to the second language skills of bilingual children. The research questions were tested using an ethnically heterogeneous sample of 1209 bilingual children with German as a second language. Controlling for children’s age, sex, nationality, number of children’s books at home, family language and parental German language skills, hierarchical regression analyses showed an inverse relationship between the number of siblings and second language skills: the more siblings a child had, the lower was his/her second language proficiency. This relationship was mediated by attendance in early education institutions. Moreover, first-born siblings showed better second language skills than later born siblings. The current study revealed that the resource dilution model, i.e., the decrease in resources for every additional sibling, holds for second language acquisition. Moreover, the results indicate that bilingual children from families with several children benefit from access to early education institutions. PMID:26089806

  6. First-born siblings show better second language skills than later born siblings

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karin eKeller

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available We examined the extent to which three sibling structure variables number of siblings, birth order and presence of an older sibling at school age are linked to the second language skills of bilingual children. The research questions were tested using an ethnically heterogeneous sample of 1209 bilingual children with German as a second language. Controlling for children’s age, sex, nationality, number of children’s books at home, family language and parental German language skills, hierarchical regression analyses showed an inverse relationship between the number of siblings and second language skills: The more siblings a child had, the lower was his/her second language proficiency. This relationship was mediated by attendance in early education institutions. Moreover, first-born siblings showed better second language skills than later born siblings.The current study revealed that the resource dilution model, i.e., the decrease in resources for every additional sibling, holds for second language acquisition. Moreover, the results indicate that bilingual children from families with several children benefit from access to early education institutions.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  9. Sibling relationships in adults who have siblings with or without intellectual disabilities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doody, Mairéad A; Hastings, Richard P; O'Neill, Sarah; Grey, Ian M

    2010-01-01

    There is relatively little research on the relationships between adults with intellectual disability and their siblings, despite the potential importance of these relationships for either individual's psychological well-being and future care roles that might be adopted by adult siblings. In the present study, sibling relationships of adults with adult siblings with (N=63) and without (N=123) intellectual disability were explored. Contact, warmth, conflict, and rivalry were measured using questionnaires available as an on-line survey. Expressed emotion was measured using the Five Minute Speech Sample over the telephone to establish an independently coded measure of criticism from the participant towards their sibling. Overall, there were few group differences in contact and sibling relationship. There was less telephone contact in the intellectual disability group, and less reported warmth in the relationship with siblings with intellectual disability although this was mainly associated with severe/profound intellectual disability. Exploratory analyses were conducted of the correlates of sibling relationships in both the intellectual disability and control groups. These analyses revealed a small number of different associations especially for conflict, which was lower when either the participant or sibling was younger in the control group but associated with relative age in the intellectual disability group.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antonio Carlos Da-Silva

    2012-07-01

    Leafcutter ants (Atta sexdens rubropilosa (Forel 1908 have an elaborate social organization, complete with caste divisions. Activities carried out by specialist groups contribute to the overall success and survival of the colony when it is confronted with environmental challenges such as dehydration. Ants detect variations in humidity inside the nest and react by activating several types of behavior that enhance water uptake and decrease water loss, but it is not clear whether or not a single caste collects water regardless of the cost of bringing this resource back to the colony. Accordingly, we investigated water collection activities in three colonies of Atta sexdens rubropilosa experimentally exposed to water stress. Specifically, we analyzed whether or not the same ant caste foraged for water, regardless of the absolute energetic cost (distance of transporting this resource back to the colony. Our experimental design offered water sources at 0 m, 1 m and 10 m from the nest. We studied the body size of ants near the water sources from the initial offer of water (time  =  0 to 120 min, and tested for specialization. We observed a reduction in the average size and variance of ants that corroborated the specialization hypothesis. Although the temporal course of specialization changed with distance, the final outcome was similar among distances. Thus, we conclude that, for this species, a specialist (our use of the word “specialist” does not mean exclusive task force is responsible for collecting water, regardless of the cost of transporting water back to the colony.

  11. Isolation of a pyrazine alarm pheromone component from the fire ant, Solenopsis invicta.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vander Meer, Robert K; Preston, Catherine A; Choi, Man-Yeon

    2010-02-01

    Alarm pheromones in social insects are an essential part of a complex of pheromone interactions that contribute to the maintenance of colony integrity and sociality. The alarm pheromones of ants were among the first examples of animal pheromones identified, primarily because of the large amount of chemical produced and the distinctive responses of ants to the pheromone. However, the alarm pheromone of the fire ant, Solenopsis invicta, eluded identification for over four decades. We identified 2-ethyl-3,6-dimethylpyrazine as an alarm pheromone component of S. invicta. Worker fire ants detect the pyrazine alarm pheromone at 30 pg/ml, which is comparable to alarm pheromone sensitivities reported for other ant species. The source of this alarm pheromone are the mandibular glands, which, in fire ants, are not well developed and contain only about 300 pg of the compound, much less than the microgram quantities of alarm pheromones reported for several other ant species. Female and male sexuals and workers produce the pyrazine, which suggests that it may be involved in fire ant mating flight initiation, as well as the typical worker alarm response. This is the first report of 2-ethyl-3,6-dimethylpyrazine from a Solenopsis species and the first example of this alkaloid functioning as an alarm pheromone.

  12. Burrow characteristics of the co-existing sibling species Mus booduga and Mus terricolor and the genetic basis of adaptation to hypoxic/hypercapnic stress

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Narayan Gopeshwar

    2009-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The co-existing, sibling species Mus booduga and Mus terricolor show a difference in site-preference for burrows. The former build them in flat portion of the fields while the latter make burrows in earthen mounds raised for holding water in cultivated fields. In northern India which experiences great variation in climatic condition between summer and winter, M. booduga burrows have an average depth of 41 cm, as against 30 cm in southern India with less climatic fluctuation. M. terricolor burrows are about 20 cm deep everywhere. The three chromosomal species M. terricolor I, II and III have identical burrows, including location of the nest which is situated at the highest position. In contrast, in M. booduga burrows, the nest is at the lowest position. Results The nest chamber of M. booduga is located at greater depth than the nest chamber of M. terricolor. Also, in the burrows of M. booduga the exchange of air takes place only from one side (top surface in contrast to the burrows of M. terricolor where air exchange is through three sides. Hence, M. booduga lives in relatively more hypoxic and hypercapnic conditions than M. terricolor. We observed the fixation of alternative alleles in M. booduga and M. terricolor at Superoxide dismutase-1 (Sod-1, Transferrin (Trf and Hemoglobin beta chain (Hbb loci. All the three are directly or indirectly dependent on oxygen concentration for function. In addition to these, there are differences in burrow patterns and site-preference for burrows suggesting difference in probable adaptive strategy in these co-existing sibling species. Conclusion The burrow structure and depth of nest of the chromosomal species M. terricolor I, II and III are same everywhere probably due to the recency of their evolutionary divergence. Moreover, there is lack of competition for the well-adapted 'microhabitats' since they are non-overlapping in distribution. However, the co-existing sibling species M. booduga

  13. Is sibling rivalry fatal?: siblings and mortality clustering.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kippen, Rebecca; Walters, Sarah

    2012-01-01

    Evidence drawn from nineteenth-century Belgian population registers shows that the presence of similarly aged siblings competing for resources within a household increases the probability of death for children younger than five, even when controlling for the preceding birth interval and multiple births. Furthermore, in this period of Belgian history, such mortality tended to cluster in certain families. The findings suggest the importance of segmenting the mortality of siblings younger than five by age group, of considering the presence of siblings as a time-varying covariate, and of factoring mortality clustering into analyses.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greenfield, Gary; Machado, Penousal

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dorosheva, E A; Reznikova, Zh I

    2006-01-01

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

  17. Precision Rescue Behavior in North American Ants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katherine Taylor

    2013-07-01

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

  18. Attachment to the Romantic Partner and Sibling: Attachment Hierarchies of Twins and Non-Twin Siblings

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sascha Schwarz

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Previous studies have shown that romantic partners and siblings are important attachment figures. This study compares the attachment to the romantic partner with the attachment to the sibling as a function of the participant’s sibling type among monozygotic (MZ twins, dizygotic (DZ twins, and non-twin (NT siblings. The results show that MZ twins prefer their sibling to their romantic partner whereas DZ twins are equally attached to their sibling and romantic partner. In contrast, NT siblings are more attached to their romantic partner compared to their sibling. These results indicate that genetic relatedness has profound impact on a person’s attachment hierarchy and the relative rank of the romantic partner and the sibling.

  19. External immunity in ant societies: sociality and colony size do not predict investment in antimicrobials

    Science.gov (United States)

    Halawani, Omar; Pearson, Bria; Mathews, Stephanie; López-Uribe, Margarita M.; Dunn, Robert R.; Smith, Adrian A.

    2018-01-01

    Social insects live in dense groups with a high probability of disease transmission and have therefore faced strong pressures to develop defences against pathogens. For this reason, social insects have been hypothesized to invest in antimicrobial secretions as a mechanism of external immunity to prevent the spread of disease. However, empirical studies linking the evolution of sociality with increased investment in antimicrobials have been relatively few. Here we quantify the strength of antimicrobial secretions among 20 ant species that cover a broad spectrum of ant diversity and colony sizes. We extracted external compounds from ant workers to test whether they inhibited the growth of the bacterium Staphylococcus epidermidis. Because all ant species are highly social, we predicted that all species would exhibit some antimicrobial activity and that species that form the largest colonies would exhibit the strongest antimicrobial response. Our comparative approach revealed that strong surface antimicrobials are common to particular ant clades, but 40% of species exhibited no antimicrobial activity at all. We also found no correlation between antimicrobial activity and colony size. Rather than relying on antimicrobial secretions as external immunity to control pathogen spread, many ant species have probably developed alternative strategies to defend against disease pressure. PMID:29515850

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nygaard, Sanne; Hu, Haofu; Li, Cai

    2016-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Villesen, Palle; Boomsma, JJ

    2003-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-07-22

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Otávio Guilherme Morais da Silva

    2016-06-01

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

  4. Sex Attractant Pheromones of Virgin Queens of Sympatric Slave-Making Ant Species in the Genus Polyergus, and their Possible Roles in Reproductive Isolation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greenberg, Les; Johnson, Christine A; Trager, James C; McElfresh, J Steven; Rodstein, Joshua; Millar, Jocelyn G

    2018-06-01

    Species of the ant genus Polyergus are social parasites that steal brood from colonies of their hosts in the closely related genus Formica. Upon emergence as adults in a mixed population, host Formica workers carry out all the normal worker functions within the Polyergus colony, including foraging, feeding, grooming, and rearing brood of the parasitic Polyergus ants. Some unmated Polyergus gynes (queens) run in the raiding columns of their colonies and attract males by releasing a pheromone from their mandibular glands. There are two Polyergus species groups in North America: an eastern P. lucidus group and a western P. breviceps group. One species of each of these groups, P. lucidus Mayr and P. mexicanus Emery, are sympatric in Missouri. In this study, we characterized the sex pheromones of virgin queens of two species of the P. lucidus group (P. lucidus sensu stricto and P. sanwaldi) and one species of the P. breviceps group (P. mexicanus), and compared these with the previously identified sex pheromone of P. topoffi of the P. breviceps group. We then used sex pheromone blends reconstructed from synthesized components of the two groups to test their efficacy at reproductively isolating these species. We found that methyl 6-methylsalicylate is conserved as the major component of the pheromone blends for both Polyergus species groups; however, methyl (R)-3-ethyl-4-methylpentanoate is the species-specific minor component produced by P. lucidus group queens, and (R)-3-ethyl-4-methylpentan-1-ol is the crucial minor component for P. breviceps group queens. The optimal ratio of the major and minor components for P. lucidus group queens was about 100:1 salicylate to ester. In concurrent field trials in Missouri, males of P. lucidus sensu stricto and P. mexicanus (a member of the P. breviceps group) were attracted almost exclusively to their particular blends of sex pheromone components. To our knowledge, this is the first example of a possible sex

  5. The Biochemical Toxin Arsenal from Ant Venoms

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    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.

  6. The Biochemical Toxin Arsenal from Ant Venoms

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  7. ANT

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2017-01-01

    Ten years ago actor-network theory (ANT) entered this journal. To illustrate how the relational ontology and sensibilities of ANT lend themselves to particular kinds of research, we first interrogate the main controversies as a way to open up and discuss the main premises of ANT. These debates...... concern the status and agency of objects and non-humans, ANT’s denial of the explanatory power of social structures, and the political implications of ANT. Second we present ANT’s relevance for tourism studies and discuss what ANT ‘does’ in practice. After summarizing a decade of relations between ANT...... and tourism, we conclude by tracing three future trajectories of how we have ‘moved away with’ ANT into new areas of discovery....

  8. Sibling Relationships: Parent-Child Agreement and Contributions of Siblings with and without ASD

    Science.gov (United States)

    Braconnier, Megan L.; Coffman, Marika C.; Kelso, Nicole; Wolf, Julie M.

    2018-01-01

    Research on the experiences of siblings of individuals with ASD and the quality of their sibling relationships has yielded mixed results. The present study examined the significance of parent- versus child-report of both positive and negative behaviors exhibited by siblings and their brothers and sisters with ASD within sibling dyads. Findings…

  9. The Well Siblings of Schizophrenics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Samuels, Laurel; Chase, Laura

    1979-01-01

    Explores the impact of having a schizophrenic sibling. Subjects functioned at high levels of adjustment. Separated from their families, there followed a period of reinvolvement, including responsibility for the ill sibling. Younger siblings expressed guilt over being well, whereas older siblings expressed guilt over earlier sibling rivalry.…

  10. Genetic transformation of midgut bacteria from the red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Medina, Freder; Li, Haiwen; Vinson, S Bradleigh; Coates, Craig J

    2009-05-01

    In our previous study we isolated 10 bacterial species from fourth-instar larval midguts of the red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta. Here we report the genetic transformation and reintroduction of three species (Kluyvera cryocrescens, Serratia marcescens, and isolate 38) into the fire ant host. All three species were transformed with the plasmid vector, pZeoDsRed. High expression levels of DsRed were observed and the plasmid is maintained in these bacteria at 37 degrees C in the absence of antibiotic selection for at least 9 days of subculturing. The transformed bacteria were successfully reintroduced into fire ant larvae and survived in the fire ant gut for at least 7 days. Upon pupal emergence, 7 days after reintroduction, transformed bacteria can still be isolated, however, most were passed out in the meconium. We further demonstrated that the engineered bacteria could be spread within the colony by feeding this meconium to naive larvae with the aid of worker fire ants.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-10-07

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    BC. Barbosa

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

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

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    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hernán Paz Penagos

    2012-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-02-01

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

  16. Fungal enzymes in the attine ant symbiosis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pereira, Rogério Dos Santos; Ueno, Mariko

    2008-01-01

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

  19. Ant-diaspore interactions during secondary succession in the Atlantic forest of Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Victor P Zwiener

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Animal-plant interactions are important for the recovery of diversity and processes in secondary forests, which increasingly dominate the tropical landscape. We used a combination of observational and experimental approaches to study the interactions of ants with diaspores across a successional gradient of forests in Southern Brazil, from August 2007 to April 2008. In addition to diaspore removal rates, we assessed the species richness, diversity and behaviour of ants interacting with diaspores, in three replicated sites of four successional stages of forests. We recorded 22 ant species interacting with diaspores (an estimated 15% of the total species pool in the region. Species richness and diversity did not differ among successional stages but the behaviour of ants towards diaspores changed with the age of secondary forests. In old successional stages the removal of entire diaspores was more common than in young successional stages of forests. Concordantly, diaspore removal rates were lowest in the youngest successional stage of secondary forests and increased with the age of forests. These results indicate that ant-diaspore interactions in secondary forests are disturbed and lower removal rates in secondary forests are likely to constrain the recruitment of plant populations during secondary succession. Rev. Biol. Trop. 60 (2: 933-942. Epub 2012 June 01.

  20. Effects of dam-induced landscape fragmentation on amazonian ant-plant mutualistic networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Emer, Carine; Venticinque, Eduardo Martins; Fonseca, Carlos Roberto

    2013-08-01

    Mutualistic networks are critical to biological diversity maintenance; however, their structures and functionality may be threatened by a swiftly changing world. In the Amazon, the increasing number of dams poses a large threat to biological diversity because they greatly alter and fragment the surrounding landscape. Tight coevolutionary interactions typical of tropical forests, such as the ant-myrmecophyte mutualism, where the myrmecophyte plants provide domatia nesting space to their symbiotic ants, may be jeopardized by the landscape changes caused by dams. We analyzed 31 ant-myrmecophyte mutualistic networks in undisturbed and disturbed sites surrounding Balbina, the largest Central Amazonian dam. We tested how ant-myrmecophyte networks differ among dam-induced islands, lake edges, and undisturbed forests in terms of species richness, composition, structure, and robustness (number of species remaining in the network after partner extinctions). We also tested how landscape configuration in terms of area, isolation, shape, and neighborhood alters the structure of the ant-myrmecophyte networks on islands. Ant-myrmecophytic networks were highly compartmentalized in undisturbed forests, and the compartments had few strongly connected mutualistic partners. In contrast, networks at lake edges and on islands were not compartmentalized and were negatively affected by island area and isolation in terms of species richness, density, and composition. Habitat loss and fragmentation led to coextinction cascades that contributed to the elimination of entire ant-plant compartments. Furthermore, many myrmecophytic plants in disturbed sites lost their mutualistic ant partners or were colonized by opportunistic, nonspecialized ants. Robustness of ant-myrmecophyte networks on islands was lower than robustness near lake edges and in undisturbed forest and was particularly susceptible to the extinction of plants. Beyond the immediate habitat loss caused by the building of large dams

  1. Dissimilarity of Ant Communities Increases with Precipitation, but not Reduced Land-Use Intensity, in Indonesian Cacao Agroforestry

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Damayanti Buchori

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Land-use degradation and climate change are well-known drivers of biodiversity loss, but little information is available about their potential interaction. Here, we focus on the effects of land-use and precipitation on ant diversity in cacao agroforestry. In Central Sulawesi, Indonesia, we selected 16 cacao agroforestry plots with a shaded vs. unshaded plot in each of eight villages differing in precipitation (1032–2051 mm annual rainfall. On each plot, 10 cacao trees with similar size and age (7–10 years were selected for hand collection of ants on each cacao tree and the soil surface. In total, we found 80 ant species belonging to five subfamilies. Land-use intensification (removal of shade trees and precipitation had no effect on species richness of ants per cacao tree (alpha diversity and, in an additive partitioning approach, within-plot beta diversity. However, higher precipitation (but not shade significantly increased ant species dissimilarity across cacao trees within a plot, with ant species showing contrasting responses to precipitation. Reduced precipitation causing drought stress appeared to contribute to convergence of ant community structure, presumably via reduced heterogeneity in cacao tree growth. In conclusion, reduced precipitation greatly influenced ant community dissimilarity and appeared to be more important for ant community structure than land-use intensification.

  2. Sibling vole species (Microtus in the fragmented landscape of south-eastern part of Thrace, Balkan Peninsula: species presence, habitat selection and craniometry

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    GEORGI MARKOV

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available The presence of sibling vole species (Microtus in the most common forests and open landscapes in south-eastern part of Thrace (Balkan Peninsula of contemporary territories of Bulgaria and Turkey was studied. Only the southern vole (Microtus levis was found in the investigated region. In his northern part, the Southern vole is associated with semi dry, upland habitats such as deserted and overgrown with wild vegetation vines near sparse forests and large agricultural fields under autumn crops with adjacent non-arable lands with shrub vegetation. In the southern part, it is presented in open landscape related to water areas (meadows near rivers and wetlands. On the basis of trapping the Southern vole is a common species in the north part of Strandzha region. The established craniological characteristics of the Southern vole from investigated region, which can be considered as a zoogeographical crossroads, with a late Pleistocene connection between the Balkan Peninsula and the mammalian fauna of Anatolian peninsula, enriched the knowledge about its craniological variation in Europe.

  3. Preliminary survey of ants at a reserve area of Prince of Songkla University, Songkhla Province, Southern Thailand

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Niranee Binnima

    2005-01-01

    Full Text Available Prince of Songkla University is the first university established in the southern part of Thailand. A reserve area is planned at Ko Hong Hill near the university. The flora of this area has been previously explored but a few fauna species have been studied. Although ants are one of dominant groups in this forest, there is no record of their diversity. Thus, the aim of this study is to determine the ant diversity in terms of species composition. Three sampling methods, pitfall trap (PF, hand collecting (HC and leaf litter sifting (LL were applied to collection of ants along 3 line transects each of 90 meter in length and 500 meter apart during April 2001. Six subfamilies (Formicinae, Myrmicinae, Dorylinae, Ponerinae, Dolichoderinae and Pseudomyrmecinae of ants, comprising 44 species, were found. The results also showed that HC was the most sufficient method resulting in the highest number of ant species, while the combination of two methods (HC and LL yielded the highest number of ant species.

  4. Exotic ants (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) of Ohio

    OpenAIRE

    Ivanov,Kal

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Grzegorz Buczkowski

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buczkowski, Grzegorz; Richmond, Douglas S

    2012-01-01

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

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

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    Diego Santana Assis

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

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

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    CM. Kamura

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

  10. Do Older Siblings Make a Difference? The Effects of Older Sibling Support and Older Sibling Adjustment on the Adjustment of Socially Disadvantaged Adolescents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Widmer, Eric D.; Weiss, Christopher C.

    2000-01-01

    Examined role of support from a well-adjusted older sibling for positive adjustment of disadvantaged inner-city adolescents. Found that sibling support was nonsignificantly related to delinquency, academic success, and mental health for younger siblings. Only when accompanied by a positive image of their older sibling was support associated with…

  11. Hybridization in East African swarm-raiding army ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  12. Cultural differences in ant-dipping tool length between neighbouring chimpanzee communities at Kalinzu, Uganda.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koops, Kathelijne; Schöning, Caspar; Isaji, Mina; Hashimoto, Chie

    2015-07-22

    Cultural variation has been identified in a growing number of animal species ranging from primates to cetaceans. The principal method used to establish the presence of culture in wild populations is the method of exclusion. This method is problematic, since it cannot rule out the influence of genetics and ecology in geographically distant populations. A new approach to the study of culture compares neighbouring groups belonging to the same population. We applied this new approach by comparing ant-dipping tool length between two neighbouring communities of chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii) in the Kalinzu Forest, Uganda. Ant-dipping tool length varies across chimpanzee study sites in relation to army ant species (Dorylus spp.) and dipping location (nest vs. trail). We compared the availability of army ant species and dipping tool length between the two communities. M-group tools were significantly longer than S-group tools, despite identical army ant target species availabilities. Moreover, tool length in S-group was shorter than at all other sites where chimpanzees prey on epigaeic ants at nests. Considering the lack of ecological differences between the two communities, the tool length difference appears to be cultural. Our findings highlight how cultural knowledge can generate small-scale cultural diversification in neighbouring chimpanzee communities.

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

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    AKHMAD RIZALI

    2008-06-01

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

  14. Distribution of sibling species of Anopheles culicifacies s.l. and Anopheles fluviatilis s.l. and their vectorial capacity in eight different malaria endemic districts of Orissa, India

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    Asima Tripathy

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available The study was undertaken in eight endemic districts of Orissa, India, to find the members of the species complexes of Anopheles culicifacies and Anopheles fluviatilis and their distribution patterns. The study area included six forested districts (Keonjhar, Angul, Dhenkanal, Ganjam, Nayagarh and Khurda and two non-forested coastal districts (Puri and Jagatsingpur studied over a period of two years (June 2007-May 2009. An. culicifacies A, B, C and D and An. fluviatilis S and T sibling species were reported. The prevalence of An. culicifacies A ranged from 4.2-8.41%, B from 54.96-76.92%, C from 23.08-33.62% and D from 1.85-5.94% (D was reported for the first time in Orissa, except for occurrences in the Khurda and Nayagarh districts. The anthropophilic indices (AI were 3.2-4.8%, 0.5-1.7%, 0.7-1.37% and 0.91-1.35% for A, B, C and D, respectively, whereas the sporozoite rates (SR were 0.49-0.54%, 0%, 0.28-0.37% and 0.41-0.46% for A, B, C and D, respectively. An. fluviatilis showed a similarly varied distribution pattern in which S was predominant (84.3% overall; its AI and SR values ranged from 60.7-90.4% and 1.2-2.32%, respectively. The study observed that the co-existence of potential vector sibling species of An. culicifacies (A, C and D and An. fluviatilis S (> 50% was responsible for the high endemicity of malaria in forested districts such as Dhenkanal, Keonjhar, Angul, Ganjam, Nayagarh and Khurda (> 5% slide positivity rate. Thus, the epidemiological scenario for malaria is dependent on the distribution of the vector sibling species and their vectorial capacity.

  15. Distribution of sibling species of Anopheles culicifacies s.l. and Anopheles fluviatilis s.l. and their vectorial capacity in eight different malaria endemic districts of Orissa, India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tripathy, Asima; Samanta, Luna; Das, Sachidananda; Parida, Sarat Kumar; Marai, Nitisheel; Hazra, Rupenansu Kumar; Kar, Santanu Kumar; Mahapatra, Namita

    2010-12-01

    The study was undertaken in eight endemic districts of Orissa, India, to find the members of the species complexes of Anopheles culicifacies and Anopheles fluviatilis and their distribution patterns. The study area included six forested districts (Keonjhar, Angul, Dhenkanal, Ganjam, Nayagarh and Khurda) and two non-forested coastal districts (Puri and Jagatsingpur) studied over a period of two years (June 2007-May 2009). An. culicifacies A, B, C and D and An. fluviatilis S and T sibling species were reported. The prevalence of An. culicifacies A ranged from 4.2-8.41%, B from 54.96-76.92%, C from 23.08-33.62% and D from 1.85-5.94% (D was reported for the first time in Orissa, except for occurrences in the Khurda and Nayagarh districts). The anthropophilic indices (AI) were 3.2-4.8%, 0.5-1.7%, 0.7-1.37% and 0.91-1.35% for A, B, C and D, respectively, whereas the sporozoite rates (SR) were 0.49-0.54%, 0%, 0.28-0.37% and 0.41-0.46% for A, B, C and D, respectively. An. fluviatilis showed a similarly varied distribution pattern in which S was predominant (84.3% overall); its AI and SR values ranged from 60.7-90.4% and 1.2-2.32%, respectively. The study observed that the co-existence of potential vector sibling species of An. culicifacies (A, C and D) and An. fluviatilis S (> 50%) was responsible for the high endemicity of malaria in forested districts such as Dhenkanal, Keonjhar, Angul, Ganjam, Nayagarh and Khurda (> 5% slide positivity rate). Thus, the epidemiological scenario for malaria is dependent on the distribution of the vector sibling species and their vectorial capacity.

  16. Sibling Relationships in Adults Who Have Siblings with or without Intellectual Disabilities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doody, Mairead A.; Hastings, Richard P.; O'Neill, Sarah; Grey, Ian M.

    2010-01-01

    There is relatively little research on the relationships between adults with intellectual disability and their siblings, despite the potential importance of these relationships for either individual's psychological well-being and future care roles that might be adopted by adult siblings. In the present study, sibling relationships of adults with…

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    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...

  18. Ants of the Monomorium monomorium species-group (Hymenoptera: Formicidae in the Arabian Peninsula with description of a new species from southwestern Saudi Arabia

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    Mostafa Sharaf

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available We revise the taxonomy of the myrmicine ants of the Monomorium monomorium species-group for the Arabian Peninsula. Six species are recognized: Monomorium aeyade Collingwood & Agosti, 1996, M. clavicorne André, 1881, M. exiguum Forel, 1894, M. holothir Bolton, 1987, M. mohammedi sp. n., and M. sarawatense Sharaf & Aldawood, 2013. On the basis of the worker caste, we describe Monomorium mohammedi sp. n. from the southwestern region of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA. We designate a neotype for Monomorium aeyade Collingwood & Agosti and redescribe and illustrate the worker caste. Furthermore, we provide a worker-based species identification key, distribution maps for the treated species, and ecological and biological notes, if available. Monomorium holothir is recorded for the first time from the KSA. Also, we propose M. clavicorne var. punica Santschi, 1915a as a junior synonym of M. clavicorne, as well as M. dryhimi Aldawood & Sharaf, 2011 and M. montanum Collingwood & Agosti, 1996 to be treated as junior synonyms of Monomorium exiguum.

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

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    Balaji Prabhakar

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

  20. Self-Representations in Early Adolescence: Variations in Sibling Similarity by Sex Composition and Sibling Relationship Qualities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gamble, Wendy C.; Card, Noel A.; Yu, Jeong Jin

    2010-01-01

    Self-representations play an important role in adolescent development. This study compared self-representations for siblings and explored whether sibling relationship characteristics are associated with similarities or differences in sibling self-concepts. We examined self-representations of 438 adolescent sibling dyads (M age younger sibling =…

  1. Theoretical Perspectives on Sibling Relationships

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whiteman, Shawn D.; McHale, Susan M.; Soli, Anna

    2011-01-01

    Although siblings are a fixture of family life, research on sibling relationships lags behind that on other family relationships. To stimulate interest in sibling research and to serve as a guide for future investigations by family scholars, we review four theoretical psychologically oriented perspectives—(a) psychoanalytic-evolutionary, (b) social psychological, (c) social learning, and (d) family-ecological systems—that can inform research on sibling relationships, including perspectives on the nature and influences on developmental, individual, and group differences in sibling relationships. Given that most research on siblings has focused on childhood and adolescence, our review highlights these developmental periods, but we also incorporate the limited research on adult sibling relationships, including in formulating suggestions for future research on this fundamental family relationship. PMID:21731581

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F. Barbero

    2012-01-01

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

  3. Macrodinychus mites as parasitoids of invasive ants: an overlooked parasitic association.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lachaud, Jean-Paul; Klompen, Hans; Pérez-Lachaud, Gabriela

    2016-07-21

    Mites are frequent ant symbionts, yet the exact nature of their interactions with their hosts is poorly known. Generally, myrmecophilous mites show adaptations for dispersal through phoresis, but species that lack such an adaptation may have evolved unusual specialized relationships with their hosts. The immature stages of Macrodinychus multispinosus develop as ectoparasitoids of pupae of the invasive ant Paratrechina longicornis. Feeding stages show regressed locomotor appendages. These mites complete their development on a single host, sucking all of its body content and therefore killing it. Locally high proportions of parasitized host pupae suggest that M. multispinosus could serve as a biological control agent. This is the ninth species of Macrodinychus reported as ant parasite, and the third known as parasitoid of invasive ants, confirming a unique habit in the evolution of mite feeding strategies and suggesting that the entire genus might be parasitic on ants. Several mites' characteristics, such as their protective morphology, possible viviparity, lack of a specialized stage for phoretic dispersal, and low host specificity, combined with both the general low aggressiveness of invasive P. longicornis towards other ants and its possible susceptibility to generalist ectoparasites would account for the host shift in native macrodinychid mites.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-01-01

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

  5. The mandible opening response: quantifying aggression elicited by chemical cues in ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Guerrieri, Fernando J; d'Ettorre, Patrizia

    2008-01-01

    Social insects have evolved efficient recognition systems guaranteeing social cohesion and protection from enemies. To defend their territories and threaten non-nestmate intruders, ants open their mandibles as a first aggressive display. Albeit chemical cues play a major role in discrimination...... genus have more similar profiles. The antennae of harnessed ants were touched with a glass rod coated with the cuticular extract of (a) nestmates, (b) non-nestmates of the same species, (c) another species of the same genus and (d) a species of a different genus. The mandible opening response (MOR......) was recorded as the aggressive response. In all assayed species, MOR significantly differed among stimuli, being weakest towards nestmate odour and strongest towards odours originating from ants of a different genus. We thus introduce here a new procedure suitable for studying the chemical basis of aggression...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schöning, Caspar; Humle, Tatyana; Möbius, Yasmin

    2008-01-01

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

  7. Ants visiting inflorescences of Actinocephalus polyanthus (Bong. Sano (Eriocaulaceae

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    Tânia Tarabini Castellani

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available Plants from the family Eriocaulaceae have a secretion of nectar in floral structures which promotes insect visitation, including ants. This study evaluated the ant species visiting inflorescences of Actinocephalus polyanthus in coastal dunes in southern Brazil and it checked whether the richness and composition of the visiting assemblies differed between the female and male flowering phenophases, due to the greater supply of resources by male flowers. Comments on the resources used and the visiting behavior were also investigated. We found 15 ant species, belonging to 8 genera and 4 subfamilies. There was no difference with regard to richness and diversity of visiting species associated to the male or female flowering phenophase. However, there was a difference with regard to the similarity of these assemblies, due to the higher occurrence of Camponotus fastigatus in the female flowering. Most species registered belong to genera which, typically, use floral and extrafloral nectar as food resource or they are generalist. Brachymyrmex sp.1, Camponotus fastigatus, and Dorymyrmex sp. were observed with pollen stuck to their body, something which suggests a potential transportation of this pollen between flowers.

  8. Child passenger injury risk in sibling versus non-sibling teen driver crashes: a US study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Senserrick, Teresa M; Kallan, Michael J; Winston, Flaura K

    2007-06-01

    Several international jurisdictions allow family exemptions to graduated driver licensing passenger restrictions. The objective of this research was to examine differences in injury risk to US child passengers in crashes involving sibling versus non-sibling teen drivers, and to compare outcomes with crashes involving adult drivers. Insurance claim and telephone survey data were collected on 16 233 child passengers (representing 289 329 children) in 17 US jurisdictions. There was a trend toward higher restraint non-use by child passengers in the non-sibling group than in the sibling group (9.6% vs 4.7%; p = 0.08). Children in the sibling group had a 40% lower risk of injury than those in the non-sibling group (adjusted OR 0.60, 95% CI 0.40 to 0.90); however, injury risk was higher in the sibling group than in children traveling with adults (adjusted OR 1.57, 95% CI 1.09 to 2.26). Child passengers riding with sibling teen drivers may be safer than those riding with non-sibling teens, but not as safe as those riding with adult drivers.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Poulsen, Michael; Sapountzis, Panagiotis

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Valerie S. Banschbach

    2012-01-01

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

  11. Sibling influence on mexican-origin adolescents' deviant and sexual risk behaviors: the role of sibling modeling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whiteman, Shawn D; Zeiders, Katharine H; Killoren, Sarah E; Rodriguez, Sue Annie; Updegraff, Kimberly A

    2014-05-01

    A growing body of research indicates that siblings uniquely influence each other's health risk behaviors during adolescence and young adulthood. Mechanisms underlying these associations, however, are largely unknown because they are rarely tested directly. The present study addressed this gap by examining the role of sibling modeling in explaining changes in Mexican-origin youths' deviant and sexual risk behaviors over time. The sample included 380 Mexican-origin siblings (older sibling age: M = 21.18, SD = 1.59; younger sibling age: M = 18.19, SD = .46) from (N = 190) families. Participants provided self-reports of their sibling relationship qualities, including modeling, as well as their engagement in deviant and sexual risk-taking behaviors in two home interviews across a 2-year span. A series of residualized regression models revealed that younger siblings' perceptions of modeling moderated the links between older siblings' deviant and sexual risk behaviors and younger siblings' subsequent behaviors in those same domains. Specifically, high levels of modeling predicted stronger associations between older siblings' earlier and younger siblings' later risk behaviors controlling for younger siblings' earlier behaviors as well as variables that have been used as proxies for social learning in previous research. Social learning mechanisms, especially modeling, are salient processes through which older siblings transmit norms and expectations regarding participation in health risk behaviors. Future research should continue to explore the ways in which siblings influence each other because such processes are emerging targets for intervention and prevention. Copyright © 2014 Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-06-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Frederico S. Neves

    2012-09-01

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

  14. Interaction specificity between leaf-cutting ants and vertically transmitted Pseudonocardia bacteria

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Breum Andersen, Sandra; Yek, Sze Huei; Nash, David R.

    2015-01-01

    Background: The obligate mutualism between fungus-growing ants and microbial symbionts offers excellent opportunities to study the specificity and stability of multi-species interactions. In addition to cultivating fungus gardens, these ants have domesticated actinomycete bacteria to defend garde...

  15. Sibling influences on prosocial behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hughes, Claire; McHarg, Gabrielle; White, Naomi

    2018-04-01

    Sibling relationships are characterized by familiarity and emotional intensity. Alongside frequent shared play, sibling interactions feature complementary interactions (e.g. teaching, caregiving) reflecting age-related asymmetries in socio-cognitive skills. These aspects may underpin sibling influences on prosocial behavior: theoretical accounts of social influences on prosocial behavior highlight emotion sharing, goal alignment, the intrinsically rewarding nature of social interaction, and scaffolding of social norms. Taking a fine-grained approach to prosocial behavior, we examine these processes in relation to sibling influences on children's comforting, sharing, and helping. Emergent themes include: developmental change in the nature of sibling influences on prosocial behavior, the need to consider sibling influences in the wider family context, and the importance of individual differences in the quality of sibling relationships. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Considerations of Elder Sibling Closeness in Predicting Younger Sibling Substance Use: Social Learning versus Social Bonding Explanations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Samek, Diana R.; Rueter, Martha A.

    2011-01-01

    Adolescent siblings are often similar in a variety of adjustment outcomes, yet little is known about the processes that explain sibling influences during adolescence. Two alternative explanations were tested, attachment (based in social bonding theory) and anaclitic identification (based in social learning theory). Hypotheses were tested using a sample of 613 adolescent sibling pairs (206 non-adopted, 407 adopted; elder sibling Mage = 16.1, younger sibling Mage = 13.8) across three sibling contexts (gender composition, age difference, and genetic similarity). Attachment explanations were supported such that the greater the perceived sibling emotional and behavioral closeness, the lower the likelihood of substance use; however, there were considerable moderating effects of sibling gender composition. Anaclitic identification explanations were not supported; closeness and elder sibling substance use did not interact to predict younger sibling substance use. Overall, this research adds to a body of work demonstrating important sibling influences on adolescent substance use. PMID:21988080

  17. Not only the butterflies: managing ants on road verges to benefit Phengaris (Maculinea) butterflies

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wynhoff, I.; Gestel, van R.; Swaay, van C.; Langevelde, van F.

    2011-01-01

    Obligate myrmecophilic butterfly species, such as Phengaris (Maculinea) teleius and P. nausithous, have narrow habitat requirements. Living as a caterpillar in the nests of the ant species Myrmica scabrinodis and M. rubra, respectively, they can only survive on sites with both host ants and the host

  18. Sibling influences on childhood development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dunn, J

    1988-03-01

    To summarize the main points concerning sibling influence: 1. That siblings play a causal role in the development of aggressive behavior, in children's style of conflict behavior and in cooperative fantasy play is strongly suggested by recent research. 2. Marked problems in the sibling relationship are indicative of other problems, but a causal role for siblings is not established, other than for aggressive behavior. 3. Family factors are closely involved in the quality of sibling relationships--and thus in sibling influence, namely differential parental behavior, and the emotional climate of the family. That is, it is important not to consider the sibling relationship in isolation from other family relationships. 4. Studies of families under stress indicate heightened importance of these family factors. 5. It is likely, but not yet established, that later-born siblings are influenced by first-born in socio-cognitive development and gender identity. 6. Finally it should be noted that an important theme in current research on siblings is a concern with the question of why siblings develop to be so different from one another. It has been shown that the major source of environmental influence on the development of individual differences is within-family rather than between-family differences in experience (Plomin & Daniels, 1987). The different experiences each sibling may have within their relationship is one potential source of such differential environmental influence. Thus documenting the influence of siblings upon each other takes on added significance: By clarifying the extent and nature of this influence we will gain not only useful clinical information but illumination on a developmental principle of very general significance.

  19. Personality and Sibling Relationships.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Furman, Wyndol; Lanthier, Richard P.

    1996-01-01

    This study examined the role personality variables play in sibling relationships. It proposed that the characteristics of sibling relationships are influenced by: family constellation variables such as birth order, gender, and age spacing; parent-child relationships including quality of relationship and parent management of siblings; and the…

  20. Juvenile greylag geese (Anser anser discriminate between individual siblings.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Isabella B R Scheiber

    Full Text Available Social species that maintain individualised relationships with certain others despite continuous changes in age, reproductive status and dominance rank between group members ought to be capable of individual recognition. Tests of "true" individual recognition, where an individual recognises unique features of another, are rare, however. Often kinship and/or familiarity suffice to explain dyadic interactions. The complex relationships within a greylag goose flock suggest that they should be able to recognise individuals irrespective of familiarity or kinship. We tested whether six-week-old hand-raised greylags can discriminate between two of their siblings. We developed a new experimental protocol, in which geese were trained to associate social siblings with geometrical symbols. Subsequently, focals were presented with two geometrical symbols in the presence of a sibling associated with one of the symbols. Significant choice of the geometrical symbol associated with the target present indicated that focals were able to distinguish between individual targets. Greylag goslings successfully learned this association-discrimination task, regardless of genetic relatedness or sex of the sibling targets. Social relationships within a goose flock thus may indeed be based on recognition of unique features of individual conspecifics.

  1. Sibling rivalry: training effects, emergence of dominance and incomplete control.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benhaiem, Sarah; Hofer, Heribert; Kramer-Schadt, Stephanie; Brunner, Edgar; East, Marion L

    2012-09-22

    Within-brood or -litter dominance provides fitness-related benefits if dominant siblings selfishly skew access to food provided by parents in their favour. Models of facultative siblicide assume that dominants exert complete control over their subordinate sibling's access to food and that control is maintained, irrespective of the subordinate's hunger level. By contrast, a recent functional hypothesis suggests that subordinates should contest access to food when the cost of not doing so is high. Here, we show that within spotted hyena (Crocuta crocuta) twin litters, dominants most effectively skew access to maternal milk in their favour when their aggression prompts a highly submissive response. When hungry, subordinates were less submissive in response to aggression, thereby decreasing lost suckling time and increasing suckling time lost by dominants. In a species where adult females socially dominate adult males, juvenile females were more often dominant than males in mixed-sex litters, and subordinate sisters used more effective counter-tactics against dominant brothers than subordinate brothers against dominant sisters. Our results provide, to our knowledge, the first evidence in a mammal that dominant offspring in twin litters do not exert complete control over their sibling's access to resources (milk), and that sibling dominance relationships are influenced by sibling sex and training effects.

  2. Bullying in the family: sibling bullying.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolke, Dieter; Tippett, Neil; Dantchev, Slava

    2015-10-01

    Sibling relationships have a substantial and lasting effect on children's development. Many siblings experience some occasional conflict, however, up to 40% are exposed to sibling bullying every week, a repeated and harmful form of intrafamilial aggression. We review evidence on the precursors, factors relating to peer bullying, and mental health consequences of sibling bullying. Parenting quality and behaviour are the intrafamilial factors most strongly associated with bullying between siblings. Sibling bullying increases the risk of being involved in peer bullying, and is independently associated with concurrent and early adult emotional problems, including distress, depression, and self-harm. The effects appear to be cumulative, with those children bullied by both siblings and peers having highly increased emotional problems compared with those bullied by siblings or peers only, probably because they have no safe place to escape from bullying. The link between sibling and peer bullying suggests interventions need to start at home. Health professionals should ask about sibling bullying and interventions are needed for families to prevent and reduce the health burden associated with sibling bullying. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Consequences of sibling rivalry vary across life in a passerine bird.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bebbington, Kat; Kingma, Sjouke A; Fairfield, Eleanor A; Spurgin, Lewis G; Komdeur, Jan; Richardson, David S

    2017-01-01

    Many studies have assessed the costs of sibling rivalry in systems where offspring always have competitors, but conclusions about sibling rivalry in these species are restricted to interpreting the cost of changes in the relative level of competition and are often complicated by the expression of potentially costly rivalry related traits. Additionally, the majority of studies focus on early-life sibling rivalry, but the costs of competition can also affect later-life performance. We test a suite of hypothesized immediate (early-life body mass, telomere length, and survival) and delayed (adult reproductive potential and lifespan) costs of sibling rivalry for offspring of differing competitive ability in Seychelles warblers, where most offspring are raised singly and hence competitor success can be compared to a competition-free scenario. Compared to those raised alone, all competing nestlings had lower body mass and weaker competitors experienced reduced survival. However, the stronger competitors appeared to have longer adult breeding tenures and lifespan than those raised alone. We propose that comparisons with competition-free groups, as well as detailed fitness measures across entire lifetimes, are needed to understand the evolution of sibling rivalry and thus individual reproductive strategy in wild systems.

  4. Sibling species of cercospora associated with gray leaf spot of maize.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, J; Levy, M; Dunkle, L D

    1998-12-01

    ABSTRACT Monoconidial isolates of the fungus causing gray leaf spot of maize were obtained from diseased leaves collected throughout the United States and analyzed for genetic variability at 111 amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) loci. Cluster analysis revealed two very distinct groups of Cercospora zeae-maydis isolates. Both groups were found to be relatively uniform internally with an average genetic similarity among isolates of approximately 93 and 94%, respectively. The groups were separated from each other by a genetic distance of approximately 80%, a distance greater than that separating each group from the sorghum pathogen, C. sorghi (67 to 70%). Characteristics and dimensions of conidia and conid-iophores produced on infected plants or nutrient media were unreliable criteria for taxonomic differentiation of isolates composing the two groups of C. zeae-maydis. Nucleotide sequences of 5.8S ribosomal DNA (rDNA) and the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) regions were identical within each group but different between the two groups and different from C. sorghi. Restriction fragment length polymorphisms generated by digestion of the 5.8S rDNA and ITS regions with TaqI readily distinguished each group and C. sorghi. Isolates in one group were generally distributed throughout maize-producing regions of the United States; isolates in the other group were localized in the eastern third of the country. Both types were present in the same fields at some locations. The genetic distance based on AFLP profiles and different ITS nucleotide sequences between the two morphologically indistinguishable groups indicate that they are sibling species. Although it is unlikely that breeding for resistance to gray leaf spot will be confounded by local or regional variation in the pathogen, a vigilant approach is warranted, because two pathogenic species exist with unknown abilities to evolve new pathotypes.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-07-01

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

  6. Impacts of the Invasive European Red Ant (Myrmica rubra (L.): Hymenoptera; Formicidae) on a Myrmecochorous System in the Northeastern United States.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gammans, Nicola; Drummond, Frank; Groden, Eleanor

    2018-05-16

    We investigated the impact of an invasive ant species from Europe, Myrmica rubra (L.), on a myrmecochorous system (seeds dispersed by ants) in its invaded range in North America. We assessed: 1) how M. rubra process the myrmecochorous diapsores (seeds and elaiosome as a single dispersal unit transported by ants) in comparison with native ants; 2) its preference for common native and invasive diaspore species relative to native ants; 3) how far they disperse diaspores in the field; and 4) the diaspore removal rate by invertebrates and vertebrates in infested areas compared to noninvaded sites. Field experiments demonstrated higher diaspore removal rates over a 10-min and 24-h period by M. rubra compared to native ants. M. rubra's diaspore dispersal distance was 40% greater compared to native ants. In two of three laboratory studies and one field study, there was no significant difference between the seed species which M. rubra and native ants selected. Our data suggest no long-term deleterious effects of M. rubra's invasion on diaspore dispersal in the Maine plant community that is comprised of both native and invasive species. This implies that M. rubra benefits from the myrmechorous plant species' diaspores by increasing their dispersal range away from the parent plant and potentially reducing seed predation. However, it is not known whether the fact that the native ant fauna and M. rubra are attracted to the same plant species' diaspores creates a high level of competition between the ants with deleterious effects on the native ant community.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galen, Candace; Geib, Jennifer C

    2007-05-01

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

  8. Sibling relationship quality moderates the associations between parental interventions and siblings' independent conflict strategies and outcomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Recchia, Holly E; Howe, Nina

    2009-08-01

    This study extends research on sibling conflict strategies and outcomes by examining unique and interactive associations with age, relative birth order, sibling relationship quality, and caregivers' interventions into conflict. Each of 62 sibling dyads (older sibling mean age = 8.39 years; younger sibling mean age = 6.06 years) discussed 1 recurring conflict alone (dyadic negotiation) and a 2nd conflict with their primary parental caregiver (triadic negotiation). Negotiations were coded for children's conflict strategies, outcomes, and caregiver interventions; each family member provided ratings of sibling relationship quality. Results revealed that age was associated with siblings' constructive strategies, particularly in the dyadic negotiation. With age controlled, younger siblings referred more frequently to their own perspective. Caregivers' future orientation in the triadic negotiation was associated with children's future orientation in the dyadic negotiation; however, this association was most evident when sibling relationship quality was high. Similarly, caregivers' past orientation was positively associated with dyadic compromise, especially when relationship quality was high. Results reveal the value of simultaneously considering associations among parental, affective, and developmental correlates of sibling conflict strategies. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2009 APA, all rights reserved).

  9. Associations between social understanding, sibling relationship quality, and siblings' conflict strategies and outcomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Recchia, Holly E; Howe, Nina

    2009-01-01

    Sibling relationship quality and social understanding (second-order false belief, conflict interpretation, and narrative conflict perspective references) were examined as unique and interactive correlates of sibling conflict behavior in 62 dyads (older M age = 8.39 years and younger M age = 6.06 years). High-quality relationships were associated with positive conflict processes. Younger siblings' second-order false belief scores were negatively associated with constructive conflict strategies, and older siblings' narrative self-referential focus was negatively associated with compromise. Associations between younger children's social understanding (conflict interpretation and narrative perspective references) and siblings' dyadic conflict behavior were moderated by relationship quality. Results suggest that links between social understanding and conflict behavior should be considered in conjunction with the quality of children's relationships.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kalsum M. Yusah

    2018-01-01

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

  11. Community Structure of Leaf-Litter Ants in a Neotropical Dry Forest: A Biogeographic Approach to Explain Betadiversity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rogério Silvestre

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper describes habitat and geographic correlates of ant diversity in Serra da Bodoquena, a poorly surveyed region of central-western Brazil. We discuss leaf-litter ant diversity on a regional scale, with emphasis on the contribution of each of the processes that form the evolutionary basis of contemporary beta diversity. The diversity of leaf-litter ants was assessed from a series of 262 Winkler samples conducted in two microbasins within a deciduous forest domain. A total of 170 litter-dwelling ant species in 45 genera and 11 subfamilies was identified. The data showed that the study areas exhibited different arrangements of ant fauna, with a high turnover in species composition between sites, indicating high beta diversity. Our analysis suggests that the biogeographic history of this tropical dry forest in the centre of South America could explain ant assemblage structure more than competitive dominance. The co-occurrence analysis showed that species co-occur less often than expected by chance in only two of the localities, suggesting that, for most of the species, co-occurrences are random. The assessment of the structure of the diversity of litter-dwelling ants is the first step in understanding the beta diversity patterns in this region of great biogeographic importance.

  12. Sibling rivalry: related bacterial small RNAs and their redundant and non-redundant roles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caswell, Clayton C; Oglesby-Sherrouse, Amanda G; Murphy, Erin R

    2014-01-01

    Small RNA molecules (sRNAs) are now recognized as key regulators controlling bacterial gene expression, as sRNAs provide a quick and efficient means of positively or negatively altering the expression of specific genes. To date, numerous sRNAs have been identified and characterized in a myriad of bacterial species, but more recently, a theme in bacterial sRNAs has emerged: the presence of more than one highly related sRNAs produced by a given bacterium, here termed sibling sRNAs. Sibling sRNAs are those that are highly similar at the nucleotide level, and while it might be expected that sibling sRNAs exert identical regulatory functions on the expression of target genes based on their high degree of relatedness, emerging evidence is demonstrating that this is not always the case. Indeed, there are several examples of bacterial sibling sRNAs with non-redundant regulatory functions, but there are also instances of apparent regulatory redundancy between sibling sRNAs. This review provides a comprehensive overview of the current knowledge of bacterial sibling sRNAs, and also discusses important questions about the significance and evolutionary implications of this emerging class of regulators.

  13. Sibling rivalry: Related bacterial small RNAs and their redundant and non-redundant roles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Clayton eCaswell

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Small RNA molecules (sRNAs are now recognized as key regulators controlling bacterial gene expression, as sRNAs provide a quick and efficient means of positively or negatively altering the expression of specific genes. To date, numerous sRNAs have been identified and characterized in a myriad of bacterial species, but more recently, a theme in bacterial sRNAs has emerged: the presence of more than one highly related sRNAs produced by a given bacterium, here termed sibling sRNAs. Sibling sRNAs are those that are highly similar at the nucleotide level, and while it might be expected that sibling sRNAs exert identical regulatory functions on the expression of target genes based on their high degree of relatedness, emerging evidence is demonstrating that this is not always the case. Indeed, there are several examples of bacterial sibling sRNAs with non-redundant regulatory functions, but there are also instances of apparent regulatory redundancy between sibling sRNAs. This review provides a comprehensive overview of the current knowledge of bacterial sibling sRNAs, and also discusses important questions about the significance and evolutionary implications of this emerging class of regulators.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    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...

  15. Siblings' coping strategies and mental health services: a national study of siblings of persons with schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Friedrich, Rose Marie; Lively, Sonja; Rubenstein, Linda M

    2008-03-01

    This study examined the helpfulness of coping strategies and the relative importance of mental health services in coping with schizophrenia from the perspective of siblings. This article presents selected survey data from a national study of 746 respondents that investigated the impact of schizophrenia on siblings' lives. The authors developed the Friedrich-Lively Instrument to Assess the Impact of Schizophrenia on Siblings (FLIISS), a closed-ended questionnaire that included questions about coping strategies and mental health services. Respondents identified services for the ill sibling, including symptom control, adequate housing, and long-term planning, as more important than direct services for themselves. The top-ranked coping strategies were education about schizophrenia, a supportive family, and seeing the ill sibling suffer less because symptoms were controlled. Understanding that families were not to blame for schizophrenia was the most helpful coping strategy for nearly three-fourths of siblings. Siblings had little contact with providers in the past; yet the majority of siblings wanted providers to be available to answer questions and clarify their role in future care. At the time of the study, respondents provided social support and helped with crises, but few coordinated the total care. Siblings identified multiple ways that providers can support and assist them in coping with the impact of schizophrenia. Education and support for siblings without schizophrenia and services for their ill siblings will become increasingly important for the well-being of siblings as they are faced with the responsibility of being the primary caregivers in the future.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  18. Self-reported behaviour problems and sibling relationship quality by siblings of children with autism spectrum disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hastings, R P; Petalas, M A

    2014-11-01

    There are few published research studies in which siblings of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) provide self-reports about their own behavioural and emotional problems and their sibling relationships. Reliance on parent reports may lead to incomplete conclusions about the experiences of siblings themselves. Siblings 7-17 years and their mothers from 94 families of children with ASD were recruited. Mothers reported on family demographics, the behavioural and emotional problems of their child with ASD, and on their own symptoms of depression. Siblings reported on their relationship with their brother or sister with ASD, and siblings 11+ years of age also self-reported on their behavioural and emotional problems. Compared with normative British data, siblings reported very slightly elevated levels of behavioural and emotional problems. However, none of the mean differences were statistically significant and all group differences were associated with small or very small effect sizes - the largest being for peer problems (effect size = 0.31). Regression analysis was used to explore family systems relationships, with sibling self-reports predicted by the behaviour problems scores for the child with ASD and by maternal depression. Maternal depression did not emerge as a predictor of siblings' self-reported sibling relationships or their behavioural and emotional problems. Higher levels of behaviour problems in the child with ASD predicted decreased warmth/closeness and increased conflict in the sibling relationship. These data support the general findings of recent research in that there was little indication of clinically meaningful elevations in behavioural and emotional problems in siblings of children with ASD. Although further research replication is required, there was some indication that sibling relationships may be at risk where the child with ASD has significant behaviour problems. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  19. Sibling fairy tales

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luisa Brunori

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available The article offers a reflection on sibling relationships starting from fairy tales. Their archetypical meaning and educative value are particularly analyzed. A selection of fairy tales having sibling relationships as their central theme is discussed.

  20. Enhancing sibling relationships to prevent adolescent problem behaviors: theory, design and feasibility of Siblings Are Special.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feinberg, Mark E; Sakuma, Kari-Lyn; Hostetler, Michelle; McHale, Susan M

    2013-02-01

    Siblings play a significant but neglected role in family socialization dynamics, and focusing on the sibling relationship is a non-stigmatizing point of entry into the family for prevention programming. Siblings are Special (SAS) was designed as a universal program that targets both sibling relationship and parenting mediating processes in middle childhood to prevent behavior problems in adolescence. We describe the theoretical framework underlying SAS, the SAS curriculum, and the feasibility of the program based on a study of 128 middle-childhood aged sibling dyads. Data on the quality of program implementation, program fidelity, siblings' engagement, and ratings of impact indicated the SAS program was acceptable to families and schools, that the curriculum could be implemented with high fidelity, that siblings and parents participated at high levels and were highly engaged, and that, from the perspective of group leaders, school administrators and parents, the program had a positive impact on the siblings. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Combined Venom Gland Transcriptomic and Venom Peptidomic Analysis of the Predatory Ant Odontomachus monticola

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kohei Kazuma

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Ants (hymenoptera: Formicidae have adapted to many different environments and have become some of the most prolific and successful insects. To date, 13,258 ant species have been reported. They have been classified into 333 genera and 17 subfamilies. Except for a few Formicinae, Dolichoderinae, and members of other subfamilies, most ant species have a sting with venom. The venoms are composed of formic acid, alkaloids, hydrocarbons, amines, peptides, and proteins. Unlike the venoms of other animals such as snakes and spiders, ant venoms have seldom been analyzed comprehensively, and their compositions are not yet completely known. In this study, we used both transcriptomic and peptidomic analyses to study the composition of the venom produced by the predatory ant species Odontomachus monticola. The transcriptome analysis yielded 49,639 contigs, of which 92 encoded toxin-like peptides and proteins with 18,106,338 mapped reads. We identified six pilosulin-like peptides by transcriptomic analysis in the venom gland. Further, we found intact pilosulin-like peptide 1 and truncated pilosulin-like peptides 2 and 3 by peptidomic analysis in the venom. Our findings related to ant venom peptides and proteins may lead the way towards development and application of novel pharmaceutical and biopesticidal resources.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mônica A. Ulysséa

    2012-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2018-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roberth Fagundes

    2012-01-01

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

  5. Gaeolaelaps Invictianus, a new and unusual species of Hypoaspidine Mite (Acari: Mesostigmata: Laelapidae) phoretic on the red imported fire ant Solenopsis Invicta Buren (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in Louisiana, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    David Walter; John Moser

    2010-01-01

    A new species ofhypoaspidine laelapid mite, Gaeolaelaps invictianus, associated with the red imported fire ant Solenopsis invicta Buren in the southern United States of America is described. This new species is unusual among the gamasine Mesostigmata in lacking a postanal seta in adults of both sexes and among species of Gaeolaelaps in being phoretic on dispersing male...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

    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

  7. Specialized Fungal Parasites and Opportunistic Fungi in Gardens of Attine Ants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fernando C. Pagnocca

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Ants in the tribe Attini (Hymenoptera: Formicidae comprise about 230 described species that share the same characteristic: all coevolved in an ancient mutualism with basidiomycetous fungi cultivated for food. In this paper we focused on fungi other than the mutualistic cultivar and their roles in the attine ant symbiosis. Specialized fungal parasites in the genus Escovopsis negatively impact the fungus gardens. Many fungal parasites may have small impacts on the ants' fungal colony when the colony is balanced, but then may opportunistically shift to having large impacts if the ants' colony becomes unbalanced.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Arenas, Anderson; Armbrecht, Inge; Chacon, Patricia

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  11. Perceived sibling relationships of sexual minority youth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toomey, Russell B; Richardson, Rhonda A

    2009-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to examine the relationships of sexual minority youth and their siblings. The participants were 56 lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender individuals ranging in age from 18 to 24 years, who reported information about a total of 107 siblings. Respondents completed a demographic data questionnaire as well as adapted versions of the Sibling Closeness Scale (SCS) and the Sibling Approval of Sexual Behavior Scale (SASBS) to describe their relationship with each of their siblings. Analyses examined birth order and gender in relation to outness to siblings as well as sibling closeness and approval. Results provide information about disclosure of LGBT status to siblings, elements of closeness and acceptance in sibling relationships of sexual minority youth, and the significance of gender and birth order in these sibling relationships.

  12. Defensive traits exhibit an evolutionary trade-off and drive diversification in ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blanchard, Benjamin D; Moreau, Corrie S

    2017-02-01

    Evolutionary biologists have long predicted that evolutionary trade-offs among traits should constrain morphological divergence and species diversification. However, this prediction has yet to be tested in a broad evolutionary context in many diverse clades, including ants. Here, we reconstruct an expanded ant phylogeny representing 82% of ant genera, compile a new family-wide trait database, and conduct various trait-based analyses to show that defensive traits in ants do exhibit an evolutionary trade-off. In particular, the use of a functional sting negatively correlates with a suite of other defensive traits including spines, large eye size, and large colony size. Furthermore, we find that several of the defensive traits that trade off with a sting are also positively correlated with each other and drive increased diversification, further suggesting that these traits form a defensive suite. Our results support the hypothesis that trade-offs in defensive traits significantly constrain trait evolution and influence species diversification in ants. © 2016 The Author(s). Evolution © 2016 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  13. Relative Power in Sibling Relationships Across Adolescence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindell, Anna K; Campione-Barr, Nicole

    2017-06-01

    During childhood, older siblings typically hold a more powerful position in their relationship with their younger siblings, but these relationships are thought to become more egalitarian during adolescence as siblings begin to prepare for their relationships as adults and as younger siblings become more socially and cognitively competent. Little is known about relationship factors that may explain this shift in power dynamics, however. The present study therefore examined longitudinal changes in adolescents' and their siblings' perceptions of sibling relative power from age 12 to 18 (n = 145 dyads), and examined whether different levels of sibling relationship positivity and negativity, as well as sibling structural variables, indicated different over-time changes in relative power. Multilevel models indicated that adolescents reported significant declines in their siblings' relative power across adolescence, with older siblings relinquishing the most power over time. However, only siblings with less positively involved relationships reported declines in relative power, suggesting that siblings who maintain highly involved relationships may not become more egalitarian during adolescence. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  14. Tensions among siblings in parent care.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lashewicz, Bonnie; Keating, Norah

    2009-06-01

    From a place of "genealogical equivalence" as children of their parents, siblings spend a lifetime developing separate identities. As parents near the end of their lives, issues of sibling equivalence are renegotiated in the face of equal obligations to provide care and equal entitlement to parent assets. In this paper, we hypothesize how unresolved issues of rivalry for parent affection/attention among siblings may be reasserted when parents need care. Data are drawn from a project about how parent care and assets are shared. In-depth interviews with three sibling groups experiencing conflict over sharing parent care and assets along with six Canadian legal case portrayals of disputes among siblings over how parent care and assets were shared are examined. Findings are that disputes occur when siblings perceive others as dominating parent care and assets through tactics such as separating the parent from other siblings and preventing other siblings from being engaged in decisions about care and assets. Discussion is focused on paradoxes faced by siblings given expectations for equity in parent relationships alongside perceived pre-eminence in care and asset decisions.

  15. The association between unequal parental treatment and the sibling relationship in Finland: The difference between full and half-siblings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Danielsbacka, Mirkka; Tanskanen, Antti O

    2015-06-24

    Studies have shown that unequal parental treatment is associated with relationship quality between siblings. However, it is unclear how it affects the relationship between full and half-siblings. Using data from the Generational Transmissions in Finland project (n = 1,537 younger adults), we study whether those who have half-siblings perceive more unequal parental treatment than those who have full siblings only. In addition, we study how unequal parental treatment is associated with sibling relationship between full, maternal, and paternal half-siblings. First, we found that individuals who have maternal and/or paternal half-siblings are more likely to have encountered unequal maternal treatment than individuals who have full siblings only. Second, we found that unequal parental treatment impairs full as well as maternal and paternal half-sibling relations in adulthood. Third, unequal parental treatment mediates the effect of genetic relatedness on sibling relations in the case of maternal half-siblings, but not in the case of paternal half-siblings. After controlling for unequal parental treatment, the quality of maternal half-sibling relationships did not differ from that of full siblings, whereas the quality of paternal half-sibling relationships still did. Fourth, the qualitative comments (n = 206) from the same population reveal that unequal parental treatment presents itself several ways, such as differential financial, emotional, or practical support.

  16. The Association between Unequal Parental Treatment and the Sibling Relationship in Finland: The Difference between Full and Half-Siblings

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mirkka Danielsbacka

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Studies have shown that unequal parental treatment is associated with relationship quality between siblings. However, it is unclear how it affects the relationship between full and half-siblings. Using data from the Generational Transmissions in Finland project (n = 1,537 younger adults, we study whether those who have half-siblings perceive more unequal parental treatment than those who have full siblings only. In addition, we study how unequal parental treatment is associated with sibling relationship between full, maternal, and paternal half-siblings. First, we found that individuals who have maternal and/or paternal half-siblings are more likely to have encountered unequal maternal treatment than individuals who have full siblings only. Second, we found that unequal parental treatment impairs full as well as maternal and paternal half-sibling relations in adulthood. Third, unequal parental treatment mediates the effect of genetic relatedness on sibling relations in the case of maternal half-siblings, but not in the case of paternal half-siblings. After controlling for unequal parental treatment, the quality of maternal half-sibling relationships did not differ from that of full siblings, whereas the quality of paternal half-sibling relationships still did. Fourth, the qualitative comments (n = 206 from the same population reveal that unequal parental treatment presents itself several ways, such as differential financial, emotional, or practical support.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prior, Kirsten M; Palmer, Todd M

    2018-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-02-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. Diehl

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

  20. Contributors to Adult Sibling Relationships and Intention to Care of Siblings of Individuals with Down Syndrome

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cuskelly, Monica

    2016-01-01

    The contribution of childhood sibling relationships to adult sibling relationships and intention to provide care was investigated in a sample in which one member of each dyad had Down syndrome. Thirty-nine adult siblings of an adult with Down syndrome who had participated in a study of sibling relationships in childhood/adolescence provided data…

  1. First-born siblings show better second language skills than later born siblings

    OpenAIRE

    Karin eKeller; Karin eKeller; Larissa Maria Troesch; Alexander eGrob

    2015-01-01

    We examined the extent to which three sibling structure variables number of siblings, birth order and presence of an older sibling at school age are linked to the second language skills of bilingual children. The research questions were tested using an ethnically heterogeneous sample of 1209 bilingual children with German as a second language. Controlling for children’s age, sex, nationality, number of children’s books at home, family language and parental German language skills, hierarchical...

  2. Sibling Self-Disclosure in Early Adolescence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howe, Nina; Aquan-Assee, Jasmin; Bukowski, William M.; Rinaldi, Christina M.; Lehoux, Pascale M.

    2000-01-01

    Studied sibling-directed self-disclosure of 40 preadolescents through interviews, a questionnaire, and subjects' daily diaries. Found that warmth in sibling relationship was most strongly associated with sibling disclosure, but not with rivalry, conflict, or power. Daily sibling disclosures were more strongly associated with reports of unhappy…

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

    OpenAIRE

    Cogni, R; Freitas, AVL

    2002-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefanie Kautz

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jean-Paul Lachaud

    2012-01-01

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

  6. Conflict Resolution between Mexican Origin Adolescent Siblings

    Science.gov (United States)

    Killoren, Sarah E.; Thayer, Shawna M.; Updegraff, Kimberly A.

    2008-01-01

    We investigated correlates of adolescents' sibling conflict resolution strategies in 246, two-parent Mexican origin families. Specifically, we examined links between siblings' conflict resolution strategies and sibling dyad characteristics, siblings' cultural orientations and values, and sibling relationship qualities. Data were gathered during…

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Valentina Migani

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

  8. Discovery of the Dinoponera lucida male (Hymenoptera, Formicidae), a threatened giant ant from the Atlantic rain forest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Escárraga, Mayron E; Lattke, John E; Azevedo, Celso O

    2017-11-10

    The male of the endangered ant Dinoponera lucida Emery is described, providing morphometric measurements, high-resolution images, and a distribution map of the species. This ant inhabits the Brazilian Atlantic forest, an ecosystem strongly impacted by fragmentation. The males show clear morphological differences from the known males of other species of Dinoponera. We briefly discuss the relevance of the male description for the conservation strategies of this ant.

  9. Caterpillars and fungal pathogens: two co-occurring parasites of an ant-plant mutualism.

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    Olivier Roux

    Full Text Available In mutualisms, each interacting species obtains resources from its partner that it would obtain less efficiently if alone, and so derives a net fitness benefit. In exchange for shelter (domatia and food, mutualistic plant-ants protect their host myrmecophytes from herbivores, encroaching vines and fungal pathogens. Although selective filters enable myrmecophytes to host those ant species most favorable to their fitness, some insects can by-pass these filters, exploiting the rewards supplied whilst providing nothing in return. This is the case in French Guiana for Cecropia obtusa (Cecropiaceae as Pseudocabima guianalis caterpillars (Lepidoptera, Pyralidae can colonize saplings before the installation of their mutualistic Azteca ants. The caterpillars shelter in the domatia and feed on food bodies (FBs whose production increases as a result. They delay colonization by ants by weaving a silk shield above the youngest trichilium, where the FBs are produced, blocking access to them. This probable temporal priority effect also allows female moths to lay new eggs on trees that already shelter caterpillars, and so to occupy the niche longer and exploit Cecropia resources before colonization by ants. However, once incipient ant colonies are able to develop, they prevent further colonization by the caterpillars. Although no higher herbivory rates were noted, these caterpillars are ineffective in protecting their host trees from a pathogenic fungus, Fusarium moniliforme (Deuteromycetes, that develops on the trichilium in the absence of mutualistic ants. Therefore, the Cecropia treelets can be parasitized by two often overlooked species: the caterpillars that shelter in the domatia and feed on FBs, delaying colonization by mutualistic ants, and the fungal pathogen that develops on old trichilia. The cost of greater FB production plus the presence of the pathogenic fungus likely affect tree growth.

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

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    Adam T Clark

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

  11. Identifying Shifts in Leaf-Litter Ant Assemblages (Hymenoptera: Formicidae across Ecosystem Boundaries Using Multiple Sampling Methods.

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    Michal Wiezik

    Full Text Available Global or regional environmental changes in climate or land use have been increasingly implied in shifts in boundaries (ecotones between adjacent ecosystems such as beech or oak-dominated forests and forest-steppe ecotones that frequently co-occur near the southern range limits of deciduous forest biome in Europe. Yet, our ability to detect changes in biological communities across these ecosystems, or to understand their environmental drivers, can be hampered when different sampling methods are required to characterize biological communities of the adjacent but ecologically different ecosystems. Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae have been shown to be particularly sensitive to changes in temperature and vegetation and they require different sampling methods in closed vs. open habitats. We compared ant assemblages of closed-forests (beech- or oak-dominated and open forest-steppe habitats in southwestern Carpathians using methods for closed-forest (litter sifting and open habitats (pitfall trapping, and developed an integrated sampling approach to characterize changes in ant assemblages across these adjacent ecosystems. Using both methods, we collected 5,328 individual ant workers from 28 species. Neither method represented ant communities completely, but pitfall trapping accounted for more species (24 than litter sifting (16. Although pitfall trapping characterized differences in species richness and composition among the ecosystems better, with beech forest being most species poor and ecotone most species rich, litter sifting was more successful in identifying characteristic litter-dwelling species in oak-dominated forest. The integrated sampling approach using both methods yielded more accurate characterization of species richness and composition, and particularly so in species-rich forest-steppe habitat where the combined sample identified significantly higher number of species compared to either of the two methods on their own. Thus, an integrated

  12. Identifying Shifts in Leaf-Litter Ant Assemblages (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) across Ecosystem Boundaries Using Multiple Sampling Methods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiezik, Michal; Svitok, Marek; Wieziková, Adela; Dovčiak, Martin

    2015-01-01

    Global or regional environmental changes in climate or land use have been increasingly implied in shifts in boundaries (ecotones) between adjacent ecosystems such as beech or oak-dominated forests and forest-steppe ecotones that frequently co-occur near the southern range limits of deciduous forest biome in Europe. Yet, our ability to detect changes in biological communities across these ecosystems, or to understand their environmental drivers, can be hampered when different sampling methods are required to characterize biological communities of the adjacent but ecologically different ecosystems. Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) have been shown to be particularly sensitive to changes in temperature and vegetation and they require different sampling methods in closed vs. open habitats. We compared ant assemblages of closed-forests (beech- or oak-dominated) and open forest-steppe habitats in southwestern Carpathians using methods for closed-forest (litter sifting) and open habitats (pitfall trapping), and developed an integrated sampling approach to characterize changes in ant assemblages across these adjacent ecosystems. Using both methods, we collected 5,328 individual ant workers from 28 species. Neither method represented ant communities completely, but pitfall trapping accounted for more species (24) than litter sifting (16). Although pitfall trapping characterized differences in species richness and composition among the ecosystems better, with beech forest being most species poor and ecotone most species rich, litter sifting was more successful in identifying characteristic litter-dwelling species in oak-dominated forest. The integrated sampling approach using both methods yielded more accurate characterization of species richness and composition, and particularly so in species-rich forest-steppe habitat where the combined sample identified significantly higher number of species compared to either of the two methods on their own. Thus, an integrated sampling

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

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    Paula E. Cushing

    2012-01-01

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

  14. The early development of infant siblings of children with autism spectrum disorder: Characteristics of sibling interactions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Warreyn, Petra; Van der Paelt, Sara; Demurie, Ellen; Roeyers, Herbert

    2018-01-01

    Although sibling interactions play an important role in children’s early development, they are rarely studied in very young children with an older brother or sister with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This study used a naturalistic, observational method to compare interactions between 18-month-old infants and their older sibling with ASD (n = 22) with a control group of 18-month-old infants and their typically developing (TD) older sibling (n = 29). In addition, role (a)symmetry and the influence of gender were evaluated. Sibling interactions in ASD-dyads were characterized by higher levels of negativity. Although somewhat less pronounced in ASD-dyads, role asymmetry was present in both groups, with the older child taking the dominant position. Finally, siblings pairs with an older sister were characterized by more positive behaviours. Since differences in sibling interactions may alter the developmental trajectories of both siblings, these early relationships should be taken into account in future ASD research and interventions. PMID:29543814

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    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 ...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana Gabriela D Bieber

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

  17. Diversity of canopy ants at a reserve area of Prince of Songkla University, Songkhla

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    Takodee, T.

    2007-03-01

    Full Text Available Diversity of canopy ants was examined by using pyrethoid fogging technique at a reserve area of Prince of Songkla University, Songkhla Province. A permanent plot of 100x100 m2 was set up and dividedinto 100 sub-units (10x10 m2. Three plants were randomly selected for pyrethoid fogging applications each time bimothly during July 2004 - May 2005. The results showed that a total of 2,343 individuals were collectedin 14 genera, 5 subfamily and 31 species. The Formicinae and Myrmicinae were the major subfamilies found in equal species numbers of 13. Shannon- Weiner Index and evenness value of ants were 1.73±0.39 and 0.35±0.08, respectively.Seasonal changes (wet and dry had no effect on individual numbers of ant species in each subfamily. The influence of physical factors (rainfall, temperature and relative humidity on numbers of ant species wasalso investigated. A significant negative correlation between rainfall and species numbers of Camponotus (Tanaemyrmex sp.2 was found, while temperature had a significant positive correlation with Crematogaster (Orthocrema sp.4, Meranoplus castaneus (F.Smith and Tetraponera sp.4, and relative humidity had asignificant positive correlation with only Tetraponera sp.4.

  18. A mixed community of actinomycetes produce multiple antibiotics for the fungus farming ant Acromyrmex octospinosus

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    Barke Jörg

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Attine ants live in an intensely studied tripartite mutualism with the fungus Leucoagaricus gongylophorus, which provides food to the ants, and with antibiotic-producing actinomycete bacteria. One hypothesis suggests that bacteria from the genus Pseudonocardia are the sole, co-evolved mutualists of attine ants and are transmitted vertically by the queens. A recent study identified a Pseudonocardia-produced antifungal, named dentigerumycin, associated with the lower attine Apterostigma dentigerum consistent with the idea that co-evolved Pseudonocardia make novel antibiotics. An alternative possibility is that attine ants sample actinomycete bacteria from the soil, selecting and maintaining those species that make useful antibiotics. Consistent with this idea, a Streptomyces species associated with the higher attine Acromyrmex octospinosus was recently shown to produce the well-known antifungal candicidin. Candicidin production is widespread in environmental isolates of Streptomyces, so this could either be an environmental contaminant or evidence of recruitment of useful actinomycetes from the environment. It should be noted that the two possibilities for actinomycete acquisition are not necessarily mutually exclusive. Results In order to test these possibilities we isolated bacteria from a geographically distinct population of A. octospinosus and identified a candicidin-producing Streptomyces species, which suggests that they are common mutualists of attine ants, most probably recruited from the environment. We also identified a Pseudonocardia species in the same ant colony that produces an unusual polyene antifungal, providing evidence for co-evolution of Pseudonocardia with A. octospinosus. Conclusions Our results show that a combination of co-evolution and environmental sampling results in the diversity of actinomycete symbionts and antibiotics associated with attine ants.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Edwin O. Willis

    1984-01-01

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

  2. Sibling relationship quality and psychosocial outcomes among adult siblings of individuals with autism spectrum disorder and individuals with intellectual disability without autism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomeny, Theodore S; Ellis, Brandi M; Rankin, James A; Barry, Tammy D

    2017-03-01

    Research on adult typically-developing (TD) siblings of individuals with developmental disabilities remains limited, and outcomes for TD siblings appear to vary widely. For the current study, 82 adult TD siblings of individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or intellectual disability (ID) completed questionnaires about themselves and their affected sibling. Results of this study suggest that the attitudes possessed by adult TD siblings are important to consider when understanding adult TD sibling outcomes. Specifically, data indicate that higher levels of positive sibling relationship attitudes are related to TD siblings providing more aid/support to their sibling with a disability, along with having higher levels of general life satisfaction, and negatively related to levels of stress and depressive symptoms among TD siblings. Consistent with previous child research, siblings of individuals with ASD reported fewer positive sibling relationship attitudes compared to siblings of individuals with ID. Finally, group membership related to aid provided, depressive symptoms, and stress of TD siblings indirectly through sibling relationship attitudes. Overall, results indicate that sibling relationship attitudes may be particularly important to consider when conceptualizing sibling relationships when one sibling has an intellectual or developmental disability. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. [Siblings of prepubesecent anorexic children].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noël, L; de Maynadier, L

    2014-10-01

    As professionals working in a specialised unit for prepubescent anorexic children, we are very often concerned with the siblings of our young patients who are daily faced with anorexia nervosa. Although it is an undeniable subject of prevention, research on the topic remains scarce. Based on our clinical experience, this article thus proposes to give a few landmarks to health professionals likely to support these siblings in order to prevent anxious and depressive disorders as well as eating disorders. If guided, supported and informed on anorexia nervosa, siblings can adopt adequate coping strategies when confronted to their sibling's anorexic cognitions and behaviours. We also encourage parents to pay close attention to the needs of their other children, especially to remain receptive to the youngest ones or, if unavailable to find adult carers (grandparents, family, friends). We also guide these children, who are eager to help their anorexic sibling, to remain in a brotherly role. Siblings must be informed about anorexia nervosa. Such information enables them to have a better understanding of their sister's thoughts and attitudes. It also leads to a better understanding of the reasons why anorexia has such a significant impact on family routine, among other things by reducing parental availability. Beyond enabling siblings to adopt adequate coping strategies, such provision of support also contributes to the prevention of mental illness and the maintenance of adequate sibling and family relationships. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  4. Colony growth of two species of Solenopsis fire ants(Hymenoptera: Formicidae) reared with crickets and beef liver

    Science.gov (United States)

    Most diets for rearing fire ants and other ants contain insects such as crickets or mealworms. Unfortunately, insect diets are expensive, especially for large rearing operations, and are not always easily available. This study was designed to examine colony growth of Solenopsis fire ants on beef liv...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Penn, Hannah J; Dale, Andrew M

    2017-08-01

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

  6. Ant and termite mound coinhabitants in the wetlands of Santo Antonio da Patrulha, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. Diehl

    Full Text Available This paper reports on ant and termite species inhabiting the mounds (murundus found in three wetland sites in Santo Antonio da Patrulha. Ants and termites were found in 100% of the mounds of two sites and in 20% of those in the third site. Colonies of Camponotus fastigatus were found inhabiting all the mounds, while colonies of Brachymyrmex sp., Linepithema sp., Pheidole sp., and/or Solenopsis sp. were collected in less than 30% of the mounds. In the mounds of the three sites, colonies of Anoplotermes sp. and/or Aparatermes sp. termites were found together with the ant colonies. Another cohabiting termite species, Cortaritermes sp., was found only in the mounds of one site. The results suggest that C. fastigatus is the species building the mounds, with the other species, whether ants or termites, being the inquilines.

  7. Ant and termite mound coinhabitants in the wetlands of Santo Antonio da Patrulha, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diehl, E; Junqueira, L K; Berti-Filho, E

    2005-08-01

    This paper reports on ant and termite species inhabiting the mounds (murundus) found in three wetland sites in Santo Antonio da Patrulha. Ants and termites were found in 100% of the mounds of two sites and in 20% of those in the third site. Colonies of Camponotus fastigatus were found inhabiting all the mounds, while colonies of Brachymyrmex sp., Linepithema sp., Pheidole sp., and/or Solenopsis sp. were collected in less than 30% of the mounds. In the mounds of the three sites, colonies of Anoplotermes sp. and/or Aparatermes sp. termites were found together with the ant colonies. Another cohabiting termite species, Cortaritermes sp., was found only in the mounds of one site. The results suggest that C. fastigatus is the species building the mounds, with the other species, whether ants or termites, being the inquilines.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  9. Risk of maltreatment for siblings: Factors associated with similar and different childhood experiences in a dyadic sample of adult siblings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Witte, Susanne; Fegert, Jörg M; Walper, Sabine

    2018-02-01

    Siblings share the same environment and thus potentially a substantial number of risk factors for child maltreatment. Furthermore, the number of siblings and the sibling constellation itself might pose a risk for child maltreatment. Little is known about the likelihood that more than one child in a family is maltreated and which factors increase the risk. This study sought to investigate similarities and differences in maltreatment in siblings and risk factors associated with the maltreatment of more than one child from the same family. Data on maltreatment during childhood and adolescence, family background, and sibling constellation were collected from 870 pairs of siblings. In the dyadic analyses, siblings reported similar maltreatment experiences, especially when any type of maltreatment was considered. Parents' mental health problems were significant predictors for maltreatment of at least one sibling. Father's mental health problems were predictive of maltreatment of both or only the younger sibling, mother's mental health problems of both or only the older sibling. Closeness in age and same gender of siblings did not emerge as a consistent predictor. The increasing number of siblings was a risk factor for any type of maltreatment of both siblings. The results highlight the need for preventive measures for families with a large number of children and with parents with mental health problems as well as a repeated risk assessment of all siblings in a family when one sibling was maltreated. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Ant parasite queens revert to mating singly

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2004-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Diego Anjos

    2017-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  13. Ant mimicry lessens predation on a North American jumping spider by larger salticid spiders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Durkee, Caitlin A; Weiss, Martha R; Uma, Divya B

    2011-10-01

    Ant-like appearance (myrmecomorphy) has evolved >70 times in insects and spiders, accounting for >2,000 species of myrmecomorphic arthropods. Most myrmecomorphic spiders are considered to be Batesian mimics; that is, a palatable spider avoids predation through resemblance to an unpalatable ant-although this presumption has been tested in relatively few cases. Here we explicitly examined the extent to which Peckhamia picata (Salticidae), a North American ant-mimicking jumping spider, is protected from four species of jumping spider predators, relative to nonmimetic salticids and model ants. In addition, we conducted focused behavioral observations on one salticid predator, Thiodina puerpera, to determine the point at which the predators' behaviors toward model, mimic, and nonmimic diverge. We also examined the behaviors of Peckhamia in the presence of Thiodina. We found that mimetic jumping spiders were consumed less than a third as often as nonmimetic jumping spiders, suggesting that Peckhamia does indeed gain protection as a result of its resemblance to ants, and so can be considered a Batesian mimic. Furthermore, our focal predator did not consume any ant-mimicking spiders, and seemed to categorize Peckhamia with its model ant early in the hunting sequence. Such early determination of prey versus nonprey may be the result of speed-accuracy trade-offs in predator decision-making.

  14. Queen Specific Exocrine Glands in Legionary Ants and Their Possible Function in Sexual Selection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hölldobler, Bert

    2016-01-01

    The colonies of army ants and some other legionary ant species have single, permanently wingless queens with massive post petioles and large gasters. Such highly modified queens are called dichthadiigynes. This paper presents the unusually rich exocrine gland endowment of dichthadiigynes, which is not found in queens of other ant species. It has been suggested these kinds of glands produce secretions that attract and maintain worker retinues around queens, especially during migration. However, large worker retinues also occur in non-legionary species whose queens do not have such an exuberance of exocrine glands. We argue and present evidence in support of our previously proposed hypothesis that the enormous outfit of exocrine glands found in dichthadiigynes is due to sexual selection mediated by workers as the main selecting agents.

  15. Queen Specific Exocrine Glands in Legionary Ants and Their Possible Function in Sexual Selection.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bert Hölldobler

    Full Text Available The colonies of army ants and some other legionary ant species have single, permanently wingless queens with massive post petioles and large gasters. Such highly modified queens are called dichthadiigynes. This paper presents the unusually rich exocrine gland endowment of dichthadiigynes, which is not found in queens of other ant species. It has been suggested these kinds of glands produce secretions that attract and maintain worker retinues around queens, especially during migration. However, large worker retinues also occur in non-legionary species whose queens do not have such an exuberance of exocrine glands. We argue and present evidence in support of our previously proposed hypothesis that the enormous outfit of exocrine glands found in dichthadiigynes is due to sexual selection mediated by workers as the main selecting agents.

  16. Response of testosterone and corticosterone plasma levels to the challenge of sibling competition: a study in common terns.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Braasch, Alexander; Becker, Peter H; Groothuis, Ton G G

    2014-08-01

    The hormonal response to social challenges has been widely studied, however, most work focused on adult behavior in a reproductive context although developing animals also encounter important social challenges early in life. We studied the relationship between acute sibling competition and plasma corticosterone (CORT) and testosterone (T) in common tern (Sterna hirundo) chicks, a species whose young compete for access to food by scramble interactions. Blood samples were taken in nests with two and only one single chick both immediately after a feeding bout and in non-challenged controls. We found that T levels were lower in siblings challenged by a feeding bout as compared to controls, which may be explained by the fact that T suppresses begging behavior and is only elevated in response to territorial intrusion but not sibling competition in a related species. Singletons had, corrected for body condition, generally lower CORT levels than siblings suggesting that growing up with siblings creates a competitive environment in which high CORT levels are sustained irrespective of a social challenge. CORT levels were also negatively correlated with body condition and were higher in males than in females. The latter may be related to sex-specific food requirements and susceptibility to stress. Our results suggest a possible suppressive effect of acute sibling competition on T secretion, and a positive effect on CORT levels by longer term sibling competition. The degree to which these dynamics are related to begging or aggression, or both, needs further experimental work. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  18. My older sibling was drunk - younger siblings' drunkenness in relation to parental monitoring and the parent-adolescent relationship.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gossrau-Breen, Diana; Kuntsche, Emmanuel; Gmel, Gerhard

    2010-10-01

    This study explored the links between having older siblings who get drunk, satisfaction with the parent-adolescent relationship, parental monitoring, and adolescents' risky drinking. Regression models were conducted based on a national representative sample of 3725 8th to 10th graders in Switzerland (mean age 15.0, SD = .93) who indicated having older siblings. Results showed that both parental factors and older siblings' drinking behaviour shape younger siblings' frequency of risky drinking. Parental monitoring showed a linear dose-response relationship, and siblings' influence had an additive effect. There was a non-linear interaction effect between parent-adolescent relationship and older sibling's drunkenness. The findings suggest that, apart from avoiding an increasingly unsatisfactory relationship with their children, parental monitoring appears to be important in preventing risky drinking by their younger children, even if the older sibling drinks in such a way. However, a satisfying relationship with parents does not seem to be sufficient to counterbalance older siblings' influence.

  19. Evolutionary transition from single to multiple mating in fungus-growing ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Villesen, Palle; Gertsch, P J; Frydenberg, Jane

    1999-01-01

    Queens of leafcutter ants exhibit the highest known levels of multiple mating (up to 10 mates per queen) among ants. Multiple mating may have been selected to increase genetic diversity among nestmate workers, which is hypothesized to be critical in social systems with large, long-lived colonies...... under severe pressure of pathogens. Advanced fungus-growing (leafcutter) ants have large numbers (104-106 workers) and long-lived colonies, whereas basal genera in the attine tribe have small (... to have lower queen mating frequencies, similar to those found in most other ants. We tested this prediction by analysing queen mating frequency and colony kin structure in three basal attine species: Myrmicocrypta ednaella, Apterostigma collare and Cyphomyrmex longiscapus. Microsatellite marker analyses...

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wynhoff, Irma; Langevelde, van Frank

    2017-01-01

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

  1. Unusual animal-plant interaction: Feeding of Schomburgkia tibicinis (Orchidaceae) by ants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rico-Gray, V.; Barber, J.T.; Thien, L.B.; Ellgaard, E.G.; Toney, J.J.

    1989-01-01

    The hollow pseudobulbs of Schomburgkia tibicinis (Orchidaceae; Central America) serve as domatia for many species of ants. The ants pack many of the pseudobulbs with debris including dead insects, plant material, and sand. Ants were fed 14 C-labelled D-glucose in honey, killed, and placed in the pseudobulbs for up to eight weeks. Samples of plant tissue were harvested and tested for radioactivity after 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, and 8 weeks. The labelled material had moved into various parts of the plant and demonstrated direct nutrient uptake

  2. Evaluation of Liquid and Bait Insecticides against the Dark Rover Ant (Brachymyrmex patagonicus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Javier G. Miguelena

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Dark rover ants (Brachymyrmex patagonicus, Mayr are an exotic ant species native to South America that has recently spread through the southern US. We evaluated the residual activity of three liquid insecticides (indoxacarb, fipronil and lambda-cyhalothrin as potential barrier treatments against these ants. The factors we considered include the use of a porous or non-porous surface, a short or long exposure time and the changes in insecticide activity after treatment during a 90 day period. We also tested the effect of baits containing three different active ingredients (imidacloprid, sodium tetraborate and indoxacarb on colony fragments of this species for a 15 day period. Both lambda-cyhalothrin® and indoxacarb® resulted in high levels of ant mortality up to 90 days after application. The results of exposure to fipronil® resembled those from the control treatment. Application of insecticides on a porous surface and the shorter exposure time generally resulted in greater ant survival. Of the baits tested, only the imidacloprid based one decreased ant survival significantly during the evaluation period. Within three days, the imidacloprid bait produced over 50% mortality which increased to over 95% by the end of the experiment. Results from the other two bait treatments were not significantly different from the control.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  4. Mating, hybridisation and introgression in Lasius ants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  5. Invasive acacias experience higher ant seed removal rates at the invasion edges

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. Montesinos

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Seed dispersal is a key process for the invasion of new areas by exotic species. Introduced plants often take advantage of native generalist dispersers. Australian acacias are primarily dispersed by ants in their native range and produce seeds bearing a protein and lipid rich reward for ant mutualists (elaiosome. Nevertheless, the role of myrmecochory in the expansion of Australian acacias in European invaded areas is still not clear. We selected one European population of Acacia dealbata and another of A. longifolia and offered elaiosome-bearing and elaiosome-removed seeds to local ant communities. For each species, seeds were offered both in high-density acacia stands and in low-density invasion edges. For both acacia species, seed removal was significantly higher at the low-density edges. For A. longifolia, manual elimination of elaiosomes reduced the chance of seed removal by 80% in the low-density edges, whereas it made no difference on the high-density stands. For A. dealbata, the absence of elaiosome reduced seed removal rate by 52%, independently of the acacia density. Our data suggests that invasive acacias have found effective ant seed dispersers in Europe and that the importance of such dispersers is higher at the invasion edges.

  6. Intergenerational Solidarity and Support Between Adult Siblings

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Voorpostel, Marieke; Blieszner, Rosemary

    2008-01-01

    Using a Dutch national sample containing 1,259 triads (two siblings, one parent), we examined whether practical support and emotional support between siblings are enhanced by intergenerational solidarity and how this differs for brothers and sisters. Sibling support was affected by sibling dyad

  7. Subterranean ant nests: Trace fossils past and future?

    OpenAIRE

    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...

  8. The subtle intracapsular survival of the fittest: maternal investment, sibling conflict, or environmental effects?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Kathryn E; Thatje, Sven

    2013-10-01

    Developmental resource partitioning and the consequent offspring size variations are of fundamental importance for marine invertebrates, in both an ecological and evolutionary context. Typically, differences are attributed to maternal investment and the environmental factors determining this; additional variables, such as environmental factors affecting development, are rarely discussed. During intracapsular development, for example, sibling conflict has the potential to affect resource partitioning. Here, we investigate encapsulated development in the marine gastropod Buccinum undatum. We examine the effects of maternal investment and temperature on intracapsular resource partitioning in this species. Reproductive output was positively influenced by maternal investment, but additionally, temperature and sibling conflict significantly affected offspring size, number, and quality during development. Increased temperature led to reduced offspring number, and a combination of high sibling competition and asynchronous early development resulted in a common occurrence of "empty" embryos, which received no nutrition at all. The proportion of empty embryos increased with both temperature and capsule size. Additionally, a novel example ofa risk in sibling conflict was observed; embryos cannibalized by others during early development ingested nurse eggs from inside the consumer, killing it in a "Trojan horse" scenario. Our results highlight the complexity surrounding offspring fitness. Encapsulation should be considered as significant in determining maternal output. Considering predicted increases in ocean temperatures, this may impact offspring quality and consequently species distribution and abundance.

  9. Checklist of the ants (Hymenoptera, Formicidae of the Solomon Islands and a new survey of Makira Island

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eli Sarnat

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The intent of this paper is to facilitate future research of the Solomon Islands ant fauna by providing the first comprehensively researched species inventory in over 75 years. The species list presented here includes the names of all ant species recorded from the islands that are available in the literature together with specimen records from several museum collections and new records from our 2008 Makira field expedition. All the names of described species presented are valid in accordance with the most recent Formicidae classification. In total, the checklist is composed of 237 species and subspecies (including 30 morphospecies in 59 genera representing nine subfamilies. We report that the recent field expedition added 67 new species records to Makira and 28 new species records to the Solomon Islands. Our research recovered species occurrence records for 32 individual islands and five island groups. The five islands with the highest number of recorded species are: Makira (142 spp., Guadalcanal (107 spp., Malaita (70 spp., Santa Isabel (68 spp., and Rennell (66 spp.. Based on our results, we discuss the taxonomic composition of the archipelago’s ant fauna, which islands are most in need of additional sampling, and the importance of establishing biodiversity baselines before environmental threats such as the invasive ant Wasmannia auropunctata cause irrevocable harm to the native biodiversity.

  10. Perceptions of emotion expression and sibling-parent emotion communication in Latino and non-Latino white siblings of children with intellectual disabilities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Long, Kristin A; Lobato, Debra; Kao, Barbara; Plante, Wendy; Grullón, Edicta; Cheas, Lydia; Houck, Christopher; Seifer, Ronald

    2013-06-01

    Examine general emotion expression and sibling-parent emotion communication among Latino and non-Latino white (NLW) siblings of children with intellectual disabilities (ID) and matched comparisons. 200 siblings (ages 8-15 years) completed the newly developed Sibling-Parent Emotion Communication Scale and existing measures of general emotion expression and psychosocial functioning. Preliminary analyses evaluated scale psychometrics across ethnicity. Structure and internal consistency of the emotion expression and communication measures differed by respondent ethnicity. Latino siblings endorsed more general emotion expression problems and marginally lower sibling-parent emotion communication than NLW siblings. Siblings of children with ID reported marginally more general emotion expression problems than comparisons. Emotion expression problems and lower sibling-parent emotion communication predicted more internalizing and somatic symptoms and poorer personal adjustment, regardless of ID status. Siblings of children with ID endorsed poorer personal adjustment. Cultural differences in emotion expression and communication may increase Latino siblings' risk for emotional adjustment difficulties.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chenuil, A; McKey, D B

    1996-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sendoya, Sebastián F; Oliveira, Paulo S

    2015-03-01

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

  13. Ant colonies prefer infected over uninfected nest sites

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pontieri, Luigi; Vojvodic, Svjetlana; Graham, Riley

    2014-01-01

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

  14. Examining the role of communication on sibling relationship quality and interaction for sibling pairs with and without a developmental disability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Ashlyn L; Romski, Maryann; Sevcik, Rose A

    2013-09-01

    This study examined communication interaction patterns when one sibling had a developmental disability as well as the role of communication skills in sibling relationship quality. Thirty sibling dyads were categorized into one of three communication status groups: emerging, context-dependent, and independent communicators. Independent communicators and their siblings did not differ in terms of syntactic complexity but typically developing siblings dominated the interaction and exhibited greater lexical diversity regardless of communication status. Communication status did not impact the warmth/closeness, rivalry, or conflict in the sibling relationship, but siblings of independent communicators engaged in the greatest amount of helping and managing behaviors. These results represent a first step in understanding the role of communication skills in the sibling relationship for families of children with disabilities.

  15. Number of Siblings, Sibling Spacing, Sex, and Birth Order: Their Effects on Perceived Parent-Adolescent Relationships.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kidwell, Jeannie S.

    1981-01-01

    Examined the effect of the sibling structures of number and spacing, sex composition, and birth order on adolescents' perceptions of the power and support dimensions of parental behavior. Results suggest that research focusing on birth order must control for number of siblings, spacing, and sex composition of siblings. (Author)

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jorge João Aparecido Nahra

    2014-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-11-21

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

  18. Relative Power in Sibling Relationships across Adolescence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindell, Anna K.; Campione-Barr, Nicole

    2017-01-01

    During childhood, older siblings typically hold a more powerful position in their relationship with their younger siblings, but these relationships are thought to become more egalitarian during adolescence as siblings begin to prepare for their relationships as adults and as younger siblings become more socially and cognitively competent. Little…

  19. Childhood Sibling Relationships of Eminent Canadian Women.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yewchuk, Carolyn R.; Schlosser, Grace A.

    1996-01-01

    This study compared differences between 72 eminent Canadian women who reported close sibling relationships and 72 similar women who reported no close sibling relationships. Those with close siblings expressed their responsibility within the relationship and rivalry within the sibship. Those not close to siblings often blamed this on age…

  20. Reproductive interference and fecundity affect competitive interactions of sibling species with low mating barriers: experimental and theoretical evidence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gebiola, M; Kelly, S E; Velten, L; Zug, R; Hammerstein, P; Giorgini, M; Hunter, M S

    2017-12-01

    When allopatric species with incomplete prezygotic isolation come into secondary contact, the outcome of their interaction is not easily predicted. The parasitoid wasp Encarsia suzannae (iES), infected by Cardinium inducing cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI), and its sibling species E. gennaroi (EG), not infected by bacterial endosymbionts, may have diverged because of the complementary action of CI and asymmetric hybrid incompatibilities. Whereas postzygotic isolation is now complete because of sterility of F1 hybrid progeny, prezygotic isolation is still incipient. We set up laboratory population cage experiments to evaluate the outcome of the interaction between ES and EG in two pairwise combinations: iES vs EG and cured ES (cES, where Cardinium was removed with antibiotics) vs EG. We also built a theoretical model aimed at exploring the role of life-history differences and asymmetric mating on competitive outcomes. In three of four cages in each treatment, ES dominated the interaction. We found evidence for reproductive interference, driven by asymmetric mating preferences, that gave a competitive edge to ES, the species that better discriminated against heterospecifics. However, we did not find the fecundity cost previously shown to be associated with Cardinium infection in iES. The model largely supported the experimental results. The finding of only a slight competitive edge of ES over EG in population cages suggests that in a more heterogeneous environment the species could coexist. This is supported by evidence that the two species coexist in sympatry, where preliminary data suggest reproductive character displacement may have reinforced postzygotic isolation.

  1. Cytogenetic data on the threatened leafcutter ant Atta robusta Borgmeier, 1939 (Formicidae: Myrmicinae: Attini).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barros, Luísa Antônia Campos; Aguiar, Hilton Jeferson Alves Cardoso de; Teixeira, Gisele Amaro; Mariano, Cléa Dos Santos Ferreira; Teixeira, Marcos da Cunha; Delabie, Jacques Hubert Charles; Pompolo, Silvia das Graças

    2015-10-01

    The karyotype of the threatened ant species Atta robusta is described so as to establish the evolutionary relationships of this taxon with other leafcutter ants. Standard Giemsa staining, C-banding, NOR banding, fluorochromes CMA3/DAPI, Hsc-FA technique and Fluorescence in situ Hybridization (FISH) using 18S rDNA probe were conducted on a population from Aracruz, state of Espírito Santo, Brazil, allowing for comparisons with data available on Atta and other fungus-growing ant species. The diploid chromosome number observed for A. robusta was 2n=22, and the karyotypic formula was 18m+2sm+2st. Heterochromatic blocks were observed in the centromeric region of most chromosomes, where one pair of metacentric chromosomes is characterized by a GC-rich heterochromatic band in the interstitial region of its long arm. The detection of 18S rDNA using FISH confirmed the presence of single NOR for A. robusta. This is the first report of rDNA 18S detection using FISH for leafcutter ants. The cytogenetic results of this study confirm the information available for Atta and allow us to confirm the conserved chromosome number, morphology and banding pattern within the genus for the taxa studied to date, which included species from three out of the four groups of Atta indicated by molecular data. The accumulation of cytogenetic data on fungus-growing ants enhances the understanding of the genomic evolutionary patterns of Atta, since it belongs to a group of recent origin between the most well studied ants. Cytogenetic data does not indicate restrictions in relocation or reintroduction in areas where populations were extinct due to the conserved karyotype. This study allows for cytogenetic comparison of A. robusta with other ants of Atta, emphasizing the importance of chromosomal information for species conservation. Copyright © 2015 Académie des sciences. Published by Elsevier SAS. All rights reserved.

  2. Sibling Influence on Mexican-Origin Adolescents’ Deviant and Sexual Risk Behaviors: The Role of Sibling Modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whiteman, Shawn D.; Zeiders, Katharine H.; Killoren, Sarah E.; Rodriguez, Sue Annie; Updegraff, Kimberly A.

    2013-01-01

    Purpose A growing body of research indicates that siblings uniquely influence each other’s health risk behaviors during adolescence and young adulthood. Mechanisms underlying these associations, however, are largely unknown because they are rarely tested directly. The present study addressed this gap by examining the role of sibling modeling in explaining changes in Mexican-origin youths’ deviant and sexual risk behaviors over time. Methods The sample included 380 Mexican-origin siblings (older sibling age: M = 21.18, SD = 1.59; younger sibling age: M = 18.19, SD = .46) from (N = 190) families. Participants provided self-reports of their sibling relationship qualities, including modeling, as well as their engagement in deviant and sexual risk taking behaviors in two home interviews across a two-year span. Results A series of residualized regression models revealed that younger siblings’ perceptions of modeling moderated the links between older siblings’ deviant and sexual risk behaviors and younger siblings’ subsequent behaviors in those same domains. Specifically, high levels of modeling predicted stronger associations between older siblings’ earlier and younger siblings’ later risk behaviors controlling for younger siblings’ earlier behaviors as well as variables that have been used as proxies for social learning in previous research. Conclusions Social learning mechanisms, especially modeling, are salient processes through which older siblings transmit norms and expectations regarding participation in health risk behaviors. Future research should continue to explore the ways in which siblings influence each other because such processes are emerging targets for intervention and prevention. PMID:24287013

  3. Mechanisms of Sibling Socialization in Normative Family Development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whiteman, Shawn D.; Becerra, Julia M.; Killoren, Sarah E.

    2009-01-01

    Siblings are important sources of social influence throughout childhood and adolescence. Nevertheless, the processes by which siblings influence one another remain relatively unexplored. We highlight two theories of sibling influence--sibling deidentification and social learning--that offer insights as to how and why siblings develop similar and…

  4. Sibling Rivalry: A Parent Education Perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calladine, Carole E.

    1983-01-01

    Identifies three styles of sibling rivalry and three parent leadership styles, discussing parental mediation of sibling disputes through contracting and providing examples of group discipline techniques that facilitate development of less negative forms of rivalry and that support positive sibling bonding. (RH)

  5. Impacts of elevated temperature on ant species, communities and ecological roles at two temperate forests in Eastern North America

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dunn, Robert [North Carolina State Univ., Raleigh, NC (United States)

    2014-04-01

    Over the course of five years we have established a long-term array of warming chambers at Duke and Harvard Forest that simulate future conditions with regard to temperature. In these chambers, we have studied, ants, other animal taxa, fungi, bacteria and plants and their responses to the treatments. We have coupled these studies with lab experiments, large-scale observations, and models to contextualize our results. Finally, we have developed integrative models of the future distribution of species and their consequences as a result of warming in eastern North America and more generally.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Almeida A. M.

    2003-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. M. Almeida

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2006-03-15

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farji-Brener, Alejandro G; Werenkraut, Victoria

    2017-07-01

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

  12. The Rules of Aggression: How Genetic, Chemical and Spatial Factors Affect Intercolony Fights in a Dominant Species, the Mediterranean Acrobat Ant Crematogaster scutellaris.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Filippo Frizzi

    Full Text Available Nest-mate recognition plays a key role in the biology of ants. Although individuals coming from a foreign nest are, in most cases, promptly rejected, the degree of aggressiveness towards non nest-mates may be highly variable among species and relies on genetic, chemical and environmental factors. We analyzed intraspecific relationships among neighboring colonies of the dominant Mediterranean acrobat ant Crematogaster scutellaris integrating genetic, chemical and behavioral analyses. Colony structure, parental relationships between nests, cuticular hydrocarbons profiles (CHCs and aggressive behavior against non nest-mates were studied in 34 nests located in olive tree trunks. Bayesian clustering analysis of allelic variation at nine species-specific microsatellite DNA markers pooled nests into 14 distinct clusters, each representing a single colony, confirming a polydomous arrangement of nests in this species. A marked genetic separation among colonies was also detected, probably due to long distance dispersion of queens and males during nuptial flights. CHCs profiles varied significantly among colonies and between nests of the same colony. No relationship between CHCs profiles and genetic distances was detected. The level of aggressiveness between colonies was inversely related to chemical and spatial distance, suggesting a 'nasty neighbor' effect. Our findings also suggest that CHCs profiles in C. scutellaris may be linked to external environmental factors rather than genetic relationships.

  13. The evolution of invasiveness in garden ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pascale, Elizabeth G; Thiet, Rachel K

    2016-04-22

    The Karner blue butterfly (Lycaeides melissa samuelis Nabokov) (Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae) is a federally listed, endangered species that has experienced dramatic decline over its historic range. In surviving populations, Karner blue butterflies have a facultative mutualism with ants that could be critically important to their survival where their populations are threatened by habitat loss or disturbance. In this study, we investigated the effects of ants, wild blue lupine population status (native or restored), and fire on adult Karner blue butterfly abundance at the Concord Pine Barrens, NH, USA. Ant frequency (the number of times we collected each ant species in our pitfall traps) was higher in restored than native lupine treatments regardless of burn status during both Karner blue butterfly broods, and the trend was statistically significant during the second brood. We observed a positive relationship between adult Karner blue butterfly abundance and ant frequency during the first brood, particularly on native lupine, regardless of burn treatment. During the second brood, adult Karner blue butterfly abundance and ant frequency were not significantly correlated in any treatments or their combinations. Our findings suggest that a combination of native and restored lupine is important for supporting both Karner blue butterflies and ants at the Concord Pine Barrens, and that burning does not affect the mutualism. Thus, scientists and managers at the site may wish to target their habitat management activities to best support both Karner blue butterflies and the particular ant species that provide the greatest benefit to their survival. © The Authors 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luan D. Lima

    2013-12-01

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

  16. Body Talk: Siblings' Use of Positive and Negative Body Self-Disclosure and Associations with Sibling Relationship Quality and Body-Esteem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greer, Kelly Bassett; Campione-Barr, Nicole; Lindell, Anna K

    2015-08-01

    The sibling relationship has been deemed the quintessential "love-hate relationship." Sibling relationships have also been found to have both positive and negative impacts on the adjustment of youth. Unlike previous research, however, the present study examined the associations between siblings' positive and negative body-related disclosures with relationship quality and body-esteem. Additionally, ordinal position, individual sex, and sibling sex composition were tested as moderators. Participants included 101 predominantly White and middle class adolescent sibling dyads (54 % female adolescents, with relatively equal sibling gender compositions). Older siblings were, on average, 16.46 (SD = 1.35) years old with younger siblings an average of 13.67 (SD = 1.56) years. Adolescents completed questionnaires and data were analyzed using Actor-Partner Interdependence Modeling, which focused on disclosure to and from dyad members. In general, sibling body-related disclosure was positive for the quality of the sibling relationship, regardless of the valance of disclosure. Also, adolescents' body esteem was greater when adolescents reported disclosing (i.e., actor-effects) about positive or negative body issues to their siblings (particularly for females). Conversely, when adolescents received positive or negative body-related disclosures from their siblings (i.e., partner-effects), adolescents reported lower levels of body esteem (particularly for girls and younger siblings). Thus, the impact of body-related disclosure on adolescents' feelings of body esteem appear to be associated more with whether they are the discloser or the one being disclosed to, while the impact on the quality of the relationship has simply more to do with whether or not they are generally disclosing to one another.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James M. Cook

    2012-02-01

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

  18. Convergent coevolution in the domestication of coral mushrooms by fungus-growing ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Munkacsi, A.B.; Pan, J.J.; Villesen, P.

    2004-01-01

    family Pterulaceae using phylogenetic reconstructions based on broad taxon sampling, including the first mushroom collected from the garden of an ant species in the A. pilosum group. The domestication of the pterulaceous cultivar is independent from the domestication of the gilled mushrooms cultivated...... of parallel coevolution, where the symbionts of each functional group are members of monophyletic groups. However, there is one outstanding exception in the fungus-growing ant system, the unidentified cultivar grown only by ants in the Apterostigma pilosum group. We classify this cultivar in the coral-mushroom...

  19. Moving in Dim Light: Behavioral and Visual Adaptations in Nocturnal Ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Narendra, Ajay; Kamhi, J Frances; Ogawa, Yuri

    2017-11-01

    Visual navigation is a benchmark information processing task that can be used to identify the consequence of being active in dim-light environments. Visual navigational information that animals use during the day includes celestial cues such as the sun or the pattern of polarized skylight and terrestrial cues such as the entire panorama, canopy pattern, or significant salient features in the landscape. At night, some of these navigational cues are either unavailable or are significantly dimmer or less conspicuous than during the day. Even under these circumstances, animals navigate between locations of importance. Ants are a tractable system for studying navigation during day and night because the fine scale movement of individual animals can be recorded in high spatial and temporal detail. Ant species range from being strictly diurnal, crepuscular, and nocturnal. In addition, a number of species have the ability to change from a day- to a night-active lifestyle owing to environmental demands. Ants also offer an opportunity to identify the evolution of sensory structures for discrete temporal niches not only between species but also within a single species. Their unique caste system with an exclusive pedestrian mode of locomotion in workers and an exclusive life on the wing in males allows us to disentangle sensory adaptations that cater for different lifestyles. In this article, we review the visual navigational abilities of nocturnal ants and identify the optical and physiological adaptations they have evolved for being efficient visual navigators in dim-light. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology. All rights reserved. For permissions please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  20. Siblings of Youth with Autism Spectrum Disorders: Theoretical Perspectives on Sibling Relationships and Individual Adjustment

    Science.gov (United States)

    McHale, Susan M.; Updegraff, Kimberly A.; Feinberg, Mark E.

    2015-01-01

    A burgeoning research literature investigates the sibling relationships of youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and their implications for individual adjustment. Focusing on four relationship domains-- behaviors, emotions, cognitions and involvement—and toward advancing this generally atheoretical literature, we review and apply tenets from a range of theoretical perspectives in an effort to illuminate the mechanisms underlying sibling relationship experiences and their adjustment implications. Our review suggests new directions for research to test theoretically-grounded hypotheses about how sibling relationships develop and are linked to individual adjustment. In addition, we consider how identifying underlying bio-psycho-social processes can aid in the development of interventions to promote warm and involved sibling relationships and positive youth development. PMID:26476737

  1. At issue: siblings of patients with schizophrenia: sibling bond, coping patterns, and fear of possible schizophrenia heredity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stålberg, Gabriella; Ekerwald, Hedvig; Hultman, Christina M

    2004-01-01

    Siblings of schizophrenia patients are from the patient's perspective important support providers, but most studies on family burden have focused on the parental role. This study aims to develop a detailed analysis of the psychological aspects of having a sibling with schizophrenia. We did a qualitative study with audiotaped semistructured interviews of 16 siblings. The reliability of the inductive categorization of data was high. A unifying theme appeared to be an emotional sibling bond characterized by feelings of love, sorrow, anger, envy, guilt, and shame. The major categories linked to coping with the situation were avoidance, isolation, normalization, caregiving, and grieving. A third major theme consisted of a fear of possible schizophrenia heredity. The siblings described concerns about the impact of a family history of psychiatric illness, a fear of becoming mentally ill, and reflections about "bad genes." Our findings support earlier findings of coping patterns but complement them by providing a model that includes awareness of genetic vulnerability as an important part of siblings' subjective burden.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mooney, Kailen A; Agrawal, Anurag A

    2008-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Minkey, D M; Spafford, H

    2016-10-01

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

  4. Nine novel microsatellite markers for the army ant Simopelta pergandei (subfamily Ponerinae)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kronauer, D.J.C.; Boomsma, J.J.; Pierce, N.E.

    2011-01-01

    Simopelta (subfamily Ponerinae) army ants are specialized predators of other ants in New World tropical forests. Although they show a striking convergence in overall life-history with the well known army ants of the subfamilies Aenictinae, Dorylinae, and Ecitoninae, the genus has been little...... studied. We developed and characterized nine novel microsatellite loci for S. pergandei with 2-8 observed alleles (mean: 5.2) and expected heterozygosities between 0.16 and 0.87 (mean: 0.68). Three of these loci reliably cross-amplified in a second species, S. pentadentata, with 4-8 alleles (mean: 8.......0) and expected heterozygosities between 0.32 and 0.85 (mean: 0.65). These genetic markers will be useful in studying the sociobiology and molecular ecology of Simopelta army ants and in elucidating convergent evolutionary trajectories that have culminated in the army ant lifestyle...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-08-01

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

  6. Aerobic vs. anaerobic scope: sibling species of fish indicate that temperature dependence of hypoxia tolerance can predict future survival.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sørensen, Christina; Munday, Philip L; Nilsson, Göran E

    2014-03-01

    The temperature dependence of aerobic scope has been suggested to be a major determinant of how marine animals will cope with future rises in environmental temperature. Here, we present data suggesting that in some animals, the temperature dependence of anaerobic scope (i.e., the capacity for surviving severe hypoxia) may determine present-day latitudinal distributions and potential for persistence in a warmer future. As a model for investigating the role of anaerobic scope, we studied two sibling species of coral-dwelling gobies, Gobiodon histrio, and G. erythrospilus, with different latitudinal distributions, but which overlap in equal abundance at Lizard Island (14°40'S) on the Great Barrier Reef. These species did not differ in the temperature dependence of resting oxygen consumption or critical oxygen concentration (the lowest oxygen level where resting oxygen consumption can be maintained). In contrast, the more equatorial species (G. histrio) had a better capacity to endure anaerobic conditions at oxygen levels below the critical oxygen concentration at the high temperatures (32-33 °C) more likely to occur near the equator, or in a warmer future. These results suggest that anaerobic scope, in addition to aerobic scope, could be important in determining the impacts of global warming on some marine animals. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  7. Does the afrotropical army ant Dorylus (Anomma) molestus go extinct in fragmented forests?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schöning, Caspar; Kinuthia, Wanja; Boomsma, Jacobus Jan

    2006-01-01

    or facultatively associated with them. Field observations and mathematical modelling suggest that deforestation and accompanying forest fragmentation cause local extinctions of the neotropical swarm-raiding army ant Eciton burchellii which in turn have negative effects on its associated fauna. The aim......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...... of this study was to examine whether afrotropical army ants are affected by forest fragmentation in the same way. Surveys of Dorylus (Anomma) molestus colonies were carried out in forest fragments of different sizes and in the matrix habitat at two sites in Eastern Kenya, along the Lower Tana River...

  8. Personality traits and sibling relationships in emerging adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lanthier, Richard P

    2007-04-01

    Associations between the Big Five personality traits of siblings and the quality of sibling relationships were examined in a sample of 115 college students and one of their older siblings. Big Five traits, as assessed by Goldberg's 100 adjective markers, predicted a large amount of the variability in sibling Warmth and Conflict. Agreeableness was the most consistent predictor of positive sibling outcomes.

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

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    Anselmo Nogueira

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

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

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    Tobias O. Bickel

    2005-09-01

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

  11. Sex allocation in fungus-growing ants: worker or queen control without symbiont-induced female bias

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dijkstra, Michiel B.; Boomsma, Jacobus Jan

    2008-01-01

    The fungal cultivars of fungus-growing ants are vertically transmitted by queens but not males. Selection would therefore favor cultivars that bias the ants' sex ratio towards gynes, beyond the gyne bias that is optimal for workers and queens. We measured sex allocation in 190 colonies of six...... sympatric fungus-growing ant species. As predicted from relatedness, female bias was greater in four singly mated Sericomyrmex and Trachymyrmex species than in two multiply mated Acromyrmex species. Colonies tended to raise mainly a single sex, which could be partly explained by variation in queen number......, colony fecundity, and fungal garden volume for Acromyrmex and Sericomyrmex, but not for Trachymyrmex. Year of collection, worker number and mating frequency of Acromyrmex queens did not affect the colony sex ratios. We used a novel sensitivity analysis to compare the population sex allocation ratios...

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

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    Luke E DeFisher

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pérez-Lachaud, Gabriela; Lachaud, Jean-Paul

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gabriela Pérez-Lachaud

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

  15. Sibling Gender Composition and Preferences for STEM Education

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Brenøe, Anne Ardila

    2017-01-01

    of the younger siblings' gender allows me to estimate the causal effect of having an opposite compared to same sex sibling. Overall, having an opposite sex sibling makes educational choices more gender-stereotypical for both genders. Having an opposite sex sibling reduces women's probability to enroll in any......-parent interactions. Parents with mixed sex children gender-specialize their parenting more and spend more quality time with their same sex child than parents with same sex children. Moreover, I show that young boys with an opposite sex sibling are exposed to more gender-stereotypical behavior within the family than......This paper studies how sibling gender composition affects preferences for education within Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). To identify the causal effect of sibling gender, I focus on a sample of firstborn children who all have a younger biological sibling. The randomness...

  16. Psychosis among "healthy" siblings of schizophrenia patients

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    Partonen Timo

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Schizophrenia aggregates in families and accurate diagnoses are essential for genetic studies of schizophrenia. In this study, we investigated whether siblings of patients with schizophrenia can be identified as free of any psychotic disorder using only register information. We also analyzed the emergence of psychotic disorders among siblings of patients with schizophrenia during seven to eleven years of follow-up. Methods A genetically homogenous population isolate in north-eastern Finland having 365 families with 446 patients with a diagnosis of schizophrenia was initially identified in 1991 using four nationwide registers. Between 1998 and 2002, 124 patients and 183 siblings in 110 families were contacted and interviewed using SCID-I, SCID-II and SANS. We also compared the frequency of mental disorders between siblings and a random population comparison group sample. Results Thirty (16% siblings received a diagnosis of psychotic disorder in the interview. 14 siblings had had psychotic symptoms already before 1991, while 16 developed psychotic symptoms during the follow-up. Over half of the siblings (n = 99, 54% had a lifetime diagnosis of any mental disorder in the interview. Conclusion Register information cannot be used to exclude psychotic disorders among siblings of patients with schizophrenia. The high rate of emergence of new psychotic disorders among initially healthy siblings should be taken into account in genetic analysis.

  17. Associations between Social Understanding, Sibling Relationship Quality, and Siblings' Conflict Strategies and Outcomes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Recchia, Holly E.; Howe, Nina

    2009-01-01

    Sibling relationship quality and social understanding (second-order false belief, conflict interpretation, and narrative conflict perspective references) were examined as unique and interactive correlates of sibling conflict behavior in 62 dyads (older M age = 8.39 years and younger M age = 6.06 years). High-quality relationships were associated…

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

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    Andrew J Edelman

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

  19. Molecular identification of sibling species of Sclerodermus (Hymenoptera: Bethylidae that parasitize buprestid and cerambycid beetles by using partial sequences of mitochondrial DNA cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 and 28S ribosomal RNA gene.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuan Jiang

    Full Text Available The species belonging to Sclerodermus (Hymenoptera: Bethylidae are currently the most important insect natural enemies of wood borer pests, mainly buprestid and cerambycid beetles, in China. However, some sibling species of this genus are very difficult to distinguish because of their similar morphological features. To address this issue, we conducted phylogenetic and genetic analyses of cytochrome oxidase subunit I (COI and 28S RNA gene sequences from eight species of Sclerodermus reared from different wood borer pests. The eight sibling species were as follows: S. guani Xiao et Wu, S. sichuanensis Xiao, S. pupariae Yang et Yao, and Sclerodermus spp. (Nos. 1-5. A 594-bp fragment of COI and 750-bp fragment of 28S were subsequently sequenced. For COI, the G-C content was found to be low in all the species, averaging to about 30.0%. Sequence divergences (Kimura-2-parameter distances between congeneric species averaged to 4.5%, and intraspecific divergences averaged to about 0.09%. Further, the maximum sequence divergences between congeneric species and Sclerodermus sp. (No. 5 averaged to about 16.5%. All 136 samples analyzed were included in six reciprocally monophyletic clades in the COI neighbor-joining (NJ tree. The NJ tree inferred from the 28S rRNA sequence yielded almost identical results, but the samples from S. guani, S. sichuanensis, S. pupariae, and Sclerodermus spp. (Nos. 1-4 clustered together and only Sclerodermus sp. (No. 5 clustered separately. Our findings indicate that the standard barcode region of COI can be efficiently used to distinguish morphologically similar Sclerodermus species. Further, we speculate that Sclerodermus sp. (No. 5 might be a new species of Sclerodermus.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-06-06

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

  1. Fire Ant Bites

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  2. Hormigas cazadoras en sistemas productivos del piedemonte amazónico colombiano: diversidad y especies indicadoras Hunter ants in productive systems of Colombian amazon foothills: diversity and indicator species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Catalina Sanabria-Blandón

    2011-01-01

    methods for sampling ants (TSBF, formalin soil washing, screening of litter and direct search. A total of 280 organisms was collected, corresponding to nine genera and 35 species, belonging to the subfamilies Ectatomminae, Paraponerinae and Ponerinae. Pachycondyla was the most diverse genus (13 species. The abundance of ants was directly correlated with species richness and the number of exclusive species. The highest richness was observed in the agroforestry (24 species, followed by silvopastoral (19 and the lowest in traditional (8. Five species were common in the three systems and seven species marked the most differences in composition between systems (this was: Ectatomma ruidum, Hypoponera sp.1 and sp.4, Odontomachus haematodus, O. brunneus and Pachycondyla constricta. The species Odontomachus brunneus was indicator for the traditional system and Paraponera clavata was in silvopastoral system. Direct search was the most efficient method to sample ants in the Colombian Amazon foothills.

  3. Operant conditioning in the ant Myrmica sabuleti.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cammaerts, M C

    2004-11-30

    Operant conditioning could be obtained in the ant Myrmica sabuleti by presenting to the workers, during a six-day period, an apparatus containing either sugared water or meat as a reward. The conditioning obtained using sugared water as a reward was short lasting. A reconditioning was more persistent and lasted four hours. The ants' response was very precise, since they exhibited it only in front of an apparatus identical to that used during the training phase. Operant conditioning obtained using meat as a reward was more pronounced than that obtained by using sugared water, probably because meat is more valuable as a reward than sugar for the species studied, which is essentially a carnivorous one. Such a conditioning was rather persistent. Indeed, a first operant conditioning obtained by using meat as a reward could still be detected after seven hours, and a reconditioning was still significant after eight hours. One day after this eight-hour period without rewarding the ants, the response was higher again and a further day later, it was still significant. Since the operant conditioning is easy to perform and quantify and since the ants' response is very precise, such a conditioning can be used for further studying M. sabuleti workers' visual perception.

  4. Psychosocial Adjustment and Sibling Relationships in Siblings of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Risk and Protective Factors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walton, Katherine M.; Ingersoll, Brooke R.

    2015-01-01

    This study compared sibling adjustment and relationships in siblings of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD-Sibs; n = 69) and siblings of children with typical development (TD-Sibs; n = 93). ASD-Sibs and TD-Sibs demonstrated similar emotional/behavioral adjustment. Older male ASD-Sibs were at increased risk for difficulties. Sibling…

  5. Plant-derived differences in the composition of aphid honeydew and their effects on colonies of aphid-tending ants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pringle, Elizabeth G; Novo, Alexandria; Ableson, Ian; Barbehenn, Raymond V; Vannette, Rachel L

    2014-01-01

    In plant–ant–hemipteran interactions, ants visit plants to consume the honeydew produced by phloem-feeding hemipterans. If genetically based differences in plant phloem chemistry change the chemical composition of hemipteran honeydew, then the plant's genetic constitution could have indirect effects on ants via the hemipterans. If such effects change ant behavior, they could feed back to affect the plant itself. We compared the chemical composition of honeydews produced by Aphis nerii aphid clones on two milkweed congeners, Asclepias curassavica and Asclepias incarnata, and we measured the responses of experimental Linepithema humile ant colonies to these honeydews. The compositions of secondary metabolites, sugars, and amino acids differed significantly in the honeydews from the two plant species. Ant colonies feeding on honeydew derived from A. incarnata recruited in higher numbers to artificial diet, maintained higher queen and worker dry weight, and sustained marginally more workers than ants feeding on honeydew derived from A. curassavica. Ants feeding on honeydew from A. incarnata were also more exploratory in behavioral assays than ants feeding from A. curassavica. Despite performing better when feeding on the A. incarnata honeydew, ant workers marginally preferred honeydew from A. curassavica to honeydew from A. incarnata when given a choice. Our results demonstrate that plant congeners can exert strong indirect effects on ant colonies by means of plant-species-specific differences in aphid honeydew chemistry. Moreover, these effects changed ant behavior and thus could feed back to affect plant performance in the field. PMID:25505534

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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...

  7. Mechanisms of sibling socialization in normative family development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whiteman, Shawn D; Becerra, Julia M; Killoren, Sarah E

    2009-01-01

    Siblings are important sources of social influence throughout childhood and adolescence. Nevertheless, the processes by which siblings influence one another remain relatively unexplored. We highlight two theories of sibling influence-sibling deidentification and social learning-that offer insights as to how and why siblings develop similar and different attributes, attitudes, and behaviors. Recognizing the need to move past post hoc explanations, we suggest several directions for how these two influence processes can be measured directly in future work. Research on sibling influence also can be improved by integrating these theories and attending to their domains of influence.

  8. Siblings and children's time use in the United States

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rachel Dunifon

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Background: Eighty-two percent of children under age 18 live with at least one sibling, and the sibling relationship is typically the longest-lasting family relationship in an individual's life. Nevertheless, siblings remain understudied in the family demography literature. Objective: We ask how having a sibling structures children's time spent with others and in specific activities, and how children's time and activities with siblings vary by social class, gender, and age. Methods: We use time diary data from the US Panel Study of Income Dynamics' Child Development Supplement (PSID-CDS, comparing the time use of children with and without siblings and presenting regression-adjusted descriptive statistics on patterns among those with siblings. Results: Children with siblings spend about half of their discretionary time engaged with siblings. They spend less time alone with parents and more time in unstructured play than those without siblings. Brothers and more closely spaced siblings spend more time together and more time in unstructured play. For example, boys with at least one brother spend five more hours per week with their siblings and over three more hours per week in unstructured play than boys with no brothers. Conclusions: The presence and characteristics of siblings shape children's time use in ways that may have implications for child development. Contribution: This is the first study to use children's time diary data to examine how the presence and characteristics of siblings structure ways in which children spend their time. This contributes to our broader understanding of sibling relationships and family dynamics.

  9. Bisphenol A induces oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction in lymphoblasts from children with autism and unaffected siblings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaur, Kulbir; Chauhan, Ved; Gu, Feng; Chauhan, Abha

    2014-11-01

    Autism is a behaviorally defined neurodevelopmental disorder. Although there is no single identifiable cause for autism, roles for genetic and environmental factors have been implicated in autism. Extensive evidence suggests increased oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction in autism. In this study, we examined whether bisphenol A (BPA) is an environmental risk factor for autism by studying its effects on oxidative stress and mitochondrial function in the lymphoblasts. When lymphoblastoid cells from autistic subjects and age-matched unaffected sibling controls were exposed to BPA, there was an increase in the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and a decrease in mitochondrial membrane potential in both groups. A further subdivision of the control group into two subgroups-unaffected nontwin siblings and twin siblings-showed significantly higher ROS levels without any exposure to BPA in the unaffected twin siblings compared to the unaffected nontwin siblings. ROS levels were also significantly higher in the autism vs the unaffected nontwin siblings group. The effect of BPA on three important mtDNA genes-NADH dehydrogenase 1, NADH dehydrogenase 4, and cytochrome b-was analyzed to observe any changes in the mitochondria after BPA exposure. BPA induced a significant increase in the mtDNA copy number in the lymphoblasts from the unaffected siblings group and in the unaffected twin siblings group vs the unaffected nontwin siblings. In all three genes, the mtDNA increase was seen in 70% of the subjects. These results suggest that BPA exposure results in increased oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction in the autistic subjects as well as the age-matched sibling control subjects, particularly unaffected twin siblings. Therefore, BPA may act as an environmental risk factor for autism in genetically susceptible children by inducing oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-07-01

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

  11. Ants of João da Cunha Island, SC, Brazil: composition and diversity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ricardo Corbetta

    2005-05-01

    Full Text Available The ant species of João da Cunha Island, SC, were collected both manually and by the use of attractive baits of honey and sardine. The samples were taken at 10 sites, each having one bait of each type, totalling 20 samples in each collection. A total of 14 genera, 52 species and 5 subfamilies was sampled in one year of monthly sampling. The richest genera were Pheidole (16 species and Camponotus (9. The biological diversity values were high, and the ant fauna presented a strong seazonality on account of this diversity. The greatest similarity between seasons of the year was observed between spring and summer, followed by autumn and winter.

  12. Attachment representations, parental differential treatment and sibling relationships.

    OpenAIRE

    Goodman, E.

    2005-01-01

    The purpose of this review is to examine the literature on siblings and sibling relationships. To outline the importance of this under-researched field the review details the link between sibling relationship quality and individual psychosocial outcome. Initial research into the area started with investigations of the influence of structural variables and temperament on sibling relationship quality but found that they explained only a small proportion of the variance in sibling relationship q...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julian Katzke

    2018-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  15. Evolutionary constraints shape caste-specific gene expression across 15 ant species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morandin, Claire; Mikheyev, Alexander S; Pedersen, Jes Søe; Helanterä, Heikki

    2017-05-01

    Development of polymorphic phenotypes from similar genomes requires gene expression differences. However, little is known about how morph-specific gene expression patterns vary on a broad phylogenetic scale. We hypothesize that evolution of morph-specific gene expression, and consequently morph-specific phenotypic evolution, may be constrained by gene essentiality and the amount of pleiotropic constraints. Here, we use comparative transcriptomics of queen and worker morphs, that is, castes, from 15 ant species to understand the constraints of morph-biased gene expression. In particular, we investigate how measures of evolutionary constraints at the sequence level (expression level, connectivity, and number of gene ontology [GO] terms) correlate with morph-biased expression. Our results show that genes indeed vary in their potential to become morph-biased. The existence of genes that are constrained in becoming caste-biased potentially limits the evolutionary decoupling of the caste phenotypes, that is, it might result in "caste load" occasioning from antagonistic fitness variation, similarly to sexually antagonistic fitness variation between males and females. On the other hand, we suggest that genes under low constraints are released from antagonistic variation and thus more likely to be co-opted for morph specific use. Overall, our results suggest that the factors that affect sequence evolutionary rates and evolution of plastic expression may largely overlap. © 2017 The Author(s). Evolution © 2017 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pérez-Lachaud, Gabriela; Lachaud, Jean-Paul

    2014-01-01

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

  18. Range expansion drives dispersal evolution in an equatorial three-species symbiosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Léotard, Guillaume; Debout, Gabriel; Dalecky, Ambroise; Guillot, Sylvain; Gaume, Laurence; McKey, Doyle; Kjellberg, Finn

    2009-01-01

    Recurrent climatic oscillations have produced dramatic changes in species distributions. This process has been proposed to be a major evolutionary force, shaping many life history traits of species, and to govern global patterns of biodiversity at different scales. During range expansions selection may favor the evolution of higher dispersal, and symbiotic interactions may be affected. It has been argued that a weakness of climate fluctuation-driven range dynamics at equatorial latitudes has facilitated the persistence there of more specialized species and interactions. However, how much the biology and ecology of species is changed by range dynamics has seldom been investigated, particularly in equatorial regions. We studied a three-species symbiosis endemic to coastal equatorial rainforests in Cameroon, where the impact of range dynamics is supposed to be limited, comprised of two species-specific obligate mutualists--an ant-plant and its protective ant--and a species-specific ant parasite of this mutualism. We combined analyses of within-species genetic diversity and of phenotypic variation in a transect at the southern range limit of this ant-plant system. All three species present congruent genetic signatures of recent gradual southward expansion, a result compatible with available regional paleoclimatic data. As predicted, this expansion has been accompanied by the evolution of more dispersive traits in the two ant species. In contrast, we detected no evidence of change in lifetime reproductive strategy in the tree, nor in its investment in food resources provided to its symbiotic ants. Despite the decreasing investment in protective workers and the increasing investment in dispersing females by both the mutualistic and the parasitic ant species, there was no evidence of destabilization of the symbiosis at the colonization front. To our knowledge, we provide here the first evidence at equatorial latitudes that biological traits associated with dispersal are

  19. Male fighting and ``territoriality'' within colonies of the ant Cardiocondyla venustula

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frohschammer, Sabine; Heinze, Jürgen

    2009-01-01

    The ant genus Cardiocondyla is characterized by a bizarre male polymorphism with wingless fighter males and winged disperser males. Winged males have been lost convergently in several clades, and in at least one of them, wingless males have evolved mutual tolerance. To better understand the evolutionary pathways of reproductive tactics, we investigated Cardiocondyla venustula, a species, which in a phylogenetic analysis clusters with species with fighting and species with mutually tolerant, wingless males. Wingless males of C. venustula use their strong mandibles to kill freshly eclosed rival males and also engage in short fights with other adult males, but in addition show a novel behavior hitherto not reported from social insect males: they spread out in the natal nest and defend “territories” against other males. Ant males therefore show a much larger variety of reproductive tactics than previously assumed.

  20. Male fighting and "territoriality" within colonies of the ant Cardiocondyla venustula.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frohschammer, Sabine; Heinze, Jürgen

    2009-01-01

    The ant genus Cardiocondyla is characterized by a bizarre male polymorphism with wingless fighter males and winged disperser males. Winged males have been lost convergently in several clades, and in at least one of them, wingless males have evolved mutual tolerance. To better understand the evolutionary pathways of reproductive tactics, we investigated Cardiocondyla venustula, a species, which in a phylogenetic analysis clusters with species with fighting and species with mutually tolerant, wingless males. Wingless males of C. venustula use their strong mandibles to kill freshly eclosed rival males and also engage in short fights with other adult males, but in addition show a novel behavior hitherto not reported from social insect males: they spread out in the natal nest and defend "territories" against other males. Ant males therefore show a much larger variety of reproductive tactics than previously assumed.

  1. Taxonomy of the ant genus Nesomyrmex Wheeler (Formicidae, Myrmicinae in the Afrotropical region, with a review of current species groups and description of a new species of the N. angulatus group from Mozambique

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francisco Hita Garcia

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available This study reviews the taxonomy of the ant genus Nesomyrmex Wheeler, 1910 in the Afrotropical region. Previous revisionary studies are discussed and four species groups are proposed on the basis of external morphology. The N. angulatus group contains seven species that are widely distributed throughout the whole Afrotropical region, with one species also occurring in the Palaearctic and Malagasy regions. The N. cataulacoides group is monotypic, with one morphologically bizarre species found in Equatorial rain forests. The N. humerosus group is also monotypic and occurs in East Africa. The last and by far most species-rich group is the N. simoni group that contains 17 species, all of which are endemic to South Africa. The four groups are defined for the first time for the region, and an illustrated identification key is provided. Furthermore, the N. angulatus group is more thoroughly reviewed. One new species from Mozambique is described, N. inhaca sp. nov., and species accounts for the other six are provided. Also, an illustrated identification key to the species of the N. angulatus group is presented.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rowles, Alexei D; Silverman, Jules

    2009-08-01

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

  3. First record of the myrmicine ant genus Meranoplus Smith, 1853 (Hymenoptera: Formicidae from the Arabian Peninsula with description of a new species and notes on the zoogeography of southwestern Kingdom of [corrected] Saudi Arabia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mostafa R Sharaf

    Full Text Available The ant genus Meranoplus is reported for the first time from the Arabian Peninsula (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia by the new species M. pulcher sp. n., based on the worker caste. Specimens were collected from Al Sarawat and Asir Mountains of southwestern Kingdom of Saudi Arabia using pitfall traps. Meranoplus pulcher sp. n. is included in the Afrotropical M. magretii-group, with greatest similarity to M. magrettii André from Sudan. A key to the Afrotropical species of the M. magretii-group is presented. A brief review of the ant taxa with Afrotropical affinities in southwestern region of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is given.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oña, L; Lachmann, M

    2011-03-01

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

  5. Why Siblings Are Important Agents of Cognitive Development: A Comparison of Siblings and Peers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Azmitia, Margarita; Hesser, Joanne

    1993-01-01

    Found that, in unstructured building sessions, kindergartners were more likely to observe, imitate, and consult their second- or third-grade siblings than their older peers. Older siblings were also more likely to provide additional explanations and positive feedback than older peers when instructing younger children. (MDM)

  6. Family Perspectives on Siblings' Conflict Goals in Middle Childhood: Links to Hierarchical and Affective Features of Sibling Relationships

    Science.gov (United States)

    Recchia, Holly E.; Witwit, Ma-ab

    2017-01-01

    This study examined parents' and children's descriptions of older and younger siblings' conflict goals in the late preschool and middle childhood years, and how these attributions were related to sibling relationship quality. Parents and 4- to 10-year-old children from 62 families were interviewed separately about siblings' motivations in two…

  7. Parental Divorce and Sibling Relationships: A Research Note

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poortman, Anne-Rigt; Voorpostel, Marieke

    2009-01-01

    This study examines long-term effects of parental divorce on sibling relationships in adulthood and the role of predivorce parental conflict. It used large-scale retrospective data from the Netherlands that contain reports from both siblings of the sibling dyad. Results show limited effects of parental divorce on sibling contact and relationship…

  8. Facultative slave-making ants Formica sanguinea label their slaves with own recognition cues instead of employing the strategy of chemical mimicry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Włodarczyk, Tomasz; Szczepaniak, Lech

    2017-01-01

    Slave-making ant species use the host workforce to ensure normal colony functioning. Slaves are robbed as pupae from their natal nest and after eclosion, assume the parasite colony as their own. A possible factor promoting the successful integration of slaves into a foreign colony is congruence with the slave-makers in terms of cuticular hydrocarbons, which are known to play the role of recognition cues in social insects. Such an adaptation is observed in the obligate slave-making ant species, which are chemically adjusted to their slaves. To date, however, no reports have been available on facultative slave-making species, which represent an earlier stage of the evolution of slavery. Such an example is Formica sanguinea, which exploit F. fusca colonies as their main source of a slave workforce. Our results show that F. sanguinea ants have a distinct cuticular hydrocarbon profile, which contains compounds not present in free-living F. fusca ants from potential target nests. Moreover, enslaved F. fusca ants acquire hydrocarbons from their slave-making nestmates to such an extent that they become chemically differentiated from free-living, conspecific ants. Our study shows that F. sanguinea ants promote their own recognition cues in their slaves, rather than employing the strategy of chemical mimicry. Possible reasons why F. sanguinea is not chemically well adjusted to its main host species are discussed in this paper. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-10-01

    Large ant colonies invariably use effective scent trails to guide copious ant numbers to food sources. The success of mass recruitment hinges on the involvement of many colony members to lay powerful trails. However, many ant colonies start off as single queens. How do these same colonies forage efficiently when small, thereby overcoming the hurdles to grow large? In this paper, we study the case of combined group and mass recruitment displayed by some ant species. Using mathematical models, we explore to what extent early group recruitment may aid deployment of scent trails, making such trails available at much smaller colony sizes. We show that a competition between group and mass recruitment may cause oscillatory behaviour mediated by scent trails. This results in a further reduction of colony size to establish trails successfully.

  10. Upaya Mengatasi Sibling Rivalry melalui Layanan Konseling Kelompok

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eli Turniati

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Penelitian ini dilakukan berdasarkan fenomena yang terjadi pada siswa kelas VI SDN Sendangmulyo 02 kecamatan Tembalang kota Semarang yang mengalami sibling rivalry. Tujuan penelitian ini yaitu untuk mengetahui apakah konseling kelompok dapat mengatasi sibling rivalry pada siswa kelas VI SDN Sendangmulyo 02. Jenis penelitian adalah penelitian eksperiment dengan desain penelitian one group pre-test dan pos-test design. Subyek penelitian ini, siswa kelas VI SDN Sendangmulyo 02 yang memiliki tingkat sibling rivalry tinggi yang diperoleh dari hasil DCM dan rekomendasi dari guru kelas yaitu terjaring 10 siswa. Metode pengumpulan data menggunakan skala psikologis berupa skala sibling rivalry. Analisis data menggunakan teknik analisis data deskriptif persentase dan uji wilcoxon. Hasil penelitian menunjukan sibling rivalry siswa sebelum diberi perlakuan berupa konseling kelompok dalam kategori tinggi (75.14%. Setelah diberikan konseling kelompok menunjukkan perbedaan, dilihat dari hasil pos test rata-rata sibling rivalry siswa menurun yaitu berada pada kategori rendah (42,95%. Hal tersebut menunjukan bahwa sibling rivalry dapat diatasi melalui layanan konseling kelompok This research was conducted based on phenomena that occur in grade VI SDN Sendangmulyo 02 Tembalang Semarang who experienced sibling rivalry. The purpose of this research is to find out if counseling groups can overcome sibling rivalry at grade VI SDN Sendangmulyo 02. This type of research is research research design alphabets experiment one group pre test and post test design. The subject of this study, students of class VI SDN Sendangmulyo 02 that has a high level of sibling rivalry that results obtained from DCM and the recommendations of the master class that is netted 10 students. Method of data collection using a scale of psychological scale in the form of sibling rivalry. Data analysis data analysis techniques using a descriptive percentage and wilcoxon test. The research results

  11. Infant-mother and infant-sibling attachment in Zambia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mooya, Haatembo; Sichimba, Francis; Bakermans-Kranenburg, Marian

    2016-12-01

    This study, the first in Zambia using the Strange Situation Procedure (SSP) to observe attachment relationships and the "very first" observational study of infant-sibling attachment, examined patterns of infant-mother and infant-sibling attachment, and tested their association. We included siblings who were substantially involved in caregiving activities with their younger siblings. We hypothesized that infants would develop attachment relationships to both mothers and siblings; the majority of infants would be classified as securely attached to both caregivers, and infant-mother and infant-sibling attachment would be unrelated. The sample included 88 low-income families in Lusaka, Zambia (average of 3.5 children; SD = 1.5). The SSP distributions (infant-mother) were 59% secure, 24% avoidant and 17% resistant, and 46% secure, 20% avoidant, 5% resistant and 29% disorganized for three- and four-way classifications, respectively. The infant-sibling classifications were 42% secure, 23% avoidant and 35% resistant, and 35% secure, 23% avoidant, 9% resistant and 33% disorganized for three- and four-way classifications, respectively. Infant-mother and infant-sibling attachment relationships were not associated.

  12. Bullying among Siblings: The Role of Personality and Relational Variables

    Science.gov (United States)

    Menesini, Ersilia; Camodeca, Marina; Nocentini, Annalaura

    2010-01-01

    This study aimed to investigate: (1) the influence of gender, sibling age, and sibling gender on sibling bullying and victimization; (2) the links between personality characteristics, quality of the sibling relationship, and sibling bullying/victimization; (3) the association between sibling and school bullying/victimization, and the direct and…

  13. Relationship between siblings and psychological adjustment in adolescents:

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karen Ripoll

    2009-10-01

    Full Text Available This study evaluated the effect of parent-child relationship quality (acceptance and differential treatment over dimensions of the quality of sibling relationships (warmth and conflict and psychological adjustment in 69 adolescent sibling dyads. The effects of parent-child relationships were evaluated both at the individual and dyadic levels. In older siblings, the father-child relationship had a significant effect on both their perception of warmth in the sibling relationship and psychological adjustment. In younger siblings, there was a significant dyadic effect of the older sibling’s perceived acceptance by mother on their perception of warmth in the sibling relationship. Results are analyzed based on the literature and questions for future research are proposed.

  14. Predation success by a plant-ant indirectly favours the growth and fitness of its host myrmecophyte.

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    Alain Dejean

    Full Text Available Mutualisms, or interactions between species that lead to net fitness benefits for each species involved, are stable and ubiquitous in nature mostly due to "byproduct benefits" stemming from the intrinsic traits of one partner that generate an indirect and positive outcome for the other. Here we verify if myrmecotrophy (where plants obtain nutrients from the refuse of their associated ants can explain the stability of the tripartite association between the myrmecophyte Hirtella physophora, the ant Allomerus decemarticulatus and an Ascomycota fungus. The plant shelters and provides the ants with extrafloral nectar. The ants protect the plant from herbivores and integrate the fungus into the construction of a trap that they use to capture prey; they also provide the fungus and their host plant with nutrients. During a 9-month field study, we over-provisioned experimental ant colonies with insects, enhancing colony fitness (i.e., more winged females were produced. The rate of partial castration of the host plant, previously demonstrated, was not influenced by the experiment. Experimental plants showed higher δ(15N values (confirming myrmecotrophy, plus enhanced vegetative growth (e.g., more leaves produced increased the possibility of lodging ants in leaf pouches and fitness (i.e., more fruits produced and more flowers that matured into fruit. This study highlights the importance of myrmecotrophy on host plant fitness and the stability of ant-myrmecophyte mutualisms.

  15. A reassessment of the mating system characteristics of the army ant Eciton burchellii

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kronauer, Daniel Jan Christoph; Berghoff, Stefanie M.; Powell, Scott

    2006-01-01

    In a recent study, Denny et al. (2004a) showed that queens of the army ant, Eciton burchellii, mate with multiple males and presented estimates suggesting that they mate with more males than queens of any other ant species so far investigated. They also inferred that data were consistent...... colonies of the same species. Mating frequencies in E. burchellii are indeed very high (mean observed and effective queen-mating frequencies of 12.9 each) but considerably lower than the previous estimates. We show that the number of patrilines represented in the first worker offspring of a young queen...

  16. Fungus-growing ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae on Santa Catarina Island, Brazil: patterns of occurrence

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    Benedito Cortês Lopes

    2000-06-01

    Full Text Available A taxonomic survey on fungus-growing ants (Attini was made at 14 beaches on Santa Catarina Island (SC, Brazil. The samplings were manual, in soil or litterfall, in the following habitats: sandy beach, herbaceous vegetation and shrubby vegetation. From 12 species of Attini (ten of Acromyrmex Mayr and two of Cyphomyrmex Mayr, the most frequent were Cyphomyrmex morschi Emery and Acromyrmex crassispinus Forel, collected, respectively, on eight and ten of the monitored beaches. Altogether, Sorensen’s similarity coefficients were high (range: 0.59-0.80, in spite of the lower numbers of ant species on sandy beaches

  17. Ants sow the seeds of global diversification in flowering plants.

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    Szabolcs Lengyel

    Full Text Available The extraordinary diversification of angiosperm plants in the Cretaceous and Tertiary periods has produced an estimated 250,000-300,000 living angiosperm species and has fundamentally altered terrestrial ecosystems. Interactions with animals as pollinators or seed dispersers have long been suspected as drivers of angiosperm diversification, yet empirical examples remain sparse or inconclusive. Seed dispersal by ants (myrmecochory may drive diversification as it can reduce extinction by providing selective advantages to plants and can increase speciation by enhancing geographical isolation by extremely limited dispersal distances.Using the most comprehensive sister-group comparison to date, we tested the hypothesis that myrmecochory leads to higher diversification rates in angiosperm plants. As predicted, diversification rates were substantially higher in ant-dispersed plants than in their non-myrmecochorous relatives. Data from 101 angiosperm lineages in 241 genera from all continents except Antarctica revealed that ant-dispersed lineages contained on average more than twice as many species as did their non-myrmecochorous sister groups. Contrasts in species diversity between sister groups demonstrated that diversification rates did not depend on seed dispersal mode in the sister group and were higher in myrmecochorous lineages in most biogeographic regions.Myrmecochory, which has evolved independently at least 100 times in angiosperms and is estimated to be present in at least 77 families and 11 000 species, is a key evolutionary innovation and a globally important driver of plant diversity. Myrmecochory provides the best example to date for a consistent effect of any mutualism on large-scale diversification.

  18. Ants sow the seeds of global diversification in flowering plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lengyel, Szabolcs; Gove, Aaron D; Latimer, Andrew M; Majer, Jonathan D; Dunn, Robert R

    2009-01-01

    The extraordinary diversification of angiosperm plants in the Cretaceous and Tertiary periods has produced an estimated 250,000-300,000 living angiosperm species and has fundamentally altered terrestrial ecosystems. Interactions with animals as pollinators or seed dispersers have long been suspected as drivers of angiosperm diversification, yet empirical examples remain sparse or inconclusive. Seed dispersal by ants (myrmecochory) may drive diversification as it can reduce extinction by providing selective advantages to plants and can increase speciation by enhancing geographical isolation by extremely limited dispersal distances. Using the most comprehensive sister-group comparison to date, we tested the hypothesis that myrmecochory leads to higher diversification rates in angiosperm plants. As predicted, diversification rates were substantially higher in ant-dispersed plants than in their non-myrmecochorous relatives. Data from 101 angiosperm lineages in 241 genera from all continents except Antarctica revealed that ant-dispersed lineages contained on average more than twice as many species as did their non-myrmecochorous sister groups. Contrasts in species diversity between sister groups demonstrated that diversification rates did not depend on seed dispersal mode in the sister group and were higher in myrmecochorous lineages in most biogeographic regions. Myrmecochory, which has evolved independently at least 100 times in angiosperms and is estimated to be present in at least 77 families and 11 000 species, is a key evolutionary innovation and a globally important driver of plant diversity. Myrmecochory provides the best example to date for a consistent effect of any mutualism on large-scale diversification.

  19. Sibling Relationships in Early Childhood.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dunn, Judy

    1983-01-01

    Reviews and considers the developmental implications of recent evidence on the nature of sibling interaction from observational studies of preschool children. Argues that, in contrast to complementary interaction, sibling influence is most plausibly associated with reciprocal interaction and with sociocognitive development. (Author/RH)

  20. An Adapted Measure of Sibling Attachment: Factor Structure and Internal Consistency of the Sibling Attachment Inventory in Youth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noel, Valerie A; Francis, Sarah E; Tilley, Micah A

    2018-04-01

    Parent-youth and peer relationship inventories based on attachment theory measure communication, trust, and alienation, yet sibling relationships have been overlooked. We developed the Sibling Attachment Inventory and evaluated its psychometric properties in a sample of 172 youth ages 10-14 years. We adapted the 25-item Sibling Attachment Inventory from the Inventory of Parent and Peer Attachment-Revised peer measure. Items loaded onto three factors, identified as communication, trust, and alienation, α = 0.93, 0.90, and 0.76, respectively. Sibling trust and alienation correlated with depression (r s  = -0.33, r s  = 0.48) and self-worth (r s  = 0.23; r s  = -0.32); sibling trust and alienation correlated with depression after controlling for parent trust and parent alienation (r s  = -0.23, r s  = 0.22). Preliminary analyses showed good internal consistency, construct validity, and incremental predictive validity. Following replication of these properties, this measure can facilitate large cohort assessments of sibling attachment.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohammed Faisal

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Recently, nature-inspired techniques have become valuable to many intelligent systems in different fields of technology and science. Among these techniques, Ant Systems (AS have become a valuable technique for intelligent systems in different fields. AS is a computational system inspired by the foraging behavior of ants and intended to solve practical optimization problems. In this paper, we introduce the AntStar algorithm, which is swarm intelligence based. AntStar enhances the optimization and performance of an AS by integrating the AS and A⁎ algorithm. Applying the AntStar algorithm to the single-source shortest-path problem has been done to ensure the efficiency of the proposed AntStar algorithm. The experimental result of the proposed algorithm illustrated the robustness and accuracy of the AntStar algorithm.

  2. Growing Industries, Growing Invasions? The Case of the Argentine Ant in Vineyards of Northern Argentina

    OpenAIRE

    Maria Schulze-Sylvester; José A. Corronca; Carolina I. Paris

    2018-01-01

    The invasive Argentine ant causes ecological and economic damage worldwide. In 2011, this species was reported in vineyards of Cafayate, a wine-producing town in the Andes, Argentina. While the local xeric climate is unsuitable for Argentine ants, populations could establish in association with vineyards where human activity and irrigation facilitate propagule introduction and survival. In 2013–2014, we combined extensive sampling of the area using ant-baits with monitoring of the change in l...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Doerr, Benjamin; Neumann, Frank; Sudholt, Dirk

    2011-01-01

    The runtime analysis of randomized search heuristics is a growing field where, in the last two decades, many rigorous results have been obtained. First runtime analyses of ant colony optimization (ACO) have been conducted only recently. In these studies simple ACO algorithms such as the 1-ANT...... that give us a more detailed impression of the 1-ANT’s performance. Furthermore, the experiments also deal with the question whether using many ant solutions in one iteration can decrease the total runtime....

  4. Impact of childhood chronic illnesses on siblings: a literature review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O' Brien, Irene; Duffy, Anita; Nicholl, Honor

    Childhood illness can have a significant impact on families, particularly on the ill child's siblings. There is a dearth of published literature focusing on the needs of siblings of ill children. This literature review aims to provide an overview of the current healthcare literature in relation to the impact of childhood chronic illness or disability on siblings. A literature review was undertaken by searching the databases CINAHL, PsycINFO, ProQuest and Cochrane Library for relevant articles in English using the search terms: 'siblings', 'chronic illness', 'disability', 'cancer', 'sibling relations', 'sibling adjustment', 'coping', 'family-centred care', 'sibling interventions', 'camps', 'autism', 'Down's syndrome'. Seventeen research studies in total were reviewed. This review focuses on three sibling groups related to children suffering from autism, cancer and Down's syndrome, and are discussed under the following headings: sibling adjustment; family functioning and sibling's coping resources; and intervention programmes. The literature revealed that siblings of children with Down's syndrome were well adjusted to living with their brother or sister. However, there was conflicting information on the adjustment of siblings of children with cancer and autism. An awareness of the harmful effect that living with childhood illness and disability can have on some siblings is essential to enable healthcare professionals to provide supportive interventions to protect siblings' physical and emotional wellbeing.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Vega, Clara; Herrera, Carlos M

    2013-04-01

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

  6. Species coextinctions and the biodiversity crisis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koh, Lian Pin; Dunn, Robert R; Sodhi, Navjot S; Colwell, Robert K; Proctor, Heather C; Smith, Vincent S

    2004-09-10

    To assess the coextinction of species (the loss of a species upon the loss of another), we present a probabilistic model, scaled with empirical data. The model examines the relationship between coextinction levels (proportion of species extinct) of affiliates and their hosts across a wide range of coevolved interspecific systems: pollinating Ficus wasps and Ficus, parasites and their hosts, butterflies and their larval host plants, and ant butterflies and their host ants